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  3. ICO Group Playthrough Chapter 1: Tombs

User Info: funkadelius

funkadelius
1 year ago#1
The Group Playthrough does not officially start until the 5th, but I'm posting this up early, because I'll be very busy irl this week. You can start the discussion today or wait if you wish.

Play from the beginning of the game to the second couch (save point) which is located on a roof top. You'll have to look for it a bit, because it is tucked away into an alcove. You'll have to fight some flying shadow monsters just before you find the couch.

Share your thoughts, memories, feelings, observations, and/or anything else pertinent to this chapter, just be sure to wrap spoilers.

Risktaker, who ran a GP of Illusion of Gaia posted discussion questions for each chapter, which was very interesting, so I'm going to borrow his idea and include a question in some of these chapters. These questions are optional, so skip them if you are not interested.

Chapter 1 Discussion Question: How did you first encounter ICO? What was your first impression of it?
I am Error. Check out my YouTube channel:
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCApMBqrP3fY1s6AiqQ3yTug?

User Info: Cardamomok

Cardamomok
1 year ago#2
Just for clarification, there are some differences between the early US version and the subsequent PAL/JP/PS3 ones including the location of the second couch, so the stopping point is going to change slightly depending on which one we're playing

(http://teamico.wikia.com/wiki/File:Diff-03.jpg - http://teamico.wikia.com/wiki/File:Diff-05.jpg)

I'll post my impressions soon!

User Info: Cardamomok

Cardamomok
1 year ago#3
I'm playing the PS2 (US) version for the first time after 10+ years, and I'd never gotten past the first couple hours so I'll soon be in blind territory.

To be honest, so far the experience has been as clunky as I remember it: I'm liking the atmosphere but I have some trouble with the combat sections and the controls in general. I died against the winged shadows and had to go back quite a bit... hopefully I'll get better at fighting but I wish the checkpoints were more frequent.

I had forgotten how freely you can move the camera with the right stick, which I found interesting since it wasn't as common in the PS2 era as it is today.

Chapter 1 Discussion Question: How did you first encounter ICO? What was your first impression of it?
In truth the first time ICO piqued my curiosity was due to how sought after the limited edition was here (Italy): a local shop had a used copy for an outrageus price and I went for the much cheaper standard version.
My first impression was similar to my current one: a very atmospheric game, but one that could become frustrating for a first timer without a guide.

User Info: funkadelius

funkadelius
1 year ago#4
@Cardamomok thanks for the heads up about the couches!

You're right, the gameplay is a bit clunky. Especially the combat. The actual platforming feels pretty smooth...then they put jump on the triangle button, which is kind of weird IMO.

I'll probably make my post today when I get some time.
I am Error. Check out my YouTube channel:
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCApMBqrP3fY1s6AiqQ3yTug?

User Info: RocketJess

RocketJess
1 year ago#5
ICO has been one of my long-term favourite games, and it's been a little while since I played through it so this is a great way to get back to it!

I've started a file from scratch, so no translated dialogue from Yorda here. (Also the PS3 font seems really big.)

Chapter 1 Discussion Question: How did you first encounter ICO? What was your first impression of it?

I didn't get it quite when it was new, but there was a second edition alongside SotC's release in 2005. I hadn't heard of it before, but I read a review for it in the TV guide, and it sounded so intriguing I just had to get it! (I wish I'd kept that article.) Normally at that point I would do a lot of research before buying a game, but I bought it almost immediately.

If I remember correctly, this was at the time I was a particular fan of the anime series Haibane-Renmei and movie Night on the Galactic Railroad, and the game sounded like it would be in the same realm of emotional/atmospheric storytelling - and indeed it was!
RocketJess, blasting off again!
PSN: iscah_rambles

User Info: funkadelius

funkadelius
1 year ago#6
This is actually the second time I've run through this section, since I had to test the game to make sure it worked. ICO has it quirks, but it is also engrossing and I ended playing for a good thirty minutes before forcing myself to put the controller down.

It's interesting that the engravings on the stone sarcophagi are similar to the text used for Yorda's dialogue. The castle is very atmospheric and mysterious, I found myself wondering how everything is connected. So far I guess that the castle is more of a prison than a place of sacrifice as the villager claimed.

I ended up dying on the first fight, because I didn't know what to do with Yorda and she got pulled into the hole.

Chapter 1 Discussion Question: How did you first encounter ICO? What was your first impression of it?

They had a demo of ICO playing at Gamestop around the time it came out. It looked cool, but I didn't have much money and it wasn't available used so I bought something else. ICO seemed to pop up here and there for years, so I never fully forgot about it, especially after SotC came out.

After finally playing a bit of it for the first time, I was really impressed with the imagery, sound, and atmosphere. The dream sequence even managed to creep me out while watching it late at night. So far I'd give this game a 10 out of 10 for style, but I'm still on the fence as far as gameplay goes.
I am Error. Check out my YouTube channel:
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCApMBqrP3fY1s6AiqQ3yTug?

User Info: Ajogamer

Ajogamer
1 year ago#7
Went and played through this chapter.

The intro was a bit confusing, as I remembered, not really giving a reason as to why Ico got trapped as he did. As soon as I freed Yorda though, I realized Ico gives a pretty straightforward explanation, so I suppose I must've simply forgotten about that.

One thing I quickly noticed was that while I was still loving the game's atmosphere, the game didn't look quite as visually impressive as it was in my memory of it. That makes sense, given it was one of the first PS2 games I played, way back when it and the PS2 were new; I remember at the time, even simple things like the swaying of the chains you climb on seemed pretty impressive. Even so, I still really love how nicely-animated everything is, especially for the time; even now, I feel the character movements look very natural and realistic. Some other things that stick out are the swaying fabric in the windows and the soft and wispy swaying of the character's hair, both things even some games nowadays can struggle to nail down.

Things went relatively straightforward until the first save point, though immediately after freeing Yorda, I saw it fit to test whether fall damage was a thing, and took a death due to intentionally falling a stupidly large distance, so I wound up having to repeat that first bit, heh.

Shortly after the first save point, I actually wound up getting briefly stuck since it wasn't immediately clear where to go next, and it looked like every path led to a dead end. Upon re-checking the two most likely paths however, I realized I simply overlooked that I could jump over the railing; I was too focused on the locked door right next to it instead.

Soon after, there was a fight on the roof, during which one of the enemies grabbed Yorda and nearly flew away. It got me worried for a second since I thought it was gonna fly somewhere unreachable, but it wound up just taking her to a nearby portal, so I managed to save her just fine.

Speaking of combat, I'm curious, do others usually try and clear all the enemies? I've been trying to clear them out so far, which has been going well enough since it doesn't seem like the spirits only stun and knock down rather than doing damage, though I'm a bit unsure if I simply haven't been damaged enough to die, or whether there may be some point later on that fighting them all off may be impossible (I don't mind having the latter remain a surprise, but it would be good to know whether health is a thing).

In any case, that's it for this chapter I'd definitely say I'm enjoying the game so far!

As for that Chapter 1 discussion question:

It's been so long that I can't remember how I first learned about Ico, but my guess is that it would've been through some video game magazine preview, since that was where I got a lot of my game info back then (I had a subscription to Nintendo Power and Game Informer, then occasionally bought a few others, like Electronic Gaming Monthly and Playstation Magazine). I almost have the feeling I tried it first somehow (perhaps through a demo disk or in a store), but I'm not too sure.

In any case, as I briefly touched upon earlier in my post, I remember the game really impressed me when I first saw it. Especially since it was one of the first PS2 games I saw or played, and its aesthetics definitely stood out among early PS2 releases. I've always really loved games that emphasize and build a compelling atmosphere, so that was probably one of the biggest draws to the game for me. Another would've been how mysterious and ethereal Ico's game world feels. I remember enjoying the game after I bought it too, though unfortunately, I wound up getting stuck maybe 1/3rd of the way through the game (looking at my old save, it was at the "Windmill", so it might've even been less than that). That was also well over a decade ago though, so I imagine I'll have an easier time figuring things out this time around.

User Info: Cardamomok

Cardamomok
1 year ago#8
Ajogamer posted...
Speaking of combat, I'm curious, do others usually try and clear all the enemies? I've been trying to clear them out so far, which has been going well enough since it doesn't seem like the spirits only stun and knock down rather than doing damage, though I'm a bit unsure if I simply haven't been damaged enough to die, or whether there may be some point later on that fighting them all off may be impossible (I don't mind having the latter remain a surprise, but it would be good to know whether health is a thing).


So far I've been clearing them out but from what I remember (even in the early parts of the game) there are times when it's much easier to run away and they won't give chase. However if you're trying to solve a puzzle it's almost impossible to ignore them since they'll try to grab Yorda in the meantime.

As far as I know there's no hidden health bar, either something is lethal (like a long fall) or it just stuns you temporarily.

User Info: RocketJess

RocketJess
1 year ago#9
Essentially, your 'HP bar' is actually Yorda's safety. And you do need to clear out all the enemies, because they won't stop coming for her until you do.

However, that doesn't mean you need to defeat every single enemy individually! If there are "statue gates" nearby (like the ones leading out of the cage chamber) then bringing Yorda to activate them will also destroy any shadows in the area.

---

By the way, even though we are out of the tombs, I'm not sure this counts as the end of the "Tombs chapter" (they're not really defined or marked in the game). I would say this chapter ends when we get our next cutscene.
RocketJess, blasting off again!
PSN: iscah_rambles

User Info: gamemaster712

gamemaster712
1 year ago#10
Chapter 1 Discussion Question: How did you first encounter ICO? What was your first impression of it?
Saw somebody play it at my former college campus game room.
He failed a few times.

I was thinking...
Why he gotta babysit that girl?

I’ll try to continue where I left off and post progress.
Lord of gaming!!!(probably) 2DS FC: 2122-9429-5521 USun: Stella; Moon: Lizzie; OGTG/DEG ultimate hax breeder
Life's too short for silly worries, have fun.
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