The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 144: Episode CXXXVIII: 3C3C1D119440927

Episode CXXXVIII: 3C3C1D119440927

Music: Memories of Dust

So we covered the post-game unlocks of NieR: Automata. Or... whatever you’d call them. Today we’re going to begin taking a look at the DLC of NieR: Automata... Remember: This is the Post Game. A realm outside the narrative where time is convoluted and simpler from where we left off at Route C’s conclusion. 9S isn’t on a murderous rampage with encroaching insanity and viral infection. 2B can be alive again and well again. And A2 err... well, A2 is still kind of still a dumbass murder hobo. She’s not dead anymore! So that’s nice!

Square-Enix pretty much was working under the assumption that NieR: Automata would sell fuck all like every Yoko Taro... and let’s be real, PlatinumGames title. Whoops! Turns out it was surprisingly popular and reviewed quite well! Caught off guard, the powers that be quickly scooped up some loose pocket change from the tail end of the fiscal quarter and a few months later 3C3C1D119440927 was released for $13.99 USD which is err... kinda steep, considering what it is... But we’ll get to that.

We actually encountered the first hooks to the Automata DLC way back in early Route B when we received a gibberish set of numbers in an email with no address. This unlocked a quest titled Mysterious Letter that has annoyingly been leaving three quest marks on the map forever until we went and checked out the DLC.

But even before that, way back in Route A we encountered the Apologetic Machines who profusely apologized about elevators we could not yet access (and these guys did indeed exist in the base game on launch.) They then exploded. As you do.

The first of these we saw was over in the Desert Zone in the southwestern corner of the area. Returning now with the DLC activated, the Apologetic Machine has been replaced with a lone torch wielding Masked Machine. Unlike near every single other Facade cosplayer machine we’ve encountered in the game, this one is not hostile. Let’s see what it has to say...

Then enter and be welcome.

Well alright, then. Cramming into a weird elevator has never done us wrong in this adventure, right? I mean other than the vomiting zombie outbreak basement. And the Copied City. And the Lunar Tear field of infinite depressing scenes. And the cult murder-suicide pact... But other than th—oh wait the entirety of Route C’s end counts too, doesn’t it? OK. Well other than ALL THAT, elevators have been... fine.

Look, we’re going down... Deal with it.

DLC Music: Trial of Sand

...Green fire torches is never a good sign.

But fear not. All the machines here are friendly...ish. At least they’ll talk to our android if we approach ‘em. They have something unique to say. Hey, remember Facade from the original game and all its rules business...? WELL...

So you’re taking the trials then? In accordance with Rule 29,450, I wish you good luck.
I’ve tried my luck at the trials at least 100 times now, but I haven’t been able to clear a single one of them!
Rules are everything here. As long as you abide, you’ll be fine.
Rule 21... Always return a greeting...
Rule 30,225: Respect must be paid to those undertaking the trials.
Pursuant to Rule 24,389, we shall bear witness to the trials.
Rule 31,564 demands that you stay quiet during the trials.

So if you couldn’t guess, this is an arena. One of three, in fact, that are part of the NieR: Automata’s DLC. The original NieR also had a similar kind of DLC. It was less arenas and more weird challenge maps where you played as Brother Nier (or his character model at least) who was meant to be Papa Nier in his younger bishonen days. Guy aged like shit! There was a bunch of weird gimmicks like a FPS section and side scrolling platformer and whatnot.

These arenas too have gimmicks specific to each. But we’ll let them explain themselves. Let’s talk to the machine at the end of the hall to find out...

As per Rule 2,858, I will now provide a more thorough explanation. In this place, we select the True Masked One. In order to become the True Masked One, six trials must be overcome. If you possess the will to continue, register yourself at the reception area. Do you wish to challenge the trials?

So begins the Trial of Sand DLC sidequest. In case you’re wondering, these do not count toward the total completion percentage of the game even if they’re listed under the same business. They are counted as their own separate thing. Also, if you were wondering further it’s possible to do this arena with 2B or A2. Same goes for one other arena. But there is one that only 9S can do for reasons you’ll see in Hackerman’s future.

You are not allowed to use items in this arena, so keep your hands where I can see them! Per Rule 60,513, I shall accept your request to challenge the trial.
<Hear the rules.>

You must begin at the first trial. Once completed, you will be permitted to attempt the second. Once you complete the second trial, you will be permitted to attempt the third... And so forth. This hereby completes the explanation as required by Rule 2,858.

So the Trial of Sand’s gimmick for its arena is that certain rules are in place for each round. They go from just “don’t use this, idiot” to uhh... a bit much... But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Each trial has a suggested level to attempt it. The first one is Level 25 which means... we’re going to obliterate this. I think the idea was to regularly come back to challenge these but... nobody in the history of RPGs has done anything but grind out the entire arena in one go so... That’s not a great way to do it.

Anyway, let’s make a go of this first trial and wrap-up our intro to the Trial of Sand arena.

Fight with fairness and honor. Now begin!

Music: Birth of a Wish

They’re nice enough to specify what the rule here means. No Pod use of any kind! That means Pod Fire and Pod Programs are out the door. Now unlike items, which are disabled completely, we can still use our Pod. It will just instantly fail the trial. There’s no penalty for failing. We’ll just have to try again.

Given we are challenging Level 25 enemies at Level 62 this is just a matter of mashing melee and keeping our finger entirely away from the Pod Fire/Program buttons. I have those mapped right next to each other on the same side so that’s not a problem. Just put my fingers awkwardly hovering away for the duration.

Each trial in this arena consists of three rounds. The first round is against just some BS stubbies and medium bipeds. Round 2 is against a duo of Goliath Bipeds. Ironically, 9S is currently equipped with Spear of the Usurper upgraded to Level 4 which has the special ability “Turncoat” which auto-hacks enemies and converts them into allies on critical strike. Whoops...

Whoops guys! This Goliath Biped is suddenly helping me and refusing to fight against this final wave. That’s real weird. I didn’t ask him to do that. There’s nothing about that in the rule book? Nope? Welp, looks like you lads better get cracking. After we’re done here... There’s gotta be a rule against making rules mid-trial.

All in a day’s work. A hard fought victory won ENTIRELY on the merits of 9S’s personal strength. Right, new buddy?

Music: Trial of Sand

For completing the first trial, we receive a whole mess of buff items we cannot use in the arena and I’ll definitely never use outside it either. Thanks...? Though honestly, the most important reward comes afterwards... Lore, of course!

Long ago, it is said, this land was a great kingdom inhabited by a people who wore such masks. In an attempt to better understand our ancient predecessors, we have chosen to emulate their ways.

Yeah, my dude... That’s called a cargo cult. You should go look that up. It’s a real interesting phenomenon. Anyway, that’s it for an intro to the Trial of Sand. We’re gonna hit up each individual arena for a primer and then come back at Level 99 to finish them because... trials all jump from Level 60 recommended to Level 80 and then 99 so WELP! Plus the rest of the Post Game content is Level 99 encounters so... No one stops!

Video: Episode 138 Highlight Reel

Desert Underground Concept Art – So a Facade sports team would certainly have their cheer be “Facade Rules!” right?