Spoiler Friday: Shadow of the Colossus

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Hey folks, Louise here to introduce a new weekly column called Spoiler Friday, brought to you by thegamespoilers.com, a site that I run that gamers can visit to read and contribute well…game spoilers. This weekly column will highlight and discuss plot twists from various video games.

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This week’s spoiler is Team Ico’s latest PS2 game that you may have heard of: Shadow of the Colossus.  This may be obvious, but if you haven’t played the game before and don’t want the plot ruined, don’t click through to the jump.


sotc.jpg So it turns out that while our protagonist, Wander, continues to slay each colossus, he’s actually restoring Dormin’s power.  It was pretty subtle, but I didn’t realize until the second playthrough that after each colossus is slain, Wander becomes less and less human while Mono looks more and more alive.  When Lord Emon casts the ancient ancient sword to defeat the Dormin monster created by inhabiting Wander’s body, both Wander and Dormin are pulled into a shadowy pool.  When Mono, the princess, awakens, she’s joined by a limping Agro and discovers an infant with horns at the bottom of the pool.


The big debate about the ending is whether Shadow of the Colossus is a prequel to the older PS2 game, Ico.  There are a couple of things that support the prequel theory.   First, in Shadow of the Colossus, there is an outline of a castle which can be seen in some areas of the world. Many people believe this to be the Ico castle.  Second, it seems too coincidental that there is a horned baby at the end and the protagonist in Ico is a horned boy.  Finally, the shadows that take over Wander’s body after defeating each colossus is reminiscent of the shadows Ico must protect Princess Yorda from.


Personally, my take on it is that Shadow of the Colossus is indirectly related to Ico.  I believe that Shadow and Ico, like Zelda games, take place in the same world.  Shadow of the Colossus takes place some undefined time before Ico and the horned boys in Ico are not direct descendants from the horned infant at the end of the game.  To say that they were seems illogical because if that infant grew up and had offspring, who would he have mated with? Mono seemed very maternal to the child, so it’s hard to imagine she later helped produce horned children.


The belief of the cursed horned boys in Ico could have been developed over generations of stories and fears and it could just be that the people in that world carry a genetic mutation that produces horned children once in a while.  Since horns are not common to people there, it’s natural that children born with horns are shunned and believed to be cursed.


While that’s my take on the ending of Shadow of the Colossus and how it relates to Ico, I’m open to other views, so feel free to comment on it.


Louise is the webmaster of thegamespoilers.com a wiki of video game spoilers. If you want to catch up on game plots so you’re not out of the loop when people say "Aeris dies" or if you want to contribute spoilers pay thegamespoilers a visit.


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Louise Yang
Former Siliconera staff writer who loves JRPGs like Final Fantasy and other Square Enix titles.