My post is about to get into some massive spoilers for Nier: Automata so please don’t read this if you don’t want to see that. Also note that this didn’t actually ruin the game for me so much as cement one of the most memorable emotional moments I’ve ever had with probably any piece of media, it’s just that reading the original post (specifically the part about COD1) reminded me a lot of how I felt getting there.
So you remember the part in Nier: Automata where you smile at the screen and think “oh, just like Undertale” during the credit sequence? And then, about an hour and a half later when you’re stressed out and frustrated because you just can’t seem to actually beat it? And all the reaffirming and consoling messages that at first kept you going much longer than you would have otherwise start to feel like they’re turning on you, even after they’ve begun to offer to “rescue” you? That fear and apprehension of accepting their help after remembering what happened in Nier 1 when you showed hesitance in your choice during it’s ending sequence? The “no, I can make it alone, I can do this by myself, I can do this by myself, I can do this b- fuck I died again, I can do this by myself, I can d-GODDAMMIT, I can do this by myself, I can-” and so on and so forth because you don’t trust anything in this game at that moment enough to truly believe that “rescue” means what you think they want you to think it means.
Or maybe that was just me…
But in that final moment of fear, desperation and sleep deprivation, up way too late in a dark room in an empty house, as I felt like I was giving up, I gave in and wincingly accepted help from a complete stranger. And as I hope you have already experienced about this beautiful, beautiful little moment, as the ships of all those people rooting you on fly in and rally around you, not just multiplying your firepower but becoming a literal barrier between you and the seemingly insurmountable difficulty of destroying (the names of) the people who made this game possible, my lack of skill that was laid very clear to me during the previous 90 minutes of my life is still present.
Maybe it was the perfect storm of all that anxiety, frustration and what not I had built up leading to that moment of relief, knowing now that the game was completely sincere in allowing their offers to help. Which is then shortly followed by the first time you get hit. When you first see it. The name of that person who’s help you finally accepted reappears on screen once more. Down there in the corner. Unceremoniously. Their data has been lost. And then you are hit again. Another name appears. Their data has been lost. Every time you are hit. And I got hit a lot. No. Wait. That’s not right. They got hit. A lot.
It feels embarrassing to talk about how much I cried in that moment, every time I lost someones data, my intense desire to not lose more of them the only thing holding me together, but there was something weirdly intimate about seeing all those names flash on screen, knowing they may or may not have gone through a similar experience to reach where I myself now was. I think about it a lot. I’ll probably continue to think about it a lot.
I… don’t really know how to end this lol, apologies if this is all long and rambly and also sorta maybe off topic? I just understood immediately what Rob was talking about with getting too obsessed with doing things the difficult way in a game for no real reason other than proving it to myself. Which reminded me of this one time I decided not to.
Also also apologies if all the blur is hecka annoying, I just wanted to play it safe and not risk spoiling a really cool part from a really cool game I really liked for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to get around to it yet… unless you’re a mod who has to check to make sure this isn’t a bad post in which case I’m so very, very sorry you had to read this if you haven’t had a chance to play it yet ;-;
But to everyone else who read this of their own volition: thanks nwn