All About Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy

Kimberley Wallace

In many ways, Horizon Zero Dawn's protagonist, Aloy, has been just as mysterious as her world and its beginnings. Besides seeing her in trailers with a bow, obliterating larger-than-life machines, Guerrila Games hasn't revealed much about her except a few facts, and yet she's already become popular with cosplayers and gamers. It's almost as if Aloy's presence on the screen says everything about her; she's determined, skilled, and has a kindness to her that makes her feel inherently good. While Aloy is all of those things, there's also a reason she's become the strong, independent woman she is at the start of the game. From her hunting tribe to her childhood hardships, her whole life has prepared her for the journey that awaits her in Horizon Zero Dawn.

Troubled Beginnings To understand Aloy and why she's adamant about fighting mechanical beasts and nonplussed to leave the only place she's ever known, you must know about her past. Aloy grew up in the Nora tribe, but since birth, she has been shunned by her tribe and not one member will dare tell her why. Aloy didn't grow up with the luxury of having a normal family; she never knew her mother or father. Instead, she was raised by another outcast named Rost, who's pretty much her foster parent. Raising Aloy was a task given to Rost by the tribe, but he cares very much about her even though it wasn't something he just did out of the kindness of his heart.

The two live in the wild, not being able to step into certain areas within the tribe. Tribe members won't give either of them the time of day; talking to outcasts is going against the tribe, and most people don't want to risk retribution.   When Horizon Zero Dawn begins, Aloy is just coming of age, and because she's maturing she can no longer ignore all the unanswered questions about her life, particularly the identity of her parents and what happened to grant her this horrible place within the tribe. A rite of passage called The Proving is her chance to finally get the answers she so desperately seeks. If she succeeds at The Proving, it will not only erase her outcast status, but she also net her a valuable prize.

She can get a "kind of boon" from the matriarchs, the leaders of her tribe, allowing her to find out more about her parents. For Aloy, this sacred event means everything. As for her feelings on her own tribe, they're very complicated. Aloy isn't even sure if it's the right place for her, but it's all she's ever known. Still, that doesn't mean she's quick to go along with or agree with everything the tribe requests and does.

She's more pragmatic because of her upbringing; after all, she's seen firsthand the unfairness of the tribe's rules. "I also think there's an advantage to her being an outcast herself because…

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