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The power of Horizon Zero Dawn comes from the story of motherhood

What will happen in the future?In our new series “Imagine the next future” Polygon explores a new era of science fiction, including movies, books, television and games, and how storytellers and innovators will spend the next 10, 20, 50, or 100 years in moments of extreme uncertainty. Make sure you are imagining. Proceed while digging deep into the unknown world.

Horizon Zero Dawn It tells the story of classic science fiction, one of my favorite examples in this genre. It’s a story about how humanity’s indomitable spirit and survival instincts can overcome the most hostile situations we can imagine. But that alone doesn’t mean I love it very much.details of Horizon Zero Dawn Beyond its familiar framework, it offers unique thrills and hopes. This is much less common. It is an optimistic vision of the future because it focuses on women.

[Warning: The following contains full spoilers for Horizon Zero Dawn.]

Guerrilla Games’ 2017 adventure will take place 1000 years later, on the almost unrecognizable Earth, which is perhaps the most feared catastrophe we are suffering from, the extinction of all life on Earth.But in game fiction, the extinction event is near In the future, sometime in the late 2060s, there will be a plague of killer robots that consume all the organic matter on Earth. This will be during the life of many people reading this article.

A thousand-year-old war machine shell from Faros Warm. Horizon Zero DawnToday as a “metal devil”, it is located in snow-capped mountains.
Image: Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment (via polygons)

The time frame may sound ridiculous until you think of the apocalypse as: Horizon Zero Dawn I will assume that. Due to the spillover effects of climate change, things began to move south in the 2030s, resulting in the deaths of more than a billion people during the “Great Die Off.” For the next decade, humanity is working to escape the climate crisis with the help of detoxification efforts by environmental cleanup robots developed by renowned robotics and AI expert Dr. Elisabet Sobeck, who works for a company called Faro Automated Solutions. is.

The company’s founder, Ted Faro, unknowingly created the conditions for the Earth’s sixth mass extinction, turning the company into a military contract and building automated defense systems for governments, businesses and other organizations. did. These self-healing AI-powered fighters are already manufactured in AI-operated factories, but as the final deadly step towards a disaster, Faro engineers consume biomass and turn it into fuel. Develop a combat robot that can. — No need to recharge. As some robots begin to cheat in late 2064, Sobeck soon realizes that he can’t stop consuming all the living cells on Earth.

“Every time I add something to another timeline, I have a lot of trouble. [to] Ben McCow, the narrative director and lead writer of developer Guerrilla Games, said: Horizon Zero Dawn, In an email interview with Polygon. “We are looking at technological trends such as AI, automation, robotics, and transportation with particular care to estimate the results of plausible science fiction that enhances the franchise theme.”

I have read many reports on the ability of climate variability to completely reshape life on Earth. This is especially true if people around the world do not immediately make every possible effort to delay it. The potential consequences of ignoring this seemingly unruly problem and the difficulty of tackling it begin to reveal that climate change poses an existential threat to the planet. “I felt it needed to be included in every version of the timeline from 2020 to 2065. [climate change] Or you wouldn’t think it’s reliable, “says McCaw.

Red-haired female warrior Alloy points a bow at Tall Neck, a giraffe-like robot from Horizon Zero Dawn

Image: Guerrilla Games / PlayStation Mobile

Sobek represents the best of mankind. A genius who works her wonderful heart to wipe out the effects of climate change. In protest of Faro’s move to a defense contract, she quit her job, set up her own company, and won all sorts of awards for her “green robot.” And when Faro’s military robot becomes deadly, it is Sobek who turns around and longs for a solution to his own problems.

“In contrast [military] With the automation that Elisabet does, we wanted to show that technology always has two possible directions. It’s a responsible / ethical direction and a direction driven by power and greed, “says McCaw.

Faropest can’t be stopped — robots will Consume the earth and all living things on earth will Sobeck, along with thousands of years of human history and culture, has devised solutions that protect life on earth. This will allow AI entities to shut down machines and rejuvenate the Earth centuries later. This is a long-term plan to counter the impossible possibilities. Everything needs to work for it to succeed. And that’s rare—because Faro tries to thwart it.

Apparently furious with the guilt that caused the apocalypse, Faro killed all Zero Dawn team leaders working to achieve Sobek’s vision, and he also made future humans world history and progress. The entire. why? He wanted humanity to start with a blank slate. Conveniently, this clean condition means that future generations will not be aware of his responsibilities in the extinction event.

Sobek is making a lot of sacrifices for the work of his life — at some point she laments that she “did not have time” to have her own child — and she herself to protect Zero Dawn Will sacrifice your life. Of the planet. And it doesn’t. Within 400 years of the Apocalypse, Zero Dawn nullified a swarm of Faro robots. We have created mechanical creatures that terraform the Earth, so we can support life again. And humans who are artificially pregnant in at least one of their “cradle” facilities are released into that re-sown world.

The fact that Zero Dawn succeeds despite the destruction of the Apollo function makes Faro’s sabotage even more tragic, returning humanity to the stone age, and making an arrogant and selfish decision against Sobek’s desire for a project. Brings.

“I wrote the game with the idea that Elisabeth’s dream would have come true if Faro hadn’t killed Zero Dawn Alpha,” McCaw says. “It may not have been a perfect world, but it has realized her vision of a promising new beginning for humanity.”

But in the end, thanks to Sobeck’s efforts, humanity will enter a new beginning. She created the Master AI behind Zero Dawn and named it Gaia after the concept of Mother Earth itself in Greek mythology. Sobeck designs Gaia to purely monitor and manage all the sub-features needed to keep ZeroDawn running for thousands of years. But as she interacts with Gaia over time, AI becomes a nurturing and maternal being who learns from her, takes on some of her qualities, and experiences human emotions. This new dimension undoubtedly gives Gaia the desire and faith to endure in the event of an unknown catastrophe.

A redhead woman speaks at Horizon Zero Dawn to a hologram of a yellow ball that represents Gaia, the project: Zero Dawn Master AI.

Dr. Elisabet Sobeck speaks to Gaia, the master of the AI ​​management project: Zero Dawn.
Image: Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment via Bearborg / HorizonWiki

Like the creator, Gaia is betrayed from the inside and threatens to my dormant fail-safe sub-feature Hades go online, reversing Zero Dawn’s work and resetting Earth to an uninhabitable state. .. And like its creator, Gaia makes a final effort to save the project.

Gaia has the only thing that can save the planet before sacrificing itself in a self-destructive operation: Elisabet Sobeck (or the same genetic code) that can use override commands to stop rogue AI functionality. Trigger the generation of a person). Gaia begins a new embryo pregnancy in the hope of growing into someone who understands how to defeat Hades and bring Gaia back online. Born April 4, 3021, the child was named Alloy by the Nora tribe — and she is a clone of Sobek herself.

Sobek saves life on earth. Gaia creates a new life to ensure that Sobeck’s work continues. And that new life is, in a sense, a daughter that Sobek didn’t have. By playing as an alloy, we learn about Sobeck’s brilliance and the work of her life, make it happen, and make her “mother” dying wishes come true.

“Women and motherhood are woven into the story at every level,” says McCaw. “We wanted to tell a story about how love, which has been passed down through countless generations, has the power to overcome obstacles, machines, or weapon systems,” he said. I will add.

https://www.polygon.com/2020/10/27/21536761/horizon-zero-dawn-story-aloy-women-mothers

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