ARTEMIS May Lead to Some Great Story Threads Among the Tribes
For several reasons, Horizon Forbidden West’s closing chapters have opened the doors wide for the franchise’s future. While Aloy’s showdown with Nemesis has taken top billing when it comes to fan speculation, Guerrilla Games has also set up some of the exciting story threads that will lead up to it. Untangling what an almost fully restored GAIA, reunited with lost functions like ARTEMIS, means to a theoretical Horizon 3 & the tribes of its universe will no doubt be a particularly large & enticing plot beat.
It’s possible that the AI’s rebirth will result in the world looking more like reality following the last game on PS4 & PS5. The introduction of ARTEMIS during Horizon Forbidden West, for example, could see familiar elements & relics from the Old World return. Considering how the tribes of the universe have also been teased as a major part of Horizon 3, it’s easy to imagine both factors dovetailing into some exciting story threads.
ARTEMIS’ Role So Far
Examining ARTEMIS’ past could provide clues about the function it will play in the seemingly inevitable Horizon 3. Just like the Greek goddess that it’s named after, the AI was put in charge of an important role in the biosphere of the Horizon universe. Following the Faro Plague’s outbreak & quest to purge the Earth of organic life, Dr. Elizabet Sobek designed the subroutine to be a part of GAIA. Like each of the larger AI’s parts, ARTEMIS was then meant to help restore the planet to its previous state after the apocalypse.
While the likes of HEPHAESTUS were put in charge of creating helpful robots, ARTEMIS’ job involved repopulating the Earth with several essential animal species. After the other parts of GAIA had finished creating a livable habitat, it went about doing just that. “Pioneering organisms” like birds, insects, & foxes were all reintroduced & allowed to establish themselves. Each animal that the player & Aloy have been able to hunt in Horizon Zero Dawn & Forbidden West subsequently exists because of the AI.
Even though ARTEMIS fulfilled its role within the initial phase of Project Zero Dawn, the AI’s job wasn’t meant to end there. After humanity had spent some time rebuilding, the civilizations of the reborn planet were meant to guide ARTEMIS during its mission to restore the rest of the Earth’s extinct animals. Thanks to Ted Faro’s schemes & the removal of APOLLO from GAIA, that process was never completed.
ARTEMIS’ Story Potential
Like most of the characters that Aloy has encountered, ARTEMIS’ story is currently hanging on a cliffhanger. During the conclusion of Forbidden West, Guerrilla Games made a point to explain that both ARTEMIS & APOLLO are a part of GAIA again. That suggests the unfinished business when it comes to the Earth’s animals will play a part in the narrative of Horizon 3. Considering how the GAIA functions were meant to tie into humanity’s return, it would make sense if the tribes of the universe still factored into that plan.
Based on the direction that the next mainline Horizon game will go, it’s already easy to imagine that dynamic having a positive impact on its story. In order to fight back against Nemesis, Aloy is going to have to embark on a mission to unite her various allies. This will likely involve her interacting with the tribes of the universe that Guerrilla Games has already introduced. Groups of humans like the Utaru revere certain machines that tend the earth, so it’s feasible that getting them onside could involve them learning about the original animals that once fulfilled the same roles.
Beyond exploring the complex organic & robotic dynamic of the Horizon universe, connecting the tribes to ARTEMIS like Zero Dawn originally envisioned would make the humans more interesting. Exploring their cultures & needs in greater detail would likely make them feel like an even bigger part of the universe. Aloy is going to be fighting for the sake of those same humans, so making the people around her more engaging would no doubt elevate the stakes of the story a great deal.
From a narrative perspective, reintroducing more animals to the mix feels like a natural progression for multiple parts of the Horizon universe. Not only would ARTEMIS get the chance to fulfill its own programming & create unique stories in the process, it would also likely further develop Aloy’s own journey. The Nora Hunter started off her life as an outcast, so there’s a fitting neatness to the idea of her playing a leading part in elevating the tribes as a teacher.
Horizon 3’s Animal Quests
Making the tribes an active part in ARTEMIS’ role could also create a bridge between Horizon 3’s story & its interactive mechanics. For starters, Aloy’s party actively maintaining the universe’s biosphere with animals would open the door for new gameplay ideas to Approach into the picture. The process of getting the tribes involved with ARTEMIS itself, for example, could involve the player helping each tribe to pick which creatures they want to introduce to their homel&s. Decisions like that could even have a personalized impact on the game’s world.
On a more basic level, new animals geared around the tribes could change how players express themselves in combat & exploration. One of the exciting parts of Horizon Forbidden West’s launch was seeing the new Horizon machines that Guerrilla Games had designed for the occasion. Most of the robots that the studio added into the mix have had an impact on the gameplay side of the franchise. There’s no reason to think that br&-new animals couldn’t have the same kind of effect on the experience as well.
New animals could also help to breathe new life into the franchise’s hunting, taming, & riding mechanics. It’s easy to imagine that having an impact on the narrative of Horizon 3 in the process, too. Players got their first glimpse of & Aloy while she was learning from Rost as his ward. Things would Approach full circle if the next mainline game in the series opened with Aloy teaching a tribe how to hunt or tame one of ARTEMIS’ new creatures.
Horizon Forbidden West is available now for PS4 & PS5.
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