I HAVE to talk about this game (unmarked spoiler thread)

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#1 Edited by DinosaurCanada (557 posts) -

Got ending E last night, and its all I've been able to think about all day. This game is incredible. So dense and fascinating the think about. There's a few questions and extra thoughts I have though -

UNMARKED SPOILERS BELOW

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So, Jesus Christ. 2B/9S might be one of the best (if not the best) romantic relationships I have ever seen in a game. This is one of those games that an extra playthrough is absolutely worth it just to see all the subtle foreshadowing they do (the amnesia side quest in particular). She just pretends to be this cold icy no-nonsense robot because she doesn't want to feel so attached to him (all the time she almost called him Nines was her holding back, not being icy). So good. There isn't a wasted word or grunt in this game.

But I do have some questions:

-Why would they keep mind wiping and keeping 9S around full well knowing this is going to happen every single time? Is he really that good that they can't spend some R&D to make a model that isn't as curious or something?

- Is The Tower built by the machines? And why does it just have a room that looks like the library from the first game (which is a fantastic moment, but still)?

So, talk away! This is one of those games that I can go on about for hours.

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#2 Edited by Zeik (4522 posts) -

I guess you just have to assume the advantages outweigh the disadvantages with the 9S model, and 2B/2E is there to deal with that disadvantage. At one point they even suggest they're going to increase production of his model, so they must have been pretty satisfied with how things were going. If they were to eliminate his inquisitiveness it could directly impact his abilities as a scanner. Knowing how they operate, they probably even tried it and it failed to produce the desired results.

Yes, it was built by the machines, as it was designed to destroy the data centers on the moon. The reason that room looked like that library was probably because it was one of the many things from human civilization they tried to copy. (But mostly it was just a cool reference.)

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#3 Edited by tuffalobuffalo (41 posts) -

9S represents why going full logical Vulcan doesn't work. The game is trying to say pure logic isn't enough to solve the world's problems as much as we would like it to. I'm pretty sure the tower is a machine thing meant to destroy the nonexistent presence of humanity on the moon.

As far as romance goes, I didn't gravitate towards the 2B/9S thing, but I think the Romeos and Juliets play is the best thing ever. Shakespeare dissected love with that play and got down to how it can be more powerful and destructive an emotion than hate. The Romeos and Juliets analyzes that play through the lens of a sentient machine, and it's just nihilisticly sublime. Everything has a point but at the same time is pointless! :)

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#4 Posted by redyoshi (1349 posts) -

I believe the justification for the Scanner models is that their information gathering is invaluable to the androids war efforts, and I suppose that having 9S paired with 2E had proven to be a decent enough safety measure. Though I did read somewhere that in one of the novellas that takes place before this game, 9S had actually figured out that 2B was his assassin and had laid a trap that required the Commander's intervention to foil. What I'm not really clear on is why the Commander just revealed the truth to him anyway midway through one of the routes (B, I think?).

Also the 2B/9S subplot didn't work for me until I got that additional context that 2B was already well acquainted with 9S from before the start of the game. I feel like that's something they could have communicated a little better.

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#5 Edited by DinosaurCanada (557 posts) -
@redyoshi said:

What I'm not really clear on is why the Commander just revealed the truth to him anyway midway through one of the routes (B, I think?).

I think that's because the Commander knew that this was the end of line and when the cycle was supposed to naturally break anyway, and was totally cool with him knowing and trusted fate to get the job done past that. I assumed 2B/E would have to immediately kill him if he told her anyway.

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#6 Edited by Efesell (2584 posts) -

It was a reveal that I think worked pretty well to contextualize a problem I was having with their dynamic at first. Cause at first glance she goes from apathy to caring deeply about his well being at the drop of a hat otherwise.

@dinosaurcanada: Hmm, I don't think she was in on the ultimate fate of YorHa. All of those documents are access restricted from even the Commander.

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#7 Edited by BoOzak (1768 posts) -

9s to me just came off as an emotional android going through puberty(however that works), 2B was cool though. Sorry, not the most insightful comment, i'm just being honest.

I did think the game ended well I just wish I didnt hate him as much as I did.

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#8 Edited by DinosaurCanada (557 posts) -

@efesell: Thats right. She was also infected with the logic virus (which I'm also unsure about the origins of?), so maybe she didn't care. Man I really need to play through this game again and get all the logs.

@boozak: 9S is also kind of racist. He was super trigger happy against even the peaceful machines and was always on the side of "suspicion".

Thanks for all the answers on The Tower, surprised I forgot it considering its a pretty large detail.

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#9 Posted by Zeik (4522 posts) -

@dinosaurcanada: All the YorHa are "kind of racist". The were built for the sole purpose of eradicating machines and constantly fed propaganda that they were nothing but mindless killing machines. There was a pretty obvious undelying statement there.

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#10 Edited by DinosaurCanada (557 posts) -

@zeik: Oh totally. Discrimination and hate just leads to the cycle of war and destruction over and over again. And whether they hide it with revenge (like A2) or a higher purpose (like the rest of the YorHa), hate is still hate,and it always accomplishes nothing. Honestly, 2B's death (and logic virus) just sort of justified 9S to be the fully bad person he always was.

In true Yoko fashion all the characters are very bad people, but are still justified and tragic enough to be relatable and "heroic" to some degree.

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#11 Edited by redyoshi (1349 posts) -

@boozak: In fairness to 9S, the guy goes through a lot. You can get hints of it when Adam is in his head, talking about the hatred inside him and then providing that quote that I've seen passed around, "You're thinking about how much you want to **** 2B." Lots of people take it as 'fuck' but it can also be assumed to be 'kill', especially with the earlier lines leading up to it. Then take it further when he's facing off against the 2B copies and the bloodlust that takes over him at that point. When you put this together with his final confrontation with A2, where she reveals 2B's actual designation of Executioner, she infers that 9S was already well aware of 2B being paired with him as his killer. On one hand he's a pretty sweet kid that wants to go on shopping trips with 2B for t-shirts, but he must deeply resent that the girl he likes will also murder and mindwipe him once she's aware that he knows too much.

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#12 Posted by Shirogane (3637 posts) -

@boozak said:

9s to me just came off as an emotional android going through puberty(however that works), 2B was cool though. Sorry, not the most insightful comment, i'm just being honest.

I did think the game ended well I just wish I didnt hate him as much as I did.

This seems supported by the fact that his ending, D, is called Childhood's End.

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#13 Posted by nonused (321 posts) -

I'm not sure the Tower was always meant to destroy the human server. I think it was meant to be the ark it became the whole time. What purpose did the network have in destroying the human server when they garnered so much evolutionary knowledge from similar data? It makes more sense that the network (which I'm pretty sure is infested by the Watchers/Red Eye Disease at this point) would want to launch off and conquer more worlds/universes when they've gained everything they possibly could from the androids.

I'm more confused by the boxes (Meat Box, Soul Box, God Box). Part of me thinks they're manufacturing tools for the machines/androids (as the cores and black boxes share the same components), but then why would you need to destroy them to gain access to the Tower? Was that just N2 being a dick? I dunno.

I could be wrong on all that stuff, to be fair. But it makes more sense that the Watchers (machine network) set up YorHa as an adversarial force to strengthen the machines' evolutionary data, so that they could then conquer more worlds.

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#14 Edited by Zeik (4522 posts) -

@dinosaurcanada: I don't agree that 9S was always a bad person and I really don't think that's what they were going for with his story. It's more the idea that if you push someone hard enough and practically destroy their psyche the idea of right and wrong no longer has meaning.

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#15 Posted by Efesell (2584 posts) -

@nonused: Well the Watchers admit that observing Adam, Eve, and the various androids caused them to change their minds on the purpose of the Tower, so I'm assuming it was a genuine bomb at some point.

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#16 Posted by Zeik (4522 posts) -

@nonused: The game pretty explicity states the tower was originally designed for destruction, but eventually the red girls change their mind and repurpose it into an ark to seek out new life.

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#17 Posted by tuffalobuffalo (41 posts) -

@redyoshi said:

@boozak: In fairness to 9S, the guy goes through a lot. You can get hints of it when Adam is in his head, talking about the hatred inside him and then providing that quote that I've seen passed around, "You're thinking about how much you want to **** 2B." Lots of people take it as 'fuck' but it can also be assumed to be 'kill', especially with the earlier lines leading up to it. Then take it further when he's facing off against the 2B copies and the bloodlust that takes over him at that point. When you put this together with his final confrontation with A2, where she reveals 2B's actual designation of Executor, she infers that 9S was already well aware of 2B being paired with him as his killer. On one hand he's a pretty sweet kid that wants to go on shopping trips with 2B for t-shirts, but he must deeply resent that the girl he likes will also murder and mindwipe him once she's aware that he knows too much.

Yeah, 9S is annoying for a reason. The character is kind of commenting on otaku culture in general.

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#18 Edited by Zeik (4522 posts) -

@tuffalobuffalo: Otaku culture? I don't really see where you're drawing that connection from.

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#19 Edited by Efesell (2584 posts) -

I'll admit I was not the biggest fan of 9S just becoming a rampage for revenge character but god ending D was rough.

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#20 Posted by DinosaurCanada (557 posts) -

@zeik: There's probably more nuance to it than that, but that's just what I read into it at first. Its still sort of sinking in.

One moment that supported that to me was Pascal and the end of his story. He finally had to let his morals down and let hate and revenge take over (in the most Platinum-ass Platinum moment in the whole game), and it turns out it was for nothing (the most Yoko Taro ass Yoko Taro thing ever).

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#21 Edited by Zeik (4522 posts) -

@dinosaurcanada: I just think suggesting they were all inherently bad people is the wrong way to put it. I saw most of the cast as inherently decent beings that were driven to bad things for a variety of reasons, just like is the case for real humans.

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#22 Posted by Efesell (2584 posts) -

God, Pascal.

So he opens a shop if you do what he asks of you. I knew that part ahead of time from somewhere else. What I did not know was the contents of his shop and that was just a step too far game. Unnecessary.

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#23 Posted by redyoshi (1349 posts) -

@efesell said:

God, Pascal.

So he opens a shop if you do what he asks of you. I knew that part ahead of time from somewhere else. What I did not know was the contents of his shop and that was just a step too far game. Unnecessary.

And I'm guessing that Ending E assumes you wipe his memory and personality data right? I've rewatched it a few times on youtube (I haven't double checked on my own game yet because I'm afraid of doing that shooting sequence again. I made it all the way to Square Enix without help and after that it was a nightmare) and I was confused when there was a shot of him in the village, since I had definitely destroyed his body. Pascal became one of my favorite characters in the game and the thought of wiping his memory only to see his body walking around with a totally different personality felt so wrong to me. I was toying with the idea of going back just to see him as a merchant, but now I kinda don't want to.

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#24 Posted by tuffalobuffalo (41 posts) -

@zeik said:

@tuffalobuffalo: Otaku culture? I don't really see where you're drawing that connection from.

I might be reading into it too much. :) 9S has a role of observing, helping, and overseeing a hyper-sexualized character, 2B. I think the game is exploring some themes that come up in otaku/anime/idol culture. The bit about wanting to **** 2B is the in-your-face, look in the mirror, self-examination ending. I felt the game was questioning if otaku/anime/idol culture is okay with the character of 9S.

Then again, I might be reading into it too much.

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#25 Posted by Petiew (1423 posts) -

@efesell: Why? He's just selling useless junk that he found lying around.

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#26 Edited by Zeik (4522 posts) -

@tuffalobuffalo: If 9S' relationship with 2B was more peripheral and was only fantasizing about a relationship I might see that, but they spend a lot of honest time together forming a real bond. Any analysis of 9S I think applies to an average human being as much as it would an otaku.

Not to mention there's nothing hyper-sexualized about 2B within that world. It's just normal YorHa attire. It's never made truly clear that androids feel sexual desire like that. One of those Jackass quests implies those desires are produced from battle.

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#27 Edited by DinosaurCanada (557 posts) -

@zeik: It might be a bit of a stretch. Maybe its because I just hated 9S at first. Oh crap, am I being discriminatory?

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#28 Posted by tuffalobuffalo (41 posts) -

@zeik: Fair enough! I agree that any analysis of 9S applies could apply to the average human being (particularly male) as much as it would an otaku. I think I over-analyze that aspect because of the stigma associated with otaku/anime culture.

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#29 Posted by nonused (321 posts) -

@efesell @zeik You're right, it does. From what I remember, A2 and 9S say it and Ending D mentions the change of heart. But it also mentions it within the context of 9S in some sort of...machine heaven? Where an incorporeal Adam and Eve try to convince 9S to join them? To me, that read as the network trying to assimilate 9S for further strength (with the added element of, "Hey, maybe the twins aren't so bad."). 9S also says the tower doesn't fire artillery, but he does say that after mentioning the twins changing their minds.

But, if it was always meant to be artillery, what purpose would that serve? Why would the network care about destroying the human data? What threat does it pose to them? And why would the network (which seems to be heavily related to the Watchers) suddenly change its mind on destroying a human data server on the moon based on what some androids and machines did? Especially if that decision was swayed by emotional expression on part of those two factions, as it's heavily implied the Watchers introduced human emotion to the machines (and, by extension, the androids).

Regardless, whether or not the Tower was originally designed as an ark or a cannon, neither attribution really explains the boxes. The cannon makes less sense ('cause why wouldn't it just fire immediately?), but the, "Get the three keys to unlock the castle!" might just be a video game thing. But, because of what happened in them (and because of their Angelic scripture), I'm lead to believe that they're way more important. I just can't figure out why. Or why they need to be deactivated (run through?) to unlock the tower.

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#30 Posted by Efesell (2584 posts) -

@petiew said:

@efesell: Why? He's just selling useless junk that he found lying around.

He sure does...

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#31 Posted by AdequatelyPrepared (2503 posts) -

I know it's a small thing, but the moment that occurs if you decide to return to the factory is just brilliant. I'm talking about retrieving all your stuff off of your old android corpse and that old heavy katana you left behind. The beauty of it lies in the fact that the game just treats it as almost nothing. No big deal is made of it, you just have to come to your own realization about what you're seeing.

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#32 Edited by GenericBrotagonist (121 posts) -

A lot of the ideas are cool, and make the game fantastic, but I found the actual things that happened in the story pretty poorly paced and at some points incomprehensible. I've been told to read the data entries and go play Drakengard/read the short stories/watch the stage play for context, but I think the game should be able to stand on it's own. None of the characters really felt well rounded except 9S and maybe Pascal. I barely know 2B when she dies so it didn't hit me as hard as I felt it was supposed to. I don't know A2 at all when she becomes the main character so I don't care about that when it happens either. Adam and Eve are such wasted potential. They were just introduced and seemed like they were going to be cool villains; then suddenly Adam decides to die, Eve goes down avenging him, and their plan to get the humans goes nowhere before it even begins.

Then there's events that just make no sense. Why does 2B get the virus even though she was disconnected from the network? Why does Pascal's village suddenly go as nuts as the rest of the machines even though they were fine for a while after Adam and Eve died while the rest turned immediately? Why does 2B know 9S's exact location deep underground even though her only clue is that another android saw him getting flung in that general direction, at which point he was definitely moved?

Overall while I enjoyed the tone and themes brought up by this more than the original Nier, I'd have to say the original has a better and more cohesive story.

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#33 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5170 posts) -

Just beat it. Incredible game.

But were there ever really aliens or were they also faked as part of Project Yorha to give the androids an enemy? Where did Jean-Paul disappear to?

I think I'm probably reading too much into it, but I like the idea of the androids vs. machines as a kind of commentary on the demonisation/dehumanisation of war enemies. There's constant evidence of a greater intelligence and a link between the machines and androids being thrown in his face, yet 9S keeps yelling "IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING" as though completely brainwashed to ignore that in favour of seeing them as a monstrous grand evil.

Oh god Pascal. I knew something was going to happen. I thought he would die in some horrible way. The idea of him scavenging the ruins of a town filled with his loved ones and selling their robot hearts and heads is somehow even worse.

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#34 Posted by Zeik (4522 posts) -

@gunslingerpanda: There were actual aliens, because Emil cloned himself to fight them.

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#35 Edited by DinosaurCanada (557 posts) -

@genericbrotagonist: I feel like the focus on 9S, while very good, was definitely at the expense of A2 (who I thought was cool as hell and definitely deserved more introspection) and 2B (but to a lesser extent IMO, I still felt for 2B a lot, although a lot of that care came from retrospect due to the revelation at the very end. This is definitely Taro's densest work by far for better and for worse; it throws down a lot of interesting things to think about which may be more important than the actual beat-for-beat plot in the case of this game. I think he's just better at handling the limits of fantasy than he is sci-fi.

While I applaud the ambition I definitely agree that the original's story was a lot tighter and easier to feel for. The grounded relationship stuff and nature of daily life in Automata was the most interesting aspect of the actual story to me, much like the original, which focused on that.

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#36 Posted by Zeik (4522 posts) -

@dinosaurcanada: I think part of the reason A2 was given less attention was because the stage play that preceeds this game was all about A2's backstory. It's unfortunate that stuff wasn't covered much in-game outside of a brief data log, but if you've got limited time to tell a story I can understand why you would focus it more on the new characters.

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#37 Edited by GunslingerPanda (5170 posts) -

Oh right, of course. So I guess their arrival was just conveniently timed for Project Yorha or something. I might need to go back and find more archives, I think.

@zeik said:

@gunslingerpanda: There were actual aliens, because Emil cloned himself to fight them.

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#38 Posted by redyoshi (1349 posts) -

@zeik said:

@dinosaurcanada: I think part of the reason A2 was given less attention was because the stage play that preceeds this game was all about A2's backstory. It's unfortunate that stuff wasn't covered much in-game outside of a brief data log, but if you've got limited time to tell a story I can understand why you would focus it more on the new characters.

If there's something I didn't like about the storytelling, it would be that. At the very least this extra material could have been translated for outside of Japan as well, instead of having to depend on fan translations to get that part of the story.

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#39 Edited by DinosaurCanada (557 posts) -
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#40 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3187 posts) -

I haven't read anything in this thread, but I don't want to start a new topic to ask this question.

How long is the game? I know there's several endings and it sounds like some of them come after you played more than once - but how long is an average play through of the game?

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#41 Posted by Milijango (163 posts) -

@jesus_phish: 30-40 hours if you want to do most sidequests and see all the main endings. Your first playthrough (aka Route A) could be anywhere from 7-25 hours depending on how you approach optional content.

You don't replay the game very many times. Well, you do play it once again with major changes (and it's truncated), but everything after that is entirely new stuff.

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#42 Edited by BoOzak (1768 posts) -

@jesus_phish: My first playthrough was about 12 hours and I did about %30 of the sidequests but by the time I got to the 'final ending' I was at about 40 hours and I did about %70 of the side quests. You could have probably done that in half the time if you skipped most of the side content which honestly isnt that interesting.

The extra endings are worth getting though, new bosses areas etc. The game isnt really complete after the first playthrough.

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#43 Edited by ArbitraryWater (14742 posts) -

I bought my way to the Platinum Trophy, which I think is sort of hilarious and perverse. I want to actually fight Emil though, so I guess I can't quite call myself done yet.

I liked the game a lot, and it's definitely one of my favorites of the year so far. That said, I think the ending went over my head a little bit. For a game filled with a lot of batshit crazy plot revelations and evocative imagery, that last sequence is a little overwhelming. There's a lot to unpack between the revelation that 2B was assigned to keep an eye on 9S if he ever discovered the truth, and some of the backstory behind the YorHa project. This thread has cleared up a few things, but I think I might have to watch a YouTube lore video or something to get the full gist of what I just played. I am a convert to the Yoko Taro school of nonsense now, and I might give the original Nier and Drakengard 3 a shot one of these days.

Also, you sure don't play as A2 that much for a character who appears on the cover. She has a handful of unique moveset gimmicks and you barely have much of an opportunity to use them. Instead you spend the majority of your time playing the character with no heavy attack, which is a little disappointing. I never felt challenged on normal, but on Hard I was constantly getting one-shot, which is frustrating given the game's save system.

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#44 Edited by scaterry (1 posts) -

@nonused said:

I'm more confused by the boxes (Meat Box, Soul Box, God Box). Part of me thinks they're manufacturing tools for the machines/androids (as the cores and black boxes share the same components), but then why would you need to destroy them to gain access to the Tower? Was that just N2 being a dick? I dunno.

I read this as a continuation of the Machine's behavior of copying human behavior, like sex, learning, beauty, family, without understanding why. In the futility of going through the actions without the context as to why, they copy the Project Geshalt and Replicant process of splitting body (meat) and soul (soul) in order to "transcend" and become as gods (god), like the humans did before them.

Except Geshalt and Replicant weren't done to become gods. The projects was a last ditch effort to survive the apocalypse that failed irregardless of the the first Nier's actions.

Which only enhances the irony that the Machine Network believes it superior in figuring out this process

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#45 Posted by officer_falcon (494 posts) -

Just finished the game and really loved it. The soundtrack continues to be amazing.

I loved that segment with Pascal and the village children. Then I remembered it was a Yoko Taro game and he does what he always does.

Also I did choose to delete my save file at the end. Although I also feel like going back through the whole thing so I can 100% it.

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#46 Edited by Ezekiel (1780 posts) -

I finished the last of the five endings today. Good game. It's soulful. Could have been great if there was more meat to the combat of the three characters. I'm still not impressed by any of Platinum Games' combat systems. They're all about making you look cool.

Death also seems pointless in the story. The three characters always come back. They even have all the old memories in ending E. Makes it feel inconsequential. I'm also not sure what the point of the story was, if it was even trying to make one. And I don't understand B2 and 9S's devotion to each other. There was barely any closeness or development that I saw. So I have to very much disagree with this being a great romance.

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#47 Edited by Zeik (4522 posts) -

@ezekiel: Actually, if you die after the bunker is destroyed you don't come back, you just get a gameover. Obviously you can load up a save, but that's not the same thing in-fiction. In the E ending they are the sole survivors of YorHa only because of the efforts of their pods, who developed their own will and deviated from their assigned mission. The rest of YorHa is gone for good, so them being alive is meaningful.

The deal with 2B and 9S is that they've known eachother much longer than the game initially lets on. 2B and 9S have gone through an endless cycle of death and rebirth as 2B develops a relationship with 9S until he inevitably finds out the truth, then 2B is forced to kill him and his memories are erased. Rinse and repeat. It's heavily implied that despite her efforts to hide it she has feelings for 9S and every time she is forced to kill him and start from scratch it's incredibly painful for her. What we saw in-game is just the most recent cycle of that.

And back to the subject of death being "meaningless", one of the major themes the game regularly ponders is whether losing your memories could be considered the same thing as death. 9S may revive every time she kills him, but without his memories the 9S she knew is gone.

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#48 Edited by Ezekiel (1780 posts) -

@zeik said:

@ezekiel: Actually, if you die after the bunker is destroyed you don't come back, you just get a gameover. Obviously you can load up a save, but that's not the same thing. In the E ending they are the sole survivors of YorHa only because of the efforts of their pods. The rest of YorHa is gone for good, so them being alive is meaningful.

The deal with 2B and 9S is that they've known eachother much longer than the game initially lets on. 2B and 9S have gone through an endless cycle of death and rebirth as 2B develops a relationship with 9S until he inevitably finds out the truth, then 2B is forced to kill him and his memories are erased. Rinse and repeat. It's heavily implied that despite her efforts to hide it she has feelings for 9S and every time she is forced to kill him and start from scratch it's incredibly painful for her. What we saw in-game is just the most recent cycle of that.

And back to the subject of death being "meaningless", one of the major themes the game regularly ponders is whether losing your memories could be considered the same thing as death. 9S may revive every time she kills him, but without his memories the 9S she knew is gone.

I was kind of lost when they mentioned 2E and talked about the cycle. They mentioned 2E like I knew who 2E was. It would have been good to also show them becoming intimate, in their own way, instead of just tossing the answer in as weird exposition late in the story.

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#49 Posted by Zeik (4522 posts) -

@ezekiel: 2E is not her previous self, it is her actual designation, hidden from everyone. She was built to kill 9S, essentially.

The 2B and 9S relationship is one that is meant to make sense in hindsight. If you think back over the scenes, or better, view them again, it gives new context to a lot of what 2B says and does. 9S growing relationship is pretty obvious, but viewing 2B through that new lens you can tell it goes both ways. I don't know if I would call it a great "romance", but it is a well developed relationship.

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#50 Posted by Ezekiel (1780 posts) -

If she was built to kill him, why does she go out of her way to save him when Adam has him?

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