The cult of Shadow of the Colossus

Craig Owens writes about the quest to find a "last big secret" in the mysterious, epic game Shadow of the Colossus.

Time and time again he'd load the game, steer Agro towards this postcard-perfect view, and then dismount from the steed. While Agro trotted away quietly, he would carefully walk up to one of the many rocks overhanging the edge of the bluff. And he'd wait, watching the birds fly by. And then Ozzymandias would jump into the sky.

Sounds kind of like asking Sony for updates on when development-hell sequel The Last Guardian will be released.

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  1. But … wasn’t SotC’s last big secret already found? And wasn’t it called Journey?

  2. I got like this with the original Deus Ex, piling crates up ’til I could access ceiling rails and ending up behind fences and walls no-one intended me to leap. Didn’t find anything useful, sadly.

    1. After awhile I started using the console to spawn infinite numbers of cats into the propellers of the black helicopter. Those were the days. 

    2. It’s been 7 years, and I’m still trying to jump up onto the ledge in the guardroom of Stealthy Repossession in Dungeons and Dragons Online.

  3. It seems to me like they love the game so much they just can’t stand to see it end.  While I’ve never gone to the same lengths, I can sympathize.

  4. Reading the whole article, I felt like I was reading a brief history or a microcosm of the development and maturation of religion and philosophy. The search for hidden meaning, ascribing intentionality in the developers’ mind form a users perspective, then finding confusingly glitchy, unfinished and poorly defined areas behind the curtain. From the discovery of the supernatural birds, and super-jumping miracles,  It was really enthrallingly written, without ever explicitly making the connection. Particularly in the end, when the focus turned toward finding the unedited cuts, differences between beta and release felt like the discovery of the dead sea scrolls and the gnostic gospels. The hacker pikol seemed to signal a shift to a post-enlightenment era (maybe be using my terminology wrong here…), rather than just finding the hidden wonder of the omnicient developers, looking at the known and unknown and the finished and unfinished elements, and just trying to get the full picture. 

  5. What I find the most bizarre here is that despite the creator(s) of SotC being known, a group of others are willing to be so consumed with discovering something about “the world” (of SotC) that is only a mystery because the creator(s) of the game want it to be.

    I don’t say this as a criticism. Perhaps our explorations of science are equally futile and there is some “creator” who could just trivially answer all the questions but chooses not to.  I just personally couldn’t find time to spend on this when I know the actual identities of the people who could choose to answer everything at any time (but don’t).

    Exploring a mystery that you are sure has no simple answer is one thing, but exploring one created by a contemporary of yours who just wants to see you run around exploring … that is something else.

    1. Exploring a mystery that you are sure has no simple answer is one thing, but exploring one created by a contemporary of yours who just wants to see you run around exploring … that is something else.

      Perhaps the same could be said of the David Lindelof style of mystery writing?

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