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8 Questions We Have That Horizon Forbidden West Needs To Answer

Aloy’s epic journey in Horizon Zero Dawn left fans with some burning questions that the sequel will hopefully address. As players wait for the highly anticipated 2022 release of Horizon Forbidden West, it’s the perfect time to look back at some of the puzzling events in Zero Dawn.

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From the origin of the Faro Plague to HEPHAESTUS’ motivations, there are a lot of questions the prequel left unanswered. Players don’t know exactly what they’re walking into in Forbidden West where things seem to be reaching a breaking point, what with the impending storms, a mysterious blight, and increasingly hostile machines. Hopefully, the sequel’s story will wrap up some of the biggest inquiries fans still have about Aloy’s post-apocalyptic world.

8 What Caused The Glitch That Started The Faro Plague?

One of the reasons Horizon Zero Dawn has one of the best post-apocalyptic narratives is its focus on building a complex story of the past and how humanity drove itself to the brink of extinction. After the egoistic Ted Faro partnered with private military groups and spread dangerous ‘peacekeeping robots’ around the world, a glitch triggered the start of the end for the planet.

Due to Faro’s insistence that there should be no backdoor to the Chariot Line, not even the smartest people on earth could undo the malicious code that began to spread everywhere. But what exactly caused the glitch in the first place? While the game does reveal that the virus originated from the line of robots owned by the corporation, Hartz-Timor Energy Combine, it never fully explains why the glitch happened or who (if anyone) was responsible for it.

7 Is It Possible To Restore APOLLO?

As part of a last-ditch attempt at preserving humanity, Dr. Sobeck designed the most advanced AI ever made, GAIA. She would be responsible for rebuilding the earth long after the Faro Plague is done destroying it. One of her crucial functions is called APOLLO, which was programmed to educate the people of the future about the history and technology of the past. Unfortunately, Faro’s misguided ideas led him to secretly delete APOLLO, explaining that he didn’t want people to make the same mistakes. His real intention could have easily been that he didn’t want the future to know that he caused the apocalypse.

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Without APOLLO, Aloy and her people have resorted to more primitive ways of living, but perhaps it doesn’t have to be that way. Dr. Sobeck knew how unstable Faro had become towards the end, so it wouldn’t be surprising if there were some sort of failsafe installed in the AI. The biggest clue is that when Aloy sees APOLLO on GAIA’s functions, it simply says “Offline,” suggesting that there may be a way to turn it back on and restore the lost knowledge it contains.

6 Where Did Sylens Come From?

Based on Sylens’ best lines in Horizon Zero Dawn, he’s a mysterious figure that can’t be trusted. He doesn’t reveal much about his past and the major thing that players know about him is his obsession with finding out more about the Old World. Sylens’ complicated alliance with HADES helped the rogue AI learn about the Spire, which he almost successfully used to revive the Faro Swarm. Despite knowing how dangerous HADES is, Sylens’ last action in the game is to bring him back so he can continue to learn about the past.

Why is Sylens so determined to learn about the Old World and what led him to become a wanderer in the first place? All of the individuals in Zero Dawn are born into tribes, so where is Sylens’? He could have been exiled or he might have left on his own accord – fans will hopefully learn more about the enigmatic character in the sequel.

5 Who Sent The Signal That Woke HADES?

HADES has definitely become one of the strangest bosses in gaming history thanks to his twisted intentions and complex origins. The most bizarre part about his backstory is the inexplicable signal that woke him and all of GAIA’s subordinate functions, which led to HADES’ emancipation, HEPHAESTUS’ initiation of the Derangement, and the independence of all the other functions who turned into their own AIs.

In the last scene of Zero Dawn, Sylens presses HADES for answers about the “Masters who sent the signal that woke” him and all of the other AIs. Who exactly are these Masters and did they intend for HADES to activate the Extinction Protocol? Could they somehow be connected to the glitch that doomed the Old World? They’ll undoubtedly have a role to play in Forbidden West.

4 What Happened To Ted Faro?

Faro was one of the few people who survived beyond Zero Day. Despite not contributing anything useful to GAIA’s construction and in fact even sabotaging the entire process, he was able to survive in his bunker known as Thebes, while the Alpha designers were toiling away in GAIA Prime.

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After Dr. Sobeck sacrificed herself to seal off GAIA Prime and save the rest of the Alpha designers, Faro and the team became the last people on earth. Aloy discovered that Faro murdered the team after deleting APOLLO, but it’s not clear what happened to him after. He could have just died of old age in his bunker, but he might have found a way to cryogenically survive. Given Faro’s immense wealth and his insistence on staying in Thebes, there’s a chance he might have had access to cryogenics. If he appears in Forbidden West, it’ll be satisfying to see Aloy defeat him and make him pay for all of his mistakes.

3 Why Does HEPHAESTUS Want To Destroy Humanity?

Horizon Zero Dawn’s best side quests are often the source of a ton of details about the game’s lore, but one of the most vital pieces of information is actually given to players in the DLC, The Frozen Wilds. HEPHAESTUS, GAIA’s subordinate function responsible for terraforming machines, has gone rogue due to the same signal that woke HADES. In The Frozen Wilds, HEPHAESTUS discovers the ancient research facility called Firebreak, which is run by an AI known as CYAN. HEPHAESTUS overpowers CYAN in an attempt to turn the location into a cauldron.

Players eventually learn that the rogue AI wants to build hunter-killer machines, designed specifically for wiping out humanity. While it makes sense that HEPHAESTUS started the Derangement as a natural defense because humans were hunting machines, fans still don’t know what would cause him to take this extra step and actively try to murder people. Is it possible that the “Masters” have something to do with it?

2 What Makes The Forbidden West So Dangerous?

“Forbidden West” is the name given to the land beyond the area known as the Daunt, which is where the Sundom ends. Previous Sun-Kings have tried to venture out into the mysterious West with their armies, but are always easily defeated by the Tenakth.

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Wanderers who go out to explore the Forbidden West rarely ever return. Those who do find their way back are almost always in critical condition, barely able to speak about their experiences. Others come back as incoherent individuals, totally different from the way they were when they left. Who exactly are the Tenakth and what secrets lie beyond the Daunt that cause wanderers to become traumatized? These are questions that will definitely be answered in the sequel, given how the game itself will be set in that unexplored location.

1 How Will Aloy Prevent Extinction?

Based on the trailer for Horizon Forbidden West, a terrible danger is looming in the distance. “Vicious storms” and an “unstoppable blight” are threatening to wipe out what’s left of humanity. It’s up to Aloy to find exactly what’s causing these threats and to prevent extinction, but how is she going to do that?

With HADES and Sylens potentially working together and a mysterious new enemy on the horizon, it’s unlikely that Aloy can just stab her way out of this one. She could unite the tribes and persuade them to go to the West with her or even attempt to rebuild GAIA and restore her functions. Fans will have to wait just a little bit longer to find out how Aloy will overcome these challenges and save humankind.

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