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Characters that appear in ICO.
Voiced by: Kazuhiro Shindo
The Player Character of the story. Ico was a boy born with horns, which is considered a curse in his land. He was brought to the castle by three masked men and forced into a coffin to presumably die. After they leave, however, a tremor caused by the castle's many aged moving parts dislodges Ico's coffin from the wall, breaking it open and starting his quest.
- Badass Normal: He's just a kid with no magical powers, but he manages to complete all the puzzles of the castle and defeat the Queen.
- Bigger Stick: Ico doesn't power up, he just finds better things to smack monsters with.
- Burn the Witch!: Or in his case, seal the demon child away. Because of his horns, this is pretty much the sentiment behind his intended sacrifice.
- Determinator: Nothing will stop him quest to get Yorda out of the castle.
- First Blood: Ico loses one of his horns at the start of his final battle with the Queen, resulting in a gout of red blood spurting from his head. He loses the other at the conclusion of the fight.
- Horned Humanoid: Ico has two horns and they are a bad omen. He eventually loses both of them.
- Human Sacrifice: Ico is intended to be one before he escapes, and he guesses Yorda was as well when they meet.
- Infinity -1 Sword: The Spiked Club is a pretty nifty weapon for Ico, as he can kill everything in two hits, tops. That being said...
- Infinity +1 Sword: The Shining Sword is definitely much better, as it slaughters everything in one hit, period.
- Kid Hero: He's much shorter than Yorda and likely much younger. However, that doesn't stop him from leading her through the castle's obstacles, and protecting her from the shadowy beasts that constantly hunt them down.
- Lady and Knight: The White Knight to Yorda's Bright Lady.
- Punched Across the Room: Ico endures a magical version of this from the Queen. Twice. The first time is in the cutscene before his Boss Battle with her, where he attempts to strike her with her sword and gets repelled across the throne room by her magic barrier, which results in the loss of his right horn. The second time is after he deals the killing blow to the Queen, which results in her dying in a powerful blast that sends him flying across the throne room yet again, causing the loss of (you guessed it) his left horn and also rendering him unconscious.
- Red Is Heroic: Ico is dressed in a striking red shirt.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Ico is much smaller than Yorda.
- What You Are in the Dark: He could just take a boat and flee the Castle after he and Yorda are separated. But no, he willingly goes back to save her.
Voiced by: Rieko Takahashi
The Deuteragonist of the story. A mysterious girl locked in a steel cage, Ico frees her and the two seek to escape.
- Artificial Brilliance: Unusual for a Distressed Damsel or an Escort Mission game, Yorda hints at puzzle advancement by pointing to the place or object of interest and saying Ico's name (though this was left out of the original NTSC version). It varies depending on the location-level: On the windmill, she walks right to the place that you can climb and points at it, while in the cemetery she points at the cube on high grounds that you need so both Yorda and Ico can pass the gate. Furthermore, Yorda sometimes walks around and looks for a way before she points to the object/area of interest, giving the impression that she's helping you look for a way out. In some occasions (like the first level that introduced the stick-lighting mechanic) if you call to her while she's away, Yorda will face (even run) at the direction of where you need to go instead of trying to get to you. Just as how Yorda trusts Ico to navigate her around the castle, you can trust Yorda to find what you need to advance the navigation. It's the biggest reason as to why their bond is as endearing as the fans remember it to be.
- Artificial Stupidity: Downplayed, but visible.
- Though not as bad as many other examples of lackluster AI, Yorda needs to be led by the hand very often in the original NTSC release, otherwise she will tend to just stand still — even if shadow monsters are actively approaching.
- Another case happens in other versions: sometimes, when going down a long ladder, just before touching the ground, she will stop and go back up, for no reason. Especially annoying because you have to wait for her to arrive at the top and to come down again; and she's painfully slow when climbing ladders.
- Boyish Short Hair: Has a short, scruffy haircut.
- Broken Bird: It is implied that this is the reason why Yorda is so passive during the game; it's not because she's weak, it's because she's broken. The Queen has emotionally abused her all of her life, convincing her that she will die in the outside world.
- Damsel in Distress: Yorda is one of the purest examples of this trope in the medium: utterly defenseless and requiring Ico to protect her at every turn, then rescue her from the Queen.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Yorda is never seen having shoes on.
- Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: Both Ico and Yorda speak in some sort of Conlang, but only Ico's dialogue has proper subtitles. Yorda's speech is rendered into what looks like hieroglyphs to emphasize that whatever language she's speaking, it's completely alien to Ico. (In non-NTSC versions of the game, Yorda's speech is rendered in English subtitles in New Game Plus.)
- Lady and Knight: The Bright Lady to Ico's White Knight.
- Light 'em Up: She has strange light-related powers that automatically activates any nearby Magitek doors and machines. Sadly, she can't really control when her powers activate, and overusing her powers greatly weakens her.
- The Millstone: Can't really defend herself from foes, and if she is captured by the shadow creatures, it's an automatic game over.
- Mysterious Waif: Not a lot is known about her past, and she has strange powers that she herself cannot control.
- Now, Let Me Carry You: After spending the game being led by the hand by Ico, Yorda, by this point a Living Shadow, picks him up and carries him to the boat after he's injured from fighting her mother.
- One Head Taller: Yorda is noticeably taller than Ico.
- Power Incontinence: Has no real control of her powers, which only activate when close to certain pathways. After she opens the front door, she becomes visibly weaker, and has barely enough energy to walk, causing her and Ico to be separated.
- Rei Ayanami Expy: Downplayed, but its there. Her mysterious origins, her pale skin, her short hair, and stoic attitude does show some resemblance to Rei.
Voiced by: Misa Watanabe
The main antagonist of the story, she opposes Ico and Yorda's escape and sends her minions after them. As the queen of the land, she demands that the village send horned boys to her castle to become her slaves, with Ico being her latest victim.
- Abusive Parents: Locks Yorda in a steel cage, and seeks to transfer her mind into Yorda's body. It's also implied that she's emotionally abusive, drilling it into her head that she won't be able to live outside the castle.
- Big Bad: She is the one who orders Ico to be sacrificed to her, and tries to keep him from escaping with her daughter Yorda.
- Boss Battle: The Queen is rare and unique case, considering that she's the only boss Ico fights in the entire game.
- CastingAShadow/LightEmUp: One of her many powers involves her manipulating both light and darkness. It is implied she has the same powers as Yorda (otherwise she would be unable to navigate the castle without teleportation).
- Contralto of Danger: Has a very deep, echoing voice, which only elevates how terrifying she is.
- Evil Matriarch: To Yorda without a doubt.
- Familial Body Snatcher: The Queen’s main plan for Yorda. In order for her to live on for more years, she wants to use Yorda’s body as a new vessel.
- Fantastic Racism: She disparages Ico just for having horns, and uses the life force of horned children to produce shadow creatures and extend her life.
- Final Boss: The last challenge that stands between Ico and his goal of rescuing Yorda from the castle.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: She is the Big Bad who orders horned boys to be sacrificed to her so their souls can become her slaves, and also mistreats her daughter Yorda.
- Grand Theft Me: The reason she keeps Yorda under her thumb is to get a new body and presumably continue to Body Surf.
- Humanoid Abomination: There is an aura of unease that surrounds her, to the point that it is hard to even see her as human.
- She Was Right There All Along: When Ico first enters her throne room, she doesn't appear to him until he tries to leave it, after initially seeing her throne unoccupied. It's a pretty creepy moment that only adds to her menacing nature.
- Sorcerous Overlord: Is the queen of the castle, and also a dark sorceress.
- Squishy Wizard: Is incredibly powerful in the dark arcane arts, but one strike from the magic sword takes her down... first Ico needs to breach the magic shield she casts.
- Taken for Granite: Has the power to turn Ico to stone. And Yorda, too.
The minions of the Queen who she sends to capture Yorda.
- Artificial Brilliance: Do not let their mook status fool you, they are very cunning foes:
- They come at you from multiple directions and dimensions, flying around to get a better shot or flattening to shadow to wait for an opening.
- They work together, smacking you in the back while you're focused on another target or blocking your way as you chase after Yorda.
- They use tactics, dragging Yorda to the farthest portal so you have to fight them all to get to her, or waiting until your back is turned to come at you.
- They are relentless, always pursuing their prey.
- They will attempt to knock you over the edge if they get a good hit in, resulting in a game over.
- Living Shadow: Have many attributes common to them, including phasing through walls, being made of darkness, and changing forms.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Heavily implied to be the souls of other horned children sacrificed in the same way as Ico. Had that tremor not freed him, he would have been the same way.
Three men wearing masks, one wears long black robes, and the other two are armored knights with horned helmets.
- I Did What I Had to Do: The soldiers all but admit they view Ico's sacrifice as, at best, a grim necessity, as they clearly don't hold any particular grudge against Ico and one of them even asks him not to be angry with them for doing what they believed needed to be done.
- Small Role, Big Impact: They're only their for the prologue to kidnap Ico, but they also kick off the plot.
- Villain of Another Story: Very little is seen or known about them, as they only show up in the prologue to entomb Ico.