Nakoa is a character in Horizon Zero Dawn. She is a Nora woman who left the Nora Sacred Lands in pursuit of a Carja captain who murdered her father. This meant exile as, by Nora law, no Nora who leaves the Sacred Lands is allowed to return. She knew this and accepted it. She was captured by the captain, but rescued by the Nora brave Aloy, and killed the captain immediately after.
Nakoa lived in the Nora settlement of Mother's Rise with her brother Yan and their father. During the Red Raids conducted by the Carja on the orders of their 13th Sun-King Jiran, Mother's Rise was attacked by a Carja unit led by Zaid, a brutal Carja captain. Hiding in their cellar, Nakoa watched as Zaid mutilated and murdered their father.
Determined to exact vengeance for their father, and by extension, all Nora who suffered because of Zaid's cruelty, Nakoa pursued Zaid beyond the Nora Sacred Lands into Carja territory, knowing that she would not be allowed to return, and not caring. The overhthrow of Jiran by his son Avad, and Avad's subsequent drive to apologize for Jiran's atrocities and promote peace between the Carja and the Nora as the new Sun King, did not influence Nakoa to cease her pursuit.
Nakoa spent years pursuing Zaid, finally tracking him to the the Carja outpost Daytower, on the Carja/Nora border, where he was stationed as a prefect. There, she confronted and attacked him. Zaid feigned innocence, insisting that she was mistaken, and did not have her arrested; indeed, he had her released. Having no choice, Nakoa left, determined to try again at another time and place. However, her release was a ruse of Zaid's. With the ending of the Red Raids and the cessation of the previous brutality of the Carja against other tribes, Zaid and his former men had established a slave ring, abducting vulnerable members of other tribes and selling them into slavery. He had released Nakoa only to later have his men seize her for his slave ring, out of sight and away from any witnesses. Alone and without support, Nakoa was quickly captured by by Zaid's men on his orders once she left Daytower. She was taken to a remote abandoned Carja military camp manned by Zaid's men, all of whom were part of the slave ring, and imprisoned with other abducted intended slaves. For her attack on him, Zaid frequently kicked and struck her whenever he was there.
Meanwhile, the Nora brave Aloy was told of her story by Yan back in Mother's Rise. Aloy had been made a Seeker in order to track a lead on killers who had attacked the Nora. She agreed to find her, or find out what became of her, receiving additional information from the siblings' aunt, Solai. On arriving at Daytower and making enquiries, she was told of Nakoa's attack on Zaid by the outpost's commanding officer, Captain Balahn. Aloy asked Zaid about Nakoa, as well as about his role in the Red Raids. As always, he feigned innocence. However, seeing Aloy as another victim to be seized for his slave ring, he suggested to her to look for Nakoa at Lonesome Rock, another remote Carja outpost manned by his men, expecting them to seize her where she got there.
Aloy went to Lonesome Rock and found evidence of slaves being transported out of the outpost. Zaid's men attempted to seize her, but she killed them. From the outpost, she tracked the trail to the outpost where Nakoa was being held. Killing Zaid's men there, she freed Nakoa and the other victims. However, Zaid appeared with more of his men, intending to recapture the freed victims and seize Aloy. Aloy killed the men and incapacitated Zaid. Finally able to exact her vengeance, Nakoa resolutely took up a spear from one of the fallen men and ran him through with it. Speaking with Aloy afterward, she told her that she was not concerned about not being able to return to the Sacred Lands, as she intended to care for the other freed victims, living the rest of her life in the Carja capital Meridian. As for Yan, she knew a way to get word to him that she lived and was hale.
Much later, she joined Aloy in the fight against the impending attack by the Shadow Carja cult known as the Eclipse against Meridian. Before the battle, she gladly told Aloy that, as a consequence of the events leading up to the battle, the Nora Sacred Lands were opened, and she could return home.
|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|