Part-man, part-bull, the Minotaur guarded the exit of Dis and the shores of the Phlegethon. In the game, the Minotaur appeared as a mechanical device used to get to the Seventh Circle. Breaking the axe that it held by swinging it into a rock wall would clear a set of chains blocking the player's path.
This creature looks more realistic and disgusting than the other depictions of the Minotaur, having a combination of beefy, hairy hands fused with bronze, stained hooves, robotic feet carved from emerald with a band of gold around them, a dark brown apron, a lion's tail, a giant stone axe and a hideous, flattened face. Boils surround the chin like stubble, foam flows from its mouth. Its eyes are a bloody red hue.
The Minotaur was originally a beast from Greek mythology who was killed by the Greek hero Theseus. The Minotaur was a divine punishment on the Cretan king Minos. Despite asking for and receiving from Poseidon a beautiful bull to serve as a suitable sacrifice to the gods, Minos could not bring himself to kill this animal, instead keeping it for himself. In retaliation Poseidon made the bull murderously insane and caused Minos's own wife, Queen Pasiphaë, to mate with it. The result of the union was Asterion ("Like a star"), better known as the Minotaurus/Minotaur ("Bull of Minos").
Minos decided to use his stepson to his advantage, feeding it human flesh. He commissioned the inventor Daedalos to create a massive labyrinth in which to house this creature. When years later his own son was unjustly murdered by several Athenian youths, Minos demanded the lives of seven male and seven female Athenian virgins in tribute to be fed to the Minotaur, or he would invade and destroy Athens. This brutal slaughter went on for years until, with the aid of Minos's daughter Ariadne, the Athenian prince Theseus finally killed the Minotaur and escaped.
The game re-imagined this bloodthirsty beast as an enormous, mechanical statue stationed at the Phlegethon in the Circle of Violence. It served as a fitting symbol for this particular circle and as a representation of the animal-like, unreasonable brutality of Violence itself.
- The Minotaur was a possible symbol of Cretan tyranny over the mainland Greek cities. The conception of the Minotaur alluded to the possibility of mainland Greek women taken as slaves by the Cretans and publicly forced to mate with animals, as well as human sacrifice and ritual cannibalism among the Cretan people. Evidence of possible human sacrifice and cannibalism was found at the Cretan capital of Knossos and the nearby Anemospilia.
- In "The Inferno", Dante described seeing the Minotaur upon the shattered cliffs, guarding the entrance to the Seventh Circle of Hell. The reason for placing it there as a guard could be that Dante knew the story about the Minotaur and about King Minos as a tale of great tyranny and bloodshed, a sin that was punished in the Seventh Circle.
- In this circle, Dante must use the Minotaur statue to break the Chain of Judecca found here. He could not reach it in any other way.
- Sharing a similar brutish and animalistic nature, the Asterian Beasts are likely named after the Minotaur.
- In the anime, the Minotaur was not only an animate being but was revealed to be sent to Hell after its death at the hands of Theseus. It encountered Dante and Virgil and attempted to attack them, but in its blind rage ended up stunning itself instead.