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"It crawls like a spider, and carries a container on its back. I wonder what's inside?"
Aloy, upon sighting a Shell-Walker

The Shell-Walker is a category of machine in Horizon Zero Dawn. It is a medium sized Transport Class machine, primarily functioning in the transport of resources gathered and processed by other machines to cauldrons. However, it was weaponized at the onset of the Derangement, and now poses a significant threat to any human who encounters one.

History

Shell-Walkers were presumably one of the machines designed by the Zero Dawn terraforming system’s governing artificial intelligence (AI) GAIA, to be used in the detoxification of the Earth after it was ravaged and left lifeless by the Faro Plague. Originally Shell-Walkers were docile towards humans, fleeing at the sight of humans, as did all terraforming machines. However, after GAIA self-destructed, the AI HEPHAESTUS altered the behavior of Shell-Walker and all other terraforming machines, making them hostile to humans to the point of attacking them on sight. This phenomenon is what the tribes refer to as the Derangement. Furthermore, HEPHAESTUS weaponized Shell-Walkers, equipping them with electric attacks and a protective energy shield.

Appearance

A Shell-Walker’s chassis is crab-like in appearance. It has six stout crab-like legs connected radially to a body primarily composed of a platform upon which it carries a hexagonal cargo container. On the underside of the platform is a power generator. The container is presumably fastened to the platform electromagnetically. The head is laterally wide, with a triangular optical sensor array located at each end. Additionally a Shell-Walker has a pair of limbs that are akin to the chelipads of a crab. An energy shield generator is on the end on the left limb, and a weapon that fires projectiles of electrical energy, dubbed a lighting gun, is on the end of the right limb. A projection carrying a pair of long antennae protrudes vertically from the left side of the head.

Behavior

Shell-Walkers may be found in groups of a few units at various sites in tribal lands. They mill about, communicating via electronic warbles. They also walk in machine convoys accompanied by Watchers or Longlegs, carrying their cargo to cauldrons. A Shell-Walker’s highest priority is the defense of its cargo. Indeed, the Spurflints Hunting Grounds Keeper advised the Nora Brave Aloy that “Shell-Walkers will defend their cargo with their lives”. If its Crate Holders are destroyed, Shell-Walkers use their Lightning Gun (if intact) to hold their cargo containers in place.

Shell-Walkers attack humans on sight. Upon identifying a human, a Shell-Walker will emit a loud, angry metallic warble, alerting other nearby Shell-Walkers or other machines, raise its energy shield and let fly at the human with shots from its lightning gun. If the human is at close range, it will resort to melee attacks. Shell-Walkers usually walk in a slow, precise manner. However when attacking, they ambulate with surprising speed. When engaging a perceived threat, a Shell-Walker ambulates in a manner that always keeps it facing the threat, allowing its energy shield to be most effective.

Abilities

A Shell-Walker’s shield generator produces a visible forward-facing energy shield that is impenetrable to projectiles, such as arrows. The shield can be activated and deactivated at will, and may be disabled by destroying the generator. A Shell-Walker also employs a number of offensive ranged electric attacks, a defensive radial electric attack, and melee smashing attacks. utilizing its shield, lightning gun and shield generator as bludgeons.

Attacks

Name Damage Type Primary Damage Secondary Damage Trigger Range Description
Claw Combo Melee 200 - 2m - 8m (1st)

3.5m - 12m (2nd)

Lunges at target with gun, then with shield, then with gun
Multi-Claw Strike Melee 200 - 2m - 8m Lunges at target and repeatedly strikes with gun
Shield Claw Strike Melee 200 - 2m - 8m Bashes target with shield, knocking them over
360 Shock Shock-Icon Shock 300 - 0m - 12m Charges up, then releases an AOE shock attack around it
Charging Shock Blast Shock-Icon Shock 80 - 10m - 30m Charges gun, then fires a shock blast that leaves behind lingering shock
Homing Shock Blast Shock-Icon Shock 140 30 per second for 5 seconds 30m - 60m Charges gun, then fires a shock blast that slowly homes towards target
Shock Volley Shock-Icon Shock 80 - 30m - 60m Charges gun, then burst-fires three small shock blasts

Components

Image: Component: Information: Weakness: Strength:
ShellWalker-Body Body Hard outer casing to protect synthetic muscle and operational systems. None Shock-Icon Shock
ShellWalker-CrateHolders Crate Holders Destroying this component will detach the cargo container. All None
ShellWalker-LightningGun Lightning Gun Destroying this component disables the ranged Shock attacks. Tear-Icon Tear None
ShellWalker-PowerGenerator Power Generator Destroying this component disables the ranged Shock attacks. All None
ShellWalker-ShieldClaw Shield Claw Destroying this component disables the energy shield. Tear-Icon Tear None

Loot


Convoys

While Shell-Walkers are found in multiple regions, the 4 Shell-Walker convoys are all in the Carja Sundom:

  1. 3 Shell-Walkers, 2 Watchers Convoy: path is in Gatelands on the road from Greatrun Hunting Grounds, past Cauldron RHO, and ends southeast of the Tallneck (Copper Deeps).
  2. 1 Shell-Walker, 2 Watchers convoy: path starts south of the Tallneck (Copper Deeps) ends near the Longleg site north of Spurflints Hunting Grounds.
  3. 1 Shell-Walker, 3 Watchers convoy: path is solely in Sun Furrows, around the Sun Furrows Hunting Grounds.
  4. 2 Shell-Walkers, 1 Longleg convoy: path runs starts at Unflinching Watch; goes past Rockwreath, Cut-Cliffs, Day's Height; ends near the Longleg site north of Spurflints Hunting Grounds.

Trivia

  • During development, Shell-Walkers were originally named Scuttlers. The original name can still be seen in the description for the Carja Ropecaster Tutorial.
  • The Shell-Walker is the only HEPHAESTUS machine in the game to be based on an invertebrate life form, appearing to resemble a crustacean. This feature is more pronounced in FARO Chariot Peacekeepers, who are built to have insectoid appendages or cephalopodic features.
  • If you destroy a Shell-Walker's crate holders, it will attempt to hold the crate with its claw, unless that too is destroyed. The way it grabs the crate implies that the claw can also manipulate gravity to some extent, or the crate and the claw have a specific magnetism. Although, the gravity manipulative theory is reinforced by when it uses its 360 attack, objects in the AOE are lifted upwards.
  • If the crate is destroyed, nothing can be recovered from it. Meleeing the machine with the crate on top will almost certainly yield no additional rewards.

Gallery

References

Machines
Acquisition Class Broadhead - Charger - FireclawFW - FrostclawFW - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Trampler
Combat Class Ravager - Sawtooth - ScorcherFW - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw
Communication Class Tallneck
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