Creating an icon is no mean feat – and more often than not, it’s not something you can plan. And yet, in Aloy, Guerrilla Games has fashioned a popular and instantly recognisable protagonist who’s become the face of Horizon Zero Dawn, long before the actual launch of the game itself.
In our latest behind-the-scenes look at the game, Guerrilla Games’ chief Hermen Hulst, game director Mathijs De Jonge and art director Jan-Bart van Beek give us a glimpse of Aloy’s place in their new world, shedding new light on who she is and what drives her to survive as an outcast – and read on for Hermen’s thoughts on the creation of a new heroine.
“It never was our goal or intention – it was a happy coincidence!” says studio co-founder and Managing Director Hermen Hulst. “We just wanted to make a great character for the game. “The creation of Aloy was relatively constant. Of course you always develop and iterate as you go along, but we decided she’d be a young red-headed female from day one.
“We didn’t want this typical hulking dude, but an agile person who wouldn’t necessarily be able to hold her ground against the sheer gun power of these Machines, but is able to outsmart them. We’re really happy with our choice.”
It’s a choice which has resulted in a swiftly growing cosplay community, where Aloy’s distinctive low tech garments meet high tech scavenging look is increasingly favoured at conventions. Aloy’s style has been such a hit that Guerrilla has already created a costume creation guide to help out anyone looking to join the Horizon Zero Dawn tribe.
But it’s Aloy’s attitude and character which is bound to keep her locked in the imagination of fans, long after any conventions end. “We wanted somebody who was very curious, intelligent and takes in this wondrous world full of mystery to unravel,” explains Hermen. “And she can be fierce. We didn’t want a Disney type princess.
“There are a lot of beliefs and mythology in the tribes you meet in the game, but she doesn’t really buy into that and is a very down to earth girl who questions and puts everything into her own perspective.
“I think they make her a great character to follow through the story.”
You can step into Aloy’s hunting boots when Horizon Zero Dawn launches in March 2017 – and pre-order now to snare some exclusive content with the standard and Digital Deluxe editions.