Rite of Passage and Hero's Journey

· 2 min read
Rite of Passage and Hero's Journey

Tribes often has rites for people transition from one group to another. It can make roles and expectations clear, with promises and conditions.  It will increase the feeling of belonging and group cohesion. There may be a trial of endurance and skill as to only admit people who really want to join and has the appropriate qualities.

Then where is the Hero's journey. The aspirant leaves the home, exploring unknown lands in search for the elixir of life. Finally bringing it back home to rejuvenate the land of the ancestors. It's the universal theme of the wise and well-meaning culture becoming stifling and the new generation questioning set beliefs.

The guardians at the threshold will stop the seeker. You will have to be brave to gain passage. What lies on the other side will always be unexpected and wholly overwhelming. Through trials and tribulation, old preconceptions and idéas of entitlements will be left behind. The seeker finally accepts to be the vessel for service to others, coming back home with new life.

Horizon Zero Dawn follows the Hero's journey very well. I'm using a 15-step model that I developed for use with the Tree of Life. But it should be recognized that stories are fractal and cyclical. Some steps are whole journeys in themselves and the whole game is just the first part of a larger story.

  1. Call. Falling down into the ruin.
  2. Guidance. Rost trains Aloy for the Proving.
  3. Threshold. Entering Mother Heart for the first time.
  4. Land. All the new impressions from Mothers Heart.
  5. Trials. The Proving.
  6. Abyss. Aloy falling to her death.
  7. Marriage. Teersa taking Aloy into the mountain to see the Allmother.
  8. Devotion. Becoming a Seeker.
  9. Opposition. Standing up to Resh on the way out.
  10. Leap. Facing the Corruptor.
  11. Expansion. Defeating the Corruptor.
  12. Blessing. Gaining the Override module.
  13. Return. Going back into the Embrace.
  14. Master. The striders are now your friends.
  15. Beginning. Something new begins.

And similar for the whole of Zero Dawn:

  1. Call. Aloy becomes a Seeker.
  2. Guidance. Help from many people along the way.
  3. Threshold. The Deathbringer and Hades at the door to Makers End.
  4. Land. All the questions about project Zero Dawn.
  5. Trials. The Grave Hoard, To Curse The Darkness and the Deep Secrets of the Earth.
  6. Abyss. Terror of the Sun.
  7. Marriage. The Heart of the Nora.
  8. Devotion. Coming out from the mountain and all the way to the Looming Shadow.
  9. Opposition. The Face of Extinction.
  10. Leap. Facing Hades.
  11. Expansion. Purging Hades.
  12. Blessing. Victory.
  13. Return.  Going back home, to Elisabeth.


Written by Jonas Liljegren
Building modern web components on reactive state semantic graphs. Passionate about exploring unconventional methods in technology development to shape a better future.