Part 7: Episode VII: Hansel and GretelEpisode VII: Hansel and Gretel
So, time to face-off against the first boss(es) of NIER: Hansel and Gretel. Most of the major bosses are named after characters from fairy tales and fables. They don't mean anything, so do not think about it too much. It is just a hold-over from an early idea for the game involving fables coming to life or something of that nature.
Anyway, let's get on with kicking their asses.
The early stage of the fight is pretty standard. The two of them will basically bum rush Nier and try to whack him about with their polearms. This is evaded by well...just running away mostly. Rolling, if caught by a wall, also helps. However, once a fraction of their collective health (they share one health bar) is depleted, they'll begin to mix it up. Weiss explains that fairly well...
"That sounds bad."
"Enemies with such barriers are impervious to both weapons and magic!"
"...Yeah, that's bad."
"The enemy cannot move so long as the barrier is in place. Focus your attacks on the other! Calm yourself! The man who keeps his head in a fight is the one who emerges victorious!"
"A talking book and moving statues? ...Really!?"
"It's all too real, my friend! Keep you sword high!"
So, basically Hansel and Gretel will swap turns in putting up a defensive barrier while the other one attacks. The one on the offensive will start using a charging dash attack. They telegraph it pretty obviously, so it is quite easy to avoid.
Eventually, one of the duo will be knocked to the floor and an Attack Gauge will appear. The twins here don't have specific weak points, so just rushing in and pounding the hell out of the downed foe works well enough.
Destroying a boss' Attack Gauge will often trigger a Finisher attack. Which is basically a cutscene featuring an overpowered as hell uber-version of standard magical attacks to ruin Nier and Weiss' enemy's day in awesome manners.
Unfortunately, Weiss is a bit low on the whole "universe shattering fearsome power" thing mojo at the moment and only produces a single Dark Lance.
And a single standard magic attack ain't gonna cut it, even in cutscene land. The big tin can easily deflects the blow.
You uhh...might want to be a touch more careful when flinging magical spears around in the future, pops.
On the plus side, Weiss has gained the Dark Lance ability. This is probably one of, if not the most, useful magic spells in the entire game. It has huge range, hits for quite respectable damage, and time slows down to allow you to aim at the desired target at your leisure. All in all, a damn fine ability.
"Thanks for the tip! Is this more of your power?"
"Mmmm... It would seem so."
"You sure you know what you're doing there?"
The golems now gain the ability to blast out a light volley of energy orbs. Get used to seeing energy orb based attacks. This is barely a single a noteworthy occurrence of it. Later in the game some fights will turn into a third person bullet hell.
Luckily, energy orbs can be blocked and destroyed with magical attacks or hell...just plain beating them out of the way with Nier's weapon. They do pack quite a punch, though. Nier lacks invincibility frames when getting hit, so a full stream of shots to the face can eat away a huge chunk of health in short order if you're not careful.
The duo also gains a shockwave ability that will blast out in a column towards our hero. This has to be evaded to avoid some sizable damage. You can't block jagged rock getting jammed up your rectum...
When Hansel and Gretel's health dips to 1/3rd, another Attack Gauge will appear. The idea is Weiss needs to vampire up enough blood from the boss to charge-up into a super attack. Seems reasonable enough an explanation as to why they don't just use these attacks all the time.
Anyway, Nier isn't fucking around anymore with sad little mini-lances and instead goes the route of "bigger is better" by combining a dozen or so into one mega-lance.
Needless to say...
Such a technique is slightly more effective than the first attempt. The blue-eyed member of the duo gets its statue brains blown all over the wall. I do hope that didn't spray all over Yonah's dress. You don't even want to know how much Nier hates doing laundry.
The surviving member of the band is more than a little pissed about its partner's demise.
The remaining boss summons forth a load of the little mini-Shades and starts spewing out a storm of orbs. Yeah...I'd say it's pretty pissed...
I'm glad we're all on the same page with this one.
Other than having to dodge and block a load more shots, it really doesn't have much more tricks up its steel sleeves, nor does it have much health to back it up. I say it's time we finished up here.
Nier gets much less fancy with this finisher and just lobs a spear into the guardian's face.
Oh wait...did I say just a spear...? What I meant was...
...like eight spears. That's gonna leave a mark...
And that, ladies and gentlemen, I believe is a wrap. There is a video of the full boss battle at the end of the update and there will be one for every major boss. It is worth a watch, if you want to see the general battle system and fights. Plus, there is banter to hear. If you like banter, Nier is the game for you.
Now that the barrier is down, Nier rushes over to check on Yonah...
"It's all right, Yonah, don't worry about it. Are you okay? Are you hurt?"
"Ahem! Perhaps we'd best depart, hmm?"
"The shrine's gonna collapse. Come on, Yonah! We have to move?"
"Dad, why's the shrine going to collapse?"
"Because it's old and stupid! I dunno."
"Perhaps we can discuss the mystifying functions of load-bearing bosses at a safer location, ehh?"
The trio haul ass as the
Nier strikes a Dadass pose outside the wrecked Lost Shrine entrance for the promo shots of the game.
"I couldn't find a Lunar Tear. I'm so sorry... I just wanted to get better...so you wouldn't have to worry anymore... I'm sorry..."
"Don't worry about-"
Well...I think we're gonna need to go pick-up some ointment for that on the way home...
Hansel and Gretel Boss Battle Gameplay
Hansel and Gretel Finishers (You should probably watch this)
Lost Shrine Ending
Hansel and Gretel Concept Art