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"Is that a machine or a walking fortress? Have to be careful with my aim."
―Aloy, spotting a Shellsnapper

The Shellsnapper is a machine in Horizon Forbidden West. It is a large combat machine, notable for its natural camouflage.[1]

History[]

Shellsnappers, being a combat class machine, were designed and produced by the rogue AI known as HEPHAESTUS during the Derangement. They were one of many kinds of 'hunter-killers' whose sole purpose was to kill humans.

Some time after the Battle of the Alight, Talanah Khane Padish and Amadis Beit Raveesh encountered a Shellsnapper in an underground lake near Sunbreak Valley, where it was seemingly guarding the entrance to a Cauldron.

Much later, Talanah and Aloy encountered and killed a Shellsnapper while looking for Amadis.

Appearance[]

The Shellsnapper resembles an enormous snapping turtle. Its main body is mostly unarmored, with an armored, flat skull akin to a turtle on an extendable neck, four big legs with minimal armor, a pair of Chillwater sacs and multiple ground drills on its underbelly, and a short, stout tail.

The bulk of this machine comes from its shell: a massive, circular, heavily armored piece that nearly covers the whole machine and is blue with energy, which will turn orange if enough damage is applied to it and can be covered in foliage depending on how long it sits. Along the shell are four connection bolts that keep the shell on, with two extra on a smaller, elevated area behind the shell, and four frost blasters, capable of spewing a frosty mist or shooting frost grenades.

Under the shell are four plasma generators that make plasma attacks, a few Sparkers, many refining cores, and a kinetic dynamo in the center that serves as the reason the Shellsnapper's shell turns damage to energy and is only exposed as a weak spot when the main shell is completely off.

Behavior[]

This machine guards the shores and swamps of the Forbidden West. It can dig itself in and lie dormant for weeks, during which its impenetrable shell can become covered by the surrounding foliage.[2] Despite this, it is capable of readying itself for battle in moments, effectively ambushing intruders.[1]

Abilities[]

Despite its size, the Shellsnapper is quite fast, and capable of leaping. It seems to be able to stretch its neck a small amount in order to bite opponents, similar to real-life snapping turtles. It is also capable of firing a power blast at targets, mainly frost balls. Not only is its shell capable of withstanding powerful attacks, but as it takes damage, it will build up a large amount of energy, and after a few more attacks, will release as a large burst, capable of stunning multiple hunters.

Weaknesses[]

The Shellsnapper cannot get energy from arrow attacks, and destroying the shell bolts removes a big section of the shell, exposing the plasma generator. When the main shell is fully off, the kinetic dynamo is exposed, providing a exploitable weakspot. Shooting the Chillwater sacs disables the Shellsnapper's frost blast attacks. The frost cannons can be torn off and used as a weapon. However, the Shellsnapper's resistance to frost damage renders the cannons next to useless.

Attacks[]

Name Windup Time Stance Damage Trigger Range Description
Snap Bite Short Grounded

Shell Camouflage

Snap Bite: 176 Melee

Ice Cloud: 44 Ranged, Freeze-Icon 44, Freeze-Icon 36 buildup

8m - 10m Gathers Frost in mouth before stretching neck and snapping jaws shut, generating a shockwave and columns of icicles that extend attack reach.

Frost damage disabled when Drenched.

Forward Slash Medium Grounded

Camouflaged

Forward Slash: 176 Melee

Ice Cloud: 44 Ranged, Freeze-Icon 44, Freeze-Icon 44 buildup

6m - 22m Swipes with front claws, generating a trail of icicles that extend attack reach.

Frost damage disabled when Drenched.

Backward Slash Medium Grounded Backward Slash: 176 Melee

Ice Cloud: 44 Ranged, Freeze-Icon 44, Freeze-Icon 44 buildup

10m - 22m Quick slash with hind legs and generates icicles that extend attack reach.

Frost damage disabled when Drenched.

Tail Crack Short Grounded

Camouflaged

209 Melee

Freeze-Icon 209

Freeze-Icon 150 buildup

0m - 11m Lunges backward and whips tail from side to side, generating a Frost explosion and a trail of icicles at the end of the swing. Can follow up two more times if it misses.
Springing Belly Flop Medium Grounded/Burrowed 329 Melee

Crushed Crushed 50

0m - 30m Springs in air and flops on belly to crush target, generating a shockwave and Tremor effect on impact along with a trail of icicles from its tail.

Attack disabled when Slowed.

Freeze Blaster Medium Grounded/Burrowed Freeze Blaster: 80 Ranged, Freeze-Icon 80, Freeze-Icon 114 buildup

Damage Areas: Freeze-Icon 10/s, Freeze-Icon 10/s buildup

20m - 50m Fires a series of 3 Frost orbs that explodes on impact and generates a trail of icicles.

Attack disabled when Drenched.

Tracking Cryo Blast Short Grounded Freeze-Icon 55/s

Freeze-Icon 36/s buildup

0m - 13m Uses Frost Blasters to spray Chillwater and generate residual Frost damage areas on the ground.

Attack disabled when Drenched.

Tracking Burst Short Grounded 225 Ranged 12m - 75m Fires an artillery round from a Frost Blaster.
Deafening Roar Medium Grounded Deafened 9m - 50m Lets out a powerful roar that causes the Deafened status.
Belly Flop/Power Belly Flop Medium Grounded 400 Melee

Crushed Crushed 50

6m - 15m Rises on hind legs and flops down on its belly, generating a large shockwave on impact.
Power Blaster Long Grounded Power Blaster: 100/s Ranged

End Explosion: 540 Ranged

25m - 60m Fires a powerful laser beam for 3 seconds before finishing with a explosion expanding from the point of impact.

Components[]

Name Variant Image Description Attributes
Body All Hard outer casing to protect synthetic muscle and operational systems. None
Processing Capsule All Resource and materials storage for internal functions. Tear off to collect its contents.
  • Detachable
  • Contains Valuable Resources
  • Destroyed When Killed
Energy Shield Shell All Invulnerable shell. Absorbs the energy from all damage to power its most devastating attacks. Remove by detaching the Shell Bolts.
  • Indestructible
  • Detachable
  • Ability Removal
  • Destroyed When Killed
Shell Bolt All Energy Shield Shell fasteners. Detach or destroy to remove the shell and expose vulnerable components beneath.
  • Detachable
  • Ability Removal
  • Key Upgrade Resource
Frost Blaster All A mid-range heavy weapon that sprays powerful blasts of Frost in a broad cone.
  • Detachable
  • Attack Removal
  • Persists When Killed
  • Useable Weapon
Plasma Generator All Highly protected power source. Destroy to cause a Plasma explosion and disable Plasma attacks or leave intact to add loot to the carcass.
  • Explosive
  • Attack Removal
  • Persists When Killed
  • Contains Resources If Intact
Sparker Standard Shock storage. Tear off to collect this resource or shoot with a Shock Arrow to detonate.
  • Chain Reaction
  • Detachable
  • Contains Valuable Resources
  • Destroyed When Killed
Acid Canister Apex Metalbite storage. Tear off to collect this resource or shoot with an Acid Arrow to detonate.
  • Chain Reaction
  • Detachable
  • Contains Valuable Resources
  • Destroyed When Killed
Refining Core All Internal resource storage. Only accessible after protective armor plates have been removed. Tear off to collect its contents.
  • Detachable
  • Contains Valuable Resources
  • Destroyed When Killed
Kinetic Dynamo All Highly protected kinetic energy storage used to build up power for the most damaging attacks. Vulnerable to damage if exposed.
  • Indestructible
  • Weak Spot
Chillwater Sac All Chillwater storage. Destroy to disable Frost attacks or leave intact to add loot to the carcass.
  • Explosive
  • Attack Removal
  • Persists When Killed
  • Contains Resources If Intact
Resource Container All Storage container for valuable resources. Tear off to collect its contents.
  • Detachable
  • Contains Valuable Resources
  • Destroyed When Killed

Loot[]

Body

Processing Capsule

Energy Shield Shell

  • None

Shell Bolt

Frost Blaster

Plasma Generator

Sparker

Refining Core

Kinetic Dynamo

  • None

Chillwater Sac

Resource Container

Body

Processing Capsule

Energy Shield Shell

  • None

Shell Bolt

Frost Blaster

Plasma Generator

Acid Canister

Refining Core

Kinetic Dynamo

  • None

Chillwater Sac

Resource Container

Variants[]

Variant Weak Vs. Strong Vs.
Shellsnapper Weak iconCorruption-Icon Acid

Weak iconFire-Icon Fire

Very strong iconFreeze-Icon Frost

Immune iconPlasma Plasma

Apex Shellsnapper Weak iconCorruption-Icon Acid

Weak iconFreeze-Icon Frost

Very strong iconFire-Icon Fire

Immune iconPlasma Plasma

Trivia[]

  • The Shellsnapper is the only large machine introduced in Horizon Forbidden West that is not part of the main quest.
  • Shellsnappers were shown to have aquatic capabilities in the announcement trailer for Horizon Forbidden West and the Horizon Zero Dawn comic series, though they appear to completely lack any aquatic capabilities in the game.

Gallery[]

References[]

Machines
Horizon Zero Dawn
Acquisition Class Broadhead - Charger - Fireclaw - Frostclaw - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Trampler
Chariot Class Corruptor - Deathbringer - Metal Devil
Combat Class Ravager - Sawtooth - Scorcher - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw
Communication Class Tallneck
Recon Class Longleg - Watcher (Redeye Watcher)
Transport Class Behemoth - Bellowback - Shell-Walker
Unknown Class Control Tower
Horizon Forbidden West
Acquisition Class Bilegut - Bristleback - Clamberjaw - Fanghorn - Plowhorn - Scrounger - Spikesnout - Stingspawn - Sunwing - Tideripper - Waterwing - Widemaw
Combat Class Clawstrider - Dreadwing - Grimhorn - Shellsnapper - Slaughterspine - Slitherfang - Specter - Specter Prime - Tremortusk
Recon Class Burrower - Skydrifter
Transport Class Leaplasher - Rollerback
Unknown Class Defense Drone
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