Ico Actually Has More Hidden Plot

Ico Actually Has More Hidden Plot

PS2 classic Ico is a stark, minimal affair. You hold a girl’s hand, you run around a bit. But it wasn’t always that way! Some recent file examination and translation work has uncovered that there was supposed to be a lot more story and exposition in the game.

Courtesy of translator GlitterBerri and some file extraction by einstein95, there was a ton of stuff that made it onto the game’s disc, but not the final game itself:

Both the Japanese and English versions of this title contain only 115 subtitle cards. Of these 115, a whopping 77 go unused — nearly seventy per cent of the game’s text! These cuts eliminate vast swaths of exposition from the narrative, removing backstory, character development, and several major conflicts.

Helpfully, GlitterBerri has put all the translated speech on her site, along with video footage timed to show the relevant quotes. So if you want to grab a cup of tea and read up on Ico “lore”, head here and undo all that wonderfully bare world-building we’ve enjoyed for the past decade.


  • I loved this game as it was so I probably won’t watch it, but that’s just me.

    • Yeah, I agree. The environmental story telling was perfect and I feel like I know enough and the rest is fun to speculate.

      • Sometimes people just can’t deal with ambiguity and everything needs to be explained, meticulously or they call “plot hole”.

    • Yep, same here. I’ve loved this game too much for too long to go ruining it now 😛

    • After reading the cut subtitles, I can tell you that you’re not missing out on much. It’s mostly just repetitive and unnecessary dialogue that doesn’t add anything we don’t already know or have deducted ourselves.

      However, one small thing of note is the nuances to some of the dialogue. It slightly changes our previous understanding of the motivations behind some of the characters, but that’s about it. Nothing earth-shattering or game-changing.

      • That’s weird, the impression I got from the article was that we would be seeing a lot more story.

        • Some of the points have been discussed by Fumito Ueda in interviews years later, so I guess the writer may not have been aware of it.

          But yeah, some of the stuff you can deduct for yourself, it’s just that the dialogue basically confirms it for you. I think Fumito Ueda cut the dialogue to give an extra layer of mystery and let the player do some of the work themselves. It was the right decision.

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