Wednesday, August 31, 2011

G2 Forest

On the way to the 12th colossus (Pelagia) you must pass through a cave that leads to a hidden forest. You could say this is an enchanted forest as it has that mystical feeling about it... 

The path leading in seems well worn as if over the long span of years others have passed this way on horseback. Perhaps in times past this was a place of worship where people came to revere nature, or it could just have been a nice place to visit ; )

The forest is surrounded by high cliff walls leading to a impassible ledge featuring twin waterfalls. Across the chasm is the northern most part of the forest that is out of reach and can only be viewed from the south side.

There are some birds (doves) that make their home in this forest, so it was thought that by grabbing a dove you might be able to get across the chasm to the other side of the waterfalls, but unlike hawks, these birds are not powerful enough to lift Wander off the ground for more than a few seconds.

There's a central mound with a large rock at its center with light streaming down from a gap in the canopy of leaves above. The rest of the forest is dark with trees, their branches and leaves blocking out the light, but in a few places the light breaks through.

 Top of large rock next to the beam of sunlight

A shallow stream meanders by

East end the waterfall

If you are at the 12th colossus in the NTSC version and leave its area and return to the forest you can hear the music start playing again. If you get as far north as you can (it's a ledge jutting out next to the east most waterfall), you will see Pelagia's health bar appear and Wander will go into his 'battle ready' stance. This area is close enough to activate the colossus again even though you are technically outside of the colossi's area. So you can listen to 'A Shadow Coming Closer' while standing in the G2 forest. Note: I tested this in the PAL (European) version and the PS3 version but it seems they have fixed this glitch.

Using the sword of the Sun to point at Pelagia

Dormin's message in the G2 forest!

When I first saw this I just had to laugh! Dormin is telling Wander he 'cannot aim for its vitals as thou art now', deeerrrr! I'm not even in the colossi's arena! So this is obviously a glitch in the game (but an interesting one all the same). Strangely, I have never seen anyone else mention this glitch, so it seems I was the first to discover it. Let's call it the 'G2 forest glitch' ; ) Only works in the NTSC (US) version, Greatest Hits, and Black Label versions. 

Wander in his 'fighting stance' in the G2 forest

Pelagia is still active when Wander is in the G2 forest

Here I moved Wander's camera straight up to peek over the cliff walls that separate the G2 forest from Pelagia's lake to see the colossus walking around its arena. As you can see, as we are so far away, the area renders in its low resolution form, but the colossus is still in high-res mode. 

In the Preview version if you move your camera down into the water you get this strange lighting effect! Doesn't work in the NTSC or PAL versions though.

Bottom of the G2 canyon looking up

North (inaccessible) side of the forest

There's a high mound crowned with trees on the north side

The trees here are 2 dimensional flat shapes arranged in a grid like pattern

Back wall of north side

In my 10,000 subscribers video I showcased the G2 forest's North side, bottom of the canyon, top of the forest canopy and the forest birds. Check it out here:

The north side has a solid floor and Wander can run around there, but you can only move toward the back wall, if you try to move forward (south) Wander just runs on the spot stuck where he is. Also, the solid floor is lower than the ground texture so after just a few steps Wander's head disappears below the surface. So all you see is the forest floor above you and Wander running on an invisible floor.

The invisible solid floor on the north side extends out east between the forest and Pelagia's area. The textures play up but even in this state it still presents some amazing scenery! It's like a strange dimension between worlds where time and space are skewed... quite bizarre but still has its own beauty.

You can see Agro in the distance running on the spot trying to get to his master

This is from the Preview version. It's also in the NSTC/PAL versions but the effect is not as good. I've also turned down the mist effect here to make the forest sharper.

The walls of Pelagia's arena can't render from this distance so you can watch the colossus moving around, only the gazebo structures, Pelagia and some water effects can be seen. I tried getting the colossi's attention from here by whistling and shooting arrows (both regular and explosive) but it appears you are too far away for Pelagia to notice. The arrows appear to hit the gazebo structures, but it may only be hitting the invisible walls of its arena... it's hard to tell.

 Paradise floats upon the lake...

OPM demo Intro cut scene

In the intro cut scene models of all versions of the game the forest is missing (including the demos). So it appears it was added after the intro cut scene was created. Perhaps they thought the area needed something more than just a winding path to the 12th colossus. This would explain why there's really nothing to do there except enjoy the scenery. In comparison the E5 (Autumnal) forest acts as a hub to explore different parts of the land and has its own save shrine, and it exists in the cut scene models. 

It's also missing from the demo and Preview version maps

Above the G2 forest canopy

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Colossi Sizes

I have completely reworked this post and deleted most of the old information that was contained here as my initial measurements of the colossi were wrong. I have since measured each colossus in real time (in game) using my memory editor and a few tricks to make the task easier, such as freezing the colossi so they don't move around.

Back in 2009 I published my measurements of the colossi on the Playstation 2 forums, but these values were based on Wander, and for that I just made a guess as to his height, which I speculated was 5 feet 7 inches (or 170cm)... at the time I wasn't that clued into how the memory editor worked with the game, so this initial value was used to estimate the height of all the colossi, and as such the error was compounded. Note: The Team Ico wiki's measurements are also based on these erroneous measurements, but I've been in contact with one of the admins and he has agreed to update the measurements to the following correct values.

So now I can confidently provide their exact sizes which match up with the image found in the official art book (see below).

Colossi sizes from the art book

I made a short video of the colossi sizes based on the art book image, but at this stage I had still not actually measured them, I just cut out each colossus in Photoshop and made the below image using the art book image as a guide to their heights and widths etc.

Colossi sizes Photoshop montage
Hi res image: 

Updated video with measurements:

Wander's Height
I had to make sure Wander's height was in no doubt so I took two different measurements, one at the secret garden blocks and another using a save stone. I was very surprised at Wander's height as it worked out at only 1.25 metres high which is too small for a normal teenaged boy, so I checked and re-checked to make sure, but there seems no doubt.

Here I measured Wander at a diminutive 1.2m high (or 3.9 feet)

The blocks in the secret garden are exactly 2m x 2m x 2m. I have measured these by taking note of wander's up/down co-ordinates at the base of the block, then again at the top of the block.

A save stone is 3m (or 9ft 10 inches) high

Wander at the base of the save stone (his gravity value is 9.83m)

Wander on top of the save stone (value is 12.83m)

As you can see from the above images, the save stone is 12.83 - 9.83m high = 3 metres (or 9ft 10 inches) or approximately one storey (as in a building). Now let's scale the save stone in its up/down or z co-ordinate so that it matches Wander's height. Note: the save stone uses a value of 1 for its scale, i.e. length, width & height are set to 1.

Here the up/down scale is 0.415m

So Wander's height is 0.415 x 3 = 1.25 metres or 4.1 feet. This differs only slightly from what I measured before with the secret garden blocks (1.2m). So I am convinced now! Wander is a small person, only 4 feet tall (an average between 3.9 and 4.1 feet) or 1.2 metres tall. Perhaps the devs made Wander smaller than normal to accentuate the impression of giantess of the colossi? Or perhaps there was an upper limit to how large a colossus could be modelled on a PS2 at the time, and Wander was scaled to fit this limit? Compare this to an average sized man and you see this:

Wander compared to an average sized human man

Agro's Height
Using the save stone method I also measured Agro and here are the results:

Agro's height as compared to a scaled save stone (0.61 x 3 = 1.83m high)

Agro's length as compared to a scaled save stone (1.49...m x 2 = 3m)
Argo compared to Wander chart (each larger square is 1 metre)

Players had always noticed how big Agro was compared to Wander, that is it seemed to be an enormous horse in comparison to the diminutive Wander character. Here we can finally see why; it's not Agro that is enlarged but rather Wander is very small in comparison to the horse. Granted, Agro is a large war horse, bred for battle and carnage perhaps? But it is Wander who creates the impression that the horse is too big to be normal, Agro appears to be a normal sized horse.

#1 Valus
The method I used to measure the colossi involves the following steps, 1) I trigger the colossus into action, 2) I freeze the colossus so I can take accurate measurements. Note: this differs for each colossus, for example for the first colossus (Valus) I freeze it before it can take a single step, so once the cut scene ends Wander finds the colossi standing upright as still as stone!

Valus frozen after being triggered

3) I then take measurements at its feet and on the very top of its head. 4) I grab onto the extreme left and right sides of its arms to take a 'width' measurement, 5) I do the same for the depth, i.e. front to back.

For other colossi the rules change, for instance with Phaedra (#4) I have to wait until it stands up before I freeze it, the flying colossi present even more challenges as I have to measure them as they are flying, but I have special methods I can use to resolve this.
Valus size chart (each grid square is 1 metre)
#2 Quadratus
Below is another example to show how I worked out the colossi sizes, Quadratus is a good example as it's a very large quadrupedal colossus.

Value at base of Quadratus (-97)

Value at top of Quadratus (-75)

From the above example we see that the base level is -97 and the top level is approximately -75, although there is a higher spine than the one Wander is standing on which I measured at -73, so the end result is (97 - 73 = 24 metres high). This differs greatly to what I had posted here before (30.5 metres high). Note: I have frozen Quadratus here so it can't move. Now let's look at its length.

Value at front of Quadratus (facing north/south)

Value at rear of Quadratus (facing north/south)

Above we see the values for the front and back of Quadratus which if you work it out equals just over 31 metres - lets say 32 metres to round it off. Again, this is much shorter than my original value of 42.6m.

Final size chart for Quadratus

Some comments posted on my 'Colossi Sizes' video argued that the sizes were wrong and that the art book image it was based on wasn't accurate. Of course players only have their own experience of the game as Wander looking up at these enormous creatures from ground level, or once they have climbed up the colossi themselves. But this can create a false sense of size, especially as you can't see one colossus next to another in the game, you are limited to fighting one at a time.

So to silence these doubters I posted an image from a video I made in May 2013 (Odds & Ends part 4) where I took the time to transport Pelagia (#12) to Quadratus' beach (#2). I had control of Pelagia so I could walk it around the beach, into the lake and at the end of the video I featured it emerging from Quadratus' cave.

Pelagia emerging from the cave at #2's beach

As you can see from the above image Pelagia is as tall as Quadratus and appears at the entrance of the cave in the same height we see when Quadratus first emerges from it. In fact Pelagia is just 1 metre higher than Quadratus.

#3 Gaius
Below I have again used my memory editor to work out the height of Gaius (#3), just to make sure you can see the process used above with Quadratus. I first freeze the colossus once it's standing as upright as it gets, that is as it walks it shifts slightly from side to side which effects its height. I wait until it's at its maximum height when I freeze it, then I take my measurements, at its feet then on top of its head.

I take a value at its feet

Then on top of its head

So according to my memory editor Gaius is approximately 24 metres high which is 5 metres shorter than my previous height. In fact Gaius is the same height as Quadratus, but again, as you experience both colossi in different environments it's hard to reconcile this when seeing them one at a time. Gaius is thin and tall and seems to tower over Wander, whereas Quadratus seems shorter as it's a broad four legged creature. But when you compare them side by side with Wander as a reference you can see how we can be fooled by the size differences.

Gaius and Quadratus size comparison
Gaius final size chart measurements
#4 Phaedra
As mentioned above, I have to wait until Phaedra stands up before I freeze it, then I can take my measurements. Note: In the NTSC version Phaedra is solid before it's triggered, that is when it's sitting hunched on its platform before you trigger it, it is still completely solid and climbable. In the later PAL version it is a ghost with no collision detection.

Phaedra size chart
#5 Avion
Avion was a little more tricky to measure as I had to freeze it in flight with its wings outstretched and its tail nice and straight. I then took Wander and floated above each point to take my measurements, here are the results:

Wander floating above the tip of Avion's tail (direction is also shown)

Tip of Avion's nose (east/west direction)

Left wing (north/south direction)

Right wing (north/south direction)
Avion size chart
#6 Barba
To measure Barba I use a method that I like to call 'stand-by mode'. I first shift Wander's camera to the colossus before it's triggered, you now have control over it. I can then manually trigger Barba to wake up, it walks right through the massive stone door and then stops. It's a little creepy seeing the colossus alive and awake but just standing rooted on the spot, its chest moving up and down as it breaths. Since the camera is now at Barba the game thinks it's the main character, as such it doesn't try to find Wander, only when Wander is the main character will it react.

Watch Barba in stand-by mode here:
Barba size chart
#7 Hydrus
To measure Hydrus, I found the codes for it before it is activated. Each colossus has two models, one that exists when it is first loaded and before Wander triggers it, and another once it has been triggered. The non-triggered models are defined by their lack of collision detection, that is Wander can't interact with them in any way. However, some of the colossi have small parts that are still solid, these are #1 (Valus' club), #3 (Giaus' arm bracelet), #4 (Phaedra's full body in the NTSC version), #6 (Barba's beard), #8 (Kuromori's tail), #14' (Cenobia's head) and #15 (Argus' club). All the others are ghosts!

Hydrus before activation (above the lake)

So I found Hydrus' codes before it's triggered and moved it up out of the water, this way I can move Wander to the tip of its nose and then to the end of its tail to take my measurements - which are revealed below.

Hydrus size chart
#8 Kuromori
To measure Kuromori it was simply a matter of by-passing the trigger point (by floating over it) then dropping down to the floor of the Colosseum. Kuromori is frozen here before being triggered so I can move Wander to its head and tail to make my measurements. Strangely, the Gecko's tail is solid so I can stand there, but apart from this small area the rest of the colossus has  no collisions.

Wander on the Gecko's tail before activation
Kuromori size chart
#9 Basaran
This one was easy, just let it move out onto the geyser field then freeze it. Note: to find the freeze codes is not an easy thing... first I have to find the position co-ordinates of the colossus, that is its x, y, and z values in 3D space, once I have that I can figure out how to freeze it.
Basaran size chart (the image gets smaller the larger the colossus is)

But you can download all the hi-res images of these charts on my Flickr page here:

Along with a host of other images I have compiled over the years in regards to this topic.

#10 Dirge
I used the same technique here as I did for Hydrus (#7), I found Dirge's codes for the 'non-activated model' then moved it up above the level of the sand. I then used Wander's co-ordinates to work out the colossi's length and width.
Dirge size chart
#11 Celosia
Celosia was the first colossi I ever tried to find the position co-ordinates for. I posted a message on the Playstation2 forums saying that my next video would 'blow their minds'! You have to remember that this was in 2009, four years after the game's release, so by then everything had been found, including Sid_tiger's discovery of the invisible lands at H8 and Pikol's discoveries of the beta mountains and Dam! There was nothing left to find, but I thought if I could mod a colossus that would be something special! 

In the end it was WWWArea who first worked out how to mod a colossus (#16), after that we both worked out how to get he rest of them, the final count was about 50/50.
Celosia size chart
#12 Pelagia
It took me two nights (after work) to find this colossi's position co-ordinates. I remember spending hours stuck down in the dark, dreary lake at the colossi's feet searching for codes! I got sick of being down in that murky lake for so long... but finally I got its position co-ordinates, after that I could freeze Pelagia and move freely about its enclosure. Ah! Such a relief after so much searching and being blasted by its energy weapons!
Pelagia size chart

#13 Phalanx
The largest of all the colossi, it floats majestically through the sky. It's also one of the most peaceful of the colossi, never attacking Wander in any way except to do a barrel roll in order to shake off the tiny annoying intruder. Measuring Phalanx was quite easy as I just warp Wander down under the sand to where the colossus rests before being triggered. It's positioned vertically with its head at the top and tail way down below, so I put Wander at the tip of its snout and take a measurement, then move him down to the tip of its tail and take another measurement.

Measurement at the tip of Phalanx's snout

Measurement at the tip of Phalanx's tail

Top of Phalanx looking down before activation

Ueda mentions in the art book that Phalanx is about 200 metres long, but I measured it at 145.7 metres or 146m. I plan to take another measurement of Phalanx once it's in flight as I have a way of freezing it, so when I have done this I'll be able to get a more accurate measurement of the longest colossus in the game.

Phalanx size chart
Hi-res image here:

#14 Cenobia
Cenobia is a clone of Celosia (#11) so it has the same dimensions as Celosia.
Cenobia size chart
#15 Argus
Another humanoid type colossus, just like Valus and Giaus, this one holding a sword instead of a club. Unlike Valus it's not possible to grab onto its weapon and use it to fly up onto the colossus, the timing is just way too fast!
Argus size chart
#16 Malus
The tallest of of the colossi. When I first encountered it I thought it looked like a human shaped mountain!
Malus size chart
Malus is 2 metres higher than the Statute of Liberty

I used one of Emon's soldiers to measure Dormin, by first placing him at Dormin's huge foot and taking a measurement, then moving him up to the tip of Dormin's horns and taking another. Dormin is diminutive compared to the colossi but still stands at a menacing 11 metres tall.

Ground level is 10m

Tip of Dormin's horn is 21m high

Dormin size chart

Emon and the Soldiers
I have (for the first time) measured Emon and his guards as I never saw them as important, but if we are measuring Wander and Agro then why not everyone else ; ) To do this takes a long time - days actually! During the cutscene where you become Dormin I searched for the position co-ordinates of Dormin and the soldiers, then I found all of their freeze codes to stop them moving around. Actually you only need to find Emon's freeze codes first as the other soldiers stop to protect him. Later I find their individual camera codes so I can control each soldier... this is what takes so much time.

Lord Emon and his guards

There are five soldiers that accompany Emon, two that carry crossbows, two other soldiers that I call 'runners', as they immediately run straight for Wander's sword, and one other soldier that carries a sword. One of the 'runners' has a sword, the other has no weapon, but both can pick up Wander's sword. The two runners break away from Emon and the others, grab Wander's sword and head straight for the pool room, they are the first soldiers to make it there. The other three soldiers, the two crossbow and the sword carrying soldier always stick close to Emon and never leave his side. They seem to be his loyal bodyguards and will die to protect him. To measure Emon and the soldiers I used the save stone - I carefully stretched and squeezed it into position in order to measure their heights and widths.

Measuring Emon and his guards with a save stone

Measurements of Emon and the two crossbow guards

Measurements of the two runners and the sword carrying guard

Note: Lord Emon is actually a little shorter than Wander, perhaps due to his advanced age? But his guards are also much shorter than a modern sized person, the highest being 1.5m (or 4.9 feet) tall. So it seems all the characters in Shadow of the Colossus are little people, much smaller than modern humans - why this is so is up for conjecture, perhaps this story is set many millennia in the past? By examining the stage of technological development it appears to be around the 8th century AD, i.e. soldiers rode around on horses, sword, shields and arrows were the weapons of choice - no firearms are evident yet and they appear to have leather armour.

Masks of the Guards
When measuring the guards I noticed that two of them had different masks that we have never seen before! We are familiar with the three masks we receive in the Time Attack trials (the mask of Strength, the mask of Power and the Shaman's mask), as well as the extra mask that was removed from the game (the mask of Titans), but there are two extra masks only worn by Emon's guards (the last two masks below).

Masks worn by Emon and his guards

I have named these two extra masks the 'Mask of Wisdom' and the 'Mask of Truth', but these are just arbitrary titles to identify them against the masks we are familiar with ; ) If you have more inventive names please let me know. Strangely, I was never aware of these masks before, even though I had been moving these soldiers around for years and panning in with the camera to get a better look at them, I didn't really notice these two extra masks until now. So we have yet another new discovery here, and the hour is very late! In October this year (2016) it will be 11 years since the game was released, but I am only now showing these two new masks for the first time. Such is this game ; )

Measuring Mono
Mono is the last character to measure in the game, a little tricky as she is always lying down, although I could measure her standing up in the final cutscene... but for now I will measure her as she is in the game (as it's easier and less time consuming ; ) But as I still have the save states of my 10,000+ subs video, I could use this to take a good snapshot of Mono in her upright standing position: 

Mono at the higher levels of the Shrine of Worship

Mono with temple and background removed

Mono height (1.4m)

Mono width (0.65m)

Mono length (0.27m)

Mono is taller than Wander by a couple of centimetres. Remember Wander is 1.25m tall but it seems Mono is 1.4m tall! Perhaps she was a few years older than Wander and as such, he admired her from afar? In the end this young, beautiful girl was brutally put to death based on some obscure prophecy about her future fate (a cursed fate).

Wander vrs Mono size chart
All Colossi Sizes Chart
Here are all the above 16 colossi with width and height values shown. This gives you a wider view of how each colossus size relates to the other, for instance Gaius (#3) is as tall as Quadratus (#2), but from playing the game (from Wander's perspective) Giaus seems a lot taller than Quadratus! This is an optical illusion as it's a tall thin colossus, whereas Quadratus is a wide oblong shaped colossus. If you were to put these two colossus next to each other you would see how they are the same height.

 All colossi sizes chart
Download hi-res image here: 

So there you have it! All 16 colossi's exact sizes. This took me months of work but I'm happy with the final results. These sizes are a lot smaller than my original speculations and it may seem that the colossi are too small in comparison as to how we first imagined them, but I guarantee that what I have presented here are the true colossi sizes. You can take my word for this ; )