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"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.

"No birdsong. I’ve never heard the Embrace so quiet. So... dead."

The Heart of the Nora is the nineteenth main quest in Horizon Zero Dawn.


Parting ways with Sylens after escaping the Sun-Ring, Aloy makes her way back to the Embrace to defend her home from the Eclipse

The Embrace

Fast travel into the Embrace is not possible given the extent of the assault, making the campfire outside of the Main Embrace Gate the primary entry point. Outside of the gate, Aloy learns Marea's fate and speaks to a fatally wounded Brave who explains that the remaining tribespeople have retreated into All-Mother Mountain.

As she makes her way through the haze that has settled over the Embrace, she is greeted with a trail of destruction. A small groups of cultists and corrupted machines roaming the area. Combat can be avoided by using stealth.

There are a number of optional locations Aloy can visit at this point before making her way to Mother's Watch. Visiting Mother's Cradle and defeating the cultist presence allows Aloy to free three Braves who have been taken captive. They will then follow Aloy until she gets inside All-Mother mountain, providing combat assistance along the way. At Mother's Heart, Aloy finds the settlement abandoned and another wounded Brave lies on the ground outside pointing Aloy to All-Mother mountain. Aloy can also visit Karst's House and Grata's Camp to investigate their fates, and stop by Rost's Grave to reflect before heading to Mother's Watch.

Finally arriving at Mother's Watch, Aloy battles her way through the Eclipse and Corrupted machines to All-Mother mountain, only to find a Corrupted Thunderjaw attacking it. Realizing that the Nora seeking shelter inside the mountain are at risk of being trapped inside, Aloy quickly comes to their defense. Encouraged by Aloy's presence, Sona and her Braves, including Varl, emerge from the mountain to provide aid. Once the machines and cultists have been killed, Varl fills Aloy in on the events that led up to their withdrawal to the mountain. Aloy then makes her way inside to talk to the High Matriarchs.

All-Mother Mountain

On her way through, Aloy reunites with many of the Nora she encountered on her travels, including a wounded Teb. Aloy is welcomed by Teersa and Jezza, however Lansra still remains hostile towards her, disapproving of her intentions to delve into the mountain. Despite Lansra's objections, Aloy uses the Alpha Registry to override the bunker door and gain entry to what she learns is ELEUTHIA Cradle-9, the facility where she was created. Through listening to the series of datapoints scattered throughout the facility, Aloy learns that humans were created here in artificial wombs, raised to adulthood by robotic figures called multiservitors.

Aloy comes to a door that has been considerably graffitied by the past humans that inhabited the cradle but were denied further access. Granted access, Aloy descends into the room beyond, the Lyceum, an area designated for learning through APOLLO and the Faro Focuses. Attempting to listen to the datapoints, Aloy learns that APOLLO is offline. Climbing the stairs to another room, Aloy is instructed to scan a datapoint with her Focus, the last message and dying plea of GAIA. In the message GAIA explains that a data transmission corrupted the GAIA Prime facility, transforming the subordinate functions into chaotic independent entities and awakening HADES. Realizing that once HADES takes control of the terraforming system the extinction of all life on Earth will ensue, GAIA ordered for her Prime reactor to overload and self-destruct in a blast that would stop HADES but also destroy GAIA. Understanding that despite HADES destruction the Earth would still be at peril, GAIA announced that she has ordered the gestation of one last embryo, made from the DNA of Elisabet Sobeck so that they may be granted access to the facilities in order to restore GAIA once again. GAIA then instructs that the Master Override be obtained from GAIA Prime to be used against HADES.

With the termination of the message, Aloy struggles to come to terms with the fact that she was created by GAIA as an instrument. After Sylens tells her he will meet her in the ruins of GAIA Prime, Aloy exits the facility, greeted by the awed Nora who begin to worship and praise her. Angered by their sudden reverence, Aloy argues that the outcome of the task she has been set isn't exclusive to the Nora, rather it affects everyone outside its borders. Announcing that any willing to fight should meet her in Meridian, she departs for the Bitter Climb.


  1. Go to All-Mother; the sacred mountain of the Nora tribe holds the secrets of your birth.
  2. Defeat the Invaders
  3. Talk to Varl
  4. Talk to Teersa
  5. Search the Ruins beyond the Hatch for information about your birth.
  6. Search the facility Control Room
  7. Exit the ancient Facility



The Heart of the Nora -Very Hard - No Damage - Video Guide



The following datapoints are obtained automatically during this quest and cannot be missed.

Hologram Datapoints


In addition, the following datapoints can also be found during this quest. The player can return at any time if they are missed.

Audio Datapoints

Hologram Datapoints

Text Datapoints - Quests


Horizon Zero Dawn Quests
Main Quest A Gift from the Past - Lessons of the Wild - The Point of the Spear - Mother's Heart - The Proving - The Womb of the Mountain - A Seeker at the Gates - The War-Chief's Trail - Revenge of the Nora - The City of the Sun - The Field of the Fallen - Into the Borderlands - The Sun Shall Fall - Maker's End - The Grave-Hoard - To Curse the Darkness - Deep Secrets of the Earth - The Terror of the Sun - The Heart of the Nora - The Mountain That Fell - The Looming Shadow - The Face of Extinction
Side Quests A Daughter's Vengeance - A Moment's Peace - Acquired Taste - Ancient Armory - Blood on Stone - Cause for Concern - Farewell - Death from the Skies - Fatal Inheritance - Heap of Trouble - Honor The Fallen - Hunters' Blind - In Her Mother's Footsteps - Insult to Injury - Queen's Gambit - Redmaw - Robbing the Rich - Sun and Shadow - Sunstone Rock - The Forgotten - Traitor's Bounty - Underequipped - Weapons of the Lodge
Errands A Curious Proposal - Collateral - Deadliest Game - Demand and Supply - Hammer and Steel - Healer's Oath - Hunting for the Lodge - In Foreign Lands - Luck of the Hunt - Odd Grata - Sanctuary - Shortage of Supplies - Sun's Judgment - To Old Acquaintance
Activities Bandit Camps Blackwing Snag - Devil's Thirst - Gatelands - Hollow Fort - Shattered Kiln - Stone YieldFW - Two-Teeth
Cauldrons Cauldron RHO - Cauldron SIGMA - Cauldron XI - Cauldron ZETA
Corrupted Zones Corrupted Zones
Hunting Grounds Greatrun - Nora - SnowchantsFW - Spurflints - Sun Furrows - Valleymeet
Tallnecks Devil's Thirst - Copper Deeps - FrostfiguresFW - Rustwash - Spearshafts - Sun-Steps
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Quests
Side Quests Firebreak - For the Werak - Frontier Justice - Into the Frozen Wilds - The Forge of Winter - The Hunters Three - The Shaman's Path - The Survivor - Waterlogged
Errands A Secret Shared - Ikrie's Challenge - Geared Up: Forgefire - Geared Up: Icerail - Geared Up: Stormslinger - Out of the Forge - The Claws Beneath