Page 1 of 1

An Ode to Shadow of the Colossus

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:05 am
by J T
PART 1: Dealing with Death

My love lies lifeless.
A cursed fate; a sacrifice.
Mono. Once my maiden fair with flowing long hair,
Now fallen. Her skin feeling cool as ice.

For her I follow this bridge, I must acknowledge my plight.
My life left behind, I find
the Forbidden Land in day's first light.
Off furthest, the Shrine of Worship stands mirthless,
that foreboding tower of mystery and might.
My fingers feel for the ancient war sword,
for I form bargains with Dormin tonight.

Gravelly gates grind open... groaning... moaning...
'tis a ghoulish warning most grim.
Agro, my steed, takes heed, and ignores the reins
'til my grip pulls them tight in on him.
Intrepid, we step in and descend in the stairwell
spinning round and round the spiraling spire.
Down and down we go, sinking deep in,
as do my feelings, seeking for what soon shall transpire.

A wicked wind rolls in, blusterous,
whirring past idols of illustrious giants inset in stone walls.
Industrious in my goals, I set forth with no care for their stares,
in full gallop toward the altar at the end of the hall.

With tender care, and whispering prayers,
I rest her alone on the stone bed of the shrine.
The outdoor air is rustling her hair
Her cheeks warmly glow in flowing sunshine.
In moments as this I feel quite convinced that she must still be alive,
merely sleeping supine, her death but a guise
Open your eyes, Oh Love! Open your eyes!

Creeping behind me, crawling from cracks of concrete
slinking shadows coalesce into inky black forms.
I swivel, with my sword drawn, they shrivel, and are soon gone,
startled, as am I, by the blade glowing green and warm.
This stolen relic indeed holds magical power.
Dormin has taken notice. His voice swarms in like locusts.
We now settle upon that most fateful hour.

"A soul, once lost, cannot be reclaimed.
Is that not what the law of mortals ordains?"
"I care not for such laws, only the law of love!
A law as divine as the heavens above!"

"I will barter what you need, but I warn you take heed
for the price that you pay may be heavy indeed."
"Though you bear no eyes to trust in, nor hands to shake in custom,
your disembodied voice may name whatever its price.
I shall meet no offer with rejection. Mono's resurrection
is worth any conceivable sacrifice."

"Very well. The idols lining these walls, standing sixteen in all,
are guarded by magics making them impossible to crush.
You must embark thus, seek and destroy each colossus,
and the corresponding statues will crumble and fall."

His calls for violence fade to serious silence,
leaving me to ponder our agreement alone.
My heart pounds anxious palpitations
for surely his motivations are not mine, but his own.
Whether I be helped or betrayed, the deal is made.
There is no other way that the rule of death may be so disobeyed.

I glance back to the altar, "I promise my love, I will not falter in this task."
I raise my sword to the sun, light gathers unto a beam brightly cast
through this barren landscape, stretching the world's curved shape.
Atop my horse, I set course for horizons most vast,
littered with ghostly remnants of civilization's past.
Lonely and estranged, only one thing has changed,
now that this fearsome journey has begun:
Once again there is hope in my heart, whereas at the start, there existed none.

Re: An Ode to Shadow of the Colossus

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:13 am
by J T
For reference, this video covers the portions of the game that were covered in this first colossal poem:

I intend to continue to write for each colossus and the ending.

Re: An Ode to Shadow of the Colossus

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:34 am
by J T
Part 2: The Minotaur's Matador

Traveling on my horse 'cross this land at the end of the world
Winds all blast in a tight canyon pass as they whip and they whirl
Rocks rise up into cliffs, shadows cast to the grass down below
Climbing up aged stones, tired bones, summiting the plateau

"Whoa Agro! Stop!
We've arrived near the top.
Stay here. I will venture thus on my own
I fear it is too treacherous for you to go on"

Stretched up above where I stand,
hand-etched ruins, weathered by wind and sand
Ancient bricks cling to cliffs with the moss and the vines
I climb. Shambling up the plants and mortar and grime
to a paved higher path that slopes and winds
Broken and cracked by the cruelty of time
I find collapsed columns and fractured chasms that I must traverse
I scale walls and ledges to fight giant legends
with hopes to remove my dear Mono's curse

One arm over the top, I swing and I flop my body
over the clifftop's outcropping crag
Struggling for breath, I barely dodge death as a giant hoof
slams with a heart-stopping KUKRAHG!
My eyes look up to its leg, then past its waist and its frame
'til my head tilts the full extent back
KUKRACK! The other hoof pounds so deep in the ground
that tree branches sway and crack
KUKOOHM! My gut fills with gloom,
the bull-snouted beast snorts, its steaming nostrils fumed
Buzzards trace circles in the sky, convinced, as they fly, of my impending doom

BOOM BOOM! He stops in the distance and just for an instant
I am struck by the beauty and grace of this magnificent creature
Massive and strong, yet places along its face bear innocent features
The Minotaur, vigorous and brutal for sure, but still somehow naive
My chest heaves
I push my doubts and misgivings past. At last, my spirits start to rally
I gaze down this titan filling up the gap in the valley
I will face Hell's furnace for I fight with purpose
Love's memory shall be my only needed ally.

I raise my bow,
lock the string in the nock, and draw it back in tension
Fletched arrows fling, but the piercing blows do no harm,
Serving only to draw his attention.
KAKOOHM! KUKRUSH! The Minotaur rushes towards my location.
Swinging a mammoth mallet, attempting my head as its destination.
WOOWHUMP! I jump to the side to dodge the cudgel's blow
Spinning round to his back for a surprise attack
for the slow giant sees not where I go
His lumbering legs are the only limbs within grasp
I clasp fistfuls of fur in desperation
Climbing his lower half I stab my sword in his calf
and the beast gasps in consternation

He falls to one knee giving me the opportunity
to clamber up toward his stone carved belt
I run along its ledge, dredging up the courage
to continue ascending the tall bull's wooly pelt
I crawl past its shoulders, larger than boulders,
Fist over fist, up the hair of its mane
Straining past its throaty veins
Now atop its head well above the spread of the tree-lined terrain

My senses fully vigil, I notice a sigil glowing an eerie blue atop of his skull
I aim for the center, thrust my blade 'til it enters,
Clutching every bristly hair my other hand can cull
The bull thrashes as the gash is spurting inky dark jets of blood
His head flailing and wailing, but my grip is as tight as a nail in a stud
I stab and I stab as I grab a hold of his mangy brow
"Fear me now! This ant brings death to the world's Goliaths!
This is my bloody vow!"

The monster moans. His eyes turn to tones of a vacant grey
His balance falters. He starts to sway.
Stunned and pained. His life force drained.
Tumbling down, muscles give way
His fall quakes the earth's crust
blowing billowing clouds of dust in his wake

I am surprised to realize I remain alive,
but my victory feels hollow
I surmise there is no prize that can thrive
in the guilt of principles not followed
That creature meant me no harm
He was natural, fierce, and noble
Yet he died by the sword at my arm
This massive marvel now lies immobile

A spilling blackness strains out from his remains
and forms into glowing shadowy tentacles
This black snaking evil burrows like weevils
in my soul as a show of wicked spectacle
I faint as I choke and am somehow awoke
at the Shrine of Worship's vestibule
Shards of green light ignite from the minotaur idol's abode
Noise gathers in riot, then sucks into quiet, just before the statue explodes
A bell tolls

"Mono, my love. The first one is done.
It's a quiet triumph between you and me
There are fifteen more for which I make war
We have only just begun the journey"
I give a kiss on her lips in the midst of our strife
"Bring every colossus! Let them count all their losses!
I promise
I will win back your life!"

Re: An Ode to Shadow of the Colossus

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:41 am
by J T
This second poem covers the travel and battle of the first colossus. It can be seen here:

I debated writing this in dactylic hexameter, which is the form of classic epic poems such as Homer's The Illiad. Though I decided against this, I liked the horse gallop rhythm of the similar anapestic pentameter, so I stuck to this form for the first few lines where Wander is riding his horse to give it a sense of horse hooves clopping. This gave me a new appreciation for writing in traditional rigid poetry forms. Hitting the accents right is challenging and I can see how these structures would help bards memorize and deliver the stories of old.

Re: An Ode to Shadow of the Colossus

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:21 pm
by J T
Part 3: Seaside Salvo
"Raise thy courage"
One glance to Mono, and my resolve is nourished
In galloping flourish toward the edge of the sea
Stone arched bridge over canyon
Soaring with abandon and determined ferocity
Descend to the coastline and cave
A home to be a grave
The slow quadratus awaits
Our fates collide like tide on the shore
For I am a thorn in the paw
A fist in the maw
A crawling chill up his stony spine
Maligned as a headache
Mistakes can't be shaked, as my hooks run deep
From blade to pain to sleep
A slow collapse
And perhaps this dark death is transfered into me
Can her salvation bear fruit from so black a seed?

Re: An Ode to Shadow of the Colossus

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:22 pm
by J T
The third poem covers the travel to and battle of the 2nd colossus, the Quadratus Bull.

Re: An Ode to Shadow of the Colossus

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 4:20 am
by Alakhami
Your poetry is beautiful. I really like your rhythm and the words you choose. You definitely should keep writing!