The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 7: Episode VI: Diagnostics

Episode VI: Diagnostics

Welcome to space. Little known fact: It’s completely desaturated up there! Damnedest thing. As soon as you bring down any photos from space, the photos return to color immediately. It’s something astronauts don’t like to talk about... It’s freaky. So let’s be respectful and not dwell on this. The last couple of times the world got completely desaturated, it lead to cataclysmic rap battles...

Anyway, welcome back. Don’t worry about all that before! 2B is just fine. And in space, to boot. So she’s frankly better off than she was previously. We now find ourselves within a space station and there’s an objective marker ahead. Let’s go check it out, eh?

Oh hey, 9S! You’re looking fit for someone who had a couple limbs blown off and got nuked just a scene ago. What’s crackin’?

The Goliaths were wiped out, and we secured a route into enemy territory. Now we can—
Thank you. For uploading my data to the Bunker.
Um, I did that? Sorry, I don’t remember. There wasn’t a whole lot of bandwidth down there, you know? I probably only had enough time to back up your memories. Mine are only intact up to the point just before we rendezvoused.
...I see.

Well, good talk 9S. Got a little weird there with the humanity worship screed. But hey, good to see you’re mostly alright... Just learn to bind Quick Save to a convenient key sometime before the next mission, eh?

Hmm... 2B seems slightly upset about something. I’m sure it’s just stress from getting blown up earlier for not entirely clear reasons.

At this point we can connect online. This game does feature some important/weird features with online play. But none of the bullshit like Dark Souls invasions. So, sure. We’ll opt in!

Also, we can finally save our game for the first time! We’re in the clear. You can go play on Hard if you want a poorly implemented difficulty spike! Do to your heart’s content now without fear of replaying the entire tutorial mission. You did it! There’s no achievements for playing on any difficulty and nobody cares. But go you!

Anyway, enough about that. Who would like some backstory? You may be confused as to why there are nothing but androids facing hordes of deadly robots and why we’re hanging out in space now. Also what anything happening has to do with the original NieR. Let’s try to clarify that a little bit! A very little bit.

For starts, let’s jump ahead to the year 5012. Some 1646 years after Papa Nier made a mess of everything in the original game.

5012 AD. The year mankind’s glorious history came to a sudden and abrupt end... when the world was invaded by aliens from beyond the stars.

So the rap battle and exploding dragon that produced a magical epidemic and a legion of salt monsters and humanity needing to jump through hoops separating its very soul wasn’t QUITE bad enough for Yoko Taro’s version of Earth. After all of that, a race of hostile aliens rolled in to invade. Seeing that this planet was already having some REAL issues in its past, they opted to spam “machine lifeforms” (the official name of the dudes we’ve been dealing with) to deal with the planet’s current residents.

So let’s do a recap here of my own:

In the original Nier, humanity had some REAL issues with magic leaking in from Drakengard’s world (which was a dark fantasy medieval definitely not-Berserk type parallel Earth.) This included a plague which turned people into salt monsters or just outright killed them and there was precious little to be done about it other than shoving all that magical energy back into Drakengard's dimension. And that was gonna take a WHILE to clean up. So, in order to evade magic extinction, humanity was forced to use science-magical means to separate their souls into something called a Gestalt. Which turned out to be Shades, the primary enemies of the original game. Humanity spent a millennium or so as weird liches in this form.

Also produced from this were Replicants, scientifically cultivated soulless shell human clones, for lack of a better term, that were resistant to magical disease nonsense. These were meant to just kind of hang out leading passive lives until things were sorted out with the magic business. Optimally, they'd eventually stick the Shades/Gestalt back into these Replicant husk bodies and humanity could keep on truckin' having overcome Drakengard.

The problem was that Replicants eventually became sapient and started rebuilding their own societies and leading lives and whatnot. At the same time, being stuck as a weird shadow monster didn’t do the best for human souls and Gestalts started going loony. Also the break down of Gestalts caused their corresponding humanoid Replicant body to get basically Fantasy Cancer. An angry Replicant dad had his daughter fall prey to this. His solution... involved a lot of murder and kind of breaking everything without ever getting around to curing his daughter's ailment. Also, he might have killed the dude that key to the entirety of this plan and the back-up plan was uhh...? We'll get back to you on that one...

But uhh... regardless. Humanity was kinda boned there! Or so we thought. Somehow, they turned it around in the intervening years. Good on them! Until the aliens showed up... At which point, the remainder of humanity NOPED the fuck out and are now chilling on the moon. Honestly... perfectly reasonable response at this point.

Alright, let’s jump ahead 192 years. Pfft... Those quaint soft reboots doing a century timeskip to get a clean slate.

5204 A.D. Humanity launched its counterattack, deploying an army of androids from a network of orbiting bases. But after more than a dozen large-scale descents upon the enemy, we still haven’t managed to repel the invaders.

So this line is key and something they kind of glaze past. There’s an intro to the game. Much like in the original NieR or Drakengard 3, it’s spoilery as shit! Like 90% of it is from the back quarter of the game. But it does have one key bit of info... When they’re talking about these “over a dozen large-scale descents”. That wasn’t individual combat drops, like the Factory mission.

This is the middle of the 14th full-scale war humanity and its androids have waged retaking Earth from the machines. The current year is 11945 AD. If you need to crunch some numbers real quick. That makes it:

9942 Years since Caim and Angelus performed a trans-dimensional abortion and were blown-up over the skies of downtown Tokyo.
8579 Years since the original NieR concluded.
6933 Years since the Aliens initially invaded.
6741 Years since the androids attempted their first counter-attack.

This ain’t going great, huh...?

That is why you, the YoRHa forces, exist: To break the stalemate once and for all.

You are our ultimate weapon... and you must put an end to this war.

Understood, sir.
I wish you good hunting.

And thus concludes today’s briefing with the Council of Humanity, live from the moon to its newest Special Forces army: YoRHa. What does YoRHa stand for, you ask? I mean... isn’t it obvious? No...? Tch... Well... Fine. I suppose it’s OK to spoil it early. Warning you though: This is a game changer. Read at your own risk...

Yo REAL HOT androids.

But that’s enough about an endless proxy-war between extra-terrestrials and moon humans. Let’s move onto something completely different.

New Music: Fortress of Lies

First, you’ll want to check your brightness settings.

Err... alright? First of all, 9S, you’ve gone text only on me. We’re still in the prologue. We cannot go full dialog boxes yet. Secondly... can’t do anything.

...Still nothing, my dude. And what are you recording, exactly?

Okay, I found the guide! If you can just follow that, it’ll make things easier.

Huh...? Oh, I have to hit the frikkin’ D-Pad? I was using the control stick. That’s dumb. Both should work in menus...

Alright. Fine... ugh. I hate setting brightness by these icons. It’s always just slightly too bright or too dark, despite the recommendation.

Okay? Probably. I just know we’re going to get to an outdoor area and the colors will all be blown out. But no... no. It’ll do.

Roger that. Oh, and I should probably let you know that this entire process is being recorded for posterity.

Auto-Mode Engage >

Seems your voice recognition is set to mute, which isn’t gonna work. I’m gonna call out to you now—make sure you can hear my voice.

Ma’am? Are you there? Can you hear me?
<manually raising volume level> Uh, hellooo? Go ahead and adjust your settings so you can hear me, all right? Adjust the settings until you can hear my voice. Er, could you try and pick up the pace a little bit? This is getting embarrassing... Ma’am? Are you there? Can you hear me? Uh, helloo—

Alright. My volume is adjusted, 9S. You don’t have to repeat dialogue. I speel my DRINK! And of course I’m taking the embarrassing dialogue option.

Er, hold on. Your self-destruct permissions are missing. Wait a sec, we need to restore those.

Auto-Mode Engage >

...Yeah, uh. I know we blew ourselves up earlier today. But I’m not entirely comfortable with that being a setting. Gonna go ahead and leave that off.

No... No I don’t.

Yeah... you can’t really do that. It needs to be turned on except in very specific cases.

I disagree.

I’m afraid I can’t leave this as-is, ma’am. Please give your permission.

I’m pretty sure 2B outranks you. So naw... Not into it.

Hey, come on now! I’m just trying to follow regulations here.

That how it is, huh? You gonna narc on me? You a cop? You look like a cop...

Hey, come on now! I’m just trying to follow regulations here.

Alright... you’re repeating dialogue. FINE! I’ll put on the damn self-destruction option.

Okay, good. If things go wrong during an op, you may have to sacrifice yourself in order to finish it, sooo... Once you’re finished making adjustments, you can go ahead and close this.

Actually, you know what...? I’m changing my mind. I’m uncomfortable with the self-detonation mechanic. Sounds dumb.

I know no one LIKES the idea of self-destructing. But that’s what regulations call for. Still, I’ll keep it a secret from the Commander.

Hmm... OK. Fine. I’ll put the damn self-destruct on and leave it. Just because I don’t fully trust you yet and think you’ll flip on me immediately if the cops ever pinch you.

We could exit now but ehh... let’s double check the settings and see if... Huh. I knew it. They forgot to turn on the control vibration. I’m not playing an action RPG on keyboard and mouse like an indoctrinated PC-only idiot. Let’s fix this...

I’m gonna tap you on the shoulders, all right?
<minor control vibration>

No. 9S that was my hand vibrating. My shoulder is very much undisturbed. Try it again.

Huh? That’s odd. Everything should be set up correctly. Here, let me try somewhere else. I’m gonna tap you on the arm this time, okay?
<moderate rumble>

No, 9S. Still my hand. Yes, my hands are attached to my arm. But you should specify. Regulations and all.

Huh? Really? Well, if you say so? How about this?
<advanced rumble>

I mean, it rumbled. But you didn’t specify where I ought to feel it. That could have just been a driver fluke...

*exasperated* Are you serious...? You didn’t feel anything just now...? Well then, let’s try something else.
<controller goes nuts for like 10 seconds>
...Well? Hmm... I don’t know what’s causing this, so we’ll need to run some precision diagnostics later. Regardless, that’s the end of the check for now.

Alright then. That’s enough messing with our options menu and fourth wall breaking for one session, eh? Let’s get out of here...

New Music: Fortress of Lies (Vocal)

Ugh... Uhh...

2B quickly puts on her tactical blindfold and climbs out of bed to greet 9S. I can’t believe he’s been doing this whole thing with the blindfold off. What a creeper!

The Commander’s put me in charge of your maintenance, ma’am. That means I’ll be performing regular checks on you from now on.
...I see.
Oh, don’t worry. We 9S models are the best around, you know. Though I suppose we’re not exactly known for our modesty.
Hm? What is it, ma’am?
Stop calling me “ma’am.”
There’s no need to be so formal.
A-All right. If you say so.
Oh, I almost forgot—The Commander was calling for you. We’d better go see what’s up, ma—er, 2B!

Welcome to 2B’s quarters on The Bunker, the YoRHa base of operations. There’s not much to mess with in here right now and we’ll be back later. So let’s head out.

Our next objective of Main Mission: Reboot is to go speak with the Commander, who we briefly saw during the Council of Humanity briefing. She’s hanging out not far from 2B’s apartment. But there’s a couple things on the way.

You can see access points on the close-range map. Be sure to save often!

So these big computer terminals are NieR: Automata’s save points. Just being within the vicinity of one lets us do a Quick Save from the menu. Quick Save is a bit of a misnomer here. It’s the only kind of a real ass save. A manual save from the System menu just lets us change which of the three slots we save our Quick Saves into.

It takes roughly .8 seconds to pop into the menu and tap Quick Save when near these gizmos. You don’t even have to stay in the menu for it to complete. There is NO AUTO-SAVE and this takes ALMOST NO TIME AT ALL to do when in the area. If you fuck up and die, losing hours of progress because you’ve grown into a soft busta over the years, that’s entirely on you!

By manually accessing a Terminal, we can also look-up 2B’s mail. We will periodically receive mail updates that can only be accessed here. These range from Side Quest triggers to rewards to just world building fluff. Also, you can see what time I was playing the game for the LP because E-Mails are sent based on the player’s real time clock. So that’s fun.

Now, we could go seek out the Commander but... hmm... There’s just this one persisting bit of unresolved business that’s lingering in my mind. You see... I went into the options menu while farting around saving and saw the controls. Apparently, clicking both thumb-sticks and holding them on the controller will initiate 2B’s self-destruct system.

Now... I just... Well. We DID just save, right? You’re curious too, aren’t you...? What’s the worst that could happen? We’ve got to reload from 20 seconds ago? C’mon, 2B. Lemme see your Kimahri impression.


Somewhere in the depths of space, the Commander still floats about with a stern look on her face.

...In retrospect, I should have seen that coming.

Video: Episode 6 Highlight Reel