The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 47: Episode XLVI: A Special Place

Episode XLVI: A Special Place

We’re going to do something a little bit different today. We’re still firmly in sidequest territory for a time. But we’re going to advance the plot a smidgen and go investigate the new area that has opened up. Plus today’s featured sidequest is the most backstory relevant one in the game. So buckle up!

Music: Rays of Light (Quiet)

This area has actually been open since the events in the Alien Mothership with Adam and Eve. But there is absolutely nothing to point out some random sewage pipe on the edge of the crater leads anywhere special. At least not until the main quest points us toward it.

Entering the sewer will take us down a long, slick water slide to the southeast of the city into a new area...

...Well kinda. I suppose it’s still technically city ruins. But this is considered a new area. We’ll get to that in a moment.

First we need to clear out some disgruntled boys banging on an Access Point vending machine. This one is special. It’s the very last one in the game to reveal the uncharted bits of the world map. There’s technically a couple more Access Points later in the game. But they’re found within an area we’ve already discovered and just serve as checkpoint saves.

There were technically two quests involving this area. However, we may have hit a snag with one of ‘em. Remember the Wandering Couple quest? The one from Pascal’s Village that had deserted the Resistance and were trying to skip town? Yeah. It turns out they ended up here somehow. Except... Well, as soon as we advance further into the area.

Welcome to the Flooded City. This is it... This last shot with the title card? That’s the entirety of the Flooded City. It’s the tiniest area in the game. To the point I’m fairly convinced a lot of it was cut considering it has a ton of concept art and an unique title drop for an area 2B can run across in about 45 seconds. Heck that area between Jackass’s Camp and the Desert Zone is about 4x the size of this place and it goes unnamed.

Anyway, as soon as the title card for the area drops the Wandering Couple vanishes from existence, never to be seen again. Turns out that particular cutscene is the trigger for failing that specific quest. We’re meant to come here before there’s an indication this new area exists (and it receives no fanfare or opening cutscene if entered early) and complete that sidequest. It’s really dumb! This game has some exceptionally bad issues with sidequest pacing and time limitations on them with no rhyme or reason. But I suppose that’s just part of the complete experience of NieR: Automata.

It’s fine. We’ll be able to do that quest again next go around. At least it canceled before we lent them 50,000 G for the next portion of the quest. THEN I’d be pissed...

Despite the Flooded City being all of a couple scraps of ruined highway submerged along the ocean and not much else, there are some noteworthy items to go over. Even if we won’t be completing the one story relevant area of the region just yet.

Looks like the whole city is starting to sink as a result.

On the western edge of the map (you can take a look at the mini-map in the corner as that’s literally the entire area in one image) is the missiles the YoRHa androids have been asked to protect while an aircraft carrier arrives to collect ‘em for the war effort. We’re going to stay the hell away from there for now. There’s a handful of enemies on that last island. Destroying them all will initiate the next storyline mission and we’ve got a ways to go before we’re ready for that.

Instead, we’re going to turn our focus towards a far off semi-submerged building in the central part of the area. See the treasure chest poking out of the top? It’s totally possible to get 2B that distance. It just takes some real doing to get there. Including the employment of another movement technique the game neglects to document.

For instance, did you know that pressing the attack button while 2B is grabbing her Pod to begin gliding, it will make her do an upward spin kick that gains a small amount of height and can be chained into an air dash to another spin kick to cover a ton of distance? It’s true. And the game will at no point ever mention that technique!

There’s actually another treasure box in the lower part of the building. But it’s got one of those pesky padlocks on ‘em we can still not yet access. So we’ll have to just remember it is here and do some fancy aerial maneuvers at a later date. For now, let’s claim our prize of a new spear!

The Type-3 Lance is a not particularly remarkable member of the Spear weapon family. Its first set of upgrades imbues it with Endurance Up (read: defense increases) when equipped. At maximum level, it gains Finishing Blast which causes an explosion if 2B completes an entire combo animation with the spear. Ehh... Perhaps the Weapon History will prove more interesting...

Type-3 Lance posted:

The unadorned lance pierced her foes with machine-like
accuracy. The grind of metal on bone in tandem with the pained
screams of her victims created sweet music in the mercenary
girl's ears.

Day after day, she returned to the battlefield to compose more
music. Here, a giant of a man, fat rippling from his sides. There,
a slimmer gentleman whose bones would surely produce a
sweeter sound. Ah, who to stab first!?

The girl fought for an age, stabbing uncountable foes in an
effort to find the ideal scream - that sonorous, bone-grinding
sound. Yet perfection eluded her no matter how hard she tried.
Would she ever find what she sought?

Suddenly, she turned to find a fine-looking hunk of meat at her
side. Stabbing it produced a scream so pure, she couldn't help
but smile. She continued to smile as she stabbed, no longer able
to recall that the hunk was her own child.

These last few weapon stories had been tame. There’s that old Drakengard type lust for child murder we’ve been missing from these tales!

But we’re not quite done here. Of course, since we’re on the sea, we may as well do some fishing. Despite its size, the Flooded City is host to the most variety of fish in the game. I mean... it is the ocean... But we’re not here for any pedestrian flora or fauna of the sea. We’re here for something special. And seemingly to balance out all the trouble I had getting that goddamn Iron Pipe from the sewers earlier, I managed to get the desired catch my first try here...

It’s the third and final Pod, Pod B! Remember way back at the first trip to the Bunker, one of the operators did mention a Pod was lost at sea? Welp! They weren’t kidding!

Hypothesis: The owner discarded this pod and left it in safe mode. Motives unknown.
Pod, reset it and try to overwrite the original owner ID.
Activation complete. Access granted. Previous owner ID successfully overwritten. Special weaponry now available.

Pod B’s standard weaponry is a Laser beam that looks like it’d fit right as home coming out of a Ghostbusters Proton Pack. The laser, strictly speaking, is a straight up upgrade from the Gatling of Pod A in most instances. It has just as fast damage output (perhaps a smidgen greater) as Gatling except it penetrates multiple enemies while Gatling fire stops on impact. Plus it just looks cool. Laser doesn’t have quite as much range as Gatling. The screenshot above is its effective range. Also it tracks somewhat slower as the laser is more of a big noodlely energy stick than a concentrated stream.

A final note is we can equip Pod B with its own Pod Program, giving us quick access to three different programs at a time. Additionally, we can now charge up our Pod Programs to Level 3 for even more overpowered devastating attacks. A Level 3 Bomb barrage is outright disgusting damage output.

That’s all we needed to do in the Flooded City for now. We will be coming back here for a quest shortly. But we need to go initiate that quest first. Today’s main event takes us back to the City Ruins shopping mall where we first met Emil earlier in the game.

Remember how we’ve seen a Lunar Tear flower in a couple spots throughout the game but couldn’t interact with ‘em? It’s time to change that. It seems a Lunar Tear has sprouted in the shopping mall and has a quest associated with it. Let’s take a look...

Analysis: It is a plant known as a Lunar Tear.
A Lunar Tear...

A tire screech is heard behind the androids...

So this flower is called a Lunar Tear... Seeing that dredges up all kinds of memories. Some of them are a bit strange, honestly. Like the one where I’m being attacked by a giant boar over and over again? Or another where I keep trying out new parts every time my body is damaged...
*slightly nervous* Sounds rough.
Something about this flower fills me with an emotion I don’t really understand. It’s like something’s pushing down on my chest really hard... So, um... do you mind if I ask you a favor? If you find Lunar Tears growing anywhere else, would you let me know? I want to try and figure out what this feeling is all about. What do you say?
<Accept the request.>
Aw, thanks! If you find another Lunar Tear, just let me know on this frequency, all right? I’m counting on you!

And so beings the Emil’s Memories sidequest as Emil peels off into the distance awaiting further updates on our flower hunt. Well, at least we don’t have to manually grow them or anything... That’s a small relief.

Four locations are marked on the map with hotspots containing Lunar Tears. The ones in the Forest Zone and the Amusement Park we’ve already seen in the past. New locations are one in the Desert Zone buffer region and another in the Flooded City we just left (hence why we explored it earlier!)

Music: Forest Kingdom (Quiet)

The Forest Zone’s Lunar Tear is just a minute or two jog from our current position. So let’s knock that one out first!

We’d better let Emil know. *activates Pod communicator*

We found a Lunar Tear. It’s located at—
STAY RIGHT THERE! I’m coming! *disconnects*
Uh... okay? I hope he doesn’t expect me to just stand here all da—
*tire screeching* Sorry to keep you!

Oh, hey... Now that I think about it, this whole area was once...
Are you remembering something?
It’s all pretty fuzzy, but I seem to have a memory of caring for this flower a long time ago... But the sand kept expanding, and the flowers gradually wilted. Now that I think about it, that was around the same time I stopped seeing people.
You mean humans?
Thanks a bunch for finding this. Really. Oh, and let me know if you find any more, okay? I’m gonna... stay here for a bit.

Emil remains deep in thought. We’ll leave him to it and move on to the next location we already know about. Let’s head to the Amusement Park.

Music: Amusement Park (Quiet)

The Lunar Tear here is located under a walkway in the back alley leading towards the direction of the Party Tank and the area’s Access Point. It's below where a crying machine stamped our card with its tears during that sidequest culminating in the production of Romeos and Juliets. Anyway...

What do you think Emil’s phone number is...? Does he have an email address? I bet his server is “@emil”

I found one of those flowers you were looking for. It’s over at—
DON’T MOVE AN INCH! I’m coming! *disconnects*
Don’t move? I’m actually kind of bus—
*tire screeching* Sorry to keep you!

That’s it. I remember now... Back when the aliens first invaded... I fought as hard as I could to save Earth.
You did?
I think... I had something I wanted to protect. Something really precious to me. But I don’t know what it was.
Thank you for finding this. You’ll let me know if you find any more, right?
I’m gonna... stay here for a bit.

Once more, Emil falls deep into thought. Well, we’re half way there. No sense in stopping now. Our next destination requires a trip to Jackass’s Desert Camp.

Music: Memories of Dust (Quiet)

This next Lunar Tear is by far the biggest pain in the ass of the quest. The game wants us to go to an edge of the map near where we found that blood-soaked machine during that quest where we perpetuated a cycle of revenge for a Resistance Member. There’s just one thing...

That leads to a sheer cliff. I mean it doesn’t look like a sheer cliff from here. I’m pretty sure I could climb that fairly easily and I’m not even a cyborg, much less a high performance android.

However, thanks to the laws of mechanics put forth by NieR: Automata. No climbing up this. 2B needs to find an alternate route to pass this cliff that not even a double jump can circumvent.

The route to make it past this wall is incredibly non-obvious. You see, there’s an entire twisting cavern system below this region that we’ve yet to explore. Mostly because we’ve had no reason to do so. It’s just full of trash mob machines and some generic treasure chests filled with unremarkable loot.

There’s a few ways to get into this cavern maze. There’s the hole we took in the central part of the area. There’s also a few paths to eastern edge of the map that lead down into there. And another couple holes here and there. The underground maze is all overhead perspective so it’s a real bitch to navigate. Now, you’d think from here we’d head to the northeast back towards that wall. But...

Nope. That leads back towards the start of the area, obviously. Idiot.

No, we want to head southwest through a long passage that eventually leads back to the surface and a cliff face overlooking the early wall we want to get around.

I’ll be honestly, I played this game as soon as it was out on PC and there were fuck all guides worth a damn for sidequests. Plus I was trying to remain unspoiled as much as possible, despite some news outlets putting up some real shitty headlines around release and YouTube insisting I look at NieR: Automata - ___ FINAL BOSS BATTLE and ____'s DEATH SCENE as soon as the game released in Japan. Thanks both of ya. Anywhow, the point is it took me a goddamn half hour to find how in the flying hell to make it over here. This had better frikkin’ be worth it, Emil...

I found a Luna—
*tire screech one second later* Sorry to keep you!

Oh. That’s right.
What happened here, Emil?
I was fighting the aliens. It... wasn’t going well. So I decided to create multiple versions of myself to help with the fight. But the aliens just kept coming. I lost so many friends that day... It was a long time ago, but still.
Say, Emil? How old are you, anyway?
I’m not sure. I didn’t need that memory to fight. Thank you for finding this. You’ll let me know if you find any more, right?
I’m gonna... stay here for a bit.

Alright. Emil seems to be remembering a bit of his past. And there is... more than one Emil now. I suppose that would explain why there’s that giant heap of inert Emil heads out in the desert. Maybe... Anyway, the final Lunar Tear is back in the Flooded City where we began. So let’s head there...

Music: Rays of Light (Quiet)

Before we advance any further, we’re going to take a precaution and turn 9S to Passive Mode as we are going to need to venture near that mission critical group of enemies. We don’t want the dingus and his murder boner for machines to start up the next story mission by mistake.

Mmm? Enemy detected! Go! Show no mercy! Glory to machine lifeforms!
Engaging. Pod, analyze the enemy.

So this is are Golden Machines, part of an unmarked questline involving... well, golden machines. I’m not sure why they spawn so early in the game. They are literally invincible at this point in time. Nothing 2B can do to them, even if she were ten levels above ‘em, would put a dent in their golden armor. Yes I know it's actually possible to kill them and it takes like 90 minutes. You're literally fucking insane and terrible with your time if you did this. Please go seek help to get off the dark path you tread. We’re just going to ignore them for now. We’ll be back another day to sort that out.

Target missile sighted.
Is that what we need to protect?
Let’s take ‘em out already so I can be home in time for dinner and a bath!
Androids don’t need to bathe. As long as you perform regular cleaning and maintenance, bathing is unnecessary.
Yeah, but come on, 2B, it still FEELS good!

Don’t be weird, 9S. Nobody wants to hear about your bathing habits. Keep focused. Or rather, just stay back so we don’t aggro any more targeted machines. It’s fine if we kill a couple while we’re here. As long as they aren’t all scrapped. The final Lunar Tear is at the southern tip of the leftmost island in the area. Let’s take a look...

*tire screeching*

I didn’t even contact you yet!
Emil? Are you okay?
I just remembered... I...
Thank you again. You’ve helped me remember an important place.
A place very special to him... In thanks, I’ll tell you how to visit it. Please take this key.

I’m not going to ask how Emil gave us this key considering he doesn’t have hands... It’s fine.

It’ll let you access the elevator in the shopping mall. You should head there whenever you have the time.
I’m sorry. I need to stay here for a while. you go on ahead.

Well, this quest doesn’t end until we investigate this elevator. So I suppose we have the time right now.

Let’s see what we have in Emil’s mysterious mall basement dungeon...

Music: ENDS



You think Emil takes baths? Probably, right. He doesn’t seem like a stinky boy. Sheesh... This elevator is still going, huh? This had better be good, Emil...


Where are we...?

Well, geographically hell if I know where we are other than vaguely in the same region as the original game. But this... I do recognize this shitty makeshift tent... Do you remember it? It’s been a while...

It’s Kainé’s home from the original NIER. Looks like Emil has kept it preserved for err... several thousand years. And he’s REALLY grinded the heck out of that gardening mechanic to have produced so many Lunar Tears over the years. I bet he doesn’t even set forward his console at this point. That sentimental boy.

Old Music: Kainé’s Theme

Emil, what is this place?
It’s the place from my memories that I worked so hard to protect. Or, to be exact, the place protected by the person I used to be.
Er, sorry, I don’t get it.

A long time ago, I was created to be a weapon. A weapon that could adapt to any environment, and one capable of total destruction.
You’re... a weapon?

When the war against the aliens started, I decided to strengthen that weapon by creating copies of myself.
So in truth, I’m only one of a countless number of Emils. I—or we, I guess—worked with each other to keep our defensive lines intact. But the more of ourselves we created, the more our original memories began to fade.

He spent a lot of time here with people he loved. They were tough times... Sad times... But the memories of that journey were his greatest treasure. And I have a few traces of those memories in my own mind.
Where’s the original Emil now?
I don’t know. There were so many of us that after a while, we just...
And there’s still something that all of us Emils need to settle...
Ah, right. I should probably repay you for all of your help. Please take this.

Our reward for this quest completion, other than helping out Top Boy Emil remember his past, is a boat load of experience and a Lunar Tear.

The Lunar Tear is just an accessory for 2B’s hair like the ribbons from earlier. Pfft. 2B wishes she was as cool as Kainé.

...Thank you.
Oh no! I’m the one who should be thanking you. You’ve helped me find some of my precious memories. Now I’ll be able to keep pushing forward, even if I’m alone.

And that concludes Emil’s Memories and unfortunately, kinda the last Emil will be relevant story wise until nearly the end of the LP. So yeah, before the 14 Android vs. Machine Lifeform World Wars, there was a Penis Alien Invader vs. The Emil Collective initially before the machines on either side came into the equation.

This is actually the original mention of alien invaders from the original NieR’s supplementary material. The very last jokey entry in the series timeline was aliens invading and Emil leading the charge with remaining Replicants about 1500 years after the original game ended. There was also a less than serious Drama CD about Emil’s first contact with the aliens and beginning to copy himself to take them on. That’s so goofy!

Never doubt the joke endings of Yoko Taro. That fucker was 100% serious with all of that! Did you forget Drakengard Ending E?!

In any case, that concludes are time with Emil's between games backstory and a small trip down memory lane. Tune in next time we become one with nature and take on the Forest Kingdom's local tasks as NieR: Automata continues.

Video: Episode 46 Highlight Reel
(You should probably watch this.)

Flooded City Concept Art – Seriously this is one of about ten pieces of concept art for this mini-area. It has as much art as the City Ruins proper.