The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 41: Episode XL: A2

Episode XL: A2

Howdy, boxart main character #3. Umm... what’s your deal? You gonna join the party or are you the rival character? We’ve already sort of got this dickless shirtless machine boy band filling that niche, but...

A YoRHa-type android!
Alert: This unit is currently wanted by YoRHa. Annihilation recommended.
Annihilation? But why!?
Let’s go, 9S.

Pod 042 rings with a communication from Command.

We’ve picked up a signal from the black box of a fugitive known as A2. What you see in front of you... is your enemy.
But she’s—
She deserted us. She’s destroyed multiple pursuit androids. Now kill her before she kills you! *disconnects*

Right, then... A2 was it...? You’ve got the letter before the number in your name. That’s cool... We do that the other way around nowadays. So uhh... what’s the “A” stand for...? Attitude? Hmm... Not much of a talker, huh? Sooooo... umm... we gonna... We gonna do this or—

Let the records show that 9S shot first.

New Music: Bipolar Nightmare (Calm)
(I think this is the only time this minimalist version of the song plays)

Time for a boss battle against YoRHa deserter A2! Unlike the last boss fight against Adam and Eve, this is a proper, if rather brief, battle with no false limiters or unseen timers. We’ve just got to kick A2’s ass. Plain and simple.

Once more we’re confined to a 2D plane. A2 has the same move set as 2B if she’s equipped with a Small Sword in the light attack slot and Large Sword in the heavy attack slot. So there’s not a whole lot to talk about there.

A2’s also has much the same poise properties as 2B but none of the broken chips. So we if 2B (with a 9S assist) gets in a good combo, A2 can easily get stun-locked for a time until she’s knocked on her ass. Or at least into the invisible walls that have appeared to confine the boss arena.

Though A2 will not allow that to continue for very long. She does possess a pair of unique boss moves to break out of getting comboed into oblivion. Both involve her suddenly dashing off screen. Depending on how the camera shifts, one of two special moves will be performed.

If the camera shifts a few ticks upward, A2 will perform a helm breaker right on top of 2B’s current position. It’s extremely telegraphed and perfect evading is a trifling matter. Or just... moving to the right or left a few paces...

If the camera shifts a hair to the right or left of the arena, A2 will rocket across the bottom of the screen with a burning red aura. This hurts a lot if it connects with 2B. This charge attack is far harder to evade since it covers the entire ground level and has a deceptively large hitbox.

That’s sort of all there is to the A2 fight. As I said, it’s a brief battle. And by that, I mean if it lasts for longer than 90 seconds that’s taking it slow. A2 disengages as soon as her total HP drops below 33% and hops up onto the castle window past the Forest King’s cradle.

Music: ENDS

Well, 9S. That’s a very complicated question. You’re going to have to go watch the Japanese-only stage play prequel starring A2 that was produced around the time Drakengard 3 was released (and is full of music from that game) and a good year before NieR: Automata was even announced. A2 had a whole bad time during that and came out kind of pissed at everyone involved. But that’s a story I’ll get to another day.

I as in me, the person writing this LP. So don’t you the person reading this LP take that as an invitation to start talking about any of that just because I offhand mentioned it. We’ll get to it at a relevant time later. Sit your ass down.

With a vague seed of doubt planted about the already questionable motives behind Command, A2 peaces out for the rest of this playthrough. Really. That’s the last we see of A2 until at least we hit the first ending.

Fine, 9S. But I dunno if you noticed, but she sort of had a turbo dash... We don’t have one of those. I’m going to hazard a guess she’s gotten away.

Seriously, this shitty foggy draw distance. This is the ruins of the castle from ICO, isn’t it...? I bet there’s a windmill behind that locked gate in the back entrance.




You’re not A2. You are a moose.

Music: Forest Kingdom (Quiet)

*activates communicator* Operator, this is 9S. Patch me through to the Commander.
Roger that, 9S.

The Commander pops on the display screen...

I see. Well, at least you’re both safe. That’s an incredibly powerful unit you just faced. You should probably keep your distance in the future.
Commander, why did A2 desert the force?
I’m afraid that’s classified.
Oh? Huh.

Let’s go ask Pascal about A2. He might know something.
All right.
*activates Pod communicator* Um, Pascal? This is 9S.

Pascal pops on screen...

Yeah, we’re fine. But there’s something we want to ask you about.
Of course! Anything.
Actually, it needs to be in person.
Hmm. Understood. I’ll open the gate we built to deter enemy invaders. You’ll be able to reach the village through there.

Well... That’s nice of you and all Pascal, but we could just... teleport back there in a quarter of the time. But fine. We’ll go check out your shortcut. Also the fact they’re still creating travel shortcuts kind of makes me suspect Fast Travel wasn’t something that existed initially and was added quite later on.

If our duo heads to the south past the accursed platforming challenge, there’s now a friendly machine lifeform waiting by the gate. I’m glad they’re still carrying around white flags when heading outside the village to make doubly sure 2B and 9S chill the fuck out.

Pascal told us about you. We will open the gate.

The Gatekeeper Machine waves his flag to signal to his buddy up above. They’ve been waiting their whole lives for this singular moment. I mean... their names are “Gatekeeper Machine.”

We will continue to stand guard.

What helpful boys. Past the gate is a completely uneventful forest path that leads back to the Machine Village. We will now proceed to never use that shortcut as a means of moving through areas again.

Music: Pascal (Vocal)

The new path dumps back to some platforms below where the Machine Family (Mother, Father, Child) were hanging out. We could have gone down here earlier but the gate still would have been sealed and everyone’s time would be wasted.

But enough about that, let’s go chat with Pascal...

It’ll be faster if you just take a look at this recording.
<Transfer data.>

A series of still images of our protagonists’ encounter with A2 flashes by the Pod’s digital projection. I suppose that’s better than just fading out to explain events that just transpired. Or having a full on recap episode. NieR: Automata has a bit more budget than needing to stoop to those lows.

Information about this A2 android is indeed contained within our archives. We all understand her to be rather dangerous. However, she’s never visited our village in person. My apologies. That’s all the information I have.
I see... All right, thanks.

We should run a check on our consciousness data and resupply.

And that finally concludes Chapter 6: King of the Forest. Next time we will indeed be returning to the Resistance Camp. However... you see all those red blips on the map? It’s a lot, huh? Those are all sidequests. The Point of No Return for the vast majority of these sidequests is the next plot beat following the return to the Resistance Camp. So strap in for some morally ambiguous (or... moral lacking as we’ve seen) deep dives into side characters and world building as NieR: Automata continues!

Video: A2 Boss Battle and Chapter End Scenes
(You should probably at least watch the A2 fight.)

A2 Official Art – Between the first NieR, Drakengard 3 and this I kinda suspect Yoko Taro might be into leggy silver haired girls. Just a weird hunch...