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"If only he'd died with his king. But now he leads the Eclipse. I tell you, he’s the most dangerous man alive."
Olin
Helis, nicknamed The Terror of the Sun among the Carja and Stacker of Corpses by the Oseram, is the leader of the Eclipse and the secondary antagonist of Horizon Zero Dawn.

Background

Helis is the former champion of the 13th Sun-King Jiran. His main goal is to lead the Shadow Carja forces to restore the Sundom to the state as it was under the Mad Sun-King. Secretly he is the leader of the Eclipse and is aided by HADES.

History

The Reign of the Mad Sun-King Jiran

From an early age, Helis believed that he was destined for greatness.

During the early years of Jiran's reign, major sandstorms that plagued the vicinity of Sunfall were decreed to be part of the training. Helis was the first to survive the sandstorms, becoming the first kestrel warrior in service to the Sundom.[1] He would become known as Jiran's champion and most prized soldier; when his wife died in childbirth, the Sun-King allowed him the honor of burying his family in the royal crypts.[2]

Helis would lead many attacks during the Red Raids, becoming infamous among the Oseram and the Nora. He eventually rose to gain the moniker of Terror of the Sun.

The Liberation

During the Fall of Meridian, Helis led his kestrels in defense of his city. Having sensed the battle was lost, Jiran had Helis take his son Itamen and wife Nasadi out of Meridian. While Helis succeeded in breaching the siege and taking all the loyalist Carja to Sunfall, Jiran was killed by Avad, who replaced his father as Sun-King.

Helis, along with High Priest Bahavas, led the splinter tribe who had joined them to Sunfall, calling themselves the Carja in Shadow (although the other tribes would call them the "Shadow Carja"). They set up a puppet government at Sunfall, making Itamen a figurehead king.

Sometime after the formation of the Shadow Carja, Helis was told by Bahavas that he had found the "Buried Shadow" of Carja lore. The two men went to meet with a wanderer named Sylens, who introduced them to an ancient machine named HADES, who had been taught by Sylens to manipulate the Shadow Carja's religion. Together, they formed a splinter faction called the Eclipse and made it their mission to unearth and reactivate as many Faro robots as possible with the goal of retaking Meridian. Unbeknownst to Helis, HADES only saw him as a tool to use to take control of the Spire and reawaken the dormant Faro Plague to wipe out all life on Earth.

Eventually, when Sylens recovered enough Focuses to equip the Eclipse and began to question HADES' intentions, HADES issued a kill order for him. However, Sylens had secretly built in a backdoor into the Eclipse's Focus network that enabled him to overhear the transmission and flee before Helis could carry it out.

HADES' orders

Hours before the Proving, Helis received an immediate kill order from HADES for the Nora Aloy. Helis promptly ordered all of his commanders to cease mining operations and hunt down Aloy: the Eclipse were ordered to kill any witnesses, but otherwise avoid any contact with the Nora.

The Eclipse attacked Aloy at the Proving, along with the Nora competing with her. Two of the competitors escaped to safety, but everyone else save Aloy was slaughtered by the cult. Aloy fought off two waves of Eclipse soldiers, but was quickly subdued by Helis when he arrived. However, before he could slit her throat, he was attacked by Rost. Helis managed to mortally wound Rost, although the Nora briefly held his own, scarring Helis on his cheek, and ordered his men to prepare explosives to cover their tracks, leaving the pair for dead.

However, Aloy survived the explosion, having been pushed to safety by Rost in his final moments. In her quest to uncover why she was targeted, the Nora infiltrated multiple Eclipse dig sites, killed many cultists, and crashed the Eclipse's Focus network. Eventually, Helis found Aloy in the Zero Dawn Project Facility beneath Sunfall and lobbed a fire bomb at her. Upon closer inspection, he determined that she had survived yet again, so Helis decided to throw her into the Sun-Ring. Deciding to exchange words before her execution, Helis began to pontificate on how her survival tied into his supposed destiny. After destroying her Focus, he taunted that since she destroyed the Focus network, he sent messengers to command the Eclipse in the east to massacre the Nora.

Deciding to leave Aloy to her fate, Helis dropped her into the Sun-Ring and summoned two Corruptors to enslave a Behemoth that had killed many gladiators to target Aloy as its next victim. Unfortunately, Aloy was smart enough to trick it into destroying the columns holding up her cage and her weapons, enabling her to kill it. Enraged that she continued to persist, Helis ordered his Corruptors to finish her off, ignoring Aloy's challenge to face her himself. Suddenly, Sylens burst into the arena and helped Aloy escape, leaving some overridden machines to deal with the Corruptors as Helis watched helplessly.

Helis' final encounter with Aloy was during the battle for Meridian, where he brought multiple Deathbringers and Corruptors to the fight. He had one final confrontation with Aloy, and he and his best men were defeated. Falling to his knees, Helis only had time to express his disbelief before Aloy stabbed him through his chest, ending the reign of the Terror of the Sun.

Personality

Helis is a ruthless fanatic, unwavering in his faith to Jiran and traditions of the Carja. Like most of the Carja in Shadow, he believes Jiran's atrocities were justified, deems all other tribes as beneath him (referring to the Oseram as "filth" and the Nora as "savages"), and views Avad as a false Sun-King whose murder of Jiran threw the cycle of nature off-course. He despises material comfort, seeing it as an invitation to weakness.

While a brutal and violent man, Helis carries himself with poise and restraint. His beliefs, while grossly inaccurate, are almost poetic in their eloquence.

Battle Stats

HP Attack Damage Additional Info[3]
2000 Napalm Grenade 50 Fire Damage on contact, 40 Fire Damage per second within lingering effect area
  • Can block all single-target projectiles when not attacking.
Light Attack 175 (up to x3 combo)
Strong Attack 250 (up to x2 combo)
Leaping Attack 300

Trivia

  • The name Helis is likely derived from Helios, the Greek god of the Sun.
  • Helis' voice actor Crispin Freeman voiced Helios in the 2010 game God of War III.
  • Helis shares many similarities with Grazel from White Knight Chronicles, who was also voiced by Crispin Freeman
    • Both are cult leaders who seek restore a powerful nation to its former glory, with Helis leading the Eclipse to restore the Carja to a reign of terror, while Grazel leads the Magi in order to revive the Yshrenian Empire and take over the world.
    • Both were manipulated into thinking they were destined to fulfill their goals, with Helis believing that he was chosen by the sun, and Grazel believing himself to be the reincarnation of Emperor Madoras.
    • Both have an association with the words Sun King; Helis being the former champion of the 13th Sun-King Jiran while Grazel is the pactmaker of the Incorruptus, Aldolmaea, which is also known as the Sun King.
  • Contrarily, the Horizon Zero Dawn Collector's Edition Guide states that Helis was not present during the Fall of Meridian.
  • If Aloy aided Uthid and/or extracted Itamen prior to entering the Zero Dawn Project Facility, it will alter dialogue with Helis during the opening cutscene of The Terror of the Sun.

Gallery

References

  1. History of Sunfall
  2. Without Pity
  3. Table adapted from Horizon Zero Dawn Strategy Guide (Collector's Ed.), p.263. Future Press, 2017.
Carja Characters
Carja Tribe Members Sun-Court Avad - HishavanFW - Irid - Itamen - Jahamin - Marad - Namman - Nasadi
Guards Balahn - Firiv - Janeva - Lakhir - Walid - Zaid
Hunters Lodge Ahsis - Aidaba - Bashad - Greatrun Keeper - Havash - Ligan - Malesh - Palaved - Spurflints Keeper - Sun Furrows Keeper - Talanah - Tarkas - Tufanah - Valleymeet Keeper
Merchants Cantarah - Eclectic Collectibles Merchant - Kudiv - Machine Resources Merchant - Studious Palas
Tribe Daradi - Dirid - Elida - Enasha - FurahniFW - Gavan - Gulahni - Hashiv - Three-Toe Huadiv - Ilsadi - Keadi - Kindiv - Lahavis - Lubavad - Marzavid - Nasan - Nil (formerly) - Omas - Quarry Foreman - Ranaman - Smiling Ranin - Ravan - Ravan's Steward - RhavidFW - Rokasha - RuwasFW - Shahavad - Uthid - Vanasha - Vashad
Shadow Carja Tribe Members Abas - Atral - Bahavas - Dekamin (defected) - Ghaliv - Helis - Shianah - Shivin - Tarav - Uthid (formerly) - Yusis
Lore Amavad - Aram - Araman - Basadid - Hivas - Iriv - Jiran - Juwadan - Kadaman - Khuvadin - Marzid - Nahasis - Ranan - Sadahin - Zavarad