Shadow of the Colossus OST: SO GOOD
Before I start, watch Shadow of the Colossus’ intro:
Just… appreciate that for a moment.
This is one of my favourite soundtracks of all time.
For those who don’t know, Shadow of the Colossus came out in 2005 for the PS2, and it’s interesting because there are only boss fights (it was re-released for PS3 in 2011). No side quests, no mobs, just you riding alone through huge, sweeping landscapes, then finding, fighting, and killing these huge, fascinating Colossi (bosses). Even more interesting is that you don’t really get background music – the game is silent except during cutscenes and boss fights. That makes the soundtrack so much more interesting.
I love the cutscene music. Look at the Prologue, above, for example. The music is calm, relaxed, and somehow gives the distinct impression of unimaginably huge and yet desolate scenery. Other songs sometimes feature a haunting woodwind that makes me feel terribly lonely. Then we get a choir, to give the mournful impression of… well, a greater power, perhaps. The game hinges on this Shrine of Worship, which is clearly portrayed as a holy place. Take this track:
You get the choir, you get the church bells, and you get the organ. But instead of the usual hymns, this sounds mournful, then it turns ominous, as though they’re trying to put the fear of God into you. A warning, perhaps? Something going wrong? Without the cutscene, we don’t know, but I do know that it’s haunting and lovely.
But then out of the cutscene, and you’re back into the silent expanse – until you find a Colossus.
Then you get this hectic piece in a stressful horn line over an almost cacophony of the full orchestra, driven forward by the incessant and demanding bass drums. This kind of music really gets my blood racing, with the desire to do something… something important, maybe. Something that, while dangerous, needs done and I’m the one to do it.
Shocking confession: I haven’t played Shadow of the Colossus (I watched a friend play it – but I promise it’s on my list). I still love this soundtrack. I haven’t even played the game and the songs evoke such strong emotions in me – they make me sad or scared or determined, and this is on their own merit. That’s what makes this soundtrack so good: it can manipulate my emotions without even needing the game. So with that in mind, you should really give it a listen: it’s for your own good. Trust me.