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See also: Tallneck (Activity)


The Tallneck is a machine in Horizon Zero Dawn. It is a colossal Communication Class machine that serves as a communications center. By far the largest of all machines, Tallnecks are unique among machines in that they are harmless to humans, they take no notice of their surroundings, and they are impervious to physical attacks. They may be overridden to reveal details and locations of structures, machine habitats, human settlements and other points of interest over a vast area.

Appearance

Though one could associate their long-necked appearance with that of a sauropod dinosaur, the lack of a tail and their long legs make Tallnecks look more like a gigantic giraffe than a sauropod dinosaur.

Unlike any other machine, Tallnecks have no visual sensors. Their heads are broad, flat, and circular, resembling aircraft-mounted radar, with a data node on the top center that can be used as an access point for overriding.

A Tallneck's entire chassis is protected by heavy armor plating. This plating is impervious to all known weapons, physical or energy, and from any attack, ranged or melee.

Several long structures, presumably antennae, project from the back of the necks. These may be used to climb up to the Tallneck's head to access the data port. Four tail-like structures, possibly another type of antennae, are mounted in pairs on the posterior. Each of the machine's four huge feet are composed of several toe-like structures. These mold themselves to the shape of the ground, giving the Tallneck its characteristic surefooted gait.

History

The Nora Brave Aloy knew of the existence of Tallnecks from her guardian Rost. In her journeys through the various regions and tribal lands, she discovered the existence of five of these machines. Each time, her Focus alerted her to the presence of one in the vicinity by a signal it emitted. Using this signal, she was able to find it, climb up to and atop its head and override it to gain useful information regarding the locations of points of interest in the region.

Abilities

A Tallneck cannot be harmed by any known weapon. No attack, regardless of type or power, will stop, slow, stagger or alter its path, instead appearing to hit an otherwise invisible shield.

Talllnecks are solitary machines, never congregating in groups or crossing paths. Utilising a slow and steady, surefooted gait, each one repeatedly walks a set circuit in its particular region, functioning as a type of communications center, emitting a signal that a Focus can detect. Presumably, the Eclipse were able to establish their Focus network, which was an integral part of many operations, by anchoring the network's communication signals to the five Tallnecks that were known to be active in various regions. When overriding a Tallneck, the sheer vastness of the result revealed area suggests that these machines are able to receive and transmit signals over incredible distances, allowing the network to cover all the lands using only six of them.

Unlike the other known machine types, Tallnecks are not hostile to humans; these machines appear instead to be all but oblivious to their surroundings, save for the path they constantly follow. If they are aware, they certainly have no visible reaction, appearing to disregard everything from battles to small animals or humans who may wander into their path. However, whilst Tallnecks themselves are harmless to anything that isn't obstructing their path, the areas they patrol may be infested with dangerous machines that will attack humans on sight. Tallnecks which patrol dangerous area usually require that Aloy clear a safe path through hostile enemies in order to secure a viable route from which to leap onto the Tallneck. 

Components

Image: Component: Information: Weakness: Strength:
Tallneck-Body Body Hard outer casing to protect synthetic muscle and operational systems. None All
Tallneck-ClimbHold Climb Hold Information antennas. Could be used as climbing holds when scaling. None None
Tallneck-Radar Radar Information storage hub. Override to access local area information. All None

Trivia

  • Tallnecks were one of the first machines revealed to the public, seen as early as the conceptual stages of the game's design, and unlike the Thunderjaw, they saw very little change. Despite this, Tallnecks initially resembled sauropods.
  • During the game's development, Tallnecks were referred to as "Comm giraffes."[2]
  • The Tallneck's walking pattern of lifting both its fore and hind legs on the same side at the same time is based the giraffe's gait.
  • Tallnecks were originally designed to be killable. However, Guerrilla Games decided against this, feeling that it would be against Aloy's character to kill a peaceful machine.

Gallery

References

  1. Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Collector's Edition Guide, page 18
  2. GDC 2017 presentation by Guerrilla Games, "Creating a Tools Pipeline for Horizon Zero Dawn"
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