It was the high-pitched, puppy-like whine emitted from the creature in The Last Guardian which tugged at my heart strings. Or as the internet would say, it was what caused The Feels. The moment reminded me of a pet dog I once owned. He was an innocent and loving border collie, energetic and incredibly loyal. Seeing the protagonist interact with the giant furry creature in a gameplay video shown at E3 made me think of him–something I hadn’t done in a long time.
The footage shown was an extended version of the gameplay revealed during Sony’s E3 2015 conference, and started inside the ruins of the temple. There, the boy found the large guardian in a spacious room. The boy greeted the creature by petting it for a good few seconds; unnecessary, but a nice way to highlight the nature of their relationship.
The charm of the game was largely because of how the guardian moved and sounded. The manner in which its ears twitched, how it squeaked with disdain upon having its feathers pulled out, and its puppy dog whine when it couldn’t reach food. The boy would need the help of his furry friend to make it through the temple, and the barrels of food scattered around the next room over served as great motivation. The boy picked up a barrel with both hands and tossed it at the guardian, who responded like how most pets do when thrown a treat: by catching it deftly in its mouth. The action was simple, but uncannily familiar to look at for someone who has once done the same with a real life canine companion.
There’s seemingly no end to the familiar mannerisms which have been captured in The Last Guardian; the twitch and flick of the guardian’s ears, how it coiled back on its hind legs to prepare for a jump, the way it shuffled around when trying to find its feet on unsteady ground. With the help of more treat-filled barrels, the boy was able to climb to the next room and pull a lever to open a door which the guardian could then walk through. From there, the pair moved on to the outside section of the ruins shown previously.
The relationship depicted between the boy and the guardian is one that transcends words; the two don’t converse and no dialogue is shared, but it elicits a sense of connection. As someone who frequently enjoys watching puppy videos, I can’t wait to see more of The Last Guardian when it’s finally released for