Friday, March 2, 2012

8th Colossus

A tail trapped within a pail
deep within the forest...
A shadow that crawls on the walls.

Developer Name: Yamori_B
Fan Name: Kuromori (Parietinae Umbra) - Wall Shadow
Location Name: Underground

Colossi 8 hints
Find a way to seal its quick movement...
- Draw it out to higher ground...

Kuromori climbing its ruined arena

Entrance to the lizard colossi's arena

The first thing I noticed after Dormin's introduction was the lack of a forest. The gecko colossi's arena is said to be 'deep within the forest', but once through the cave there are only a few trees to be seen surrounding a small lake, hardly a forest. So perhaps there once was a larger forest that over time has receded into the copse of trees we see now.

Once you enter the cave a bridge can be seen next to a majestic waterfall

Bridge Comparisons
Once I had obtained the NTSC version I immediately noticed a difference between the bridge in the PAL version to the NTSC version. It's worth mentioning as the rest of the game is virtually identical in both versions, so why did they change the bridge in the PAL version?

NTSC (US) version - you can see it has a void on either side

PAL (European) version - is joined to the wall with a void on only one side

Enclosed cave with waterfall - light streaming in from above

There's this solitary stone pillar on the bridge inscribed with enigmatic symbols

NTSC bridge - below is nothing but water vapor and oblivion

An inland lake becomes visible through this dark pass
Temple Island
Once across the bridge you enter a small inland lake area with a temple on the far side. Here we can see more stone pillars, some fallen or broken, guiding the way to the colossus. You can swim across the lake to the other side or go around it.

Wander riding a fish in the lake

Wander riding a different fish in the lake

There appear to be two species of fish in this small landlocked lake. Both are huge in comparison to Wander, at least 7 feet long or more! One resembles some kind of large sturgeon, the other a type of tadpole shaped fish? I'm not an expert on marine life, so if you have any thoughts about what these fish might be based on please leave a comment below. But it's fun to grab onto these fish (by holding R1) and let them take you for a ride through the murky water.

Temple lake forest - is this what Dormin was describing?

Wander covering his face (to avoid poison gas?)

If you watch this short segment of the NICO video you can see how Wander is covering his face with his left arm as he turns Agro away. It's the same animation we see when fighting Kuromori when Wander is covering his face to protect himself from the poisonous gas. So my idea is this might be where you fought an early version of the Gecko (Yamori A)? So if the green bar represents the colossus health icon then it would appear that in the above image Wander is very close to a colossus perhaps it's just out of frame?

See this part of the video here:

There is no forest in the final version where you fight the Gecko, it lives in a Roman style Colosseum so perhaps you once fought it in a forest. Since the G2 forest was added very late in development it's unlikely it was that forest, I failed to find a match with the video at the Autumn forest at E5 either. However, the forest we see in the opening cut scene seems to have the same style trees and rocks, but again I couldn't find an exact match (see below image).

 Same rock and tree as seen in the video from the opening cut scene

So it seems some of the colossi that made it into the retail versions still have their old 'Dormin introductions' that were from early builds. There are other examples that I won't go into here.

Broken columns next to shallow lake

The ruined temple sits on a small island in the lake

You can Agro launch onto the temple in the NTSC (US) version of the game. I've yet to make it there in the PAL version (nor has anyone else to my knowledge) as the devs decreased the amount of room you can move Agro back in the lake, so when you try to Agro launch up there you don't have enough run up. But once up there you can explore its ruins and get some great views of the area, which to my mind is one of the most beautiful in the game.

Standing on the temple view

Broken area overgrown with vines and ferns

Back of the temple - what looks like a door stands out

As I first played the PAL version I could never get up here, try as I might I just couldn't make it - not even close. So I was puzzled by a Baxtertimewell video on the web that showed him launching up onto the temple. I later found out he was using the NTSC version, so I obtained a copy and tried again with instant results. Once up there it's clear it's an off limits area as Wander sinks into the textures and there are no grippable edges. But the back door intrigued me at first, if only there was a way to open it... sadly it's just another decorative feature, nothing more.

Temple entrance leads down into the...
Upon entering the temple you arrive in a large anti-chamber with two enormous columns both topped with fire at their summits. You can climb the columns but not high enough to reach the flames, it only allows you to get to a higher platform which will lead you to the colossus.

Twin fire pedestals

Wander on top of a fire column - only possible via hacking

It was thought by many that if you could get the stick from 11's area (Celosia) and bring it here, climb up to the very top of the column and light the stick that something might happen... a secret might be unlocked! Apart from the fact that you can't climb to the top of the column in the first place to even test this theory, nothing happens anyway, the stick does not catch fire. 

On the wall is this large cryptic medallion, similar to the one found at 11's arena

Strange, map like designs can be seen carved into the stone walls

Totem pole type structure next to medallion

Top of anti-chamber looking down - there's a small piece of walkable land up here

Ancient Colosseum
Finally you have made it to the colosseum, the abode of the gecko colossus. It's a strange place as it clearly has windows in which to look down at the central arena, but no seats of any kind... so unless the spectators stood around in groups looking down through the windows it must have served another purpose. Perhaps it was built to hold the colossus and people in times past came to view it as in a zoo? Although from Wander's experience it wouldn't have been very safe place as the colossus could climb the walls and shoot the spectators!

Kuromori Before Activation
If you float past the trigger point (via hacking) you can stand in front of the gecko in its frozen state. Only the back end of its tail is solid in this state and it seems to be frozen mid step - as if it was walking and suddenly stopped.

 Standing on solid tail

Frozen in mid stride before activation

This got me wondering... if the gecko starts out frozen like this, then it must have been originally designed for another area, i.e. a forest! Why else would its two left feet be raised above the ground like this? It's as if the gecko was designed to start in a different landscape where all four of its feet would be making contact with the ground. Remember, there was an earlier model of the Gecko labelled 'Yamori_A' which may have been used in a now deleted 'forest' area of the game (see further below).

Moving Kuromori Outside
I've had a lot of trouble getting the lizard outside its arena once it is triggered. There seems to be an invisible wall surrounding the whole area and no matter how far I warp it out, it springs back as if pulled back by an enormous rubber band! But I can move it around whilst it's frozen before activation... so I did and took some snap shots ; )

Kuromori in Anti-chamber

Too close for comfort!

Going for a swim

 Top of temple

Free at last!

I made a video where I moved Kuromori to different parts of the forbidden lands:

Other weird Hacks
I can lock one model and then view it from outside, this way you can see what each section of the area looks like from a unique perspective as shown here.

Floating fish

 Temple stairs leading down into anti-chamber and then the Colosseum

A tail trapped within a 'pail'
Early Designs
The development team names the Gecko colossus 'Yamori_B' so it begs the question what was Yamori_A and what did it look like? The answer is found in the art book. Below are some sketches from the art book, one image has the caption 'An early screenshot of gecko A', so it's clear that this design was yamori_A. Udea also states 'In early development, there were 3 different types of this colossus'. So perhaps there was also a Yomori_C?
Could this be Yamori_A?
Early designs revealed in the art book

An early screenshot of Gecko A - seems to be proof of Yamori_A

A differently patterned model for colossus 8 - from the art book

Here we see what could be the third design for the gecko. You can see it's a very different design with a weird T shaped face and moss (vegetation) on its back, much like we see with Pelagia (#12). Sadly the background of this image doesn't give much away as to the environment this gecko once lived (in this early build of the game). 

The only clue I have as to a previous gecko living in a forest is based on a few seconds of footage from the NICO dvd. It shows Wander covering his face with his arm as if there is poisonous gas nearby! This animation only happens in the fight with Kuromori. 

This area has the most varied variety of different symbols and designs, as it has two temples to explore instead of one, the outer Anti-chamber and the Colosseum.
Kuromori Death Screen
Image you see when Wander dies during the fight with Kuromori.


  1. ``Strange, map like designs can be seen carved into the stone walls´´

    Maybe,in thev past the temple was bigger,you know,the temple´s exterior is extremely small comparated to the underground part.

    Maybe the area around the temple was covered with water in the past(like Avion´s lake´´,maybe before there was only smalls pools of water and there were more trees

  2. I still think it weird that in the collection Kuromori´s gas is orange,instead of yellow.I somehow...find odd

  3. I love your Blog Nomad, I discovered it a few days ago, your posts are great.

    PD:I speak little english, but I can read it without problems.

  4. Very interesting.
    The "lock models" hack sounds,at least for me,like a In-game model viewer xD

  5. It's always seemed to me that Kuromori was once the subject of a cult. His temple doesn't seem like it was ever intended to be heavenly, but more as a dark warning to unwary travelers. That medallion (which I've never noticed before) cements this idea even more, in my opinion. Religious symbols are usually very simple, that medallion on the other hand looks like some kind of bizarre pentagram.

    I didn't much like this area before, thank you for enlightening me, Nomad!

  6. Hi Nomad,
    i really like your blog and youtube channel. And i would like to ask a question. I'm currently playing Sotc HD Classic and have the problem at Hydrus. Everytime i reach the head i have serious problems to stab him. Because Wander goes in the "I'm a flag in the wind" mode so i can't charge the sword to stab him. I had the same issue at the electric spines but after some trying and rehooking of Wander to other positions on the back i got them. But even after trying different position on the head I couldn't get Wander to charge so I'm stuck. Do you have any suggestions on what I can try else?

  7. That's weird, I never had much trouble here... although on the PS3 it was harder I think. But I just get in position, wait for it to submerge then as soon as it breaks the surface charge the sword and stab. I don't know why you can't charge your sword... all I can suggest is to watch a couple of PS3 video walk throughs - that may help you.

    A trick I use is to do a roll when you are running up the colossi's back, you get to the spines much faster this way and have more time to stab them. Let me know how it turns out.

  8. I've got him. Even if it was hard as he tends to dip his head wildly under water when i get at his head. I had to reposition wander severel times then it would work.

  9. Sorry to keep popping up in older posts, but I once again noticed symbolism in a symbol. On the middlemost ring of the medallion in the anti-chamber, there are small spikes or points, and upon counting them found there were 24 of them. Interesting that so many of these circular symbols found around colossi arenas have sub symbols equaling 16 or 24. Makes me wish they had released some sort of SotC Mythos book to explain more of the background of this forbidden land. But the mystery of this enigmatic land may be it's greatest attraction.
    --I think it's pretty obvious that if we're reading this blog, that we, as well as you the creator, love the hell out of this game.

  10. Hey there. I stumbled across your Tpose pics of Barba from several years ago while doing an image search for the Colossus. I'm about half-way through (70 hours and counting!) a 4 foot tall sculpture of Barba, and I'm just now getting into the nitty gritty of the armor bits. Your pictures are a real life saver! All I've been working with are really blurry screen caps and the tiny pictures in the official art book. I was wondering how powerful that program your grabbing the shots from is. For example, can you get shots without the collision mesh showing? (It's hiding some of the textures on the hands and feet.) Can you grab the texture sheets? I've got a pretty good idea about how the UVs are laid out since I'm a game artist professionally, but it would be super helpful to get a look at the textures without the blitting and mirroring and squashing and stretching.

    For a little referece, here’s the kind of sculpting I do:

  11. I thought collision meshes were invisible, so I can't see how they are getting in the way... but I could take some good hi res images of Barba's hands and feet for you. The Dormin model viewer does let you look at textures, but to try and find that particular one would take forever as there are thousands of textures in the code. Are you making a physical model or a CG version?

    1. It is physical. Literally 4 feet tall. It's taking forever! but I'm filming the whole thing as a tutorial for model making and sculpting.

  12. If you use the command 'slice',like this for example> dormin minotaur_B.nmo -slice D:\barba ,it will extract the .nmo file and the texture files of that particular model to the specified folder,then you just need to drag them into the prompt,making easier to find the ones he want (you must creat the folder before entering the command).

  13. Unfortunately, my Dormin viewer isn't working right now... I always seems to have problems with it working properly. It will work for a while then for no reason give me an error and stop working. Perhaps you can help Joshua with the textures he is after. But I think if I take some good shots of Barba he will be able to finish his model. What operating system and version do you use btw? Windows or Mac, XP, 7, OSX etc.

  14. Right now I'm using XP with the latest build released by youmosotc,but I also have 7 installed,and dormin always worked great in both of them,except for the fact that I needed a fresh OS installation to be able to build it in both cases,it kept giving me some kind of error when compiling the dormin .exe.

    I will leave links here for my dormin folders just in case you want to try them out,and also a pack with the files necessary to build it if you decide to restart from zero(they are the same versions used by youmosotc in his video,as most people seem to have problems with most recent versions of lablgl,mingw,etc).

    Dormin pack>

    And Joshua,if you still need the textures after you see Nomad's shots,here is a link >

    1. So tantalizingly close! I can't view .7z files. Is there a way for you to convert them to .jpg or some other standard?

      BTW, here's the state he's in currently. Just blocked in. You'll have to use your imagination to ignore all the random crap and foil all over him while I'm trying to figure out how to get the stone armor on him!

    2. Sorry for this,I always use this format for compressing files before sharing
      Here,I uploaded them to a folder>

      They were extracted from the game's files so there is no bigger resolution I'm afraid.

      Great work btw,in this pic he looks like a zombie version of Barba lol

    3. Oh man! Thank you SO MUCH! You have no idea how helpful this is. I've been swinging in the dark at guessing what a lot of these shapes are. Here's what I've done so far.
      I make the basic tile then make a mold (the pink things in the picture) of that so I can stamp out as many as I need. I can see I got fairly close on the decorative emblem, but it's good to know the center is a hexagon and not a circle. And now I can make out what's going on on the side of the thighs.

      This brings me back to my days working on PS2 games... oh man, the 64x64 and 128x128 textures! Aaaah! I work on Guild Wars 2 now and get to make 2048s sometimes!

      Now my dreams will be complete if I could get some nice close ups of Barba in T-Pose without the collision showing. Here's an example of what I mean. You can see the flat gray polygons covering the hooves and hands/part of the wrist in these images.

    4. I'm glad I could help,and about the screens,I got these>

      But the problem with them is,I don't think they are 100% accurate to the in-game and fully rendered Barba(especially the fur),so only Nomad and his emulator can really help you with that,my PC can't run shit.

      Will you post it on DA when it's complete?I'm pretty interested in seeing the final result :D

    5. Oh those shots are perfect. THANK YOU SO MUCH! That looks really accurate for what I need. I'm not worried about the fur, that's easy to see in game. It's figuring out which textures go where that's hard. Could you do me one more huge favor and do the same thing with Wander? I gotta make the little dude on the head! And yeah, it'll be on DA, and I'll put the video of me sculpting it on YouTube. I'll post a link here when I'm done. Probably a couple months out though.

    6. Here you go>

      Unfortunately his cloak is a separate model,and I was never able to properly connect it,so I uploaded it's textures only.

    7. Oh awesome! That actually works perfectly since I'll sculpt the character and do the cloak as a separate piece. Hey, do either of you have anything you want me to plug for you in the video? Like this blog, or anything?

    8. To see how it looks when it's done will be enough for me,have fun with the project.

    9. Hey, looking through other posts on this blog I see a lot of speculation about patterns and symbols. Any significance to the pattern on Wander's cloak?

  15. Can you tell me what silicone rubber you have used to make your molds? That pink looking stuff... I'll need the exact name and serial number if it has one. I'm guessing it's a two part mix type thing. I've done some molds myself in the past but always have trouble. I tried latex but it was too stiff - I need something softer and with more give when peeling it off the model.

    1. That stuff is this:

      But you can also get stuff just like it at most craft stores. Stuff like this:


      Keep in mind those are all for push-molds. Where you just press the putty over the piece. If you want really good detail you'll need a material you can pour over the piece like Smooth On sells. Here's a good FAQ, and you can always call them and tell them your specific needs. I can probably answer most questions about it too.

  16. Oh I see - yeah, The mold I want to make would require two halves that I could pour plaster into and when it sets peel away the two silicone parts to reveal the plaster model. But thanks for the info, I may still get some of that stuff for other projects ; )

    1. This is a good overview tutorial.

  17. As for Wander's cloak, I once heard it was a representation of two hands clasped together (as in Ico and Yorda) but I'm not sure if that's true or if it was just someone's imagination... it's hard to see that in the design. Apart from that it looks like the colossi sigil (weak spot you stab) and seems to represent Wander's tribe. Lord Emon's cloak has a similar design so this seems to fit the story.


  19. I've always wondered, what if you shone light into those medallions on the walls?
    Not by hacking though, like what if there was at one point a colossus adjacent to Kuromori, but it either led up to Kuromori, or came after him, and you couldn't find it anywhere above ground, so shining light on the medallion brought Wander to a hidden room?
    And ergh, I just began a new save game to earn all the hard mode Time Attack Awards, and once I beat the first colossus, I absentmindedly SAVED OVER my normal time attack game...meaning all that work, storywise, and time attack wise got wasted...