Shadow of the Colossus is an experience unlike any other game,
And it has set a standard that has rarely been achieved since.
Boss Battles Done Right.
The bosses in Shadow of the Colossus are like no other game.
Since Shadow of the Colossus came out it has been referenced countless times for its boss battles. Why are they so good?
Well, for one the game consists of ONLY boss fights.
Also each one is memorable in that, they are not only fights they are also puzzles. You have to figure out a way to get on this massive creature, find its weak points and take them out before you fall off or die. Most of the Colossi are not initially aggressive towards you and are just doing their own thing, usually sleeping or whatever it is massive stone monsters do.
Fighting a Colossus for the first time is very intense; first you have to find out where its weak points are, and in order to do this you have to hold your sword into the light. It will guide you to their ‘runes’ by refracting light towards them; He-man style.
Then you have to ask yourself:
“How do I get on this thing?”
Then you have to manage your grip in order to stay on.
Then you have to actually kill it.
Easier said than done.
Each fight with the Colossi is memorable
The fifth Colossus is probably my favorite. Why? Well…
It’s a bird.
Yep, giant flying bird monster… made of stone. I loved this fight in particular not because it was more difficult, but because of the sense of tension you feel when you are flying through the air clutching the back of a massive stone bird trying to climb across its wings to kill it.
Once you do kill it… it falls from the sky into a massive flooded temple-lake, which was its home. You having fallen off well before it hit are some distance away can see a cloud of coiling black tentacles searching for you. Until finally they find their mark and burrow into your body.
It’s pretty amazing to see for the first time.
Another Colossus that I enjoyed fighting was the seventh Colossi
Probably because getting there was one of the hardest parts of the fight.
Something that Shadow of the Colossus made you do was find the colossi. Considering they are massive beasts, shouldn’t be hard right? Well… they know how to hide. They aren’t in different spots, and they don’t move around, but each one is in a specific place somewhere in the forbidden land, and it cannot be fought until the Colossus before it has been killed.
So you can’t kill seven until you’ve killed six.
The first time I went searching for the seventh Colossus I got lost. Like really lost. I spent probably an hour and a half trying my best to figure out where to go, until I finally found it in a massive lake.
I don’t really like being in bodies of water that you can’t see very far into, my mind constantly thinks of something that is going to bump into me or ‘get me‘.
Something about water in video games makes this feeling worse. Ask any gamer “do you like going into water in video games.”
99.99% will say “Hell no!“
This colossus played right into that, because it is a massive sea serpent.
The fight was interesting. As you first had to grab hold of the creatures tail when it would surface, or come close enough to the surface, and then drag yourself across the creature as it swam under water at high speed trying to cause you to let go.
Not particularly difficult, but certainly memorable.
There isn’t anything in Shadow of the Colossus that isn’t epic.
The music is no exception.
All the music in the game does an incredible job of setting tone and making you feel the grandeur of your undertaking. You really feel it.
Like when you fight the ninth Colossus, one of the most epic and nerve wracking fights in the whole game. It takes place in a dry and arid plateau where steam vents and geysers abound. The Colossus is asleep in a massive cave when you arrive… and when it wakes up, it wants you dead. It doesn’t make any bones about it, the second it awakens it fire a volley of energy bolts directly at you.
If you haven’t watched any of the videos I have posted, I would recommend at least skimming this one.
It’s almost the opposite of the music that plays when the Colossi die. Watching the Colossi crumble after you kill them is already sad, but with the music that plays you almost feel like you’ve done something… bad.
Is it wrong that you killed these creatures? Only three or four are inherently aggressive towards you… and considering what happens in the end… yeah it probably is.
If you can’t tell already, I love this game. As I have said before it has a special place in my heart and is one of, if not, my favorite game.
I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts and feelings towards this game, I know I certainly enjoyed writing it.