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Fumito Ueda on weaving empathy into victory in Shadow of the Colossus

Designer Fumito Ueda notes that he started to question the sense of accomplishment players would feel when taking down monsters during the development of Shadow of the Colossus.

“Through the production of Shadow of the Colossus, I started having doubts about simply 'feeling good by beating monsters' and 'getting a sense of accomplishment'."

- Fumito Ueda shares anecdotes from the development of Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian.

Cane and Rinse has published an interview with Fumito Ueda, the designer known for his work on games like Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian.

Throughout that full chat, Ueda lightly touches on different aspects of his game creation philosophy, ranging from his penchant for closing stories with crumbling buildings to creating the sorrowful victories of Shadow of the Colossus.

One particular question calls attention to the guilt the interviewer felt as a player while taking down one of the massive Colossi bosses required to beat Shadow of the Colossus. Ueda notes that he started to question the sense of accomplishment players would feel when taking down monsters while developing the game.

“When I first showed my staff the sequence of sad-sounding music being played after defeating a colossus in Shadow of the Colossus, they thought it was a bug and laughed because they were so used to games that would play a fanfare after defeating a monster,” recalls Ueda.

“I tried thinking if there were any other choices for different kinds of expression, then ended up with such settings and rules as a result,” says Ueda.

He notes earlier on that he himself plays games that use violence as a means to an end and doesn’t wish to dismiss that kind of experience. But, instead of creating “some sort of anthithesis” to the idea of taking down monsters, “I focused more on the consistency of the design as a product and differentiation (from other products.)"

The rest of the interview explores his design and world-building philosophies through other examples over on Cane and Rinse.

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