The following is Skadi’s Ice Temple, a level pitch for God of War (2018).
Atreus has been kidnapped by Skadi the Goddess of Winter in the previous level. With Atreus in tow Skadi has fled to her Temple in the snowy mountains. Kratos, chasing the Goddess, has finally arrived at Skadi’s Temple and now must ascend it to save his son.
Beat 1 – Temple Entrance
Kratos storms into Skadi’s Temple. He is awestruck not only by the scale of the Temple, but by the great statue that is carved into the side of the Temples tower. Unfortunately Kratos has no time to dwell on such thoughts as he is not alone.
Dev Note – The view of the statue is foreshadowing Beat 3.
1.1. Skadi was well aware that Kratos was coming, but is overconfident. Standing atop a pyramid of stairs in front of an elevator, Skadi summons a massive ice wall across the room to block Kratos’s way forward. Commanding her minions to attack, Skadi proceeds up the elevator. Kratos’s goal is to reach the elevator.
1.2. Following Skadi’s command a weak group of Temple Priests attack Kratos at the entrance.
Dev Note – The overall theme of the level is desecration. So having Kratos kill the Temple’s Priests feeds into that.
1.3. Kratos notices a huge chandelier above the ice wall with giant chains that hold it in place. Kratos decides to destroy the chains that hold up the chandelier to create a hole in the ice wall.
1.4. On approaching the first chain a stronger group of Temple Priests appear. They are more difficult because they have a height advantage and ranged units.
1.5. Once they have been dispensed with Kratos proceeds to destroy the chandelier chain, and collect the nearby loot.
Cinematic Moment – Kratos tears the chain out of the wall. On doing so the chandelier drops violently. Cracks can be heard, the room shakes.
1.6. Noting the chain on the other side of the room Kratos heads towards it.
1.7. After defeating a more difficult group of enemies Kratos destroys the other chain (and again collects loot).
Cinematic Moment – Kratos tears the chain out of the wall causing one side of the massive chandelier to slam into the ice wall which destroys a large section of it, and
causes structural damage to the Temple Entrance.
Dev Note – Foreshadow the major structural collapse of Beat 3.
1.8. Kratos climbs the fallen chandelier, using it to proceed to the elevator.
Beat 2 – Temple Elevator
Kratos reaches the elevator to begin his ascent of the Temple. Unfortunately making it to the top will not be as straightforward as one would hope.
2.1. Kratos reaches the elevator and pulls a switch to start it. As the elevator ascends Kratos hears sounds from the different floors of the temple (e.g. chanting), and gets glimpses of
Cinematic Moment – As the elevator reaches halfway up an angry cry is heard from the top of the shaft. Skadi furious at Kratos’s progress, begins to rain icicles down onto the elevator.
Dev Note – The temple sounds, and outside glimpses are methods to keep the player occupied during the elevator ride.
2.2. The player must dodge the hail of icicles.
2.3. Though Kratos is able to avoid the icicles they deal significant damage to the elevator halting it.
2.4. Skadi immediately begins to prepare a second icicle barrage to destroy the elevator.
2.5. Kratos notices that one icicle has pierced the side of the elevator shaft. Kratos uses his Chaos Blades to destroy the weakened area.
Cinematic Moment – The fires of the Chaos Blades tear through the ice like a hot knife through butter, and Kratos leaps outside of the opening just before the elevator is
obliterated by Skadi.
Beat 3 – Temple Exterior
Proceeding through the hole in the wall Kratos encounters a statue of Skadi which he must traverse upwards to continue.
Dev Note – Treat the player to a beautiful panorama of snowy peaks, and remind them of their progress by showing them the Temple Entrance far below.
Dev Note – The End Location (diagram to the right) is not initially accessible. An explosion caused by Skadi will open it after the beat starts.
Skadi Statue Image
3.1. Kratos begins by shimmying across a ledge towards the wolf.
3.2. Kratos then climbs the wolf’s hind leg.
3.3. Then leaps upwards onto the wolf’s back.
Cinematic moment – Camera zooms into an explosion above. Skadi has blown open hole in the Temple intending to attack Kratos!
3.4. As Kratos rushes across the wolf’s back towards its head, Skadi blasts a beam of ice severing the head from the body. The wolf’s head plummets down into the Temple entrance below with a huge explosion. Casting the ice beam drains Skadi of energy, and she must recharge.
3.5. With Kratos’s intended route cut off he quickly sees the statues bow as his best option and so vaults onto it, and proceeds towards the statues left gauntlet.
3.6. Kratos grabs a visible ledge and proceeds to ‘ledge shimmy’ to the other side of the gauntlet.
3.7. From there Kratos leaps up a number of ledges to reach the top of the statues shoulder.
3.8. Skadi has finally recharged and blasts another huge beam at the side of the statues head hoping to crush Kratos. Kratos uses his strength to catch the head, overpower the beam of ice, and fling the statues head back at Skadi.3.9. The head misses Skadi and plummets off into the distance. Skadi curses and flees! Kratos then moves forward. He reaches the opening in the wall and proceeds into the throne room.
3.9. The head misses Skadi and plummets off into the distance. Skadi curses and flees! Kratos then moves forward. He reaches the opening in the wall and proceeds into the throne room.
Beat 4 – The Throne Room
Kratos has finally reached the top of the Temple and is in hot pursuit of Skadi who has harassed him at every step of the way.
4.1. Entering the floor Kratos sees Skadi rush into the throne room, a number of strong Temple Priests protecting her retreat.
4.2. Kratos collects health, and loot to his left.
4.3. Kratos does battle with the Temple priests who prevent entry into the throne room.
4.4. Kratos can explore a side area which provides loot.
4.5. On entering the throne room Kratos sees Atreus partially frozen in ice next to Skadi’s throne, he is trying to free himself. Skadi, focused on Kratos, summons an impenetrable ice wind shield to protect herself, and then blasts an ice beam at Kratos. The ice beam misses him but destroys the entrance to the room.
Dev Note – The entrance’s destruction is to the prevent player from leaving the space.
4.6. Skadi’s servants attack Kratos, chief among them is a giant wolf who charges out of the frost shield seemingly unaffected.
4.7. The battle proceeds with Skadi manipulating the room over the course of the encounter, bringing down parts of the roof onto the battlefield, and tearing at the columns in the room to hurl fragments at the player.
Dev Note – The ongoing destruction, and increasing instability of the room should be very evident as it foreshadows the climax of the toppling of this floor.
4.8. On killing the giant wolf Kratos throws its corpse at the frost shield which finally lands a blow on Skadi injuring her, and halting the ice wind shield. All the while Atreus has been working to free himself, and now uses this opportunity to rejoin his father.
Beat 5 – Resolution
The desecration of her temple and the death of her wolf companion drives Skadi to madness. She unleashes a massive barrage of ice beams oblivious to friend and foe alike. As a result Kratos and Atreus are blasted to one side of the room, and are now caught in a death trap of the whole floor threatening to topple off the top of the temple.
Dev Note – The intent of this section is primarily as a juicy cinematic reward. Enemy resistance should be weak to support this.
5.1. Kratos and Atreus, now reunited, must quickly finish off the crazed Skadi. They rush towards her killing any Temple Priests that stand in their path.
5.2. On reaching Skadi Kratos deals a final and grizzly blow to her. Skadi lets out a magical blood curdling scream which sends huge fissures through the already wrecked room. This causes a chain reaction and the whole floor begins to careen sideways off the top of the temple. Kratos and Atreus rush to escape the collapse heading towards the largely destroyed right side of the throne room.
5.3. On reaching a ledge they leap! As they fall Kratos grabs Atreus protecting him as he smashes through floors of ice as they descend. Ultimately landing safely in a pile of fluffy snow. Atreus turns to his worn out father, and says with a big grin on his face “Well? What’s next?”.