Tate was born to a devout Pentecostal mother who frequently lectured him on the Biblical End Times. Though Tate inherited his mother's tendency for Biblical analogies, he rebelled strongly against her warnings about living sinfully; Tate seemed to relish in activities that most would consider improper or immoral.
As an adult, Tate spent some time in contact with Elisabet Sobeck - though the exact circumstances of their relationship are unknown, Tate later made the dubious claim that she was romantically attracted to him at the time. Tate also had an unspecified connection to the FBI, through a project known as MOCKINGBIRD; in a private log, Tate fondly recalled his habit of antagonizing FBI agents involved with the project. Prior to the inception of Project Zero Dawn, Tate was responsible for an unspecified incident affecting the Sterling-Malkeet corporation, for which a bounty was placed on his head. Tate subsequently spent eighteen months as a fugitive, pursued by bounty hunters.
Project Zero Dawn
Upon the discovery of the Faro Plague glitch, Tate was apprehended by government agents and recruited as part of Project Zero Dawn, having been personally selected by Elisabet Sobeck. He was one of the nine individuals chosen by Sobeck to serve as Alphas, the second-highest rank within the project. Tate was highly skeptical of Zero Dawn, considering it an unnatural and ridiculous endeavor, but he accepted the position for the prospect of a life of hedonistic luxury in Elysium once his work was completed. Tate oversaw the development of the HADES subordinate function, which was responsible for wiping the Earth clean of life in the event that GAIA's terraforming efforts led to an ecological "dead end" and needed to be restarted from scratch.
Tate was a prominent presence in the Zero Dawn Facility, to the occasional irritation of his fellow project members. His actions ranged from the relatively harmless, like organizing a horror film marathon on Halloween or dressing up as Elisabet Sobeck and "trick-or-treating" through the facility, to the significantly disruptive; he was reprimanded by Samina Ebadji for submitting several hundred perverse and obscene files for inclusion in the APOLLO archive (Ebadji eventually banned Tate from submitting entries as a result), and received multiple noise complaints for his habit of playing loud death metal music throughout the HADES lab. Despite this, Tate did yield impressive results from his work, and was personally responsible for the breakthrough idea of allowing HADES to temporarily suspend GAIA's functionality and unseat her from power while reversing the terraforming process.
As the Faro Plague overran humanity's remaining strongholds, Tate 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. Though he retained his typical flippant attitude, Tate was frustrated by the decision to keep the Alphas out of Elysium, referring to GAIA Prime as "frozen Hell" and lamenting his loss of a large collection of antique pornographic comics due to the early evacuation.
When one of GAIA Prime's access port seals malfunctioned, risking the facility's exposure to the Faro Swarm, Tate immediately tried to avoid being selected for the suicide mission of repairing it. He personally witnessed Elisabet Sobeck sacrifice her life to keep the facility safe, and was one of the last people to speak to her before her death. This incident affected Tate deeply; in a posthumous message to Sobeck, he dropped all his usual humor and gave her a somber eulogy.
Some time after Sobeck's departure and death, Tate and the other Alphas were contacted by Ted Faro. They were shocked to learn that Faro had not only locked them out of all the systems, but had erased all copies of APOLLO in an attempt to give the next generation of humanity a clean slate. Faro then remotely sealed the room and vented its atmosphere, killing Travis along with the other Alphas.
Through no fault of his own, Tate's work on HADES (mainly due to Faro's deletion of APOLLO and depriving the new humans of the world's prior knowledge) proved to be an existential threat to the people of, and indeed to life on Earth, in the 31st century. A mysterious foreign signal caused HADES to gain independence from GAIA, at which point it launched a virus which set the other subordinate functions loose and facilitated its escape from GAIA Prime. HADES went on to raise an army in an attempt to reactivate the Faro Plague to again destroy life on Earth, a plot which was only narrowly stopped by the efforts of the Nora huntress Aloy.
Tate was a talented but eccentric programmer, with a notable penchant for deliberately unnerving others. He had a love of porn, horror films, and torture flicks, much to the exasperation of his fellow Alphas. His demeanor may have been a form of rebellion against his highly religious mother.
Despite his rather flippant and disagreeable attitude, Tate was capable of compassion and tact: his eulogy to Elisabet displayed his gratitude, hoping that she could rest in peace for everything she had done.
- Emergency Recording
- Interview: Travis Tate
- Log: Travis Tate (1)
- Sobeck Journal, 10-31-65 R
- Archive Abuse
- "Noise Complaints"
- HADES Protocol
- GAIA Prime Arrival Log
- Elisabet Sobeck Memorial
- Log: Travis Tate (2)
- GAIA's Dying Plea
- Horizon Zero Dawn Strategy Guide (Collector's Ed.), p.627. Future Press, 2017.
|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|