Monday, December 10, 2012

Random Locations on the Map - Part One, of I Don't Know How Many!

Hey guys, Yamori_B here! First off, I would like to apologize for my absence on here. A combination of personal stuff, conventions, art related stuff, various holidays, and my own forgetfulness and procrastination would be the culprits here, so again, I'm really sorry! 

So today I thought I might share some of my theories and information on some random locations on the map - I'll be looking at The Shrine of Worship, Underground (#6's area), Ruins (#12's area), and Kirin's Hill (#4's area).

Let's kick things off with the Shrine of Worship! This isn't much of a discovery, but I suppose it's kind of cool. The Shrine is referred to as Himeji (This is probably a reference to the real Himeji Castle in Japan) in a lot of the textures - while looking at Fumito's twitter with google translate, my brother and I came across these tweets-
It's not much but I thought it was kind of neat. XD

On to Underground! There are some textures used here (among other places) that all have "Baiyon Wall" in their names.

 If you then search Baiyon on only get the musician Baiyon. XD

But if you put it in google translate it asks "Did you mean バイヨン?"

If you click that, it comes back out as "Bayon" or "the Bayon".
So! What is the Bayon? Well, to quote Wikipedia "The Bayon is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia." Hooray, puzzle solved! :D So again, not too exciting, but I found it interesting. XD

...And on a side note, there is a photograph of Fumito's bookshelf in the art-book that came with the Japanese collection.

...And it would appear he has a book about Angkor Wat. ;)

Now for the Ruins - and on to the weird speculation part of this blog post! XD When I look at the ruins, the way the stone blocks in one area appear to almost be just stacked up one on top of the other seems odd.

The area is referred to as a city by Dormin, but something has never seemed right about it to me. It's always looked the least natural of any of the architecture in the game to me. Like there's no rhyme or reason to the placement of things. That's always bugged me because Team Ico is pretty good with that kind of thing most of the time. So there are two parts to my theory here. The first one I'm pretty confident in, and that's that the area is a Marsh and the purpose of the water channels winding through the ruins may have been to drain the marsh thus making it more suitable for construction.

Some of the ground appears somewhat soft and wet, and in one area it appears a whole toppled block has sunk into the ground.

 Actually, there are a couple other instances of blocks sunk into the ground too.

The second part of the theory I'm less confident in, but could possibly explain the strange nature of the ruins. Maybe this area was never actually completed? The tower of blocks stacked up on top of one another could be building materials, not yet assembled into a proper structure. This could also explain the blocks strewn around the passageway.

Alternately, the area could be an area that was completed, but was being torn down and the blocks transported somewhere else...

So that's my theory there, though I'm probably not correct. XD It's also possible that Team Ico didn't put that much thought into the area...but where's the fun in thinking that? ;)

And last, but not least! Probably the most exciting thing in this post (Which still isn't necessarily all that exciting), Kirin's Hill! :D

"In the land of vast green fields...
Rows of guiding graves...
It is a giant indeed but fearful, it is not."

Personally, I've never seen the area as vast, or as much of a field...though it certainly is green if nothing else! :D

Then there's the matter of that "Rows of guiding graves" comment...
There's been some interesting theories about what it could be referring
to. I believe Nomad mentioned a few of the better ones in his post on Kirin
here -

Now, one theory I've been thinking about lately is that
the lines "Land of vast green fields" and  "Rows of guiding graves"
both may have made more sense earlier in the game's development...
But anyway, recently while watching
this video I saw something I could've sworn I recognized.

As it turns out, I was right! After taking a look through the concept art in the art-book from the japanese boxset, I found something strikingly similar to what was seen in that video!

Now I don't know, but personally, that looks much more like a "vast green field" to me!
The four pillars are oddly enough, absent from the sketch, but I'm not certain there would be room to show them anyway. I believe that the four pillars may be arranged at the corners of a large square...come to think of it, while there weren't any pillars,
wasn't there a gigantic square near the back of the area in the final game? I wonder if they're connected, and if so why they removed the pillars?

So that's all I got for this post! :) Next post I might delve into some Beta colossus speculation or something. XD I'm also thinking about posting some findings related to some other games (mainly Twilight Princess). Should I collect those on a different blog, or just post them here?
Well anway, that's it until next time! :D



  1. Brilliant! This is the kind of thinking I admire as it opens up new areas of investigation.

    Interesting - I had never considered that the columns had sunken into the soft ground, I thought that Cenobia had broken parts of the city in previous battles (as I believe there were previous wanderers before Wander came along).

    I came to the same conclusion about the extra blocks. It seems something happened during construction of the city and the workers just left things as they were. Perhaps this was when Dormin was imprisoned?

    I loved your Kirin's hill speculations - I had never seen those sketches before (I'll have to get myself a copy of that book!) Looks like its area was very different in earlier builds.

    Look forward to your next post and I don't think there's any problem posting about other games here - I mean they are all part of Yamori's underground right ;)

    1. I would say that you're probably right about Cenobia there. Maybe Cenobia knocked things down (such as the pillars) and then they sunk into the ground. They definitely had to get knocked over by something, and it was probably Cenobia as heavy as those things must be. XD

      It does seem strange doesn't it? Perhaps so...

      Thank you! :) It would appear so. Makes me wonder what the battle was like at the time...

      Haha, thanks! XD I think I might go ahead and do that then...There's some really freaky stuff in the Arbiter's Grounds that is very interesting. I'll probably keep it to SotC most of the time though. Just an update about another game here and there. :)

      Thanks again for taking the time to read my posts and comment! XD

  2. Cool theories and observations, Yamori! I'm writing something similar for The Wind Waker right now. It sounds like Nomad is purchasing the SotC HD book you own, so I'll be able to translate some of the pages once he receives it. I'll also be looking forward to hearing what you have to say about Twilight Princess. Keep up the sweet posts! :)

    1. Thank you! :) Ooh, I look forward to seeing that! :0

      Yeah, I heard he was able to get a hold of a copy, I can't wait to see what it says! I would have liked to have scanned my copy, but I wasn't sure how to do so without dismantling the book. >_<

      I hope to have a Twilight Princess post up sometime soon! c: I ran into some computer trouble and haven't been able to post, but it's almost fixed now so it shouldn't be too long.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read my posts and comment! :'D

  3. Thinking of the unmatching description of Kirin to its area, and the fact that throughout the different builds of the game many a beta artifact was left, I'd like to point out that a lot of the textures for floor symbols or medallions around the colossi arenas contain a number of smaller symbols like little circles that total either 16 or 24, the numbers of colossi in the final product, and the number originally intended (although I hear the original intention was something like 48[yikes!]). Like you mention here, they might not have put as much thought into it as we all speculate, but it's just more fun to imagine that they did. Maybe these are all just remnants of previous builds left over (whether intentionally or not), or maybe all of it had an intention, but they left it up to our interpretations. I think most of the fun is in the speculation.
    Anyway, for fear of dragging this comment on any longer, I'd like to conclude it by saying great post, I enjoyed reading it, and I hope to read more from you.
    Your friend, Guy

    1. That is actually an excellent point! My brother and I had counted the circles in some of those symbols long ago, but I had kind of forgotten until you mentioned it just now! :'D If I remember correctly there was at least one medallion with 20 circles on it too. Which raises the question of whether or not they may have cut the number to 20 at one time as well...

      And I wholeheartedly agree on that! :D Even if it turned out that none of these things were really intentional it wouldn't change the fact that we've all had an absolute blast speculating about it! (And heck, I've learned a lot about game design and architecture among many other things along the way! XD) They left so many things about Colossus open to speculation, and I feel like that in itself is intentional. It leaves everyone with their own personal experience and adds a really wonderful depth to the game that would be difficult to achieve any other way. :)

      And thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed reading, and more is on the way soon! :D