"Bacchus is the god of good times. With Bacchus on your side, you can kiss your cares goodbye."
During Hercules' studies at Cheiron's Academy, two of Bacchus's followers, Orpheus and Eurydice, attempted to lure Hercules, Iolaus, as well as Lilith into the cult under Bacchus's orders. After Lilith was bitten with the Mark of the Bacchae and began to turn into a Bacchae, Hercules went back to Bacchus's cave to cure Lilith. Hercules challenged Bacchus to a fight and was able to win by using Bacchus' gilded spring to injure Bacchus and cure Lilith. Hercules, Iolaus, Lilith, Orpheus and Eurydice all escaped the Bacchae. (YH: "Lure of the Lyre")
Shortly after, Bacchus was able to make a deal with Orpheus to give Eurydice her freedom and to let Orpheus keep his enchanted lyre Orpheus promised to recruit new members into the Bacchae cult.
When Orpheus and Eurydice were scheduled to play a concert at Kora's tavern, Bacchus and Orpheus used the opportunity to release Bacchae into the crowd to strategically mark new recruits. Unfortunately for Bacchus, Hercules was at the concert and warned the crowd. He once again challenged Bacchus to a fight and with some Dryad bones he gathered, Hercules vanquished Bacchus, releasing his thrall over all of the Bacchae. (YH: "Fame")
Orpheus attempted to keep Bacchus's lyre and claimed he threw it off a cliff. Bacchus gained new followers and sent them after Orpheus and Eurydice to retrieve his lyre and gain his revenge. Eurydice, crushed that Orpheus would lie to her, attempted to give the lyre back to Bacchus, under the hope that he would stop chasing them. Afterwards, Bacchus attempted to make Eurydice his bride. Eurydice agrees under the condition that he leaves Orpheus, Hercules and Iolaus alone. Hercules then attempted to save Eurydice by defeating Bacchus once and for all. When Bacchus planned a sneak attack using his vine-controlling powers, Eurydice pushed Hercules out of the way and was fatally hit by the vine. Bacchus then left, swearing vengeance on Hercules for the death of Eurydice. (YH: "Lyre, Liar")
Over the years following, Bacchus and the Bacchae gained a reputation and Orpheus returned to their ranks. It was at this point that Xena met Bacchus and Orpheus during her time as a warlord. Orfeo's wife was killed purposely by Bacchus during a battle with Xena's forces, Orpheus swore to destroy Bacchus by living in the Bacchae Forest and taming the Bacchae with Bacchus' lyre, so they couldn't destroy the world.
In retaliation to this action, Bacchus cursed Orpheus, by destroying his body, as well as decapitating him, but still keeping his head alive to see the evil Bacchus planned to unleash. Orpheus, although bodyless, was able to contact Joxer and pay him to deliver him to Xena and Gabrielle. Bacchus had recently been kidnapping women from a village neighboring his forest and was planning to transform them into Bacchae. Xena and Gabrielle, who have both been turned into Bacchae, finally destroyed Bacchus by stabbing him with a Dryad bone. (XWP: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun")
Bacchus, unlike the others Olympics, has a strange appearance, similar to a demon, has red skin, yellow eyes, two horns, teeth like fangs and claws. It is unknown why, its appearance
Behind the Scenes
- Bacchus was played by Anthony Ray Parker in "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and by Kevin Smith on Young Hercules. In spite of his association with the franchise, Smith still had to audition; however, the "audition" was nothing more than seeing if he could survive the prosthetic head for more than a few minutes.
- Bacchus was the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Dionysus. His mother was mostly given as Stimula (Greek name Semele), but some legends state his mother as Proserpina (Greek name Persephone) or Ceres (Greek name Demeter). He had children with Venus (Greek name Aphrodite) and Libera (Greek name Ariadne). Most classical artwork depicts him as having a normal youthful human appearance, as opposed to horned, red-skinned, bearded depiction on the show. The change was likely to evoke common artistic renderings of Satan to align with the character's villainous behavior on the show.