Shadow of the Colossus

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Shadow of the Colossus
ShadowOfTheColossus boxart.jpg
Region NTSC-U:
Serial numbers: SCUS-97472
Release date: October 18, 2005
CRCs: C19A374E
Windows Status: Playable
Linux Status: ?
Mac Status: ?
Region PAL:
Serial numbers: SCES-53326
Release date: February 16, 2006
CRCs: 0F0C4A9C
Windows Status: Playable
Linux Status: ?
Mac Status: ?
Region NTSC-J:
Serial numbers: SCPS-15097
Release date: October 27. 2005
CRCs: 877F3436
Windows Status: Ingame
Linux Status: ?
Mac Status: ?

Developer(s): Team Ico
Genre: Action-Adventure
Wikipedia: Link
Game review links: Link
Game review score: Metacritic: 91/100
Game description: Also known as "Wander to Kyozou" in Japan, Shadow of the Colossus is one of PCSX2's most popular games, but it is one of the most complicated to emulate due to the fact that the original Playstation 2 release pushed the limits of the console and often suffered from frame-rate losses. This game is very CPU intensive, even for PCSX2.

Winlogo.png Test configuration on Windows:

PCSX2 version: 1.1.0
Graphics by GSDX SSE41: r5622
Sound by SPU2-X: r5559
Pad plugin is Lilypad: r5403
BIOS version: USA v2.20


  • Test Config: Works great with r5559 SSE41;
  • DX VERSION = 11;
  • EE Cycles = 2;
  • VU Cycles = 2;
  • Rest as default.

Hack comments: Aggressive-CRC, Half-pixel Offset

Linlogo.png Test configuration on Linux:

PCSX2 version: untested
Graphics by ZZogl: untested
Sound by SPU2-X: untested

Pclogo.png PC specs used to test the game:

CPU: Intel i5-3210M
GPU: Geforce 660M

Comments: Because of not very good CPU & GPU (Notebook), I've had to use some VU & EE improvements. I typed my settings in the comments above. This game is extremely CPU and GPU intensive, it was running between 20 and 30 FPS even on the original Playstation 2. Setting VU Cycle Stealing to 2 or even 3 helps the game tremendously.

  • Offical PCSX2 1.1.0 gameplay video: Link

CPU Requirements

The game's performance varies significantly depending on the CPU being used to run it. PCSX2 runs better on Intel CPU's than their AMD equivalents, and so does Shadow of the Colossus. However, AMD CPUs are more appropriately designed for gaming PC's and often represent good value for money when it comes to price vs performance in general. If you can afford it, a high end Intel CPU is recommended, but otherwise, my recommendations for both brands are just below. Remember, PCSX2 only uses 2 CPU Cores, so provided that the clock-rates are high enough, the game should be playable.

Intel Processors

Regardless of what your computer is used for, a Multicore Intel CPU with a Clock speed of at least 3.5 GHz is definitely recommended. My recommendation is the i7-4770K Quad-Core 3.5 GHz. With the appropriate Speedhacks enabled, it will easily achieve over 30 frames-per-second (and possibly 60 if over-clocked to at least 4.0 GHz). There will still be a few slowdowns at some points, but they are extremely minor.

AMD Processors

AMD processors are generally cheaper than their Intel equivalents, but they don't perform as well with PCSX2 because of their architecture; in most AMD Processors, the number of Floating-Point-Units is half the number of total CPU cores. This means that each Floating-Point-Unit is shared between two cores. If one core is currently using the FPU, the other core sharing it must wait to do the same. PCSX2 makes heavy use of Floating-Point operations.

I'd recommend the FX-8350 Octo-Core 4.0 GHz. It will run at about 20-30 frames-per-second for the most part (with the correct Speedhacks enabled), but it will sometimes drop to the 15-20 fps territory (mostly during the ending cutscenes). On specific occasions, it will suffer from slowdowns, albeit not unplayable.

Known Issues:


  • Affected Game Versions: All
  • Problem: An emulation error causes the bloom lighting too be high, making it difficult to see much of the screen when out in bright locations.
  • Solution 1: Enable the "Aggressive CRC" hack in the GSdx plugin settings. This will significantly reduce the amount of bloom.
  • Solution 2: Use Software Rendering mode for perfect fix.
  • Solution 3: Modified GSdx plugins (r4893 or higher) are available for download and are designed specifically for the game. Download these plugins and unzip the files into the plugin settings for PCSX2. The over-bloom will be significantly reduced if this is used in GSdx.

Texture Misalignment

  • Affected Game Versions: All
  • Problem: Raising the internal resolution causes certain textures to become misaligned. This largely consists of the bloom on Shadow Creatures, Pigeons, Wander's Sword, and Mono's Dress to be placed to the upper-left of their proper position.
  • Solution 1: Enable the "Half-Pixel Offset" hack in the GSdx plugins menu. This will re-align the texture.
  • Solution 2: Use Software Rendering mode.
  • Comment: This problem only occurs if the player doesn't use the Native resolution.

Weird Shadows

  • Affected Game Versions: All
  • Problem: All characters in the game, including Agro cast bizarre, outlined shadows.
  • Solution: Use the latest version of PCSX2.
  • Comment: This problem only exists if the player uses older versions of PCSX2.

Audio/Video Mis-Synchronization

  • Affected Game Versions: All
  • Problem: In this case, scenes within the Shrine of Worship don't emulate at full speed, and as a result, the audio/video during the ending cutscenes (which mostly take place within the Shrine) become unsynchronized by several seconds because the video is unable to keep up with the audio.
  • Solution: This problem only occurs if your CPU is not efficient enough at Floating-point operations to run the scenes at full speed, even with the appropriate Speedhacks enabled. As a result, the solution to this problem is to have either of the recommended CPUs above, or to have a high enough clock-rate (at least 3.3 GHz for Intel, and at least 4.0 GHz for AMD).