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"The lesson will be taught in due time, Aloy. Until then, we wait."
This article contains heavy spoilers, and may reveal plot or quest information.


Teersa: "All-mother, this child needs a name by which to know her, that your love may warm her life as the sun warms all the Earth. Speak her name!"
Rost: "ALOY!!!"

Aloy is the protagonist of Horizon Zero Dawn and the sole playable character throughout the game.

She is voiced by Ashly Burch and modeled after Hannah Hoekstra.[1]

History

Conception

In August 3020, the AI GAIA received a transmission from an unknown source that turned her subordinate functions into self-aware and erratic entities. The HADES sub-function, which was designed to create a clean slate if GAIA did not produce a sustainable environment, immediately attempted to take control of GAIA's terraforming systems to eradicate humanity once more. In order to prevent this, GAIA activated a fail-safe, overloading the GAIA Prime reactor in an attempt to wipe out HADES. However, this act would lead to GAIA's destruction as well, and cause the eventual breakdown of the terraforming systems. As a result, GAIA ordered a ELEUTHIA Cradle facility to create a clone of Elisabet Sobeck who would have the gene print necessary to access the Alpha Registry and enter Zero Dawn facilities to rebuild GAIA's system core upon reaching maturity.

Early life

After the clone was born, she was placed outside the Cradle facility's door, which had come to be seen by the Nora tribe as the embodiment of their deity All-Mother. The High Matriarchs found the baby upon hearing her cries, and tentatively took her in. While High Matriarch Teersa believed that the child was a gift from All-Mother, many of the Nora tribe, such as High Matriarchs Lansra and Jezza, feared that the baby was a curse, placed in the Sacred Mountain by the metal demons. Regardless of what placed the child there, as the girl had no mother, she was considered an outcast by Nora law. The High Matriarchs placed her in the care of Rost, an outcast who kept to Nora traditions and would come to love the child as if she were his own daughter. With the help of Teersa, Rost was able to perform a traditional naming ritual for the baby, whom he named Aloy. 

Finding the Focus

One day, after being shunned while picking berries with other Nora children, Aloy ran away in a fit of rage and accidentally fell down a hole into a ruin. While exploring the cave in search of an exit, she discovered a triangular, arrow-shaped device that showed her many strange things. Eventually, she found a way out of the cave and reunited with Rost, who immediately inquired about the device and demanded to see it, though she refused to do so. The next day, while learning survival skills from Rost, Aloy used her Focus to save a Nora boy from a pack of Watchers and Striders that had surrounded him. As outcasts, however, she and Rost received no gratitude when the boy's father arrived to retrieve him. Later, after dealing with a group of Nora children who were mocking her for being an outcast, Aloy resolved to win the next Proving ceremony and learn the truth about her mother.

Preparing for the Proving

With instruction from Rost, Aloy spent the next twelve years honing her survival skills in preparation for the Proving. Two days before the ceremony, When Aloy was 18, she helped Rost track down a Sawtooth that had been causing problems for the hunting parties and killed the machine single-handed. The next day, after parting ways with Rost, Aloy entered Mother's Heart for the first time in her life. While walking through the settlement, Aloy spotted a foreign man in robes attempting to speak to a crowd. The audience's reaction to the Carja priest was initially hostile until another foreigner named Erend spoke in his defense. Aloy befriended Erend soon after and was introduced to his traveling companion, Olin. To Aloy's surprise, Olin wore a Focus device similar to her own, though he said very little about himself or the Focus when Aloy questioned him, being highly evasive and defensive.

The Proving Massacre

After the contestants reached the altar of the Proving, the proctor declared Aloy as the winner of the Proving and she was made a Brave. While the proctor was finishing her sentence, she was shot in the collarbone. Looking up at the sky, Aloy spotted a swarm of arrows coming towards them. Many of the contestants were hit while trying to take cover. Aloy, Vala, Bast, and a few other contestants were lucky and took cover behind rocks. Vala then came up with the idea of distracting the attackers while Aloy shot them. After some time, a Cultist leader walked away from the group, but returned with a Deathbringer Gun and opened fire with it, eventually shattering the pillar that Vala was standing behind, which forced her to run. Vala was shot, and Bast rushed to her side, but was himself killed. The Cultist leader then ordered everyone to kill Aloy. She fought them off and checked on the Cultist leader, finding a Focus on him. Without her noticing, Helis snuck up on her. She turned around to stand up and bumped into him, and he grabbed her by the neck, lifting her up and strangling her. He lifted her over the edge of the mountain, pulling out a knife and attempting to slit her throat, but he was shot through the shoulder. Helis threw Aloy to the ground and pulled out the arrow. He turned to face Rost, who was there to save Aloy, and started to fight him. In the end, Helis stabbed Rost in the stomach and ordered a Cultist attacker to burn the place down. Rost collapsed, but got back up and held Aloy before he lets go of her. While she tumbled down the mountain, the Blaze canisters placed by the Cultists exploded. As Aloy fell down, trying to reach out to Rost, he was killed in the explosion.

Anointed as a Seeker

Aloy awakens within All-Mother, which was supposed to be off limits to all members of the tribe except for the High Matriarchs. After recovering her clothes, gear, and Focus, she sees a projection of a woman who looks remarkably like her, only much older and with short hair. She meets Teersa, who explains that Aloy was brought inside the mountain because it was seen as a sacred rite to die near one's mother, and explains that the mountain itself had given birth to Aloy. Finding a giant door, it scans Aloy, though it announces that the system is corrupted and cannot accept Aloy's genetic code. Teersa exclaims in joy that the goddess knew Aloy, though Aloy angrily snaps that it didn't recognize her because of corruption, and if she could heal it then maybe the door would open. She anoints Aloy a seeker, which would allow her to leave the Sacred Lands in order to find the truth. Aloy accepts the mission, though asks what had happened to Rost. Teersa tells her that his remains were given a proper burial near his home.

Journey to Meridian

Zero Dawn

Battle for the Spire

Personality

Aloy is curious, determined, and intent on uncovering the mysteries of her world.[2] Unlike many in her tribe who shun the use of technology, Aloy sees technology as a practical and unique tool to aid her in her quest, frequently using her Focus throughout her life to aid in hunting machines and tracking individuals. Her early use of the Focus has made Aloy more aware of a bigger picture outside of the Nora tribe, spurring her to be more curious about the Old Ones. She also became more skeptical about tribal lore and beliefs, seeing the All-Mother and what the tribes believe to be her vestiges as what they really are: remnants of Project Zero Dawn. This is most notable when Aloy is named the 'Anointed' of the tribe, becoming quickly distressed and frustrated with the tribespeople.

She had a strong relationship with her guardian Rost, seeing him as the father that she never had and was devastated when Rost sacrificed himself to save her from Helis. Despite Rost's presence, living without knowing her mother was a source of emotional distress for Aloy and compounded her alienation from the rest of the tribe; It is evident that this is the primary reason Aloy was cast out of the tribe. Aloy's desire to know her origins became her life's goal and her primary motivator to complete her training for the Proving; to get the Matriarchs to tell her about her origins.

Years of being shunned as an outcast has made Aloy compassionate and sympathetic towards others in need, particularly toward those who are outcasts. Her benevolence is her greatest strength and has garnered the respect and trust of many who have interacted with her. She can be sarcastic when dealing with people she dislikes and has no problems showing it, bluntly speaking her opinions about others.

She has shown great physical and emotional resilience during her journey, always moving towards her goal despite the harsh obstacles she comes across. When Aloy discovered that she was not the child but a clone of Elisabet Sobeck created by GAIA, Aloy was shattered by this revelation, feeling like she was a instrument born in destruction and fire. However she quickly gathered herself together, realizing that she was created in order to protect the world from being destroyed by a second Faro Plague. Despite knowing now that Elisabet wasn't technically her mother, Aloy still sees Elisabet in a parental light which is exemplified by her mournful expression when the latter found the former's final resting place. Besides feeling a parental connection, Aloy deeply respected and admired Elisabet for her contributions towards saving the human race from extinction.

Skills and abilities

  • Master Acrobat: Aloy is very nimble and can scale rock faces with ease. She is even quick enough to dodge charging machines.
  • Combat Prowess: Aloy was trained to fight by Rost, and is more than capable of taking on most human enemies as well as machines.
  • Master Archer: Aloy is highly proficient with the bow and arrow, having practiced since childhood under Rost.
  • Master Crafter: Aloy has an intricate knowledge of machines and can combine materials salvaged from them with natural materials in order to craft ammunition, traps, and tools. She was even able to fit override devices to her spear.
  • Hunter: Even without the aid of the Focus, Aloy is an excellent tracker, being able to find a trail made by humans or machines.
  • Literacy in Ancient Language: Through use of the focus, Aloy learned how to read the ancient glyphs of the Old Ones (English).
  • Equestrian: After acquiring a Corrupter's override component, Aloy can ride some of the Machines she reprograms, cutting her travel time in half.
  • Scientific Mind: Aloy has demonstrated skill at scientific observation and inference, correctly concluding, for example, that the Earth is a sphere and not flat from observing the shape that its shadow casts on the moon during a lunar eclipse. She routinely demonstrates curiosity and acute powers of observation (albeit enhanced by her Focus), reasoning and deduction, all traits of a competent scientist. This may be due at least in part to her genetic makeup: she is a clone of the exceptionally gifted Old One scientist Elisabet Sobeck.
  • Alpha Access: Being a clone of Elisabet Sobeck, Aloy has the maximum genetic clearance for all Zero Dawn facilites. This allows her to use the Master Override, as well as access any GAIA facilities that require Alpha clearance.

Gameplay

See also: Skills

Aloy gains experience by completing tasks within the game. Customization is available for her. Three different tiers exist:

  • Prowler - Stealth-focused, gives Aloy new strikes and attacks.
  • Brave - Focused on increasing damage in combat, allowing Aloy to use heavier weapons and to fire multiple arrows at once.
  • Forager - Improves Aloy's ability to gather resources from nature and the machines. Enhances her crafting and override skills.
    • Traveller - Grants Aloy new skills based on inventory, mounted combat, resource gathering and machine repair.

Modifiers from equipment can also be applied.[3]

Trivia

  • Aloy was included in the original pitch for Horizon Zero Dawn and considered one of the three "pillars" for the game's foundation.[4]
  • Aloy's name may be a reference to the 1895 book The Time Machine by H.G. Wells where the main character of the novel travels forward in time to meet an advanced species of humans known as the Eloi.
  • Both the names Aloy and Rost may well be references to common phrases like "alloy and rust", seeing as metal is an important theme in the game.
  • Aloy ended up being the child Sobeck always wanted, as she told GAIA that she would have liked to have a daughter who was curious, willful, and compassionate.
  • It is possible that GAIA slightly altered Aloy's genes to make her better able to survive in the world, considering that Aloy's genetics are only 99.47% identical to those of Elisabet Sobeck; if she was a perfect clone, their genetics would be 100% identical.

Gallery

In-game

Concept and promotional art

References

  1. Guerrilla Games on Twitter
  2. 2016-06-20, Horizon: Zero Dawn Dev Talks Delay and Why It Chose a Female Hero. GameSpot, accessed on 2016-08-11
  3. Game Informer #82: Woman vs. Machine
  4. GameSpot: New Horizon: Zero Dawn Concept Art and Details Revealed at PSX
Nora Characters
High Matriarchs Jezza - Lansra - Teersa
Tribe Members Aloy - Arana - Bast - Den - Dral - Dran - Enara - Ferl - Fia - Grist - Jarg - Jarm - Jun - Karst - Lut - Marea - Muns - Nakoa - Olara - Orn - Resh - Solai - Sona - Taim - Teb - Thok - Vala - Varl - Yan
Outcasts Brom - Cren - Grata - Jom - Kam - Kurnst - Nora Keeper - Rost - Yun

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