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Shadow of the Colossus
Sotc boxart.jpg
The Shadow of the Colossus cover emphasizes the massive size of the colossus compared to the protagonist.
Developer(s) Team Ico
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Director(s) Fumito Ueda
Producer(s) Kenji Kaido
Designer(s) Fumito Ueda
Composer(s) Kō Ōtani
Native resolution 480p (EDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Release date(s) NA October 18, 2005
JP October 27, 2005
PAL February 16, 2006
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) CERO: B
PEGI: 12+
Media DVD
Input methods Gamepad

Shadow of the Colossus, released in Japan as Wander to Kyozō (ワンダと巨像 Wanda to Kyozō?, lit. "Wander and the Colossus"), is a Japanese-developed action-adventure video game developed and published by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) for the PlayStation 2. The game was released in North America and Japan in October 2005 and PAL territories in February 2006.[1] The game was created by SCEI's International Production Studio 1, the same development team responsible for the cult hit[2] Ico.[3] Shadow of the Colossus is a spiritual successor and prequel to Ico.

The game focuses on a young man named Wander who must travel across a vast expanse on horseback and defeat sixteen beings, simply known as colossi,[4] to restore the life of a girl named Mono. The game is unusual within the action-adventure genre in that there are no towns or dungeons to explore, no characters with which to interact, and no enemies to defeat other than the colossi.[5][6] Shadow of the Colossus has been described as a puzzle game, as each colossus' weakness must be identified and exploited before it can be defeated.[7][8]

Shadow of the Colossus was well-received by the media and met with strong sales when released. The game's soundtrack was widely praised and referred to as one of its stronger aspects. It also won several awards for its audio, design, and overall quality.




Progression through Shadow of the Colossus occurs in cycles. Beginning at a central point in an expansive landscape, the player seeks out and defeats a colossus, and is then returned to the central point to repeat the process.[7] To find each colossus, Wander must raise his sword while in a sunlit area to reflect beams of light, which will converge when the sword is pointed in the right direction of the next encounter.[9] The journey to a colossus is seldom a straightforward matter: stretches of varied terrain often require that a detour be taken along the way. Most colossi are located in remote areas, such as atop cliffs or within ancient structures.[7][10]

Wander stabbing the sigil on the first colossus

Once a colossus is found, the player must discover its weaknesses to defeat it. Each colossus dwells in a unique lair, and many colossi cannot be defeated without making use of the surrounding environment.[11] Every colossus has at least one weak point, indicated by a glowing sigil[12] that can be illuminated and identified by the sword's reflected light.[9][13] Each colossus has areas covered with fur or protruding ledges, which Wander may use to grip and scale the colossus while it thrashes about in an attempt to dislodge him.[7] While scaling a colossus, the player must act quickly, as Wander has a limited grip gauge that decreases while he hangs onto the creature.

Wander and the colossi have life bars to indicate their remaining health. A colossus' health will decrease significantly when its weak points are attacked, while Wander can be harmed by a colossus' attacks or a fall from great height. Throughout the game, Wander is equipped with only a sword and a bow,[12] but may obtain other weapons from completing the Time Attack trials.

While the Colossi are the only enemies, there are natural animals in the environment. Only one species, however, has any effect on gameplay: killing and eating a certain kind of lizard increases Wander's grip gauge. Likewise, the player may find fruit that increases Wander's maximum health.[14]

Agro and the environment

Wander's horse, Agro,[15] plays a large role in the game. In addition to serving as a means of transportation, she[16] is vital in defeating some of the Colossi.[17] There are, however, many places that she cannot reach. Colossi often inhabit areas beyond deep water or obstacles that must be scaled. Agro cannot travel beyond these, and when separated from Wander by such obstacles, cannot participate in the following battle.[9]

The environment must be used to the player's advantage more often as the game progresses. The first two battles take place on simple, large, flat areas of land, with the only goal being to discover how to scale the colossi and attack their weak points.[9][11] However, the majority of the following fourteen battles require that some aspect of the battlefield be used.[8][18]

Plot and setting

During Shadow of the Colossus, the player receives little information concerning the backstories of the characters and their relationships with one another.[7] The game takes place in a fantasy setting,[19][20] with most of the game's events occurring within a vast and unpopulated peninsula, known as the Forbidden Land, separated from the outside world by a mountain range to its North and sea to the South and East. The presence of ruins and other ancient structures indicate that the area was once a settlement.[21][22][23][24]

The region is only accessible via a small cleft in the mountains to the north, leading to a massive stone bridge. This bridge spans half the distance of the landscape and terminates at a large temple called the "Shrine of Worship" located at its center. It is, however, forbidden to enter the land,[25] which is characterized by diverse geographical features, such as lakes and deserts, in addition to human-made structures.[7][18]


Wander standing before Mono. Both Wander and Mono were designed with long hair from the start of the design process.

The protagonist of the game is Wander (ワンダ Wanda?) (voiced by Kenji Nojima), a young man whose goal is to resurrect a girl named Mono (モノ?) (voiced by Hitomi Nabatame). Little is known about Mono other than that she was somehow sacrificed because she was believed to have a cursed destiny.[26] Wander and Mono have been designed with long hair from the start of the design process, with Mono's long hair specifically as a contrast to Yorda of Ico, who has short hair.[27] Assisting Wander in his quest to revive her is his loyal horse, Agro (アグロ Aguro?), who serves as his only ally in defeating the colossi.[28] Wander also receives aid from an entity called Dormin (ドルミン Dorumin?) (voiced by Kazuhiro Nakata and Kyōko Hikami). The story revolves around these characters, but features a small supporting cast including Lord Emon (エモン?) (voiced by Naoki Bandō).

Speaking with two voices at once (one male and one female), Dormin is a mysterious, disembodied entity. In legends of the game's world, it is said that Dormin has the power to revive the dead,[25][28] and it is for this reason that Wander enters the forbidden land, seeking its assistance in reviving Mono. Dormin offers to revive her in exchange for Wander destroying the sixteen colossi.[29]

Lord Emon is a shaman who narrates a vision in the game's introduction, vaguely explaining the origin of the land Wander has come to, and emphasising that entry to this place is forbidden.[25] He is portrayed as having extensive knowledge regarding the containment of Dormin, and the ability to use powerful magic. He has a small group of warriors at his command, and is pursuing Wander to prevent the use of "the forbidden spell", the ritual involving the destruction of the sixteen colossi and the restoration of Dormin's power.[30]

The colossi are armored, most often enormous creatures with forms ranging from various humanoids to predatory animals, and live in all manner of surroundings and environments including beneath water and flying through the air. Their bodies are a fusion of organic and inorganic parts such as rock, earth, fur, and architectural elements, some of which are weathered or fractured. Some Colossi ignore Wander and will only attack when provoked, while others will attack on sight.[7][31] Inhabiting specific locations in the forbidden land, they do not venture outside their own territory. Once slain they will remain where fallen as a mound of earth and rock vaguely resembling the original colossus.[32][33]


The story of Shadow of the Colossus begins as Wander enters the forbidden land, traveling across the long bridge at its entrance on his horse, Agro. According to Lord Emon later in the game, prior to entering the forbidden land Wander had stolen a magical sword perhaps of Emon's possession, which is the only weapon capable of slaying the colossi of the forbidden land.[34]

Led to the massive Shrine of Worship at the center of the region, Wander carries with him a body wrapped in a cloak, which he lays upon an altar in the shrine. Removing the cloak, the body of a maiden named "Mono" is revealed. A moment later, several shadow-like creatures with humanoid forms appear and prepare to attack Wander, but he easily dismisses them with a wave of the ancient sword in his possession, which emits strong beams of light. After vanquishing the shadow creatures, the voice of the disembodied entity known as "Dormin" echoes from above, expressing surprise that Wander possesses the weapon. Wander requests that Dormin return Mono's soul to her body, which it states may be possible, but only if the sixteen idols lining the temple's hall are destroyed. It explains that this task can only be accomplished by using the ancient sword to kill sixteen colossi located throughout the land. Each contains a portion of Dormin's own essence, though this is not revealed until late in the game.[35][29]

Despite a warning from Dormin that he may have to pay a great price to revive Mono,[36] Wander sets out to search the land for the colossi and destroy them. With the death of each colossus, his physical appearance deteriorates - his skin becoming paler, his hair darker, dark streaks growing across his face, and there even appears a slight growth of horns on his head. Meanwhile, Mono's complexion improves and her voice can be faintly heard after each colossus has been killed. After the death of the twelfth, it is revealed to the player that Wander is being pursued by a group of warriors led by Emon.

Urged to hurry with his task by Dormin, Wander soon heads off to defeat the sixteenth and final colossus. On the way to this confrontation, he travels on horseback across a long bridge, which begins to collapse as he is halfway across. As Agro jumps over the last gap in the bridge, the portion she lands on begins to separate from its foundation, causing her to nearly lose her footing. Sensing the impending fall, Agro jerks forward to throw Wander to safety on the other side, sacrificing herself as the bridge finally gives way and she falls into the river hundreds of feet below. Wander goes on to defeat the final colossus, and Emon's company arrives in the Shrine of Worship just as the last temple idol crumbles; Wander appears soon afterwards, his eyes and skin now both entirely pale, and two small horns protruding from his head. Declaring that Wander has been "possessed by the dead", Lord Emon orders his warriors to kill him.[37] While he struggles to reach Mono, one warrior shoots Wander in the leg with a crossbow, while another stabs him through his heart with a sword. Black blood sprays from the wound as Wander's body becomes covered in darkness and falls to the floor — a death identical to those suffered by the colossi.

Afterward, Dormin's spirit possesses Wander's body, transforming it into a shadowy giant. Dormin, now speaking in its masculine voice, explains that it had been separated to sixteen pieces—the colossi—to seal away its power,[35] and that by entering Wander, who absorbed physical form from defeating each Colossus, it is now whole again.[38]. While his men flee, Lord Emon casts the ancient sword into a small pool at the back of the temple's hall, creating a whirlwind of light that consumes Dormin and, ultimately, Wander. Emon and his men flee the forbidden land as the bridge connecting to the temple collapses behind them. As they safely arrive at the entrance to the forbidden land, Emon expresses hope that if Wander survived, he will someday be able to atone for his crimes.[39]

In the temple, Mono awakens, restored by Dormin in accordance with its agreement with Wander, and Agro limps into the temple with an injured hind leg. Mono follows her to the pool into which Wander and Dormin were pulled by Emon's spell, finding a male infant with tiny horns on his head. She takes the child with her, following the horse to higher levels of the Shrine of Worship, and arrives at a secret garden within the shrine as the game ends.

Connections to Ico

Shadow of the Colossus is considered both a spiritual successor[40] and prequel to Ico.[5] For several months during and after the game's release, the game's director and lead designer, Fumito Ueda, maintained that the game's status as a prequel was simply his personal take on the game and not necessarily its canon nature, as he largely intended for players to decide the specifics of the story for themselves, but he confirmed that the two do have a connection.[6] Moreover, the shadowy figures which appear in the Shrine of Worship are connected to the shadows which the player must fight in Ico.[28] Both games feature "horned" characters for protagonists (Wander sprouts horns as the game progresses). The Queen's Sword from Ico is also available as a bonus unlockable item.[41] Both games use unique fictional languages as well.[42]


A screenshot from Nico, depicting battle with an early colossus design

With a team of thirty-five people, Shadow of the Colossus began development in 2002 under the project name Nico (a portmanteau of "Next Ico")[43] and was intended to be a sequel to Ico.[3][44] An early technology demo for the project shown at the DICE Summit in 2003 depicted a group of masked, horned boys riding horses while attacking and defeating a colossus.[3][44] However, Fumito Ueda expressed that, at the time, it was simpler to reuse the character design of Ico's protagonist, and that he never explicitly desired a sequel to Ico.[45] Japanese pre-orders of Shadow of the Colossus later included a bonus DVD with the concept video, a trailer describing Nico's plot, and an introduction the development team states they wanted to use in Shadow of the Colossus.

Ueda and producer Kenji Kaido held their team to a high standard throughout production. An admitted perfectionist, Ueda felt that only one or two out of 500 artists who applied to work on Shadow of the Colossus met his criteria, and often demanded thorough changes in design until it matched his vision.[44] For his part, Kaido challenged the programmers to meet the concept of realistic physics in relation to the movement of the colossi and the subsequent effect this movement would have for Wander, both in terms of how he might be displaced and how he may be able to use this movement to his advantage. For instance, if a colossus were to shake, Kaido wanted Wander's position to shift realistically in response. Additionally, if a colossus' limb was currently horizontal, Kaido wanted the player to be able to run across the limb as though it were any other flat surface. He referred to these two concepts as "player dynamics and reactions" and "organic collision deformation".[44] The realistic physics engine produced as a result required that faster colossi had to be smaller as well.[45]

Kenji Kaido, producer of the game, and Fumito Ueda, lead designer of the game at Art Futura 2005

Ueda wished the game to have a unique presentation[5] and change how both players and developers perceived the idea of what bosses should be in video games. To achieve this, he ensured that the game's only enemies would be the sixteen colossi, that they could only be approached one at a time, and that they would have various behavior patterns.[45][46] Though limiting the presence of enemies to only bosses was partly intended to differentiate the game from others, Ueda also expressed that it was to ensure that the programmers' focus was entirely on the colossi so that their quality would be as high as possible.[6] In accordance with this focus upon the colossi—and his preference for simple controls—he intended that one button on the game controller be used solely for targeting the colossi during battles.[46]

A theme of companionship between the player and an AI-controlled partner was a concern for Ueda.[46] In Ico, this theme was presented through the protagonist and the character Yorda, whom the player was required to work with and protect while navigating the game's environments.[47] As such, another key element in Shadow of the Colossus is the relationship between Wander and his horse, Agro.[17] Intended to be a realistic representation of a horse, Agro does not always respond to commands. In Ueda's words, "a real horse ... doesn't always obey. It's not like a car or a motorcycle, it won't always turn when you say 'turn!'" However, he has admitted that the team had to seek a balance in how often Agro didn't respond to commands so as to not sacrifice playability in the pursuit of realism.[46]

All elements of the game—including audio, gameplay and visuals—were used to achieve an atmosphere of a "lonely hero", which Ueda considered important in the development of the game. Lighting, in particular, was used to establish a dark, fearsome setting for the forbidden land, while the protagonist's sword would provide a means of navigation that was "direct and only expressible visually".[47] Like Ico, Shadow of the Colossus uses a distinct style of lighting. The game's engine uses elements such as desaturated colors, motion blur and partial high dynamic range rendering, with a heavy emphasis on bloom lighting.[8][17][48]


While the game has an extensive orchestral soundtrack, the music is only heard during cut scenes and colossus encounters, while time spent at the Shrine of Worship and traversing the landscape is silent save for the sounds made by the protagonist, his horse and their surroundings.[49] The open nature of the game world and lack of life, coupled with this limited use of music, aids in establishing an atmosphere of solitude,[47][50] similar to that of Ico.[18]

Shadow of the Colossus: Roar of the Earth, a soundtrack album containing music from the game, was released in Japan on December 7, 2005. There are currently no announced plans to release the album in other territories. The game's score was composed by Kō Ōtani (credited in-game as "Koh Ohtani"), whose previous video game work included the soundtracks to the PlayStation 2 flight simulator Sky Odyssey and the PlayStation shooter Philosoma. He has also worked on several of the 1990s-era Gamera films, as well as a variety of anime. Roar of the Earth won the award for "Soundtrack of the Year" in the US-based video game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly.[51]

PAL release

The PAL version of the game was released in February 2006. Much like the PAL release for Ico, the game came in cardboard packaging displaying various pieces of artwork from the game, and contained four art cards.[52][53]

The game also came with a "making of" documentary, a trailer for Ico and a gallery of concept art, accessible from the game's main menu.[52] Sony Computer Entertainment also re-released Ico in PAL territories at the time of Shadow's release, both to promote the game through Ico's reputation, and to allow players who did not buy Ico during its original limited release to "complete their collections".[52][54]

Some confusion has arisen in PAL regions concerning the official name of the protagonist, due primarily to the manual's usage of "Wanda", while the North American manual and the game itself uses the name "Wander". In fact, the Japanese version of the game spells the name "Wander" as ワンダ (Wanda), which is also the common transliteration of the English name "Wanda", hence the mistake in the manual.


Shadow of the Colossus's commercial reception was positive, with sales of 140,000 copies in its first week at retail in Japan, reaching number one in the charts. Almost 80% of the initial Japanese shipment was sold within two days.[55] These figures compare favorably with Ico, which was well received by critics but failed to sell a significant number of copies.[56] The game was placed on Sony's list of Greatest Hits titles on August 8, 2006.[57][58]

Unlike Ico, Shadow received far more exposure, due in part to Sony putting its weight behind a massive advertising campaign.[59] It was advertised in game magazines, on television and on the internet, including a viral marketing campaign launched in October 2005. The site posted links to several websites claiming that the remains of five giants resembling certain colossi had been discovered in various parts of the world. The website has since been taken down. Some speculate that Ico's sales figures could have been improved if similar advertising efforts were made before its release.[60]

Critical response

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 92%
Metacritic 91%
Review scores
Publication Score A
Edge 8/10
Electronic Gaming Monthly 8.8/10
Eurogamer 10/10
Famitsu 37/40
Game Informer 8.75/10
GameSpot 8.7/10
GameTrailers 9.3/10
IGN 9.7/10
PSM 4.5/5
X-Play 4/5

Shadow was well-received by the media, with an average critic score of 92% at Game Rankings,[61] making it the 13th-highest rated game of 2005.[62] These include the Japanese magazine Famitsu, who rated the game 37/40,[63] the UK-based Edge, who awarded an 8/10,[64] and Electronic Gaming Monthly, who granted 8.8/10.[51] GameSpot's review gave it an 8.7, commenting that "the game's aesthetic presentation is unparalleled, by any standard",[7] while multimedia website IGN hailed the game as "an amazing experience" and "an absolute must-have title", rating it 9.7/10.[18] GameSpy described it as "possibly the most innovative and visually arresting game of the year for the PS2".[19] A retrospective Edge article described the game as "a fiction of unquestionable thematic richness, of riveting emotional power, whose fundamental artistic qualities are completely fused with its interactivity."[65] Dave Ciccoricco, a literature lecturer at the University of Otago, praised the game for its use of long cutscenes and stretches of riding to make the player engage in self-reflection and feel immersed in the game world.[66]

Many reviewers consider the game's soundtrack to be one of its greatest aspects. In addition to Electronic Gaming Monthly's award of "Soundtrack of the Year",[51][67] GameSpot commented that the musical score conveyed, and often intensified, the mood of any given situation,[7] while it was described as "one of the finest game soundtracks ever" by a reviewer from Eurogamer.[8]

However, the game has been negatively criticised for its erratic frame rate, which is usually smooth while traversing the landscape, but often slows down in fast-paced situations, such as colossus battles.[7] Concern was also expressed about the game's camera, which was described by GameSpy as being "as much of an opponent as the Colossi", "manag[ing] to re-center itself at the worst and most inopportune times".[19] Reviewers are often mixed about Agro's AI and controls; while gaming website Thunderbolt insists the realism of her movement and behaviour "create[s] a videogame experience unlike any other",[68] Edge comments that the controls are "clumsy, crude, and unpredictable".[64] Other critics like Game Revolution[69] and Gamespot felt the game was too short-lived (average playthrough time estimated 6 to 8 hours), with little replay value given the puzzle elements to each colossus battle.[7][69]


Shadow of the Colossus has received several awards, including recognition for "Best Character Design", "Best Game Design", "Best Visual Arts" and "Game of the Year", as well as one of three "Innovation Awards" at the 2006 Game Developers Choice Awards.[70][71] At the 2006 DICE Summit, the game won the award for "Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction" at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences,[72] while it received one of two "Special Rookie Awards" at the Famitsu Awards 2005.[73][74][75] It was nominated for "Best Original Music", "Best Artistic Graphics" and "Best PS2 Game", yet also "Most Aggravating Frame Rate" in GameSpot's awards for 2005,[76][77][78][79] while it won "Best Adventure Game" and "Best Artistic Design" in IGN's Best of 2005 awards,[80][81][82] who cited Agro as the best sidekick in the history of video games.[83] Two years after its release IGN listed Shadow as the fourth greatest PlayStation 2 game of all time.[84] Games Radar awarded it Best Game Of The Year 2006 (being released in the UK in early 2006, later than the US),[85] while the game's ending was selected as the fourth greatest moment in gaming by the editors of GamePro in July 2006.[86] Gaming Website Destructoid named the game #1 in their list of the top 50 video games of the decade.[87]

In other media

The game plays a significant role in the 2007 Mike Binder film Reign Over Me as one of the ways Adam Sandler's character copes with his primary struggle. Sandler is said to have ad libbed a detailed description of the control scheme in a scene with Don Cheadle, who plays his old friend.[88] Both actors are said to have become experts in the game after a while.[88]

Film adaptation

In April 2009, it was reported that Sony Pictures would adapt Shadow of the Colossus into a film. Kevin Misher, producer of The Scorpion King, The Interpreter and the upcoming Dune film, is negotiating to produce. The script is being written by Justin Marks, who wrote Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.[89] It was revealed that Fumito Ueda, the game's creator, will be involved in the film's production.[90]


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  25. ^ a b c Emon (narrating): That place... began from the resonance of intersecting points... They are memories replaced by ens and naught and etched into stone. Blood, young sprouts, sky—and the one with the ability to control beings created from light... In that world, it is said that if one should wish it one can bring back the souls of the dead... ...But to trespass upon that land is strictly forbidden... Sony Computer Entertainment. Shadow of the Colossus. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation 2. (in English). (2005-10-18)
  26. ^ Wander: She was sacrificed for she has a cursed fate. Please, I need you to bring back her soul... Sony Computer Entertainment. Shadow of the Colossus. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation 2. (in English). (2005-10-18)
  27. ^ Editors of Famitsū, ed (2006) (in Japanese). Wander to Kyozō Kōshiki Kōryaku & Setteibon Inishie no Chi Kitan. Enterbrain. p. 173. ISBN 4-7577-2580-9. 
  28. ^ a b c Sony Computer Entertainment staff (2006). "Shadow of the Colossus English (UK)". Shadow of the Colossus official site. Retrieved July 29 2006. 
  29. ^ a b Wander: Please, I need you to bring back her soul... / Dormin: That maiden's soul? Souls that are once lost cannot be reclaimed... Is that not the law of mortals? With that sword, however... it may not be impossible. / Wander: Really?! / Dormin: That is of course, if thou manage to accomplish what We askest. / Wander: What do I have to do? / Dormin: Behold the idols that stand along the wall... Thou art to destroy all of them. But those idols cannot be destroyed by the mere hands of a mortal... / Wander: Then what am I to do? / Dormin: In this land there exist colossi that are the incarnations of those idols. If thou defeat those colossi—the idols shall fall. Sony Computer Entertainment. Shadow of the Colossus. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation 2. (in English). (2005-10-18)
  30. ^ Emon: Have you any idea what you've done?! Not only did you steal the sword and trespass upon this cursed land, you used the forbidden spell as well... Sony Computer Entertainment. Shadow of the Colossus. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation 2. (in English). (2005-10-18)
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  34. ^ Emon: Have you any idea what you've done?! Not only did you steal the sword and trespass upon this cursed land, you used the forbidden spell as well... Sony Computer Entertainment. Shadow of the Colossus. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation 2. (in English). (2005-10-18)
  35. ^ a b Dormin: Thou severed Our body into sixteen segments for an eternity in order to seal away Our power... Sony Computer Entertainment. Shadow of the Colossus. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation 2. (in English). (2005-10-18)
  36. ^ Dormin: But heed this, the price you pay may be heavy indeed. / Wander: It doesn't matter. Sony Computer Entertainment. Shadow of the Colossus. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation 2. (in English). (2005-10-18)
  37. ^ Emon: Eradicate the source of the evil. Look... He's possessed by the dead. Hurry up and do it! It is better to put him out of his misery than to exist, cursed as he is. Sony Computer Entertainment. Shadow of the Colossus. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation 2. (in English). (2005-10-18)
  38. ^ Dormin: We have borrowed the body of this warrior... Sony Computer Entertainment. Shadow of the Colossus. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation 2. (in English). (2005-10-18)
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Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Shadow of the Colossus
Box artwork for Shadow of the Colossus.
Developer(s) Team ICO
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action-adventure
System(s) PlayStation 2
Players 1
ESRB: Teen

Shadow of the Colossus is a videogame which was crafted by the makers of ICO. The game details the adventure of a young man who enters into a forbidden land filled with Colossi, in order to bring back the woman he loves from death.

The story itself is a fine one, though it is mostly untouched until the end of the game, where everything including the origin of the infamous horned boy from ICO is explained.

What truly sets Shadow of the Colossus apart from other games is not only the beautiful art – which is masterfully done – but the fact that outside of the bosses there is nothing else to fight. 16 Colossi await their demise as you journey the lands, and you will quickly discover that they are often riddled with their own style of puzzles on their very bodies, which you must figure out in order to defeat them.

Table of Contents

Getting Started


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Shadow of the Colossus
Developer(s) SCEA
Publisher(s) SCEA
Release date October 18, 2005, (US)
Genre Action Adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: T
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Media DVD-Rom
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Shadow of the Colossus is an Action/Adventure Game from the people behind the little known cult hit, Ico. The game technically consists of nothing but sixteen boss fights (Colossi), which are scattered throughout a vast, realistically rendered land. The game is often credited for being unorthodox, innovative, and altogether artistic, sometimes called the Citizen Kane of video games. The game is also different in that there are no typical video game mechanics, such as levels, stats, new equipment, keys or dungeons. Everything you will use is available to you at the start of the game, providing a more realistic, immersive experience.

Compared to its predecessor, SotC was a more commercially successful game.

It was later officially confirmed that Shadow of the Colossus is a prequel to Ico.



The game opens with you, a boy named Wander, carrying a veiled figure on your horse, Agro, as you travel rugged terrain. It then goes to you crossing a immense bridge to a forgotten land, where the god Dormin is said to have the power to ressurect the veiled figure, who is revealed to be a young woman (credited as Mono). You are then required to find and destroy the 16 Colossi in order for Dormin to bring her back. Without question you head out into the land with nothing but your magic sword, bow and arrow, and a trusty steed.


Shadow is a game that, as stated above, is completely boss fights. This means that in between these bosses is nothing but a landscape over which you travel. You begin at the Shrine of Worship, where Dormin gives you a hint as to what Colossi is next. From there, you can raise your Magic Sword in the sunlight, and point it in various directions. The light from your sword will gather into a single beam when it faces the direction of the next Colossus. This is how you navigate the land to find these enemies, but it only works in places where there is sunlight.

The land is vast, but not desolate. There terrain can vary, with long draw distances. Riding on horseback makes traveling faster, but Agro cannot climb or swim. There is also the occasional wildlife, such as turtles, lizards, and hawks. Some can be killed, but are not considered "enemies."

There is a pink circle meter which displays Wander's limitations, such as grip strength and ability to swim underwater. If this meter is run down, he cannot do the action until the meter refills. You can expand the pink circle by collecting more lizards.

See that tiny dot on the Colossus' weapon? Yeah. That's you.

Battling Colossi

When Wander finds a Colossus, he must find its weak point, find a way to access it, and then stab it until it dies. The weak point can be found by shining the magic sword until it points to it. It is designated by a glowing mark. After a few stabs, the mark will disappear and move elsewhere. It is up to the player to find this new weak point to continue killing the Colossus.

Each Colossus is different. Some walk on two feet, some gallop on four, some fly. Almost all of them are complete giants. To kill them, they must be scaled. But not every part of their body has a grip. The player must often manipulate the movement & actions of the Colossus in order to reveal suitable climbing point. It may be as simple as waiting for the Colossus to strike with it's club, so that the player may climb the weapon. Other times, the player may hide in a small cave, causing the colossus to try and find you, possibly giving you a point of access.

Once on the colossus, players climb & jump their way to the weak point. This is made difficult by the limitations on grip, so the player must often find some level ground or platform on the Colossus to rest & regenerate his grip. A fall from high distances will damage Wander, which will eventually lead to his death. All the while, the Colossus will be trying to shake off Wander, making it hard for him to stay on, let alone stab the weak point.


  • Many reviewers have said that the frame rate often slows down and becomes quite choppy in very intense moments.
  • It is also often commented that the controls, especially the ones for camera, are too clumsy.

This article uses material from the "Shadow of the Colossus" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Shadow of the Colossus is a Japanese-made action-adventure videogame made and sold by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) for the PlayStation 2. The game was sold in North America and Japan in October 2005, and was then sold in Europe and Oceania in February 2006. The game was made by SCEI's International Production Studio 1, the same videogame makers that made the game Ico.

The game is about a person called Wander, a young man who must travel across a large area on a horse and destroy sixteen giant creatures called the colossi to bring back the life of a dead girl. The game is not a normal action-adventure type of game because there are no towns or dungeons to explore, no characters to talk to, and no enemies to destroy other than the colossi. Shadow of the Colossus has been described as a puzzle game, because each colossus has a weakness which must be found and somehow used to defeat the colossi.

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