Horizon Forbidden West Dev Talks The Game’s Biggest Plot

Aloy gazes into the distance in Horizon Forbidden West.

Screenshot: Sony/Kotaku

Half-way Forbidden Horizon West, you encounter a monster. It’s not an animal-shaped robot, like most of the enemies you fight. It’s a true creature of the shadows and a rare moment of terror in a series that largely eschews jump scares and nightmarish fuel. According to the game’s narrative director, the timing was a frictionless creative choice in development.

Spoilers follow for Forbidden Horizon West.

A spoiler warning

Forbidden Horizon WestGuerrilla’s second entry in a series of open-world games that release a week before most immediately announcement open-world games of all time, is full of twists and turns, whether it’s the deaths of beloved characters or the true motivation of those hated. But the most shocking moment is the revelation that 2017’s spectral antagonist Ted Faro Horizon Zero Dawnhas been alive all the time.

Record scratch: who is Ted Faro?

Ted Faro was a 21st century techevangelist whose malignant presence threatened Horizon Zero Dawn via holograms and audio logs. HorizonThe post-apocalypse is basically his fault, a series of prideful decisions you can refresh here. Since Horizon is set in the 31st century, everyone (rightly) assumed he was long dead.

If you played west forbidden, you know the moment. During the “Faro’s Tomb” mission, Aloy visits the collapsed ruins of San Francisco to find Thebes, Ted Faro’s apocalypse-proof personal bunker, in search of a replacement code that will help him trapping an integral fragment of a terraforming AI program. (Yeah, Forbidden Horizon WestThe story is all kind of crazy.) She is accompanied by a tribe called Quen, led by a named guy, in one of the Horizonbest jokes, CEO. At the end of the quest, Aloy reaches the back of the bunker, where she finds a panic room (bunkerception). Inside is Faro, who had extensively experimented with gene therapy in order to prolong his life indefinitely.

Now, Forbidden Horizon West doesn’t really show you what Faro looks like. Ceo, in his only example of bravery, walks into the room. You hear an inhuman roar. He immediately slips away. It’s the extent to which you encounter the monstrous form of Faro, somehow still alive, in Forbidden Horizon West. Ceo stupidly orders his minions to immolate him off-screen seconds later.

Ceo stands in a tent at Horizon Forbidden West.

Ceo has the most punchy face ever Forbidden Horizon West.
Screenshot: Sony/Kotaku

Forbidden Horizon West is packed with exhibits and explanations, so “Faro’s Tomb” stands out not because of what it shows you but because of what it doesn’t.

“I was very convinced, and the game director was very convinced, that there were two reasons not to [show Faro]”, Forbidden Horizon West narrative director Ben McCaw said Kotaku in a recent interview. “First, it’s not a horror game… It’s not our wheelhouse. The other thing is, at the end of the day, isn’t what you’re imagining behind that door scarier than anything we can actually show? »

McCaw compared the scene to the cinematic techniques of French director Jacques Tourneur, best known for his horror films like leopard man and night of the demon. (Tourneur also made a 1964 episode of The twilight zone.) Before the era of bloated budgets and the advent of splashy computer-generated imagery, Tourneau had to rely on other tricks to convey scary moments.

“It’s what lurks in the shadows that’s way scarier — the image your mind conjures up — than the corny Hollywood rubber suit you show off,” McCaw said. “We didn’t want to do that. We wanted it to be in the mind of the player.

In the moment – since this happens at the end of a mission and in a space resembling a suspicious boss fight – I armed myself to fight some kind of unholy monstrosity. But once nothing happened after me, I thought Faro 2.0 couldn’t move, so I came to the conclusion that maybe it looked like, say, the famous rat king from The Last of Us Part IIexcept with all his limbs severed.

McCaw, however, has a more literal picture: Behind the door, Faro is, he imagines, a “human cancer, a massive cancerous growth.” That’s what Ted Faro is, in a way. He is somehow a cancer of humanity.