Sunday, September 25, 2011

16th Colossus

Finally, the last colossus... 
The ritual is nearly over... 
Thy wish is nearly granted... 
But someone now stands to get in thy way... 
Make haste, time is short...

Developer Name: Budda_A (Evis in Preview version)
Fan Name: Malus (Grandis Supernus) - Grand Gigas
Location Name: Sanctuary

Colossus 16 Hints
- There should be a place where thee can approach whist hiding...
- Its response will be thy road...
- Climb higher from that place...
- The vitals are in a place thou cannot reach from there...


Dormin gives no introduction to Malus apart from calling it the 'last colossus'. It would have been interesting to hear something else about it like the other colossi, perhaps 'A land locked giant is sealed behind gates of stone... it wields the power of a storm'. But it's certainly one of the most impressive of the colossi, a moving mountain in the shape of a man, cloaked in a storm and with powerful ranged attacks that knock Wander off his feet!

If you listen closely to the sounds coming from the colossus you can hear what sounds like a machine, at least that's what I hear ; ) So I had the idea that the lightning flashing above in the storm somehow charges Malus like a giant battery and then discharges this energy when using its ranged attacks. I made a short video about this called 'Inside the Machine' where I turned off the music and put Wander in the belly of the colossus.

Check it out here: http://youtu.be/uJ1uAmbtr4E#t=4335

Stone Gates
As we all know, the final colossus is locked behind two impressive stone gates that can only be triggered to open after you have defeated #15 (Argus). At any other time in the game the sword light doesn't trigger the gates. By using hacks I can open the gates or move them around to other places. I once put the gates up at the top level where you cross the bridge with Agro. Some weird effects take place when you open the gates in the wrong location. I made a video called 'Gates of Destiny' but had to remove it as the music I used gave me a copyright warning, I get this sometimes but in this case I was told to delete the video altogether (the first and only video I have had to remove).

But I have re-uploaded it as an 'unlisted video' so you can still watch it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpBgRgVwmu8

A mystical light shines through the gates


Moving the gates

Opening the gates after moving them

Shot from my 'Gates of Destiny' video (see link above)

As I mentioned in my 'Previous Wanderers' blog post, it is Dormin who controls the light and as it wants Wander to succeed in his mission to destroy the colossi, it leaves the most challenging colossus for last. Only then does it allow the sword light to open the gates.

To open the gates before their time, search for the hex codes 02 01 FF 00 then change the first two digits to 00. This will manually open the gates for you, However, the gates will disappear after they have opened for some reason. See video here: http://youtu.be/uJ1uAmbtr4E#t=395

If you look up above the gates you will see some ornate balconies built into the rock walls. These are easily missed but they are just another little detail Team Ico decided to add to the game. If I try to stand there Wander is pushed down and eventually falls back down to the ground below. But there are two flat platforms above the gates that allow Wander to move around freely and provide a better view of the balconies.

Looking up at the balconies

Closer look at the balconies - standing above the gates

West side balcony

Looking down at the save shrine from a high ledge

 Top of save shrine looking at a hidden ledge

On hidden ledge - looking back at the shrine

I love this little hidden ledge! You can see it from the ground and from the top of the shrine, but if you are not paying attention you will miss it. It's nothing special, just a moss covered rock with a small tree growing out of it, but it's one of the reasons I love this game so much, just these little out of the way places that are inaccessible in the game. I have the privilege of being able to visit these places, but in this instance you are slowly pushed off, like a lot of these ledges and out of reach places.

The Bridge
The site of so much drama in the game! Here our beloved steed Agro sacrifices herself to save its master. As the bridge collapses she realizes that they both can't make it to the other side, in a last ditch effort to save Wander it bucks him off at the last moment before plummeting to her death! I think anyone who had played the game for the first time would have been moved by this act of sacrifice (I know I was). I remember being really bummed out by the whole affair, and thought 'what's the point of going on now?' But of course we still have Mono to think of. All this hardship and loss is for her benefit.

Fallen bridges - East side

Fallen bridges - West side

The only bridge that remains to cross the chasm

There were once 9 bridges spanning the chasm but after the many years since their construction only one remains. Even this one has already begun to fail as you can see where a couple of the stone blocks have already fallen into the deep chasm below. As soon as Agro and Wander try to cross it, it fails and falls majestically into the depths.

I played around with the bridge and made these videos:
Bridge collapse without Agro: http://youtu.be/uJ1uAmbtr4E#t=479
Bridge collapse (Preview version): http://youtu.be/uJ1uAmbtr4E#t=528
Bridge collapse (Agro's perspective): http://youtu.be/uJ1uAmbtr4E#t=697
Modding the bridge: http://youtu.be/uJ1uAmbtr4E#t=904
Save stone at the bridge: http://youtu.be/uJ1uAmbtr4E#t=1018

In July 2012 I discovered that 'during' the hawk cut scene I could play the game during the cut scene for a brief time, that is until the song runs its course. I save the game at the 'Broken Sea'l save shrine, then load the game from this save state, Wander is asleep at the save shrine and we see the hawk flying around over the bridge. Using hacks, I can wake Wander up and start exploring! In this configuration the bridge doesn't collapse when Wander walks on it, I can even explore the lower levels of the bridge. Also Malus doesn't load when I take Wander up to the higher platform. This is the only time in the game that Wander can access Malus' arena without the storm appearing!

See video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUn6BECD9GY
On lower bridge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUn6BECD9GY#t=223

In July 2010 I discovered something interesting about the bridge whilst looking around under Malus' arena for Agro after it had fallen into the chasm. I wanted to see what happened to Agro after the fall, to see if I could find her down under the arena, but I couldn't see anything (Agro most probably unloads after it falls), but I did find something else. The pieces of the bridge continue to fall for miles down below the death floor (-300m) then stop, suspended in the void. I jumped down there and found that I could still walk around of the various bridge pieces! They were still solid.

Bridge pieces in the void

Malus arena high above

The highest piece -539m below ground level

Standing on a piece of the bridge

The lowest piece -784m below ground level

It's like a weird 4th dimension down here! The bridge pieces are suspended in space with nothing but empty void surrounding them, if you look down you see nothing but eternity! If you look up, you see Malus' arena high above you. The highest piece is -539m below ground level, that's 239m below the death floor (-300m). The lowest piece is -784m below ground level, 484m below the death floor!

Under the Stairs
This place is not a secret area as such, but is still interesting to explore. Right below the large circular platform found on the upper level of the stairs, that is, the stairs you climb with Agro that leads to the collapsible bridge, an empty area exists below. By using the gravity hack I can warp Wander down below. There's nothing special down here, however, when you move South you can see the lower parts of the bridge as the wall textures disappear when you are behind them. From here you can jump onto the lower span of the bridge and cause it to collapse - killing Wander in the process! But apart from this little anomaly it's just a cool place no one would have seen before ; )



Wander under the stairs

Lower level of bridge can be accessed from this ledge - textures are messed up though

Exploring #16's Platform
There are a couple of interesting places to explore on both sides of the chasm. On the North side (before you cross the bridge) are two off limits areas that can only be accessed via hacks. These are at the extreme ends of the platform, the East side is blocked by a huge break in the platform where a large part of it has fallen away in times past. The West side is blocked by a huge moss covered rock.

East side broken area prevents further access to the other side

Other side of East broken area

West rock stopper blocks further access to the end of the walkway

Top of rock stopper

Other side of West rock stopper

There's nothing much to see at each end of the platforms in any case, just a cool place to get to if you've never been there before ; ) All it provides is a different view of the area, a different perspective to what you normally see. I did make a video of these areas although the quality is terrible! But it shows more than what a few images can provide.

On the South side of the chasm (after Agro has fallen and the bridge destroyed) you can explore both ends of the platform with no obstructions. Just run to the West to find the end of the platform, past the group of cube shaped 'Malus' blocks. Above you have to climb up to get to where you enter the main temple.

Malus blocks with enigmatic 'colossi looking' faces

Huge blocks have been displaced in times past - fallen from above

It seems in the above image, blocks have fallen down in times past, possibly due to an earthquake or some other reason? But they have clearly been displaced from higher up and have landed here in this configuration, convenient for Wander as it allows him to climb up higher and reach the final colossus.

On top of Malus blocks

West end of the South platform - looking down

Climbing up the grassy ledges

Higher grassy ledge leads to the entrance of Malus' temple

Looking down from the first level next to the entrance

To reach the East end of the South side platform requires a leap of faith! After you have climbed up the grassy ledges and made your way to the first level platform with the entrance leading up to Malus' platform, continue East until you reach the broken end of the platform. Again, this is more evidence of the structure's great age, so many parts have collapsed and fallen to ruin over the years that it's clear it must be thousands of years old. Take a running jump and you will land safely on another patch of moss clinging to the rock wall. From here drop down and you have made it to a secret area!

Holding on the the moss covered wall after jumping

Looking East to the end of the platform

Stacked blocks on the East side of the South end of the chasm

These blocks are strange. Why would they be stacked up like this? They have different faces compared to the West side 'Malus' blocks that appear to have colossi faces embossed into them, these have a mix of generic patterns and colossi faces instead? And why are they stacked up so neatly? If they had fallen from above (like the West side blocks) they would have been strewn all over the place where they fell, but these blocks are different. Could they have been stacked like this 'before' they were moved into place by the original builders? That is, they put them here with the intention of moving them into place at a later date but never got around to it? Just another theory, but we have no explanation as to why these particular blocks are stacked this way.

Wander on top of the stacked blocks looking West

Again, it seems on both sides of the chasm a large area of the platform has collapsed and broken away in time past, in the image above we see another huge section of the platform that has failed and fallen into ruin. I have a simple explanation for why this happened but it is sheer speculation, but may explain why all of the destroyed areas in the forbidden lands are like this (see further down).

See video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUn6BECD9GY#t=130

Entrance to the upper temple

First flight of stairs

Second flight of stairs - halfway up Malus and the storm is triggered
#16's Canyon
Since the game first appeared fans have always wanted to see the bottom of #16's chasm up close, but if you fall down there you only get the death camera, that is, Wander falls down and the camera freezes in place. All we see is Wander get smaller and smaller until he hits the bottom of the canyon - and dies! But using hacks it's possible to actually explore down there. I think I am the only person who has ever explored this part of the game, with the exception of WWWArea, but as far as I know he never bothered to do this.

Mouth of the river heads West - this is as far East as you can go

First fallen blocks on the East end of the chasm

More fallen blocks looking East

Further West along the chasm - more broken 'Malus' type blocks

Moving West - more fallen blocks on the beach like sand

 Still further West - Wander stands on some fallen bridge support blocks

Looking East - at the multitude of fallen debris

A secluded beach at F8

Wander in the wake of a huge tidal wave - frozen in time

Wander standing knee deep at the shore of the secluded beach

Looking up at Malus' platform


So here's my wild theory! When the ancestors of Emon and his tribe decided to circumvent Dormin's power by splitting it into 16 segments, it lashed out in one final and powerful blast of energy! According to Udea, the forbidden lands time is frozen - speaking of the end cut scene "The bird takes flight, the weather turns to thunder, the moon comes out, and you’re returned to the opening movie. The ancient land’s seal has been broken by Wander’s coming, and time, once stopped, begins to flow again". So you see 'time once stopped, begins to flow again' meaning time was frozen before and during Wander's stay in the forbidden lands, that's why we never see a night cycle or any weather effects of any kind. It also explains why the sun never moves during the game. Take C1 for example, whenever you travel here it's always the same. The sunlight and shadows are always the same (see below):

Sunlight and shadow never change in the forbidden lands

So my idea is when Dormin realized what his devoted followers were up to - it lashed out with one final devastating blow (like a nuclear explosion), designed to kill all the inhabitants of the forbidden lands. It laid waste to vast areas turning the once fertile lands into deserts and barren soil, but in a final irony, the spell negated Dormin's power and froze time just as it was destroying the lands, turning them into what we see today.

So as the forbidden lands were crumbling apart, and each temple was being torn asunder, time stopped - Dormin was trapped in a temporal vortex as his rage stripped the land of all its life. This is why the lands look so desolate when Wander arrives. Before his time the lands were a fertile paradise with vast forests and lakes. This also explains the giant wave that has stopped in its tracks (see above) a tsunami that was frozen in time - a mega wave that would have inundated the lower lands had Dormin not been stopped. So it seems to me that the forbidden lands were a direct result of Dormin's entrapment, Emon's ancestors were lucky enough to have the power to entrap this incredible force - but at the cost of an entire peninsula. Just another wild theory mind you ; )

Malus Before Activation
Malus only appears when the storm is triggered at the start of the battle, at any other time its area is empty with clear skies. Note: There's no legitimate way to get past the large stone doors before you have to fight Malus. The only way past is via using hacks or codes, although some players got close by 'hawk humping' using a turbo controlled controller, but they only ever made it to the mountains next to the entrance and would end up falling into the void... it may be possible though.

Malus is also unique as it is the only colossus I can't see before the battle begins. All the other fifteen colossus I can find before they are triggered, and they are usually hidden from view either behind a wall or under their arenas in a frozen state. But Malus only appears when the storm begins, so it seems the storm triggers the colossus to load, but before that it is nowhere to be found.

The empty arena - no storm and no colossus

Malus before activation - it has no substance here, so you can walk right through it

Malus before activation without the storm

Here I have moved its arms in a T-stance position

Malus head guardian!

In the above image I was just having some fun ; ) You can see that before Malus is triggered its eyes are just empty dark sockets. Once Wander crosses the threshold its eyes come to life and it will teleport back to its starting position on its platform.

There are two trigger points that activate Malus, the first is when you are running up the stairs on your way to Malus, this is after Agro has fallen and you have reached the lower entrance under where Malus appears. About half way up the second flight of stairs you will hear the storm start, this is when Malus first appears, although at this point it is only a ghost, no collisions and its arms are by its side. The second trigger event occurs when you pass the threshold after climbing the ribbed pillar. A column stands at either side, once you pass these you will see the introduction cut scene where Malus wakes up.

Malus awakes!
Early Concept Designs
You can see below the various designs for Malus, including one where it was a large shaggy quadruped type colossus, but it seems the final design was worked out quite early on of a man shaped colossus with a stone skirt that must be climbed. 
Early designs of Malus from the art book
Another concept - nothing like Malus


Early design of Malus from the art book - notice the green heath bar
Artbook sketches of the arena and tunnels
Concept sketch of the gates - very similar to the final version
Skirt designs from the art book
Under the Arena
Nothing special here, just interesting to see the passages from this perspective. I used the standing hack to take these images, otherwise Wander would just fall through and land inside the passage.


Wander standing on the roof of a passage

Layout of Malus' underground tunnels
16's Grove
Next to Malus on the east side of the cliffs is a strange grove of bushes with a solid floor. I once thought that Malus could throw you there if you jump at just the right time, but it appears to be too far away. The cliffs leading to the grove have no collisions so you have to fly over these, but once there you can run around the area and look out to sea. Note: This area is only solid in the NTSC (US) version, the Pre-release (Preview) version and the later PAL (European) versions have no collisions. That's why I have always said 'for exploration, the NTSC version is the best'. The 'Black Label' edition and 'Greatest Hits' edition are both clones of the NTSC (US) version.

Inaccessible grove on the East side of the arena

Panned out - just another mysterious area with no meaning
See video here: 

Keeping Malus Loaded
Using a special code I can keep Malus from disappearing when you leave its area, so no matter how far away you get, you can still see Malus in the distance (even from the other side of the map). It was shooting at me as I was standing on the save shrine or on some high ledges around it.



Moving Malus Outside
Using Malus' gravity codes I can move the colossus some distance away from its tower like platform, but not too far. I can move it outside the large stone entrance gates but any further and the lands change to the low res mode. I can move it this distance in any direction and had a lot of fun climbing it in these out of the way places ; ) Note: It was WWWArea who first found a way to move the colossus (15-11-09), and was the first time anyone had ever done this. After that we worked out how to move the other colossi as well.

Malus outside the gates

Looking back through open gates

Malus overlooking green fields


Malus at 13's desert

In September 2012, I made a video about it raining in the forbidden lands. You can only do this once you are at the last colossus, as it only rains during the final battle. To do this, I first trigger Malus to cause the storm to start. I then lock Malus so it doesn't unload when I move out of its map square. I can then travel anywhere in the forbidden lands and the storm will follow me. The payoff is no collisions, so Wander can't walk on anything. I could have spent more time and used an invisible save stone to walk on, but that takes a lot of time to set up, so I just used the standing hack in the above image. This allows Wander to stand anywhere without falling, it basically locks Wander's standing animations. 

In this mode, I can see Malus from anywhere in the forbidden lands - even from the Dam at i2 (for example) as Malus stays loaded. It's like the entire forbidden lands is now part of Malus' map square (at F8). See it raining in the forbidden lands  here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXxIXsfi3Ys

Taking this idea further, I used the same technique to make it rain at the Dam (at i2) which is off the visible map. To top it all off, I moved Malus to the Dam and fought it in this far off place at the edge of the world! I think at this time my experience with this one game was at its apex, I could do things that were unheard of before - I mean fighting a colossus in a beta area of the game that has no collision detection! Moving a save stone there to create a solid, invisible platform to walk on, then moving Agro and Malus to the Dam, it was an amazing achievement for me... sadly, the video didn't receive that many views, even after 5 years (from this update of 21-10-16) the video only has a paltry 3,512 views. See it here: https://youtu.be/P_bRf7p6e-8

Malus in a mountain

Embedded in the rock


Malus After Death
Below is how Malus looks once it has been defeated. I've cheated here so the final cut scene doesn't trigger to get a better look at Malus in its broken state. As with the other colossi you can climb all over them even after they are dead by utilizing the 'kill' code or making their health value zero, either way Wander can continue to play on after the colossus is defeated.

Malus in its collapsed state after death

Panned out view of broken Malus
Earthquake
Whilst searching some values one day I hit upon a couple of codes that simulate an earthquake. If you search for a value of 25 (float type) you should find them. Wander starts being pulled back (like he does in the final cut scene at the pool) and the screen shakes. It's strange why this happens as there is nowhere in the game where the screen shakes like this, so maybe it's a leftover code?


Here I have moved broken Malus down to the bottom of the stairs to simulate what would have happened during an earthquake, its large bulk has been displaced, causing it to slide down the ramp.

Bridge collapses on its own during the earthquake

I also found the animation codes that control the bridge collapse, you search for the hex values 02 01 FF 00 then change the first two digits to 00. This will collapse the bridge over and over, that is, the bridge will collapse, then after a short time become whole again, then collapse again etc. So I made a short addendum to the first Earthquake video.

Earthquake video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEzJufJlyoM
Addendum video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vNERZaxBI0

Malus Ruin
I once found a code (by searching laboriously through byte codes) that put Malus on its back all messed up, like it had collapsed and was lying down. I had never seen Malus in this configuration before so I decided to make a video out of it. The problem was Malus was up in the air above the arena's floor, so I had to move the entire arena model up to compensate. This of course created the problem of no collisions so I had to use an invisible save stone to walk on. So there was a lot of work involved for just a few minutes of video, and even then when Wander moved around his feet would sink into the uneven surface of the ground.


Malus as a pile of broken rubble

See video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqeIFoscNUg

Malus Corpse
As Malus is the final colossus there is no way to visit its corpse after it has died as the end cut scene begins as soon as Wander is hit by the black tendrils, thereafter the game resets back to the first colossus. The only way to see it is to hack the final cut scene. I do this by waiting until we see Malus after death where Wander starts to magically rise into the air, here I freeze the cut scene then find the camera codes for the area.

Malus arena at the end cut scene

Sadly there is nothing I can do here except move the camera around. I can also move Wander around but he is still in his 'lying down' position, I can't make him stand upright or activate any of his animations. If I could do this I would be able to explore the area as if it were a part of the game, but I can at least get a good look at Malus after being turned into stone.

Malus after death - now just a stone statue

Wander lying on Malus' shoulder
Random Stuff
Just some stuff I have played around with over the years. One is being able to explore the area as a white-tailed lizard (another WWWArea find). You can crawl around the canyons walls to places Wander could never go ; ) Another was loading Malus after I had frozen the final cut scene, here Malus has white eyes instead of blue or orange. I guess as it's never meant to be active here so the colour value for its eyes didn't register?



Scenic views are the area

Exploring as a lizard

Malus with white eyes - one of Emon's soldiers on top

 Taking Agro to the bottom of the Canyon

Agro & Wander at the frozen wave

Malus half way down into its platform

Trying to change Malus' colour - with mixed results


Lonely sentinel Malus - I've used a flattened out save stone here

Strange temple like area

I was always intrigued by this area (above image) as it serves no purpose in the battle, you just get blasted here like everywhere else, so I always wondered what it was supposed to be? It doesn't lead to the lower passage ways and has a single step in the centre. There used to be four stone pillars, one at each corner, but now only one remains. Just another weird puzzle to ponder.

Symbols
There are many symbols found at the final colossi's arena including the four enigmatic stone faces which intrigued players so much (see above). But in the end they turn out to be just decorative and reused symbols from other areas, no hidden secrets it seems. I go into further depth about these symbols in my 'Maps, Symbols, Icons & Secrets' blog post:
http://nomads-sotc-blog.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/maps-symbols-icons-secrets.html


Malus's Death Screen
Image you see when Wander dies during the fight with Malus.




12 comments:

  1. Malus is my favorite colossi to kill.
    the storm is very interesting, is a special efect of a "final battle".
    Nomad, visit my blog: http://www.sotcmisteriosesegredos.blogspot.com/
    Is brazilian, but you can use the translator to read the posts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Every element of it's battle make it more epic.
    The storm,the lights on the sky,the arena's design,and,of course,the colossi itself.

    Before climb him,I like to stop at ledge of the cliff to watch the sea.
    It makes me think about the existence of other worlds,unexplored lands...

    Sdly,I wake up from my dream and remeber what there only void exists.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That misterious area could have been the continuation of the Forbidden Lands,or another way to reach Malus

    ReplyDelete
  4. Malus is a special Colossus, For is locked by a special gate too, and is exactly the contrary of Square Wind Gap

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bug path bird Loki.

    1 - You know the first save (aki my mod and the normal time with the binder closed) and save it will save in the Western Cape (the Beach ICO) location B5.
    (Note: do not know if it will work got your save the ta then tries hard to save will reverse the normal mod)

    (Questions to aki comment)

    2 - Go in the second save (second line, in my case mod hard time atack closed) and saves the game in the Eastern Bluff the H6.

    (Questions to aki comment)

    How Bugar (pay attention):

    1 - Go to your save the hard and saved the game on! Eastern Bluff THE H6!

    (Questions to aki comment)

    2 - Go to your normal save and save to mod Wastern Cape (the beach in ico B5).

    (Questions to aki comment)

    3 - (Aki is where the magic happens pay attention) after this order is only saved on the hard mod and load the game to quit their control GVHD after standing in the game menu and it will bugar the path and it will give to see the BB perfectly.

    (Questions to aki comment)

    Celebrity BB and much much and our great and that's not to see him because of the mountains ... this bug to see him he's huge!

    [Note: this bug and new to min and do not know how work got right then vo aki ta talk like the game (I think but will not need it so) I have closed the game in normal time atack with mod closed. I closed the game on hard mod with time atack closed. I'm in my last line (the load of the rhythm method) or a new game that was accessed (remember do not think I need it only saves 2 / 1)
    (This can be done in any saves just change the save of the first date) (in this case and to see the best BB proving that he "disappears") proving the link in my post will http://sotcmisteriosesegredos.blogspot.com/
    the post Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    I am Brazilian people to using the google translator

    ReplyDelete
  6. People here is the bug I discovered that Loki and I want you to look and try to make the bug too, so I'm commenting on all blogs famous SOTC

    ReplyDelete
  7. ''Fucking Google Translator ''

    Google Translator is the worst translator in the world e-e

    And...Very good blog Nomad XD

    ReplyDelete
  8. its fun, Nomad is a hacker then, he can make everything he wants with the colossis

    ReplyDelete
  9. He can´t control Wander in the final cutscene,only move him to another places

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nomad, WWWArea and Pikol..oh the golden age

    ReplyDelete