The Tallneck is a Communications Class machine in Horizon Zero Dawn, the only known machine of this class at present. They are the only machine not hostile to humans. If Aloy climbs to its disc and overrides it, then she will get a map of the area.
Tallnecks were designed to enable long range communications between machines.
The Tallneck resembles a giraffe in both silhouette and gait. They have no visible optical sensors, and their heads are broad discs, with a data node on the top center that can be used as an access point for overriding. Their chassis is covered by heavy armor plating.
Several long antennae-like platforms project from the back of the neck, and four tail-like structures are mounted in pairs on the posterior. Their feet have ten toes in the front and three in the back.
Tallnecks are completely solitary, walking in a predefined loop within its particular region, functioning as a communications center for other machines. The signal emitted by Tallnecks can be detected by a Focus, which can be used to locate them.
Tallnecks are completely oblivious to their surroundings, and as such are not hostile to humans. While a Tallneck itself is harmless to humans (lest a human wanders into their path and gets trampled), hostile enemies will frequently be in the area around its path.
Tallnecks send information on everything they observe along their paths to other machines in their areas. Overriding one will reveal that portion of the map, along with settlements, campfires, and machine sites. An overridden Tallneck will also release an electrical pulse, damaging, stunning, and/or destroying any enemies within range. Tallnecks have unmatched durability: they are impervious to any damage from Aloy, and are still capable of functioning even after decades of dormancy.
- Although multiple Tallnecks are shown in the Embrace at the start of the game, given their otherwise-solitary nature and that there is no other evidence of them traveling together, it seems likely that their appearance in this scene is non-canon, and only intended to showcase the prominent machines of the game.
- There are a total of twelve Tallnecks in the game - two of the inactive six are found in Cauldron XI, the third is found within the Eclipse camp, the fourth is found in The Cut, two are found outside the Stone Yield bandit camp completely rusted, and the last one is found inside Cauldron Epsilon in the process of being melted down for material.
- The Salt Bite Tallneck was initially still under construction within Cauldron IOTA when Aloy first found it, with construction stalled by a series of malfunctions.
- Tallnecks were one of the first machines revealed to the public, seen as early as the conceptual stages of the game's design, and unlike the Thunderjaw, they saw very little change.
- During the game's development, Tallnecks were referred to as "Comm giraffes."
- The Tallneck's walking pattern of lifting both its fore and hind legs on the same side at the same time is based on the giraffe's gait.
- Tallnecks were originally designed to be killable. However, Guerrilla Games decided against this, feeling that it would be against Aloy's character to kill a peaceful machine.
- Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Collector's Edition Guide, page 18
- GDC 2017 presentation by Guerrilla Games, "Creating a Tools Pipeline for Horizon Zero Dawn"
|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|
|Recon Class||Longleg - Watcher (Redeye Watcher)|
|Transport Class||Behemoth - Bellowback - Shell-Walker|
|Unknown Class||Control Tower|
|Horizon Forbidden West|
|Acquisition Class||Bristleback - Clamberjaw - Fanghorn - Plowhorn - Scrounger - Spikesnout - Sunwing - Tideripper - Widemaw|
|Combat Class||Clawstrider - Dreadwing - Grimhorn - Shellsnapper - Slaughterspine - Slitherfang - Specter - Specter Prime - Tremortusk|
|Recon Class||Burrower - Skydrifter|
|Transport Class||Leaplasher - Rollerback|