The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 74: Episode LXXII: The Golden Boy

Episode LXXII: The Golden Boy

Back on the road again. Now that we’ve settled things in the Resistance Camp again, it’s off to the Desert Zone to investigate the weirdness going on out there and rediscover how bishonen villains are born. I’m sure the actual Sephiroth’s birth was quite similar. It probably just involved a womb of writhing belts and zippers instead of machines.

Music: City Ruins - Shade (Dynamic)

There isn’t anything new story wise on the way to the Desert Zone. However, 9S and 2B do run into a bit of an anomaly on the way to their destination...

Mmm? Enemy detected! Go! Show no mercy! Glory to machine lifeforms!
Whoa! They’re speaking.

These are the same Golden Machines we saw towards the end of Route A over at the Flooded City. If you’ll remember back then, we opted to leave them alone because it was a 15-20 minute grind to hack down just the one Goliath Biped unit and the angry talkative Stubby was nigh invulnerable. This is still the case with 9S. Our sword strikes are virtually ineffective against these Golden machine’s shining armor.

Their interior, however, is quite susceptible to hacking and 9S can access their inner circuitry in short order.

There’s another hacking game variation encountered here. It’s all rather self-explanatory. The goal is still to take down the core orb’s shield and shatter it to complete the hack. Here we’re introduced to a few new units. White blocks are invincible and both our shots as well as enemy energy orbs cannot pass through ‘em. Likewise, the white tips of those enemy units are invincible as well. 9S needs to strafe behind ‘em to take those out as they slowly pursue him firing energy orbs.

Instead of 20 minutes hacking away at one of these machines, it instead takes two sessions of hacking into a Golden Goliath Biped to blow it to bits. Have I mentioned hacking is extremely powerful recently? Hacking is extremely powerful.

The other Golden Goliath yields another new mini-game. I’ve left instances of new hacking sessions in the Highlight Reel video at the end of the update if you wanna see them in action. Red blocks are invincible, like the white blocks, but also will damage 9S’s avatar if he runs into ‘em. The black cylinders are stationary enemies and will fire slow homing missiles towards 9S’s avatar. They take a few hits to destroy, unlike the rest of the enemy units which are one-shot affairs.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it earlier, but the orange orbs can be destroyed by 9S’s fire but purple orbs are invincible and must just be avoided. Unlike the Flight Unit shmup sections, there’s no physical attack to cheese through getting good at bullet hell shooters. Learn to dodge!

The Golden Stubby, which according to Unit Data is known as the “Courageous Brother,” is quite annoyed once we’ve hacked in and annihilated his companions. Which is understandable. It must take a while for a Stubby to paint something that big gold. Imagine all that work going to waste.

Don’t worry, bud. You’ll be joining them shortly! Well... kinda shortly... It actually takes SIX hacks to deplete all of the Courageous Brother’s HP. Granted, they’re all the very basic “single orb floats around slowly” hacks of all Stubby and lesser common machines. Still, that thing had a ridiculous amount of HP to be that durable.

The Courageous Brother damns us before exploding and yielding a valuable Machine Core (more valuable now as sell prices have increased alongside merchant prices) and more importantly a “Powerup Part S” which is a unique drop vital to upgrading our Pods. There’s more angry Golden Machines out in the wild. They’re all unique encounters even though there’s no associated sidequest with disposing of them all.

In any case, that’s a wrap for that peculiar machine. Let’s continue our mission out into the desert. There’s no need to talk to the scout at the Resistance FOB on the edge of town this time around. So we can just mosey on to the City Ruins/Desert Zone buffer zone where Jackass is hanging out. As we enter the region, we receive that the same transmission from the Council of Humanity we picked up in 2B’s exploits as protagonist.

Music: Memories of Dust (Quiet)

We would really like to get off the moon and hope to achieve this goal one day. No rush or anything to our cherished androids. We have commemorated the next lunar colony beer pong session in honor of your courage. Glory to mankind.
Wasn’t the last transmission the same exact message except they commemorated a barbecue cookout in our honor...? You think they could at least mix up the wording or something.

Before we go link up with Jackass, we’re going to take a little detour. To the immediate east past the Resistance outpost, there’s a cliffside path leading to the caverns beneath this region. We briefly spelunked down here back when we were doing Emil’s Lunar Tear sidequest. But there’s something of note here now that we have 9S in the leading role.

There’s a padlocked gate in the central part of this cave that 9S can pass via hacking. This leads to a pair of chained boulders and some electric-shield wielding Desert Zone machines. This might be the only place where electric shield equipped Facade cosplayer hang out and that counts as another unique Unit Data entry, even if they’re functionally identical to the normal electric-shield Medium Bipeds.

A quick series of hacking will take out those pesky machines in short order. Should have specced into the firewall class instead, chumps. This leaves behind the actual reason we came down here: Another new weapon!

Cruel Blood Oath is 9S’s equivalent to 2B’s Virtuous Treaty in being straight up the same exact sword in all regards (literally the same exact stats and combo potential) except tinted black and gaining Dark Impulse (Attack Power Up when 9S is nearly dead) instead of Holy Blessing. Perhaps its Weapon History can differentiate it...

Cruel Blood Oath posted:

I'll never forget the time we met. I knew ours was a love that would
last for eternity.

But even when by his side, his feelings were a mystery. It was
painful not to know what he was thinking. So painful.

When I was close, I hurt him. Yet being distant hurt him more.

I finally found my place in life. A place where I am as close as
possible, yet eternally distant.

I’m sure that’s just an odd rambling prose and definitely not talking about anyone we might know. No sirrah. Moving right along...

While we’re down here and I’ve jacked a Medium Biped’s body, let’s grab a couple other 9S-only treasure boxes we’ve ran across in our travels as 2B. We passed two of ‘em during that Lunar Tear trek in this area.

The first is at the end of the pass leading up to that first jump towards the Lunar Tear. If you’re wondering, there’s no need to be in a machine lifeform body. It’s just for funsies.

Our reward is the first in MANY of 9S’s hackable chest rewards: lore. There are tons of files containing all sorts of random world building bullshit 9S can unlock from documents on the original NieR’s backstory to additional info about the assorted areas to parking tickets.

Most of these documents get sorted into the Old World Information tab of the Intel Archives. Our first entry is some idiot getting trolled on April Fools by coming into the office for a fake meeting. Nice job, idiot!

There’s a second hacking locked chest located in the same crevice Emil’s Lunar Tear is in. This one’s a bit more interesting. Hey, did you ever long for more of Facade's weird rules? Well guess what, pal! You’re in luck!

Obviously. You’ve got to build your seafront cottages on stilts. C’mon, guys. That’s like basic stuff.

Do you think Seafront or Facade lasted longer after Papa Nier ruined everything by the end of the original game? There’s no way Nier’s Village lasted long with the twins dead and Papa Nier winked out of existence. Who was going to run that place? Yonah? With her fantasy cancer that never got cured? Pfft.

Anyway, Jackass is hanging out here like before. Let’s have a chat.

Name’s Jackass. Nice to meetcha. I was told to look out for a couple of weirdos looking like they were on their way to an anime convention. Yep...
What’s that supposed to mean?
Who are you supposed to be? Young Dante or something? I fell off on that one after like the third game.
O... K...?
Forget about it. So I hear you two are supposed to go kill all the machines out in the desert or something. That’s cool. Looks like we need to get that entrance open. Don’t let any machines in here. That’d be a real pain.
We’ll try. Err... what are you doing out here, anyway? Scouting or...

Blowing shit up mostly. For science.
Don’t sweat it. I already have everything I need out of you two for my study. Avoiding mackerel in the future.
Science doesn’t care about routes.
Let’s get on with the mission.
Well, scrap some machines for me while you’re out there. Don’t go trying to be a hero, all right?

That’s all we’ll be seeing from Jackass for now. Unfortunately, we cannot get her to skip to the part where she installs Fast Travel. That’d be too convenient.

Tune in next time as 9S and 2B make their way through the Desert Zone, have a history lesson on the region and encounter one of the top three worst sidequests in the game as NieR: Automata continues!

Video: Episode 72 Highlight Reel

Jackass Render – A lot of people seem to draw Jackass with an eyepatch. She’s just got dark hair obscuring one of her eyes. Jackass might enjoy blowing up shit. But she is at least safety conscious about it. Mostly... Machines caught in explosions don't count.