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Hades 2: How to break the wards and reach the surface

How to unlock the wards and explore Olympus

How to break the wards and reach the surface in Hades 2 is something Supergiant’s roguelike game is happy to let you guess at until the time is right. Even then, you’ll need to complete a small handful of steps and wait a little while before Melinoe can finally step out of the hells and into metaphorical sunlight.

Our Hades 2 guide explains how to break the wards and reach the surface, and what reagents you need to make it happen.

Hades 2: How to reach the surface

You probably noticed the wards barring Melinoe from going up as soon as you set out from the crossroads. And there’s nothing you can do about them for your first six nights or so. Melinoe eventually runs into Hermes in Erebus, who first puts the idea of the surface in her head and gets the process started. I’m not entirely sure if this meeting is random, but I met him on my eighth night.

Melinoe will mention the idea of the wards to Hecate when she meets her after speaking with Hermes, and after another night or two, you should have the Permeation of Witching Wards incantation show up at the Crossroads cauldron.

Permation of WItching Wards

This incantation requires:

  • 3 Moly
  • 1 Shadow
  • 1 Cinder

You get Cinder from defeating Hecate at the end of Erebus, and Moly grows in random locations in Erebus as well. Random is key, since you could go an entire run and only leave with one Moly. If you’re keen on reaching the surface soon, make sure to save the ones you do find and leave other incantations for later.

Shadow is something you can only get by crafting it at the cauldron. Switch the tab from incantations to alchemy, and you’ll see the recipe there.

Shadow calls for:

  • 30 Ashes
  • 30 Psyche
  • 3 Fate Fabric

You can get ashes and psyche as minor rewards for clearing some locations – having Poseidon’s boon that potentially doubles the amount of minor rewards you get is helpful when you’re out gathering – and the Wretched Vendor sells Fate Fabric. You get one sheet for 30 bones, so make sure to save those too.

Once 12 Whiles pass and you collect your shadow, craft the Permeation incantation, and you’re good to go. Hecate doesn’t want you to, but no one tries to stop you from venturing up top. Actually surviving once you get there is another story, though.

Once you're able to roam freely aboveground, keep an eye out for bronze, especially if you want the fishing rod. Glassrock back down in the underworld is handy for other upgrades as well, so don't forget to bring your pick when you head out again.

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