|NOTES:||Advantages: Extremely detailed, Excellent resin casting, Beautiful figure of my num. 3 “bae-bae waifu”, choice between “THICC and Sexy” or “Combat mode” and decals for the eyes! Disadvantages: Some flash, a lot of small parts, instructions missing steps, and Painting is even worse than my num. 1 bae-bae waifu Bayonetta.|
The year, 11945, humans, through millennia of intercene combat, war, plagues and diseases, plus an alien invasion in 5012 have been driven to the moon. Low in numbers and nearly extinct, they created the YoRHa android units as premier soldiers in their fight to win back earth. Over 5000 years later, during the 14th “Machine War”, what is left of humanity sends out two of their best android warriors 2B and 9S to finally end the machines once and for all….Thus begin the story of Nier: Automata and the epic struggle between the never ending battles of the androids of YoRHa and the Machine life forms that rule the earth.
The game Nier: Automata first came out in 2017. It’s made as a sequel to the first game, Nier and indirect sequel to Drakenguard III. All of these games are made by Japanese mad man Yoko Taro (How does he act? When in public being interviewed, he always wears the head of one of his more famous characters, Emil to hide his face). The man may be an eccentric, but he can write a great story with hidden meanings that espouse what I like to call the “human factor”……..Previously, most of his games had low budgets and strictly controlled, and thus, did not perform well and was riddled with gameplay issues. But now partnered with Platinum Games (The same company that make my num. 1 bae-bae waifu games, Bayonetta), and published by Japanese RPG (Role-Playing Games) powerhouse Square-Enix (SE), which finally allowed him a far bigger budget. Nier Automata finally sold what it should be and earned Yoko and Platinum the recognition they deserved due to its smooth gameplay and for adult gamers, a well written story full of philosophic wonderings that make you question the meaning of the “human factor and condition”…….
Now, I get what most of you are saying…Video games? Philosophy? human factor? Hah! YEAH RIGHT! Ok, I’ll admit…The initial reason I got the game…finally in 2020 and this resin model of 2B is that 2B is a female android with a very THICC behind and she knows how to shake it (As you about to see when I finish this)! But the more I play the game, the more I fell down the rabbit hole and certain parts of the game makes you wonder truly what is like to be human…Still going, HA!!! Yeah right! Video games can never be like that! Well, here are some examples!
The names of the three main characters in the game, 2B, 9S and A2 all have their basis in Shakespeare…Don’t believe me? 2B, surely even if you never ever read any Shakespeare, you heard the phrase, “to be, or not to be….” from Hamlet right? And yes, this main character fate is very much like the main character from that play. Ok, this one may be harder to get. 9S is Ninus Tomb from A Mid-Summer Nights Dream. And yes, like Ninus, 9S dies again and again and again. A2, say that real fast a couple of times. A2 A2 A2 A2A2A2etuetuetu etu etu et tu…..et tu Brute? Yes, from Julius Caesar. And yes, A2, in one of the many endings, do get stabbed like the namesake from history!
Ok, fine, that is one and it’s a fluke...Is it? Remember how I say one of the character dies again and again? But how? Well, these androids, in death, can upload their memories to the “Bunker”, a floating space station in orbit and then can be downloaded into a new body and keep on fighting in a never ending circle of suffering, death, new life, keep on fighting and suffering until some of the “resistance fighters” are growing numb from all the fighting…..Sounds familiar? Any Buddhists will instantly recognize this and any soldier will instantly recognize the downfall of constant combat. In fact, the game intro instantly throws this at you, “Everything that live, is designed to end. We are perpetually trapped…in a never ending spiral of life and death. Is this a curse? Or some kind of punishment? I often think about the God that blessed us with this cryptic puzzle…and wonder if we’ll ever have a chance to kill him”. And yeah, the game’s third act throws that phrase at you with such a bang that you just wonder how the game had turned!
Still not enough? Check out Michael Saba’s YouTube channel which covers nearly all of Nier Automata’s hidden meanings in detail. Two of my favorite are Simone and Pascal. Yes, some of you may have already deduced, A LOT of in game characters are named after major philosophers of old. The boss Simone screams “I’m pretty! I’m pretty” while trying to kill you! Fitting the adage, “beauty is only skin deep”. But if you know Simone De Beauvoir and her thoughts on feminism, then this fight just took on another meaning, meaning I won’t cover here. That’s what google is for! It’s kind of sad actually to hear her scream “I’m pretty! LOOK AT ME!” during the fight now that you have some references.
Then there is the character Pascal, a machine who denounces all fighting and violence and help you more than once in the game…..Then comes his ending which is a shocker….But if you know that he is named after Pascal and his book Passe and the meaning of fear, then pretty much it’s a foreshadowing…Sigh, Pascal even says, “…..Or (he) skipped right past the profound straight to insane” before all hell breaks loose while, ironically, the book being delivered to him next is Passe……..And oh, if you elect to spare him and not kill him when the choice is given….Be prepared, be VERY PREPARED to learn the meaning, “There are worse things than death!”
Still not enough? Well, go to the comment section and read what “Moon Twister” wrote about how the game hid Chinese philosophers like Lao Zi, Mao Zi, Zhuang Zi and Confucius into the game and how the game subtly expand on the teaching espoused by them…It’s subtle but very well done and I didn’t realize it until I read his comment! But anyways, enough about me rambling about a game that got me so deep in the rabbit hole I still have not gotten out! On to the kit that I got cause of how great the game is, not just because android waifu 2B has a very thicc, very nice looking gluteal!
See my preview here and since I already covered the rest in my “Sexy Mode” review, I won’t say much here. As expected, this will be her in her “Combat Mode” with the blind fold/combat visor and her combat skirt. Again, when joining her skirt to her upper body, a seam appeared at her waist, especially the back and I used putty to close the seam. Same with her shoulder blades as the seams are still there. Other than that, it’s still the same kit and I have to do this, have to give a shout out to hulele, the seller on eBay who I bought both kits from! The specific thing I need to give a huge thanks to is the packaging! I already said how good the packaging was in the preview but this time, the kit package arrived half stove in on one side, crushed on top and generally abused to HELL! But due to the great care hulele packaged the whole entire thing, all the parts are packaged in their individual wrapping, with plenty of space for separation, the smaller pieces again, in several zip lock bags for safety, and once, again, that nice, very nice plastic container will be put into good use later on! This means the whole entire thing is nice and tightly sealed away from damage. On top of THAT, the plastic container, in the paper container, is protected by several layers bubble wrap so despite the fact the outer package was crushed to the beyond, there was no damage what so ever to even the plastic container! Yes, this does mean the price is more. I paid $81 total (price + tax) and I would wager at least $10-$15 are for the packaging. But if it means I get my kits like this, so nicely protected, and with something that I can then put to good use later, I’m more than willing to shell out the extras for it! Anyway, once again, great job on the packaging and delivery!
Again, first thing first, a wash of everything. Yes, even the parts that I already built previously, namely, her blind folded face and her “upskirt” buttock. And yes, as you may guessed, another reason for the blindfold “visor” is the euphemism for not only are soldiers not allowed to see the truth on a battlefield, but also the fact soldiers are trained to “blindly” follow orders. Just read up on all the Concentration Camp guards and those who participated in FUBARs such as the My Lai Massacre! “I…I was just following orders!!!!!”……Anyways……….
Since I already assembled the head and butt previously, I just cover what is necessary to build her up in this version. Again, the waist and shoulders needs to be assembled so you can putty up the seam. The seams on her gluteal cheeks to her thong do not need too much attention, unlike her “sexy mode” version because once the butt section is joint against the skirt, the only spot you can see is her bottom cheeky cheeks…And that is only if you go “up skirt” to view her “secret”. The only thing that is revealing through the slit in her skirt is her right joint and even that is somewhat covered up by the large bow tie there.
The only thing that I did not cover in the previous section is her sword, “Virtuous Contract”. The problem again, is the stinken mule of an instruction! Yes, you guessed it, a part call out is missing. Because of this, I cut the attachment peg on the sword a bit short so the handle can fit through and attach against the “Suba” or the hand guard. However, as I dig around the small part bag, a sort of wrapping came flopping out! There is no other place for it except the sword. Look at the sword in game, it’s obvious this piece is attached behind the suba. Just before the handle! Mumbling beneath my breath, I broke off the handle, superglued the wrap on and…and…You guessed it! Since I cut the attachment peg short, the handle now has nothing to go up against! I tried to superglue it and it snapped off at the slightest provocation….Grumbling again, I had to break out the two part epoxy and do it that way. This left a nasty cement mark that took me a bisantchy of a time to sand and then recolor! So yeah, when it come to this part remember that, which is what I did this time!
The other thing to notice is the fact the right leg also warped at the ankle. It’s not bad but it’s just that its bend slightly inward so that if you cement it on, it will not attach to the attachment peg on the display stand. I didn’t discover this on the “Sexy Version” until too late and too lazy to grab SWMBO’s hairdryer, I tried to bend it without heat and promptly snapped her left leg off! REALLY bisnatching now, I attached the leg with two part epoxy…But due to the jostling and cajoling, a seam appeared on the leg….REEEEAAAAALLYYY snapping and cursing now, I had to putty it up, recolor and retape! Safe to say, this round, the first thing I did after the soapy wash was to take the offending leg and SWMBO’s hair dryer and heated it up to place! I over did it though so the left leg is now “over” the location peg but it’s not worth it to bend it back since during test fit, the figure seems to stand well enough on its own! So that’s what it counts in the end!
After that is all sorted out, time to hit the paint shop.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
Painting is also a lot easier since there are a lot less skin to deal with…But at the same time, as I found out, that skirt is a huge PITA. This is because not only is the thing wavy as hell, but judging from the in game and various pics, the outside is black, inside white….But to make matter worse, an outer black trim is also present on the inside of her skirt, through the split and all the way around the outer rim! Sighing and cursing, I first sprayed the inside gloss white, then taped it up, which was a trip to hell due to the waviness of the skirt. And remember tape are straight, the skirt and the wave in it are NOT!!!!! I spent an entire day to tape it up to the point where coverage is somewhat good…A spray of flat black later showed some places were not…So I had to go back with white, then black, then white until I just gave up, call it good enough and call it a day!
The second bitsnachi part of this escapade is the pattern on her skirt. Again, a decal sheet is provided for this. But the big problem was that even the decals are curved and separated into three parts, it’s not curved to follow the contours of the wavy skirt. The end result I almost spent half a day, cutting the decals to size, piece them back together while not getting frustrated getting it to follow the complex contours. It took me almost half a day to get it all done. Thank goodness the decals are 1. Thick enough that I can keep on messing with it without worrying about it curling up me and 2. It react very well to Mr. Marks Softer so after getting them to place, a few splash them zapped them in place. In the end, due to the waviness of the skirt, the decals were short. Thank goodness I have an extra set so I cut off some extras and slapped that on. Because of all this, I didn’t get the decals exactly nailed onto the pattern. But unless you get real close, you can’t really tell. I also used chrome silver paint and touch up the place where the joint showed seams. All in all, the skirt took just as long to dole up as the “sexy” version!
The other complex portion of the kit is the pattern on her chest and back. As seen in the pics, a slit exposes her boobies, but also on top are several cut outs that have a lace covering. Same with the back. A large cut out shows her skin, but on top of that are several lacy cut outs. With the sexy version, I used epoxy cover up to cover up the slit. This is water solvable and after dried, can be removed later. However, it dried too hard and I had to use a hobby knife to remove them, which ruined the paint in the surrounding area. This is why the sexy version back still isn’t done yet.
With this version, I tried a different tactic. I sprayed the needed area with skin tone, base and then hand painted the surrounding area with flat black. I of course missed and several black spots hit the flesh area but as you are about to see, that hardly matters. After the paint is dried, I covered the entire area with tape and sprayed flat black to the rest. After that is dried, I removed the tape, and covered the entire thing with Apple Barrel black acrylic paint. It turned out very well, the paint quickly blend the hand painted and sprayed area with a uniform black (thank goodness black is flat and too dark to really tell the difference), and the wash really give a “lacy” look to the areas that needs it! And the lace area, where black accidently hit the flesh part, the wash also covered that up. It worked so well, when I have the time, I might take the “sexy” version downstairs, pick loose the epoxy covering on the back, and redo that the same way.
The rest are bought up to speed quickly. Again, gloss black for the boots, semi-gloss black for the feathers and the lace stockings on her thigh parts. The head and buttock are already done so 2B is basically finished except for her weapon, which was bought to speed quickly since I now know what to do. Just a note, look at the in game pics carefully since the pics in the package don’t show off the weapon too well. With the previous version, I messed up the colors in the first run and had to use my paint remover to remove the offending paint and redo. The sword is not pure silver, but white with silver edge. The in-game lore calls this and the Virtuous Treaty the “White Swords”. Like a lot of Asian beliefs (Ying-Yang), there are also the dark counter-parts, the Cruel Oath and Cruel Blood Oath. But Virtuous Treaty of course have white motifs all over. I kept it mostly clean except the blade, which I dirtied up with gunmetal and silver streaks to show it was used to cut up metal.
The rest deals with Pod 42. Since I already went through the stenken mule of an instruction once, I know what to do now and it went together quickly. Again, be sure the heavy head is on his neck firmly as the head is heavy and the neck attachment point measly. With that, painting is finally done…
Time to finish it all! Her boots are assembled to her legs first. Then her elbows to her arms and hands. I had to pry her right fingers loose since it was too tight so had to use the hair dryer again so she can hold onto her “Virtuous Contract”. Finally, her head is put on to her neck. This time around, I decided to be a little different with her sword. I decided to have her hold it reverse, sword pointed skyward. It took a bit of doing since both her feathers on her elbow and especially her skirt got in the way (might be a better idea to do this in her “sexy” mode since there is no skirt…Ohh well. Too late for that). In the end, I have to have her hold the sword at nearly the end of the hilt so the big huge suba guard would be out of the way of the feathers and the skirt. But it does look nice and different. All in all, I have to say this, the face sculpt is especially on point. Compared to her in game model, it looks almost just like her! Her lips are redder but that’s about it. Even if it’s not on her neck, one look at her face, when well painted, you can definitely say, yes, this is my android bae bae waifu 2B even if this time, she’s wearing her blindfold “visor”!
Now, Pot 42. I assembled his main arms on, along with his fingers. Then his head is superglued firmly on his neck…Just watch it, because it’s just how it is like the game, his head is pretty big and heavy, and the neck attachment point is quite small so be sure the superglue sets firmly here before moving on. Then the figure is attached to the provided metal rod and on to the smaller display base. The last thing to complete it all is his orange display light on top of his head. Model(s) done!
AHHH! Ain’t she pretty! The way she looks, aint no way any lay men will tell that she’s actually an android. But she is! And a very HHHOOOOTTT one at that….Too bad…..Sigh, not gonna spoil it for anyone…But yeah, as I’ve said, her fate is very like that of Hamlet, an examination on human existentialism. To that end, well, again, not gonna spoil it for you! Except I’ll leave you with a final thought. The endings:
There are 26 endings in the game, one for each letter of the alphabet. Before you go…WHA IN THE WORLD?!?!?!?!? Be noted that except endings A, B, C, D, and E, the rest are basically joke endings that you can get for example, self-destructing in the “Bunker” space station…With the commander still having a serious face looking at you or running away from an operational area (Meza hasa gonna fishing!!!!) or doing something you shouldn’t, like killing every peaceful resident in Pascal’s village (you moNster you!). But the game serious endings are A, B, C, D, and E. Now, endings A and B are act I and II, which are 2B’s and 9S’s. C and D are two endings for the leads in Act III, depending on which characters near the end you choose. But the ending, the ending that transcends the game end from merely great to something of an art form, is ending E, the true ending!
This ending was inspired by an event between Pakistan and India. As many who know, India and Pakistan HATE each other due to the intercene conflict over the border regions bordering Kashmir. This is something the game make note as one of the bosses say that the human condition is to hate, Hate, and more HATE! A few years ago, Coca-Cola started a promotion campaign near the two countries borders with vending machine that connects to the net. Each machine has a LED screen that when a buyer comes to buy a drink, the machine automatically connect to another machine on the other side of the border. Cameras within the vending machine would capture the users and allow them to send warming, peaceful message to each other in the symbol of peace and friendship. Yoko Taro was very inspired by the campaign and always wanted to insert something like this in one of his game. For Nier: Automata, he did it with Ending E.
To get this ending, you need endings A, B, C, D first. Then the game start to work on you. First, you need to defeat the game’s credits. To do this, you pilot a small spaceship and try to shoot and destroy all the names that appears. This is NOT easy as all the names shoot back at you with authority! The further you are in, the more bullets the names shoot until you are literally in “bullet hell”. You can’t pass this, not without help anyways. So, for the next 10 minutes or so, you play this mini game, get beat up, do it again, with the game asking you, “is this worthless?” “Is this a timer waster?” “Is this frustrating?” And “Do you want to give up?” If you answer yes, you won’t get the ending. You must persevere. After 10 minutes of this frustration, when you are ready to chuck the controller against the wall, the magic begin. All of a sudden, the game asks you, “Do you need help”…Of course, after 10 minutes of the game “conditioning” you, you quickly say, “yes”. So the next round, six extra ships surround you and help you. Each of the ship shows some series of text that you quickly realize are the usernames of people who also played the game. These are the people who will help you to achieve your goal. And as you play through the credit scene, each time a ship dies, another ship with another username comes to help you. All this while, encouraging messages made by people who gone through this pop over the screen and as you make further progress, the background music, “Weight of the World”, will subtlety change with more and more languages mixed together until the lyrics are mixed with English, Japanese, German, French etc to represent all the players around the world, uniting as one to help you on your way. Finally, with a last KA-BANG! You defeat the credits and the Ending roll! You sit back and enjoy the ending and thinking this is all over….
…Except it isn’t! With all the conditioning and string pulling the game had pulled on you, it drops the final bomb! With the ending over, the game ask you if you want to help another poor helpless chap that’s going through the same frustration that you just gone through. Of course you say yes. The game warn you that you may end up helping someone that you may absolutely hate. If you still say yes, the game will ask you you must make the ultimate sacrifice…..That ultimate sacrifice? You must erase all your save file! Yes, all the effort and all the stuff you worked so hard to get, need to be sacrificed if you want to help someone!.............You soon realize that all the names that appear as the ships that helped you, are the people that indeed, made this “ultimate” sacrifice to help you! And yes, if you choose this option, the game WILL erase all your save files!
Now, for me, I didn’t. I got the game 3 years late and there are more than enough help and I do want to explore the game more…But once I got them all, I will save my progress in a different file and sacrifice the original! Hey, turn around is fair play here! This [E]nding is the final lasting draw on a great game…But as this ending says subtlety, where all the pods are going that if they give everything back to the main characters, would they make the same mistakes, Pod 42 says that perhaps with new hopE and new set of conditions, they will make different choices that will cause things to be different…..And here in lies the profound final truth about the human condition……HopE…..Even in the worst of our crises and all of our hate, as long as us human have HopE, all will turn out fine in the end…….Ending E is about the [E]nd of a great game…..But its true meaning is about hop[E]……..
8 December 2020
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