5 Things You Didn't Know About 'The Last Guardian'

5 Things You Didn't Know About 'The Last Guardian'

Fumito Ueda shares some of the game's most obscure tidbits. Sony

From Trico poop to art pilfered from 'Ico', creator Fumito Ueda dishes on some of the game's subtle secrets

From Trico poop to art pilfered from 'Ico', creator Fumito Ueda dishes on some of the game's subtle secrets

The Last Guardian doesn't exactly broadcast its smallest intricacies. Just like the beast that accompanies you through your journey, Fumito Ueda's long-awaited latest is quite happy remaining largely unknowable, hiding delightful little details in its most quiet reaches. Case in point: did you know that the glowing blue stuff you feed Trico throughout the game actually has a, errr, physiological consequence that's rooted firmly in reality? Well, it does, and that's only the beginning.

We spoke to Fumito Ueda at length about The Last Guardian and much more for an upcoming Glixel interview, so look out for that next week. In the meantime, here are some choice tidbits drawn from our chat, and the many hours we've spent exploring The Last Guardian.

The Call of Nature
Everything poops, including Trico. Ueda says that, like a cat, Trico doesn't like to be seen doing its business, so the beast usually gets busy when you're not looking. It is, however, possible to bust Trico in the act, and even find its, uh, leavings. The Last Guardian actually has a trophy celebrating this called "The Call of Nature," and if you're not sure what to look for, watch out for a couple of green, translucent orbs lying around, usually later in the game. You can't really do anything with them except pick them up (eww) and throw them, or just leave them where they are.

The Eyes Have It
The colorful stained-glass eyes in The Last Guardian, which frighten Trico and keep your companion from advancing until you find a way to shatter or dispose of them, aren't just a clever gameplay contrivance. They're actually based on real-life methods used in Japan to keep crows away from crops. "It was an idea I had from the beginning," Ueda says. "I wanted to try to rid the game of 'gaming' mechanisms as much as possible. Japanese rice paddies hang a similar-looking object to keep the crows away. That was the inspiration for this idea."

Waste Not, Want Not
You'll notice a lot of small, animated creatures in The Last Guardian, similar to the lizards from Shadow of the Colossus, albeit without their stamina-boosting tails. Particularly interesting are the bats you encounter, typically idling in doors of the game's emptier reaches. They utilize original animation data created for Ueda's first game, Ico from 2001, but they didn't actually appear in that game due to time constraints. Their long-delayed debut – over 15 years late – goes to show that nothing goes to waste in Ueda's game worlds.

Trico Takes a Spear to the Knee
Throughout the game, you'll notice that Trico ends up looking like a pincushion after most battles, accruing over time a collection of blood-soaked feathers. Not only does this look painful, but unless treated, these stains will stick around, offering a visual reminder of how much abuse your companion has taken on your behalf. Observant players may notice that these bloody patches clean up nicely whenever Trico rolls around in a pool of water. But in case those puddles don't come around often enough to comfort the most empathetic among us, these bloodstains can also be cleaned away by petting Trico with the circle button in the location of the wound until it clears.

Hungry, Hungry Trico
Fumito Ueda creates the hardest working characters in video games. In most adventure games, characters often get a place to rest, food to eat, or a chance to heal themselves of various ailments. In Ueda's games, characters like toil non-stop, like Ico as he helps Yorda escape the castle, or Wander as he battles 16 giant colossi in a row. In The Last Guardian, the boy spends the entire game uprooting blue barrels of monster chow for Trico, and yet never gets to have a snack himself.

As it turns out, the original plan was for the boy to nourish himself in addition to Trico. "When the game was in development for the PS3," Ueda explains, "we had items for the boy to eat. But with the budget cut that came with moving it from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4, and because I wanted the player to concentrate on taking care of Trico, we removed the management of the boy from the game."