The thing that makes The Last Guardian so wonderfully striking is the relationship between the boy and Trico. We get to see this bond between the two grow throughout the game. It’s touching. But, it isn’t the only example of a relationship between individuals. This game is constantly showing all sorts of interactions between people, helping us better appreciate the friendship between the two.
Editor’s note: there will be The Last Guardian spoilers in this article.
The boy and Trico spend the entire game growing and learning together. Each step of the way, we see them caring for one another. From the very outset, we see the boy saving Trico by removing spears from his side, bringing him food, and freeing him from his chains. He soothes him after traumatic altercations with pets. When unsettling imagery appears, the boy goes out of his way to get rid of the icons. The boy spends so much time in the game helping Trico get by. Just as Trico helps him. Whenever there’s a ledge to reach, he’s there to help the boy get to that spot. When enemies come to try and hurt the boy, Trico will save him. He’ll lift him to safety, or sometimes even catch the falling child. He works and communicates with the boy, just as often as the boy works and communicates with him.
This is in direct contrast to another partnership we see throughout the game. The Master of the Valley is working with the other Tricos throughout the game. However, this isn’t an equal relationship built on trust, love, and respect. It controls the creatures through their horns, forcing them to do its bidding. Trico is in visible pain the first time we see the attempt at control. He basically goes mad, rushing after the boy. The results of this enslavement yields the same sort of response as the more positive relationship between the boy and Trico. In each case, the beasts are willing to fight for their master and help them complete objectives. In the case of the boy and Trico, we see a deeper level of devotion and love, while the other creatures aiding the Master of the Valley always seem hostile, aggressive, and unhappy. Seeing these two situations side by side, we’re able to better appreciate the genuine affection the boy and Trico share and objectives they’re able to complete together.
This is only one such interaction between individuals in the world that give us opportunities to compare. Take the boy and other humans. You can see the people from his home village love him. When he’s taken, by the Trico he’d eventually befriend, we see that they’re willing to fight to save his life. When Trico returns him, they’re again ready to risk their own safety to protect one of their own, even though they’d already seen what Trico is capable of doing.
It makes us feel even more for Trico. Throughout the game, his own kind is assaulting him. While one particular Trico does seem especially connected to him, and sometimes acts a bit more personal, the others are constantly hostile. Yes, they’re being controlled, but it isn’t until the end that we finally see another of his kind, perhaps the one that seemed so betrayed by his teaming up with the boy, letting things go and watching from afar as the other Tricos fall. At the very end, we finally see him with one another one of his own kind, perhaps that other Trico that seemed to know him or a baby, but it isn’t until some time has passed that we see recovery after the Master of the Valley’s damage. We see the sort of healing that has to happen, but the promise that maybe Trico’s kind can come together and form a community in the same way the humans have.
When going through The Last Guardian, you’re constantly seeing how humans, beasts, and supernatural creatures interact. We’re able to see the positive relationships alongside the detrimental ones. Seeing such kind, sweet, and noble actions in this sort of environment makes us appreciate them all the more. Especially when it closes with the hope of our heroes reuniting.
The Last Guardian is available for the PlayStation 4.