To the Ancient Land

The crests of the cloud
Crumble frequently,
The moon mountain.
Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694)

In a little break from articles, today we have the chance to sit back and enjoy some music. If you care for a bit of literary review, continue reading under the media player. If not, you can simply listen; there is always another day to read on.

Track 01 Prologue~To the Ancient Land~, by Kō Ōtani.

The Music

Prologue ~To the Ancient Land~ is the opening piece of Fumito Ueda’s Shadow of the Colossus, part of a score composed by Kō Ōtani, and featured with the remainder of the score in every release of the game.

Running for approximately three minutes, it covers the prologue of the story in which the main character is seen riding through mountains and plains to reach the Forbidden Lands. It is performed by Gey’s AX choir, Masatsugu Shinozaki Group for strings, Kō Ōtani, and various featured soloists.

A Mini-history

In 2001, Fumito Ueda released his first game ICO for the PlayStation2. It was unique for the market, standing out more as a piece of art than a source of entertainment, featuring the story of a young, horned boy who leads an imprisoned girl through a seaside castle. Poor choice in packaging artwork for the American release resulted in relatively poor sales, but it nonetheless became a cult classic worldwide.

Four years passed and in the fall of 2005, Ueda released his second title, Shadow of the Colossus. Like its spiritual predecessor, it had a relatively simple cast. Unlike the past title, the score featured a full orchestra and choir, and was to accompany a story of a much grander scale. A wanderer, bringing a deceased young woman to the one place he might revive her, is told that in exchange for her life, he must find and slay sixteen Colossi… regardless of the cost.

Related Reading

Here is a small, curated selection of articles that were published a while back. Some of my recent posts build on themes introduced in the ones below, so if you missed the first chance to catch them, here they are again.

The Design of Companionship

In these Lands there are no other humans beside Wander and no other enemies beside the Colossi. All in all, Wander is very, very much alone. Enter his horse, Agro.

Enter a Forest

Fumito Ueda’s stories offer many an opportunity for stress. Monolithic Kaiju, wall-crawling shadows, and man-eating beasts forever serve as obstacles. …except when within the trees.

Ōtani’s Requiem

The wanderer has traveled mile upon mile in hopes of reaching the Forbidden Lands, a mysterious place rumored to have power to revive the dead. Though he is full of hope, the score suggests otherwise.

Here is how to credit the header image…

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