The Last Guardian Ending Explained
(Last Updated On: December 12, 2016)

Team Ico’s The Last Guardian managed to create quite the buzz over the last decade. It was believed to be vaporware for the longest, but diretor Fumito Uedo managed to pull the development in tight and bring home a winner, because that’s how they roll. The finished product is a gameplay-heavy journey featuring a boy and a bird-dog named Trico.

There’s no actual narrative, despite a narrator briefly explaining certain scenarios and the context of some perilous situations. This has inevitably led a lot of people to question what the ending means and how the boy and Trico got there. Well, this article will briefly explain The Last Guardian.

The game starts with a boy in a pit with the bird-dog, Trico. Trico is chained up and appears to have broken armor scattered about him. The boy wakes up and attempts to get his bearings, but finds that he can’t seem to get out of the pit. The boy resolves to use Trico to help him escape, so he unhinges the chains around his neck and finds some barrels to feed to Trico after removing some spears from the bird-dog’s body.

The duo begin working together in an uneasy alliance that eventually buds into friendship after the boy begins to find Trico some barrels for him to eat, and the boy acquires a light-shield that can be used to direct Trico’s tail to fire pink celestial beams.

They make their way through the walled off valley, climbing over obstacles and overcoming knights attempting to capture the boy and pierce Trico with their spears.

The knights are disembodied, however, only present in the form of green mists that are held together by their armor. Occasionally the knights used the symbol of a talisman to strike fear into Trico’s heart, but the boy was not afraid of the symbol of the talisman and would find ways to break the paned glass on which the symbols were stained.

The Last Guardian – Trico

Throughout the journey Trico would occasionally become hypnotized by various entities of a mysterious nature, including large pots on carted tracks that lured Trico like catnip for cats. Trico would also fall prey to signals emanating from seemingly celestial radio towers, turning him against the boy and causing him on several occasions to eat the boy.

During these moments – when Trico was under the hypnotic spell of the celestial towers – the boy would let his mind fade into the darkness of his memories, where the events of the past would wash over him like the sandy shores of a beach when the evening tide rolls in.

It’s through these flashbacks that we learn that the boy’s current predicament of attempting to escape from the walled off valley where erect but crumbling towers are located, is all due to Trico.

The Last Guardian - Trico Flight

It turns out that the bird-dog flew to the boy’s home, peeped into his window, gobbled him up, and flew him back toward the walled valley. However, Trico was struck by lightning during his return trip and his wings were damaged, forcing him to fall and crack the armor across his face and body.

The knights chained Trico, and carried him off to the pit. Trico regurgitates the boy, who is covered in mystical symbols, and that’s where the game starts.

The boy wakes up and then understands that the mystical radio towers force Trico to behave in unpleasant ways, and upon encountering them further into their adventures, the boy uses the light-shield to have Trico blast the radio towers.

Along the way they occasionally encounter another evil bird-dog who battles with Trico and attempts to capture the boy, but the duo manages to narrowly escape an incorrigible fate with a little luck and a lot of wits.

The Last Guardian - Trico

Several setbacks later, the duo continue their ascension of the tower, encountering a lot of close calls and near-death experiences.

All throughout the journey the valley’s towers crumble and fall – either from the weight of Trico or during the battles Trico encounters with the mystical knights.

Eventually, the duo manage to get to a tower filled with an army of knights, and they battle through them with the goal of finally discovering what’s at the top of the highest tower in the walled valley.

They finally reach the brain of the tower, which is a small, spherical, celestial body. The sphere is guarded by an amorphous black liquid that rescinds its integrity when the boy shines the light-shield on it, forcing the black liquid down to nothing. Nevertheless, the boy is unable to do anything against the sphere since Trico was unable to enter into the small space where the sphere is located.

The boy climbs outside where Trico is and the sphere decides to ruin them once and for all, using the mystical radio signal to lure an army of bird-dogs to its location. When the giant creatures arrive they regurgitate human bodies into the opening of a statue where the bodies are disposed off and turned into the glowing barrels that the boy had been feeding Trico throughout their journey. The souls of the people deposited into the tower are put into the disembodied knights.

The giant pots emitting the green aroma is a large collection of the substances that the regurgitated bodies are turned into, hence why the bird-dogs are lured by the gaseous material.

Trico and the boy learn of this only after seeing the other bird-dogs depositing the bodies into the tower.

The brainwashed bird-dogs then turn their attention to the boy and attempt to swallow him and deposit him, but Trico intervenes, only to have his tail ripped off. The boy is knocked around a bit and loses the light-shield, but manages to recover it and hops back down into the room with the celestial sphere. He uses Trico’s severed tail to align it at the sphere and blast open the cage and destroy it once and for all.

Trico rescues the boy as the main tower within the valley crumbles to pieces, and the giant bird-dog struggles to fly the boy to safety by returning him to his village.

The Last Guardian - Ending

The villagers are none too pleased with Trico making a return to their village after he first took the boy from them. With spears in hand, anguish in their hearts and fear in their eyes, the villagers poke and prod at Trico while a seemingly lifeless body of the boy is given to his parents.

Barely alive, the boy uses what strength he can gather to direct Trico away before he kills the villagers or the villagers kill him. His father remarks that Trico didn’t have long to live.

Later on, however, the boy grows into an older man and he discovers the light-shield in the dirt after some kids happen upon it. He cleans it up and aims it into the sky, which draws out the attention of Trico, who is now residing back in the pit where the knights had taken him after he was struck by lightning. Trico’s eyes glow green, indicating that he acknowledges the shield… just to the left of the screen a smaller pair of green eyes can be seen, indicating that there is a smaller Trico offspring in the pit, too.


TL;DR: In The Last Guardian, Trico is part of an army of bird-dogs who fly out and collect bodies for the celestial radio tower. The bodies are turned into food for the bird-dog while the souls of the individuals are turned into the disembodied knights. After failing a mission and being held captive by his overlord, Trico is helped by the boy he captured and the duo attempt to ascend the tower and escape. They kill the overlord and Trico returns the boy to his home where the boy grows up to be an older man. After discovering the horrible fate of what happens to the people at the tower, and the dangers he put the boy through, Trico returns to the walled valley and resides in the pit where he was thrown by the knights, possibly as a form of his own punishment for the atrocities he committed, living out life with a smaller offspring. However, some theorize that the smaller pair of green eyes indicates that Trico may have been a pregnant female or a unisex creature and gave birth to a small Trico.


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About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Brittany Smith

    What do people think about the tomb where we get the shield from? Loved the game BUT so many questions – like – why are they afraid of the eyes?!

    • Sixfoursix

      The colorful stained-glass eyes in The Last Guardian, which frighten Trico and keep your companion from advancing until you find a way to shatter or dispose of them, aren’t just a clever gameplay contrivance. They’re actually based on real-life methods used in Japan to keep crows away from crops. “It was an idea I had from the beginning,” Ueda says. “I wanted to try to rid the game of ‘gaming’ mechanisms as much as possible. Japanese rice paddies hang a similar-looking object to keep the crows away. That was the inspiration for this idea.”

      http://www.glixel.com/news/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-last-guardian-w456544

  • Randy Wright

    Ok after playing a third time. There are three sets of eyes. The first two are the ones we have been discussing but the third set is tiny and it pops up inbetween the two larger sets. I noticed this on my second playthrough, but thought I was nuts, because no other thread noticed the third set. On my third playthrough i recorded the ending and they (the third set of eyes) are there. they appear directly above the chain/brick circle and geeze they are small. This leads me to beleive the second eyes to appear aren’t smaller just further back and/or dimmer. During the game, trico’s eyes sometimes glow bright green and sometimes dim green, but most of the time black. I cannot see the tiny eyes on any youtube vids, nor the vid i posted via youtube, but they are clearly visible on my typical hdtv 1080p. So play it through a second time and remember to record! good luck!

    • Great insight there, Randy. I’ll check again just to be sure. If the third set is there then it’s likely what some others have mentioned: Trico and that other evil Trico had a baby Trico together.

      • Randy Wright

        billy, you wont be disappointed! I have not seen any threads on it, but rest assured these eyes are not fireflies or dust particles reflecting light. they are tiny, about 1/6th the size of trico’s. Look for theme directly above the middle of the stone circle near the brightest glimmer of light. If you think you missed them then hit share on your ps4 controller after the sequence and replay the section! Enjoy the secret!!

  • Randy Wright

    ok, on my second playthrough I noteced a third set of eyes. Im 99 percent posative. The way it played out was I was expecting the second pair of eyes and noticed two more eyes right in the middle of the larger two sets. At first I thought it was fire flies or dust particles that are reflecting the light as can be seen in the background. The eyes blink, then look to the left and the right ( the eyes seem to merge together indicating the side of his/her head). all three sets of eyes are greeted with a sort of growl. If I am crazy, play through the game again and record the final scene. Thats exactly what im going to do because I cannot find any threads that acknowledge this which leads me to think I was seeing things.

  • Jac

    Trico is a male actually. He’s referred to as a male on a couple occasions if you take a look at the trophy list for this game. I know what you’re talking about, but I’m pretty sure that was just a butthole.

  • Yeah that’s a possibility, too. Just wonder if the kid Trico will take after good Trico or evil Trico?

  • OPHELIA GE

    lol, have i been feeding trico children in those barrels

  • Stéphanie

    When I saw the second pair of eyes, I thought it was just the other Guardian who was just further back. I don’t think it’s an offspring.

  • You’re right. Just went back and watched it again. It does appear as if Trico has an offspring. Could be a unisex creature like a frog or Godzilla from the 1998 movie.

  • Stephanie H

    im just scared that those barrels we happily feed trico during the adventure is in fact liqufied human flesh. And thats all these “bird dogs” eat. Scary.

  • slash3r

    Actually, I don’t Trico lived the remainder of his life in solitude. Lots of people are saying he has an offspring and a spouse. You can hear the noise Trico’s baby makes in the pit at the end.

  • Chris

    Having seen this game through the end I’m confident it alludes to how the Dormin religion from SoTC started.
    In the game’s intro we see a lot of sketches of various animals that compose Trico with a sketch of it as the title card. I think Trico is an artificial chimera.

    The Tricos kidnap humans and bring them to the tower to be turned into “undead” soldiers. The tower was most likely built a long time ago for the express purpose of amassing an army.

    So where does the Dormin cult fit in?
    Well, after the end the tower is broken so any kidnapped people would no longer transform into soldiers and instead are simply regurgitated with markings on their bodies.

    Basically the villagers start “feeding” the Tricos freshly dead humans that are revived. Later on that power is somehow harvested and amassed into the entity that is Dormin (which would incidentally make it an artificial deity).

    The markings are similar to the ones on Wander and Emon’s clothes in SoTC and Ico’s clothes in Ico so they’re probably a leftover from the ancient cult.

    • You know that actually sounds like a plausible way for the three games to connect. Interesting interpretation.

      • Chris

        Thanks.

        Another clue that the games are likely connected is the “light tunnel” effect that the boy (the MC) experiences almost every time he’s eaten.
        It’s very similar to the effect Wander sees in SoTC after a colossus falls and the black tendrils enter him.

        Obviously, there’s more clues but I’m gonna stop here and let other, more experienced fans dig through it.
        In fact a bunch of Youtube channels will probably cover this in much more detail in the weeks to come.

        • Chromatustigmata

          There’s also the fact that Dormin is a collection of people as noted by the fact that it is voiced by both a man and a woman.