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The Colossus Test Stages are the areas which served as a test for the colossi from Shadow of the Colossus, before they were placed on the Forbidden Lands and became proper arenas.

In total there are 26 Stages listed in the PS3 sheet data, two more than the planned 24 since Saru and Griffin were cut very early. They are numbered according to the order of their creation. All of the textures listed in those Stages' texture segments are present here in this page; and those that no longer exist (not found in any of the versions available) include the word 'unknown' and are blank. Most of this is thanks to Wisi, who compared the colossi order in the sound effect parameters (seParam) to the stage order and figured out most of the colossi they belonged to. The early battles information mostly comes from the artbook, famitsu interviews and sheet evidence.

Stage 01 - Proto

The stage of Boss A (before it was called the Mammoth). As the name implies, it was the prototype that would be the testing ground for all future arenas.

Early Battle

Boss A's former battle would've required you to jump from Agro onto its leg instead of shooting it with your bow.

Famitsu nicknames interview

"We commonly referred to it as Mammoth. It's the Colossus that appears in the pilot movie. At first, the idea behind it was to have you ride Agro and use it to jump and grab onto it, but it wasn't a good strategy...so, to make it easier to understand, we decided to focus on a strategy involving the bow. This is the first Colossus in the game that you can shoot with a bow to destroy its posture. We wanted to convey that the weakpoints are not only placed on the head, so we put a weak point on its head and another one on its buttocks."

Stage 02 - Canyon

The stage of the Bird colossus. Aside from it's resting pillar which was originally made out of stone, not much else can be seen from the clips that were shown in the Nico bonus DVD trailer. Stage 02 includes a 'Sea' texture segment, which may imply the canyon had water since early on in development.

Early Battle

The Bird's former battle would've required you to swim underwater and hide behind some pillars to avoid its bursts of wind until you reached its long tail, which you would need to grab onto.

After Roc was removed, its strategy changed to resemble more that of the unused colossus.

Famitsu nicknames interview

"It is no plot twist, but we called this one 'Bird' (laughs). Initially, we were thinking of a strategy involving the terrain, so it was a Colossus that went through a lengthy 'trial and error' process. At first, we were thinking of making it flap its wings to keep Wander away, but... We also made the tail longer because we were thinking of a strategy of diving under water, drawing close and holding on to the tail to attack it from behind. The remnants of the tail idea are still there to this date."

Stage 03 - Geyser

The stage of the Turtle colossus. Nothing major seems to have changed between its test stage and the final arena.

Early Battle

The Turtle's former battle would've required you to climb onto its tail (which was covered in fur at the time) and reach its head, where you would guide it to the geysers using its horns to alter its direction, similar to the 12th colossus, which received this strategy later. It can be assumed that it would flip over after standing over the geyser, and you would need to stab its stomach in order to kill it.

After Spider was removed, its strategy changed to include weakpoints on its legs and it was moved from I3 to D3.

Famitsu nicknames interview

"We called this one Turtle, which is exactly what it was. This guy was pretty huge, so the designer in charge of it had a hard time controlling it. The idea of the geysers proper was there from the very beginning, but at first, you couldn't defeat it just by climbing up its back, so you had to stab its horns to control its movements and guide it to the geysers. That's why we made it so that you could climb it from the tail at the time. Even now, I still wonder; 'should I have done that?' This is a Colossus I still think about pretty often."

Stage 04 - Cave

The stage of the Monkey colossus. The texture segment named 'st04a_saru_grid' as well as the stage name being visible in one of its pictures from the artbook, clearly indicate that this test area belonged to Saru (Monkey in japanese). The arena was nulled, and never implemented on the map.

Stage 05 - Desert

The stage of the Snake colossus. It was a vast desert very similar to the final arena. The ringed structures' textures are listed in this stage's texture segment, which indicates they were an early addition.

Early Battle

The Snake's former battle would've required you to cut a muscle-like weakpoint, similar to the unused colossus Roc's frills, before reaching its sigil.

Stage 06 - Arena

The stage of the Knight colossus. No images of the test stage exists, so no differences can be noted. Multiple texture matches, as well as references to its early towers which used to surround the Arena, are some of the evidence pointing this stage to it.

Early Battle

The Knight's former battle would've required you to get it to stomp on one of the four diamond-shaped platforms that were placed around the stage, which would break the armor around its neck and arm. It also featured a more traditional-looking sword instead of the club from the final version.

Famitsu nicknames interview

"At first, in addition to having it strike the plate, we also had it hit it with a foot-stomping attack, which was set to cause the armor on its neck to collapse. Since it seems to be holding a sword, the team called it the 'Knight'. I wanted to show the idea of climbing up the sword in the beginning of the game, so I made it the 3rd colossus. Oh, and for the record, the legs used to be more slippery, but I refined them to increase its density and add a sense of enormity."

Stage 07 - Valley

The stage of the Griffin colossus. Not much can be seen from its screenshots except simplistic walls and floor. A "fire pillar" (oh_taimatsu) texture is present on the stage, and its textures are a exact match with the ones from the area named 'Valley'.

Stage 08 - Crater

The stage of the Phoenix colossus. Its test area included much more volcanic textures compared to its later incarnation; which only has one volcanic rock texture. The textures listed in this stage are a clear indication of its owner.

Stage 09 - Underground

The possible stage of Yamori B. Its textures are a perfect match with the texture segment named 'YamoriB_test', however, there's also a segment named 'st09_sluice_floor_camra_region'. There's a possibility that Yamori A, Yamori B and/or their arenas were switched.

Early Battle

Yamori B's former battle involved getting it to a certain angle on the wall before you could shoot it down, perhaps in order to be able to shoot its stomach, which can still be done in the final version if shot three times (in the E3 Demo, only one shot to the stomach is necessary to drop it).

Its earlier model was very different compared to its final one. It's possible that after Yamori A was removed, its model was reused for Yamori B.

Famitsu nicknames interview

"I had the idea of making it go up the wall from the beginning, but initially I placed more importance on its angle when it was stuck to the wall. I called it Yamori, but there was actually another Colossus of a similar type. It was a Colossus that would chase you while you were climbing up the wall, and the strategy was to defeat it by clinging to its back with a back jump. We figured it would be pointless to show the same thing twice, so we finally narrowed it down to one."

Stage 10 - Lakeside

The stage of the Eel colossus. There are no screenshots of its early incarnation, so it's impossible to determine how much it changed. The big bridge located in the Beta Dam seems to be an early version of the bridge at the entrance of its final arena.

Early Battle

The only difference in Eel's former battle was that you would need to stick your sword into its body while underwater, instead of grabbing its fur.

Famitsu nicknames interview

"Commonly referred to as 'Eel'. It's a bit of a stretch, but I wanted to draw a water battle. I wanted the game to have a scene where you'd cling to a creature underwater without being able to move. Oh, and I know both catfishes and eels can emit electricity, but we decided to call it Eel. I remember this Colossus was so long the designer had a hard time controlling it. The strategy hasn't changed, but it took us a while to get it working properly."

Stage 11 - Sluice

The stage of Yamori A. Not much can be gathered by its textures, but this is Yamori A's correct stage as evidenced by the seParam. There's evidence that Sluice was originally Stage 9 thanks to the texseg "st09_sluice_floor_camra_region", so it's possible that both Yamori A's and B's stages were switched around, for one reason or another.

Famitsu nicknames interview

Yamori B's nickname interview from Famitsu contains some information on Yamori A.

"It was a Colossus that'd chase you while you were climbing the walls, and the strategy to defeat it was to grab onto its back with a backward-jump. I figured it would be pointless to show the same thing twice, so we finally narrowed it down to one."

Stage 12 - Hillock

The stage of the Spider colossus. The textures listed in this stage are unhelpful as most of them no longer exist, however, a few of them are textures also used in Spider's body. The seParam (sound effects parameters) lists Spider between Yamori A and Leo.

Stage 13 - Leo's Cave

The stage of Leo. Apart from its textures, the biggest difference was the lake which used to be much more expansive than its final incarnation. Several texture segments point to this stage being Leo's.

Early Battle

Leo's former battle would've required you to dump it into the lake, making it immobile enough for you to climb it.

Stage 14 - Poseidon's Lake

The stage of Poseidon. No screenshots from the early version of this stage are available, so no differences can be noted. This colossus is the next in line after Leo in the seParam, which nails its stage number.

Early Battle

Poseidon's former battle was similar to what it is today, but instead of its weakpoint being "teeth", they were its horns, which used to bend upwards. It also used to have eyes and had the two braid-like structures now found on Kirin, the text from the art book translates that it doesn't let them touch the water. How these would be used in the fight is unknown. What is known is that you would also need to shoot its weakpoint in the stomach with your bow or a harpoon in order to kill it (this is a feature in the E3 Demo).

Stage 15 - Ruins

The stage of Cerberus. No screenshots from the early version of this stage are available, so no differences can be noted. Several objects from Cerberus' arena that are destructable are listed with the title 'st15a'.

After Sirius was removed, several animations from it were reused for Cerberus, and it's likely that aspects of its battle were as well, such as Cerberus fainting whenever it hits something after its armor is broken.

Stage 16 - Dune

The stage of the Worm colossus. This stage only has two textures listed, with only one of them still existing (that being a sand texture), and the other texture seems to have been another version of a rock wall that is seen throughout earlier versions of many deserted areas (hos_iwahada06g). The simplicity of this stage's textures seems to correlate with Worm's screenshots. The seParam lists Worm between Cerberus and Minotaur A.

Stage 17 - Temple

The stage of Minotaur A. Apart from the temple on the back of the arena being intact (and looking similar to the one that is currently in Minotaur B's arena), no other major differences can be seen. Several lines from the sheets point to this stage being Minotaur A's.

Early Battle

Minotaur A's former battle would've required you to hide under its temple, where it would kneel down so you could jump onto its face and kill it. This strategy was later given to Minotaur B.

Famitsu nicknames interview

"The team called it the Minotaur. The three of them were collectively known as the 'Minotaur brothers' (laughs). This is a Colossus that's been around since the really early days of development. Originally, it had a lot more fur and it grew on both legs. Since it's now the first colossus you fight, we decided to change its body shape and add a protrusion on its back. In that sense, it's a pretty impressive Colossus. The terrain also went through a few changes before we decided on its final appearance."

Stage 18 - Stonehenge

The stage of Sirius. The arena was scattered with different types of stonehenge rocks, and they seem to be laid out in a circle or semi-circle around the arena judging by the pictures available of it. Some of these rocks can still be found in the final version of the game. Sirius is listed between Minotaur_A and Kirin in the seParam.

Stage 19 - Kirin's Hill

The stage of Kirin. The original idea of this area was to have hill-like mounds which Wander could climb and jump onto the colossus' "beard". The resting spot of Kirin also had four towers surrounding it, which were very likely to have been breakable whenever Kirin touched them suggested by the unused objects titled "kirin_A_stone_breaksA". Several lines from the sheets point to this stage being Kirin's.

Early Battle

Kirin's former battle would've required you to use the hills in its arena to jump onto the colossus' beard-like fur, which was later given to Minotaur B. Ueda originally intended this colossus to be the second one.

Famitsu nicknames interview

"This is the Colossus we called Kirin. Not a giraffe, but a kirin (qilin). This one's sketches were done by me, and I was originally planning to make it the second one to appear. At that time, you had to use the terrain to your advantage and climb up through the hair on its chest. The vital point on its neck was there from the beginning. The ear pieces were set up as a teaching aid for when you fell off the Colossus's body and had to start over."

Stage 20 - Labyrinth

The stage from the previous version of the final boss, which used to be called Buddha. Only two unknown textures are listed in this stage, so no concrete link can be made. Buddha is listed between Kirin and Devil in the seParam however, separate from Evis. The likely scenario is that this was the discarded early arena for Buddha, named Labyrinth, before it became the final colossus in its evolved Sanctuary arena.

Early Battle

Buddha's battle featured a labyrinth-like cave system that surrounded the colossus, which stood in the middle of the arena. It is likely that you could reach it by any direction unlike its final version, which was linear in nature.

Stage 21 - Devil's Plain

The stage of the Devil colossus. It's not known how much of the arena changed as the only pictures available of Devil are from very late in development. Devil is listed between Buddha and Narga in the seParam.

Stage 22 - Gravewind

The stage of the Narga colossus. The early version of Narga's arena didn't have the cave from the final game, but it's unlikely it was still a test area in the screenshots provided of it. Its early shape can also be seen in its concept art. An old texture segment from Gravewind has a texture that references 'st22a'.

Early Battle

Narga's former battle would've required you to attract it to one of the rock pillars that stood in its arena using sound, as the colossus' eye weakness did not exist at the time.

Famitsu nicknames interview

"We called this Colossus 'Naga'. At first, it had no eyes and reacted only to sound. We thought of a strategy to lure it out by making it hear your footsteps and then smash it against a pillar. Agro is supposed to win the race against it and be faster, but when I tried out, it was surprisingly difficult...Still, I wanted more horse-based combat, so there was no way I was leaving this Colossus out."

Stage 23 - Badlands

The stage of Roc. It's not known how much of the arena changed as the only pictures available of Roc are from very late in development. A texture from 'badlands_col' references 'st23a_wall'.

Stage 24 - Canossa

The stage of Minotaur B. The seParam lists Minotaur B between Roc and Minotaur C.

Early Battle

Minotaur B's early incarnation was supposed to wield a weapon according to Ueda in the nicknames interview. This weapon was found in the E3 Demo version, but surprisingly, there were four weapons inside the file, all of them unique in shape. They are named from A to D. A is a scimilar-like weapon, B is a giant knife similar to Argus', C is an axe or hatchet and D is like a handle with no blade.

Famitsu nicknames interview

"It's a Colossus derived from the first one. We called it Minotaur B. After all, the humanoid form is flexible, isn't it? You can make them behave in many different ways, so it's much easier to come up with ideas for them compared to Colossi that stand on four legs. In fact, we wanted to have it put its hand inside the building as it looked for you, but technologically speaking that was too difficult for the current hardware. Also, in the early stages of development, it had a weapon, just like the 1st Colossus."

Stage 25 - Parthenon

The stage of Minotaur C. The seParam lists Minotaur C between Minotaur B and Evis. A model resembling an earlier version of the Parthenon exists in the Secret Garden from the E3 Demo; it's unknown if the garden's model was used for the arena or vice versa.

Early Battle

Minotaur C's early battle would require it to smash a barricade-like object in order for Wander to climb higher. This is seen in the E3 Demo.

Stage 26 - Evis

The stage of the final Colossus. This stage likely housed the earlier version of Evis before it was discarded and replaced with Buddha. There was once a low resolution model for a quadrant named "slow_evis" in the PS3 sheets, but it's unknown if it refers to this previous Evis or not. It's possible that this stage was never named.

Early Battle

It's impossible to know how the battle against this previous final boss worked, or if the developers even had an idea of what it would be. The only sheet evidence of it is that it had a model with two textures (one that is often used for skin and the other being transparent), path data, and likely never left its test stage. It's unknown if it had a planned spot in the world map.

seParam

The sound effects parameters sheet lists 24 colossi (except Monkey and Griffin, as they were nulled), seemingly in the same order as the stages.

Table listing the seParam order
seParam Number Colossus Stage Number
01 Mammoth Stage 1
02 Bird Stage 2
03 Tortoise Stage 3
- Saru Stage 4
04 Snake Stage 5
05 Knight Stage 6
- Griffin Stage 7
06 Phoenix Stage 8
07 Yamori B Stage 9
08 Eel Stage 10
09 Yamori A Stage 11
10 Spider Stage 12
11 Leo Stage 13
12 Poseidon Stage 14
13 Cerberus Stage 15
14 Worm Stage 16
15 Minotaur A Stage 17
16 Sirius Stage 18
17 Kirin Stage 19
18 Buddha Stage 20
19 Devil Stage 21
20 Narga Stage 22
21 Roc Stage 23
22 Minotaur B Stage 24
23 Minotaur C Stage 25
24 Evis Stage 26
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The Game Shadow of the Colossus ( Demo  · Pal Release  · Shadow of the Colossus HD  · PS4)
Characters Wander  · Agro  · Mono  · Dormin  · Emon
The Colossi I  · II  · III  · IV  · V · VI  · VII  · VIII  · IX  · X  · XI  · XII  · XIII  · XIV  · XV  · XVI
Unused Colossi ( Devil  · Evis  · Griffin  · Phoenix  · Roc  · Saru  · Sirius  · Spider  · Worm  · Yamori A  · Datamined Colossi)
Magic Sigil  · Hard Mode
Colossus Arenas Temple  · Proto  · Arena  · Kirin's Hill  · Canyon · Canossa  · Lakeside  · Underground  · Geyser  · Gravewind  · Leo's Cave  · Poseidon's Lake  · Desert  · Ruins  · Parthenon  · Sanctuary
Unused Arenas ( Badlands  · Cave  · Crater  · Devil's Plain  · Dune  · Hillock  · Labyrinth  · Sluice  · Stonehenge  · Valley )
The Forbidden Lands Shadow creaturesSave shrinesFruit treesWhite-tailed lizards

The Shrine of Worship
Umbral GladeStone Arch GorgeDried MarshNorthern SpanDesert FortressMisty FallsRavine EntranceHalf-moon CanyonWestern PlainRound Stone HillLair to the WestStone Bridge CliffCliff PathLair on the MesaWestern CapeArch Bridge PlainBlasted LandsAutumn ForestEastern BluffValley PlainSouthwestern CapeSouthern PlainGreen CapeThe Broken Seal

Soundtrack Roar of the Earth
Walkthrough Time AttackGolden Coins
Other media Nico  · Official artbook/guidebook  · Collectible figurines  · Film adaptation
Giantology campaign
Hoaxes Jebal-Barez skeletonTamil Nadu tsunami giantSulu Sea eel statuePolarneft conspiracySayre family vacation
Characters Eric BelsonCasper ShillingEd GuylerArkady SimkinBoris AtlasovAndrew and Ellie Sayre
Media Giantology podcasts (FirstInterview with Arkady SimkinThirdFourth) • IPICP memo
SotC Template CoverLogov2.png Walkthrough
Characters Wander  · Mono  · Agro  · Dormin  · Lord Emon  · Guards  · Shadow Creatures
Colossi I  · II  · III  · IV  · V · VI  · VII  · VIII  · IX  · X  · XI  · XII  · XIII  · XIV  · XV  · XVI
Locations The Forbidden Lands  · Shrine of Worship  · Colossus Arenas
Main Items Power-ups (Lizards · Fruit) · Weapons (Ancient Sword · Sword of the Sun · Queen’s Sword · Sword of Dormin · Bow & Arrow · Ancient Bow · Harpoon of Thunder · Life Sword) · Collectibles (Relics)
Gameplay Hard Mode  · Save shrines  · Time Attack  · Reminiscence Mode  · Watermellon  · Barrel
Media Roar of the Earth (OST)  · Official Art and Guide Book  · Nico Bonus DVD  · Film
Releases OPM Demo  · PS2 original  · PS3 remaster  · PS4 remake  · Credits
Early Builds Preview version  · PSU Preview version  · E3 Demo
Unused Content Unused Colossi  · Datamined Colossi  · Colossus Test Stages  · Unused Locations  · Beta Mountains  · Shadow of the Colossus Development Phases
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