Valus is the nickname given to the first colossus. Located a short way directly south of the Shrine of Worship, this humanoid colossus makes its home on a flat area accessible only from climbing the vines and ruins dotting a tall cliff.
Path to the ColossusEdit
- See also: Map for this path
Holding up the sword outside the Shrine will reveal a path directly south, toward the cliffs already in sight. The cliffs once housed a temple; once you ride up some front steps into the entrance, a cutscene will play; these scenes are played for many of the game's early colossi and hint that you're going in the right direction.To your right (the west), there are some vines growing on the wall; you must climb them and make some jumps off of jutting rocks to proceed. Later on, you will learn how to do a rolling dodge to get past a fallen tree that is blocking the way. The manoeuvre is good for avoiding attacks (especially on Hard, where a single stomp or other heavy attack can kill Wander instantly). You will also learn how to jump off of a ledge you are currently hanging on from and onto another. Practice it; you're going to need it very soon. (Note that this entire section serves as both a climbing tutorial and a means of separating you from Agro. This is a common occurrence; of the sixteen colossi, Agro will only be able to make it to five of them - see the chart in the colossi article to see which ones.) After you've jumped successfully to the small path to the top of the cliff, walk a little farther south. A cutscene will play - the small trees at the cliff's edge shake as Valus steps forward from the west.
Valus is walking further south from you at the beginning, not having noticed you previously. It will notice you eventually, however, when it reaches the south wall and turns back around, so go ahead and get its attention by whistling to it (the same button as you use to call Agro) or shooting it with an arrow. Dodge its club if it gets a chance to swing it at you - one hit with the tree-sized cudgel means instant death on Hard mode, and a severe health loss on Normal.
Valus' right leg is armoured, but the back of its left leg is fully exposed. If your sword is equipped, it will reveal something further - a minor sigil slightly further up. These spots are not actual weak points, but they do play an important role in allowing you to reach higher places. Start climbing the leg and stab the point once you're over it; the colossus will briefly stumble to the ground, giving you a good opportunity to climb to one of the platforms on his back. Use these to rest and recover your stamina, but don't get thrown off.
There are two smaller platforms above the bigger one; Hard mode players will want to jump off the right one to reach the weakspot on its arm. For everyone else, keep climbing to reach its upper back and head; the major sigil will start to glow. The colossus will often buck violently to throw you off, but keep holding on. If your stamina is low, retreat to its upper back and keep your balance. A few good stabs in the head weakpoint will finish the first colossus for good.
When it falls to the earth, a layer of darkness will erupt from the fatal wound, covering the colossus from head to toe. Several black tendrils will also pour forth from the same space and head for you. Try as you might, you cannot outrun them, and they embed themselves in Wander in seconds, rendering him unconscious. Before he reawakens in the temple, Wander hears Mono's voice again...
- Time Attack times (Normal, Hard): 2:30, 2:50
Tips and tricksEdit
- During the cutscene that plays after Wander stabs the minor sigil on its leg and Valus falls down, the player is in complete control of Wander. If one is quick enough and knows what to do, it's possible to run right up to its head and grab on while it's down.
- For those less gifted in the way of dexterity (see above option), it is also possible to use the momentum of Valus' leg shaking to propel oneself onto the ledge on its thigh by temporarily letting go of R1 and jumping when it levels its leg out somewhat flatly.
- If timed just right, it is possible to jump onto Valus' large club and use its momentum to launch up to the colossus's head. However, it is very difficult to pull off, so it is best recommended for players that are looking for a real challenge.
- When Wander is attacking Valus' head, the colossus will often try to throw its head backwards in an attempt to buck him off. Before it does this, however, its head will lower slightly. Stabbing the weakspot during this time with whatever charge Wander has got built up in his stab will cancel the animation and leave him ready for another attempt.
Origin of given and Latin nameEdit
- Note that both the given names and the Latin names of the colossi are fictional. They are only used by fans due to the popularity of these names and are not official.
- Constructed from the Latin prefix val, meaning to be strong, to have power, or to be well. The prefix is used in words like valeo and valere, which have similar meanings. The prefix can be seen in many English words, like valor, valued, and valiant, which also carry similar connotations.
- In Estonian, Valus means "Painful".
- Minotaurus comes from the name of a creature from Greek mythology called the Minotaur, a giant half-man, half-bull creature residing in the center of a great labyrinth. Not coincidentally, Valus has a few bull-like features (especially his cloven feet and the shape of his stone mask), and its lair is near the center of the Forbidden Lands, itself something of a maze at times.
- Contrast Minotaurus with Taurus, which is Quadratus' first Latin name.
- Colossus seems self-explanatory, but there are a few interesting things to note here too. The word "Colossus" originally referred to a giant statue, not creature; the ancient Colossus of Rhodes exemplified this definition. The name of Shadow of the Colossus in Japan is Wanda to Kyozō, meaning (literally) "Wander and Giant Statue".
- The music that plays upon approaching Valus' location is Sign of the Colossus.
- If Valus sees you from a distance, the track Grotesque Figures plays.
- Once Valus is crippled and kneeling, Opened Way starts and plays until the colossus is defeated.
- Valus is the only colossus that is shown to have any form of wildlife near it, as there are several hawks continuously circling around its head.
- Valus is one of only three colossi that wield a weapon, the other two being Gaius and Argus. It is also the only one of the three whose weapon doesn't resemble a sword.
- Valus stands at roughly 70 feet/21.3 meters tall, making it the fourth shortest of all the colossi. It shares physical similarities with both Barba and Argus.
- Valus' roars sound very similar to the bellowings of a bull, reflecting the first part of its Latin name, 'Minotaurus'.
- Valus is the most centrally located of all the colossi, with the absolute centre of the map being located in the northwestern corner of the Autumn Forest intersection between the longitudinal line between E and F and the latitudinal line between 4 and 5. The four squares surrounding the centre of the Forbidden Lands are therefore E4, E5, F4 and F5; Valus is located within F5.
- Valus and Gaius are the only colossi with major sigils on their arms. However, those are exclusive to Hard Mode. Argus and Malus come close, but they have minor sigils on their arms, not major.
- Stabbing Valus in the back of its leg twice will trigger the cutscene where it falls over and the music switches to The Opened Way. If the player only stabs Valus in the leg once, and is quick enough, they can climb up Valus and slay it with Grotesque Figures still playing.
- Valus has received some criticism due to the platforms on its backside. Many fans claim that it's unrealisticly convenient for platforms to be built on its back so that it can ultimately be climbed and felled. However, this is somewhat justified by the fact that the colossi are made up of rock, soil, and abandoned architecture, so it makes sense that their design would be somewhat flawed/architectural and consequently, convenient.
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