Video Game / The Last Guardian

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It just wouldn't be one of Team ICO's works without the (beautiful) massive ruins.

The Last Guardian is an adventure game and the third work by Team ICO.

The game, which takes place in the same world as Shadow of the Colossus and ICO, tells the story of a young boy who is trying to escape from deep within what appear to be the ruins of a massive city. Hindering the boy's escape are mysterious armored soldiers who attempt to capture him; luckily though, the boy earns the friendship of a giant, horned beast named Trico, who is able to make short work of them. Together, they must find a way out of the castle. The boy who is utterly powerless and vulnerable must train and win the trust of Trico, and navigate the unfamiliar terrain filled with challenges and other dangerous beasts.

Team Ico began developing the game in 2007, and was announced at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo with a planned release in 2011 exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, the game suffered many delays and a generation jump. The development was later hampered by Ueda's departure from Sony in December 2011, along with many staff of Team ICO. However, Ueda and other former Team Ico members created a new studio, genDESIGN. This studio decided to finish the game and opted to commit themselves to helping Sony complete it through contract and working alongside Sony's internal studio, Japan Studio.

After this lengthy production cycle and several delays, the game was released for the PlayStation 4 on December 6, 2016.


This game provides examples of:

  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: In a way, the game is vaguely sci-fi, from the armored knights behaving almost like robots to the Master of the Valley, which seems to function like a hyper-intelligent computer.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The companions manage to escape the ruins, albeit injured. Trico takes the boy back home, but the latter is forced to make him leave as the villagers fear him. Years later, however, the now-adult boy finds the magic mirror and as he aims it to the sky, Trico -living in his original cell- wakes up with eyes glowing, implying they'll reunite again. Plus, Trico now has a baby!
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The finale has Trico fighting against hundreds of other Tricos and nearly losing, who go into a frenzy thanks to the satellite-like construct situated directly above the Master of the Valley. It takes the boy to destroy the master itself to save it, leading it to the ending.
  • A Boy and His X: A boy and his giant, horned man-eating griffin-dog-cat-thing.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Trico's race are being controlled by the Master of the Valley, a rogue ancient AI. It broadcasts its commands from the highest tower resonating with the creatures horns. They are incredibly hostile and attack without regard for their own safety. Trico is spared being a puppet since one of his horn's are damaged.
  • Broken Bridge: Lots of them around the valley, requiring you and Trico to circumvent them.
  • Fictionary: The boy speaks a fictional language, which may or may not be the same one spoken in the last two games.
  • Holler Button: Pressing the R1 button will cause the boy to call Trico over, while holding it down and pointing with the analog stick will cause him to give simple orders to Trico.
  • Interspecies Friendship: As the trailers imply, the boy and Trico grow fond of each other during their journey.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Apparently, legends say that Trico's kind are man-eaters. The boy finds that this doesn't seem to be true, and that the beast instead eats the contents of mysterious glowing barrels. At the end, it turns out that the legends were true after all, and that the barrels contain humans magically prepared inside the beasts' bodies.
  • Magic Mirror: The Boy finds a strange mirror in the cavern where he and Trico are trapped. When the boy reflects light off the mirror to hit something, Trico's tail shoots forth a bolt of lightning to strike it.
  • Magitek: Much of the setting later on, but most notably the armored knights that try to capture the boy.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: The griffins' eyes glow red, indicating that they're being controlled. In the cutscene explaining how the boy ended up in the griffins' lair, his eyes turn red right before Trico swallows him, indicating that whatever controls the griffins is also able to hypnotize humans into placidity so they can be eaten.
  • Mythology Gag: Trico's name. He's in the third game by Team ICO.
  • New Game+: Finishing the game and continuing will unlock an Items menu under Options, where you can wear various outfits based on how many barrels you've fed Trico across all your playthroughs. Progress made towards various trophies is also carried over, so you don't have to worry about doing some of the crazier feats in a single go.
  • One-Hit Kill: If a guard catches the boy and you fail to struggle out of it, it's over. Which makes it all the more satisfying when you can introduce them to Trico and have him do the same to them.
  • Revisiting the Roots: After Shadow of the Colossus went in a different direction by being a Puzzle Boss Game, this game seems to be more in line with the original ICO, being more traditional puzzle oriented, albeit with the main gimmick reversed. note 
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Like Shadow of the Colossus, it features massive amounts of them.
  • Scenery Porn: Much of the game seems to take place high above the ground, so there's bound to be a lot of this.
  • Spiritual Successor: To both Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, as it takes place in the same world and features similar architecture and themes.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: As with Ico, this is a central part of the game. For example, after every fight you have to calm Trico down by petting him and removing spears from his hide.
  • The Wall Around the World: That place you're trapped in? It's a valley residing in what looks to be a combination of a titanic sinkhole and a volcano. In other words, it has an enormous natural wall.

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