General information about Tallnecks in Horizon Forbidden West
What Are Tallnecks?
Tallnecks are massive machines that typically can be found wandering endless circular routes, receiving data from and monitoring other machines… Sort of a gargantuan, giraffe-bodied AWACs machine. While most machines you’ll encounter can be hunted for parts, the Tallneck is so massive that conventional forms of combat are precluded - there’s simply no way to bring such a machine down without artillery.
Why Complete Tallneck Activities?
Despite whatever components you could strip from such a massive machine, the Tallneck has another, arguably more valuable resource: data. If you can scale to the top of the machine’s dish-like head and override it, you’ll gain information about a wide area around the Tallneck. In open world terms, they’re basically moving towers, a more interesting spin on the traditional open world activity.
There are only six Tallnecks in Horizon Forbidden West, and only five of them are visible on the map. Given the size of Horizon Forbidden West’s map and the relative scarcity of each Tallneck, the amount of data you’ll get from overriding each one makes them attractive targets, indeed. Upon overriding a Tallneck, most map markers in a wide region will be revealed, although the fog of war will merely turn transparent instead of vanishing entirely (unexplored areas that haven’t been revealed by a Tallneck are opaque).
There are some limitations to the clairvoyance the Tallneck provides. First, some areas, while revealed, will only appear as a question mark on the map. Sometimes hovering over these question marks will inform you if it’s an unknown settlement, but other markers will remain more obscure, simply labeled as “Unknown”. Most machine locations will be revealed, but these two don’t give you all the data, as you won’t know the exact type of machines located there. For example, overriding a Tallneck won’t reveal whether there’s an Apex machine there, or what elemental proclivities those machines have. Finally, while Campfires and Shelters will be revealed, you still have to discover them to actually fast travel there.
The data you glean from a Tallneck may be incomplete, but it’s still quite useful. Better than running blindly into the territory of a [Thunderjaw], or knowing generally which way to go in order to reach the next Campfire to save your game at!
In addition to revealing large portions of the map, completing a Tallneck activity will also reward you with XP and Skill Points, adding extra incentive to a task which was already well worth doing!
How to Complete Tallneck Activities
Overriding a Tallneck is often easier said than done. While Tallnecks aren’t aggressive (in fact, they’re more or less unresponsive to anything you do to or around them), they’re still massive, moving towers. Other machines are also not keen on you messing around with Tallnecks, and dealing with hostile machines near a Tallneck is a hazard you should be prepared for.
Besides any attending machines, each Tallneck is different. In the first game, most were merely walking platforming puzzles - find a way to climb to a vantage high enough to jump onto the Tallneck and you were good. That’s less common in the sequel, albeit with one notable exception - typically you’ll have to solve a more diverse range of puzzles if you want to override a Tallneck this time around, be it restoring power to a satellite relay, or shooting anchored ballista bolts to weigh the behemoth Tallneck down, every Tallneck is different.