On July 25 this year, a YouTuber named Haelian uploaded a video called "Why No One Has Beaten the Max Heat in Hades or Probably Ever Will": a breakdown of the hardest possible run-through of Supergiant's incredible 2020 roguelike action-RPG and why it is, effectively, unbeatable.
The probabilities are just too low: Activating all of the game's difficulty-boosting Pact of Punishment modifiers turns a challenging game into a gruelling gauntlet. It ratchets up the game's heat (effectively its difficulty level) to its maximum of 64. With enemies buffed to the max, the player character as weak as can be, and only 5 minutes to complete each area, you'd need to be both immensely skilled at the game and secure an impossible string of lucky drops during your unseeded playthrough to even make success a possibility. As far as the community knows, it had never happened before and it was never going to.
Anyway, it's now eight days after that video was posted and, obviously, someone's gone and done it. As reported by GamesRadar, a Hades challenge runner and speedrunner named Angel1c has successfully achieved the impossible: clearing what is apparently the world's first unseeded, unmodded 64-heat playthrough of Hades a mere three years after the game released in full. You can see Haelian's reaction to Angel1c's victory above and her full, impeccably soundtracked 30-minute playthrough below.
While there's always the possibility that a streamer like this is using some kind of hidden mod to bump up their chances, the Hades community seems to agree that Angel1c should be trusted on this. She's a well-known figure there, and has form for doing stuff like this in the past: She's previously posted videos of herself completing runs at 62 and 63 heat, both of which would be almost as undoable as a 64 heat run for the mere mortals among us.
The community has been blown away, though perhaps none of them are as rocked by Angel1c's success than the runner herself. "Thousands upon thousands of attempts, nearly a year since my 63 clear and 64 fails that got so much attention. And its finally fucking here," wrote the player in a caption on the original YouTube upload, "I'm still shaking while writing this, I didnt expect it to happen at all with how I havent played for so long … I'm so proud of myself".
The caption on the second uploaded video of the run—the soundtracked version—indicates that Angel1c had managed to come to grips with her victory: "I am a fucking legend at this videogame," she wrote, describing her run as "51 minutes of attempts, to get luck that is arguably unachievable in thousands of hours. Never say never I guess."
"For anyone unaware this is most certainly the most impressive thing ever done in this entire videogame," wrote a poster named vetb on the Hades subreddit, "and possibly one of the most lucky and skillful things accomplished in any game ever."
Another, jay44j, wrote that "nobody else is ever gonna do this". He was backed up by a user named jasta07 in another thread: "I think the runner is unimpeachable," they said, "but I also think [Haelian's video] was 100% correct. The RNG was absolutely freaking nuts. I totally expected this to be completed by someone finding some new strat or exploit that made it easier, not just trying to brute force the RNG".
Haelian himself updated the caption on his original, viral video: "Congratulations to Angel1C for proving me dead wrong! They destroyed 64 heat without mods or seeds just 8 days after this video was posted. A true god gamer." Haelian did point out, mind you, that "all of the math" in his video was still right. "Angel was just able to prove that they had the determination to get it done".
An accomplishment for the literal history books, then, and one that's earned all the plaudits it's received a hundred times over. But enough dilly-dallying, here's Angel1c's full, 64 heat run in all its unlikely glory: