Here are the videogaming thoughts of some guy who probably should be working right now. I blog sometimes and comment often. I'd like a job involving videogames somehow but I'm not quite there yet, so in the meantime I just try to enjoy life and play a lot of games.
I know it's been a while since my last blog but traveling around the place doesn't grant much time for internetting, only now do I look back and think to myself 'Shit, I should have brought a laptop along'. Oh well, live and learn, right?
So what's with the header, you ask? Why am I demanding that you all see Cambodia if you love Shadow of the Colossus? Well allow me to explain;
As many of you may or may not know I am traveling the world with my girlfriend Jus and my brother Dan (DanMazkin to all you Dtoid folk) and have recently finished a stint in South-East Asia. One of the countries visited was, obviously, Cambodia, and I was very, very impressed with what I saw.
We went touring around, looking at the city palaces and temples and they were very beautiful, I highly recommend seeing them too, but it wasn't until we visited famed Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap that the inner geek in me stood up and took notice.
What you see upon entering Angkor Wat
An ancient temple built from large stone blocks, ravaged by time. Despite the tourists all over the place it still had a very abandoned and almost derelict feel to it, it was as if the modern world ceased to exist within those walls. Among all of this, while we wandered around the temple I felt as if my surroundings looked familiar somehow, and then it hit me.
Holy shit, this place is right out of Shadow of the Colossus!
Now I understood that it was obviously the other way around, and that Team Ico must have been very strongly influenced by Angkor Wat and it's surrounding temples, but when you are there, with a videogame-obsessed mind such as mine, you can't help but feel a sense of absolute awe at your surroundings. Well, I was in awe anyways as it was an ancient Cambodian temple ruin I was standing in, but the link to SOTC was just some extra awesome icing on an already incredible and memorable awesome cake.
Agro!! Oh wait you're white. Um, carry on.
At first I thought it was just me, I am a little obsessed with videogames after all, but Dan was thinking the exact same thing about the place. Hell, if I had my MP3 player on me at the time I could have ran around listening to the SOTC soundtrack, that might have tipped me over the edge into some sort of bizarre videogame-fantasy world that was all in my mind and that would honestly would probably put a dent in the rest of my travel plans.
It was amazing how similar areas in Angkor Wat are to sights seen in SOTC, even other temples and sites around the Angkor region held similarities to the Forbidden Land.
Surely I am not the only one seeing the similarities here?
Take a look at the image below, the old stones jutting out of the flat, green terrain had me wondering if I was about to see the 14th Colossus jump out at me and have me running up a series of stone columns in order to defeat it (Stop me if I'm getting too geeky here. Haha joking I'm not going to stop).
Makes ya wanna climb shit doesn't it?
I think it was just dumb luck that the temple was also undergoing a renovation, a German crew was present and had dismantled sections of th temple to rebuild it and make the aging structure more sound.
Where's my sword?
This of course meant that there were giant stone blocks strewn around the grounds, making the temple appear even more dilapidated and thus more true to the appearance of the Forbidden Land.
Just as well I didn't have a dead girl with me, the girl I was with was very much alive thank you.
It wasn't just the Angkor Wat temple that had me snapping photos like a madman, all of the temples in the surrounding Angkor area held a resemblance to SOTC in one way or another.
FYI, The Tomb Raider movie was shot here. True story.
This temple ruin was actually intentionally left with all of the trees growing through it so people can see what kind of state all of the temples were in when they were all discovered, as if the other temples didn't look like awesome abandoned ruins before, this one has to go and up the ante.
It just keeps on going.
For two days we were exploring and checking out all of the temples here, and I don't think we even managed to see them all. It was incredible and something I doubt I well ever forget.
By the way, it was hot as hell over there. Bring sunscreen.
And now that I have waved around my photos for a bit I just have to say. If you are traveling around South-East Asia I recommend checking out the Angkor Wat in Cambodia. But, if you are a fan of Shadow of the Colossus and are traveling around South-East Asia, I definitely recommend checking out Cambodia's Angkor Wat. Cambodia is a beautiful country and the Angkor Wat is simply amazing to behold.
For hardcore nerds I recommend bringing the SOTC soundtrack with you so you can immerse yourself in a beautiful place that I believe without a doubt helped inspire the art and architecture for what is in my mind one of the best games of the PS2 generation.
A camera and some cosplay gear might help too. Send pics K?