Part 36: Episode XXXV: Games Are ArtEpisode XXXV: Games Are Art
That concludes our business in the Machine Village for now. Though were not quite done with our journey into sidequests just yet. Dont worry, were getting back to the main plot in a couple updates. The alternative is we cram everything until after the Forest Kingdom arc, as the story beat following that its a point of no return in which half the available early quests all fail at once.
Music: Amusement Park (Quiet)
An eagle eyed observer might have noticed during Jean-Pauls Melancholy that a few ??? red dots appeared on the map over by the Amusement Park. Were going to go check a couple of those out today.
The first one is on the route between Pascals Village and the Amusement Park. Theres really no reason to head through here again once Fast Travel is unlocked. Despite that, a new machine has decided to camp out at the mid-way point between the two locations. Again, locked onto the 2D zoomed out plane, its difficult to see what this machine looks like up close. So lets cheat a bit.
Meet the Scientist Machine. You can tell hes a scientist from the painted on spectacles and white lab coat. Very official. Good to see Dr. Kleiner still getting work after Half-Life fizzled out. Anyway, lets see what this machines story is...
Quite! Im sure of it. Yes yes. After all, I am the genius whose very name makes the earth itself tremble! Coming to me for advice proves a keen mind and stout heart! Yes. Why, if you invest but a little in my efforts, I shall provide you with all the desires of your imagining! Well then? Care you to invest in my lifes work?
Im suddenly filled with far less confidence in this guys acclaimed accomplishments. Not sure what thats all about...
And just between you and I, know that if you provide enough of an investment, Ill be able to provide certain... dividends in return.
Were now given the opportunity of a lifetime to invest in the scientific research of the Scientist Machine. This sounds on the level. I mean, science is right there in his name. Hes got to be an authority in the field.
Here, have 10G! No need to thank us. Weve dabbled in the name of science before...
However, I yet lack the budget I require, and so am unable to provide the promised material dividends. Do let me know if you find another opportunity for us to do business together! Yes yes!
Half-wit Inventor is less a quest and more of a gigantic money sink. Granted, it does have a lot of really good rewards and some... interesting... developments as we burn more money funding Scientist Machines scientific endeavors (The Adam Administration has REALLY cut back on spending in this sector.) But were not going to be completing this quest anytime soon as the required funds are well beyond our poverty line. But weve got a good 31k G saved up in the coffers. I suppose we can spare a bit more now.
Im uncertain why they provided all these incremental funding options when there are distinct thresholds weve got to pass in order to advance the quest. 1000G is the bare minimum to get anything more than gratitude and an immediate request for additional funds. So fine. We can spare a grand.
I look forward to a fruitful working relationship in the future! Quite!
Oh geez, nobody told us wed have extended wait periods for the sidequest here. Well, at least in this case its a hiatus from the eternal machine war and not a few weeks out at sea fishing while weve got a sick daughter at home.
Meeting the first Machine Scientist Kickstarter stretch goal, the Scientist Machine forks over the first payout: Copper Ore, a Rusted Clump and a Broken Circuit. Hmm... Not sure if that was worth a grand considering most of that could have been gotten from just flipping out and murdering a small crowd of standard machine lifeforms.
But, just because weve reached the first goal doesnt mean the pursuit of money in order to fund the pursuit of scientific advancements is on hold. I suppose we can invest another 2000 G to reach the second quest goal and take another two day vacation playing tag with machine kids or whatever the heck 2B and 9S do on work leave those couple days.
We could afford the next couple of quest goals now 5000 G and 10000 G respectively but... money isnt extraordinarily abundant in the early part of NieR: Automata and I dont want to burn through all of our savings just yet. Later in the game, our androids could easy build a Scrooge McDuck style money vault filled with G in very short order and well be able to fund this quest to completion to the tune of about 180,000 G total. So for now, well let this quest hang and decline to invest any further.
...Pardon? You accuse me of clicking my tongue in your general direction? Horrors! I would not! I would NEVER! I, after all, am nothing without you. Is this not true?
Well be back to fund the Half-wit Inventor later on down the road. Lets head to the Amusement Park proper and pick up the solitary quest available on the park grounds.
Music: Amusement Park (Vocal)
Appropriately enough, this next sidequest is initiated from the ticket booth at the parks western entrance. Whats your deal, robot clown?
Heres your stamp card. If you collect all the stamps, youll win a free prize!
Alright... Collecting stamps. Do we get a free meatball sub if we get em all? I could go for one of those. Ive got to stop writing these updates before I eat a meal. I dont even think theres any sandwich joints open at this hour...
And just between you and me, I hear that the prizes are more than just freetheyre DELUXE! Off you go then. Good luck, and have fun!
So begins our next quest and the remainder of this update. Stamp Collecting. The actual gameplay of this quest is rather dull. However, its content more than makes up for it...
There are ten stamps hidden in the Amusement Park grounds. Some are drops that have now appeared in the world. Some are provided by NPCs that have willed themselves into existence to fulfill the cosmic duty of becoming sidequest components. None of them are particularly difficult to locate. Its just a matter of going to the hotspot on the map and finding the clearly new bit of business in the area.
For instance, theres now a drop at the feet of the golden bunny statue in the Amusement Parks main square. Well just go ahead and nab that off the ground. The bunny has nothing to do with this... Right...
Does the bunny have anything to do with this...?
...No. The bunny has nothing to do with this. Just the stamp. Pod 042 has an important interjection as soon as we obtain it.
It is advisable to recover as many of these collectible items as possible. Proposal: Imprint the stamp upon the card.
You mean stamp it?
Pod 042 doesnt seem to pick-up on 2Bs response. Or maybe its incapable of doing so. We really dont know a lot about the Pods AI capabilities, now do we?
The next stamp is in the back alley leading to the rooftop approach into the forest heading towards the Machine Village (the one where we found the android corpse and the music box earlier.) Here we now find a pissed machine that is just silently raging and shaking its fists in the air.
YOU SHOULD DIE! ALL OF YOU SHOULD DIE! AND THIS GODDAMN STAMP SHOULD DIE TOO!
<ANGRILY GIVES STAMP>
Thanks, Alex Jones machine. Please dont attempt to rip your shirt off, despite your fury. Its painted onto your body. You cannot remove it without tearing off your torso. Just throwing that out there.
On the main street approach to the Amusement Park castle, another new machine has appeared in a balcony. Its assuming the same position as the Apologetic Machine from the Desert Zone. I bet its got a stamp too...
One stamp, comin up! Oh yeah, I love stamps. Lets do this thing!
<Slams a stamp>
Its always good to be enthusiastic about your work. Thats four stamps down. Were getting there...
Music: Amusement Park (Quiet)
Next up is dimly lit side street to the south that begins the approach towards the Party Tank and roller coaster detour we had to take to gain access to the Simone boss battle. Instead of taking the alleyway in that direction, we can instead take the stairs in the back of the street and discover yet another newly placed oddball clown machine.
Fine... Ill stamp it with m-m-my tears! Waaaaaah!
<Sobs a stamp>
Whatever, my dude. As long as you dont make the ink run. YoRHa dry-cleaning costs an arm and a leg. As you literally need to be broken down into component parts and reassembled in a new body. Its a whole thing.
Retracing our steps towards the roller coaster, we took a right to reach the broken down whirligig ride area. But if we take a LEFT, we discover a couple more machines. One is crouched behind some crates. It has actually always been here. We just hadnt talked to em. Until now...
Dont look at me! Dont come closer!
...OK? No, theres not anything more to that machine. Its just extremely sketchy and taking the worlds longest break. As in it will be there breaking until the very end of the game. Far beyond any reasonable time a machine should still be taking a break. Breaking aside, the machine at the end of this alley is new. Lets see if it possesses a stamp...
Here... Take it... Eh heh heh heh...
<Creepily slides a stamp over>
...Why is this stamp all moist? And how come it smells like paint thinner. You know what? I dont wanna know. Weve half way there. Lets move on.
Stamp #6 has been discarded on the base of the broken down amusement ride. Nothing much more to say about that. After its picked up, we need to platform back over to the designated Party Tank lot.
The Party Tank is still going at it partying strong. Its never too early to start partying. Especially when the earth has become tidally locked and its impossible to tell what time it is without mechanical aid.
Well let the Party Tank do its thing and obtain the next stamp which has been left on the roller coaster platform. Its worth mentioning that the roller coaster will return if we go further down the track. 2B and 9S can ride it again. This time itll make a complete pass around the entire park, instead of the androids jumping off towards the end. Theres nothing to be done there besides fighting the same enemies as the earlier ride. Looks neat though!
Were almost there. On the bridge to the Amusement Part castle, another new machine has spawned. Cough up the stamp along with your weird personality trait, my dude.
A stamp? Sure! Ill stamp whatever you want! Aaaaah ha ha ha!
<Chuckles out a stamp>
Cool beans. Only two stamps left and they both seem to be located within the castle. The first is located back in the former boss arena of Simone. Im going to link the relevant portion of the highlight video below. Maybe just click that and watch. Its entirely the reason why this quest is really good...
Video: A Machine Lifeform Production
A machine runs onto the scene from the right...
A machine runs onto the stage from the left...
Another machine runs onto the stage from the right...
Yet another machine runs onto the stage from the left...
ANOTHER machine enters from the right...
Romeo 3 enters from the left...
Romeo 1-3 and Juliet 1-3s eyes all light up red and they rush one another.
Music: Song of the Ancients ~ Atonement
<punching> I shall make thee regret the day of thy biiiirth!
<punching back> I shall make thee taste dirt!
<roundhouse kicking> Destroy!
<getting roundhouse kicked> Owwwww! Aaaah!
<uppercutting> Ill kill thee!
One of the Romeo machines is destroyed in the brawl.
Down goes a Juliet bot.
Another Romeo is scrapped.
Juliet 2 is retired. Only Romeo 3 and Juliet 3 remain.
In the end, Juliet 3 is the last machine standing in this tragedy. She takes center stage after Romeo 3 is annihilated.
<outstretches arms and rotates upper torso 360 degrees> I must join them anon!
A solitary Receptionist Machine dashes in front of the stage.
Please watch your step as you exit. If youd like to have your card stamped, please come this way.
Music: Amusement Park (Quiet)
Oh... I love legitimate theater. That was a beautiful thing we just saw. We can go speak with the Receptionist to get our stamp and continue the quest. But there are other machine lifeforms in the audience today. Lets get their take on the show first, eh?
Wait! Its all starting to make sense now!!
I havent been this deeply moved by anything before! Im going to go home and tell all my friends!
I mean thats one interpretation. Now the machine lifeform production of Much Ado About Nothing is a far more intricate look into mans inhumanity to man.
...This clown machine is naked. This theater really needs a stricter dress code to sort out the riff-raff.
Please dont get off to dead machine lifeform girls while among the audience. Theres a bathroom past the rubble down the hall to the right. Make your way there, sir.
Plebian. Youre not even worth the discussion of the finer points of this artistic production. Anyway, lets get back on track and speak with that Receptionist to receive our penultimate stamp.
One final stamp remains in the 10 stamp set. To the right of the main foyer of the castle, there is a short hallway with an elevator at is end. Unlike most previous elevators weve encountered thus far, this one is still operational.
To obtain the final stamp, we need to climb aboard this mysterious elevator and ride it to the castles basement.
Here we find a rather creepy, run down bunker of some sorts. And something far more sinister lies within. As we make our way down the corridor, we discover...
Stamp discovered inside enemy body. Proposal: Destroy the enemy and imprint the stamp upon the card.
Easy for you to say.
Plaaaay... with meeeeee...
So... this is a bit different. There isnt just the one enemy with the stamp. To say the least...
Theres actually an entire horde of like 20+ hostile clown machines in this basement coming from both directions. And they werent just advertising a LP in a creepy way before. Theres something severely wrong with these machines. They shamble forward like theyre in a trance. Indeed, these are Zombie Clown Machines. Whoops. We walked into a machine lifeform T-Virus outbreak!
Zombie Clown Machines are extremely slow but make up for it in sheer numbers. And also the fact that theyre all Level 20-23 sprung at the very end of this otherwise combat free, lighthearted scenario. Its possible to get this quest when 2B is like Level 12-15 and be completely boned at this point. Zombie Clowns have a ridiculously huge pool of HP and damage resistance. Even with 2B at a competitive level of experience, a single zombie takes a good 20 seconds of concentrated punishment to go down and weve got 20 of em to deal with at once in tight quarters.
Zombie clowns only attack with very slow swipes of their arms which can be easily Perfect Evaded and punished with a counter. Assuming there isnt another of the near two dozen zombies swinging right behind it. They also vomit acidic fluids not unlike zombies from Metal Slug. Yeah, apparently those clown smiles arent painted on. Theyre functional puke conduits. So thats cool to know.
Just staying mobile and shoving 2B down the halls ends to get breathing room is the best bet of dealing with the zombie horde, along with generous use of Pod Programs. Laser, Mirage and Hammer all work really well on this tightly packed hall of zombified machines.
Even at Level 20, this was still a nearly five minute slog of grinding through giant walls of undead machine lifeform ranks.
So why the hell was this basement filled with a zombified horde of clown machines? How do machines even become zombies? I have absolutely no idea! They only ever appear here and its never mentioned or brought up again. Maybe that pack of clowns accidentally cracked open a sealed Umbrella Inc. lab behind a concession stand. Who knows! Lets just claim our stamp and go.
Proposal: Return to the entrance and secure the promised deluxe prize.
Before we go, there is a bit more to the east in this basement. Like a huge machine mass grave. Perhaps that is where the zombie machines hailed from?
At the end of the corridor is a huge structure composed of stacked CRT monitors, boxy old television sets, VCR decks, TV antennas and other assorted electronics all wired together in an eerie display. We might come back to this monument to obsolete electronics at a later date. But for now, lets head back to the parks entrance and complete this sidequest.
Music: Amusement Park (Vocal)
Did you enjoy your time here? Or maybe not? Well, it doesnt really matter. Though Im sure you realize that by now. Whether or not you enjoy something simply depends on your own heart. This place is but a mirror that reflects ones true self back at them. Anyway, here you go: One deluxe prize, coming up. Come again anytime!
For our efforts, we receive a nice chunk EXP and G along with some material, a Large heal and a new chip that augments the speed in which Pod Programs recover from use. Not a bad days work. Except for the part with the zombie outbreak.
In any case, that concludes Stamp Collecting in the Amusement Park. Tune in next time when we meet one last goofball of a machine lifeform and then begin our investigation into the Forest Kingdom. There may be... interesting meetings along the way as NieR: Automata continues.
Until then, pisseth off!
Video: Episode 35 Highlight Reel (You should absolutely watch this.)
Machine Lifeform Feet Concept Art You were thinking something lewd with that leftmost illustration, werent you? Shameful.