You feel as if you have stumbled into a dream, or perhaps memory might be the better term. Everything seems misty, hazy, and pale. This world is real and unreal, alive and dead at the same time. This is the threshold between life and afterlife. That is why you have come.

You play a young man, awkward and inexperienced, who seeks to revive a maiden who lies still and cold. You think, she belongs here; he does not. But having traversed an incredible and impossible bridge to reach this realm, you realize there is no turning back now. Then, a voice speaks. To bring this girl back to the realm of the living, you must slay the ancient idols. However, you are warned, the price may be heavy. Nonetheless, you agree. 

Thus, you enter this strange empty world armed only with a sword and a bow. As you seek out the Colossi, you cannot help but meditate on the meaning behind all this. Ruins litter the landscape. Who built them? Why? Where are they now? The questions go unanswered. There is no one to talk to, no side quests. Those would only be a distraction. There is only you and this world. Alone in this mysterious landscape, you fall into contemplation.

You do have one companion though, your horse, Agro. One could never ask for a more loyal companion. Agro only exists in a game world, but you feel that such a creature must have a soul and mind of his own. Agro is not a mere vehicle that you point in one direction and leave on autopilot. No, Agro is willful, stubborn, and alive. It takes practice to make him respond as you want to, but you love him more for it. Thus even as he aids in your battles, his cries of terror strike you deep.

Then you encounter the Colossi. Such magnificent beings, you wonder. Arising from the elements, constructed of stone and moss, they must be incarnations of the world itself. They are greater than you. You struggle to discover and access their weak points. The struggle though nerve-wracking is exhilarating. You, a mere human, a mortal are taking on a god of the earth. Inevitably the Colossus is slain. Even in the throes of death it remains magnificent. Your pride in your accomplishment is tainted by sadness. One by one the Colossi fall. Some don’t even fight back. The sadness turns to guilt and even grief. The loneliness of the landscape only enhances these feelings. But you must go on. 

As you progress, however, you become aware of a change in your character. He appears closer to death. He has bags under his eyes. His skin is pale and his face is gaunt. The girl on the other hand seems closer to life. They have become like the land. Alive and Dead. Real and Unreal. They stand on the threshold between worlds.

Shadow of the Colossus

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