The Metal Devil is a machine in Horizon Zero Dawn. It is not a contemporary machine; rather it is one of three machines of the ancient Chariot Line, manufactured by the robotics and technology corporation Faro Automated Solutions during the mid 21st century. As such, it was designated by FAS as the FAS-BOR7 Horus and was also called the Horus Titan. However, one swarm of Chariot robots, including Horuses, went out of control, becoming the Faro Plague, which ultimately eradicated all life on Earth.
The FAS-BOR7 Horus was designed by FAS’ owner and CEO Ted Faro, and developed as part of FAS’ Chariot Line of combat robots. Faro designed the Chariot line to operate in swarms similar to those of certain insects. Horuses were the colossal “queens” of a swarm, replicating other swarm robots as well as themselves, in numbers that invariably overwhelmed any enemy force. Additionally, they themselves were formidable combat machines, adept at tearing into and destroying huge enemy fortifications. They could consume biomass as fuel in the event of fuel line interdiction, and their network was virtually unbreakable.
The Faro Plague
In 2064, a swarm owned by the Hartz-Timor Energy Combine suffered a bug that caused it to became independent entity, answering only to itself. The swarm began attacking company personnel, ignored shutdown codes and began replicating at an extreme rate, defaulting to biomass conversion as its fuel supply. The swarm came to be called the Faro Plague, and began to relentlessly consume the biosphere, ultimately eradicating all life. With no chance of containing or retaking control of the swarm, Project Zero Dawn was implemented to eventually brute-force the swarm’s deactivation codes, shut the robots down, terraform the ravaged Earth and reestablish life after its extinction. The Faro Plague's Horuses numbered in the thousands when it was finally shut down. Unlike the other swarm robots, which were buried by the Zero Dawn system, the chassis of the swarm's Horuses were left where they fell when they were deactivated.
In the New World
Centuries passed. Zero Dawn, managed by its governing artificial intelligence GAIA, successfully terraformed the planet and reestablished life, including humanity. Through no fault of their own, the new humans lived primitive, tribal existences. The titanic derelicts of the deactivated Horuses became part of tribal legend and religious belief.
Of the five known Horus chassis, one is in the southern part of the Nora tribe’s Sacred Land, one lies in the southernmost edge of Banuk territory, one is in the Carja Sundom, deep in the jungles of The Jewel, one is in an unknown desert, and the fifth is shown in the water near what appears to be the ruins of the Golden Gate Bridge in the Forbidden West. The Horus chassis in Nora territory rests atop the Zero Dawn facility that became the Nora tribe’s sacred mountain, and is a prominent part of the tribe’s religion. The Nora dubbed the derelict the ‘Metal Devil’. The one just south of Banuk territory straddles the ruin that used to be the ancient United States military facility USRC; this ruin is now known as The Grave-Hoard. The Nora huntress Aloy encountered the Shadow Carja cult known as the Eclipse at this location, and watched as they extracted one of the Deathbringers this Metal Devil had manufactured from within its titanic hulk. The chassis is a marker of the ruin’s location, and can be seen from a great distance. The one in The Jewel served as the refuge of the rogue artificial intelligence HADES as it unsuccessfully plotted to reactivate the Faro Plague. Finally, the fourth known Metal Devil chassis is now presumably the base of operations of the wanderer Sylens, who captured HADES after its failed attempt.
Lying as derelicts exposed to the elements in their locations for centuries, the serviceability of the Metal Devils is unknown. Indeed, it is unknown if they can be reactivated at all, though the one in which HADES took refuge still had a functional computer core. While it was possible for HADES to reactivate the smaller robots of the Faro Plague, it must be noted that these robots were buried, and thus had some protection from the elements.
The reactivation of even one Metal Devil would doubtless be an existential threat to the restored biosphere. The Faro Plague’s Metal Devils were able to replicate other swarm robots, including other Metal Devils, at rates high enough to overwhelm the technologically advanced militaries of the mid 21st century. It can therefore be logically surmised that, should HADES manage to reactivate a Metal Devil, the technologically primitive peoples of the new world would have no hope at all of stopping it from creating a second Faro Plague.
Metal Devils are colossal, large enough to easily crawl over a mountain. Resembling a giant lobster, sea scorpion, or similar aquatic arthropod, a Metal Devil stands on ten legs with four long, triple-jointed legs supporting the segmented "tail" while six shorter legs support the front of the main chassis. Covered in thick, black armor plating, it has four massive tentacles at its front. Each one is as least as long as the Metal Devil's body and is tipped with an enormous drill, designed to penetrate into heavily armored fortifications and bunkers. Metal Devils are unarguably the largest machines known to have ever existed.
- Siege Drills: Mounted on the end of immense tentacles, these powerful drills can easily tunnel into the toughest of fortifications, allowing smaller units to breach enemy defenses or allowing the Horus to reduce a structure to rubble.
- Replication/Repair Bay: The Horus features a mammoth repair and manufacturing bay where it can churn out new machines at an overwhelming pace to replenish a swarm's losses faster than they could be incurred.
- Size: The Horus could simply use its impressive size and heavily armored chassis to trample anything in the titan's way.
- Biomatter Conversion System: Originally meant as an emergency measure in case fuel supplies were cut, this system allows Horuses to turn any organic matter into biofuel.
- Polyphasic Entangled Waveform Encryption: In order to prevent the Horus possibly being remotely accessed or hacked, this beyond-military-grade security encryption was integrated into the Horus's operating system.
- Other weapon systems may exist, but as of yet are unknown.
- Just like Corruptors and Deathbringers, the Metal Devil's original designation, Horus, is a reference to Ancient Egypt. Horus was one of the first established Egyptian gods and one of the most important in their religion. Horus was a god over many domains, but is primarily recognized as the god of the sky and war.
- The Metal Devil's 3D model is 292 meters long, 143 meters wide, and 91 meters high, including its tentacles. It uses 6.6 million triangles, and is comprised of 596 unique components.
- As referenced in the FAS-BOR7 Horus datapoint, the Horus unit is categorized as a "Titan-class" machine.
- According to the "The Bad News" cutscene there were at least a thousand Horus units manufactured by the Faro Plague.
- Metal Devils closely resemble Reapers from Mass Effect.
|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"|