Bear with me. Oh, and spoilers. Lots.
Lots of spoilers. An old game. But lots of spoilers.
Did I mention there are spoilers?
I was imprisoned as a child. Those close to me stuffed me in a cell due to an accident of birth. They had to do it to survive. A total fluke of a quake cracked me free and left me with the rest of my prison to navigate.
Able to stretch my limbs once more, I soon stumbled upon her. She had been imprisoned far longer than I. Though older and larger, her physical strength had left. I felt like a saint when I managed to clumsily break her out of her cage.
When shadows came to reclaim her, my cockiness only grew. Picking up a stick to beat them away, I landed a good portion of my blows on the poor woman and nearly ripped her arm out of her socket to get away. I was too ignorant of her language to fear a lecture.
Instead, she unlocked a door and evaporated the shadows. Puny boy strength be damned. I needed her to escape.
She, however, seemed to have met her goal. Though still under threat of recapture, she was content to stretch her limbs and enjoy all of the signs of life she could find.
Thinking back on it, perhaps dragging an ill person all around a fortress and then expecting her to make a mad dash across a closing bridge wasn't the brightest idea on my part. When her legs failed her, it took me a moment to feel guilty enough to leap back to help.
My own legs failed to make the gap. With the last of her strength, she caught me. While focused on saving my life, the shadows caught her.
With a lucky landing, I survived the fall. I traveled further and found myself back at my cell. All of my work was for not.
But I could pretend to be a hero again! At the top of the stairs, shadows surrounded my lost companion. I returned to being cocky and swung at them with a new toy... It might have been impressive had I not been too late to free her from whatever ritual had been performed.
Wandering off with raging impotence, I ran into her mother. Apparently, my companion had been imprisoned due to an accident of birth. Her mother needed to do it to survive. I focused my anger on severing the only connection to my companion's affliction that my young mind could find.
I failed again. Horribly. I killed my companion's mother, but in so doing I set off the destruction of the entire island. I couldn't take my companion with me. I ran. I found a boat and floated away.
Upon the beach, I was too happy to note my uselessness. My companion had made it to shore on her own.
Some like to pretend Yorda is just a pathetic female in need of rescue. However, that disabled woman endures more than Ico, possesses abilities he does not and saves herself. She's just the right blend of vulnerability and competence to make me care.
Mono, I hope you get mono. And don't get me started on your horse.