Part 49: Episode XLVIII: The King's TurfEpisode XLVIII: The Kings Turf
Lets sort out the last of our sidequestin for this chapter so we can finally get back to something resembling a plot. Its a good thing Adam and Eve dont seem to be the most active of villains or else dicking around doing menial tasks for random androids and machines might seem downright irresponsible of our duo.
To start things out on capping off our loose ends for Route As second act, first were going to swing by Pascals village and hit up the Weapon Trader for the final remaining weapon in the machine lifeform merchants inventory.
The Forest Kingdoms weapon of choice is just kind of a mediocre spear. Upgrades net it increased Robot Discounts and max level gives it the Machine Brand/Drakengard weapon power-up system business weve seen before. Perhaps its weapon history holds more value...
Machine Spear posted:
My name is Plato 1728. I am a failure of a machine. I was
designed for combat, but I can't use weapons. Everyone makes
fun of me, and my life is horrible.
I am a dumb machine. I got lost during battle, and ended up in
some kind of factory. I found a whole pile of dolls discarded
there. They share the same fate I do.
I am a foolish machine. Today, I had to fight at that factory. All
of the dolls got completely destroyed. Crushed by my friends
and foes, who can do nothing but fight fight fight.
I activated my cannon and shot everyone there. I'm not sure why
I did that. All I know is I decided to fight. Because I'm just a
stupid, broken machine.
So this odd little short story about Plato 1728 may become relevant at a future date, way down the line the LP. This character originally appeared in a picture book pack-in for a J-Rock bands single that was tied into NieR: Automata. The character also appears as a playable character in the DLCs side story.
That was all we needed to do in Pascals Village. Theres no further quests lingering there at the moment.
Music: Forest Kingdom (Quiet)
However, if we head from the Machine Village towards the Forest Zone shortcut, we find a Stubby boy with a quest camped out near the gates leading into the area. Lets see what they need...
...whats in there behind locked doors or gates or moats or whatnot and ya wonder what it could be and boy howdy Id love to find out and see it for mself dont ya know?
Analysis: The machine lifeform believes there is treasure located in the forest kingdom.
Proposal: 2B should investigate.
Well, alright then. I guess were going on a treasure hunt back in the castle because Boomhauerbot pointed out there was treasure to pillage. Sure, why not? Androids already assassinated their boss baby king. Its not like we can piss the surviving Forest Kingdom knights off any further than they already have been.
So this quest is a little bit obnoxious. Not going to raid the castle a second time after we were just there officially not too long ago. Thats big deal. Its the treasure were seeking itself.
Music: Forest Kingdom (Dynamic)
Remember our first visit to the castle and this treasure chest above the courtyard that 2B randomly decided was junk she didnt need? Yeah, that chest and two other hidden ones are components of this sidequest. I dont know why they spawned those chests early in a maze like 2D castle that is full of hidden alcoves and other chests shes more than willing to plunder. Just for the record, heres a complete list of the shit piled in 2Bs hammerspace skirt pockets at the moment:
- Copper, Iron, Silver, Gold and Rusted Ores
- Dented Plates
- Crushed Nuts. The kind that goes with bolts
- Over a dozen Beast Skin animal pelts
- Broken Keys. Just a whole ring of messed up old keys!
- A huge tangle of Warped Wires
- A sack full of Small Gears
- Stretched Coils
- Broken Circuits
- Stripped Screws
- Rusty and New Bolts
- Dented Sockets
- Severed and Pristine Cables
- Broken and Large Batteries. Just in case the power goes out.
- A Machine Lifeforms Goddamn Leg!
- Crystals. Possibly JO variety. Unconfirmed.
- Black Pearls
- Meteorites from space
- Simple Gadgets
- Tree and Plant Seeds
- Tree Sap
- Like 20 Mushrooms
- A dozen Eagle Eggs
- A half dozen Giant Eggs
- A shelf worth of Torn Books
- A couple Tech Manuals
- Two bottles of Pure Water
- Tanning Agent
- Natural Rubber
- A bottle of Machine
- Filler Metal
- A Desert Rose flower
- An ancient Facade mask
- A half dozen Machine Cores
So its junk, basically.
While lacking in value, it may be connected to the supposed treasure of the forest kingdom. Proposal: It should be confiscated for safekeeping.
Now that the quest is initiated, Pod 042 chimes in to tell 2B to stop being a dumbass and take the damn machine part. This conversation plays in its entirety for all three chests. 2B doesnt come across as the brightest android during this questline...
Now about those other chests... Both are found towards the end of the castle trek. The second chest is in a sneaky hidden platform towards the top level of the room, across from the walkway leading to the castles top floor.
The third and final chest requires a couple of long jumps starting from the platform leading to Masamune the machine blacksmiths chambers. 9Ss AI is utterly incapable of keeping up with 2Bs sick aerial maneuvers and utterly beefs both jumps, plummeting several floors below. So thats funny at least.
Analysis: Machine lifeform parts can be assembled in some fashion. Processing...
Processing complete. Machine lifeform parts can be assembled into a key. Proposal: Initiate search for a door that matches the key.
Now where have we seen a locked door in this castle before...? Could it be that fifty foot door at the back of the area leading to a hitherto unexplored region? Naw...
Huh... What do you know? Where do you think the key gets inserted for this massive gate? Just a tiny hole at the bottom? That cannot be a structurally sound lock. Oh well... lets have a looksee into this treasure chamber were compelled to plunder.
Nice backyard. Decidedly not a treasure vault though. Especially if invaders learn the forbidden techniques of not obeying invisible walls of a video game. So what actually is back here, then...?
The... king... Protect... the grave... of the king... Intruder... detected... Eliminate intruder! Eliminate intruder!
Meet the Gravekeeper, the mid-boss that has been hanging out back here long enough to be completely coated in moss. This Dark Souls enemy looking ass machine is semi-unique. There are tower shield and spear wielding medium-biped machines wandering out in the forest zone. But this one has an invincible electric shield which is definitely unique to it (thankfully.) It also has about 5x as much HP as any standard medium biped. This thing only has two levels ahead of 2B and the fight still took about three and a half minutes straight of whittling down its huge health pool.
Most of the Gravekeepers attacks are straightforward stabbing and charging attempts with the spear, the same weve seen from any spear wielding medium biped. These are all hugely telegraphed and very easy to evade and punish.
The Gravekeepers real nasty attack is slamming down its tower shield which results in electricity arcing in all directions in an AOE attack. This can technically be evaded by the window is really weird and spamming dodge isnt particularly effective. It telegraphs the attack by raising its shield for a moment before doing the slam. So the best course of action is to just book it away from the Gravekeepers position and wait for the electricity to disperse.
Other than that, its just a matter of plinking away at a giant slab of HP. Its only one enemy and not a very fast one at that. The danger of defeat is minimal, even if those electrical attacks pack a punch. So then, what was this Gravekeeper guarding...?
Would you believe its a grave...? Crazy, I know? Well... a grave and a machine corpse. Look, the Forest Kingdom knights tried their best. You know how hard it is to dig with just stubby arms and spears? Dont judge.
It reads: Here lies the king of our forest.
Alert: Storage media found. Digitization and saving complete.
Is this the treasure?
Indeed it is: A new Archive file. Lets take a closer look...
So this is the first machine in this region to gain self-awareness and the original Forest King. RIP Ernst. Sorry about your child getting skewered by A2. Bummer.
In any case, thats it. That was the treasure. All thats left to do is book it out of the castle and return to the Boomhauerbot to turn in this quest.
Music: Forest Kingdom (Quiet)
...a lot see cause I cant really talk so good if ya havent noticed which maybe ya did and everyone else pretty much wont talk to me cause of it...
Music: Broken Heart (Vocal)
...again for making all them guys extra dead cause they were a bunch of id-jits and who gives two bolts about em and here take this for all yer work
I aint sure I is OK wit yer daggon dark turn here, feller. But I reckon we should thank ya kindly fer the cash and EXP.
cause they had it comin cause they had it comin cause they had it comin cause they had it comin cause they had it comin cause they had it comin cause they had it comin cause they had it comin
Yall, bless his heart but I think this weird talkin boy aint right... I reckon wed best mosey on...
Right then. Now that weve massacred more Forest Kingdom knights on the behest of an angry redneck machine, lets try doing something more productive with our time. Like returning to the Animal-loving Machine for his last sidequest.
Music: Forest Kingdom (Quiet)
Let me guess: You need more medicine.
NO. EVERYONE HERE IS FINE. BUT, THERE IS A PROBLEM.
Whats going on?
A PACK OF WILD ANIMALS HAS RECENTLY MIGRATED HERE FROM ELSEWHERE IN THE FOREST. THEY SEEM TO HAVE A STRONG TERRITORIAL INSTINCT. THE HAVE BEEN INJURING SOME OF THE OTHER NEARBY ANIMALS. SADLY, I DO NOT HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THEM...
I see where this is going.
<Offer to help.>
OH! ARE YOU SURE?
We cant just let some pack of animals bully their way in here. Where are they now?
THANK YOU! THEY HAVE ADOPTED A CORNER OF THE FOREST AS THEIR LAIR. PLEASE BE CAREFUL...
Some rogue troublemaker animals are stepping on this good machine boys turf and messing with his furry friends. We cannot have that on watch. Time to go cull the herd.
Seems kind of arbitrary, no?
We have no right to judge. Were soldiers that were created to kill.
For this mission, weve got to head back to the southern side of the Forest Zone to an as of yet unseen little portion of the region.
There is a small clearing next to the gate leading back to Pascals village. Its now lined with several recently slain boars. That cannot be a good sign...
Music: Memories of Dust (Vocal)
2B and 9S done stepped into the wrong neighborhood, motherfuckas.
So remember how early on I stressed the dangers of the moose? That extends to boars as well. Though by the time we started seeing boars our androids had gotten strong enough that animals werent too much of a threat any longer.
Yeah so... thats not the case when the boars in question are outranking 2B by like 12 levels... And theres over a half-dozen of em... And theyre all surrounding us and extremely pissed we stepped into their turf. This fight is the closest so far in the LP Ive come to dying so far. Boy this game could really use some suggested level markers.
In addition to the boar horde, we also have the Animal Machine which has our number and does nothing but rush 2B or 9S. Or do sick kick flips in their direction if they linger close to it for too long.
So our first order of business here is to kill all these goddamn boars. Being Level 40 to our current Level 28, they can take a beating. But they dont have remotely as much HP as the Animal Machine. The boars have issues with their ability to turn after charging. So the best way to deal with the herd is to wrangle em all to one side of the area and just carpet bomb them angry hogs. Repeat until bacon is served.
There will probably be a few stragglers. But they shouldnt be too much trouble, other than the still pissed Animal Machine. Its worth mentioning that this sidequest can be cheesed. This sides participants are cordoned off to this field. If 2B retreats out towards the gate, the boars and the Animal Machine cannot cross that path and will de-aggro. 2B is free to plink away at enemies safely from there. But that will take roughly forever and a day so meh...
The real issue here is the Animal Machine. On its own it isnt particularly fearsome. Its attacks are mostly the same as that mid-boss quadruped from the courtyard in the first assault on the castle. Only with more charging attacks. The real issue is that it both has a huge amount of HP and is frikkin Level 44 to our Level 28. So 2Bs damage output, thanks to the games less than great level differences calculations, are around fuck all roughly speaking.
This one battle against a machine with moose antlers glued to its head and a bunch of grumpy pigs took a good 12+ minutes of non-stop attacking to claim victory. Again, this game could REALLY use a suggested level marker. Theres still two or three more quests available in this run that were absolutely not going to take on as they all involve dealing with Level 45-50+ enemies. All sidequests, might I add, that have been available since we finished the big Engels brawl in the City Ruins and were around Level 14...
Music: Forest Kingdom (Quiet)
Upon its death, the Animal Machine drops an Archive record. Not sure where it was storing that. Maybe it was in the antlers. Lets take a look...
And this is why you dont hire an outsider with minimal experience to leadership. Now look what happened to that whole family of boars. Theyre all fuckin dead! Didnt even skin them or collect their meat for food. Just bodied. Left them to rot in the sun.
Lets go tell that machine that his animal friends are safe.
All thats left, now that the rival animal gang is disbanded, is to return to the Animal-loving Machine and tell us how well we murdered all those animals.
Music: Voice of No Return (Vocal)
NOW WE CAN LIVE IN PEACE. HERE, PLEASE TAKE THIS.
It is kinda weird/dumb this quest gives us Animal Bait immediately after the quest that makes Animal Bait completely useless. But hey, that Auto-Heal +5 is a darn nice chip and that bucket of EXP aint bad either.
HMM? WHAT MACHINE?
The pack leader was a machine lifeform that seemed to think it was an animal. We couldnt even communicate with it.
A MACHINE-TURNED-ANIMAL... I DO NOT KNOW WHAT COULD HAVE CAUSED THIS. BUT I WONDER... WHAT IS LEFT THAT SEPARATES SUCH A MACHINE FROM BEING CALLED AN ANIMAL?
And that concludes the Turf War quest. Look, the Animal-loving Machines just has a preference for animals it knows. Not all of em. Its fine. Though, our androids have some after action chatter before we conclude.
I do not get these guys.
And that concludes our adventures in sidequesting throughout Route A of NieR: Automata. Its going to be main plot for the most part from here to the first ending. So strap in as NieR: Automata turns its gaze towards the sea...
Video: Episode 49 Highlight Reel
Forest King Concept Art 2B looking at the Forest Kings corpse was from the original trailer (before it got the Automata subtitle) and first piece of concept art released for the game.