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Horizon Lunar Colony
Horizon Lunar Colony2

▶️ ▶️
Assault Assault
The Moon Earth's moon
Modular base, lunar surface
Release date

Horizon Lunar Colony was an Assault map in Overwatch. Released on 20 June 2017, making it the 20th map added to the game. In Overwatch 2, the map is only accessible in Custom games and Arcade, due to the removal of the Assault mode from standard modes.

Official Description[ | ]

Built as a first step towards humanity's renewed exploration of space, the Horizon Lunar Colony’s goal was to examine the effects of prolonged extraterrestrial habitation—on human and ape alike. The scientists' research proved incredibly promising...until, suddenly, all contact and communications with the base were lost.

Background[ | ]

A first step to the stars.
~ Poster tagline

The Horizon Lunar Colony (otherwise designated "Horizon One")[1] is a moonbase constructed by Lucheng Interstellar,[2] operated by its Lunar Ops branch.[1]

History[ | ]

Pre-Crisis[ | ]

Horizon Lunar Colony was established as part of humanity's renewed focus on space exploration.[3] It was constructed by Lucheng Interstellar to observe the long-term effects of low-gravity environments on living organisms. It was expected that the colony would take years to build, but the construction time was shortened through the efforts of the Indian Space Research Organization. Using lev rim technology for satellite launches, the cost of such launches was reduced by 93%. With help from ISRO's orbital launch tracks, the facility was completed in a matter of years. Its hydroponics system was designed by Wing Mui of Wancài Industries, who developed a system more advanced than any previously. Because of her work, Mui became known as "the woman who put potatoes on the moon."[4]

Horizon's existence and accompanying gains in technology trickled down to Earth in a number of key areas. One was advances in textile technology (used to reduce the weight of spacesuits), which was used by a variety of services on Earth, which proved instrumental in saving lives during the Omnic Crisis. The other was in bone and muscle treatment. Horizon's radiation shields, while robust, could not match the defenses provided by Earth's magnetosphere against solar radiation, which forced Lucheng to rapidly focus on cancer treatments. This was applicable to patients on Earth, along with the afforementioned bone and muscle technologies. Even those who considered Horizon a distraction benefitted from the technology and admitted, however grudgingly, to the benefits of the colony.[4]

Despite these advances, Horizon's primary focus was preparing humanity for the rigors of long-term space travel. To this end,[4] in addition to the scientists that worked there were a group of genetically enhanced gorillas that were intended to test the effects of prolonged habitation in space[3] on the human body. This required Lucheng to obtain special dispensation.[4]

In the colony's heyday, many prominent scientists did residencies on Horizon. This included Dr. Siebren de Kuiper, who spent a year on the colony continuing his gravitational studies, and advising the staff on the installation of their advanced low-gravity hydroponics system (an upgrade to Mui's design). Other alumni included Doctors Victoria Naughton and Ainar Omarov.[4]

Post-Crisis[ | ]

Towards the colony's last days, some of the gorillas had demonstrated adverse reactions to the genetic therapy, possibly compounded by life on the colony itself. A group of gorillas had established themselves as well-known troublemakers to the staff, and had put even some staff in the base's infirmary. It was agreed that the gorillas should be confined to their quarters, but Dr. Harold Winston pointed out that not all of the gorillas had reacted adversely to the therapy. He didn't know if shipping them to Earth would be a viable solution, if only for the medical issues that would present themselves. He advised putting a stop to the therapy.[5]


The test subjects rebel

The experiments came to an end when the gorillas launched an uprising, killing the scientists and claiming the base for their own.[3] It is known that in one of the last recorded messages, Dr Winston reported a malfunction at airlock E-35, and requested fellow staff members join him.[5] It has further been implied that this was a ploy by the gorillas, who got the scientists in the airlock and then opened it, venting the humans onto the lunar surface to die from asphyxiation.[6] For the gorillas themselves, it has been indicated that they are so far happy to stay within the base.[7] Specimen 28 was one of the only exceptions, who built a rocket out of makeshift parts and successfully made it to Earth.[3] Specimen 8 also escaped from the colony after engineering an escape pod and secretly attaching it to Specimen 28's space shuttle. [8]

Years after the base's fall, Lucheng Interstellar revealed in a press conference that the colony's databases and monitoring systems were still up and running. While no direct communication was established with the facility, the company successfully retrieved interpersonnel logs sent days and moments before the base lost contact with Earth. It shared the transmissions with the press. It later released its first image of the colony's still-operating integrated monitoring systems. A Lucheng spokesperson told Atlas News that the connection was unstable, but that the company was working around the clock to gather new information.[5]

Gameplay[ | ]

The map has a Point A (the telescope) and a Point B on its attack route. The base may be exited via airlock doors. Outside the base, players will fight in low gravity.

Layout[ | ]


The layout of the colony

  • Atrium[6]
    • Hydroponics Lab[6]
  • Infirmary[5]
  • Observatory[5] (equipped with a radio telescope)[6]
  • Personal quarters (numerous)[5]
  • Training facility[6]

Known Staff[ | ]

With the exception of Dr. Chao, all members of staff were killed by the gorillas.

Temporary[ | ]

The following individuals spent time on the colony, but cannot be considered permanent staff:

Test Subjects[ | ]


Two of the base's test subjects

At least some, if not all of the gorillas were named after the human staff.[5]

Unique Features[ | ]

Horizon Telescope View

The view from the telescope

The attacking team can view Earth via the telescope by holding down the default reload button. Using the telescope prompts the character (excluding Baptiste, Illari, Kiriko and Ramattra) to comment on the view.

Hero Quote Audio
It's not bad... but it's also not Hawaii. ▶️
Looks nice and quiet from up here. ▶️
(amazed beeps) ▶️
It really makes you think. ▶️
Really gives you a perspective of the world down there. What it's all about... Ah, I need a drink. ▶️
Is that all? ▶️
It's not much... and yet so much blood has been spilled over it. ▶️
Wow. The view is amazing. ▶️
Breathtaking! ▶️
I will never look at Tsukimi the same way. ▶️
The concerns of my life seem so distant from up here. ▶️
Junker Queen
My entire realm in plain view. ▶️
It really makes you wonder... don't you think? ▶️
I think I can see my trailer down there! ▶️
(sigh) So much to heal. ▶️
I never thought I'd see the world like this. ▶️
Hey, look. You can see the super coral from here. ▶️
Makes you feel really small. Okay! Let's go break some beakers. ▶️
Our world is worth fighting for. ▶️
It all seems so peaceful from up here. ▶️
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. ▶️
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. ▶️
I have come so far. ▶️
It all looks so peaceful from up here. ▶️
The view's not bad. ▶️
It all looks so small from up here. ▶️
...Well, okay then. ▶️
The stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching us. ▶️
Wow, I need to get one of these. ▶️
Soldier: 76
Earth. I've gone through a lot for you. Hope you appreciate it. ▶️
That's something you don't see every day. ▶️
Ahhh... from here, it all looks to be so orderly and peaceful. ▶️
Well, the view's not bad. ▶️
Wow. I think I understand what Winston felt like, now, looking back at the Earth from here. ▶️
(chuckles) A bit more powerful than my scope. ▶️
The first day or so we all pointed to our countries. The third or fourth day we were pointing to our continents. By the fifth day, we were aware of only one Earth. ▶️
Wrecking Ball
He says the view is acceptable. ▶️
Obletev Zemlyu v korable-sputnike ya uvidel, kak prekrasna nasha planeta. Lyudi, budem khranit' i priumnozhat' etu krasotu, a ne razrushat' yeë!
Cyrillic: Облетев Землю в корабле-спутнике я увидел, как прекрасна наша планета. Люди, будем хранить и приумножать эту красоту, а не разрушать еë!
English: Orbiting Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it!
A quote from Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.
The damage doesn't look as bad from up here. ▶️

Development[ | ]

Horizon Lunar Colony

An advertisement for Horizon

The idea of a moon map was present from the earliest days of the game's development. It kept being pushed back, as the developers wanted to do the idea justice in both story, and how low gravity would be handled.[9] The map was created in order to introduce a new Assault map to the game. Initially, all of the map took place in low gravity. However, it felt gimmicky, and it broke the game in some ways, at least as far as competitive balance went.[10]

Trivia[ | ]

  • Contextual storytelling is employed within the map. This includes Winston's room, and computer screens, where players can look at said screens to get information on the scientists that worked at the colony, along with the test subjects.[10]
  • One of the announcements on the base has the line "Remember Children: Imagination is the essence of discovery." This is Winston's first quote when being selected.
  • It is the only map in the game not to take place on Earth.
  • The attacking team can open/close the doors for the telescope by enabling the pressure sensor on the floor.

Starwatch[ | ]

Horizon Lunar Colony Starwatch

Starwatch map version

Horizon Lunar Colony is used in the Starwatch event. In-universe, it is the interior of the Infinite Galactrius, and the visuals are changed as such. 4 control points are used instead of the original 2. The defenders have the benefit of turrets that will fire on the attacking team (the turrets can be repaired by healing, but cannot be rebuilt if destroyed). Additionally, gravity implosion barrels are present throughout the facility. Destroying the container will unleash a small, yet powerful black hole that will catch anyone in its wake, leaving them vulnerable to attack. Unlike the turrets, the barrels respawn, and can be utilized by either side.

Videos[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. 1.0 1.1 2016-12-17, BlizzCon 2016 Overwatch Animated Shorts Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2017-01-18
  2. 2016-10-25, Lijiang Tower. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2016-10-26
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Winston, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2014-12-09
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named OverwatchDeclassified
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 2017-05-30, NEW DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT POSSIBLE FATE OF HORIZON LUNAR COLONY. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-06-18
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 2017-05-31, Horizon Lunar Colony - New Map Preview - Overwatch. YouTube, accessed on 2017-06-22
  7. 2017-05-16, Overwatch Lore - Michael Chu Reddit A.M.A Summary! | Hammeh. YouTube, accessed on 2017-05-18
  8. 2018-06-29, Developer Update | Introducing Wrecking Ball | OverwatchYouTube, accessed on 2018-06-29
  9. 2017 Year in Review: Overwatch, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2017-10-09
  10. 10.0 10.1 2017-05-31, Developer Update | Horizon Lunar Colony | Overwatch. YouTube, accessed on 2017-06-22