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 © 2011 Amidst the Light

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Spoiler Warning

This is a site that is intended for those who wish to analyze the stories of Team ICO's video games, and it will contain SPOILERS for the games ICO and Shadow of the Colossus in almost every page. If you have not finished these games, or are thinking about doing so, then I ask that you finish playing them before viewing any content that is on this site.

INTRODUCTION

  “Understanding this compelling character is crucial to piecing together the ancient past etched into this bleak, lifeless world known as the ‘Forbidden Lands’. One might think the story is about Wander--our protagonist--and the colossi he slays, but truly, it is about Dormin… All of the elements of Shadow of the Colossus's plot hinge on Dormin's existence.”-Kotomo, in Everything casts a shadow…

I agree with the above well-written statement wholeheartedly, as we should all. Moreover, if you imagine that the stories of ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are being told collectively in an epic narrative, then Dormin is essential to each story and plot. At the very least, the story of Shadow of the Colossus is insignificant without Dormin if you consider them nothing more than a mere plot device to keep the story progressing. Even if this is agreed with among analysts, however, this is where all of the interpretations seem to deter from each other. For instance, I myself must say that I disagree with Kotomo on a very fundamental level. I believe that the story narrates Dormin’s essence quite differently then how Kotomo addresses it in Everything Casts a Shadow. This changes the meaning of this story significantly.

In literary discussions the nature of characters provides much of the insight into the meaning of a story. There are really only three interpretations that we can come to concerning this game. One places Dormin as evil, another as good, and the probably most prominent view which sees Dormin as a vague creature. What other categories could we place Dormin in? There really isn’t any other ways to look at Dormin from a story standpoint, other than to decide there are no right or wrong intentions among these characters. This would mean this story is really about moral relativity, and each character has their own agenda. There are definitely followers who say this story has a message that good is in the eye of the beholder. As my personal analysis addresses here, I feel that there is more leaning towards an interpretation that hasn’t been presented in its entirety. Some of us believe that there is a social stigma attached to this story, and it comes from a tragic inquiry that has to do with coming back from the dead. With this view there is much about Shadow of the Colossus, and Dormin, that is not covered from a story perspective. Some of the essential mystical occurrences throughout the game usually are not taken into consideration, and I think that this changes what relays as the moral dilemma. No matter what your viewpoint is, we shouldn’t only incorporate opinions to portray the Dormin as a mere plot device. They hold much more importance to this story than that. In exploring the Dormins’ essence, we will find what else there is to be considered noteworthy within this story.

I’m not a fictional writer by any means, but I am going to try to retell the story of Shadow of the Colossus as I believe it was narrated to me. There are some commonly held views we all have come to adhere to, and I will do my best in portraying how I feel about them. I will also make a distinction between my interpretation and those with separate viewpoints. This discussion won’t be completely about Dormin, but rather how everything revolves around Dormin as Kotomo describes. I even believe, as many others do I’m sure, that the Dormin are essential to the comprehensive understanding of ICO. In this discussion I will try to explain how the entire meaning of this game is based on a journey. This is a journey through which we discover Wander’s basic purpose, while at the same time leads us to consider the spiritual nature of Dormin. Let’s take a look into the plot of Shadow of the Colossus for our basis, and naturally we will start at the beginning.

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To be continued...