Can I get uhhhh... happy ending?
Usually, when a game’s online servers are sunsetted, players don’t get the opportunity to go out in a self-aware blaze of glory before the final dawn arrives. But then again, most games don’t have the bizarre Nier creator, Yoko Taro, as their director.
The game in question is SINoALICE, Square Enix’s free-to-play role-playing action mobile gacha game for iOS and Android. In it, you play as fairy tale characters like Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Princess Kaguya as they battle to revive their authors in order to give them a happy ending. Somewhere down the line, the fight for a happily ever after came with the assistance of Nier and Drakengard 3 characters during special collaborative events. For players in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau, however, SINoAlice’s servers being taken offline come November 10 overlaps with a special mission designed by Taro. Upon its completion, players will be logged out of the game forever.
MY MAN YOKO TARO DOING SAVE FILE DELETION ON A LIVE SERVICE GACHA WHALES HAVE NO DOUBT SPENT THOUSANDS ON. AIN'T NOBODY DOING IT LIKE MY GOAT https://t.co/38kzs5LDBW
— Subjugating Heaven and Earth 🔜MFF (@WuffFluff) October 26, 2022
“After clearing the entire final arc, a[n] ending clip will be played. Once that clip is over, you will be forced logged out. After that, you can never. log. in. ever. Again,” sino_english, a fan Twitter account that translates SINoAlice’s official account’s tweets wrote. “Please clear everything before you set foot,” “NieR fans will understand.
Meta final missions in a Taroverse game aren’t a new phenomenon. In Nier: Automata’s ending E, players had to decide whether or not to erase all of their game data in exchange for assisting another player during the game’s final boss fight. While ending E’s evoked a sense of comradery with one’s fellow gamer, SINoAlice is shaping up to be a lonesome final and brutal curtain call.
According to sino_english, the game’s co-op feature will be turned off, and players will be pitted against a “very strong” final opponent. If you lose, you won’t be able to continue. Today, nine out of ten of SINoAlice’s final missions, called verses, were released. SINoAlice’s tenth and final verse is slated to release on November 3, which gives players seven days to complete the mobile game’s last story mission. This denouement is particularly brutal considering that gacha games have players invest a considerable amount of their disposable income into unlocking characters and the like. Not being able to log in and see their bright and shiny anime faces is a fate I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.
“Once you reach the ending, the Library will be permanently closed forever. There will be no going back after this. Even if you want to help your friends clear the chapter, there’s no way to help directly. Everything will be gone when it’s over,” sino_english wrote.
Given that SINoAlice’s story is hella meta already with its cutesy fairy tale characters fighting for the chance at a happy ending, my money is on Taro leaving players with an even meta-er ending come the game’s final cinematic. Hopefully, SINoAlice’s ending won’t be akin to the similarly gone-too-soon Shonen Jump fantasy manga, The Hunters Guild: Red Hood, where characters poked fun at the manga’s cancellation. Chief among them was its primary antagonist, who proved subtlety is for cowards by saying “a story that doesn’t entertain is abandoned. Once abandoned our world will disappear.” Let’s just hope SINoAlice’s band of hopeful characters gets their happily ever after.
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