Horizon Zero Dawn‘s female protagonist Aloy is based on three different women, developer Guerrilla Games reveals. In an interview with Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann, managing director Hermen Hulst explained how the new PlayStation icon came to be.
This is not the first time that Guerrilla has shed more light on how Aloy was created, previously explaining that the female protagonist was not designed as a selling point.
How Horizon Zero Dawn Female Protagonist Aloy Was Created
Speaking to Druckmann in a video interview, Hulst says that Horizon Zero Dawn‘s lead writer John Gonzalez has been “instrumental” in bringing Aloy to life. However, the character is not just the writer’s creation as she is based upon three different women.
Ashly Burch, who is the voice of the female protagonist, “really inspired” Gonzalez and the “really good dynamic” between the two directly impacted how the writer put together dialogue. For example, Hulst notes, there was “a lot of back and forth between how she delivered her lines and what he would write next and have her say.”
Gonzalez was also inspired by a “very talented actress’ named Hannah Hoekstra, who he saw while watching a movie when he was ill. Hoekstra’s “cheeky kind of fierce, funny attitude” in the movie made her “perfect” for the role and so Guerrilla Games used her likeness for its lead.
And finally, Hulst gives a shout out to the parkour actress who took part in the motion capture sessions for the game. Explaining that the Horizon Zero Dawn lead is “out-gunned and out-powered by those massive machines,” the developer notes that “we needed her to be very agile” and so her performance was based upon the mocap sessions with the actress.
Also during the interview, the Guerrilla executive discusses how the game initially featured submachine guns and that it took a year and a half to create the first machine, the Thunderjaw. At over 20 minutes, the interview it is a little longer than all of the other videos and trailers for the game, but it’s certainly fascinating to see how the best-selling new PS4 franchise came to be.