Part 2: Episode II: The Deep Crimson FoeEpisode II: The Deep Crimson Foe
Music: Prologue Choir
Alright, no more fucking about. Time for a bloody massacre that even put a smile on dearly departed Caim's face. Well, maybe not a smile... Perhaps, more of an angry scowl of approval. You get the picture...
Nier now has access to Magic via his new partnership with the Black Book. The game goes the Prototype route of introductions in that you get to tool about with obscenely overpowered abilities at the beginning for a taste of what is to come. First up, as we saw in the previous cutscene, is the Dark Fist.
The magic spell titles are usually rather indicative of their function. In this instance, a giant ass fist will punch the shit out of whatever is standing in front of Nier. Simple enough.
Dark Fist can be charged up to produce several other supplement fists for a triple-digit knuckle sandwich for whatever unfortunate Shade is pissing off Nier at the moment. Most all magic can be charged in such a way, unless otherwise noted.
It is worth mentioning that Nier will Level Up like crazy in this battle. He'll go from Level 1 to around Level 30 in the span of about five minutes. The actual game is far less speedy and indeed, Leveling isn't really something to worry about. There is never any need to grind for experience or anything. It's just a glorified way to indicate Nier is kicking slightly more ass.
It is pretty much the same system pseudo-RPG leveling system Drakengard had. Only, Nier actually does get noticeably stronger and enemies will be a triviality by the end, unlike Drakengard's style of "things will be a slow, painful slog from start to finish".
Music: Prologue Battle (Slow)
After a few dozen dead Shades, Nier will next unlock the Dark Blast. Dark Blast is...significantly less impressive than its predecessor. It basically makes the book shoot out a little pew-pew stream of laser shots for nominal damage.
When letting go the action button, it will also shoot a stream of slightly stronger homing laser orbs. Dark Blast has its uses...but it's not really offensive in nature.
Next up is Dark Execution, a move ripped straight from one of Cavia's previous titles, Bullet Witch (don't play Bullet Witch, it is pretty terrible.) This one causes several ethereal spears to erupt from the ground to go all Vlad the Impaler on unsuspecting Shades. Pretty fun to use, but its charge up time is a bit of a drawback.
Music: Prologue Battle (Fast)
Last, but certainly not least, is the Dark Lance. As the name suggests, this one summons forth magical lances to skewer enemies at a distance. Dark Lance is pretty handy because while charging up and aiming the shot, time slows down to a crawl. Also, the lances fire off in rapid succession, not all at once. So, Nier can fan across the battlefield and basically ruin everyone's day in a 180 degree arc.
After around a hundred plus Shades are slain, Nier remembers the whole 'gee I ought to be looking out for my daughter' thing and rushes off to see if she's okay.
Music: Boss Battle 1
Unfortunately, a boss decides to be the designated bouncer of the local convenience store establishment.
Seeing as this is still the Prologue and all, it is basically impossible to lose here unless you are going out of your way to die. The big boy Shade kicks like a mule, but likewise the fully leveled Dark Lance will shred its health in short order.
Mid-boss' only attack is launching varying streams of Sonic Booms at Nier. They are all pretty easily avoided by just dodge rolling all over the place. Indeed, the dodge roll is easily the most important action for any fight. You might as well just forget Nier can even block, seeing as there is almost never a situation where holding your ground is preferable to rolling about and shoving a pipe up some poor fool's ass.
When bosses' health is depleted (or certain parts of their bodies are critically wounded), an "Attack Gauge" will appear on the weak point of their body. It is that little clock looking red thing on the Shade's head up above there. Indeed, the Attack Gauge is a stopwatch counting down until a boss revives. The red part of it is a health gauge. The objective is, simply enough, to deplete the health meter before time runs out. Failing to do so will cause the boss to gain a bit more health and resume fighting.
In this case, a few well placed Dark Lances to this bugger's cranium will send the jerk back to darkness where he belongs.
Right, then. I believe we had a daughter in need of some cough syrup to attend to. I think that is back on Aisle Six, next to cosmetics.
"Yonah! Talk to me!"
"Dad...are you all right?"
"Don't worry about me. I'm fine."
"But...you're covered in blood..."
"You shoulda seen the other guy!"
"That's good. Oh, look! I...I found this while you were gone."
"A cookie! Hey, that's your favorite."
"Here, we can split it, okay?"
"No. You take it."
"Dad, no. You need to eat something."
"...All right. Give me the small half."
"No. Come on, Dad! You're bigger than me, you have to eat to sur-"
Yonah goes into another coughing fit and drops the cookie... Just as well, it was a Lemonade cookie...most vile of all the Girl Scout's offerings.
Music: Prologue Choir
"Oh no... I dropped the cookie... I didn't mean to... You've...you've always been the one...helping me..."
"Yonah? What have you done?!"
"...So...so I wanted to..."
Yonah goes limp and loses consciousness...
"No! Yonah... Yonah!"
"We need help... We need help! Please! Anyone! Help! Help us!!"
And so we leave a desperate man and his dying daughter huddled in the back of the derelict ruins of an abandoned grocery store...
...in the middle of a dead city, in a dying world where it snows in the summer. And that...that about sets the tone for the rest of NIER...
Prologue Battle (Slow)
Prologue Battle (Slow Instrumental)
Prologue Battle (Fast)
Prologue Battle (Fast Instrumental)
Boss Battle 1
Prologue Yonah and Nier artwork.