Wednesday, January 1, 2014

11th Colossus

An altar overlooks the lake... 
A guardian set loose...
It keeps the flames alive.

Developer Name: Leo_A
Fan Name: Celosia (Flame Guardian) - Ignis Excubitor
Location Name: Leo's Cave
Map Reference: F1

Colossus 11 Hints
- Perhaps thou can use the pedestal of flames...
- It fears the flames...

Wander arrives at a ruined underground temple

What can I say about the 11th colossus that hasn't already been said before? Fans have focussed in on this colossus ever since Ascadia first proposed his 'intersecting points' theory of a last big secret at this area, but in the end it's just another enigmatic colossi arena, just as special as any of the others. As we know, no last big secret was ever found here but this doesn't diminish the wonder that players get from this amazing underground temple.

Built into the side of a cliff and overlooking a sheer walled canyon, the temple is hidden from sight until you are right up at the edge of the canyon. There is a zig zag path at the east side of the canyon that allows Wander to enter the arena, but there are other less circuitous ways of reaching the temple.

Wander directly above the entrance to the temple

I usually jump down from this spot (above) which will lead you right to the smashed open doorway that leads to the temple. Note: You have to enter the temple from this side in order to trigger Celosia which raises some further questions that I will go into later. Even with the minimum amount of health and grip strength you can survive the fall from this ledge. I checked the values, Wander takes 64% damage at minimum strength. He can survive falls from a much greater height than this.

See my video 'Odds & Ends (part 3)

Wander outside the temple - enter via broken door

So you can just jump down here from above (even without the parachute). If this door has been smashed open in the past then there must have been another way to reach the temple before it was broken. Further down the narrow passage at this side of the temple (the north side) there is another opening which leads to some ledges Wander can climb up. 

Side entrance to the temple

This passage is a rough hewn entrance that seems to be a natural opening in the cliff and would appear to be the original way to enter the temple in times past. It leads to some ledges that Wander can climb up to reach the west side of the temple (i.e. the back of the temple). You can't climb up the other (east side) ledge from here, only the west side ledges give you access. So we can assume that the designers of this temple had left a way for some future traveller (or warrior) to be able to gain access to this temple, and indeed, all the other colossi arenas, otherwise why not seal off the entire thing? Why not bury it underground and seal it off for eternity? It seems to me (from a story viewpoint) that they predicted a time when Dormin would rise again and as such, designed the arenas to give someone a chance to make this happen, even if it was small chance.

Agro launch or jump down to the large pond at the east side of the canyon floor

Agro launch to the small pond on the canyon floor

Agro launch to temple platform

Drop down onto the altar

The above four images reveal ways you can reach the canyon without having to run down the zig zag path at the east side. Note: If you Agro launch to the canyon floor you will die, only by landing in water or on a higher ledge will Wander survive. So you have a few options, the large pond, the smaller pond, the temple ledge or the altar. The smaller pond is closer to the temple, but if your aim is off it will be bad news for Wander, the large pond is safer but you will have further to travel. You can just jump down from the cliff edge into the larger pond, there is really no need to Agro launch down there.

The other option is to Agro launch from the south side of the temple (see image with red arrow), but you will need to land on the temple platform. There are three levels, the top (temple) level, a lower ledge and the canyon floor. You can survive the first two levels, but the canyon floor will mean death for Wander. You can also just drop down from the cliff ledge to the stone altar, Wander will again take damage but will survive.

Drop down from the ledge above the temple

Wander floating down to the temple ledge

The best option (in my opinion) is to drop down from the ledge above the temple ledge. You don't need the parachute for this but if you have it I would use it. Either way, you will survive the fall and gain access to the temple from the east side. If you are in Normal mode this will make defeating Celosia a lot easier as you can use the exploding arrows to produce the wooden stick.

Shoot the brazier with the explosive arrows

Retrieve the stick before the battle starts

View of Celosia from the east side of the temple (before the battle)

In Normal play mode you can utilise the flash arrows to get the stick before the battle commences. Just drop down from the ledge above and guide Wander's fall down to the temple ledge. Once there shoot one of the fire pedestals to produce the wooden stick. Run up to one of the closest fire pedestals and relight the stick, then trigger the battle with Celosia. You will now have a lit wooden stick to frighten Celosia which eliminates the need to get the stick with Celosia lurking around (as you do in normal play). The stick only last 45 seconds before it is extinguished, so it's best to frighten Celosia half way back then relight the stick at one of the two rear side braziers. Now you can use the lit stick to push Celosia over the cliff edge.

See video of this method here:

The lake once filled the entire canyon floor

In the introduction to this level Dormin says 'An altar overlooks the lake', from Glitterberri's translation of the art book it was revealed that Ueda once planned for Celosia to swim around in this lake as part of the battle with Wander. However he abandoned this concept 'When we tried to make his [Celosia's] swimming speed match Wander's, he looked weak, so we gave up on the idea'. So even though they removed the lake and left just two ponds behind they didn't change Dormin's introduction. This was also the case with the 4th colossus (Phaedra), the 'rows of guiding graves' was another leftover that was changed later in development.

Small pond

Large pond - remnants of the canyon lake

Celosia before activation

Starts facing the west - opposite from the lower temple arena

Outside of the cage

Wander behind the bars

It was Radical Dreamer who first hacked the game and brought Wander up to this ledge (25-11-2008). Strangely, Celosia seems to appear and disappear once Wander is up here. Sometimes it's in its cage then for no reason it will disappear. I remember when I first tried using Tsearch it was here that I did my first tests, trying to find the addresses that would lift Wander up to this ledge but ended up failing xD. Today I can easily moon jump up there and even move Wander behind the iron bars which have an invisible wall protecting them. There is a small area behind the bars where Wander can walk.

See Radical Dreamer's early video here (Celosia's cage at 01:47)

Area under the cage and above the temple

Notice Celosia's claws are protruding below the cage floor

Mysterious broken ruin near entrance to the canyon

At the top of the zig zag path is a small ruin with two columns. This is here to help Wander find the proper entrance to the canyon and acts as a marker to this area from far away. The temple is directly in line with this structure and you can tell it belongs with Celosia's temple as it has the same design on the floor as the underground temple, that is the square design Wander is standing on in the above image matches the floor on the west side of the temple (before you jump the trench to begin the battle).

Broken columns

Columns as they once looked (retouched)

Same design can be seen in the temple
Early designs of Celosia from the art book

Sealed doorway at the back of the temple

Sealed doorway showing scale compared to Wander

Other side of the sealed doorway

As we all know, there was nothing found behind the sealed door (thanks to Radical Dreamer) and it seems nothing was ever planned to be there. In fact from the scale of the thing there's no real evidence that it is a door... more like a decorative feature of the temple wall. Although there are some steps leading up to this feature there are also other examples of this in the game, for example at #1's temple there are some steps leading to a false door or wall.

 Broken doorway

Broken column

have always wondered about this doorway or wall that has been smashed open in the past. In my 'Previous Wanderer's theory' I suggested that Celosia had caused this in a previous battle with another explorer or some poor fool who happened upon the temple. The knocked over columns where Wander can hide and the above broken column may also have been caused by Celosia's rage as well. It also seems plausible that an earthquake could knock down the columns or shift loose a block from the column above, but I find it hard to believe it could have destroyed the sealed door in this way. It looks to me like it was deliberately smashed open with great force, but the truth is we can only speculate on how it happened.

View of the temple model from outside

View from behind the altar

Sticks under the temple

There are actually four sticks under the temple, one under each fire pedestal. If you take the stick outside the arena and drop it on the ground the stick will disappear or unload. In fact if you leave the confines of the temple and drop the stick anywhere (i.e on the canyon floor for example) the stick will unload and return to its place under the fire pedestal. When you return to the temple you can get the same stick again, in fact you can keep getting sticks indefinitely while Celosia is the current colossus. If you enter the temple at any other time you can't get the stick with the flash arrows and even if you could (via hacking for instance) you can't light the stick at the fire pedestals. Note: I also tried to light the stick at #8's anti-chamber temple (the only other place that has fire) but the stick will not catch fire there.

Shoot a flash arrow at a fire pedestal from a distance to release a stick

Wander trigger's Celosia

Celosia turns 180 degrees

Then leaps down to the temple floor below

Celosia waits for Wander to jump over the trench

Safe hiding place for Wander on east side ledge

A second hiding place can be found behind a fallen column

Wander on top of a fire pedestal - with lit torch

I never understood what Dormin meant when it says 'It keeps the flames alive' as even after Celosia is defeated the flames are still there. In fact if you enter the temple at any time in the game the flames are still lit. If it keeps the flames alive you would think they would be extinguished when it was killed but this doesn't happen. I liked the idea that the flames were somehow linked to the colossus, that its fiery spirit kept them burning but this doesn't seem to be the case. 

Scaring Celosia over the edge of the cliff

After the fall Celosia's fur is exposed

Yet another hiding place on the altar

There is actually one way to use the altar to Wander's advantage by climbing up then using it as a platform to jump onto Celosia. Of course most people jump down from the temple ledges after it falls over the cliff, or shoot it with an arrow (normal or explosive) and use a fire pedestal to jump onto it when it returns to the temple, but this method works just as well. 

Wander standing on some rocks

Wander on the higher ledge above the large pond

You can also use different places around the canyon to jump onto Celosia if you wish. Any sufficiently high rock or ledge will do. You can even make it onto Celosia from the ground if your timing is good enough as the colossus isn't much taller than Wander.

Celosia can't get to Wander

If you jump down to the canyon floor while Celosia is in the temple it will continue to walk around the edge of the cliff in frustration, effectively stuck! You can whistle and shoot arrows to enrage it but it won't jump down. You will have to run back to temple to finish the battle.

 Wander hiding in the large pond

Celosia will also not follow Wander into the larger pond, so it seems it's afraid of fire and water, however it has no problem chasing or attacking Wander at the smaller pond. Many have tried to lure Celosia into the water but there is an invisible barrier it will not pass. I have manually moved it into the larger pond (via hacking) but it just falls through the floor and disappears.

A flock of hawks fly around the canyon

There are no lizards in the canyon but there is quite a large flock of hawks that fly around a predetermined path. I have tried to grab hold of them but it's impossible with these hawks (much like the hawks at #1's area). They appear to be there for no reason except to give some life to the lifeless environment or to bear witness to your battle with the colossus, and it's nice to hear them chirp above you from time to time.

The canyon with a mist effect

By bumping up the mist effect just a little it totally changes the look of the canyon and gives it a spooky feeling. You can see there are clouds of mist that float above the large pool of water, you can see this fog in normal game play if you look closely.
Symbols at Celosia's area

You can watch my 'Celosia compilation' video here:

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