The lights are on
Shadow of the Colossus released when I was in college and it commanded the attention of everyone both in and nearby my dorm room.
I brought Shadow of the Colossus to the dorm shortly after release, and everybody was intrigued by it. People would come by to watch me play, putting off plans and classes to see me tackle one more colossus. After I completed it, I loaned it to everyone with a PlayStation 2. Soon, all nearby my room were fans and experts on Shadow of the Colossus.
Many of us had beaten all 16 of the massive bosses, and one day we read about climbing the game’s prominent central tower. Despite all of our collective time with the game, it never occurred to any of us that it was possible to climb to the top. If you’re unfamiliar with the location, it’s possible to get to the top of the tower where you begin the game and end up after every battle by beating the game multiple times, expanding your stamina, and climbing the mossy section on the back.
With all of our separate saves, we didn’t have the stamina we needed on a single file, but there was an exploit the Internet had discovered allowing you to jump and climb at an angle in order to conserve stamina. I believe the exploit was removed for the HD release. We took turns trading off the controller climbing the tower this way because it took forever.
Getting to the top felt like we’d discovered some secret, forbidden area of the world. If you’ve beaten the game, you will recognize the top of the tower from the closing cutscenes. We explored the area thoroughly, spending as much time as we could in the garden before moving onto the bridge. Walking across the game’s iconic bridge takes a long time, and the exit at the end pushes against you as though you’re cursed to stay in the land of the colossus and accept your fate.
It was a strange feat of teamwork, getting to the top of the tower. Exploring it felt like we were trespassing in an area we were never supposed to visit. Part of it was due to the difficulty related to getting to the top, but mostly it was because the world of Shadow of the Colossus feels sacred, and as we discovered, some areas are forbidden to those unworthy.
Email the author Kyle Hilliard, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.