The Let's Play Archive

NieR: Automata

by The Dark Id

Part 75: Episode LXXIII: Heritage for the Future

Episode LXXIII: Heritage for the Future

Welcome back to the Desert Zone. It’s been a while since we’ve had any need to step foot in this region. Honestly, Route B might see us spend even less time here than the previous run. As in... most of our time will be spent in this update! Let’s get started...

Music: Memories of Dust

Now as before, there are several hotspots where machines that are *dramatic gasp here* speaking?! Shocking, I know. Funnily enough, they have nothing new to say. So we’ll just skip those encounters for now. Though we will be striking close to the first hotspot. Not to rumble with machines, mind you.

Instead, we’re going to equip one of our pods with the Scanner and head a little bit to the northwest of that hotspot. There’s an item of interest in a completely nondescript tract of sand out here.

It’s another weapon! Fancy meeting you here, weapon I definitely didn’t look up even my first playthrough because how the hell would I find this otherwise? Before you start typing up a response: No! This is not an invitation to proudly proclaim how you found this weapon on your own because you obsessively had the Scanner out at all times, just in case. That’s not a cool and good thing to do. That’s weird. You’re weird for doing that and you should feel bad, weirdo.

The Phoenix Lance is a pretty decent spear and another NieR 1 weapon expat. In the original game, this spear could be, fittingly, purchased in the Facade blacksmith shop for a hefty price. In Automata, it’s a fairly decent spear with upgrades granting it increased Attack Speed and the Level 4 augmentation being Phoenix Flash (random chance to restore health on strike) like its Phoenix Sword counterpart.

Now let’s get to the important part...

Phoenix Lance posted:

Legends tell of a mighty warrior who had no equal in battle.
Granted immortality by a phoenix, he wandered from war to war,
forever searching for ways to prove his strength.

Eventually, the man's immortal body proved too much for his
spirit, and he ran himself through with his own spear again and
again. But each time he did, the wound closed over itself,
leaving not even a scar.

He leapt from cliffs, threw himself into raging seas, and lit
himself aflame, but nothing worked. Then, one day, he slipped
mercifully into unconsciousness, and awoke centuries later to find
a songbird on his chest.

"You have atoned for your sins," said the bird. "If you wish me
to free you from your solitary existence, I will gladly do so." The
man wept tears of joy and whispered thanks to the gods before
suddenly stomping the bird to death.

Not gonna lie, that swerve at the end cracked me up. Good stuff.

Now then, getting back on track... It was never actually necessary to check out those machine hotspots on the radar in order to trigger the next leg of this main quest. Our androids could always skip past that and just rush north as soon as they entered the Desert Zone to run into the fleeing machine.

As soon as the machine runs off towards the Desert Housing area, all the other points of interest on the map and their encounters are canceled out. We could pursue the machine now and continue onward to the encounter with Adam. But we’re not going to do that just yet.

You see, on the far western side of the Desert Zone, near the sandstorm wall, a sidequest has appeared. Technically, this sidequest has been available since the Copied City chapter when we picked up the Scanner Pod Program. But, you know... we were kinda busy back then with increasingly escalating events until the end game. Not so anymore! So let’s take a hike out there...

During our hike we encounter an enemy that just plain didn’t spawn for me ever in Route A: Screaming headless suicide bomber machines. Upon seeing androids they just start hollering and make a beeline for 9S, exploding on impact. This can be a really startling encounter the first time. I guess Yoko Taro is a Serious Sam fan...

9S, please stop getting so constantly owned. It’s getting embarrassing.

After dusting off 9S after his encounter with headless machine bombers and reaching the far end of the desert, we find a lone Resistance android chilling out on some old ruins. This guy has actually always been hanging out here but he didn’t have any interest in us until we obtained that Scanner. Now, though...

There might be ancient relics buried beneath the surface. ...Hmm? Me? I’m researching the old world. You guys are with YoRHa, right? Say, if you find anything in the desert that looks like a relic, can you bring it to me? I’ll find a way to reward you for your trouble.

So begins what is definitely in the top five worsts quests in the game alongside Speed Star and a couple we’ve yet to tackle. Pod 153 will partially explain why...

Proposal: Unit 9S should use the dynamic scanner.

So about that... This quest involves collecting four relics located in the Desert Zone, the largest area in the game with the least amount of helpful landmarks. We are given FUCK ALL to work with here beyond needing to use the Scanner Pod Program. No map hotspots as with nearly every other quest in the game. No vague directions or photos to work out locations. Absolutely nothing. Just wander the wastes with the Scanner open and hope for the best...

No sane or reasonable person did this quest without a guide. And even having a video displaying the coordinates and someone picking up the item in question, it’s still a huge pain in the ass because the Scanner won’t actually pick anything up until we’re within about 20ish meters of the object and the thing won’t be revealed until we’re practically on top of it. And map markers are so large and imprecise on the world map to the point that it is still a sizable area to scour when we get there. Never mind the fact the world map doesn’t have a fixed orientation setting like the mini-map. So have fun twisting your head orienting the map to GameFirstClickCentral420’s map showing item locations with the map spun wildly every single time!

The first of the relics we need to unearth is located between two large rocks with jack shit behind it, west of the passage to the Desert Housing region. This is the easiest of the lot to narrow down. Let’s see what we’ve got.

Hypothesis: Said material is likely a relic from an ancient civilization.

Pod 153 will repeat that message for all four relics. Before we press on to the next item of interest, located in the intersection of jack shit and nowhere, let’s take a peek at the Key Items to see what we’ve gotten (these items will be removed if we return to the Resistance Researcher.)

Would you look at that, an ancient mask from Facade from the original NieR. And it’s not just any common mask, like the Desert Machines are sporting. We’ve actually seen this one before...

No it’s not Pyramid Head cosplay. It’s the same mask the young Fyra wore in the first half of NieR. I never realized it was supposed to be made out of stone. Fyra must have had neck muscles as thick as her head.

The next relic is found just northwest of this area’s Access Point. One of the main quest markers we originally checked out on Route A was also at these ruins. Here we find...

I don’t think a Shepard’s Crook had much of anything to do with Facade. Maybe someone sold it to that weird items vendor after all the sheep went extinct in the game’s second half.

The third relic is located in the middle of goddamn nowhere. There’s a dune nearby, I guess...? If you squint there’s some broken oil pipes in the far distance. Otherwise, it’s just sand and more sand that isn’t close to anything one could point out as a reference point. This scanned spot actually gives two items, one for our quest and another for our Old World Archives.

The key item has some of Facade's thousands of rules etched on it. This is obviously part of a set of Commandment Slabs of about 6,000. Thankfully, we just need the one for this quest. Speaking of rules...

No birthday parties for anyone! Jimmy wanted two scoops of ice cream but he just let one of them melt before eating it. Thus Jimmy has ruined it for everyone. Thanks a lot, Jimmy. Asshole.

Now, I said there’s four relics to find out here and we’ve only gotten three. The trouble is that the fourth relic necessary for completing the quest doesn’t spawn until we trek all the way back to the quest giver and drop off our earlier findings. Which is real fun when you’ve watched a video showing the locations and don’t know why the goddamn thing isn’t there even though you’re clearly in the right spot.

Hmm... Looks like some kind of staff. That’s pretty incredible. Let me pay you for your help. This was likely a tool used for some kind of ceremony. I imagine it belonged to the nation that used to exist in this region. If you find any more relics, make sure to bring them to me.

While this quest is a really poorly designed bad decision, it at least yields some decent rewards for each piece of Facade memorabilia we turn in. Let’s continue this gravy train...

This isn’t the only tablet of its kind that we’ve found, either. I think the nation that once existed here lived under an almost impossible number of rules. The more they expanded their civilization, the more rules they had to come up with. They ended up living their lives bound by rules. Seems like a waste if you ask me... If you find any more relics, make sure to bring ‘em to me!

Even the gods were bound by rules. Or was that just a soundtrack music title...? It’s hard to remember. Andross was a cool boss fight.

Huh, so it’s some kind of mask. Judging by the design, it was intended to be worn by a female. According to legend, the nation that used to be here was wiped out quite suddenly. Apparently it had something to do with the passing of a beloved king. Perhaps this mask belonged to a princess or the like. If you find any more relics, make sure to bring ‘em to me!

Hey, Fyra was married and was queen for at LEAST like 40 seconds before getting mauled by wolves and dying. Also I guess that answers our question of which NieR 1 area went to shit first post-game. Thanks for ruining everything, even after the fact, Papa Nier.

Now that we’ve dropped off the three previous relics with the researcher, the fourth and final relic has now spawned. It’s found in some ruined structures south...ish from the Resistance Researcher, still quite near the storm wall.

The final item of interest is just straight up a tiny statue of Fyra. At least someone took the time to capture her likeness before the wedding unpleasantries. With this in tow, we can return to the researcher android to finish up this sidequest. Except...

Give us your money and your life!
Uh oh. What the heck were those guys?

This here’s a stick-up, androids! Meet the Bandit Machines. They’re here for androids lives and money. No, they don’t actually know what money does or why the want it. But them confounded androids done it and dagnabbit, that’s good enough for them.

These are a machine lifeform reskin unique to this quest and we’ll be putting them all out of action in short order with a few hacks. Sorry, guys. The day of stage coach raids and highwayman bandits has passed you all by...

Analysis: Their garments were based on a subset of human culture.
Human culture?
Examples of said clothing can be found in “motion pictures” that humans created for entertainment purposes. More specifically, they were from a genre known as “Westerns” that chronicled warfare in the a certain region of the planet.
Warfare as entertainment? What were humans thinking?

Left trigger, right trigger, boom-boom no-scope headshot city, motherfucka. Mostly... Anyway, let’s return and polish off one more sidequest.

Hmm... The words “On Your Wedding Day” are carved into it. Perhaps this is a representation of the bride. This reminds me of something I’ve recently discovered in the course of my work. It appears that this area used to be known as “Facade.” As the name suggests, the residents of Facade all wore masks, as well as unusual clothes. They also spoke a language unique to their people. Anyway, listen to me ramble. Thanks again for your help. Please take this, okay?

A hefty sum of gold and three vintage 1974 Webster’s Dictionaries are our reward for this dumb quest. But that’s not all...

We also gain yet another spear for our efforts. It’s like the game is saying something about what weapon choice we ought to give 9S. Let’s take a closer look.

The Spear of the Usurper, also known as the Robber King, joins Iron Will as one of the few weapons to make it into every single Drakenier universe game. This a REALLY good spear. Indeed, it might be one of the best weapons in the game for use with 9S. It gains Critical + with each level of upgrade, which can do some serious business despite 9S’s weak combos. More importantly, at Level 4 it gains Turncoat. This ability gives a random chance for any (common) enemy poked with it to become an ally just as if 9S sneak hacked and subjugated it. Which doubles as essentially a chance to one-shot an enemy since Subjugation is until the machine is destroyed. It’s PRETTY good all around.

Spear of the Usurper posted:

In a distant kingdom, there lived two princes. The son of the
queen consort was clever of mind but weak of flesh. The son of
the king's second wife was dimwitted, yet charming, and quite
gifted in the art of war.

Which prince would succeed the throne? When news came down
that the king had died in battle, the two men each declared
themselves the next true king, rallying the people to take the
side of one or the other.

In the midst of this coronation battle, a third man appeared
claiming to be a prince. Bright, capable, and brave, he
dispatched the two foolish brothers and went on to become a
wise and just king beloved by all.

Decades later, the king announced on his deathbed that he
wasn't royalty at all, but in fact was the son of a commoner.
Upon hearing this revelation, the people stormed the castle and
hung their beloved ruler from the rafters.

Well, it’s nice the peasants were active with their government upholding. They later elected a dog the new ruler of the land. He was fair, just and wise leading a prosperous kingdom for years to come. Until the cannibal space babies arrived, that is... Everyone remembers Drakengard Ending E for the rhythm battle and the jet. Nobody remembers the part that nobody actually took care of the giant space babies in that timeline.

In any case, that completes the Heritage of the Past quest and with it our need to linger in this desert any longer.

All that’s left is to retrace our steps back to where we saw that fleeing machine earlier and head on towa—

Music: ENDS

Once, long ago, a volcano erupted.

From the fires of the eruption, a god emerged.

One day, the god appeared before the machines and said:
“Consciousness, pain, joy, misery, fury, shame, desolation, the future...”

“...the meaning of life.”

Video: Episode 73 Highlight Reel
(You should probably watch at least the end part.)

Resistance Concept Art - That concept art illustrator REALLY wanted to get a popped collar in there somewhere and just got shot down every time.