Some NieR: Automata spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
I’m playing this game. It’s a high-paced, action-packed game wherein you control an android wielding weapons ranging from a katana to a two-meter long greatsword. The combat is addictive, ecstatic even. But it makes me sad.
40 hours spent, I finally reached the game’s exalted Route E. I now control this little cursor-shaped machinery, firing a hail of bullets onto NieR’s final boss: the game’s staff.
Pew Pew Pew. Pew Pew. Pew Pew. Pew.
Weaving past the enemy’s attacks, I tightened my grip on the R1 trigger.
The credit song entitled Weight Of The World (the English version, I believe) plays in the background, I start to make sense of the lyrics amidst the unceasing pew pews of my character.
I hope that someway, somehow
That I could save every one of us
But the truth is that I’m only one girl
Maybe if I keep believing my dreams will come to life
Come to life…
Pew Pew. Fuck. This final boss is difficult. I took a break, logged onto Twitter, and vented a bit of my frustration on how goddamn impossible this final boss seems.
40 tries. I’m still confident I can get my fist pump oh yeah! of triumph. Pew Pew. Nada. I got hit again. I lost my lives, and the game asked me if I should give up; if I think the world is meaningless. After I don’t know how many tries, I finally threw in the towel. Yeah, it’s that difficult. For a seasoned gamer like me who’s at the prime of his reflexes, it’s absurd how onerous this thing is. Maybe I just need to git gud. Maybe I should just watch the walkthrough on Youtube. Maybe I really should just call it quits.
Or so I thought.
Now, you might be thinking what’s the point of me telling you about this… seemingly unrelated game in this week’s LWA post. Nothing much, really. It’s just that LWA subsequently reminded me of the answer to how I can beat that goddamn final boss.
There’s only so much you can do alone, and carrying the burden of the entirety of the world behind your back is nothing less Herculean. Of course, this analogy may be overstretching it a bit when I think of Akko and LWA‘s recent episodes, but considering how she dreams of being a witch as illustrious as Chariot in the hopes of meeting her even if she never had the slightest chance to begin… yeah, that’s difficult, and I would’ve given up if I was the one in her shoes.
It would’ve been nigh impossible alone, but having those experiences she shared with her friends, her teachers, even her enemies gave her that much needed push. In order for us to grow as a stronger person, seeking resistance is necessary. Suffering is as important as happiness, I learned from Nietzsche. And, however did Akko brought this upon herself? She resisted and she persisted. Her friends told her she sucks, Akko believed otherwise. Diana told her to stop, Akko kept on going. You see, Akko would’ve never insisted that she can if there’s no one to tell her that she can’t. Everyone of us can dream, everyone one of us can believe. But what if someone told you one day, with a straight face, objectively, that you don’t have what it takes to do it — what would you do?
Persistence is development. Those episodes that we all thought her character never changed is starting to become untrue to me the more I think about it.
Instead of Akko’s resolve wavering in the face of opposition, she, in turn, is able to inspire others. It’s her magic. A contagious kind of magic that, if we try hard enough, we’ll figure out that we have the capability to cast the same charm as her. It’s no longer Akko alone who believes she can do it, everyone else now thinks the same. Maybe this makes the context of the previous episodes’ episodic nature a lot better to grasp.
LWA doesn’t look like it, but it certainly has copious side-characters to cover. There was literally no one left behind. In retrospect everyone of them has interacted and shared a moment with Akko one way or another. That’s why even if they never had much impact in the plot, we can feel as if we’re a bit closer to them than what is suggested simply by virtue of how we know what they mean to Akko.
This brings me to NieR‘s final boss. I’m sure I no longer have to explain how I can beat that damn boss. It doesn’t have to be explained, I guess. I may have just been fighting my battles the wrong way… or maybe I was too slow on the uptake. Whichever it is, I feel happier now with the idea that there’s someone else whom I can share the pew pews with.
Addendum: I haven’t beaten Route E yet, but I can safely say that NieR is a great game, and you folks deserve to play great games.
Seriously though. This was meant to be a part of my LWA post for Week 12 but… seeing how much I’ve written about it I might as well post it separately. I’ll just link this post in Week 12, and I’ll throw in a couple of other impressions for episode 24 in general.