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FAQ/Walkthrough by black hole sun

Version: 4.0 | Updated: 09/23/02

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This document and everything in it is Copyright 2002 Paul ‘black hole sun’
Lauria.  It may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for
personal, private use.  It may not be placed on any web site outside of
GameFAQs/IGN.  It may not be distributed electronically or physically outside
of the GameFAQs or IGN's web site, and it may not be distributed otherwise at
all.  Any person who infringes these rules violates various copyright laws and
shall be punished to the full extent of the law.  This document is for private
use only.

© 2002 Paul 'black hole sun' Lauria

V e r s i o n   H i s t o r y

v. 4.0 - September 23rd - Intro errors fixed and subsection grammar patched up.
Email address added.

v. 3.0 - August 9th 2002 - New, spiffy looking art added, some section header
errors found. More grammar fixed.

v.  2.0 - August 8th 2002 -  o_0   As you may have noticed, BIG text corruption
problems EVERYWHERE!  I’ve fixed it here on my WordPad, converting it to .txt
myself, but who knows what YOU are looking at.  I proofread again, went through
and changed some things. Also I changed the lame looking art.  Well, at least
it doesn't look as bad as it did...I think...

v.  1.0 - August 6th 2002 - Everything is finished, consequently I sent this
in.  I proof-read before sending, so things shoudn’t be too bad between


                                     I c o
                          a FAQ/Walkthrough for Ico
                          only on the PlayStation™ 2
                 written and produced by(the) black hole sun
                          Email: lauriafour74@cs.com
                              guide version 3.0
                       last update: September 23rd 2002

                            S u m m a r y  I n f o
                             Guide: 100% complete
                               Exactly 16 pages
                       Approximately 39,000 characters
                          Approximately 8,700 words


        T   a   b   l   e     o   f     C   o   n   t   e   n   t   s

                           i.  Introduction
                           ii.  The Story
                           iii.  Controlling Ico
                           iv.  Maneuvering with Yorda
                           v.  Walkthrough

                             • Tombs
                             • Fear of Falling
                             • Symmetry
                             • Water & Wood
                             • The Sea
                             • The Queen

                           vi.  Ending Theory
                           vii.  The Mase Side Quest
                           viii.  Review

i.               I   n   t   o   d   u   c   t   i   o   n

This is my 5th released guide unto GameFAQs.  Just wanted to say that so you
know I’m not some total newb.  I completed the game in 3 days, the guide in a
week.  Not to say I didn’t put a lot of effort into it; at least a good 30
hours I think.

Anywho, this is one of the most ground-breakingly underrated adventures to hit
the market in a looooong time.  So many games in the puzzle/adventure genre are
like Myst, where all you do is point, click, and try hopelessly to solve a
ridiculously complicated puzzle such as arranging an 80 piece set of marbles
randomly placed just so that after hours of trying endless combinations a damn
door finally unlocks only to reveal another set of hopeless mind rippers. 
That’s basically what and how it was: a snorefest and chore beyond your worst
imaginations.  Ico, on the other hand, never gets dull and tedious like Myst. 
Puzzles are logical; if you think about it long enough you’ll eventually make a
connection and solve it.  They aren’t demeaningly easy either.  In other words,
you’ll never get the feeling like you have no idea as to what you're supposed
to do next; you’ll know, but you just won’t know how...at first.  That is what
sets this game so far apart from the rest in the genre.

Though some question this game’s length, I think it's just long enough.  In a
game like this, things can easily start to bore after a few hours of solving
puzzle after puzzle.  If it were any longer I think, that would have been just
too long and would have ruined the greatness the game really possesses.

This game doesn’t get much into the storyline; it just doesn’t reveal a lot
because you can’t understand the language of Yorda and the enemy, the Queen,
and even if you could you still woudn't know a whole lot because both Yorda and
Queen seldom speak.  But it has such a feel to it...it's so atmospheric, you
feel you don’t need or want to know any more of the storyline, fearing it might
ruin the sensation.  It just adds a taste of mystery and suspense to it like
you can’t wait to scrap up any cutscene you find.

Hah, this isn’t a review, though its starting to sound like one.  Well, that
concludes the intro.  So, on to the FAQ!

ii.                 S   t   o   r   y   l   i   n   e

Ico was born into a small, rural, and all around normal village community. 
However, there is something not quite normal about Ico himself.  Well, he has a
pair of horns.  Don’t ask me; maybe his mother mated with a cow or something
(lol! I'm here all week folks...).

Anywho, the people of Ico’s village took the horns for bad omen, as once every
generation, they believe, a cursed birth comes upon them.  Well, what could be
a better sign of a cursed birth then a kid with horns sticking out of his head?
So, for every crop failure, fire, flood, illness, teenage birth, whatever, poor
Ico was always blamed, sub consciously or openly.

So, the people of Ico’s village couldn’t wait for the day of the sacrifice,
which basically is a ritual where they lock someone up for eternity in hopes
the ‘evil spirits’ won’t bother them.  That sacrificial day was Ico’s 12th
birthday, and he was taken to an ancient fortress ruins where he was to be
locked up.  Well, for some reason they didn’t exactly put Ico in the most
fool-proof of cells, just in a tomb that Ico knocked over and broke after
enough banging around.

So, after some exploring Ico finds Yorda, a saintly, shimmering girl of about
14-17 who doesn’t speak your language.  And that’s where the whole adventure
begins.  Not going to spoil anything here though!

iii.      C   o   n   t   r   o   l   l   i   n   g     I   c   o

Ico is one of the few games that actually requires a controls section.  Well,
here goes.

Confirm selection..................................................X
Run/Swim...........................................left analog stick
Walk..............................................Hold O/move analog
Lunge or strike with weapon........................................￾
Leap................................................Run and press /\
Activate switch or lever, pick up, throw...........................O

                           ( Climbing Chains/Ropes  )

A neat original feature in this game is to climb hanging chains or ropes.  To
do so, jump onto it and press UP on the analog stick.  Once your at the desired
height and want to jump from there, have Ico face the direction you want to
jump then press /\.  To make the chain swing back and forth for Ico to gain
momentum and make a larger jump, hold O until you have the desired momentum
then press /\ to jump.  Chains and ropes are always useful, sometime
essentiial: just being on a chain might solve a puzzle.  For example, hanging
on a chain might cause it to lower because of Ico’s weight, consequently
lowering a nearby drawbridge or opening a door.

                      ( P r e s s u r e  S w i t c h e s  )

These switches are nothing new to Zelda fanatics.  When you stand on one, a
nearby door opens.  However, when you get off, the door closes.  Try and find
something to put on it if you want to get through...

                          (        L e v e r s         )

Throw any one of these to produce an affect with the machine that the level
controls.  It might control a flight so stairs, a door, a machine, or something
else.  Note that these are often far away from the things they control.

                     ( P u l l i n g  a n d  P u s h i n g )

Another action similar to Zelda, you can push blocks.  Remember that Ico is
only 12, so don’t expect him to push very large or heavy blocks.  To push a
block, go to the side in which you want it to move and hold O/move the analog
sticks.  Many times the blocks will need to be used as a step to a higher ledge
or a way for Yorda.

                     ( P i c k i n g  U p  O b j e c t s  )

To pick up a small object, go up to it and press O.  Ico does not have an
inventory, so pick up only things that are useful.  To throw the object you
have run and press O.

                      (  L e d g e s  a n d  P i p e s  )

There are ledges on walls and pipes a-hanging you must learn to ‘shimmy,’ or
move along a using only your hands or move along with your face pressed close
to the wall.  If you want him to move along a narrow ledge with his face
pressed close to the wall, simply get on that ledge and move left or right.

If a ledge can be used to shimmy with, jump into it and Ico will automatically
grab hold of it.  Press Right or Left on the analog stick to move Ico in the
desired direction.

                            (  I d o l  D o o r s  )

Idol doors are special spirit doors in which Yorda can open only.  They
look...well, they are hard to describe, but they are a brightly colored green
and rather large.  This is Yorda’s main purpose, to open them.  However, Ico
may sometime gain the ability to open them... If you go through one of them
while being attacked by spirits, the energy the door creates will kill all the
spirits in the area.  A neat trick if you're not that handy with weapons.

                                 ( S a v i n g )

Much like in Final Fantasy X, you can only save at certain landmarked things
called couches.  They look like...black couches! Crazy, man! They are placed
throughout the game and are the only way to save progress.  You must have Ico
and Yorda both sitting on the couch to save.

iv.           M  a  n  e  u  v  e  r  i  n  g    Y  o  r  d  a

In this game, your basically trying to find a way for Yorda.  She doesn’t have
the skills our hero Ico has.  She cannot jump the distances Ico can, climb
chains, or fall even from a shallow height.  She can however climb up and down
ladders with some strenuous calling.  She can open Idol Doors which Ico cannot.
 She is both burden and blessing that you must protect at all costs.  This
section will better explain how to maneuver the worlds of Ico with Yorda
tagging along.

Yorda is the beautiful, angelic girl whom we’ve all seen somewhere in our
lives.  However, she is basically a baby; you have to hold her hand through the
entire game.  Hold her hand by going up to her and pressing R1.  Holding her
hand is the only way to keep her from wandering off and getting into trouble
and the only way to move her where you want to go.  R1 also is the voice
command that 'propels' her towards you if she is at a distance.

Yorda is not completely helpless.  She can climb walls and small blocks, but
only at your encouragement.  Say your on a platform above the girl.  Go to the
ledge and call her towards you then hold R1 to put your hand down.  She’ll take
a while but eventually she’ll get to it and Ico will pull her up.

Along your way, you will encounter battles with black spirits.  These spirits
range in size.  The larger ones will throw Yorda over her shoulder, the medium
ones will pick her up and fly, and the smallest ones, looking like spiders, do
nothing but hit Ico.  They all have the same goal however, to bring Yorda to
their portal in the nearby area.  You must stop this from happening at all
costs.  Don’t let them get close to her; swing your weapon to ward off the
spirits.  If one of them manages to get her into the portal, which looks like a
black hole in the ground, all is not yet lost.  You may still go up to the
portal and pull her out with R1, though the spirits may try and stop you.  The
best overall strategy of beating these things is fighting near their portal. 
Yes, that’s right.  That way if a spirit takes her you won’t have to go
frantically looking for which portal they took her too, as sometimes several
portals may spawn in one attack.

Yorda can jump gaps in bridges and such, but not without help from Ico.  When
Yorda is on the other side of a gap, get on the opposite side.  Go to the edge
of the gap and hold R1.  Yorda will jump but not make it, but Ico will pull her
to safety.  This is how it will work most for the time.  You can also pull her
up onto above platforms using the same technique, provided that its not _too_

Never go through a loading point into a new area without Yorda.  If you leave
her there for too long, spirits _will_ appear and come and get her, seeing the
coast clear.  You will know Yorda’s in trouble when the camera shifts and you
her gasp.  That means get back to her, ASAP.  Many times you will have to leave
behind Yorda for a short interval while you try and find a way for her.  In
these situations time is of the essence; do what you must then get on your
horse (figuratively...) and run back to Yorda.

Yorda can climb ladders.  To make her do so, get on the top, or bottom,
whichever way you intend to go, and repeatedly call her from the ladders head
or base.  She will eventually get the message and start to slowly climb.

Well, that concludes the basics.  Now, on to the FAQ!

v.                    W  a  l  k  t  h  r  o  u  g  h

-------------------------------Part I: Tombs----------------------------------

As you start this game, you’ll be rowed to your prison via canoe by a pair of
black masked riders, and you’ll be locked into a small tomb, there to spend
eternity.  If you watch the cutscene, you’ll find the tomb will fall over and
break, freeing Ico.  When you gain control of him, head up the main stairwell
to a landing with a lever on it.  Pull it; this will open a door below the
stairs, so enter it.

In the storage room, jump up the ledge and climb out the window.  Turn to your
right and find a ladder.  Climb it and proceed to climb up the looooooong
stairwell, climbing a chain along the way.  As you approach the top, a cutscene
will occur, displaying Ico’s awareness that a girl is locked in a suspended
cage.  Since the bridge is partially destroyed, the gap too wide to jump, hop
up and out the open window.  In the small garden go to Ico’s left, your right,
go to another window.  Enter that to find yourself on the other side of the
broken bridge.  Make your way to a lever and pull it to lower the girl’s cage. 
Now backtrack all the way to ground floor, only to find the cage has not yet
reached bottom.  Climb the ladder opposite of the cage and get to the ledge
overlooking a strange barricade called an Idol Door.  From here, leap onto the
cages top to make the chain break and force the cage to hit the floor, opening
the its door and releasing its prisoner.

After the cutscene, the girl known as Yorda will be thrown over the shoulder of
a black smokey spirit and taken to a black portal in the ground in the corner. 
Grab the stick, pull Yorda out of the black hole, then beat at the spirit till
it disintegrates.  After some more cutscene grab Yorda’s hand and go to the
Idol Door which as of now only Yorda may open.

Another storage room.  Some spirits will materialize; destroy them and go to
the block near the stairs.  Push or pull it to release a pressure switch,
forcing stairs to raise from the floor, creating a new way.  Climb them and go
out the door.

To the left is a couch, the game’s saving point.  Save, then proceed across the
old bridge to the parapet.  Enter the doorway to another inside parapet.  The
door is closed, and unlike Zelda it will not open just because you stand in
front of it.  So, fall from the parapet to the floor, as its not damaging to
Ico.  Turn to his left to a large chamber with a lever at its center.  Pull it
to make the door on the parapet open, letting Yorda go through.  Grab her and
proceed to the hanging chain.  Climb it, jump to the ledge.  Have Ico push push
the block to the floor.  Have Yorda stand on this, then have Ico pull her up to
the ledge.  Lead her out the door.

Ascend the stairs to another battle with the undead.  Destroy them, then note
there’s a couch to the left of the watchtower.  Go down the steps to a set of
tracks fit for a rail car.  You’ll find the car to the far right, Ico’s left. 
Get on it with Yorda then_push the lever to make it go forward.  Advance to the
tracks’ end then climb up the ledge with Yorda tagging along, and sit on the
couch to save.

---------------------------Part II: Fear of Falling---------------------------

Help Yorda across the gaps to a ledge overlooking a thousand feet or more. 
There is a pipe just in Ico’s reach; jump onto it and shimmy across to an old
cranes control; a lever.  Pull it.  Now go to the ledge outside the cranes
control center and climb the hand holds to the top.  Go to the hanging crate;
lower Ico to it using the chain.  Call Yorda and have her jump onto the crate,
then backtrack to the cranes control.  Once again pull the lever, lowering the
crate, and once again descend onto the crate itself using its support chain.

Jump onto the platform, notice the couch.  Use it if you must then enter the
dark archway.  In here, cross the main bridge to the other side.  Go to the
windows with light piercing through; jumping onto their cills to get to a
ledge.  Climb the ladder to reach a set of iron beams high overhead of Yorda. 
The chandelier is at the center of the web of iron; fall on it and its chain
will break, and the chandelier will go soaring into the bridge and break in
half, before finally falling into the abyss.  You won’t fall with the
chandelier, but onto the bridge.  Go grab Yorda and head back to the platform
with the couch.

There are some stairs a little ways past it; descend them to a landing with a
trio of bombs.  Grab one, then with Yorda, go through the doorway.  Place a
bomb at the truss supporting the above bridge.  To Ico’s right is a part of the
fallen chandelier; a pair of candles on it are, amazingly, still lit.  Go press
the O button facing the candles to light your stick.  If you don’t have a stick
there are some near the entrance.  With the flaming stick, go light the bomb. 
Once it explodes, the bridge will fall and lower itself to bridge the abyss.

Go back outside, up the steps, to the entrance past the couch.  Some more
spirits will spawn; just ignore them and go the Idol Door using the felled
bridge.  Upon activating the Idol Doors, all enemies will be instantly killed. 
Remember this tactic and proceed through to a courtyard.

Infinite enemies have now spawned.  Well, maybe not infinite, but a hell of a
lot; I didn’t have the patience to try and defeat them all so I woudn’t know
exactly how many.  So simply run to the Idol Doors and open them, killing them
all.  A cutscene will take over your next actions.  Ico and Yorda will make a
mad dash for the open, yet now closing, front gate, but alas! Yorda falls and
thus ruins the attempt.  The evil Queen will appear and tells you Yorda is her
daughter,  and will give you a stiff command to leave the castle.  When you
regain control of the situation, go to every one of the lamps and push/pull
them, as Yorda hints at.  After all are moved, the torches they tote will all
light with a flame.  Now go to the left of the large doors and save using the

Go back to the courtyard previous to the Idol Doors.  Now that the torches are
lit, you can light your stick using one of the two torch holders near the
entrance.  Before you light up however, grab one of the bombs from the nearby
stockpile and place it in front of the boarded up alleyway.  Light the bomb
with your stick to blow the alleyway open.

Proceed into it to find the graveyard.  There is a couch(strange place for it,
no?), but you won’t get to use it until you defeat the omnipresent spirits. 
After they are defeated go to the entrance to the mausoleum.  The door is
closed, but there are pressure switches on both sides of it that can force it
to open.  One can be pressed using the block near the graves, the other your
going to have to have Yorda stand on.  Enter the door then climb the ladder and
chain.  Out the parapet you’ll come to a platform overlooking Yorda and the
graves.  There is a block near the ledge; push it over to the floor of the
graveyard.  Now head back down and out the mauseleum.  Push the block on the
switch Yorda originally stood on to open the door for the both of you.  Grab
Yorda and head inside.

Head up to the platform overlooking the graveyard again, but this time turn to
Ico’s right and find an entrance to a parapet stretching to hand holds above
the mausoleums main chamber.  Use the hand holds to reach a ladder.  Climb it,
and halfway up, leap to the chain to make it descend.  A platform will rise to
the Idol Doors upon doing so.  Swing onto the platform using the chain.  Some
more spirits will appear.  Ward them off, then help Yorda up onto the platform,
and go through the Idol Doors.

This is one of the most common places people get stuck.  I figured it out first
try, not to brag or anything ;).  Go up to the windmill and you’ll find the
walkway leading to its door cut short.  So, jump onto the hand hold above it
and shimmy&climb to a narrow ledge with a good angle of the turning blades. 
When one of the blades reaches a point almost horizontal to Ico, leap onto its
edge and have Ico shimmy towards the right as the blade rotates.  When the
blade reaches its peak, jump off onto the top of the windmill.  There; that
wasn’t so tough now was it?  Pass the couch, down the landings to a lever. 
Pull it to extend a bridge.  No need to go and call Yorda; she’s conveniently
positioned herself at the foot of the ledge.  There’s a good girl.  Make her
jump across and have Ico pull her up.  Use the couch then proceed past the Idol

Climb the chain, and once you do more spirits will arrive.  Beat them up then
climb the chain again to the top.  Turn right, passing an Idol Door, to a
series of grates venting a below sewer.  One of the grates is missing; take the
opportunity to drop in.  Towards the southern end are a pair of pressure
switches.  Press the one to the right to open the sewers gate.  Call Yorda
while standing on the switch; once she’s inside the sewer release the switch. 
Grab Yorda and have her step on the other switch, to let Ico out through the
gate behind them.  Climb the pipe to the top, then jump across the shallow
furrow.  Go back to the vent with the missing grate.  From above, call Yorda,
until she arrives directly below.  With her at that position you can pull her
up and out of the sewer.  Do so and go to and past the Idol Doors.

Use the elevator to get to the top.  There is a lever, but currently it is too
high to reach.  Notice there is a piece of the protective railing missing;
below are ledges Ico can shimmy across.  Scale the walls, go as far as the hand
holds will take you.  You should arrive at a couch and a block near a ledge. 
Push the block over the ledge.  Once you do, spirits will appear where Yoda is,
so hurry and destroy them.  After the fight, push the block over to the
unreachable lever on the wall.  Pull it to lower a chain.  Push the block
against the ledge, and use it to help yourself and Yorda up to the paltfrom
with the couch.  Sit on the it, take a nap.

Shimmy across the ledges across from the couch to reach the other end of the
gap.  More ghouls will appear from the bottom of the pit, but don’t go running
back to Yorda; thankfully they are a) not aerial or b) can’t see Yorda.  Either
way, they won’t attack her.  Climb down the chain on the outside ledge until
you find a window.  Swing into it(this a real pain...5 times Ico jumped the
wrong way).  In the enclosure kill the spirits, then go the any of the two
window sills.  Push one block out of the window, then jump through through the
opening.  You’ll come back to garden with the sewer.  Hurry, or spirits will
appear and take Yorda.  Quickly push the block to the parapet to the left of
the tree.  Climb it, follow the parapet to the chain.  Climb it up and go up
the steps to the entrance.  On the outside ledge make your way to the ladder. 
Climb it to the top of the battlement.  At the gap there is a hanging chain;
jump on it, then swing it to the other side to a lever.  Make sure Yorda is on
the brown part of the floor, the part the lever moves, before pulling the
lever.  Once she’s on the other side, drop to Yorda’s level, ignore the spirits
and go straight through the Idol Doors.

------------------------------Part III: Symmetry------------------------------

Pull the lever then go through the Idol Doors.  Cross the battlements to the
East Arena.  Inside you’ll get a glimpse of a weapon upgrade: the sword. 
However, its stuck in the wall.  But for now there are other things to worry
about.  When you reach the couch, spirits will attack.  Defeat them and head
through the entrance to the right.  Grab Yorda and take her down the ladder,
and have Ico and Yorda both stand on the raised platform.  It will descend as a
switch would, and this particular switch creates a stairwell.  Climb the stairs
to the top landing.  Pull the lever to open some round wooden holes in the
wall.  Light your stick using the torch, and light the holes.

Jump outside the large circular window.  No need for Yorda here.  Climb the
ladder to the ledge and enter.  Proceed past the parapet to another lever. 
This will open two more holes in the wall which need to be lit.  Light your
stick using the flameholder on the wall, then light the holes up.

The sword will drop from captivity as the large circular window opens.  Go
retrieve it.  Problem: once you pick up the sword a cage arises around you and
Yorda.  Meh, easy enough.  Simply cut the ropes holding the cage up to free

Go to the stairs to the left of where the sword dropped.  Approach the landing
to find a rope.  Cut it using the sword and the door below the landing will
open.  Enter it to find a water slide, with no apparent purpose except to annoy
the hell outta you.  Since the water is slippery and you cannot climb; you a
gonna hafta use the ledges and shimmy up to the end.  Once there proceed to and
through a pressure switch door.  Jump the gap overlooking the chamber where you
lit the holes.  If ya fall, its instant death, BTW.  Climb the steps, cut the
ropes holding up the bridge.  Yorda may cry out here; no biggie.  There is a
pressure switch door that not only deactivates the water flow but is a balcony
overlooking Yorda, making for easy access to her location.

So, after you form the bridge, and free Yorda from the spirits if necessary,
take her up the now-dry dry water slide.  Take her to the bridge you felled and
across to a balcony above the foyer of the Arena.  A bridge will appear out of
nowhere if you stand close to the ledge; follow it to some Idol Doors.  Open
them and head to the right and pull the lever.  Go to the lift to the left and
take it down.  Now, trade your sword for a stick and light the two holes up. 
This will open the last circular door.  Leave the Arena, but not before picking
up your sword again.

-----------------------------Part IV: Water & Wood----------------------------

Back on the battlements, backtrack to their entrance, fighting spirits along
the way, to a ladder.  Climb it (leave Yorda) to a doorway.  Go through and
pull the lever to lower a below drawbridge, noting the sword in the ground if
you forgot it at the Arena.  Go back down the ladder, through the entrance. 
Cross the drawbridge you lowered to the other side.  On the left is a block. 
Push it to the small pillar and use it to jump onto it.  Use that pillar to
jump to the larger pillar.  From here, cut the rope to force another to descend
to the courtyard below.

Go to the courtyard, fighting off spirits as they come.  Find the rope you
lowered.  Climb it to the height of the second window, leaving Yorda alone for
a while.  Swing with it and jump into the window.  Note that this is a big pain
in the ass, as Ico seems to want to jump the wrong way many times, resulting in
a splattering on the ground.

Dash across the ledge to a darkly lit storage room, otherwise vacant, save the
the block.  Push the block over the ledge, then push the block out the window
to Yorda’s level.  Make use of the block by having Yorda climb onto it and
jumping into the window, with Ico’s help as usual.  Go up the steps to the Idol

You’ll arrive at a waterfall cavern.  Leave Yorda by climbing down the chain. 
Go outside using the bright doorway.  To the right is a lift; take it up to a
parapet.  Go to its lever and pull it to open the door for Yorda, who’s
conveniently right outside.  Take her down with the lift.  Have her climb the
blocks at bottom back into the cavern.  Now your can reach the couch.

Head back up to the cavern’s highest level.  From there, proceed to another
bright door with light peicing through, but instead of going through it turn
right.  Across the ledge you’ll find a ladder.  Climb it then go through the
window.  Jump to the chain, then use it to swing onto the platform.  Climb down
the ladder to the small grassy lawn.  Find the block and push it over the
ledge.  This will allow Yorda access to the lawn, so go get her and drag her
up.  Your going to have to have Yorda with you at this time, as what your about
to do past is past several loading points will take a long time.  Climb the
ladder back onto the platform, then climb up the ladder leading to a pressure
switch door, with Yorda tagging along.  Go through to a small bridge.  Cross it
to a large shed with no way out save the way you entered.  Find the ladder
going up.  Climb it, leaving Yorda where she is.  Shimmy across the pipeline to
the outer window, then climb to the ground using the ladder.  Push the block
into the water, letting it flow down with the waterfall, then jump across the
stone aqueduct and go to the ladder at left.  Climb it to a switch; push it
until the water stops flowing, dammed by a wooden block.

Proceed back into the cavern, making your way with Yorda to the bottom of a dry
lake, where once the water flowed freely from the above waterfall.  Use the
block to help Yorda reach the Idol doors.

Climb the incline to a series of wooden catwalks.  Cross them, leaping over the
occasional gap.  Soon you’ll arrive at a lift.  Take it down, cross the
parapets and find a pipe going onto the roof of some kind of stone mining shed.
 Find a small, horizontally standing ladder on a small watchtower.  Push the
tower as far as it can go, then climb onto its top.  From here, jump to the
shelf of wood to find a switch.  Pull it to make a below bridge move into
place.  Some spirits will attack, dispose of them before crossing the bridge.

Head up the steps into a pass.  Follow it to the gondola, a small lift operated
by rotating its handle counter-clockwise.  It will take a long while to reach
the top...very annoying.

Find the couch and save with it.  Note the bridge needs to be lowered, so drop
to the below platform with a pipe running across the drop.  Shimmy across the
pipe to a parapet.  Go down the half broken ladder then jump to the tower. 
Climb it to the top then slide a little ways down the connecting chain.  Use it
to swing into the raised bridge, momentum forcing it to fall, creating a path
for Yorda.

Proceed along the parapet to a sectioned off watertower.  Go to the left to a
supply room.  Trade whatever weapon you have for a stick and pick up a bomb. 
Light it using the torch near the watertower, and synch a throw into the
watertower so that it detonates on impact(or not...just make sure it detonates
near the watertower).  This will fell it and create a bridge.

Cross that bridge with Yorda, leave her to climb the chain to a wooden catwalk.
 Push the block on it to the ground near the Idol Doors.  Jump down with the
it, then push it to reach the dais with the lever on it.  Pull the lever to
move a chain into a place allowing you to swing on.  Go back up to the catwalk
using the ladder and jump onto the customized chain.  Swing to the switch on
the platform.  Push it, much like the one at the waterfall, until a crane moves
a large crate as a stepping stone to the Idol Doors.  Help Yorda across,
ignoring the newly arrived spirits, and through the Doors.

Pass the next set of Idol Doors to another high battlement, parallel to the one
on the other side where you found the sword and the East Arena.  Cross the
battlement to the West Arena.  Inside you’ll notice it looks remarkably like
the East Arena...well, it is, only mirrored/flipper around, with a few new
features.  Thus the levels name ‘Symmetry.’  So, start out like you did in the
previous Arena by going through the door to the left, cutting the above rope to
open it.  Take Yorda down the ladder and stand on the pedestal, and it will go
into the ground and spring up stairs like as in the last Arena did.  Go up the
steps to the final landing and pull the lever.  Light a stick, which are
scattered all over the Arena, and light the holes the lever opened.

Go back down the steps to the pedestal that’s now in the ground.  Climb back up
the ladder, then up the one next to that to another lever.  Pull it to make
some more coverings for holes in the wall retract.  Light them with your stick.

Head back up the steps to the outside.  Go to the thingy that looks like a
satellite dish, called a reflector, and push it until cutscene takes over.  You
didn’t have to adjust the reflector back in the East Arena, mind, as it was
already set in the right position.

While out here, go up the ladder.  You won’t find a lever, but you will a
chain.  Jump onto it and climb to the top.  Climb the next set of steps and cut
the ropes holding the bridge.  Cross that bridge, without Yorda so hurry, to a
balcony, much like the one in East Arena.  Here, though, are some bombs.  Pick
one up and find the boarded up entrance in the previous chamber.  Place it in
front of it and set it off.  Now, go back up to where you cut the ropes and
find the pressure switch door.  Enter through to another balcony overlooking
another waterslide.  Pull the lever to stop the flow of liquid.  Now take Yorda
back to the foyer.  Go through the other door, cutting the rope as necessary. 
Ascend the waterslide, through the doorway that was previously boarded up. 
Cross the bridge to the balcony, and watch the bridge appear one piece at a
time to the Idol Doors.  Pull the lever to the right, then head down with the
lift.  You know what to do; light the last two holes.

Leave the Arena by climbing out the large circular window you opened in the
foyer.  Backtrack the battlements to a ladder.  Leave Yorda, climb them.  Pull
the lever where needed the return to Yorda and return to the drawbridge
courtyard.  Trek the one you lowered, and make your way all the way down to the
two large doors, the ones where Yorda fell/the Queen came/the doors closed etc.
 Yorda will open them this time, at a large expense of exhaustion which will
cause her to frequently trip and fall.  Make your way across the bridge and
watch the cinema.

Hurry; you have only seconds before the bridge becomes out of reach; jump
across the gap.  I know its already too wide; but Yorda will save the day when
SHE reaches out a helping hand.  But alas; the Queen finally arrives again and
takes Yorda away, dropping Ico into oblivion...

--------------------------------Part V: The Sea-------------------------------

...well, not quite oblivion.  Ico lands on a suspended crate that looks like a
birdcage.  Hop from crate to crate to the rock ledge.  Proceed into the cavern.
 Go to the lever on the landing and pull it.  Next, go to the block and pull it
into the water.  Afterwards, hop in yourself.  Go up to the floating block, and
pull its towards the ladder.  Try and get it as close as you can to the ladder,
then jump onto the block itself and use it as an island to jump to the ladder. 
Climb it and pull the lever to open the dam.

Jump back into the water, grab hold of the block again, and pull it towards the
center of the lake, searching out a hanging chain.  Place the block under the
chain, then again use the block to reach the chain.  Climb it up top.  Go to
the small watchtower with wheels and push it as far as it will go.  This will
activate the wheel mill below.  Jump down, back into the water, and swim to the
mainland where all the machinery is.  Find the wheel mill and jump onto one of
the prongs sticking out of it, and let it rotate you up.  At the platform, drop
off.  Go to the ledge and jump up, then shimmy across the pipelines.

Cross the narrow pipe acting as as bridge to a dark tower.  Climb onto the hand
holds and shimmy across.  Locate the pipe going up and climb onto it, going as
high as you can, before leaping backwards into the chain.  Once on the chain,
get to the second lowest level then start to gain momentum, rocking back and
forth.  Do this until your swinging rather violently, then let go and jump to
the next chain.  Swing to the platform, grab ahold of one of the pipes sticking
out of the wheel mill.  Atop, jump across the rotating machinery, and exit the

Go down the path, find some hand holds to shimmy across.  Make your way to the
pipe.  Run across it into the tower.

Run out onto the ledge and climb down the chain, jump onto the outer ledge. 
Turn left, leap across the gap and make your way around to the other side. 
You’ll come across a small ledge jutting out into the chasm.  Get on top of it
and push the little machine as far as you can.  The machine moved a below
chain.  Jump onto that chain to another ledge.  Ignore the first ladder, as it
leads to nowhere, and turn left.  Hop over the two gaps you’ll arrive at to
another ladder.  This one actaully serves a purpose.  Climb onto it and jump to
the platform.  Climb down its ladder, to find an Idol Door.  Wonder about how
to get past it later.  Exit the castle through the doorway.

You’ll arrive at the canal, that same canal that you were intitially rowed to
the castle by.  If you paid attention to the opening cutscene you’ll know that
Ico’s imprisoners used some kind of special sword located nearby to get through
the Idol Door.  Go up the path to find that sword.

------------------------------Part VI: The Queen------------------------------

Go back to the Idol Door, and this time it will open to an anteroom with
another Idol Door.  Go through it to disembark at the castles main foyer, where
you began the game.  Go to the left to find Yorda, with ghouls all around here.
 Yorda herself has petrifaction cast on her(for those who haven’t played many
Final Fantasy type games that means she was turned to stone).  Sadly, that is
the last time you will ever see her in human form...

You’ll now engage in a long and tiresome battle with God-knows-how-many
spirits.  Kill each and every one of them.  It will take a good long while. 
Once you do, all the tombs will light up and steps will ascend to a reachable
platform.  Go to it, through the Idol Doors to the Throne Room, where that
terrible b!tch herself lays in wait.

Approach the throne.  Nothing will be there, so go back down the steps.  The
Queen will then materialize and call you back.  After a cutscene you’ll be in
the games final battle, with the Queen.  She casts petrifaction, but if you
have the lightning sword in hand it will act as a null bracer.  Attack her by
swinging the sword at the blue goo she has surrounded herself in.  Once you do,
the sword will go flying, you coverless.  Turn around and go to one of the
spirit pillars.  They will protect you from the maelstrom as long as your
behind them.  Use them, pushing or pulling, to get your sword back.  Attack her
again, and the sword will go flying, you having to search for it again.  Find
it and attack her again.  Do this until her shield goes down.  When it does,
simply run to her and deliver the back-breaking blow through her heart,
silencing the Queen and her evil for eternity.

                    E   p   i   l   o   u   g   u   e

WATCH THE CUTSCENE AND CREDITS! You’ll come to control Ico for the final time
at a sandy beach...somewhere.  Call Yorda with R1 to make the camera shift. 
Ah-hah! You’ll find her, lying near the shore a little ways away.  End game.

Such an emotionally draining, yet overall marvelous game.  I hope you
appreciated Ico as much as I did.  Now, we Ico fans go pray for a sequel.


vi.          E   n   d   i   n   g     T   h   e   o   r   y

Well, you may be a bit confused about the ending, as its more confusing then
MGS2’s.  The following is my theory as to what happened.  Major spoilers

                    !   S   P   O   I   L   E   R   S  !
           !Click away NOW if you haven’t finsished the game yet!

First, remember when you first ran to the closing gate doors at the level
‘Tombs’? Remember how she fell, thus ruining the chance for escape? Okay, well
hold on a minute more and I’ll tell you the meaning of that.

Now, remember when you fought your final battle with the spirits to get to the
Queen? Well, recall that they had horns.  Thats because all boys who have horns
are sacrificed to the Queen and put in the tombs.  The Queen uses the horned
children as a power source.

Remember in the very end, a dark Yorda put Ico on the canoe and let him go. 
Why didn’t she go with him? She coudn’t.  She coudn’t leave the castle, period,
even as it sank into the ocean.  I told you about the incident where she fell,
didn’t I?  She didn’t fall becuase she tripped.  As to why she can’t leave, its
probably because the dead horned children give her the power to live.  This is
a theory, mind.

As to the epilougue, my theory is highly probable: Ico and Yorda both died. 
Ico died when the Queen threw him against the wall, and Yorda died when the
island with the castle sank into the depths of the ocean.  That beach probably
was the afterlife for the both of them.

Well, that is my theory, but only Fumito Ueda and Kenji Kaido(the games
Director and Producer) may actually know the truth.  I may be proved wrong and
look like an ass if or when Ico 2 comes out(cross your fingers!), but as of now
this is all we die-hard Ico fans have.  If you have a different one, please
state it on the GameFAQs Ico Messege Board.  Either way, a great game and a
great ending.

vii.         M   a   c   e     S   i   d   e     Q   u   e   s   t

There is a secret, optional weapon Ico can use: the mace.  It is the second
most powerful weapon in the game, only below the lightning sword.  It is found
in the waterfall part of Symmetry.  Well, near the switch that dams the
waterfall is a shed.  Next to its steps is a tree.  Whack the tree until a
round rocks falls from it.  Take it into the shed.  Go to the section between
the stairs.  Notice one slab of the brick wall has a different color.  Go up to
it and push to make it slide open.  Now go grab Yorda and bring her in.  Make
the two of you stand on the circular, pulsating platform in the center of the
room.  A block will appear; throw the round rock into it to claim your mace,
which will come from the window and appear on the floor.

viii.                     R   e   v   i   e   w

 - My review of Ico for the PlayStation 2

Presentation   -   9.8 / 10

If there were ever a game that showed the rest of its genre how its done, it
would be Ico.  Intelligent puzzles, prefect atmospheric storyline and feel,
clean framerate.  B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l background, b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l architecture.
 You could get lost in the moment with the wonderfully detailed background and
unique yet true to life architecture.  Admittedly the game is damnably short, 7
hours first time, like 2 hours for the second time(my time).  It is short, but
oh is it so sweet.  The characters are wonderfully detailed, and the little
things, such as wind moving Ico’s vest, kicking up dust while he walks. 
Everything is done perfectly with much effort.  Top-notch lip synching(take
notes, Squaresoft!).  Period.  Camera troubles, however, kept it from getting a
perfect score, as if that matters much(only .2 off).

Graphics   -   9.0 / 10

Great water affects, nice facial expressions, good detailed environments. 
However, the texturing is not the best, as its blurry up close, but this is
easily overlooked because of the camera’s default position.

Sound  -  9.3 / 10

Um, there isn’t much music in the game.  That subtracts a few.  Sound affects
however, and real time environmental sounds, such as a bridge lowering or a
bird chirping, are the meat and potatoes.  These sound so life-like and
brilliant.  What music the game does have, is purely awesome.  When you solve a
critical puzzle, some short, beautiful, music plays, making the puzzle SO worth
solving.  And the ending music.  I have never heard such atmosphericley
artistic and meaningful music then that in any videogame I have ever played,
and believe me when I say I’ve played quite a few.  This games sound is a pure
symphony of excellence.

Gameplay  -  9.5 / 10

OMG.  This is one of the most original games in years.  You go through the
castle, with a girl named Yorda at your side the entire way, solving out
puzzles.  You must use Yorda to open doors you cannot and you must protect her
from ghouls at all costs.  There’s not much action; you look for the
presentation score for these type games.  Its basically a puzzle game, but it
adds a nice, if a little shallow, battle scheme to keep players from becoming
bored.  There are so many things you can do, such as shimmying ledges or pipes,
push blocks, pull levers, go up lifts.  There really isn’t anything I’d like to
add to this game, except more legnth.

Replay Value  -  7.0 / 10

Argh.  I really hate giving this game a mediocre score even in such a junior
category.  But, sadly its true.  Not one of these type games has a lot of
replay value; you solve the puzzles and you put the game on the shelf.  The
puzzles don’t change, and the surprise element is taken away.  However, a
puzzling storyline and just an all around top notch experience will force you
to play it at LEAST twice.

Rent or Buy?  -  ¡BUY, BUY, BUY Senõr!

Yea, its short, yea, its got no replay worth.  But hell, this game is only $10
at your local EB, so you have no excuse whatsoever of not owning this game!

Overall  -  9.6 / 10


Well, those are my two cents.  Thus this guide concludes.  I do hope you
enjoyed this guide and I hope it helped you.  Until next time, I, black hole
sun, am logging off.

 /                                     \
| © 2002 Paul 'black hole sun' Lauria   |

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