In an interview with Kotaku, the narrative director of Guerrilla Games, Ben McCaw, gave more details about the plot of Horizon Forbidden West and revealed the main inspirations for the creation of missions. Focusing on the quest Tumba de Faro, the screenwriter commented on atmospheric decisions, claiming to have bet on a darker sequel involving Aloy’s past.
CAUTION! The next few lines will have spoilers about an important main quest in Horizon Forbidden West.
At a certain moment in Forbidden West, when Aloy must find Alva in the ruins of San Francisco and seek the Omega release to subdue HEPHESTUS, Nora is accompanied by the CEO character, a leader of the Quen. Upon reaching the bottom of the Theban bunker, the warrior finds a panic room and discovers that the infamous Ted Faro, from Zero Dawn, was alive the entire time.
In a tense moment and with a significantly dark atmosphere, the evangelist reveals to have extended his life through a mechanism of gene therapy and ends up involving Aloy in a trap. Pursued by the CEO and his minions, she must flee the place with Alva, being careful not to end up buried by a strange entity that seems to harbor the depths of Thebes.
According to Ben McCaw, the idea of creating an invisible threat within Thebes came about with the intention of shocking the unknown. Despite the fact that there are many explanations and documents about what actually happened in the bunker, leaving players with only the suggestion of threats would amplify the feelings of tension, especially in a very revealing mission.
“I felt very strongly, and the game director felt very strongly, that there are two reasons not to [mostrar Faro],” McCaw said. “Um, it’s not a horror game… That’s not our focus. The other thing is, in the end, isn’t what you imagine is behind that door scarier than anything we can actually show?”
The conception of Faro 2.0 was inspired by French horror films by Jacques Tourneur (1904-1977), when editing tricks acted as protagonists in revealing scenes. Thus, it would be possible to mess with the player’s mind and leave him with the feeling of “something behind the door”, but without ever having access to the concrete being.
“[Faro é] human cancer, a massive cancerous growth. That’s what Ted Faro is, in a way. He is a kind of cancer in humanity”, concludes the screenwriter, presenting a metaphor about the villain’s condition.
See a comparison of Horizon Forbidden West with real life
Published by the channel “ElAnalistaDeBits”, a video by Horizon Forbidden West compared the landscapes of the game with the real scenarios that served as inspiration. The images show the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Prison, the Transamerica Pyramid and several other locations, focusing on the richness of detail and fidelity presented by the Guerrilla Games material. Click here to learn more.