As the name suggests, Shadow of the Colossus has some of the biggest boss fights in gaming history. In general, these sixteen colossi are, well, colossal, and today, I thought it would be fun to rank them all, from the most aggravating or otherwise disappointing to the most epic and downright awesome (the order in which they’re fought is included beside each name).
16: Basaran (9) – This huge, aggressive turtle is easily my most hated battle. You have to lure it over geysers in order to make it lose its balance, but not only is this tough to do when on horseback (the best way to avoid its attacks), even when you succeed, the geyser may not even go off.
15: Celosia (11) – This is one of two small colossi, both of which enjoy charging you repeatedly so that you die without a chance of fighting back. So that’s fun. It’s also kind of lame because it’s afraid of fire, and once you expose its weak spot, it goes down with minimal challenge.
14: Phaedra (4) – To be honest, this colossus is kind of adorable. You have to hide from it, and when it bends down to look for you, you climb onto its back. After that, though, it’s pretty anticlimactic.
13: Quadratus (2) – This battle wasn’t super interesting. Aside from shooting the weak spots beneath its feet, which is kind of annoying, nothing else of interest really happens. It kind of just gets points for being the first four-legged colossus in the game.
12: Valus (1) – Valus gets this place because it’s the first colossus in the game, meaning it will always be memorable for that fact alone. Other than that, this is a pretty easy and straightforward battle, as you’d expect from your very first encounter.
11: Gaius (3) – Like the previous two entries on this list, this super tall colossus isn’t terribly interesting on account of being one of the first colossi you fight. Scaling this thing is still one of the more thrilling things you’ll do this early in the game.
10: Cenobia (14) – Like Celosia, this is the other small colossus that enjoys unfairly ramming you repeatedly until you die. But if you can avoid getting ambushed by this thing, this battle is kind of interesting because it involves some platforming until you can expose its weakness.
9: Barba (6) – This was just one of the cooler, early battles against a massive giant with a magnificent beard!
8: Argus (15) – The second to last colossus is sufficiently huge and intimidating. But this late into the game, something more unique would have been appreciated. While this is still a cool battle due to sheer scale, I did find it rather confusing that I had to rely on the creature to stomp in just the right spot in order to create a ramp for me to climb.
7: Kuromori (8) – This creature is kind of like an armadillo, but unlike an armadillo, it is insanely aggressive. To my recollection, this is the first colossus that actually managed to kill me. Multiple times, even. Even so, this battle is interesting because it takes place inside a huge colosseum, and you must lure the creature upwards in order to knock it down and stun it. It’s also a very annoying battle because getting onto its exposed belly can be quite difficult, making the battle quite frustrating when you fail to get in even a single hit during the short time it is stunned.
6: Pelagia (12) – This colossus is an odd one. It dwells in a lake and made no delay in firing balls of electricity as soon as it saw me. One you manage to climb onto its head, you can actually steer it around by hitting its…teeth? The ability to maneuver the creature around in order to reach higher ground, and the water setting, made this battle an interesting one. The frustrating part was that its weak spot can only be accessed in short spurts.
5: Malus (16) – The final colossus is, as expected, absolutely enormous. But it’s not just its size that is intimidating, but its fierce fireball attack, which is next to impossible to dodge. Just reaching this massive creature is quite the feat, not to mention scaling it. The biggest issue is the fact that dying to this colossus means a lot of progress can be lost.
4: Dirge (10) – This huge snake glides quickly beneath the sand and makes for a battle that is both frustrating and pretty awesome. Your only hope of outrunning this thing is by riding your horse, from the back of which you must shoot the snake in the eye. Unfortunately, shooting this thing, while riding an unwieldy horse, is quite difficult, and even when you do succeed, sometimes the snake does not get stunned as expected, which can lead to some annoyance. Complaints aside, this battle is still unique enough that it deserves a spot high in this list.
3: Hydrus (7) – This unique battle is against a giant eel in a lake. Once you lure it to the surface, you have to try and cling to its back while simultaneously dealing with its electric spines and, you know, not drowning!
2: Avion (5) – Avion was the first truly interesting colossi because it’s the first one not fought on land. This giant bird must be pestered into swooping down towards you, giving you a chance to jump onto its furry backside. After that, you’re tasked with attacking its weak spots while airborne!
1: Phalanx (13) – Easily my favorite colossi would be the flying serpentine creature in the desert. As you have probably already noticed, I am partial to colossi that are fought in interesting environments, specifically land and water. This particular colossi was a lot of fun and requires skill without being super frustrating, from deflating the airbags keeping it aloft with your arrows to jumping onto its fins from horseback.
What is your favorite colossus, dear readers? And which one did you like the least? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!