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Shadow of the Colossus guide: The 12th colossus

Thunder of the Lake

Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Each of the 16 colossi you fight during Shadow of the Colossus is a puzzle to solve. You have to find where it’s hiding in the world. Then you have to figure out how to get close to it. And finally you have to figure out how to reach its magic sigil weak points and kill it.

This guide will take you from the Shrine of Worship through defeating the 12th colossus. We’ll also point out any shrines, lizards or fruit trees along the way.

How to find the 12th colossus

  1. The 12th colossus is in an area you haven’t visited yet — you’re heading northeast this time.
  2. Facing the Shrine of Worship, head to the right (east) side. Ride east like you did on your way to the 5th colossus.
  3. Before you get to the cliff (where the 4th colossus was hiding), turn left and ride to the edge of the canyon.
  4. There’s another, narrower north-south(ish) natural bridge here. Take that across the canyon.
  5. Stick to the edge of the canyon and continue north. You’ll pass a shrine along the way.
  6. Continue to the northeast corner of the mesa to find another natural bridge.
  7. This one will lead you into a wooded natural alcove. Stay on the paths and loop around to the right.
  8. You’ll come out of the alcove on a different path. Follow the edge of the canyon around to the left.
  9. Just keep following the path until you can’t go any further.
  10. Climb off Agro and jump onto the pillar ahead of you and to the right. Shimmy around the ledge to the right until you can drop back to the ground.
  11. Run along the path on the other side as far as you can, then jump into the water.
  12. From there, just swim north until you trigger the cutscene.

Collectibles along the way

There are four shining lizard tails, two shrines and no fruit trees on the way from the Shrine of Worship to the 12th colossus. These are all optional things to do, but they’ll each help you out a little. Lizards will increase your stamina, fruit will increase your health and shrines will restore your health and act as a quick save point.

Shrine and shining lizard tails

After the first bridge, you’ll find a shrine on the mesa (about halfway to the colossus). There are three lizards on or around this shrine. Hypothetically, they’re all there. In practice, we experienced a lot of frustration looking for them — we’d find one and then spend minutes not finding the others. The trick that worked for us was to quick save at the shrine, exit the game and continue from there. When we reloaded, at least one of the lizards was easy to find.

Shrine and shining lizard tails

You’ll find the second shrine and lizard after you wind through the wooded area and follow the cliff to the top of the waterfall. Just before you’re forced to leave Agro behind, look on your left. The shrine is built directly into the rock wall. It doesn’t look like the others, so it’s easy to miss. The lizard should be on the ground nearby.

Approaching the 12th colossus

  1. Get behind the short pillar on the low island. This will protect you from the colossus’ electrical attacks.
  2. After one of its shorts, jump into the water. Dive under and swim to the colossus’ back. You’re a little faster underwater, so it’s easier to outmaneuver the colossus.
  3. Once you’re on its back, climb all the way up and make your way to its head.

Any time you fall or get thrown off, you’ll have to do this again.

Defeating the 12th colossus

  1. Use the three glowing, blue tooth-like projections on top of the colossus’ head to steer it to one of the two-story ruins.
  2. Once you get it close, jump from the colossus’ head onto the top of the ruin.
  3. Run around to the back side of the short pillar in the middle. You’ll have to wait out another round of electricity attacks.
  4. Eventually, the colossus will get frustrated and rear up onto its back legs. Run out and jump onto the colossus’ exposed belly and magic sigil.
  5. You’re only going to get a couple stabs in before the colossus backs off and the magic sigil is resubmerged, so make your shots count. Swim around to its back again and repeat the process.
  6. When you deal enough damage, the colossus will smash the ruins and you’ll have to relocate. Just get on its head, steer it somewhere else and repeat the process. The sigil on its belly is its only weak point, so you know all the steps. Just keep at it until it falls.

The next level of puzzles.

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