(This is Part IV in a Series of Blogs about Shadow of the Colossus. The previous Episode is here. In this episode spoilers from the battle with the 1st Colossus; Valus, are revealed.)
What have I done?
The severity of my situation weighed heavy on my mind as I guided Agro southwards towards my first foe. Not only had I broken my vow, not only had I stolen our village's relic and entered the Forbidden Land, but I'd made a deal with Dormin.
The Chant says that Dormin is a primordial evil spirit, but another legend says that he was once a chief who gained knowledge of a great power and used to to become a god. No matter which version, Dormin was a menace to our people and for that reason was sealed away in this forbidden place.
And I plan to free It,
As we moved south I noticed a fruit-bearing tree. My stomach rumbled. I had not eaten since before Mono's murder. With my bow I struck some of this strange produce from its boughs. Upon closer examination it was an alien fruit, whose kind I had never seen before. The husk was thick but the flesh inside was tender and moist. Its taste I found to be strangely intoxicating; a mixture of sweetness blended with a texture not unlike veal, all bound within a flavor that I cannot describe. After eating my fill I felt strangely vigorous; stronger... faster. I stripped the tree of its remaining drupe and with each bite I felt stronger, healthier.
Forbidden Fruit from a Forbidden Land...
The light from the sword led me directly south to a small grotto in an otherwise impenetrable cliff-face. Once this had been adorned with some structures, but they had eons ago fallen to ruin. I dismounted and lifted the sword once more. Here the light was weak; the grotto cloaked in shadow, but it pointed up. Steeling my nerve I grasped onto nearby vines and began to climb.
What awaits me above?
The path was treacherous but my determination drove me onwards. My thoughts, often mired by trepidation for what sins I may be committing, were pushed aside. I had committed to this course; I would have Mono back... at any cost. If that meant making deals with Dormin, slaying giants, none of it mattered. Even if it cost me my life I would rather die knowing she was safe than live without her. Such were my thoughts as I reached the apex of the cliff and began to move out from behind a boulder, such were my thoughts when I was nearly thrown off the cliff by the incredible tremor that shook the Earth.
That is no mere giant!
The beast, if it could be called that, lumbered by me without notice; each step impacting like boulders raining from the sky. It had the form reminiscent of bovine and man melded in unholy union and strode along more like moving architecture than a living thing. Its body appeared a fusion of stone and pallid gray flesh covered in shaggy hair. As I watched it walk away I felt a sense of purpose come over me. If Mono was to live then this beast must die. I did not know how, but I had to kill it. Without further thought I let fly a shrill whistle... and the Colossus turned.
What am I doing??
It stalked towards me, the Earth shaking with every step the seventy-foot tall monster took. Somehow I found the courage to charge it. The Colossus halted and moved to strike me with the great club it carried. I ran to my right, throwing myself into a headlong roll just as the beast's thunderous club smashed into the ground, throwing dirt and rocks high into the air and leaving a crater where I had so recently stood. I ran around the monster. It's legs were the girth of ancient tree trunks and ended in cloven hooves. One leg was bound in stone, worn like armor, but the other was exposed; its armor long since broken away. Despite the terror screaming in my mind for me to flee I ran straight at this colossal leg and I leapt onto it, grabbing handfuls of it coarse, malodorous hair.
Hold up thy sword to reflect the light onto the colossus. Its vitals shall be revealed.
Dormin's dual-voice flooded my mind as I clung to the creature's hair. Suddenly the monster violently shook its leg, trying to throw me. I hung on in desperation, my brain jostled by the incredible force. As soon as it stopped I pulled the Ancient Sword free from its scabbard and clutched it in my right hand but then I paused. A tell-tale glow emanated from the creature's calf. Without hesitation I stabbed the sword into the mark twice in rapid succession. Where it was pierced the thing's flesh poured what I can only describe as liquid shadow but, more importantly, the bull-like colossus dropped to one knee.
I could hurt it, I could make it bleed.
From this vantage I could leap up and grab onto the stone that wrapped around its thigh and from there seize fistfulls of hair around the beast's rear. I hauled myself upwards as quickly as I could until I finally came to the ledge of what could only be called a platform. This place provided some much needed rest; allowing me to pause and regain my stamina some twenty feet above the ground. The colossus lumbered on, seeming unaware of where I'd gone. Whatever wound I'd inflicted on its leg seemed to have healed for now it strode ahead at its former pace.
This isn't over...
There was nowhere to go but up, so climb I did. The colossi's back was heavily furred and spines of stone erupted along its center, further lending to the monstrosity's statue-like form. I ran along its hunched back when suddenly it sensed me once more and shook its entire body; trying to throw me from its incredible height. I crouched down and clung tight, stabbing the sword into its back. It bled, but only a tiny amount and in moments the wound was gone.
How do I kill this thing?
Dormin's counsel came back to my mind and when the beast stopped moving I held the Ancient Sword aloft and noticed the tell-tale blue-green glow I'd seen before coming from the crown of the colossus. My mind set with conviction I raced up the beast's back. Just then it shook itself anew and I was thrown high into the air. I sailed towards its head and, as much out of desperation as intent, I angled the sword downwards and stabbed upon my landing with all my might, sinking it nearly up to the hilt. Right into the bluish glow of something incredibly familiar.
Is that the Sacred Sigil?
It should be familiar; it was the sign of our people. The Sacred Sigil, worn by our Shamen and our warriors. I bore the same symbol on my tabard! I strugged to yank the sword free from the skull of the beast when suddenly it rocked its head in pain. I barely found purchase in time, my hand gripping at the creature's rocky brow. There I hung, before its great, cerulean eye. For a single moment we looked at each other; my own eyes failing to find any emotion in that of the colossus.
It's a construct... this thing was created and somehow given artificial life.
The moment passed quickly as the beast paused, giving me time to hoist myself back onto its head. It must have sensed my intent for it began to shake violently once more. I clung to its rank hair for all I was worth, my grip near failing. Then it ceased its struggle; perhaps to rest, and I had my chance...
For Mono... for my True Love...
With all my strength I reared back and thrust the Ancient Sword deep into the brain of the colossus. It howled and shook once more, wearing me to near exhaustion, but I struck again it went rigid, then limp. With all the acceleration of a free-fall we crashed to the ground together. I rolled free, letting the colossus break my fall, and I stood once more, gazing upon my fallen prey. From the wounds in its head the liquid shadow poured forth, racing across the colossi's form like shadows race beneath clouds. Then I noticed the tendrils; formed of pure blackness bound in cerulean light they snaked into the sky. I watched them curiously as they whirled above, then they curved and angled towards me. Like lightning, they struck...
The pain... like I'm drowning inside!!
My lungs ached, which spread to my muscles, even my heart felt like it stopped. I opened my mouth to scream and only cold, black vapor emanated. My vision darkened and went black, my eyes feeling like they were poured full of some viscous liquid... and then I knew no more.
Blackness... then light, like a white sun... a sound... a sharp intake of breath... Mono??
What have I done?