Horizon Forbidden West Dev explains his most twisted villains

Aloy drives a Sunwing in Horizon Forbidden West.

screenshot: Sony/Kotaku

One could draw a direct line between the fictional villains Horizon forbidden west and certain members of the IRL three point club. However, the main author of the game insists that such characters are not based on real people.

Horizon forbidden westwhich was first released for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 last month is the sequel to 2017 Horizon Zero Dawnand is a similar open world apocalypse simulation. horizon take place In 1000 yearsin the wake of a planetwide cataclysm that has covered the world in moss, giant robots, and little else.

During opening hours from Forbidden West, the main character Aloy, and her best friend Varl make their way through a disused private space company facility called Far Zenith, a perfect embodiment of modern Silicon Valley naming conventions. Aloy and Varl enter a windowless room. A hologram appears. It’s a Far Zenith henchman, some guy named Osvald Dalgaard, who’s putting swear words behind him about the moral incentive—even the imperative—to fuck off in space.

“People. Homo sapiens. US. As explorers, pioneers and innovators, we’ve always pushed boundaries,” says Dalgaard, sounding not unlike anyone who has booked 17 minutes on a TEDx stage before outlining Far Zenith’s plan to reclaim an entire construction on a derelict spaceship and send a sleeper colony to the Sirius system. “There we will establish humanity’s first off-world colony. They…may take 300 years to reach them, but if we look up at the night sky, we know they’re on their way.”

The obvious parallels to the real world have spurred players to post youtube videos with titles like “This Guy Is Basically Elon Musk” and “Elon Musk That You?!” (Musk, who has a net worth of $200 billion, is the founder and CEO of space company SpaceX.) In the meantime, over there at digital trends, Giovanni Colantonio drew a direct comparison of the Zeniths with real-life bazillionaires like Jeff Bezos. (Bezos, who has a net worth of $175 billion, is the founder and CEO of space company Blue Origin.) But loud Horizon Forbidden West Narrative Director Ben McCawthat was not the intention of the writer.

“It’s not based on real-world people, except as a phenomenon,” McCaw said kotaku in a recent interview. “It’s a group of people, some very public and some very good at not being public, who represent an overwhelming amount of resources and frankly seem most interested in it.”

McCaw said the writing team didn’t single out anyone, noting that there are indeed some noble ideas that underpin the powerful off-planet drive seen among some prominent members of America’s billionaire class. (In response to a follow-up email, McCaw pointed to the spirit of discovery and the hunt for renewable resources as noble ideas.) Not to mention the astounding technical feats on display — functional designs like reusable rockets make an impressively direct impact science fiction. But still, there’s plenty for a writer wanting to design an enemy faction to do in the broader subject of billionaire-funded spaceflight.

“Really, when you see this phenomenon, you just can’t help but think, ‘Is there some kind of self-preservation at play? Or is it sort of the next world to conquer?’” McCaw said. “But no, we weren’t trying to impale anyone in particular.”

Spoilers for follow Horizon forbidden west.

A spoiler alert

For the Far Zenith faction in Horizon forbidden west, yes, the motivation really is to find another world to conquer. During the intermission in the game’s first act, you’ll encounter a group of humans equipped with futuristic technology… who also appear to be completely invincible. It’s pretty clear they’re Zeniths of some sort – that’s hardly a spoiler – but you’ll learn the truth later. They are not descendants of the people who hid in space. you are actually the people who took off into space. Somewhere on the waythey cracked the code for unlimited life extension.

But in the fiction of Horizon forbidden westStaying alive for millennia and spending all that time away from your homeworld creates a level of disrespect for anyone still there. This is best exemplified in Far Zenith’s three surviving leaders, which present a sort of twisted future-chic approach zelda‘s Triforce (the three people who embody the virtues of courage, wisdom and power).

Carrie Anne Moss stands in front of trees in Horizon Forbidden West.

screenshot: Sony/Kotaku

There’s Gerard, the leader – and McCaw’s personal favorite writer, one whom he regrets not being able to give more screen time. There’s Tilda, who McCaw dubbed “the smart one,” who played masterfully with sober pragmatism Carrie Anne Moss. Finally, there is Erik, the “physical”. He’s an unrepentant jerk, a thoroughly malicious, borderline sociopathically brutal man with a dislike of hurting people.

“Part of that is this idea that they were in this colony for a thousand years, which I think had a lot of sea views, a lot of really selfish reflections of the glory days of their lives on Earth,” McCaw said.

In other words, to all the billionaires reading this, if you end up leaving the planet in search of less earthly pastures, please don’t come back. Horizon Forbidden West Dev explains his most twisted villains

Curtis Crabtree

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