"Beside me lay a great, maneating beast -- 'Trico.'"Trico (トリコ, Toriko) is the name of the griffin-like beast in The Last Guardian and the deuteragonist of the game. He looks like a combination of a dog, a bird, and a cat. The mysterious masked knights searching for the boy are no match for his power and ferocity. The boy will need to take care of Trico, both by feeding him barrels and removing spears from him.
Trico is a large, hybridized beast with the face of a dog, the ears, body and tail of a cat, and the beak, wings, feathers, and feet of a bird. He also sports a pair of horns on his head. His feathers are a grayish blue, with darker feathers on his tail, wings, and nose, while having lighter feathers on his face. His eyes change colors depending on his mood.
Trico's appearance also changes over time. At the beginning, his wings are in tatters and his horns are broken. By the end of the game, his wings are fully healed and his horns are about a foot long and slightly curved forwards.
Trico first appears in the cave with the boy, unconscious and wounded. After the Boy cares for him, the two start to bond and Trico follows the Boy around.
As the two make their way through the Nest, Trico defends the boy from enemies large and small and helps him access areas and cover ground very quickly. Trico's bond becomes so strong that the beast would protect the Boy from anything.
It is discovered that Trico is one of many other beasts like him, and is enslaved to an evil entity called the Master of the Valley, who controls the beasts and uses them to kidnap human children to sustain its own immortality. However, the Master's control over Trico himself was broken when the beast was hit by lightning after stealing the Boy. Fearing the power of the now independent beast, the Knights chained Trico up in the cave, hoping he would die from the wounds. However, he regurgitated the boy, who, of course, helped him recover and escape.
The two gain entrance to the Master's citadel tower. While Trico holds off a large pack of Armored Tricos, the boy destroys the Master. Badly wounded, Trico decides nonetheless that it is now time that the Boy returned to his village. Upon returning the Boy home, Trico leaves for his own safety, leaving the Boy to tell the story of their extraordinary adventure.
In the final cutscene, it is revealed that Trico not only survived his agonizing wounds but has gone on to sire a young Trico of his own, raising it in the cave where the whole adventure began.
Trico behaves much like a typical domesticated dog.
At first, Trico does not trust the Boy, even swiping him into a cave wall when the Boy tries to remove spears from him. However, after receiving food and care from the Boy, the beast trusts him enough to follow him around. As time goes on, Trico even seeks affection in the form of being fed or being petted on the head, which calms him after a battle. Trico will also bestow affection on the Boy, rubbing his head against him and nuzzling while making loving whines. Once Trico becomes fully bonded, the beast will protect the Boy without a thought to his own personal safety, even taking on a pack of Armored Tricos without hesitation.
Trico is a creature one would do best not to make an enemy of. When the Boy is endangered or it perceives a threat, Trico goes into a bloodthirsty rage, destroying said threat with vigor. Even if Trico is outmatched, the beast will still throw himself into the fray, fighting until either killed or knocked unconscious.
It is possible that Trico is a younger or less experienced beast as, while quite effective against Knights, is easily overpowered by Armored Tricos, even in one-on-one encounters. He is also shown to be rather clumsy as, when kidnapping the Boy in his sleep, he gets his head stuck in a window and knocks over a pot, alerting the village to his presence.
The first-ever screenshot for the game (and the only screenshot of the game released for well over two years) depicted a giant length of chain running into a hole in the ground. In the game's first trailer, the creature on the end of the chain was revealed to be Trico.
Powers and Abilities
- Chimeran Physiology: Trico can best be described as a chimera, a creature composed of several different animals. This gives the beast the abilities of all the species it embodies: the strength of a dog, the agility of a cat, and the flight of a bird.
- Enhanced Strength: Because of his massive size, Trico is incredibly strong. He can destroy stone structures and smash groups of enemies with relative ease.
- Enhanced Agility: Trico can climb and leap great distances that would be impossible for any other animal. This is embodied by his cat-like traits.
- Flight: Initially Trico cannot fly because of the wounds that he has sustained, his wings having been badly hurt by lightning and fall damage. However, when his wings are fully healed, he can fly great distances and is able to achieve altitude to soar above the clouds. Even when his wings are still healing, he can glide for a short period of time.
- Enhanced Durability and Healing: Trico can take massive amounts of damage. Swords do not affect him, spears only slow him down, and even serious wounds sustained by Armored Tricos, long falls, or being struck by lightning can be shrugged off in a short amount of time. Trico also seems to heal very fast, as he does not bleed very much from spear wounds and can quickly get up from even life-threatening wounds.
- Prehensile Tail: Trico's tail acts as an extra limb. He mainly uses this ability to assist the Boy while his feet are in use. While unable to grab the Boy using his tail, the beast can quickly position it to act like a rope to climb up/down.
- Enhanced Senses: Thanks to his dog-like attributes, Trico has incredible senses of smell and hearing.
- Eyeshine: The color of Trico's eyes change depending on his mood. His eyes shine pink when aggressive or angry. The eyes will glow white when excited or interested. When his eyes are dark green, he is calm and friendly. His pupils will contract greatly when he is satisfied when being fed a barrel, closely resembling a more human eye.
- Electricity generation: Early in the game, the boy finds a mysterious mirror. Upon seeing the symbol produced by the mirror, Trico can fire a continuous bolt of electricity from his tail at the mirror's target, useful for destroying obstacles and enemies. When the mirror is lost, however, so is this ability. When the ability is regained later in the game, Trico now fires a built-up pulse of explosive lightning. Trico's tail can fire electricity even when severed from his body. This ability is not directly controlled by Trico.
- The Boy: First and foremost, Trico will do whatever it takes to protect the Boy, even if that means recklessly throwing himself in harm's way or against an overpowering enemy. While he has always survived, he nearly dies several times.
- Talismans: Huge hexagonal stained glass panes in the shape of a large yellow-orange human eyeball with blue sclera surrounded by a sloppy mix of purple and pink (most likely due to age rather than paint job). Above and below the eyeball are red triangles. When the talismans come within Trico's eyesight, Trico's animal instincts become apparent, and Trico is unable to do anything but fearfully back away unless the offending pane is destroyed. These objects come in the form of small shields carried by Knights that they will aim against the animal, or as larger stationary ones, mounted on trolleys or suspended by chains. Most often they can be knocked over, broken by throwing a stone or destroyed with Trico's ranged tail attack (when available).
- Armored Tricos: As powerful as Trico is, he stands little chance against even one of his own kind. While he fights bravely, he is always overwhelmed.
- Small spaces: Trico's size is not always an advantage, and he has trouble squeezing into tight spots (although not from lack of trying). At one point, he valiantly attempts to squeeze into a mine tunnel, which causes the walls to collapse around him and the Boy.
Effects on Gameplay
The gameplay of The Last Guardian stems around using Trico's natural instinct to your benefit in order to traverse the environment and solve puzzles. Trico reacts based on his surroundings and mood and cannot be controlled directly.
Examples of using Trico's animal instinct includes:
- When injured by spears, Trico's mobility is reduced or prevented, and the boy must pull them out in order for him to move.
- When encountered by the armor suits, Trico will get aggressive, destroying them, but, afterward, the boy must pet him to calm him down.
- The boy can feed barrels of food to Trico in order to keep him happy and to lure him to places he does not want to immediately, such as jumping into a pool of knee-deep (to Trico) water.
- Standing on an upper ledge, getting Trico's attention, then jumping to demonstrate will motivate Trico to jump up to the ledge.
- After the boy gains Trico's trust, Trico will follow the boy around and even follow his commands.
Meaning of name
Toriko is the Japanese word for "prisoner"; possibly given during the initial predicament. Toriko is also a combination of the Japanese words tori (bird) and neko (cat) and also has the suffix -ko which can refer to a child or a baby. Finally, Project Trico was the name for the game's working title, which is a combination of Tri and Ico. This could be referring to the game itself, which is Team Ico's third release.