Monday, November 10, 2014

Ico: completed!

No more opportunities for Dido lyrics.  There are big plot spoilers here, so don't click onto the post if you're the one person who's not completed this but intends to do so - I wouldn't normally worry for a twelve-year-old game, but the end of the story is pretty affecting so shouldn't be spoilt.

I did indeed have to complete the game in one go.  Yorda was dead - or at least, petrified to stone, and statuesque.  I fell from the bridge and had to make my way across hanging platforms to get to a cave under the castle.  At least, that was the plan.  I had to watch the cutscene of losing Yorda three times before finally making it into the cave due to the inaccuracy of the Dual Shock 3.  It lost a bit of the emotion due to that.

Working up through the basements, falling into the water a number of times, I finally found a lift which took me up the rooms in which I (re)stated the game, a year and a half ago.  That's where I found Yorda again, or at least her lifeless body.  I fought off what felt like hundreds of shadow creatures with my new all-powerful sword, and went to meet the Queen.

The final encounter was a little incongruous, as it was unlike any battle throughout the game and was much more action than puzzle based.  I was very worried that dying here would send me back to the bridge again, but luckily I was able to hide from her attacks and stick my sword in.  The Queen died, the castle collapsed, and Yorda's spirit was released ... as a shadow being?

The end sequences were beautiful, with amazing music.  The very end scene was confusing, with Yorda seemingly alive.  Maybe not; maybe Ico never made it out of the castle and they are reunited in the afterlife.

But it was a powerful story, and a lovely game.  It shows its age in some areas, but I would rather have a histrical record of gameplay evolution than bring everything to today's gameplay standards.  But Ico remains a stunning game.

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