- The boy in the game is one of the people who used to live in the Forbidden Land, and the creature, Trico, is a young 'Colossus', in a state of life before it becomes somehow tied to a certain area of the land. By releasing it, the boy has messed with this cycle, and this will be part of the 'story'. The title, 'The Last Guardian', refers to Trico itself in that the other Colossi have already been 'tied down' to an area of the world and Trico is the only one who has not. Judging by the size of the world and that the Colossi are all guarding specific structures, Trico was meant to be the Guardian of the central Temple from SotC.
- Notably, the boy lacks horns. Given that Horned Humanoid is pretty much Team ICOs trademark and it's confirmed that Wander starts the Horned Humanoid line at the end of Shadow of the Colossus, it's a pretty safe bet to say that this game takes place before the events of Shadow of the Colossus. And the Boy is Emon.
- I could have sworn that Word of God states that Ico's Horns being broken was symbolic of Ico redeeming Wander's sins. If this is true, then with the Queen being dead any number of unsavory forces could have taken over the territory where Ico takes place, maybe even using whatever magic was left in The Castle. I don't know how the baby Griffin thing factors into it (possibly whoever controls the smokemen is trying to create life or something), but the boy looks like he could be related to Ico (minus horns) and if he is, it may be the reason he is captured by the Smokemen. And in a overwhelming subversion, the griffin and the boy will survive to the end, only for find everyone else in the world dead!
- Jossed. The final monsters that you face are a pack of brainwashed Tricos, under the command of the game's true Big Bad, the Master of the Valley.
- Bonus points if one of them kills the other.
- Double points if they both kill each other.
- As said in Zero Punctuation Trico is too adorable to survive a Team Ico game.
- Penny Arcade: Theories.
- The reason team members are quitting is because they're sick of killing off loveable characters and refuse to do it a third time.
- Alternately, the game manages to keep them both alive to the end, and the quitting team members are just those who think True Art Is Angsty. *Hope Spot*
- Where did everyone came to the conclusion that the game will have a sad ending? The ending ends up pretty well, so are Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus.
- Jossed. Both the boy and Trico live.
- The game came out, alright, but even if it had been perfect it probably wouldn't have lived up to fan expectations, and it has some fairly glaring flaws.
- Yes, but the game is generally still well-received despite control flaws. Becoming the next Duke Nukem Forever requires widespread backlash and disappointment.
- It'd follow from what happened in both Ico (the bridge outside the gate splits in two, Yorda is captured by the Queen and Ico falls into the moat) and in Shadow Of The Colossus (the bridge to the final Colossus collapses and Agro helps Wander across before falling to his not-really-dead-death). In those times the player was separated from said companion so it could happen again as a running theme.
- Somewhat confirmed? There are a bunch of close shaves on bridges, two of which happen in direct proximity to the control tower. First, there's the scene where Trico ignores two sigils to save the boy from a ton of armors. And right before the final stretch, you have to lower a bridge for Trico to use as a makeshift runway in order to fly there.
- When you think about it, it makes a fair amount of sense. While 2011 wasn't exactly the end of the 7th generation, TLG was still very early in development at the time of its announcement. Considering the fact that there wasn't much said afterwards, it's entirely possible the devs took the safer route and started programming it for PS4 and are going to announce it again at a later date.
- Partly jossed. The boy wasn't a "ritual sacrifice", per se, but he was brought there to be food for the trico (by your own companion, of all things) that capture him, via dumping his body into a machine that converts it into those barrels you've been feeding it.
- Ueda told that food is only a byproduct of convertion of choosen ones to energy.
- It being the only thing we see that there's only one of and thus could have a claim to be the "last." So the question is...what's it guarding?
- Judging from the face it only targets humans and those that help humans its either using humans as some kind of resource/power or the over abundance of humans to stunt there growth
- It could just be guarding the Valley itself. Perhaps that was its function.
- We don't know what the Master does and why he needs Tricos in the first place, but looking at it practically, people to barrels scheme is quite time-consuming and pointless for the Valley: sending Tricos off thousands of miles away into direct danger to steal people just to return, turn them into food in two seconds, and consume? What does the Master gain from any of this? Plus, if we nitpick on magic, two bodies get processed into one barrel in a matter of seconds. And when the barrel comes out, it's the same mesh design of a dirty and old container that lied in the ground for some time unopened. Also, if people are only important in this place as food for Tricos, why do guards bother so much? Unless the "ingredient" specifically needs to be alive, why would the guards suddenly drop their weapons and awkwardly attempt to catch the protagonist with their bare hands instead of more cruel options? In fact, the entire food processing seems over-complicated with all those tattoos involved. And if, apparently, the food preparation is almost immediate, what were those big cauldrons standing around the place? If we consider all of this, it might be that people could still be used as food after all (if anything magical we see always has the blue-ish glow to it), but not entirely: regardless if some parts are still edible or barrels contain something else, people are stolen for the Master, and used for unknown purposes to power the Nest. Looking at what comes out of the guards' armor as they die and the fact that the devs stated they're acting not entirely on their own will - processed people might've been used as soldiers among many things. It would also make sense why the guards make such a big deal out of catching a random boy wandering around the place.
- Trico and his race are the eponymous Guardians. Guardians of what? The Master of the Nest is using them and the Armors to keep something IN. The Nest is completely enclosed, has a fortress, has armored guards, seems to be built to be self sufficient, but the things that don't make sense are: Why the barrels? And why can Trico use electricity? I don't think the barrels contain humans. I think they are something that is perhaps mined, hence the mining facilities. I think the humans are used to make the Armors. Why? The Fortress needs the Armors to mine this material, which is fed to the Guardians (Tricos). Now, the next thing is the electric power. The Mirror seems useless. None of the armors use one. But it is used in various mechanisms. And it affects Trico. I theorize that humans once dwelt there and the mirror was used to keep something in check within the Nest using several Guardians at once. Humans probably died off, judging by the condition of the fortress, and the only mirror left was the one in the tomb, perhaps the personal one of a prior leader. All of this leads to: The Master of the Nest was left in charge of a dead fortress. It uses the Guardians to gather humans from outside by force, to keep Armors in stock as a skeleton crew. The Master seems like a huge computer, so this is maybe a last ditch emergency program, since no actual humans are left to work and keep the Nest running. Why? SOMETHING is dwelling within the darkest crevices of The Nest. Something an entire fortress and giant electric gryphon monsters were bred to KEEP IN. And one kid just toppled the whole system. Why was Trico chained up? Because a Guardian without its controlling horns, unable to receive long ranged orders from The Master, could end up causing damage to the system. Which is exactly what happened. Something is going to get out... Because The Last Guardian and a single kid destroyed the one thing protecting the rest of the world.
- Keeping something in, you say? Something like Dormin, perhaps?
- Even for a Wild Mass Guessing, this theory seems somewhat farfetched. Dormin, whether by their nature or due to the mechanism of their imprisonment, are bound to the Forbidden Land, which the Nest clearly isn't part of.
- Keeping something in, you say? Something like Dormin, perhaps?
- He's one of the few villagers who's given more focus (including the woman from the flashback and the Boy as an adult). Also, he's the only one brave enough to approach Trico in the ending to pick up the Boy.
Weird that this isn't here yet, but here's the unifying theory:
The being in the basement sarcophagus is Dormin, and this is Dormin's origin storyor the story of how it gained godlike power, anyway. Dormin's true origins could be just about anything (sorceror, genius inventor, space alien etc.) but the important thing is that it one day set up a system to (re)build immortal power. Part of that system involves Dormin itself slipping into a suspended state to receive said power.
Dormin has been in the sarcophagus for a long time, fed with souls by the Master of the Valley (a harvesting device or even an extension of Dormin's consciousness). However, the Boy and Trico come along and scupper Dormin's plans. With the Nest collapsed, Dormin is entombed in its ruins, but it flees the site via the reflecting pool to the place later known as the Forbidden Land. You can think of this as Dormin's Downfall of Numenor moment, with Dormin as Sauron.
In the Forbidden Land, Dormin rules as a god with its newfound power, but is later defeated by a Last Alliance (to continue the analogy) and sundered into 16 shards. You know the story; a wanderer comes to the Forbidden Land untold years later, defeating the colossi to unify Dormin's essence.
However, Emon blasts Dormin back through the reflecting pool, leaving only its collated power in Wander. Wander goes on to sire a line of horned boys, containing fragments of Dormin's power.
Generations later, a witch of some kind discovers the legends of Dormin and sees a path to immortality. She embarks on a quest to collate the scattered Dormin essence, becoming his heritor. However, a young boy once again proves the ultimate obstacle, helped along by the Queen's own daughter, and the Queen is slain. Yorda takes possession of the dark power, and the rest is unknown. Perhaps, in time, she even finds a way to safely dispose of it.
This theory accomplishes a few things, besides connecting the games:
- The series progresses backward, as a set of prequels
- A single through-line: the creation and destruction of Dormin's curse
- TLG and Ico become bookends; incredibly similar stories, making it so the power of Dormin comes full circle, beginning and ending with the sacrifice of young boys
Of course, we can also invert this theory, in which case this is Dormin's attempt at reconstituting itself after being banished through the reflecting pool, ending up in...where? We don't really know what the Nest is or how it came to be, but, whatever the case, Dormin leverages the situation in an attempt at rebirth. We could even imagine Ico and The Last Guardian playing out around the same time; Ico deals with the part of Dormin bound to the line of horned boys, while The Last Guardian explores what happened to the part drained through the portal.