Welcome to The Forbidden Land

This is a fansite dedicated to the PlayStation 2 game Shadow of the Colossus, hereafter referred to as Shadow or SotC. It is aimed at people who have already played the game and are interested in finding out more about it. This website is a companion site to my Ico site You Were There.

On this page:
About the Website
About the Analysis



The main content of the website is the analysis of Shadow which I have written. The analysis is written such that no knowledge of Ico is required to read the initial section. The rest of the site's content is drawn from the manual, the only 'canon' information about Shadow outside of the game itself, aside from the official site which is a flash site and which I have therefore never looked at in detail. There are also links to some other Shadow websites.

To navigate around the website use the menu on the left. The 'Configure Appearance' link allows you to change some graphical settings of the website. These options require cookies enabled to function.

Many of the pages on this site have a 'Read Comments' link at the bottom which allows you to read and post comments on that page, any and all comments are appreciated.


About the Website

I had already been working on my Ico analysis for a couple of years when Shadow was released. Once it became clear that it was set in the same world and had some insights to offer about some of the aspects of Ico I was analysing, I decided to carry the analysis on to Shadow. Since I preferred to start by analysing the game in isolation, combining that analysis with the Ico one later, and since many people have likely played Shadow without having played Ico first, I decided to do a seperate website for my Shadow analysis.
The Ico website started out as a general site built around a walkthrough I wrote. While I was working on the orignal website I started writing down my thoughts about the world and story of the game, and this eventually became the analysis now on the website. I kept that website offline until the content was more or less finished, and kept adding to the analysis, until over time it became the main focus of the site. This website was intended to be dedicated to the Shadow analysis from day one, and since I didn't intend to put it online incomplete either, I didn't create the actual website until the analysis was well along.


About the Analysis

My Shadow analysis is a continuation of my Ico analysis, and uses the same structure. It is divided into three sections, the magic analysis, The Forces of Light and Dark in Shadow of the Colossus , the character analysis, creatively titled Character Analysis, and the plot analysis, A History of the Forbidden Land . I start by analysing the magic in each game because to understand anything about their respective stories you need to understand the basics of how the magic works, because practically every plot element ties into the magic.
The magic analysis is divided into three parts. Part 1 examines the elements of the story/world which are related to the magic, attempting to determine what each of these can tell us about the magic with relative certainty. Part 2 is where I take my observations from Part 1 and discuss them further or build them into bigger theories. Part 3 is where I relate Ico and Shadow, discussing theories from one in the context of the other. With the magic dicussed, the Character Analysis covers what we can learn about the characters themselves. A History of the Forbidden Land is divided into two parts, the first covers the events seen in Shadow and all probably past events which lead to these events, the second covers connections between Ico's and Shadow's plots.

The analysis assumes no knowledge of Ico except in the explicity marked sections. This is both because I prefer to start by looking at each game in isloation to determine what it is telling us itself before inferring aspects based on the other, and also to allow for the fact that probably many more people have played Shadow than have played Ico, and this structure allows at least part of the analysis to be accessible to those who have not played Ico. If you have played Ico but have not read my Ico analysis and intend to read this one, consider reading the Ico analysis first as it contains a lot of relevant information, in particular it has stronger justification for some of the basic concepts I use throughout both.

The analysis is a work in progress, I will update pages from time to time.



8th March 2010
Added The People with Horns II which follows on from a page of the Ico analysis and Precursor which covers some general Ico/Shadow links to A History of the Forbidden Land. Added a section on Wander's people to Resurrection and a section on Emon to the character analysis. This will be the last new content for the forseeable future - future updates will likely merely be improvements of the existing content and will not be mentioned here.


7th February 2010
I've rearranged the 'Light and Dark' pages in this analysis. There are now three, one for each part of the magic analysis. All the content that was in the original two is still present, and new content has been added.


25th January 2010
A year to the day since the site launched, finally a major update. I followed the same methodology as this time last year (see below), and chose today as the cutoff day.
First of all, I have made changes to a couple of the pages in The Forces of Light and Dark in SotC, and added a new part to Dormin. There are two new sections, which follow the structure of my Ico site; the Character Analysis, which currently only covers Dormin, and A History of the Forbidden Land. The latter currently has two pages, Resurrection discusses the events of Shadow, while Atonement II is a follow on to a section of the Ico analysis.
More general changes include a rewritten front page, a modified menu, some improvedments to the background images, and the addition of a proper background to Spirits as Dual Beings II. Future pages will now have proper backgrounds as well.
I have several other new pages to add, and the pages I will be working on the pages I have added, so there should be further updates in the coming days.


9th February 2009
Added the first document in part III of the analysis, Spirits as Dual Beings II. Added some text from the manual. From here on new pages will not have unique backgrounds due to a technical issues, Spirits as Dual Beings II and any future documents will get proper backgrounds at an indeterminate point in the future.


2nd Febuary 2009
Added the 'bridge' document between the Ico analysis and the SotC analysis, an alternate version of the first document in the analysis for those who have read the Ico one. Added the first Part 2 document to the magic section, a discussion of the seal on Dormin. Added a couple of links to the links section. More content hopefully coming in the near future.


25th January 2009
Website put online
One year to the day since I launched my Ico site. My time is as limited as ever, which means to get this site online with everything I wanted at lauch would have delayed it further, and since a delay of a day would turn into a week would turn into a month, I decided to just go with whatever was ready on this date. Due to this there are several things I intend to add in the near future, such as the bridge document mentioned in 'About the Analysis' above, more links in the links section (when I track down the pages I intend to link to again), and the backstory from the game manual.


29th November 2008
Basic website design created