Shadow of the Colossus: Exclusive New Interview, All-New Trailer & Screens

We catch up with SCEI's Kenji Kaido to learn more about the spiritual sequel to ICO and grab a whole load of awesome new media, including unseen footage!

By now, you can't fail to have heard of a game called ICO on PS2. The wonderful, critically acclaimed SCEI title bombed at retail, but hopes are high for a smash hit with its spiritual successor, now known as Shadow of the Colossus.

It isn't hard to see why this game's chances of success are considerably higher - something you can get a better idea of than ever before in the amazing new video footage offered below. Not only that, but the game's Producer, Kenji Kaido, agreed to sit down with Kikizo once again for a more detailed discussion about the anticipated game.

If you missed our earlier video interview with Kaido-san and Fumito Ueda, be sure to check it out here. For now, just get downloading the new footage, and enjoy this interview.

Kikizo: Thanks for your time today Kaido-san. Do you agree with Fumito Ueda [Wanda's Manager] on his reasons for the first game not selling well, despite critical acclaim?

Kenji Kaido: Yes, certainly. The content is perceived as artsy rather than typical action-oriented. Most genres that sell overseas are more action-oriented - it wasn't really a mass-market appealing title. The product also varied from territory to territory, which was something that really depended on the order of the release. For example, the cover art of the US version was different from the others. This was because we hadn't finished that cover art by the time the game was due to release in the States.

Kenji Kaido, Producer, Shadow of the Colossus - SCEI PDD#1

Kikizo: Was this also the reason why both the Japanese and European versions of ICO had subtitles for Yorda's vital speech, but not the US version?

Kaido: Again, that depended on the sale dates [laughs]. We couldn't implement everything by the master date in the US, but we had time for the other territories.

Kikizo: So what was it that determined the dates of release across the territories, then?

Kaido: The marketing sections in the different territories each had their own master dates. Sony Japan wanted it out at year's end, but the American branch wanted it sooner. We used the time between the releases to tweak things. We were more or less obliged to follow their requests.

Kikizo: Can you remind us of the story and setting for Shadow of the Colossus?

Kaido: There's a young man on a horse, with a girl. You can see that she's unconscious, and this is because she has lost her soul. He takes her to a temple-like area that exists at World's End. He is trying to revive her and recover her soul. In order to do that, he has to defeat the Colossi.

Kikizo: What is Wanda's relationship with the female - is it similar to the relationship in ICO, and what is the relationship between Wanda and the horse?

Kaido: For the relationship with the female character, as with ICO, I want to leave it to the user's imagination. But the players will know that they are tied together somehow. As for the horse, it is just a partner. It's not something to be protected or saved like Yorda in ICO.

Kikizo: Story-wise, Ico was about a guy who was thrown into a situation he didn't want, and along the way found Yorda - but Wanda seems to be on a self-chosen mission against the Colossi, is that right?

Kaido: Well, we wanted something different from ICO. It's natural that the story is very different. Obviously, we also wanted to make it more action-oriented.

Kikizo: Do you think this game will end up have wider appeal than ICO?

Kaido: Yes, we do think so. We have to be satisfied with our result, but it has to meet the users' satisfaction, as well.

Kikizo: How long has the game been in development now? Did you build a new engine?

Kaido: It's been in development for about two years or so. There's a new engine - Ico was set in a rather confined environment. Wanda is a lot more open, and almost endless. We attempted to use the same engine at first, but we decided to remake it from scratch instead.

Kikizo: Are there any special gameplay features you can elaborate about?

Kaido: The feature that we talked about before, "organic collision deformation", means that while you are fighting, the field you are on is actually the colossus itself. Because it is a sort of living being, it's constantly moving and changing. You can't stand still on the field, you have to keep moving. The horse, also, has its own AI. The horse essentially becomes the main character's partner. The Colossi are really, really huge and you have to move across them - they are part building, and part living creatures.

Kikizo: Will the player be looking for a weak point on their body?

Kaido: No comment on that at the moment!

Kikizo: Was there a specific reason why the majority of Ico was set in relative musical silence, and can we expect more of this in Shadow of the Colossus?

Kaido: It was intentional. It'd be easy for us to use music to inspire emotion, but it's sort of fake, in a way. We want the users to involve their own emotion with the game. We want to make it feel as if the game world is real. Using too much music would ruin this mood. Wanda will likely be in the same fashion, but we haven't decided yet. We'll make a choice we feel will suit Wanda's game world.

Kikizo: Could Shadow of the Colossus have a special edition release like ICO had?

Kaido: At the moment, we don't have any plans like that [within the studio]. The decision will be up to each territory's marketing team.

Kikizo: Are there any particular influences you had for ICO and Wanda?

Kaido: There isn't really one particular influence. It's more like a little bit of everything we feel and experience in our lives.

Kikizo: You are familiar working with PS2, but the next generation PlayStation will offer a lot more power... which do you think would allow you more creative freedom?

Kaido: Hmm, that's a hard question. At the moment, we're focused on the PS2. We always wish we had a bit more power... more memory, faster CPU... we ALL wish for that sort of thing. We're looking forward to working on a higher-spec machine. On the other hand, the PS2 is a platform with wide appeal and has a strong development environment. We're used to working with the hardware. It's a two-sided coin.

Kikizo: What are your thoughts on the PSP and have you got plans to develop for it?

Kaido: I can't really think about it yet - we're pretty busy with Wanda right now. I always wonder, though, if these games would be appropriate for a portable machine like the PSP.

Kikizo: Is it possible for good quality, artistic games to sell well, or do you think the games industry is moving towards the movie model where you have "blockbusters" and "art house" movies?

Kaido: First of all, I hope these types of games will sell well eventually. We're not intentionally making an artsy game; rather we are making something high quality that we are proud of. As a result, we wind up with a game like ICO or Wanda. We just want to make the best game we possibly can. In entertainment, there are many genres within any given field. Hopefully, a game like Ico or Wanda, where the user's imagination fills in a lot of the experience, will eventually do well in the marketplace.

Kikizo Staff
Wanda when the game's gonna come out...

Video Coverage
(See Latest Videos & Video FAQ Here)
Shadow of the Colossus
Direct Feed Trailer 4 (480x360, 1.7Mbps)
3.18m 22.8 MB WMV
Shadow of the Colossus
Trailer 3 - All-new trailer shown exclusively here - includes sections from first two cuts of trailer, along with several new gameplay and story scenes. Must-see. (640x480, 1.6Mbps)
2.46m 32.1 MB WMV
Shadow of the Colossus
Gameplay clip featuring one of the scarier-looking Colossi (640x480, 1.6Mbps)
0.25m 5.12 MB WMV
Shadow of the Colossus
Trailer 2 - Extended version of first trailer, direct feed (640x480, 1.6Mbps)
1.32m 14.2 MB WMV
Shadow of the Colossus
Trailer 1 - High quality direct feed version (640x480, 1.6Mbps)
1.12m 11.5 MB WMV
Shadow of the Colossus Video Interview
Oct 2004 - Exclusive video interview with SCEI's Fumito Ueda & Kenji Kaido on Ico's spiritual sequel
(480x360, 1Mbps)
9.42m 65.2 MB WMV

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