Tutorial characters usually don’t stick around for long, or at the very least, will disappear and reappear when you learn a new skill. Skelly, a character from the roguelike dungeon crawler video game Hades by Supergiant Games, takes this normality and crumples it into a little ball that he tosses out the window and into the River Styx.
As long as Zagreus is trying to escape (whether in an official or unofficial manner), Skelly will be there, waiting to be beaten up over and over again by the god of blood. To be honest, I couldn’t be more thrilled that this Bloodless is so stubborn solely because I enjoy his funny little bounces and taunts.
As an interesting note, unlike all of the other characters in the game, it really isn’t clear if Skelly is based on a character or person from Greek mythology or not. It is entirely possible that Supergiant Games made him up to fit the story and the position that he needed to take within the House of Hades.
This Skelly Hades Guide contains spoilers for Skelly!
Skelly is the tutorial-type character that appears after you purchase your first weapon with a Chthonic Key. He enjoys pulling pranks on Zagreus, who constantly threatens to never hit him again (at which Skelly becomes panicked). He is very vague about who his employer is and who he was in life, at least until you get a lot further into his storyline.
He will gift you the Lucky Tooth Keepsake after giving him his first Nectar. After completing his favor and gifting him an Ambrosia, Skelly will give you Companion Rib. He also offers three statues as “incentives” for finishing three different Heat levels in the Pact of Punishment: 8, 16, and 32.
Skelly is a skeleton; that much is obvious. One can easily recognize that he resembles the Bloodless enemies you may encounter in Tartarus and will encounter in Asphodel.
What may be easier to miss is the obol in his mouth – a reference to the tradition of placing a coin in a deceased’s mouth as payment for Charon when he ferries them across the River Styx
. As a fun fact, an Obol is worth one-sixth of a Drachma. Aside from the coin, Skelly has brightly colored eyes and hair that sticks out on both sides of his head.
Skelly is very enthusiastic about having his bones pounded into powder by Zagreus. In between being beaten up, he makes some funny quips and offers advice that is just as bad as Hypnos’ – in Skelly’s defense, however, it does help you realize how to use the environment in each escape attempt to your advantage if you didn’t already know.
He is very playful and, rather than divulge information about himself, would rather play pranks on Zagreus.
Despite claiming that he’s on the House’s payroll, Skelly won’t tell Zagreus who his employer is, and everyone, Achilles aside, has no idea who he is until Zagreus brings up the friendly Bloodless in his courtyard.
Spine Crushing Gifts
Skelly is one of the few characters who will gift Zagreus multiple items – and he is the only one who offers more than two to Zagreus. However, the last three of Skelly’s gifts need to be earned through some very, very hard work.
To max out his affinity gauge, however, you only need to give him Six Nectar and Three Ambrosia.
Keepsake – Lucky Tooth
After gifting Skelly his first Nectar, he will give you one of the best Keepsakes in the early game: the Lucky Tooth. This Lucky Tooth essentially gives you an extra Death Defiance, restoring more health with each rank.
At rank one, it restores 50 health; at rank two, it restores 75; and at rank three, it restores 100.
Upon his first gift of Nectar, Skelly gives you the Chthonic Companion Rib. Companion Rib summons Skelly into your battle, where he distracts foes in the area around him by taunting them.
When you summon Skelly, I recommend keeping your distance from him because he can take damage from your attacks, and you can prematurely kill your decoy.
e has 2,500 health and, depending on how much Nectar you pump into him, can be used up to five times in a run (or more if the Night Spindle is purchased in the Well of Charon).
Companion Rib is one of the only Companions that can be used against the Final Boss prior to him giving permission for the Companions to be used.
Companion Rib will show up as the fourth Chthonic Companion in your Keepsake display.
Notice those three statues at the bottom of the image? Those are Skelly’s Useless Trinkets and rewards for beating certain heats. If the incentive to get Titan Blood and Diamonds wasn’t enough, now you can get three useless statues
. In Skelly’s defense, he tried to commission something that would make him “look good with his sources,” but instead, they, arguably, only make him look good… as much as a skeleton can look good, at least.
Zagreus is, understandably, disappointed by them, and after unlocking Skelly’s Last Lamentations, Skelly says, “How could you–? I would return those statues for a full refund right here and now, if I could move! And if there was a refund policy on them.”
- The first statue you can get after completing 8 Heat. This one is known as Skelly’s Useless Trinket.
- The second is claimable after beating 16 Heat, called Skelly’s Last Lamentations.
- And the last one, after being 32 Heat, has no name, which is sad, so I will give it the worst name ever: Schelemeus, Ultimately Useless (in a friendly way).
Skelly’s Last Lamentations
I am going, to be honest: I have never unveiled all three statues, but I am thoroughly impressed by everyone who did and who can.
There are a few tips and tricks to getting the 32 Heat statue.
Put on 32 ‘heat for your tenth escape attempt – only do the ones you are comfortable with. Go for as many hearts as you can, and use either the Broken Spearpoint Keepsake or Skelly’s Lucky Tooth for the extra Death Defiance.
Thanks to b00mstick on Steam, here is the best way to get through 32 Heat: Equip the twin fists, aspect of Demeter, fully ranked up. Have a fully ranked Chthonic Coin Purse and Broken Spearpoint keepsake. For your Companion, have it fully loaded with Ambrosia. As for your Pact of Punishment choices, go for:
- 1 level of Hard Labor
- Max Jury Summons
- Max Extreme Measures
- Max Calisthenics Program
- Max Benefits Package
- Max Middle Management
- Max Underworld Customs
- 1 level of Forced Overtime
- 1 level of Routine Inspection
- Max Damage Control
- Max approval process
- To start the escape attempt, have your Chthonic Coin Purse equipped and switch to the Broken Spearpoint after Tartarus. Avoid boss rooms and Erebus – regardless of the rewards given. Only buy health items from Charon and from the Well. If picking your chamber reward, try to go for Centaur Hearts and Darkness. When you get to Elysium, pray you run across Patroclus’ Chamber.
Just… dont do it? I understand fully the need to be a completionist, but there’s not even an achievement for it – you just unveil the statue. Plus, if you’re not the best gamer in the world, 32 Heat is really, really hard.
In the end, I like to play Hades on God Mode because I don’t enjoy raging at my games – and I bet most of us don’t.
The furthest I’ve ever gotten on 32 Heat was to Alecto – and even then, I only got her down halfway. The 32 heat statue is, arguably, the best one out of the lot, but in the end, I’m happy just seeing it in a photo.
Hey There Boyo
Skelly will make his first appearance after you buy your first weapon. If you want this to happen ASAP so you can get the tutorial sooner or so you can hear his lovely and not-at-all condescending one-liners, grab a single Chthonic Key and unlock Coronacht, the Heart-Seeking Bow.
Pact of Punishment
When Zagreus asks Skelly if he saw who put the Pact of Punishment into place, Skelly reveals that he was killed and could not resummon into Zagreus’ room during that time. As such, we can assume that Hermes (or possibly even Charon, if he was fast enough) whisked into the room and quickly killed Skelly to hide the Bloodless from the ever-watchful eye of Hades. However, if you’re playing in Hell Mode, you probably won’t get this dialogue.
Unlocking the Third Statue
The two actually share a bonding moment over unlocking the third statue. Zagreus apologizes for being a jerk about them, and Skelly says that he was really nervous to even let Zag see them because he messed them up and freaked out over it – though after figuring there was no way Zagreus would actually see them, rolled with it. Unfortunately, he saw them all, but fortunately, the two became closer.
Prank One – Favor
Skelly’s favor is actually a rather cruel prank. He woefully begs Zagreus to finally free him, to allow him to rest in peace. To do so, Zagreus must wield the Stygian blade, completely level up his aspect of Stygius, and slay Skelly once and for all.
I was actually kind of upset when I did this for the first time and put it off for a few runs before finally giving in. Once I had leveled up the Aspect of Zagreus, I slaughtered Skelly quickly and stared woefully at his now empty spot.
And then he came back not a few seconds later, laughing his non-existent butt off. Both Zagreus and I were, understandably, not happy that it was a prank. Even still, afterward, I went ahead and gifted Skelly a Nectar because that had completed his favor.
Schelemeus, Captain of the Cretan Second Fleet
The second prank – or so Zagreus thinks for a moment. In this one, Skelly begins to tell Zagreus about his life as Schelemeus, Captain of the Cretan Second Fleet, and how he and his crew found their end in a watery grave. Of course, shortly after getting intense, Skelly laughs it all off as a prank.
Well, Zagreus, not content to leave it be, will ask Asterius about it during a confrontation after. Asterius then admits that, while he was not overly familiar with most things on Crete, having been trapped in a labyrinth for all of his life, the name Schelemeus is somewhat recognizable to him.
Ok, So Skelly is a Liar
In the end, however, Skelly’s true identity will likely remain a mystery, constantly swimming with fan theories. Nobody is sure who Supergiant Games based Skelly on – whether he comes from Greek myths or elsewhere. His origin is constantly swirling with fan theories.
Some theorize that he is a friend of Schelemeus, others that he is actually Odysseus or perhaps even Ulysses! The thought that he isn’t actually Schelemeus comes from the fact that there’s an obol in his mouth – something that wouldn’t happen if you drowned at sea (probably).
Even still, Asterius is pretty sure that he’s heard the name Schelemeus before, in connection with the Crete Fleet specifically. So, maybe Skelly isn’t lying after all.
Bullying Skelly for Information
So, who is Skelly, “Schelemeus,” actually working for? Until after you get his real name, Skelly is incredibly cagey about naming his sources. He consistently claims that he would rather die and that Zagreus will have to beat it out of him.
Well, Zagreus eventually figures out the trick and threatens never to lay a finger or weapon on him again. For some reason, this is Skelly’s line in the sand, and after pressuring him, he coughs up who his employer is.
“…It’s Charon… He’s rich. He’s got connections to guys like me, and I think he’s got a horse in this chariot race you’ve got going on around here with Papa.”
He Should Find Some Non-Work Friends
Charon is Skelly’s employer, though the two keep a respectable and necessitated distance from one another. While Skelly is permanently in the courtyard, Charon seems unable or unwilling to enter the House of Hades.
As such, it seems that Hermes functions as somewhat of their go-between.
Skelly refers to Hermes as his colleague, also working for Charon. However, their relationship doesn’t venture far beyond colleagues. One can easily assume, however, that Hermes was the one who knocked Skelly out and whisked him away for a moment shortly before the Pact of Punishment was installed.
Zagreus seems to be one of the only people in the House who is aware of Skelly’s presence. When he brings it up to others, they meet his inquiry with either confusion or a great deal of concern.
Regardless, the two grow very close over Zagreus’s many escape attempts, and eventually, under some serious peer pressure, Skelly crumbles and tells Zagreus who he works for.
No one is quite sure what the deal Skelly made is, but he seems happy to have Zagreus wail on him, and Zagreus is more than happy to help (until Skelly requested he ” permanently kill” him, at which point Zagreus was very upset and so was I).
Achilles is the other person who knows of Skelly, and he does not like him at all. In his Codex, Achilles wrote that he and Skelly do not get along solely because “He is too talkative for me, and spouts such simple condescensions to all those in earshot, seemingly as though he were an expert in the ways of war.
I disapprove of his reckless advice, and am uncertain as to who he was in life, to be so self-assured in death.” Even still, Achilles holds some respect for skelly, concerning the fact that he is determined just to stand around and be beaten around all day to improve Zagreus’s skills with each Infernal Arm.
I’ve already covered a few good quotes from Skelly through the article, but just to make it clear what kind of person Skelly is (or used to be) here are some more!
“…Well all right… I was once a commander of men. Name of Schelemeus. Captain of the Cretan second fleet, sailing on Athens under King Minos. We were unstoppable… but then one day… one wrong turn… and we sailed straight into the waters of Charybdis.” – This is proceeded by Skelly laughing and saying it was a joke (which Zagreus doesn’t believe).
After giving Skelly a Nectar for the first time: “Pal, thanks again for that Nectar bottle from before, stuff just goes right through me like you wouldn’t believe! Though, I hope you’re not going around giving that stuff away to every bozo you know.”
Skelly, after Zagreus asks about Hermes possibly being familiar with him: “No! Nope. Definitely not working for him, closer to a peer relationship. Well, other than the fact that he’s a god and I’m just… well, what you see is what you get with me, pal. Hey, you won’t tell anyone, will you? I’m just here to help, I swear!”
Question: Why isn’t Skelly appearing in Hades?
Answer: You need to buy your first weapon. If you have not purchased your first weapon, then Skelly will not appear. On the other hand, if you are dashing through the courtyard too fast and out to another escape attempt, Skelly does not have enough time to appear all of the time.
Question: When should I kill Skelly?
Answer: Whenever you want. If Skelly recently asked you to free him, once and for all, you should do it asap. Don’t prolong his suffering… it’s worth it in the end.
Question: Does Skelly die permanently?
Answer: No, he doesn’t. In fact, I doubt he will ever leave the employ of the House until Zagreus stops making escape attempts (which will probably be a long way into the future, if ever.
I think Zagreus and Skelly have a strange relationship, and at the same time, I find it hilarious. When Zagreus threatens to stop killing Skelly, that from “here on out, it will only be pleasantries between the two of us,” and that turns out to be Skelly’s breaking point, I laughed so hard.
I thoroughly enjoy the dialogue exchanges between the two of them, even more so than with some other characters in the game. He breaks the mold of tutorial characters, hanging around all of the time as a literal deadbeat.
He is the most amusing punching bag who is thrilled to be that way. I can only assume he gets paid bank for every time Zagreus kills him. There’s even an achievement if you kill Skelly 15 times!