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Title Screen


Developer: SCE Japan Studio
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 2
Released in JP: December 6, 2001
Released in US: September 24, 2001
Released in EU: March 22, 2002
Released in AU: 2002
Released in KR: 2002

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

So very stubbly.
This page is rather stubbly and could use some expansion.
Are you a bad enough dude to rescue this article?

I'm sorry, Ico, but your princess is in the same castle/prison that you are in, and can't speak your language.

Sucks, doesn't it?

To do:


Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info

Unused Subtitle Files

To do:

Present in the Japanese release, and left blank in the US and European releases, are more subtitle files designed to be shown in cutscenes. The amount of unused files greatly outnumbers the number of used subtitles.

Unused Text Files

Download.png Download ICO (TXT files)
File: ICO-TXT.7z (2.89 MB) (info)

Present in the root of the European ISO are four text files. What's notable about these is that SRCFILE.TXT and TRFILE.TXT seem to be disassemblies of the code. The date these files were last modified corresponds to the build date of the binary. Also present is DUMMY.TXT which just contains the string "DUMMY" and MAIN.MAP.

It should be noted that it is because of these text files that the European version is the only one to be released on DVD format disc.

File Date added
SRCFILE.TXT 17th January 2002, 9:44 am
TRFILE.TXT 17th January 2002, 9:44 am
MAIN.MAP 2nd August 2001, 2:33am
DUMMY.TXT 6th July 2001, 4:14 am

Debug Menu

The US version running the debug menu.
A cut portion of a developer level named ba_test.

The debug menu can be enabled by using the Action Replay codes below. To enable the debug menu, press Select on Controller 1. The codes are not perfect, and some debug functions may freeze or not work. Also, a second controller is necessary to use some of the debug functions and control the movement of Yorda.

Version AR Code
Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine Demo Disc 49 D019A2A0 0000FE40
20105230 08067128
D019A2A0 0000FE40
20199838 08066522
US Demo 20101F20 0C069978

201A38A8 08068D3E

US Retail 20101F48 0C06A6CA

201A6DE0 08069A8C

Japanese Retail 20101F64 0C06C9DA

201AFA20 0806BD9C

European Retail 20101F94 0C06C966

201AF850 0806BD28

(Source: fiber, eientei95, Punk7890)

Regional Differences

Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.

Ico was released in North America first, which, at the time, was a rarity for Japanese-developed games. However, the US version lacked some features that were implemented in the later Japanese and European versions of the game. The HD re-release is based on the latter version.

US International
ICO-title.png ICO-Eur-title.png

Listed below are the more notable features:

  • Yorda's speech translated - In the initial playthrough, Yorda's speech would appear as runic symbols on the bottom of the screen. On a new game started from a cleared game file (referred to as a "second game"), Yorda's speech is translated.
  • Two-player mode - After starting a second game from a cleared file, a second player can play as Yorda (by adjusting a new "Players" setting in the Options menu).
  • Film-grain effects - A new option that allows the player to select from various film overlays, making the game look like an old film (the overlays are used in various parts of the regular game, including the early cutscene where Ico sees a shadow dripping out of Yorda's cage).
The options menu of the European release after starting a New Game+ playthrough. The "Film Effect" and "Players" options are not present in the US release of the game.
  • Shining Sword - A secret weapon unlockable in New Game+ that looks (and even sounds, as it swings) like a Lightsaber. The blade can vanquish shadows easily (even felling multiple in a single swing), and it has a very long reach if Ico is holding Yorda's hand.
Shining Sword without holding Yorda's hand Shining Sword while holding Yorda's hand
ShiningSwordNoHand.png ShiningSwordHand.png
  • Extra ending - At the end of the game, Ico walks down a long beach to meet Yorda. If this is a "second game" file, several watermelons will be behind a large rock near the beginning of the path (the boat "points" right towards it). If Ico picks up one of the watermelons and carries it all the way over to Yorda, an extended ending will play showing them sitting together eating watermelons on the beach.
  • No in-game time is present when beating the US version, because there is no final save option.

Graphical Changes

  • The title screen font was changed. In addition, "Load" was changed to "Continue".
  • The save screen was redrawn, removing the text "stg:" and "time:".
  • The lighting and architecture to the castle was improved, including the level-of-development to distant architecture.
  • The ground texture was improved in the international release.

Gameplay Changes

  • Holding hands is executed differently: in the US version you press R1 to hold, and press it again to release grip. In other versions, the button must be held to keep your grip (either hold option can be used in the other versions).
  • Ico climbs up from ledges with both the Triangle and pressing Up as opposed to just Triangle in the international releases.
  • In the US version, Yorda would usually just stand still even if enemies were actively approaching. Her AI was improved in future releases.
  • Yorda now helps the player solve puzzles by pointing to the place or object of interest and saying Ico's name.
  • Several of the rooms had their camera angles changed.
  • Shadows all have higher HP in the US version, with a whopping 14 HP. In the European and Japanese releases, the larder shadows have 11 HP and the smaller ones have 7 HP. The first shadow has 8 HP instead of 4.
  • Shadows are more aggressive in the US version. This can be seen especially well when some shadows at the water tower section follow Yorda onto a block which hangs from a chain, instead of just watching from the ledge.
  • The final shadow fight takes longer because many of the enemies will just swirl in circles instead of advancing towards Ico. The player has to hunt them down in addition to chasing them down.
  • The little "Spider" shadows can do damage only in the US version.
  • Many cutscenes are unskippable in the US version which are usually skippable in other versions.
  • Dropping from chains does not auto-catch.
(Source: SanchoPanda)

Puzzle Changes

  • No drawbridge means Ico must take Yorda on the Trolley and Crane.
  • There is no water pump or water mill puzzle in the waterfall area. This leads to a slower solution than the international release.
(Source: Team Ico WikiSanchoPanda)