Ico Analysis | The Design of Companionship

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A video analysis dissecting the reasons why Ico is one of the most influential games to date.

“Ico Retrospective” by Matthewmatosis:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-nr_hw0oQg ico matthewmatosis

“Ico, and Design by Subtraction” by Mark Brown:

Fumito Ueda Interviews:
http://shmuplations.com/ueda/ giant fumito ueda interview

Giorgio de Chirico, Pictor Optimus:

Ico GDC 2004 Presentation:

“Ellie: Buddy AI In The Last Of Us” GDC 2014:

Shadow of the Colossus Opening:

The Last of Us Launch Trailer – E3 2013:


Leonardo Taccolini says:

Never seen this game through this perspective! Nice

Larry da Vinci says:

Ico is pretty much one long escort quest, something a lot of gamers really dislike.

boyblob says:

Really nice video. I was feeling a little nostalgic and was looking for a deep dive look at this game (and yeah I already saw the matthewmatosis one). Maybe it's been a while since I've watched other breakdowns, but I felt you brought up some points that I didn't necessarily think of during my various playthroughs over the years.

Claybourne Management . says:

Great video dang

Liple Peoberty says:

hello, game overture.I'm doing chinese subtitle of this video and i really need your help since my poor english…..i dont know what you were saying in about 15:55……auto subtitle says "Lynx"(<.<)…..have you got the script of this video?

El Tigre says:

great analysis, ico is one of my favourite games right next to gohtic 1 and dark souls 1.

Bocks says:

No matter what, I think that Ico and Yorda both survived! It would break my heart otherwise

littlekitsune1 says:

Another interesting aspect of the combat is that the easiest way to lure enemies towards you to attack the more difficult ones that keep backing off or flying, is to turn your back to them. As soon as you do, they will take the opportunity to rush you and incapacitate you. Obviously it seems like a good strategy to fool them, but do to the more "weighty" controls and how this strategy is usually employed against the faster enemies, it can easily backfire and have you smacked to the ground while one makes off with Yorda. Seems like another cool mechanic that kind of got overshadowed by the desire for a little too much simplicity.

Another really interesting and well thought out video! I found the comparisons to the paintings particularly awesome, since looking at them really does invoke the same feeling the game itself did for me. While I overall agree that the game at times feels too simplistic, the simplicity itself isn't inherently bad at all. Like the examples you pointed out, games (or many types of stories) can often achieve a lot more by having a lot less. If the game was convoluted with a bunch of mechanics and plot points, none of those examples would have much effect since they'd get diluted into the mix and much more easily overlooked. It may go against a lot of gaming rules and even storytelling rules, but for this particular type of game, it really works in my opinion.

Tim Madone says:

I don't believe ICO was supposed to be unconscious. I believe he was dead & Yorda ( also dead but in spirit form ) simply sent him away in the boat as a way of showing respect for his dead body. Otherwise his body would have been crushed by the crumbling castle. As for the after-credit sequence, my interpretation is that both are dead & the beach represents Heaven.

ThePsuedo says:

Probably the best analysis I've seen of this fantastic game

Antônio Ramon says:

Dude, honestly, I have to congratulate you. You've made a great analysis. Simple on the words, but very deep in the emotion and the feelings. I remember the first time when I've played Ico… I was 12, maybe 13 and the game with all its elements were fixed in my mind. Now when we look back and see Ico we can understand the great milestone created by Fumito Ueda. Once again, congratulations!

Michael Nadais says:

I am impressed with your work! Looking forward to the last guardian one! ; )

feaster3737 says:

Ico is still the best video game that I have ever played. Thank you, this is very well done.

Micah Edmonds says:

This video is pretty sick, the first half in particular. You already know what I think of the game, and I do believe you grant that one moment on the bridge far too much credit, but there's clearly been a lot of research and thought put into this and you make some great observations. The point about the lack of saving at the end was an angle I hadn't considered before.

If you'd like to talk more about video stuff, I'm part of a pretty chill discord of some other YouTube creators and it'd be swell to have you on the server. Hit me up on Twitter @theblksparrows and I can send you a link.

Ghost7856 says:

Fantastic job. I can tell you've done your research as I know you've used point from Mark Brown and Extra Credits among others. At this rate I'd say you're slowly on your way to becoming the Aleczandxr of video games.

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