Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role-playing game that was released in 2017. You play as a young hunter named Aloy who was shunned by her community at birth, and your only companion is Rost who fostered you.
You are on the hunt for answers to questions you have through a landscape filled with Machines and barely any other humans. It is a lush, post-apocalyptic world with many treacherous obstacles in your past.
Horizon Zero dawn has inspired a fair number of tattoos, so I thought we could check out the best of them:
1. Blackwork Tallnecks Tattoo
Tallnecks are patrolling machines that can be climbed to view the area around you. What I like most about this tattoo is the different layers created using different shades alone.
The foreground is the darkest area, illustrating the figure of Aloy gazing off into the distance at the Tallnecks. The middle ground is a lighter shade with plants and a deer and right in the background are the Tallnecks.
I like the take on a band tattoo with a twist! The dot work shading is very well executed and the composition is unique.
2. Aloy Illustrative Portrait Tattoo
Aloy is a hardened character due to having grown up without a family or a mother figure, and this tattoo perfectly captures this aspect of her personality.
I like the use of blue in her facial tattoos and the Cauldron symbols. The soft shading in her face and hair is soft and the line work is fine a precise. This is my favorite way to tattoo portraits for sure!
3. Watercolor Cauldron Symbols Tattoo
Cauldrons are the source of the Machine’s power and by collecting them you are more equipped to face other Machines in the post-apocalyptic world.
I like that the artist used different shades of blue throughout this tattoo and no black ink at all. The extra details of some geometric shapes and splatters prevent this tattoo from looking too plain and give it some oomph!
4. Aloy Colour Portrait Tattoo
This tattoo is a completely different take on Aloy as she is hardly portrayed with a smile. I like that they included a Cauldron symbol and her wearing advanced armor.
This artist understands color application extremely well and I love the shades used in her face. The armor has a lot of detail but doesn’t look too cluttered due to the size of this tattoo. A badass and unique take on Aloy!
5. Watcher in a Hexagon
The Watcher is one of the deadliest Machines in Horizon Zero Dawn. Among its myriad of weaponry, it also has a mouth laser which is illustrated very well in this design.
I like the sketchy look of this tattoo – the artist relied on texture as opposed to line work to illustrate all the different machinery parts in the Watcher. I like the grass in the foreground and the charm hanging off of the hexagon.
6. Alien Aloy Tattoo
This is an alien-like take of Aloy brandishing her hunter bow. The artist is well known for creating alien-like portraits and I think this is a cool take on Aloy.
I find the composition to be quite interesting, having a big portrait in the background and a full-body figure in the foreground. The artist really understands how to work with color as we can see in her hair and skin tone. I love the tiny details in the fur on her shoulder and the arrow. This is such a dynamic and unique design packed with power!
7. Color Tallneck Tattoo
This is an interesting angle to use for a Tallneck and really gives it a powerful feel. I especially like the background and how the artist chose to create the border around it.
I like the beautiful sunset tones in the sky and the mystical colors of the plants around the Tallneck. The artist really made it look like a machine using tones of blue and white. While this tattoo doesn’t have a lot of line work, it is still bold and interesting.
8. Gaia in the Leaves
In Horizon Zero Dawn, Gaia is a powerful artificial intelligence who oversaw Zero Dawn’s successful restoration of life to earth. This design perfectly encapsulates that with the Gaia symbol surrounded by foliage.
I like the whip shading in the leaves and flowers with fine line weight. It contrasts beautifully with the bright green and bolder line on the Gaia symbol. The tattoo has a good flow to it and fits the client’s leg perfectly! If you like this tattoo, I suggest you check out our list of 22 Plant Tattoos to Admire
9. Aloy with Hunter Bow Tattoo
This is a beautiful rendition of Aloy about to draw her bow. I am a big fan of these sketchy illustrative tattoos and this one is the perfect example of why!
I love all of the details captured with very fine line weight and the texture of her hair. I especially like the additional elements in the background of the Viking symbol and the phases of the moon. This tattoo is packed with movement and contrast.
10. Color Watcher Tattoo
This is an interesting combination of the Watcher with the Hunter Bow, as Hunter Bows can only kill humans and animals. I like the glitter effect in the background and the tiny details in the machinery. The line work is clean and the small areas of color are well-saturated.
11. Cauldron Symbols
This is a more simple example of how the Cauldron symbols can be done as a tattoo. All the symbols line up perfectly and are so clean and bold. This artist knows how to pack black and pull a straight line!
12. Traditional Hunter Bow
I really like this take on the Hunters Bow as it has more of a traditional feel to it. I love how the flowers are placed and the tiny details in the bow. The crystals stand out to me because of the use of different shades of blue and white highlights. The color is well-saturated and the line work is clean.
13. Dot Work Portrait
This tattoo is a beautiful rendition of Aloy with a lot of texture. I like the contrast between her very dark hair and the minimal shading on her face.
There is so much detail in her clothing and I really appreciate all of the different lines, dots, and whip shading. The tattoo is perfectly placed and fits the client’s leg well!
14. Aloy with Advanced Amor
This is a really cool take on Aloy with her advanced armor. What I love most about this tattoo are the floating leaves all around her.
The shading in her face and armor is extremely intricate and beautiful. Her hair is what’s most impressive – I love how soft it looks and makes me feel like I could reach out and touch it. I think the artist also included a Thunderjaw along the bottom of the design but it’s a bit tricky to read. All-in-all, I love the design, texture, and flow of this tattoo.
15. Neo-Traditional Aloy
This tattoo has to be my absolute favorite on the list. The artist really captured Aloy’s brave and fearless nature throughout the game.
I love the way that they illustrated her hair with her braids, the attention to detail in her face, and the soft shading throughout. The line work is very clean and the halo around her head is a notoriously cool element of Neo-Traditional portrait tattooing. If you like this style of tattooing, I suggest you check out our list of 28 Neo-Traditional Tattoos
Those are watchers, not thunderjaws
Oh, you’re totally right! Updated.