The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 15: Episode XIV: Another Life in the Sands

Episode XIV: Another Life in the Sands

New Music: Memories of Dust

Welcome to the Desert Zone. Yeah... it’s uhh... it’s pretty big. And there’s a lot to cover here. Our first order of business should be discussing transversal of the desert. Unfortunately, we cannot order 9S to plank and ride him like a sleigh down the sand dunes. It’s against YoRHa regulations, you see. With that in mind, you’d think crossing sand would be... problematic considering 2B’s choice of high heels. Granted, the same could be said of rocky canyons or grassy fields or cracked roads. You’d think that, but...

This sand sure is slippery.

As it turns out, 2B suffers zero impediment to her movement speed on sand and can, in fact, do sick slides down sand dunes at speeds slightly above her top dashing speed. She’s an android. She has VERY good motor controls and balancing. Unless it’s an area boundary, 2B will only begin sliding when going down slopes. She can sprint straight up most inclines and keep going without a problem. She’ll only begin sliding if she stops running. I fully appreciate such agility. Especially when playing other games with slope sliding mechanics.

I’m looking at you, Geralt... I’d say the same to Link, but his shattered corpse is currently jutting at odd angles at the bottom of a ravine.

Investigating the machine surge involves venturing to a number of hotspots on the map and rumbling with any machine lifeforms we find poking about. Sounds simple enough. There’s also a Save Terminal blip along the path, which ought to be helpful getting around this massive sandbox.

On to the first hotspot, where we find several masked machines exploding from the ground, ready to throw down. Oh, and also...

K-Kill... Mee...meat...
These machines are... talking.
Yeah, I heard from the Resistance that they’ve been seeing this a lot lately. Couldn’t tell you why, though.

OK, fine. The machines are talking. Engels and friends could talk... kinda. Just the one word. And that machine was an idiot. It’s no big deal. Neither is dealing with the masked machines. Swords wielding ones get a bit feisty with lunging attacks and wide sweeping blows that are faster than what we’ve seen thus far. But, it’s easily managed.

On to the next position. The hotspots make a big sideways U across the desert, with that aforementioned Save Terminal where the U bends. Position #2 holds...

Sssss...cared... Enemy...scary...
Do you think they even understand the concept of being scared?

Not sure about that one, 9S. Maybe one day they could learn to be scared. But for now, they’re fairly fearless. Oh, and some of ‘em have welded a buzzsaw to their chests. Buzzsaw dudes can be quite annoying. Their attacks all involve flailing rapidly in 2B’s direction and if accidentally ran into, they can get a decent combo on her for a good chunk of health. They’re also surprisingly high poise for having such little health, so their flailing is difficult to knock ‘em out of safely.

But, there’s always the tried and true option of just hanging back and shooting ‘em.

Our next stop is one of two Save Terminals in the desert. And this is the only important one, if we’re being honest. I’d hate to have been the androids that had to drag this thing to exact middle of the desert.

At the terminal, we can check the e-mail we received from the Council of Humanity. It’s just a reworded version of the earlier radio broadcast moral booster. But we do learn the League of Assemblymen are the ones doing the broadcast on the behest of the Council of Humanity. Why do I get the feeling all the remaining humans have given themselves several increasingly verbose titles?

Look, Bill the Chef insisted his title be changed to William the Scion of the Culinary Arts and Janitor Tom wants to be called Thomas, the Arbiter of Hygiene when the androids are around, OK?

The terminal’s activation gives us a clearer view of the Desert Zone. Hmm... Yep... yeah, that’s still REALLY big, huh? The western section of the desert is still rather nebulous. But there’s a good reason for that we’ll get to momentarily.

First we’re going to go on a little field trip. The Machine Surge hotspots aren’t going anywhere. Our first destination are the ruins southwest of the save terminal’s position.

There are a few more talking machines in the area. Though, these lines are said by any machines we first encounter roaming the desert. It isn’t just the hotspots that have hostile machines. The desert is just lousy with pockets of angry boys. But they’re not why we’re investigating these definitely not the ruins of Façade.

This is why. In the back of this set of ruins we find an elevator with a rapidly bowing machine in front of it. Unlike most machines we’ve encountered thus far, this one isn’t hostile. Indeed, we can straight up talk to it. So...

You are fortunate enough NOT to be qualified to enter! Oh but how cruel the gods can be, to allow such misfortune to occur! Please, you must get away from here as far as you can! Just standing here will be detrimental to your health, as you will be slowly consumed by rage! There is only one thing I can do for you now! I will... Nay, I MUST self-destruct! This will result in a rain of useful materials. They are yours to keep! One day you will discover the truth, of that I am sure. May you live a long and healthy life!

And then, true to its word, it explodes leaving behind a rain of useful material in the form of... 80G...

This elevator is still locked and up until literally just as I was writing this update, there was absolutely nothing that could be done with this nor any indication of what it was meant to do. It’s now been revealed, this is (one of three) entrances to NieR: Automata’s upcoming DLC. What’s revealed so far is a Battle Arena with some additional cosmetics such as a Kainé outfit for 2B and a young Brother Nier outfit for 9S. And maybe some other stuff.

I’m sure I’ll purchase it and show it off eventually. But considering the content shown included a Level 85 boss, not for some time... Also don’t link to the DLC information just because I briefly talked about it, you dingus. Go to the main Games thread if you wanna talk about that. Sheesh.

Getting back on track. Remember how I said the western part of the desert was still rather nebulous? That’s because there’s a raging sandstorm at the boundary of the desert with winds so strong you’d think they were invisible walls.

There is a way past the sandstorm and land to explore behind it. But that’s beyond the scope of today’s tour.

Continuing eastward from the Apologetic Machine and its locked DLC gate, there are a couple points of interest. To the south through that narrow stretch of land on the mini-map is another save terminal and some other goodies. We’ll get to that in a moment. First, remember that previous update? And the beeping I told you to listen for...?

That beep is an in-world sound. It’s an indicator of a Pod related upgrade. The sound is a high pitched frequency that it’s possible your ears can no longer hear as you age. But the beep does get louder, the closer we get to the tone.

At this point on the map, roughly right between the two save points and the entrance to the area, we find an abandoned Pod. Aww... What happened to this little guy?

Hypothesis: The owner discarded this pod and left it in safe mode. Motives unknown.
Why was it abandoned...? Pod, reactivate it for me. If it’s usable, try to overwrite the original owner with my ID.
Activation complete. Access granted. Previous owner ID successfully overwritten. Special weaponry now available.

2B now has access to TWO pods. Pods can be switched with left or right on the D-Pad. So what does this secondary Pod do, you ask? Well, firing infinite ammo bullets is fine and dandy.

What if instead it shot infinite homing missiles? Now that sounds like a fun time, right? Well that’s exactly what Pod 042B does. The missile volley is fairly good against weaker targets and definitely handy for the bullet shielded ones. It has overall a lot less DPS than the Gatling and is much poorer at stun-locking enemies. But it’s satisfying. Additionally, the second Pod can be equipped with a different Pod Program in the menu (once I go get a second one, at least) that has its own cooldown timer. So it’s quite possible to combo Pod Programs together now.

But wait, there’s more! A sort of undocumented feature it took me about 50% of the way through the game to realize. We can now hold the Pod Program button and it will charge the attack with our second Pod tagging in to do double damage with two blasts from the same Program. It’s a PRETTY good feature to never really tell the player about... Pods are extremely powerful friends.

While we’re in the neighborhood, we may as well hit the secondary Save Terminal in the region. This one is in the southernmost part of the area, right next to an oasis.

Or uhh... make that an oil field. Well, can you really ruin the environment when it’s a barren desert?

Remember how I said 2B could fish in any ankle high liquid we came across? I used the term “liquid” instead of water intentionally, as you totally can go fishing in this oil spill. Though I doubt our Pod enjoys this one as much as a pleasant stream.

We can even get some, uhh... interesting catches in here. Here’s a few examples of what I caught in a brief fishing session...

Just a giant sardine covered in oil. I dunno, I think my cats would probably still eat it.

The machine lifeforms made machine carps. They’re not malicious or anything. They just liked carps.

They did, however, make robot piranha blowfish hybrids. The Alien R&D lab must be an interesting thing to behold. All of these ought to cover the expenses of buying another Pod Program for our Missile Buddy next time we’re in the Resistance Camp.

Before we leave the oil slick save oasis, there is one more item of note in the region. We can climb up the canyon’s perimeter to find a small base camp being staffed by a couple of YoRHa soldiers. What are you jerks doing around here...?

We’re investigating this area.
If we can minimize machine activity in the desert area, we’ll be able to transport the oil safely. It may be unexciting work, but if it can help save even a single ally, I’ll do whatever it takes.
I know we both have serious missions to do, so let’s give it our all.

I just want you all to keep in mind those two are up there. We’ll check back in on their operation in the future. For now, let’s get back to our task of clearing out those hotspots.

Backtracking a ways, the next targeted destination are a set of ruins just north of the central Save Terminal we hit up before going on a field trip. Here we find...

N-no... Stay...away...
What’s with the weird-looking outfits?
I’ve seen that sort of thing when I was going through some old data. It looks like what humans used to wear long ago. Certain human collectives used to use face paint like that, too.

Yeah, well. Not anymore... Bad run in with a Doom Boar. Long story...

The penultimate targeted region is back to the east a decent clip. Machine patrols get somewhat heavier in this direction. But we’re only worried about the one right now.

2B, it’s fine. Their speech doesn’t mean anything. They’re just emitting words at random. If they wanted help, why would they be attacking us?

Alright, that’s a fair point. Kill ‘em all! Flying masked machines have absolutely no difference from the normal ones. They’re a couple levels higher. That’s it. They just shoot orbs.

We’re almost done with the Desert Zone. We have one final destination to the northeast, near an opening in the canyon’s face. Unlike the other areas, there is only a sole machine hanging out.

You picked the WRONG day to go take a stroll alone, buddy.

Unlike the last handful of machines that talked about being scared but fought to the death, this one actually chooses to bug out once its HP falls below 30%. It does this by doing a flying head-butt into the sand and burrowing underground.

Pod 042 doesn’t want this jerk getting away and used its scope view to target him. Our new goal is murdering the shit out of that particular machine. Fuck that guy! Nobody escapes 2B’s wrath.

Our pursuit leads us to the end of the Desert Zone area. Tune in next time...

...for some aggressive real estate brokering. And the first true “what the FUCK?!” NieR: Automata will offer.

Video: Episode 14 Highlight Reel

Desert Machine Lifeform Concept Art – I wonder how many rules there were against cosplay and robots.