- "If that machine charges, it will flatten whatever stands in its way."
- ―Aloy, upon sighting a Trampler
The Trampler is a category of machine in Horizon Zero Dawn. It is medium sized Acquizition Class machine, tasked with the collection of mineral resources for use in the construction of new machines. Originally docile, Tramplers have become hostile toward humans with the onset of the Derangement, and they now aggressively attack any human they encounter.
Tramplers were designed by GAIA, the artificial intelligence (AI) governing Zero Dawn, as one of the machines used by the system to detoxify Earth after it was rendered lifeless and sterile by the Faro Plague in the mid-21st century. Presumably their function was the processing and purification of toxin-laden soil. However after GAIA self-destructed, its erstwhile machine manufacturing subordinate function HEPHAESTUS, which had become an AI itself, seized control of at least five of the system’s cauldrons, where machines were manufactured, including Cauldron RHO, which manufactured Tramplers. Because of the frequent and extensive hunting of Zero Dawn machines by the new world’s humans, HEPHAESTUS made the machines produced in these cauldrons hostile to humans, including Tramplers.
The first recorded Trampler Hunt was conducted by the Carja hunter Darusiv, a Hawk of the Carja Hunters Lodge. During the seventh year of the reign of the Carja Sun-King Hivas’ reign, Darusiv tracked a herd of Trampers from a location in the Carja Sundom known as Sandwhisper Valley to another known as the Palereach. Employing Freeze bombs from a sling, he inflicted a Freeze state on every Trampler in the herd, then killed one and acquired a hunting trophy from its chassis.
The Nora huntress Aloy saw herds of Tramplers multiple times during her journeys through the Carja Sundom and once in the Banuk region known as The Cut. On one occasion, she retrieved bottles of a strong Oseram alcoholic drink known as Scrappersap that had been scattered among a herd of Tramplers. She did so on the request of their owner, an Oseram brewer named Kendert. On another occasion, she engaged Tramplers as part of one of the hunting trials at the Greatrun Hunting Grounds.
A Trampler resembles an enormous bovine bull, with a massive head, neck and chest, thick forelegs and a relatively smaller hind section and hind legs. A pair of huge hornlike excavators, called excavating horns, are located on its massive head. These are used for digging up oil and rock. A pair of large optical sensor arrays is located in the same position as the eyes of a bovine. Its jaws resemble an insect’s mandibles, presumably to scoop excavated rock and soil into its mouth to extract the resources contained therein. A power cell array is located atop its back, between the shoulders. A glowing processing unit occupies its entire abdominal area.
Tramplers are invariably found in herds at sites scattered throughout the arid regions of the Carja Sundom. A small herd is also found in The Cut. Unlike other Zero Dawn terraformers, Tramplers are never accompanied by recon or combat machines as guards. The simple reason for this is that they are powerful enough to adequately defend themselves against threats. Each Trampler in a herd works constantly, stopping only to change location to another spot. Head down, the Tramper alternately tilts each side of its head downward, using each excavating horn to dig. Undisturbed, they walk with a slow, very plodding gait, but run with a speed that belies their size when engaging a threat.
Tramplers use their processing unit to generate explosive radial and directional attacks. They also charge at high speed, using their momentum as a weapon. Additionally, they gore and bludgeon with their horns, and kick with their hind legs.
The Trampler’s processing unit powers its explosive attacks, but it is a severe tactical liability. Its destruction inflicts a permanent Burn state on the Trampler that eventually kills it. The processing unit has no protective armor, and thus it is completely vulnerable to strikes from ranged weapons. Additionally their horns can be removed, weakening and disabling some of their attacks, and they are particularly susceptible to weapons that deal Freeze; these quickly put a Trampler into a Freeze state, which makes them much more susceptible to damage.
|Name||Damage Type||Primary Damage||Secondary Damage||Trigger Range||Description|
|Mineral Explosion||Explosion||300||-||0m - 9.5m||Releases red gas around itself, then ignites it|
|Charge||Melee/Fire||200||10 per second for 10 seconds||22m - 80m||Charges at the target, leaving a trail of fire|
|Dust Cloud||Melee||210||-||0m - 6m||Cloud of dust that reduces enemy’s visibility|
|Ground Blast||Melee/Explosion||300||50||0m - 40m||Forward directional attack with blast wave behind it|
|Hind Leg Strike||Melee||200||-||0m - 5m||Kicks at enemy with hind legs|
|Horn Thrash||Melee||200||-||15m - 25m||Uses horns as bludgeon|
- The Trampler's visual sensors are the same as the Stormbird's .
|Acquisition Class||Broadhead - Charger - FireclawFW - FrostclawFW - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Trampler|
|Combat Class||Ravager - Sawtooth - ScorcherFW - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw|
|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|