Square-Enix 1/32 HO-229 Flying Unit (with 2B)
|Advantages: Extremely detailed, Excellent made, Able to transform between “Flight Mode” and “Robot Mode, an excellent figure of 2B and Pod 42 are included with weapons. Disadvantages: a lot of small parts and Prepainted (it’s actually a Bandai kit).
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 the 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!
For aerial support and when entering enemy airspace where “transport units” are not available (It’s the game’s quick travel device where the androids enters a transporter unit, their mind and memory gets teleported into another body stored inside the unit on the other side before exiting), the YoRHa’s are provided with a series of Ho-229 “Flying Units” (yes, it’s another one of the game’s call out to World War II. In fact, the year the game takes place, 11945, is 10,000 years after the end of that conflict of course and then there is the “Pearl Harbor Drop…No, not gonna spoil that for you). The forward swept machines are exo-atmosphere capable and thus, can fly back between the “Bunker” space station and the targeted area. They also have two laser cannons and rocket pods to shoot aerial enemies and provide aerial support. To stay on station, the units can also switch from “Flying mode” to “Robot mode”. Robot Mode is also used to land the craft, to allow ingress and egress of YoRHa androids. This version is the “2B” (one of the leading female characters in the game. Check out my two resin figure review of her for more details). Since 2B is usually the “lead” unit in the flight, whenever she enters a Ho-229, the machine turns white to signify this. There is also a “9S”, her partner in crime version now, which is black. This kit is not cheap due to royalty rights and all that but well worth it for me since I’m replaying the game again to catch anything that I’ve missed!
This kit was available for preorder since last November. I had to skip a few months since well…We all know this little virus that wrecked everything last year don’t we? I preordered in around March and it said it will arrive in July but I guess that was Japan only. I preordered from GalaticToys.com since they are $15 cheaper than ordering from Square-Enix directly, also, shipping from Japan is expensive while Galatic toys charges only $7 for shipping from them so I saved in total of at least $25! Well worth it for me but still, that $153 minimum price tag may put off some people due to royalty rights.
The box finally arrived in August. I was taken by surprise when I saw it. It’s a lot bigger than I expected. Upon opening it, my nagging suspicion is confirmed! This is NOT a Square-Enix kit! Yeah, they may able to make a great Japanese-RPG like Final Fantasy, or publish great games like Nier Automata (Nier Automata is actually made by Platinum Games under the supervision of Japanese mad man Yuko Taro), but they are NOT model makers so they went straight to the source, the company who been making robot kits since forever, Bandai! Yeah, this kit has a “Gundam Kit” written all over it! From the parts break down, to the colored parts to the instructions, this has classical “Made by Bandai” packaged all over into it so yeah, treat this as a Bandai kit.
So yeah, if you ever build any Bandai kit, you’ll know what to expect. First things first, there are quite A LOT of parts, far more than I ever expected in this kit. Probably because this thing is designed to transform between its “Flight Mode”, with its shark like nose, forward swept wings and rocket pods under the wings to its robot “vertical” mode that reveals 2B inside its body. Speaking of 2B, a very small, what looks like 1/32 scale 2B is also included along with her support pod Pod 42. Her main weapons, “Virtual Contract” and “Virtual Treaty” are also there. There also two display stands, one for Ho-229, one for 2B and Pod 42 should you choose to display her separately. Overall, great kit.
The build starts with the “cockpit” area that contains 2B and the main wing body. The instructions are all in Japanese but not hard to figure this out. Again, the instructions are another dead giveaway this is made by Bandai since the font, size, color, and how the instructions are drawn are proto-typical classical Gundam instructions! Test fit out some joints cause they may be movable since again, this thing is designed to transform.
The main engines are next. Again, the vertical stabilizers on top of the engine pods are moveable so don’t use glue (if that’s your choice) here.
The two main “foot” engine pods and two “arm” pods are next. A lot parts goes in here so take your time and again, check the instruction and test fit cause a lot of the pieces are designed to be moveable in order to facilitate the transformation of the machine.
Once the appendages are finished, time to bring everything together. The cockpit, with its blast shields, are attached first, followed by the legs, the arms, the two moveable engine pods are all assembled onto the main body. Next are Pod, alongside the two rocket pods under the wings. The Ho-229, in robot form is completed with its huge long “Tail” sword.
2B is next. She’s complicated as she is designed to be displayed both outside and inside the flight unit. Take your time cause there are quite a few pieces. Notice there are two version of her swords, Virtual Treaty and Virtual Contract. One pair has her hands molded on, the other pair just the swords so you can have her with her swords or displayed in storage on her back. After finishing, you can put her on her display stand, with Pod 42 besides her.
To put her into the flight unit, you must pull out her arms and legs and put on the “robot” feet and arms, then open the blast shields and put her in.
The final few pages covers how to transform the robot to flight mode….It’s quite delicate and there are quite a few steps…..Reminds me of how my Masterpiece Transformers works…**Stab a stink eye at my Megatron and Rodimus Masterpieces…**. This involves removal of several pieces in order to allow the body to fold onto itself and then put those pieces into another place and shape…It’s complicated.
Finally Finally!!! There is a small fret of stickers/decals for the Flight Unit and the instructions shows where they are go. It’s mostly “watch your fingers” and “No Step” signs….Don’t ask me why androids need such warnings………………
So this kit just went straight to the top of my build list…..Just in time cause I just sent in my review of my completed “Alien Queen Vs. Darth Vader”! Again, whether it’s worth it for you depends on whether you are a fan of Nier Automata or not…I am so well worth it for me! If you are not a fan, maybe not since the price is a bit off putting but if you are a Gundam fan, then may be also since you can collect this and build a “What if” Gundam kit! Overall, it’s a Gundam kit since this is a Bandai kit so should be a fun build!
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reproduction in part or in whole without express permission.
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