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The afterlife features in many IF games, most frequently as a recognisable, popular version of the Christian Hell, with elements of the Greek Hades and (to a lesser extent) Dante's Inferno. IF games that feature Hell normally follow the traditional model by beginning outside Hell and involving a journey inside. Once inside Hell, it's unlikely that you'll find yourself eternally chained down, suffering unspeakable tortures; nor should you be overly troubled by privation of the grace of God.


One of the most recurring figures in IF depictions of Hell. In Greek mythology he was the ferryman across the river Acheron (sometimes the more familiar Styx appears instead) at the entrance to Hades; those of the dead unable to pay the fee remained forever on the near side. If you encounter Charon, he may appear as a cowled or skeletal figure, usually in a small rowboat or punt.

  • Charon's fee will usually be in coins, either one (under the dead man's tongue) or two (over the eyes).
  • Even with payment Charon is likely to refuse you entry if you aren't dead, or don't appear to be. You may need a disguise, or the special permission of a god or already-dead guide.
  • For a demon, Charon is usually depicted as rather frail, and vulnerable to being beaten up or intimidated.


Another guard of the Greek Hades, a many- (usually three) -headed dog with a snake for a tail. Not as common an obstacle as Charon, but more likely to eat you.

  • Drugged honeycakes are the traditional way of getting around Cerberus, but (as with IF guard-dogs everywhere) drugged food of any sort might work.
  • Music has been known to put Cerberus to sleep.
  • There is also precedent for knocking him out with water from one of the rivers of Hades, particularly the memory-wiping Lethe.
  • Again, disguise yourself as a demon or dead person, and you'll have more trouble getting out than getting in.

Seven Deadly Sins

Puzzles based on The Seven Deadly Sins are often present. They commonly consist of:

  • Lust.
  • Gluttony.
  • Greed or Avarice.
  • Sloth or Laziness.
  • Wrath or Anger.
  • Envy or Jealousy.
  • Pride or Hubris.
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TODO: what other constant elements are there likely to be, and what can usefully be said about them?