Rating the Male Characters in Horizon Zero Dawn


Usually, I rate females but in HZD there are a lot of solid female characters, thus rating them seemed pointless.

All ratings are based 100% on my own opinions, which are largely irrelevant.

My criteria (for women) essentially are:

  1. Their removal would affect the plot game
  2. They undergo some change/character development, good or bad
  3. We see different sides of their personality/can understand their motivations/background  
  4. They have a plot of their own that doesn’t revolve entirely around a male character. OR
  5. They are well-developed within the confines of the role they are written to play 
  6. They don’t toss away every traditionally feminine trait in an attempt to be a strong, independent womyn – masculine trait in an attempt to be an uber woke, social justice king


  • raised Aloy to be straight gangster
  • was an outcast but didn’t seem to hold any ill-will towards the whacko Nora tribe for not allowing him back after he did them all a favor, and he literally died saving Aloy.

Furthermore, the reason he was an outcast is because he became a Death-seeker to avenge his family, then came back and no one could say ish to him because he’d done them solid. Rost also taught Aloy an invaluable lesson: that her strength only has worth if it’s used to help others and she should fight for something greater than herself.

A real one.

Rost’s Rating: 9.5/10


Sylens is high key a jerk and notably absent from the final battle instead choosing to wander around the desert.


  • he does help you save all of humanity with his pursuit of knowledge
  • he saves you from having to fight those Corruptors after using literally all your resources beating that Behemoth.
  • he gets you the spear with the Master Override
  • it’s incredible how sure he was that Aloy would accomplish every task he sent her to do.

Sylens does tone his energy down to low key jerk levels after a bit. Furthermore, he teaches Aloy the lesson Rost was trying to teach her, which is that she needs to fight for someone besides herself. Only time will tell how badly he mucked things up now that he’s taken Hades hostage in his lantern.

Also, Sylens telling Aloy she has two mothers: a dead woman and a machine will live rent-free in my head for a long time.

Sylens Rating: 10/10


You meet him when you go looking for his sister who RIP not long after you find her. Rather than be bitter and go back to drinking, Erend pulls his pants up, takes lead of the guard, and is generally helpful from there on out.

Erend is pretty jovial and good-natured. He’s there at the final battle, somehow surviving against all odds and helps you bring down the final Deathbringer.

Erend’s Rating: 9/10


You save Teb as a child, then he grows up to be one of the few folks who are nice to you before the Proving. Although Teb is generally useless in that he gets injured and can’t really fight, he’s still there in the final battle doing medical stuff and pulls Aloy out of the rubble.

Good to know someone was still hoping she was alive and looking for her.

Teb’s Rating: 8.5/10

Vantage Point Dude

Can’t recall his name, don’t feel like looking it up. Anyway, this man did exactly what I would’ve done in this situation, which is road trip before the robots ate me.

Of all the bits from the past you stumble upon, this guy’s story is the saddest because you really saw his life and love for his mother. His dad died, then his mom married some dude named Wyatt who worked for the very corporation his dad died trying to protect because they were broke. Poor vantage point dude got addicted to drugs, then stuck on a failed vantage point project, and found out the world was ending. Rather than wallow in despair, he decided to use the vantage points to tell his story and enjoy one last tour of his fav spots.

Ultimately, he told a tale about how pointless all our achievements are in the grand scheme of things, yet still somehow life still has meaning in the individual relationships we build with one another.

Screw Ted Faro. Long live Vantage Point Dude.

Vantage Point Dude’s Rating: 10/10

Sun-King Avad…14th

Avad always seemed shocked over whatever was going on around him. However, we all know he’s straight thug as he:

  • ended the Red Raids
  • overthrew his own father, Jiran, then murdered him because he was tired of his violent clownery
  • was also nice to that fake child sun king trying to usurp him
  • welcomes Aloy with open arms. A little too open but he does apologize later on. He gets a pass as his love interest and battle buddy, Ersa, died.

Avad also outlawed slavery, removed whatever restrictions the Hunters lodges had on women/ the non-Carja, and made an effort to make amends with the Nora tribes his father terrorized. All while maintaining peaceful relationships with the Oseram.

A true woke king.

Sun-King Avad…14th Rating: 9.7/10


  • Chaotic energy
  • Formerly imprisoned in Sun Stone
  • Sole goal in life is to kill, first bandits, then Aloy.

Nil got in the way whenever I took him along to the Bandit Camps, so I usually avoided talking to him altogether. If you don’t fight him, he “helps” you in the final battle.

Nil’s Rating: 7.7/10


Trash. Not only lies to you about his involvement in the Red Raids, but then tries to ambush you with a pittance of soldiers in a shady, desert town.

Zaid Rating 6.5/10


Initially comes off as a friend with a Focus, then you later find out he’s inadvertently responsible for Rost’s death. Olin’s redeeming factor though is he’s fully aware he’s trash, but he did it for the sake of his family.

If you don’t kill him, Olin “helps” you in the final battle, which is nice I guess. Furthermore, had Rost not died, Aloy probs wouldn’t have been looking for clues about her mother and everything else as intensely as she was.

You also get to sleep in his house.

Olin’s Rating: 8.7/10


Everybody trash talks Dervahl in Meridian.

Anyway, he went loco after his wife and kid died. For whatever reason, Avad decides not to kill him even though he killed Ersa which is definitely not gonna bite him in the butt later.

Dervahl’s Rating: 7/10

Various Carja Soldiers/Nora Hunters

Once saw a group of Carja Soldiers take down a Snapmaw, which was shocking given I’d seen them die fighting Watchers before..

Various Carja Solider/Nora Hunters Rating: Helis Knocking Aloy Out/10


Deluded, knight templar wholly devoted to his cause because he genuinely thought he was the chosen one doing the Sun’s will (to be fair, his name is Helis which is similar to Helios (sun god) and Heli (to ascend) so it’s hard to blame him for feeling special).

Because of him you get dumped in the Sun Ring to fight your first Behemoth (unless you accidentally run into one while exploring like I did and get merked). He also kills Rost and if Rost hadn’t been killed, Aloy wouldn’t have given a flip about the rest of the world.

Helis Rating: 9.2/10


I thought you were like gonna fight one of the metal devil looking things with tentacles for the final battle. You just fight a Deathbringer on a time crunch, which like… I had more trouble fighting Stormbirds and Rock-breakers.

Anyway, you stick Hades with the spear. Someone activated his kill-switch. Sylens absorbs him into his holy lantern. Hades really is just following it’s programming though, so it’s hard to be mad. Ted Faro sucks.

Hades Rating: 6.5/10


Ted Faro still sucks.

Apollo Rating: Ted Faro Sucks/10


  • chief Sona’s son
  • generally affable when you meet him
  • generally useful when going into the metal ring place

You initially help him find Sona who’s on a roaring rampage of revenge, whereupon he convinces Sona to balk the Nora’s dumb traditions and throw hands outside the sacred lands.

After Aloy tells everyone to shut the flip up and stop worshipping her following the blessing of All Mother Gaia, he asks how he can help save the world.

Varl Rating: 8.5/10


Sold you stuff while you were an outcast. A real one.

Grist Rating: 10/10


  • Threw a rock at you as a child.
  • Grows up to be a jerk by (knocking your Grazer thing out of your hand, being generally petty).
  • Dies at the Proving.

Bast Rating: 7.5/10


Deluded, but in his defense he probably genuinely thought he was doing the Sun’s will and Hades was a god. And because of Trash Faro, he didn’t have the knowledge of knowing Hades was literally a robot with a suspiciously demonic sounding voice.

Also, his outfit is fabulous.

Bahavas Rating: Stormbird/10

Ted Faro (Sucks)

Not only does he for whatever reason think creating something called a Deathbringer would be a good idea, he makes his critters un-hackable with codes that would take eternity to break. When they begin getting out of control, his first thought isn’t “oh snap, I created robots that live off biomass who are replicating and basically sentient and they might wipe out humanity!!!” it’s “good golly gee, how can I cover this up so it doesn’t point back to me!” Had I been Elisabeth Sobeck, I would’ve killed him on sight and robbed 80,000 banks to fund HZD instead.

Ted Faro destroyed Apollo and killed his coworkers, thus dooming humanity to live in tribal stupidity. Because of his actions, the world was nearly fated to go extinct again because they didn’t know what the flip was going on with the robots or where they even came from.

Faro is a great villain, because he’s literally what the not-CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos will do once he inevitably gets into military weapons like he’s doing with pharmaceuticals and creates killer robots with the help of Elon Musk to what a person would do in real life if this happened. I want Ted Faro to somehow be alive so I can shoot an arrow through his eyeball in HZD2.

However, without him the game would not exist.

Ted Faro Rating: A Corrupted Thunderjaw/10

No doubt, I’m missing some peeps (salty dude at the Hunter’s lodge, salty Nora dude on the wall, past characters from the Metal World) but this is getting long…


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