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Characters / Horizon Zero Dawn - Aloy

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Main Character Index | The Base Team (Aloy, Sylens) | Tribes (The Nora, The Carja, The Tenakth) | Machines | The Old World (Project Zero Dawn, Ted Faro, Far Zenith)

Aloy of the Nora / Despite the Nora

Voiced by: Ashly Burch (English/adult), Ava Potter (English/young)note 

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"Where the trail leads, I will go."

Aloy is the protagonist and player character of Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West. Born to the Nora tribe, she was exiled as an infant and raised by Rost, another outcast. As a child, she fell into a lab from the Metal World and found an earpiece called a Focus, which allows her to scan the world around her. She begins her adventure by participating in the Proving in order to become a Brave and find out what happened to her mother.


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     A — F 
  • The Ace: She is able to singlehandedly take down monster robots with nothing more than her bow and arrow and some tools, and her later exploits easily mark her as the greatest single fighter in the land. She is also incredibly smart, and with help from her Focus, she's able to deduce the truth of the mysteries of the Old World that most other people treat with superstitious fear.
  • Action Girl: She travels the world After the End and fights giant robots and cultists with modern weapons while she herself is armed with hardly more than a bow and a spear. After all, she's been training since she was six years old.
  • Alleged Lookalikes: From the way Tilda and the Quen talk you'd think Aloy was a dead ringer for Elisabet Sobeck. Setting aside superficial things like hair style, while they do resemble one another, Elisabet's face is much more aged than Aloy's due to the fact that pretty much every time we see her (Elisabet), she's a few decades older in appearance.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: One of the few times she's openly excited about anything is when she rides a machine for the first time.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The "Aloy's Journey" trailer details how Aloy is an outcast in her tribe due to her being found with no known parents. This only serves to fuel her drive to go out into the world and find the truth about it and herself. At one point she grumbles about being called 'Aloy of the Nora', saying it's more like 'Aloy, despite the Nora'. When Helis attempts to threaten her by threatening the Nora, Aloy bluntly states that using the Nora to threaten her isn't very effective.
  • The Aloner: Adopts this attitude in the sequel, harried by the Blight having no evident source to purge and frantic to stop it before it consumes the world like Faro's plague did to the Old Ones. Her Chronic Hero Syndrome sees her eager to abandon her many friends she made in her previous journey, not because she doesn't care but precisely because she loves them so much and wants to get them out of danger as quick as possible.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Her expert tracking skills, Focus, and natural intellect all combine to make Aloy an accomplished detective in a world that likely doesn't have much in the way of police investigation.
  • The Antichrist: The reason she's an outcast in the first place is because the Matriarchs, Teersa excluded, thought she was a spawn of the Metal Devil sent to destroy them. They eventually realize the trope is subverted and she's nothing of the sort.
  • Archer Archetype: Cool and calculating, at least in the wilds. When talking to people, she's a bit more whiny.
  • Asleep for Days: After the Proving, she sleeps for long enough that her rescuers manage to wheel her to an entirely different village and a war party could attempt and fail to track down the Braves' killers.
    • In the sequel, after being severely wounded after escaping the HADES proving lab, she sleeps for a full two days recovering from her serious injuries.
  • Badass Adorable: Rost started training her to hunt & survive when she was six years old; she managed to bring down a Strider on her first day, and save a young Nora from a group of machines. And she grew up to be a beautiful 18-year-old Action Girl.
  • Badass Boast: One treasure hunter lures her into an ambush atop a cliff, so that he may steal her machine-taming spear. Her response?
    Aloy: You obviously know who I am, and you know what I am capable of. What makes you think this is going to end well for you?
  • Barbarian Hero: It's hard to feel too bad about the state of the world when it still has people like Aloy, who can outrun foxes, swim painlessly through glacier water, and in all situations assert the primacy of man over machine. Life finds a way!
  • Barbarian Longhair: A female example. Her red hair falls to the middle of her back and is wild but well-groomed, falling loosely over her shoulders with a few braids and beads woven in. As for the "barbarian" part, she was raised in the wild following the traditions of a stone age tribe and is absolutely terrifying with a bow and spear.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted in the immediate post-release period of Forbidden West. Some...dedicated players quickly realized they could (ab)use the Camera mode when Aloy was wearing the Tenakth Recon armor to zoom in and see that she now had fully modeled nipples and areolas, even down to those portions of her breasts having slightly different textures. This was quickly patched out (though presumably it can still be accomplished on console with a 'fresh' install of the launch release disc version of the game, if one doesn't download any updates).
  • Bare Your Midriff: The Carja Blazon outfit and some of the sequel's Tenakth outfits have no midsection to speak of, showing off Aloy's very nicely-toned abs.
  • The Beastmaster: With the override ability, Aloy can send machines to fight for her in battle.
  • Berserk Button: When the Nora suddenly start worshiping her on hands and knees after she returns from meeting GAIA after a lifetime of the tribe shunning her and treating her as a non-person, she takes it pretty badly, considering they still aren't treating her as a person, but as an idolized figure; which, in her opinion, isn't much better.
    • This extends to nearly all forms of religious zeal. Whether you worship the Goddess, the Sun, the Land Gods or the Ten, making decisions or judgments based upon your faith infuriates her - especially since it tends to coincide with harming someone.
  • Big Heroic Run: Aloy takes an abandoned, dangerous trail to win the race of the Proving.
  • Blade on a Stick: Aloy's spear is her primary melee weapon and she's very good with it.
  • Big Sister Instinct: It takes some time but Aloy eventually develops this sentiment towards her meek clone-sister Beta.
  • Blunt "No": When a young girl asks Aloy if she's ever been in love, Aloy immediately says no.
  • Born Lucky: Despite what she and the Nora might think, Aloy has been incredibly lucky throughout her life. She was about to be cast out as a baby due to superstition that she might be the daughter of the Metal Devil, but Rost was there to raise and train her to become a master hunter. She also found a Focus that survived the Old World by accidentally falling into an old ruin very early on in her life, which gave her a bit of an education and, eventually, became the catalyst for her entire quest. Then there are all the Faro and Zero Dawn facilities that are still operational to grant her access to important information about the Old World, facilities that (according to Sylens) were impossible to crack by anyone who was not a clone of Elisabet Sobeck, no matter how intelligent they were.
  • Braids of Action: About half of her hairdo consists of elaborate braids, as is custom among the Nora. Aloy herself finds them impractical at times, complaining about how long it'll take them to dry after they get soaked.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Inverted, despite spending her life as an outcast Aloy is still a kind and generous person, the player can switch around the dialogue as they like of course but she still decides to save the day and mourn her father figure.
  • Break the Haughty: In Forbidden West. Aloy still has issues, but almost drowning before the Bedouin Rescue Service saves her goes a long way towards showing her that she can't fight Far Zenith alone.
  • Brought Down to Badass: At Sunfall, Helis crushes her Focus and takes her brainwashing spear, so Aloy is merely an expert hunter/gatherer with twelve years of combat experience. She escapes within minutes.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: How the Nora come to perceive Aloy. She is a brilliant warrior who can effortlessly perceive secrets they never imagined. However, she is inordinately fascinated by dead people note , likes to rummage around in the guts of "demons", and- because of her atheism- is weirdly sensitive to things that other Nora take as a matter of course. They are intensely loyal to her, as their "Anointed", but don't feel comfortable traveling with her or try to understand her strange beliefs.
  • But Now I Must Go: In the Anne Toole comic, she slipped away during the party celebrating Meridian's defense and rode off somewhere. (It's stated in-game that Aloy feels uncomfortable in densely populated spaces, such as a Nora bunkhouse.) In Forbidden West more than a few of her allies give her differing levels of criticism for this action, acknowledging that she must have had a good reason to go running off like that that they can't comprehend, but at the same time, she still left without a word in the midst of a party held in her honour.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Early in the plot, she does her damnedest to refuse Erend's request that she help him catch his sister's murderers. It's especially noticeable because Erend has just helped her investigate Olin and get into Meridian.
    Erend: Why should you have justice and not me?
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Rost is simply Rost to her.
  • Celibate Hero: A lot of people of either gender show an interest in her, but Aloy makes very clear that she isn't looking for romance.
  • Character Development:
    • Aloy's primary interest at the start of Zero Dawn is finding out who her mother is and where she belongs; an understandable but selfish wish she prioritizes through the story. Rost tries to teach her how to care for a greater purpose than herself (like becoming part of the Nora Tribe), and her journey uncovering more of the Old World and evading the Shadow Carja leads her to learning of how Elisabet tried to save the world. Aloy grows in the process into someone who cares for the greater world and wants to fix it.
    • In Forbidden West, Aloy has spent six months searching alone for a backup of GAIA, the only thing that can save the world from tearing itself apart. She dodges staying with her friends whenever she can and shows signs of wondering if she's good enough to honor Elisabet Sobeck's memory. The threat of Far Zenith proves too much for Aloy to handle alone, so she has to work with her old friends and gain new ones to stop them. Meeting and interacting with Beta, another clone of Elisabet, and then dealing with Tilda who reveals herself to be searching for a Replacement Goldfish of the woman she loved has Aloy learn she doesn't have to be exactly like Elisabet. Sylens tries to convince her to come with him onto Far Zenith's ship so they can evade Nemesis' wrath, pointing out that taking GAIA with them would help plant the seeds for a new world; a decision Elisabet would agree to. Instead, Aloy chooses to stay on Earth and try with her friends to save the world they have now.
  • The Chosen One: When she was born, the Matriarchs couldn't agree on whether she was the daughter of All-Mother sent to save the Nora, or the spawn of the Metal Devil sent to awaken it, with Teersa believing the former and Lansra adamantly believing the latter. They were able to reach a compromise in making her an outcast, keeping her away from Nora society for their protection (in Lansra's mind), but keeping open the possibility for her to earn her place. As it turns out, she actually was born to save them and the rest of humanity (albeit without the religious implications). She has some typical angst about this on learning the truth, for which Sylen mocks her:
    Sylens: How tragic, to learn you're a person of towering importance!
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Aloy's is so bad that once you've initiated conversation with a Quest Giver, exiting it without accepting the quest is simply impossible.
  • Cincinnatus: In the Frozen Wilds DLC. Aloy assumes chieftainship of a sizeable Banuk werak in the Cut to respond to the threat of the rogue Zero Dawn intelligence HEPHAESTUS, and relinquishes the post back to the previous chieftain she had to oust once the task is done. Even while she is the chieftain, the only thing she really uses the authority for is to supersede Aratak's order to stay away from Thunder's Drum; he pretty much still runs things otherwise.
  • Climb, Slip, Hang, Climb: Free-climbing up steep stone walls is dangerous. Not that Aloy will let that stop her.
  • Cloning Blues: When Aloy finds out the truth about herself, that she's a clone of Sobeck she experiences complex feelings regarding it, complicated by Sylens's detached and cynical take on the truth.
  • Cold Sniper: She doesn't react to killing bandits any more than killing machines (although she won't do the former for NPCs unless they give her a good reason). Even around her friends, she has a very clear amount of time she is willing to spend with people; once this time is up, it is done.
  • Colossus Climb: What Aloy is going to be doing when a Tallneck shows up.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Despite Aloy's training in archery, she'll pick up any weapon she gets her hands on if necessary to survive.
    (upon picking up a gun) "My turn now."
  • Commonality Connection: She is noticeably pleased when she finds that a group of Tenakth ride machines for fun.
  • Companion Cube: Subtly, the Focus. She discovered it at the age of six, and has spent most of her free time since playing with its functions, and used it to access video and voice logs that are the closest thing she has to a TV. She immediately feels a connection to Olin when she sees he has one and is disappointed that he's not as awesome a person as she is. Though she doesn't talk to it, she's inordinately upset the few times it's taken away from her.
    • She goes out of her way to heal any wounded Tallnecks she comes across, because they are peaceful machines that exist only to gather information.
  • Constantly Curious: Her first thought upon seeing a Tallneck, a gigantic machine that could crush her by accident, was "I could climb that." She was no more cautious as a six-year-old, when she took a shiny thing off of a corpse and wore it.
  • Contralto of Danger: Aloy has a rather deep voice, and while she is very compassionate, there is no doubt that her determination, intelligence, knowledge of technology, and fighting prowess make her one of the most dangerous people in the world. When she makes a threat, people listen. Contrasting her is her clone "sister," Beta, in Forbidden West. She is fretful, neurotic, and not self-assured and confident like Aloy in the least due to her neglected upbringing. Commensurately, Beta's voice is higher-pitched and more wavering.
  • Cool Big Sis: At the end of the second game, it is implied that her relationship with Beta, another Elisabet Sobeck clone and her genetic twin sister, settles into this. Aloy realizes that Far Zenith not treating Beta as a human being is where most of her maladjustment stems from, and resolves to do for her what Rost did for Aloy herself.
  • Create Your Own Hero: HADES does this twice. First by causing GAIA to have to self destruct, this prompts GAIA to clone her creator so that GAIA core might be rebuilt. Second, by sending the Eclipse to attack the proving. Had HADES never done this, odds are Aloy would've lived her (short) life as a Nora Brave, never straying from the sacred lands, until HADES reactivated the Faro plague. HADES' hurry to kill Aloy is what sets her on her path, and prompts the matriarch to make her a seeker.
  • Culture Clash: While she is unusually clever, Aloy still shows the markings of someone who grew up in a Stone Age society, which is seen when she interacts with Old Ones culture; She has never known a group larger than a tribe, so Sylens has to simplify concepts like countries and corporations into "really big tribe", and she refers to Aaron Herres as the "warchief" of the Old Ones.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: According to Forbidden West, canon Aloy spared Nil and completed the Frozen North's main questline.
  • Daddy's Girl: While their relationship wasn't perfect, it's clear that Rost means the world to Aloy and she holds him in high regard.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Aloy's wit is every bit as sharp as her arrows. It's especially prominent whenever her patience is short or in a hurry, which is often.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the typical open world video game protagonist, which is particularly prevalent in the second game. Throughout both games she does the typical protagonist thing of accepting random fetch quests from whoever asks her for help. Forbidden West shows that the kind of person who does that is someone with an immense hero complex who hardly sees herself as a person beyond whatever she's doing to help people at the moment, which is made worse by knowing that she was literally created to serve a purpose and nothing else.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She can be as reserved and defensive as the mountain she was born in, because most of the people she met pre-game meant to offend her in some way. Leaving Nora territory, and encountering friendly tribe members, helps her to sort out her feelings. In the penultimate questline, she hugs Teersa, which is big because she couldn't even hug her adoptive dad when he said he was leaving her forever.
  • Destructive Savior: In the course of her adventure she may (depending on player choices) steal bits of a guy's artworks to sell them to the tribe that left him to die, pick metal flowers out of the ground they are clearly seeding with new flowers, inadvertently trample a lot of small fluffy animals under the hooves of her machine mounts, and erase a Tallneck landmark by resurrecting it. That last part isn't even about heroism, it's just because she wants to know what the Tallneck does. Sylens would be proud.
  • Determinator: Nothing will stand in Aloy's way, not robot dinosaurs, not bandits, not evil robot-dinosaur-controlling bandits, etc. It's a trait that she inherited from Elisabet Sobeck.
(in a dust storm) "This storm will back down before I do."
  • After she gets seriously injured escaping the HADES proving lab and nearly dies, the first thing she does is drag herself to her feet despite being barely able to walk, determined to reinstate GAIA. She even tells Varl that she will crawl all the way to the mountains if she has to.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: She used to scamper around completely barefooted as a child (as in the prologue), even as other children wore shoes. She grew out of this by the time she became an adult.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: In Rost's final lesson to her, they hunt a Sawtooth, witnessing along the way the people it's killed and the houses it's destroyed. Rost asks her what she thinks the lesson was; Aloy replies that it was (paraphrased) "Survival requires perfection." Rost tells her that actually his point was that without Aloy, a lot more people would have died.
  • Dude Magnet: Aloy's a beautiful woman and more than one man takes notice (often Played for Laughs). Due to the nature of her quest, she turns them down.
  • Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: In Forbidden West. Unless the player deliberately leaves sidequests until the postgame, Aloy performs many acts of service while working under an apocalyptic timer. It's somewhat justified in the "flower courier" sidequest, where she mentions she constantly travels to Plainsong anyway.
  • Emissary from the Divine: She is perceived as this in the quest "Sun's Judgment", although her original incarnation was no closer to the gods than anyone else. The thief Dekamin is attacked by Glinthawks, which he sees as messengers of divine wrath, and desperately begs the Sun to spare him...and who should show up then but Aloy? After dispatching the Glinthawks and saving Dekamin's life, he cautiously asks her if it's safe for him to apologize to those he's wronged. When she replies yes, he runs off delightedly, crying out that the Sun has spoken.
  • Emotional Bruiser: She is not afraid to bash machines with a spear or to lament the Alphas' tragic betrayal.
  • Enmity with an Object: Her usual motions when overriding something are replaced with a full-bodied stab through AIs and Metal Flowers she doesn't like.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: In addition to Varl, Erend, Avad and others taking an interest in her, Aloy also gets hit on by the Oseram woman Petra, and the Carja Vanasha. To add to it, Elisabet's ex, Tilda, wants Aloy as well.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: One bit of ambient dialogue has someone comment, "That's her? That slip of a girl?"
  • Exposed to the Elements: Most of her outfits don't cover her full body, but no matter how much skin she shows, Aloy is never adversely affected by even the harshest environmental conditions. The only slight exception is when she enters Banuk territory in the Frozen North DLC; she sometimes complains about the cold and rubs her arms to warm up. But no gameplay mechanics are affected.
  • Famed In-Story: Seeker, later Anointed, of the Nora, Savior of Meridian. Generally viewed as the new world's Messiah, which isn't entirely inaccurate. Much to her chagrin.
  • Fast-Roping: Aloy can throw herself off high places, throw a rope while falling, then rappel down the rest of the way.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her Chronic Hero Syndrome and sense of duty turn out to be this in Forbidden West. Aloy has such an intense love for the world around her and has difficulty explaining the true nature of the Old Ones given the various superstitious religions based on them that she readily leaves behind her many friends because she believes going it alone is more efficient.
  • Fiery Redhead: A calmer example, but Aloy is a very determined, passionate young woman and a fiercer hunter in battle.
  • Flaw Exploitation: This is how she takes down machines. She can use her Focus to scan machines and find their weaknesses, like targetable weak points or vulnerabilities to elemental weapons.
  • Foil: To Avad. Setting aside their social standings (Avad being a king, and Aloy a Brave), both are simultaneously reviled and revered by factions within their tribes, such as the Shadow Carja hating Avad and the conservative Nora ostracizing Aloy. Both are placed on pedestals that neither are comfortable with, but accept the burdens it entails (royalty obligation for Avad is obvious, while Aloy's Chronic Hero Syndrome has her accepting quests regardless of the situation).
  • Fragile Speedster: Most apparent in higher difficulty levels. Aloy can't take very many hits, but she's agile enough to dodge most attacks and can run circles around most enemies. Of course, this is because she's usually fighting giant machines bristling with weaponry. Compared to other humans she's a straight-up Lightning Bruiser, able to tear through groups of seasoned warriors like paper.
  • Friendless Background: As an outcast, the only person Aloy could ever consider as a friend was her adoptive dad Rost. One single trader will speak to her when no one else can see them, and she's consistently irritated about that. This tends to really trip her up in Forbidden West because now she ''does' have steadfast and loyal allies who are willing to go to great lengths to help her, but a combination of her lack of social tact and she's so used to doing everything by herself, to the point she still has the habit of narrating her thoughts out loud, that she honestly struggles with the idea of bringing people along in her quest to save the world.
  • Friendship Trinket: After finishing Morlund's main questline, Erend places a Ember in her room at the Base.
    • Alva digs up a 'sad plant' and gifts it to Aloy to commemorate their questing together.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From outcast to either the best ally you can have or the most terrifying enemy.
  • Functional Addict: Aloy has an...attachment to her Focus that goes beyond the logical. When regaining consciousness after the Proving attack, she physically panics when she realizes it isn't on her. After learning that Sylens uses it to spy on her, she acknowledges that she should abandon it...but she won't. Mostly, however, the Focus makes her more capable, not less. Her twin 'sister' Beta, raised in a VR environment for practically her whole life, has a much more severe psychological need for one, and Aloy needs to gift her a Focus to help stabilise herself after she escapes from Far Zenith.
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    G — N 
  • The Gadfly: Sometimes Aloy screws with people just for the heck of it, providing some of the funniest moments in the game.
    Fernund: Your spear is magnificent. How does it work?
    Aloy: You stick the pointy end into the machine.
    Fernund: But how does it turn foe into friend?
    Aloy: It's simple, really.
    Fernund: Tell me.
    Aloy: You wouldn't understand.
    Fernund: [grumbles]
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: According to a loading screen tip, humans hit with Corruption go berserk. This will not happen to Aloy if she gets poisoned (though her health will drain quite rapidly), because taking control away from the player does not make for fun gameplay.
  • Gangsta Style: Aloy normally aims her bow vertically but switches to a horizontal grip while in sneak mode.
  • Genius Bruiser: Aloy is a 99.47% identical clone of Dr. Elisabet Sobeck, the brilliant creator of GAIA, and shares her intellect. She also tears through anyone and anything that stands in her way, singlehandedly taking on progressively more dangerous machines that make even groups of elite warriors hesitate. Her badassery gets recognized more than once by characters in the game.
  • Glass Cannon: Aloy can only endure a few hits from the machines, which limits her ability to make direct attacks and means that much of your scavenging will be to replenish health.
  • Glory Seeker: She is always willing to show why she is so confident in her abilities, whether that means challenging a house-toppling Sawtooth machine she's never seen before, or seeking out a Thunderjaw to get Brin his next fix. She asks Brin if he's manipulating her into doing the latter; he replies that he's just commenting on what he knows she'll do anyway.
  • Good Is Not Nice:
    • "Empathy" is one of the three ways Aloy can choose to handle a situation, but that doesn't necessarily mean she's being nice. For instance, using her emotional smarts to deliberately bruise someone's ego as harshly as possible... In a manner not unlike how her clone-source, Dr. Elisabet Sobeck, verbally browbeat Ted Faro around.
    • Notably, after Nakoa kills Zaid, Aloy's comment, regardless of player choice, is that he got a quicker death than he deserved.
  • Good Parents: The influence of Aloy's adoptive dad Rost, like Elisabet's mother, turns her toward being a more selfless being. She wouldn't have been evil without it, exactly, but she wouldn't have cared about anybody. Aloy even realises that Rost and the teachings he gave her were the main difference between herself and Beta.
  • Growling Gut: No sounds are heard, but when she kills small game and gathers their meat, she mentions her stomach growling. It seems that spending all day fighting psychotic cultists and dangerous machines does wonders for working up an appetite.
    "That'll keep my stomach quiet."
  • Guest Fighter: She pops up as a playable unit in Genshin Impact!
  • Guile Hero: Aloy's brains are equally as devastating as her combat skills, and oftentimes allow her to make effective use of her environment, tools and enemy weaknesses to powerful effect. At one point in Forbidden West Aloy is tasked with forcing a reluctant chieftain to visit a clan gathering to resolve the ongoing civil war that's brewing in the lands. Said chieftain refuses to leave the highly-defensible natural barrier his tribe rests upon, so Aloy takes advantage of his wording that he will withhold his troops as long as the fortress remains impregnable, detonating an ancient tank buried in the mountain walls to blast a massive hole in their defences and thus forcing the chief to honour his prior boasting.
  • Has Two Mommies: Her origins could be interpreted as this, since she was created by GAIA using Elisabet's DNA.
    Aloy: I never had a mother.
    Sylens: What are you talking about? You had two, a dead woman and a machine.
  • The Hero: Of the "eternal champion" type. There are many other heroes in the setting, but Aloy's story is the one that touches all of them, as the keystone of the anti-HADES alliance, Alpha Prime, and a living repository of both factual and emotional lore of the Old Ones.
    GAIA: In you, all things are possible.
  • Heroic Bastard: She is too badass and rarefied to need ordinary blood relatives. This contributes to her exoticism in Nora eyes, in both good and bad ways.
  • Heroic Lineage: To the extent that Aloy is Elisabet's daughter, she definitely inherited Elisabet's courage and brilliance...and, eventually, her compassion.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Aloy can be blunt and sarcastic, but she'll help even complete strangers without a second thought and can show a surprising amount of empathy towards other people. How she treats people socially largely depends on how they treat her, she may say sarcastic things to respectful people at times, but is generally kind.
  • Horse Archer: Can shoot down machines, humans, and animals from her mounts.
  • Humble Hero: After becoming Famed In-Story, she asks awestruck NP Cs to call her by her name instead of title, and reminds them that many helped her fight the Deathbringer in Meridian.
  • Hypocrite:
    • She considers Vashad's hunting blind to be cowardly, which is big talk from someone who has an entire skill tree about stealth-killing people, and whose playstyle strongly encourages archery, trap-setting, and bomb-throwing.
    • In Forbidden West, Aloy is under a lot of stress and pressure and so is dismissive of Beta's emotional baggage the same way Sylens was to Aloy's in Zero Dawn. Aloy eventually realizes that she is being unfair to her and tries to make up for it.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: She makes it clear she has no respect for the backwards and restrictive beliefs of the Nora, but when outsiders express the belief that the Nora are savages Aloy will usually defend them.
  • I Can Still Fight!: After waking up from being almost strangled and pushed off a cliff, she ignores the pain of sitting upright to go and retrieve her adventuring gear.
  • Indifferent Beauty: A handful of people will comment on her attractive figure during the game, but she always shrugs the compliments off and seems not to care much.
  • Indy Ploy: A master at this, due to both her intuition and Rost's teaching. In her own words, "Out of ammo, but not out of ideas."
  • Ineffectual Loner: Gets hit with this hard in Horizon Forbidden West. She keeps trying to complete her mission to restore GAIA alone and keep running into roadblocks, either because she's lacking critical information or because she ends up going up against threats that, as badass as she is, completely overwhelm her. It isn't until she has the need for allies practically hammered into her skull that she's able to start making progress.
  • Instant Expert:
    • Considering it is impossible for her to have prior experience with it, Aloy picks up riding and mounted archery instantly. It helps that her mounts are machines that are under her direct control and not living animals requiring training and possessed of their own instinct.
    • She also immediately knows how to handle, aim and fire any heavy weapon she gets her hands on, even the ones that don't have a handle or trigger because she just shot them off a machine.
  • It's All About Me: Aloy is a compassionate and caring person, but she has a bad habit of tunnel vision when it comes to her personal goals, enough that Rost made his final lesson to her before the Proving be about how once Aloy is a Brave she'll need to put the tribe's needs above her own. Sylens also derisively points out that when they found information about the Old Ones that explains how their world came to be, Aloy is disappointed because it didn't mention her. And when she finally learns her origin, she angsts about it instead of considering why she was conceived by GAIA. She also has a near-fixation on Elisabet and her story almost to the exclusion of all else- which Sylens frequently has to remind her of- simply because of their connection. Eventually, after emerging from the Cradle facility, she has some Character Development, and the next visit to Rost's grave will her have her comment that she finally understands Rost's final lesson and she has a cause greater than herself now.
  • It's All My Fault: Based on some missable dialogue in Forbidden West, Aloy blames herself for both Rost's and Varl's deaths.
  • It's Personal with The Dragon: While Aloy grows to consider HADES a danger to all life on earth, she has no personal relationship with it. Helis, on the other hand, killed her father, and the Nora are big on revenge. Ironically, the villains have the opposite relationship to her; Helis is only following orders (though he grows to hate her due to how she refuses to die), while HADES is terrified of her, due to her being a clone of its creator with the potential power to delete it.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Aloy is very distressed when she learns of her origin, because normal people are born to be loved, to be with others, but she was born to be like a function in a machine, to just accomplish something. Although GAIA didn't mean it that way, this fact seems to justify the Nora's dehumanization of her.
  • I Work Alone: Deconstructed. Aloy repeatedly tries to go it alone in her quest to restore GAIA. However, she repeatedly ends up either hitting dead ends because she simply lacks the necessary information to progress, or she ends up biting off way more than she can chew on her own. It isn't until she has it hammered into her head that she needs allies that she starts making real progress.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: A lot of quests she undertakes have no reward other than abstract experience points and people's gratitude.
    Aloy: (to Talanah) I thought we were going to do this together.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She may be blunt and frigid (especially if you choose confrontational dialogue options), but she's no less heroic for it and quite friendly towards those who are polite to her in return.
  • The Joys of Torturing Mooks: One of her "stealth kill" animations in Forbidden West is her throwing her spear into someone's gut, punching them several times in the face, and then taking the spear back out, at which point they finally die.
  • Keep the Reward: When completing a sidequest given by some starving Utaru, she tells them they don't need to reward her. (They insist that reciprocity is part of their beliefs.)
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Many of the supply boxes she can loot are clearly in someone else's store, village, fortress, etc. Luckily, nobody minds.
  • Knight Errant: An uncommon female example. It comes of her heritage; she was born from the earth, so instead of belonging to any particular family or tribe, she is comfortable across the whole world.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Aloy does little to mask her disdain when tribes value tradition over common sense or empathy, but it doesn't take much for her to come running to help them at the first sign of trouble.
  • Hope Bringer: In Nora theology. If there was anything good about the Eclipse war, it was that then the Goddess most plainly showed her love for the Nora by giving them Aloy, an unbeatable note  warrior who led them safely into taboo lands to fight the biggest Metal Devil they had ever seen. Their veneration of Aloy is less about liking her than clinging to the only person, in that time, who seemed capable of protecting them.
  • The Leader: She leads the new Alphas, less because she wants to than because she's the one who gathered them all and explained the threat to their planet. After Varl's death, her resolute focus prevents them from getting sidetracked by cultural differences regarding how to mourn him.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: Although she wasn't born in the Tenakth tribe, its cultural traits (gender-equality, militance, support of historians, etc) mean she has a higher affinity for it than any other tribe. Their chief is the only leader she's interested in helping after completing their loyalty quest.
  • Liminal Being: A tribeswoman who knows how it feels to be an outcast, a person who combines past genetics and technology with knowledge of the present world, and someone who is technically both a mother and her daughter.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father:
    • Inverted. Due to the matriarchal nature of the Nora, no one, not even Aloy, cares about who her father might have been and her lack of identity is due to her being motherless. Late in the game the most hostile of the High Matriarchs claims her father is the Metal Devil, but is brushed aside. She spends most of her life training to ask the Matriarchs who her mother was, and while her main quest is to end the threat plaguing the tribes her personal quest is to find her mother. It's quite a Gut Punch when you consider who her biological father really is: Elisabet's dad, never mentioned in-universe and has already been dead for a thousand years.
    • Despite this, it is Rost, her adoptive father, that Aloy is most personally connected to.
  • Living Legend: She acquires this status over the course of the game, as you can occasionally hear people talking about her in awestruck tones as you walk around.
    • By the second game, the Carja and Oseram call her "Savior" for her part in the Battle of the Alight, the Tenakth start calling her "Champion" after she defeats Regalla's forces at the kulrut. Later, the Quen call her the Living Ancestor, having recognized that she resembles Elisabet Sobeck.
  • Living Lie-Detector: Despite having spent almost all her life with exactly one other person as company, she's phenomenally good at sussing out when people are lying to her. Often she responds to this by brutally pointing out the liar's faults, but just as often she goes along with the lie to see where it leads.
  • Living Macguffin: Aloy threatens Quen ethnocentricity not through anything she does, but because if a "Living Ancestor" like her was born on a foreign continent, that means that foreigners have something the Quen don't have. Bigoted members of the empire could not abide that.
  • Lonely Among People: While Aloy isn't afraid to interact with others and will do so to help them, it's clear that due to her upbringing and her adeptness at understanding the Old Ones, she feels lonely and uncomfortable around other people. It doesn't help that people either shun her or hold her in some degree of reverence, widening the emotional and mental gap between her and other people even more. She starts to open up more in the second game after making some proper friends.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: Raised as a loner with only her adoptive father and a few scattered members of the Nora for socialization. She starts making actual friends in the first game sometimes in spite of herself. An important part of her character arc in the second game is keeping the friendships she made, in some cases accidentally, in the first game.
  • Lying to Protect Your Feelings: She usually goes along with the Nora and Banuk's belief that A.I are religious figures, because revealing the truth would destroy their culture. Also because the story of the Old Ones' fall is so depressing (as Aloy knows firsthand) that it's not worth learning unless the student has a good reason.
  • Magnetic Hero: Given her impressive fighting skills and unusual connection with machines, plus Aloy's willingness to lend a hand to anyone who asks, she acquires an extensive array of allies, friends, and hopeful suitors throughout the game. Many of these return to pitch in for the final battle specifically because of their loyalty to her.
  • Married to the Job: After finding out who she is and what she had been created for, Aloy adopts this mentality with her mission. In her compassionate response to Avad in Forbidden West, she admits that this mission was her "life" and the only thing she can think about, to the point that she doesn't even know what she's going to do afterwards. Aloy rarely takes a break, having immediately left the party in Meridian in her honor to start the search for GAIA. And the thing is, she doesn't really have a choice as she is biologically the only one who save the world due to being a clone of Elisabet and having Alpha Clearance.
  • Meaningful Name: An example with a double meaning.
    • Aloysiusnote  (feminine form: Aloisa) is a name that is not uncommon in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and German-speaking countries. The name literally means famous warrior. The studio that made the game is from The Netherlands and Aloy becomes more and more famous throughout the game.
    • Her name resembles alloy. Most of your enemies are mechanical lifeforms. Alloys are also a mix of several different metals to form a new one, equivalent to how Aloy unites various different tribes and convinces them to work together. And important Foreshadowing to boot: It is phonetically similar to Elisabet, and she is indeed "born of a machine" (although not in the way you may first think).
    • Aloy is one letter off from "ally", much as her quest makes her an ally of everyone who cares about the world.
  • Mercy Kill: She says that the killing of Corrupted (acid-ridden) machines would be a mercy, if they could feel.
  • Messianic Archetype: As strongly hinted at in the trailers, Aloy turns out to be this, in a secular reconstruction of the trope. She represents the trinity, as the mother, the daughter, and the holy ghost in the machine. She's a clone of Elisabet Sobeck, the scientist who devised and administrated the Zero Dawn plan and created GAIA, essentially the Goddess of the new world. Using Elisabet's DNA, she was immaculately conceived in a Uterine Replicator in a gambit to save humanity. Due to being a genetic copy of Elisabet, she has top-level access to all Zero Dawn facilities, and having inherited Elisabet's genius and willpower gives her the traits necessary to fulfill her mission of stopping HADES and restoring GAIA.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: We meet Aloy as a baby, but actually start gameplay when she's at six year old.
  • Missing Steps Plan: An odd example; it's the end of the plan that is unsound. Aloy's early goal was "train hard" -> "win Proving" -> "find out her parentage -> "???". She didn't think through what it would be like to be bound to a tribe she hates.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: GAIA thought that the Nora would welcome a new baby, given their cultural fixation on childbirth. Things...didn't turn out that way.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Aloy is a very slim girl, but can hand a small army of grown men their asses and is strong enough to knock down a horse-sized robot that probably weighs a solid ton. In the second game when she gets the pullcaster, she uses it to pull down walls and at one point drag around a train car.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: Thanks to living her entire life until adulthood as an outcast, where she and other people sentenced to such a fate were shunned by the other Nora inhabitants, she has a negative opinion towards her adopted culture for the crime of "not having a mother". Though, it doesn't stop her from caring for her tribe's welfare once the Eclipse begin to devastate their homelands.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: If Aloy's attitude towards Rost was confrontational during their final talk before the Proving, when she next talks to Rost's grave she's horrified that she acted like a petulant child towards him.
  • Nature Hero: She spends most of her life riding between settlements fending for herself, and prefers it that way. But don't call her an animal. The last guy who did got his throne toppled by a Behemoth.
  • Nerves of Steel: She's already pretty tough in the first game, but by the start of the sequel she's 19 and already has more combat experience than most people see in a lifetime, against some of the most dangerous machines and people the world has to offer. It takes a LOT to rattle her.
  • Never Accepted in His Hometown: Throughout her life, with only a few exceptions, the Nora scorned and shunned her for really no crime other than being born. It isn't until her origin is revealed that the Nora accept her, though insofar as they view her as their messiah, though she notes that's not the same as true acceptance. Ironically, she manages to earn the adoration and respect of nearly every other tribe in the setting, including the normally haughty Carja, and proud Tenakth.
  • Nice Girl: Aloy is often snarky and has a bit of a temper but ultimately her first reaction to someone in trouble is usually to offer to help, even when it's extremely dangerous. She is also generally friendly and kind to anyone who hasn't given her a reason to be otherwise.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia:
    • Cutscenes that involve Aloy using her weapons always show her with her basic bow and spear, regardless of any more advanced models she might be wielding at the time. She's also repeatedly shown brandishing a war bow even if she doesn't own one.
    • The Focus recording of Aloy meeting Olin for the first time always shows Aloy wearing the basic Brave outfit Teb stitched for her, and it omits any face paint you might've applied when the scene was recorded.
    • While the game does a good job of keeping the handful of pre-rendered cutscenes looking near-indistinguishable from the in-engine cutscenes, Aloy's sudden switch to her Nora Brave outfit in them reveals their nature regardless. This is particularly noticeable when Aloy watches the major holograms in the Zero Dawn ruins as well as during the ending (since the pre-rendered cut-scene begins the moment the final gameplay action is performed). The player is unlikely to still be using such early-game clothing at these points.
  • No Social Skills:
    • She's often described as 'blunt' and 'direct'; Rost taught her a lot, but not much about social graces - to say nothing of the fact that she spent the first 18 years of her life being treated as less than human. She has little time for people's bullshit and will make it known when she feels her time is being wasted.
    • It becomes a bit more of a subplot in Forbidden West. Aloy's allies of the first games are all slightly miffed about her departing after the Battle of Meridian, without a word. Erend in particular takes Aloy's frequent But Now I Must Go without goodbyes badly. This gets further compounded by her allies attempting to be understanding but Aloy not having the ability to fully explain what's going on with GAIA and the world in a manner they really understand, and her feelings that it's a task she has to tackle alone. Further affecting things is Aloy's feelings of haste meaning that she's often stepping on toes or offending people in her hurry to get obstacles out of her way. This forms a recurring plot thread where Aloy needs to learn that she does need allies.
    • She is spectacularly bad when it comes to Beta, another Elisabet Sobeck clone with a severe case of Cloning Blues. After Aloy describes the Proving that she went through when trying to emphasize with Beta over being outcast, Beta dolefuly says she doubts she could have accomplished that. Aloy, fed up with the Self-Deprecation, snaps "Well, it's good you're not a Nora!" and immediately gets a My God, What Have I Done? look while Beta just seems floored.
  • Nubile Savage: She does not look like someone who was raised a third-class citizen (at best) of a post-apocalyptic tribe of hunter-gatherers.

    O — Y 
  • Obliviously Beautiful: Because she was raised in isolation, she has no concept of attractiveness as it applies to her or others. When Erend tries to compliment her appearance, she doesn't even understand what he's trying to say.
  • Oblivious to Love: Due to her lack of socialization, Aloy completely fails to pick up on the fact that a lot of characters flirt with her.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: A justified trope. The one who sent Aloy literally did not have enough time before dying to do anything else. Also, the track record of her genetic donor speaks for itself.
  • One-Woman Army: Aloy is capable of taking down great machines, watchtowers and swarms of machines that have wiped out entire warbands.
  • Only One Name: The Nora don't seem to practice family names, and Aloy has no family anyway, so she only goes by "Aloy" or whatever nickname people give her. Lampshaded when Petra introduces herself.
    Petra: Petra Forgewoman.
    Aloy: Uh, Aloy... Machinehunter.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: She provides exactly four hugs over the course of the second game, all of them in a very emotional/desperate situation. Specifically; to Talanah after the former learns her entire journey into the West was all for nothing, to Zo after her lover is killed, to Beta after eradicating Far Zenith], and to Erend before telling the team about Nemesis.
  • Oracular Urchin: After descending into a Creepy Cave at the age of six, she found a Focus that enables her to 'predict' machine paths and identify the heat signatures of animals and people, even if they're behind walls. Teb is noticeably shocked when such a young girl saves his life.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Two, gained at the beginning and end of the first game. The first is Rost's necklace (a plain white stone with a hole pierced through it), which he gives her before the Proving. The second is a locket (shaped like the Earth) that she takes off of Elisabet's body.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Her mistreatment by the Nora since she was a child had already given her a great distaste towards religion, but discovering the truth of the Old World, that it was destroyed through human arrogance and stupidity, but also saved through scientific ingenuity and hope, gives her even less tolerance towards zealots. She's also very mocking of the first Carja Sun-Priest she meets for considering the sun to be male. In the second game when the Utaru Chorus resigns themselves to doing nothing about a threat to the entire tribe because all things end eventually and trees can't pull up their roots and move to save themselves, she's disbelieving.
    • That said she's not unreasonable about other characters' beliefs. Often it seems like she just decides not to comment, but she can be respectful especially to people who are more flexible than zealots. For example, Utaru always carry seeds with them, to be recovered after death and planted and tended by the deceased's loved ones. Aloy struggles with the idea of not relocating away from these plants when the area is hostile, but she's sympathetic to the desire to stay, and across several quests she recovers and brings back the seed pouches of many dead Utaru without complaint.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The cause of Sylens' fascination. How could an ultra-powerful A.I born centuries ago feel threatened by a teenage barbarian living halfway across the continent?
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Her speech to the whole Nora tribe when they fall to their knees in worship after coming out of All-Mother:
    Aloy: First you shun me, now this? I will not be worshiped! I am not your Anointed! I don't belong to you. There is a whole world beyond your borders. Whole tribes of people just as good as you. There is a world of people out there, just as good as you. And it is all in danger! (pause) And it is a world worth fighting for.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Shadow Stalwart Light armor keeps Shadow Carja soldiers from recognizing Aloy. Presumably it does so because they simply don't expect that she'd come waltzing back into the city after narrowly avoiding being sacrificed in the Sun Ring. It definitely doesn't actually do anything to disguise her appearance. Her wild red hair does superficially resemble the red plumage on Shadow Carja Kestrels' attire, which the Shadow Stalwart armor is based on.
  • The Perfectionist: She believes that if she's strong enough to do everything by herself, she can justify not moving out of her comfort zone socially. This is coupled with a strong sense of competition (shown by her pride when winning machine races, arena battles, etc) and a subtle need for validation from people around her.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: If the dialogue option of her accepting Rost's decision to leave is chosen, she later admits that she was just pretending to be calm about it. Her real feelings were begging Rost not to leave her.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: She does not believe in her companions' various religions and tends to bring this up at inappropriate moments. Downplayed, as religious faith by itself doesn't seem to be enough for her to see a person as "inferior" to her.
  • Quest for Identity: She was raised to conform to a very family-centered culture, so her urge to find her mother can be interpreted as an indirect example of the trope.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Aloy can be pretty brutal in verbally deconstructing people's motives when provoked to do so.
  • Rebellious Spirit: She's quick to question tradition, authority, and accepted common knowledge. She has an innate lust for discovery and adventure, and given that her tribe's traditions — the same traditions that made her an outcast all her life — forbid such things and encourage stagnation, it makes sense she'd be opposed.
  • Red Baron: After she blows up the Bulwark, some Tenakth refer to her as "Wall-Breaker".
  • Red-Headed Hero: Her hair is a shade of red, which is convenient for blending into red-tipped grass. She is readily identified by many in the second game from her fame and reputation preceding her, visually by her conspicuous red headmop.
    Gera: My old tribe has legends about women with red hair and the change they bring.
  • Reincarnation: She is for all intents and purposes Elisabet Sobeck, the woman she was cloned from, and introduces herself as Elisabet to Old One databases. But she also misses her. It's complicated.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • Subverted with Avad after discovering Ersa's fate. Out of gratitude, he propositions Aloy to stay in Meridian by his side, but Aloy realizes he's projecting what he felt for Ersa on her, and turns him down.
    • Defied when she is told that Rost had a biological daughter that died before Aloy was placed into his care. Teersa is quick to dismiss the idea that Aloy was in any way a replacement and asserts Rost loved her for her.
    • In the Final Battle of Forbidden West, Tilda, an Old One who survived off-world as part of Far Zenith, reveals that Earth is doomed by the malevolent AI Nemesis, the being that caused the derangement and gradual destruction of the biosphere, hunting Far Zenith back to the planet. She reveals that Far Zenith only ever planned to stay on Earth long enough to gain control of the GAIA terraforming AI so they could colonise other worlds far away from it where nemesis would never find them. Tilda knew Elisabet back during the original fall of Earth and deeply loved her, spending centuries regretting that she couldn't convince her to come with her on the Odyssey. Having found a clone of Elisabet that better resembles her in character as well as appearance, Tilda sees the situation as an extremely twisted version of My Second Greatest Chance and makes it clear that this time, she's not taking 'no' for an answer, leading to the Final Boss.
  • Scavenged Punk: Aloy's Shield Weaver / Nora Anointed armor is actually her original outcast armor from the early hours of Zero Dawn with the Old Ones shield nodes stitched into it.
  • Secular Hero: Aloy has a noted distaste for most forms of religious zeal due to her experiences as an Outcast among the Nora, and is frequently awkward as a tribe's beliefs are explained to her. Aside from this however she is generally quite neutral: while she never believes in any of the various tribal religions (since her Focus allows her to Do in the Wizard every single time), she'll never intervene unless it's directly hurting others or themselves, and she often goes to great lengths to explain the science in a way that conforms with their perspective.
  • Scars are Forever: There is a small indentation above her right eye where Bast threw a rock at her as a child. She also gets a scar on her throat where Helis nearly slits it.
  • Science Hero: Downplayed in the first game, but heavily Played Straight in Forbidden West. Justified as the first game involved her learning about the Old World, it's technology and most of all Elisabet, whereas by the time of the sequel, Aloy has fully embraced being Elisabet's descendant.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: As someone who was an outcast her entire life just because of her lack of a mother, Aloy has zero respect for the law forbidding contact with outcasts and willingly talks with and assists them and encourages people who start questioning harsh laws. Among the Banuk, she readily encourages tribesfolk who themselves start to ask these questions.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: How she chooses to interpret entering the GAIA Prime facility, which holds the Alphas' corpses. Sylens sees it as validation for his misanthropy; Aloy sees it as honoring their spirits. The Alphas died horribly, suffocated in a sterile trap far away from everything they loved. But when Aloy opened the door, air rushed in and pulled out their remains. After so long, they are finally free, part of the world they died to preserve.
  • She-Fu: Some of her Silent Strike melee finishers are very flashy for something that's supposed to eliminate an enemy without drawing attention. For instance, assassinating a human enemy from the front makes Aloy jump on their chest (without the target falling down or even stumbling under the impact), plunging her spear in their heart, then kicking the still-standing corpse away while performing a perfect backflip to land on her feet. Rule of Cool at its finest.
  • Shipper on Deck: In Forbidden West, she agrees to stay in Stone Echo and convalesce so that Varl and Zo can travel together, even though she really doesn't want to.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: She's a green-eyed redhead and she is a "person of towering importance" as Sylens puts it; a clone of the creator of Project Zero Dawn, created by GAIA to help stop her subordinate functions which have evolved into true AI and split off from her, and to restore the Zero Dawn system and save the world. After leading the forces against Eclipse to victory at the Battle of The Alight, her reputation, and her wild red hair, precede her into the Forbidden West.
  • Skewed Priorities: Aloy goes on her journey to learn about where she came from and who her mother is. A journey that she was sent on because a large number of her tribe were massacred and involves uncovering ancient secrets that had been lost to time. One moment in particular near the end of the game has the Nora about to be buried alive in the Mother Mountain. Aloy expresses concern that if they are, she won't be able to access the site within the mountain to learn her origins.
  • Slashed Throat: Non-fatal example: when Helis ambushes her during the proving, he preforms a Neck Lift on her and prepares to slit her throat with his other hand. Though Rost interferes before he fully succeeds, Aloy is still left with a noticeable gash on her neck that incapacitates her and leaves her on the verge of death, only being Forced to Watch as Helis mortally wounds Rost. It's perhaps because of this that Helis doesn't bother stabbing her as well and just leaves them both to die in the ensuring explosion, and Aloy later brings up possible blood loss being the reason she was so close to death afterwards.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Although Aloy is of average height, the various heavy weapons she can wield are so huge that this trope still comes into play. Most are about as long as she is tall, and just as heavy. It's borderline miraculous that she can fire BFGs like the Deathbringer Gun without the recoil knocking her flat on her arse.
  • Smarter Than You Look:
    • Despite being raised in a primitive setting, Aloy's extremely high intelligence compensates for her lack of knowledge. Even Sylens was left gobsmacked when Aloy informs him that of course she doesn't think the Earth is flat; since an eclipse of the moon is caused by the Earth's shadow (something she considers a minor enough deduction that she doesn't even bother to elaborate on how she worked it out), and the shadow it casts is round, obviously the Earth is too. This is due to the fact she is a clone of Elisabet Sobeck, from whom she inherits her genius.
    • One of the things Aloy has going for her is her Focus, which apparently contains some database of information; if the training montage cutscene is anything to go by, she'd spend hours each night studying the information it contained.
    • By the finale, she has absorbed enough knowledge from the machines and old tech to intuit and figure out how the machines work and what Hades' end-goal is.
    • This continues into Forbidden West. On multiple occasions, she'll meet Oseram tinkerers who will expect her to have no idea how the devices they're building work, only to get surprised when she immediately deduces their function.
  • Smash Sisters: Part of her relationship with Talanah is their love of hunting machines and being perpendicular to the roles society tried to set for them.
  • The Snark Knight: Wherever she got her sass, it certainly wasn't from Rost. Sylens is particularly not amused as Aloy searches through the ruins of the Zero Dawn facilities, calling her pain over her origins "whining" and her furious responses "temper tantrums."
  • Socially Awkward Hero: While generally polite and respectful, due to her upbringing, she finds herself feeling awkward in certain situations, usually when she's put in the spotlight. She doesn't understand what Erend meant when he was flirting with her in their first meeting and seems to really dislike parties of any nature, especially ones for her.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: She is skilled with a bow and can obtain several variations for different purposes throughout the game.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Note that her rebellious I-don't-need-the-tribe attitude appeared only after she tried to win their approval and got rejected. Over the course of the plot, she fights many battles just to please strangers.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Aloy's very smart and picks up a lot despite a total lack of formal education, having to figure things out through context and observation. All the same, discussion of space travel - the distances involved, the speed and time required, the concept of light-years - is too much for her the first time it really comes up and she gets a headache.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: When faced with the sorry state HADES is in after Sylens interrogation, she sounds slightly concerned when asking if it's really them.
  • Taught by Experience: By the start of the second game, not only has Aloy learned how to back up her Focus Data but she's also started carrying backup Focuses, just in case something happens to hers.
  • Thinking Out Loud: Aloy does this a lot, clearly a habit developed as a coping mechanism from her Friendless Background and ostracisation by the Nora, and having literally only one person she could actually converse with for yearsnote . As a sign of how badly affected she was by the isolation during her formative years, Aloy keeps the habit going even when dealing with people who don't ignore her and have no problems holding lengthy conversations with her.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Sylens.
  • Tell Me About My Mother: Aloy sets out to become a fully fledged member of the Nora tribe just to hear what the High Matriarchs know about her mother. When the answers she gets only end up raising more questions, she then makes finding the truth of her mother the entire basis of her journey. All the large-scale events Aloy gets involved in along the way, from the war with the Shadow Carja to uncovering the historical events that led to The End of the World as We Know It, are all a means to achieving that end.
  • Teen Genius: Despite the few moments where she doesn't think things through or outright refuses to look at the bigger picture, Aloy is a reasonably intelligent person. Despite her age and lack of training, she proves to be an excellent detective, and has an intuitive understanding of machinery. She shows high levels of awareness to the facts around her, which enables her to deduce that the Earth is round without any source of information other than her eyes.
  • Thank Your Prey: No surprise from a Nature Hero, Aloy apologizes to a Watcher after she kills it to stop it warning the other robots.
    Aloy: Sorry, little one.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Technically, Aloy is not the daughter of Elisabet Sobeck, she is her clone created by the GAIA A.I.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Meeting people who don't treat her like shit or insist that she shouldn't resent the people who did goes a long way towards increasing Aloy's compassion. So does learning how fragile life on Earth can be.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Forbidden West, Aloy's single-minded determination to find Sylens leaves her noticeably impatient, irritable, and snippy to others and their cultural customs. This sometimes bites her in the back when she tries to bulldoze through her problems. This gradually eases up when she finally starts to accept help from her allies.
  • Training from Hell: Twelve years of it, taken by choice, and administered by the only known Nora Death Seeker who didn't die upon completing his mission.
  • Tranquil Fury: Aloy is usually quite emotional, which makes it all the more jarring when this happens. Her response when she finds out about Sylens' treachery is a cold, menacing "I warned you."
  • Tsundere: Choosing aggressive dialogue options makes Aloy, who's a very compassionate person in scripted dialogue, suddenly launch into egotistical temper tantrums, cruel verbal dissections or similarly offensive behavior, only to revert back to her sweet side the moment the scripted dialogue continues a few seconds later. Going with compassionate or smart dialogue choices averts this completely because they're much more in line with her normal character.
  • Underestimating Badassery: She does not believe that the Nora can change- or if she does, she doesn't show it through her actions, being surprised when Varl answers her call to broaden his horizons and demanding more of him than of anyone else before she accepts him as a teammate note .
  • Utility Weapon: She also uses her spear for hacking A.I, forcing open doors, and mining Bluegleam.
  • Übermensch: Of the Fettered variety. She will do what she thinks is right, not caring for opposing hidebound tribal superstitions in the way. However, she believes in everyone's right to exist, taking care not to tread on those who didn't actively oppose her, and she also at worst makes flippant remarks about tribal superstitions that aren't specifically at odds with her intents. The difference in fetterings with the other Übermensch in the setting, Sylens, is the basis for their mildly antagonistic alliance of mutual interest. She does not necessarily see herself as "above" those around her (unlike Sylens), but a large number of people whom she has interacted with on more than a passing level recognize her as extraordinary. Her disposition of being of the Fettered variety has led to many giving earnest support to her effort, in stark contrast, deconstruction, and retort to Sylens' cynical take about trust being fragile and mutual interest being a superior basis for partnership.
  • Unperson: Not just considered an outcast, Aloy's existence is considered by many Nora to be a curse. No one from the Nora is supposed to interact with her, and she has to live far away from the nearest town in the wilds. Oftentimes, people will call her 'it' or 'outcast,' not even acknowledging she is a human being. Extreme version of All of the Other Reindeer.
  • Unwanted False Faith: Late in the game, after saving the Nora from an Eclipse attack and entering the mountain that the Nora believe to be their goddess, the Nora see Aloy as a divine gift from All-Mother and fall down on their knees before her, praising her as the "Anointed". This makes her supremely uncomfortable for a number of reasons: firstly being that she had just learned the reason for her existence and the weight of it, and didn't want active worship adding to the pressure; secondly the hypocrisy of the tribe going from shunning her to worshiping her all based not on any merit of her actions but by perceived divine will; third, she knows as a matter of fact that there's nothing supernatural or divine going on here and doesn't want to take advantage of their ignorance; fourth, she is uncomfortable with the connotations of ownership involved in what they're doing, believing that by declaring her their chosen one, the tribe is asserting a level of implied possession of her, as if she were an idol and not a person. She immediately demands that they stop, pulls them up to their feet, chastises them, and rejects the title of Anointed that they try to bestow on her.
  • We Do the Impossible: To the Carja, she personally saved their royal family and slew Redmaw. To the Banuk, she "resurrected" a dead Tallneck and freed the guardian spirit of an entire valley. To the Nora, she is the woman who opened Mother's Cradle and killed the Metal Devil (again). At this point, the latter's worship of her is understandable, albeit completely incorrect.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Although Elisabet is long dead, Aloy has developed a bit of a complex about living up to her legacy.
  • What a Senseless Waste of Human Life:
    • If the final heart option in the game is chosen upon Helis's defeat, Aloy expresses pity, which is probably the most cutting thing she could do at that point anyway, and is seen closing her eyes with a pained expression.
    • At the end of the second game, Aloy looks unhappily at the body of the final boss and asks "Why couldn't you let me choose?" She never really trusted Tilda, as a rogue member of Far Zenith but seems to understand the regrets expressed to her and why she was asked.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: No matter what dialogue option is chosen, Aloy will lay into Sylens when he claims he would do everything he did to empower HADES again, just with "a few more safeguards." Aloy tells him that despite having brought the world to the brink of ruin to sate his own addiction to knowledge, he has failed to learn anything. While he brushes her off and ending seems to prove Aloy only all too right, in the sequel Sylens' better familiarity with HADES means he's able to successfully get the information he wanted, which proves critical to the fate of the planet.
  • World's Best Warrior: There is one guy- the chief of the Tenakth- who says that he "might" defeat her in battle. Everybody else doesn't want to try or is proven wrong, even if they are mecha-wearing space immortals. This is why the Carja name her "Champion", a title only given to the best warriors in the Sundom.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Sylens notes that GAIA Prime detonated 19 years prior, thus making her roughly 18 years old. By the end of the game, she's done more feats in weeks and months than most in the Nora have for generations.
    • Again, based on what Sylens says, she has learned more truths about the Old World than he has only been able to speculate after a lifetime of studying and experimentation.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: She expresses more anxiety about helping the Nora ambush the Ring of Metal cultists than about any of the similarly one-sided battles she's fought alone.
  • You Killed My Father: While Aloy has several reasons to seek out the Proving killers, one of them is revenge for Rost, the only father she ever knew.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Aloy is the last of GAIA's creations, and so far has done an excellent job of doing what she was commissioned to do: neutralize all her "sibling" subroutines. Presumably after a thousand years of designing lifeforms, GAIA got pretty good at it.

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