There are few games that introduce an animal companion that is SO pivotal to your experience, that being without them is absolutely detrimental to your gameplay experience. These are animal companions that are such a staple in the game, that you can just imagine yourself, outside of the game, conquering the world around you with them at your side. These are friendships you’ve made that are unforgettable, and stay with you in your mind throughout the history of your gaming career.
Agro, from Shadow of the Colossus, is not one of those companions.
When I first saw Agro, it was, admittedly, during a Game Grumps episode of Shadow of the Colossus. I had heard of the game before and had been in love with the idea of playing it for YEARS, but due to PlayStation 2 shortage in my life, and up till a few years ago, PlayStation 3 shortage, I never got the chance to experience this game for myself.
But then it happened. Shadow of the Colossus was remade for the PlayStation 4 in 2018, and, steelbook in hand, I was ready to meet the next most important animal companion in my life. Turns out, that title went more to the lizards I was chasing about for their glowy tails than it was the LITERAL steed that accompanies you throughout the course of the game.
The last horse I got to spend a journey with was Roach, a very well tempered horse you work with during The Witcher 3. Perhaps it’s the fact that I am not independently tied to Roach to progress with the game, but I had never experienced any hardship with Roach. Roach always goes where I request, save a cliff too steep, and never had many problems coming to get me when I was trying to make a quick getaway or start a chase.
And then there’s Agro. Possibly the biggest tool in the shed. Agro stands in all the wrong places, panics over all the dumbest things, and will stand in the distance, horse screaming, because you want him to come closer to the colossus and you. Absolutely. The worst. Ever. Horse.
Granted, I can’t speak for every video game horse, as there’s plenty of awful horses that await me when I go back to play some early console era classics, and of course, newer and more modern games that feature temperamental transports, but I can absolutely say that I anticipated to love Agro. But even liking him at this point is a stretch.
One time, I was riding along a sheer cliff, and it stopped abruptly. Somehow, user error included, I was ejected from the horse, straight down the cliff, and immediately met by death. Other times, Agro and I would be on our way to slay our next target, and, upon seeing the colossus, change his mind and ta ke me somewhere else. There were times that battling on Agro was optional, and potentially very helpful, but those were absolutely not times that I was riding Agro. Even the Agro-required colossi proved a challenge with that moody hay eating, ear twitching prick.
I remember fighting the 4th colossus, the horse resembling colossus (ironically, another stupid horse). For whatever reason, I could NOT get him to shove his head in the Hobbit hole to give me a chance to sneak up on him to climb. I remember calling for my noble and trusty horse to come and assist me, but there was never such a horse, as Agro, my joke of a companion, stood in the distance, rearing up with distress, for half an hour. What an absolute unit. I mean, not the horse. Me. I was the unit. I don’t ever want to fight that colossus again. But I’d fight Agro. I would absolutely fight Agro.
ANYHOW, when it was time to see Agro go, I couldn’t help but feel a slight smile break across my face, which I think makes me a small scale psychopath in the video game world. Anyhow. Agro, here’s to you; not a toast of champaign, but a swig of rum, because you absolutely are the worst digital horse that I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I hate you.