Shadow of the Colossus is one of the most memorable games of all time. How many other titles task you with slaying gigantic rock colossi in a gorgeous world with a minimalist but powerful narrative and a trusty horse to boot? While other games have you fighting colossus-like creatures, (Castlevania: Lord of Shadows springs to mind) none have captured the magic of Shadow. There is one piece in particular that sticks out in my mind. This piece is the accompanying music to your first encounter with the colossi, and it sets the tone for the battle and the game. (Skip ahead to 3:25 for the good stuff.)
The music really speaks for itself. It is epic, sweeping, and embroils you in the tension of scaling a monstrous creature in a desperate battle for survival. The game has other great moments, but to deliver one this strong straight up really whets your anticipation for what is to come and encourages you to press forward.
The soundtrack was composed by Kow Otani. Mr. Otani has scored many anime, films, and games, but what stands out in his resume is his scoring of the Gamera reboot films. Gamera is a famous Kaiju (monster movie) series in Japan about a giant flying turtle who can breathe fire. Why? Well don’t all turtles breathe fire?! So before he scored a game about slaying giant creatures, he scored movies about giant creatures destroying civilization. I wonder if someone at Team Ico was a Gamera fan…..