Game Case Study: Ico

Game Case Study: Ico

In Chapter 2.11, "Player Toward NPC Chemistry Techniques," we looked in depth at the game Ico.[4] (Please note: If you don't want to know the ending, please skip the next few paragraphs.)

[4] To briefly recap: A boy in a different land or perhaps on a different planet (the character you play) helps lead a beautiful girl with mystical powers out of a towering castle where both of them are trapped. He bravely overcomes many terrifying obstacles in his journey, which is more focused on freeing the girl than on helping himself.

Near the very end of the game, the boy you play obtains a magical sword that crackles with a kind of spiritual electricity. This is a Symbol of the Boy's Condition or Change in Condition. It symbolizes that he's attained a level of power: The demonic creatures that used to attack him now flee him and the sword. And it also symbolizes that he now belongs with the girl, for the spiritual electricity the sword exudes looks exactly like the mystical energy that the girl can wield when she needs to, and that has the same magical abilities. So the sword symbolizes two conditions: the boy's attainment of power and his attunement to the girl's soul.

Because the boy uses the sword to accomplish his final tasks, this is a Usable Symbol, serving double duty: working to deepen the emotional experience, but also playing a role in gameplay.

Creating Emotion in Games. The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
ISBN: 1592730078
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 394

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