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How to Find and Defeat the 1st Colossus in “Shadow of the Colossus”

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Poppy is the author of "A Bard's Lament" and the Black Diamond series. She lives in Enoshima, Japan, with her husband and young son.

Shadow of the Colossus is a highly popular action-adventure video game first released on PlayStation 2 in 2005. It was subsequently re-released on PlayStation 3 in 2011, and finally on PlayStation 4 in February 2018 with vastly improved graphics and smoother gameplay. Both veteran and new players are continuing to enjoy this story with its gorgeous OST, entrancing monsters, and rich, explorable world.

"Valus" is the nickname of the very first Colossus you encounter. He is seen as being somewhere between a humanoid and a bear, taking slow steps and wielding an enormous club. This is a guide on how to defeat him. You do not need your horse, Agro, for this mission.

Finding Valus

For first-time players, the mechanics of locating each of the 16 Colossi in this game can seem a bit confusing. Holding R1 makes Wander hold up his sword, revealing several bright lines of light. Turn Wander with the control stick until the lines come together to point to one spot. This is where the current objective (the assigned Colossus) is located.

The first monster is south of the main temple in which the game begins. Hop onto Agro by pressing X while standing beside him (press triangle to call for him if he's not already nearby), and press triangle a few times to tap Wander's heels on his sides to get him moving.

Head south (you should see a tree; be sure to stop and shoot down the fruit hanging from it and eat it with R2 for a permanent stamina boost). Past the tree and after several more seconds of galloping, you'll see some stone steps.

Grab the vines on the right-hand side and climb up the wall. You will see a tutorial for rolling, grabbing ledges, and jumping. When you reach the top, you'll see a quick cutscene, and the battle begins!


Latching On

At first, this Colossus will not see you but will continue walking around the battlefield. To climb onto this monster, run after him until you are behind his left leg (but be careful not to stumble when his feet hit the ground). Jump and grab onto the fur on the back of his leg. He'll now notice you and try to throw you off.

Hang on by holding R2 and when he stops shaking his leg, press square to aim with the sword. Press square again to stab his leg. This won't take much health from him but is essential for the next step.

Valus will kneel, giving you a chance to climb further up his body. Grab the fur and climb up to the shelf-like structure on his lower back before he throws you off.

Finding Weak Spots (Magic Sigils)

Use the shelf to rest; Wander doesn't have a lot of stamina yet, and running out means he'll fall all the way to the ground and you'll have to start the battle again from the beginning. When his stamina circle is full or nearly full, jump and climb up the Colossus' back and onto his head. Make sure the sword is equipped.

This monster's weak spot is on the top of his head. Holding R2 so you don't fall off, press square to build up the stab, and square again to bring it through. On Medium-level difficulty, it should take 3-5 stabs before the Colossus is dead.

If You're Playing on Hard Mode

There is another weak spot on the back of the Colossus' right arm, where 25% of its health is located. After the magic sigil on his head has disappeared (when about three quarters of the health bar is gone), clamber onto his right arm to finish him off.

If you're still not sure, you can see the video of the first Colossus' defeat below.

Valus is a slow and fairly weak Colossus, giving you a taste of what's to come in this magnificent game! Now that you have gotten the hang of the controls, you're no doubt ready to face and defeat the second Colossus of the Forbidden Lands, nicknamed Quadratus.

© 2018 Poppy


Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on December 25, 2018:

Hi! Thanks for your comment. I love this game and have been playing it since the original release in 2005. It’s very fun and puzzle games are arguably good for your brain!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on December 25, 2018:

Poppy, you are very smart to figure all this out. I have never liked to play any kind of games, so I never got into video games. When I was young, I kind of enjoyed checkers, but I hated chess. I guess I just don't have a military mind...a legal one, but not military.