The Control Tower is a machine exclusive to The Frozen Wilds. Of all known machines, Control Towers are unarguably the most unique, in that they look botanical rather than zoological, are completely stationary, and pose no direct or indirect threat to humans whatsoever (with the possible exceptions of their pulse capability (see below) and their automatic repair/buffing of the machines that typically guard them). Their sole purpose is the maintenance and repair of damaged machines.
Control Towers were developed by the artificial intelligence (AI) HEPHAESTUS, as a method of providing ready field repair and maintenance for its machines. They were deployed in various locations throughout the Banuk region known as The Cut. It may be presumed that damaged machines anywhere in The Cut would go to the nearest Control Tower for repairs. The Nora huntress Aloy first saw one when she met the Banuk shaman’s apprentice Naltuk while looking for his mentor Ourea. Naltuk asked Aloy to neutralize it in exchange for information on Ourea’s whereabouts. Aloy agreed and did so. She subsequently discovered and neutralized these machines at a total of nine sites while in The Cut, either by destroying them or overriding them.
HEPHAESTUS also used Control Towers to provide in situ battle support for the Daemonic Fireclaw it deployed in the cavern containing Cauldron EPSILON’s core against a three-person expedition that infiltrated the Cauldron. The expedition was composed of Aloy, Ourea and the erstwhile Banuk chieftain Aratak. As the three fought valiantly to inflict damage on the extremely formidable machine, HEPHAESTUS frequently caused a Control Tower to appear and begin to reverse their progress. Each time, Aloy had to disengage and override the tower Control Tower to neutralize it while Ourea and Aratak occupied the Fireclaw’s attention.
A control tower resembles a short palm tree. Its constant swaying movement resembles that of certain small stationary marine fauna such as sea anemones. The chassis consists of a stout, tree trunk-like armored structure with six leaf-like structures at the apex, surrounding a central emitter. At the base of the machine are three data nodes. Near the top of the chassis is a triangular extendable cooling element, which the machine briefly extends following the release of its energy pulse.
A Control Tower has no behavior other than to sway back and forth, repairing and maintaining machines within its radius of influence via its energy pulse. They are completely defenseless, and are therefore guarded by Daemonic combat-ready machines.
The mechanism by which Control Towers appear is unknown. Their absolute inability to ambulate suggests that whatever technology that produces them is transported to their deployment site by machines under HEPHAESTUS’ direction. The fact that they appeared very rapidly without construction during the battle against the Fireclaw in Cauldron EPSILON suggests that the technology is more advanced than any Zero Dawn machine-manufacturing technology.
As per its function, a Control Tower is able to repair any damage sustained by a machine, save the destruction of armor or components. It accomplishes this by emitting a purple energy pulse every 10 seconds that repairs damaged machines within its radius of influence. The repair is cumulative; a critically damaged machine will eventually be fully repaired once it stays within the radius of the Control Tower’s pulses. This means that all of a hunter’s progress in damaging a machine can and will eventually be undone if the Control Tower is not neutralized. Additionally, the pulse electrically stuns overridden machines, which remain incapacitated until the Tower is neutralized, and disables the protective energy shield in Aloy’s Shield-Weaver outfit.
A Control Tower’s cooling rod is its only tactical liability apart from its immobility and lack of direct armament. Presumably used as a form of thermal regulation, the rod is extended immediately after a pulse is emitted and remains extended for several seconds. While extended, it can be targeted with ranged ammunition such as Precision Arrows. Destroying it causes a massive elemental Fire explosion and destroys the Control Tower. Additionally, the data nodes at the base may be used to override the Control Tower. An overridden Control Tower emits one final pulse that electrically stuns any machine in its radius of influence before permanently going offline.
|Small machines||Medium machines||Large machines|
|Acquisition Class||Bristleback - Broadhead - Charger - FireclawFW - FrostclawFW - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Sunwing - Trampler|
|Combat Class||Clawstrider - Ravager - Sawtooth - ScorcherFW - Shellsnapper - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw - Tremortusk|
|Recon Class||Longleg - Watcher (Redeye Watcher)|
|Transport Class||Behemoth - Fire Bellowback - Freeze Bellowback - Shell-Walker|
|Chariot Class||Corruptor - Deathbringer - Metal Devil|
|Unknown Class||Control TowerFW|
|Other||Corrupted Machines - Daemonic MachinesFW - "New breed"|