The Eorzea Prospect: This Is NiERly The Beginning
Rejoice, fellow Eorzeans! Patch 5.1 has finally arrived, and with it has come a bunch of changes, additions, and the absolutely incredible first raid in the Nier Automata collaboration Dark Apocalypse is called The Copied Factory. Unfortunately, I only had a few hours this weekend to spend time in Final Fantasy XIV, but you know I had to run the raid so we discuss it!
First off, can we talk about how well Nier Automata seems to fit right into the world of Norvrandt? While the The Copied Factory actually resides on the other side of an off-shoot cavern in Kholusia, it somehow doesn’t at all look out of place when you travel to it. The greens of the growth that reclaim the abandoned factories matches up with the plains you’d find on the other side of the door, which makes The Copied Factory not only look like it’s perfectly in place, but even if you didn’t know it was a collaboration with Nier Automata, you’d welcome it because it fits perfectly. The dwarves having autonomous golems that do their hard work only naturally progresses to machines and eventually the androids we know as 2P.
Speaking of blending in perfectly, the Nier Automata music shows up into the Final Fantasy world, and I’m not sure if it’s because of how truly incredible the Shadowbringers soundtrack is, but the music also feels organic and natural - as if it had been composed right alongside the expansion. Maybe it was, I don’t know. Sure, I had a few nitpicks, and we’ll cover those along the way. Would I have preferred some different music? In certain cases, yes, but I’m extremely happy with how well the music and the fights came out.
The raid kicks off a ridiculous fight that you won’t be ready for, especially if you don’t know the source material. The Serial-jointed Command Model is no slouch, and throws an array of the pink plasma bullet-hell balls at you while also doing shockwaves, laser AOE, and a ton of other incredibly hectic shit. Song of the Ancients (Atonement) plays during this battle, providing a somber yet energetic melody while you’re running around frantically for your life. essentially just clearing out old robots that defend the factory from intruders. I would have preferred the raid start off clearing those robots that threw themselves in the molten steel while Birth of a Wish blared in the background, two super hard fights back to back made for an incredibly surprising challenge.
Then again, I’m actually a little bit relieved, because there was something oddly soothing in not having to reminisce about Pascal. I’m damn near in tears just thinking about that scene. Normally I’d take a moment and expand on this, but no. Nier Automata is an absolutely incredible experience, and Pascal’s story is right up there with the intro to The Last of Us. It’s a cruel punch right to the gut, and it’s hard to raid if you’re too busy crying. Seriously, go play Nier Automata, it’s amazing.
As the raid progresses, the second fight is with Hobbes which places you on one of three platforms each with their own mix of mechanics to dodge and pray that you won’t die to. I apologize, I don’t remember the themes played during fights two and three, but they’re both great. The third boss is the Goliath tank and the unnamed black flight suit (you probably can already guess who this is if you’re familiar with the source), while the fourth fight is with the big bad moving oil rig known as Engels while Bipolar Nightmare plays to prepare you for your impending death. I’m not going to spoil who the final fight is against, but I will say that the choice to use Weight of the World mixed in with the all-too-familiar Prelude to Final Fantasy mixed in was an absolutely masterful choice and only increased my enjoyment with the final fight. It’s an amazing theme, but the video will spoil the final fight for you so click at your own discretion (or open it in a new tab and never see the video.)
I thought Eden was fan service done right, but the Nier Automata collaboration knocks it out of the park. I absolutely cannot wait to see how the next two parts of this raid turn out! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta prepare to run it again over and over again to get the Pod 153 minion.