Author pens literary adaptation of the videogame Ico

With the HD editions of Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus imminent, we learn that a novel based on the former is also on the way...


I’ll make no secret of my admiration for Fumito Ueda’s out-and-out classic PlayStation 2 videogame, Ico. Released in 2001, its surreal, spooky atmosphere made it a slow seller, and the game was a slow seller as a consequence.

Nevertheless, the legend of Ico‘s greatness – its challenging, environmental puzzles, extraordinary castle setting and touching central relationship – gradually spread, and within a couple of years, copies of the game were exchanging hands for extraordinary sums of money.

Regularly discussed and cited as a work of brilliance even a decade later, Ico has continued to endure, while videogames that sold several times as many copies have long since faded from memory. And with both Ico and its spiritual successor, Shadow Of The Colossus, being released in a new HD edition to tie in with Ueda’s forthcoming game, The Last Guardian, interest in this ethereal adventure is as high as ever.

We’ve also learned that popular Japanese author, Miyuki Miyabe, has penned a novel based on Ico‘s premise. The book’s been available in Japan for four years (which, I’m ashamed to say, was news to me), yet has only now received an English translation courtesy of Viz Novels.

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While its story isn’t a carbon copy of the game’s events, it takes inspiration from the atmospheric setting and characters Ueda conjured up ten years ago.

Tie-in novels based on videogames aren’t exactly unknown, of course. We’ve seen several Halo and Mass Effect novels in recent years, for example, while literary heavyweight Martin Amis expressed his love for Taito’s seminal shooter in the now quite rare 1982 non-fiction book, Invasion Of The Space Invaders.

We’re intrigued to see just how well Miyabe has captured the unforgettable mood and tone of Ico‘s soaring architecture. The delicate, ethereal story at its centre, of a small boy with horns and his relationship with a ghostly young girl called Yorda, may be gossamer thin, but the world of Ico is one we’re happy to revisit, whether it’s on the small screen or in the pages of a novel.

Miyabe’s Ico novel is due for release this summer.


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