"The lesson will be taught in due time, Aloy. Until then, we wait."
This article contains heavy spoilers, and may reveal plot or quest information.

Margo Shĕn was a member of Project Zero Dawn, serving as the Alpha in charge of the HEPHAESTUS subordinate function. She was a world-class expert in robotics, possessing an unwavering work ethic along with a deep enthusiasm for her field.


Early Life

Prior to the Faro Plague, Shĕn was an employee of Faro Automated Solutions (FAS). She eventually left the company, likely in protest of FAS's increasingly-rash and cutthroat philosophies.[3] It is implied that Shĕn may have spent some time as a college lecturer, likely after her work at FAS.[4]

Project Zero Dawn

The logo of the HEPHAESTUS subordinate function.

Upon the discovery of the Faro Plague glitch, Shĕn was recruited as part of Project Zero Dawn. She was one of the nine individuals selected by Elisabet Sobeck to serve as Alphas, the second-highest rank within the project. Shĕn oversaw the development of the HEPHAESTUS subordinate function, which was responsible for providing GAIA with the knowledge and construction facilities necessary to produce the various specialized machines involved in terraforming the Earth.

Initially Shĕn was self-conscious of her youthful speech mannerisms and age, being the youngest Alpha in the project by a wide margin.[5] However, these doubts did nothing to impact her productivity – Shĕn successfully led an interdisciplinary team, composed of robotics engineers as well as experts in machine cognition, virtual heuristics, and other branches of artificial intelligence. As HEPHAESTUS was developed, Shĕn herself was surprised by the sophistication and artistic flair displayed in GAIA's designs, particularly her tendency towards biomimicry.[6]

GAIA Prime

As the Faro Swarm overran humanity's remaining strongholds, Shĕn and the rest of the Alphas were evacuated to the GAIA Prime facility, where they would spend the rest of their lives perfecting their respective subordinate functions. Shĕn personally estimated that it would take her over three years to work through her task-queue, though she had given little thought to how she would spend her time afterwards. While at GAIA Prime, Shĕn was preoccupied by thoughts of the end of human life, which she found bittersweet; as Travis Tate pointed out, Shĕn was likely to be one of the last living humans due to her age.[1][4]

Shĕn watches Elisabet Sobeck say goodbye.

When one of GAIA Prime's access port seals malfunctioned, risking the facility's exposure to the Faro Swarm, Shĕn personally witnessed Elisabet Sobeck sacrifice her life to keep the facility safe.[7] In the aftermath of Sobeck's death, Shĕn began receiving increasingly frequent unsolicited messages from Ted Faro, demanding updates on the status of various components of Project Zero Dawn. Unsure of how to handle Faro's persistent attention, Shĕn confided in Charles Ronson, and contemplated ignoring Faro entirely.[8]

Margo is killed by Ted Faro.

Some time later, Shĕn and the other Alphas were contacted as a group by Faro. They were shocked to learn that Faro had not only locked them out of all the systems, but had erased all copies of the APOLLO archive in an attempt to give the next generation of humanity a clean slate. Shĕn, along with Patrick Brochard-Klein, rushed to comfort Samina Ebadji, who was reduced to tears at the destruction of her life's work. Faro then remotely sealed the room and vented its atmosphere, killing Margo along with the other Alphas.[2]


Shĕn's work on HEPHAESTUS was instrumental in the revitalization of Earth, allowing GAIA to create a vast variety of highly effective machines. Through HEPHAESTUS, GAIA was able to develop technology which shut down the Faro Swarm and fully terraformed the Earth. After the reintroduction of human life, the machines created through HEPHAESTUS were formative parts of the resultant tribal-culture, serving as sources of various resources, as well as becoming significant figures in folklore and religion.

In the year A.D. 3020, however, a mysterious signal caused HEPHAESTUS (and GAIA's other subordinate functions) to become a rogue AI, independent from GAIA.[9] After escaping, HEPHAESTUS took control of at least five Zero Dawn Cauldrons; having assessed humanity to be a threat to the biosphere, HEPHAESTUS began creating more deadly and aggressive machines first to protect weaker machines from human hunters, and then to cull the human population outright. This forcing human populations to abandon territory and take greater precautions when venturing into the wilderness.[10] This phenomenon of ever-increasing machine aggression became known as the Derangement, and precipitated historically important events in the new world, such as the atrocities known as the Red Raids.[11]


  • Shĕn was a strict vegan.[1] Presumably she was also opposed to eating cloned "vat-meat," which was common during the mid-21st century.[12]


Old Ones Characters
Project Zero Dawn Susanne Alpert - Brad Andac - Patrick Brochard-Klein - Connor Chasson - Samina Ebadji - Ellen Evans - Ted Faro - Ron Felder - Jackson Frye - Christina Hsu-Vhey - Naoto - Ayomide Okilo - Tom Paech - Ella Pontes - Skylar Rivera - Charles Ronson - Mia Sayied - Margo Shĕn - Elisabet Sobeck - Travis Tate
Operation Enduring Victory Lana Acosta‏ - Ames Guliyev - Aaron Herres - Yana Mills - Fiona Murell - Vandana Sarai - Usizo Wandari
Project FirebreakFW Joshua Ardhuis - Dod Blevins - Gina Bruno - Kenny Chau - Shelly Guerrera-McKenzie - Jørgen Holm - Anita Sandoval - Laura Vogel
Other Harriet Choi - Osvald Dalgaard - Bashar Mati - Wyatt Mahante
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