Ever wondered about the science behind your favorite video games? Well, wonder no more! In this installment of SciComm Video Games, we take our second-to-last look at Horizon Zero Dawn, going on a sort of virtual safari with Aloy as we take a close look at the Scorcher, Trampler, and Fireclaw!
Journeying into Ban-Ur of Horizon: Zero Dawn | Frozen Wilds, you climb over the ledge above the icy ground below. The traversal thus far has been treacherous, leaving you, Aloy, with both emotional and physical wounds. Hades has been defeated (as far as we know), and it seems as if the Corruption is under control.
That is, until you reach the heights of the land of the Banuk people. Heaving yourself over the final stronghold of the cliff you’re ascending, you hear heavy footsteps. What could this be? The steps are much too fast, much too light to be a Tallneck.
This isn’t where you would expect to find a Trampler, a Behemoth, a Ravager, or much worse, a Thunderjaw. As the new Machine comes into view, it appears as something that only a nightmare can bring. You scan the strange being with your Focus, and it reveals a brand-new enemy.
When I first met the Scorcher, I got my ass kicked… twice. Immediately upon my first view, I believed that this animal was the Frozen Wilds’ equivalent of a bear. Upon further inspection (and more ass-kicking), though, it became clear that this creature more closely resembled a gray wolf.
The way it moves, its morphology (its physical appearance), and even its habitat confirm that this Machine was inspired by the fierce North American Canid. A force to be reckoned with.
Along with this fearsome Machine live the Fireclaw and the Tramplers, all thriving in the Northeastern region of Ban-Ur. Each of them are much larger, much more bloodthirsty than their organic predecessors. Still, they strike just as much awe in the player.
As we hang out at this Fireclaw and Scorcher site, we’ll discuss the following concepts in depth:
- In the real world, how do wolves (Scorchers), bison (Tramplers), and other prey species live alongside one another without always being at each other’s throats?
- Though they are both predators, how do grizzly bears, wolves, and other predatory species share space?
- How do species that share the same ecosystem interact? What are the appropriate terms to use when discussing such natural phenomena?
All of it will be discussed here, on our virtual, sci-fi safari with Aloy, in this incredible game, Horizon Zero Dawn. You can grab your own copy and play along! Enjoy the breathtaking natural world terraformed by the Zero Dawn system on your own terms:
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