Fan Theory: YOU ARE DEAD!?!

So, we all know and love the Horizon festival. The cars, the races, the beautiful vistas, and so on. So what’s not to like? How about a gruesome death? By the end of the this reading I hope to prove to you that the festival we all know and love was rocked by a tragic accident that permanently changed everything about the festival right down to the cars for sale at the auto show.
If your reading this I assume you know what the horizon festival is, but I will do a quick rundown just in case. The horizon festival is one part SXSW music festival, one part tournament style race competition, and one part car based entertainment venue. So all the stuff you would expect would be there, great niche musical acts, first class car shows and tuners, organized race events, and even “top gear” style events where cars are put up against unorthodox opponents to see with machine is faster. So its the go to annual “must attended” event for any automotive enthusiast who has the means to do so.
So, the first thing that you must be wondering is “I think if I had died I would have seen it”, to that I would say you did, you just didn’t realize it. After you beat Darius and take his Ferrari 599xx, there’s a quick cut scene where your standing in front of a bunch of cameras holding your trophy as the new king of the horizon festival for the year 2012. After which the credits roll and you race off on the high way at top speed, out of view of the camera. Later on in the credits you in your Ferrari come back into view, but this time the Ferrari (or whatever car you raced off in) has collided with with the center highway divide and looks really smashed up. Indicating that you hit the center at a really high speed and died instantly.
“now that is really reaching” I can hear you saying “I’ve crashed my car a ton of times during the horizon festival and I didn’t die any of those times”. A fair point, I can’t count how many times I crashed, sometimes just for the fun of it, while playing the game more than and I never died. But every time, for both you and me, we very quickly got up and kept racing very quickly. But in the highway instance there are two things of note. first off, the car has damage to the rear window, despite clearly having collided at the front of the car. this can be done in game, but it takes an awful lot of speed to do it, like well above triple digits. Such an impact would be more than just about any cars safety cage could take. Second, there is the speed of the camera also comes into play. As noted, most of the time after a crash, you have gotten moving as soon as you have control of the car again, but that’s not the case here. between the time last time we see the Ferrari moving, and the next time it comes into view, several minutes have passed. So the car has been sitting there not moving for at least a few minutes. There’s also the fact that after the camera pans past it, we don’t see the Ferrari again. The camera moves much slower than the Ferrari and there are no real exits of the freeway for awhile after we see it again, so its safe to assume the Ferrari didn’t move for at least a few minutes after that.
“So what” I hear you typing “maybe your driver just hit the median on a fluke”, Also a fair point, except I watched the end credits on 4 different play throughs, and every time the Ferrari (or a radical once), hit the median in the same spot an got the same amount of damage. So, its much more likely to be a design choice than an just a digital driver glicting out.
But, it’s not just the accident itself that suggest you died, its the differences between the festivals that suggests something really bad happened between horizon 2012 and 2014. So to make my point I first need to go over all the stuff that went missing between '12 and '14. In the’12 festival things were a lot more focused on the stars in the cars, Darius Flint, Ali Howard, and so on. There were also underground races, advertisements everywhere, and a lot of show cases.
Now, while it was never stated in the first game where the previous festivals where, or when they were. we can tell several things from the radio announcements. first off, its stated several times that this is not the 2012 festival is not the first festival, or even close too it. This can be inferred from the multiple references to how “Darius Flint is a multiple time horizon champ”. We can also assume that, up until after 2012, there all the horizon festivals had taken place,if not in Colorado, in the united states. Due to the lack of any foreign accents, despite the fact that Playground games is a British company, with The Prince being the only exception. This makes the sudden switch to Europe very suspect, as, moving a festival like this over to Europe, or anywhere of such a great distance, would be a huge risk and a major complication for the managing team.
Then there’s the characters, Darius won Horizon multiple times before you came an knocked him off the podium, but yet in the 2014 festival he’s missing and it’s not just him. None of the other drivers that you beat at the 2012 festival show up in the 2014 festival. Now you could argue that they just could not make it, but most of the other drivers where globe trotters, Ramona was noted for racing a car on every continent and depending on where The Prince calls home Europe would most likely be a much shorter flight than Colorado. Alright, so maybe you just beat them all so bad they never wanted to show their faces again, but then why did the mechanic and Alison disappear?
There’s also plenty of evidence to suggest that the 2012 driver and the 2014 driver are not the same either, While its not clear what your relationship is with Ben at the beginning of the game, its made pretty evident that everyone thinks hes a great driver, better than you who seems to be a nobody. No one ever mentions the past festivals in the 2014 game or who won it, if it was the player it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect that to have come up at some point. Then there’s the new mechanic being surprised at how luck you are at finding barn finds. In the last game you found all ten even if she was not there, this is a girl who can find parts for extremely obscure rare cars. So if someone had found 10 in Colorado, she would have heard about it, if not by a magizine article outlining the success, then defiantly word of mouth. So she would have acted much differently after you started finding these cars in the second game, mainly she would not have been surprised that you found so many.
So, why is the 2014 festival in Europe and why has everyone decided not to come back this year? Simple because of your death. After that fateful night on a Colorado highway, The Horizon Festival Corp. must have caught a lot of flack when the most skilled and popular driver killed themselves doing what they came to the festival to do. There must have been wide scale public outrage and major safety concerns for both the drivers and local public. This would have made having any more festivals in Colorado, or even the US, difficult as the “you” became a mater for public safety. All the changes to the Festival must have been part of an aggressive PR campaign to convince the public not to outright shut down the festival.
So the Horizon Festival Crop. must have taken a year off (the reason why there was no 2013 festival), fired Alison (she was head of the festival and would therefore be asked to step down), fired the mechanic (if the car had a mechanical failure he would have been he certainly would have gotten the ax), moved the festival to France and Italy (far away from the outrage of Colorado), and taken steps to make sure no one driver stands out so that there would not longer be a focus for public outcry.
All the drivers must have been given settlements not to come to any more festivals, and the new staff told not to mention the old incident as not to open an old wound. It’s also why the European festival did not have a “most popular driver” to make sure that the 2012 incident did not repeat itself, or could be contained if it did. Its also why showcase events had been greatly reduced in both risk (moving to mostly wide open routes with very little to crash into) and number (cutting the number of events in half).
All of it comprises made to still allow the horizon festival to exist while answering the outcries for better safety of the drivers and public; and it was all started by taking a tragic accident cutting down a bright star in their shinning moment.

But that’s just a theory, a Forza theory.

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I can tell that your English isn’t the best but you did put a fair amount of effort into typing this up. Not sure why you’d put so much thought into this one situation, though. I played through the original Horizon, beginning to past Finale completion, four times and I never noticed the 599 crash anywhere on the freeway in a cutscene. Probably a fluke in the game, like it couldn’t render stuff quick enough, I don’t know for sure.

Good read, though!

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You clearly have waaaaaay too much free time.

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Darius rigged a booby trap in the car so if he couldn’t have it no-one could? He tripped it and caused the crash and has been in hiding ever since!

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Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Entertaining.

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I aim to please. Well that and I have been watching way too much Game Theory.

You didn’t mention the biggest giveaway: the opening cinematic for Horizon 2.

The woman narrating is clearly describing one of two things: either the moments leading up to when a psychedelic drug flips or the moments leading up to death.

I’ve never played FH1 but I came to the conclusion myself that FH2 takes place in the afterlife.

Fun fact about guard rails; In Horizon 1 through 3, they’re unbreakable, but in real life, they’re meant to deform, and crumple as they break apart to absorb the impact of a collision, and slow the car down, hopefully making a crash more likely survivable. Some of the older style ones that were in use through the late 90s and early 2000s did their job in a side-on collision, but if you hit it end-on in just the wrong way, they sometimes had a tendency to pierce the cabin, and potentially injure the occupants. Newer ones have a flat plate on the ends, and are designed to crumple better in an end-on collision to make that less likely. But none of that is what’s depicted in the cutscene. What’s depicted is the car off-road, having slid off the highway, and coming to a stop side-on against the end of a guardrail in the middle of a median. Crashing into an unbreakable barrier at highway speeds would almost certainly be fatal if it weren’t a video game. It would have been better if the guardrail wasn’t there at all. If what’s depicted in the credits is supposed to be a fatal crash, then the liability for [player character]'s death is the State of Colorado for making guard rails out of adamantium, and placing death traps along the median of highways state wide.