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"The lesson will be taught in due time, Aloy. Until then, we wait."
This article contains heavy spoilers, and may reveal plot or quest information.



The Fireclaw is a machine exclusive to The Frozen Wilds. Like its twin machine the Frostclaw, this huge, ursine machine is classed as an Acquisition machine despite that being it’s secondary function. Their main purpose is being hunter-killer units for deployment against humans.

They are the first and so far only known machines specifically developed for this purpose, a task that they are exceptionally well-equipped to perform. As such, they represent an escalation in their creator HEPHAESTUS' hostility to humans and its efforts to dissuade humans from hunting machines.

History

Fireclaws were created by the AI HEPHAESTUS at Cauldron EPSILON, in the Banuk region known as The Cut. Given that the Frostclaw is similar in appearance and design, they may have served as an inspiration or prototype for Fireclaw design. As previously outlined, Fireclaws are the first and only known anti-human hunter-killer machines. Apparently satisfied with their capabilities and suitability for this purpose, HEPHAESTUS began preparations to mass-produce thousands of them. However, it was only able to produce and release a small number of them before EPSILON’s destruction.

A Daemonic Fireclaw was used by HEPHAESTUS as the primary defense of the cauldron’s core against an expedition that infiltrated the cauldron. The expedition, composed of the Nora huntress Aloy, the Banuk shaman Ourea, and the erstwhile Banuk chieftain Aratak, prompted HEPHAESTUS to deploy the Fireclaw when Aloy attempted to access the core. The machine proved extremely effective against the three expert hunters. In addition to its highly formidable combat abilities, HEPHAESTUS spontaneously generated Control Towers to repair any damage the Fireclaw sustained mid-battle. While the party ultimately prevailed against it, their incursion was too late to prevent HEPHAESTUS from releasing the aforementioned small number of Fireclaws from the Cauldron into The Cut. Due to the extreme danger that they posed to the region’s residents, Aloy hunted and destroyed five of them, engaging two in tandem with Aratak. While Fireclaws are still present in the Cut, only one or two can now be found in the region, both at remote sites. This significantly reduces the threat they pose.

Appearance

Like the Frostclaw, the Fireclaw is somewhat ursine in appearance, movement, and locomotion. Its chassis resembles the body and has the gait of a grizzly bear. Presumably, HEPHAESTUS modeled the Fireclaw and Frostclaw after the long-extinct animal, which was native to the region during the time of the Old Ones. When bipedal, its size is comparable to that of a Thunderjaw, making it one of the largest machines. The head ends in a pointed, toothy snout with a three-mandible jaw containing a system of rollers. A pair of optical sensor arrays is located in the same position as a bear’s eyes would be. Mounted on each forelimb are a pair of gear-like wheels. There is an armor-protected fire generation unit, known as a Fire Unit, on its chest, and power cells are located on its lower back. Fire Sacs, armored storage tanks containing Blaze, are built into its chassis, similar to Fire Bellowbacks. However, while the Fire Bellowback’s tanks are prominently placed on its back and throat, the Fireclaw’s tanks are seamlessly built into its shoulders and are much more damage resistant. Furthermore, while the Fire Bellowback and Freeze Bellowback are identical in all respects except for their respective elements of Fire and Freeze, Fireclaws are much larger than Frostclaws, have a considerably higher capacity to resist and sustain damage, and their armor is much tougher.[2]

Behavior

Like most large machines, Fireclaws are solitary and almost never seen in groups. They are only known to be found in The Cut; the region’s geography prevents them from entering nearby territories, such as the Nora Sacred Lands to the south.

As previously stated, Fireclaws have a secondary purpose as acquisition machines, and are classified as such. They can be frequently seen mining soil for mineral resources at their respective sites, in the same manner as Tramplers. They also scavenge destroyed machines, like Scrappers or Glinthawks.

Abilities

Like the grizzly bear, the Fireclaw is able to adopt both a quadrupedal and bipedal stance. In either stance it employs fast, relentless and deadly fire-based range attacks and fire-augmented melee attacks. Its capacity to sustain damage is rivaled only by four other known machines. Its damage resistance is even greater than that of these machines, particularly against explosives.[2] Even if one of its flammable liquid tanks is punctured and explodes, the blast damage is minimal. Furthermore, Daemonic Fireclaws share the immunity of all Daemonic Machines to Corruption and Override, as well as a high resistance to Shock. If they are put into a Freeze state, they can melt themselves free by creating a cloud of fire around themselves, provided that their Fire Unit is intact. Additionally, they are quite agile in spite of their size, able to run and jump with surprising speed.

Stances

The Fireclaw can switch between Quadrupedal and Bipedal stances, each with different sets of unique melee and ranged attacks. The Quadrupedal stance is the default posture when roaming around undisturbed, with enhanced agility and traversal options to spring up lower cliffs and leap over gaps to chase Aloy across the environment. During combat, it will typically adopt this four-legged posture when far away, and make use of the improved mobility to close the distance. Most of its attacks while in this stance are melee-focused, repositioning itself with quick tumble-dodges to keep up the pressure, but it can also use two long-ranged terrestrial attacks of small clustered lava-spewing geysers or a single volcano which shoots out burning rocks in a radius.

The Bipedal stance severely limits the Fireclaw's mobility but adds enough ranged attacks to compensate for this drawback. The Fireclaw tends to adopt this upright two-legged posture at close to mid-range, aggressively chaining together multiple claw slashes in a row and weaponizing the Fire Unit mounted on its torso to spew out streams of burning flames. If Aloy is out of reach from the Fireclaw's close-range attacks, it can scrape at the ground with its wrist-mounted grinders to lob molten chunks of solidified dirt and rock in her direction or launch itself in the air and come crashing down back-first at Aloy's position to crush her under its massive weight.

Rock Shield

Once its maximum health has dropped to the 60% mark or below, the Fireclaw gains the ability to tear out a large circular slab of rock from the ground as a makeshift shield against incoming projectiles or bludgeon weapon. It's still possible to damage exposed limbs and potentially induce a Stagger state that forces it to drop the rock. There are three follow-up attacks that the Fireclaw tends to perform while it's currently holding a Rock Shield at different ranges: an advancing charge to close the gap, a descending overhead slam at close-range and a long-distance hurling throw. The rock deals Fire damage and generates lingering Fire Patches upon impact, which can be permanently disabled by destroying the Fireclaw's Fire Unit.

Fire Storm

After sustaining enough damage, the Fireclaw ignites its chassis and generates a fiery aura around itself which damages upon contact and negates severity buildup or currently applied status effects. This frenzied state is automatically triggered once the Fireclaw's total health reaches 70% of its maximum value and then again at 25%. Destroying the Fire Unit permanently deactivates this special attack.

Weaknesses

As a fire-based machine, Fireclaws are naturally susceptible to Freeze attacks. However, their damage resistance renders subsequent attacks in this state much less effective than on other machines, and their size makes inflicting a Freeze state on it a lengthy process; even high-powered Freeze weapons, such as the Icerail, take several seconds to do so. Destroying the Fire Sacs located on its shoulders disables the fire augmentation of melee attacks, and destroying the Fire Unit located on its chest disables the ranged terrestrial attacks, exploding and inflicting a temporary Burn state, but this state causes minimal damage and quickly dissipates. Provided both Fire Sacs and Fire Unit have been destroyed, a permanent Burn state will be inflicted on the Fireclaw, eventually killing it. However the machine’s tough armor plating makes this difficult, and its high capacity to sustain damage endures a lengthy period of time elapses before it is destroyed.

The power cells located on its upper and lower back have little protective armor, and can be overloaded via Shock Arrows, triggering an electrical explosion that stuns the machine; indeed this is the only possible way to electrically stun a Daemonic Fireclaw.

Attacks

Quadruped Stance

Name Damage Type Primary Damage Secondary Damage Trigger Range Description
Lava Burst Melee 135 65 Melee/Fire-Icon Fire (Lava Burst)
50 Fire per second (Groundfire)
15m - 50m Enemy is engulfed by lava geysers
Volcanic Meteor Shower Explosion 135 135 Melee/Fire (Lava Jet)
65 Fire/Explosion (Rocks)
50 Fire per second (Fire Pool)
15m - 50m Enemy is hit by a shower of burning rocks
Back Slash Melee
Fire-Icon Fire
200/100 - 3m - 11m (front)
4m - 8m (back)
Defensive Fire-augmented back-handed claw slash
Fury Slash Melee
Fire-Icon Fire
225/125 - 4m - 25m Up to 3 consecutive Fire-augmented claw slashes
Lunge Dive Melee
Fire-Icon Fire
250/125 - 4m - 25m Lunging pounce with Fire-augmented claw slash
Back Crush Explosion 50 per rock - 11m - 15m Crushing back-first dive on enemy

Biped Stance

Name Damage Type Primary Damage Secondary Damage Trigger Range Description
Fire Storm Fire-IconFire 150 per second - 10m - 20m Flamethrower blast from chest unit that tracks enemy
Flame Blast Fire-Icon Fire
Melee
180/130 - 0m - 10m Explosive radial blast of flame from chassis
Grinder Scrape Fire-Icon Fire
Melee
110 each - 15m - 50m Molten chunks of dirt and rock scraped off the ground at enemy
Claw Slash Fire-Icon Fire
Melee
175/125 - 1m - 20m (front)
4m - 14m (back)
Up to 6 consecutive Fire-augmented claw slashes
Inferno Dive Fire-Icon Fire
Melee
175 each 60 Melee
100 Fire per second (Fire Patches)
14m - 34m (front)
10m - 23m (back)
Lunging dive with explosion of vertical flames on landing
Rock Shield - Charge Fire-Icon Fire
Melee
135 each - 5m - 60m Large shield of rock blocks enemy attacks
Rock Shield - Throw Fire-Icon Fire
Melee
180 each 50 Fire per second (Fire Patches) 15m - 50m Rock shield thrown at enemy; ignores the Shield-Weaver shield
Rock Shield - Smash Fire-Icon Fire
Melee
200 each 200 Fire/Explosion
25 Melee
100 Fire per second (Fire Patches)
0m - 7m Rock shield used as bludgeon; ignores the Shield-Weaver shield

Both Stances

Name Damage Type Primary Damage Secondary Damage Trigger Range Description
Inferno Slam Fire-Icon Fire
Melee
175 each 60 Melee
100 Fire per second (Fire Patches)
0m - 7m Large, radial explosion of flames on hammering ground
Fire Storm Fire-Icon Fire 50 per second 50 Fire per second (Fire Patches) - Desperation defensive attack (employed upon sustaining 70% damage); fiery aura around chassis damages enemy on contact; negates severity buildup or current status effects applied

Components

Component: Image: Information: Weakness: Strength:
Body Fireclaw body Hard outer casing to protect synthetic muscle and operational systems. Freeze-Icon Freeze None
Fire Sac Fireclaw fire sac Destruction triggers a Fire explosion, inflicts a temporary Burn state and disables all Fire-augmented claw attacks All None
Fire Unit Fireclaw fire unit Destruction triggers a Fire explosion, inflicts a permanent Burn state (once Fire Sacs have been destroyed) and disables all Fire-based attacks other than claws. All None
Power Cell Fireclaw power cell Sparker resource can be looted from this component. Shooting this component with Shock arrows triggers an explosion, electrifying anything in the area. Shock-IconShock
Tear-IconTear
None

Loot


Trivia

  • Depending on the player's progress in the game, Aloy could be technically be the first known member of the Hunters Lodge to take down a Fireclaw, which is arguably a more worthy game than Redmaw, the latest Sunhawk trophy.
    • However, since the the Lodge's custom only allows Hawks to be promoted to Sunhawk, the feat would not be likely to affect her rank.
  • During The Frozen Wilds' development, Fireclaws were referred to as LavaBears.[3]
  • The Fireclaw is the only machine seen to date with red armor plating. The exact significance of this is unclear, though it may be as simple as it just being the default appearance of it's upgraded armor.
  • Based on the evidence to date, real bears are among the animals that have not yet been reintroduced by the terraforming system (at least in the area of North America seen in-game) for reasons unknown. However it is suspected that GAIA focused only on "prey" animals that could be a food source for humans, and did not introduce strong predators like bears that could be a threat to both humans and their food sources.
  • During combat, Fireclaws can sometimes be spotted running a 'paw' across their face, as if wiping away blood or mucus.

Bugs

  • When playing The Forge of Winter on PlayStation 4 Pro, there is a glitch that can occur while fighting the Fireclaw. After the first Control Tower is destroyed, the Fireclaw may freeze in place; the player is still able to damage it, however.

Gallery

Videos

References

  1. Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Collector's Edition Guide, page 18
  2. 2.0 2.1 Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Collector's Edition Guide, page 80
  3. Rocky Schouten - Cinematics Reel - Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds
Machines
Acquisition Class Broadhead - Charger - FireclawFW - FrostclawFW - Glinthawk - Grazer - Lancehorn - Rockbreaker - Scrapper - Snapmaw - Strider - Trampler
Combat Class Ravager - Sawtooth - ScorcherFW - Stalker - Stormbird - Thunderjaw
Communication Class Tallneck
Recon Class Longleg - Watcher (Redeye Watcher)
Transport Class Behemoth - Fire Bellowback - Freeze Bellowback - Shell-Walker
Chariot Class Corrupted Machines - Corruptor - Deathbringer - Metal Devil
Unknown Class Control TowerFW
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