During the build-up to Horizon Forbidden West’s release on PS4 and PS5, Guerrilla Games spotlighted the acting talent which was going to its post-apocalyptic universe. Alongside Angela Bassett’s Regalla, Carrie-Anne Moss‘ Tilda was teased among the major characters who'd shape Aloy’s sophomore adventure. Now that the sport is approaching its two-month anniversary, fans are starting to understand precisely how effective the studio’s foreshadowing teases were.
As someone who’s survived for hundreds of years in a universe that’s constantly on the brink of destruction, Tilda van der Meer is of course one of the more intriguing characters that Aloy encounters during Horizon Forbidden West. Having fled into space to flee the Faro Plague, whilst achieving immortality in the process, it’s easy to understand why the protagonist gravitates to her throughout the closing chapters of the game. Unbeknownst to Aloy, Tilda has returned to Earth, in-part due to the connection she shares with her extended genetic family tree.
Tilda’s Relationship with Elisabet
To completely understand Tilda's connection to Aloy and her sister Beta, it’s vital that you first examine certainly one of her historic ancient relationships. Through an optional conversation Aloy might have with Tilda in the Base, the player can get a deeper look into the latter’s time on the planet, before the robotic Faro Plague drove the old-ones to extinction. With some gentle prodding, Tilda will eventually admit to Aloy that she was once in a partnership with her genetic ancestor, Dr. Elisabet Sobeck.
Born in Rotterdam throughout the 21st century, Tilda came face-to-face with death at an early age following a terrorist attack around the city in 2033. With each of her parents killed within the ensuing flooding, the orphan found comfort in the art of classical Dutch painters. Combining this passion for her genius-level computer engineering skills, Tilda could eventually be a world-class data broker with monetary reserves worth vast amounts of dollars. This rise to wealth propelled her right into a relationship with Elisabet, following a chance meeting at a tech conference in Paris.
To Tilda’s regret, the pair’s relationship quickly came to a close before the Faro Plague started to spread though. Being welcomed into Far Zenith to assist the organization’s colonizing mission to the Sirius system, Tilda was guaranteed an area on the Odyssey spaceship when the robots became sentient in 2065. Before its departure, Tilda was able to use her link with Elisabet to have a copy of APOLLO for the colony. An action that would seal its success, and supreme downfall. Crucially, while negotiating the following Zero Dawn Trade Agreement, it became clear to both ladies they still held deep feelings for one another.
Thanks to Elisabet’s central involvement in the Zero Dawn project, the pair’s relationship couldn’t be restored. During Horizon Forbidden West and her interactions with Aloy and Beta, you realize Tilda deeply regrets leaving her former lover behind to die. While the topic of the planet’s destruction may be the game's main story beat, it’s the connection between Tilda and Elisabet that usually underpins and drives a lot of the action forward. If it wasn’t with this dynamic, it’s conceivable that Nemesis wouldn’t exist and the era of Forbidden West could be dramatically different.
Tilda’s Relationship with Beta
Having reached the Sirius system, the Far Zenith were eventually instructed to flee the earth following the development of Nemesis. On the way to Earth, the surviving colonists plotted to make use of GAIA’s terraforming technology to essentially feed the planet towards the violent AI. To facilitate this, Beta was created onboard the Odyssey from the genetic memory of Elisabet Sobeck. Confronted with a realistic look at who Beta was, along with a century's worth of regret, Tilda naturally gravitated to the woman who looked like her long-departed lover.
Part way through her training, Beta was subsequently invited to some private virtual recreation of Tilda’s home on Earth. Unlike the rest of the Far Zenith, the former data broker harbored a desire for Beta to learn about humanity’s artistic past. Through their secret meetings, the 2 were able to forge a bond of friendship over topics such as classical art. Just like her former lover though, Tilda cut off her connection to Beta when the Far Zenith had almost completed the return visit to Earth. Mirroring her previous mistakes, this decision would ultimately end up being the catalyst that enabled Beta to betray the colonists.
While there were likely some altruistic motivations behind her decision to initially befriend Beta, such as the clone’s wellbeing, Tilda’s desires were more selfish than she let on. Based on how she turns on Beta towards Horizon Forbidden West’s conclusion, calling her inferior in the process, it’s inferred that Tilda was using her being an opportunity to fix her past mistakes. Realizing that Aloy matches the personality profile of her former lover more closely, her attention coldly pivots from Beta once she realizes she's alternative choices to consider.
Tilda’s Relationship with Aloy
Fueled by her failed tries to attain a happy resolution with Elisabet, Tilda’s relationship with Aloy is noticeably more forward and driven by desperation. Once Aloy’s plans to stop the Far Zenith begin to unfold, Tilda betrays the companions she’s been with for eons. While her ideas and interests are in odds with Aloy’s worldview during their initial meeting, she has a clear popularity of her determination and resolve. Having accessed one of her old Focuses, Tilda determines that Aloy not only shares Elisabet’s drive and feeling of mission, but she also has an identical orphan upbringing to her very own.
After charming Aloy with references to just how much she resembles Elisabet, Tilda turns into a central member of the alliance to save our planet. During the subsequent attack on the Far Zenith base after Horizon Forbidden West’s main story, her real plans and motivations are revealed. Once Aloy and Beta discover the truth about Nemesis, Tilda states that they won't allow her very own personal mistakes to experience out again. Having left Elisabet to die one thousand years back, she assumes charge of a Specter Prime robot so that they can capture Aloy and forcibly save her in the planet's next apocalypse.
Refusing to abandon her friends, Aloy fights back together with her trademark resolve. Although some fans have expressed an understandable feeling of disappointment at Tilda's heel-turn, Guerrilla did signpost that it was coming. From the moment that she's introduced, it's clear that her loneliness and grief have been consuming her for eons. Faced with someone like Aloy, and the second chance that they represents, Tilda becomes blinded by her desire to do what she believes is appropriate.
Even though it's assumed that Tilda died following her confrontation with Aloy, there wasn't any direct confirmation of the. According to sci-fi tropes, there's an outside chance the character and her complicated connections could display in the future.
Horizon Forbidden West is currently available on PS4 and PS5.