- Nora: "By the Goddess, what’s it doing to them?"
- Aloy: "Taking control."
- ―First Corruptor encounter
The Corruptor is a category of machine in Horizon Zero Dawn. It is not a contemporary machine; rather it is one of three machines of the ancient Chariot Class, manufactured by the robotics and technology corporation Faro Automated Solutions during the mid 21st century. As such, it was designated by FAS as the FAS-ACA3 Scarab. However one swarm of Chariot robots, including Corruptors, went out of control, becoming the Faro Plague, and ultimately eradicated all life on Earth.
The FAS-ACA3 Scarab was designed by FAS’ owner and chairman Ted Faro, and developed as part of FAS’ Chariot line of combat robots. Faro designed the Chariot line to operate in swarms similar to those of certain insects. Scarabs were the all-terrain reconnaissance units of a swarm, capable of rapid movement over any type of terrain. Additionally they could repair themselves and other swarm robots, consume biomass as fuel in the event of fuel line interdiction, conduct electronic warfare by turning enemy robots against their masters, and their OS’ security was virtually unbreakable .
The Faro Plague
In 2064, a swarm owned by a corporation called the Hartz-Timor Energy Combine became independent, replicating at an alarming rate, and defaulting to biomass conversion as its fuel supply. The swarm came to be called the Faro Plague, and began to relentlessly consume the biosphere, ultimately eradicating all life. With no chance of containment or reassuming control of the swarm, Project Zero Dawn was implemented to eventually brute force the swarm’s deactivation codes, shut the robots down, terraform the ravaged Earth and reestablish life after its extinction. The Scarabs and other Faro robots that had overrun the planet numbered in the millions before they were shut down and buried by the system.
The New World
Centuries passed. Zero Dawn, managed by its governing artificial intelligence (AI) GAIA, successfully terraformed the planet and reestablished life, including the human species, though through no fault of its own, they lived primitive, tribal existences. Meanwhile, the millions of Scarabs and other Faro Plague robots lay buried. However GAIA ultimately self-destructed to prevent control of Zero Dawn from being usurped by the rogue AI HADES. Formely one of GAIA, subordinate functions, HADES was bent on destroying the new biosphere and thus eradicating all life again. Denied the use of Zero Dawn, HADES intended to use the Faro Plague. It manipulated the leaders of the Shadow Carja into forming a cult in its service, the Eclipse. It had the Eclipse exhume numerous Faro machines, including Scarabs, which it reactivated to bolster the cult’s strength, as it planned to use the cult as an army to capture the Carja capital Meridian. It intended to use ancient technology sited nearby to reactivate the Faro Plague robots worldwide.
The Eclipse began using the exhumed Scarabs in their operations, utilizing their ability to slave other robot CPUs to increase their strength further by enslaving Zero Dawn machine units. One such operation was against the Nora tribe, who gave Scarabs their contemporary name. The Eclipse mounted an assault on the tribe’s rite of passage, and then used Scarabs and enslaved Zero Dawn machines against the Braves that pursued them after the attack. On seeing the Scarabs’ ability to enslave other machines, the Nora dubbed them ‘Corruptors’.
HADES eventually ordered the Eclipse and its reactivated Corruptors and other Faro Plague robots to mount an assault on Meridian. However an alliance forged by the Nora Brave Aloy between the Nora, the Carja and a third tribe, the Oseram, ultimately prevailed against them, with Aloy personally defeating HADES. The surviving Corruptors and other Faro Plague machines that HADES had reactivated were shut down again.
The Corruptors that were reactivated by HADES were only a minute percentage of the millions that lie buried worldwide. The vast majority of them remain buried and undiscovered by the humans of the new world.
A Corruptor’s appearance is vaguely akin to that of a large, black scorpion. The lower chassis consists of four arachnid legs attached to a central hub. Atop the hub sits the upper chassis whose shape gives the distinct appearance of a head and snout. A single visual sensor is on the tip of the “snout.” At the back of the upper chassis are a grenade launcher and a spike launcher. Attached to the back of the upper chassis is a long, prehensile appendage similar to a tail. Their sleek, black, alien appearance sets them apart from any Zero Dawn machine. Like all Chariot Class machines, Corruptors appear with red outlines when scanned with a Focus.
Being an ancient war machine, a Corruptor has no behavior other than hostility to enemy forces as defined by its master. In the case of the Faro Plague Corruptors, enemy forces were any human forces and any machines that were not part of their swarm. In the case of Corruptors that had been reactivated by HADES, enemy forces were any enemy of the Eclipse.
Corruptors are extremely fast and nimble. They employ a variety of ranged and melee attacks, including a melee attack in which they execute a crushing leap onto the enemy. A Corruptor is capable of utilizing is electronic warfare capability to enslave other machines and make them fight alongside it, quickly plunging an enemy into a fight against overwhelming odds.
Corruptors have two significant weakness: due to centuries of being buried, they are particularly vulnerable to weapons that utilize fire, and they are prone to overheating. When they overheat, they expose a cooling rod. Ranged attacks that hit this component inflict significant damage to the Corruptor.
|Attack||Damage Type||Primary Damage||Secondary Damage||Trigger Range||Description|
|Inferno Blast||Fire||60||25 per second||15m - 80m||Spread of 6 grenades fired at enemy|
|Rock Shrapnel||Melee||120||-||5m - 8m||Bats rubble off ground at enemy with tail|
|Talon Swipe 180||Melee||120||-||4m - 10m||Uses tail as bludgeon through 180 degrees|
|Talon Swipe 360||Melee||120||-||3m - 8m||Uses tail as bludgeon through 360 degrees|
|Talon Strike||Melee/Explosion||110||40||5m - 10m||Forward strike at enemy with tail|
|Corruption Spike||Projectile/Explosion||80||50||15m - 50m||Shoots a spike of Corruption at enemy|
|Boulder Throw||Projectile||150||-||15m - 80m||Throws a boulder at enemy with tail|
- Brin: "The machines that drive other machines mad--Corruptors. It's their venom I must taste next... Before the time of the Sawtooth, the machines ran as one pack. Metal drumming on metal, keeping pace out to the lightning's edge. The rumble of low storms, that's them in motion. And then--a confusion. Something has changed. The great direction breaks, splits off like a dead branch! They're tumbling now. When they recover, violence is what they know. Now metal screeches on metal. A death dance, learned from wars before our eyes learned to see. The Sawtooth, the Ravager, they hunt in the long shadows of others. Jagged shapes, old shapes, with bloody eyes. And the machines no longer rise and swell as one thing, an all-thing."
- Aloy: "That is how they work... kind of. How do you know these things?"
- ―Acquired Taste
- Like all Faro machines, the Corruptor's original designation "Scarab" is a reference to ancient Egypt. The Egyptians revered the scarab (also known as dung beetles) and associated them with Khepera, a scarab-like god who pushed and rolled the sun across the sky like a scarab rolled balls of dung.
- Concept art and the hologram pictures found in the "FAS- ACA3 Scarab" datapoint show the Corruptor with six legs instead of four. This was likely just a mistake or a small change in the final design of the machine.
- According to the "The Bad News" cutscene, there were at least 485 million Corruptors produced by the Faro Plague.
|Acquisition Class||Broadhead - Charger - FireclawFW - FrostclawFW - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Trampler|
|Combat Class||Ravager - Sawtooth - ScorcherFW - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw|
|Recon Class||Longleg - Watcher (Redeye Watcher)|
|Transport Class||Behemoth - Fire Bellowback - Freeze Bellowback - Shell-Walker|
|Chariot Class||Corrupted Machines - Corruptor - Deathbringer - Metal Devil|
|Unknown Class||Control TowerFW|