Horizon Zero Dawn: What's Next With the Frozen Wilds DLC and Beyond?

With the Frozen Wilds DLC coming this fall for Horizon Zero Dawn, there are a few questions left to ask after the story.

Horizon Zero Dawn is an incredible game. With a beautiful open world, an enchanting soundtrack, and a captivating storyline, I got pulled in more and more as I progressed through the game. I constantly wanted to know what would happen next, who the characters were, or what the world was like before everything became extinct.

Many of these questions get answered through the story, side quests, general exploration, and lore scattered throughout the world. Finishing the main story left a sense of fulfillment, but I was still left with questions.

With the announcement of The Frozen Wilds expansion at E3, started thinking about the questions I'd like to have answered either in this DLC or in future releases of the series.

[This article will contain story spoilers. So if you haven't finished the game, continue at your own risk.]

Who Sent the Signal?

Approximately 20 years before the game takes place, GAIA received a signal from an unknown source. This signal damaged GAIA, causing its subordinates to become sentient and lose control of the terraforming project. GAIA self-destructed, destroying itself and all but 2 of its subordinates in the process. One of them was HADES.

I always wondered how this signal was sent and where it came from. Was it something left behind by Ted Faro? Was Sylens inadvertently responsible for it? We may never know -- but hopefully, it's expanded upon in the future.

Can APOLLO Be Recovered?

APOLLO is the subroutine of GAIA that contains the history of the earth and was responsible for teaching humans to continue on a path of advancement. Unfortunately, this was purged by Ted Faro -- but what if there was more than one build?

The story alludes to the fact that an alpha build of APOLLO was included on the Odyssey, that was destroyed when the Odyssey exploded. What if there were more than just the Alpha and GAIA builds?

HADES was purged at the end of the story, but not destroyed. What if the same thing happened with APOLLO – Ted purged it but didn't destroy it. The DLC could be based around a quest to restore knowledge. If the Master Override can restore GAIA’s protocols and stop HADES, it might be able to recover APOLLO.

Sylens also stated that it might be possible to rebuild GAIA using cauldrons, which includes APOLLO.

What is the Deal With Sylens?

Sylens' character is a mystery throughout the game until we learn how he originally stumbled across HADES. His thirst for knowledge leads him to play a major role in forming the Shadow Carja and made him HADES' pawn, and that's all we're really told.

It’s obvious that he intended to use Aloy to purge HADES using his lance right from the start. In the post credit scenes, we see HADES leaving his container and moving to a container carried by Sylens.

What are his plans? Is he going to use HADES just for knowledge, or will he use it to gain power? He says that “knowledge can have its rewards”. He could go one step too far and unknowingly release HADES once again, or even stumble across those who sent the unknown signal to GAIA. 

Is It Possible for the Derangement to End?

The machines were created in cauldrons, or underground facilities, and aided GAIA in its terraforming. HEPHAESTUS, another GAIA subordinate, controlled the production. HEPHAESTUS started designing the machines to counter attack and be hostile towards humans after they were no longer under GAIA's control.

If the master override could be used to purge HADES, could it be reset to end the derangement? After all, humans will continue to hunt the machines, and HEPHAESTUS will keep making new ones to defeat them. Could the human race get wiped out anyway from newer, deadlier machines?

What's Left for Aloy?

Aloy spent most of her time in the base game looking for a sense of purpose and feeding her curiosity about the old world. One of the things she makes clear when she is visiting Rost's grave is that she aimed to find the home of Elisabet. After defeating HADES, she managed to piece together enough information from data points to find Elisabet's childhood home.

Having found this, what's next for Aloy? She’s hardly one to settle down, so she could continue with her quest for knowledge, or try to live up to the Sobeck name and carry on in Elizabet's footsteps. Could she help restore APOLLO or try and track the source of the signal?

I would love to know more about Aloy after she defeats HADES and how her quest for answers is progressing. Hopefully, the Frozen Wilds will answer that.

Those are the main questions I’m left with after finishing Horizon Zero Dawn. While I do hope they're answered, some may just be be left to the player's imagination.

What questions are you hoping to have answered with the Frozen Wilds DLC when it releases later this year? Let me know down in the comments!

Published Jul. 6th 2017

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