The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 40: Episode XXXIX: Long Live the King!

Episode XXXIX: Long Live the King!

Music: Forest Kingdom (Quiet)

Onward to the raid on the Forest Kingdom’s Castle for... no real reason. I know it’s been a while with all the sidequests, but we just asked Pascal if he knew about any weird things the machines were up to and he mentioned these guys. Then 2B and 9S proceeded to flip out and murder their way through these machines’ territory to see what was up. No real reason. We just don’t have any important standing orders beyond investigating the machines. Caim (usually) had more reason for his murder rampages than our android protagonists do at the moment.

Before we enter the castle, it seems the Resistance were good enough to have installed an Access Point here at some juncture in the past. It’s a bit iffy how they accomplished that but I’m not complaining.

The updated map gives us a glimpse into the remaining area of the Forest Zone. Seems our goal is vaguely upward in the general castle area. Yeah... the map is about as useful as an asshole on my elbow for the entirety of the Forest Zone section. Though it’s worth noting, we’re only one Access Point away from having mapped the entirety of NieR Automata’s game world. There’s only one very tiny region we’ve yet to explore. That’s not to say it’s the entirety of the areas we’ll encounter. There may be more to a some of the past locations that we’ve yet to plunder.

But that’s for a later date. Let’s head into the castle proper. Nobody is guarding the main entrance. We’re free to waltz right in the front door.

Yep, this looks like a king’s castle, all right...

The inner hall of the castle is a different story as we see a sentry posted ahead. However that’s the last guard we’re going to see coming as we raid this castle. For you see...

Music: Alien Manifestation (Vocal)

The entirety of the Forest Zone Castle is a side-scrolling action segment. You thought they’d forgotten about those since like the Amusement Park roller coaster, huh? Wrong, idiot! They’re coming back in a big way now. For better or for worse.

Stand strong! Move!

Given this is a 2D segment mostly involving long corridors with enemies pouring in from each entrance to a room, Mirage falls somewhat flat here. Laser and the Hammer Pod Programs shine given it’s mostly enemies in a line right in front of 2B. The Shockwave chip (those Sonic Booms 2B is constantly doing now) is also great stuff since even if 2B whiffs an attack, she’ll still likely connect with some unsuspecting machine past her blow.

There is a ton of treasure hidden about the 2D plane of this area. If there’s a platform just out of reach that requires some finesse platforming or a pillar in front of the area where 2B can run, there’s probably a material drop or treasure chest.

There’s also several dead end paths and side rooms that loop back on the way we’ve traveled or to lower levels of previous rooms. These all usually have some treasure and an extra fight from machines late to their guard duty shift after the androids have already ransacked the place. None of it is particularly remarkable loot so I’ll not be mentioning too much of it as we continue our march to the right...

Roger that, Nine...ze.
Huh!? Wait, what did you just say!?
Roger that, 9S.
Wait, no! That’s not what you said! You said “Nines”! Or at least something close to—
Cut the chatter, and engage the enemy.

9S, that’s not a cool nickname. That’s like what a midboss in a shitty villain team named after playing cards would name himself. You don’t see 2B insisting people call her... what? Toobie? Is that the road you want to go down next, 9S? Toobie and Nines? Those are third rate shovelware 3D platformer mascots' names. Toobie & Nines: Trouble in Robotropolis coming Fall 1997 only on the Sony Playstation!

Have some respect for yourself, 9S. Christ...

Anyway, one anomaly in this area can be found if we climb to the third level of the initial set of halls. We’ll eventually come out to the courtyard, which is our destination to advance. Usually fighting our way through the ground floor. However, on a balcony on the third level is a treasure chest which Pod 042 will declare contains a machine lifeform part and 2B will decide she doesn’t need it.

There are three of these chests scattered in out of the way points in the castle. They’re all linked to a sidequest that isn’t accessible until later. This is one of the only times the game leaves a sidequest item lying around and lets 2B interact with it early. It’s quite annoying! Especially since the actual sidequest 2B just decides for no reason that now she’ll take the items in question.

Entering the courtyard proper, we find that the horse-like machines can actually go bipedal when not ferrying around a knight captain. They turn into a dive kicking and Sonic the Hedgehog spinning mild hazard.

This is one of the very few times this occurs. Technically, they can go into this form if the knight captain is destroyed before the mount. But that is a really unlikely scenario considering robo-horses have far less HP than their masters. It’s more weird than dangerous. Moving on!

You’ll pay for this, invaders!
Leave our kingdom!

Guys, look. We’re not taking anything from your kingdom... Other than everything in treasure chests that isn’t being nailed down. But we do that to our allies as well. It’s nothing personal. Just part of YoRHa’s standard practices in the field. Now just line up for your decommissioning and we’ll be on our way to loot and kill further into your home turf.

...We’re not even pretending to be anything but the baddies in this plot beat.

The farthest err... right in the castle (it’s technically northeast...ish I think...? It’s hard to tell) holds a several story tall ancient library. Sadly, we cannot stop to check if any of the books are still intact after untold millennia. I’m guessing... no. All important documents in NieR: Automata’s world are stored in computer terminals, corpses, discarded swords and padlocked treasure chests.

We’ll be returning to this library a few times as we crisscross our way to the higher levels of the keep. Though there isn’t a ton of interesting sights on our trek to the left through the second level of the castle.

There are very poorly orchestrated ambushes...

Weird machine worms humping trees growing in second floor interior courtyards...? What? Why is there a water canal running through the second floor? Who designed this place? Castlevania has more architectural sense.

There’s the occasional 50 foot tall painting. Thankfully, it does not trap us in a Painted World full of angry bird people. We’ve got enough problems as it is...

There’s also worms having fun slinking through windows. We’ve not even going to bother trifling with these things when their weak point is accessible for all of half second intervals. Those enemies are the worst designed thing in this game by miles.

Eventually we loop back around to a higher level of the library room. Still no books to read. 2B isn’t the inquisitive type and 9S is probably still fuming about how he KNOWS he heard 2B say his dumb nickname. He knows it...

What is present is ladders. Most all the staircases in this library have long since crumbled away but the ladders are fully intact, no problem. If video games have taught me nothing, it is that ladders are the sturdiest means of connecting two floors in existence. Natural disasters? Apocalypses? Millennia of disrepair? Ladder has it covered.

The ladder upward to the top level of the castle is progress. But we’re going to take a detour to a couple lower levels to check out some points of interest while we’re here. After all, we did skip from Floor 2 of the Library up to Floor 5 in our looping back to this area.

On the third floor of the library, we find a route into the back exit of the castle. Unfortunately, the gate into the backyard is currently sealed shut and there’s no way to access it. We’ll be heading back here at a later date for a sidequest. But it’s good to know it’s here early.

Heading up to the fourth floor of the library and running to the opposite end of the walkway leads to a few interior corridors that are otherwise inaccessible. Upon entering, we overhear a hidden conversation between some of the Forest Kingdom soldiers. Let’s eavesdrop for a spell...

We’d best be wary of the machines building a village near the forest as well.
We should launch a preemptive strike before their efforts proceed further! For the sake of our forest king.
For the sake of our king!

Pre-emptive strike, huh...?


Kill. YOU. ALL.

Gotta love it when your unprompted raid into neutral territory is retroactively justified middle massacre. Thanks boys. Now if we have to go assassinate your king, we’re completely in the right. See, 9S. We’re not the baddies at all!

After annihilating the Forest Kingdom’s high command, we can return to the library and continue or journey to the top level of the library and further into the castle.

Another lousy worm makes its home on the upper walkway above the tree humping and window jumping ones below. No, they’re not all the same worm. You can kill those and this one will still spawn here.

Continuing to the left further, we eventually make it back to the inner courtyard from early. Just five or six stories up. With the washed out grey brickwork and the oversaturation of bloom, I’m getting a real ICO vibe from the background of this castle that we’ll never explore.

You will go no further!
Don’t give them a single inch!
All hail the king!
This is our beloved nation!

The final line of defense before the Forest King’s chambers is an absolute mess of about 20+ machines pouring in from all directions eager to defend their king to the last man. It does not go well for them, despite their best attempts.

Once the carnage is finished and the last of the king’s guard is slain, we can take a breather and note that there is puzzlingly an Access Point vending machine installed outside the king’s room. Sure... why not? That’s not actually any map information unlocked from this given the entire area is on a 2D plane. But hey. Save point.

Now we could head straight up and see about this Forest King. But, we might have skipped past something very important in the previous area. See below where 2B and 9S are standing? That arrow?

Turns out that arrow belongs to a block on a hidden lower platform. 2B can pull this block away from the wall to reveal a hidden but extremely important side area.

It’s the forest kingdom’s blacksmith’s chambers. Where did you think those hundreds of Machine Spears were coming from? Amazon overnight shipping? Despite our slaughter of just about everyone in the castle, the machine blacksmith is very chill and willing to talk.

I see you’re taking good care of your weapons. However, I’d be happy to sharpen them for you if you wish.

Masamune offers the same services as the Weapons Trader in Pascal’s Village with one key difference: this is the only Weapons Trader in the game that can upgrade weapons to Level 4. He’s in full samurai gear named Masamune locked behind a hidden pathway behind a giant stone block. Of course he is extremely good at his job.

Unfortunately, we do not have the materials to upgrade anything to max level at this time. Most of those necessary components don’t start dropping until around the half way point of the game. We’re like a quarter total of playtime. The best we can do is get Virtuous Contract and Fang of the Twins to Level 3.

I mentioned that NieR: Automata does NOT require collecting all the weapons to gain access to the final ending. It does, however, require collecting all the weapons and upgrading them to max level in order to do all the sidequest and get all of the endings. So that's great... We’ll be seeing Masamune a lot in the future.

While we’re in the neighborhood, screw it... Let’s grab another machine lifeform weapon. This time, we’ll go with the Machine Axe.

The Machine Axe, despite the name, is a Large Sword class weapon. There’s no axes class in this game. Don’t be silly. It has the same perks when upgraded as the Machine Sword: Machine Shop discounts and Machine Brand (grind kills to buff it like Drakengard 1.) It’s not a very impressive Large Sword. But hey. Gotta catch ‘em all... Let’s see if its story delivers...

Machine Axe posted:

HuMAN fiGhT. WHy?

Why... humans love?

Why do humans band together?

You- why are you alive?

Video games violence. Porn. Mosh pit. Spite.

My master honed that very blade long ago. He was a master craftsman who gathered four black and four white weapons and improved on them. But they spilled so much blood that my master sealed them away in various locations across the world. However, I wager you would wield them in the service of good. If that is true, you can search for them in sealed shrines throughout the world.
Weapons are mirrors that reflect what is in your heart. Treat them with the care they deserve.

Masamune is talking about the Virtuous series of weapons in his closing spiel. There’s also a Cruel set of four black weapons we’ve yet to encounter personally. We’ll be checking back on Masamune periodically. Even if mostly off-camera for me. But for now, let’s head back upstairs and see about this Forest King.

As a side note: the easiest way to get back to the top floor is to just save and reload after speaking with Masamune. Otherwise, 2B has to shove that box incredibly slowly to the edge of the platform to jump back up. Or fall down below and tour the bulk of the castle again. No thanks!

Music: ENDS

I take it the Forest King is a big fan of nature given all the greenery in his...

...chambers? Err? Is that a cradle?

Yep. That’s a cradle alright. And there’s something cooing in it.

Huh... A robot baby. That’s a new one. Was it built as a baby and does it gro—


NieR: Automata might be light on the human child murder. As you can see by this robot baby getting Aeris’d in the face, the Yoko Taro child killing train has not slowed down one bit. It’s just changed species.

Tune in next time when we meet the third character on the NieR: Automata’s boxart some 12 hours in...

Video: Episode 39 Highlight Reel
(You should probably watch at least the ending cutscene.)

Forest Zone Castle Concept Art – Yep. That’s a castle alright. Shame we don’t get to actually explore or run around any but a tiny bit of it.