In Wake

? - Hinter der Geschichte

Thank you for reading my story, 'In Wake', a retelling of the Shadow of the Colossus game on PS2. It has been a blast writing this fanfiction, even with the extremely long hiatus. I thank all my readers for their patience and feedback.

This story has been such a long bit of work! I played through the game at least three times before sitting down and finally writing, trying to capture every bit of detail I observed. But as I, and probably you, my reader, have noticed… we are left with a lot of open gaps within the story.

This is where my tale comes in. My goal was to bring forth the richness of the game and fill in the gaps without destroying anything presented by the original. The experiences Lin has faced and still faces are crafted to slip in just perfectly. The history was planned far in advance with research of old religions and living padding it out.

Since you have come this far, my friend, there may still be questions you wish to ask. Or perhaps you are interested in some trivia about how I wrote the story or about the game itself. So let me present to you the section Hinter der Geschichte, behind the story…

'In Wake'…

The title of my story, In Wake, was originally a 'prototype name' that was going to be replaced when something better came to mind. It is short for the phrase 'In the wake of giants', inspired by the name 'Shadow of the Colossus'. However, despite being temporary, it really stuck and was very fitting, yet simple. Another proposed name was simply 'Colossi', which simply doesn't sound as fitting, to me!

It has also become the title of my 'theme song', found farther in this trivia page.

Chapters…

The chapters in 'In Wake' are all in German. For all those curious, here are the translations of each chapter. (The list may be incomplete for awhile.) Why did I decide to use German for the titles? It was a bit of an unexpected discovery- I had only intended the first title to be in German, but I found it stuck pretty well with the rest of the story too!

I -Das Wandern – The Wandering

II- Jagen Des Ungeheuers – Hunting the Monster

III -Innerhalb Der Küstehöhle – Within the Coastal Cave

IV -Schlafenzorn – Sleeping Anger

V- Tödliche Schönheit – Deadly Beauty

VI -See des Nebels – Lake of Fog

VII- Alter Riese – Old Giant

VIII -Elektrische Schlange – Electric Serpent

IX -Vergessenes Kolosseum – Forgotten Coliseum

X -Gleiten in Unterordnung – Falling into Subordination

XI -Verschiebenwüste – Shifting Desert

XII -Randalieren Sie – Rampage

XIII -Fluß Mammut – River Mammoth

XIV- Himmelspur – Sky Trail XV - Zerstören Sie - Destroy

XVI – Verlassene Welt – Abandoned World

XVII - Schließlich Rüber – Finally Over

XVIII - – Wiedergeburt – Rebirth

XIX(?) – Erneuerung – Renewal

? - Hinter der Geschichte – Behind the Story

The Name 'Lin'…

The name Lin is an old English name, meaning 'waterfall'. Water is a powerful substance, as calm as a slow breeze at one moment to an unstoppable, rampaging force the next. Much is Lin's reactions to his world and what happens around him.

His 'true name' is Wander, but even then he is still just a nameless young man fighting his way to a seemingly impossible goal. I could not let such a dedicated person live without a proper title, so I settled on the name Lin fairly quickly.

Lin was decided before the story was written; as I played the game, I referred to him as Lin, both when describing him and talking to him (as in, 'Lin! Get up! You're going to get stepped on!' an event that, unfortunately, happened too often laugh) It was short and simple, but still seemed to fit him perfectly. It also gave the story my personal touch without adding any characters or changing things beyond recognition.

I still will recognize when people speak of Wander, but if you were to say Lin… no doubt you would be greeted by a great smile!

The Meaning of 'Mono', and her tale…

Mono is, of course, Lin's dearly departed childhood friend and love… for the entire story she is lifeless, yet Lin still visits and handles the girl as if she were still there. A challenge for me was to give her a past that fit within the story. The solution initially came from her name.

'Mono' is an old word (I haven't the origins right now, it is either Greek or Latin) meaning 'one' or 'singular'. (It is also, more commonly these days, short for mononucleosis, a nasty little disease that lingers in your system far too long- but I displaced this far in my head when writing!) So I decided to take it literally, making her name being the equivalent of how long she 'lived' as an infant before being revived.

Another important reference to Mono is her birds- from the crow that revived her to the doves that linger around the altar, a nod taken from in-game references and the older game, 'ICO'. Centering her story around her birds was natural- her own, calm, caring nature was easily projected through this theme as well. Even Lin, as you may have noticed, understands the doves appearing around her are waiting for her return. I was glad this past worked out so well for the story…!

Dormin's Comments, Behaviors…

When writing, it is easier to write dialog if, of course, there is someone else to speak to. While I stuck true to the original script (his introduction scene and the words directly after each colossus are nearly exact to the in-game versions) I also decided he should, as in the game, speak to Lin from afar. But instead of saying the same things over again… he became handy as a force to drive Lin along with sharp comments or observation.

I also focused on changing about the male and female tones from time to time. Occasionally Dormin seems gentle, almost motherly… and at other times forceful and strong. True to the game, the 'female' side eventually vanishes.

It has been pointed out to me, and I truly agree, that Dormin is not entirely 'evil' in the traditional sense. He did warn Lin of an unhappy outcome at the beginning, and does offer advice now and then… but like anybody, he still has his side of greed. I found him to be extremely crafty at convincing Lin to do his dirty work, and, in the end, -did- keep his promise. Not as bad as the Queen from ICO, hm?

Losing Control, Illness…

Part of what I wanted to focus on while writing was the changes Lin's body and mind must have gone through during the adventure. While in the game the changes were very slight until the end, I figured that, if it were real, he would be having much worse effects between then. I focused first on physical symptoms, and then worked on mental changes…

Lin never struck me as the 'strong' sort of person- he is a bit spindly; fast, yes, but not the strongest looking man in the world. His native skills lie in the bow, as proven by his direct aim even when on horseback. Also, he is quick to flee. So I naturally assumed that the outside stimuli, both from Dormin's encouragement, his own anger, and infection from the colossus, is what drove him to bringing down the Colossi. Eventually in the story, he begins to lose control of his anger and mindlessly attacks; he questions these actions but then refocuses on his final goal.

Of course, there is the issue of afterwards…!

Colossus Names…

All the proper names of the colossus are used in this story. If you read the original versions of one particular chapter, you might or might not have noticed I switched some names around! Whoops! Here are the English, Real, and Scientific names in order:

I: The Minotaur - Valus - Minotaurus Colossus

II: Taurus Major - Quadratus - Taurus Magnus

III: Earth Knight - Gaius - Terrestris Veritas

IV: Equus Prime - Phaedra - Equus Bellator Apex

V: Delta Phoenix - Avion - Avis Praeda

VI: The Goliath - Barba - Belua Maximus

VII: Sea Dragon - Hydrus - Draco Marinus

VIII: Wall Shadow - Kuromori - Parietinae Umbra

IX: Storm Echo - Basaran - Nimbus Recanto

X: Sand Tiger - Dirge - Harena Tigris

XI: Flame Guardian - Celosia - Ignis Excubitor

XII: Great Basilisk - Pelagia - Permagnus Pistrix

XII: Trail Drifter - Phalanx - Aeris Velivolus

XIV: Destruction Luster - Cenobia - Clades Candor

XV: The Sentinel - Argus - Praesidium Vigilo

XVI: Grand Gigas - Malus - Grandis Supernus

This is the only name I must comment on, for right away I recognized it. Barba may be translated out of German into beard, how absolutely fitting!

'In Wake', Unfinished Theme…

Somewhere in the depth of my notebooks, I had written down some lyrics to a theme song that would fit my story. Unable to write music, however, the tune quickly slipped away from my memory. Blast. But here, for the history books, are the lyrics to this unfinished theme…

The last knight has fallen to the sword

And a final breath released to the world

May you stand proudly at the break of the day

Pushing your troubles far away

Into the wake of giants

A million little miracles brought me to you

And a million little wishes saw you through,

Again may we meet at the setting of the sun,

Where the wild winds run

Within the wake of giants

CHORUS –

O! Behold the might

Pain fades from sight

Now my arms, held tight

Will welcome you once more…

All struggles now cease to be,

Once again love returns to me,

Let me forget the sins we've done

We shall walk toward the sun,

Within the wake of giants.

Chorus

So may our tale now find its end

All prayers to heaven we'll send

Into the earth our hearts will blend

All wounds we mend…

In the wake of giants.

Two Paths…

Due to overwhelming requests, my story has two endings… May you read Wiedergeburt, the original… and Erneuerung for the alternate path… which will bring our hero to a different fate.

Finality…

For now, this is all the extra information I may offer. Questions may be sent to me at (please remove the '('s around the , this is to prevent spam) with the subject relating to In Wake. I would be glad to offer answers to your questions about the story or about the game. If there is a section you would like me to elaborate upon, please tell me and I will add it to this extra section! Thank you so much!