Nier, Far, Wherever You Are… I Know That The Game Will Go On

This is possibly the only Celine Dion inspired blog title you will find on this site. That’s not important, I’m just saying.

Generally, as a rule, I like games. I have played a lot of them, I own a lot of them. Yeah, I’d definitely say I like games. I will also, as a rule, defend videogames when they’re held under the glare of a critical spotlight. Having said that, though, there are times when I have to take a step back and distance myself from the lunacy I have encountered.

Infinite Undiscovery – a game with a title that makes no sense starts with a disclaimer. It merrily tells you, the player, that the game is a work of fiction and any similarity to events or people is purely a coincidence. Now, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Infinite Undiscovery at all, or if the non-sensical title put you off, but the game revolves around the fact that someone has chained the Moon to the Earth (or whatever Earth-like planet the game is set on). Now, given that brief rundown of the plot, do you really think you need a disclaimer telling you it’s a work of fiction? Do you think there is anyone, anywhere, who has purchased this game and loaded it up and sat back and said “I cannot believe they’ve made a game about the time the moon was chained to the Earth. I can’t believe it. It’s too soon. It’s just too soon.”

Fact or fiction. It's hard to tell.

Trauma Centre comes with a similar disclaimer in the manual stating that the game is not to be used as an authentic medical simulator and if you want to pursue a career in the medical profession then maybe you should seek out a specific course at a place of higher learning.  Again, if you’ve played these games, you’ll undoubtedly have come across that bit where someone’s been in an accident and there is glass in their heart. So much glass, in fact, that the only way to get it in their heart like that is if it was fired from a shotgun.

Alongside disclaimers, the other thing that makes me step back and take a second look is the dialogue. It’s something we’ve mentioned here before. Generally dialogue in games is a pretty hit and miss affair. You have the consistently good (Mass Effect, etc), the consistently bad (Resident Evil) and the consistently doing voice-overs (Nolan North). Sometimes though, you have the “written down so you can read it however you like” type.

And that brings me to Nier. I picked up Nier in a second-hand games shop a while back but have not really sat down and spent any sort of time with it. Last night, however, I racked up a few hours of gameplay and noted my observations. I had a few issues with the fact I have no idea what the post-apocolyptic shopping centre opening has got to do with anything, and the fact that your sick child runs off and manages to get herself behind a locked door, up a broken ladder and through two forcefields – all of which you have to negotiate to rescue her. But then came the dialogue. The dialogue blew me away. I think I really sat up and took note when I saw this:

“Those sheep are squirrelly bastards”

I’ve heard a sheep described as many things, but never a squirrelly bastard. Apparently these sheep which I had been merrily slaughtering for their wool (item description: fuzzy wool from a sheep) either a) resembled a squirrel or b) were restless, nervous or unpredictable. They weren’t really either. They were a bit funny in that if you attacked them they ran full tilt at the cliff wall and then fell over, but I wouldn’t say they were squirrelly. Dumb, yes. Squirrelly, no.

Then my in-game daughter went missing. She’d gone to the Lost Shrine. My character asked where the Lost Shrine was, and was told that it was through the East gate. Presented with two paths beyond the gate I chose the right-hand path, followed it for some time before my character turned around and announced “This is not the way to the Lost Shrine”. Now, I get that calling it the Lost Shrine makes it sound all mysterious and spooky but, well, when everyone knows where it is it’s kind of not lost is it. It’s more, well, found. Or known. Or just the shrine. You don’t see people arranging to go out after work to meet in the Lost Pub (it’s just on the highstreet) or going to the lost Supermarket (second exit off the roundabout). Generally, when people know where things are they’re not lost.

And to cap it all off, I went to the “lost” shrine and within about a minute of entering it I’d found a map of the place. So, not only was it not lost but it also had a map of itself in it.

The Lost Shrine is well signposted and has leaflets in the lobby. It’s not lost, it’s a bloody tourist attraction.







4 responses to “Nier, Far, Wherever You Are… I Know That The Game Will Go On”

  1. Michael avatar

    Apparently it also means “eccentric” or “Cunningly unforthcoming or reticent”. Which I would think applies considering the running into cliffs rather than give up their wool. Did you ask them for directions to the shrine?

    Could be a shrine to Lost… it probably isn’t.

  2. Kirsten avatar

    I was sneaking a bit of Nier while Max was still up the other night as it’s not very violent and I wasn’t at a very violent bit. Then I was suddenly in a boss battle and joined by a bird wearing corseted knickers through which you could see her bum. She proclaimed to the enemy that she was going to pull it’s eyes out and piss down the sockets. Max just shook his head at me in what looked like disappointment and I switched it off. Good game though 🙂

  3. Jake avatar

    Ooo knickers ladies? I haven’t got to her yet. I’m enjoying it though – especially now I know the dialogue is so awesome

  4. Juh avatar

    After you beat the game, A LOT of info shows up to help explain what the fuck is going on. And believe me, there is A LOT the the game doesn’t explain at first. You have to beat it again and again midway through the end to see extra cutscenes and stuff that help you understand it all. And when you see it, you’ll understand how fantastic this game is 🙂

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