The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 11: Episode X: Fishing Lore

Episode X: Fishing Lore

2B #5. Good to have you with us! 2B #4 was a real idiot. Pulled out her own OS brain chip in the middle of the Resistance Camp yard. Just crumpled in a dead heap like a ragdoll. 9S is still kinda freaked out about that one. So just play it cool talking to him...

Speaking of talking to 9S, we can speak with him at any time to alter his combat behavior. At no point is anything besides Balanced necessary and some are downright detrimental.

Balanced – 9S will jump in messing up dudes as soon as 2B initiates combat. He’ll use all tools at his disposal appropriate to his range.
Close-range – 9S will only use melee attacks on all enemies. Or more likely, run around like an idiot chasing enemies or futilely trying to swipe at flying enemies bunny hopping around like a moron.
Long-range – 9S will run away and dump with his Pod on whatever enemy 2B is targeting. This actually isn’t too bad. But he’ll do that when appropriate on Balanced so...
Aggressive – 9S has NO chill and will immediately shoot at and draw aggro of everything in the tristate region even if they aren’t paying the first bit of attention to the androids. Works like Balanced otherwise. Real dumb except in a few specific instances (read: escort mission.)
Cautious – 9S will hang back and only engage with an enemy after 2B has already been wailing on for a while. Full Tails sidekick mode.
Passive – 9S is taking a YoRHa union mandated break and ain’t doing dick unless something attacks him. In which case he’s just going to fall back to light up another smoke and loiter about.

We’ll be keeping this Balanced unless otherwise noted. But enough about that. Let’s head out into the field and get crackin’ with those sidequests.

Now that we’re out in the field, we’re reminded that we should probably check into those access terminals while we’re out in the field if we want more than the one save point. We’ll get right on that, overbearing tutorial prompt.

New Music: Rays of Light (Medium)
(There’s like a half dozen variants of this track and they’re all increasingly good.)

Oh yeah. It was quite the city, 9S. You should have seen it at its height. Massive skyscrapers dotting the land, tall towers with dragons impaled on them, the whole thing covered in magic salt. It was a real spectacle!

2B’s radio beeps and 6O pops into frame.

This is 2B. Nothing to report.
Good to hear. Say, how’s the weather on Earth today? Good?
It’s fine. Does that question have anything to do with our operation?
Not really! I just figured it might feel nice to have some good weather.
Feeling nice has no bearing on completing missions.
Hee hee! That is SO like you, 2B. Anyway, talk to you later!

Yeah, yeah. That’s real nice, 6O. But there’s a more pressing matter...


Yes, fishing has returned in NieR: Automata. Kinda... Personally, knowledge of that before the game’s release might have made my skin crawl. That goddamn trolling fisherman and his dozen sidequests... I’m glad he’s dead... But I digress. Fishing is back in the sequel but it is entirely a non-factor. There are no sidequests involving fishing. No main plot quests either. Indeed, there is zero prompt or reason to ever engage with fishing in this game and seeing it completion. There’s just one achievement/trophy tied to it but it’s not too much trouble.

Mostly because the fishing mini-game has been boiled down to basically nothing. If there is a body of water at least ankle deep, 2B can start fishing in it by holding B/O. This extremely shallow stream is perfectly within acceptable fishing parameters. Fishing is now performed by summoning a hologram chair to chill out on, having 2B point in a direction in the water and Pod 042 hurling itself to that position to commence its fishing runtime program.

The actual details of fishing are as follows: the Pod will float in the water. If he suddenly bobs underwater, we’ve got to press A/X.

Pod 042 will then proceed to catch the fish. Or... whatever the hell this is... But, that’s it! That’s all there is to fishing. Hang out, enjoy the music, press the action button when the Pod moves. Done. No mashing the button to reel the fish in or positioning 2B’s body the appropriate direction. No chatty books scarin’ ‘em away. No upgrading poles or lures or whatever the hell it was, I’ve blocked all of that from my memory and drank away the parts I couldn’t. No advanced level docks next to amateur docks to trip up dumbass game reviewers. That’s it! That’s all there is to fishing!

Is that extremely simple and barely a mini-game? Yep! Do I care? FUCK no. Fishing was MISERABLE in the original game. And if we’re being real, just about ANY game fishing is usually mediocre to actively bad. No, this is not an invitation to list counter arguments of supposedly good fishing mini-games. You’re broken in the brain and in denial just like those idiots who thought Blitzball was a good mini-game.

Catching our first fish (yes it was a fish and I caught two seemingly but not actually identical versions of it) will unlock the Fishing Encyclopedia in the Intel Menu. The achievement for fishing requires 20 different fish to be caught. FISH to be caught. It’s also possible to catch assorted trash during fishing as well. But that’s another story...

Now while fish don’t have any sidequest benefit and are entirely an optional part of the game. They DO occasionally have a mess of world building fluff.

For instance, the notion that androids considered weaponizing tiny fish to screw up machine lifeform circuitry but were shot down by Android PETA lobbyists.

Also, that the machine lifeforms are not just limited to trashcan bots and assorted giant cybernetic monstrosities. They’d also been screwing up the environment by introducing robotic fish into Earth’s ecosystem.

Yes, there’s machine fish out there and they do count in the 20 for the achievement. And BOY is there a lot of lore dumping on some of ‘em...

The third Finding Nemo film will be entirely about coping with the cyber-fish invasion and will be a gritty war drama which eventually leads to the Cars universe in which mankind has fled to the moon and only sentient machines reign. I’ve got this whole 90 minute YouTube video you can consult for this theory and more.

There is one final functionality to caught fish: they’re all vendor trash and the best source of income early in the game. Zone out, put on a podcast, go fishing for an hour and you’ll never want for funds for the entirety of the first playthrough of the game.

But enough about that, let’s get down to business. Our first sidequest takes us back to the open field we first encountered when arriving in the city ruins. All we have to do is bust up a trio of machine lifeforms rolling around -- two small boys and a single bigun’. We could just run over there and smash ‘em. But...

Fuckin’ bushes!

But... we did buy that Satchel soaked in moose mess or however it functions. Moose will no longer take off running immediately. They can still randomly decide they’re into androids and gore 2B. That’s where the second step comes in...

Let’s just toss down some tasty animal... cubes... for our moose friend and let one of them chow down. And just like that, as soon as it starts feasting on some cubes, it is now fully tamed!

Subjugation Complete. We are now the Moose Master. It’s time to retake earth.

Did you know moose have MAD ups? It’s true. A moose has a ten foot vertical leap. Under the tutelage of the wise androids, a moose can reach its full potential and easily bound atop a speeding bus if it so desired.

But the thing we really want a moose for is its charge which, at all points in the game, will be an extremely powerful technique that will one-shot most smaller enemies and do considerable damage to larger boys with basically no penalties because NOTHING stops a moose’s charge other than releasing the charge button or casting it down a deep enough chasm to kill it. Remember, beasts such as moose are the only enemy that levels up alongside our player character. They’re always deadly when available.

After our brutal moose based assassinations, all we have to do is run around and scoop up the remains for the Supply Trader’s Request. They’re all guaranteed drops. As stated early, sidequests are thankfully not at the whims of RNG. Just upgrading junk if you’re a masochist. And even with sidequests involving material collections, it’s not mandatory to go kill these particular enemies. If 2B has scooped up the necessary junk (since all that junk is already common drops for enemies in the area) she can just instantly turn it all in. Which I appreciate.

Man, these chores are a real pain in the butt, huh?
The Resistance is a valuable ally to YoRHa. By helping them, we also help ourselves. So no, I don’t think they’re a pain.
Yeah, yeah...

Remember how the Strange Resistance Woman mentioned save terminals were disguised as old vending machines? Well, either these machines have a bag of Doritos jammed up in there and have lost their collective shit. Or more likely, this is one of those aforementioned terminals.

We’ve just got to clear out those machines and we’re left with a really ratty looking rusted vending machine with a single bag of 10,000 year old Doritos, a couple things of sour cream and onion chips, and probably like... mediocre no-name brand cookies in the blue bag.

The actual purpose of activating these terminals is to basically expand our cell phone save data coverage in the city area. Everything within the white circles on the map is capable of quick saving the game at any time, even in the middle of battle.

There’s another terminal a few blocks ahead we can grab while touring the area to expand coverage further. There’s yet another one at the edge of the city we’ll get another time. Really, other than a dead zone hole in the central part of the city and near the transition zones to other areas (which all have a save terminal just as you enter the area) we’ve got fairly comprehensive coverage when traveling through the central hub of the game. Which makes the “aww shucks I forgot to save ever and lost progress” whining ring even more hollow than usual because we’ll be passing through this area literally a hundred times by the game’s end. You’re just a negligent dumbass if that happens.

The second side quest in this area takes us back past the Resistance Camp, following the stream down the ruined street until we reach a rather large tree leading into an open, somewhat less damp field.

New Music: Rays of Light (Battle)

This is the place that weapons trader was talking about... Uh oh. I’m picking up hostile machine lifeforms.

Unlike the earlier encounter when we had the noble moose’s aid, the bots here are a wee bit more fearsome and are ready to rumble with sick cyber-battle axes. I feel like the giant fuck-off axe is an underutilized armament in rumbles.

Axe Bots attack exactly how you’d expect. It’s all giant overhead lunging swings and wide sweeps with big wind-ups. So much as the slightest thought of hitting evade will cause 2B to effortlessly dodge any of these hits. But they can do a decent amount of damage if such measures fail.

These fellows, being Level 6 as opposed to the 1-3 we’d been facing, are stouter stuff than earlier enemies. But offensive tactics haven’t changed a lot. Pod laser blasts still sends machine lifeforms rocketing on their ass, regardless of battle axe.

One nice thing about 9S’s AI is he will actually draw aggro with his attacks rather than be just a minor nuisance the AI ignores. There were AI partners in the original NIER and they may as well have not existed for as little notice any of the Shades took of them usually. The ally AI is just good enough in this so you’ll notice they are, in fact, contributing to battles a bit without outright stealing kills. It’s decent stuff!

There are three axe wielding machine lifeforms in all. Though none of them drop the desired materials for this sidequest. When given “yo I need 5 sheep pelts” type quests, the game will either spawn enemies with guaranteed drops for what we need or spawn guaranteed drops guarded by hostile machines. The latter is just slightly more irritating because it means circling the target area finding the spawn points.

Earlier I mentioned the body collection mechanic. I’ll show it off on our side later when there’s enemies worthy of 2B potentially taking a dirt nap against. But here’s the side we’ll mostly be seeing: other player’s corpses. Someone named “Forteces” died here during this side quest and here’s what’s left of their version of 2B. We can interact with their corpse here and there’s a couple options available.

If we click on the corpse, we’re given a couple options along with the android’s death epitaph. Death messages are something we can customize. I’ll need to show that off later. It is a... robust list of permutations. Honestly, I think this might be a default one. Lazy jerk.

Death message aside, we have two options: Retrieve and Repair. There’s actually a third option only on PS4 and I have no idea why it’s disabled on PC “Pray”. The options do the following:

Retrieve – 2B temporarily gains 3 random effects based on the chips the player had equipped when they died. Plus more or less a full heal and a small handful of money. It’s a minute or so long buff. It’s PROBABLY what you’re going to be doing most of the time with player corpses since you can get some REALLY GOOD, well above your pay grade level buffs out of them.
Repair – The dead player’s corpse is converted into a ghoulish revenant AI partner that will assist in battle for a few minutes using whatever weapon the player died with. This can be fairly useful if combat is certain (the AI is really bad at following 2B across long distances and doesn’t teleport like 9S will.)
Pray (PS4 Only) – The other player will receive free healing and a random item next time they retrieve a corpse. No idea why it doesn’t exist on PC. Apparently they just folded the Retrieve/Pray options together on that platform (you always get healing as opposed to only getting it if someone Prays first.)

In this instance, since the battle is already concluded, I’ll retrieve the corpse. Which in this case nets 2B Melee Defense (take a punch better) Overclock (turn Perfect Evade into literally Bayonetta Witch Time with time slowdown) and Max HP (guess...)

See on the HUD’s top left under the life bars next to 2B’s current level there’s a little computer chip icon? As long as that’s on the HUD, 2B retains her temporary buff. I wish there was an actual timer attached to it but hey... I guess it’s better than nothing.

2B collects the four Complex Gadgets...

Plant life has claimed most of the central area... Big plants, too.
Report: Records show that vegetation has grown to an abnormal size since the departure of humans.
Hmm. Wonder if there are any huge boars and such too?

9S PLEASE! We’ve just come to grips with the moose menace. We cannot tackle the boar barons this same day... But what we can do is head back to camp as we’re done with our sidequests.

One kind of shitty thing with the level design of NieR: Automata is it is kinda lousy with unlikely invisible walls. Early on there are just streets with Resistance built barriers built. You see this half-assed barbed wire fence? Totally impregnable. That clearly open clearing in the wall? Invisible wall. Meh...

Music: Peaceful Sleep

Whatever. It’s a bummer. But it’s not hard to make our way back to the camp. At this point, we may as well turn in all our quests.

Now I can start upgrading and crafting items for you.
I imagine you can spare a few of these supplies to fix your leg?
Yeaaaaah... no.
Why don’t you tell us what’s really going on.
See, it’s my left leg that’s all busted up. And my left leg is the one that’s fully original. I’ve repaired this ol’ body of mine a hundred times over during this war. I’ve swapped parts in and out so many times I can’t even keep track. But this leg? This left leg? It’s never been touched. So if I go and replace that, what happens? I mean, would I even be ME anymore? Or would I just...
Anyway, it’s my own problem. Didn’t mean to trouble you with it. I should be getting more inventory soon, so swing by when you can.

And so we complete our first sidequest with the Supply Trader of Theseus. Unlike the first NIER, most all sidequest have OK rewards. There’s no Life in the Sands where you devote two hours of your life to getting a total fucking third of the reward we just got. You MOTHERFUCKERS, CAVIA!

Completed quests also get an outro blurb in the menu status screen. I’ll not be consulting those in the future. We’ll get MOST of the gist of a quest’s end rather bluntly here on out. But here’s just an example of the text.

Upon talking to the merchant in question, he now sells Plug-in Chips. We’ll go ahead and take a Max HP UP chip as an example for this system. This eats up 11 Chip Slots total, as you can see for 5% more HP. We’ve got 9 slots left to work with in the future without altering anything... We’ll see how that turns out down the line...

In the meantime, let’s check out the other merchant and his sidequest...

Well, how do you like that? Looks like I’m back in business!
Good to hear!
You know it! I make these weapons to keep my friends safe, after all. Although sometimes I wonder... What if my weapons are just making my friends die all the faster?
Ah, never mind. Forget I said anything. Anyway, come back in a little while, all right? I should have some new gear for you then.

Occasionally, sidequests in this game are “Reported” instead of “Completed.” Usually, this means we need to piss off out of the area to trigger the next leg of the quest. But in some cases, like this one... It just means we need to talk to the dude again...

I wanted to say thanks for helping me get things up and running again, so I whipped up some upgrade materials.

Some crystals, dead endangered animal skins, and literal garbage... Plus 5,000 G. Thanks, I suppose?

Completing this side quest does unlock the first Weapon Trader merchant and the ability to upgrade weapons. And it just so happens the side quest’s payout is exactly the materials we need to boost Virtuous Contract to Level 2! Which has an upgrade that ain’t at all anything to sneeze at overall...

On that note, beyond Amber, a common drop everywhere in the City Ruins I’d picked up just dicking around, everything else is not even touched upon in upgrade materials...

Beyond that, the weapon merchant now sells three blades... Beastbane...

Ancient Overlord...

And Beastlord... We can afford one of these with our current war funds...

Beastlord IS the one that was featured in most promotional materials and concept art for 2B in NieR Automata. Who am I to reject that? Fine... Let’s go with that one... After all, it is a returning weapon from NIER 1. Indeed, it was Papa Nier’s concept art/first upgrade sword as well... It’s weapon story back in 2010 was...

Beastlord posted:

Once upon a time there were three brothers in a kingdom. The eldest of the three was the ruling king of the country. The king was very cruel and feared by everyone.

The king chose a sacrifice from the people every day and executed them. Today he decapitated a mother in front of her family. The mother’s head rolled about three times, and fell beside her killed son’s head. Oh my, how unfortunate. The king saw that and laughed a disgusting laugh. “Gehehe…”

One day, the king became sick. It was a disease that made his body rot while he was still alive. Dragging his rotting body along, the king continued his executions. His advisors did not defy him, and continued executions day after day after day after day.

Finally the king rotted and died while giving off a very disgusting smell the king rotted and died but the advisors continued the executions in front of the king and killed them every day the rotten king and the rotten advisors and the rotten people and the rottenrottenyour

But that’s ancient history. This incarnation of the big-ass sword now tops out with...

Well, that sure took a turn towards the end... Tame end of Weapon Histories ends here...

Hey, so where do you get these older weapon models from?
Oh, the lady who owns the place sends ‘em over every once in a while. Her name’s Accord, and she’s the proprietor of this here business. I just tend to customers and keep all the repair devices humming. I only see her every few years, to be honest. She mostly just uses delivery drones to drop things off. I don’t know where she gets this stuff, but most if it’s in pretty good condition! Say, if you ever happen to run into her, say hello for me, all right?


WAIT A GODDAMN MINUTE, CHIEF! ACCORD? The Accord from Drakengard 3? That Accord? Let’s back up here a minute...

Accord was a character from Drakengard 3. She was a really weird fourth wall breaking apparent time traveler librarian type girl that had apparently read that game’s entire script and got to be really annoyed the characters in it kept fucking up and having bad endings. In the end, she sacrificed herself for... another goddamn Rhythm Battle end game to settle things in Drakengard 3’s weird ass multi-verse timelines.

Also, she was a fucking android. One of many, tasked with fixing the fucked timelines of the Drakengard universe. Which was a really big non-sequitur until you realized Drakengard 3’s final ending was a backdoor callout to a NIER sequel. So... NONE of that matters in this game. There is a character in Drakengard 3. She had had a big interest in fixing timelines but primarily she dug weapons from Yoko Taro’s past games and is reselling them in the new ones in a weird meta thing.

Don’t worry about it. Accord never actually appears in this game. She’s just referenced a few times as a weird blatant Drakengard 3 reference. The Time Traveling/Inter-Dimensional Androids of that game are not a factor in this game’s plot. Who the fuck knows what that’s about overall...

In any case, that’s a wrap for the first of dumb sidequest in NieR: Automata and the first of our big oversized weapon cache. Tune in next time in which... actually, it’s more early game sidequests and then everything gets REALLY fucked... Stay tuned...

Video: Episode 10 Highlight Reel

BONUS: Secret Technique. Do not share. Classified!