Sunday, August 7, 2011

14th Colossus

A guardian set loose... 
A closed off city beyond the channel... 
It lusts for destruction...

Developer Name: Cerberus
Fan Name: Cenobia (Clades Candor) - Destruction Luster
Location Name: Ruins

Colossus 14 Hints
- Climb the tower to draw the colossus's anger...
- It cannot pursue the at the top of the tower. Proceed forward...
- Climb from where the colossus and the earth are connected...

Cenobia's starting position - sitting sentry up on its tower

I always thought this colossus was too similar to #11 (Celosia). Both are small, fast colossi that use charging attacks and both need to have their back armor destroyed to get at their weak spots. It's almost as if Team ICO used a short cut and just remodeled #11 into #14. 

They had eight other colossi to use that they had worked on, see my unused/beta colossi post: but opted instead for Cenobia. Don't get me wrong, it's one of the most exciting colossi battles, running and climbing from column to column to avoid being attacked! In fact, it reminded me of a time when I was a child at my neighbors house, we would aggravate his dog then run and climb his swing set while the dog barked and growled at us down below xD. Similar feeling when you are on top of a column and Cenobia is below trying to knock you down! But I think we have missed out on another more unique colossus, like the Spider or Worm for instance.

Cenobia concept sketches from the art book

A trail of ruined pillars leads to the hidden city

I remember when I first Agro launched over the edge of the cliffs at the end of the columned path I caught a glimpse of something green far above. You land on some cliffs and are forced forward and have no way of going back. It leads you down underneath the cave with the island but you can't go far before you fall into the void. Note: Khfan1 had already been here before, although he never posted a video about it. But you can watch my old low quality video here:

Once you enter the cave you discover a lake with a small sunlit island in the center. This is here, I assume, so you can use you sword one last time to make sure you are on the right track. There's something special about this area and just makes the hidden city ahead that much more magical ; ) Although hauling stones through here to build the city would have been a problem.

Above the island looking down

Years later I decided to check out that old 'glimpse of green' I had seen and found an amazing off limits area that no one had ever seen before which included a solitary ledge overlooking the skylight with the island below. From the sunlit island I warped Wander up above the skylight, from there I could see a new area I had never seen before. At the time I had run out of things to explore, so for me it was an amazing moment ; ) Just another hidden area that Team Ico had taken the time to put into the game, even though there is no possible way to see this area.

A secret area hidden away above the island

And here it is! This small moss covered ledge with a couple of trees clinging to it, doesn't look like much but for me it was one of my greatest discoveries xD. Mainly because all the other hackers had missed it, so I can legitimately claim this as my discovery - Nomad's ledge? (Just kidding ; )

These blocks always intrigued me. How did they get here? My first thought was that the builders of the city left these here, perhaps they were hauling the blocks down the passage and when the city was finished they just left these here. Or perhaps something happened during construction and they had to leave in a hurry?

 At the entrance to the closed off city

The city is unique in that it has these drainage channels snaking through it (similar to the secret garden). Useful for when you need to get away from an enraged colossus. Perhaps it used to rain frequently in this area and these were used to channel water away from the city?

Cenobia's Temple
Here is yet another area fans always wanted to explore but is off limits in the game. It's like Team ICO was teasing us with these areas (like the unreachable platform in the secret garden), in fact Cenobia's area is full of solid walkable platforms that are unreachable legitimately.

This is as high as you can go on the temple - the very top has no collision detection

Level above the door

Yet another bricked over door that is impassible (like #1's temple)

Behind the temple - there is no back wall to the temple, just three sides

When I first got up to the temple (by using the jump hack) I thought Cenobia might ram it causing something to happen, but it just runs on the same spot at the base of the stairs. Again, it's strange why the made the temple solid if you're not supposed to get up here. Why put collision detection on something no one will ever get to? Same goes for the rest of the city.

Other Structures
Along with the temple that Cenobia first appears at, there are other structures that have collision detection - again why? Why go to the effort to make something solid and walkable if the main character has no way to get up there? Perhaps it was a simple matter of changing a byte or modifying a line of code that turned the textures into collisions? In Unity it is a simple matter to select a texture and make it have collisions, although from a programming point of view I think this would have been more time consuming... don't ask me, I'm not a programmer so I have no idea ; ) Whatever the reason, by hacking I can move Wander up there and explore.

Top of central building - no ledges are grippable, but the entire structure is solid

Odd oval shaped platform - this is the highest point in the arena

Top of arches - you can see how they join the oval shaped platform

The Rook

This strange platform sits isolated at the south end of the arena. People have likened it to a 'Rook' from a game of chess and it appears there were once two of them, the other one has been torn from its foundations and no longer exists. It's just another odd thing in the game but it's most likely purpose is to use it as a barrier to avoid Cenobia's attacks if you fall off a column. When you get on top of it (again by hacking) Cenobia again just runs on the spot at its base, you can see in the image above that its head actually sinks into the pillar.

Here's what the platform would have looked like complete

On cliffs outside the hidden city
Nomad's Temple
Back in 2009 I used all of the columns and structures scattered around Cenobia's area to create a unique temple design, I was quite happy with the result, however it had no collision detection as when you move a model from its native location its collision mesh stays put. So all I could do at the time was run around it and jump up high then float down onto (and through) it. Also back then my emulator ran the game very slowly so the resulting video quality was quite poor and less than 480p in size.
See here:

Field is devoid of columns

Images of the original design in 2009

Redesigned temple in 2013

To build the temple I first had to find the position co-ordinates of each column, wall and arch (three codes for each one - x, y and z). Then I could find the collision meshes of each object (another three codes for each). I would move each object up into the air so that I had an empty field to work with, then I moved down each piece and positioned it to build the temple. Since I had no blueprints of any kind I just used my imagination and came up with the above.

But by 2013 I had learned a lot more thanks to my collaboration with WWWArea, he had worked out how to move the collision mesh together with a model (such as a column for example) so I spent a long time rebuilding the temple and redesigning it so that Wander could climb it. I also designed a trap that would snare Cenobia and an obstacle course for Wander, see here:

Cenobia Hacks
Here again, I have moved Cenobia outside its native arena using the gravity hack + gravity stable codes. It appears, from the images as if it is active, but in reality it's still as stone, just a statue I can move around. I can 'warp' Cenobia far away from its arena but outside there is nothing there, just void and low res lands.
Cenobia at the B2 beta mountains - you can see its area glowing in the distance

As mentioned above I can 'warp' Cenobia outside its arena. Above I have warped Cenobia out to the B2 beta mountains, although it's not a mountain, rather a large flat, brown plain. This is one of the extra areas that were found in the Pre-release version (thanks to Unclejun). Below I have moved Cenobia to the A0 beta mountains, as they are very close to #14's arena.

Cenobia is dwarfed by the A0 beta mountains 

Half sized Cenobia - has trouble jumping the ditches when small

I can make Cenobia smaller or larger, but it requires finding all of its armor parts, each one having three codes (x,y,z), so it takes a long time. But once done I can scale the colossus up or down. This holds true for all of the colossi.

Double sized Cenobia - now it's a real colossus!

Here I moved the large tower like column to the Ico beach. I had hoped I could run around on the beach and see it out in the water (just for something cool to do ; ) but it's the same old problem. When I move anything out of its quadrant the surrounding lands loose their collision detection, even the tower is a ghost, so I'm using the standing hack in these images.

Cenobia on top of a column. I've moved it here before it's activated so it's still in its starting pose. The weird thing is when I climb the column Cenobia grunts, so this is the first time I've heard a sound coming from a deactivated colossus!

And finally my greatest hack of all time! Cenobia and Celosia together in the same area. Instead of fighting each other they both just want to attack Wander. You can see they are about the same size, Celosia being a little larger.

Pretty impressive huh... well, perhaps not - it's just a Photoshop job ; )

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


  1. Wow, the double-sized Cenobia is very cool!XD

    I also think Cenobia and Celosia are very similar, but among them I much prefer the Cenobia XD

  2. Great job, Nomad XD

  3. Great post.

    You know if you could do 2 or more Cenobias.You could make a dream of mine where I was being attacked by many small Cenobias and normal ones.

    I think Cenobia grunts are indicating that he is sleeping.(Thinking in a story position).Stand guarding a city for years is very boring(like any guard)

  4. ``These blocks always intrigued me. How did they get here? My first thought was that the builders of the city left these here, perhaps they were hauling the blocks down the passage and when the city was finished they just left these here.´´

    I don´t think so.Maybe they were trying to block the passage(remember the rock in the other version?).But the leader said to them that wasn´t necessary since they had no time to do that

  5. ``A giant lurks underneath the temple... it lusts for destruction... but a fool, it is not".

    This is Barba´s description.Or maybe before Cenobia was suposed to be inside a temple and breaking trough it to fight you

  6. Spirit: Thanks - I amended it.

  7. Kind of disappointed you didn't ride Agro around in his area while he was active.

    He grunts when you climb the towers normally, doesn't he? It's probably a trigger associated with the pillars and not so much the colossus

  8. Hey Danke: I did make a video with Agro at Cenobia's area once but it's just a few seconds worth - it's in 'Cenobia trials' but it's one of my older poor quality videos. Cenobia ignores Agro but if Wander is riding him it attacks and Agro gets knocked down.

  9. Great!
    Now I can coment again.

    I didn´t expected what the Cenobia´s temple have only three sides,considering the sense of detail of TeamICO.
    Abou the city be solid,I can´t figure a reason to this.Very Weird...

  10. And,just for you to know(If you know,ignore this LOL):I´m HyperSNES,the guy from youtube.

  11. I agree that Cenobia and Celosia are far too similar. I would much rather fight Aberth (or Sirius, heee) than Celosia, especially seeing as how it's annoying enough to fight ONE boss that can combosmash you into oblivion.

    Also, half-size Cenobia is cute. I want a pet colossus now.

  12. Hello there! I love your blog, firstly. I've been on it all day. Second, a lot of the pictures in this post seemed really familiar, and now that I think about it, doesn't this city strongly resemble the city you can see in The Last Guardian? But in that game, things look a bit more intact. Do you think it's possible that The Last Guardian will be a prequel to both SotC and Ico? It could be that you are the last of the race that originally resided in the Forbidden Lands, and the little boy is the final person left. If so, then perhaps the 'enemies' of the game are adventurers who have come to try and get the power of the dormin!

    1. I like that theory Tai, I'm very curious as to where (if at all) that game will fit into the chronology of the Ico universe.

  13. Double the size on both of the colossus in the same arena, see what happens!!!

  14. nomad can you add a picture of cenobia damaged

  15. Great post. A fight with these two at the same time would be quite a nightmare!!!

  16. I wanna know if Nomad's ledge made it into the PS4 remake XD