Shadow of colossus

February 19, 2008

(Almost) no pretty pictures in this post. For one, it´s about a video game and secondly, here it´s the story that counts. Or rather the mood that is being set.
I´m certainly no gamer, but when i came across this game in a Spiegel article (in german), i was fascinated. The game by Kenji Kaido for Playstation 2 is already two years old and was (and is) hailed as one of the greatest and most beautiful games of all time. A work of art even.
The story is pretty simple. A young warrior has to find and kill 16 colossi to save the life of a young girl.
It´s an unusual game. There are no explosions, no muscle-packed heros, no upgrades. There are not even other sub characters. There is only the girl (which only appears in the beginning), the boy and his faithful horse. They travel through a “dreamlike world of stillness and emptiness” with wheathered ruins and stunning landscapes. It is a melancholy world. Spiegel calls it the “art of omittance”,there are no maps, no objects to collect, no music. Just the bleak landscape and the sound of the wind and of the hooves of your horse.
And then you find a colossus. They are part animal, part mineral, part building (and beautifully detailed), and they are huge. You need to look up to keep track of them and when they move the earth trembles.


And here happens what makes this game special. when you conquer the colossi after a long fight by climbing onto it and finding its weakness.And when you drive your sword into it and it crashes to the ground…you feel ” a small sliver of guilt”. And maybe even pity. Spiegel claims it is “as if you break in a horse, and when it finally submits you drive a knife into its neck”.

Official website
Wikipedia article

PS: Since i never played the game most of the descriptions come from the german article i mentioned and various other sources. I would love to play it one day though…or rather sit beside someone who will play it for me, for i think i could not kill a colossi.