Sunday, July 31, 2011

2nd Colosus

In a seaside cave it moves slowly... 
Raise thy courage to defeat it...

Developer Name: Mammoth
Fan Name: Quadratus (Taurus Magnus) - Taurus Major
Location Name: Proto

Colossus 2 Hints
- The place that emits light is its vitals...
- It may have more than one vital point...

Early concept drawings of Quadratus from the art book

Early sketch of #2's lair from the NICO dvd

The above image reveals some differences to the final version of the game (understandably as this was just an early concept sketch after all) but we can see a densely forested area above the beach with the Northern path cutting its way through the trees. You can also see the colossus plodding its way across the beach behind the line of the shore. There also appears to be three caves, one to the West, one in the middle (which is the stone door Quadratus smashes through) and one to the East, which is merely an overhang of the cliff as we see in the game today. The West most cave is interesting though as it clearly bores into the cliff face, could it have been a second exit for Quadratus or perhaps another area where you could hide from the colossus? We will never know it seems as Team Ico are completely uninterested in revealing any details about the game or its history.

 Comparison I made to the sketch

In a blog post by Yamori_B she speculated that this image from the NICO dvd was in fact an early concept sketch of the discarded Monkey's lair that once existed at I5 of the world map. She goes into detail explaining her idea, how the caves match the image and that the colossi on the beach looks like a Monkey on all fours. I was intrigued at first and ended up discussing it with my online chat buddy WWWArea ; ) After some detailed examination we both came to the same conclusion - this was not the Monkey's lair at I5, but rather an early rendition of Quadratus' area. To prove my point definitively I made the above comparison image, which apart from the missing Northern forest and Western cave (which never made it into the final version of the game) this clearly confirms this sketch as an early sketch of #2's beach. Read Yamori_B's blog post here:
http://yamori-blog.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/monkey.html?showComment=1346998271301#c172168583408255167

Early version of Quadratus taken from an early demo video

Closeup of this early model of Quadratus

Quadratus is the only colossus that has to break out of its enclosure to reach Wander. At #6's lair (Barba) the door opens majestically to reveal the colossus, but here it just smashes right through it, the broken pieces of the door just disappear into the sand leaving no evidence of their existence. The fact that this huge stone door is intact when Wander arrives suggests no one had ever been here before since Quadratus was sealed away in the cave.

A huge stone door seals the cave

Quadratus before activation
I remember this was one of the first things I did when I was learning how to hack the game. I jumped down below the ground to try and get a look at Quadratus before the battle. I didn't have much time before I hit the death floor and died but if I tried to move in closer it would suddenly vanish! Later I used the parachute to float down and get a better look but again it would vanish when I got too close. Avion and Celosia do this as well before being triggered but why is a mystery to me. Some off limits areas also flick on and off like this so it appears to be something that happens when you are in a place you shouldn't be, a texture glitch or program anomaly perhaps? 

Later, I worked out how to lock the colossus so it wouldn't disappear and thanks to WWWArea used the standing hack to slide around out behind the cave. There's a sublime stillness to this area, it's hard to describe but I remember it stirred feelings in me like I was trespassing in a sacred place. The colossus is frozen in its long torpor having (it seems) never being triggered since the day it was entombed here, its head is bowed down as if asleep and the underside of its feet still glow with magical light.

Quadratus before activation behind its cave
 
I've turned off the land textures here to see it

Strangely, in the PAL version Quadratus starts in another location before it is activated. It's further south under the sand near where the shoreline is, in fact it's under the water. I went down for a closer look but it still has no collision detection as in the NTSC version.

PAL version Quadratus before activation

It's right below where Wander is standing

View from above through the cliffs

Wander standing above with textures turned off

Mysterious texture

While I was floating under the sand checking out Quadratus I noticed this strange texture off in the distance. I think it's a low res version of the culvert/waterfall structure seen from far off, but when I moved in for a closer look the game froze.

Scaling Quadratus
When I scale Quadratus down its colour darkens, but I can fix this by changing its contrast. Its collisions act weird when reduced and Wander keeps stumbling and tripping over when near to it, so I can't climb it when small. When I scale Quadratus up its colour lightens and again its collisions act weird. I can climb up its fur, but Wander keeps stumbling around. When I approach its head he just falls off, so I can't stab its weak spot. If I make it any larger than twice its size it starts sinking into the ground then springing back up again, over and over.

Mini Quadratus - you can see it's about the size of Agro

Mega sized Quadratus - here it is twice its regular size


Beach Environment
You can climb the cliffs in this area and also a large rock on the beach. When you climb this large rock Quadratus seems confused and shakes its head from side to side as if it's unsure of what to do. It can't attack Wander so it just stands there shifting its weight from one foot to the other. It also does this when you lure it to the earth ramp that leads away from the beach and when you stand within the safety of its cave, it's almost as if it's trying to say 'This is not permitted'!

You can climb this large rock

Quadratus gets confused when Wander climbs up the rock


This is a far as Quadratus can go up the earth ramp

Panned out view of rocky hill next to earth ramp

Another climbable hill - you can climb down here for a shortcut to the cave


Instead of riding down the ramp and then heading around to the cave door, you can just jump onto the hill above the cave and drop down to the sand, I usually do this to save time but either way works. You can pretty much climb all over this area.

Breaking waves at the shore

Clouds of mist can be seen (condensation from the lake?)

West Side of the Beach
Quadratus will follow you around to the west side of the beach, you never see this in videos as most people take it down right in front of its cave, but you can fight it here as well. I like this side of the beach as it feels more solitary and unused somehow. If you go as far as you can go and swim in the water you will notice it's clear underneath opposed to the green, murky depths of the rest of the lake. Sadly, the waves prevent you from exploring further out. 

West side of beach

I explored the west side of the beach (under the waves) but there were no sunken temples or anything interesting, just rock and sandy textures - see here: http://youtu.be/NNQsZL2I770#t=3742

Quadratus will follow you to the West side of the beach

Clear underwater view at this part of the beach

Opposite Culvert/Waterfall
Across the lake from the beach is a small temple like structure perched in a V shaped hole in the cliff wall. It was built under the western earth bridge and acts as a culvert diverting water from the lake down into a lower valley. Fans have always been intrigued by this structure as it's one of the few that are not part of a colossi arena, although this one can technically be considered as part of Quadratus' lair. 

Culvert structure diverts water over the waterfall

It's hard to see how this would work in real life as the lake at #2's arena is closed off and doesn't have an outlet to the ocean, so over time the water would have all drained away, unless it's getting water from some other source i.e. an underground water table. But it's appropriately colossal in size which may be hard to see unless you get right up next to it (see Wander in above image for comparison).

Wander on the structure (using the standing hack)

If you try to jump down here the death camera comes into play, the camera pans down and freezes and you watch Wander get smaller as he falls to his death. When I first got the parachute I had hoped I could use it to get a better look, but the same death camera effect happens and you have no way to pan the camera around to view the structure. Only by hacking the game can you get up close to it and even then if you touch any part of the structure Wander dies. The exception is the wooden beam Wander is standing on in the above image, it has no collision detection and is safe to touch (or stand on).

Low res view of the culvert from the end cut scene

Bridge supports from the end cut scene

Check out this great video by Pikol which was the first to showcase this structure in detail, one of my favorite Pikol videos ; ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEw4JMG6m78

Quadratus' Mirror
Just across the lake you can see the culvert/waterfall structure under the western most earth bridge. If you look closely in the right spot on the beach you will notice a small glowing area just above the waterline. Eternalclaw first spotted this and called it 'Quadratus' mirror' although it's just a texture glitch. When I zoom in you can see it's a small area that reflects the waterfall just on the other side of the culvert.

A small glowing spot across the lake

Zoomed in you can see it more clearly

Safety Inside the Cave
Inside the cave is a shelf of rock you can climb up. Quadratus will stand at the front of the cave and do its stamping attack over and over in frustration to try a lure you out. It's a safe haven if you are low on health or if you just want to explore the cave.


Symbols
I've sometimes thought that the symbols might represent the spell that was used to create and bind the colossi to their respective arenas. Each area has it's own symbols (except Basaran and Dirge) and may act as magical barriers that keep the colossi from leaving their areas. Although they are also held there by the natural barriers.

Enigmatic symbols line the path down to the beach

Path leading down to colossus with engraved symbols wall
Quadratus Death Screen
Image you see when Wander dies during the fight with Quadratus.




6 comments:

  1. `` When I approach its head he just falls off, so I can't stab it's weak spot´´

    Maybe the head acts diferently,or the head have only the appearance of 2 times the size,but the detection colisiion is 1x the size.


    Do you already have tried to increase to 1.5 times the size?

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  2. Just a guess but can you increase the size of the Sow?

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  3. Considering the various beta versions of Quadratus,it was the only colossus that survived since NICO.
    By the Way,Mega-Quadratus look like an special Colossi name XD

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I guess you are right Nemesis! Quadratus is the only colossi on the game that "survived" the Nico project.

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  4. I never really spent the time to explore this area. I rather like the seclusion of the west side of the beach. I always kinda flew through the first 5 or so colossi. Just like I never knew there was a temple in Valus' area. I was blinded by my [Wander's] quest for resurrection maybe?

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