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Characters / Shadow of the Colossus

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Keep in mind that everyone is subject to Alternative Character Interpretation in this game. Oh, and there may be spoilers.

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Main Characters


Voiced by: Kenji Nojima

"She was sacrificed for she had a cursed fate. Please... I need you to bring back her soul..."

A young man who has come to the Forbidden Land to revive Mono. Word of God has it he's the progenitor of the horned boys in ICO, more or less the only solid thing besides an Easter Egg connecting the two games.

  • Action Survivor: Wander isn't the most athletic or badass protagonist, yet he keeps killing Colossi anyway. Then again, at least part of his increase in skill and power was his transformation into Dormin's new container...
  • Always Save the Girl: Bury the girl you once loved, or take down sixteen Colossi — which you've only just learned about — to get her back?
  • Anti-Hero: He'd be a lot less morally ambiguous if he didn't live in such a Crapsack World.
  • Anti-Villain: A type III example. He intends to bring his loved one back to life, but in doing so kills many living beings that appear to feel pain.
  • And Your Reward Is Infancy: He gets turned into a baby at the end, but whether or not it's to redeem him is left up to interpretation.
  • Archer Archetype: Downplayed. While he mostly is stoic and is willing to kill all sixteen Colossi if it means bringing Mono back, and has almost supernatural skills when it comes to a bow and arrow, several of his animations and voice lines make it clear he's also something of a clumsy dork.
  • Back from the Dead: That, or reincarnated. Either way, the baby at the end is him.
  • Badass Normal: Wander stumbles often, has poor balance, and is pathetically untrained with his newly-acquired magic sword, yet still manages to murder his way through a veritable menagerie of mythic monsters. On the other hand, he can shoot arrows accurately while riding at full gallop, which takes years of training in real life. He's also able to take a multi-story fall and essentially walk it off.
  • Bishounen: He is rather pretty, and is often mistaken for a girl by those randomly popping in on a player. His hair and head band really don't help.
  • Black Blood: Appears to throw up a stream whenever a Colossus' essence enters him. Later sprays copiously from his chest when he's stabbed by Emon's men.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: Once he's fully possessed by Dormin, who may or may not be evil.
  • Blessed with Suck: At the end of the game, Dormin possesses Wander's body completely and turns him into what is presumably Dormin's true form, which the player has full control over. The only problem is they're so big compared to the hall they're in that they can't stand up to their full height and have to crawl (slowly due to Wander's injured leg) and can't turn around properly.
  • Blood Is the New Black: The result of numerous Colossi gushing blood over him like a fire hydrant. The black stains eventually start to show on Wander's clothes.
  • Bottomless Bladder: Wander never has to eat, drink, or do anything else throughout his long and arduous quest. His life throughout the game consists of finding and killing Colossi. On the other hand, though optional, he can eat lizards and fruit for stat boosts, and sleeps when the player isn't playing: loading a save from a shrine involves waking him up with a button press.
  • Bottomless Magazines: He never runs out of arrows. And he can pull them out of absolutely nowhere. If you're bored enough, try climbing a tree and firing arrow after arrow into it—eventually the arrows will teleport back to Wander's hands! And if that gets old, you can also riddle the Colossi with the Harpoon of Thunder.
  • Bow and Sword in Accord: Both weapons need to be used to even stand a chance of taking down the Colossi.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: His actions are morally ambiguous at best and his animations characterize him as being rather clumsy and out of his depth against the Colossi. That said, his motivations are altruistic (if debatably short-sighted) and his sheer persistence despite the might of the Colossi and gradual deterioration of his body is hard not to admire.
  • Clothing Damage: As the game goes on and more of the Colossi are defeated, his clothes start to take on a much more ragged and dirty appearance.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Gender-flipped, with Wander tending to trip over himself, the environment, and even the occasional tortoise. It's one of his more humanizing traits and serves to show him as something other than a hunter of Colossi.
  • Determinator: Is he ever; since he's not the best fighter, determination is his biggest advantage when fighting the colossi.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Somewhat understated, but still there. He's put down in a quick, one-sided fight, but even then he does not give up and keeps struggling forward until his body gives out on him.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: As the game progresses and he is possessed by more and more of Dormin's essence, he becomes paler and creepier. For reference, this is collection of screenshots that illustrates Wander's change in appearance.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Wander gets stronger with each Colossus he kills, plus heals automatically from his wounds. This strength is due to the fact that after every kill, he gets possessed by more of Dormin's essence.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: If you pay careful attention, you can actually see Wander start changing from having a clean, flushed appearance to an emaciated, filthy, and vein-covered mess. The process begins as early as Gaius, but gradually. It only becomes apparent near the end that something has gone wrong...
  • Girly Run: Wander doesn't do a "dainty" girly run — he's more of the "wild arm-swinging" variety of girly run. Of course, this could be perceived as clumsiness rather than effeminacy. Also, in his defense, he is holding stuff.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Wander's irises and pupils start glowing once he's possessed.
  • Grand Theft Me: Slowly gets possessed by Dormin over the course of the game with each Colossus he kills.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Subverted. While he does use one, it's only because it's the only thing that can kill the Colossi. When compared to how skillful he is with his bow and riding his horse, Wander just tends to flail his sword wildly while throwing himself off balance in the process when he isn't stabbing the Colossi to death.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: In the figurative sense that is in line with what this trope is about, Wander's determination to slay each Colossus one by one becomes more and more unhealthy for him the longer the game goes on. Then a literal version of the trope is played with during the ending, when, as part of his reward for slaying them all, he becomes a Colossus-like entity when Dormin possesses him.
  • Holler Button: There's a button used to make him call Agro's name. The voice clip varies depending on how far Agro is — up to a whistle instead if Agro's far enough — and he sounds kind of panicked during battle. The whistle has a second function, if Agro's not around for a fight: it can enrage the colossi into making an attack, the sonic equivalent of pointlessly bouncing arrows off of them.
  • Horned Humanoid: Starts growing a stubby pair at the end, which he keeps in baby form.
  • Horse Archer: Wander is almost ungodly when it comes to a bow and arrow, easily being able to aim and fire one while riding Agro not just sitting down, but while standing up on her while going full speed.
  • Horseback Heroism: Riding his steed is sometimes necessary to subdue Colossi.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: It's pretty clear from the get-go that Wander knows nothing about how to wield his sword and only has it because he needs its powers for his quest.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Eating fruit extends his health bar, and kneeling helps said health bar restore more quickly.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: While Wander's sword has a visible sheath, he seemingly pulls his bow out of his pocket. The same goes for awarded items from Time Attack. If you look, when the sword is "sheathed," there is no handle poking out of the scabbard. The sword neither goes into nor comes out of the sheath. The Ancient Sword was finally given a visible handle when sheathed in the PS4 remake, but he still pulls his bow and Time Attack rewards out of thin air.
  • Ironic Death: His human body is killed by being impaled through the chest, with the sword penetrating through the Colossus-esque sigil on his tabard. To drive the point home, black blood starts geysering up from his chest after the blade is pulled out. It verges on being Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Karmic Transformation: For killing the Colossi, he is turned into Dormin's new body.
  • Kick the Dog: His slaying of Phalanx, which refused to fight him and he killed while it was desperately trying to escape him. It borders on You Bastard! for the player even.
  • The Klutz: Outside of a bow and arrow, Wander isn't that coordinated. He easily trips and falls over himself with the slightest movement of a Colossus, and his sword strikes are him just flailing it around outside of his stabs, which he sometimes ends up plunging too deep into the Colossi and has to take several seconds to wiggle back out, with the animation showing him almost falling off in the process.
  • Lack of Empathy: An odd example, as he has no qualms about killing the Colossi one by one (even one that means him absolutely no harm and merely spends their entire battle running away from him) as long as Mono is ultimately revived. He cares for her, but his devotion seems to blind him to the fact that the Colossi seem to be feeling creatures. Either that or he just doesn't care.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Whether you see his actions as noble or evil, he's willing to do some pretty out-there stuff to bring Mono back.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Dormin tells Wander straight up that reviving Mono is possible, but that it may not be worth the price. Wander doesn't care and ignores Their warning.
  • Made of Iron: He's got this going for him, at least. He can walk off electrocution, poison, explosions, shrapnel, and 3-4 story falls (at higher amounts of health, 100 foot falls aren't a problem either). It's somewhat less evident in Hard Mode.
  • Mark of the Beast: The more Colossi he kills, the more dark marks start appearing on his body; not good for the health.
  • Master Archer: As said many times, Wander's skill with a bow and arrow is quite unnatural. He's able to make perfect shots while standing up on top of Agro galloping at full speed. Not riding, standing.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Wander is a skinny kid of average height. Watching him flail around on top of a 20-story giant suggests that he's fueled by distilled determination, and not so much experience or battle prowess.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If you ask Emon, he's releasing an evil creature with his actions.
  • Necromantic: If one thinks of Mono as his Love Interest, then he fits, considering that she is dead and he is trying to revive her.
  • No Stat Atrophy: The upper limit of Wander's increasing health meter and strength meter will never decrease. Unless you eat the poisonous fruit in the Secret Garden.
  • One-Winged Angel: A rare protagonist version. Wander, when possessed by Dormin, transforms into Dormin's physical form itself.
  • Le Parkour: Wander is clumsy when climbing horizontally, but the only thing that could beat him climbing vertically is a gecko.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: His strength/stamina meter grows with each defeated colossus, and this growth carries over to following play-throughs. By the sixteenth play-through, the strength meter grows to cover the screen.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Averted! Wander is quite possibly the only sword-wielding video game character in existence who isn't very good with a sword. He swings randomly, and is thrown off balance by the simplest attempts at offence. Most of the actual damage he does with it is inflicted with deliberate, clumsy stabs. Meanwhile, he's almost supernaturally steady with the bow, showing he has had a lot of practice with it.
  • The Power of Love: Wander's motivation for hunting down and slaying the colossi is reviving Mono.
  • Screw Destiny: Whether Mono's fate was cursed or not, Wander is going to do whatever he can to reverse her death.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Because of ambiguous characters in it, his name is variously translated as "The Wanderer," "Wander," and in what is almost certainly a mistranslation, Wandanote . It's probably meant to be "Wander" — the official Sony Entertainment Japan page of the PS3-based re-release spells his name this way in Romaji.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Whenever Agro is in a boss arena, Wander's call for her will sound noticeably louder and more panicked.
  • Tainted Veins: The more Colossi he kills and the more of Dormin's essence he absorbs, the more his veins take on a sickly black hue.
  • Tragic Monster: When he's possessed, at least from Lord Emon's point of view, since it was his devotion to Mono that made him that way.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: When Dormin possesses him after regaining Their full power, They turn Wander into a Colossus. This might also apply to his veins turning black with the more Colossi he kills, as they're turned black through Dormin's essence.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Lord Emon tells him that he's been used just before having him shot and stabbed.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: From Dormin's (and maybe even his own) point of view, he is doing something horrific in order to revive someone important to him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lord Emon's reaction when he finds that all sixteen idols have been destroyed. Emon also implies that Wander stole that sword, which explains why he's so clumsy with it.
  • The Worsening Curse Mark: As the game progresses, he gets more and more haggard in general, but it's his veins starting to show up black that really points to something being badly wrong.
  • Villain Protagonist: Again, from Emon's point of view, Wander is the villain of this story and Emon is The Hero.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Every time he kills a colossus and its essence enters him, he throws up a spray of Bad Black Barf.


Wander's loyal steed.

  • Attract Mode: When it's left on the starting menu long enough, the game will play random footage of Agro, well... being a horse.
  • Automaton Horse: Agro's a slightly less extreme example of this. While she can run as long as you want her to, she does spook, limp (for a short while) if she takes damage, and if left alone will go off to find grass to eat or water to drink.
  • Cool Horse: One of gaming's most beloved steeds. Her AI is very well programmed — on narrow ledges, Agro will find her own path with no input from Wander/the player, for example. She also has a lot of endearing idle behaviours, and it's clear she's extremely loyal to Wander.
  • Determinator: Gets blown up, knocked over by creatures the size of buildings, and falls down a massive ravine. This gives her a limp.
  • Disney Death: Near the end, when she falls into the ravine. She's later shown limping back into the Shrine of Worship.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Played straight with the sword, but averted with the arrows. Get the sword out and no matter how many times Wander strikes Agro, it doesn't hurt the horse, but get out your bow and arrows and aim them at Agro, and Agro will whinny and gallop away.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: The worst that this faithful steed ever suffers is a temporary limp that she instantly recovers from the moment Wander mounts her.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Wander's loyal horse.
  • Made of Iron: She's flagged immortal for gameplay purposes, and takes hits that would make a normal horse explode. Hell, Agro falls off a cliff and survives. She apparently injures one of her back legs, but still, she survived.
  • Old Save Bonus: If you have save data for ICO on your memory card, Agro will have a white patch of fur resembling ICO's "I" on her forehead instead of the normal blaze.
  • Samus Is a Girl: A lot of players thought Agro was male. The creators actually consider her a mare.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Her name is "Agro", which looks similar to "Aggro" and which Wander sometimes seems to pronounce "Argro". Have fun.
  • Uncertain Doom: Agro ultimately survives the fall down the ravine, but is shown limping in the ending. Broken limbs in horses are notoriously almost impossible to heal even with modern technology due to combination of their bones being brittle, horses not saying put and them needing to stand firm on their legs for their blood to circulate properly. The game ends before the consequences of such an injury make themselves known. Some fans interpret the injury as a still-serious but more survivable sprain, to more realistically imagine Agro survived past the ending.
  • Unexplained Recovery: It isn't clear how she survived her fall into the ravine right before the sixteenth Colossus.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Press the O button while standing next to Agro and Wander will pat his steed affectionately. It doesn't even have a significant gameplay purposenote , it's mostly just there to feel nice.


Voiced by: Hitomi Nabatame (yes, she has a voice, although you only hear it distantly)

A beautiful maiden who Wander knew personally. The object of his quest is to bring her back to life after she was sacrificed.

  • Ambiguous Situation: Is she his love interest? Sister? Cousin? Friend? All at the same time? It's hard to tell, and the developers don't give much indication besides the confirmation that Wander does love Mono in some way.
  • Back from the Dead: The entire point of the game is to bring her back. It works!
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Despite being a corpse exposed to the open air for the entire game, Mono retains her pristine beauty. Wander, however, becomes progressively more dirty, dishevelled, and corpse-like himself with every colossus he slays.
  • Color Motif: She's dressed in white and seems vaguely associated with the colour in general, with the white doves that flock around her.
  • Curse: Either figuratively or literally, Mono has a "cursed fate." That was why she was sacrificed. Wander tells Dormin this at the beginning. Emon is determined to prevent this curse, whatever it is, from coming true, and therefore wants to stop Wander from slaying the colossi and completing the spell needed to bring her Back from the Dead. After this, the rest is up to the player to work out.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Like Yorda before her, Mono never wears shoes, although it's not like she has much choice since she's dead for the entire game.
  • Disturbed Doves: One new dove appears at Mono's shrine after each colossus you defeat.
  • Friend to All Living Things: This is implied. She's even got the squirrel standing by her foot looking up adoringly at her.
  • Human Sacrifice: She was sacrified in the backstory. At least, according to Wander, who may or may not be a reliable source; we never find out the details.
  • The Lost Lenore: Wander thinks of her almost all the time and sets off the events of the game out of love for her. Also she's young, beautiful, tragic etc.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Pronounced Moh-noh, not Mah-noh.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Possibly, though a bit more likely than most other ambiguous things in this game. Her being sacrificed because she had a 'cursed fate' is what kicks off the events of the game, motivates Wander to kill the 16 Colossi, and ultimately releases Dormin back into the world and kicks off the line of horned boys later seen in ICO.


Voiced by: Kazuhiro Nakata and Kyoko Hikami
"Thy next foe is..."

Some kind of sealed-off entity or entities — They talk in two voices and refer to Themselves with plural pronouns. Credited with being able to control creatures made of light and to bring back the spirits of dead mortals. Wander makes a bargain with Them to bring Mono back to life that involves breaking Dormin's seal by killing the colossi.

  • Ambiguously Evil: Highly. Are They a Big Bad Friend, playing Wander off in his ignorance to open the seal and free Them from Their prison, with Mono's resurrection being only an incidental side effect of Their machinations? Or are They the closest thing to a Big Good, wearing Their motives on Their sleeve and sticking to Their part of the bargain? It's very ambiguous.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Uses plural pronouns when referring to Themself, and speaks with two voices. On the other hand, Emon uses masculine pronouns.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The nature of why Dormin was sealed away in the first place. Was he (or They) truly an evil god that needed to be stopped, or was he wrongfully betrayed by the mortals he was worshiped by? Again, like much of the game, this is open to interpretation.
  • Captain Obvious: "Thou shalt not be able to reach its weak point from where thou are…" "Climb to a higher place…" "Find its hidden weak point…"
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Dormin is eventually able to assume Their true form... but is forced to do so in the middle of Their cramped cathedral, impairing Their mobility.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: Some of Dormin's hints are entirely useless and too ambiguous to count for anything.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: As an understated example; if Wander is taking his time killing a colossus, Dormin will chime in with a cryptic clue regarding the boss's weakness. If he takes longer, Dormin will chime in with a much, much less cryptic clue.
  • Dark Is Evil: There was some reason Dormin was sealed, and being an evil entity is one explanation. They are also pretty cagey about exactly what price Wander will have to pay to revive Mono, and They possess Wander at the end.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Not only do They warn Wander about the consequences of their deal, but They care enough to keep Their end of the bargain, and (whether or not this was intentional) save Wander's life when both could have been destroyed, possibly even qualifying as a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Deal with the Devil: Played with. Dormin tries to dissuade Wander, but in any case they end up making an agreement. There's no clear indication that the consequences of Wander's actions are either side effects of the spell or Dormin's manipulations, but this trope certainly applies in that the fate Wander faces is not pleasant. It's not even clear that Dormin is a devil or demonic entity, either, aside from the physical appearance of Their manifestation at the end. Certainly, there was a part of the deal Dormin did not elaborate on, merely mentioning a "price" Wander would have to pay, and you don't find out what that price is until you defeat the last colossus... and even then it's not entirely clear that the price — Dormin possessing Wander's body — would have been permanent.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Dormin is eventually reassembled into Their colossus form — but accidentally finds Themself stuck in Their own cramped cathedral, unable to escape and too slow to pursue Lord Emon. Wander probably wasn't supposed to turn into that colossus form immediately (he only does it when one of the new arrivals stabs him), so it could be that they simply arrived at the worst possible time from Dormin's perspective. On the other hand, Dormin's motivations and the ultimate ending are so unclear that it could be that it was All According to Plan.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: They have some control over dead souls, and if seen in a positive or neutral light They seem to fall into this.
  • Evil Virtues: Should They be seen as evil, They show a level of Honesty with Their actions, ranging from cryptically warning Wander about the ritual to indeed reviving Mono.
  • Exposition Fairy: If you keep losing to a colossus, Dormin will chime in with a tip. They also give clues on how to reach the next boss arena.
  • Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter: Tends to speak in trochaic tetrameter during Their "Thy next foe is..." speeches.
  • Hint System: Dormin appears before each colossus fight to give hints about "thy next foe." Dawdle for too long during a colossus battle and Dormin's voices will give you cryptic hints telling you how to defeat it.
  • Horned Humanoid: Has a massive pair of bovine horns. Similar horns on mortals seem to be a mark of Their influence, going by Wander and, much later, ICO and his fellow horned boys.
  • I Am Legion: Speaks with a male and female voice. For reasons unknown, the female half of Their voice fades away by the end of the game.
  • I Gave My Word: They possess Wander at the end of the game, but, despite being sucked into some kind of vortex along with Wander, they keep up Their end of the bargain — Mono is indeed revived.
  • Light Is Not Good: If you interpret them as evil, then they count as this for most of the game, since they take the form of a ray of light coming from the ceiling of the Shrine of Worship.
  • Noble Demon: If you interpret Dormin as evil, They still warn Wander (vaguely) that there will be a heavy price for raising the dead even if he succeeds, and try to dissuade him from attempting it. Also, They keep Their promise to resurrect Mono.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Either a very powerful, ancient demon, able to manipulate and possess people and raise the dead, or a Physical God.
  • Physical God: Has enough sheer power for one, in any case, and when referring to the entity, pronouns are capitalized. They may instead be a Physical Demon.
  • Royal "We": Dormin speaks in this way. It may be because of authority or it may be that double voice thing.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Dormin = Nimrod, referring to the Old Testament king known for being a mighty hunter, building an imposing tower, introducing idol worship,wearing a horned crown and being chopped into pieces. It's also a slang term for an idiot, which is fun for players frustrated with Their "helpful" hints.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Maybe. Again, there must have been some reason They were sealed off, and They do look quite demonic after possessing Wander. Then again, They do save Wander, albeit in a de-aged form and possibly not intentionally, and Their dialogue suggests They were going to give Wander's body back. Because of this, They can also interpreted as a Sealed Neutral In A Can or even a Sealed Good in a Can.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Dormin's subtitles use archaic pronouns and possessives. Butchered, improper archaic, which makes it somewhat funny.

    Lord Emon 

Voiced by: Naoki Bandō

"Poor ungodly soul..."

Appears to be some kind of holy man and/or knight. His mask shows up in Wander's memories to describe the Forbidden Lands where Dormin dwells. Turns out he's tailing Wander.

  • All for Nothing: ....Maybe? Despite (or possibly because of) Emon's efforts, Mono is brought back to life, basically undoing Emon's implied sacrifice of her and possibly jeopardizing whatever the intention behind it was. And there's the fact that Wander is turned into an infant with horns, which suggests that at least part of Dormin may still live.
  • Anti-Villain: Maybe? It's not entirely clear if he's just a religious zealot who sacrificed an innocent girl because he believed her to have a cursed fate and falsely believes Dormin to be a demon, or if he was right about Mono being cursed and that Dormin is truly evil. Even at the end, he does murder you, the player, but at the same time, you did slaughter sixteen colossi and transform into a giant monster and try to kill him and his men.
  • Big Damn Hero: Maybe. He shows up at the end of the game with a retinue of armoured warriors who at least attempt to kill Wander, and Emon himself casts a magic spell to open a vortex to either re-seal or destroy Dormin. Whether or not he fits this trope depends on whether or not Dormin is an evil being.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: If They survived, Dormin's definitely going to be feeling that in the morning.
  • The Faceless: He wears a mask until the final cutscenes. When he removes it, it's not particularly dramatic. Just a rather homely middle-aged man in there.
  • Hero Antagonist: From his own perspective, Lord Emon is the Big Good coming in to clean up the Villain Protagonist's mess.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Emon is the final boss, and the player cannot defeat him or his men. Even if Dormin directly crushes him underneath Their fist, Emon will simply get back up and dust himself off, and he is too fast for Dormin to catch up with him before he gets away.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: He's implied to be the one who had Mono sacrificed, and while his expression upon seeing her corpse suggests he might have some guilt for killing her, but saw it as a necessity regardless. The same applies to killing Wander-Giant after he's possessed by Dormin.
  • Karma Houdini: For those who see him as a Knight Templar responsible for killing Mono. Not only does he escape unharmed at the end, but he causes Wander considerable agony before having him killed.
  • Good Shepherd: He's a holy man of some kind and his objective is exorcising something that he considers an evil spirit.
  • Knight Templar: From Dormin and Wander's point of view, he's a religious zealot. He also might have been the one to sacrifice Mono.
  • Mr. Exposition: He's the unseen narrator at the game's start; It seems Wander was pumping him for information about how to enter the Forbidden Lands. Once he sees a possessed Wander again in the shrine ("You!"), Emon realizes he was duped.
  • Sinister Minister: Ritual Human Sacrifice is implied to be of his hand or orders in the backstory.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: By his own interpretation of devil, at least. He seems to feel genuine sympathy for Wander after looking back towards the cathedral one last time, and expresses a sincere hope that if he even survived, he can live long enough to atone.
  • Wolfpack Boss: He's fought alongside a few warriors he brought with him, none of whom can be killed by the player.
  • "You!" Exclamation: When he crosses paths with Wander again. It's suggested that Wander was the "listener" during Emon's prologue at the start.


The Colossi

The sixteen stone giants that must be slain for Wander to complete his quest.

Although unnamed in the game itself, a list of nicknames has circled for years, claiming that Word of God released them. While these names are in no way official, they are used ubiquitously enough in the community to be freely applied to this page. The other names listed here (before the slash) are the ones that were used in development, which were discussed in a December 2nd, 2005 Famitsu interview with director and lead designer Fumito Ueda here (translation). Along with the names, there are also Latin names for each that resemble species classifications, which shall be included in each folder.

    Tropes common to all colossi 
  • Achilles' Heel: The only way to kill the colossi is this trope. The number of weak spots vary from colossus to colossus, and increase in number with the difficulty.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: One of the thrills of facing any colossus is watching them come closer to you, looming over Wander as they slowly approach him. Their approach is always slow, but you know when they get there that you haven't much of a chance. Valus, who is only the first boss, is pretty alarming when he spots you, never mind when he starts wielding his club.
  • Ambiguous Robots: The colossi are either gigantic robots of stone, huge hairy monsters, or something in between. The mechanical faces of the colossi are clearly artificial, but parts of their bodies are not only organic, but also rocky and earth-like. They may be some form of Golem, but that remains ambiguous. This contributes to the mysterious and haunting nature of the work.
    • In the remastered PS4 version, their designs are modified to look more organic with realistic fur and mushrooms instead of grass and rocks.
  • Ambiguous Situation: If they really are the gods of the Forbidden Land's people, their exact nature is a mystery. Are they manifestations of the pantheon, artificial idol gods created by the people, or simply mockeries created by Dormin?
  • Animalistic Abomination: Most colossi are quite animal-like in appeareance and behavior.
  • Animal Motifs: Several colossi are based on animals, usually multiple animals. Exactly which ones is debatable.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Dormin actually flat-out tells you exactly what the Colossi are right at the beginning. Technically, it isn't "slay these giant beasts to free Dormin," it's "Destroy these specific magic statues to free Dormin;" it's that those statues are magic and cannot be destroyed by conventional means. Fortunately, there are beasts roaming the land which are "incarnations" of those statues: the Colossi.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: All the colossi have symbols on their bodies that signify where to strike. Getting to those areas is where the challenge is.
    • Time Attack mode offers even more sigils to stab, usually in remote spots, complicating matters a lot.
    • Sometimes, they have additional weak points which can be exploited as a means to an end. Their end, incidentally. Stabbing these won't deal damage, but they might hobble it for a few moments. Examples of this include Valus' calf, which causes him to kneel, allowing you to jump to his rear end and continue to climb, and Argus' right elbow, making him drop his sword; his right palm has one of his proper weak points.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Zigzagged with each one. Over time, their massive corpses come to look more like ancient ruins being overgrown by nature. Some are not very easy on the eyes in the first place, but others like Phalanx are beautiful and graceful.
  • Black Blood: They spew this like you struck oil when they're wounded. It eventually runs down, but the closer your stab is to the weak point, or the harder you stab, the more blood comes gushing out and the longer it takes to run down.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: A few of the colossi on their own would be nightmares to fight were it not for some element in the background that Wander could exploit.
  • Colossus Climb: Trope Maker and Trope Namer.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Wander gets exploding arrows and the spear of thunder in the New Game Plus and they can't be used to actually kill the colossi. See also Annoying Arrows in general. It's a Justified Trope, since the sword, the only weapon capable of killing the brutes, holds some mystical power and is heavily associated with the colossi. Dormin admits that the sword is the only thing Wander has that can make the colossus quest possible.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Once you're up on them, most bosses become this, considering their large health gauges.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Especially against the bigger, fiercer ones, like Barba, Basaran, and Malus.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: This is why Go For The Eyes is a useless strategy in all but one special case.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: Whatever civilization might have lived in the Forbidden Lands, they seemed to have worshipped them, as evident by their idols placed in the Shrine of Worship.
  • He Was Right There All Along: Nearly all the colossi follow this trope in some form. For instance, Phaedra looks like a heaped ruin, but as you appoach, it wakes up and stands up to face you. Other colossi burst out from hiding places to meet you, or simply enter the scene completely oblivious to your presence and only start attacking once you get their attention. See also That's No Moon.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Black Blood. Gushes all over the place when Wander hits a colossus's weak spot. May be justified by the fact that their biology is totally unlike that of true living creatures. The black smoke that leaks out of the same wounds is also a bit of a clue.
  • Implacable Man: Excepting Avion, Hydrus, Phalanx, and Malus, every colossus will do its best to keep up with you once you're spotted. If you run to the other end of the arena, it will slowly and laboriously turn around and amble towards you with only one aim in mind. Even if you run somewhere out of reach, it will rarely venture far away and may even make obvious frustrated gestures (Phaedra, for example, rears up and stamps heavily if it cannot reach you).
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Most of the colossi have something resembling a faux-Aztec mask for a face.
  • Marathon Boss: On your first playthrough, at least, though even after you've figured out the strategy for beating each one, executing that strategy is not a quick affair. On a second playthrough, some of them still take quite a while.
  • Mighty Glacier: The larger colossi move so slowly that you can run rings around them, and if you run to the other side of the arena, you can take your time planning out your next move long before they even catch up with you. However, should they land an attack, some of them can wipe out half or even three-quarters of your health while simultaneously knocking your player unconscious for several precious seconds.
  • Mighty Roar: None of the colossi are silent, at least when you're shooting them full of arrows or stabbing their vitals, but some grunt and bellow as they try to shake you off, and a few are noisy from start to finish. Of course, being big creatures, the noises they make are also loud and impressive.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: All of them have some animalistic trait, and more often than not it's from multiple sources at once. Valus, Barba and Argus are minotaurs, Quadratus is some sort of mix between mammoth and bull, Gaius has a monkey face, Phaedra seemingly takes inspiration from both horses and seahorses, Avion is as much of a bird as he is a pterodactyl, Hydrus is an eel/catfish, Basaran has a body of a turtle mixed with crab limbs, Dirge has the body of a serpent with a crocodile face, Celosia and Cenobia are a panther and lion mixed with bulls, Pelagia is some strange combination of water buffalo, hammerhead shark and gorilla, and Phalanx is a bizzare beetle-worm with fish fins. The only colossus which seems to break the rule is Malus, who is instead a human fused with a tower.
  • No Biological Sex: Despite the fact that each one is often referred to as "he," the colossi have no actual sex, and considering their mysterious nature, the concept of sex doesn't apply anyway.
  • No Mouth: Zigzagged. Dirge has a functioning mouth, Avion a seemingly vestigial lower jaw, and Kuromori one hole for a breath weapon, but all the others have a carved line at the most.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Much bigger. Seriously, these monsters are some of the largest enemies in a video game, ever. Accoring to GamesRadar, the first colossus is slightly bigger than Metal Gear REX and Gabe Newell, but smaller than the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and The Leviathan. The first colossus is far from the largest in the game; that would be Phalanx, which is estimated at 557 feet long with a 200-foot wingspan. It's played with when considering Celosia and Cenobia, which are puny compared with the other colossi, but still pretty big next to Wander.
  • Perpetual Expression: Their faces are carved from stone, and as a result they cannot change their expressions, though their eyes do light up whenever they have Wander in their sights, and turn red whenever he attacks them.
  • Puzzle Boss: Every colossus is this trope in some form or another, requiring a bit of deduction and observation before you can even get on them, but a few stand out — see below.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: This is how you know you've got a colossus's attention. Which tends to follow shortly by you being under their foot.
  • Single Specimen Species: Each of the colossi is completely different from the others.
  • Skippable Boss: Averted. Each time you start a game, if you want to see any colossus after the first one, you'll have to kill them in order. Even if you only want to unlock the Time Attack mode, which lets you face any colossus in any order and gives you the option of quitting rather than seeing the battle through to the end, sooner or later you'll have the complete a game first, and that involves killing them.
  • Square-Cube Law: Sadly, for all that they are slow-moving and conservative in their movements, it's unlikely that creatures the size and shape of most the colossi could exist, never mind walk. The upright, sometimes thin and pointed, limbs of some, for instance, would be dangerously inefficient at balancing their immense weight. This is particularly severe in Phaedra's case, where nearly all its multi-tonne weight is focused on four ridiculously thin points at the ends of its legs. A creature that size shouldn't be able to get up on such spindly feet, and using them as a stamping weapon would probably risk throwing it off balance. It's explained by A Wizard Did It reasons, since their world has obvious supernatural elements incorporated into it.
    • Averted with Celosia and Cerobia who are more realistically sized, both being about as big as an African elephant.
  • Soul Jar: The colossus idols, and by extension the colossi themselves, contain the sixteen pieces of Dormin's soul. As each colossus is destroyed, a piece of Dormin transfers from the colossus to Wander. When all the colossi are destroyed, the sixteen fragments are reunited and Dormin inhabits Wander's body. When Wander is killed by Emon's men, Dormin then borrows his body and appears in a large colossus-like form.
  • Swirly Energy Thingy: Each one radiates a beam of light into the sky once they're defeated. By the time Wander engages Malus, all fifteen of the cloud swirls have taken on an infernal hue.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Some of the colossi would be unbeatable if they didn't expose vulnerable or climbable parts of their anatomy to Wander during the battle. However, this still requires Wander to work out where this weak spot is, and how to exploit it.
  • Taken for Granite: Every slain colossus is covered by something dark after its death. If Wander returns to the arena where it fell, he will find a stone corpse partly molded into the rock beneath it. There will even be some greenery growing on its body, giving them a Golem-like quality. Press O to pray on the ruins, and you can enter Reminiscence Mode.
  • That's No Moon: One or two colossi look like ruins until you get up close. The last colossus looks like it is perched on top of a mighty tower. As you get closer, it becomes apparent that the tower is part of the colossus.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Averted for all the bosses the first time you play the game. There is a Time Attack Mode, which lets you fight each boss in any order you want, but when the battle begins, so does a timer. Beat the record time by killing the colossus as fast as possible and get goodies.
  • Turns Red: Either inverted or not played one way or the other: some bosses remain the same, while others become weaker and easier to beat as the battle proceeds or after you injure them (Gaius and Phaedra, notably). For instance, when you've stabbed one of their vitals but fallen off before you can complete the job, they will find it difficult to move said injured part and may sometimes lean over, making it easier to reach their other vital parts.
  • Uniqueness Value: What makes killing them such a Player Punch, since once they're down, no one else will get to see them in their glory again.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Depending on a given player's specialties, any of colossi two through five will likely end up being one.
  • Was Once a Man: If their ghost selves are any indication. Though their spirits (the ones Wander absorbs) are humanoid, only five of the colossi have maintained a bipedal form.
  • Waterfront Boss Battle: There are two water-based colossi battles, one against an electric eel and the other against a colossus who walks around a lake. The first one is notable in that the boss itself is the only platform in the arena, and it tends to drag you underwater, too.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: If you subscribe to the idea that the colossi are not living things, or else don't technically die since they seem to be fragments of Dormin's soul, each fragment of which is released when all the weak points of any one colossus are neutralised. In any case, this seems to be Wander's attitude towards them.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Unique?: Every colossus is different. Some fierce (Cenobia, Celosia, Dirge), some majestic and powerful (Phaedra, Gaius), some terrifying (Pelagia, Quadratus). You have to kill them all.
  • You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up Again: If Wander gets injured and knocked down, the offending colossus will make no further offensive effort unless either Wander finally gets back up or the player leaves him lying down for too long. Except in Hard Mode. As detailed in their sections, Cenobia and Celosia end up being nasty aversions.

Individual Colossi

Beware possibly-unmarked spoilers for their strategies!

    I — Minotaur A / "Valus" 

Minotaurus Colossus (The Minotaur Colossus)

"Raise thy sword to the light... and head to the place where the sword's light gathers... There, thou shalt find the colossi thou are to defeat."

Colossus number one. Resembles a minotaur.

  • Achilles' Heel: Ankle, actually. Stabbing the back of his left leg enough will make him briefly fall on all fours and give Wander an easier time climbing up to, at the very least, his back.
  • Battle Theme Music: "Grotesque Figures" when Wander gets its attention, changing to "The Opened Way" when its ankle is struck and he falls down.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Due to the horns having broken off at some point, some people see a bear rather than a minotaur.
  • Beast of Battle: Implied — it appears to have a Howdah on its back, and there's no missing that huge club it wields.
  • Boss Room: A canyon within a mountain directly south from the Shrine of Worship, at the end of which are the remains of a temple.
  • Carry a Big Stick: The moment Valus sees you in front of it, the club in its hand will be lifted up and smashed into the ground. Expect this to happen a lot in later colossus battles against humanoids.
  • Horned Humanoid: Has two stone horns on the top of its head, though they seem to have broken off at some point in the past (or else they always look like that). Fortunately, it never uses them in battle.
  • Meaningful Name: "Valus" is believed to come from the Latin verb "valere", which can be translated as "to be strong".
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: It's one of the Colossi classified as a "minotaur" and it certainly looks the part, with broken horns and a brutish, top-heavy body with hooves instead of feet. Of course, it's also a magical giant made of stone, and some fans say its face looks more like a bear's than a bull's.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Valus is the first colossus, meant to introduce the mechanics that will be used for the rest of the game, so there's not much strategy involved in beating it; it's simply just grab on and start climbing and stabbing.

    II — The Mammoth / "Quadratus" 

Taurus Magnus (The Great Bull)

"Thy next foe is... In the seaside cave... It moves slowly... Raise thy courage to defeat it."

Colossus number two. Resembles a gigantic bull.

  • Battle Theme Music: "A Violent Encounter" when first seen, later "Revived Power" when Wander begins climbing it.
  • Boss Room: A wider canyon a short distance to the north of the Shrine of Worship, under the great bridge.
  • Brutish Bulls: Quadratus is modelled after a bull and has an aggressive disposition, attempting to crush Wander as soon as it sees him.
  • Meaningful Name: "Quadratus" means "square" in Latin, likely in reference to its face, which has a lot of straight angled lines. It might also be due to the root "Quad-", meaning "four", a nod to this being the first quadruped colossus of the game.
  • Mighty Glacier: Even for a colossus, Quadratus is slow. Once it does catch up to you, it takes a ridiculously long time to initiate its attack, and its aim is abominable. You can just stroll away from it if you get bored. It's still a colossus, though: don't get hit if you value your life.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: When you stand in front of him, he raises his paws to crush you, leaving his weak points vulnerable.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Very easy in subsequent playthroughs. But on the first, it's the one that will teach you the power of grip strength and that you have more weapons than just your sword.

    III — The Knight / "Gaius" 

Terrestris Veritas (The Earthly Truth)

"A giant canopy soars to the heavens... The anger of the sleeping giant shatters the earth..."

Colossus number three. Takes the appearance of a knight or soldier with a huge "blade".

  • Battle Theme Music: "In Awe of the Power" when it first awakens and spots Wander, then "The Opened Way" when Wander breaks its armor.
  • Blade Run: Although the blade is certainly large enough to make it plausible. If it is a blade — some people see more of a club.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The only colossus with a melee weapon attached to (or rather, replacing) its right hand.
  • Boss Room: A wide canopy suspended over the middle of a lake.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway!: The first thing the player needs to do is trick Gaius into breaking its own armour, leaving a gap for Wander to climb up later.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Gaius has a rather humanoid-looking appearance, but he still has some decidedly non-human features, such as plenty of fur on most of his body and him uttering roaring sounds.
  • Lean and Mean: The most lithe of the humanoid colossi, and just as aggressive.
  • Meaningful Name: "Gaius" is an old Latin praenomen (or personal name) very commonly given during the time of Ancient Rome, a masculine form of "Gaia", which itself alludes to the Greek Primordial and goddess of the Earth.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: Has a mean sword for an arm, rending the earth like a hot knife through butter.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: What with its dangerously accurate and immense club. It's also the first colossus that requires the player to exploit the environment, rather than the simple climb'n'stab of the previous two.

    IV — The Kirin / "Phaedra" 

Equus Bellator Apex (The Elite War Horse)

"In the land of the vast green fields... Rows of guiding graves... It is giant indeed, but fearful, it is not."

Colossus number four. Resembles a horse — complete with dangling "reins." Albeit with crablike legs.

  • Battle Theme Music: "Creeping Shadow" when it first awakens, then "The Opened Way" when Wander climbs on top of it.
  • Body Horror: Has a set of exposed, skeletal ribs protruding from its underbelly.
  • Boss Room: A closed-off field with hills and a small underground structure. Phaedra itself lies dormant at a wide platform near the other end of the area until the player approaches.
  • Collapsing Ceiling Boss: A (thankfully minor) variation. When it stomps on your shelter, the ceiling releases huge amounts of dirt and dust which fall on Wander's head. It's a wonder the place doesn't collapse, since Phaedra's main line of defense is surprisingly vicious for such a slow, ponderous creature.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Up to this point, the other colossi simply grunt or roar when you stab their vitals. Phaedra screams. This scream is a noise that elks make, and it makes the colossus quite a bit different from the others in the vocal department.
  • Hellish Horse: Slow-moving, skeletal-looking, and alien even by colossus standards, Phaedra is perhaps the eeriest boss you'll encounter in this game.
  • Meaningful Name: "Phaedra" in itself comes from the Greek "phaidros" and means "bright". The name also comes from a character of Greek mythology, the hero Theseus' wife who led to her own stepson Hyppolitus' death after a bull summoned by Poseidon scared his chariot horses during a ride, causing him to be dragged to his death.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: A giant horse with crab-legs.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Quite fiddly for newcomers, and also introduces the first puzzle that doesn't involve bouncing arrows off a colossus.

    V — The Bird / "Avion" 

Avis Praedanote  (The Bird of Prey)

"It casts a colossal shadow across a misty lake... as it soars through the sky... to reach it is no easy task."

Colossus number five. Resembles a bird of prey with a very long tail.

  • Acrophobic Bird: Inverted; the colossus spends all its time high up and won't come down unless you trick it into doing so. Working out how to do so is part of the strategy.
  • Annoying Arrows: Annoying enough to provoke it to attack you.
  • Battle Theme Music: "Silence" when first seen and all the way until it attacks, shifting to "A Despair-Filled Farewell" when Wander climbs it.
  • Boss Room: A huge lake within a massive canyon, dotted with platforms and ancient ruins.
  • Developer's Foresight: Not exactly an easy feat (and it's very likely the player will simply die on impact), but if Wander just so happens to land on top of one of the ruins scattered across the lake, Avion will turn around and flap its wings to blow him off and back towards the water below.
  • Feathered Fiend: A Double Subverted example: Despite its menacing appearance, Avion is one of the least aggressive of the colossi... until you make it angry. It's even worse in Hard Mode, where, if it divebombs and misses Wander, it will immediately turn around and attack again. On top of that, its attacks become One-Hit Kill.
  • Gentle Giant: Notably, one of the few Colossi that doesn't attack Wander on sight. It'll merely just curiously observe him while he's swimming around the arena. No matter what you do to try and get its attention, it'll only start to fight back in self-defense after Wander harms it first.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Considering its flight capability, Avion is the first colossus capable of moving faster than you. Wander can only grab onto it by waiting for it to divebomb, run out of the way of its body, then jump to its wings as it passes by. Meaning if the player isn't fast enough, Wander will miss it, forcing the player to wait and risk themselves to another attack.
  • Giant Flyer: It enters the arena by soaring in and perching on a tower in the middle of the lake. Its tail alone is about fifty feet long.
  • High-Altitude Battle: Once Wander gets a grip on it, it flies up into the air, forcing him to maintain his grip and run across its body strategically to avoid a long fall into the lake.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Just being there isn't enough to get it in reach.
  • Meaningful Name: "Avion" is both a French and Spanish word for "airplane". It also derives from the Latin "avis", meaning "bird".
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The first of several colossi to be fought in a water arena. It also requires some very quick maneuvering to get between its weak points, if you can get onto it in the first place.

    VI — Minotaur B / "Barba" 

Belua Maximus (The Great Beast)

"A giant lurks underneath the temple... It lusts for destruction... But a fool, it is not."

Colossus number six. Resembles a bearded minotaur, or a behooved man-giant if you want to quibble over terminology.

  • Advancing Boss of Doom: He advances towards the player until a hiding place is found during the early stages of the fight.
  • Battle Theme Music: "Grotesque Figures" when Wander runs from it, then "Revived Power" when he climbs it.
  • Beard of Barbarism: Looks like a disgruntled member of ZZ Top.
  • Boss Corridor: This is the first time one is used in the game, (unless you count the walkway leading up to Avion's arena). Quite effective, too — the location is dark and silent.
  • Boss Room: A large temple inside a mountain to the right of the Blasted Lands.
  • Horned Humanoid: It resembles more a satyr than a minotaur due to the beard.
  • Meaningful Name: Barba means "Beard" in Latin.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: Like Valus, Barba has horns and hooves and looks strongly like a minotaur. Thankfully, unlike Valus, it has no club with which to smash you. Nope. It has its fists for that.
  • Point of No Return: One of the few colossi arenas to do this, but Barba's gate will remain open as long as the battle goes on, denying Wander his exit until the deed is done.
  • Red Herring: Has patches of fur on the backs of his hands and stone ridges on his wrists and waist that, at first glance, look like they were meant for climbing. Try that, though, and Barba will simply swat you off.
  • Underground Monkey: As far as appearance goes, it's Valus WITH A BEARD!, but lacking the club. Not that it needs one. To drive this home, his name in development was Minotaur B (to Valus' Minotaur A.)

    VII — The Eel / "Hydrus" 

Draco Marinus (The Sea Dragon)

"A ruin hidden in the lake... A ripple of thunder lurks underwater."

Colossus number seven. Calls to mind a catfish crossed with an electric eel.

  • Battle Theme Music: "Silence" while it swims across the lake, changing to "In Awe of the Power" when Wander manages to grab on.
  • Boss Room: A lake surrounded by mountains with ruins dotting the surface.
  • The Catfish: Unfortunately for Hydrus, it won't be released afterwards. You even have to lure it out into the open by presenting yourself as The Bait — it won't eat you, but it does have electric rods protruding from its back that break through the surface as it rises.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Hydrus is a natural swimmer, Wander isn't; which means another colossus capable of moving faster than you. The fact that holding onto it as it dives puts an incredible strain on your stamina meter doesn't help.
  • It Can Think: This Colossus is one of the few that will use a method more advanced than "shake my head a bunch" in order to counter Wander's attempts to stay on its back. Getting near Hydrus' head and staying there for too long will make it glance at you, and then just begin to dive into the depths, not coming back up until either Wander lets go or he drowns.
  • "Jaws" First-Person Perspective: As part of its He Was Right There All Along, Hydrus emerges from the bottom of the lake when you enter the water. The camera looks up at Wander from below Hydrus's perspective, though not actually through its eyes.
  • Meaningful Name: "Hydrus" is a Greek term alluding to a male serpent that dwells in water, contrasted to its female form "Hydra".
  • Psycho Electric Eel: More closely resembling an elongated catfish than an actual electric eel, Hydrus nonetheless has three glowing rods on its back that release a ring of electrical discharge around it whenever they penetrate the surface. Stabbing it behind each rod not only disables the electric attack, but also deals damage to Hydrus.
  • Shock and Awe: The first colossus to use electric attacks, though definitely not the last.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: If it just stayed underwater, Wander wouldn't have any way to damage it.

    VIII — Yamori B / "Kuromori" 

Parietinae Umbra (The Shadow of the Ruins)

"A tail trapped within a pail deep within the forest... A shadow that crawls on the walls."

Colossus number eight. Resembles a club-tailed gecko. It can climb walls even more easily than Wander can and spits poison.

  • Battle Theme Music: "Liberated Guardian" when it spots Wander and begins chasing him, then "A Despair-Filled Farewell" when on its back.
  • Boss Room: A coliseum-like structure located underground, beneath a shrine within a cave.
  • Breath Weapon: Kuromori is the first colossus Wander meets which is capable of attacking him from a long distance. Once it spots Wander, Kuromori's mouth glows a violent yellow and its body convulses. It then spits something that can be described as electric poison; it's a yellow, sparking bolt that, when it hits something, explodes in a cloud that Wander reacts to by covering his mouth. Stand in the cloud and Wander's health bar goes down disturbingly quickly.
  • Deadly Gas: The aforementioned poison cloud of breath.
  • Meaningful Name: "Kuromori" is Japanese, the respective kanji literally meaning "black forest". "Mori" can also be taken from Latin, meaning "death".
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Depsite its gecko-like appearance and movements, it borrows from crocodilians as well.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The battle begins with Kuromori knowing you're there but being unable to locate you specifically. Part of Wander's strategy involves exploiting stealth to a degree, since you can sneak in and out of different storeys and windows to trick it.
  • Technicolor Toxin: Yellow poison gases.
  • Wall Crawl: Despite its presumably immense weight, Kuromori can effortlessly crawl up the sides of the arena in order to reach you, though it doesn't like doing so unless you are clearly out of reach and it knows where you are. If it can see you from the ground, it'll shoot projectiles at you. If it can't, but it spotted you through one of the archery windows, it'll clamber up to poke its head through and fire off a series of shots. When it does this, Wander can nip around to another vantage point and shoot arrows into its legs, or shoot its soft underbelly through the archery windows. Fire enough arrows in the right places and Kuromori will fall, leaving its underbelly exposed.

    IX — The Tortoise / "Basaran" 

Nimbus Recanto (The Storm's Echo)note

"The land where trees nary grow... It sleeps in a dry lake bed... A rude awakening."

Colossus number nine. Resembles a tortoise.

  • Battle Theme Music: Like Quadratus, it uses both "A Violent Encounter" and "Revived Power" for its battle for the exact same reasons.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: Basaran would be impossible to climb if not for the fact that it decided to set up home near powerful geysers that can flip it over.
  • Boss Room: A wide, desolate field full of active geysers.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Sometimes to the point of being That One Boss for some players. Flipping it is a fiddly process dependant on the timing of the geysers and whether or not it works is up to Basaran as much as it's up to you.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: He's mainly a tortoise, but he has fur and thin, crab-like limbs.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Much more than the other colossi. Basaran is very aggressive, launching electric bolts almost nonstop at Wander when he's in range and moving surprisingly quickly to chase after Wander when he's not. When Wander manages to get atop it Basaran puts the most effort into trying to throw him off, practically throwing its body from side to side when Wander's on its back and swinging its head around in huge arcs and powerful side-to-side shakes when Wander's attacking its vital spot. Trying to take advantage of the short periods of stillness is one of the major challenges when facing Basaran.
  • Shock and Awe: Basaran is the second colossus Wander confronts that is capable of launching projectiles at him. In this case, it's a quadruple whammy of lightning bolts that shake the screen when they hit the ground (or Wander). Bizarrely, they come from four spikes on Basaran's chin.
  • Studded Shell: The shell on its back is segmented and has unusual projections and spikes on it. It also has few handholds, so staying on when Basaran rights itself is a tricky business unless you know where those handholds are.

    X — The Naga / "Dirge" 

Harena Tigris (The Sand Tiger)

"An isolated sand dune... Its tracks are well hidden... Shaking the earth, its gaze is upon thee..."

Colossus number ten. Resembles a monstrous hairy Sand Worm with a crocodilian face.

  • Battle Theme Music: Dirge has its own unique theme, "A Messenger from Behind". Other colossi's themes usually repeat between each other, but Dirge's initial theme is never heard outside of that battle, and, while being quick and stirring, it also has a distinctly menacing tone to it. When its weak points are exposed, it shifts to "Counterattack".
  • Boss Room: A cave where the ground is nothing but sand, with modest amounts of sunlight shining in from holes in the ceiling.
  • Eye Scream: Dirge regularly pokes its head out of the sand while pursuing Agro, and opens its eyes. The resulting blank stare is pretty creepy, but if you shoot it in the eye, Dirge shrieks out in pain and is temporarily blinded.
  • Meaningful Name: A "Dirge" is a song that expresses lament or mourning, commonly used in funeral processions. The term itself comes from the Latin phrase "Dirige, Domine, Deus meus, in conspectu tuo viam meam" ("Direct my way in your sight, O Lord my God").
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: He's serpent-like with a hairy body, has a crocodilian face, and sounds a bit like a dolphin.
  • Mole Monster: He spends the bulk of the fight underground, emerging only when hit in the eye.
  • Sand Is Water: It has to be magical, given its size: Dirge seems to treat sand as its natural home, and moves so quickly while swimming through it that Agro can barely keep ahead of it even while racing at full gallop. Dirge can't go through solid rock, though, which is the only place you can sit and think while still in the fight.
  • Sand Worm: A gigantic one that swims through the sand with ease.
  • Slasher Smile: All the other colossi either don't have much in the way of recognisable facial features, have a blank expression, or simply look angry. Dirge is the only one with a functional mouth, and the way it’s positioned when it’s closed makes it look like he’s smiling. It looks especially creepy on his game over screen, where his forward-facing expression makes it seem like he’s smiling right at the player.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: If the player hasn't died to a Colossus yet, Dirge is very likely to give the player their first death. Compared to the Colossi before them, which mostly lumber about, Dirge is fast and still hits like a train should he get you and you have a very limited window of opportunity to get back on Argo if he knocks you off before he rams you again.
  • Wormsign: One way to keep track of Dirge is to watch out for geysers of sand as Dirge moves beneath the surface. This is the usual way of tracking Dirge at a distance. When it gets close, the back fin pokes through the sand, and once it gets closer still its head comes above the surface.

    XI — Leo / "Celosia" 

Ignis Excubitor (The Flame Sentinel)

"An altar overlooks the lake... A guardian set loose... It keeps the flames alive."

Colossus number eleven. One of the two smallest colossi at about elephant size; resembles a big cat with massive horns/fangs.

  • Battle Theme Music: Shares the same sequence of "Liberated Guardian" and "A Despair-Filled Farewell" with Kuromori.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: One of only two places in the entire valley that have fire just had to be the Boss Room of the only colossus afraid of fire…
  • Boss Room: An altar hidden within the wall of a canyon with large lit pyres to each side of the room.
  • Bullfight Boss: Celosia can fall into this very quickly if you don't dodge its charge attack in good time. If Wander doesn't get up and run for cover, Celosia will just keep charging and charging until either Wander makes for cover or gets beaten to death.
  • Cat-and-Mouse Boss: You'll spend most of the battle being chased by it, but once its weak point is exposed, it's your turn to chase it while it is trying to chase you.
  • Cycle of Hurting: The thing that makes it far more dangerous than other Colossi. Unlike the other Colossi, it's really quick and can attack just as fast. Once this thing has Wander down, it's very hard to get back up, often verging on sheer luck of making a pixel perfect dodge, or Celosia pushing you into the nearby ditch before it kills you.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Celosia will come as a shock to anyone who has gotten used to fighting the Mighty Glacier colossi so far.
  • Meaningful Name: "Celosia" is the name given to a genus of flowers in the amaranth family. The word itself comes from Ancient Greek, a female name that means "burning".
  • Panthera Awesome: Though many fans also likens him to a bull.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Relative to the other colossi, that is — it's still pretty big next to Wander, and very aggressive.
  • Ring-Out Boss: At the beginning of the battle, Celosia is invincible. In order to defeat it, you have to trick it into falling off the cliff. The impact smashes its armor, exposing the weak point on its back.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: While Dirge is likely to give the player their first death, Celosia will kill the player by the truckload. It's both fast, has a Cycle of Hurting attack that you need near pixel-perfect timing to get out of and its area is incredibly tiny compared to the ones you'd likely be used to at that point, which makes avoiding Celosia near impossible.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Celosia is terrified of fire, despite guarding said flames.
  • You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up Again: Averted. it will reserve its attack until Wander is getting up, giving the player a very limited window of opportunity to dodge roll out of the way, even on Normal. Too soon and it will turn towards you at the last moment; too late and you'll just get hit.

    XII — Poseidon / "Pelagia" 

Permagnus Pistrix (The Titanic Sea Monster)

"Paradise floats on the lake... A silent being wields thunder... A moving bridge to cross to higher ground."

Colossus number twelve. It's a massive quadruped hammerhead-shark-water buffalo... thing with hooves and the ability to shoot lightning through its horns. It fights Wander in a large lake.

  • Ax-Crazy: The small characterization it has might or might not indicate this.
  • Battle Theme Music: "Creeping Shadow" as it lumbers around the water, then "In Awe of the Power" when it rears up its body onto the platforms.
  • Body Horror: Much like Phaedra before him, Pelagia also possesses exposed ribs on his underbelly.
  • Boss Room: A closed-off dam with two-story platforms scattered across the surface of the water.
  • Chasing Your Tail: When you're trying to get up on its back and it's simultaneously turning around to follow you.
  • Confusion Fu: What it tries to lure Wander out of his hiding spot. Among other things, it:
    • Tries firing lightning before moving around Wander's hiding-spot to get an easier shot.
    • Pretends to look away, only to charge a beam and look back and fire.
    • Fires beams from a distance that are sometimes fired right towards Wander, other times aimed a little forwards so Wander collides with them.
    • Starts walking off at random.
  • Eyeless Face: This is the only colossus that doesn't even bother with eyes. Instead, you tell if it's aggressive if its horns turn from blue to red (it's possible that these are meant to be eye-stalks, but the game gives no indication if this is the case or not).
  • Eye Beam: Its attacks become this if you believe it has eye-stalks as opposed to horns.
  • Facial Horror: Why do those things on his head look like teeth?
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Though it has the body structure of a water buffalo.
  • Meaningful Name: "Pelagia" is the female form of "Pelagius", Greek names that both mean "from the sea".
  • Non-Standard Character Design: It lacks eyes, has teeth on its head and has protruding ribs, much like Phaedra.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Pelagia is on the weirder side, which says a lot.
  • Puzzle Boss: Especially noticable since the Colossus Climb turns out to be only part of the puzzle.
  • Shock and Awe: It has "control over thunder," though that should be "lightning" as it generates lightning bolts from between its horns. The resulting blasts can knock Wander pretty far back, but Pelagia avoids having that one attack like Basaran has by being in an arena with plenty of cover. The attacks can't shock you if you dive below the water.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Not in the conventional sense, but the protrusions on the very top of its head resemble teeth. Once you climb up there, you smack these "teeth" with your sword to get Pelagia to move in the direction you want it to.
  • Turtle Island: Though not a turtle, Pelagia does have a shell on its back which resembles Basaran's. Unlike Basaran's shell, it has green grass/moss/hair growing on it and fewer spikes. Dormin's intro even says "paradise floats on its back."

    XIII — The Snake / "Phalanx" 

Aeris Verivolus (The Air Sailor)note

"The vast desert lands... A giant trail drifts through the sky... Thou art not alone."

Colossus number thirteen. Has variously been described as a flying serpent or dragon, and it can also burrow underground.

  • Actual Pacifist: Phalanx doesn't try to attack you so much as once during the entire battle. You kill it anyways.
  • Battle Theme Music: "Silence" as it floats on the sky, "In Awe of the Power" when it's close to the ground, and "Counterattack" when Wander manages to climb on its back.
  • Boss Room: A vast, scalding desert filled with ruins.
  • Cowardly Boss: Phalanx spends half of the battle out of range and the other half trying to flee from Wander. When Wander gets on it, after a while it dives back into the sand, knocking Wander off its back. This is the only time Phalanx can hurt you, and it's a side-effect of fleeing rather than an actual offence.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Subverted in that Phalanx, the largest Colossus in the game, is the pacifist.
  • Extra Eyes: It has three eyes rather than the usual two. Get close to its face and you'll see them.
  • Gentle Giant: The biggest Colossus in the game is also the only one that will not directly harm you. In fact, it spends most of the battle flying away from you while you have to chase it down, which makes it all the more sad when you finally kill it.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Phalanx is constantly on the move and doesn't care where Wander is until he manages to get on it. Given that this colossus is also huge and a surprisingly speedy flyer, it's clear that Wander isn't going to chase it down without Agro's help.
  • Giant Flyer: Easily the longest colossus in the game, Phalanx also flies at a greater altitude than Avion. Like Avion, it seems to fly with the help of subtle magic to counter physical laws. Even without the air-sacs the player punctures, it remains airborne, and the four "wings" behind its head only seem to give the impression of paddling rather than the function of flight.
  • High-Altitude Battle: Another of the highlights of the game, though be careful on this one as, unlike Avion, Phalanx thinks Sand Is Water and will dive down if you pester it for too long.
  • Meaningful Name: A "phalanx" is an ancient Greek military formation composed of heavy units with large shields and spears staying close together. It's likely a nod to how the colossus' body is segmented.
  • Sand Is Water: When it's done, it's as exaggerated as Dirge's ability. Phalanx dives through the desert floor as fluidly as it soars through the skies. And manages to keep its air-sacs intact while regenerating them from arrow puncture.

    XIV — Cerberus / "Cenobia" 

Cladeds Candor (The Luster of Destruction)

"A guardian set loose... A closed-off city beyond the channel... It lusts for destruction..."

Colossus number fourteen. The other small colossus, for a certain value of "small."

  • Artificial Stupidity: Its pathfinding AI is pretty atrocious. It has a tendency to get snagged on things that it isn't even touching. On the other hand, it does make pretty brilliant use of its ability to stun lock.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: His main tactic.
  • Battle Theme Music: The same combo of "Liberated Guardian" and "A Despair-Filled Farewell" as Kuromori and Celosia.
  • Boss Room: The ruins of an ancient city at the far northwestern side of the Forbidden Lands.
  • Bullfight Boss: If you touch the ground, Cenobia will be upon you. If you you lose footing on higher ground, Cenobia will be ready to be upon you. If Cenobia is upon you, dodge. If you fail to dodge, hope that Cenobia flings you to the nearest gutter, out of reach.
  • Bully Bulldog: Considering those twin upward-jutting "fangs" and the general shape of the thing.
  • Cycle of Hurting: Like with its "brother/sister" above, once this thing has you down, do not expect to be getting back up. Arguably even worse than the one before it, thanks to there being next to no nooks to hide in with its arena.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway!: The aim of the battle is the same as that of the battle against Celosia, but you'll have to use other tactics to achieve it.
  • Marathon Boss: You have to bait it through a gauntlet of platforming that Wander has to stay on top of in order to expose its sigil. Once you knock off its armour, you can either jump on immediately and hope it doesn't shake too much, or bait it into tackling the structures again between stabs.
  • Meaningful Name: "Cenobia" comes from the Greek "zenobia", which means "stranger", something it greatly despises seeing approach its territory. It also comes from a Spanish female name that means "from Zeus", likely alluding to its and the colossi's connection to Dormin Themselves.
  • Panthera Awesome: Mostly resembles a lion in appearance and sound, much like Celosia resembles a tiger.
  • Palette Swap: He has different armor and fur than Celosia, but not much other distinction.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: He can knock down some of the larger pillars, which are about as thick, large, and sturdy as Valus's leg. He's only the size of an SUV.
  • You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up Again: Like Celosia, averted; it will reserve its attack until Wander is getting up, giving the player a very limited window of opportunity to dodge roll out of the way, even on Normal. Too soon and it will turn towards you at the last moment; too late and you'll just get hit.

    XV — Minotaur C / "Argus" 

Praesidium Vigilo (The Prison Watcher)note

"A giant has fallen into the valley... It acts as a sentry to a destroyed city."

Colossus number fifteen. A towering humanoid repeatedly stated to stand guard at an ancient arena.

  • Achilles' Heel: All of the colossi have a weak spot, sure, but Argus stands out in that it has a weak spot on its hand that holds an extremely small portion of its health, and is probably the last one the player will take out.
  • Battle Theme Music: Argus is one of the few colossi to have a unique orchestral score, "Gatekeeper of the Castle Ruins," played during the boss battle. It changes to "The Opened Way" after Argus is disarmed.
  • Boss Corridor: The battle takes place in a long, open hallway, with just enough room to maneuver around it on the ground. Wander has to climb the corridor walls to get a good angle.
  • Boss Room: A linear arena-like structure with connecting bridges at the top, standing watch over a large valley from which Argus rises out of.
  • Collapsing Ceiling Boss: Argus will occasionally try to smash you with its club. When you're up in the ruins, this can cause the ceiling to fall in.
  • Meaningful Name: "Argus" was the name of a being in Greek mythology often described as a giant or human-like creature with a hundred eyes all over its body, serving as a watcher under the gods' command.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: Though it is more humanoid than Valus and Barba in appearance, it does still have hooves. Some even feel that its more humanoid appearance makes it look like a gorilla.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Argus's mask has a ghastly visage on it which gives this impression.
  • Turns Red: It has a certain body part wounded as part of the strategy, but to then exploit this opening, the player has to provoke it into using a powerful attack, which is difficult to dodge, while standing dangerously close.
  • Underground Monkey: Watch Argus carefully and you'll notice his A.I. is quite similar to that of another colossus: Valus. To drive this home, his name in development was Minotaur C (to Valus' Minotaur A and Barba's Minotaur B.)

    XVI — Evis / "Malus" 

Grandis Supernus (The Towering One)

"Finally, the last colossus... The ritual is nearly over... Thy wish is nearly granted... But someone now stands to get in thy way... Make haste, for time is short."

Colossus number sixteen, the final opponent in Wander's way. Instead of climbing a tower to get to this one, it is a tower.

  • Battle in the Rain: The eternal day finally starts to darken as Wander approaches the last boss arena. When he's reached that arena, it starts to rain heavily and fierce winds blow in from the sea.
  • Battle Theme Music: "Demise of the Ritual". Subdued, with emphasis on choir and church bells, as well as plenty of string instruments. All to emphasize that, indeed, this is the last obstacle on your path, and perhaps foreshadowing the greatest tragedy yet to come. It is the only theme that plays as you face Malus.
  • Bishōnen Line: The most human-looking of the Colossi and one of the most challenging.
  • Colossus Climb: Although this is the point of the entire game, Malus still stands out — getting to his head is an intricate, arduous process, and the tallest of the other Colossi don't even reach his midsection.
  • Death Course: You'll have to do a particularly sadistic one to even get to it. In itself, the route isn't perilous, since the walkways and ridges are clear, but Malus makes it a nightmare of a journey with its one particular attack.
  • Died Standing Up: The stone robe chained to him prevents him from falling over in death.
  • Evil Sorcerer: His design and use of firebolts resemble wizards atop high towers.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The last Colossus you fight in the game, fittingly enough, puts all the skills you've learned throughout the game to the test (except horseriding, sadly).
  • Humanoid Abomination: Malus is the most humanoid of them all. Its movements are calm and collected; it wears a metal tunic and jewelry; and it's the only colossus to have a full head of hair (as opposed to more blue fur), not to mention it utters eerily human-like gutural moans and screams in contrast with the more animalistic noises of the other colossi.
  • Large and in Charge: Although Phalanx's long body gives it more ouright mass, Malus stands the tallest of all the colossi. That should tell you something.
  • Magma Man: There are parts of Malus' body you can't climb on that seem to glow. In addition, in the remakes his bangles are a lot more fiery.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Malus is similar to a lighthouse. What, with its seaside location, glowing bangles, and being able to sink an entire fleet of ships.
  • Marathon Boss: Between what it takes to reach this guy, the sheer height of its body, and how hard it is to get to the top, it's quite the trial to wrap up the quest.
  • Meaningful Name: Malus means "evil". It certainly looks demonic in appearance: at first glance, it resembles Fantasia's Chernabog.
  • Mechanical Monster: Malus is unique among the colossi in that the lower body is mostly stone and metal.
  • Mythical Motifs: Seems to be some combination of Buddha and the Tower of Babel.
  • Puzzle Boss: He's only got one sigil, on the crown of his head, but it takes quite the effort to get there. Traverse the gauntlet of cover that surrounds him, climb up his robe, and hit three different minor weak points (one of which must be shot with an arrow, from his hand) in order to be able to climb atop his head and deliver one last sword to the brain.
  • Sad Battle Music: Unlike the others that preceded it, Malus has a single, sad musical score that does not change while the battle progresses. It's oddly fitting, considering that you lost your horse just before getting there, and there's nowhere else to go but to defeat the boss and finish the game.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Possibly, considering you can only reach it by opening a sealed door after killing all the others.
  • Shock and Awe: Malus's one attack is a blast of what are either lightning bolts or fireballs from its left hand. Unlike the lightning bolts of Pelagia or Basaran, Wander has no hope of withstanding the attack out in the open and must stay behind cover whenever it is fired.
  • Stationary Boss: Malus never moves from its position at the other end of the arena; a look at its feet shows they are bolted to the platform. This doesn't make it any less dangerous, but it does contrast strongly with the other colossi.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Malus's attack is the most explosive in the game, even rivaling the Flash Arrows.
  • Tragic Monster: Despite the battlements that surround Malus, and its warlike attacks, it is the last Colossus. Even after all Wander has done, Malus will pause once he reaches his hand to examine him, his eyes turning from hostile orange to neutral blue until the player reinitiates combat. Ultimately, Malus wishes to be left alone like all the others.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Both in the lead up and as part of the colossus.