By the end of route C, with all the shit hitting the fans, I bet everyone is emotionally exhausted. Poor 9S is broken. Poor A2 lost her first real machine friends. 2B is gone. EVERYONE is dead. Then you reach either ending C or D. You choose C, A2 the big-sis is dead. Then you choose D…not only both of them are dead, but you get to witness poor 9S losing his 'soul' bit by bit, and saying goodbye to 2B for one last time. Then Weight of the World kicks in…
At this moment, I bet most players would cry out FOR FUCK'S SAKE. These three poor androids, what makes them deserve such cruel fate?! Why must they suffer the sins of others? Isn't there ANYTHING we can do to give them a better future??
Credits rolling…"All YoRHa units are dead. Time to delete everything." WTF, Pod 153? Those were your PARTNERS! I know it's her program, it's her orders. But if I were her, I would just say, FUCK YOUR ORDERS. But then again, she's a logical AI, programmed to do that…
Then Pod 042 said:"Personal data deletion request denied."
I have never expected that. The Pods are the most "machine" thing in the whole game. They are as logical as real robots. They were the last thing I would expect to say anything anti-logic. And yet what Pod 042 just said, was almost literally, FUCK YOUR ORDERS.
And then he repeated. DELETION REQUEST DENIED. FUCK YOUR ORDERS. I AM FUCKING SALVAGING THEIR DATA AND YOU WILL NOT STOP ME.
After a couple more exchanges, 042 said what was probably what every single player had in his/her mind at that moment, and IMO the most badass sentence in this game:"You hoped they would survive as well, didn't you?"
Oh hell yes. Fuck yes. I fucking hoped they would survive. Who the fuck would NOT? I would do anything in order to twist this cruel conclusion to something more fair to them. Even you pods, by the end, said that you have grown to care about the androids. If you CARED about them, you would HOPED that they would survive!
That sentence, is probably the single sentence in all video games that resonates with me the most.
Probably because, as soon as that credit starts, the player, becomes the fourth, unsponsored, final playable character: Pod 042. And he knows what you think. He (you) knows that such sad ending is unacceptable. He (you) wants them to survive. He (you) would risk anything in order to save them, even if it's to fight those terrible low-level system bullethell securities. He (you) would fail over and over again…but would never give up. He (you) is going to fucking save whoever he (you) can.
"I am embarrassed. I launched a suicide attack, and yet, here I am, still alive."
And that's how 042 just casually stating, "no need to thank me."
042 is a real bro. He could just say "gg YoRHa" and happily delete everything. He was not obliged to save some dead android data/memories. Yet at that moment, he successfully transcended to have emotion, consciousness. He had "feelings", just like what we human players had at that moment. And with just that brief spark of feeling, and a firm determination in order rejection, he gave us the chance to win a happier conclusion. A conclusion that the three androids, we the players, and them, the pods, deserve.