Dec 072016


The Last Guardian is FINALLY out, and its PS2 predecessors have cast a decade-long shadow over its development. Odds are LG will turn out fine, but as you’ll see from this selection of tunes from ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, it has some big shoes to fill!



00:00 – Castle in the Mist (ICO)

11:48 – Darkness (ICO)

13:00 – Heal (ICO)

19:38 – Gate (ICO)

20:12 – You Were There (ICO)

33:20 – The Opened Way (Shadow of the Colossus)

35:13 – The End of the Battle (SOTC)

41:17 – Revived Power (SOTC)

43:29 – Counterattack (SOTC)

45:28 – The Sunlit Earth (SOTC)

54:05 – Save Me (SuperGreenX via

  11 Responses to “VGMpire 127 – Shadow of ICO”

  1. HNNNGH YES I was hoping you’d do this episode! I remember playing the ICO demo OVER and OVER in an Official PlayStation Magazine demo disc in August 2001. I didn’t actually get the game until Christmas 2003 (alongside Shinobi) but I had so many fond memories of it, even if Yorda’s AI could be a pain 😛

    Interestingly, the version of ICO found in the HD Remaster on PS3 is based on the European version, which means you can unlock a secret watermelon ending as well as a lightsaber/laser sword thing. Also, some of the puzzles were shifted around in comparison to the US PS2 version. Playing it again in the HD Remaster, I still love the game but Yorda’s AI is just some of the worst ever, haha!

    I have a big attachment to ICO’s “Healing” music as well. Kinda like the Save Room music in RE games, it’s just this wonderful bit of respite, and it made me feel cozy amidst the dreariness of being alone in an abandoned, creepy fortress. I also love the vocal track, I shoulda figured it was a young choir boy singing it! They used that song in the initial trailers of the game and it’s stuck with me ever since. Love when the percussion kicks in after that falsetto.

    Shadow of the Colossus is still one of my favorite games ever, and the soundtrack is simply unparalleled. Definitely one of those “Must-have” VGM CDs. I was surprised you didn’t mention that Ko Otani also composed “Gundam Wing”! You guys nailed it with how no other game has matched SotC’s “small guy fighting something huge”. Dragon’s Dogma has some cool elements of it, like grabbing onto a chimera or griffin, and of course God of War and Lords of Shadow have those QTEs, but I really want more games to have the feeling SotC had of actually being able to climb and maneuver on top of a moving, breathing creature.

    I started The Last Guardian last night and I’m blown away by it. It’s a great mesh of ICO and SotC. It has ICO-style puzzles (ones that continue to stump me and make me go “WTF DO I DOOOOO”) and climbing Trico has the same feeling as scaling a small Colossus.

    You played some iconic tracks from SotC, although they’re not my personal faves. The one that plays when fighting Avion (the bird/eagle Colossus), “A Despair-filled Farewell ~Battle With the Colossus~” is my #1 favorite — gives me so many chills and there are so many emotional swells and everything — it kicks in when you grab onto the colossus as it swoops down to attack you and it’s such an incredible spectacle to witness.

    A Despair-filled Farewell ~Battle With the Colossus~ –

    My biggest wow moment in the game had to come from the desert serpent colossus, Phalanx. The first time I had ridden Aggro parallel to the thing, and then jumped from my horse onto it as it began sailing into the sky is probably one of my favorite gaming moments ever. All I could think was “OMG how is this possible on PlayStation 2? OMG this feels like a Hollywood movie except I’m in full control of this maneuver!” I loved it so much.

    Wanted to also give shoutouts to the final colossus music, which was appropriately dramatic and incredibly dreary, as well as the opening theme, which is simply perfect:

    Demise of the Ritual –
    Prologue – To An Ancient Land –

  2. I think that the ICO soundtrack takes place in the game in the same way that the Labyrinth soundtrack takes place in the movie. The electric elements just somehow work for me.

  3. Awesome episode! I always planned on getting the HD collection for these games but then my PS3 died. Hopefully, they eventually make their way to PS4.

  4. I played Ico and SotC on PS2, but when I tried the remasters the controls were too different from how nicely organized controls had gotten in the PS3 years that I didn’t want to put up with fighting them, so I never even got to the first colossus. I’m afraid Last Guardian will be the same, controls that would get an American game a lower score, but people let Japanese games slide when they don’t bother to look at what works well, and make different control schemes and unpleasant UIs for every game.

    • Speak for yourself. For example, I still play “Another World” to this very day. A french masterpiece of game design, storytelling and art direction. The stiff controls doesn’t bother me in the slightest in relation to how incredible the experience is every other regard. Ico and Shadow both has perfectly functional controls. If you can’t get past such a minor hurdle, then your loss. I’ve known people who can’t watch old movies because they are in black and white. I know what I think of such opinions.

  5. i never played these games but i remember that EGM ad/poster for SotC you mentioned. “Some mountains are scaled. Others are slain.” i remember the feeling in my heart as i read that poster then flipped it over to see the size differential. still the most powerfully badass game advert in recent memory.

  6. Stellar soundtracks for two amazing, timeless games. Just went through the HD version of Shadow again recently and the magic is still there. It’s also a testimony to the scope of the soundtrack that many of my favorite compositions were not featured on this episode.

    I hope Ueda still has it in him to make more adventures after his long ordeal with The Last Guardian. The game world really needs alternative voices like him and bold titles that dare to be ambiguous and poetic.

    Thank you VGMpire for another nice episode. This podcast series is by far my favorite content across the Lasertime network and I’m always thrilled whenever a new installment drops. 🙂

  7. SotC is my favorite game of all time, I love the soundtrack to death. I have been waiting for this episode ever since you started VGMpire, so excited.

  8. 1. God bless OCRemix–I still find good jams there. Great pick for outro song.
    2. Holy shit, Brett referenced Phalanx. FUCK that game, it was stupid-hard. …And why *was* there an old guy playing the banjo on the cover? It was a game about a gat damn space ship.

    I’m really excited for the game-of-the-year and/or 2016 review episodes of VGMpire. I just listened to 2015’s to get hype, even.

  9. Wow, never played ICO, but instantly recognized “Heal” because Lil B rapped over it

    Never played SoTC either, but I enjoyed the music so much I tried (unsuccessfully) to play it on my own mlg machine. I guess, ten years later, it may finally be time for me to buy a PS3 so I can play the remasters, along with some other titles I missed out on

    Looking forward to the Album of the Year episode!

  10. UPS was using the ICO save song as their hold music when I called them about a month ago.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.