How Horizon Forbidden West writers made the most awkward moment of the game on purpose

Horizon Forbidden West’s writers have opened up about one of the most awkward moments in the game and what it says about how Aloy’s background and perspective on the world.

Horizon Forbidden West writers Ben McCaw and Annie Kitain recently sat down with GamesRadar to chat about the story Aloy’s latest epic and her relationship with the people and world around her. It might go without saying since we’re about to get into story details, but major spoilers are just ahead for Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West. Turn back now if you don’t want anything spoiled before playing the game.

The Aloy statue in Horizon Forbidden West

(Image credit: PlayStation)

As McCaw explains, Aloy isn’t much for celebrations while there’s still work to be done. Not only is she constantly aware of her responsibility to permanently fix the biosphere and heal the world, but she’s also feeling pressured to live up to her genetic mother figure, Elisabet’s, legacy.

“If you imagine the night that Aloy succeeded in defeating Hades – she’s at Meridian, and there’s this huge party going on,” McCaw says. “That would be a kind of torture for her.”

“She alone in that entire group knows that her job is only half done. And really, there’s a ticking clock that’s in the background. That’s unbearable for her. And, you know, she needs to get out there and get the job done. And as Annie said, a lot of that has to do with comparing yourself to her genetic mother figure.”

At one point in the game, Aloy returns to Meridian to find out the townspeople have erected a massive statue in her name. And while there are heroes who would revel in the glory of the moment, Aloy is visibly uncomfortable with the situation for the above reasons. And according to the writers, there was once an NPC you could interact with to learn more about the garish Aloy statue, but it’s since been scrapped.

“That statue,” McCaw says. “There was a lot of back and forth about that statue; it went through many versions. At one point we actually had the sculptor [in Meridian], where you could actually have a conversation with them.”

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