- Fits of these with the ending and a certain scene involving a collapsing bridge before the final Colossus.
- After following you silently yet with utter devotion, your only companion in the vast empty world is lost. And to top it off, it was to save your bacon... and you are not allowed to skip the cinematic!
- And when you finally confront the last Colossus, Malus, the tune that plays is one of the most depressing songs in the soundtrack. Demise of the Ritual has soft choir, somber music and a generally depressing feeling. Not only that, but consider that Malus himself is the last Colossus, the last earthly creature keeping the dormant shadows sealed. The entity your loyal horse seemingly died to get you to that point, making the song feel like a mourning to Agro, as well as Malus itself.
- A horrible little detail makes it all even worse; when you climb to the top of Malus's head, look around and you may notice that you can see every single beam of light from where you killed all the other Colossi from where Malus is situated. The reason Malus is so angry and aggressive compared to the other Colossi is because he has been Forced to Watch as you systematically murder each and every one of its kin... and now you're here for him and so determined to finish the job that even the apparent death of your beloved companion barely slows you down. It is the very definition of a Mook Horror Show, and adds a whole new layer to the Tragic Villain status of the Colossi.
- Here's an experiment. Try to look the Colossi in the eye before you kill them, then watch their slowmo deaths.
- The Downer Ending, as you try hopelessly to fight against the current and see if the girl you killed sixteen colossi for is okay. Then you shed tears of joy when she wakes up to find your loyal horse who's Not Quite Dead, and then as the credits roll, the camera pans over the decaying carcasses of all the Colossi. So simplistic and honest, it's overwhelming. What's even worse about the ending is that while you know that Mono's okay, Wander doesn't, since he's killed before she wakes up. He probably died thinking he'd failed her and that everything he did was for nothing.
- Agro's apparent death before you face Malus. The platform she's standing on crumbles underneath her and she bucks Wander off her in time to save him. Things aren't better when Wander cries in anguish over his horse's tragic death. He already lost his girlfriend and now he just lost his Animal Companion. It's even sadder when you realize that since Wander gets turned into a baby, he'll never find out that Agro survived.
- Wander's pained face and outstretched arm towards Mono after one of the guards pierces him through the chest with their sword. He's either losing his own sense of self or dying, yet all he apparently wants to do is reach her.
- The scene where Wander dreams about Mono coming back to life. Ten times more wibbling when he actually mumbles her name before waking up. Also, listen carefully during the "tunnel of light" transition right before this scene.Mono: Wander!
- Emon and Wander's final encounter is a downer no matter which one your interpretation of the story sides with. If you're on Emon's side, congratulations: Wander is the real villain of the story and by extension so are you, the player. If you're on Wander's side, congratulations: the villain actually wins and there isn't a thing Wander or by extension you the player can do about it.
- Killing Phalanx is something of a traumatic experience, mainly because it never does anything to attack Wander, ever, even when he starts firing arrows at it and stabbing its weak spots. It can happen first with Avion. One thing is to defeat a foe that starts attacking as soon as you are in sight, but Avion starts attacking only after YOU attack him first. The moment you see him crashing into the water, there is a high chance you'll begin to seriously ask yourself, "What have I done?"
- The PS4 remake arguably makes all the Colossi deaths even worse. All the upgraded graphics and sounds now have the Colossis look, feel and sound even more real, making it truly feel like you're killing a living creature.
- Some real Fridge Horror (Or perhaps Fridge Tearjerker.) applies if you consider the game's relation to ICO. While it's never been confirmed, there's a prevailing fan theory that the Queen is actually Mono, who is given eternal life in a slowly decaying body and mind, and commits various atrocities as a result of this. This means that not only did Wander sacrifice his life, be reborn as a child, and start the curse of horned children, but he also turned the woman that he loved into a malignant force of evil. Holy Crap.
- If you're someone with a more benevolent/neutral interpretation of Dormin, then watching them struggle to survive against Emon and his men's attack in a cramped hall that they can't properly fight in, weakly stumbling, is about as tragic as some of the Colossi deaths. Especially when it ends with them being brought down and condemned again, maybe just because they were different.
- The fight with Celosia is another one that can make you feel dirty. It only attacks because you intrude in its lair and you can't hurt it because of the armor it wears. So what do you do? Grab a torch and terrorize the poor creature with it until it backs off a ledge in a panic and hits the ground so hard it's carapace breaks. Then you jump on its back as it staggers back up and stab it to death as it desperately flails to try and get you off, screeching in fear and pain the whole time.
Tear Jerker / Shadow of the Colossus