Friday, August 5, 2011

Previous Wanderers Theory

Did others enter the Forbidden Lands before Wander?

It's not clear when Dormin was sealed away within the forbidden lands or how its soul was split into 16 parts, the game developers leave this an open question, but a clue is given when Dormin speaks in the final cutscene "Thou severed our body into sixteen segments and encased us in stone monuments, for an eternity in order to seal away our power..."

So Dormin must have been trapped for a 'very' long time, perhaps many thousands of years? We will never know for sure, but we can assume it was many generations of men. The people who entrapped him would have long since died leaving behind their spoken accounts of what transpired, and over time these stories would have been passed down the generations becoming the stuff of myth and legend.

So it seems unlikely that Wander was the first visitor to the forbidden lands, there was ample time for others to make the journey, perhaps over the centuries many a traveler ventured into that mysterious realm knowing that it was a cursed land, but taking the risk out of curiosity or ignorance.

It's my belief that Dormin would have ignored these earlier Wanderers as it was only the ancient sword that sparked its interest in 'Wander'. Seeing how Wander dispatched the shadow entities so easily with the sword awoke the sleeping giant, and for the first time in as long as it could remember it spoke to a mortal man.

Without the sword Wander would have been ignored also, the sword is everything! Dormin recognized it immediately - it sealed Dormin in the first place and could prove to be its salvation. Wander was just a tool to utilize the sword and through him Dormin realized it had a chance at resurrection. We can assume any previous visitors would not have had the ancient sword and if they had blundered into a colossus area would have been instantly killed.

So my idea is that at some time in the past 'some' of the colossi were triggered into action perceiving an intruder and did what came naturally... destroyed them. Below I'll show each area that I think has some traces of these previous battles.

Note: These are just some musings of mine and in no way describes anything definitive, we each have our own take on the story and tend to embellish it with our imagination, but to my mind the evidence for this is there if you look for it ; )

Arrival at the Temple
The first problem to consider is how our unnamed traveler entered the temple. From the introduction we see there's nothing stopping anyone from entering the forbidden lands, it's just getting back out that's the problem (due to the mysterious wind at the entrance gates). The door of the temple obediently opens for Wander and also for Emon and his soldiers, so we can assume it opens for everyone who passes the threshold. Otherwise our traveler would have to leave his/her horse up on the bridge and climb down the side of the temple.

1st Colossus
The first anomaly of interest are the wooden planks that bridge a gap at the stone ledges you must climb to reach Valus. There's nothing else like this in the forbidden lands and they appear to be a makeshift attempt to bridge the gap (although you can quite easily jump this). This was first brought to my attention in a post on the Playstation forums by a user 'Benny-The-Jew'. So it appears someone else put these here and it's definitely not part of the original temple design, however they could have been erected by the previous inhabitants that once lived in this area... but to me it seems unlikely.

Makeshift wooden planks bridge the gap

Fallen column bars Wander's path

This column has fallen from above and appears to have been ripped from its foundations by some great force. Could it have been an earthquake? Quite possibly, in fact many of the anomalies I will describe in this post might have been caused by such an event, but for the purposes of poetic license I will ignore the earthquake answer for now.

This is what the column would have looked like when it was intact

At the back end of the valley is its twin - encased in rock

Above we see another column very much like the fallen column but this time at the opposite end of the valley, in fact it's as far back as you can go. It's right next to the temple embedded in solid rock. So we have to ask ourselves, how did this column end up like this? Was it once partially submerged in mud, then after thousands of years the mud turned to stone? You can clearly see the base of the column is embedded in the rock, so it's very intriguing and mysterious.

Perhaps we are missing something here? Could there have been an even older civilisation existing in these lands millennia before the colossi and the people who worshipped them? How else do you explain a column that is petrified in solid rock? Only vast spans of time could turn mud into stone.

2nd Colossus
Quadratus' door is intact when Wander arrives so we can be sure no one had been here before, or at least no one got close enough to the door to trigger the colossus.

The massive stone door is closed
3rd Colossus
The first thing to see at this area is the so called 'camp fire'. Just a few rocks grouped together but the ground around them is clearly charred indicating someone built a fire here. We all know that rocks retain heat so when you build a camp fire you lay sticks over some rocks (or between them) to keep warm. This isn't so clear, it may have been a camp fire or it may just be an odd arrangement of stones on a dark patch of soil... but I thought I'd include it anyway.

The camp fire

Cracked circular plate suggests Gaius has seen previous battles

This I think is the best evidence of a previous battle. The central circular plate is clearly cracked in the centre. It's like this 'before' Wander arrives indicating that the Knight had slammed its club/sword down on it in the past. This would explain why its armor is brittle (as Dormin hints) as it had slammed it against the plate before. This raises the question, how many strikes would it take to damage its armor? Surely not just once but perhaps many times, so by the time Wander arrives its armor is old and at the end of its tolerance. 

Broken rim of platform suggests damage by the colossus

There's a couple of broken areas around the edge of the platform. Almost as if Gaius has slammed its club down in some centuries old battle destroying part of the platform. That, or it's just natural erosion. Here I should point out something Ueda said about time in the forbidden lands, 'The ancient land’s seal has been broken by Wander’s coming, and time, once stopped, begins to flow again'. This tells us that time was frozen before Wander arrived, but once Dormin was destroyed the seal on the lands was broken, and time returned to its normal flow. So we have to consider if natural erosion was even possible when Wander first arrives? If time was frozen, nothing would change and centuries or millennia would pass without a single blade of grass out of place.

But there are inconsistencies here. We can see above us that the clouds move as normal, there are turtles, eels, fish, geckos and birds that are quite obviously alive and moving freely around the lands. If time was frozen we would see the birds locked in position in the sky, or a gecko frozen on a save shrine, unmoving. The trees sway lazily in the breeze, the sound of wind can be heard all around us, so it doesn't make sense. One explanation is that time moves at a different rate in the forbidden lands, so a second here may represent a day or a year to the lands outside? I only point this out as I'm trying to reconcile if natural erosion or earthquakes could have caused the damage we see around the colossi arenas.

4th Colossus
There's no evidence of anyone being here before, no damaged structures or sign of a previous battle. But we can speculate that anyone seeing this honking great colossus staring back at them as still as stone might have made them decide to turn tail and run... I know I would!

Phaedra waits out the eons of time - still as stone
5th Colossus
There's a few broken bridges at Avion's area which might indicate that it had perched on them in the past and its great weight caused them to break. I might point out that just because it doesn't do this in the game doesn't mean that it couldn't from a story point of view. We only see Wander's battle with Avion which lasts just a few minutes; a few minutes in the life of a colossus is meaningless. Remember although we've played this colossus time and time again, from Wander's point of view it's the first time he's ever seen it. But this in no way points to a previous visitor, so let's continue.

Broken bridge at the sunken city
6th Colossus
Barba's area is intact. The colossus is entombed behind a massive stone wall and the barrier structures are undamaged. So we can be sure this was another area no one had visited until Wander came along. Remember, Dormin has control of the light so it can use it to guide Wander to each colossus through the sword. Since it is trying to help Wander defeat all the colossi it directs Wander to the easy ones first giving Wander the experience he needs to tackle the more difficult colossi later on. 

We also have to remember that if this were real world, all the colossi would be in their arenas at all times. It's only a computer memory issue that requires only one colossus to be present at a time (there's no way you could fit all the code for all 16 colossi in the computer's memory at the same time - unless you were using a super computer), so it's just academic that the other areas are empty when Wander visits them out of turn. So from a story/history point of view we can assume all the colossi are in their arenas and if someone entered there they would be triggered by the presence of an intruder.

Wander is the first person to visit the underground temple
7th Colossus
Although there is extensive damage seen here it's unlikely it was caused by the colossus... unless it can climb up structures, so we can assume this is natural wear and tear due to the elements. It's unknown how old these structures are but they could well be many thousands of years old, and if exposed to the elements for so long they would eventually break down and crumble into the lake.

Parts of the bridge have fallen into the lake below over time
8th Colossus
You only have to look around the lizard's arena to see it has been busy in the past. The damage to the colosseum is brutal and extensive. Again, I'm speculating that it has caused this damage by climbing the walls and shooting at previous intruders although we don't see any evidence of it breaking up its arena when Wander battles it. But this doesn't mean it's incapable of such damage, for all we know its had several battles in the past causing this destruction.

Colosseum is extensively damaged
9th & 10th Colossi
I'm skipping these two as there's nothing to be seen in these areas which are both free of man made temple structures. If anyone had been here before it's likely their bones have long since decayed away.

11th Colossus
There's some fallen columns in this area near the ledge where Wander forces Celosia off the cliff. So perhaps it knocked them down in a previous battle, charging at some poor innocent fool who was snooping around.

Fallen columns

Gaping hole in the wall - smashed open by Celosia in the past?

There's also this broken doorway which was clearly caused by the colossus. It's stretching the imagination to think an earthquake could have caused such localized damage. So at some time in the past it has had reason to charge at this area and in the process made this gaping hole. But the question arises, how did Celosia get back up into its cage? I think Dormin had a hand in this. Remember how Wander is transported back to the Shrine of Worship after his fight with Malus? He rises magically into the air and is magically teleported back. So it's possible Celosia could have been returned to its cage this way... just speculation of course.

12th Colossus
There are five gazebo structures in Pelagia's lake. Two of them are already destroyed when Wander arrives and here we do see how they are destroyed when Pelagia's great weight causes them to collapse. So it's clear it had reason to raise its great bulk up onto these two platforms in the past, destroying them and quite possibly the intruder it was pursuing. This I think is some of the best evidence for previous Wanderers... I mean how can you explain the two destroyed gazebos in any other way? Three are still standing, but two are destroyed. Only Pelagia's wrath could destroy these long standing structure.

Destroyed gazebos
13th Colossus
The main temple has eroded and crumbled over time, blasted by centuries of sand storms and exposure to the elements. However it is still possible that some damage was caused by the colossi's great wings as they cut through the sand.

Age old temple worn away by time

Ring is broken - but how?

Was this ring destroyed by one of Phalanx's wings as it ripped through the sand? Could some unknown warrior have brought it down to ground level by shooting its air bags in times past? We will never know for sure as its stony remains now lay inert on the desert sands. Again I must point out that just because we don't see Phalanx pass this way during the game or near its temple for that matter doesn't negate the fact that in its history such things did happen. We only see the colossus for the short time Wander fights and ultimately kills it.

14th Colossus
The first thing we notice when we enter Cenobia's arena is this fallen column. To my mind this is as far as the previous intruder got. Cenobia was triggered, the intruder panicked and climbed the first column at hand, Cenobia rammed it and it collapsed, he/she fell off and was killed by the colossus. It would be great to find some old bones lying around, perhaps they lie crushed under the column? But we just have to assume they have long since been hidden by the overgrowth. Bones take about 50 years to become dry and brittle, sometimes decaying into dust depending on the environment.

Column is already knocked over when Wander arrives

Column shows signs of damage

Each column that Cenobia knocks over is already damaged in a unique way. Where the damage exists on each column determines where it will fall so it's convenient for Wander that they fall like this allowing him to jump from one column to the next. This is obviously done on purpose to allow Wander to make it safely to the last column, but from a story point of view we could imagine Cenobia ramming these columns in the past causing this damage but not enough to actually knock them over. By the time Wander arrives they are near collapse and it only takes a couple of hits to finally send them crashing to the ground.

'Rook' like column stands alone

This solitary column is removed from the others at the edge of the field and stands on a platform next to another fallen column. Originally there would have been two identical columns on this small platform, but in times past one has been destroyed. The missing column seems to have sunk into the earth leaving only its top face showing. Or else it was so completely obliterated that over time the pieces have eroded away. Yamori_B suggests in her blog that this area is like marshland, explaining the drainage ditches that snake their way around the complex so any heavy object would sink into the surface over time.

Platform in its original state

Broken column - smashed by Cenobia in the past?

The pillars next to Cenobia's temple have also sustained damage in the past

Check out Yamori_B's blog post here: 

15th Colossus
When Wander arrives at the desert temple there are already fallen blocks to be seen (before he triggers Argus). We know these blocks fall when Argus slams his sword into the temple, so again we can speculate that it has been in battles before.

South ledge blocks

North ledge blocks

There's a couple of fallen slabs on the other side as well. I'll grant an earthquake could have caused this, but again it seems unlikely to have caused such localized damage.

There are three bridges at #15's area, two are intact but one is already destroyed

You can even see where it hit the bridge and smashed the two columns behind it!

The top section of the broken column fell here
16th Colossus
Finally we come to the last colossus. Again there is clear evidence of a previous battle. Of course for this idea to makes any sense, each colossus killed their intruder outright. The unnamed wanderer didn't make it out after discovering the colossus, and didn't have a chance to kill it without the ancient sword and Dormin's help. So by the time Wander arrives all the colossi still exist in their various arenas.

The first problem to consider is how a previous explorer would get through the gates. I think I have an answer that could explain this. The gates appear to have some kind of lens where the hole is (if you get close enough you can see this), so when light is reflected back at this lens it triggers the gates to open. This only happens for Wander after he has defeated all the other colossi, as Dormin has control of where the light is directed from his sword, and for obvious reasons he wants Wander to tackle this colossus last.

But someone else's sword would act normally, so all they would need to do is reflect the light streaming from the hole in the gates back to the lens and the gates would open. It might even work with a mirror? As long as you can direct the light to the lens. I know this is stretching things, but it's as plausible an answer as any I think and from what I can see there is evidence of a previous battle in #16's arena, and if it wasn't Wander then who?

The bridge spanning the chasm to 16's arena is at the end of of its life. The eight neighboring bridges have already long since collapsed and parts of the remaining bridge is missing. This is more evidence of their great age, perhaps spanning many centuries or millennia. By the time Wander and Agro arrive it's near collapse requiring only a little weight to send it falling at last into the chasm, taking Agro with it. 

Toppled column at entrance to the arena

Broken area - caused by fire from Malus?

Broken column - could this be natural?

Clear evidence of a blasted area - it's right in line with Malus' platform. Whoever stood here was quite possibly blown over the edge falling into the abyss - what a way to go!

So there you have it. I see evidence for previous visitors at Colossus 1, 3, 8, 11, 12, possibly 13, 14, 15 and 16. So following this idea we can assume that at least nine different people had been in the forbidden lands in the past. All were killed when they entered the corresponding colossi arenas and as such no tale of their exploits ever reached the outside world. Their remains lay undiscovered and lost where they fell. 

Perhaps there were others that journeyed throughout the lands but didn't enter the colossi arenas? Or if they did, they got one look at the colossus and fled in terror. If so they would have been trapped in the forbidden lands until they died, but I think it's more likely they perished at the hands of the colossi, explaining why we see no graves or cemeteries in the forbidden lands. However, Dormin speaks of guiding graves at Phaedra's area, so who knows? It has been suggested that these were the graves of the original inhabitants of the forbidden lands, but perhaps some could contain the remains of previous wanderers.

Update: 23-06-17 A quote by Ueda from the new Future Press book "The Last Guardian - An Extraordinary Story" mentions potential previous Wanderers or 'heroes' as he calls them: "In ICO for example, there's a sense that it hasn't been just this protagonist, but others who have been brought there. In Shadow of the Colossus, I'm not sure how many heroes there have been, but in my image of the world there's a sense of time having stopped." So it's not definitive proof as such, but he seems open to the idea that Wander may not have been the first to arrive at the forbidden lands.


  1. But...if someone already saw Malus before,how he got into the area without the sword to open the gate?

  2. I think that the gates of Malus were opened in the past, but, when Dormin was sealed, the gate were closed

  3. "I think that the gates of Malus were opened in the past, but, when Dormin was sealed, the gate were closed"

    The gates were closed by the Emon's soldiers

  4. I never though of Valu´s wood bridge,Gaius campfire,Celosia or Argus.

    Guess the Wanderer 3(Gaius) used the fireplace to eat some lizards before exploring more.And I think that Avion learned that it is bad to crash on a bridge or colum.About Kuromori,I noticced that there is a piece of the coliseum missing in the upper part(A cicrular structure)and following the wall of the coliseum in direct line you can see that maybe the piece of the construction fell and broke the walls(but the piece itself is not found on the ground)

    About Celosia´s door,maybe the Wanderer 11 managed to use the fire to make the colossus fall(but to the little passage of where you jump to reach the colossus) and the colossus returned to break the wall and kill him.

    About the Wanderer 15,I think that he tried to pass trough the bridge but wasn´t fast enough

  5. I think that Hydrus´struuctures were destroyed by the time,because you can cleary see the moss all around the ruins.

  6. Can you move the broken structures of each arena(or part of them) back to their place?Like Cenobia´s colum or duplicate the Argus´ broken bridge?

  7. MrRehac is right! I forgot about the gates at 16... hmmm - throws a spanner into the works. We have to assume that the gates were always closed in the past, so how could Malus have caused the damage to its area?

    Perhaps there is another way to open them that we have not seen? Otherwise we'll have to exclude 16 as a candidate. Still the other colossi areas show evidence I think ; )

    1. These are just musings of course, as the previous wanderers theory is just as likely to be true as any other, but possibly these areas were destroyed by the colossi during or shortly after the creation of them/their areas. As in the case of our dear friend Malus, maybe he was retaliating against his creators, seeing them as intruders themselves. As far as I can tell, these magnificent beings seem to have only the thought capacity of an animal or child. They are relatively young, considering the fact that if not for Wander and the magical sword, they would have lived for an eternity.
      --As for other anomalies such as the campfire at #3 or the wooden bridge at #1, I'm just going to attribute it to wanderers of past.

  8. Hello Nomad!I have a question:I saw a video that shows you in Cenobia´s area and you find a temple in the center,after the first column.You made a hack before?You killed Cenobia or Not?I became interested and I went to the area but I didn´t find anything.

  9. Yeah I made that temple out of the columns and structures at Cenobia's area. It was a hack only... I actually was planning to build it again and make it solid this time ; )

  10. I am thinking that some Wanderers had stolen some of the sacred weapons,like the harpoon of the thunder,sun sword...You know like someone with the Sun sword opening the gate of Malus,but eventually someone came some time after his/her death and sealed again the gate.

  11. I think if an intruder got past the gates and then died, Malus would reset to its 'inert' mode and the gates would automatically close again.

  12. I do not think people tried to enter the FL before. If you have tried to tackle a giant skeleton of some dead people, remnants of clothing, weapons, etc. ... But if someone got there before the giants must have faced in a different order, because if not the arenas would be intact and is only Valus with the outcome of battles.

    Nomad think about it please!

  13. Like I said, it's just a theory so there's no real way to prove or disprove it. I mentioned that the remains of others would have disappeared over the centuries (unless you dug into the earth you wouldn't find them). Dormin controlled the order in which Wander faced each colossus, someone else could have picked any one at random.

  14. Could this be...

    ...the Last Big Secret itself ?

  15. Nomad, I have a question, do you have downloaded PCSX2 from where? I`m trying to download one that works but I can`t find. =[

    You`re the master, I love your posts and videos, stays that way.
    Sorry for the bad English. I`m Brazilian

  16. We are always concentrated in find the colossi and do not pay attention to these tiny details.
    Nice work mahboy!

    About entering Malus area without opening the gates...
    Maybe some hardcore adventurer arrived by the south sea(story's point of view,ok? çç)and climbed the cliffs? XDDD

  17. Malus could've just been bored. Great blog, by de way.

  18. Hello how are you? Well, first let me say that I really enjoyed the content of your blog and youtube channel. I used to hunt for things SOTC shortly after launch, I thought I had a lot of things unanswered. After finishing the extra modes (time attack, normal and hard), things started to wonder about the history of the game, and as usual found no answers only ideas of players things like: 17 # colossus, the four symbols of the SoW meant something, these things ... then in 2007/2008 had no thought what i seek in the world of SotC. Last year I started to follow your videos on youtube and your conjectures about facts not explained officially in the game, and really liked the theory of rings in the desert 13 #, very good indeed. If you allow me, I have some questions and some things that I observed your post. I think who opens the door SoW is the girl, even if she's dead, I do not know, this reminds me of the engine mechanism Ico, Yorda that opens doors. The wood pieces are facts hard to deny that there have been others who have ventured in the forbidden lands, but, i do not think the fallen pillar is something that demonstrates anything, I think the pricipal factor of the fallen column would show the player's command roll, don't know. The campfire of 3# I have nothing to say about it seems to me that someone actually went there. In the temple of Celosia I believe someone was there. I believe you have already noticed this, but I will say =D. The doorway of the Cenobia's temple seems to be the same size doorway Cenobia, which is just before the first column on the floor. This brief comparison makes me think that the door of the Celosia's temple was brutally enforced. There are many facts... I believe that, in the Argus' temple the collapsed bridges works as a guide for the player. Not necessarily a factor that someone was there. The first bridge is fallen as a sign that the player can break other bridges to reach the colossus, something like that. Anyway I liked the theories and their other posts. And I leave you with a question... The souls that Wander 'destroys' in the beginning of the game, it may be something that legitimizes the colossus did not enter the final version? Thanks for your time, and congratulations for this job. =)

  19. Thanks for your comments ; )

    OK, so to answer your questions - if it is Mono who opens the SoW door, then how do the soldiers enter at the end of the game? It seems more likely to me that when someone enters the forbidden lands through the entrance temple it will trigger something in the Shrine of Worship that will enable to door to open (when they arrive at the temple).

    Yes, I realise the fallen column at 1, and the broken bridge at 15 are there to show players what to do, I don't deny this, but I'm using those things to enhance my story point of view. Like I said, I'm just speculating here... nothing more.

    The shadow people Wander destroys at the start are (to me) just some of the colossi soul parts of Dormin. Each statute has a soul part within it, but they can move around the SoW. Wander doesn't destroy them, merely sends them away (banishes them) with the power of the sword. At the end cut scene you see them rise again, so they are still there hiding in the SoW all through the game. It seems like when you kill a colossus this frees the soul part from the statue, but as they appear before any statue is destroyed, we have to assume they can leave the statues at will. But I don't think they can leave the SoW. You only see a few shadow people at any one time so this has always bothered me, you would think there would be 16 of them at the end cut scene... but they probably just used a few as showing 16 would have made things looked crowded.

    So you have a shadow person, a colossi and a statue that all act as one piece of Dormin's soul. This is the old 'holy trinity' idea I think. Three parts are one. You can destroy the colossi and the statue parts, but the spirit part is never destroyed, merely set free.

  20. 'So you have a shadow person, a colossi and a statue that all act as one piece of Dormin's soul. This is the old 'holy trinity' idea I think. Three parts are one. You can destroy the colossi and the statue parts, but the spirit part is never destroyed, merely set free.'

    Wow, nice point of view. I think I expressed myself badly when i said that wander has defeated or destroyed the dormin's souls( english is not my native language xD)

    Yeah, i understand that is all about speculation, good speculation by the way. Is hard to say anything about this game there's some many gaps in the story, we don't know enough to say, just imagine.

    I don't know if this whole thing about sotc is the big deal with this game,make the players search for answers, or some fail in the project of the game ( things like: hurry up! Finish this game quickly, 4 years it's not enough??? xDD) if can predict the future i guess that The last Guardian will have some similar problems.

    But, with you knowledge i guess we can reach some evidences, maybe nothing solid, but i really like your speculations, 'couse make sense. I was playing the game again finish it yesterday just for remind how it is.

    The symbols next to colossus always bothered me, the symbol of 3# that you noticed in your posts was craved into Gaius' body, the symbols craved in the ground most of colossus has your own symbol. People try to decode them but i guess there's no one who has the answer for those. What you think about the symbols of Sow, we can find it in Dormin's altar, at the bridge, in phalanx temple, the symbols may have some connection?

    Again, thanks for your time, and ty for reply me so soon =D

  21. Thanks again, yeah, I'm not too sure about the symbols. For a while there fans were all excited about them pointing to a secret, but I always felt they were just for decoration. But it was fun speculating about them and there was logic behind the speculation. Some do look like colossus arenas from above (simplified versions) but others look more like a colossi's face maybe. The four blocks at 16's area always stumped us as they don't really match anything, so if these don't how does it make sense that the others do?

    The four main symbols are only found on the bridge, the Entrance temple, the Shrine of Worship and one other place - 13's desert temple. So why did they put them here in this out of the way place? Either they ran out of new symbols to use so they just used the four main symbols again, or there was some reason they put them here. Were they trying to tell us something? Is there anything special about 13's desert arena?

    Maybe this was were Dormin was first worshipped as a God. As his power grew and his followers swelled they decided Dormin needed a much grander place of worship so they built the Shrine of Worship. This sometimes happens in religious cults such as in Egypt for example. They worship in one area then move to a new area and set up a bigger, better temple or church (whatever). Although most of the time they build the larger temple over and around the smaller one so who knows for sure? It's just one idea that came to mind.

    The other difference is that it is an open area, unlike the other colossi arenas and it has the stone rings that are found in Ico. So maybe the devs wanted to draw our attention to this area for that reason? I guess it will remain one of those mysteries but in the end it's most likely they had no reason to put the temple symbols there, they just might have thought it looked cool ; )

  22. Make sense... I don't know, sometimes it's weird. The way that game was made, i don't know whats the big deal with it. i guees i'm unsatisfied player.

    I really don't know so much about this game i just played at Ps2, but i'm really interested about your views about it. The only thing about all speculations that i believe is... They planed something. I don't what it is, but Ueda is too minimalist to do random things in your games. Weird thing i meant... the 'I' in agro's face, when you got an ico save in your memory card, and the thing that consumes me is the fruits in the secret garden, when i reach there first time the first though is: WTF? Whats wrong with these fruits?

    I don't find these subjects in your posts or videos i really like to read about your Point of view of this facts, something like your speculation in 13# area, about ico rings... The meaning of secret garden for me is unknown. If you got some time for this, it will be nice =D.

    PS.: Take a look at this video, Ueda talks about The Last Guardian, In this video you are able to see how minimalist he is. And for me all things that he makes has a porpuse . Has been good to talk about these things with you thanks for your goodwill to respond.

  23. I will get around to posting these things. I haven't done a post on #13 yet but I will.

    As to the secret garden fruits, you are not the only one - everybody was confused about those fruits and what they could mean, but when the art book was translated (by Glitterberri) it gives an answer:

    'Within the garden grow 37 pieces of fruit that decrease your max health and grip meters. Though they seem to have a deeper meaning, collecting them doesn’t change the story or the ending. If you return to the ground and save after eating one, you’ll be sure to regret it, so be careful'.

    So you see, they say there is no deeper meaning to them. They are just there to decrease your health and grip and remove the darkness from Wander, but it doesn't change the outcome of the game. I've reduced my health and grip back to it's starting value (which is 100)> killed the final colossus > then by hacking have reduced Dormin's health to zero but he doesn't die. There is no way to kill Dormin and force another ending - it's just not possible.

    So it seems weird that they would make you play the game 4 times to get enough grip to climb up there only to give you something to reduce it back to normal. Many fans were disappointed that there was nothing to do in the garden, it's just there for show and nothing more.

    And I've seen that video before, thanks - I watched it again. That came out when we were all excited about the Last Guardian, now it's 4 years later and we are still waiting!

  24. Yeah, the translation ask a few questions about it. I have the Art-book, but i can't read, so is kind useless for me, i just can read some images and nothing more xD

    I've seen something about an alternative ending but i never tried 'couse doesn't make sense for me, as you said Dormin can't be defeated.

    I was wondering, team ico or Ueda should release an Book, magazine or another game to solve this mistery around Sotc. It would be nice. Probably the artbook solves everything, but in JPN is hard to read...xD

    I'll keep reading your posts and comment about them. Have a nice week =D

  25. Have you ever tried taking #11s stick to #3s arena?
    I know, it's probably pointless since the stick would've long burned out by the time you got there, and even if it did I doubt using it would trigger anything spectacular/anything at all, but it was just a thought I had

  26. Yes I have, in fact I made a short video about it here:

    As you predicted, there is nothing you can do with it outside #11's area, I can keep it alight though for as long as I like but you can't light or burn anything in the lands.

  27. Nomad, maybe this is the answer:

    Maybe these people were young versions of present Lord Emon and his group or maybe they are just ordinary guys who sealed Dormin thousand years ago?

    Maybe this collosi is a Dormin Avatar or something?

    What do you think man?

    Greetings from Poland (Sorry for my poor english)

  28. What about a post on the past of the Forbidden land?
    I wrote you before about how sad it is that Ueda didn't really care about the lore, but maybe it's possible to come out with a logical theory.

    You once wrote a thing about how the colossi in your opinion were built by humans to be vessels of Dormin's essence and it is intriguing. I'm with you on that.
    But if we start from this assumption what about the story the ruins are telling us?
    How many of the temples were built to contain the Colossi and how many instead existed before for other pourposes? Given that not all the colossi are enclosed in an artificial place maybe they were build inside existing temples of the cult to control them.
    One can make little stories out of it: like Valus which stays in the closed courtyard in front of the temple from which they built it. Or Quadratus who was simply sealed into a cave. And so on... (I have like 0 clues about Gaius tho XD I mean WTF the fucking UFO)

    And maybe the Forbidden Land where once not-so-forbidden. I would say Sacred Land since there are no sign of habitations, maybe it was the holy land of a great cult built around Dormin. The SoW is huge and full of rooms, it had another purpose before I'm sure of it.
    Then something happened, they sealed him away using the sword and left the land forever to build a civilization around the "light". Which is the one Mono, Wander and Emon are from.

    Following this theory maybe there were no previous wanderers, everything human made was left by the members of the cult and stuff is broken because it's even more ancient than the colossi themselves. Or if they came it's unlikely they did anything important without the sword. As you said Dormin would not even talk to them and Quadratus cave is sealed. We don't know but do they even aggro you if you don't have the sword? Maybe not.

    OH boy if i'm making a trip with the imagination but I like those theories.
    Any opinions?

  29. It's funny you should mention that as I've been working on a blog post called 'The History of the Forbidden Lands' but it's more like a story than anything else, although I do use screen shots from the game to back up some ideas. For example at #11's temple, the colossus is housed in a special room just big enough to hold it, so it looks very much like the temple was 'designed' to house this colossus. Also the main stone bridge runs right over part of its canyon and you can see how the builders joined the bridge support to a huge stone slab built to into the canyon walls to accommodate the bridge support. So at least in this case, it seems the canyon temple was modified as the main stone bridge was being constructed.

    As to the other temples, each has its own story. Some may have existed before, others built to house the colossi - it's really hard to tell which temple is older or newer, or what purpose they had before the colossi were added, again it's all fan speculation, nothing more.

    I think I have provided enough evidence of previous Wanderers in this blog, especially #12's arena, there is no explanation as to why two of the gazebo structures are already destroyed before Wander first arrived. The only explanation is that Pelagia was active in times past and destroyed them in pursuit of some other warrior or traveller. Granted it could have been an Earthquake, but we don't know that, my explanation is just as convincing (at least to me).

    But I agree, the lands must have been occupied at some point in the past, otherwise who was it that split Dormin into 16 segments? The temples were most likely used for worship - each one a different aspect of Dormin's nature? Or perhaps they worshipped many Gods? Before the lands were 'forbidden' I believe they were very different, with vast forests and lush green vegetation. Something happened to make them barren, most likely when Dormin was being split apart it released a huge blast of energy (like a nuclear bomb) laying waste the the lands? Or perhaps Dormin lashed out in one final attempt to free itself?

    This will all be covered in my 'History of the Forbidden Lands' blog post ; )

  30. What if the Unused Colossi were killed by the previous wanderers? My theory is that Dormin separated his essence on 16 Colossi, but there other 8 colossi that Dormin didn't know about or decided not to mess with. So, they could be killed by normal swords. The previous wanderers killed the Unused Colossi but encountered their demise after they encountered the 'Normal' colossi.