When Aloy goes toe-to-toe with Nemesis in the seemingly inevitable third Horizon game, things should be better for her than the Far Zeniths.
During the closing moments of Horizon Forbidden West, Aloy’s quest to save the world takes an unexpected turn. Having fought the likes of HADES and the Far Zeniths, it turns out an even bigger threat has been lurking out in the depths of space. Through a conversation with Tilda, it’s revealed that a sentient artificial entity known as Nemesis has been the primary antagonist of Guerrilla Games’ franchise since its debut in 2017.
Considering how such a big revelation was saved until the final moments of Horizon Forbidden West's campaign, Nemesis will no doubt be fleshed out further in an inevitable third entry. What shape Aloy’s confrontation with the entity will take depends largely on how Guerrilla chooses to represent Nemesis. However, thanks to the Far Zeniths' failures, speculating on how Aloy will overcome the obstacles in front of her is possible. Aloy's friends and growing knowledge-base could play nicely into the Nora Hunter’s hands.
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Despite the fact that Nemesis came out of left-field, Guerrilla was able to cram a sizable amount of information into its reveal. Thanks to Tilda’s exposition, the player and Aloy learn that once the Far Zeniths established their colony on Sirius, their arrogance led to the creation of the artificial entity. While trying to reach virtual immortality, they attempted to transform their consciousness into a digital form capable of being transferred into multiple bodies.
Specific details about the shape of the experiment are left up in the air, however it’s understood that Nemesis was created in the process. Eventually gaining sentience and a desire for retribution after being abandoned, the artificial entity is said to have destroyed the Sirius colony over just a few hours. To emphasize its power further, Guerrilla has also teased that it not only awoke HADES in Horizon Zero Dawn, but it is now en-route to Earth to see its plans for destruction through.
What’s clear about Nemesis, other than the sheer size of the threat it represents, is that the Far Zeniths failed to stop it. Through conversations with Tilda and surviving members of the Sirius colony over the course of Forbidden West, the group’s deficiencies become obvious. It’s easy to see how Aloy could end up faring better when she comes face-to-face with Nemesis.
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Over the course of Horizon Forbidden West, Aloy’s attempts to save the biosphere are dominated by her quest to restore GAIA. In an effort to make the sentient AI more efficient, she was split into several subordinate functions by Elisabet Sobeck. However, fearing how the future people of Earth would react to their ancestors' failures and greed, billionaire Ted Faro purged APOLLO from GAIA’s systems.
What makes Faro’s action so impactful to the present day Horizon universe, is that APOLLO contained the AI’s detailed knowledge of ancient human culture. In theory, this level of intelligence should be capable of challenging Nemesis. As far as Guerrilla has let on, Nemesis only has access to the combined knowledge of an undisclosed number of Far Zenith colonists. While it’s true that the version of APOLLO onboard the Odyssey starship was unable to stop Nemesis alone, several factors have changed since their last encounter.
APOLLO is fully reintegrated back into GAIA at the end of Horizon Forbidden West. As a combined entity, it’s easy to imagine the AI being far more intelligent than the Far Zeniths. In theory at least, that should help GAIA come up with an effective strategy to beat their genocidal creation. The version of APOLLO that the colonists had access to was only a pre-alpha build, so with GAIA’s assistance, the likelihood of an upgrade patch seems high.
Throughout Horizon Forbidden West, Aloy learns to trust the people around her. Even though she’s never been short of allies, the Nora Hunter embraces her friends over the course of the sequel’s story. Sharing the burden of saving the world with so many like-minded individuals ultimately enables her to fight back and defeat the Far Zeniths with minimal casualties. Having grown so much as a character, it stands to reason her allies will now play a key role in the fight against Nemesis.
This could prove to be the decisive point that swings the battle in humanity's favor. It seems likely that Nemesis was able to decimate Sirius so quickly in-part because the Far Zeniths were never a united threat. Thanks to centuries of egotism, the colonist’s planet was seemingly divided into separate cliques. This is exemplified best by Tilda, who betrays the surviving Far Zeniths at the first opportunity.
In comparison, Aloy and her band of allies have become a well-tuned fighting machine. Even throwing in previously antagonistic forces like Sylens toward the end of the game wasn’t enough to disrupt the group from achieving its goals. With such a diverse cast of personalities at her disposal, Aloy will go into the battle with Nemesis at a much stronger place than the Far Zeniths. Sylens was able to overcome the colonist’s apparent technological advantage, which suggests the colonists weren’t quite as powerful as they’d deluded themselves into believing.
Unlike the Far Zeniths, Aloy’s personality suggests she will also take Nemesis as a serious threat. In comparison, the colonists on Sirius disregarded the entity it was already too late. With time on her side, it stands to reason that the number of people who will back the Nora Hunter in her fight will also have expanded by the time the third Horizon game starts. With home-turf advantage in her favor, it’s likely Aloy’s fight with Nemesis will go better than with the Far Zeniths.
Horizon Forbidden West is available now on PS4 and PS5.
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Ben is a writer who’s obsessed with all things PlayStation, Pokemon, motorsport, and sci-fi. Tragically allergic to sushi and white chocolate. No relation to the Harry Potter villain. (Probably)

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