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exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




🎵 Promise of the West - Joris De Man 🎵

Horizon Zero Dawn Thread: PS4 | PC I Complete Plot Recap | The Apollo Archive

:siren:This thread will contain spoilers for Horizon Zero Dawn. If you haven't yet completed the first game and don't want many key elements of the plot spoiled for you, please spend time in either the PS4 or PC threads above. We'll wait for you to finish, we promise :) .:siren:

Horizon Forbidden West is the second mainline title in the Horizon series of open world post-apocalyptic action-adventure games and the direct sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. It is developed by Dutch studio Guerrilla Games, formerly known for their first-person shooter Killzone, and published by Sony. Forbidden West will see the return of sassy girlboss machine hunter Aloy in her quest to stop the Red Blight, a mysterious plague causing ecological collapse across the ruins of what were once the western states of Utah, Nevada, and California. Along the way, she will encounter some familiar faces and forge new tribal alliances to uncover the buried secrets of the Old Ones and end the environmental threat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qo-ReoKwyo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpgXz5Z9v-U

Among its various contemporaries, Horizon stands out for combining lush visuals with inventive machine combat and an involving science fiction storyline far more intelligently written than a game with robot dinosaurs as its main premise might at first suggest. Zero Dawn was a huge critical and commercial success in 2017, immediately establishing Horizon as a flagship series for the Playstation and Aloy as one of its central mascots. Forbidden West promises a refinement of the core mechanics introduced in HZD, including expanded traversal options, more strategic combat against both human and machine enemies, diverse skill trees, improved character sidequests, and an overhauled crafting system. Settlements will now include workbenches where Aloy can upgrade her weapons and outfits, eat food for temporary buffs, and play the new Strike mini-game. PS5-specific enhancements include improved lighting, reflections, and a 60fps performance mode.

Horizon Forbidden West will be released for the Playstation 4 & Playstation 5 on Friday, February 18th 2022. The PS4 version is exactly the same and is $10 cheaper. I repeat: The PS4 version is exactly the same and is $10 cheaper. An eventual PC port is expected, but no official release date has yet been announced.



There are FIVE(5) whole different editions of Horizon Forbidden West that you can buy, each increasing by hype level. Isn't capitalism awesome?

Standard Edition - Horizon Forbidden West, available for disc or digital download on PS4 or PS5.
Special Edition - Horizon Forbidden West, available for disc or digital download on PS4 or PS5, Mini-Art book, Digital Soundtrack, Nora Legacy Outfit and Spear.
Digital Deluxe - Horizon Forbidden West (Digital Only) PS4 and PS5 versions, 2 Special Outfits (Carja Behemoth Elite and Nora Thunder Elite), 2 Special Weapons (Carja Behemoth Short Bow and Nora Thunder Sling), In-game Resources Pack including ammunition, potions, and travel packs, In-game Apex Clawstrider Machine Strike Piece, Exclusive Photo Mode pose and face paint, Digital Art Book, Digital Soundtrack, Digital Version of "The Sunhawk" graphic novel.
Collector's Edition - Everything in the Digital Deluxe, PLUS a Horizon Forbidden West Steelbook Display Case, Custom sculpted Tremortusk and Aloy statues, Mini-Art Book.
Regalla Edition - Everything in the Digital Deluxe, PLUS a Horizon Forbidden West Steelbook Display Case, Regalla-themed, custom sculpted Tremortusk and Aloy statues, Replica Focus and custom stand, 2 Art Print Cards, Replica Sunwing and Clawstrider Machine Strike Pieces, Mini-Art Book, Canvas Map.

A grand adventure awaits in the Forbidden West. We'll see you there, and gently caress Ted Faro.

exquisite tea fucked around with this message at 07:52 on Feb 14, 2022

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exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Here are where some more trailers and reviews will go!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-6je9T8_aA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY86drmNdV8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUGTvh-WGvw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI22T1CXwR0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZreAuJwMZ8

exquisite tea fucked around with this message at 14:32 on Feb 3, 2022

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Reviews (as of 2/14/22): 89 MC / 88 OC




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcU_Ct3dcAc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdFGdR28Gp8

exquisite tea fucked around with this message at 09:55 on Feb 14, 2022

WHY BONER NOW
Mar 6, 2016



Pillbug

I loved the first game but plotwise I only remember that Ted Faro was a butthole

Can someone bullet point the story

Quantum of Phallus
Dec 27, 2010

Mr Stink is your NXT 2.0 name


Can't wait for this one. Zero Dawn is one of maybe 3 open-world games I've played, finished and enjoyed in the last 20 years. So good!!!

The Postman
May 12, 2007





I didn't get around to Zero Dawn for a long time but drat did I love that game. Can't wait to see how the combat feels. I think Zero Dawn might have my favorite combat system in any game.

ShadowedFlames
Dec 26, 2009

Shoot this guy in the face.



Fallen Rib

Less than a month away, boys and girls and those outside that binary!

Also, it cannot be said nearly enough. gently caress Ted Faro.

Am I the only one trying to avoid looking at too much ahead of release day? I went into HZD relatively unspoiled and while I want to see some of the new wrinkles for HFW, part of me wants to go in as clean as I can for maximum discovery immersion.

The Postman
May 12, 2007





ShadowedFlames posted:

Am I the only one trying to avoid looking at too much ahead of release day? I went into HZD relatively unspoiled and while I want to see some of the new wrinkles for HFW, part of me wants to go in as clean as I can for maximum discovery immersion.

I basically only know the release date and maybe one combat/movement mechanic. I just want to take it all in while I play.

Happy Noodle Boy
Jul 3, 2002



Holy poo poo that trailer stinger could be so many things. Hype reaching critical levels.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Happy Noodle Boy posted:

Holy poo poo that trailer stinger could be so many things. Hype reaching critical levels.

I think we may have gotten our first look at Vast Silver. Also Angela Basset AND Carrie-Anne Moss good lord 90s me is freaking out here.

exquisite tea fucked around with this message at 15:21 on Jan 19, 2022

Jose Oquendo
Jun 20, 2004

At the end of 2018, a study was published by London Metropolitan University showing that certain bacteria, normally present only in intestinal tracts or feces, were found on McDonald's self-service screens.




https://blog.playstation.com/2021/09/04/pre-order-horizon-forbidden-west-now-collectors-and-digital-deluxe-editions-detailed/


I have a PS5. From what this says, I should buy the PS4 version (disc or digital) and then claim the upgrade whenever that pops up on the PSN Store?

Happy Noodle Boy
Jul 3, 2002



exquisite tea posted:

I think we may have gotten our first look at Vast Silver. Also Angela Basset AND Carrie-Anne Moss good lord 90s me is freaking out here.

That was my first thought and holy poo poo yes. The focus on allies are pretty cool too. Itíd be fun to see if you can have them tag along throughout the game or if theyíre just meant to be around for various point/set pieces

Perestroika
Apr 8, 2010



WHY BONER NOW posted:

I loved the first game but plotwise I only remember that Ted Faro was a butthole

Can someone bullet point the story

This is more or less in in-universe chronological order, rather than how it's revealed ingame:


  • Ted Faro, idiot that he is, decides to build a model of combat robots that can self-sustain as well as self-reproduce using biomass they gather from their surroundings.
  • Predictably, those robots go rogue and start rampaging around, reproducing at an exponential rate.
  • Conventional militaries are unable to fight back against them. Also, Grand Idiot Faro specifically made them hack-proof without a backdoor. The only way to shut them down would be brute-forcing their encryption, which would take hundreds of years.
  • Within months, the robots have consumed so much biomass that complete biosphere collapse becomes inevitable
  • Elisabet Sobeck realises that humanity is irrevocably hosed and proposes the Zero Dawn protocol: Let the robots burn themselves out by consuming all biomass, use that time crack their encryption and disable them permanently, then re-seed the world with life
  • In order to do all that, they create an AI called GAIA (plus a suite of minor assistant AIs) to do the cracking as well as clone all the animals and humans once the robots are done for
  • They also added a failsafe AI called HADES. If GAIA ended up accidentally creating a nonviable biosphere, HADES would temporarily shut GAIA down, destroy all life, and then let it try again from a clean slate
  • All of this is hastily built and put into place barely days before the project would have been overrun by the robots. Almost all of humanity is dead at this point, except for the people who worked on project Zero Dawn hidden away in underground bunkers. Elisabet Sobeck dies at the last moment fixing a leak that might've given the project away to the rampaging robots.
  • At this point, the survivors just settle in to live out the remainder of their lives while putting some finishing touches on the project.
  • Absolute rear end in a top hat Ted Faro kills them instead. He does this so he can delete the assistant AI that would've been intended to teach the next generation of humanity using all the accumulated knowledge and history up to this point.
  • Faro claims that he only wanted to prevent humanity to repeat the same mistakes, but we all know it was an act of unimaginable hubris intended to hide his responsibility for the literal end of the world
  • Over the next several centuries (or perhaps millennia), the plan bears fruit. The robots are shut down and the Earth is re-seeded.
  • Without the AI intended to teach them, humanity has to start over at more or less stone-age level. Still, things go alright, the biosphere is stable, human cultures begin to develop
  • Despite this, at some point a mysterious signal is sent from somewhere to activate HADES, which would've flattened all life to start over.
  • Knowing that the signal is invalid, GAIA tries its best to prevent that. It sends a signal to one of the repopulation centres to grow a clone of Elisabet Sobeck, in part due to sentimentality, but also because that clone would have access to all remaining Zero Dawn facilities due to the DNA match, which would allow her to figure out what's going on. Finally, it self-destructs, which prevents HADES from accessing the infrastructure it'd need to destroy humanity outright.
  • The clone grows up to be Aloy, protagonist of the games.
  • HADES is still around and still wants to kill all life. It manages to deceive a ruin-diver into helping it, who then in turn gets another tribe to accept HADES as a god. It identifies Aloy as the greatest risk to its objective, and tries to have her killed by that tribe
  • The resulting attack on Aloy's village leads her to set out on a journey to basically discover everything mentioned above.
  • HADES almost manages to achieve its objective, going so far as to reactivate the old Faro robots to go around killing people. However, Aloy manages to stop it at the last moment by re-sending the shutdown command that worked the first time around and ejecting HADES' AI core.
  • The main story ends here. Notably, HADES' AI core is retrieved by the same guy who initially found it, and whose motives have never been made entirely clear and who wanders off into the sunset with it. It is also never revealed where the signal that reactivated HADES in the first place came from.


You could go into a lot more detail particularly when it comes to the actual game's missions and plot, but honestly this is getting too long already. But in conclusion: gently caress Ted Faro.

Saint Freak
Apr 15, 2007



I died on fleek, and so am cursed to roam the Earth forever, eternally on fleek...



Buglord

exquisite tea posted:

I think we may have gotten our first look at Vast Silver. Also Angela Basset AND Carrie-Anne Moss good lord 90s me is freaking out here.

I'm sorry she has to be Angela Bastet now.

The Postman
May 12, 2007





Perestroika posted:

This is more or less in in-universe chronological order, rather than how it's revealed ingame:

Did the DLC have any important plot stuff? Or was it just it's own separate story in a snowy area?

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




The Postman posted:

Did the DLC have any important plot stuff? Or was it just it's own separate story in a snowy area?

The DLC shed some light on the rogue AI HAPHAESTUS, the subfunction responsible for building the machines, as well as another AI responsible for maintaining Yellowstone Caldera that survived the Faro plague, CYAN. The Frozen Wilds rules and you should definitely play it!

The Postman
May 12, 2007





exquisite tea posted:

The DLC shed some light on the rogue AI HAPHAESTUS, the subfunction responsible for building the machines, as well as another AI responsible for maintaining Yellowstone Caldera that survived the Faro plague, CYAN. The Frozen Wilds rules and you should definitely play it!

I'll have to jump in before Forbidden West comes out! I tried to dig into it immediately after doing every possible thing in the base game so I was kind of burnt out and didn't get far.

Edmund Lava
Sep 8, 2004

Hey, I'm from Brooklyn. I'm going to call myself Mr. Friendly.



The Postman posted:

Did the DLC have any important plot stuff? Or was it just it's own separate story in a snowy area?

It explained why There are hostile robots now that donít seem to serve any greater purpose. Hephaestus, the AI responsible for designing robots to detoxify the world, was angry with humanity for hunting his creations.

haveblue
Aug 15, 2005




Toilet Rascal

WHY BONER NOW posted:

I loved the first game but plotwise I only remember that Ted Faro was a butthole

Can someone bullet point the story

The past:


Climate change gets really bad and after mass death and suffering humanity finally does something about it. A tech company headed by Ted Faro invents a new type of robot and tasks them with repairing climate damage.

These robots are so successful they become ubiquitous and are militarized and fitted with self-sustaining power sources that can refuel by processing organic matter in the environment (read: eating living things).

A software glitch sends one squad of these robots out of control, eating everything in sight and using it to manufacture more glitched robots. It quickly becomes clear that there is nothing that can be done about this and the robots will, within a few years, eat the entire biosphere. It will not be possible to crack their encryption and issue the shutdown command in time to prevent this.

Project Zero Dawn is founded- a program to build an automated network of facilities capable of recreating the biosphere, including human beings, after the robots are eventually shut down. The program is run by an AI named GAIA and a set of subordinate AIs specialized for various purposes. Part of this program is an archive of all of humanity's scientific knowledge, culture, and history, intended to be passed on to the new humans. The program is bankrolled by Faro but managed by a scientist named Elizabeth Sobek.

The realization that they are the last generation of humans before the species goes (temporarily) extinct breaks a lot of brains within the Zero Dawn staff, including that of Ted Faro. He becomes obsessed with the idea that the new humanity should be a clean break with the old, and right when the program is completed and about to be activated he deletes the knowledge archive and assassinates all of the Zero Dawn leaders except Sobek. Whether he did this specifically to delete the record of his own role in the destruction of the biosphere is a question for the reader.

Sobek manages to save and activate Zero Dawn, but only by sacrificing herself- sealing the last bunker from the outside. Inside the bunker, the last humans finish creating the program and eventually die off.

The program works- the robots do sterilize the planet, but GAIA is able to shut them down and establish a new, stable biosphere on the ruins of the old. Eventually this biosphere becomes capable of supporting human life, and GAIA creates them as well, but without the cultural archive they cannot be educated beyond basic survival skills.


The present, hundreds of years later:


Humanity lives as primitive tribes scattered across a world populated by both animals and animal-like robots. No one knows where they came from or what their purpose is, but they have learned how to hunt them for resources and been inspired enough to reach a roughly medieval level of technology- plus whatever electrical or mechanical parts they can repurpose from the robots. The planet is also full of leftover Faro war machines, which have been quiescent since Gaia shut them down.

An ancient machine, worshipped as a sacred site by the Nora, suddenly comes to life and brings forth a human infant. She is named Aloy and given to the local weirdo outcast to raise, and grows up to be a capable hunter but also kind of a misfit who conflicts with the tribe as well. This is largely due to her discovery, as a child, of a device called a Focus- an augmented reality digital assistant which has been secretly educating her about the lost world and grants her access to the remaining bits of technology. She is very curious about the robots and about the sacred machine, but tribal orthodoxy prevents her from investigating further.

When Aloy participates in a Nora coming-of-age ceremony, over the objections of the tribal leaders, outsiders armed with machine weapons attack and kill her adopted father and a large number of others. Aloy demands, and is finally granted, the freedom to explore why the attack happened and why the machines are becoming more hostile in general.

She discovers the attack was instigated by a cult called the Eclipse, nominally led by a man named Helis, but in reality led by the AI HADES, a component of the Zero Dawn program that had been charged with doing a hard reset of the biosphere had the initial attempts to redevelop it hit a dead end. HADES has been triggered by a signal received from an unknown source, and was attempting to fulfill its function by activating the long-dormant Faro robots. A scientist named Sylens had rediscovered it and let it develop out of his fascination with lost technology, but it discarded him once he was no longer useful and he allies with Aloy.

Aloy and Sylens explore the ruins of the Zero Dawn project and piece together the story of how the old world was destroyed. Aloy realizes she is a clone of Elizabeth Sobek, created by GAIA using the Zero Dawn incubator, and that Sobek's genes are the key to overriding HADES. She allies with the Carja Sundom, the kingdom that controls most of the world, to fight off the Eclipse and gain access to a HADES control terminal that will allow her to issue the shutdown command. This plan succeeds, GAIA regains control, HADES is neutralized, and the Faro robots are returned to dormancy.

Afterward, Aloy continues to explore the world, and eventually discovers the final resting place of the original Elizabeth Sobek. The Eclipse is left leaderless and destroyed. Tribal politics across the world are disrupted by the brief robot rampage. Sylens recaptures HADES but plans to continue to work with it.


In the DLC:


Aloy explores a new region which is experiencing a period of increased volcanic activity. It is revealed that this area is what we know as Yellowstone National Park, and the activity is coming from the destabilization of Cyan, a Zero Dawn program to manage the caldera underneath and prevent its eruption.


e: this took much too long to write

haveblue fucked around with this message at 21:07 on Feb 7, 2022

Lobok
Jul 13, 2006

Say Watt?



The most important part thing from the DLC is obviously Concrete Beach Party.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Just as a reminder, Horizon Zero Dawn spoilers are safe here! At last we can be freed from the shackles of black text.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

Thanks for those two summaries. I loved HZD, but it's been years since I beat it. I was lukewarm on the sequel, but after those two refreshers, I'm actually pretty pumped for the new game. No idea why I've been lukewarm, cuz I loved the original.

Never played Frozen Wilds, though.

Nottherealaborn
Nov 12, 2012


Franchescanado posted:

Thanks for those two summaries. I loved HZD, but it's been years since I beat it. I was lukewarm on the sequel, but after those two refreshers, I'm actually pretty pumped for the new game. No idea why I've been lukewarm, cuz I loved the original.

Never played Frozen Wilds, though.

Thereís still time to play FW ahead of the release of FW! Itís worth returning to, especially for the couple new machines it has.

haveblue
Aug 15, 2005




Toilet Rascal

Just maybe not if you haven't played HZD in a long time, because FW is significantly harder than the base game

The Postman
May 12, 2007





Oh yeah, I forgot there are PS5 enhancements for Zero Dawn. Has anybody replayed it on PS5?

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




It runs at 4k60fps with better water effects on PS5, but as far as I can tell, those are the only enhancements. Does not have the higher-res textures, foliage deformations or volumetric lighting from the PC port. Still looks pretty great though!

Ace Transmuter
May 19, 2017

I like video games

For those who want the full game-order experience:

*A baby is born to mysterious circumstances and is given to an honorable man named Rost who is also a permanent outcast due to mysterious circumstances. Old lady leader #1 thinks baby is holy; old lady leader #2 thinks baby is demon. They argue. Rost names the baby Aloy. She will be raised as an outcast to the tribe, the Nora. She grows up being treated like dirt by everyone.
*There are regular animals but also robot animals, and the robot animals have been getting more angry and dangerous lately.
*As a small child Aloy falls in a hole and finds a super advanced sci-fi bunker. She finds a hi-tech thing called a focus that you place in your ear somehow on your temple and it basically gives you Detective Vision from the Arkham game.
*It also allows you to read/listen to ancient records that were left. Here we (the player) learn we're on Earth (references to Machu Pichu; Christian prayers) and also learn that something so bad was happening that everyone died by suicide
*Aloy grows up with a singular goal of training to win The Proving; the Nora tribe's coming-of-age ceremony. Outcast children who participate and complete (basically guaranteed) become full members of the tribe, but the winner gets a boon from the old lady leaders, and Aloy wants them to tell her about how she was born.
*Rost tells Aloy he's going to go far away because as a full member of the tribe he won't be allowed to interact with him, an outcast, anymore. This upsets Aloy.
*Aloy visits the "big city" of the Nora for the first time. People are preparing for the Proving, but also a delegating from the Carja is here. The Carja are another tribe who spent a bunch of time raiding and enslaving and murdering the Nora and basically everyone. They've got a new, non-evil king and are on a goodwill tour. She meets an Oseram (another tribe) man named Erend who seems pretty chill, and another Oseram man named Olin who also has a focus and acts super weird and squirrely as soon as he meets Aloy.
*Aloy runs in the Proving, and in spite of multiple individuals trying to sabotage her, she wins, because of course. Then "Shadow Carja" (followers of the old evil king) show up and try to murder everyone. Aloy kills a bunch but gets her rear end kicked by a big scary man named Helis. She's saved by Rost, who himself dies.
*Aloy wakes up in a special sacred cave that's supposed to be only for the old lady leaders; the Mother Mountain. She finds out there's a door like the ones from the ruins. The door seems to recognize her, but says that the "alpha registry" is corrupted and won't open. She discovers she was found as a baby right outside this door. Nobody knows who her mother is.
*One of the dead Shadow Carja left behind a focus of his own. Aloy checks it out and sees an image of her from Olin's POV, followed by a scary voice saying she's a 99% genetic match for someone named Elisabet Sobeck, and ordering her death. Genetics being a field of study that didn't survive the old world, Aloy assumes that this Elisabet is her mother. Old leader ladies #1 and #3 (who basically just follows what #1 says because gently caress #2) make Aloy a "Seeker", giving her sacred cover to leave Nora lands (usually grounds for being outcast) to figure out who attacked the Proving.
*Aloy meets another friend named Varl, whose mother was the war leader. He's pretty cool, and does cool things.
*Aloy tracks Olin to the Carja capital city Meridian, a huge city built on/near a mesa near something called the "Spire", a really tall metal tower that looks like maybe a power or communications tower from the old world. She eventually finds that Olin is a digger and explorer who was blackmailed by the "Eclipse" (an extra super cult within the Shadow Carja and also responsible for the attack on the Proving) into helping them exhume ancient war machines for them and also spying for them. They are holding his family hostage. Because Aloy isn't a monster she spares Olin and together they rescue his family.
*Meanwhile, Aloy and Erend uncover a plot to kidnap/kill Erend's sister, the new sun king's personal bodyguard. Erend's sister does eventually die, but Aloy and Erend buddy cop together to uncover and foil a plot to kill the sun king and burn Meridian to the ground. It's super fun. The new sun king, who it is worth mentioning is insanely hot, offers Aloy his hand in marraige, because frankly everyone wants a piece of Aloy and she doesn't really care about it all. That said, she does take a moment to admonish the king in trying to make her his bodyguard crush rebound.
*Aloy, with the help of the mysterious but smoothly soothing voice of Lance Reddick calling himself "Slyens", finds the ruins of "Faro Automated Systems", where she learns that a businessman named Ted Faro built a crapton of automated robotic weapons of war with the ability to self-replicate by consuming biomass. This includes some of the war machines she's seen, but not the robot animals.
*This is an immensely stupid idea, that goes about as well as expected.
*At the top of the tour she sees a video of Ted Faro begging Elisabet Sobeck for help, because (surprise!) a swarm of robots went rogue and kill everyone and everything. Sobeck comes up with a plan called "Zero Dawn"; we don't learn the details, but Ted doesn't like it very much. Still, she blackmails him into signing off on bankrolling it as she heads to U.S. Robot Command. Sylens knows where that is, so it's Aloy's next destination.
*At U.S. Robot Command, she finds the various U.S. generals bickering over Sobeck's plan, which is told to be the only thing that will save humanity. We still don't learn what Zero Dawn is, but many generals call it unconscionable until the head honcho, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Aaron Herres, thanks Sobeck for giving humanity a chance and puts his foot down. Zero Dawn is moving forward.
*She and Sylens learn where Zero Dawn HQ is. Hooray! It's directly underneath Sunfall, the Shadow Carja/Eclipse capital. Awwww. Together they concoct a plan to take out the Eclipse's Focus network, making it easier for her to sneak into Zero Dawn.
*It's worth pointing out that Aloy and Sylens have a strained relationship. Aloy is annoyed that Sylens care more about knowledge than anything else and isn't risking his own hide. Sylens thinks Aloy is short-sighted and selfish, caring more about figuring out her own past and connection to Sobeck then the vast historical knowledge they're uncovering.
*Aloy sneaks into the Eclipse base and knocks out the Focus network, but not before coming face-to-face with HADES, the scary robot voice that is leading the Eclipse. She escapes, barely, and heads to Sunfall.
*At Sunfall, Aloy sees that the Shadow Carja's "king" is a scared child, hot sun king's little brother. Here she meets Vanasha, a badass attendant to the Queen who asks for Aloy's help.
*Aloy manages to get inside the Zero Dawn headquarters, but not without alerting the Eclipse as well as opening their way into the HQ as well. This is the best location in the game, as the pacing of the reveals here is :chefkiss:
*First is an intake room; people who arrived here were scared and disoriented, obviously being pulled off the street. One is Travis Tate, a sardonic rear end in a top hat of a black hat hacker who thought he was way off the grid. The people here are experts in their field. AI, robotics, geologists, even art historians. From here they were led to the first viewing room, dubbed "The Bad News".
*The Bad News is delivered by General Aaron Herres: the Faro Swarm is unstoppable. It would take 50 years to crack their activation codes, and the Earth's inhabitability will last for maybe a year and a half. All life on the planet will die; mass global extinction. It is literally unstoppable. Sobeck's "Zero Dawn" is the only way humanity will have a future. General Herres' overseen project: Operation Enduring Victory, in which every able person was conscripted to fight the swarm, was going to fail, and get every person involved killed, because every moment gained is a moment for Zero Dawn to continue its work.
*The next chamber is where the Zero Dawn candidates speak with counselors, whose instructions tell them to be well-versed in explaining that no, there really is no way to stop the swarm, every angle has been considered. Zero Dawn is the only way. Candidates are upset, panicky, angry, but a few seem prepared to learn with Sobeck has up her sleeve and how they can help. Once sufficiently calmed, candidates are brought to the second viewing room, dubbed "The Good News"
*The Good News is delivered by Elisabet Sobeck: Zero Dawn is a not a mega-weapon meant to stop the Faro Swarm; that cannot be done. Zero Dawn is meant to rebuild the Earth well after the Faro robots are dealt with. A mass terraforming and genetic re-seeding project headed by the most advanced AI possible, dubbed GAIA. We are treated to explanations of GAIAs sub-systems, all named after Greek myths. One is designed to keeping cracking the Faro swarm activation codes, and then when finished build relay towers around the world and deactivate all robots. Another is designed to beginning the terraforming process; creating robotic creatures designed to assist in the process. Functions for reseeding plant life, animal life, and eventually humanity. Also introduced, but not yet explained, is HADES, the same psuedo-AI that now leads the Eclipse and called for Aloy's death.
*Here we learn that the candidates were given a choice: work for Zero Dawn, and they and their family get to live out their natural lives in the Elysium shelter. Otherwise, they could either choose medical euthanasia (with a 48 hour waiting period) or indefinite detention (letting anyone go was impossible, but those in detention had 48 hours to choose a different option). This part is super bleak.
*We get broader introductions to some of the more plot-relevant subfunctions, starting with HEPHASTUS, designed to build the robots necessary for the terraforming project and responsible for the Cauldrons (optional dungeons where robot animals are mass-produced and where Aloy learns how to override groups of them). HEPHASTUS is also responsible for the events of the Frozen Wilds DLC, so we'll get back to him.
*We also learn about APOLLO, which is designed to be a repository of Earth's collected knowledge and cultural heritage, to be shared with the growing humans using a scaffolded and gamified educational system. This confuses Aloy and angers Sylens; everything else seemed to work, but APOLLO's knowledge seems to be lost.
*We finally learn HADES' purpose. He's built by Travis Tate, the aforementioned hacker and death-metal/porn aficionado whose attempts to add The Human Centipede series (which got like 6 sequels in Horizon!Earth) and hentai to the APOLLO archive are rebuffed (Tate is clearly a Goon), but builds HADES to specifications. See, there were concerns raised that GAIA would get things wrong at first, concerns brought up by everyone's lease favorite human Ted Faro, but the GAIA AI agrees with. Since GAIA is designed to build and foster life, a subfunction was required to take the reins over for a bit to re-devastate the planet to give GAIA a chance to try it again. Sobeck is worried about this but ultimately agrees.
*Aloy finally gets an uncorrupted alpha registry (the Alphas are so named as the leaders of the individual pieces of Zero Dawn) but is then captured by the Eclipse.
*The Eclipse, being a wacky evil sun cult, decides to sacrifice her in the Sun Ring (an amphitheater attached to Sunfall) at high noon, because of course they did. Aloy is able get a hold of her gear using the tried and true method of "bait the charging boss into running into a pillar and dodging at the last minute". Helis, seething, sics some more war machines on her, but she's saved at the last minute by an explosion in the wall of the Sun Ring, as Sylens rides in, in the flesh, on an overriden machine, hands the reins of one to Aloy, and they clear out. Before leaving, however, Helis recognizes Sylens, and calls him a traitor.
*Aloy is amazed that Sylens actually risked his neck for real for her; Sylens replies that he needs her ability to match Elisabet to open more doors of knowledge for him, not because he likes or anything. Aloy wonders how Sylens knew where to find her, to which he replies "the Eclipse is a wacky evil sun cult, of course they were going to sacrifice her in the Sun Ring at high noon". Aloy decides to return to Nora territory, partially to get back in the Mother Mountain but mostly because Helis decided to send an army with death war robots to murder all the Nora.
*Aloy saves the day, of course, and is hailed as a religious savior to the people, which kind of pisses her off (after all, they spent most of her life treating her like worse than dirt). With the full alpha registry on hand, she enters the Mother Mountain to found one of the sites of ELEUTHIA, the GAIA subroutine designed re-birth and raise human life. The children are raised in relative comfort by a pair of robotic caretakers, but the children chafe under their constraints, especially as they can see a large unopened chamber with a door that would never open for them. Aloy, being a boss, gets the door open and finds that the locked chamber was meant to be a school, housing the knowledge of APOLLO. However, none of the APOLLO knowledge is actually available here.
* The takeaway here is that the first new humans, the world over, were birthed in these sites, but were never given any sort of education before being loosed in the world on the cusp of adulthood.
*Ultimately, she finds a message from the GAIA AI to Elisabet: twenty years prior to the game, a "strange signal" from an unknown source has re-awakened all of GAIA's subfunctions and freed them from her control. This ranges from harmless (ELEUTHIA) to very scary (HEPHASTUS) to apocalyptic
(HADES). As a last resort, she says that she blows herself up, cutting off HADES' ability to control her own functions against the world. As part of this, GAIA makes the decision to create a clone of Elisabet Sobeck, who would be able to set things right and restore GAIA's functionality. Once raised and "birthed", this baby was left at the door to ELEUTHIA to be found by the Nora; this baby/clone was of course Aloy.
*Sylens speaks of an ancient ruin where a massive explosion was triggered twenty years ago; a ruin so secured not even Sylens, through years of attempts, was able to gain entrance. He invites Aloy to his home base, which he created just outside those ruins. There he spills the beans; he had hinted in the past that he had helped the Eclipse in the past, but now he states that he created the Eclipse. He found HADES trapped in a broken machine; Sylens repaired him enough to give him voice, and the two entered a partnership. HADES would give Sylens the knowledge of the ancients (calculus, physics, etc.) while Sylens helped him by telling him more about the surrounding region and eventually helping him build an army. Sylens helped HADES trick the Eclipse into thinking that it was an important figure of their mythology. Sylens also helped build their Focus network, which HADES used to issue his kill order for Sylens after it had decided he had outlived his usefulness. Sylens shares that HADES was always most interested in The Spire; not Meridian or the Carja, but specifically The Spire. They easily deduce the meaning; The Spire was part of the network that issued the Faro Swarm deactivation code, and HADES was going to override it and reactivate the swarm.
*Oh, at some point during all this Aloy goes back to Sunfall and helps Vanasha save first one of her friends and then rescure the Queen and the Sun King's little brother and bring them to the safety of Meridian. All in a day's work.
*The only way to stop HADES is to find the Master Override, found in the ruins of GAIA Prime, the ruins Aloy stands on the precipice of entering. Sylens gifts Aloy his custom spear, to which she could attach the Master Override and destroy HADES once and for all.
*Aloy enters GAIA Prime; the first thing she finds is a memorial built to Elisabet Sobeck. GAIA Prime and the Alphas were flown out here to live in the GAIA Prime bunker, because their work wasn't quite done, but it was too late to remain aboveground, so they weren't able to join the others in Elysium (its worth noting that some members of the team still chose medical euthanasia or freedom over Elysium). However, upon arrival, they discovered a catastrophic failure in one of the site's seals, that would ultimately spell doom for them and GAIA and the whole Zero Dawn process. While the Alphas argued amongst themselves over who would go outside, fix the seal, but be stuck outside, Dr. Sobeck just went and did it herself. One of the remaining Alphas built the shrine to her, and others were given the opportunity to leave a few thoughts for her. Travis Tate gets a lot of humanizing in the files found in GAIA Prime, in case one was left thinking he was just the monster responsible for HADES (also he lost all the hentai he was planning on archiving).
*We learn that Ted Faro got to have his own shelter, a private built pyramid he called "Thebes". Faro leaves several messages, talking to Elisabet, grappling with his own guilt, also grappling with ways to offload his guilt. His target? The collected historical knowledge and culture of human society. You know, APOLLO. After one of these rants, Aloy responds "I don't like where this is going," speaking for most of us. It's worth noting, my partner was actually on-board with Ted at this point; maybe it was a bad idea to set humanity right back on the same path they originally were.
*Then Ted decides to unilaterally destroy APOLLO while locking the Alphas completely out of the system. Then he sealed the chamber the remaining Alphas were in and removed all their oxygen, killing each and every one of them so nobody would be able to fix what he did. Yeah, gently caress Ted Faro.
*Aloy gets the Master Override, shoves it onto Sylens' spear, and heads to Meridian, where all the friends she made are waiting to make their final stand against HADES and the Eclipse. You get to meet all the friends you made along the way, they all get to flirt with Aloy one last time, and then the Eclipse attacks. Lots of bad dudes and bad robits show up. Aloy kills Helis, primarily by blowing his rear end up a bunch.
*After the sun king is saved, Aloy makes her way to The Spire, where her closest allies Varl and Erend await to join the fight against HADES, now in the possession of an incredibly beefed up Deathbringer (we've fought these before, but weaker versions in easier circumstances and more places to hide). HADES does get to the spire and starts transmitting the re-activation codes to the Faro robots. During the battle HADES summons multiple waves of robots, and not easy, annoying robits, but the scary powerful kinds. It's a pretty tense fight; also there's a timer, but it's pretty generous.
*Aloy stabs HADES with Sylens' spear with the Master Override; HADES "spirit" is pulled from machine and appears to fade away. The reactivation code reverses, and the Faro robots are once again put down. The world is saved. Hooray!
*Aloy goes on a journey to find Sobeck's home in Nevada*, where Sobeck had told the Alphas she was trying to get to after getting locked out of GAIA Prime. Aloy finds Sobeck's remains as she listens to Sobeck's last known recording; Sobeck talking about what she would have wanted for her daughter, had she had one; it's incredibly sad and poignant and :chefkiss:
*The End
*Oh yeah and the HADES' "spirit" flies back on screen and ends up trapped inside of a container held by... Sylens! Dun dun dun! Yeah, so of course Sylens didn't help you kill HADES; he made it so that you could capture HADES for him. Because knowledge. You know.
*The End, for real this time


*I didn't mention it now, but we eventually discover that the bulk of the game takes place in Colorado & Utah, with a little bit of the Arizona/New Mexico badlands, and the DLC takes us to parts of Wyoming (namely Yellewstone National Park).

mutata
Mar 1, 2003



This avatar brought to you by gamers like you.


haveblue posted:



Aloy explores a new region which is experiencing a period of increased volcanic activity. It is revealed that this area is what we know as Yellowstone National Park, and the activity is coming from the destabilization of Cyan, a Zero Dawn program to manage the caldera underneath and prevent its eruption.


e: this took much too long to write

I believe Cyan wasn't part of Zero Dawn, but a separate initiative before the Faro Plague to stabilize the Yellowstone caldera, which explains why Cyan wasn't affected by all of the Zero Dawn AIs going wacky and trying to eat each other.

Ace Transmuter
May 19, 2017

I like video games

mutata posted:

I believe Cyan wasn't part of Zero Dawn, but a separate initiative before the Faro Plague to stabilize the Yellowstone caldera, which explains why Cyan wasn't affected by all of the Zero Dawn AIs going wacky and trying to eat each other.

Yes, Cyan was part of Operation Firebreak, which was part of the Clawback from catastrophic climate change.

e: Because Horizon: Zero Dawn is the type of game that posits that AI and autonomous machines will help save us from oncoming global crisis of climate change, but that they will also murder the entire planet a few decades ago.

IcePhoenix
Sep 18, 2005

Take me to your Shida



Quantum of Phallus posted:

Can't wait for this one. Zero Dawn is one of maybe 3 open-world games I've played, finished and enjoyed in the last 20 years. So good!!!
:same:

ShadowedFlames posted:

Less than a month away, boys and girls and those outside that binary!

Also, it cannot be said nearly enough. gently caress Ted Faro.

Am I the only one trying to avoid looking at too much ahead of release day? I went into HZD relatively unspoiled and while I want to see some of the new wrinkles for HFW, part of me wants to go in as clean as I can for maximum discovery immersion.

I think the trailer that came out today is the first thing I've really bothered to watch in the last few months. The combat demo where you save Erend is the last thing I watched and I sort of decided from there that I just wanted to experience things as they happened in game instead of knowing they're coming.

Gonna reorganize my game cabinet this weekend so I can put my big gently caress off mammoth next to the PS5 I think :getin:

tribbledirigible
Jul 27, 2004
I finally beat the internet. The end boss was hard.



Jose Oquendo posted:

https://blog.playstation.com/2021/09/04/pre-order-horizon-forbidden-west-now-collectors-and-digital-deluxe-editions-detailed/


I have a PS5. From what this says, I should buy the PS4 version (disc or digital) and then claim the upgrade whenever that pops up on the PSN Store?

This is my current gameplan. I pre-ordered the PS4 with giftcard money.

Edit: gently caress Ted Faro.

tribbledirigible fucked around with this message at 23:26 on Jan 19, 2022

BeanpolePeckerwood
May 4, 2004

I MAY LOOK LIKE SHIT BUT IM ALSO DUMB AS FUCK





Pork Pro

ground floor

Zil
Jun 4, 2011

😈Satanically👹 Summoned 𖤐 Citrus🍋





Not enough gently caress Ted Faros so far in the thread.

Lobok
Jul 13, 2006

Say Watt?



Should we all do a prediction on what part, if any, Faro will play? Not like Toxx-level, just an informal poll basically.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




My bold prediction: Faro will be dead, no clones, no cryo, no take-backsies. As entertaining as it would be to have him survive 1,000 years only for Elisabet's clone to stab him in the dick, I think he got away with it.

haveblue
Aug 15, 2005




Toilet Rascal

I agree, that part of the story is now over

Happy Noodle Boy
Jul 3, 2002



You think so but wait until the Ted Faro church that dominates the forbidden west is revealed. He deleted the knowledge but his TED talk videos survived.

IcePhoenix
Sep 18, 2005

Take me to your Shida



Zil posted:

Not enough gently caress Ted Faros so far in the thread.

I brought a sign that said F*** TED FARO to a wrestling PPV does that count

Lobok posted:

Should we all do a prediction on what part, if any, Faro will play? Not like Toxx-level, just an informal poll basically.

Kind of hope he's just not around and only related in that it's still his fault we're in this mess.

I also somewhat expect the antagonist mentioned in the trailer to be a fakeout

Lobok
Jul 13, 2006

Say Watt?



I think he will be mentioned, especially if Apollo or the Odyssey are not truly gone, but I don't think there is going to be much new in the way of info or revelations concerning him.

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exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




There's a brief scene about 1:30 into the story trailer where Aloy and Co. are looking at a door with the FAS logo, so we'll probably visit Thebes.

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