Thursday, August 18, 2011

Colossi Sizes (In game)

I have completely reworked this post and deleted most of the old information that was contained here as my initial measurements of the colossi were wrong. I have since measured each colossus in real time (in game) using my memory editor and a few tricks to make the task easier, such as freezing the colossi so they don't move around.

Back in 2009 I published my measurements of the colossi on the Playstation 2 forums, but these values were based on Wander, and for that I just made a guess as to his height, which I speculated was 5 feet 7 inches (or 170cm)... at the time I wasn't that clued into how the memory editor worked with the game, so this initial value was used to estimate the height of all the colossi, and as such the error was compounded. Note: The Team Ico wiki's measurements are also based on these erroneous measurements, but I've been in contact with one of the admins and he has agreed to update the measurements to the following correct values.

So now I can confidently provide their exact sizes which match up with the image found in the official art book (see below).

Colossi sizes from the art book

I made a short video of the colossi sizes based on the art book image, but at this stage I had still not actually measured them, I just cut out each colossus in Photoshop and made the below image using the art book image as a guide to their heights and widths etc.

Colossi sizes Photoshop montage
Hi res image: 

Updated video with measurements:

Wander's Height
I had to make sure Wander's height was in no doubt so I took two different measurements, one at the secret garden blocks and another using a save stone. I was very surprised at Wander's height as it worked out at only 1.25 metres high which is too small for a normal teenaged boy, so I checked and re-checked to make sure, but there seems no doubt.

Here I measured Wander at a diminutive 1.2m high (or 3.9 feet)

The blocks in the secret garden are exactly 2m x 2m x 2m. I have measured these by taking note of wander's up/down co-ordinates at the base of the block, then again at the top of the block.

A save stone is 3m (or 9ft 10 inches) high

Wander at the base of the save stone (his gravity value is 9.83m)

Wander on top of the save stone (value is 12.83m)

As you can see from the above images, the save stone is 12.83 - 9.83m high = 3 metres (or 9ft 10 inches) or approximately one storey (as in a building). Now let's scale the save stone in its up/down or z co-ordinate so that it matches Wander's height. Note: the save stone uses a value of 1 for its scale, i.e. length, width & height are set to 1.

Here the up/down scale is 0.415m

So Wander's height is 0.415 x 3 = 1.25 metres or 4.1 feet. This differs only slightly from what I measured before with the secret garden blocks (1.2m). So I am convinced now! Wander is a small person, only 4 feet tall (an average between 3.9 and 4.1 feet) or 1.2 metres tall. Perhaps the devs made Wander smaller than normal to accentuate the impression of giantess of the colossi? Or perhaps there was an upper limit to how large a colossus could be modelled on a PS2 at the time, and Wander was scaled to fit this limit? Compare this to an average sized man and you see this:

Wander compared to an average sized human man

Update: Thanks to Wisi, using Blender I have ascertained that Ico and Wander are actually the same height - 1.25m tall. It seems Team Ico used Ico's model as a base and then remodeled Wander onto the same template. First I used the SotC Viewer to extract Wander's body and head models from the game (as .obj files). Then I opened the Ico body and head models in Blender thanks to JeffMaster who sent me all the Ico game files as .3ds files (3D Studio Max). The results are interesting! They are both exactly 1.25m high.

Wander and Ico models side by side in Blender

Side view of the two models

So this proves without a doubt, that the in-game model of Wander is really 1.25m tall, a dwarf sized man. Ico was also this small size so we now have confirmation as to why Wander was so small compared to Agro (a normal sized horse).

Agro's Height
Using the save stone method I also measured Agro and here are the results:

Agro's height as compared to a scaled save stone (0.61 x 3 = 1.83m high)

Agro's length as compared to a scaled save stone (1.49...m x 2 = 3m)
Argo compared to Wander chart (each larger square is 1 metre)

Players had always noticed how big Agro was compared to Wander, that is it seemed to be an enormous horse in comparison to the diminutive Wander character. Here we can finally see why; it's not Agro that is enlarged but rather Wander is very small in comparison to the horse. Granted, Agro is a large war horse, bred for battle and carnage perhaps? But it is Wander who creates the impression that the horse is too big to be normal, Agro appears to be a normal sized horse.

#1 Valus
The method I used to measure the colossi involves the following steps, 1) I trigger the colossus into action, 2) I freeze the colossus so I can take accurate measurements. Note: this differs for each colossus, for example for the first colossus (Valus) I freeze it before it can take a single step, so once the cut scene ends Wander finds the colossi standing upright as still as stone!

Valus frozen after being triggered

3) I then take measurements at its feet and on the very top of its head. 4) I grab onto the extreme left and right sides of its arms to take a 'width' measurement, 5) I do the same for the depth, i.e. front to back.

For other colossi the rules change, for instance with Phaedra (#4) I have to wait until it stands up before I freeze it, the flying colossi present even more challenges as I have to measure them as they are flying, but I have special methods I can use to resolve this.
Valus size chart (each grid square is 1 metre)
#2 Quadratus
Below is another example to show how I worked out the colossi sizes, Quadratus is a good example as it's a very large quadrupedal colossus.

Value at base of Quadratus (-97)

Value at top of Quadratus (-75)

From the above example we see that the base level is -97 and the top level is approximately -75, although there is a higher spine than the one Wander is standing on which I measured at -73, so the end result is (97 - 73 = 24 metres high). This differs greatly to what I had posted here before (30.5 metres high). Note: I have frozen Quadratus here so it can't move. Now let's look at its length.

Value at front of Quadratus (facing north/south)

Value at rear of Quadratus (facing north/south)

Above we see the values for the front and back of Quadratus which if you work it out equals just over 31 metres - lets say 32 metres to round it off. Again, this is much shorter than my original value of 42.6m.

Final size chart for Quadratus

Some comments posted on my 'Colossi Sizes' video argued that the sizes were wrong and that the art book image it was based on wasn't accurate. Of course players only have their own experience of the game as Wander looking up at these enormous creatures from ground level, or once they have climbed up the colossi themselves. But this can create a false sense of size, especially as you can't see one colossus next to another in the game, you are limited to fighting one at a time.

So to silence these doubters I posted an image from a video I made in May 2013 (Odds & Ends part 4) where I took the time to transport Pelagia (#12) to Quadratus' beach (#2). I had control of Pelagia so I could walk it around the beach, into the lake and at the end of the video I featured it emerging from Quadratus' cave.

Pelagia emerging from the cave at #2's beach

As you can see from the above image Pelagia is as tall as Quadratus and appears at the entrance of the cave in the same height we see when Quadratus first emerges from it. In fact Pelagia is just 1 metre higher than Quadratus.

#3 Gaius
Below I have again used my memory editor to work out the height of Gaius (#3), just to make sure you can see the process used above with Quadratus. I first freeze the colossus once it's standing as upright as it gets, that is as it walks it shifts slightly from side to side which effects its height. I wait until it's at its maximum height when I freeze it, then I take my measurements, at its feet then on top of its head.

I take a value at its feet

Then on top of its head

So according to my memory editor Gaius is approximately 24 metres high which is 5 metres shorter than my previous height. In fact Gaius is the same height as Quadratus, but again, as you experience both colossi in different environments it's hard to reconcile this when seeing them one at a time. Gaius is thin and tall and seems to tower over Wander, whereas Quadratus seems shorter as it's a broad four legged creature. But when you compare them side by side with Wander as a reference you can see how we can be fooled by the size differences.

Gaius and Quadratus size comparison
Gaius final size chart measurements
#4 Phaedra
As mentioned above, I have to wait until Phaedra stands up before I freeze it, then I can take my measurements. Note: In the NTSC version Phaedra is solid before it's triggered, that is when it's sitting hunched on its platform before you trigger it, it is still completely solid and climbable. In the later PAL version it is a ghost with no collision detection.

Phaedra size chart
#5 Avion
Avion was a little more tricky to measure as I had to freeze it in flight with its wings outstretched and its tail nice and straight. I then took Wander and floated above each point to take my measurements, here are the results:

Wander floating above the tip of Avion's tail (direction is also shown)

Tip of Avion's nose (east/west direction)

Left wing (north/south direction)

Right wing (north/south direction)
Avion size chart
#6 Barba
To measure Barba I use a method that I like to call 'stand-by mode'. I first shift Wander's camera to the colossus before it's triggered, you now have control over it. I can then manually trigger Barba to wake up, it walks right through the massive stone door and then stops. It's a little creepy seeing the colossus alive and awake but just standing rooted on the spot, its chest moving up and down as it breaths. Since the camera is now at Barba the game thinks it's the main character, as such it doesn't try to find Wander, only when Wander is the main character will it react.

Watch Barba in stand-by mode here:
Barba size chart
#7 Hydrus
To measure Hydrus, I found the codes for it before it is activated. Each colossus has two models, one that exists when it is first loaded and before Wander triggers it, and another once it has been triggered. The non-triggered models are defined by their lack of collision detection, that is Wander can't interact with them in any way. However, some of the colossi have small parts that are still solid, these are #1 (Valus' club), #3 (Giaus' arm bracelet), #4 (Phaedra's full body in the NTSC version), #6 (Barba's beard), #8 (Kuromori's tail), #14' (Cenobia's head) and #15 (Argus' club). All the others are ghosts!

Hydrus before activation (above the lake)

So I found Hydrus' codes before it's triggered and moved it up out of the water, this way I can move Wander to the tip of its nose and then to the end of its tail to take my measurements - which are revealed below.

Hydrus size chart
#8 Kuromori
To measure Kuromori it was simply a matter of by-passing the trigger point (by floating over it) then dropping down to the floor of the Colosseum. Kuromori is frozen here before being triggered so I can move Wander to its head and tail to make my measurements. Strangely, the Gecko's tail is solid so I can stand there, but apart from this small area the rest of the colossus has  no collisions.

Wander on the Gecko's tail before activation
Kuromori size chart
#9 Basaran
This one was easy, just let it move out onto the geyser field then freeze it. Note: to find the freeze codes is not an easy thing... first I have to find the position co-ordinates of the colossus, that is its x, y, and z values in 3D space, once I have that I can figure out how to freeze it.
Basaran size chart (the image gets smaller the larger the colossus is)

But you can download all the hi-res images of these charts on my Flickr page here:

Along with a host of other images I have compiled over the years in regards to this topic.

#10 Dirge
I used the same technique here as I did for Hydrus (#7), I found Dirge's codes for the 'non-activated model' then moved it up above the level of the sand. I then used Wander's co-ordinates to work out the colossi's length and width.
Dirge size chart
#11 Celosia
Celosia was the first colossi I ever tried to find the position co-ordinates for. I posted a message on the Playstation2 forums saying that my next video would 'blow their minds'! You have to remember that this was in 2009, four years after the game's release, so by then everything had been found, including Sid_tiger's discovery of the invisible lands at H8 and Pikol's discoveries of the beta mountains and Dam! There was nothing left to find, but I thought if I could mod a colossus that would be something special! 

In the end it was WWWArea who first worked out how to mod a colossus (#16), after that we both worked out how to get he rest of them, the final count was about 50/50.
Celosia size chart
#12 Pelagia
It took me two nights (after work) to find this colossi's position co-ordinates. I remember spending hours stuck down in the dark, dreary lake at the colossi's feet searching for codes! I got sick of being down in that murky lake for so long... but finally I got its position co-ordinates, after that I could freeze Pelagia and move freely about its enclosure. Ah! Such a relief after so much searching and being blasted by its energy weapons!
Pelagia size chart

#13 Phalanx
The largest of all the colossi, it floats majestically through the sky. It's also one of the most peaceful of the colossi, never attacking Wander in any way except to do a barrel roll in order to shake off the tiny annoying intruder. Measuring Phalanx was quite easy as I just warp Wander down under the sand to where the colossus rests before being triggered. It's positioned vertically with its head at the top and tail way down below, so I put Wander at the tip of its snout and take a measurement, then move him down to the tip of its tail and take another measurement.

Measurement at the tip of Phalanx's snout

Measurement at the tip of Phalanx's tail

Top of Phalanx looking down before activation

Ueda mentions in the art book that Phalanx is about 200 metres long, but I measured it at 145.7 metres or 146m. I plan to take another measurement of Phalanx once it's in flight as I have a way of freezing it, so when I have done this I'll be able to get a more accurate measurement of the longest colossus in the game.

Phalanx size chart
Hi-res image here:

#14 Cenobia
Cenobia is a clone of Celosia (#11) so it has the same dimensions as Celosia.
Cenobia size chart
#15 Argus
Another humanoid type colossus, just like Valus and Giaus, this one holding a sword instead of a club. Unlike Valus it's not possible to grab onto its weapon and use it to fly up onto the colossus, the timing is just way too fast!
Argus size chart
#16 Malus
The tallest of of the colossi. When I first encountered it I thought it looked like a human shaped mountain!
Malus size chart
Malus is 2 metres higher than the Statute of Liberty

I used one of Emon's soldiers to measure Dormin, by first placing him at Dormin's huge foot and taking a measurement, then moving him up to the tip of Dormin's horns and taking another. Dormin is diminutive compared to the colossi but still stands at a menacing 11 metres tall.

Ground level is 10m

Tip of Dormin's horn is 21m high

Dormin size chart

Emon and the Soldiers
I have (for the first time) measured Emon and his guards as I never saw them as important, but if we are measuring Wander and Agro then why not everyone else ; ) To do this takes a long time - days actually! During the cutscene where you become Dormin I searched for the position co-ordinates of Dormin and the soldiers, then I found all of their freeze codes to stop them moving around. Actually you only need to find Emon's freeze codes first as the other soldiers stop to protect him. Later I find their individual camera codes so I can control each soldier... this is what takes so much time.

Lord Emon and his guards

There are five soldiers that accompany Emon, two that carry crossbows, two other soldiers that I call 'runners', as they immediately run straight for Wander's sword, and one other soldier that carries a sword. One of the 'runners' has a sword, the other has no weapon, but both can pick up Wander's sword. The two runners break away from Emon and the others, grab Wander's sword and head straight for the pool room, they are the first soldiers to make it there. The other three soldiers, the two crossbow and the sword carrying soldier always stick close to Emon and never leave his side. They seem to be his loyal bodyguards and will die to protect him. To measure Emon and the soldiers I used the save stone - I carefully stretched and squeezed it into position in order to measure their heights and widths.

Measuring Emon and his guards with a save stone

Measurements of Emon and the two crossbow guards

Measurements of the two runners and the sword carrying guard

Note: Lord Emon is actually a little shorter than Wander, perhaps due to his advanced age? But his guards are also much shorter than a modern sized person, the highest being 1.5m (or 4.9 feet) tall. So it seems all the characters in Shadow of the Colossus are little people, much smaller than modern humans - why this is so is up for conjecture, perhaps this story is set many millennia in the past? By examining the stage of technological development it appears to be around the 8th century AD, i.e. soldiers rode around on horses, sword, shields and arrows were the weapons of choice - no firearms are evident yet and they appear to have leather armour.

Masks of the Guards
When measuring the guards I noticed that two of them had different masks that we have never seen before! We are familiar with the three masks we receive in the Time Attack trials (the mask of Strength, the mask of Power and the Shaman's mask), as well as the extra mask that was removed from the game (the mask of Titans), but there are two extra masks only worn by Emon's guards (the last two masks below).

Masks worn by Emon and his guards

I have named these two extra masks the 'Mask of Wisdom' and the 'Mask of Truth', but these are just arbitrary titles to identify them against the masks we are familiar with ; ) If you have more inventive names please let me know. Strangely, I was never aware of these masks before, even though I had been moving these soldiers around for years and panning in with the camera to get a better look at them, I didn't really notice these two extra masks until now. So we have yet another new discovery here, and the hour is very late! In October this year (2016) it will be 11 years since the game was released, but I am only now showing these two new masks for the first time. Such is this game ; )

Measuring Mono
Mono is the last character to measure in the game, a little tricky as she is always lying down, although I could measure her standing up in the final cutscene... but for now I will measure her as she is in the game (as it's easier and less time consuming ; ) But as I still have the save states of my 10,000+ subs video, I could use this to take a good snapshot of Mono in her upright standing position: 

Mono at the higher levels of the Shrine of Worship

Mono with temple and background removed

Mono height (1.4m)

Mono width (0.65m)

Mono length (0.27m)

Mono is taller than Wander by a couple of centimetres. Remember Wander is 1.25m tall but it seems Mono is 1.4m tall! Perhaps she was a few years older than Wander and as such, he admired her from afar? In the end this young, beautiful girl was brutally put to death based on some obscure prophecy about her future fate (a cursed fate).

Wander vrs Mono size chart
All Colossi Sizes Chart
Here are all the above 16 colossi with width and height values shown. This gives you a wider view of how each colossus size relates to the other, for instance Gaius (#3) is as tall as Quadratus (#2), but from playing the game (from Wander's perspective) Giaus seems a lot taller than Quadratus! This is an optical illusion as it's a tall thin colossus, whereas Quadratus is a wide oblong shaped colossus. If you were to put these two colossus next to each other you would see how they are the same height.

 All colossi sizes chart
Download hi-res image here: 

So there you have it! All 16 colossi's exact sizes. This took me months of work but I'm happy with the final results. These sizes are a lot smaller than my original speculations and it may seem that the colossi are too small in comparison as to how we first imagined them, but I guarantee that what I have presented here are the true colossi sizes. You can take my word for this ; )


  1. That´s another good stuff.
    Waiting for more. xD

    "More later... I'm off to bed!"

    By some reason,I´m laughing because of this.

  2. O_o Look at Phalanx!
    Anyway,this is precious information.

    And if the Statue of Liberty put down it arm,it and Malus will be close the same size,isn´t?

    Should be pretty hard to model such sized creatures.TeamICO have done a awesome work,no doubt.

    And,what you think Ueda will say about your hacks?

  3. Ueda would probably like my enthusiasm but I'm not sure what he would think of my hacks. He might think I have sullied the purity of the game by doing things that were never intended... but you never know, he may find some of the things I do interesting.

  4. Yes, you are right Spirit. If the Statue of Liberty lowered her arm she would be about the same height as Malus. Good observation!

  5. Sorry, I meant HyperSNES, not Spirit :0

  6. No problem.
    This happens. XD

    Anyway,I think what some things you have done in special,even Ueda will like.
    This makes me think how will be an encounter between you,Pikol,wwwarea and TeamICO.
    I hope one day this happens,and Ueda answer all our questions.

  7. Why you keep calling him Spirit?It doesn't matter.

    I think that when we are playing,they look a lot smaller.But following this we know they are really colossal.

    By the way if you,Pikol and WWWarea had an interview with Ueda he could say this:“Oh I remember my team developing thisbeta area”

  8. hahaha, i think you made phalanax SO big!
    king kong its so patetic compared to malus! :P
    pd: im sanmono123 from youtube xD

  9. pd2: you draw king kong in the empire state building xD
    pd3: you are a very good drawer!

  10. "Why you keep calling him Spirit?It doesn't matter."

    But he called me Spirit just one time! :P

  11. I was told that Guerreiro Wander was Spirit of Wander... is that right or not? If not then I apologize for any confusion.

    Who is Guerreiro Wander then? People have different user names on different sites, so it gets confusing sometimes.

  12. wait, this can't be right. it says that Gaius is about 100ft tall and Malus is about 200ft tall, but if you look at the chart Malus is a lot more than twice the height of Gaius.

  13. Yeah, you're right. Malus is too big... I'll have to fix it(sorry). He's 197 ft tall (60m), my chart was off.

  14. Malus is off scale in the comparison to largest buildings chart too. The statue of liberty is 150 feet tall, so Malus should be about 50 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.

  15. Yeah, I know - that's why I removed them... the statue of liberty in my chart has the base it stands on so it's actually just over 300 ft tall, so about 100 feet higher than Malus.

  16. OK Sam, I fixed the charts so they should look correct now. So Malus is actually smaller than the Statue of Liberty (that is with it's base). Without the base Malus would be taller.

  17. Damn it!
    So I was wrong after all ><

  18. Phalanx looks MUCH smaller in game, mostly because of how thin it is, I suppose. This chart actually makes me respect what is already one of my favorite colossi even more. Bravo, Nomad!

  19. Great job, those comparisons were amazing

  20. When playing it, they kinda intimidate me because of the size. Now I'm more scared XD

  21. Hey Nomad! Nice blog you have here. I was just wondering if you could make a size comparison between Phalanx and various man-made flying machines. The Saturn-V rocket perhaps? Or a jumbo jet? Anyway, just a suggestion=))

  22. Hey, Have you ever explored any of the secret places in SotC? in The Valus Mountains, there are tunnels you can see in the sides of the mountain. Also the temple in the side of the valley you Battle Valus in, it has some cool stuff inside it. There are a few more too.

  23. Not sure what 'tunnels' you mean... and there's nothing in that temple sadly, it's just for show. I've been behind it and it's just a shell (a facade) against the mountains.

  24. Would be cool to know how big the beta ones were, that'd be near impossible tho.

  25. Well, we're lucky those colossi never exist in this world. I mean, look at phalanx!

  26. Hey man, why did you leave out 13? You know that's just superstition right? :-)

  27. Sorry - an oversight on my part... thanks for bringing it to my attention (not superstitious at all ; ) I'll fix it when I get home after work.

    In the meantime, here is #13's sizes (I posted all the images on my Flickr site):

  28. I have nothing short of respect for the dedication you put into this game for years now :O I bow down to your passion
    best wishes

  29. In order to confirm that Wander is actually a short person, could it be possible for you to meausure Lord Emon and the soldiers as well? I mean, what if actually he's average sized compared to the other human beings we see in the game? It's something that just came to my mind, because 1.2m? that's... wow
    Anyway, I love your work! you're just awesome, keep it up!

    1. I'm working on Emon and his soldiers dimensions so I'll update this post when done. Also will work out Mono's size.

  30. Hey Nomad! Do we have any clue about how old Wander is? How can he be just 1.2m? What's Mono's size?

  31. I remember Ueda saying that Wander was about 17 years old, might be from the art book or from an early interview he did... will have to look it up.

    I know how you feel, I was the same when I first worked out how tall he was, more like a hobbit than a young man xD. But I've tested his height using different techniques and it's always the same (1.25m or just over 4 feet tall). That's why Agro looks so large compared to Wander, but Agro is a regular sized horse, it's just that Wander is much smaller than normal.

    I haven't measured Mono yet but I think she is a little shorter than Wander, I'll also measure Emon and his soldiers as well and update the blog.

    1. I trust your ways my friend, I've just never thought about Wander like that :P Looking forward to see the update.

  32. can you mod the game to a point where multiplayer is possible? (whether its local, splitscreen, online, etc)

  33. what i have learnt from this... WANDER IS TINY
    and that Malus wounder be a better lady liberty XD

  34. Funny thing about Phalanx, I did some quick math and found out Phalanx is 200 m , IF the player is 1.8 m (6 foot) tall. So from a curtain point of view he is both 200 and 145.7 m long.

  35. I think Phalanx is ~200m long and Wander is 1.70m as Ueda stated. (145.7 in-game m / 1.25 in-game m) * 1.70 Ueda m = 198.152 m ~ 200m, like Ueda said.
    I think the in-game scale is just different and you have to multiply everything by a factor of 1.36 (1.7/1.25) to get real-world sizes.
    We are not supposed to know to numerical values that are used in the code. They often differ from real life like e.g. 100 for the gravitational constant instead of 9.81. So I take Ueda's word, as 1.70 and 200m fit so perfectly well.

    1. I dont know where Ueda said Wander is 1.7 m tall. I know he said Wander was 17 years old in some art book or from an early interview he did.
      As for the Wonder being 1.7 m , there is not much against the argument, except for one thing... THE HORSE.
      Argo would be gigantic if Wonder was normal sized. When ever you see him ride, Wander looks like a tiny Jockey compared to her. Even some of the other humans that are much bigger then Wander dont look so big when ridding there horses. Before I thought that it was some kind of stylistic choise, giant normal looking horses in a fantasy world , but if Wander was 1.25 m, all the horse sizes are to real horse scale,
      The same aplies to a lot of things in the enviroment, so its posible that Wanders people are slightly smaler then regular humans , and Wander himself is slightly smaller for there standard.
      When you think about , Wonder is basically a tiny person beating the shit out of literal giants.

  36. @Nomad, I come back to some of your posts from time to time and am always amazed at the level of thoughtfulness and detail put into each and every one. Hope you're doing well!