DGC Ep 047: Ico/Shadow of the Colossus (part three)

Welcome to the third episode in our series examining the first two works of Fumito Ueda: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. We discuss Colossus's form, intro, animation, and a number of design elements, including brief recaps of the first eight Colossus battles. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
The first 8 Colossi

Podcast breakdown:
0:40 Discussion

Issues covered: brief history, high-level structure (boss battles), boss battle-centricity, bosses as story arcs and reward structures in other games, pacing benefits, higher peaks and deeper valleys, puzzle bosses and the puzzle-y aspects of each Colossus, presentation of the first Colossus, description of the opening scenes, organic design, story setup, narrators, shadowy figures, echoes of the sarcophagi, Brett teaches Tim the name of the horse, Agro as companion, horse as primer for environment/Colossus navigation, inverse kinematics, introduction to all the mechanics, slow animation of the Colossus, first impressions, Colossi as levels, sense of majesty, giant/automaton/golem, Dormin telling you what to do on occasion, fur and scampering, large wind-ups as tells, deep dive on the grip meter, description of Colossus death, particular order of attacks and payoff, avoiding backtracking, the mournful weight of lore and echoes, making the Colossi suffer and the descent of the player, original co-op design, talking quickly about each battle, additive mechanics and puzzles, kofun tombs, a moment that remains with you forever, audio-visual support for the bird fight, deeper dive on the electrified eel, Trico qua Colossus, building relationships rather than puzzles, puzzles as friction or obstacles, beams of light from Colossi corpses, golem construction materials, reminders of how bad you should feel.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussedFolsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash, Team Ico, genDesign, LucasArts, Republic Commando, Halo, The Last Guardian, Titan Souls, Cuphead, Super Metroid, MegaMan, Antonio Gaudi, Indiana Jones, Ico, Star Wars, God of War, Demon's Souls, Wizard of Oz (obliquely), Monster Hunter, Jeffool, Gothic_Chocobo.

Next time:
Finish Shadow of the Colossus!

NICO online co-op prototype
Game Maker's Toolkit on Ico is pretty great
Extra Frames (from Extra Credits) on Shadow of the Colossus

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub