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A comparison chart of the sixteen colossi from the official artbook.

The main goal of Shadow of the Colossus is to seek out and kill the sixteen colossi (巨像 Kyozō) in the Forbidden Lands. The colossi are imposing creatures made of stone and dark fur (and sometimes moss) resembling grass. Surprisingly, not all of them are huge in size, but all of them require some thinking to find (and especially to exploit) their magic sigils.

When Wander is killed while fighting a colossus, a game over screen appears, featuring the head of the colossus he was fighting.

Note that the given names are fictional. They are only used by fans due to the popularity of these names and are not official.
PS4 colossi.jpg

Number Dev. Name Fan Name Agro * Time Attack Goals
(Normal / Hard)
I Minotaur A Valus No 2:30 / 2:50 2:30 / 2:45
II Mammoth Quadratus Yes 4:00 / 4:30 3:30 / 4:30
III Knight Gaius No 6:00 / 5:00 6:00 / 6:30
IV Kirin Phaedra Yes 5:30 / 5:00 5:00 / 6:15
V Bird Avion No 5:30 / 5:30 5:00 / 4:15
VI Minotaur B Barba No 3:30 / 6:30 3:30 / 6:00
VII Eel Hydrus No 12:00 / 8:00 9:00 / 7:30
VIII Yamori B Kuromori No 8:00 / 7:30 6:00 / 7:00
IX Kame Basaran Yes 7:30 / 5:30 5:30 / 5:45
X Narga Dirge Yes 6:00 / 5:00 5:30 / 4:30
XI Leo Celosia No 5:30 / 5:30 4:30 / 4:15
XII Poseidon Pelagia No 9:30 / 10:00 8:30 / 9:30
XIII Snake Phalanx Yes 12:00 / 13:00 12:00 / 10:15
XIV Cerberus Cenobia No 9:00 / 9:00 9:00 / 8:15
XV Minotaur C Argus No 11:00 / 11:30 7:30 / 10:00
XVI Evis (Buddha) Malus No 9:30 / 13:00 9:30 / 10:45


All colossi have the appearance of gargantuan statues come to life. Though no two are exactly alike, most appear to be made out of stone. Sometimes this stone is amorphous or even cut like the stones of a building, giving the colossus the look of architecture. Some colossi are so massive that green, leafy plants have begun growing on their bodies. Most colossi are (partially) based on animals and creatures.

Magic Sigils

Main article: Magic Sigil
SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS 20190621150039.jpg

All colossi have magic sigils signified by a dim blue-green or yellow glow. They come in two types: the major and the minor sigil.

The major sigil, a glowing pattern of light similar to the design on Wander's tabard, is the one targeted to slay the colossus. Striking these points inflicts great damage to a colossus and are the only way of mortally wounding them. Some sigils will vanish after a certain amount of damage has been done, forcing Wander to find another.

The minor sigil appears as a crack in the colossus' skin. Striking this does only minor damage, but is often necessary to reach the major sigil.


Colossi have a black, ichorous blood coursing through their bodies. Whenever damage is done to a colossus, this black blood will gush from the wound, creating a black mist. Striking a major sigil on the body will cause a geyser of blood to eject, indicating the severity of damage done.


SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS 20180728093640.jpg

The last key feature is their eyes. While no two colossi are alike, many have the same eyes: a glowing, pulsating iris surrounded by black with a deep pupil in the middle.

Whenever a colossus is passive, its eyes are normally a shade of sky blue. When angered or hurt, the eyes glow a fierce orange. One exception is the 12th Colossus, who has no eyes but instead has two tusks on its head that change colors.


Some colossi can generate powerful bursts of energy, and there are places on their bodies that mark the presence of this energy. These colossi can create strong, concussive blasts of brutal force. Others use the energy to further armor themselves against Wander's attempt to scale them and attack their weak spots. Touching these places can do damage to Wander. Colossi that use energy in battles include the 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th, and 16th Colossi.

Idol Statues

A wallpaper from the official Japanese site showing all sixteen idols.

Sixteen gigantic idols line the east and west sides of the Shrine of Worship's main hall. The idols correspond to the colossi; when Wander defeats one, the idol explodes once he is returned to the Shrine (with one exception: the 16th statue implodes earlier, once Lord Emon's entourage reaches the shrine's main hall).

Even after a colossus' idol is destroyed, it is still available in Time Attack before clearing the game again.

The idols are arranged in a specific order. The southernmost one at the east side of the hall belongs to the 1st Colossus, and the 2nd Colossus' idol faces it on the west side of the hall. The 3rd Colossus' idol is next to the 1st, and so on. The idols are all roughly the same size, despite the actual enormous range of sizes in the colossi (especially the relatively small 11th and 14th colossi).

In the E3 Demo version and earlier, the order of the 16 colossi was much different than in the final game. The 16th Colossus' idol was also absent, and in its place was a copy of the 1st.

The black tendrils

Numerous black tendrils - the embodiment of Dormin - rise from a defeated colossus and quickly gather inside Wander.

When Wander kills a colossus, several black tendrils escape from the fatal wound and into Wander. The tendrils cannot be outrun and can even go straight through solid objects if necessary.

When Wander absorbs the tendrils, he blacks out and is later returned to the Shrine of Worship through mysterious means (his unconscious body begins to levitate, and he travels slowly through the air until he reaches the shrine once more. In the game's finale, the first few seconds of this process are shown.)

Black tendrils pursue Wander.

Dormin's essence accumulates inside Wander with each colossus felled, increasing his health, stamina, and physical strength. This is reflected in the amount of damage a single stab will do to sigils; this becomes very apparent with subsequent playthroughs. Four to five games in, Wander can kill a colossus that has only one major sigil with a single well-charged stab.

Reminiscence Mode

The old-film filter applied to battles in Reminiscence Mode.

If Wander returns to a fallen colossus' lair, one will notice that the corpse of the colossus has turned into a formation of rock and dirt loosely resembling its original form. If Button Circle.png is pressed next to (or on top of) any of the remains, Wander will pray before them, and a prompt to enter "Reminiscence Mode" will pop up. Here, the player can choose to fight the colossus again, and if they do, the battle will be loaded up again, complete with a vignetted grainy old-film filter.

The player is not timed in this mode, so this is not a substitute for Time Attack. Much like that mode, however, the battle will end if Wander strays too far from the arena. Also if Wander defeats a colossus in Reminiscence Mode and he dies afterwards, he will be teleported to the corpse of the colossus just defeated.

Pillars of light

Great beams of light point up to the sky to indicate a place in the Lands where a colossus has fallen.

After defeating a colossus, a gigantic pillar of light will appear in the skies far above its corpse. These can be seen from every corner of the Forbidden Lands and serve as a record of Wander's travels and deeds. Early screenshots show that these have been a part of the game from very early on in its development; although they were the way of guiding the player to the next colossi they needed to battle instead of the sword's light.

Pillars of Light as seen in the PS4 remake.

Their early inclusion in the game and their profound appearance in general has led to many theories about what they symbolize and why it was so important to have them there. One theory is that they are only present in order to remind players about the location of a colossus' corpse if they wish to fight them in Reminiscence Mode.

The White Tunnel.

Another, more elaborate theory is that they were created from each time Wander's unconscious body was returned to the Shrine of Worship. A cutscene following the 12th Colossus, shows a closeup of a pillar as it is forming; the dramatically swirling clouds and the hole at their center are noticably larger, as if opening up for something to pass through. And, following the death of the 16th Colossus, Wander's body is briefly seen lifting up into the air. The white tunnel that Wander enters before waking within the Shrine is thus the view his soul sees of this process.

A very unique feature of the associated White Tunnel is Wander's ability to hear Mono's voice. It is only here that he hears her as, only here does he enter into the world of souls, albeit unnaturally.

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