The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 20: Episode XIX: A Beautiful Performance

Episode XIX: A Beautiful Performance

New Music: A Beautiful Song
(You should listen to this. It only plays here!)

What the hell?
Our records don’t say anything about a machine like this!

Meet the Mad Songstress, Simone. Simone is named after the French existentialist philosopher and feminist activist Simone de Beauvoir. Indeed, her Japanese name is Beauvoir. They had to change it for western audiences because as it turns out, her estate is still rather litigious regarding referencing her person. She and another character’s name both had to have their titles altered for this reason.

If you’re wondering why they didn’t have to bother with that and similar unsanctioned blatant references made in Japanese media (I’m watching JoJo Part 4 with a friend right now and BOY do those official subtitles alterations get dumb) it’s due to Japanese copyright law regarding names being umm... well. Here’s how it basically works over there: Are you a Japanese corporation? No? Are you at least a Japanese citizen? No? Welp. Go eat a dick. You lose in court. Don’t even bother trying. You will NOT win. So that’s why it’s no holds barred there and stuff needs to be changed in the west, which is much more sue happy and enabling. Now you know why you’re stuck with Worse Company or Simone.

This is one battle where having our Pod firing at all times is an ace idea because Simone is extremely dangerous up close. Her tell for attacks is lifting the bottom of her metal “skirt”. But the attack about to be unleashed isn’t immediately clear. Much like Adam doing glowing particle effects mess in the earlier battle, it is best just to immediately back off as soon as the boss enters an attack phase.

Like any good machine lifeform (or advanced level Shade in days of yore), Simone comes packing orbs. These are a bit different than the usual stock. They fly in an arc towards the ground where they violently explode like a landmine. They’re also accompanied by bells in tune with the music. So that’s fun while frantically running from explosions.

Also underneath Simone’s skirt is an array of powerful laser beams that rotate around the room counter-clockwise as she continues her opera performance for the androids. They move about 2B’s jogging speed. So it’s a matter of playing jump rope or following along continue to fire at Simone.

Also under the Cyber Intoner’s belt is a volley of heat-seeking missiles. 9S tends to be a touch more proactive in running up on Simone if 2B backs off. So he’s nice enough to become the targeted android and eat a half dozen rockets to the face in 2B’s stead. Sidekicks have infinite health. He’ll be fine. At least he’s making himself useful.

One of the more dangerous attacks is blades appearing beneath Simone. Getting remotely near her at ground level is a good way to get 2B’s health grinded to a pulp since the blades will hit multiple times. Simone also opts to rocket around the arena at high speeds targeting the androids. 2B’s perfect dodge spamming can get her out of a tight spot. But it’s a bad scene if ya beef it.

Also in her wide arsenal, Simone’s song produces rings out from her body which both produce massive explosions as they strike the ground and trigger a PTSD response to Drakengard 1 and 3’s final ending. That’s a real fucked up thing to pull out of nowhere in the middle of a boss fight, game.

Finally, outside of exploding orbs we get a standard bullet hell pattern of normal orbs. Sometimes this will cause the camera to shift to an overhead position for a half minute and that’s REALLY annoying since it does NOT help dodge ‘em. It seems to be random whether she goes for that or not.

After dropping down to around 80-75% health, Simone will retreat back to the stage and ready herself for Act 2 of the performance. What does that entail...? Well...

New Music: A Beautiful Song (Chiptune)

Sooooo... this is happening now. Do you feel like playing an overhead shmup? Nope. Tough shit! That’s what’s going down now! If you’re wondering the controls, it’s exactly like a dual-stick shooter. Left stick moves. Right stick aims. Everything else shoots.

Welcome to the Hacking mini-game. We’re being hacked by Simone and need to escape this digital mind prison. The little cursor thing there is our avatar. It can shoot laser blasts. For this unexplained tutorial, we need to blast all the black boxes in the area.

Once all the black boxes have been zapped into oblivion, the shield guarding the black orb in the center is destroyed, allowing our spaceship dealie to blast it as well. Destroying the black orb is the objective of the Hacking mini-game. With it neutralized...

Music: A Beautiful Song

If we take hacking damage, it’ll affect our bodies as well!

*grunts and pants*

Hey, 9S. She’s fine. You can stop feeling her back up. Don’t make us report you to the YoRHa HR department. But more pressingly, though briefly stunned by the failed hacking attempt. Simone seems to be still operational.

Take note that the thing’s actual head is below the body’s “neck” there. See? There’s a little round machine lifeform head. And it looks pissed.

I dunno. A fifteen foot opera singing death bot is a bit mundane for my tastes. Let’s spice it up a notch...

What if we added an audience of crucified flayed android corpses to the mix? That’d kick it up a notch, right? An opera performance is nothing without an audience, after all?

Oh, did I say corpses? Oh well... About that...

Are we seriously being attacked with dead androids?
Wait. I don’t think... 2B! I’m detecting black box signals! They aren’t dead—they’ve been turned into weapons!
All right. This ends now!

We now have to contend with enslaved androids falling from the rafters and causing a ruckus on the battlefield. Having their skin peeled off and bound to rusted girders has reduced all of them to Level 1 and as such, they go down with a couple sword swipes or a few seconds of gunfire.

Offensively, the undead androids have two attacks. A series of ringed projectiles that lazily float and expand in a single direction. And a shockwave type attack that engulfs the entire battlefield. The former can be avoided and the latter can be jumped over. But should they hit 2B...

New Music: A Beautiful Song (Chiptune)

Welcome back to Hacking! For real now!

There’s no shield this time and the black orb is firing back. 2B’s avatar can take three hits before being destroyed and dealing a chunk of damage to our android. There’s also a ten second time limit which will instant fail the hack if it expires.

The objective is still just to destroy the black orb, which only can withstand about a second of continuous fire before exploding. We might see more of the hacking mini-game in the future. A WHOLE FRIKKIN’ LOT MORE!

Music: A Beautiful Song

After enduring a couple minutes of the enslaved androids’ attacks boy a lot of these boss fights are secretly on scripted timers, Simone decides she’s ready for the final act...

I’m going to try to hack it back. Keep it busy!
You got it.

More...beautiful... I must...become...more...beautiful... More... More... MORE...
Alert: Saturation attack triggered by enemy consciousness data. Failure to destroy it quickly may lead to serious damage in memory regions.

Simone is now rather pissed and cranks all of her previous attacks up several notches. Instead of an organized volley of explosive orbs, it’s a chaotic mess peppering the area. Instead of a slow lazy swirl of standard orbs, it’s a slushing whirlwind flooding everything. You might also notice she’s down to 50% HP. A failed hacking attempt damages the one making said attempt. Usually to the tune of around a quarter of their maximum HP. Guess that extends to scripted hacks too. Be careful who you cross on the internet.

The bound androids from earlier are still occasionally dropping in the area and shooting off Hack Beams in 2B’s direction. They’re limited to hanging in the outskirts of the arena. But since the camera is focused on Simone and she’s really going off, it’s easy to accidentally take an off-camera hack by mistake. Best to put those androids out of their misery as soon as they’re spotted.

After taking Simone down to around 33% health, her outer dress, for lack of a better term, erupts into flames. Funnily enough, she doesn’t seem particularly keen on being set on fire.

AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! Someone... someone help! GAAAAH! Uuuuurrrrhhhhgggg...

After frantically attempting to put herself out and screaming in agony a bit, Simone will collapse in a heap and reveal a glowing yellow weak point on the top of her head. I think you can imagine what 2B and 9S ought to do when presented with a pulsating weak spot.

The Mad Songstress is not out of the fight yet. After a good 10-15 seconds of walloping, Simone recovers her senses and begins unleashing bouncy-ball explosive orbs across the battlefield. These are kind of a mess to avoid since they don’t dissipate for a ten seconds and their trajectory is all kinds of random.

Adding to the bounce ball pit, the machine lifeform opera star will saturate the area with random volleys of hacking signals. It’s best just to pull back and let this run its course.

All that aside, there’s also one final trick up Simone’s skirt. And it is err...

A giant Xenomorph dick! Sure, why not? That’s happening now. We should PROBABLY stay the hell away from the snarling butt worm and finish this boss off from afar. Not just because it’s a freaky teethed cybernetic horror coming from under a robotic opera singer’s butt. But because...

It has a one-shot grab attack! Fun fact: While this game doesn’t have auto-save, it does have boss battle checkpoints. In this case, if 2B takes a dirt nap she’d have to start from the point the crucified androids were introduced. No thanks!

If we keep our distance, Simone and her... friend... will be content to just do a shockwave producing butt slam while we rain Pod Programs and gunfire on it from afar.

Every once in a while, Simone Jr. will get antsy and perform a series of lunging bites in 2B’s direction. If they connect, it does hurt quite a bit. But it is just a standard damaging blow. It is NOT the one-shot grab attack. She only does that while stationary. And the bites can be perfect-dodged away from fairly easily.

In any case, that’s a wrap for Simone the Mad Songstress.

Now that we’re in the safety of the Cutscene Zone™ it’s time to bring this fight to a close. Pod 042, time to show your stuff!

Music: ENDS

...Damn Pod. Why didn’t you do that in the first place?

In any case, that concludes the battle against Simone the Mad Songstress. That went pretty well. Other than all the dead tortured androids... I mean... At least there was no rhythm battles!

Video: Episode 19 Highlight Reel
(This is a really rad boss battle. You ought to view it!)

Simone Concept Art – I suppose a 15 foot tall cybernetic opera singer with a belt and headdress adorned with flayed android corpses is one way to top a Dickless Sephiroth.