Part 99: Episode XCVI: Gated AccessEpisode XCVI: Gated Access
I always forget our protagonists are technically named YoRHa Number 9 Type-S and YoRHa Number 2 Type-B. Thats a mouthful. Anyway, lets get back to assisting 2B with whatever jam shes managed to get herself into while we were snooping around classified records.
These comms are all messed up... Guess Ill have to break in to the other side and take control.
Boy that digitized topographical map from a low isometric angle is beyond useless. But given the progression of events in Route A, right about now 2B and Pascal should be propositioned to become as gods via the local Abandoned Factory dwelling death cult.
Music: Wretched Weaponry (Quiet Instrumental)
Welcome back to hacking space. Its not just for hacking anymore. Mostly... Since 2B is deep underground and the YoRHa cell tower reception is spotty at best, 9S needs to manually make his way into the factory to aid his partner.
Advancing to the northwest brings us to this tiny digital boy and a node to access him. Well, its not like weve got any other options, so...
New Music: Wretched Weaponry (Medium Instrumental)
Hey, remember those piles of dead machines that either passed on joining the death cult or were early adopters to divinity through death? One of those springs into action due to now being controlled by our boy 9S.
Now I just have to unlock the door where 2B is...
Judging by the dead cultists and the living ones either praying to their corpses or panicking as to why this is happening, Im going to hazard a guess that Robo-Pope Kierkegaard has already bought the farm and were in the middle of 2B and Pascal booking it out of the facility. As soon as we approach the only open door out of this room, we find...
I should hack it and take control of it now while its not suspecting anything.
Alright, 9S. Youre the boss. A Level 1 Stubby probably isnt going to get far if any of the zealots are busy helping their fellow machines reach godhood through death. So lets hop into an upgrade.
OK. Were a Level 4 torch wielding cultist. All they possess attack wise is a wide swipe with their torch and a leaping overhead slam. Its not great, but its better than flailing with stubby arms. Lets get moving!
New Music: Wretched Weaponry (Dynamic Instrumental)
Unfortunately, the convey belts in the factory are still active and our cultist machine aint no Sonic the Hedgehog for running speed, so we do to be careful in avoiding being squished. Unlike 2Bs experience here in which getting crushed would instantly kill her, forcing a body retrieval from a checkpoint, 9S is remote controlling this body. Its entirely expendable and replicable. Should 9Ss controlled machine die here, hell just respawn as a Stubby from that machine pile. So thats nice.
You first, pal. Unlike the rest of the game, theres no level scaling for enemies here. Everyone in this event is Level 1-10. Its like they themselves couldnt get the balancing issues to work out and just went fuck it! by resetting everyone to base levels.
There is little in the way of resistance from hostile machines in the first stretch of catwalks. That is, until we reach the second central strut. Theres a big ruckus coming from within and it doesnt sound good.
Music: Wretched Weaponry (Vocal)
We shall become gods!
What are you thinking!? Have your circuits failed you!?
We shall become gods! We shall become gods! We shall become gods!
What happened to all of you?
Gods! Gods! Gods!
Theres a bit of infighting going on in here between the machines down with the murder/suicide pact and those that enjoy continued living. The allied machines transcend the leveling restrictions by all being Level 15 and thus pretty able to survive this encounter. But heck, we can help them out while were in the neighborhood.
Theres no reward for helping out the machines having a crisis of fate, unlike in Route A. But hey, its a nice thing to do. So... good luck getting out of here, guys! Try not to not get in the way of the female android going on a tear through the factory. And uhh... maybe avoid evacuating to the City Ruins. One of your bosses might be fixing to have a meltdown you dont wanna be around for... Just a thought.
A few still look usable. Better send these coordinates to the Bunker, just in case.
Any time 9S remarks on a pile of dead machines he comes upon it means a respawn checkpoint has been created. So if 9Ss hacked machine body is destroyed, a new Stubby will pop up here with a conveniently placed neutral upgrade nearby to hack and take over. Hey... nice axe youve got there, pal...
Hell yeah, boy! Dual-wielding up in this joint. Step right up for the fast track to divinity on the business end of this axes. Two for one sale on godhood!
Past a few hostile machines and a couple instant-death drops, we come upon another machine corpse pile checkpoint and a bunch more upset cultists. Talking to them all yields the same dialogue 2B got back in Route A. So well just skip past that.
Up ahead weve got another conveyor belt. This one is moving at a much steadier clip than the previous one. But thats OK. Theres another upgraded body to continue 9Ss reenactment of Shiny Entertainments Messiah. This one is sporting an Astaroth caliber big ass axe. But more importantly...
He doesnt have any legs! Dude is just a sphere that floats. No legs means no fighting against the momentum of the conveyor belt. 9S can just drift on past while ignoring everyones least favorite platforming trope next to ice levels.
Our time with the sphere-shaped axe lad is short since at the bottom of this strut is an upgrade to a small gunner. Axes are fine and all but ranged weaponry will always be better. Plus, still no interference from the conveyor belt.
Whatever, robot. 9S has died twice in this game and this dweeb certainly isnt anything approaching a divine being. Unless hes the God of Being Dunked On a lesser known deity in certain eastern religions.
The end of this path also marks the end of the silly conveyor belt business. With it comes a medium biped gunner. Theres never been a better time to upgrade to a Mega Man Robot Master ass machine than now.
If youll remember this cool shot of the zoomed out scope of the factory from Route A, youll know were just about to where 2B and Pascal emerged from meeting the robot pope and linked up with 9S. Weird, I remember 9S having a much less impressive machine in 2Bs perspective. You better not turn into an unreliable narrator, kid.
All right. If I can hack this elevator and get it running, I can get 2B and everyone else out of here!
Its the very most basic hacking mini-game configuration to unlock the elevator. After the shut-in kids antics, this mess is childs play to the master of unlocking here. As soon as the doors lock is destroyed, the elevator activates and out pops...
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! 2B! Its me! 9S!
I hacked into this machine from the Bunker. Im controlling it! Im gonna break into this factorys systems and get you outta here!
<short circuits and deactivates>
Music: Wretched Weaponry (Chiptune)
In case you couldnt tell the factory was stupidly large, heres a nice overhead shot of a portion of its layout from digital space.
Were done with all the robot body jacking. The remainder of our adventures in the cult factory will be conducted in cyberspace. Remember, 9S was busy hacking open gates so 2B and Pascal could escape the factory.
Up ahead is a gate lock node. As soon as 9Ss avatar approaches it, a small swarm of defender programs activate alongside a core. Just like regular hacking mini-games, 9S just needs to destroy the defenders to unlock the cores shield and then take that out as well. No problem.
As soon as the core is shattered, a hacking node appears in front of the lock. 9S just needs to access that and...
There we go. First door unlocked! 2B! Keep going straight!
All the gate locks are in sequence to the northeastern path. However, as we could see from that brief overhead shot of the factory layout, theres several side paths here. Its worth checking these out since they all contain Intel Documents that can only be accessed during this sequence. Lets see what weve got...
All the reports located on this server are about Project Gestalt. That first part is talking about the Rhythm Game Ending E from Drakengard. To this day, I still shake my head a bit remembering that was the canon ending that started off this spin-off series.
The second part, maso, is the magic element that from Drakengards universe that proliferated into Niers previously non-magical dimension. Turns out introducing magic to a non-magic world is a REALLY bad thing and the root of most problems. While humans could science up some safe uses harnessed from maso (which probably eventually went on to be the basis of Pod Programs and other magic-esque junk pulled in this game) ultimately they needed to flush out all of the magical element back where it came from into Drakengards dimension. Or... some other poor saps parallel universe. Who cares! Not our problem once its gone!
I personally like to believe theres just a succession of dimensions fucking over parallel dimensions by pumping magic garbage into them to clean up their own problem. Its not like Drakengards universe was the source of all the magical woes. It had a modern day era looking city filled with dragons, a pan-dimensional parasitic god flower and assorted magical shit drop into it one day in the mid-800s and was identical to our world up until that point (the Drakengard timeline begins year 1 with the birth of Jesus Christ.)
But, enough speculation on the source of magic being some bullshit. Weve got some gates to hack and 2B cant busy herself forever slaughtering cannon fodder cultists.
The second gate adds defends with the armored front. This is easily counter-acted by the ancient human taught technique of dumping fire non-stop while circle strafing the enemy. A classic tactic.
Door two disabled. The doors open! Keep moving!
Further ahead weve got a branching path with damage blocks bouncing back and forth in the crossroad. As mentioned, the gates are all to the northeast. So lets see whats happening northwest first.
Weve got a couple stationary armored attacks lazily shooting invulnerable energy shots. Dealing with them, weve got another multiple choice option of directions. Lets try southwest...
More rotating gatling attacks. Still not a problem. The trail continues again to the northwest. Here we find...
Ergh... Hey guys... Whatcha looking at here...? Thats not... creepy at all. Mind if we take a look? Of course not. Youre just a bunch of 1s and 0s. What are you going to do?
Turns out people werent immediately thrilled with the idea of using extra-dimensional magic to rip out peoples souls to store away while the magic junk turning people into monsters was vacuumed up for a couple generations. The numbers for amount of time it would take to clean up magic killing/monster transforming energy and humans all dying from it didnt add up in humanity's favor, which is why they were resorting to this.
I wonder if the PR department tasked heres chief job was to put a nice spin on the part about peoples souls being turned into bizarre shadow monsters filled with puzzling huge amounts of blood.
Doubling back the other way we came and going north down a long, ridged path brings us to the third and final Project Gestalt document present in this area. And indeed, the penultimate Intel item found in Route B of the game.
Replicants were the basically bio-android/clones of people that had the whole soul ripping out business done to them. They were originally tasked with basic programming in cleaning up all the bad magical energy until the world was safe from humanity to come back. And then the Gestalt/Shades/Human Souls were supposed to get shoved in their cloned meat puppet bodies and everything would be cool. Except the part where they eventually became sapient and started getting into conflict with the shades/their souls and that went poorly.
The Replicants were originally created each generation... somehow... by Android overseers. Not sure what happened to the surviving Replicants after the events of the original NieR. The ones in Japan, at least, almost certainly went extinct within a generation since Papa Nier and Emil murdered the resident Replicants creators, the original Devola and Popola. And considering theres no mention of them outside of these reports, Im guessing theyre no longer a thing. I mean, why would you keep making a bio-android clone of some 30-something salaryman from the early 21st century when you could just have a rad murder android instead?
Anyway, lets get back on task. The final gate is barred by the defenses of several stationary turret defenders with highly erratic patterns. Same deal. Destroy them all and then the core.
In case youre wondering what happens if 9Ss avatar is destroyed he... just immediately respawns at the beginning of this attack phase. It doesnt even reset the enemies. Theres literally no death penalty. This is basically a big glorified cutscene in the hacking realm.
Its open. Exit route secured!
Said machine is drawing electrical power from the factory itself. Proposal: infiltrate the factorys mainframe and shut off the power.
9S? That Goliath we just encountered
I got it! Ive been keeping an eye on you. Im gonna shut off power to the factory now!
Of course, 9S cannot directly participate in taking on So-Shi with 2B. That was a solo encounter. Instead of that, the climax of 9Ss Chapter 9 is taking on a MASSIVE amount of defender units in one of the biggest hacking arenas in the game. There are around three dozen standard enemy units blasting orange (destroyable) energy orbs all gunning for 9S.
Alongside them are a dozen turret enemies forming a wide circle around the arena. These have slowly rotating patterns firing in four directions. These orbs are unbreakable and must be avoided. I found it best to gun for these first since theyre the biggest nuisance.
Once over half of the core defender units are destroyed, the trio of cores in the center of the arena get real ticked off by 9Ss antics and begin sweeping the room with a bullet hell of energy orbs. This continues until theyre all destroyed. Its best to stay on the orange side of the room sweepers, since those can at least been destroyed in a pinch.
Youve got this, 9S. Especially since youre effectively immortal since youll just instantly respawn at the start of the room if you fail. Itd frankly be embarrassing if you died here. Plus, there hasnt been a single save point this entire update. So, thatd be downright shitty if you could actually fail here after 40 minutes of this factory run.
2B! I just shut down the electrical grid!
Music: Wretched Weaponry (Vocal)
While we dont get to directly participate in that boss fight, we still at least get to see 2B have fun being a dork being too cool to look at explosions caused by her
That pretty much concluded 2Bs part of Chapter 9. It was just a small jog the rest of the way out of the facility and parting ways with Pascal. However, 9S still has a bit more to go, as well see next time. But before we depart, we of course need a random additional storybook scene. Unlike the rest of them, where it was out of context and a heavy filter on 9Ss voice. This time its just him speaking. Also he forgot to queue up the storybook for most of it. Hmm...
After a long period of battles and adventures, the prophet spoke.
O grant me the mercy of the land!
O grant me the joy of the heavens!
Release me from my yoke of iron! Thus shall our souls be saved.
Forever and ever. Forever and ever.
Video: Episode 96 Highlight Reel
Cultists Concept Art We must have run past the purple paint and ceremonial robes production facilities.
Kierkegaard Concept Art White smoke for the new robo-pope! Oh wait... thats just a bunch of machines committing suicide in a smelter vat. False alarm!