Spoilers- Still unanswered plot points

#1rajendra82Posted 6/23/2009 1:33:04 PM
Just finished the game yesterday for the first time and will likely move on to SoTC very soon, and will be waiting for TLG (hopefully 2010 release).

After playing I had to know more, so I read the excellent plot FAQ by PeterElliot and still have some unanswered questions. Sorry if these were asked before, but that other thread is closed, and I don't have the patience to sort through all 500 messages.
Issue 1. The queen is the main protagonist and the castle is hostile ground directly controlled by her.
I am not sure I agree 100%. The queen surly is the ruler there, but I find it hard to believe that she has put all of the obstacles in front of Ico and Yorda. Some of the puzzles are clearly decay related, and why would she make the decayed gaps perfectly wide for Ico, but too much for Yorda, and put some levers up over chain reachable areas, etc. I happen to think that the only obstacle she puts in front of them is the closed main gate. The rest just happen to be there due to age of the castle and are part of once working functions there. If the queen controls all, why would the idol door destroy the wraiths to help the kids?

Issue 2: Why is Yorda's "mother" tongue different than Ico? What is that language?
If the queen is the sole ruler of the castle, why would she invent a new language just for herself and her daughter? I happen to think that the castle was once inhabited by many ancient beings (who probably looked like Yorda, since she is presented as a relatively normal being, but can control some of the castle). The ancients probably spoke that language and put the inscriptions and idol doors in place. This is why the inscriptions must use the same symbols as Yorda’s speech. This would make the castle much older than the queen, and sort of a neutral ground between her and Yorda. This would indicate that while the queen is in charge of the castle, she does not fully control all the magic. Yorda would be a normal looking version of the ancient race, while the queen after gaining the dark powers has become a darker version of it. This would also explain why some of the puzzles are mechanisms that seem to have once served a useful purpose and are not solely put there by the queen to stop the kids. The main gate opening puzzle for example seems to be a puzzle of this type. The queen closes the main gate near the start of the game, but the main gate was likely there before she became the queen. The ancients likely used the two reflectors as a sort of locking mechanism back in their own time.

Issue 3: Why doesn’t the queen just stop Ico and Yorda right at the start? Why does she let the kids keep going after closing the main gate?
She clearly could have appeared right as Ico opened the cage, put a petrify spell on him and then put Yorda back in the cage? Why does she not do the same again at the main gate? Is Yorda somehow protected from here inside the castle, because the only time Yorda seems to be defeated by here is on the bridge.
#2JoveHackPosted 6/24/2009 11:40:43 AM
You've asked some good questions. I'll have to ponder them a while.

Peter Eliot's thread is worth your time.
"(Mega Spoilers) If you haven't completed the game, enter at your own risk"
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=367472&topic=8011509


Check out my post here, which touches on some of your points, I think.

"End game questions *major spoilers*"
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=367472&topic=48397017


Further analysis in a thread on IGN.

"Finally played Ico "
http://boards.ign.com/ico/b5863/177855393/p1/

I also have a hypothesis about the true relationship between the Queen and Yorda. It explains some of the Queen's actions. It may be too long to post here, though.

Still, you've enough to keep you busy for quite a while. Good luck. Hope you enjoy it all.

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#3JoveHackPosted 6/24/2009 11:44:54 AM
Presented for your edutainment.

Yorda was the Queen all along.

Yorda was created/raised by the Queen as a new vessel for her spirit. Her scatterbrained activity with Ico trains him to care for her. His investment of time and effort when she's necessary to solve the puzzles and gates of the Castle in the Mists end up building a strong bond. A bond strong enough that Ico spurns the freedom of the boat when he reaches it and instead returns to rescue Yorda.

Ico was being trained and tested by the Queen for her protector in Yorda's body. Going by the dream sequence after Ico's incarceration Yorda wasn't even created until Ico was placed in the sarcophagus.

This Yorda was the air-head led around by the hand by Ico. The gate openings were performed by the Queen, not Yorda. Ditto the creation of the bridges in the air.

The Queen stated Yorda couldn't survive outside the Castle, and that Yorda's destiny was to be the Queen's new body.

The Castle's immense physical plant is on the verge of ruin. There are no servants or occupants to be served. In its current state its merely a self-imposed prison of isolation for the Queen. If her long-planned transference to a physical body involves any weakness what so ever, however temporary, the Castle will fall to its own structural failures, or outside predators.

Note that Ico's sarcophagus was the sole remaining unoccupied. The current phase of the Castle's existence is coming to an end. Not a random one, but a long-planned and long foreseen end.

Even if the Queen in Yorda's body has immediate full power and consciousness, why remain isolated in an empty castle falling to ruin? Instead the Queen will get out and live again. The best way to do this is with a new start that loses all contact with any taint associated with the Castle in the Mists and its Queen.

If she abandons all history with the Castle and its dark minions, then the Queen will need a new protector. One that's shown determination and cunning as well as dedication to protecting Yorda.

Ico's relationship with Yorda is carefully managed. Starting with the dream of the cage, to a limited path to finding her. Freeing her is the only step he can take after finding her. Protecting and shepherding her is vital to continuing in the Castle. He shows determination and skill to bring her to the main gate, where the testing is intensified. The door to freedom is slammed in his face. He's warned off, his mettle spurred by being told he's unworthy of Yorda.

Ico's separation from Yorda on the bridge to the land is the final test. A test, moreover, with no risk for the Queen. If Ico fails, or simply departs, then the Queen stays safe in the Castle in the Mists.

The Queen's final speech reveals all: "Silence, boy. You're too late. My body has become too old and won't last much longer. But Yorda's going to grant me the power to be resurrected. To be my spiritual vessel is the fulfillment of her destiny. When next her body wakes, Yorda will be no more. Now put down your sword and leave. That is what she would want you to do."

That last statement is simple truth. If Ico departs now Yorda will be spared her ultimate fate until the Queen finds a new champion.

Once Ico proved his determination and loyalty to the form of Yorda by returning to rescue her, the Queen permitted him to triumph. Stabbing her with his sword, the sword she provided, permitted her to withdraw all the power she had stored in the physical environs of the Castle and imbue it into her new form as Yorda.

The Queen inhabited Yorda's body after being stabbed by Ico, rescued Ico, and is the Yorda on the beach in the scene after the End Credits.


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#4rajendra82(Topic Creator)Posted 6/24/2009 7:12:17 PM
JoveHack, I think you've been playing too much Metal Gear Solid 2. Your post game analysis of Ico being used in a champion simulator is already used in that game. If Ico was meant to strongly bond with the girl, why would she not be taught to speak in his language. Also why send Ico off alone in a boat if the awakened form was already the queen. And why go through all this trouble with the little horned boy champion. That big strong knight who go the magic sword at the beginning of the game would be a much better champion, so the queen should have used him for the execution instead. I am sorry, but your theory is too convoluted for this game.
#5JoveHackPosted 6/25/2009 8:34:12 AM
rajendra82 posted at 6/24/2009 9:12 PM "JoveHack, I think you've been playing too much Metal Gear Solid 2. Your post game analysis of Ico being used in a champion simulator is already used in that game. If Ico was meant to strongly bond with the girl, why would she not be taught to speak in his language. Also why send Ico off alone in a boat if the awakened form was already the queen. And why go through all this trouble with the little horned boy champion. That big strong knight who go the magic sword at the beginning of the game would be a much better champion, so the queen should have used him for the execution instead. I am sorry, but your theory is too convoluted for this game."


- Lack of a common language aids bonding, believe it or not.

- A big strong knight as conquering hero would attract more attention to the Queen as Yorda than she wants. Security through obscurity.

- It's not a case of forcing Ico to bond. It's a matter of testing whether Ico will bond. Ico must demonstrate that, along with determination and resourcefulness to earn the position of Yorda's protector.

- The queen's in dire straits. She has nothing to offer a big strong knight. Any advance promises would turn out to be as empty as the Castle in the Mists.
-- This big strong knight would then discard Yorda as useless after escaping the Castle. Look at how many players of the game failed to bond with Yorda and regard her in that light.

- In any case, big strong knights aren't being delivered for incarceration in the Castle in the Mists. Just Ico. The queen has to take what she can get.

- Remember, too, that Ico's was the last empty sarcophagus. She may well have had to rig this game in Ico's favor.


The queen has one last desperate throw in this game. Ico is it.

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