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Voiced by: Tatsuki Ishikawa (child), Hiroshi Shirokuma (adult)
The Boy is the main playable character. He wakes up in the bottom of the Nest with strange markings on his body with Trico, with no memory of how either of them got there.
- Action Survivor: Braves the valley alongside his unlikely companion, encountering dangers along the way.
- Adorably Precocious Child: His interactions with Trico and critical-thinking skills seem to place him as this.
- Badass Adorable:
- He's a cute kid who pulls off some impressive feats for someone his age, such as taming a giant man-eating flying creature.
- When Trico fights another Trico, the boy fends it off by shutting a gate on its tail and pushing a large metal container onto its head, which breaks its helmet and one of its horns.
- Whenever the guards come out, it's possible for him to pull their helmets off when they're knocked down.
- Badass Baritone: His narration as an adult is delivered in deep rumbles. The Boy we see in the game proper is an aversion, being a prepubescent Tenor Boy.
- Claimed by the Supernatural: How his story begins.
- Does Not Like Shoes: He's barefooted the entire game, save for the ending cutscene after he's returned home and grown up. It doesn't slow him down, even in cold weather, rocks and metal. Justified in that he was actually stolen while asleep in his home with no other supplies available in the game's locations.
- Eaten Alive: Apparently an ability of the beast is to harmlessly swallow smaller creatures. This happens to the boy several times.
- Human Notepad: Gets many strange markings covering him all over his body after his first sojourn inside Trico's belly. After being eaten again, the markings merge together to become more obvious geometric shapes, rather than the loose squiggles seen at the beginning.
- Idiot Ball: At one point he calls for Trico to crawl through an extremely narrow tunnel that the poor creature can barely fit through. It ends about as well as one would expect with Trico getting stuck and the tunnel collapsing on them.
- Kid Hero: He serves as this.
- Made of Iron: Possibly justified, in that the incantations on his skin may prevent him from being permanently harmed at least until he was supposed to be delivered to the Master of the Valley. Nonetheless, he can not only survive falls that should kill him with little more than a limp to show for it (that lasts a few minutes at most), he is eaten on multiple occasions, and is even unintentionally punted into a rock wall by Trico early on in the game. Both of which only knock him out for a few hours, at most.
- No Name Given: We never learn what his name is (the credits list him simply as "Boy"). An interview with Ueda reveals that one of the villagers actually does shout his name upon his dramatic return to the village... but it isn't subtitled. Listening carefully, it sounds like Yoshitsu or Yoshichu.
- Nostalgic Narrator: The game is narrated by him as an adult, fondly looking back on his experiences with Trico.
- Power Tattoo: Subverted. He has tattoos all over him when the story starts, but they're not designed to give him abilities. They're designed to incapacitate him, as the "spells" the armored knights cast at him seem to indicate. They're also permanent, as his grown up self still retains them at the end of the game. Presumably they no longer can incapacitate him at this point with the Master's destruction.
- Shoo the Dog: At the end, after Trico brings him home, in order to prevent his village's people from killing Trico.
- Swallowed Whole: If Trico gets hypnotized by ancient relics, he will catch and swallow the boy up alive.
A giant beast trapped deep within the bottom of the Nest.
- All Animals Are Dogs: Well, it kinda makes sense considering he's partly dog-like.
- Ambiguous Gender: Trico's gender hasn't been clarified, so fans are stuck on whether to refer to the character as him/her. The English narration does say "his" on at least one occasion, but this may be an oversight. Complicating matters is Trico's painstakingly rendered assets; the dark Trico the companions occasionally encounter have the same features, and since Ueda has confirmed that the main Trico and dark Trico are opposite genders, it really is hard to tell.
- An Arm and a Leg: The last third or so of Trico's tail, twice. The first time is from a bolt of lightning that strikes him on the way to the Nest with the boy in tow. It takes nearly the entire game to grow back, then one of the other possessed Tricos tears the regrown segment off. This dismemberment actually proves to be critical to the defeat of the Master, as its lightning-shooting ability carries over even when disconnected from Trico.
- Androcles' Lion: The boy first finds Trico chained up with numerous spears sticking out from its body. After the boy removes the weapons from him and gives him plenty of food, Trico begins to warm up to the boy, sowing the seeds of friendship between the two.
- Animals Lack Attributes: Surprisingly averted — many players have gotten a bit of a surprise when Trico's anus and genitals suddenly fill the screen due to an unfortunate camera angle.
- Annoying Arrows:
- Although Trico has bunch of them (actually spears) sticking out of his back, he doesn't seem to be hindered by them at all.
- But pulling spears from his body is one of the ways the boy takes care of him, especially in the beginning of the game.
- Artificial Brilliance: Trico's AI is absolutely astonishing, in that he behaves like many real animals do: he can be slow to respond to your call, often narrowly misses hurting the boy in his jumps, is easily distracted by food and smells, has difficulty moving past things that frighten him, and remains agitated after fights are over and needs to be calmed down. This may be a little frustrating to players wanting to move things along, but for those familiar with animal behavior and/or who don't mind a slower pace, watching Trico in action is nothing short of breathtaking.
- Babies Ever After: Appears to have had a baby in the last shot of the game, years after it and the boy parted ways.
- Badass Adorable: He acts like a cute puppy around the boy, but in battle he's a force to be reckoned with. He can smash the guards to pieces with his claws and blow up walls with lightning blasts from his tail. The boy is lucky that Trico likes him.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Trico forms a bond with the Boy because he helps it get food and he pulls out spears from its body. Possibly the reason why even when Trico's horns do regrow, he's able to resist the mind controlling effects eventually - his affection for the boy is too strong.
- Berserk Button: Initially even seeing the guards is one by itself but as he and the boy grow closer to each other attacking his companion triggers him too.
- The Berserker: Trico really doesn't like the guards. Even after they've all been killed it will keep screeching and flailing about until you calm it down by petting.
- Bilingual Bonus: It's name can be taken to mean "prisoner" (虜 toriko), "baby bird" (鳥の子 tori no ko), or a portmanteau of "bird" (鳥 tori) and "cat" (猫 neko). It also benefits from being a character in the third game of the Team ICO Series (Tri-Ico).
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Certain mystical devices in the ruins will resonate with Trico's horns, driving it into an uncontrollable frenzy. The big creature's eyes will glow. That's your cue to run.
- Broken Angel: Happens to Trico several times in several different ways, first its wings are crippled and horns broken, though the latter ends up being beneficial as it cuts the master's control over Trico and they both regrow over time (It seems the master can't regain command over Trico even after its horns grow back), later Trico is badly mauled and the end of its tail is yanked off. (Given Trico's horns eventually grew back to their full size, it may have some kind of Healing Factor and could potentially regenerate the missing tail part)
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: When in complete darkness his eyes will glow brightly enough to illuminate the area in front of him.
- Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff": In English, Trico's frequently referred to as a griffin, but he doesn't really resemble a traditional griffin at all - his front feet and beak are somewhat birdlike, but they're quite oddly-shaped (and the latter appears to actually be a somewhat beak-shaped muzzle). Earlier designs for Trico did resemble a griffin far more closely though, albeit with horns. As development went on, more and more rodent-like features were added and his beak became progressively more mammalian in an effort to make the beast a more original creation - resulting in a psuedo-griffin creature with elements of dogs and rats added into the mix.
- In-game, though, he's referred to as simply a beast or a trico. The beginning of the game is a montage of drawings of both real and fantasy animals and a regular griffin is listed as such. Our companion here is simply labelled 'Trico'.
- Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": In the Japanese materials, Trico is referred to as an erne - another word for the white-tailed sea eagle.
- Death by Newbery Medal: From simply looking at the trailers, some just get the impression that's it's hardly likely that both the kid and the trico are going to survive the game. Averted Trope. They actually both do survive.
- A Dog Named "Dog": Trico is the name of the creature's species. The boy doesn't call him anything else.
- Fighting from the Inside: As his bond with the boy grows so does his ability to resist the master's brainwashing, as indicated by his eye colors changing rapidly since they show his disposition.
- Eye Colour Change: Trico's eye color will change very often, depending on various circumstances. If they're:
- Yellow: Trico senses food nearby, or a strong aroma (possibly also of food).
- Green: Trico does this to see in dark areas. If it's very dark, the eyes will glow a bright green and act as actual lights.
- Blue: Trico's eyes are sometimes briefly like this (with black irises) whenever he eats a barrel of food.
- Purple: Trico is angry at an enemy, or frightened by a glass eye symbol.
- Red: Under the influence of sound-based mind control, Trico is hostile towards the boy.
- His eye color also changes extremely rapidly when the boy first brings the mirror close to him, as well as when the Boy reacquires the mirror after Trico regurgitates it.
- Healing Factor: When Trico was hit by lightining, he lost about a quarter of his tail. The subsequent fall from hundreds of feet in the air and multiple collisions with a mountainside broke his horns and his wings, the latter of which were incapable of flexing naturally. By about 3/4 of the way through the game, his wings are rapidly healing and allow him to glide, his horns are completely regrown and his tail has regrown (in the process focusing its lightning attack into high velocity projectile blasts). Combined with his status as a Lightning Bruiser and Trico can not only deal out enormous punishment, he can take it without long term adverse affects. Particularly good news given that his tail is again broken off while he struggled against his mind-controlled brethren.
- Heroic Willpower: The third time the companions enter the antenna room that controls Trico to eat the boy, Trico refuses to let it happen again out of its love for the boy and manages to resist the control long enough for the boy to destroy the device with his shield.
- Idle Animation: He has several, including him scratching behind his ears and grooming himself. Others vary based on scenery. For instance, if there's a puddle of water he'll happily roll around in it, and if there's a dangling chain he'll bat at it with his claws.
- Impossibly Graceful Giant: Despite being roughly the size of a tyrannosaurus, Trico has the agility and balance of a cat, being able to jump very far and high and can balance on very small standing points.
- In a Single Bound: Justified, because he has wings helping him. He also spends a fair amount of time warming up before he jumps.
- Loyal Animal Companion: It becomes this to the Boy as the story progresses.
- Made of Iron: Trico goes through a lot of physical abuse through the game. He is struck by lightning, speared by hordes of animated armors, crushed by rocks, beaten to a pulp by enemy Tricos multiple times, collided with multiple structures, and even almost torn to shreds... and he still lives long enough to have children.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Trico has features of a bird, rat, dog, cat, hyena, and much more. The opening credits montage (and the initial loading screen) show illustrations of a variety of animals from common to mythical, all of which have something in common with Trico.
- Not Himself: If it gets close to an Ancient Relic, it will be hypnotized and attempt to eat the Boy.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Certain symbols seem to set Trico off. Upon encountering one, his eyes will glow red and he'll start hissing at it, refusing to move from that spot. In order to get him past it, you need to figure out how to destroy or remove the symbol from the area.
- Sizeshifter: If you look closely Trico's wings will grow when they need to fly once their wings are fully healed.
- Shock and Awe: Trico can fire lightning from his tail. Later on it evolves to explosive energy bolts. They can also keep firing even if Trico can't see the mirror or if the end of their tail is no longer attached to their body.
- Stomach of Holding: Carries the boy in his several times, sometimes unintentionally, and intentionally.
- Super Toughness: Combined with Good Thing You Can Heal, the griffin is verging on the indestructible. Survived lightning strikes, impaled by spears, crash-landings from hundreds of feet in the air, mauled by its own hypnotized brethren, Trico has been through a lot.
- This Is My Human: Trico gives off vibes of this trope whenever he happily carries the boy around with his mouth.
- Uncanny Valley: Invoked in concept by the creators as the reason why Trico is a made-up creature, rather than a dog or something; if he was based on a real animal, people who owned that animal would only notice the pieces that didn't look right.
- Wings Do Nothing: Based on his behavior, they're supposed to work, but are too damaged. This is because they lost most of their skeleton and flight feathers after Trico was struck by lightning. They heal over the course of the game.
The main enemies encountered within the game, these constructs patrol and guard many structures within the Nest, and will attempt to apprehend and capture the Boy should they encounter him.
- Animated Armor: There's nothing inside the guards' armor, except for some black smoke.
- Cranial Processing Unit: Their head can be freely detached and used to animate headless bodies.
- Crown of Horns: Their helmets have small horns on them. Considering the significance of horns in all three of Ueda's games, it's an important detail.
- Faceless Mooks: Their helmets basically are their faces.
- Interface Screw: The slowing effect they cause upon grabbing the Boy or hitting him with a spell causes magical symbols to flood and block the screen, and must be warded off by button mashing.
- Javelin Thrower: Their primary weapons consist of swords and javelins.
- Magitek: They're magical robotic sentries, mechanical in their functions and armor, yet they contain and are powered by some supernatural force.
- The Paralyzer: If a knight grabs the boy, they inflict some form of slowing effect that the Boy must shake off to escape the grab. Armored knights standing nearby can cast spells at him to bolster the effect, or can fire them at him from long range if he escapes to an area where they can't reach him.
- Scary Impractical Armor: The guards' armor is very elaborately engraved and quite menacing, if a bit oxidized. It's a wonder though, that they have any peripheral vision while wearing it, or that they're even able to stay balanced.
- Then again; there's nothing inside the armor beyond some black smoke. They probably don't need eyes.
- Shield-Bearing Mook: Some of them carry shields (but they are made of glass and offer protection only thanks to the eye-symbol on them scaring Trico). Nevertheless, without them, the soldiers would be completly helpless against Trico, despite their weaponry.
- Slave Mooks: Possibly. An interview with Team Ico states that the guards are "not acting fully out of their own intentions".
The Second Trico
The main secondary antagonist of the story, a second, though not-so-friendly giant beast that roams the Nest and serves to actively track and halt the Boy and Trico's escape from the valley.
- Armored Dragon: It has strong armor all over its body just like Trico originally had.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: It is working under the control of the Master's signals, making it implacably hostile to both the Boy and Trico. Once its horns and armor are broken off during their final battle, it ceases all hostilities and makes a break for it.
- Broken Angel: If you look carefully you'll notice that its wings have been cut off, perhaps due to some previous injury or maybe by the armored soldiers to act as some kind of guard dog.
- Dark Is Evil: It has much darker colored feathers than Trico has and acts like a vicious animal, however once freed it becomes Dark Is Not Evil.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Its eyes are endlessly glowing bright red unlike the main Trico's mostly darkened eyes, as an indication of its violent, brainwashed nature, and that a fight is near-unavoidable.
- Guttural Growler: A rather literal example but it's roar is much deeper and more raspy than our Trico.
- HeelFace Turn: Stops antagonizing the pair after one of its horns is broken, freeing it from the Master's signal. The last we see of it is watching helplessly as the injured Trico flies out of the Nest. It is implied to be Trico's mate in the epilogue.
- The Juggernaut: It's relentless in its pursuit of Trico and the Boy. During the second battle, it refuses to let Trico go until presumably killing it.
- Rage Helm: The shape of the mask it wears makes it resemble a reptile or bird-of-prey and this combined with the constantly glowing eyes gives it an extremely threatening visage.
- Recurring Boss: This Trico encounters and attacks the duo numerous times in their escape from the Nest.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The second Trico's eyes are perpetually glowing a bright red as a visual indicator of its brainwashed nature and unceasing aggressiveness.
The Master of the Valley
The Master of the Valley
Voiced by: Masaki Aizawa
- Big Bad: The one behind all of the game's story and the literal centre of the game's setting, implied to be controlling everything sinister within the story.
- Casting a Shadow: It covers itself with some strange shadowy, transluscent ferrofluid-lke substance that acts like a shield. It seems to be hindered by light.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: To the Queen and Dormin. While the Queen and Dormin are beings of shadow, the Master of the Valley is covered in glowing markings. Also, the Queen is (probably) human and Dormin is a godlike entity who takes a humanoid form, and both engage in dialogue with other characters. The Master is a truly alien being that does not speak a human language or resemble an earthly being in any way, and barely interacts with anyone.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: Once it's shot with a beam from Trico's tail, it perishes in a powerful explosion that renders the Boy unconscious.
- Eldritch Abomination: Nothing is explained about this entity, not even if its a monster, a god, or an artificial construct. All thats known about it is that it controls the other Tricos, it commands them to collect children, and it rewards them with the barrels of turquoise goo.
- Foreshadowing: If one turns the brightness in a specific way, and lets the Boy be captured by one of the armored soldiers and led to one of the blue doors, you can see the room the Master resides in on the other side, as well as the curvature of the shadowy orb the Master covers itself in.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Having Trico brutally savaged and the end of his tail torn off by the rest of his kind gave the Boy the only means of destroying the Master.
- Load-Bearing Boss: Once destroyed, and its control over the Tricos' severed, its tower starts to slowly collapse.
- Magitek: The Master itself appears to be some form of magical AI construct with uncanny references and resemblances to modern technology, resembling a glowing core (with loads of Tron Lines resembling circuitry) surrounded by a blob of what appears to be some sort of ferrofluid, and all sorts of weird machinery (even a giant cooler!). The Tower through which it controls Trico's race even resembles a modern radio tower, constructed out of ancient magic relics.
- Mind-Control Device: It is able to control every other Trico within the valley by broadcasting a magical signal from its enormous satellite-like tower, resonating with the Tricos' horns and bringing them under its will. The boy's Trico is implied to be immune to this as his horns and armor are broken/missing.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Even if Trico's tail so much as grazes it with a shot, it's done for. It is protected - slightly - by a cage, but the tail's multi-shot attack usually ensures that both the cage and the boss are destroyed in a single move.
- Outside-Context Problem: More like no-context problem. Even though its tower is visible throughout the whole game, the Master itself is only seen at the very end, and is destroyed as quickly as it is encountered. In a world of high fantasy magical artifacts and majestic beasts, the Master does not fit in with the rest of the setting.
- The Paralyzer: Casts the same spells as the armors it controls, if you aim the mirror at it long enough.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: A possible interpretation, as the brainwashed Tricos bring to it the kidnapped children. However, Word of God says that the Tricos also kidnap adults.