|“||We, Dormin, have arisen anew...||”|
–Dormin to Lord Emon
Dormin (Japanese: ドルミン Dorumin) is a mysterious entity residing in the Forbidden Lands and an ambiguously-motivated pseudo-antagonist in Shadow of the Colossus. Dormin communicates with Wander both through a large sunlit aperture in the ceiling of the Shrine of Worship and during colossus battles where they provide Wander with occasional hints.
After Wander lays Mono down on the altar and vanquishes five shadow creatures, Dormin reveals themself to him, apparently surprised by the fact that Wander possesses the Ancient Sword. After learning that Wander wishes to revive Mono, Dormin states that it is possible with the use of his sword by destroying the idols that stand in the Shrine of Worship. However, they can only be destroyed by slaying their incarnations, the colossi. Dormin also warns Wander that the price of reviving Mono may be heavy. After Wander comments that it doesn't matter, they make a deal: he slays the sixteen colossi and Mono will be resurrected.
Each time a colossus is killed, several black tendrils emerge from the fatal wound and embed themselves in Wander's body. It soon becomes clear that these tendrils are the once-separated fragments of Dormin, imprisoned within each of the sixteen colossi.
After defeating the sixteenth colossus, Wander is transported back to the Shrine for the last time. There, Lord Emon and his men have already arrived, shocked to find that the ritual is nearly complete. After Lord Emon's men shoot Wander in his leg and stab him in the chest with a sword, the sixteen pieces of Dormin combine in Wander's lifeless body and Dormin reforms as a shadowy being as large as many of the colossi. It is revealed that Lord Emon's ancestors severed Dormin's body in sixteen segments for "an eternity" in order to to seal away their power.
After Dormin tells Lord Emon that they "borrowed" Wander's body, it terrorizes him and his men in the main hall of the Shrine as they make their escape to the back gateway. Dormin attempts to follow them but is slowed down, either due to Wander's injured leg or, because Wander still fights to regain control of his body. Upon reaching the top of the spiral staircase, Emon says an incantation and throws the Ancient Sword into the shallow pool. A whirlwind is created and the essence of Dormin is slowly stripped away until all that remains is Wander's figure, completely covered in shadow, which is presently sucked in as well. The only remnant of Dormin or Wander is a mysterious infant bearing two stubby horns on its head, which is discovered by a resurrected Mono shortly after Emon's men flee the Lands. Whether Dormin is banished for good or only temporarily is up for debate.
Voices and gender
Voiced by Kazuhiro Nakata and Kyōko Hikami, Dormin speaks with both a male and female voice in loose synchronization. Lord Emon notably refers to Dormin using the masculine pronoun "he" in the final scenes, though Dormin uses the plural "we".
Origin of given name
- Dormin is possibly a misconjugation of "dormit" (it sleeps) or play on the Latin word "dormiō", which means sleep. "Dormiēns" is the present active participle of dormiō. Dormin's powers remain locked away in the Forbidden Lands, where he rests in the shrine waiting to be awoken by one who possesses the Ancient Sword. Thus it can be assumed that it is intended that Dormin refers to themself as "The Sleepers" or "The Sleeping".
- "Dormin" is a proper conjugation in Catalan, a heavily Greek and Latin-influenced Romance language. It is a third-person plural present subjunctive as well as a third-person plural imperative form of the word "dormir" (to sleep) depending on the context.
- It could also be a composition of the Latin "dormiō" and the word "min", which depending on the etymology could either mean "less", "a memory", or "to remember". So one could speculate that additional translations of Dormin's name result in: "The Sleepless", "Without Sleep", "A Sleeping Memory", or even the notion of sleep itself.
- Dormin is "Nimrod" backwards, which could possibly refer to the Biblical king Nimrod, who was said to be the originator of false worship. Also, Nimrod was to be credited with the creation of the Tower of Babel, a tower which led mortals into forbidden territory, the territory of God. King Nimrod's death resulted in his body being cut into multiple pieces and dispersed, similar to parts of Dormin's soul being held within the colossi.
- Given the many possible roots of Dormin's name deriving from sleep and the fact that Dormin is able to bring souls back from the afterlife (seeing as Wander asks them to "return her (Mono's) soul back to her body," and not to return her to life), one could determine that sleep in this case is referring to eternal sleep/rest, i.e. death. Thus it could be inferred that Dormin is in themself death with control over souls and the afterlife. They had its powers separated and entombed in the Forbidden Lands so that death cannot manifest itself unchecked in the land of mortals.
- Dormin's model features spider-like legs coming out of its back. These are the same as the legs from the unused Spider colossus.
- The E3 Demo version of Dormin's model was very different. Its horns were like those of a goat, and it featured a tail very similar to the unused Roc colossus.
- A very early model of Dormin seen on a test area in the gallery below features more colossi parts compared to its final incarnation. The character designer Hitoshi Niwa speaks about this earlier Dormin design and says: "When I started to make Dormin, there were still 24 colossi. The design was to have 24 colossi attached to the body. I made a base model, but the number of polygons became too large. The number of colossi was reduced in the middle of development, so it was also difficult to remove the ones that were attached".
|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|