What's different about the first run? Or is that too large a question?

I'm wondering what the best one would be, in terms of Meta Progression... It seems like Nectar and Gemstones don't appear as Chamber Rewards on the first run? Or is it just not rewards in Tartarus?

Or have I just been astoundingly unlucky, having my only source of just 1 Nectar be Dionysus?

If so, when or where do they start appearing? If Gemstones, perhaps Run 2, and maybe only on skull chambers, if my two data points are right enough.


Then there's Boons, with only Athena, Artemis, Ares, and Dionysus seeming to be available for the first run?

I assume there's further differences as well, given what I've read on the Wiki?

According to a YouTube guide by Pryde, first run Charon shops don't show any of those who haven't been spoken to.

And speaking of Chambers, Asphodel can have Food as a reward, if things go wrong / right.

  • I do remember one special note - normally you are expected to die, but since you have so many restrictions on the first run, it's actually its own speed running category and so the devs adjusted Hades's dialogue to reflect that the player hasn't actually died yet.
    – Andrew Fan
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 4:22
  • @AndrewFan - Yeah, on that note, I looked for a guide on Speedrun.com for info, but no dice there. ... I did not expect a Youtube Guide to exist, but it does and says at least No Daedelus Hammers, although that might already be on the Wiki? youtu.be/cXTIPUfkGR0?t=218
    – Malady
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 4:28

1 Answer 1


I believe this to be a mostly complete tally of the differences of the first run in Hades but I may have missed a few things or gotten a few things wrong, corrections and additions are welcome.

The following quirks of the first run are inherent to the run itself:

These quirks anecdotally seem to hold based on self-gathered data and a handful of fresh file speed run videos** but otherwise have no source:

  • Gemstones (seems to unlock on run 2) and Nectar (seems to unlock on run 3) will never appear as chamber rewards or in shops, blue laurel chambers will only offer Darkness, Chthonic Keys and rarely food

  • Survival rooms do not appear (seems to unlock on run 2)

These quirks of the first run are determined by virtue of not starting at the House of Hades and not having gained any artifact currency yet (Chthonic Keys, Darkness, Titan's Blood, etc.)

  • Weapon must be the Stygian Blade (Zagreus aspect, no upgrades)

  • No Mirror of Night bonuses (50 base HP, 1 dash, no death's defiance, etc.)

  • No House Contractor upgrades (no Fountain Chambers, Infernal Troves, Infernal Gates, Fishing, etc.)

  • No Keepsakes/Companions (none available by default and 'Keepsake Collection, Regional' that allows switching between biomes is a House Contractor upgrade)

  • No Pact of Punishment (must beat final boss or begin game in Hell mode)

This last one is non-gameplay related but is somewhat of a spoiler:

Hades has different dialogue when you encounter him to account for the fact that his usual dialogue doesn't make sense on the first run


* Personal testing seems to contradict the linked sources, a Daedelus Hammer appears in run 3 not 4 and Chaos Gates first occur in run 5 not 7, maybe those pieces are obsolete due to updates to the game

** Testing consisted of 3 fresh files with 6 runs apiece and 6 fresh file speed run videos from Youtube done between Nov 2020 and Oct 2021

  • Nice! ... So, no confirmation that getting two Nectar is impossible on First Run... But I assume there's locks on possible Chamber Rewards otherwise I should've seen in it 10+ First Runs?
    – Malady
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 19:58
  • @Malady Not sure, I didn't see anything that suggested when the artifact currencies first show up if they aren't available by default. I can watch some first run clears later to see if nectar ever appears as a room reward.
    – Gatchwar
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 20:53
  • Good luck! If you do... I guess I'll Bounty for your effort, because I'm asking a lot already, but getting my core question answered, well, that's worth it! ... Hope you get tons of rep!
    – Malady
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 21:16
  • Seems like Gemstones are unlocked in Run 2... Just tried a second run and seeing it...
    – Malady
    Commented Dec 7, 2021 at 4:07
  • 1
    @Malady So across 6 fresh file speedruns on Youtube done between Nov 2020 and Oct 2021 (mostly towards the latter) I've tallied 43 Darkness, 23 Chthonic keys, 0 Gemstones and 0 Nectar offered as room rewards (I wasn't tallying shops but I'm pretty sure I never saw gems or nectar). This rather strongly implies gems / nectar aren't in the first run, I also did a bit testing on my own and the earliest I saw nectar was run 3 and the earliest Gemstones were run 5 (I didn't get very far each run though so needs more data XD). I'll make edits as well as do a bit more testing tomorrow
    – Gatchwar
    Commented Dec 7, 2021 at 5:29

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