Thanatos is a legendary great white shark who appears in Endless Ocean 2, acting as the first "boss" in the game. He is rather enormous even by his species' standards, with a menacing, battle-worn appearance. Residing in Ciceros Strait, he is feared by the locals for his aggressive tendencies and allegedly enjoys capsizing boats.
The title "Lone Shark" is obtained by focusing on him, making him the only plot-relevant legendary to come with its own title.
"This enormous great white shark is feared throughout the Aegean Sea, where it is seen as the embodiment of evil and violence.
It actively attacks people and boats and has caused a number of brutal incidents. The many scars on its body are proof of the countless battles it has fought, and its cunning has helped it to evade all human attempts to ensnare it.
This creature is a monster created by ferocious fighting and years of experience which can be seen all over the world, but only rarely."
[ Mother Nature's Revenge? ]
"Normally, a great white shark would not go out of its way to attack humans. Almost all attacks are the result of the shark mistaking the person for a seal or some other creature it considers food. That means shark attacks are rare, only a few each year. But despite this, humans kill thousands of tons of sharks every year to boast, or simply out of pure fear or loathing.
Is the emergence of a creature like Thanatos, which hunts man alone, the revenge of Mother Nature?"
Thanatos is the first of three legendaries to play a role in the main story of Endless Ocean 2. His existence is hinted at by GG upon arrival in Ciceros Strait, but the player is not formally introduced to him until they discover the Triton Village Ruins later on at night. There, GG again warns them about Thanatos, before quickly swimming off. Shortly thereafter, Thanatos finally shows up to attack the player and Oceana, accompanied by two standard great white sharks; the pulsar is used to calm both of the smaller specimens, but has no effect on Thanatos whatsoever. The player and Oceana have to evade him by swimming into the Well of the Full Moon, where he cannot follow, as he is far too large to fit. Subsequently, the pair discover a secret passage beneath the Well that leads to the ruins of Valka Castle.
Thanatos makes another appearance in a notebook mission entitled "Memento", making him the only legendary creature to be featured in both the main story as well as a side-quest, and also one of two legendaries who can be encountered in more than one part of his home map. A woman named Marzia asks the player to help her obtain an item from a wrecked ship, the Pride of Athens, the same ship that her father disappeared in when it sunk. Thanatos appears while the two are inspecting the wreck, this time without his cronies, and the player has to deter and distract him until Marzia can open the door to the ship, at which point he swims away.
Aside from the scene at Triton Village and the "Memento" quest (and in spite of the fact that he is rumored to haunt the entirety of Ciceros Strait), Thanatos is found solely within coordinates H-6 and H-7 of that map, near the Wreck of the Emerald Lady. He swims at the same height as the surrounding great white sharks in the area, at a depth of around 75 ft. (23 m).
Additionally, Thanatos can be seen outside the windows of Valka Castle from time to time. He cannot interact with the player and does not attack them, preferring to menacingly swim past the windows of the Underwater Gallery, the Mermaid's Ballroom, the King's Chamber, and the chamber adjoining the two on the eastern side of the map.
Oceana: "Whoa! That's an enormous great white shark! Is this what GG was worried about? The man-eating shark Thanatos? Oh no! He's coming this way! If we don't do something about him, we won't even be able to surface! Can you use the Pulsar?"
Oceana: "I don't believe it... The Pulsar has no effect! We've got to get away from him... There's got to be something we can do!"
"This is Jean-Eric! A huge object has just appeared on the ship's sonar. It's the man-eater Thanatos! What's he doing here at a time like this?! It's too dangerous for both of you to try and escape. Your first priority is the safety of your client! You have to distract him until Marzia can open the hatch! Don't let Thanatos get anywhere near Marzia--but it's also dangerous to get too far away from her! Buy her some time by distracting him, but try to stay close!"
Thanatos spends the majority of his time near the Wreck of the Emerald Lady. He swims around here relatively slowly, cycling in and out of the map (as the only creature in the game to do so) in a circular pattern, with approximately a minute between him leaving and re-entering the map. Even while antagonizing the player, he will not chase them away from the wreck.
Unlike his counterpart from the last game, Thanatos is highly aggressive and will attempt to attack the player as soon as they swim near him. As the player unfortunately learns during their first encounter with him, Thanatos cannot be calmed with the Pulsar, so if spotted, the best course of action to evade him is to swim in unpredictable vertical columns and attempt to make sharp turns. If Thanatos comes near enough, he will slap the player with his tail; during his story encounter, this will remove one bar of oxygen from their tank, akin to other sharks, while he removes two bars in subsequent encounters.
During his encounter in the "Memento" mission, if the player remains at a certain spot right in front of Marzia, it is actually possible to avoid Thanatos' attacks completely, preventing the need to protect Marzia and making the mission far easier.
Much like his base species, as well as most other legendary creatures, his trivia can be gained by taking a picture of him. Given his ferocity, and the fact that this can only be done by focusing on him, such a task can prove difficult, as Thanatos can kick the player out of Camera mode by attacking them.
- Thanatos appears to be the replacement for Magu Tapa, a different but also intimidating great white shark who is only seen in Endless Ocean. Besides obvious differences in personality, the main feature that distinguishes him from his predecessor is his appearance; his skin is darker, and the bloodied parts of his body are less obvious.
- Thanatos is the name of a Greek deity, the god of Death (not to be confused with Hades, the god of the underworld), who was son of Nyx (Night) and Erebus (darkness) and the twin of Hypnos (sleep).
- When diving with Hayako Sakurai and watching Thanatos, she says that "He's taken a liking to you...", and that he "Finds you especially delicious."
- Although not outright stated, it is implied during the "Memento" mission that Thanatos was responsible for the Pride of Athens' sinking, and may have thus been responsible for the death of Marzia's father.
- During a guided tour of southern Ciceros Strait, Oceana indirectly mentions Thanatos while talking about the Wreck of the Blood Lotus, which was split in half some time ago, hinting that he might be responsible for capsizing that ship as well.
- Furthermore, seeing how Thanatos is most frequently seen at the Wreck of the Emerald Lady, it can be reasonably assumed that he was the shark behind that wreckage too.
- Although Thanatos and other sharks do attack the player, they never kill. They do not attack by biting; rather, they lunge at the player and turn sharply, whacking them with their tails. However, no real-life shark aside from the pelagic thresher attacks in this way. This was likely done to retain the game's age rating of PEGI 7 (Europe) / E10+ (America) and to preserve the generally calm and serene atmosphere of the game.
- Thanatos's appearance closely matches common descriptions of the mythical "Black Demon", a shark that is rumored to live in the waters of Mexico's Baja Peninsula and the Sea of Cortez. It has been commonly described as anywhere from 20-60 feet in length, with a massive tail, dark skin, and even darker eyes. The large beast is most often seen rapidly rising to the surface, before diving just as quickly, its giant tail whipping wildly, as it disappears to the depths of the sea.
- Thanatos's trivia is most likely implying findings that sharks are slowly evolving to be bigger and more aggressive in response to the environmental pressures that humans impose on them. An alternate interpretation is that some Mother Earth-like deity wants to show humans just how dangerous it will become to protect nature.
- Player rumors have circulated stating that Thanatos may be a small megalodon as opposed to a large great white shark. This is likely due to his overwhelming size in comparison to other sharks and his similar coloration, but aside from this, not much evidence is left to support this theory. However, several Lazarus taxa (creatures thought to be extinct) make appearances in Endless Ocean (namely the Sea Serpent, Anomalocaris, and Cameroceras), so while it is neither confirmed nor denied (except by the encyclopedia information stating it to be a great white shark), there is still a possibility that Thanatos may be a juvenile Megalodon or even a tiny adult Megalodon.
- Currently, the most plausible theory set forth uses precise pixel measurements and mathematics to estimate Thanatos's length, which has thus been determined to be 11.4 meters.
- Alternatively, Thanatos could belong to the same fictional genus that Magu Tapa does, Magu. This is backed up by their similar size, appearance, and behavior.
- Though the game tells the player that Thanatos is impossible to pulse, this is actually not the case. Players have determined that Thanatos simply takes more shots from the pulsar to calm than the player can deliver before he shakes them off - 40 in total. It is impossible to do this without the maximum Pulsar upgrade, but with some determination and button-mashing, it is completely feasible.
- Interestingly, once pulsed, Thanatos takes a very long time to shake off the effect-- around 10-15 minutes.
- Thanatos is one of the few legendary creatures to be seen around normal creatures of the same species, this species being the great white shark. The others are the Ice Cupid, the Grave Keeper, Leo, the Living Fossil, and Okeanos' Guardian.
- All other legendaries in the series are either always seen among their own species, or completely isolated from them. Thanatos is the one exception to this rule, as he is encountered both alongside and away from other great whites.
- Given the fact that the Sea Serpent can also be found in the South Canyon of Ciceros Strait, and that the Anomalocaris can also be found outside of Valka Castle's windows, Thanatos is one of only seven legendary creatures in the game to share its landmark of residence with another legendary, the others being the Anomalocaris, Gungnir, Lady Dorthea, the Living Fossil, Okeanos' Guardian, and the Sea Serpent.
- This also makes Thanatos the only legendary creature to be seen on two different maps, and also the only one to be seen with two other different legendary creatures.
- Thanatos is one of three legendary creatures in the game to be a member of a dangerous species, the others being King Gigide and Okeanos' Guardian. However, Thanatos and the Guardian are the only two that will pursue the player.
- Taking his scars into account, Thanatos is one of only three legendaries in the game to have a weathered appearance, with the other two being the Golden Catfish and Leo.
- Thanatos is the only plot-significant legendary creature to not be encountered on the player's first visit to his residence, although his encounter with the player is foreshadowed early on.
- Thanatos is one of two dangerous creatures whose introductory cutscene is pre-rendered (the other being the tiger shark), although he is the only legendary creature with this distinction.
- He is also the only legendary whose cutscene can be rewatched. This can be done by selecting "Thanatos appears" while diving in Ciceros Strait with Hayako.
- If one counts Marzia's request in the "Memento" mission as a Guided Tour Request (considering the player needs to talk to Oceana in order to start it), then this makes Thanatos the only legendary creature who can appear during a guided tour, although he only appears during this specific mission.
- Thanatos is the only plot-relevant legendary to appear by day and night after his story encounter.
- He is also the only one of Ciceros Strait's legendaries who can be found by day and night; the rest are daytime exclusive.
- Despite the player earning the title "Lone Shark" by encountering him, Thanatos is not a lone shark by definition.
- Every legendary creature in the game can either be found at a major landmark, a minor landmark, or an unmarked portion of the map. Thanatos is one of only two who can be found in more than one type of area (the other being King Gigide), as well as the only one who can be found in all three.
- The fact that Thanatos is first encountered after dark could be a reference to how his counterpart, Magu Tapa, only appeared at night.
- Thanatos is the only one of Ciceros Strait's legendaries who does not patrol a major landmark.