DGC Ep 046: Ico/Shadow of the Colossus (part two)

Welcome to the second episode in our series examining the first two works of Fumito Ueda: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. We discuss bits of Ico's narrative, the holistic and economic aspects of the design, the build-up of tension and mutual support between the characters, the combat, and a host of other issues. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Second half of Ico!

Podcast breakdown:
0:33   Ico

Issues covered: the source of all future quotes, camera/Yorda/scale holism and reinforcement, taking copious notes, the "b" word, spots where the camera doesn't work, setting down the controller, pushing through player skill games, visual language in encounter design, maintaining the connection with Yorda in combat, story act structure, the arc of combat encounters, castle cohesion, castle as a character, being able to see from title screen where you'll go, points of interest, story bits with the Queen at the gate, the castle as a real place, Yorda's leaps, building relationship and trust and tension, establishing reciprocal feeling, Yorda's powers, opening the other door, cutting ropes around the reflectors, puzzles where the platforming is pushed a bit too far, camera control, depleting Yorda to open the gates, the expanding dark circle with the sickly green rim, clever environmental object design, a touching moment, fighting the shadows from the sarcophagi, character art of the Queen, Queen Himiko and art/textiles of ancient Japan, the boss battle, losing Ico's horns, Yorda freeing Ico from the castle, recovery of humanity and rebirth, credits nostalgia, the beach scene and reunion, HDR/bloom effects, watermelon alternate ending, a little bit about how Yorda's AI might work, Brett's new Emo band, potentially scripted, Yorda's personality vs Trico's, favorite bits, "Are they really going to let me do this?," common emotional tones in Ueda's games. 

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Metal Gear Solid 4, Resident Evil, Day of the Tentacle, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian, Super Mario Galaxy, Tomb Raider, Uncharted, Prince of Persia, Brothers, The Last of Us, Stranger Things/Eleven, Shodan, Okami, Indiana Jones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (obliquely), The Sims, Republic Commando, Cameron Hass, Myst, Riven

Next time:
First 8 Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub