Part 9: Episode IX: A Primer on Sidequests and the Boar Hunt!Episode IX: A Primer on Sidequests and the Boar Hunt!
Welp, we now have a clear goal in the quest of saving our daughter. But, before we embark on the next leg of the journey, we have a few little points of note scattered about the village that we ought to investigate.
First up, there is a door across from Popola's office that is now unlocked.
"The hell should I know? Maybe it's Popola's hobby corner or something."
So, this room is pretty much just here to mark your progress through the game. Little statuettes of the bosses encountered during Nier's adventure will appear in here upon defeat. There is never really any explanation given as to how or why they show up in this room. But, we can come back here periodically to get some commentary from Weiss and Nier on the tokens.
Heading back outside...
Music: Village Tunes
"...number. I can see why the bards kept it alive through the eons."
"Yeah, it's a real toe tapper."
Devola unfortunately left her perch alongside the fountain. Fear not, she's just relocated to the tavern in town to sing songs to drunken patrons for some easy spending money. She also has gained a new function of which we will explore at a later date. There is a more pressing issue at hand, at the moment.
Sidequests! Sidequests are now unlocked in NIER. Indeed, a ton of sidequests are now unlocked. And there are many more to come. I will try to do the vast majority of them. Though...there are a few extremely long, annoying, tedious, and unrewarding ones I may just skip. This brings me to my next point.
It is perfect alright to skip sidequests! Refer to the chart above for the proper procedure when handling odd jobs. If Drakengard didn't clue you in with the extremely obtuse weapon collect-a-thon leading to a reward of an ending path that used absolutely none of said weapons, then take heed: Cavia HATES OCD completionists. Many, many of the quests involve just mindlessly grinding for materials or FedEx missions across the damn world and other such tedious events. And while you do them,
The only reward for most every quest is just money. And even then, there are many quests that will require a monetary investment that will leave you in the red by the end. You don't gain experience points or anything for them and you can easily skip nearly every last one in the game and still fully complete it without a hitch. Really, the only positive part to sidequests is they almost all have amusing banter between Weiss and Nier.
So, I will repeat myself: if I sidequest is annoying you or proving to be a fun killing pain in the ass: SKIP IT!
That said, there are a rare few quests that do provide rather useful alternate rewards, other than money. Let us check out one of these while we're in the neighborhood.
"What kind of trouble?"
"There's a wild boar in the northern plains who's started attacking villagers. The victims all made it back, but who knows if we'll be so lucky next time..."
"...So you want me to go kill it?"
And thus we gain our first sidequest: Boar Hunt! We just need to go kill one lousy pig. How hard could that be...?
Quest givers will usually indicate up front when there is an additional reward other than gold. This one gives Nier a special, extremely useful if somewhat ridiculous reward.
Music: Northern Plains
Nier's hunt will take him to the western side of the Northern Plains, past the newly reconstructed bridge across the ravine in the center of the plain. The boar is randomly wandering about minding its own business. Now, there is something you ought to know about boars a millennium and a half into the future... They've uhh...well, they've grown a bit...
...Into hulking 10 foot tall, 500 pound mutant behemoths. Still, it's just an overgrown pig. How difficult could it be to take down?
"Have you the skill to hunt one of those down?"
"Maybe. But, they're pretty angry basta-"
Holy SHIT! WHAT?!
So, I guess I failed to mention that the boar is probably one of the strongest enemies in the early part of the game. It only has a single attack, which is just charging at break neck speeds at Nier. But, unless Nier dodges out of the way at the very last second, he'll get his shit ruined at this point in the game.
But, fear not. Boars may be mighty in strength, but they lack much in the way of intelligence. Indeed, they have one very key, easily exploited weakness:
Rocks! Nier can jump up on top of rocks. Doom Boars of +10 bashing cannot. It'll just mindlessly smash its head into the base of the boulder again and again while Nier is left to safely pound away with Dark Blasts and Lances. If you're feeling really brave, the boar will also occasionally become stunned whilst braining itself repeatedly into stone. This gives you a couple seconds to hop down and do maybe a single combo before hopping back to safety. It's up to you as to whether it is worth the risk.
In any case, I think we have this one in the bag, ladies and gents...
"Gah! How can a stupid pig be so strong!? It doesn't make sense!"
Yeah...so, maybe you were meant to take this sidequest at a later point. But, then why would the developers give it to the very first person in town with a word bubble above their head...?
Oh right... Cavia... Cavia hates you...
After whittling away at it for a quarter of an hour, the mighty bastard child of Ganon finally falls and drops the Boar Tusk as well as a Boar Hide that can be skinned and sold for a tidy profit.
Returning to the client...
"And it looks like you found a boar tusk, too! They say that boars become tame around anyone who carries one. Apparently, they'll even let you ride around on their backs! That sounds like hokum to me, but if you're brave enough, you might as well give it a shot."
The quest giver forks over 1000 gold and brings our first sidequest to a conclusion.
Nier also gains the ability to ride boars across the Northern Plains for a speedy alternative travel option. They are pretty standard mounts with a dashing ability and drifting and what have you...
DRIFTING?! A boar...?!
I'll just leave this here for you jerks to watch...
Grimoire Weiss Illustration