When Treasure Hunts Come to a Disappointing End
Shadow of the colossus wallpaper
When the HD Remaster for Shadow of the Colossus released for PlayStation 4, players were not long noticing that there was a new collectible in the game. Random coins seemed to be scattered throughout the game with no prompt or explanation as to what they were for. This quickly started up a huge hunt with players excited to find out what happens when all of the coins are collected. As of Friday the 9th of February, it is a mystery no more. A report on Kotaku has documented the search and reward for finding all of the coins.
Spoilers ahead* The reward for collecting all of these coins comes in the form of a unique sword called the Sword of Dormin. The sword itself is fairly cool, with a beam of darkness emitted from it when lifted. When in use it the player a large attack bonus from using this sword which has its obvious advantages. The problem with this is that by the time the player has found all of these coins, there is nothing left to kill. All of these coins are hidden in locations that require you to progress through the story and locate all of the colossus monsters. Particularly for those who put in the effort to find them all without a guide, there is literally nothing left for them to do with this.
Shadow of the Colossus is not the first game in recent memory to present players with a treasure hunt like this. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also had a treasure hunt, but far more extreme. There were 900 seeds hidden across this vast game and the reward for collecting them all of the Korok Seeds? Well, it was a piece of poo, literally!
Some people just love to treasure hunt for the sake of it, without the drive to see the reward for collecting everything. In the case of Breath of the Wild, I can see the humor in it. There is no real need to collect all 900, and very much like Shadow of the Colossus, once you have them all there is likely nothing left for you to do. At least the developers of Zelda were willing to acknowledge the fact. With Shadow of the Colossus, there was a different sense of disappointment. No one really expected there to be anything fantastic at the end of the Korok seed hunt. As you collect each seed, you can spend it to increase inventory slots. The reward for collecting these is sort of incremental and makes it less of a conventional treasure hunt.
With Shadow of the Colossus, it feels like more of a pointless move on the developers part. Build the mystery up of a new item that was not present in the original game which sends the internet on a treasure hunt. The big treasure at the end is...something that is almost of no use to the player anymore? The outcome of this does not in any way take away from the quality of this game, but as the storm settles over what was one of the bigger gaming mysteries in quite some time, it is hard not to feel a little letdown.