After 16 epic and complex bosses in Shadow of the Colossus, I choose my favorite 5.
Shadow of the Colossus had my heart for the past month, and now I take all 16 colossi and rank my top 5. All colossi were entertaining in some way and none were a true disappointment, but some weighed better than others. The list incorporates impact of the battle, use of all mechanics, creativity of the strategy, and bias of the author.
Which colossus is the top? Continue reading on!
5. Malus (16th Colossus)
The ritual is nearly over…
After 15 long battles, the 16th and final colossus incorporates everything the player has learned. The puzzle is long and repetitive at times when you finally climb Malus’ torso, but the trench wars against fireballs and the last blow make this colossus a satisfying win.
4. Basaran (9th Colossus)
It sleeps in a dry lake bed… a rude awakening.
Figuring out the environmental puzzle to defeating Basaran was a satisfying one. Wander leads Basaran to one of the geysers on the field, and the player proceeds to knock it over and climb up its side with the help of nature itself.
This colossus is one of the longer and slower battles I experienced, but I enjoyed the strategy involved with using geysers. This is also the first time I felt using Agro was necessary to defeating a colossus, and it was much appreciated because I was worrying when he would become useful.
3. Hydrus (7th Colossus)
A ripple of thunder lurks underwater…
There’s nothing like a water challenge! The strategy is pretty straightforward and the lightning is fairly easy to avoid, but the real fun is when you need to hold on as Hydrus dives underwater. Timing is the key to ensure your stamina won’t deplete in time for the colossus to resurface.
2. Avion (5th Colossus)
It casts a colossal shadow across a misty lake… as it soars through the sky…
Just when you feel you figured these colossi out, the learning curve picks up when you fight the very first flying colossus. Avion frightened me as it flew towards you surrounded by murky waters, in my opinion one of the most daunting battles of the game.
But I’d be lying if this was not the most satisfying defeat in Shadow of the Colossus, and mind I say got really amusing towards the end. I was elated when I successfully climbed onto its wings, so can you image how excited I was when I got the final blow? This is a colossus where after reflecting over everything, I look back about fun it truly was.
1. Phalanx (13th Colossus)
The vast desert lands… a giant trail drifts through the sky…
It was a a toss-up between the two flying colossi of the game, and deservingly so for the creativity of the challenge and the action provided. Phalanx edges to the top spot simply because it was a massive boss (figuratively and literally) that utilizes all mechanics of the game and keeps the player engaged the entire time.
This was the colossus that actually made me sad when it was all over. And it’s going to sound crazy, but this is the only colossus I felt a little bad defeating? Phalanx is such a majestic and palatial creature, gliding through the sky so beautifully. The gentle being never even attacks the player, so the final dagger bring this down dug deep not just into Phalanx but my own heart.
I thank every colossus, who’s deaths have helped guide Wander to the grand conclusion.