Neanderthals, known primarily as Minotaurs by the Four Legendary Kingdoms, are a species of humanoids which are treated as a slave labour for the Underworld.
In spite of the beliefs that the Neanderthals went extinct 40,000 years ago (aside from some interbreeding with some homo-sapiens), they in fact managed to survive in a remote region of India. They were eventually found by the earliest members of the Four Legendary Kingdoms some 12,000 years ago, who enslaved them and forced them to work in the Underworld, where they established their own workers city called Dis.
Over the millennia, they would be derogatorily referred to as minotaurs, and in the subsequent legends that they appeared in, minotaurs would be described as men with bull heads, however this was misinterpreted due to the bull-shaped helmets they often wore.
Most of the rulers of the Underworld, who would go by the title Hades, would treat the minotaurs with no respect, and the members of the Four Legendary Kingdoms simply believed them to be dull-witted brutes.
As they worked in the Underworld, some of their kind would participate in the First Challenge of the Great Games of the Hydra, in which participants would have to face off against one to continue. However, those participants that failed to kill their Minotaur would instead be replaced in the remaining Challenges by said Minotaur.
Before The Four Legendary KingdomsEdit
When the latest Underworld ruler, Anthony DeSaxe, took on the title of Hades, he surprised the minotaurs by being much kinder and fairer towards them than his predecessors. Indeed, the Minotaur King, Minotus, became a good friend to this Hades. However, Anthony's son, Dion and Zaitan, secretly treated the minotaurs horribly, killing and torturing them for fun. The only reason they did not alert Anthony to their actions was because the minotaurs believed that when Dion eventually replaced his father, he would make things far worse for them than if they said nothing.
In 2016, the Star Chamber within the Underworld opened, allowing the nine Golden Spheres to be retrieved. As this heralded the third trial of the Super-Ancient Beings, the Diverting of the Hydra Galaxy, Monsieur Vacheron was granted the role of Master of the Games, and in the course of his preparation for the fourth Great Games he began training a number of the minotaurs to act as opponents during the various Challenges. The minotaurs variously began practising in their assigned roles for the Challenges, and prior to the commencement of the Fourth Great Games, Anthony told Minotus that he would allow his people their freedom once the Games were completed.
As part of the First Challenge, 16 minotaurs were sent to attack the 16 Champions in their cells, with the stipulation that if they defeated their opponent, then the winning Minotaur could take that Champion's place in the Games. While most of the minotaurs were killed by the Champions, the two minotaurs that confronted Wasim Nasiruzzin and Ravi Mano managed to kill their opponent. During Hades's opening speech for the Games, the two Champion minotaurs were adorned with golden stripes to mark their status.
During the Second Challenge, one of the golden minotaurs attacked Jack West Jr as they made their way down into the pit, and though it nearly had him, a Giant Devil Catfish interfered and afforded Jack a chance to escape. As the flowing water eventually reached the bottom of the pit, Fear managed to grab a hold of one of the golden minotaurs as it tried to scale the pyramid, and pulled him beneath the surface to drown, while the second golden minotaur successfully completed the Challenge.
For the Third Challenge, 30 minotaurs awaited the chance to attack the remaining Champions and the comrades they had been handcuffed too. Working alongside the trained Asian elephants, the minotaurs worked to attack and try to bring down any of the Champions, though the only ones they felled were the abandoned allies of Gregory Brigham and the Gorkha. The small army of minotaurs showed favouritism towards their golden Champion, affording it the chance to keep pace with Brigham and the Gorkha as they climbed the pinnacle, only for the golden minotaur and his companion to be speared on an iron boulder and fell in the abyss.
The minotaurs continued to pursue the Champions as they fled towards the coward's exit, though soon they risked being caught in the deadly ooze and largely abandoned the chase. One minotaur, however, was trapped due its boot being caught beneath one of the boulders, and despite its cries for its comrades to help, they instead bolted. Jack, recognising the fear in it and seeing it as a living being, opted to help the minotaur escape to safety, to the watching Royals' and other Champions' collective surprise. Before making the final jump to the exit, Jack affirmed from Hades and Vacheron that he could keep the minotaur as an ally for the rest of the Games.
That night, as Jack and his support team ate, they spoke to the minotaur, who identified himself as E-147. Though the minotaur was clearly not as intelligent as a human being, not quite understanding his species sense of self when asked by Jack what they were, E-147 was able to give Jack some details regarding the number of minotaurs there were in the Underworld.
Meanwhile, during the Royals' dinner banquet, Mephisto brought onto the stage a minotaur, whom he various stabbed with a small trident for the Royals' entertainment until he finally finished it off with his flail. While most of the Royals clapped at the show, Lily West was horrified by the display.
After the Fourth Challenge, Jack was informed that, prior to a lunch hosted by Hades, he had been invited to meet the minotaur King. Upon meeting with Minotus at the entrance to the minotaur castle, the minotaur King questioned why Jack had saved E-147, and Jack explained his reasons. Minotus proceeded to note how the minotaurs were rarely treated well, and that the current Hades was a fair ruler of them, and explained that he wanted to meet the Champion who had saved one of his minotaurs. Thanking Jack for his kindness, the minotaur King apologised for the actions of his people in the upcoming Challenge since they were trained for these Games, but also wished him support from himself and the rest of his people.
After the lunch, Dion, Zaitan and George used the time before the next Challenge to torture some minotaurs in a torture chamber.
Being told to select two of his people to aid in in the Fifth Challenge, Jack chose E-147 to join him in his Light Strike Vehicle with Sky Monster. Seeing the minotaurs in the Typhoons, Jack wondered if E-147's presence in his car might mean they would show him preferential treatment, though E-147 said they were from a different region than him and would not care. Once the race began, the minotaurs in the Typhoons proceeded to bump and crash into the Champions' LSVs, and many were killed in the fight to survive the Challenge. As the racers approached Dis, Shane Schofield saw thousands of other minotaurs watching the race from the roofs of their homes and realised how much of a highlight the Games were in their hard lives.
Having learned that there was an exit from the Underworld through Dis, and knowing the Champions' hostages would be executed after the Challenge, Jack enacted a plan to rescue his and Schofield's people, and proceeded to drive through the minotaur city. Some of the minotaurs who had survived the race followed the Hydra's lead in trying to chase Jack down, only for some to lose their lives in the pursuit. Eventually the minotaurs and the Hydra found Jack after he had told his allies to flee without him.
Some time later, while the final Challenges were being performed, Alby led the escapees back to the Underworld, and though the minotaurs surrounded them, Minotus recognised Alby as Jack's friend and agreed to hear him out. To the minotaurs' fury, Alby told them about Dion and Zaitan's plans to kill Anthony after the Games, thus denying them their freedom and dooming them to further tortures. Minotus agreed to aid Alby in the others in retrieving Lily from the Royals' clutches, and so the minotaur army was quickly assembled and sent to assault the mountain.
The minotaurs' attack caused the gathered Royals to panic and begin fleeing towards the helicopter pad. The front-line of minotaurs happened upon the Royals, and though had only wanted Dion and Zaitan, when Caldwell, Depon and Orlando's guards opened fire on them, the minotaurs began attacking all the Royals indiscriminately, and few escaped their wrath. Minotus and E-147 helped Alby, Mother and Astro find their comrades, and after Anthony agreed to uphold his promise to give the minotaurs their freedom, Minotus secured a chopper for them to depart the Underworld in, and allowed E-147 to go with them.
A few days of rest after the Great Games, Minotus decided that it was time for his people to begin clearing away the carnage left behind during the course of the Games. Soon, however, a crew of thirty minotaurs who had been sent to clear the roadway of the Fifth Challenge discovered that one of the mysterious silver coffins on the hanging tower had opened. As their leader radioed Minotus to report their discovery, the minotaurs peered into the coffin curiously, finding a strange bronze figure inside, which quickly sat up and asked them something in a strange language.
By the time Minotus and his lieutenants arrived, the bronze figure had slaughtered the thirty-strong crew. When it asked them its question, Minotus simply responded that he didn't understand, and with that answer the Bronze Guardian went on the attack. As the Bronze Guardian began tearing its way through his people, Minotus attempted to call Anthony to ask for assistance, but only got his voicemail, and so left a message pleading his former master for help before being cut off.
As the number of minotaurs killed by the Bronzeman grew despite their attempts to kill it, Minotus soon came up with a plan to instead trap it, and had four of his people lure it into an alley before collapsing the building behind it, and the automaton was cornered and unable to scale the sheer walls around it. However, as a result of its attack, the minotaurs suffered 150 casualties.
Soon afterwards, Jack's friends Stretch and Pooh Bear arrived in response to Minotus's call to Anthony, and so the minotuar king explained the situation. As Minotus confirmed that there were hundreds more of the silver coffins containing the Bronze Guardians, Jack instructed Minotus and his friends to do what they could to prevent the rest of the silver coffins in the Underworld from opening.
Upon finishing the task, Stretch and Pooh Bear left the Underworld, while Minotus and the rest of his minotaurs opted to stay in the realm Anthony had promised them despite the danger.