Sunday, August 7, 2011

7th Colossus

A ruin hidden in the lake... 
A ripple of thunder lurks underwater...

Developer Name: Eel
Fan Name: Hydrus (Draco Marinus) - Sea Dragon
Location Name: Lakeside

Colossus 7 Hints
- Swim on the lake surface to draw out the colossus...
- Grab on to the colossus's tail...
- Sever the power of the radiating horn at its root...

A deep lake with a ruined bridge is the lair of the water serpent

What bridge may have looked like complete
Early concept designs of Hydrus from the art book - called the 'Fish'

In these sketches above Ueda states 'The first sketch of a colossus that lurked in the water. We called it Fish. Most like an eel, ruins cling to it like barnacles, scales cover its body. It's possible to catch him by sticking your sword into (...)'

Hydrus before activation - suspended under the water's surface

Back of Hydrus' Lake
You can see in the image above that if the bridge was complete it would lead you to this path at the back of the arena. So I think they designed the ruined bridge to show that at one time it did indeed lead to this path, but over the centuries parts of it fell into the lake from long years of exposure to the elements. The spiral platform looks like it was used as a lookout at one time, perhaps to keep an eye on the water serpent? There's no way to reach this path in the game so I've used an invisible save stone platform to explore it. It leads up to the towers at the back of the arena and then northwards to the beta mountains at D0 (which can only be found in the Preview version).

Path leading up to towers

Path winds up the cliff face

Path marked by sunlight

Ledge above ruins - you can see the water effects are missing

 View to the south

 Panned out view

 Towers above path

 Up close at the towers

Top of a tower

 View from broken tower

Path leading north to D0 beta mountains

Beta mountains at D0 - just a stone's throw away from the towers

In the Preview version there are beta mountains right behind this area, so maybe you could have once followed this grassy path up to the towers and then proceeded north to the beta mountains, which would have been another huge area on the map... just wild speculation of course ; )

Ledge at front of the Arena
There is a ledge on the side of the arena where you enter, if you turn around and face where you entered you can see it. It's easy to reach, you just have to climb up onto the sides of the entrance bridge and jump from there. It has no relevance to the battle but provides nice views of the area.

West side

East side - leads to a dead end

If you jump down from the west side there's a little inlet where the water is clear and you can see the underwater structures more clearly, and if you turn Wander around to face the camera his head warps in strange ways due to the water effects.

Wander's wobbly face ~ creepy!
Hydrus area sketch from the art book - The position of the ruins is random

Hydrus After Death

After Hydrus dies it sinks to the bottom of the lake. Normally the game would load the next colossus at this point but here I have used the 'kill code' which kills the colossus and leaves Wander unaffected, so the game can continue. Hydrus keeps falling slowly down, below the lake and into the void. I've never hung around long enough to see what happens, but I guess it would just unload at a certain point.

It's still solid so I can climb on its fur, but one hit from its electric spines and Wander will be jolted into a falling position of which there is no way to recover (meaning I have to reload my save file). None of the other colossi do this, they all fall where they were killed, only Hydrus ends up falling into the void.

Video here:

A sketch of an underwater battle, 'I absolutely wanted to have one'

Hidden Water Area
I was searching around the outside of Hydrus' lake and found a spot where Wander can swim around that is behind the cliff walls. Because it's under the cliffs it looks like he is swimming in a cave, but it's not a very large area and once you swim too far he just falls into the void.

 The bottom of the towers can be seen in the distance

 A rock arch in the distance... I think this is the Stone Arch Gorge at D2

You can see the inside of the arena through the walls - like a window

Bottom of the Lake
This lake is the deepest in the forbidden lands and it was once speculated that a sunken city lay beneath the dark waters. When the 'Quest for the Last Big Secret' forum was in full swing it was discussed at length. It was thought that some action would either raise the sunken city or drain the lake allowing access to a secret area. The main spiral platform has two platforms that jut out at 120 degree angles so an idea was that the spiral ramp could be rotated somehow, perhaps aligning the platforms that would trigger the city to rise. Sounds ridiculous today, but back then all theories were tabled.

There's also a suspicious lonely spire at the back of the lake that you can climb, once at the top the camera pans down into the lake and Hydrus swims in circles around the spire. It was thought that if you could get Hydrus to coil itself around the spire it might trigger a cut scene or other event. They sound pretty crazy now, but at the time we were throwing any ideas out there to see if we could crack the secret.

Wander at the bottom of the lake

I used a hack to get down here but there's an area where Wander can run around, jump and use his weapons as if on land, although you still see water effects. For some reason Agro just runs around in circles down here and doesn't respond to calls or shy away from arrows. When you shoot arrows you see a burst of bubbles appear which I thought was a nice effect considering you never shoot arrows underwater! But a lot of the ground has no collisions so you can't go far before falling into the void.

 Wander riding Agro deep down on the lake bed

 Hydrus swimming high above

 You can actually shoot it with exploding arrows but the colossus doesn't react

 Here we can see that there is no sunken city in this lake - just columns and spires

Swimming up through a column

You can watch the video here:

Hydrus Above Land
I once made a video of Hydrus flying above the forbidden lands much like how Phalanx or Avion does. It was a very old video (less than 360p) so the quality is crude by today's standards (so I think I will re-make this video).

Hydrus Death Screen
Image you see when Wander dies during the fight with Hydrus.


  1. Hey, Nomad!

    Can you read my post in my blog of SOTC and comment? XD

    here is my blog
    the blog is in portuguese but this post is in inglish XD

  2. I hope what one day Ueda answer our questions.

  3. Whattabout postin´ a "visitors" counter?
    I mean, i love your blog XD

  4. I added a visitor counter as well as a search function and links list ; )

  5. Nomad,there exist a small path ithout an exit in the west side of the lake,together with this ``beta´´ water part.It makes even more sense that the path I said was suposed to be one of the lake´s entrances

  6. Beta mountains...
    These areas made the game more epic!