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[[caption-width-right:348:[-You have a sword and a bow. Now kill the beast-].]]

->''Some mountains are scaled. Others are slain.''
-->-- '''Promotional {{Tagline}}'''

'''''Shadow of the Colossus''''' is a 2005 [=PlayStation=] 2 action-adventure game and a standalone [[SpiritualSuccessor prequel]] to ''VideoGame/{{ICO}}''. The game does away with numerous conventional videogame formulas to create an aesthetically breathtaking experience centered on massive fights and world exploration. Its storyline is vast, but told with very little exposition, which allows players to form their own story based on their individual experiences.

A young man named Wander enters a forbidden land on horseback, carrying the corpse of a girl -- Mono -- and a stolen sword. Wander travels to the Shrine of Worship in search of Dormin, a mysterious god-like being said to have the power to control the dead. Upon his arrival at the Shrine, Wander hears the disembodied voice of Dormin, who confirms that They '''''can''''' revive Mono... but warns Wander that he will pay a terrible price in return. Dormin then instructs Wander to seek out and kill sixteen Colossi spread throughout the forbidden land; once all sixteen of the giants have fallen, Mono will be resurrected.

As Wander navigates the vast and mostly empty country on his horse [[LoyalAnimalCompanion Agro]], he has only one tool to help him: the sword, which is magical and creates a beam pointing in the direction of his next battle when held up to the light. This beam becomes less and less helpful as the game progresses, as finding the later Colossi involves lots of long detours through shadowy mountain paths and dark valleys. Aside from his sword, his bow, and his own strength and cunning, Wander has nothing else to fall back on -- there's no armor to collect, no items to use, and no secret power-ups hidden away somewhere. (Well, not until NewGamePlus, anyway.)

When Wander engages in battle with a Colossus, he must defeat them by climbing their bodies to locate and attack their weak points. The Colossi do everything possible to make reaching the weak points difficult, so battles can take much longer than the typical boss fights in other video games. Once Wander kills a Colossus, he is transported back to the Shrine of Worship, and the process repeats itself -- each time with some [[BodyHorror very, very subtle changes in Wander's looks]].

[[SidetrackedByTheGoldSaucer Of course, Wander can also just spend hours and hours exploring]] ''[[WideOpenSandbox everything]]''.

This is a unique game in several ways:

* While Wander can kill the local friendly wildlife for a small permanent stamina bonus, only the sixteen Colossi serve as his enemies.
* The game provides no towns or dungeons to explore or other characters to interact with. [[AllThereInTheManual The manual explains]] that other people consider the land cursed, and it also implies that a previous civilization lived there (which would explain the BenevolentArchitecture).
* Wander has only a bow-and-arrow set and the magic sword in his inventory. No other items exist in an initial playthrough, and he cannot upgrade his current ones (except for replay value in a NewGamePlus). Wander finishes the game in almost the same state as when he started it.

''Colossus'' marks the second entry in the ''VideoGame/TeamIcoSeries'', a set of thematically-connected games developed by Team Ico. ''VideoGame/{{ICO}}'' and ''Colossus'' ended up bundled together for an UpdatedRerelease on the [=PlayStation=] 3 in October 2011. The next game in the series, ''VideoGame/TheLastGuardian'', was released in December of 2016 after spending years trapped in DevelopmentHell.

A movie based on the game also sits in DevelopmentHell. On one hand, it has plenty of potential for SceneryPorn and a compelling plot; on the other hand, how do you adapt [[PuzzleBoss what amounts to a puzzle game writ large]]? While [[Film/StreetFighterTheLegendOfChunLi Justin Marks]] had the initial credit for the film's screenplay, the studio ended up [[http://www.siliconera.com/2012/05/23/shadow-of-the-colossus-live-action-film-moving-forward-with-chronicle-director/ replacing him with Josh Trank]], the director of ''Film/{{Chronicle}}''.

Although unnamed in the game itself, several sites claimed that WordOfGod released a name list for the individual Colossi. Please see [[Characters/ShadowOfTheColossus the characters page]] for more details.


!! ''Shadow of the Colossus'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* OneHundredPercentCompletion: The UpdatedRerelease ''ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection'' for the [=PS3=] has trophies that requires you to do ''[[BrickJoke absolutely everything]]'' you can think of. This includes, but is not limited to, climbing to the top of the tower, obtaining every item, and maxing out your health and stamina.
* AfterBossRecovery: After defeating each colossus, Wander is returned to the Shrine of Worship with his health meter fully restored. It also increases with each colossus defeated.
* AlasPoorVillain: Most of the Colossi aren't in any position to come attack you; they mostly just react to your attacks and your invasion of their personal space. So it's understandable that each and every one has a slow-motion death scene (the Colossi fall slowly since they're so huge) with haunting music and the whole bag, to drive in what you've just done. Phalanx in particular is absolutely stunning. It makes no attempt to acknowledge you, much less attack you, which makes you feel even worse when you give it the death blow.
* AllThereInTheScript: His name is Wander and her name is Mono, we only know this because of the credits. He does say her name [[spoiler:after his vision of Mono's awakening]] though, albeit very quietly.
* AmbiguouslyEvil: Thanks to the sheer [[AmbiguousSituation ambiguity of the situation of the story]], ''everyone'' who isn't Agro can possibly be this.
* AmbiguousRobots: The Colossi. According to the creators, [[ShrugOfGod it's up to the player to interpret whether they are living or mechanical.]]
* AmbiguousSituation: As with AlternativeCharacterInterpretation, there is just so much left out of the plot that it's anybody's guess what is really going on. Hence the YMMV page.
* AnnoyingArrows: Although arrows are useful in attacking a weak point or getting their attention, the sword is the only thing that can kill the Colossi. Justified in that, well, they're ''really big'', they're partly [[MadeOfIron made of rock and stone]], and (according to [[UnreliableNarrator Dormin, at least]]), [[BecauseDestinySaysSo destiny says]] the CoolSword is the only thing that can hurt them. [[spoiler:Averted, however, once Wander's the one getting shot at. Even after transforming, he still drags his left leg.]]
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: Normally, when Wander falls from a significant height, he'll end up dying regardless of his health. During Colossi battles, though, Wander can survive falls that would normally end up killing him outside of battle.
* ArmorIsUseless: Averted. Wander can't penetrate any part of a colossus that is covered in stone armor or thick hide. Instead, he has to find ways to get to their vital weak spots, which are invariably on the fur-covered parts of the colossus's body. In fact, a couple of them are ''completely covered'' in armor, and the only way to beat them is to knock it off somehow.
* ArtificialBrilliance: Agro can have either this or ArtificialStupidity, depending on your viewpoint. She has some minor path-finding abilities, actively avoiding running into obstacles or off of high cliffs (and this navigational power is essential for at least one of the battles). The flip-side to this is that she doesn't always follow orders perfectly, will not run on narrow paths, and can be a nightmare to direct through enclosed areas -- especially if trees are present.
* ArtMajorPhysics: The concept of the colossi themselves requires a WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief, though since the world has fantastic and mystic elements in it, there is always the possibility that it is supported by supernatural means. See, for instance, SandIsWater, SoftWater, and SquareCubeLaw.
* BeautifulVoid: The minimalist design of the game combined with its emphasis on exploring creates a world that is not only large but almost completely void of life.
* BenevolentArchitecture:
** Sometimes the geometrical arrangement of the geography seems a little too convenient for reaching certain colossi. It's a JustifiedTrope, since the location is one big ruin, so these structures had a purpose once. What exactly that purpose was, however, is another matter.
** The colossi themselves have a BenevolentArchitecture: the stone parts are usually designed way too conveniently to be natural (especially blatant during the first, fourth, and final colossi).
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Mono is revived, so Wander succeeded in his quest. Agro, who was last seen falling into a ravine having saved Wander's life, is alive and reasonably well (possibly due to Dormin reviving and summoning her back to the temple, just like the fifteen times previously), and Wander himself is given a second chance at life. Lord Emon has destroyed/resealed Dormin and shattered the bridge to the Forbidden Lands, so no one can trespass upon it, which presumably satisfies him, and Wander is indeed allowed a chance for atonement, as he privately wished. On the other hand, Wander had to go through severe traumatic experience, could have (possibly did) die during his possession by Dormin, and the three of them -- Agro, Mono and Wander -- are now stuck in the Forbidden Lands with no feasible means of escape. Finally, every last one of the colossi has been destroyed and left to decay.]]
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: Gaius resides on a mushroom-like metal disc arising out of the water at an askew angle. It's surrounded by several similar-looking but smaller discs.
* BlackMagic: The spell for reviving Mono is forbidden for a reason; it's dangerous and dark stuff.
* TheBladeAlwaysLandsPointyEndIn: And embeds itself into a floor made of stone.
* {{Bookends}}: The first cinematic opens with dark skies and clouds, as an eagle flies into the shot over the mountains. After the credits, the eagle flies over the mountains, out of shot, and the last cinematic ends with clouds and dark skies.
* BossArenaIdiocy: Common with the desert-based Colossi, but the pyrophobic hanging out in a room full of torches takes the cake.
* BossBattle: 16 of them.
* BossGame: There are no wild monsters to get in the way or slow you down. Just you, sixteen Colossi scattered across miles and miles of SceneryPorn, and a sword which points in their general direction.
* BossRoom: A few Colossi can't be escaped from once they're engaged.
* BossRush: That's what the game ''is.'' However, there is a Time Attack Mode which tasks you with killing each colossus as fast as possible. Do well, and you unlock ''lots'' of goodies. See TimeLimitBoss.
* BraggingRightsReward:
** Beat the game once or twice and collect enough silver lizard tails to improve your grip, and you can climb to a secret garden on top of Dormin's tower [[spoiler:as seen in the ending.]] Eating the fruit on the trees there will eventually [[SelfImposedChallenge reduce your health and stamina to less than the player initially starts with]], though..
** There's also the Sword of the Sun, which produces a beam even when in a dark area. Sounds useful, but it can only be unlocked on hard mode, which can only be unlocked by beating the whole game on normal mode first. So you can only obtain this sword that helps you find the colossi once you've already been to them all and know where they are.
* BullfightBoss: The 'tiny' Colossi, Celosia and Cenobia. Shattering their armor takes some figuring out.
* CallReceivalArea: The Forbidden Lands. Wander was forbidden to go there by Emon, and [[ForbiddenFruit when he does go there]], Dormin gives him the quest that makes up the entire game.
* CameraScrew: Happens whenever a solid object, like the wall or a Colossus' thrashing limb, is behind Wander and won't let you see what's going on.
* ColossusClimb: The TropeNamer. Part of the challenge involves getting a colossus or yourself into position so that this can be started, and then locating its weak point while climbing it. Funnily enough, not every Colossus is a tower sized being. The smaller, tank-sized ones move ridiculously fast and are (relatively) aggressive on sight.
* ConcealmentEqualsCover: Against any Colossi that can use projectiles, cover of any sort is acceptable. Since the setting is mostly stone, it's reasonable. The exception is against the twelfth colossus, where you can hide a foot underwater to avoidů [[ArtisticLicensePhysics lightning balls]].
* ContinuityNod: A few listed below.
** At the end of the game, [[spoiler:a child is born with two horns]].
** If you ride along the south-western coast, you can end up on [[spoiler:the beach from ''ICO''[='=]s ending sequence]].
** One of the bonus weapons from the time attacks [[spoiler:is the sword from ''ICO''[='=]s finale]].
** Some of the ruins resemble those found around the Castle In The Mist.
** Shadowy human-shaped creatures, like those fought in ''ICO'', can be seen at several points in the game.
** [[invoked]] WordOfGod also confirms the fictional language spoken is the same one from ''ICO'', and that [[spoiler:Wander is the progenitor of the line of horned boys]].
* ControllableHelplessness: Twice during the ending sequence. The second one theoretically could be escaped from, but there are invisible walls at the edge and no apparent outside.
** The player also retains control of Wander in the brief moment between slaying a colossus and being impaled by the evil black tentacles that emerge from its corpse. Needless to say, it's not possible to outrun them.
* CrueltyIsTheOnlyOption: You have to murder each Colossus to proceed, [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone and they cry out in pain]]. You drive the eleventh one over an edge ''out of fear'' of you scorching it with a torch. How it cowers is especially pitiful.
* CutsceneDrop: After striking the final blow into a colossus, a cutscene begins which shows their demise. Usually, this isn't too far away from where the actual blow was dealt and you won't notice it, but it becomes obvious against certain foes like Avion and Celosia. Even more so, when you return to find the body later, don't expect it to be in the same place where you saw it fall, or even in the same position.
* DamageDiscrimination: Arrow shots that were [[DamageSpongeBoss eating away at the Colossus' health bar]] will suddenly cease being effective, requiring you to go in there with your sword and finish the job.
* DavidVersusGoliath: Human vs giants sixteen times over.
* DemonicPossession: [[spoiler:Dormin does a full possession on Wander at the end.]]
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything:
** If you happen to fall off of the fifth colossus during the fight, and manage to land on top of one of the ruins sticking out of the lake, the colossus will use its wings to blow gusts of wind at you and knock you back into the water, rather than swooping at you.
*** He'll also do this if you try to be cute and snipe at him from behind the fence surrounding the entrance to his lake. You'll just get flung down the set of stairs behind you, though.
** Are you not a good enough shot to get those pesky silver-tailed lizards? The dev team thought of this too: after enough near misses, the lizard will shed its tail, and you can pick it up and get its stat bonus. You can even see the (now tailless) lizard still scampering about.
* DifficultySpike: Generally agreed to be somewhere around Colossi 3-5, which require more complex strategies to beat then just climb up and stab repeatedly. Number 10, Dirge, and the Colossi that come afterwards sans a few {{Breather Boss}}ess, is agreed to be another spike, thanks to the battles becoming faster paced and far more tense.
* DisneyDeath: At the PointOfNoReturn [[spoiler: Agro falls into a ravine and is presumed dead. He shows up at the end, healthy save for a bad limp]].
* DreamSequence: Wander has a brief one after Colossus number 7 in which [[spoiler: Mono wakes up]]. When he awakens, he can be heard muttering her name.
* DummiedOut:
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvpcwR7Omdg "dam"]]. No one knows why it's there or what it would have been for. In its present form it doesn't even have collision data (meaning you can't stand on it), and it's only accessible through hacking and a lot of patience.
** The entire east section of the map, that will remain covered by clouds. There is a bridge over the 12th colossus area that could have been an access to it, but there is no way to get up there.
** The original plan was to have a whopping 48 colossi in the game, though this was quickly cut down to 24. Another 8 of these were then removed from the final product for pacing, combined with the one or two of the remaining colossi or just plain scrapped.
* EmptyRoomPsych:
** Averted, since none of the bonus items or power ups are found by wandering around (rather by beating specific challenges) or other plot related [=NPCs=] or items anywhere in the game. Essentially, the whole game is a love letter to SceneryPorn. There is the secret garden, which is very hard to reach and at first glance appears to contain nothing but poisonous fruit. If you search long and hard, though, you discover that [[spoiler:it really does contain nothing else]].
** Some players, desperate to find ''something'' new, will invoke this trope on themselves simply by getting hyped up over finding a particularly interesting rock formation or an out-of-the-way cliff ledge. Needless to say, there's never anything there.
* EverythingFades: Averted with the Colossi. Once you've killed them, their bodies will turn to stone and lie exactly where they fell for the rest of the game. If you're curious, or have a lot of time on your hands, you can go back to their arenas and take a look at the remains. Played straight with the arrows - fire above a certain quantity of arrows and the remaining ones disappear.
* EvilIsNotAToy: The price Wander pays for going against Emon and Dormin's warnings is [[spoiler:DemonicPossession.]] Both Dormin and Emon warned that bad things would happen if he insisted on going through with the forbidden spell to revive Mono.
* FakeDifficulty: How often the colossi shake was based on the frame rate. However, since the [=PS3=] version had an increased frame rate, the colossi would shake more often than they were originally expected to. This made several fights harder than they needed to be, especially in Time Attack.
* {{Fictionary}}: The language spoken in the game is said to be composed by some amalgam of Backwards Japanese, English and Latin.
* FlippingHelpless: This is the weakness of two bosses. The eighth Colossus is only vulnerable when it falls and lands on its back, while the ninth is flipped.
* GoneHorriblyRight: Wander wants to harness Dormin's ability to resurrect the dead by killing each and every colossus. He gets a lot more than he had bargained for.
* GottaKillEmAll: The cape where Malus resides is blocked off until his brethren are slain.
* GreyAndGreyMorality: No one's morality can really be defined as good or evil in this game.
* HeartContainer:
** You can gather the fruit which appears on some trees to increase your maximum health.
** You can hunt the silver-tailed lizards for their tails, which raise your stamina when collected.
* HopelessBossFight: [[spoiler: ''You're'' the final boss, and invincible for all intents]], but you can't win.
* InsurmountableWaistHighFence: There are occasionally ledges which, by rights, Wander should physically be able to jump onto or climb, but for some reason he can't do so.
* InvisibleWall: Even if it is a bit more subtle than an outright wall. If you manage to climb the shrine, you can walk the bridge that links it to the mainland. When you get at the other side, you find an open exit, try to proceedů and are pushed back by a strong wind coming from outside. This may be [[JustifiedTrope justified]] if this is Dormin's doing (if They don't want Wander to go before having slayed all the colossi), but it's really just a way to say "sorry, but the map stops here, what did you expect?"
* IronicEcho: That song that plays when a Colossus dies? [[spoiler:It plays when Wander is sucked into Emon's spell.]]
* LeadTheTarget: A useful tactic when fighting the Colossi is to aim your arrows slightly ahead of where the target is going to be.
* LightEmUp: Aside from literally leading Wander to the colossi and their weak spots, the sword seems to kick up dust/burn whenever there's an object where the light happens to gather. Since there's no discernible sun in the sky, this may be (at least partially) Dormin's ability/presence.
* LongSongShortScene: In general, there are a lot of very nice songs on the soundtrack that are very short and only play about once in the entire game. Certain parts of certain songs are never heard in-game, and others like "Marshlands", "Roar of the Earth" (which is the subtitle of the Soundtrack), and "Sky Burial" aren't even featured in the game at all.
* LuckBasedMission: The Time Attack as a whole can fall into this. While fighting each Colossus the second time is not too difficult (give or take your own personal GoddamnedBoss), doing it against a timer may force you to abandon an otherwise workable, if time-consuming, strategy in favour of a quicker one, hence a lot of trial and error and hoping that the Colossus will get into the right position quickly. Unfortunately, the Colossus AIs won't always do what you want them to do, leading to a lot of time lost and [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard much frustration]].
* MeaningfulName:
** Every character. Dormin's is described below and is also close to dormir, the French/Spanish/Portuguese word for being asleep. Wander's name is obvious. Mono comes from the prefix meaning "single" or "alone", [[spoiler:meaningful when you consider the ending.]] Agro's name doesn't seem to come from anything meaningful, although it does mean [[ScrappyMechanic fuss or bother]] in the Ido language. The AllThereInTheManual[=/=]WordOfGod names from the Colossi are usually rooted in some sort of mythology.
** [[spoiler: Dormin is also Nimrod backwards. Nimrod killed a bull and wore its horns on his head in order to strike fear into his enemies, and he was also murdered and cut into several pieces. Both of which tie into the story of Dormin.]]
* MenuTimeLockout: After beating Time Attack Mode, you get goodies which an be accessed in the pause menu. At any point during the game, you can switch between them instantly.
* {{Minimalism}}: Both in storytelling and game design, there is little here.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/2009/6/8/ This]] PennyArcade commentary describes most poetically the ''"emotional ravaging"'' that this game will put you through.
* NoArcInArchery: Wander's arrows fly in an arch, but only if they're rapidly fired without properly tensing the bow. Holding down the aim button will straighten the trajectory so that the arrow aims for the crosshairs the player can see onscreen.
* NonMaliciousMonster: Phalanx (the 13th colossus) will never directly attack Wander. Avion, the 5th, will only do so in self-defence, after you fire an arrow at it (required to mount it).
* NotTheFallThatKillsYou: Doesn't matter what height Wander falls from, if he can grab a ledge or a vine on the way down, he'll be perfectly fine. In fact, even if he doesn't grab something, he'll still take less damage than a [[OneHitKill real fall would've done]]. This reaches its peak [[spoiler: during the last colossus, where a fall from a colossus like a skyscraper is eased if you only grab one of the lower ledges at the last second]]. There are certain situations where this is averted, mainly outside of the Colossus battles.
* OddballInTheSeries: An amusing case in that Team Ico doesn't exactly make video games so much as pieces of art, but ''Shadow'' adheres to quite a few more classic video game conventions than ''ICO'' or ''The Last Guardian''. Wander has a health bar, multiple weapons, bosses to fight, collectibles to search for, an overworld to roam, and an actual ''goal'' beyond "get out of here"; this is also the only game in the series which isn't a single beautiful EscortMission one way [[ReverseEscortMission or another]].
* OffscreenTeleportation: Defeat a Colossus and [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality you won't have to worry about walking all the way back to the Shrine of Worship]] - Wander will be knocked unconscious by dark threads and will wake up back at the shrine.
* OneHitKill: Some Colossus attacks become this in Hard Mode.
* TheOverworld: The game has one shrine in the center of the map and then an expansive overworld with 16 bosses in it. That's it [[DoingItForTheArt and it's beautiful.]]
* OxygenMeter: Your stamina meter doubles as an oxygen meter. If it ran out, you would simply let go of whatever you were holding and return to the surface.
* PlatformBattle: Many {{Colossus Climb}}s cannot be initiated without taking advantage of the scenery in some way. Considering how huge the colossi are, this often involves getting dangerously high, and falling will likely injure Wander ([[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard not to mention frustrate a few players]]).
* PlayingThePlayer: For the most part, through subtle, disconcerting details such as in Wander's appearance, musical cues, and the colossi's AI and the ending...
* PointOfNoReturn: Crossing the bridge to the final boss arena. The bridge collapses and [[spoiler:Wander loses Agro]].
* RealIsBrown: Quite possibly the TropeCodifier; although the brown and grey were fully aesthetic choices, rather than an attempt at being more "realistic". ''Shadow of the Colossus'' balances it out with greens in forests and fields, as well as blues for the expansive skies and some coastal areas. These colors are relatively muted, but still help balance out the brown for an overall aesthetically pleasing and diverse palette.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Most, if not all of the Colossi have naturally blue eyes; right before one attacks, or attempts to shake Wander off, its eyes flash reddish-orange.
* RuinsForRuinsSake: It's never made clear what purpose exactly the ruins serve, or how they were built. All part of the "storytelling" in the game where they have left it [[WildMassGuessing all up to the player]].
* SaveGameLimits: On his quest, Wander can only save his progress by two methods. There are temples scattered across the land where he can pray - these are save points for the player. Reload the game after saving and Wander will be found sleeping at the foot of the temple. The other method is to kill a Colossus and wait for the screen to go dark before being prompted.
* SceneryPorn: The lush detail added to every canyon, every field, every forest and lake, can only be explained by DoingItForTheArt. It has been described on this wiki as 'a love letter to SceneryPorn'. The remastered, high definition release is even ''more glorious''
* SchizophrenicDifficulty: The colossi vary dramatically in difficulty throughout the game, ranging from straightforward battles of the "shoot Colossus in weak point, climb on top, stab weak point repeatedly" variety to frustrating GuideDangIt [[PuzzleBoss puzzle bosses]] which will have you reaching for a walkthrough. The solution for the final boss, for example, is very straightforward: the only real challenge is hanging on to its fur for long enough to kill it.
* SequenceBreaking: While it's impossible to fight the Colossi out of order, it is possible to skip certain phases in the fights against certain Colossi. Naturally, this makes for some pretty quick times in the Time Attack mode.
** In the Gaius fight, you're normally supposed to have it smack it's sword against the iron plate in the arena to knock off its wrist guard so you can climb up. If you have good timing, though, it's possible to jump off his sword when he raises it back up and get over the wrist guard or onto his and or belly, allowing you to climb up without having to break the wrist guard.
** In the Basaran fight, it's possible, thanks to a certain quirk in Agro's physics, to catapult yourself off of Agro and onto the tip of Basaran's "tail". Many actually prefer this method when compared to how you're ''supposed'' to do it, thanks to [[LuckBasedMission how finicky and long it can take to pull off]].
** If you're bold enough, in the Cenobia fight, it's possible to lure Cenobia all the way to the final pillar and then use it as a platform to get up onto it. It requires ''very'' precise timing, however, and if it goes wrong, [[CycleOfHurting do not expect to have a chance of winning anymore]].
* ShoutOut: When Argus first appears in the destroyed city, the first we see is one hand gripping the ledge, and then the other, before the Colossus brings its head up, roars, and mounts the ledge. This intro was first seen in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI'' for the Ice Titan, a similarly huge creature.
* SoftWater: Those of us enjoying the stunningly realistic animations of Wander might wince [[ArtisticLicensePhysics whenever he falls from several stories into a pool of water and doesn't lose any life from it]]. While he survives falls from several stories anyway, due to either becoming an EmpoweredBadassNormal or otherwise being MadeOfIron, at least he can lose health if he does fall onto a hard surface. [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality Thankfully]], it makes fighting the third, fifth, seventh and twelfth colossi a little easier should you find yourself falling off things a lot. If you love the DoingItForTheArt style, the colossi are more than ample distractions.
* SoNearYetSoFar: Mono is dead as the game begins, and Wander's deal with the deity Dormin is that it will resurrect her in exchange for Wander destroying each of the Colossi. You return to the central temple where she rests every time you defeat one.
* SoundCodedForYourConvenience: A Colossus generally has two types of music play during its boss fight - the initial theme, which is what you start hearing, and the 'victory is at hand' music, which usually plays once you've done something crucial and victory is at hand.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''ICO''.
* StationaryBoss: Malus, the Grand Gigas. Don't get cocky; just ''reaching'' this boss is a battle in itself.
* SwordSparks: They fly off when Wander uses his sword to strike a hard surface, such as a rock, or the side of his horse.
* TakeItToTheBridge: A ''two kilometers long'' bridge (at a guess). Without Agro, it takes a good ten minutes to cross it.
* TakeYourTime: Ignore the fact that a KnightTemplar is on his way to purge your demons or that you have to kill all the Colossi to revive Mono. You're not required to do these things right away. In fact, even if you tried, it would take [[MarathonBoss ages just to do one battle.]]
* TrickArrow: If you play Time Attack Mode, you can get upgrades for your bow, including whistling arrows and explosive arrows.
* UpdatedRerelease: After seeing how the first two ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' games were getting a hi-def upgrade for a [=PlayStation=] 3 re-release, Team ICO hinted that they'd like to do the same for both ''ICO'' and ''Colossus'', but may not because of the cost and effort involved. At least, that was initially: [=TGS10=] had ''confirmed'' an ''ICO'' and ''Colossus'' HD Compilation remake with 3D, upped frame-rate, and widescreen. [[http://g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/707541/IcoShadow-of-the-Colossus-Collection-Trailer-Towers-Over-Expectations.html And The Fandom Rejoiced]] once it was finally released.
* VideoGameCaringPotential:
** Pressing the O button when next to or on top of Agro allows you to pet her affectionately without any in-game benefit.
** If you want to improve your grip by collecting lizard tails, but don't want to kill the lizards, you have the [[SelfImposedChallenge slightly harder option of shooting just the tail itself]], which they will then [[DidntNeedThoseAnyway detach and run away from]].
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential:
** You can kill any of the local wildlife, including the tortoises and the doves that gather around Mono.
** You're free to slash or shoot Agro. The poor horse will spook and run away from you, and is very likely to react like this for a long time afterwards whenever you draw your sword.
* VirginInAWhiteDress: Technically, we don't know if Mono is in fact a virgin, but considering white doves gather around her as you progress through the game, it's not too much of a stretch.
* WalkItOff: Other than the save shrines, there's no way to heal other than to wait as your lifebar slowly grows back. Standing still or crouching helps it speed up, but in battle this also leaves you in danger if you hang about too long in the open.
* WideOpenSandbox: There's miles of beautiful territory and scenery, but there are only a few things to do:
** Find the colossi; much like the fights, getting to the encounter is almost like a stretched out platforming puzzle.
** Eat fruit to extend your life bar.
** Kill white-tailed geckos and eat their tails for more stamina.
** Try to ride a bird by jumping off Agro and grabbing it.
** Find a deep lake and ride a fish by the tail.
** Tour the map and rid yourself of those obstructive clouds on the map.
** Slay colossi and advance the story.
** See if you can find the beach. [[VideoGame/{{Ico}} Yes, that beach]].
** Get creative with your eight-fingered to-do list.
* YouBastard: Many players [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone feel sorry for the Colossi]], some to the point of not wanting to finish the game. Like games that deal with similar themes like ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', ''SpecOpsTheLine'' and ''VideoGame/NieR'', much of the horrible stuff that happens could end if the player ''stopped playing the game''.


-->''"Thy next foe is..."''