The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 70: Episode LXVIII: Speedrun

Episode LXVIII: Speedrun

My name’s 9S. I’m here to provide support.
Copy that.

No. Just another defensive system.

I’ve got a flight unit, so I’ll take a look around the perimeter.
All right. I’ll work my way inside from the ground.

Music: Alien Manifestation

Back we go into this same hole for a third time. If you were wondering what 9S was doing the entire time 2B was fighting her way through the tutorial Abandoned Factory, it turns out he was... just shooting dudes in this tunnel. That’s it. That's his side of this story.

After a bit of horsing around with interchangeable Small Flyer enemies, 9S decides to contact 2B to break up the monotony of another shmup section.

What is it?
I was going to send you the map data I collected earlier.
Do it. <disconnects>

9S decides to phone up 2B again all of three seconds later.

You know, ma’am. I’m glad you’re here.
Scanners like me mostly work alone. Scouting ‘out enemy lines and all that? I don’t usually get a partner. It’s kind of fun!
...Emotions are prohibited.
EEK! S-sorry, ma’am!
And another thing... Stop calling me “ma’am”.
It’s unnecessary.
All right, then. 2B it is!

Pay no attention that in 2B’s scenario she ran about a mile and had a mandatory locked room combat against a small horde of machines and unlocked a shortcut to the early area in the time between those two conversations. The non-playable version of 2B is speedrunning this shit. She probably played through the demo a bunch and all of this is old news. In fact, it’s all of about fifteen seconds before 2B radios 9S back. Which means she’s sped through another handful of rooms without stopping for anything.

I guess humans used to use it as a weapons factory. But now it’s just crawling with machines. The enemy seems to have repurposed the facility to increase their overall machine production.
So if we don’t destroy it, they’ll just keep coming.
Lot 33 to Lot 20. Materials on-route. Work Party B to Material...
It’s just accessing random nonsensical data from the old world. There’s no actual meaning behind anything machines do.
Thank you for another day of hard work. Please *crackle* for a job well done.

The factory wide intercom transmission happens about two seconds after this conversation ends, meaning 2B has made it through another locked room gauntlet and is already half-way through the smelter pits area in about two minutes total time. She’s definitely on course for a world record time if she keeps this up.

The next conversation happens about 10-15 seconds later which is past the locked room with the Shielded enemy tutorial.

Maybe they... I dunno. Moved it somewhere?

And 2B is already outside fixing to go fight the dual-Marx units all of five seconds later. She has to have found some exploit to skip past loading zones at this point. It’s getting absurd.

You mean the birds? Yeah, there’s more plants and animals here than there used to be. Probably because the environment’s changed.
There should be another facility across that bridge. It’s a bit of a hike, but should we check it out?
It’s not like Command to get a location wrong. I guess even they get bad intel from time to time, huh?
Hmm. I wouldn’t bet on that.

9S is left with going through the motions of shooting a few more barely threatening machines before he receives one final transmission from 2B.

*static* <transmission ends>
2B? Wh-what’s going on!?
She appears to be engaging the target enemy.
We have to help her! Let’s go!

And now 2B and 9S’s prologue paths merge once again. I’m not sure if a shmup section with an audio play of all the radio transmissions dumped one after another is the best first impression for a second playthrough of the game...

Music: The Sound of the End (Instrumental)

2B has already managed to defeat the twin Marx boss fight in the span of less than 20 seconds. She is really just busting ass through this prologue. If anything, 9S is just going to slow her down at this rate.

This is the target. I’m going to destroy it.
Uh... right. I’ll provide support!

Our initial support is limit to just plinking away at the Engels with our Flight Unit. We’ve certainly got more DPS than 2B is outputting down on the ground. But it’s not making much of an overall dent. We’ve got to hold out a few seconds until Pod 153 chimes in...

Software vulnerabilities and penetration path detected. Displaying on HUD.
I’ll hack this thing and weaken it!

New Music: The Sound of the End (Chiptune)

...I’m in! Yep. 9S can hack Engels. Indeed, hacking spots have appeared on both its shoulders and its head. We need to hack ‘em all into submission to get anywhere in this battle.

Funny, I don’t recall Engels violently exploding several times while 2B was fighting it from the bridge. It also seems to have skipped the phase where it periodically dove underwater and shattered portions of the bridge beneath 2B.

Once the two shoulders and head hacking spots are dealt with, a fourth hacking hotspot appears on Engel’s chest. Let’s get all up in Engel’s creamy chocolate center.

Here we’re treated with a new configuration of the hacking mini-game. We now have eight rival cursors, all tracking 9S’s avatar and attempting to zap it with energy pellets while the usual black orb we need to destroy is shielded. We need to destroy all of the enemy units before the shield will be deactivated and we can destroy the core to complete the hack. All of ‘em go down in a single successful hit.

That center cylinder is a bomb. I’m not sure why there is a digital bomb in the programming subroutines of this machine. Only 9S can detonate it and it will destroy all enemy avatars within the very generous explosion range. I’m not going to complain about its existence.

The core sphere this time around spits out a much more aggressive stream of energy orbs and will slowly track 9S’s position around the field. Orange orbs can be destroyed by our laser fire but the purple orbs cannot. We just need to evade those. Which can get tricky as more complex configurations of this type of challenge appear. But it’s never that bad. Apparently many people didn't realize you can still hit the enemy lock-on button while hacking to make circle strafing these sorts of final targets WAY easier. It's true. Unless you're playing on hard, lock-on still works during hacks!

In any case, as soon as the final enemy craft is destroyed, the core sphere’s shields are deactivated and 9S is free to destroy it just like every other hack. A successful hack here ends this phase of the fight.

Music: ENDS

From here, everything goes just as it did in our first run of the prologue. Which if you’ll recall involved 9S hacking some missiles and blowing them back in the Engels unit’s face. That was pretty rad. 9S seemed like a powerful ally.

...And then he almost immediately got completely owned and pissed away any notion that he might be kind of a badass.

In 2B’s scenario, Engels was temporarily deactivated. This gave her time to rush up to the top of the machine and come to the owned 9S’s aid before he completely shriveled up into a corncob.

...But what was 9S up to before 2B ran for like... thirty seconds and climbed a ladder to two to get to him? Surprisingly enough, he wasn’t muttering about how he wasn’t owned. That’s clearly a falsehood. 9S has been extremely owned. I’m not even sure where his arm or leg landed. I’m surprised they didn’t pop off again when he ate shit doing that kamikaze attack on Boku-Shi.

No... instead 9S was...

All Sound: ENDS

(Redeploying in offline mode.)

(Recovery sector. Eliminate access impairments to all blocks.)

We’ve got a three minute timer and it seems like the game wants us to do something or other. But it’s really vague about it. “Eliminate access impairments to all blocks?” The hell does that even mean? Like memory card blocks? Nobody uses those anymore. Those were the dark ages of video game storage mediums. Surely androids have moved past that. No, let’s just think on this a bit...

(Alert: Vital signs declining.)

Anyone ever have one of those third party PS1 memory cards with three times the storage? You know, the ones that would inevitably corrupt and erase everything within like a year. But man, it was nice to not have to juggle 15 blocks of memory. You could actually use the camera in Metal Gear Solid and see those ghost pictures of the developers! It was wild!

Vital signs entering sub-optimal territory.

The PS2 moved away from blocks to actual normal memory space measurement. Which only drove home how bullshit the proprietary PS2 memory card size was... and that lasted up to this day with the Vita. I think the Vita is still kinda alive, right? Somehow... But then the GameCube and Xbox 1... err... original? Xbox One is such a stupid fucking name. Goddamn. But those two consoles had blocks as its memory unit of measurement. That was weird. Especially with the Xbox OG since that had a few gigs of hard drive space that would never get filled in consoles from that generation normally so I du—

Unit 9S death confirmed.

Wait, shit... Was I supposed to be doing something? Crud. My bad. Well, just load me at a checkpoint and I’ll get right on th—wait. Why am I back at the title screen again...? FFFFffffff—!

Video: Episode 68 Highlight Reel

Flight Unit Concept Art – They really need to fasten androids into these things better.