Phalanx is the fan name given to the thirteenth colossus, located in the middle of a large desert at quadrant E6. Despite its massive appearance, it is completely docile and will in no way deliberately assault Wander.
By far the largest colossus in the game, Phalanx is over twice the length of Hydrus or Dirge. To put Phalanx's sheer size into perspective, each of its wings are over 60ft long, with the rear-half of Phalanx's back matching the width of a four-lane highway.
However, despite this, Phalanx is also the most peaceful of all the colossi that Wander fights. It does not try to attack him regardless of what he does. It does not even pay him any mind unless Wander climbs onto its back.
Path to the colossus
- See also: Map for this path
Phalanx is located in a great desert to the southwest of the Shrine of Worship. Proceed south past the mountain where Valus dwelt until the Southern Plains have been reached. Turn west and continue until the terrain turns into a desert. Cross the platform to awaken Phalanx. Another way is that the player can proceed to the west and through the Autumn Forest to come out to the desert quicker and closer to the platform.
Unlike Avion, which keeps airborne by flapping its massive wings, Phalanx uses its small wings to merely steer itself. Its gigantic bulk is kept aloft by three series of gas bladders located at its front, middle, and posterior.
Phalanx will remain airborne, circling its desert home, until Wander brings it down. Aim the bow at one of the gas bladders and pull back until the charge meter is completely filled, which will ensure that the arrow flies faster at the target. Lead the target very slightly and release the arrow. If a sac is hit, it will deflate and turn a dim color. Once all three have been pierced, Phalanx will no longer be able to remain high in the sky and will swoop down low to the ground. Even at its slowest, Phalanx is still far too fast to reach on foot. Agro is required in order to chase it down.
Its four front wings will be lowered such that they skim the surface of the desert. Ride up next to one and jump off of Agro's back. The ridges in the wings can be climbed like a wall. Eventually, Phalanx will recover and rise back into the air so Wander can jump the gap over onto its back and then run along the length of its body until reaching a raised dorsal ridge. There are three located along its length, and there is a sigil located under each. Stab the sigil with fully-charged sword strikes.
During this time, Phalanx will try to shake the nuisance off its back. It will squirm whenever the sigil is struck, perform a barrel roll, and even dive into the desert when these two moves fail to dislodge Wander. The signal that the third is about to occur is when the flap closes down upon the sigil. When Phalanx dives into the desert sands, simply jump off to reduce the amount of damage taken.
After a moment, Phalanx will burst from the sand, its gas bladders healed. Repeat the procedure until Phalanx is brought down for good.
- Time Attack times (Normal, Hard): 12:00, 13:00
- Time Attack times in PS4 Remake (Normal, Hard): 12:00, 10:15
Tips & tricks
- Regardless of the difficulty setting, the player can, with a bit of skill and good timing, destroy two if not all three of the sigils located on Phalanx in a single run. There are two methods, and one involves pure speed. The other one will be explained here:
- Shoot all three sacs and climb the colossus as normal.
- Once on the colossus' back, make your way to the first sigil. Here you want to do one fully-charged stab and one 90% stab (two full stabs and one 75% stab on hard). You can see how much damage your stab will do by looking at the grip meter. A 90% stab is just before the charge reaches max power.
- If done correctly, you will have done the necessary damage to that sigil (one third of max health), while preventing Phalanx from barrel rolling.
- Repeat the same process on the rest of the sigils and you should have successfully defeated Phalanx in one run.
- Utilize the environment. Unlike some colossi, Phalanx is in a wide, generally flat expanse of sandy terrain complete with windswept sand and sunlight reflecting rather brightly. This is useful since Wander's sword gathers light and focuses it in the general direction of a colossus' sigils. This is most useful against Phalanx because it not only eliminates all the glare, but, when Phalanx is underground, can be used to track the colossus down. Riding after Phalanx, the player will note that eventually Agro will be able to stand just over the point where the sword focuses the light.
- Also, while not as accurate as the sword, holding down the trigger will make Wander automatically look at the colossus. This is useful because the player can still move and use the bow while still looking directly at Phalanx.
- Back up. Phalanx will eventually burst out of this spot, notably damaging Wander if he is struck, but also revealing the freshly reformed air bladders. Practically at eye level and moving at their slowest, this is the perfect time to simply puncture them one after the other. The result is that Phalanx will drop its wings as soon as it is out of the ground, removing the need to chase it and compensating for any previously lost time.
- Phalanx is the third of three limbless, serpentine colossi the player faces over the course of the game, the other two being Dirge and Hydrus.
- Phalanx is one of the two colossi that can fly.
- Phalanx is the only colossus that will never attack Wander or Agro, making it the most serene of all the colossi. Interestingly, the second most peaceful colossus is the only other one that can fly, Avion.
- Along with Dirge, Phalanx is the only colossus that can be called subterranean, as they both burrow beneath sand.
- Phalanx is the longest of all the colossi.
- Phalanx is one of the three colossi that require the player to use Agro in order to defeat it, and one of only five that Agro is actually capable of reaching.
- Phalanx is the only colossus that is able to conceal and protect its major sigils by covering it with a folding flap of skin.
- Phalanx is probably the most popular colossus among fans due in part to its sheer size and beauty whilst in flight, but also for the thrill of chasing it down while riding Agro and traveling along Phalanx's back while it's flying.
- Phalanx has possibly the most unique vocal sounds of all the colossi; while it makes the usual deep bellowing sounds that all the colossi make, during its introductory and death sequences, it makes an unusual high-pitched wailing sound.
- Phalanx has the longest death sequence of all the colossi; it lasts roughly 26 seconds.
- Phalanx has three eyes: One on its right side and two on its left. This can be seen clearly in the screenshots below.
- Phalanx is one of only two colossi who has three major sigils in Normal Mode. Avion is the other. Hydrus and Malus each have three minor sigils, but not three major.
- If the player is in the right spot and the arrow is aimed in the correct spot, the screen will show Phalanx bursting out of the ground. Unfortunately, it can only be seen for one frame.
- There is a theory that Phalanx is bound to its arena by the various stone structures nearby.
- Phalanx's Hard Time Attack goal is the biggest change among all the other Hard Time Attack goals, with a decrease of 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
- Early in development, Phalanx's fins had a muscle that needed to be cut using the sword. This is seen both in the NICO Trailer and in the development sketches for Phalanx.
- Phalanx's old model was gray and lacked the air sacks; instead it had electricity running under it. It's unknown if the electricity dealt damage or not.
- In the Preview version of the game, Phalanx's battle was a little different; as soon as a sigil was done the flap would close immediately. It would also not do a barrel roll and burrow underground right after. The period in which you could fly on top of Phalanx was timed just like on Hydrus' fight, meaning you could take out all three sigils without aiming to speedrun. This reflects its fight order in earlier versions of the game, which was the 7th.
- Phalanx was the 7th colossus in the E3 Demo version. Its flaps had no skin and its fur was colored gray. Its battle themes were 'In Awe of the Power' while on the ground and 'Counterattack while on top of it. 'Silence' only played while Phalanx is underground.
|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|