CORRUPTOR (HORIZON ZERO DAWN)
Horizon Zero Dawn (2017)
The Corruptor, originally called the FAS-ACA3 Scarab, is a medium-sized ancient war machine manufactured through the Faro Automated Solutions (FAS) Chariot product line. Designed as an all-terrain reconnaissance robot, these nimble machines excel in electronic warfare and swarm attacks.
A Corruptor’s appearance is vaguely akin to that of a large, black scorpion. The lower chassis consists of four arachnid legs attached to a central hub. Atop the hub sits the upper chassis whose shape gives the distinct appearance of a head and snout. A single visual sensor is on the tip of the “snout.” At the back of the upper chassis are a grenade launcher and a spike launcher. Attached to the back of the upper chassis is a long, prehensile appendage.
Their sleek, black, alien appearance sets them apart from any GAIA-produced machine.
The FAS-ACA3 Scarab was conceived of by the owner of FAS, Ted Faro. Scarabs were the all-terrain reconnaissance units of their respective “swarm,” capable of rapidly scuttling over any terrain, jumping over obstacles, and using their unique ability to instantly enslave enemy machines, turning them against their masters. They can even perform repairs on themselves and other Chariot robots.
The Faro Plague
The Scarabs and other Chariot robots were highly successful on the military market. However, in 2064, one Chariot swarm, owned by the Hartz-Timor Energy Combine stopped responding to commands, becoming independent and creating the Faro Plague that began to wipe the Earth clean of organic matter. Millions of Scarabs began to swarm the world, and any counterattack with automated equipment was immediately crushed thanks to the Scarab’s electronic warfare capabilities. Many were destroyed in Operation: Enduring Victory, but their abilities rendered victory against the swarm impossible. With Earth sterilized and no fuel left, the Scarabs fell dormant for the next few centuries, buried under Project: Zero Dawn’s terraforming process.
In the New World
Centuries passed, Earth was terraformed and seeded with life again, and humans reappeared. A cult known as the Eclipse, desperate to topple the Carja tribe and manipulated by a rogue AI named HADES, began to unearth and reactivate a large number of dormant Faro robots, including many Scarabs which now became known by the tribes as Corruptors due to their ability to hack or “corrupt” machines. In addition to the Corruptor’s already formidable combat abilities, the Eclipse put them to good use swelling their ranks with enslaved machines, which were much more coordinated and aggressive than feral ones.
Aloy first encounters a Corrupter as it takes control of a herd of Striders to easily breach the defenses of a Nora fort and wreaks havoc until she brings it down. When she was captured by the Eclipse later on, Sylens rescued her with three overridden Ravagers which easily tore apart even the seasoned Corruptors guarding the Sun Ring.
When HADES ordered the Eclipse to launch its attack on the Carja, the many Corruptors and other Faro Plague robots served as formidable support for the Eclipse, although Aloy and the defending forces prevailed. All the active Corruptors were either destroyed in the fighting or deactivated once again when HADES was defeated.
The Corruptors that were reactivated by the Eclipse were only a very small percentage of the millions of Corruptors that lie buried worldwide. Thus the vast majority of them remain buried and undiscovered by the humans of the new world.