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Ico: Director's Cut

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Ico cover - EU JP

Japanese boxart for Ico

Remember Ico? The game for the PlayStation 2 that was released in 2001? I heard this game before, but I didn't have the game yet. BUT I am going to tell you that there was an unreleased Director's Cut of the game that NEVER passed.

It all started with me looking for the Ico game on eBay, but as I was scrolling down, I see a Director's Cut version of the game. It said: "ICO DIRECTOR'S CUT FOR SONY PLAYSTATION 2 RARE". And I bought it for $6.66, and the weird thing was, a guy named Alex Smith that sold me it messaged me back: "I hope you enjoy it! Thanks!" like he was happy it was gone.

I ignored it and moved on with my day. I don't know why.

Waiting for game. I had heard a knock on the door. I was excited, so I opened it, and it was the Director's Cut of Ico... strangely the same cover art as the regular Japanese and European Ico cover art seemed to be of a Japanese copy, which was no real deal.

The disc was in next to pristine condition, no scratches or fingerprints, it was like looking into a mirror. The case was also in great condition, no stains, no rips in the plastic, no deformations. I ran back to my room and popped the disc into my PS2.

The game started normally with the first opening cutscene, the title screen appeared. "ICO". The options were in English. I thought the game was in Japanese? Maybe it's just a error. You see it all the time with a lot of Japanese games, such as subtitles in English and such. I pressed "New Game" to start the game.

Then it started with a cutscene where the men have taken Ico to the castle after his twelfth birthday to place him in a mysterious coffin deep inside the fortress's darkened halls, where he will either starve or succumb to the cold.

But, a tremor caused by the castle's many aged moving parts dislodges Ico's coffin from the wall, breaking it open but knocking him unconscious, it fades to black. Then the cutscene started where Ico experiences a strange vision, set in another part of the castle, but no sound, odd feeling, so I was certain there was no disc errors.

As Ico approaches the cage on a spiral path that runs up the room's walls, a shadowy substance amasses at the bottom of the cage, overflowing and dripping onto the floor far below. Another shadow emerges from the walls behind Ico, engulfing him and ending the vision. Then the screen fades to black and then Ico wakes up, as usual.

The game then let me take control of Ico. He begins to explore the old castle, pulling levers and opening doors in search of a way out. I remembered the first area you were suppose to go, the bottom of exactly the same room Ico saw in the vision, including Yorda's cage. A cutscene started, showing Ico seeing Yorda for the first time. When the cutscene is finished, I made Ico to put the switch to free Yorda.

Then I made Ico to jump off the cliff, but instead of Ico got hurt in the ground after he fell, he died. Blood is seen trickling down Ico's head, into a large pool of blood. So, I realized it wasn't glitchy, but hacked. I said "I thought this game was rated T for teen?". Then a game over screen came up. I pressed Yes to start over.

Then it cut to a cutscene where Yorda takes a few delicate steps out of her prison and meets Ico. Wow... that was skipped. Yorda speaks to Ico in her dialogue. When a shadow creature came here and grab Yorda, she screamed instead of gasping. I made Ico to attack the shadow creature, then I made Ico to grab Yorda's hand.

When Yorda raised Idol Gates, it cuts to black. As I sat there staring at the black screen, it showed nothing. Maybe the game crashed. So, I rebooted up my PS2, and guess what? Instead of showing the PS2 startup, it showed static. It stood there for 20 seconds. After the static is over, it showed Ico. He was in a dark room, just sitting there, unable to move. He tried to calls out Yorda, but there was no sign for her. Ico begins crying about the loss of Yorda. The crying does not sound like Ico, but actual real child crying. I wanted to shut off the game, but I was interested.

Ico then gets up and he is playable. I started to walk through the room to find a way out. A cutscene started, showing Ico seeing the Queen of the fortress, a ghostly woman covered almost completely in shadow. Suprisingly, the text was in English. "What do you want from me?" says Ico. The camera angle changed to that of a pair of shadows on the wall, which depicted the Queen slicing Ico open.

Well, slicing him open and ripping his organs out, which the Queen then stored in something. I couldn't tell what, because I was trying to avoid fainting right on the spot. Jars, I guess. With a mumbled scream, the game cut to black. Then it showed a horrific image of Ico's sliced corpse on a black background with a message on it. It said:

"YOU SHOULD HAVE SAVE HIM."

The screen then cut to static. There were five seconds of static and that was the end of the game. Then my PS2 turned itself off. I turned back on the PS2, rejecting the disc, turn back off the PS2, and put the disc into my computer to check the details. The details was high, especially for a PS2 game. It's like someone had taken textures of actual corpses and applied them to Ico's model. I quickly eject the disc out of my disk, and grabbed it and smashed it into pieces.

When I was surfing the web, there was a news article saying that a 25-year-old man named Alex Smith, which was the guy who sold me the game, has disappeared and happened the same date that the game came to the mail.

If you see a copy of Ico, don't play it.

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