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Funny / Horizon Zero Dawn

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  • Rost's various rants at young Aloy's Augmented Reality device (called a Focus) sounds like what a modern parent would say about children of our century.
    Aloy: (about a Strider) The canister on its back— is that a weakness?
    Rost: Yes. How did you guess that?
    Aloy: The device. It showed me!
    Rost: That plaything? Stop playing games.
  • Erend not-so-subtly flirting with Aloy first time they meet before the Proving, and inviting her to visit Meridian in the future if she has a chance.
    • His comment on the Matriarchs before The Blessing:
    Erend: Let's talk after the Blessing. I don't want to piss off the Matriarchs. Those are some tough looking grandmothers.
  • Since she was raised in complete isolation with only Rost as a companion, Aloy consistently either fails to notice when someone is flirting with her or doesn't take them seriously. When she does notice, it's usually because someone is being particularly crass, which she has some hilarious reactions to:
    • This example in Meridian:
    Studius Palas: I study every ancient artifact I can get my hands on! But years of study have made me too comfortable at my desk. I can't even bear the sun, if the truth be known. I don't know how I'll manage to take a partner. My family presses me for an heir.
    Aloy: Umm... don't look at me!
    • And again:
    Vilgund: (to Aloy) Hey, outlander! Did you come to Meridian to find work? Good shards! Enough to buy garb more becoming of your-
    Aloy: Okay! Stop there if you want me to hear you out.
    Vilgund: I only meant, a well-molded woman such as you-
    Aloy: (shrugs in a "yeah, buddy, want to get hit?" way)
  • After just having taken down a Corrupter and several Corrupted Watchers that were assaulting, and about to overrun, a Carja fort:
    Aloy: It wasn't the sun risking its ass down here!
    • After said deed, you are introduced to Captain Balahn who asks you to find soldiers that were locked outside of the gate.
    Aloy: Can't you send more soldiers to find the missing men? What about Walid here?
    Balahn: Most Nora still don't take well to the sight of Carja armor. Officially, it's a risk to send patrols so close to your Sacred Land. I'd prefer not to do that again. But heading that way won't be a problem for you.
    Walid: Please say yes.
    Balahn: What was that, soldier?
    Walid: Nothing, sir.
  • Later on, when Aloy talks to Balahn after finding his soldiers:
    Balahn: Lakhir came back on his own, a little worse for wear. He seemed a bit embarrassed when I mentioned you. Dare I ask?
    Aloy: He has a... lovely singing voice.
    Balahn: That's a capital lie if I ever heard one. I'll have a talk with him about it.
  • The 14th Sun-King of the Carja, summed up by Aloy:
    Aloy: He's the Sun, he has total power and no friends? That couldn't go wrong.
    • To his emissary's face, no less.
    • Somehow made even funnier when you realize that Aloy's initial summary was wrong and the king really is a nice guy.
  • The same emissary also provides Aloy with the exciting discussion regarding the reason for there only being male rulers in the Sundom: the Sun is "masculine, of course". Aloy's reaction is perfectly deadpan.
    Aloy: Um, it's a ball of light in the sky. I've never seen anything dangling from it.
  • Some of the people Aloy meets in Meridian are... eccentric.
    • One merchant sells rusty bolts and dirty baskets, at ridiculous prices... which turn out to be the only currency another nearby merchant accepts as payment for actually useful stuff.
    • Studious Palas has been collecting and studying ancient artifacts from archaeological sites of the Old Ones. What kind of artifacts, you ask? Coffee cups.
    Studious Palas: I'm convinced they were used in conjunction with each other in sets. Some people believe they were used for tea ceremonies. Others think they held sacred essences and oils for worship. But I believe they were used for the solemn custom of shaving one's beard. One for water, one for lotion, and so on. Each fluid in its special vessel, MAJESTICALLY applied to the face, at each stage of the rite. It must have been (pause) breathtaking! But which vessel was used for which? I have to know! I have to continue my research!
    Aloy: Are you sure people didn't just drink out of them?
    Studious Palas: Drink?! Out of such finely crafted earthenware?! Don't be ridiculous!
    • Palas' own backstory sounds suspiciously like a modern Basement-Dweller.
    • Truth in Television, by the way: if an ancient object is labelled as having "ritual significance", it usually means the archaeologists don't actually have any idea what it was for.
  • Aloy gets some epic comebacks throughout the game:
    Resh: (not entirely under his breath, about Aloy) Motherless chuff.
    Aloy: What did you say?
    Resh: Find your bed, outcast, and dream of winning the Proving. That's the closest you're going to get.
    Aloy: Oh, this is the Bed-House? With you standing guard, I figured it was the latrine.
    Resh: (sputtering) Your - your presence here mocks— (door slams in his face)
    • Another one:
    Aloy: Too bad for [Bast] that I'm going to win [the Proving], then.
    Bast: Ha! I've been training my whole life for this. If I lost to you, I'd make myself an outcast for life!
    Aloy: Don't overestimate yourself. You wouldn't last long in the wilds.
    • And later in the same conversation:
    Bast: (about the Proving) You'll be the one that's surprised tomorrow, outcast, not me.
    Aloy: Oh, are you going to shut your mouth? Because that would be a surprise.
    • Inside the Hunter's Lodge at Meridian:
    Ahsis: Ah, the machine rider graces us with her presence. You're a Nora, are you not, a fighter from the savage lands?
    Aloy: The Sacred Lands. But yes, I fought for everything I got.
    • Again, to Ahsis:
    Ahsis: Tell me, do the Nora often wander into other people's homes and do whatever they like?
    Aloy: Of course n—
    Ahsis: But that is what you're doing right now. Stinking up our lodge, pestering your betters—
    Aloy: You're hardly my better.
  • Aloy finds out about a Cauldron from a fellow Nora, which leads to this exchange:
    Aloy: Where can I find this Cauldron?
    Dral: My point is, you shouldn't.
    Aloy: Then describe the place I should avoid.
    Dral: You're clever one. But not so clever as to heed my warning, I see.
  • One of the Oseram people's cultural traits is that they are very chatty and frequently get into arguments with one another.
    Petra: If we were back in the Claim, Oseram land? Three days' argument any time someone wants to hammer in a bolt.
    • When Aloy talks to Gera in Hunter's Gathering:
    Gera: I'm Gera. Are you drinking?
    Aloy: (hesitates) I'm... not.
    Gera: Every day I like to share one with someone who I like. Most days, I have to settle for someone I can beat in a fight.
    (Gera decides to have a drink anyway and offers Aloy one without charge)
    Aloy: (coughing fit) What is this?!
    Gera: Scrappersap, the good stuff. Keeps you warm in a snowstorm, strips the grit out of a gearwheel.
    • When Erend is trying to explain to the Oseram Vanguards on the enemy they are facing.
    Oseram Guard 1: So who are these guys?
    Erend: They call themselves "the Eclipse."
    Oseram Guard 1: What does that even mean?
    Erend: It's when the moon gets in front of the sun, idiot.
    Oseram Guard 1: Oh. Is that supposed to sound scary or something?
    Oseram Guard 2: I don't know. They used to be Carja, and Carja are always yammering about sun and shade.
    Oseram Guard 1: Well, if they used to be Carja, how tough can they be?
    Oseram Guard 3: Yeah. Their best guys dress like birds. We'll rip their little feathers off.
    • When Aloy keeps talking to Erend.
    Erend: You just can't leave me alone, can you?
    Oseram Guard 1: I think she likes you.
    Oseram Guard 2: You gonna kiss her, Captain?
    Erend: Shut up! Now! (to Aloy) We'll just... pretend that never happened.
    • Erend's Oseram backup dancers also provide us with this gem:
    Oseram Guard 1: What kind of machines they got?
    Oseram Guard 2: Big ugly ones. From the ancients.
    Oseram Guard 1: Ugly and ancient, like your mother?
    Oseram Guard 2: Worse. Like your wife.
  • Just the fact that Longlegs can put out fire damage. In the tribal post-apocalypse, chicken fries you!
  • In the Fatal Inheritance sidequest you find that a noble son has used a device to call machines, hoping they'll kill his family so he can inherit it all. Once you've killed the machines and found the surviving family member, the son shows up again to confirm his plan and gloat, holding up an activated lure... and getting grabbed mid-sentence and screaming, because he had no way of controlling the machines he summoned.
  • One sidequest involves Glinthawks attacking a settlement after being drawn there by a device that a scavenger found. When the panicked scavenger tells Aloy that there's no way to shut it off, she just gives him an unimpressed look before smashing the thing to pieces with the end of her spear.
  • Fernund asks Aloy how her spear works, referring to how she uses it to override machines. She gives this comedy gold response:
    Aloy: You stab the machine with the pointy end.
  • Aloy's conversations with Nil about naming weapons.
    Aloy: "The Voice of Our Teeth?" Your bow has a name?
    Nil: Yours doesn't?
    • And the next time she encounters him...
    Aloy: So what's your knife called?
    Nil: Why would someone name a knife?
    Aloy: So much for small talk.
  • After saving a thief in Sun's Judgement errand:
    Dekamin: The Sun has spoken! Thank you again, savage. May the Sun light your way!
    Aloy: Great. People finally stopped calling me 'outcast', and now it's 'savage'.
  • In Demand and Supply errand, a Carja trader and a Oseram smith spend their time on screen debating non-stop over the pricing of Snapmaw Lens and Longleg Lens. It takes Aloy yelling at them to get to actual business. What's even more funny is that you have to choose to give one of them the Lens they need or both.
  • A sidequest has you rescue a Shadow Carja warrior named Uthid, marked for death. At the end, when he kills (in a cutscene) the man who ordered his death, he has a peculiar list of complaints against him.
    Uthid: All the lies, and the violence, and your cheap scented oils!
  • A lovely little bit of Black Humor when Aloy and Talanah encounter Ahsis taking on Redmaw.
    Aloy: Looks like Ahsis is holding his own.
    (Ahsis takes a brutal blow that sends him flying.)
    (brief cut to Aloy and Talanah wincing in sympathy and alarm)
    Aloy: Was. Was holding his own.
    • Later on, the Hunter's Lodge official account of Ahsis's death by Redmaw goes out of its way to mention how he voided his bowels on death, despite being completely irrelevant. Apparently the Lodge is big on adding insult to injury, at least as far as he's concerned.
      • The record of Redmaw's killing people always include, in parenthesis, a brisk summation of how many died of what. (One blasted, three stomped, two eviscerated, one swallowed his own tongue, evidently in a spasm of terror, suffocating.) The account of Redmaw's end notes how Ahsis was taken out (lash of the tail) and that he was mortally wounded (crushed internal organs, evidence of bowel failure) - which can be taken as him losing control before his death.
    • Various NPCs wandering around and having unscripted encounters with machines will often yell what these machines are. For some reason even though this encounter is scripted Talanah is one of them - meaning that after tracking Redmaw with you and watching the above scene, once you actually engage the machine she may shout "It's a THUNDERJAW!"
  • The end of Queen's Gambit sidequest, when the gang successfully escort Itamen, child leader of the Shadow Carja and deliver him and his mother to the Sun King Avad.
    Vanasha: Appalling. I spent two years in the Forbidden West setting this up, and the redhead gets all the credit?
    Three-Toed Huadiv: I'm still getting paid, right?
    Vanasha: You'll be lucky if I let you live.
    • Earlier in Queen's Gambit you find Huadiv on a plateau, hiding from a Rockbreaker that's tunneling around the path below. Aloy has to be the one to take it down. Rockbreakers are difficult to fight, but it's completely possible to stay on that plateau and fill it with arrows, with the only danger coming from the rocks it hucks up at you. Huadiv still calls your victory a miracle.
  • When Sylens bust in and rescue Aloy from the Shadow Carja coliseum, the crowds starts cheering at three Ravagers he brought in to fight the Corruptors.
  • After Aloy emerges from All-Mother and is proclaimed Anointed, Lansra, the jerkass fundamentalist matriarch who had always insisted Aloy was a curse, starts proclaiming her devotion to her with the same blind fervour she showed before. If the player repeatedly speaks to her, eventually Aloy will tell her to keep her mouth shut. Speak to her again and she does in fact try to talk to you while keeping her mouth shut. Seeing Belief Makes You Stupid taken to its logical conclusion is delightful after all the crap she put Aloy through.
  • At one point during The Mountain That Fell mission, Aloy climbs a particularly high cliff to meet up with Sylens.
    Aloy: Don't look down. Don't look down.
    (player looks down)
    Aloy: Damn it.
  • In the boss fight with Helis, he'll try to block arrows with his bracers. This gets funny if you use the Blast Sling to shoot Sticky Bombs at him, instead.
  • In a recovered memo, the APOLLO project lead writes a sternly worded letter that she will in fact not add Travis Tate's European torture porn movies (she specifically mentions "all sixteen (!) installments of 'Making a Millipede'") into the archive, and she does so with the satisfaction that such garbage will be wiped off the face of the Earth forever. She also thanks Travis for helping her determine a concrete definition for obscenity: anything Travis Tate suggests.
    • She also, with some disappointment, confirms that that the APOLLO archives do contain works such as Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Just goes to show that all that separates garbage from art is time.
    • The fact that this memo is CC'ed to Elisabet Sobek, suggesting that Samina Ebadji thought it would amuse Sobek.
  • The sheer audacity of Tate's attitude in general is good for a few laughs. Take his rebuttal regarding noise level complaints leveled against him, for instance.
    Travis: Am I REALLY supposed to code an extinction protocol WITHOUT DEATH METAL to inspire me? Naw, naw, I don't think so.
    • In the same e-mail, he quite firmly objects to his choice of music being referred to as bashcore. It's death metal.
  • According to one of Elisabet’s journal entries, Tate showed up outside her door on Hallween, asking for candy. Dressed as Elisabet.
  • If you've recruited them, Uthid and Vanesha turn their pre-final battle banter into comedy gold.
  • When HADES is defeated, Avad turns around and hugs a random Carja guard, who is quite surprised.
  • Also after HADES is defeated, there's a cut to a Nora brave poking a shut-down Deathbringer with his spear to see if it's actually dead, then immediately leaping back without waiting to see if it's going to react.
  • Also in the final cutscene, Erend approaches Aloy from behind. She initially spins around, bow at the ready, assuming he's an attacker.
  • To the Old Ones, punk music came to be seen as "old dad music", with college classes being taught on how music that came out of youthful rebellion became regarded as safe and stodgy.
  • Many of the datapoints set during the last days of the Old Ones are tragic, but some are funny, if with tragic undertones since they're recorded by people who die within a year or two.
    • An anarchist declaring that what really scares them is that having ended up in a uniform surrounded with jargon and discipline, they've found that they like it.
    • A woman joined Enduring Victory partially to spite the girlfriend who didn't like the idea, and was feeling regretful about it until said girlfriend sent her a stuffed armadillo with the pun "Arma dilling with some issues".
    • Someone really hated a song called "Do Your Part For Zero Dawn", finding it to be both an Ear Worm and really just plain bad.
    Can't this apocalypse at least have a decent soundtrack?
    • One audio datapoint in the Grave-Hoard starts off with Lt. Murell sternly reminding her troops that the holographic simulators are only to be used for training purposes... then finishes with her telling them to enjoy their gaming.
  • Also in the darkly funny category: A datapoint claiming "Hacked AI are just about the best thing ever!" with a defunct hyperlink to a video of AI fails, especially a customer service AI made by Faro's company.
  • In Frozen Wilds, we meet another member of the Oseram tribe competing for in-universe comedy gold - Gildun, a delver who went scrounging for ancient secrets a bit too in over his head and accidentally broke the machinery in a thousand-year old dam system by being a bit "too enthusiastic" while pressing a button (or possibly, in his frustration when pressing the button did nothing). The following is just an excerpt of what he says, the actual thing is nearly five minutes long:
    Gildun: By the forge, I'm pleased to hear another person stomping around in here! This blasted door is stuck!
    Unless... you're not one of those Snapmaws I saw outside, are you?
    If you were a Snapmaw, I don't suppose you'd tell me, heheheh... would you?
    A Snapmaw probably couldn't fit through the door. Or climb to the door. Or understand the function of doors.
    All right! You're either here to rescue me... or you're an uncharacteristically small and clever Snapmaw!
    • Gildun also provides another to the collection of outlandish theories about ancient objects of daily use, namely cars. It's about as accurate as ritual coffee mugs and powerplant piping musical instruments.
  • You can find the remains of the Yellowstone Visitors Lodge, which has a working holographic display that will show recordings of different Yellowstone wildlife if you bring the appropriate souvenir animals. The Banuk living in the lodge is hilariously off-base when it comes to his guesses about the animals' habits: his ideas include that foxes are red because they eat red meat, cougars due to their sandy fur were probably burrowing animals that used their teeth to dig, and mule deer were predators that impaled prey on their antlers. He also firmly believes that Montana Recreations, the company logo printed on every figurine and loudly announced by an old projector is a person's name, and aspires to take on that name himself one day: Enjuk Recreations. The sheer pride with which he proclaims that name makes it so much funnier.
  • Dod Blevins, recurring Old One NPC, is an upstart contender for biggest asshole in the game despite having been dead for centuries — controlling, petty, bootlicking to Ted Faro, cruel to his underlings, contemptuous of the less-fortunate and nowhere near as important as he believes he is — but the undying hatred he inspires in every person he encounters is gold. Learning of his ignominious accidental death after reading up on all his awfulness is the perfect grace note - he pissed off everyone he met to this extent within two weeks of taking the position.
    • One of the people who hated him pulled a prank with a holographic staff menu, making it say obscene things about Blevins. Director Kenny Chau expressed irritation at this, sent a stern mass email, and... then forwarded that with a little addendum.
    Anita, was it you? ;)
  • Project Firebreak made the area incredibly stable when it came to earthquakes and volcanic activity, but there were still minor tremors. Very minor. An incident report suggests both how boring it was to be stationed there and how few people got assigned this task. Jørgen Holm describes himself as the official Incident Reporter, Senior Geoscientist, Canteen Monitor, Site First Aider, Fire Marshal, and Staff Psychological Observer.
    • In another datapoint, Holm also declares himself "Acting Chief Digital Security Officer and Interim AI Administrator".
  • The Hunters Three sidequest has three Banuk hunters who, along with working off a debt to an Oseram trader by harvesting certain machine parts, are trying to come up with a name for their group. Each task in the quest line has each of them trying to suggest one hilariously absurd name after another, starting with generic fierce ones and ending with gems like "Burning Turkeys". The last one is suggested by the tallest, quietest member of the group, who comes off as more levelheaded and mature than the constantly bickering other two, but rather than a thoughtful name, his suggestion is "Sunshine Snowshoes", which even Aloy stops to react to. Only when Aloy helps them harvest all the parts they need do they leave the decision up to her, giving them the inspiration for a name that they can all agree on.
  • Sylens's best burn:
    Sylens: Whatever birthed you into the world was a "what", not a "who".
    Aloy: You bastard
    Sylens: Oh no, I had a legitimate birth.
  • Like many NPCs before her, Varga wants Aloy to go out, kill machines, and bring her certain parts. When she wants something from a Bellowback it's the usual routine where it's all up to Aloy, but when she wants parts from the significantly more dangerous Stormbird and Thunderjaw, she cheerfully suggests teaming up at specific sites. Aloy has a split second of jaw-dropped reaction.
    Varga: What, people expect you to hike for miles, hunt huge machines alone, and just bring stuff back?
    Aloy: Mostly.
  • The Keeper of the Stealth Trials and Aloy get in some Snark-to-Snark Combat.
    Aloy: (whispering) Don't you miss talking?
    Keeper: (whispering) Not at the moment.
  • When Aloy first travels to Sunstone Rock, it is under attack by two Behemoths, leading to this exchange between two of the Carja guards:
    Guard 1: I don't like our chances!
    Guard 2: You want to tell Warden Janeva that we backed down?
  • In a weird sort of way, GAIA cloning Elisabet could be seen as her running to her mother for help in a way. Elisabet and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the Project Zero Dawn created her, and Elisabet, in particular, practically raised her. So it might make sense that she’d see her as a mother figure of sorts. So what’s the first thing this Deus ex Machina, with more knowledge and power (though, admittedly, HADES made it so she wasn’t quite so powerful at the moment) than any human being has ever possessed do in the face of a potential second Apocalypse How? Basically go “You know who could fix this? Mom.” Might also count as a Heartwarming Moment. She’d need to have a lot of faith in her to believe she (or at least a clone of her) could stop a second Apocalypse.

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