Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Since the announcement of The Last Guardian, people have been wondering about its world, characters, story, and other details. However, even after the release of the game earlier this month, many questions are still left unanswered.
The Last Guardian doesn’t give you any clues about the events of the game up until the very ending. It turns out that the game is much darker and twisted than many were expecting -- as some really disturbing revelations are taking place in the world created by Fumito Ueda.
So, if you want to know what is really happening in this little weird game, then here are the seven most burning questions that the community has been theorizing for the last week:
- What/Who is Trico?
- What is inside the barrels?
- What are the Blue Doors?
- How to solve the Master of the Valley puzzle?
- What is the game actually about?
- What is the secret ending?
- How many more secrets are there?
Enter the internet theory. Supposedly, the worldwide web has it all figured out. Keep reading to find the answers to all these questions!
What/Who is Trico?
There are two sides to this fantastical beast in The Last Guardian. One is the mythical qualities of the giant animal and its fictional lore. The other is the technical side of the character, how it was created and brought to life.
In the fictional universe of The Last Guardian, Trico is a Chimera -- a hybrid of other real-life animals, such as a cat, a bird and a dog. In the very beginning of the game you can see the slideshow of various hand-drawn Chimeras, such as the Unicorn, the Phoenix, the Dragon. The very last one shown is Trico.
This means that the developers have created him with all the rest of the mythical animals of the ancient times in mind. Also, since The Last Guardian is a Japanese game, the name Trico (Toriko) could be derived from the combination of two other Japanese words -- Tori (bird) and Neko (Cat).
However, this amazing creature wouldn’t be possible if not for the most work that the animators and the AI specialists put into it. Here is what the creator of the game Fumito Ueda has said about Trico (full interview):
“To give him that kind of independent nature was very important because if Trico was just going to do everything you tell him to do, straight away, that kind of takes away the point of giving him AI. However, you end up giving gamers a lot of stress if he’s not listening to you all the time and doesn’t do what you want it to do, so the team attempted to strike that good balance between Trico doing his own thing and also listening to the boy”.
What is inside the barrels?
You can find small glowing barrels all over the places, and you need to feed them to Trico -- otherwise he won’t move any further. You will also notice that the barrels are filled with the same greenish-blue goop that you encounter in pots, cauldrons, and even inside of armored knights.
So what is that glowing blue substance inside the barrels? Well, it turns out that this is one of the most disturbing secrets in The Last Guardian. In order to understand the meaning of the substance you need to finish the game.
As soon as you reach the top of the main tower at the end of the story, you will see many other Chimeras coming from all the directions and spitting out children from their mouths into the tower canals, where they are being reprocessed and turned into an energy source that looks like that blue goop inside the barrels.
Most fans of the game agree with this theory and consider it to be the most unsettling twist in the entire game.
What are the Blue Doors?
Throughout the game you will notice gates framed with blue color, and thus referred to as the Blue Doors. You cannot actually go through those doors, but they seem to be available to the armored knights, who erupt from the other side as soon as you come close enough.
So there are two things you need to know about the Blue Doors. First, they serve as a sign of danger and the close proximity of enemies. Secondly, if you get caught by the knights and don’t manage to escape from their clutches, they will take you through the Blue Doors -- which is where you will see the Game Over screen.
In many cultures, if you see the doors painted with blue color, this would mean that they protect something important -- like a safe or a vault. Probably the developers have been inspired by some of these folklore stories and adapted them in The Last Guardian.
How to solve the Master of the Valley puzzle?
The Master of the Valley is the main antagonist of the game, and it is a weird one. You cannot say if it’s a living being or some alien AI, but you can definitely kill it.
It takes a few steps in order to solve the puzzle of the Master of the Valley. The first time you get inside the Master’s chamber, you will see that it is being protected by a black energy field. Use your mirror to dissolve the field, so that you can get closer to the glowing inner core.
This will reveal the spot on the upper platform, but you have to be fast here or the field will grow back and knock you off. As soon as you reach the upper rotating platform, insert your mirror into the slot and watch the rotating mechanism slow down. This will allow you to go up onto the roof, where Trico is expecting you.
The Master of the Valley will try to protect itself and send a signal that attracts all the Chimeras from around. They will attack Trico and tear its tail off. You need to stop them, and so you must go back down into the Master’s chamber.
As soon as you reach the Master once again, use your mirror on the inner core and watch it explode. This will kill the Master of the Valley.
What is the game actually about?
There have been many questions as to the title of the game -- The Last Guardian. Who exactly is referred in these two words? Is it the boy or is it Trico?
Most people believe that it refers to the boy, since he was the last one who brought the ending to all the child kidnappings. As you know the children have been turned into the blue goop that functioned as a source of energy for the protectors of the valley -- the armored knights. So, one could say that the children have been turned into the Guardians of the Valley. Since the boy was the last child to be kidnapped -- he is the Last Guardian.
Another theory suggests that the title refers to Trico -- which also makes a lot of sense. Throughout the entire game Trico thoroughly serves and protects the boy from all enemies, apart from the times when it gets hypnotized by the Master of the Valley’s mechanisms. But other than that, Trico was the Last Guardian for the boy -- it helped him get to the main tower to destroy the Master and return back home safely.
Who knows, maybe the title refers to both of them, and in this sense both the boy and Trico serve as The Last Guardian for each other.
What is the secret ending?
If you want to know how to get to the secret ending in The Last Guardian, then just watch the final credits roll to the very end. Just be patient and soon you will see the post-credit cutscene that actually reveals a few interesting moments.
To begin with, we see a grown-up man picking up a magic mirror from the ground and being able to use it. Secondly, he is all covered in those peculiar tattoos that we could see on the boy -- the game’s main protagonist. Does this mean that this man is the grown-up boy who survived the journey in the valley? Many fans of the game believe it to be so.
But that’s not it! At the very end we see Trico’s eyes in the shadow and a familiar growl. However, the last few frames show another pair of eyes glowing besides Trico. This could mean that he found a mate for itself. But most importantly -- it means that Trico is well and alive.
How many more secrets are there?
There are definitely more secrets in The Last Guardian than meets the eye. So, how many more secrets are there?
A lot, it turns out.
For example, what is the source of the Symbols in the Glass? (You know, those stained glass things that Trico is so afraid of.) It seems that their main function is to keep all the Chimeras away from getting too close to the main tower’s entrance. But it is never revealed how exactly they function, and why the beasts are instantly affected by them.
Another question is: What do all the tattoos on the boy’s body mean? Are those the same symbols that appear on the surface of the Master of the Valley’s inner core? Unfortunately, all we know is that they appeared on the boy’s body after he got swallowed by Trico. But no other clues have been presented in the game as to what they mean.
The last thing we have to mention is the mirror that the boy uses to activate the Trico’s tail. The boy finds it in the chamber at the beginning of the game that looks suspiciously like that one particular location from Shadow of the Colossus. Does it mean that the games share the same universe? Well, we know for sure that Fumito Ueda never admitted this. Oh well…
Let us know what other cool things have you noticed during your walkthrough of The Last Guardian. Share them in the comments below.