DGC Ep 048: Shadow of the Colossus (part two)

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 mysterious world, talk about Agro, the camera, delve into the story, and also recap the eight Colossi that make up the second half of the game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
Final 8 Colossi in Shadow of the Colossus

Podcast breakdown:
0:41 Segment 1: SotC discussion
1:03:34 Break
1:04:22 Segment 2: Final Colossi, Feedback

Issues covered: visiting areas ahead of fighting Colossi, stripping away the filler combat, a Cursed land: justifying its emptiness, the Zen garden, beauty is a purpose, a meditative space, no support to the completionist or progress on the map, altar icons on the map, getting the platinum, less is more, openended-ness as a hinge to mystery, filling in details by yourself, archaeology as jigsaw puzzle, being memorable and provocative, being left wanting more, PS2-era quality, the end of Agro, dependence on Agro in fighting Colossi, characterization of the horse, less accessible controls (vs driving like a car), the joyfulness of a slow trot, criticizing the controls, justifying turning heavy things on a dime in AAA games, the dynamism of a camera in an open world, beautifully framed shots, using the rule of thirds dynamically for framing, camera designers, open space as an aid to framing, AAA camera design and implementation, topography to accentuate shots, tradeoffs, story spacing, visual aging and greying of Wander to reflect the cost of his quest, Mono's voice reaching through the void, opening the sealed gate, Agro jumping gaps, Agro's sacrifice, replaying to try and save her, interactive crossing the bridge, should it be a cutscene?, being more generous with the player, echoes in the end between Wander and the Colossi, splitting a god into multiple pieces as a parallel myth, the sword as my instrument and the instrument of my demise, Dormin resisting being pulled into the pool, Mono and Agro and the baby and the garden, the soundtrack, the music of horse riding, the Tim Horse Surprise, wall of sound vs silence, scoring to tell you what to feel, the final eight colossi, frustration of character-relative bow aiming, showing the limits and warts of mechanics, New Game+ mechanics and goals, hidden depths in Ueda's work.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussedShadows of Mordor, Diablo, Titan Quest, Baldur's Gate, Souls series, PlaystationTrophies.org, Uncharted series, Bioshock (obliquely), The Last Guardian, Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider, Remi Lacoste, Ubisoft, Prince of Persia, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Assassin's Creed, Fable, Peter Molyneux, Eadweard Muybridge, Final Fantasy IX, GCMSHPLC, shabby329, Jedi Starfighter.

Next time:
Bonus! A little The Last Guardian and talking about Ueda's pillars.

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub