NieR: Automata | Community Playthrough 2019! |

AKA
The Engineer
What we currently know about the FFXIV "version" of the NeiR setting is that a group of dwarves dug a route to an abandoned factory and a "machina graveyard". 2P was somehow found in the same area and knows what is going on somehow. And now the Warrior of Light, the dwarves and 2P are checking out the factory.

We have no idea what the bosses are and they didn't show us what the armor from the raid looks like. Except to say that the things we are looking for will be obtainable... which is more then likley a bunch of YoRHa armor...

And yes. That looks like Cruel Oath and someone with white hair and black clothes. So it seems 9S and 2P are starting out as enemies in this version.
 
AKA
The Engineer
The FF Tactics raids are most definetly canon to the world of FFXIV. As are the NieR raids...

The FF Tactics raids are not canon to Ivalice. Given how the NieR franchise goes... who knows... it very well could be...

The entire point of FFXIV is to be a Final Fantasy reference theme park all while having it's own story. It's managed to successfully pull this off to the point that it has one of the best stories in the entire Final Fantasy franchise.
 

Joe

I KEEP MY IDEALS
AKA
Joe, Arcana
Getting close to the long-awaited end now guys. Strap in because this will be a heavy chapter.

Part 3 - C: DisunitY

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I genuinely do hope you're ready cos it's a long chapter but one thing just so neatly leads into the next. This will be the final chapter before the LasT one so get yourself nice and comfy.

End of Part 3-C is after 9S and A2 meet in the third box.

PRO TIP:
When offered two choices, walking away is also a third choice. This is less a tip and more pointing out something not explicitly stated, don't let it sway you one way or another.

Questions!
- Who do you consider the main protagonist of this story?
- How has this game surprised or defied expectation for you?
- Are you ready? (you're not ready)
 
AKA
The Engineer
I'll admit, I started watching a playthrough of the original NieR... There's some cool things I've found but I want to wait for the rest of the playthrough here to finish before posting them since they are full of spoilers.
 
- Who do you consider the main protagonist of this story?



It's an ensemble. It's there on the cover, 'Lead androids 2B, 9S, and A2 to reclaim Earth'

How has this game surprised or defied expectation for you?
The Fall of YorHa. I was expecting the commander to be corrupt, but she went down with the ship (apparently at least)

Are you ready? (you're not ready)
I don't know. It seems clear enough that something very bad is in that tower.

What we know so far.

YorHa was designed with a backdoor from the start, it was designed to fail.

Androids are made from machines, because it would be too unethical for AIs (Problem: previous information has established that machines can't learn)

Seems like some kind of social experiment to achieve self awareness, because it doesn't seem YorHa is actually intended to win the war. Either there's an unrevealed mastermind, or this was setup in advance so that the androids could advance to a stage of being able to inherit the earth. Or it's all a simulation, to justify all the video gamey meta-ness. I dunno what's going to happen, other than it's going to be depressing. The Council of Humanity is still sending mail, somehow, and it was 'the offensive failed' mail, reacting to events, although not specifically I suppose. And nobody took A2 the fugitive off the mailing list.

So, when last we left off, A2 needed a new filter from her fight with Hegel, and so we went to the Resistance Camp. Pascal was loitering outside being attacked by machines for some reason, and flew away when I rescued her, meaning she was not actually in danger and was just trolling me. If not, wow Anemone, what kind of outfit are you running, the leader of the people that gives you vital supplies is being attacked right outside your front door and you're doing nothing. Bad resistance! Bad! I don't kill her even though that's out of character for A2, because 9S wouldn't like it.

Checked in with Anemone, and she can't give us any filter because Pascal makes em. So I dropped into her village and she trolls me some more by sending me to kill things she doesn't like, because she's a pacifist and doesn't kill things she doesn't like. So I get the damn tree bark that I'm headcanoning isn't even needed to make the filter, and she promptly sends me to kill more things she doesn't like to save a village child, for which the vital part she needs happens to be in the middle of a bunch of dangerous machines in the Abandoned factory,leaving me wondering if she's legitimately trying to kill me and there's no sick child at all.

I pick up some philosophy book from Anemone, and we cut away to Pascal reading Nietsche, who she can't decide if he's profound or nuts. Never read him so can't comment. Meanwhile, all the villagers decide to start randomly eating each other, so A2 to the rescue... by killing them all. (I fall off a cliff first, which the game interprets as 'A2 decided to take a soothing walk, which gave her a great sense of peace and fulfillment. Unfortunately, Pascal's village was destroyed by the time she got back') In another timeline, A2 arrives, and isn't any more help.

The villagers are randomly eating each other (do they actually have teeth?), and I arrive to save the day. Pascal is somehow immune, and flies away having saved the kids. I legitimately try to save the villagers but fail, which I'm not sure is incompetence or how the story rolls at this point. Since all of the uninfected were already evacuated, that makes my killing of all the villagers pointless, but whatever.

They take refuge in the abandoned factory, which is safe since 2B earlier killed everyone there. Hurray for pacifism, everyone! At which point the machines launch a massive assault on the...eight or so village children, which is a much higher priority than the androids or Yorha, it appears. I mistake Pascal for an enemy machine and attack her, and she is not amused.

A2 fends off the first wave with the vaunted 'run in circles shooting blindly' strategy, while Pascal hijacks an Engels unit and destroys the rest of it, including another Engels unit.

We return to the children...who are all dead, having killed themselves because Pascal taught them fear. So yet another mission filled with more pointless death. Pascal asks A2 to either kill her or erase her memories, and I walk away instead. Live with the consequences of your actions, you coward. A2 does (Also, found A2's past in Anemone's diary, it's pretty much the story we expect by now. Sole survivor, broken by war, mindless revenge.

Speaking of mindless revenge, 9S emerges from his tower and heads to the next one. He finds the rest of the missing Resistance members (all dead) and has pretty much the same reaction as me. There's finally a mission where I find someone alive, just trapped behind a pile of boxes, but he won't talk to me when I clear a path, so a glitch prevents me from rescuing at least one person, leaving my 'rescued NPCs' tally still at 0.

The medic twins asked me for a bunch of random crap which I accidentally collected, and then ask me to go find some flowers. I have one left over that I never managed to give to Operator 60, but they want some that only grow in a super dangerous area. I level up like 5 times killing waves or robots looking for the damn flowers, don't find them, and eventually get bored and die on purpose because I don't want to be overlevelled.

9S eventually finds the tower, and this one is a hacking tower, where you have to hack open the doors, whereupon he gets told that Yorha was designed to fail and the tower is a giant cannon aimed at the moon, which may or may not be true. He also discovers that androids are made of machine cores.

At the top, 9S finds the tower trying to absorb his memories of 2B, which displeases him. He kills it, which may be the real 2B's consciousness somehow, or just the tower defending itself by trying to look like her.

He's damaged thereafter (or possibly sabotaged by his pod, worried about his mental stability) and has to go to the Resistance camp for maintenance. That wraps up quickly, and then he goes to tower 3, and hacks his way to the top...only to face his former Operator, 210, in combat gear.

That's no coincidence, that's intelligent design, someone setting out to cause him pain for some reason. He hacks her (it is still extremely hard for me to believe that a hacker like 9S has no ability to hack her non lethally in some kind of 'shut down motor function' deal. Simone could do it.) but can't quite deal the death blow, so A2 does it from behind. This pisses him off, and he attacks, but gets punted through the floor as a machine named Auguste attacks. He's rather cute, trying to hug A2 with his adorable electric arm-balls, but I kill him anyway with the patented 'run around in circles shooting blindly' method.

Sorry if the tone here is a bit sharp, I just haven't recovered from the fall of YorHa. Also, somebody please post, stop making me ashamed of my free time.

The machines keep begging for their lives while trying to kill us, which is counterproductive. Seems like someone is holding their leash.
 
AKA
The Engineer
Part 3-C

- Who do you consider the main protagonist of this story? Part 1!: No spoilers up until now!
9S is the easy answer. He's present for all of the game. 2B though is the driving force behind both of the other characters. 9S wouldn't be so effected by her death if she hadn't made an impression on him the way seh did. Likewise, A2 probably wouldn't have agreed to help out 2B and 9S if 2B hadn't been 2B. A2 feels like she's almost tacked on at the end. It almost feels like she's carrying out 2B's last request and not her own plan.

However... this is called Part 1 for a reason... Part 2 (and the real answer to this) is very, very spoiler heavy...
- How has this game surprised or defied expectation for you?
I love games that take advantage of the fact that they are games and use game mechanics to tell the story. I feel oftentimes like games can turn into "interactive movies" where the mechanics of playing the game don't have anything to do with the story that is unfolding in the game.

I don't think I've ever seen a game use game mechanics to tell a story to the extent NieR: Automana does. And is really great to see someone playing around with what makes a video game it's own type of media so much.

A story aspect that was interesting is how the game explores what makes a human a "human" by taking the humans out of the picture all together. Oftentimes, using robots to explore that topic falls flat for me, because human brains work fundamentally different then the way a computer does.

By taking humanity out of the picture and having two groups of programed races wonder about what it means to be human, you're no longer comparing two things that are fundamentally different, but two things that are similar to a third thing that is more different. And that can go in a lot of different directions that aren't just the same "Are robots human too?" angst the is so common in robot narratives. Instead you get a story about two groups of slightly different beings acting very human in ways they aren't even trying to act human in.

The Androids aren't even trying to act human (because they know they aren't human) and yet they are some of the most human characters in the game. The Machines think they are acting human in one specific way, but they are acting human in a whole bunch of different ways they don't even realize could be considered human behavior.
- Are you ready? (you're not ready)
I was not ready for what happened next at this part of the game. Although I was already hitting my limit for genuine angst and had wrapped around into dark comedy and wanted to see exactly how darkly ironic Yoko Taro could actually make it.

I did underestimate him though...
- Who do you consider the main protagonist of this story? Part 2: Major Spoilers!
With the supplemental materials taken into account (particularly Act II of the Concert readings), 9S. No contest. His personality base is the one that set YoRHa up, specifically the logic virus and the back-door access. And that basic personality is still there even in NieR: Automata.

Most of the tension in the game centers around the information 9S finds out about YoRHa (information a version of himself hid!) and how he deals with 2B's death. Or rather... how he doesn't deal with it. The entire game ends up being about how 9S's rash reactions at different points in time effect the world around him, for better or worse...

2B honestly gets the least amount of character development and is the closest thing to a player stand-in. She's formed her opinion of the situation long before the game starts and the game just reinforces her opinion, it doesn't force her to change it. She's a naturally empathetic person whose job is at odds with who she is and so she tries (and fails) to stay detached from things.

A2 goes through more character development then 2B does. She starts off the game (justifiably) mad at everything, but ends up finding some purpose throughout the game. In a lot of ways, she is a foil for 9S. While 9S starts the game thinking things through and ends the game just lashing out at everything that went wrong, A2 starts the game lashing out at everything and ends it thinking things through about why she is trying to save 9S.
 
AKA
The Engineer
All righty... so the NieR raid has launched in FFXIV!

Items!
There's some really sweet stuff in here. We've got two pod minions in the two main color schemes. A very nice set of NieR orchestrion rolls (Weight of the World (Prelude Version)!!!!). 2B's entire armor set that can be worn by all classes. The raid gear itself is called YoRHa Type-51. The boots and gloves all look like 2B's/9S's. The chest-pieces are heavily inspired by 2B's and 9S's iconic gear, but don't match it exactly. So while they all look like part of the same armor set, it doesn't look too samey. What's great is that FFXIV has no gear that really looks or feels like this in the game, so it's a welcome addition.

Here's both the male and female healing chest-pieces

The Story!
So before the raid properly started back in 5.0... Anogg and Konogg, a young sister/brother set of twin dwarves, got you involved in a quest about finding out what was behind a door in one of their town's mine-shafts. The door apparently leads to a set of ruins called Komra and they are so filled with broken machines the dwarves say it could almost be called a machine graveyard. Anogg and Konogg are conducting research on... something (world domination does get mentioned at least once)... and want you to get an automaton core from some of the stuff excavated from Komra. Apparently automaton cores sell for a lot of money. The other people in the dwarf town think Anogg and Konogg are a bit of a nuisance, but admit that they don't really know better since they're all on their own without parents...

Come 5.1, you end up getting a hold of the key to the mine-shaft where the ruins of Komra are and Anogg and Konogg find out about it. They decide to go with you on an adventure to Komra and down the mine-shaft you go! They'd also like to find out whatever secrets are behind Komra while they're at it...

Anogg and Konogg manage to open the door at leads to the section of the mine where Komra is and what should they find but a bunch of Machines attacking 2P who is under some kind of shield. In typical fasion, they succeed in blowing up all the Machines with bombs. 2P (no one, including you, realize she's an android yet) tells them the Machines must be stopped and to do that, they'll need to go to the middle of the ruins. Anogg and Konogg (and you) have no problems with this. There's one more door to get through to get to Komra and unlike the last door, this one is a very familiar-looking factory door with a hacking lock on it. Anogg and Konogg decide to cut the gordian knot and promptly blow the lock open with bombs (again). Then the raid properly starts...

The Copied Factory looks like the Factory level from NieR: Automata if nature had managed to reclaim even more of it then in Automana. It's a lot like the first levels of Portal 2 where plants are growing up and through the walls, just with the Factory instead of Aperture Labratories... but more on Portal references later... One of the very first things 2P tells you is that the reason the machines have gone crazy and need to be put down is because someone is controlling them... I wonder who that could be?

The first boss is a custom one SE came up with. It's the short stubby with the ludicrously long arms that keep it's main body up off the ground. It like dropping orbs on you and firing lasers across the arena... and before anyone asks, no, there is no doge button.

The second boss is... basically if GlaDos from Portal set up shop in the Factory instead of Aperture Labritories. It's basically a machine head on a long arm that extends down from the ceiling while different arms and panels come out of the walls at you to test if you're ready for production or not. Don't worry, you're up to spec.

Most of the trash mobs aren't anything special, a couple stubbies, some tanks, but one of them is a hacked flight unit like YoRHa uses... only no one's in it... You end up damaging it enough that whoever is in control of it loose control of it and 2P pilots it.

The third boss is Engels. And I don't just mean it looks like Engels, I mean, it is Engels. He has all the same mechanics in the raid as he does in NieR and the mechanics I see people fail the most are the ones from NieR, not the ones the FFXIV team added in. Robot arms with saws on them are apparently hard to see coming...

The fourth boss is... oh boy... when you climb up the top of Engels, who should you meet there but 9S in his flight unit. And I don't mean a recolor of 9S like 2P is a recolor of 2B. I mean... it's 9S. Only he's been the one controlling all the machines in the Factory this entire time and as soon as he sees you with 2P, he attacks both of you. So yeah, he's the final boss of this raid... I really like how they did 9S's fight. Instead of fighting him, you're more fighting the machines (or parts of machines) he is hacking. It's really not so fun being on this side of the equation, I can tell you that!

Eventually though, you do damage 9S' flight unit enough that he has to leave it. He and 2P get into a fight and 2P eventually sends him toppling over the edge of the platform they are fighting on into the mists below... And then you all go home, since the Machine threat is dealt with.

Once you get back to your camp/hub area, it turn out 2P has taken too much battle damage and is in the process of shutting down. She decides to tell you everything she can so that you can deal with any other threats that turn up. This includes that she and 9S are androids, which shocks everyone, and that there are even more androids out there and that they might be just as aggressive as 9S was if they find the Copied Factory. She also tells you that there is a key inside the ruins somewhere that might help you restore something, but before she can tell you what, she shuts down.

This is where the plot goes off the beaten track of FFXIV quests and stumbles more into the realm of Yoko Taro stuff. You end up getting this data recorder that is essentially the Archives from NieR: Automana. As in... it looks like that part of the menu even. And Anogg, Konogg and you go back to the Copied Factory to go see if there's any data left lying around there! And it turns out there is! Lying around the now empty Factory are some Expedition Logs, Machine Research Reports, and Weapon Fragment Data... And in typical Yoko Taro fasion, they don't remotely adress what is currently going on at all.

At this point it becomes apparent that Anogg and Konogg disagree about how to go about approaching 2P and the possibility of more Androids looking for the Factory. Anogg thinks they should believe 2P and fix her and figure out what is going on at the factory. Konogg thinks they shouldn't blindly trust someone making such wild claims. Ultimately, it's up to you which approach you should go with, and yes, you can't do both quests. However, there doesn't seem to be anything crazy different between the two quests at the moment...

You explore the Factory now that it's cleared, and aside from all the semi-random information you found, you also find a lot of weird mechanical parts and a pod. That reboots and identifies you all as life-forms. Anogg decides to take it with her. You also find a really creepy scene that is in an area of the Factory you can't get into while on the raid.

The big find though, is 9S. Somehow he's managed to pull himself up onto the top of the platform that 2P pushed him off of. Like 2P, he's shut down at the moment. Anogg and Konogg being who they are, they decide to take him back with them to their base camp and not tell 2P about him.

This is where the raid finally ends as Anogg and Konogg have a bunch of new parts and data from the factory to go over... Who knows where we'll go next!
Pics!
Final Battle
9S vs 2P
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The creepy scene
This is the creepy scene you can't find while on the raid, but only when you explore the factory. And yes, those are all 2B models, not 2P models...
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