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A Long Story/2B, 9S, plot content Q&A

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2B/9S/plot content Q&A
Author /u/ymiaw
Date of copy October 5, 2017
Source Source
Discussion [Reddit post]
From A Long Story
Collection of questions asked about info currently unknown in English. Contains novel spoilers and direct translations.

Answerable questions

Whether 9S hates 2B

No. That said, he does hold some seriously possessive feelings towards her—ones that he's implied to know he has (due to a line saying "his wicked feelings were peeked into [by Adam]"). Before he went totally batshit however he was still thinking about things like what if he had a chance to buy 2B a T-Shirt. Any acts of violence he does towards her clones in the game is a result of possessiveness and not hatred.

When 9S finds out about 2E

'Somewhere along the line' is the actual official answer. During the fight with A2, he's surprised that she knows 2B is an E model and wonders where she got that info from, since he himself had only come to realize it after working with her for so long. As for why he knew but didn't truly know: every time an android is executed, the portion of their memory storage containing information about the execution (and the E-Type) is erased. The E-Type then forms a new relationship with their target. Technically this is something we already knew; the real question is, how did he remember despite getting his memories erased? And the answer to that is…

No one knows.

What kind of thoughts 9S had at the end of Soul Box

Unfortunately for all of us, the novel's depiction of the 2B memories scene was a lot, lot less epic than what we got in the actual game—to the point where I wish I hadn't read it because the moment when he comes back to reality with his sobs turning into laugher was written as this:

9S: These are my memories! *stab stab stab st—* wait this isn't 2B, this is the soul box's core...

[He stands and drops his sword]

9S: …What was I doing?

Yeah.

While there aren't any new revelations regarding 9S's state of mind during said memories scene, he does think a massive amount of possessive things after he starts laughing:

I'll kill anyone who hurts 2B. I'll kill anyone who touches 2B. I'll kill anyone who gets close to 2B. I'll kill anyone who looks at 2B. Because the only one who's allowed to look at 2B is me. The only one who's allowed to get close to 2B is me. The only one who's allowed to touch 2B is me. The only one who's allowed to hurt 2B is me. The only one allowed to…

Another thing worthy of note is that instead of just images, 9S also hears a bunch of 2B quotes in the memories scene. There is also no fight involved; he just stabs the black boxes as soon as they appear, and continues stabbing even when they turn back into 2B's face because those memories belong to him, and she belongs to him.

What kind of thoughts 9S had during the 2B clone fight

When 9S saw the 2B copies, he thought that the machines were trying to mess with him again, like what they tried with 21O. They probably wanted to see him get killed by 2B; see his face twist in despair, watch him as he cries and screams, he thought.

Silly machines. Despair? Cry and scream? But why would I do that? When there are so many 2Bs right in front of me.

"I'm glad…I'm really glad to be meeting you here…"

I'm glad that 2B isn't walking around somewhere I don't know about. If it's here, I can reach her. I tear off my visor. There's no need to hide anything. There's no need for extra information. I want to see directly. 2B's figure. The 2B that I can touch if I just reach out, reflected in these eyes, and then.

"All of you…"

I can't hold down my bubbling laughter.

"Because I'm going to destroy all of you!"

Making 2B models without permission? I can't forgive that. Breathing life into 2B models without permission? I can't forgive that. That's why, with these hands, I'm going to destroy them. That's right. The only one who is allowed to destroy 2B is me.

"I'll shatter every last one of you into pieces!"

Because you're all mine. I won't hand you over to anyone. …Not even if it's to 2B herself.

Did 2B know the truth about humanity?

No. During her fight with Adam, she did hear about it when he said "But you realize it too, right? That humanity is already extinct?", but she was so against the idea that she even told herself that there was no need for her to think about such a thing. Her immediate reaction was to tell Adam to shut up, then to tell her pod to shut up, and then to stab Adam to death for bringing it up (her thoughts the entire time after this revelation had nothing to do with 9S).

How 9S was able to defeat all those 2B clones

The 2B models 9S was fighting were, in fact, nowhere close to the real thing in strength and ability. 9S even describes taking them down as 'easy' and spends a pretty short time destroying them all. To begin with, they aren't Yorha models—they're empty dolls that were made by the machines, presumably using the materials from the transfer devices.

Which ending is canon, C or D?

D, according to the novel. 9S kills A2, thinking 'serves you right' before he accidentally stabs himself with her sword without realizing he'd done so, and thus writhes on the ground in confusion and agony. He also decides not to go onto the Ark because he thinks this:

誰にも望まれずに生まれてきた。この世界から消えることだけを望まれていた。それに気づくことなく生きて、それに気づいて死んだ。此処以外の何処へ行っても、同じことだろう。どんなに遠い処へ行っても、それは変わらないだろう。

だから、行かない。行けない。

僕は、此処に残る。僕は、此処で消えていく。

僕は此処で、ただ一人で、旅立っていく君達を見送ろう。

I was born without anyone wanting it. The only thing they wanted from me was to disappear from this world.

I lived without realizing that, and died when I did. It's going to be the same wherever I go, isn't it? No matter how far away I go, that won't change.

So, I won't go. I can't go.

I'll stay here. And I'll eventually disappear from this place.

I'll stay here, and see you guys off on your journey alone.

How the credits shooting sequence was represented in the novel

In the pod network, there are two (main) programs: one that eliminates 'irregular' pods, and one that does the actual erasing of all Yorha data. 042 and 153 aim to attack the data removal program. Their intrusion of the network will be taken as an attack against the other networked pods. Knowing this, they will go forward with the attack, thinking (at least 042 thinks) that they will throw away their lives for the androids they have come to "watch over" instead of "monitor"—behaviour much like those androids themselves. (Though they do both run their own defense systems against the network's elimination program)

Each pod itself is actually dispatched in sets of 3 (so there are three 042s and three 153s). Pods converse among their own type, and through those conversations, they grow and gain emotions. There are even areas where hundreds of the same pods are deployed; that, 042 thinks, must give those pods emotional advancement that he and 153 can't even compare to. There are also pods that haven't engaged in this kind of conversation who wouldn't understand them and who thus would form their opposition.

Now I read the attack part over a few times and I can't see where 042 and 153's body doubles come out and help, but 042 directly narrates that one of him (probably the one we know as will be explained next paragraph) attempts a physical attack (against opposing pods), while the other two dive into the network. This is all while they're getting shot at. Though 042 did talk about other pods having emotions, it seems that he and 153 are the only ones doing the actual attack. There is no 'accept help'—it's just those two going at it.

After they succeed in destroying the data removal program, pod 042 finds himself unable to move. Thus 153 helps carry him—and in fact, all three 153s are totally unharmed despite having participated in the attack, which is part of why he was so embarrassed lol. This also explains why there are suddenly a few more pods carrying limbs and such at the end (they're all 153).

Worthy of note is that this attack does not turn any pods to their side—the pod network still exists, and so do the pods that they have now made their enemies. 042 wonders what will become of them, thinking that the future is not only uncertain for the androids, but also for themselves.

Whether 2B got infected by the logic virus by fighting corrupted flight units after saving 9S

Yes. In the epilogue, pod 042 recalls 2B's air fight, and states:

Even though she had planned to eject herself from the flight unit right before crashing, her body still sustained a large amount of damage, and contamination from the logic virus was severe.

Whether the Gathering Keepsakes side quest was there (ending with 9S creating a memorial of 2B)

No memorial. Angry 9S has no time for side quests.

Anything that suggests the pods weren't able to boot them back up in ending E?

Quite the opposite, actually; the very last line of the book is pod 042 saying "Good morning, 2B", right after he narrates "There is only one confirmed future"—pretty much outright saying that they'd succeeded in rebooting at least 2B. That said there is absolutely no lead up to this as he just narrates about things completely irrelevant to construction or booting of any kind—and since '2B' is the last word in the entire novel, there is no mention of anything regarding 9S or A2.

Whether 9S listened to 2B's flight unit message

Yes. He saw it when he got to the flooded city and recognized it to be 2B's flight unit. Translation of the part after he finishes listening to her message:

9S couldn't move from his spot.

"End of message."

Even when the pod said this as if to urge him to move, he still couldn’t.

"2B…she called me 'Nines'…"

He'd wanted to directly hear those words. Not from something like this noise-filled recording, but from the voice of a living 2B, he'd wanted her to call him 'Nines'.

2B is no longer here. 2B no longer exists in this world. That truth stabbed at him. A reminder by none other than 2B's own voice.

His line of sight blurred. His vocal chords trembled. Stop thinking about futile things, he thought. What I need to do now isn't this, he told himself. I need to destroy every single machine and kill A2.

21B/21O fight in route C and 9S's reaction to that

As 9S got ready to face 21O, hatred boiled up within him for the machines that deliberately had her protect the tower's core. Like with the 2B clone fight later, 9S assumes that the machines must be using her to screw with him; to see him cry and despair.

As if I'd give them what they want, he thought. 9S released his attack without mercy. "Pod! Cover me with maximum power output!"

When 21O says her lines, he tells himself that they're just playing back what's in her memories, that they mean nothing. When he sees that her hand is trembling however, he wonders if some of her consciousness is still there. That's why, fueled by hatred towards the machines, he brandishes his sword and runs towards her, telling her everything's okay because he's going to kill her now.

When 9S chooses to stay and he 'sees' 2B, was that from her sword or from the light?

Believe it or not the novel is even vaguer about this than the game was. However, all signs point towards the sun, and here's why:

The light was overflowing. What that light came from, he didn't know. White and just dazzling. A silvery-white light. Its radiance, it was almost like...

"I'm finally able to meet you."

Together with the dear name, everything melted into the light and disappeared.

Right before this, 9S stated that he was going to see off the Ark—which shot upwards towards the sun. In-game 9S also looks up at the sun before saying the line. Thus it is extremely likely that he just got blinded by the sunlight and thought its radiance reminded him of 2B. The most telling part is that he does not state that he had actually seen her—just that the light's brilliance was almost like her.

What A2 chose to do regarding Pascal (kill him/erase his memories/walk away)

She chose to erase his memories because she knew the pain of losing her comrades and living with memories of them. I would say more about this but that, spanning two short sentences, was all the novel gave us.

Why Pascal didn't teach his kids to be scared of death

While the answer to this is written in A2's POV, it's most likely accurate due to this also being the reason Adam wanted to die: because Pascal didn't understand death either. Machines essentially never die, and thus have no fear of death. Pascal couldn't teach an emotion that he didn't have. It wasn't until the incident actually happened to people so close to him that he finally understood what it felt like.

As a side note, androids fear death because they are based on humanity, who carried this fear, and are thus programmed to follow suit.

Unanswerable questions

Adam's infamous **** 2B line

Unfortunately there was no detail on this in the novel due to the entirety of route A/B being told from 2B's point of view, as well as Adam having not once thought about 9S during his narratives, but there is a pretty good indication that 'fuck' isn't a huge contender—and the Japanese language is why.

In English, a hidden word = a censor = a 'bad' word. Coupled with the fact that everyone has naughty thoughts about 2B, it's easy for English speakers to immediately take that line as a sexual one. The fact that it's just one single sentence on the screen makes it seem like something that was meant to jump out as us like a punchline—like Yoko Taro is talking to the player.

This isn't the case in Japanese however. Words being blocked out does not equal inappropriateness; it simply means they are hidden, which was the intention of this line. The way it was presented made it seem like a poignant note; that it was an important revelation meant to provoke deep thought rather than a clever meta joke. I've watched a few Japanese let's plays, and not a single person—despite all of them having drooled over 2B for pretty much the entirety of the game—ever thought that it meant anything sexual. In fact, the word 壊す (destroy/break) was the almost unanimous interpretation (one guy even smoothly read it as "You're thinking about how you want to destroy 2B, don't you?" before going "Wait what??" at what he assumed was the correct word. None of the comments on that video assumed otherwise either).

Whether 9S got infected by the logic virus before the tower or after the arm

Technically there is a clear answer for this in the novel…but then you take in the side materials.

In the novel, before entering the tower and up until after the 2B clone fight, there was no mention of any virus—and most notably, 9S's pod said nothing about it. The strategy guide apparently explicitly mentions that an infection was already gradually overtaking him during the fight, but none of that was mentioned in the novel; there was barely a paragraph dedicated to the fight itself (where 9S describes how easy it is to take the 2B clones down), and immediately after that things quickly went boom and ended.

After attaching 2B's arm to his own, 9S hacked himself and removed the logic virus that was in it…yes, after he'd already attached it, which may be why not too long later, his pod warns him that the virus is inside him. At that point however he no longer cares, thinking that he's probably already infected anyway—he's got a vaccine, maybe not a fully compatible one but it'll delay the virus until he destroys the tower. He does not mention anything about removing infections other than the one that came from the arm.

Anything new from 2B's perspective during the end of the prologue/when 9S was damaged

The novel started shortly before the first Adam fight, so no prologue material. Pod does give a recap of it but, as you can probably guess, in the most formal and uninteresting way possible.

2B's feelings during the Amnesia sidequest

The Amnesia side quest happened...according to 9S, but there was no mention of it in 2B's narration. The novel itself is pretty much an event-to-event retelling of the main plotline—not a full account of everything you could do in-game, though there are references to side quests here and there despite no actual expositions of them.

Additional insight on A2's encounter with N2

None whatsoever, because A2's POV ends after the 21O fight.