- "Must be a Glinthawk... a flying scavenger."
- ―Aloy, upon sighting a Glinthawk
The Glinthawk is a category of machine in Horizon Zero Dawn. It is an aerial Acquisition Class machine, one of two known aerial machines. Functionally Glinthawks are the aerial counterpart of Scrappers, scavenging destroyed machines. However they were weaponized by their maker HEPHAESTUS, and became a considerable danger to humans.
Glinthawks were designed by Zero Dawn’s governing artificial intelligence (AI) GAIA as part of the terraforming system’s restoration of Earth’s biosphere after it was obliterated by the Faro Plague in the mid-21st century, destroying all life. As such, they were one of the first machines encountered by humans as they explored and settled in their tribal lands. Glinthawks perform the same function on destroyed machines that vultures perform on carrion; they process parts from the chassis of destroyed machines for recycling.
Initially, Glinthawks and all other Zero Dawn terraformers were docile, shying away from the sight of humans. However humans began hunting the Zero Dawn terraformers for parts and resources. This resulted in the phenomenon referred to by the tribes as the Derangement, in which Glinthawks and all other Zero Dawn terraforming machines began exhibiting increasing hostility to humans, culminating in attacks against humans on sight.
The attraction of Glinthawks to destroyed machine chassis caused a situation in which they terrorized the Carja settlement of Lonesome Rock. A group of Carja farmers had begun hunting Snapmaws to collect and sell the machines’ hearts to pay a debt, extracting the hearts in a gully near to the settlement. The proliferation of Snapmaw chassis in the gully attracted flocks of Glinthawks, which incessantly attacked the settlement’s residents as per their default hostility to humans. The attacks were finally ended by the the Carja Sunhawk Talanah and the Nora Brave Aloy, who saw to it that the farmers stopped their operation.
A similar situation occurred in which the Oseram settlement Pitchcliff was incessantly attacked by flocks of Glinthawks. Aloy discovered that they were attracted by a scavenged device in the settlement that emitted a signal which summoned machines. Aloy permanently disabled the device, stopping the attacks.
On two known occasions, Glinthawks were deliberately used by humans as weapons. On one occasion, the Carja criminal Ranaman used one of the aforementioned machine lures to attract a flock of Glinhawks and other machines to his father's estate, in order to kill his father and his sister Daradi, that he would inherit the estate as the only living family member. However, he himself was killed by one of these Glinthawks. On the other occasion, the renegade Oseram warlord Dervahl used a machine lure to summon a flock of Glinthawks to kill Aloy after she intervened to prevent him from killing the Carja monarch Avad. However, Aloy prevailed against them.
A Glinthawk has a distinctly avian appearance, resembling a vulture. Its wings, tail, legs and feet armor plating that resembles feathers and avian wings, tail, legs, and feet. The general appearance of the chassis resembles that of a vulture. The beak is composed of an upper mandible equipped longitudinally with an array of rotary cutting tools, a lower mandible equipped with a longitudinal saw-like cutting tool, and a pair of lateral mandibles, each equipped with a rotary cutting tool. This complex mechanism is highly efficient at cutting, grinding and processing parts and resources from the chassis of destroyed machines. A pair of optical sensor arrays is located in the same position as a vulture’s eyes. An unarmored Freeze sac containing Chillwater, is positioned on its breast, presumably as part of a cooling system that prevents excessive heat buildup in the beak’s cutting tools during scavenging.
Glinhawks congregate in flocks of 3 or 4, perched on or circling above high areas such as cliffs, mountains, and mesas. Flocks are found in every known tribe’s territory. Being aerial, they can easily see destroyed machine chassis, in which case they will alight on it and scavenge it, or humans, in which case they will attack. Upon spying a perceived threat or hearing a loud unusual noise, they fly in and hover over the area to investigate.
Glinthawks employ ranged freeze attacks in which they fire or drop Freeze projectiles from their Freeze sacs at a perceived threat while hovering. The volatile liquid pools, causing pain and damage to any human it touches, as well as significantly restricting the human’s ability to move. Hovering at close range, they resort to a melee attack in which they swoop down, slashing with the claws on their feet.
- They are attracted to destroyed machines similar to the Scrapper.
- When on fire or if hit in the Freeze Sac, Glinthawks fall to the ground and stop attacking temporarily.
- If allowed to do so, a flock of Glinthawks will strip all of the valuable/useful resources from the chassis of a destroyed machine, and Aloy therefore will get nothing from the chassis. If the chassis is small, a Glinthawk may carry if off entirely.
|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|