Kratos, Protagonist Of The God Of War Series, Was Originally Called Dominus

Kratos, Protagonist Of The God Of War Series, Was Originally Called Dominus
Credit: PlayStation Via YouTube

God of War is arguably one of the most popular video game franchises of all time and Kratos is easily one of the most iconic faces in gaming. It’s strange to think that something that’s become such a huge part of gaming culture could have been released with a different name and a different protagonist, but lo and behold, God of War almost didn’t come to fruition.

To be accurate, God of War the game was always going to be, and the character that was eventually named Kratos was always going to be the protagonist, but we almost got entirely different names. Watch the trailer below and imagine that instead of God of War, it was Dark Odyssey, and instead of Kratos, the bald-headed, muscle-bound slaughterer was named Dominus.

In a recent interview, Stig Asmussen, who currently works with Respawn but worked on the original God of War trilogy (and directed the third game) back in the day, revealed that when the original game was in development it was being referred to as Dark Odyssey. It’s not a bad name, but there’s no way of knowing whether that title could become as iconic as God of War. Kratos at the time wasn’t Kratos, but Dominus.

Again, Dominus is not a bad name in of itself, but it couldn’t be less appropriate for the character. If you look at the name’s Latin roots, you’ll find words like “owner” or “possessor,” which is pretty much the opposite of what Kratos represents in the games. In fact, a large part of his quest is revenge for being a servant of Ares. He is the anti-possessor, rising up and wreaking vengeance on the real possessor.

Kratos, on the other hand, has Greek origins relating to “might” and “power,” which are much more fitting descriptors for the God-slayer we’ve come to know. According to Asmussen, it was the marketing department who weren’t crazy with Dark Odyssey and Dominus and asked the employees to submit suggestions. At some point or another, someone obviously submitted Kratos, and it all came together.

In hindsight, Kratos and God of War work much better, but Dark Odyssey probably would’ve been the same classic game, spawned the same popular series, and Dominus would’ve been the same legendary character. These sort of changes happen a lot, and it’s always a bit of a shock to learn what could’ve been in regards to some of the most popular properties of all time. Luke Starkiller, anyone?