Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lady (I know, very original), and I’m a character within the universe of Shadow of the Colossus/ ICO universe. I thought that it would be fun to tell you the history of this little piece of sub-creation. Or, maybe, what I’ve decide what the history should be. That’s the problem with the, let us call it minimalist, style of storytelling that the programing team employed. There isn’t much confirmed information about my world.
As I mentioned before I’m a goddess named Lady. I have dominion over magic. Unlike real life pantheons, which have many gods and goddesses, the pantheon in our world is comprised of just three: life, death, and magic. We don’t really have a leader, but as the eldest of the three, I often end up acting as a leader. Now, the other two members of the pantheon are Yorba who is the goddess of life, and Dormin who is the god of death.
But, this story starts long before the events of Ico or Shadow of the Colossus back when there was no forbidden land. I’m going to skip forward until I came into being, and my memory begins. I’m not sure that anything existed before me. That’s another issue with the minimalism I guess.
Anyway, assuming that the world didn’t spring into being half a second before I did, humans had been at the creating a working civilization game for several thousand years.
My existence seems to coincide with humans figuring out how to harness magic. I looked human, even if I wasn’t: I was not really bound to the same cycle of life and death. I don’t seem to age, but maybe I’m aging in a different way than humans. Even though I kept my distance the humans eventually began to worship me as a goddess. I’m not honestly sure why. Maybe it was those differences that made me an other, or my willingness to help those in need. However, I am sure, that I have earned much of the respect that the people give me.
However, when you’re the only divinish being, you end up doing all the immortal person work. Honestly, I was over stretched and exhausted. You can’t blame me for occasionally missing things. For example, that horrible selfish woman who called herself “The Queen”.
I’m afraid that I may have inspired her actions. I’ll never know of course, but the evil things she did were all done in effort to extend her days: first, draining the magic and life out of those who were born with some innate magical ability – signaled by the horns- and, when that began to fail, planning to swap her soul into a younger body.
I mean, I have nothing against jumping into a new unoccupied body, but evicting your own child form theirs just so you can live longer is utterly vile.
She was getting away with this, because not only had I not yet heard about it, and I was unlike to from a combination of cleaning up one heck of a magical disaster, and nobody really knowing what she was up to. I’m sure that it also helped her that, at least, temporarily, she had developer support.
Anyway, the last child she tried to drain was named a boy named Ico. ‘The Queen’ lost her plot armor, and the game ICO occurred. It was after those two kids escaped into what was currently known as the Far Plains - the future Forbidden Lands- that our paths crossed.
Having finally finished cleaning up one magical disaster, I was slightly distressed almost immediately feel the recent magical aftershock of the 'Queen's' death. I assumed I was going to have to spend the next few decades cleaning up another magical contamination site. I didn’t expect to find a radically altered Yorba and Ico.
They had been at ground-zero of what could easily be described as a magical hydrogen bomb going off. As much as any non-sentient force can dislike anything, magic hates being loose in the environment. It prefers to hold to things: either resting in great channels of magic that crisscross our world, or to reside within living beings. Naturally, all the excess magic that was thrown out in the Queen’s death was attracted to Yorba and Ico.
In that moment, they ascended from powerful, if normal children to divinish being such as myself. Even if they’d wanted to, they could never go back to their previous lives. I did what I could. Healing their wounds, and searching for someone to care for them as they grew. Certainly, they would never be alone that way I had been.
Now, I know that some of you are saying that I just finished the plot of ICO, and that Shadow of the Colossus, is actually a prequal to that game. While, it is true that many of the events in Shadow of the Colossus (abbreviated to SotC from now on), seemingly explain events in ICO, it has never actually been confirmed as a prequel – the two games are only stated to take place in the same world. So, my creator is going by the chronological release of the games.
Moving away from the meta talk, and back to the story, nothing much interesting happened as Yorba and Ico grew up. Despite their extraordinary new abilities, they grew much like average children their age, and did not start showing any semblance of what spheres of influence they controlled until they had fully grown.
This did differ from my own growth, as upon my existence I new exactly where my powers lay. Perhaps the difference stemmed from the fact that while I was alone, Yorba and Ico’s opposing sphere’s acted to cancel the influence of the other’s aura out.
It seemed that when Yorba and Ico had gotten their divinity, the magic had separated itself into life aligned, and death aligned. Yorba had absorbed the life aligned magic, and thus Ico the death.
As said before, when together their aura’s canceled each other out, but when separated, they presented violently. Around Ico, things died, illness raged, and decay accelerated. In contrast, life went crazy while around Yorba: seeds would grow at double rate, flowers blossomed overnight. Things like that.
Once they realized what was going on, they stuck together until they had both mastered their powers, and kept their magic from acting on its own, and even after they gained that control, they both preferred the other’s company. A fairly average consequence of falling in love. So, they got married. It was an elegant if small affair, and aside from some of my priests from getting a little drunk, was relatively uneventful.
Slowly, they integrated into the existing belief systems, and – mostly because my creator absolutely refuses to create more backstories than absolutely necessary- both got new names that the mortal folk called them by. Yorba’s is unimportant, but Ico did come to be known as Dormin.
Eventually, we all settled into our own roles, and while we did spend quite a lot of time together dealing with all the immortal people work, we also all gained our own unique sacred spaces around the land.
The problem with coming first, is that sometimes you end up with the worst deal. While Yorba and Ico managed to have sacred locations relatively out of the way, my home was firmly established in the Starlight Sanctuary, an admittedly beautiful temple within one of the large cities that does exist, but does not make an appearance in game.
In my opinion, Yorba was the lucky one whose personal space is a garden secreted high in almost unscalable mountains, and filled with all sorts of magical plants, many of which she has crafted herself. Of all her plants, the one I personally love to look at the best is a silvery lily like plant called Minoria. Even for Yorba it's hard to cultivate, but the nectar can actually restore life to the dead. Considering the unscalable cliffs, the mortal simply built the temple at the base of the mountain, but the distance does give Yorba some peace from the mortals.
While Ico certainly didn’t manage to have a sacred location as isolated as his wife’s, it was certainly more remote than I was. His temple was built way out in the Far Plains, so while there was more mortal activity, it was not the constant barrage I was forced to endure. Also, apparently his followers didn’t think knocking before opening a door would kill them.
It would seem that giant widescale magical disasters that only I can handle are both my creator, and the game development team’s favorite way of putting me out of action. This is exactly what happened.
Whilst I was occupied by clean-up duty, Ico got himself in some trouble. My priesthood jumped to the rescue, and promptly screwed things up. The dears try, but need to leave the more complicated magic to those with the power and practice to pull it off correctly.
Either because they didn’t fully understand what they were attempting, or the failed spell had somewhat scrambled their brains, I’m still not completely sure what they were aiming to do. Whatever the original goal, the result was that Ico got his personality split between sixteen different pieces. These pieces were attracted to the natural magical hotspots that where found through the land of the Far Plains.
By the time I got back from cleaning up the magical equivalent of radioactive fallout, everything was all over and done with. Through a combination of my statues as a goddess and my lack of a clear understand of the underlying spell, I was unable to perform a simple reversal, and Yorba and I were stuck playing the long game.
If we waited long enough, the spell would start to breakdown in certain predictable ways, and it would be easy enough for Yorba or I to designate a champion to finish cleaning up the mess.
I must admit that I didn’t expect the Colossus. The combination of the natural magic pockets, and the fractured pieces of Ico’s will lead to the land surrounding the soul pieces to transform into sixteen titanic creatures, made of the natural elements of the Far Plains. However, the spell did decay in other ways that made it possible for a hero to use my magic sword to free Ico.
Yorba and I started looking for a person with the right combination of bravery and attiction of adrenaline to hunt down and slay the Colossus. Before we found someone, my priests – who now that I think of it really should not be left alone period, let alone sharp objects – killed a poor girl named Mono, after misinterpreting something I said to Yorba about this girl maybe being the key to freeing Ico.
At this point, things began moving at a rapid pace. You already know what Wander’s story was during SotC. Fueled by only rumors and grief, he took Mono’s body, stole my sword and raced into what was now known as the Forbidden Lands to see if Dormin Lord of Death could return the girl’s life. Yorba intercepted Wander, and was able to lend Ico enough of her own power for him and Wanderer to strike their barging: Dormin’s freedom for Mono’s life.
Meanwhile, back in civilization, my soon-to-be-former, High Priest Lord Emon learned of the theft, and took several men to return the sword before I learned it was gone. Which I had already noticed, but decided to overlook because it meant I didn’t have to go locate a champion.
We were so close to freeing Ico, and at this point I wouldn’t trust my priesthood with cutting bread properly. So, I left to go chase after Emon. Despite my incredible magical powers, I am unable to teleport. I was forced to use mundane means to pursue him.
Unfortunately, I was not fast enough, missed the ending of SotC, and connected with Emon on his journey back. I was less than pleased with his handling of the situation – the collapsing bridge alone was going to be a massive pile of paperwork.
After suggesting that he take a nice long vacation, I joined Yorba in the now completely ruined temple. Despite Emon’s interruption, Yorba and Ico had managed to fulfill their promises. Mono was once more among the living. In fact, aside from all the rebuilding that was needed, the only real problem was that Emon’s final spell had turned Wander back into a baby.
After packing Mono, the horse, and baby Wander up, we pointed them in the direction of civilization. With all the mortals cleared out of the temple, us immortals where able to catch up. I was the only one who was realistically predicating the masses of paperwork that where coming our way, and left early to head that off. I still somehow underestimated it.