The following is part 2 of my journey through Nier: Automata. You can find part 1 here. Read along with me and please play along if you’d like. I’ll be playing up to, not including, the Forest Kingdom. I did not include the specific ending point on my last post, but I will be from here on out. Lets go!

Due to the nature of my writing, essentially a journal of my playthrough....SPOILERS AHEAD!

Only playing an hour of Nier is very rewarding. The story is so tightly packed with philosophical questions that it rarely ceases to exercise my mind with the possibilities for where its story might go.

In part 1, a robot village was mentioned, a village whose inhabitants have chosen a peaceful existence, held in contrast to their warlike brethren populating their surroundings. Pascal, the leader of this village, was at the center of much of the hour I spent with Nier this evening.

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Pascal appears to be a gentle and virtuous leader, concerned primarily with the well being of her people. I appear to be a runner between her village and my own resistance camp for the time being, charged with building a bridge between her machines and my own people. Its not the most exciting occupation I could take on, but in order to gather more information, I agree for the time being.

My partner, 9s, doesn’t trust the machines, but I don’t share his resentment. 2b operates with an almost medical precision, interpreting her surroundings through the lens of pragmatism. Her mission is her objective, not her emotions.

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I have my doubts as to whether she will remain as cold in her efficiency as she is presently. I see heart in this game at every turn, but its different from the heart I’ve observed in something like Breath of the Wild. Nier isn’t bright and lively, its seemingly cold and calculating, but the dialogue between 2b and 9s, not to mentions the NPC’s of Pascal, Jackass, and more, reveal a heart hidden not so deep under the serious exterior. Its clear to me that secrets are hidden in the world of Nier. I can’t wait for that rush of discovery, designed to be uncovered layer by layer as I put all the puzzle pieces together.

All of this heady thinking is held together by the rush of movement, the speed of combat. Speed, agility, and combat are the links between the story bits, uncovering a gentle familial bond between the inhabitants of the Robot Village, to the conspiracy harbored against those same gentle robots deep within the command center of my unit, YorHa.

Combat is demanding, but not in the same way as Dark Souls. Combat in Nier is blistering in its speed and effortless in its execution. I know I’m thinking and responding, but the process is almost instant.

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In the past hour, I have fought Goliaths, giant towering robots, and what appear to be the game’s antagonists, a pair of humanoid machines called Adam and Eve. I have discovered that the machines were sent long ago by aliens that have since ceased contact, and now Adam and Eve have their eyes set on my own human creators.

These fights lead me back to Pascal. Pascal is a wise robot, pointing me to others of her kind that have chosen a different path. I am driven on my path of discovery both by my own curiosity as well as the orders of my superiors back at command.

I sense a schism coming between 2b, 9s, and the rest of YorHa.