The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 150: Episode CXLIV: Hail to the King

Episode CXLIV: Hail to the King

Hello! Welcome back to the DLC! We need a break from being mean to Emil. Yes... there may be more being shitty to the Top Boy if we’re going to complete everything. So we’re charging through all this first, so buckle up, kids! Today’s expedition is the Trial of Sand. I hope you’ve remembered all your rules.

Music: Trial of Sand

We are going to return to where we left off here. Trial #2 has a Level 35 recommendation. I actually did most of these trials before the level grinding. They were all pretty doable... until the last one. That was 100% a no go at Level 60~. But we’ll cross that bridge later...

Oh yes “Fight without evading!” Let the trial begin!

You heard the machine. No dodging allowed, 9S.

Music: Birth of a Wish

Much like the no Pod Fire stipulation in the earlier trial, this is more a fight against muscle memory kicking in at appropriate times than the machines themselves. Indeed, just purely relying on Pod Fire and Programs and taking fingers away from the evade triggers makes this a fairly simple ordeal.

As before, there are three waves to contend with here. The first is Small Bipeds and tall turret boys, the latter being the bigger overall threat. Then some sword wielding Medium Bipeds and Flyers come to join the ruckus. And finally a pair of Medium Flyers to round out the match’s final round.

Music: Trial of Sand

Life in the desert takes a toll in ways both large and small. The rules help us cope with hardship. As such, we continue to expand them so that all might ease their daily lives.

Not sure if having to remember and abide by tens of thousands of rules at any given time is going to make life in the desert all that easier. Especially if you imported all of Facade's rules that likely don’t make a lick of sense anymore. You guys don’t even have quicksand around here and there must have been like fifty rules just for that junk. And don’t get me started on bloody wolves...

Ehem... Our rewards for the second trial are more upgrade materials that are fairly common. Titanium Alloy is the only semi-rare outlier.

On to the next trial. We’re jumping up fifteen levels in recommended level this go around. Let’s see what the rules are this time.

Now... begin!

Music: Birth of a Wish

Three minutes to take out everyone and we’re starting with the most obnoxious enemy in the game. Well, that’s fine...

...We did bring the most busted character for a reason. He’s also pretty good at combat too. So that helps. The thing about hacking is that while the hacking infiltration into a unit happens in real time, the actual hacking process is instantaneous. As such, time doesn’t actually pass while performing the hacking mini-game.

This is one of those things where gameplay and cutscenes actually line up, since 9S dinked around in Hacking Space for lengthy stretches of time while we played as him. Meanwhile, all those hacking sessions were done as soon as he was in as far as 2B ever observed.

The point is, if we just have 9S hack everything it’ll take less than a minute for this trial to be sorted out. Not a problem.

In accordance with Rule 61,512, I hereby declare you victorious over the third trial!

Music: Trial of Sand

...Hmm? You wish to know how many rules we have? I heard we broke 124,000 fairly recently. We must learn from the masks of the past and continue to expand upon our rules.

That right? Did you all ever get Rule Zero, the one that lets you ignore any other rule if you vote on it? I’m just asking because I think everyone that knew about that one died later that week to an armored doom pig.

That aside, now these are some nice upgrade materials. It’d be nice if they just dumped all the requirements to upgrade a Pod to full capacity here. But I suppose that’s asking a bit much...

Only jumping up ten levels this time. Here we are getting close to 9S’s current level at the time. But, it’s still easily doable. Let ‘er rip!

Whether in or out of the arena, you must not let your guard down. Now begin!

Night fight!

Music: Birth of a Wish

The stipulation of this fight is that we’re not allowed to turn on our Pod’s flashlight. Doing so will instantly fail the trial. But anything else goes

This may have proven to be somewhat difficult if all machine lifeforms didn’t have bright red glowing eyes that glared at androids at all times during battle. Or the Pod wasn’t capable of producing multiple laser light shows to illuminate the area at all times. Or our enemies exploding in giant fiery wrecks on defeat. What am saying is there’s a decent amount of light sources despite insistence on fighting in the dark...

9S made a shadow buddy for this fight. Spear of the Usurper is really good at instantly turning Goliath Bipeds, which counts as an instant-kill as far as these trials go. So that’s a fun benefit.

Music: Trial of Sand

A bit of history for you: Those who used to live in this land once had to do battle with a great scourge of wolves. The alpha wolf was an old and clever soul, and under his guidance did the pack take many of their lives. No matter what era one lives in, life is an eternal struggle.

It sure is, bud. I hope you all implemented a rule against outdoor weddings. There was this incident once... it went real poorly. Do you guys even... know what a wedding is...? Ah, it’s fine. And thanks for the chips. I think they’re giving us a hint about leveling, but I cannot be sure...

But pfft... Whoever heeds a quest reward offering as a hint to anything? The next trial is only a ten level bump in recommendation. That’s only eight levels above 9S at this point. How bad could it be?

A bit of an unfair rule, I’d say... But BEGIN!

OK. This one could be a bit problematic. We’ve got three waves of Level 70 enemies and we’re not allowed to touch the floor. It’s OK to jump onto nearby platforms but... that’s absolutely no reason to do that. Especially with NieR: Automata’s dodgy platforming quirks. So we’re just going to try to keep 9S’s feet planted firmly where he started and take all challengers from here.

Music: Birth of a Wish

The first wave are some Enhanced Flyers, and Sphere boys of both the drill and axe variety. Enhanced Flyers are nothing. Drill or Axe Spheres could be trouble as they could potentially knock 9S back and off the platform. That said, I already had 9S equipped with chips that resist against knockback. Or more accurate, chain damage (taking multiple hits in a row) that could lead to 9S getting stunned and thus knocked backwards.

The dinosaur-esque Reverse-Jointed Bipeds join the fight in wave 2. Hacking them and getting ‘em out of the way immediately is important because that laser cannon breath attack they have WILL cause 9S to get knocked back if it connects and we don’t want that happening.

The final wave is the most dangerous of the lot since it adds a duo of Enhanced Medium Flyers that come equipped with detachable Suicide Flyers. Suicide Flyers WILL knock 9S back if they blow up near him. The one saving grace is they barely have any HP, even in their Enhanced and eight level head start state. Again, Hacking is real important to taking these out quickly... even if 9S tends to target the segmented parts of the Medium Flyers and not the core unit.

Music: Trial of Sand

It is said that rules exist not to bind us, but so we might know our freedoms. And yet, I somehow feel... constrained by them. Think, then, how our great ancestors must have felt. Think how terrible it must have been for them.

Let me tell you about this thing called “Life in the Sands” and how I don’t have a goddamn iota of sympathy for the common Masked People of old. 10,000 gold for all that work. That fucker...

That aside... these chips would have been helpful before that trial.

The final trial has a recommended level of 80. That is now within the realm of out of our league. But we can at least take a look at it before jumping to our modern day save game. Whatcha got?

Good fighting to you!

Uh... huh...

Music: Birth of a Wish

Welp... Insert a 9S training montage here as he grinds his way to a future victory. And by that, I mean kills that golden rabbit machine 11 times for an hour or so. You could probably make a good training montage to the Amusement Park theme, really.

That’s more like it. Doing this trial properly means abusing long range Pod Programs and Pod Fire. All of the initial wave of enemies have electrified shields, so those need to go immediately since any of ‘em getting so much as a couple feet near 9S will result in him being deader than a Goomba rubbing up against a Tiny Mario.

The second wave adds Enhanced Multi-Leg units to the mix. These can fire out extremely fast blobs of energy orbs. The hard counter to stationary enemies lobbing damaging fireballs is of course the bane of all video game enemies in shooter games since time immemorial – the circle strafe.

The final waves consists of a pair of Enhanced Goliath Bipeds. Both the buff arm and Chun-Li thigh versions of ‘em. The Enhanced Leg model needs to go immediately since its legs are electrified and its primary tactic is just hauling ass in 9S’s direction to shock him with ‘em or unleashing wonky hitbox ground pound attacks. Neither are things we want to contend with here... Luckily, two hacks with our level cap 9S is enough to take down both of these in short order.

As per the stipulations of Rule 65,123, I declare you victorious over the final trial!

Music: Trial of Sand

First, let me bestow upon you this “Sand Mask.”

This is the King of Facade's old mask. It was originally locked in the back of the a Zelda dungeon Barren Temple and locked dungeon chest as proof of defeating the dungeon boss and getting a plot McGuffin to advance to the second half of the main quest kingship by Young Link Sechs, the future King of Facade. I guess someone pilfered it off his corpse after you died fighting Ganon Goose, a Doom Boar.

This cosmetic item can be worn by any of the three androids. But 9S is here and obtained it so... I can’t believe 9S is the new King of Facade. He’d better tread lightly around those Level 99 boars from here on out...

I shall also grant you these clothes. It is said these clothes were worn by the man who destroyed the world. However, as you can see, the world still exists, so I’m sure it is but a mere legend.

We now receive the Destroyer Outfit, an alternate costume for A2 that belonged to post-timeskip Brother Nier. Yeah... that was a mere legend. Everyone knows the guy who destroyed the world was a dad who refused to ever wear a shirt and had kind of a dopey eyepatch.

Sadly, there is no Father Nier alternate costume. His attire doesn’t really fit with any of the characters from this game. So with that knowledge, you can probably guess what costume 2B is going to get...

As the one conqueror of the trials, you have earned the title of “King.” We know not what one is entitled to as “King,” save that the post carries an exceedingly heavy burden. From this day forth, you shall serve as an example to us all. You must follow each rule to the letter so that we might also strive for such perfection. And yet, there may be times where tolerance is required. So let yourself not be bound by rules if such a need arises. For it is said that the people of this land met their end at the hands of their own rules...

So completes the Trial of Sand portion of the DLC. One of three down!

Now that we’ve become the new King of This One Hallway and a Coliseum, all of the masked machines have some new dialog for our triumphant android. Let’s take a quick look.

As is stated in Rule 1,489, the King has to display dignity at all times.
Rule 10,286: The King deserves the most respect of all.
Rule 8... When the King address you... Uh... What are you supposed to do again?

It’s the King! Please protect us! In line with the rules, of course.
Your Majesty! Please become a model for us, as Rule 43,953 dictates.
You have become our King... We welcome your return, as per Rule 30,284.

That’s all well and good, new subjects. Sorry we killed a sizable chunk of you way back when. You really shouldn’t have had that orgy and birthed a Sephiroth... But that said, there’s actually one final bonus trial in this portion of the DLC. If we return to the Receptionist...

This trial is meant to test your true strength as King, so your auto-chips will be disabled. Now show us the power of royalty!

A Special Trial is now available with a recommended Level of 90. Which is conservative since enemies are from Level 90-99.

This trial is an endurance match for five minutes against an absolute clusterfuck of high end enemies. Up to 150 total! There are rewards for this in the form of completely worthless maximum space chips. Although, getting to 150+ kills does unlock...

...The Proof of Oath – a special mask that prevents our androids from earning EXP... obtained after a fighting challenge that you absolutely need to be Level 99 to even come close to earning. There is the old Cavia spirit I remember. I tried this trial once. Made it to all of 57 dudes. And 57 dudes is where my total shall remain now knowing the reward.

Let’s get the hell out of here, 9S. Facade was a silly place. It’s best it remains buried.

Music: ENDS

That concludes our time with the first DLC arena. Tune in next time as we trek into the Fore—

In order to advance through the darkness...

One requires a guiding lifeline.

However, if one lets oneself get too restricted by these chains, one is doomed to lose sight.

Of everything...

Video: Episode 144 Highlight Reel

A2 Brother Nier Costume Render – A2 is willing to change and better herself... like actually wearing pants. The same cannot be said of most androids.

Post-Timeskip Brother Nier Illustration – I have a lot of questions about what’s going on with the limbs area of your costume, Raiden...