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Where Does Horizon: Call Of The Mountain Fit In The Series' Timeline?

Rather than following Aloy, "Horizon: Call of the Mountain" places another protagonist at the center of the narrative — a first for the series. The PS VR2 title stars Ryas, an archer seeking a path to redemption for his past allegiances to the Shadow Carja. Offered a shot at freedom and the potential first step towards healing the rifts created by his choices, he sets out to find answers about a mysterious force threatening the area.


Thanks to its status as a standalone entry in the greater "Horizon" universe, players don't need to have beaten "Forbidden West" or "Zero Dawn" to understand and enjoy "Call of the Mountain." However, those familiar with the setting may wonder how the VR game slots into the overarching story — Sony hasn't been shy about the fact that Ryas encounters Aloy, after all. Just where does "Call of the Mountain" fall on the "Horizon" timeline?

The Red Raids and the birth of the Shadow Carja

As a former member of the Shadow Carja, Ryas lived through the Red Raids, a pivotal event in the history of "Horizon." At the behest of the 13th Sun-King Jiran, the Carja military carved a bloody path through the nearby territories during this period, kidnapping and sacrificing multiple individuals in the process. Jiran's reign of terror eventually came to an end when his son, Avad, killed him and seized the throne, kicking off a civil war in the process.


Though the raids stopped, those who remained loyal to the deceased Jiran and his vision broke away from the rest of the nation and formed the Shadow Carja. Eclipse, the main antagonistic force of "Zero Dawn," arose shortly after as a more fanatical offshoot of the Shadow Carja cause. Though not a member of Eclipse, Ryas took Prince Itamen, Jiran's youngest son, to Sunfall, the Shadow Carja capital. Itamen and his mother remain under the splinter tribe's thumb until the side quest "Queen's Gambit" in "Zero Dawn."

So, what happened to Ryas after he delivered Itamen to Sunfall, and how does "Call of the Mountain" factor into all of this?

Call of the Mountain takes place during Horizon: Zero Dawn

Sometime after Ryas completed his assigned task, the Carja caught up with him and threw him in prison. Thanks to his archery and climbing skills, Sun-King Avad and Blameless Marad decide to throw him a bone, offering Ryas a full pardon if he can pull off a seemingly impossible mission. This kicks off the events of "Call of the Mountain," which, according to Sony, all happen in the time between two "Zero Dawn" quests. Which quests? The company declined to say, but it doesn't take much sleuthing to piece together the answer.


When Ryas encounters Aloy at the start of "Call of the Mountain," she mentions that she can't stick around due to pressing business with the Shadow Carja at Sunfall. Aloy learns that she needs to head to Sunfall during "The Grave-Hoard," number 15 in the lineup of "Zero Dawn" core story quests. After paying a visit to Eclipse's main base in the following mission, she arrives at Sunfall as part of quest 17, "Deep Secrets of the Earth." This means she probably makes a detour to Dawn's Grasp to help out Marad and escort Ryas to his starting path after taking down the Focus network in the sixteenth quest, "To Curse the Darkness." She then moves on to the Shadow Carja capital, leaving Ryas to deal with the force threatening the region on his own.