Part 6: Episode VI: The Book of LegendEpisode VI: The Book of Legend
Music: Shrine Chant
Welcome to the first dungeon of NIER: The Lost Shrine. I'm not sure why it is considered lost seeing as access is readily available just a short jog out of one of the major population centers of the region. But hey, what do I know about those kooks in the 34th century?
The Lost Shrine is pretty straight forward in design. It is a large tower with a spiral stair case winding around the center and several rooms on each floor. You know, like your average apartment complex or hotel. Which this...probably actually was a millennium ago.
Unfortunately, a millennium and a half is a hell of a lot of time for a place to go without proper maintenance and thus many of the larger sections of the staircase and surrounding walkways have fallen into severe disrepair, been crushed beneath vegetation overgrowth, or just plain fallen down. So, Nier will have to take several detours through the side rooms to reach the upper levels of the crumbling structure.
When entering one of the side rooms, the camera will shift to a top-down camera angle not unlike the old Zelda games. NIER really loves fucking about with camera angles to make scenarios reminiscent of other genres. Platformers, top down shooters, isometric dungeon crawls...we'll be seeing a lot of this kind of stuff later.
Ladders are boring things. Chutes are where all the action is going down. But, it is worth a mention that Nier climbs ladders really...REALLY slowly at default. But, if you hold the jump button instead of just climbing forward like normal, Nier will hop up at about 3x the speed.
I had a friend that finished the game recently and never realized this fact. I need to find less dumbass friends...
A few floors up, Nier will come upon a special little trinket inside a random crate.
Why, it's our first (of oh so many) of the new weapons!
Behold the Nirvana Dagger. It has a bit more attack power than the Nameless Blade, though it is also a bit heavier. Also, if you twist the bottom of the hilt it will play Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Weapons have three stats. They're fairly self explanatory, but I'll just briefly elaborate.
Attack Power - How hard you kill stuff.
Magic Power - Some weapons give a buff to magical ability by XX%. We need to...you know...learn magic first before that matters.
Weight - Basically, how quickly attack animations will play when on the offensive. Weight classes are:
Very Light - Light - Moderate - Heavy - Very Heavy
And that's about it. You'll notice a Level by the weapon picture too. Weapons, like in Drakengard, can be leveled up three times for increased stats. Though, unlike Drakengard where leveling was done via grinding endlessly, NIER has leveling accomplished by...farming materials endlessly... Terrific... It'll be a while before that comes into play though, so don't worry about it.
But...hey...speaking of Drakengard... You know...you know, this weapon looks...well...familiar, doesn't it? Definitely getting some déjà vu here... I wonder what that's all abo-
Hey... HEY! Maiden's Kris, what the hell are you doing in NIER...?! What is going on here?!
Well, the answer to that is simple enough. You see, at the end of Drakengard E when Caim got blown the fuck up by a jet fighter's missile, he apparently exploded like a weapon filled piñata and a decent chunk of his arsenal was scattered to the four winds.
As a result, quite a few weapons from Drakengard have changed their names and made the transition over to NIER. I'll be pointing out the holdovers when they crop up. But first, let's see the new weapon story, shall we.
Grimoire Nier posted:
Ever since her birth, the girl has been told that she had a fiancée. She was brought up being taught how to be a proper wife, and at night, she offered prayers for her fiancée while facing the scenery outside her window. "Lord XX, I eagerly await the day of your arrival."
Several other girls lived in the house that she lived in. They were all brought up being taught how to be proper wives, and at night, they offered prayers for their fiancées while facing the scenery outside their windows. "Lord XX, I eagerly await the day of your arrival."
One day, the girls had an argument about whether or not the most brilliant of them will be the only one chosen by their fiancée. The girls stubbornly clung to their claim that they were best suited as a fiancée, and their caretaker spoke to them gently. "Don't worry, you will all be Lord XX's wives." Hearing that, all the girls broke out into smiles.
On the day of the wedding, the girls were brought to a place with stone pavements that could be seen from their windows. One dagger was given to the girls. They were told that to meet their fiancée, they have to kill themselves right here. Hearing that, the girls fought for the dagger and committed suicide. Afterwards, a temple was built on where the girls died. The temple's name was the name of their fiancée.
Drakenga...oh...I guess I can't do that anymore, huh? Well, moving right along.
After several floors of Shade slaughter and ladder climbing, Nier eventually makes it to the roof of the Lost Shrine. I've got to wonder how the hell Yonah made it all the way up here.
Maybe she was just looking for a nice hot bath? I have to imagine Nier's method of making his kid bathe is to just throw her over his shoulder and lob her into the river.
There is a bit of block pushing (yes...sadly there a several block puzzles in NIER) and platforming to reach the inner sanctum. For being a big burly badass, Nier has the goofiest goddamn jump animation ever. I'll post a bonus video of it some time. It is just silly.
Anyhow, this is the highest point in the Lost Shrine and the only area we've yet to explore. So, there is about a 95% chance Yonah is hanging out in here and she is probably guarded by a boss. Just a hunch.
Music: Shrine Battle
Sure enough, Nier has found his daughter taking a nap in the back of the citadel's penthouse.
Unfortunately, there is some manner of magical barrier in the way and an infinite number of ankle biter Shades are flooding the area. So, what's the best way to make it past a magical barrier, you ask?
Why, pounding the living shit out of it, of course. This is basically Nier's solution to most problems. Luckily, it is a pretty handy solution in most instances...
It seems there was some manner of sinister looking book at the heart of the barrier. What is with this game and evil looking dictionaries?
Anyway, walloping the white tome and the barrier it is creating for a while seems to do the trick, as it violently erupts into a sea of light and disintegrates all the Shades in the area. See, beating the hell out of stuff does work!
The barrier around the fancy encyclopedia shatters and the book falls to the floor. The two rather intimidating looking statues seem to feel silly just holding their weapons up around an empty space, so they return to a sentinel standing position. No chance they are going to come to life and provide a boss fight. No sir.
Nier notices the fallen text seems to be shaking about a bit on the floor. He wonders what the deal with it is and also likely considers stabbing it some more.
The deal with the book is that, strangely enough, it can fly...
...and talk. A flying, talking book... A flying, talking book that sounds not unlike Alan Rickman. Sure, why not?
"By the heavens, I have never been treated in such a manner. I am a being of incalculable importance, and yet you approach me as a common cockroach.
"Yonah! Talk to me! Yonah! YONAH!!"
"Bah! This is why I hate dealing with people. Now see here! I admire your pluck: One man, going it alone against impossible odds..."
"Yonah, come on!"
"But such a plan is incredibly foolish! You stand in the presence of ancient wisdom! I am of text of the darkest, most arcane type, and I could be of great assistance to you."
"...You're a what!?"
"I could swat back these mindless creatures like mere flies, were I so inclined."
"My very name brings kingdoms to their knees! I will grant you one final chance. Bow your head and accept my power, or go it alone and fail."
Welp, seems like we don't have much of a choice here. Beating the hell out of Shades non-stops seems to be getting us nowhere. So, what the hell? I mean, what is the worst that could happen?
And thus we gain our first party member: Grimoire Weiss. Weiss will explain to Nier how best to harness his indescribable powers in order to save Yonah. Meanwhile, Nier will just pass time butchering endless mini-Shades.
"Once I destroy these Shades, the magic barrier should disappear."
"You can really do that?"
"Bwah hah hah! I am Grimoire Weiss! My very name brings kingdoms to their knees!"
"Then get to it already, Weiss!"
"Gah! You will refer to me by my full and proper name!"
"They just keep on coming!"
"You should not have turned your blades on me, foul creatures! With a single world, I, Grimoire Weiss, can shatter the very universe itself! Now! Prepare to..."
"Prepare to... Er... Uhh..."
"It seems that the frantic bludgeoning you gave me earlier has caused my memory to escape me."
Yeah, so it would seem to be that beating the shit out of everything in your way might not always be the best of ideas and our magic book buddy has gone all Mega Man and lost all his abilities thanks to Nier being a violent jerk. That's just great.
Luckily, slaughtering another dozen or so Shades will eventually cause Weiss to get a jogged memory and suck up the blood of one of the slain foes.
Thus, gaining the first magical ability: the little pew-pew Dark Blast magic spell from the prologue. Oh well, I guess that is better than nothing. Magic and defensive abilities (like block and evade roll) can now be mapped to any of the four should buttons of the controller. We also get a proper pause menu now, but we have more important things to worry about than menu browsing.
"Blood is sound... Sound are words... And words are power!"
"What's going on, Weiss!?"
"Is this...my memory?"
"You all right, Weiss? Hang in there!"
"...Hmm. It would seem I can regain my powers by defeating these monsters."
In the top right corner of the screen are the health (green) and magic (blue) meters. Magic constantly regenerates at a slow rate. But, taking out Shades will allow Weiss to suck up their blood and regain chunks of the magic meter more quickly. Nothing like some arcane blood magic as your standby for ass kicking.
As for Nier's question as to whether that was all. Well...
Did you honestly thing we were getting out of a dungeon without fighting a boss...? Really, everyone ought to have seen that coming.
Meeting Grimoire Weiss
Music: Shrine Chant
Music: Shrine Battle
Grimoire Weiss Render