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27Sep2017 1915: Alternate Endings

So okay, yes, jeez, it's been a month since I've posted here. I could make excuses about how my Wednesdays got eaten up with multiple HOA meetings, or how my Thursdays are now a fairly regular board game night. I could claim that I have all my Big Thoughts on the weekend and by Wednesday they seem too petty to post. I could claim a period of self-reflection after NieR outed me as a heartless selfish monster. Mostly I didn't want to make another post about endings so soon after August. So here we are, ending another month.

This paragraph is going to spoil NieR: Automata stuff. The final ending didn't get quite as weird as I hoped, keeping itself reined in on a tale of unrequited hate between two androids. Then: the punchline of the credits. In endings A and B they scroll from bottom to top, as we expect. In endings C and D, they scroll from top to bottom and I was like "haha that's a silly gag". In all the joke endings they scroll by in a split second. But ending E turns the credits into the final boss, an achingly difficult hacking section that brings the nebulous Internet functions of the game into the fore. Failing enough allows you to call on the aid of other players' ghost data, triumphant music swells, you rip through the credit with six named ally ships, it's great. And when you win, you are presented with this question. I had nearly all the weapons, most of the fish, all of the sidequests complete. I couldn't bring myself to leave those last percentages unexplored. So I answered No. I then closed the game, filed it under my Steam "Complete" section, and went to make dinner. It took me an hour for the regret to set in. The horror of what I had done. The "Complete" section is where I hide games I never go back to. I was never going back to NieR. I had wasted the lives of three ally ships to get ending E and I hadn't done a damn thing in return. I started NieR again -- fought my way to the end again -- called on the help of ally ships again. But this time I poured my sixty hours out into the world. Somewhere out there is a little Monthenor ship waiting to help someone else hold a mirror up to their black shriveled heart.

Shortly after NieR I finished The Stone Sky and just wanted to lie down and take long, slow breaths for a month. We're probably looking at a Hugo three-peat here. The only misstep in the whole series was that inexplicably bad interlude in The Fifth Season. If that didn't cost her the Hugo then there's nothing here that could ruin her chances. Every bit of worldbuilding and magicbuilding comes to a fine point. We finally get the deep deep backstory of the time before Seasons and it is worthy of ten thousand years of rage. You should pick up your own copy now before it wins next year and gets an ever bigger ugly marketing starburst over the cover art.

Life is sacred in Syl Anagist.

Remember when this blog was making fart jokes about bad songs weekly?