Can We Talk About the Barrels? Open Last Guardian Discussion. SPOILERS

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#1 Edited by RonGalaxy (4936 posts) -

This thread is going to be very spoilery, but I'm still going to mark them in my post. Any post after this is fair game.

So it turns out the barrels you were feeding to Trico the entire game were children being processed into blue goop??? What the actual fuck? The other Trico's were putting the kids into that bird statue with it's mouth open agape, which is kind of hilarious because my mouth was doing the same thing during that reveal. A lot of people will probably hate this moment because it doesn't really serve a purpose, but I love it. It's like the game turned into some sort of Lynchian nightmare for a minute to really screw with your emotions, and it succeeded (at least for me)

One question I have about the ending.

So the boy when he's all grown up finds the mirror and shines it at the sky, the beam travels through miles and miles of clouds until finally reaching the beginning of the game where we see 2 pairs of Trico eyes light up in the darkened room. People will see this as either Trico definitely being alive, or setting it up for people to interpret it as they wish. But that can't be the case right? The Trico we traveled with the entire game ended his(her?) journey with 1 eye severely fucked up. It almost looks like it was torn/gouged out. The 2 pairs we see at the end looked fine. I wish I could interpret it as Trico making it out alive, but it was so totally fucked up at the end, and the boy even said he doubt it lived long after that

So yeah, what a game. Probably GOTY for me. Really surprised by this because I had no hope for it pre-release, but it really proved me wrong. I'll give any developer who worked on this game the benefit of the doubt from this point forward, because they perceived through, what seems like, a very tumultuous development and ended up making something truly special.

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#2 Edited by Karmosin (379 posts) -

@rongalaxy said:

About your spoiler:

During the games progression we clearly see Trico grow back his wings, wich are more or less feathery stubs at the beginning of the game. He also grows back his horns and recovers quickly from all his spear-wounds. He seems capable of regenerating pretty quickly, maybe because of the barrels, seeing as most of the time when he's very hurt you have to feed him to get him up on his feet, so the fact that he could regenerate his eye dosen't seem that farfetched to me.

Maybe it's also me, but was it the boy that said that he'd doubt he lived long? I thought it was one of the people in the mob that said that.

It is a spoiler-thread so maybe we don't have to spoil-block everything we say. :P

I was also very surprised and shocked at that scene at first. I think my biggest problem is "why?", wich in the end may not matter that much. I just wonder what the core or what you should call it, gains from it. Does it take something from the bodies and the barrels are a side-product from the "waste"? Not sure. Maybe it's not logical at all, maybe it's just some broken system that's still left on after this civilization died out, that no longer serves a purpose but just keep going.

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#3 Posted by Dussck (1054 posts) -

It's not really clear what the blue stuff is, but I thought at the end that the children became the guardians you constantly fight. Hence 'The Last Guardian' that stops it all.

I don't know what the purpose of it all is, though. The creatures are there to kidnap children, so they can become either food for them or guardians, so the creatures can capture more children? Seems like some unnecessary circle of life, but maybe you can say that about this whole planet and its life as well :)

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#4 Posted by pompouspizza (1563 posts) -

Yeah it was super fucked up! My initial reaction was that the children were being turned into the goo that's in barrels but could the barrels just be a reward for delivering the children?

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#5 Edited by RonGalaxy (4936 posts) -

@karmosin: The boy, when grown up, said it during the narration. I think you might be right with the regeneratin thing though.

@Dussck my impression was the suits of armor were just pieces of the weird green tech you see throughout the game, all of which might be powered by the blue goo? There's nothing inside the armor when they're defeated. Also, I'm not even sure they are the guardians referred to in the title. Not 100% sure, but maybe "the last guardian" was the pulsing orb at the end of the game?

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#6 Edited by Karmosin (379 posts) -


I hope I don't seem petty, but watched the ending again. :P

The line is around 17.20. That lines text is not slanted, like it is for narration, and if you watch closely you can see lip-flaps on one of the men to the left. The voice is also a little different, though they could sound a bit similiar.

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#7 Posted by RonGalaxy (4936 posts) -

@karmosin: Yup, you're right. The moment was really emotional for me so I missed that.

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#8 Edited by Karmosin (379 posts) -

The most interesting fact about the cores tower is the cold inside and the giant fan on the top, acting kind of like an computers cooling-system. Wich supports the theory that the master of the valley is an A.I and that the children may be its resource for energy.

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#9 Posted by FrostyRyan (2924 posts) -

Holy shit THAT'S what the barrels are? jesus christ

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#10 Posted by kishinfoulux (3328 posts) -

I'm sure Trico lived in the end. If they wanted to kill him they had plenty of opportunities to do so and like I've said elsewhere he just shrugs everything off anyways so there isn't much reason to believe he died.

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#11 Posted by Artikay (157 posts) -

You can see Trico open his injured eye a bit before he flies off.

Also if you climb on top of the bird statue you see the barrel that shoots out is already in there and full of glowing goop, it might just be a prize for the Tricos.

Either way, these kids are being kidnapped for a reason, dont see why anyone would expect something good was going to happen.

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#12 Edited by Emperor_Norton (100 posts) -

I need to go back to check, but if you remember at the very beginning of the game, I believe you find the shield in a room that has an interior similar to the final tower (it also has a pool that reminded me of the one in the temple in SoTC), and in that room there's what appears to be a giant man-shaped sarcophagus.

No Caption Provided

I'm guessing this giant being (an alien?) died at some point, and now the machine in the tower is running on some kind of automated process that's just stuck in an endless loop turning kidnapped children into energy goo.

EDIT: I don't really think there's any direct story connection, but the pools are pretty much identical:

No Caption Provided
No Caption Provided

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#13 Posted by gerrid (705 posts) -

I'm not sure that the kids are turned into the barrels? I just saw it as a reward being distributed for bringing children. just cause the barrel comes out so quickly.seemed like a pavlovian thing.

but I suppose they could be melted down in those big pots. I didn't really think what happened to the kids, or what was meant to happen once they are deposited. maybe they turn into the clockwork soldiers? I'd like to see some ideas though

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#14 Edited by Jesus_Phish (3899 posts) -

@rongalaxy: There's an early part in the game when one of his eye's is shut over and the other open - I think it's after the first fight he has with another Trico. That heals up over time so there's nothing to suggest that he actually lost that eye. The only bit you see him lose is the tail - which was fucking horrible to watch.

I also don't think the kids got turned into jelly. Trico and the others are shown encasing children and the player character in blue goo for transport. I think it's more that the black wizard goo is doing something with the kids and feeds them that energy stuff in return for being brought kids. It's like a treat dispenser for pets. If they do the puzzle, they get a treat.

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#15 Posted by SubliminalKitteh (455 posts) -

Big question, is there at any point in this game a reference to Dormin and what he's up to? Or is this one not connected to the other games like Ico and SoTC were secretly?

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#16 Posted by Sweep (10609 posts) -

As your Trico is flying out the nest you can see another Trico clambering up one of the towers, so there's definitely more than one of them that survived. I kinda like how it's left open to interpretation - I'd believe it if you told me that Trico had healed up and flown back to find more of his kind (That would make sense, as the implication is that they're reacting to the shield light when it's shined into the sky at the end. If it wasn't him then why would they care?) and his ability to heal is kinda reinforced by the speed his wings and horns grow back over the course of the game.

When I found out the whole "Soylent green is made from people" moment it was pretty surprising to me, mostly because of the realisation that I'd been feeding my dog human children for 10 hours. Having said that, if they'd been straight with me about it from the beginning... I probably still would have done it.

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#17 Posted by xPolyMorphic (118 posts) -

I interpreted it more as the beasts feeding the orb thing the children and being rewarded with barrels.

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#18 Posted by thatdudeguy (337 posts) -

This thread has been fascinating to read. I didn't make the kids -> glowing blue goop connection, assuming that the goop was just a reward pellet for bringing this entity living children for some reason. What's interesting thinking about everything now is that all of the structures traversed in the game felt human-scale, or at least designed for humans to navigate. It seems unlikely that the entity built them, or laced them with energy lines.

My new (half-baked) theory is that the entity, whether it be a stranded alien, parasitic AI, or magical being that always existed there, was worshiped by a civilization that built an extensive city around it. The worshippers regularly offered children as sacrifice, and the entity rewarded them with an unlimited energy source. Trico and his brethren were bred or domesticated as rescuers, or guardians. They have a biological ability to protect living things inside of their stomach, the power to defend in a fight, and the mobility to reach remote areas. Golems powered and directed by the entity were used as workers or peacekeepers. Things were good, unless you were an unlucky child.

Then, the sacrifices were called into question and stopped. The golems were turned on the populace and the civilization fell into ruin. The entity turned to the guardian creatures and found a chemical reward system that would encourage them to attack instead of guard, kidnap instead of rescue. It's possible that remnants of the children "absorbed" by the entity are that blue goo chemical reward.

I'm also secretly hoping that a well-hidden connection to Ico or SotC is found by the community.

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#19 Posted by glots (4384 posts) -

My first reaction was also assuming, that the kids were turned into goop. Guess it might've just been a seperate reward thing.

I was also (a little) surprised, that they didn't go for the obvious ending, in which Trico dies while sacrificing itself to save you. Was really expecting him to barely land on that forest edge, burp you out and then fall down to his death.

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#20 Edited by Karmosin (379 posts) -

@thatdudeguy said:

Trico and his brethren were bred or domesticated as rescuers, or guardians.

Maybe that could be the reason for the title, as Trico would be the last of them who actually fulfills his duty as a guardian.

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#21 Posted by Fin33 (1 posts) -

Hi folks, Its interestng becasue me and my brother agreed pretty early on to not feed Trico the barrels. we must of fed him/her 4 or 5 the whole game (outside of the post trico 2 compulsory fight feed) We werent sure but thought that maybe the barrels were addictive and would effect his behavour, not good or bad but diffrent and as we noticed that the armored dudes and machine that makes trico totally loose his shit, was using this same stuff it was bad news. So when we saw that they were connected with the collected kids, it was like 'AHHHHH SEE!!!' ha ha. not really the true michanic pay off we expected but still sort of felt like there was indeeded a negative connection with the barrels, think we just read too much into it or expected more complexity/depth on that side of things.

Other thing that nonody seems to be mentioning online is the two yellow goo balls at he top of the tower at the end? total mystery to me? Went and picked it up dropped it then the cutscene started and couldnt go pick them them up again as the trico mega fight was kicking off!

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#22 Posted by tippytoetyy (1 posts) -

@fin33: Trico took a shit on the tower, a final screw you lol.

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#23 Edited by Nardak (947 posts) -

Trico is definately alive at the end of the game. Dunno if you dont see the final cinematic if you skip the credits but the game shows the main character as a middle aged man and finally shows Trico resting in the cave where the game started. Well you can only see Tricos eyes but it is definately him/her.

I must say that i loved this game since it reminded me a lot about Ico in the way the navigation puzzles were constructed. The only really frustrating sections for me were the couple of instances where you had to carry the barrel to Trico across uneven surfaces which meant a lot of barrel tossing. Ended up spending quite a while trying to throw the barrel in a way that didnt make the damn thing roll over the edges.

Think the most impressive section of the game for me was being locked inside the iron cage. That was a brilliant bit of navigating around in the game.

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#24 Posted by Whitestripes09 (918 posts) -

Okay so here's my interpretation... There was a civilization that maybe coexisted or domesticated Tricos before the Master's arrival given that some of the architecture of the Nest looks to accommodate for Trico's size and also there are statues all around of Tricos. The Master, either a god or alien, erected a tower and started brainwashing Tricos. He/they used traps to ensure that he got every Trico possible. The Master's physical form dies at some point and one of his control devices, the shield, is left on his grave. However, he left an automated procedure to keep the Trico's fed and possibly keep the place running forever by constantly hunting for children and people. I feel like there are some definite gaps but I'm not really sure what to fill them with. Maybe Tricos original purpose were war machines? The shield is definitely something that the Master built and it controls Trico's lighting tail, but we never really see Trico use it out of his own will, so it's possible the Master created the Tricos as well and the civilization just worshiped the Master and the Tricos before being wiped out by his creations after his death.

Who knows really.. it's all fun speculation in a very ambiguous story, but that's okay. I do look forward to seeing what the director has to say in the future though.

Also, I'm totally convinced that Tricos are pretty much invincible and have Wolverine like regeneration abilities. I mean... our Trico got struck by lightning and fell all the way down and still managed to survive, grew back his wings, grew back his eyeball after the Trico swiped him off the building (I'm not totally clear on this, but after falling from the Trico's swipe, I noticed that Trico's right eye was shut closed like it had been gouged out, but then later throughout the game it healed and I assumed he just had great healing abilities after seeing his wings growing back).

I'm a bit confused by the second pair of eyes in the post credit scene. Is it a baby Trico or is it the second Trico that was knocked out of the Master's hypnosis. It sounds like it chirps like a baby and seems smaller, but not by much? I'm kinda sad we didn't get to see baby Trico if that is the case...

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#25 Posted by Tolkienfanatic (108 posts) -

My initial reaction was that the barrels were children as well, but upon reflection it makes more sense that they are a rewards/incentive for the Trico to continue bringing children (which are consumed by the Master).

My interpretation of the two sets of eyes is one belong to "our" Trico, and the other a Tricoling (offspring between our companion and the surviving evil Trico we see while flying out of the Nest).

Something I've seen multiple places is people seem to think the "It won't survive long" line is being said by the boy, it was fairly obvious to me it was actually said by the man carrying him (village elder/his father).

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