Wander (ワンダ Wanda) is the protagonist of Shadow of the Colossus. A young man with a clouded past, he travels to the Forbidden Lands on horseback in order to resurrect a girl named Mono. Dormin, a mysterious voice presiding over the Lands' central Shrine of Worship, gives Wander a deal: if he can slay the sixteen colossi that reside in the Lands, Mono will be resurrected.
Wander's past is unspecified in the game, but he appears to be from the same tribe or social group as Lord Emon, and he was somehow involved with a girl named Mono. He is an excellent horseman, able to navigate difficult terrain as well as turn in the saddle and even stand up while at full gallop. The familiarity with which he holds a bow and uses it on horseback also testifies to his experience with that weapon. However, some have pointed out that Wander's skills with the sword are apparently negligible; even when swinging his sword without the challenge of an opponent before him, Wander's blows are slow and clumsy. Wander's greatest strength, then, is his tenacity. Although perhaps not the best warrior, he is determined to save Mono at any cost, and will stop at nothing to defeat the colossi that stand between him and Mono's resurrection.
The game opens with Wander riding on Agro down a narrow mountain trail and across the bridge to The Forbidden Lands, with Mono's body in his arms. We are later told that he stole his sword from Lord Emon, believing that if he brought it to the valley he would be able to save Mono. When he arrives at the shrine in the center of the lands, he lays Mono on an altar, and then several shadowy figures emerge from the ground. Beams of light from Wander's sword dispel the creatures, however, and then a disembodied voice from beyond the chamber's vaulted ceiling speaks to Wander. The voice's owner introduces itself as Dormin, and expresses surprise that Wander possesses the sword. Wander explains his quest, and he and Dormin make a deal: if Wander can slay the 16 colossi living in the Forbidden Lands, Dormin will resurrect Mono. Dormin warns Wander that the price to save her may be extremely high, to which Wander responds "it doesn't matter."
Wander's appearance deteriorates subtly over the course of the game, representing both his fights with the colossi and the reunion of Dormin's essence within him. His skin becomes paler and becomes etched with black streaks, his hair loses its redish brown color and turns black, and his clothes become dirty and stained. By the time Lord Emon's company arrive, Wander is a little more than a member of the walking dead. Emon's men attempt to destroy what is left of him, but they are too late to stop the growing shadow. Dormin, once resurrected, reveals he had planned to use Wander's body as a vessel for his resurrection.
In the end, Wander and Dormin are both sucked into a massive vortex created by Emon from the power of the sword Wander carried with him. The only thing left in the vortex's wake is a small infant with horns growing from its head, which a resurrected Mono takes with her to the garden nestled high in the Shrine of Worship.
- The player has minor control over the infant, once it appears on the screen during the credits. By pressing the R1 and action buttons, he will cry in a variety of ways. This confirms that the baby is in fact Wander.