Horizon: Zero Dawn Wikia

Project Zero Dawn

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Project Zero Dawn was the code name for a massive terraforming system designed to reseed life back to Earth after the complete destruction of all life on the planet, and the defeat of the Faro Plague. In order to have more willing participants for Operation: Enduring Victory, the public was misled that Project Zero Dawn was a superweapon capable of ending the war.


Faro Automated Solutions was a major technology company that manufactured and sold technology products ranging from computers and personal devices to automated combat robots. One of their major defense products was the Chariot line, marketed as Peacekeepers. However, a glitch was discovered in a swarm which severed command-and-control functions and caused them to become self-aware.

Coupled with the ability to take over enemy machines, self-repair, replication, and utilization of biomass as fuel, the "Faro Swarm," as it became to be known, posed an existential threat to the survival of not just human civilization, but also Earth's ecosystems as a whole. Ted Faro, the owner of Faro Automated Solutions, approached Dr. Elisabet Sobeck in a vain effort to shut the machines down. Dr. Sobeck realized the general hopelessness of the situation, and proposed a radical solution that came to be known as "Project Zero Dawn."


Project Zero Dawn and all of its A.I. Systems.

Project Zero Dawn is a massive global network of underground bunkers and automated manufacturing and cloning facilities dedicated to the reintroduction of human and animal life to a rejuvenated Earth. At the center of the system was a hyper-powerful artificial intelligence called GAIA, who would oversee operations as long as needed. As the Faro Swarm was predicted to wipe out all life within 15 months, Project Zero Dawn was never intended to save anyone. The scientists working on the endeavor were slated to, after the system was completed, live out the rest of their lives in a comfortable hermetically sealed environment with enough resources to last 100 years, the last living organisms on the planet.


The personification of Mother Nature, GAIA was the primary A.I. of Project Zero Dawn and the core of the system. Capable of making the trillions of calculations required, GAIA's primary function was code-breaking to deactivate the Faro Swarm and overseeing operations to make the Earth eventually come back to life. GAIA's main computer core was housed in Gaia Prime, a massive bunker holding all computer systems needed to manage the task. GAIA was assisted by nine sub-components, each dedicated to a single task.
Symbol Subfunction Description Status


AETHER is the subfunction dedicated to detoxifying the Earth's ravaged atmosphere. Breathable air indicates AETHER was successful.


APOLLO is the subfunction dedicated to the archival of human history and culture and the education of new generations of humans born in Cradle facilities with the knowledge of their achievements and failures. APOLLO's archives were destroyed by Ted Faro and never used for their intended purpose.


ARTEMIS is the subfunction dedicated to the creation and reintroduction of animal life onto a newly-terraformed Earth. After the necessary introduction of the "pioneer organisms" (micro-organisms and insects, rabbits, hawks, foxes, wolves, wild boars, and turkeys). Further animal species were supposed to be restored by the new generation of humans taught correctly by APOLLO.[1] However, APOLLO's destruction prevented this plan. At least ARTEMIS' pioneer reintroduction routine was successful.


DEMETER is the subfunction dedicated to the replanting of the Earth from cryo-preserved seed stocks. The flora indicates DEMETER was at least partially successful.


ELEUTHIA is the subfunction dedicated to the cloning and raising of humans from genetic stock at specially designed and prepared Cradle facilities scattered across the Earth. Although limited by APOLLO's destruction, EULETHIA's primary purpose was achieved.


HADES is the "extinction failsafe protocol." The last resort for GAIA, which would allow it to destroy and reset the terraforming process when an undesirable outcome is detected. HADES was rendered rogue by an unknown signal that caused it to become self-aware.


HEPHAESTUS is the subfunction dedicated to the construction of underground Cauldron facilities that would build machines dedicated to the terraforming project. GAIA would utilize HEPHAESTUS to design, manufacture, and deploy any machine to ensure the project's completion. The machines would then be distributed for use by the other sub-functions. This means that - apart from the Faro robots (Corruptor, Deathbringer, and Metal Devil) - the machines are part of the GAIA project. The core log found when overriding the last Cauldron reveals that HEPHAESTUS is responsible for the derangement of the machines.[2] Up to the start of the derangement, the HEPHAESTUS subfunction seems to have worked accordingly.


The MINERVA subfunction is dedicated to the construction of massive communications arrays to broadcast the deactivation codes to the berserk Faro robots. MINERVA's goal was achieved.


POSEIDON is the subfunction dedicated to detoxifying the Earth's poisoned seas and oceans. Apparently, POSEIDON was for the most part successful.


Although its original goal of preserving the cultural history of humanity was sabotaged, Project Zero Dawn was successful in its primary mission: disabling the rogue machines that killed the Earth, rebuilding and reseeding life back onto it. Present-day humanity and the nascent civilizations that now inhabit the world owe their existence and survival to the original team that sacrificed everything to make it happen, including their lives.


  • The central AI and it's nine subfunctions are named after deities of Greek mythology (with the one exception being Minerva, a Roman deity), mirroring their task.
    • Gaia, primordial goddess of the earth.
    • Aether, primordial god of the heavens.
    • Apollo, god of the sun, prophecy, music, and poetry.
    • Artemis, goddess of the moon, hunting, and the wilds.
    • Demeter, goddess of the harvest.
    • Eleuthia, goddess of childbirth.
    • Hades, god of the underworld and the dead.
    • Hephaestus, god of the fire and forge.
    • Minerva, goddess of wisdom, ingenuity, and battle.
    • Poseidon, god of the seas.


  1. ARTEMIS status
  2. M/ALL-US-W CM LOG 329G

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