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Shadow of the Colossus, like any game, had several different development periods. This is a list of all of the known ones, with details for each one. The dates were taken from the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection Booklet.

Planning Phase


Nico tech demo - Shadow of the Colossus

In late-January 2002, the first storyboard draft for a presentation demo was completed.

In mid-May 2002, a real-time demo depicting a group of horned boys taking down a colossus was completed. It is available in the Nico bonus DVD, showing the battle against the colossus that would turn into the 2nd colossus.

Prototype Phase

In June 2002, Team Ico began trial production of "NICO (Tentative name)" and developed a test version with a small group of people. Ueda worked with coders on the deformation collision for six straight months.

In May 2003, Team Ico began production of "NICO" and presented a prototype at an internal meeting. Development approval was given after the first presentation.

1st Phase

On September 1st 2003, development for the project began in full. This is the time in development when the player was still a horned boy in a mask. The colossi were few and still rather simple and were tested in separate stages with no seamless map; that is, the open world divided by quadrants from the final game.

Clips of it are available in the Nico bonus DVD.

2nd Phase

Later on in 2003, many colossi were in the works and their environments were taking shape. The player character first lost the mask, and then some short time later also lost the horns, while still keeping the blue shirt and pants.

Some pictures of the artbook show this phase.

3rd Phase

By the start of 2004, the game was in its third phase. The player character had developed further, having a 'tunic' instead of the shirt and pants of earlier phases. One of the key aspects of identifying this phase is by looking at the HUD.

Pictures and clips of it are available in the artbook, in the Nico bonus DVD and in trailers.

4th Phase

Sometime after the start of 2004. The HUD was changed again, this time lasting a long time, only being replaced in the final phases. The first seamless map was also created around this period, which was mostly flat with many arenas missing. Any footage that was taken on a vast dry area was in this first seamless map. G0, B2 and the old I7 found in the preview version and earlier are all remnants of this time.

Pictures and clips of it are available in the artbook, in the Nico bonus DVD and in trailers.

5th Phase

Mid-2004, the game's title was finally chosen as "Wanda and the Colossus". The seamless map was further developed and the arenas were all placed. The sky still lacked the yellow tint of the next phase and its seamless loading still didn't look up to par. The player character's design was very close to completion, having brown clothing instead of the blue one.

Pictures of it are available in the artbook and in the Nico bonus DVD.

6th Phase


Footage of Roc from rare promo disc

Mid to late 2004, the yellow tinted sky was added and many promotional pictures and footage were taken in order to show the press, making it the most famous beta phase. The game was shown to the public in order to garner reactions and adjust the game in response.

7th Phase

Late 2004 to the start of 2005, due to the reception, lack of time, lack of budget and some developers leaving, several colossi and locations were decided to be removed before being finished, eventually leading to the final version we have today. The player character was unchanged from the previous phase.

8th Phase

Throughout 2005, several builds were distributed to the press, game conventions and the like. The game was already in its final touches, with the player character finally being the finished Wander. It is what is known by the community as the "Arms build", as the HUD has the text "Arms" on it.

The Pre-E3, E3, OPM and PSU Preview versions can be considered part of this period.

Final Phase

October 18th 2005, the final American (NTSC-U) version is released, receiving critical acclaim from reviewers. In October 27th 2005 the Japanese (NTSC-J) version released, and then in February 2006 the International (PAL) was released to the rest of the world.

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  · Buffalo  · Quetzalcoatl)
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  · I1  · 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  · Colossus Test Stages  · Unused Locations  · Beta Mountains  · Shadow of the Colossus Development Phases