- Wander can perform mounted archery* . Wander can stand in Agro's saddle* . Agro can jump small cliffs* . The end result is that Wander can perform mounted archery while standing in the saddle as Agro jumps a small cliff. This is ridiculously difficult to pull off successfully, serves absolutely no practical gameplay purpose, and is awesome as all fuck.
- The boss battle against Avion, the fifth colossus. To be fair, it wasn't much while you were in the water, but the sight of Avion proudly soaring in and defying all the laws of physics (nothing that big and heavy-looking should be able to fly) with such gracefulness was rewarding on its own. The arena itself was the first most scenic, with the ruins partially submerged in the lake, and Avion perched on the tower, watching you swim by. Then, you get to see it fly around the arena. Eventually, you get to fly on its back, and that was where the awe in awesome comes in. The view: magnificent. The experience: thrilling. Colossus Climb over its wings and tail was amazing, going at such high speed up high. And this was the first boss that doesn't attack you on sight, so the moment of its death is more tragic than that of the other colossi so far confronted. Awesome in both senses of the word - impressive and full of awe.
- In that same vein, Phalanx. The other flying colossus, this one both the largest, the most alien, and the only colossus that is completely harmless. Watching it fly around for the first portion of the battle set to a melancholy strings track makes it one of the most hauntingly beautiful encounters in the game. Little wonder why this fight is often singled out as one of the highlights of this game.
- The very first colossus you fight is the first taste you get of what's to come, and it's awesome. If you're on your first playthrough, you've barely learned how basic platforming works in the game, and it leaves a lot for you to learn on your own. Learning the colossus' movements and how to survive its attempts to throw you off, followed by striking its weak point with amazing music in the background is absolutely breathtaking and adrenaline-pulsing. Once you've felled a colossus, you feel like you can take on anything.
- Hell, the death of the first Colossus. Like the other Colossi, Valus's death scene is treated as somberly as possible. However, seeing the Colossus fall gives the player another feeling — that maybe, just maybe, you can complete this Impossible Task and save Mono.
- Just the sheer size of the final Colossus, Malus, is awe-inspiring. At first glance, you think that you're looking at a mountain or an old abandoned castle, but then when the massive rain storm starts up, electricity starts flowing down its arm, and those ominous eyes of doom flare up, you know you're in trouble. Once you've awakened to what amounts to a sentient mountain, it starts throwing massive fireballs at you like they're going out of style, then you realize how terrifying this creature had to have been to the people that sealed Malus centuries ago for them to lock its legs in an eternal vice. More than any of the other Colossi, Malus is the closest in size, power, and most importantly rage to Dormin; you face Malus last because he represents the absolute, complete, all-consuming rage of a god who was spited centuries ago when they forced him to be immobile and stuck to one place for all eternity. That is why the environment changes, the massive and violent storm is an outward manifestation of the storm raging inside of Dormin, Malus is truly the manifestation of malice itself.
- Here's another way to approach Malus: you've come a long way. Fifteen Colossi the size of gods are dead by your hand. Your faithful steed and closest friend, Agro, has just fallen off the bridge that just collapsed behind you; verily, she was proud and strong until the end. But you know now that only one Colossus remains. You go up the stairs and see a tower stretching to the sky. "This is it," you say. "The final Colossus is inside that tower." Then the tower's spires begin moving. "...Or..."
- The battle with Gaius, the third Colossus. The first two are primarily learning experiences; yes, they can attack you, but generally you won't have any difficulty offing both of them, and it can be done without a complete understanding of the game mechanics. When you enter Galus' arena and first see the size of him, you have to be in awe of the giant standing in front of you. On top of that, this is the first true puzzle boss, where you can't just jump on him and go to town. I always get nervous when I see him rearing back to strike at you with that big sword-thing on his right armů
- The way Lord Emon defeats the Dormin-possessed Wander can be this as well. You'd expect him to be squashed flat, but instead he and his men slay the Eldritch Abomination before them!
- If you're on Wander's side in all this, and perhaps even if you aren't, the way he goes down struggling against Emon's men to the bitter end. He might not have been in any condition to fight them after what he'd just been through, they might have shot and stabbed him so easily it was more like an execution than a battle, but he doesn't give up until he physically can't go on any more.
- Then there is the battle with the 10th colossus, a giant sand snake that chases after Wander at such incredible speed that he is forced to ride on Agro to keep ahead of the thing. Moreover, its only accessible weak spots are in its eyes, so Wander lets go of Aggro's reins, turns in the saddle, and accurately shoots an arrow into the Snake's eye while at full gallop!! Wander may be a clumsy swordfighter, but there is no denying that he is a master of archery.
- A more meta example but you really have to give the SotC fanbase major props for how determined they are to find out every last bit of factoid about this game. Despite the game being over 12 or so years old now, the fanbase is still set on finding 'the last big thing' about the game. Over the years, they've not only found out about the rest of the Colossi that were in the planning stages but also managed to pick accurate locations where they would have been in the original based on pulling the code apart and finding beta areas in the game, how they would have likely been fought based on the area, and how Wander would have got to them based on the beta map. Heck, they're just that passionate about this game that a few have even managed to get some of the earliest demo discs of the game that SHOULD have been locked away forever in Sony's vault! People just love this game so much that even after a decade of it's release, people are still so into it that they won't let it go until they know about every last detail it has to hide!
Awesome / Shadow of the Colossus
A word of warning. Some of these examples might contain the strategies for defeating each colossi, spelled out and detailed. Some tropers may avoid doing this, but if you'd rather have the satisfaction of tackling the colossi first and working out your own strategy, read no further.