Some of these little things are references to games related to Horizon Zero Dawn in one way or another, some are references to competitors, and some are unusual places that you might not notice among the overgrown ancient ruins. We have prepared for you a selection of secrets that you might have missed during the passage of the game, and also explained those references that are easy to find, but difficult to understand.
Not far from the Mother’s Cradle is an old building in the shape of the letter A, all overgrown and judging by the appearance ready to collapse. Many players have visited this place, but even though there is an observation point that allows you to see how this building looked before the fall of civilization, not everyone knows that its unusual design is not an invention of the game creators.
The building has a real prototype: the chapel of the US Air Force Academy, located next to Colorado Springs. This is even reflected in the name of the observation point – “Air Combat Academy”. Here, players (and Aloy) can also learn something about the origin of the machines that now roam these lands.
This isn’t the first time an unusual-looking chapel has been immortalized in games. In the cult strategy game Red Alert 2, there is a mission where the player is tasked with retaking the chapel and the air base next to it from enemy forces.
Reference to Killzone
In the days when the PlayStation 3 was relevant, the Killzone trilogy of games was very popular. One of the most famous, recognizable and memorable characters of the series were the Helghast, and their helmet became the unofficial symbol of the series.
In Horizon: Zero Dawn, the player can find an ancient relic called the Ancient Vessel, which is nothing more than a coffee mug with a Helghast helmet on it. And this reference is not accidental here: the Guerrilla Games studio, which developed Horizon Zero Dawn, was once engaged in the development of Killzone.
Skeletons holding hands
Those who played without bothering to explore every corner of the game world could easily miss this secret. To find it, you need to go to the lower central part of the map, to the right of the sawtooth brown mountains.
Jump off Longneck’s head to a high stone platform, then climb the rock until you see a small patch with a fire and two skeletons holding hands. When approaching the skeletons, gloomy music starts playing.
And here is another reference to projects related to Guerilla Games. To find this Easter egg, you need to go to the forest in the eastern part of the map. Going far enough to the east, you’ll find a vantage point where Aloy can see Denver Stadium before civilization fell. Looking around the stadium, you can see the logo in the form of a red and blue shield with a capital letter R on it.
This is a reference to RIGS: Mechanized Combat League, a game from the Guerilla Cambridge studio, which worked in parallel with Guerilla Games. Only one question remains: can the RIGS logo be considered a hint at the origin of some of the vehicles found in the game?
Triforce of Might
There are several places in the game world where the player can find a symbol very similar to the Triforce from The Legend of Zelda series of games. There is reason to believe that this was not done by chance.
The release of Horizon Zero Dawn coincided with the release of the new part of Zelda – Breath of the Wild, which was released on March 3, 2017, four days after the release of Zero Dawn. For this reason, both games have become direct competitors in the open-world fantasy genre. If the triforces in the world of Zero Dawn are no mere coincidence, then what did Guerilla Games mean by that to Nintendo?
Only the most diligent fans of the game, who set themselves the goal of completing it to the end, could find this secret. If you collect all the trophies and earn a platinum trophy, you can get a special reward. After completing the game in 100%, you will be able to download the Horizon: Zero Dawn theme for your PlayStation 4.
The theme installs wallpapers with cars from Zero Dawn and changes the appearance of the icons in the menu to look like cave paintings, such as those found in the game world. If you also want one for yourself, take a look at the statistics – you may only have a few trophies left before it.
Necklace from Death Stranding
In the Treasure of Death, in the northeast of the map, you can find an unusual necklace. This is the first of three references to Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding that appear in Horizon Zero Dawn.
Once in the underground entrance, go to the left of the blue holograms with the inscription “Operation: Freedom”. To your right, two bodies will lie against the wall, the right one is marked with a marker, which, due to the location, may not be noticed at first. It is here that you will find a necklace consisting of six small bars strung on wire. The item is collectible, and it is called “Worn Token”.
Shackles from Death Stranding
To find this item, use the entrance to the Colosseum, marked on the map as an alternative entrance to the New Dawn Project building. Once underground, you will see a table, and on it are shackles marked with a marker that is quite easy to spot. These are the same shackles worn by Norman Reedus’ character in the Death Stranding trailer.
Alas, like the Worn Badge, this is just a collectible item, and you will not be able to use it for its intended purpose. It’s a pity: you could find a lot of different uses for these shackles, for example, to immobilize small cars.
Doll from Death Stranding
The last of three Death Stranding references in Horizon Zero Dawn is a broken doll collectible. You can find it at the starting location, behind the stairs, the marker is clearly visible, so if you do not run past in a hurry, then do not miss the Easter egg. The doll is very similar to the one seen in the Death Stranding trailer.
The icon for each Death Stranding item is a silhouette of the Kojima Productions logo. Why does Zero Dawn have all these references? Perhaps the whole point is that when creating Death Stranding, the Decima engine developed by Guerrilla Games was used.
The last secret, which many likely missed, can be found next to one of the metallic colors. They are two rabbits, one named Jazz and the other named Jack. This is a reference to Jazz Jackrabbit, a PC game released in 1994.
It would seem, what does this old game have to do with it? The answer is simple: its creators were Cliff Blesinski and Aryan Brussi, one of the future founders of Guerrilla Games. Namely, this studio, as we know, developed Horizon Zero Dawn.
A source: gamerant.com