Lorequest: Shadow of the Colossus Part 8- “Barba”

 

BEGIN TRANSMISSION.

 

Yes, I’m back, slinking into my favoured fortress of Lorequest. Late, as per usual. But these walls are mine and I will defend them with mass conjecture to the best of my ability!

 

END TRANSMISSION.

 


 

 

Barba, Colossus #6, otherwise known as the Slumbering Gravekeeper- the god of protecting the dead and entombed underground. 1.

Barba, Colossus #6, otherwise known as the Slumbering Gravekeeper- the god of protecting the dead and entombed underground. 1.

 

So we finally come back to Shadow of the Colossus, do we? Well good, I was tired of lying to myself and saying I didn’t have time for this anyway. But to be honest, we’re going from Avion, my favourite Colossus, to Barba, my least favourite. So you can understand my hesitation.

 

Dormin has this to say about Barba:

Thy next foe is…

A giant lurks underneath the temple…
It lusts for destruction…
But a fool, it is not.

 

This one’s actually pretty interesting. Not very helpful at all to poor little Wander but still interesting nevertheless. We’ll get to that later!

Barba showing his bony ribcage-like outcroppings and his dappled skin. 1.

Barba showing his bony ribcage-like outcroppings and his dappled skin. 1.

Barba, otherwise known as Belua Maximus is the sixth Colossus that Wander will encounter in the Forbidden Lands. He, by my investigation, was a god of the dead and guarded over them in their eternal slumber. He’s the third of the five “humanoid” Colossi and represents the next stage in the craftsmen’s attempts to create a more realistically humanoid statue. Barba is also the second and final Colossus concerned predominately with death, as he presides over a large underground catacomb and sports many ghastly and boney appendages like Phaedra, the other Colossus of the dead.

Barba’s appearance makes it fairly obvious that he’s a god of the dead. His exposed spine and even what appears to be ribs near the armour on his waist are evidence of that (and are quite similar to the other god of the dead, Phaedra). What else is interesting through is that Barba is not only sporting a tremendous beard but also dappled skin. His skin, when combined with the long beard, actually makes me think of liver-spots and thus, old age. And what’s more ancient than death itself? Not a whole lot. So Barba’s not only a wizened old caretaker of the dead and their resting places but he also represents the timeless force that all those that live must eventually fall to. He doesn’t carry a weapon, either, being the only humanoid Colossus to not have one (Malus’ exploding-lightning magic counts as its launched from his hands. Also, that big lighthouse totally has huge claws. Just saying.). This may have been a design modification by the Shamans so Barba didn’t totally wreck up the place or it may have just been that, as a god, Barba embodied death so much that a weapon was unnecessary. Barba is a representation of death and entropy as a force, a largely unfelt passage of time slowly sapping life away from bones and body while leaving its marks on skin and the beards of old men.

In other words, Barba has quite a wizened and respectable air about him, perhaps feeding into his reputation great intelligence. Like Hades with a huge beard and made out of stone that can totally beat the crap out of you. Not to say that Hades couldn’t beat the ever-loving snot out of you. Barba will just be much more direct about it.

And I can respect that. Even if I’m not the biggest fan of his actual battle.

So let’s finally get to unpacking what Dormin said about the big bearded oaf.

A giant lurks underneath the temple. Well, it’s fairly obvious that Barba is a giant, so that’s clear as it stands. But what isn’t is that Dormin says that he’s “underneath the temple,” implying that the actual temple is not where he actually is. But the rest of Barba’s building is just one big path down to the crypts he’s guarding. So that must mean that the actual temple is somewhere above him and where you can’t get to. In other words, unlike most other Colossi which directly guard their places of worship and veneration, Barba is guarding the place underneath it. But, given that he’s a god of the dead, perhaps presiding over where the living tread is a bit out of his job description.

The entrance to Barba's arena. This may be his actual temple that he waits underneath. And yet, most temples have some kind of altar or location of worship. This one simply has a hall that leads right to Barba's catacombs. 1.

The entrance to Barba’s arena. This may be his actual temple that he waits underneath. And yet, most temples have some kind of altar or location of worship. This one simply has a hall that leads right to Barba’s catacombs. 1.

So, if where Barba is waiting isn’t his temple, what’s all that down by him?

I first want to look at the structure at the far end of the room which I’ll just call the scaenae frons from now on. For those who don’t have much of an interest in Greek and Roman history, a scaenae frons is 3D backdrop used in (predominately) Roman plays. They’re actually quite beautiful being constructed like facades of buildings to give the appearance of a real structure. They were also sometimes carved into rock walls to serve as a natural stopper to the structures. The structure at the end of Barba’s arena not only has the appearance of a scaenae frons in that it looks like the façade of a structure jutting out from a wall of rock, but it even hosts Romanesque Doric columns like said scaenae fronses (What do you know? “Fronses” is the correct way to pluralize “frons”).

A real-life in Bosra, Syria. Not the pillars and the illusion of a real structure being constructed. 2.

A real-life in Bosra, Syria. Not the pillars and the illusion of a real structure being constructed. 2.

SO since scaenae fronses were used in Ancient Rome as backdrop to plays… well, what if the people of the Forbidden Lands used that structure as a backdrop to perform plays about the life of a dead person or of some kind of celebration of the dead? Seems possible. Probable? Eh. Possible? Yeah, why not.

A view of the catacombs right from right above Barba's container. The Frons is in the far back with its many pillars. 1.

A view of the catacombs right from right above Barba’s container. The Frons is in the far back with its many pillars. 1.

Day of the Dead celebration in the Forbidden Lands? Makes sense to me! I had mentioned in the Colossus page, I mentioned that since the dead play such a huge role in the plot and in the Forbidden Land’s culture (Phaedra and Barba themselves are good examples of that), there may very well be some kinds of celebrations held in the dead’s honour down there in Barba’s tomb with Barba himself looming from the other side of the room. I have no idea how people would get down to the “theatre area” and the scaenae frons since it’s just a big ladder all the way down with no steps.

Well, I mean, somehow Dark Souls is lauded as having one of the best game worlds in recent memory and IT is totally illogically built with thin walkways and impossible terrain for work animals and construction materials.

That doesn’t prove my point so much as take a pot-shot at Dark Souls. Which I still consider a win. But anyway.

So I think that idea of the structure at the end of the tomb being a scaenae frons holds water, personally. Now, what those walls and urns in Barba’s arena is a bit easier to explain. The urns are likely burial urns containing the ashes or bones or the deceased and the walls seem to have gates or windows made up of metal bars installed in them that stop Wander from walking straight through them. I wager those were added later. Symbolically speaking, I see these walls as “gates” that the dead have passed through on their way to the afterlife. More materially, I see those walls as ways for people attending the plays and celebrations at the far end of the room to reflect on the lives and deaths of those buried there. The ways through the walls were probably sealed off one Barba was in order to keep intruders from defiling the scaenae frons.

That may also be why Barba doesn’t just smack the structure when Wander is hiding in it unlike how Argus smacks the fortress with his full force. Even if (Argus) doesn’t wreck the pillars he swings at, although he totally should, he will destroy the bridges running from the two sides of the fortress. So Barba’s taking real care not to totally ruin things.

And yet, if we look again at what Dormin says about Barba, he is known for trying to be intelligent and precise with his attacks. And truthfully, if you let Barba do it, he will beat the ever-loving snot out of you with nary a hesitation when some other Colossi stop and investigate Wander at first before trying to exterminate him. So perhaps that precision mixed with brute strength helped to give Barba his reputation for intelligence. Or it could just be that he likes to investigate the scaenae frons in the far back of the tomb with his big monster golem hand. Then again, Cenobia will knock down the pillars in his city and Argus will swing his weapon at you while you’re in the fortress.

Here's Wander clinging onto Barba's face. Note how the Magic Sigil is tilted onto the left side of his head- the left side of the brain is the one used for logical thought. 1.

Here’s Wander clinging onto Barba’s face. Note how the Magic Sigil is tilted onto the left side of his head- the left side of the brain is the one used for logical thought. 1.

So I guess Barba’s not that intelligent after all. Meaning, he simply must have an overly-long lore explanation for his supposed intelligence. Oh and I’m sure the Wiki (you know, that site that’s actually much better-constructed than what I’ve got ambling on here) will also tell you that Barba’s Magic Sigil on his head is on the left side of his head, that being the logical side of the brain.

The more you know (before a little mite of a man climbs up your head and stabs it out)!

But can we stop for a second to just talk about Barba’s door? What the heck is up with that thing? Firstly, it’s a door that’s intelligent enough to realize that there’s an intruder so it lowers itself to allow Barba out of it. So, the actual engineering skill of the craftsmen of the Forbidden Lands must have been quite impressive at that point if they made a fully operational door for Barba but poor Quadratus has to bash through a wall. And yet, I think his seclusion behind the wall has two-fold reasons for it. Like Cenobia, as we’ll see later, confining Barba behind a wall that only falls when an intruder enters could stop Barba from waking up and wrecking the place as he is front to do when you fight him. I chalk this up to another instance of the Shaman’s souls being at odds with Dormins’, causing a conflict in the Colossi’s personality.

Barba looking for Wander in the Frons. Instead of Argus and Cenobia who batter anything that gets in their way as they attempt to reach Wander, Barba will investigate first and then gently (relatively speaking) hit the Frons to try to scare Wander out. 1.

Barba looking for Wander in the Frons. Instead of Argus and Cenobia who batter anything that gets in their way as they attempt to reach Wander, Barba will investigate first and then gently (relatively speaking) hit the Frons to try to scare Wander out. 1.

I wanted to give this final section its own little place rather than spreading it out just so I can talk about it all at once— that being Dormin’s advice of, “It lusts for destruction.” Given that I’ve already established that Barba is likely some kind of tomb guardian, it really shouldn’t lust for destruction in its nature. And yet, it was locked behind its huge door in order (in theory) to keep itself from destroying out of rage what it was supposed to protect. But its intelligence should be able to keep those instincts in check unless somebody threatens the tomb as a whole or the safety of the seals keeping the piece of Dormin’s soul in Barba’s body. So what’s this “destruction” referring to?

Dormin may actually be referring to Barba’s role as a god, that being a god of death. If that’s the case though, Barba hardly seems like the kind of Colossus to “lust” for destruction. Instead he appears to just be more of a passive embodiment of it. So this may be Dormin’s own opinion here, adding a sideways insult at Barba’s expense due to his influence over the dead in the Forbidden Lands (at least from a religious/spiritual standpoint). Given that Dormin receives so much of Its power via death and rebirth, perhaps Dormin really is just letting a little bit of Its own anger show through here.

Then again, there is another Colossus that Dormin mentions having “a lust for destruction,” so we’ll examine that when we get there. A looooong time from now.

Because God knows I’ll be taking another two or three months to do another one of these! But hey, Hydrus is next! My 2nd favourite Colossus!

Like that helped me doing Avion after Phaedra.

 

 

Until we meet again (in the far future) Questers!

 


 

 

Hydrus is next, I swear! I might end up tackling Over the Garden Wall in a special November version of Lorequest. That show’s got more autumn in it than a room filled with pumpkin pies and maple leaves. So it’ll be a great way for me to close out autumn!

In theory But that’s just a theory.

A LORETHEORY.

Ha. Haha. Ugh. I’m so funny.

 

 

Good luck, you brave writer (and gamer) folk!

 

END TRANSMISSION.

 


 

 

 

1. Images from the Team ICO wiki.

2. Image from Wikipedia- “scaenae frons”

 

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Lorequest: Guns of Icarus Part 2- “Fjord Baronies”

 

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I’d like to formally blame my slight dip in interest in Guns of Icarus for the lateness of this newest entry. It’s probably because my friends and I were forced out of Novice matches so now we actually have to study enemy ships and strategy and stuff. And we’ve got Rocket League and Star Citizen to play, darnit. We don’t have time for that crap anymore!

But I still want to keep playing. It’s still fun!

 

Pyramidion pride!

 

Have fun~

 


 

 

The World of Guns of Icarus (herein simply referenced simply as "The World." The Fjord Baronies are located in the cold north and northeast.

The World of Guns of Icarus (herein simply referenced simply as “The World.” The Fjord Baronies are located in the cold north and northeast. 1.

 

Fjord Baronies (otherwise known as The Baronies)

Capital: Lord’s Leap

Specialties: Utilizing harsh terrain, defensive tactics and strategies, both flexibility and adaptability, and ambition for expansion.

 

I’d throw out a picture of the Fjord Baronies flag here but there isn’t one!

It’s the only faction to note have a flag that I could find a picture of.

The shame of it all.

 

The Baronies are located in the north of the World. As such, their climate is a little colder than most. The importance of the “fjords” makes it into the Barony’s very name, so one can imagine that the climate of the Barony’s cultural heartland may be very Scandinavian. The Chattering Fjords may be a good example of this. While the Baronies seem to have the same geographical breadth as the other factions, their manpower seems to be a bit weaker by comparison. As an extension of this lowered population, their cultural heartland very likely being in a cold climate, and likely scarce resources, the Fjord Baronies seem to favour a more defensive mindset in war.

The government seems to be more of a confederation of smaller nations instead of more singular political entities. A barony, historically, is a relatively modest amount of land given to barons, a kind of British nobility— the lowest kind in the noble ladder, as it turns out. It logically follows then that the Baronies are more of a collective and alliance between many smaller nations.

However, there is mention of something called the Kingseat, likely the capital of the Baronies, and King Greger, implying there’s a king to lead the Baronies. This could mean that the Baronies has a more symbolic monarchy, perhaps comparable to the modern-day United Kingdom. I suppose a counterpoint to that would be that it seems odd to name the capitol of a nation after nothing more than a figurehead. Well, I point to the United Kingdom once again as a counter to that counterpoint. Alternatively, the king could simply be the man in charge of the province or barony that united all the others. Regardless of the king’s actual power, the strength of the Baronies seems lesser compared to the other World powers.

The king’s name is Greger, by the way.

Evidence for the above information follows:

The Spire (ship): This tall, oblong ship is the product of the Fjord Baronies where it can put its large balloon to use in guarding the Barony’s high mountains. Originally, the ships were hardly ships at all and functioned more like nearly-stationary floating gun emplacements. Their engines were once very small, only strong enough to stop them from getting blown about in the mountainous winds. However, hard times for the Baronies seemed to be on the way, however, as the Spires were later outfitted with new, more powerful engines to turn them into full-powered airships.

The Spire, the ship constructed by the Fjord Baronies to protect their lands as something like a mobile watchtower.

The Spire, the ship constructed by the Fjord Baronies to protect their lands as something like a mobile watchtower. 1.

If we follow the earlier idea about the Baronies being a confederation of smaller, weaker nations, then the Spire is in support of that. The Spire appeared to be a mainly defensive emplacement kind of airship at first, but its retrofitted nature implies a kind of desperation to keep up with the escalation of conflict that target the Baronies. This may ring especially true if one examines the Barony’s close proximity to the Yeshan Empire. The Empire is quite possibly the most powerful political entity in the World. So, shoring up the Barony’s borders would be of paramount importance. Aside from that though, the Baronies can only expand southwestward since the Order of Chaladon controls their entire island to the east and the Anglea Republic is in a similar situation to the west. In other words, confrontation with the Yeshan Empire is inevitable. So the Baronies would want to emphasize their strengths to challenge the Yeshan industrial powerhouse.

I’m reminded of a popular strategy employed by Starcraft Terran players that may also be inspired by the island-hopping strategy used by the Americans in World War 2 in the Pacific Ocean or the “creeping barrage” tactic employed in World War 1. The Baronies may try to expand slowly but surely, creeping into Yeshan territory and using their Spires as ships to conquer and ships to protect their creeping gains. The long range of the Spires may turn whatever land their gain into meat grinders, shredding even the most dogged attacks by Yesha.

This is an incredibly beleaguered point to say that the Spire makes sense being in the Baronies weird little hands!

But in order to build these ships, or anything else for that matter, the modest Baronies need production facilities and resources. Some maps will show just what kind of a state they’re in in regards to that.

Blackcliff Metalworks: Nestled in the Eastern Ridge, the Blackcliff Metalworks processes iron from the mountains for use in the Barony’s war factories. However, the factory is deficient in both manpower and fuel, making it impossible to run at full capacity at any given time. Because of this and because of its weaker security forces (it’s all there in the map description, very frankly stated), the Metalworks are often raided by pirates and mercenaries. The workers seem to just want to keep their heads down and try to ignore the hell happening all around and above them.

The Blackcliff Metalworks, a gargantuan factory that's probably a remnant of the old world before the apocalypse.

The Blackcliff Metalworks, a gargantuan factory that’s probably a remnant of the old world before the apocalypse. 1.

This lessened manpower issue seems to come from the Barony’s small population, rather than their occupation in a larger conflict (see the above point about the theoretical war against Yesha). After all, with the Spire being a mainly defensive ship, even after its conversion to a full battleship, and the weakened defences of one of a huge and powerful factory, the Barony seems to be having trouble even keeping its borders safe. Another, potentially less grim, theory is that the Baronies are experiencing a crisis of unity. Given that it’s a confederation without the smaller, consolidated size of the Order or the Republic and the prestige of the Empire, each barony may be hesitant to help the lands of rival barons. And yet, given that it looks like everyone in this post-apocalyptic world wants to kill everyone else, civil strife seems like a petty thing to turn to now.

But hey, what do I know? I’m one of those goshdarned optimists who likes to think humanity will pull itself out of its own butt when the bad stuff really hits the fan.

Chattering Fjords: The Chattering Fjords is portrayed in this map— it is a territory under the control of the Baronies. Apparently, almost thirty years ago, the Fjords were conquered by the Baronies. They had laid siege to the “Navinstaak military base” and captured it, securing the location. However, bandits and pirates often attack the area, implying a lack of true control. And yet, the map’s description says that patrols will come through the area but for whatever reason, I’ll just assume manpower issues again, the Barony still has issues with bandits.

The Chattering Fjords, an older expansion point for the Baronies that supplies the nation with much-needed resources. And much-unneeded conflict.

The Chattering Fjords, an older expansion point for the Baronies that supplies the nation with much-needed resources. And much-unneeded conflict. 1.

I can’t dig up anything on who the Baronies are fighting in this particular battle but I’ll just blame Chaladon since the map references that the town of “Glowwater” launches patrols up there. And Glowwater is to the northeast of the Baronies proper. So Chaladon seems to be the most likely candidate. Plus they made that heathen Squid ship, which is all about quick hit-and-running. Given how slow the Spire is, the Squid seems like a natural predator of the Spire.

Just like in the actual game. Fog banks, yo!

I suppose you may think I’ll be talking about the map Water Hazard here too, but I’m leaving that to the Anglean Republic’s entry. The Baronies take up enough space as it is!

So, from all this, we can assume that the Baronies:

  1. Is lacking in manpower, technology and resources
  2. Is trying to expand its borders due to its smaller geography and comparative lack of power
  3. Is mostly failing to control what it has taken, despite its more defensive tendencies, likely due to the many bandits, pirates, and mercenaries that see the Baronies as new and vulnerable. Or they just nibble at the haunch of the Baronies since they can’t keep their own stupid pigs in their own stupid pen.
  4. Might have internal power structures due to the Balkanized (I love that term) nature of the Baronies.

 

 


 

 

The next one’s gonna be on Colossus #6. And I swear I’ll do it by the end of September. Because Five Sentence Fiction fell into some kind of black hole, so I gotta keep the fires stoked here somehow!

Also, did anywhere else who runs a blog notice that September is the worst month for views and general participation? I wonder why that is. Maybe because everybody’s outside since the terrible reign of summer has finally ended.

 

 

Good luck, you brave writer (and gamer) folk!

 

END TRANSMISSION.

 

 


 

 

1. Images from the Guns of Icarus Wiki

 

 

Friday Fictioneers: Glass Sky

 

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I was actually going to go with some kind of nuclear winter vibe in this story, seeing snow in July (which is kind of weird, even here in snowyville Illinois where May snows aren’t totally unheard of). But I went with something a little more mystical. And a little less narrative-y. More like a stasis piece. A moment-in-the-life-of. If that makes any sense.

 

Have fun~

 


 

 

Image Copyright: Dee Lovering

Image Copyright: Dee Lovering

 

Word Count: 100

Genre: Fantasy

Title: Glass Sky

 

“What are you up to today?” I ask Mrs. Muggins.

“Same old, Mr. Puck.” She sounds exactly like me. Then she sweeps the porch and sweeps and sweeps.

The mailman waves hello but never puts any mail in the box.

I walk around my house a twice. Empty sidewalks dusted with plastic snow. This is my world. Once I was a fairy of mushroom rings and gossamer wings. Now the glass dome of this snowglobe is the horizon and the jealous eye of my captor is the rising sun.

I will escape. I have to escape.

Will I ever escape.

 

 

 


 

 

Ironically, as I was about to start writing this, my dad suggested that I try my hand at writing songs. He compared them to writing flash fiction, which I can’t really deny (at least if you cut the chorus repetition out of the overall word count). So I think next week I’ll try my hand at some flash fiction song writing. Besides, if it’s anything to go by, American Pie is my favourite song ever, so I’m likely going to be writing more story-song work anyhow. So it’ll still be a story, at least in the more basic sense.

 

 

Good luck, you brave writer folk!

 

END TRANSMISSION.

 

 

 

Friday Fictioneers: To He it Concerns

 

BEGIN TRANSMISSION.

 

Well, this is a bit of an odd feeling, isn’t it? It’s been practically all quiet on the Wettengel front for about a week. That’s what I get when Five Sentence Fiction doesn’t show up for a whole week, my laptop was almost on its deathbed, and I was running around on interviews all week.

I swear, one day I will remember to do the next Lorequest. Perhaps I’ll do it tomorrow alongside Flash! Fridays and Five-Sentence Fiction.

As much as I love my blog and all you readers, I don’t know how happy my Friday will be with me if I spend it all with you, though. I had to take time away from my friend’s birthday celebrations last time to post my most recent Friday Fictioneers.

Boy, with how complicated I make things, it’s really no wonder relationships end up being like a big game of time-management chess for me.

 

Have fun~

 


 

 

Image Copyright:  Kent Bonham

Image Copyright: Kent Bonham

 

Word Count: 100

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Title: To He it Concerns

 

 

Dear, the breaker of families,

 

I found your photo with my mother, singed and in the trash. She put it there herself and she blackened it. You must feel awful learning that.

My father was on an arctic oil rig for a year and you came and plundered my family. My mother was lonely and I was young. You ended up leaving her more alone than ever.

But I have to thank you for your stupidity— this letter should reach you if the address on the back of the photo is still valid.

I’ll be paying you a visit soon.

 

 

 


 

 

Well, I was just going to sigh and say something along the lines of, “Ho hum I wish I could write something like Battle of Dinnerplate 6 again” but this time, I actually have something useful to say. The new and independent publisher Ceti Publishing has just officially come alive. Why is this a big deal? Well, “big” is relative, but it decided to pick up Garamoush for republishing. Currently I’m hard at work on almost totally retooling the entire book, from its style to its chapter composition, in order to bring it up to speed with the quality I presume to have achieved after an additional year of schooling.

Ceti specializes in up-and-coming (again, relatively speaking) speculative fiction authors, so those who are interested in seeing what the indie community can come up with outside of the ungodly maze that is Amazon’s book section, should check Ceti out.

Facebook link is here!

Website link is here!

 

The ending of this endnote is HERE (finally)!

 

 

Good luck, you brave writer (and reader) folk!

 

END TRANSMISSION.

 

Lorequest: Shadow of the Colossus Part 6- “Phaedra”

 

BEGIN TRANSMISSION.

 

I would start this off by apologizing that it’s later but since I’m running on Michael-Time (patent pending lost in the mail room), “on time” and “late” don’t seem to factor into any kind of reality that I recognize. So instead, I’m just going to get down to the skinny of this and say: “It’s time for more Shadow of the Colossus Lorequest!”

 

The Quest beings~

 


 

 

 

 

Phaedra, Colossus #4, otherwise known as the Warhorse of the Graves- The patron god of shepherding the spirits of the dead to the afterlife. Here we see the ghostly, morbid form of the Colossus at the fair end of its lair. 1.

Phaedra, Colossus #4, otherwise known as the Warhorse of the Graves- The patron god of shepherding the spirits of the dead to the afterlife. Here we see the ghostly, morbid form of the Colossus at the fair end of its lair. 1.

 

Dormin’s Advice

 

Thy next foe is…

In the land of the vast green fields…
Rows of guiding graves…
It is giant indeed but fearful, it is not.

 

This time, Dormin’s advice is vague and even potentially incorrect. Naturally, this makes it really fun to talk about!

 

Phaedra showing its only major sigil, positioned directly atop its head. 1.

Phaedra showing its only major sigil, positioned directly atop its head. 1.

 

Phaedra, or Equus Bellator Apex, by the community, is the fourth of sixteen Colossi encountered by Wander in the Forbidden Lands. Its lair is in a secluded green pasture surrounded by shady, misty mountains that prominently features a large underground tomb. Its lair is reached by coming down an earthen ramp into the pasture and Phaedra waits atop a large stone square marked with an indecipherable runic language often seen in the Forbidden Lands.

Phaedra, in my interpretation, is a god of shepherding the souls of the dead to their resting places in the afterlife. The most immediate evidence for this is Phaedra’s appearance. It is skeletal-looking, standing atop four tall, spindly legs that resemble bones without flesh or muscle. Additionally, it was one of two Colossi that have a bone structure jutting out from its body. The other is Colossus #6, the other Colossus heavily affiliated with death and burial (oh and I guess Pelagia has exposed ribs, too. I’ll come up with something for that, I swear!). In this case, Phaedra has a ribcage-like structure coming out of its chest. Dormin’s comment, while strangely inaccurate (and something I’ll get more into later), does mention “guiding graves,” implying a connection between Phaedra and the dead. And finally, the large ruins that Wander must use to defeat the Colossus is almost definitely a tumulus, a hill situated over a grave that has been used for millennia across cultures.

Phaedra showing off its creepy boney outcroppings, especially its distended ribcage. 1.

Phaedra showing off its creepy boney outcroppings, especially its distended ribcage. 1.

Since there’s actually not much to talk about in terms of Phaedra outside of it looking awesome/creepy/undead and it being in a calm, misty area, let’s start picking apart what Dormin has to say about our Warhorse of the Graves!

 

“It is giant indeed but fearful, it is not.”

What on earth is this supposed to mean? Wouldn’t a large size imply greater strength and confidence? Well, as we saw with Quadratus, that is not always true. And yet, as we will later see with Celosia, there appears to be no correlation between size and confidence regardless of largeness or smallness. So, maybe Dormin is implying that Phaedra was, at one point, very fearful. Potentially, Dormin may be trying to inform Wander that Phaedra, in its original state as an idol, was not one prone to violence. However, with the Shaman’s spirit inside and Wander carting around pieces of Dormin inside of him, Phaedra’s attitudes may have changed. After all, Phaedra clearly isn’t any kind of coward. While it does not actively seek out and try to kill Wander like Dirge or Cenobia, it certainly has no qualms about trying to smash Wander to bits. It’s feasible that Phaedra, as a god of death, may have been pacifistic. Given Phaedra’s shape as a horse with dangling reigns (implying that others have control over it), it appears as though Phaedra was a Colossus that was made to be more subservient to people rather than a Colossus that would have people worship it. There is no temple to Phaedra in its lair, as well. So, rather than inflicting death, Phaedra may just have been in charge of keeping death in working order and controlling the population of souls that go to the afterlife.

Despite implications that Phaedra may have been a coward, it will actively look for Wander when he hides in the tumulus. 1.

Despite implications that Phaedra may have been a coward, it will actively look for Wander when he hides in the tumulus. 1.

Oh, and as a much shorter and less interesting theory— Dormin may just be warning Wander because Quadratus wasn’t the bravest of sorts. Quadratus was the only other massive quadrupedal Colossus that Wander had fought up until this point, so perhaps Dormin was simply warning Wander not to get comfortable thinking that all giant quadrupedal god creatures are big fat cowards.

But that’s boring, so to heck with that!

Let’s go further than that, though. Let’s examine what else Dormin says— namely about the “guiding graves” situation.

Here we see the trees growing in Phaedra's arena. There is a theory that the trees represent the graves that Phaedra stands over. 1.

Here we see the trees growing in Phaedra’s arena. There is a theory that the trees represent the graves that Phaedra stands over. 2.

What is strange about what Dormin says though, is that It pluralizes the word “grave.” However, as the player can see, there is only one specific and defined grave structure in the entire arena. And one cannot even make the argument that multiple people are entombed in the tumulus since Dormin also makes mention of “rows” of said graves. Personally, I see only two ways in which Dormin’s words can be interpreted and still made sense of. Meaning, I am disregarding the idea that Dormin may simply be lying— after all, It hardly has any reason to since It truly wants to see Wander succeed.

So, either Dormin’s knowledge of the Colossi is outdated due to Its separation from the natural world for a long time and the rows of graves that Phaedra once loomed over no longer exist, or the graves are highly atypical in nature and exist in plain sight.

In regards to the first theory, it is hard to make heads or tails of any kind of truth of it. Dormin’s soul is fractured into sixteen (roughly speaking, after all, It still needs enough of a soul of speak to Wander from the Shrine of Worship) fragments, which may imply that It still has some kind of awareness of what It’s soul pieces are doing. However, given the point I made in the Colossus entry about the Shaman spirits moving to counteract Dormin’s influence in the Colossus by making them fight intruders rather than lie down and die for them, defuses this point a bit. Dormin’s awareness of where Its souls currently rests is a bit dubious. Of course, there is still the issue of how on earth Dormin can even help Wander at all with hints. What I would guess is that Dormin’s knowledge of the Colossi is tertiary, rather than first-hand. After all, since the souls of Shamans and Dormin were placed into the Colossi, which themselves were already god-like idols that existed in the Forbidden Lands, it is possible that Dormin is merely telling Wander what It knows about the Colossi’s nature as idols and gods. This may, may just explain the oddity that is Cenobia’s city-destroying rage, Celosia’s fear of fire, and Malus’ abandonment of its violent urges once Wander crawls onto its hand. The Forbidden Lands have been isolated for a long, long time if the decay of their buildings and natural environment is anything to go by (which I believe it is). So, the Colossi, being animated by humans, have likely changed somewhat over time. In this way, it is possible that, at one point, there were “guiding graves” that Phaedra once stood guard over. However, time may have just worn away the graves in the same way that time and nature have worn away other structures throughout the Lands. The tumulus may have just been the largest and most important of the graves in the area so it stayed intact the longest.

Phaedra's arena, a large pasture-like area with misty mountains, thin trees, and a large underground tomb, otherwise known as a tumulus. 2.

Phaedra’s arena, a large pasture-like area with misty mountains, thin trees, and a large underground tomb, otherwise known as a tumulus. 2.

The other theory around the graves suggests that the graves in Phaedra’s pasture are merely atypical of what we would normally consider graves. I would be hesitant to accept this theory, even before going into details. To me at least, “graves” imply gravestones. And gravestones are a kind of “stele,” a more general term for a wooden or stone tablet meant to show commendations or accomplishments for a (usually) dead person. Stele have been in use for at least two millennia. So, if the people in the Forbidden Lands are using a tumulus, it would logically follow that their method of burying and marking the dead (meaning, burying the corpse underground and using some kind of raised earthen mound and a stone container for the corpse) would seem to be similar to ones in our world.

However, let us just go with the theory for now.

I have read a theory floating around that the trees that live around the rim of the arena are used for marking the graves of those who have died. Honestly, this seems almost plausible, since planting a corpse alongside the seed of a tree would be a very naturalistic way to bury somebody, as their bodies would return to nature. Given that shamans, spiritual leaders often tied to nature, are prominent in the culture of the Forbidden Lands and beyond, it is possible that the trees-as-graves idea may hold some water (then again, Barba’s underground tomb seems to defuse the idea that death is only treated in a natural way in the Lands). However, I am hesitant to accept this theory on the grounds that we can see the structures of the Forbidden Lands in enormous decay. Stone structures would take many, many years to fully decay and collapse into dust and nothingness. As I mentioned in the Forbidden Lands Lorequest entry, it has indeed been a terribly long time since Dormin was imprisoned. If trees were used to mark graves, I would think that the trees would have grown enormous or would have simply died off. If my more-than-flimsy grasp of botany fails to sway you, then I turn you to the word “guiding” from Dormin. “Guiding” implies some kind of information being conveyed so that guidance may be imparted. Well, if the graves are trees, trees that have no kind of carvings or markings on them whatsoever, then they are not truly “guiding” anymore. In other words, Dormin still managed to get the nature of the graves wrong when telling it to Wander, proving that the first theory may have some kind of real power.

And I’m not just saying that because I made it up!

And to prove it, I will also totally destroy the other potential atypical grave— that idea being that people are buried underneath Phaedra, beneath the huge stone slab that it rests on. It is possible, albeit highly unlikely, that each symbol on Phaedra’s slab is a kind of marking for a person buried beneath it. However, how new people would be buried down there once the stone slab was placed down is totally lost on me. And that’s probably because the theory is kind of bunk. It is not totally impossible but it simply doesn’t have any evidence going for it. However, it is interesting to note that if this theory is accepted, then the “guiding graves” may not guide Wander or others visiting the area but instead guide Phaedra, reminding it of its duty and position to shepherd the dead.

Phaedra's plate can be seen here with Phaedra itself rising above it. The plate is rimmed with the traditional runic language of the Forbidden Lands. 2.

Phaedra’s plate can be seen here with Phaedra itself rising above it. The plate is rimmed with the traditional runic language of the Forbidden Lands. 2.

And yet, I do think that the slab beneath Phaedra is more likely a large mural of sorts, but a mural of words. These words would have some kind of funerary purpose such as a graveyard-wide blessing or spell of protection. Phaedra’s resting position atop the slab does seem to imply that it is incredibly important and central to the entire area. So, I would imagine that the indecipherable rune language on the slab tells of some kind of story or blessing meant to commemorate the dead or even Phaedra itself. Granted, I have no idea what that may be since the runic language of the Lands is, again, indecipherable.

 

Here’s a random fun fact: Phaedra’s design is my favourite of all the Colossi!

And here is my primary evidence for why Phaedra is my favourite Colossus design. I mean, have you even seen this guy?! 1.

And here is my primary evidence for why Phaedra is my favourite Colossus design. I mean, have you even seen this guy?! 1.

Well, on that irrelevant note, I think I will end this entry here. Phaedra’s going to go lie down for a bit and shepherd souls off to the afterlife where they can hang out with Dormin and the deceased forms of my once-healthy wrists and finger joints.

 

Until we meet again, Questers!

 


 

 

Given just how quickly I can churn these out sometimes, it makes me wonder why I don’t do more of them. A question for the ages that I would answer but I just can’t be bothered/because I’m too distracted by other stuff.

 

Oh, that may be why.

 

 

Good luck you brave writer (and gamer) folk!

 

END TRANSMISSION.

 


 

1. Images from the Team ICO wiki.

2. Screenshots from the Game Grump’s playthrough of Shadow of the Colossus

 

 

 

Lorequest: Shadow of the Colossus Part 1- “The Colossi”

 

I hope you have all settled in for this one. Shadow of the Colossus, initially released on October the 18th, 2005 and produced by Team ICO, is one of my favourite games of all time. I have never seen any other game match its sheer sense of scale, awe, and mystery. And when you put all of those attributes together, you get the single best source of material for Lorequest! Oh and liking the game to death and back again helps quite a bit too.

So, sit back and behold the finest, largest, most comprehensive ramblings of a man who somehow finds pleasure in being the equivalent of being a videogame archeologist.

 

Have fun~

 


 

 

 

All sixteen of the game's Colossi with Wander to the far left for scale.

All sixteen of the game’s Colossi with Wander to the far bottom left for scale. 1.

 

The most important thing we must tackle in this Lorequest should be fairly obvious. It is around them that the entire game’s story revolves and, indeed, the entire game world revolves. I speak, of course, of the colossi. Also, that was the title of this entry. So naturally it’ll be focused on. Yeah. Anyway.

Before we start delving into the colossi as individuals, I think that this first entry into this new Lorequest should be spent discussing the nature of the colossi, where they came from, why they’re there, and so on.

Thesis: Allow me to put forth, for your reading pleasure and consideration, the idea that the Forbidden Land’s sixteen Colossi have been there for a very, very long time. And that is not evidenced by the amount of moss and stones that have covered the dormant Colossi’s bodies (though that is evidence of their long existence regardless), but instead by their presence in the Shrine of Worship. The Shrine is the sole standing structure of any significant size that still remains in the Forbidden Lands and appears to be of paramount importance, being in the almost exact middle of the Forbidden Lands and the terminus of the bridge leading to the Lands. Inside the Shrine there are sixteen idols, each to a Colossus. Those idols are destroyed when a Colossus is slain. Therefore, I see that the idols are bound to the Colossi, meaning that their existences are at least congruous, though I would like to put forth the idea that the idols were made in the Shrine beforehand and later on in the Land’s history (but before the Dormin incident), the Colossi were writ large in a different form- as enormous statues that embodied their strengths and roles as gods.

The list that follows gives a brief outline of the Colossi and their importance as gods to the people of the Forbidden Lands. The list will also serve as a table of contents which allows easier navigation to the Colossi in detail.

Note: I will be using the fan-made names for each of the Colossi for the sake of organization and the names all sounding really, really cool.

 

Oh, and of course: Spoiler Alert (for this and all entries in this Lorequest)!

 

 

Colossus #1, Valus

Colossus #1, Valus 1.

  1. Valus, the Spirit of the Mountains– The god of the mountainous regions in the Forbidden Lands, including its rough terrain and robust life.

Primary Evidence: The hawks that fly around Valus’ heads are unique in that no other Colossi has wildlife surrounding them. Valus is also high up in a canyon, which itself is in the mountains. There is also the remains of a temple in the area that appears to once have been devoted to Valus by way of its close proximity.

 

Colossus #2, Quadrat

Colossus #2, Quadratus 1.

  1. Quadratus, the Ploughbeast– The god of work animals, tilling, farming, labour, and industry (primarily agrarian).

Primary Evidence: Its appearance is bovine and its hooves are the most important part of its body in the fight. If it is damaged enough in one exchange, it may attempt to run away from Wander by ignoring him completely and moving in the opposite direction despite knowing full well where he is (I have seen this first-hand. It’s really weird and a little sad). The sandy expanse (The Northern Span) above its lair was not always so, evidenced by the grasslands surrounding it and the remnants of water. Meaning, it was likely large, open plains previously. The path leading down to the Colossus is wide and robust enough to accommodate a lot of traffic and the pond on the bottom makes for a convenient watering hole.

 

Colossus #3, Gaius

Colossus #3, Gaius 1.

  1. Gaius, the Paragon of Battle– The god of honourable battle and duels

Primary Evidence: The sword it wields is evidence of its warrior nature. Its appearance is also very armoured and seemingly battle-ready. Its arena is very arena-like indeed being a round, raised platform above a lake. Also, the smaller metal disc in the arena may be a spot for human duelists to fight with the colossus-statue standing nearby, as if in judgment.

 

Colossus #4, Phaedra

Colossus #4, Phaedra 1.

  1. Phaedra, the Warhorse of the Graves– The god of shepherding souls away to the afterlife and protecting above-ground gravesites

Primary Evidence: Its appearance is ghostly and skeletal, standing on stilt-like legs and showing a protruding rib-cage and shoulder bones as well as possessing a skull-like head. Is also presides in an area that sports a large underground grave and an almost hauntingly quiet and empty grassland.

 

Colossus #5, Avion

Colossus #5, Avion 1.

  1. Avion, the Alpha Hunter– The first of the “water Colossi,” first of the airborne Colossi, and the god of airborne life over water and hunting from the air

Primary Evidence: It presides in a large lake area with temple-like structures scattered around it. Is a bird, obviously, and its beak appears to be more in-line with a seagull than a bird that primarily flies over land.

 

Colossus #6, Barba

Colossus #6, Barba 1.

  1. Barba, the Slumbering Gravekeeper- the god of protecting souls and the bodies of the dead that have been entombed underground

Primary Evidence: It waits in what appears to be a large underground grave site (with a rather conspicuously scaenae frons the chamber’s end) and has a similar skeletal appearance to Phaedra in that its spine is shown protruding through its skin and fur. Also, the door that Barba appears from seems built perfectly to its proportions.

 

Colossus #7, Hydrus

Colossus #7, Hydrus 1.

  1. Hydrus, the Storm of the Deep- the second “water Colossi” and the god of waterborne life that resides deep beneath the surface

Primary Evidence: It lives very deep underwater in probably the deepest accessible body of water in the game. A temple-like structure exists in the area, as well as statues of Hydrus’ spines just outside of its lair, showing its importance as an idol. Its electric spines are reminiscent of a stereotypical electric eel, a limbless deep-water creature like Hydrus itself. Also, the tendrils that branch off of its face resemble that of a catfish.

 

Colossus #8, Kuromori

Colossus #8, Kuromori 1.

  1. Kuromori ,the Jailer in the Shadows- the god of prisons, suppression, and watchfulness

Primary Evidence: Its arena seems very jail-like with its winding structure, barred windows, moat positioned on the outside, and general isolation from surrounding areas. Though it was only a statue before Dormin’s spirit was sealed inside of it (see “The Colossi’s Animation”), once it was animated, its ability to walk on walls and fire clouds of exploding fiery electro-sand shows that it was believed to have similar powers in the corresponding religious lore (again, see “The Colossi’s Animation” for more details on that particular aspect). Also, the song “Liberated Guardian” plays during its fight. This song also appears in Celosia and Cenobia’s fight, who are both clearly guardians by nature.

 

Colossus #9, Basaran

Colossus #9, Basaran 1.

  1. Basaran, the Dweller in the Shallows- the third “water Colossi” and the god of shallow waters and the hearty life that thrived within

Primary Evidence: It possesses a very tortoise-like appearance and would have been almost total invulnerable, much like the tortoise’s throughout the Forbidden Lands, if not for the geysers in the area. Its lair is called a “dry lake bed,” by Dormin and its violent nature can be seen as an extension of its rage that its home is no more.

 

Colossus #10, Dirge

Colossus #10, Dirge 1.

  1. Dirge, the Deathmonger – the god of death and punishment for the wicked

Primary Evidence: It is the most aggressive colossus in the entire game and even possesses its own unique battle song to accommodate for that fact, “A Messenger from Behind.” Its appearance is downright terrifying, being a kind of psychological weapon even in its inert statue form. The top of its lair is breached by a large hole where, I suspect wrong-doers were flung from. If they survived the fall, only sand and Dirge’s statue awaited them, ready to bring death.

 

Colossus #11, Celosia

Colossus #11, Celosia 1.

  1. Celosia, the Firetender- god of fire and the fierceness that lies within it

Primary Evidence: It presides over a shrine seemingly dedicated to fire. Dormin’s description calls it “a guardian set loose,” that “keeps the flames alive.” It is also kept from leaving its area by water, of all things. Its ironic fear of fire is addressed more in-depth on its dedicated page and in the “Colossi’s Animation” section below.

 

Colossus #12, Pelagia

Colossus #12, Pelagia 1.

  1. Pelagia, the Waterborne Citadel- the fourth and final “water Colossus” and god of humanity’s interaction with the water, namely humanity’s structures that are built to relate to water

Primary Evidence: It is the most architectural of the Colossi, looking the most arcane and building-like and it presides in a large lake. The structures in the area are very shrine-like but also mostly well-preserved and ornate. The entrance to Pelagia’s lair also sports a large aqueduct-like structure, one of humanity’s most ingenious structures made to interact with water.

 

Colossus #13, Phalanx

Colossus #13, Phalanx 1.

  1. Phalanx, the Rider on the Winds- the second of the airborne Colossi, the god of the desert, primarily of the sky where its easy, carefree movement is uninhibited by the sands

Primary Evidence: It is the only entirely non-violent Colossi (see, “The Nature of the Colossi” for more details on this point) in the game and it flies carefree over a large swath of the enormous desert. However, its ability to burrow beneath the sand shows that it can interact with the desert terrain on a more direct level as well. The temple/shrine building that Wander reaches to trigger the fight with Phalanx shows its importance religiously.

 

Colossus #14, Cenobia

Colossus #14, Cenobia 1.

  1. Cenobia, the Raging Guardian- the protector-god of a sealed-off city, charged with its protection (Maybe. See the full page for more details)

Primary Evidence: It is described as a “guardian” by Dormin and it waits for Wander on top of the largest structure in the city, which looks like a mixture of citadel and temple. However, its tendency to destroy its own city throws its exact nature into question (once animated of course, until that point it was a simple idol to represent the protector-god).

 

Colossus #15, Argus

Colossus #15, Argus 1.

  1. Argus, the Gatekeeper- the protector-god of the desert fortress, charged with its protection

Primary Evidence: Dormin claims it “acts as a sentry to a destroyed city,” and its war-like appearance (carrying a sword-like weapon and wearing armoured bracers) makes sense given that it waits in an area called the “desert fortress.” Its own unique song, “Gatekeeper of the Castle Ruins” also seems fairly self-explanatory.

 

Colossus #16, Malus

Colossus #16, Malus 1.

  1. Malus, the Guiding Light- god of safe travel by sea and guiding lost travelers (dare we say, wanderers?) back home. Its purpose may be a double-entendre as well after it was given part of Dormin’s soul (see its full page for more information), turning into a last-ditch beacon for hope against those trying to revive Dormin.

Primary Evidence: It is seemingly bolted to the floor, being unable to move or even fall over once it has been killed. It is positioned atop a large hill overlooking the ocean and its glowing bracers (which I suspect glowed, whether by magic or a more mundane fire, even before it was animated by Dormin’s soul) would serve as fantastic beacons for travelers at sea. There is no altar near it and its location is very isolated, implying it served a much more passive role before its animation. Post-animation however, its isolation was taken advantage of and Malus was made into the last resort protection against Dormin’s revival. Evidence for this includes its door which cannot be opened until the other fifteen Colossi have been killed, the barriers set up in its arena that face away from the Colossus and appear to have arrow slits in them, and its enormous long-range firepower and virtual lack of weaknesses.

 

Now, something very important that I wish to clear up immediately (though I hinted at it earlier) is that I do not believe that these Colossi were not animate until they were infused with Dormin’s soul. They were simply constructed as statues meant to embody what the gods were about. A roughly analogous situation would be ancient Greek or Roman statues displaying the gods in appropriate attire (Athena with spear, helmet, and shield with owl motif for instance) but they didn’t get up and jog around the place. The Colossi were only constructed to be religious idols on a much larger scale than those at the Shrine of Worship.

 

 

The Magic Sigil which appears at all of the Colossi's major weak points. This symbol also appears on Wander and Emon's cloak and on Mono's dress. These also react to the light of the Ancient Sword, displaying them very brightly when exposed to the light.

The Magic Sigil which appears at all of the Colossi’s major weak points. This symbol also appears on Wander and Emon’s cloak and on Mono’s dress. These also react to the light of the Ancient Sword, displaying them very brightly when exposed to itslight. 1.

The Nature of the Colossi: Now, it may seem strange for me to say this, but I think it is a little bit odd that the Colossi fight Wander when he comes to slay them. Allow me to explain.

You see, it is clear that Dormin’s soul is kept inside each Colossus; there are sixteen Colossi so there are sixteen parts of Dormin’s soul that have been split up. Again, that is very clear. But, if the Colossi held only Dormin’s soul inside, why do they fight Wander? Wouldn’t the Colossi just want to lay down and let Wander kill them? After all, Dormin wants to be free and even helps Wander figure out how to kill the Colossi but, despite having Dormin’s soul inside of them, the Colossi still fight back. In other words, Dormin cannot be the only force controlling the Colossi’s movements. What really inhabits the Colossi is, I will argue, threefold.

  1. Dormin’s Soul
  2. The soul of a Shaman of Emon’s tribe
  3. The Colossi’s embodied personality

 

Again, allow me to explain.

Also, do keep in mind that when Dormin was resurrected and was staring down Lord Emon and his men, it said, “Thou severed Our body into sixteen segments for an eternity in order to seal away Our power. We, Dormin, have arisen anew.” Meaning, the Shamans were involved with Dormin’s original entombment. I do not believe that Dormin is speaking about Emon specifically however when it says, “thou,” due to the amount of time that has evidently passed due to the rampant decay of the Forbidden Lands. Therefore, Dormin must be referring to Emon’s ancestors. And since the Ancient Sword was clearly used in the Colossi’s creation/Dormin’s entombment, as evidenced by its ability to fully destroy magic seals and Emon’s use of it to strip Dormin’s essence away from Wander, and the sword was owned by Emon before Wander stole it, it is deeply connected to the Colossi and their history.

Lord Emon, the (presumed) leader of the tribe of Shamans that was responsible for splitting up Dormin's soul and sealing It away.

Lord Emon, the (presumed) leader of the tribe of Shamans that was responsible for splitting up Dormin’s soul and sealing It away. 1.

The Animation of the Colossi:

  1. Dormin’s soul immediately gravitates towards Wander when a Colossus is killed. This is odd for the soul. Shouldn’t it fly directly back to the Shrine of Worship and rejoin Dormin there? Well, I would argue that the soul of Dormin needs some kind of vessel in order to survive, hence why it gravitates towards Wander. Incidentally (and I’ll go more into this on the dedicated Dormin page), Dormin eventually possesses Wander, rather than appear in its own physical form. In other words, Dormin appears to be very parasitic in nature; whether this was always so or a (relatively speaking) recent development based on Its obliterated body and soul, is unknown however. But, with that all in mind, I would argue that the Shamans from the same tribe that Emon would later be born into, decided that sixteen of their number would be the vessels to contain Dormin’s soul.
  2. The strength of mind and spirit allowed the Shaman vessels to resist Dormin’s influence (it helped that they each held only 1/16th of Dormin’s soul) as well as make them prime candidates to “pilot” the Colossi. Using the Ancient Sword, the Shamans were sealed inside the Colossi and the Colossi were sent to sleep so they could not be roused unless somebody with the Ancient Sword returned to challenge them. This idea of two-fold personality is also the only way I can begin to understand Celosia, the guardian of fire… who is afraid of fire. That will always be puzzling to me, but I think that the Shaman who controlled Celosia wasn’t entirely in agreement with the temperament of the Colossus and resolved to “keep the flames alive” in a different way. This adherence to a strict code of self-defence is also shown in the fact that the Colossi (minus Avion, Phalanx, and Basaran [the latter’s original habitat was destroyed though, and likely wasn’t part of the original plan by the Shamans]) are sealed in their environments and cannot leave. Even those that could are kept from wandering off. The exact reason why may have something to do with Dormin’s nature.
  3. After an unknown amount of years (though I suspect it was a very, very long time) of people projecting personalities and mythologies onto the Colossi, when the Shamans bearing Dormin’s soul were sealed inside the Colossi, their personalities merged. Where this can be seen the most clearly is in Phalanx and Avion, the two most peaceful and two airborne Colossi. Wanting to keep Dormin’s soul out of reach at all costs but still adhering to the Colossi’s set mythology, the two flying colossi appear to practice strict avoidance of conflict, as that would only bring them into greater danger of being counterattacked and destroyed (more on that in the Colossi’s individual pages). Kuromori and Dirge are other examples of a clear example of Shaman-Colossus merging. Kuromoir, the jailer, climbs the walls of its prison arena and suppresses Wander with its sand-cloud-attack-thing and Dirge is fittingly the most aggressive Colossus in the game, being a creature that death has been projected onto for years.

It is through the merging of the Shamans and the Colossi’s personas that Dormin’s gigantic walking prisons do not wander around the Forbidden Lands, nor do they simply lay down and die to the Ancient Sword, which would be the most beneficial to the reuniting of Dormin’s soul.

What is also worth remembering though is that these Colossi needed to be built at some point, meaning the people who constructed them must have been not only very pious but relatively wealthy economically and rich culturally. Unfortunately, the cataclysm of Dormin caused irreparable damage to the lands of the Colossi, now known as the Forbidden Lands, and now it is a place of ruins, mystery, and LOREQUESTS.

 

Next Entry: The Forbidden Lands

 

 


 

 

And so ends the first entry into this new Lorequest adventure. Hopefully it was worth a read and if it wasn’t, well the pictures are always pretty to look at. I can’t say when the next entry will be coming out, but it’ll likely be pretty soon. I just need to find all of the pictures necessary since I’ve written out a lot of the Forbidden Lands content already.

Oh and expect this hub-page to eventually fill up with links to all sorts of things, from Emon to Dormin to the Colossi in detail and so on and so forth into an infinite singularity.

This is going to be a long one, folks so better settle in.

 

Good luck, you brave writer folk!

 

END TRANSMISSION.

 


 

 

  1. All images from this page are from the Team ICO wiki.