Part 17: Episode XVII: The Two Brothers
Episode XVII: The Two Brothers
Welp that is a wrap for sidequests at the moment. Time to get back to that whole Sealed Verse to save daughter thing we were sort of kind of tasked to accomplish. It's been a while since we've progressed in that...
Time to bug Popola!
So, Popola reads the letter and informs us of the Shades appearing in the Aerie. Of course, we already knew that since Nier immediately tore open the envelope to read its contents like a good postman. Anyway, Nier protests that his weapons suck and he needs to get better ones to fight Shades more efficiently. Popola points him in the direction of a weapon shop to the north in a place called the "Junk Heap".
And...off we go... Junk Heap really sounds like an unappealing place to visit...
Music: Northern Plains
A trip to the Northern Plains later...
"It's filled with garbage and scrap from the old world. There are all kinds of machines in there that no one remembers how to use. To get there, we have to cross the iron bridge to the northeast. In the old times, these huge metal crates used to cross that bridge all the time."
"Humans certainly were wise back then."
"If they were so smart, why are they all dead?"
Good question, Nier. One we we'll answer forever from now. Anyhow, the iron bridge our hero spoke of is the very same we found the dead dog, Max, from the last sidequest in the previous update.
There is scaffolding lining the side of the decrepit railroad bridge. It is worth noting that there are about 4-6 medicinal herbs scattered in boxes about the platforms. The game REALLY wants you to top off your herbs now. Mostly because there are ABSOLUTELY NO HEALING ITEMS in the next dungeon. Stock up now, fool!
Music: Junk Heap Field
The field leading to the Junk Heap is just a short jog past the top of the iron bridge. So, what is y'all's feeling on the color brown...? We are going to be seeing a lot of brown. A whole lot...
There is a sorry looking cobbled together hut just past the gate to the area. I guess this would be the weapons shop Popola mentioned. Well, that or it is just an abandoned post-apocalyptic shack with a few radroaches inside and some bobby pins alongside 20 caps as the only reward for exploring.
Inside the shack...
"I know, hold on. Maybe we have some old bread here...
Nier barges in on the two children...
"Oh! Welcome! Please, come in!"
"I heard you're the guys to talk to if I want my weapon strengthened?"
"You bet! I'm the finest smith in these parts! ...Er, usually. See, my brother and I build items from scrap we find in the Junk Heap, but we're a little low on supplies at the moment."
"The Junk Heap?"
"Well, that's just what we call it. Folks say it used to be a military base. I don't know about that, but there's lots of great stuff in there. It's not exactly the safest place in the world, but we gotta eat, you know?"
"Where are your parents?"
"Our father died when Gideon was very young. And Mom is..."
"She's out right now. Getting supplies. But I'm sure she'll be-"
The younger boy, Gideon, starts jumping about and shouting...
"That's a long time."
"It's getting harder to find good scrap. She probably had to go deep into the Heap."
"I'm so huuuungry!!!"
"So long as we bring you the materials, you can forge our weapons?"
"Yeah. Normally I'd go myself, but it's really dangerous in there right now and so..."
"No problem. We'll do it."
"I need a new weapon. And besides, you need inventory for your shop. ...Right?"
"Well, yes. But..."
"It's settled, then. What do you need?"
So, Jakob hooks up Nier with a map of the complex and tells him that they'll need three Titanium Alloys from the robots in the Junk Heap. That sounds simple enough. I didn't expect to be fighting robots today but ehh...those jerks always survive the apocalypse somehow...
The Junk Heap proper is just a short jog to the north from the two brothers' weapon shop. There is no security or anything barring the way. One can just waltz right into the rusty pile.
Again, I hope you like brown...
Music: The Wretched Automatons
"I guess the power source is still operational. ...Not that we'd have any idea how to use it."
"Ruins from ancient times, patrolled for eons by unstoppable machines."
"And now we bust 'em up and take the parts."
"Do you even know what a 'titanium alloy' looks like?"
"Sure, it's the shiny thing that says 'Titanium Alloy' when I pick it up."
So...the Junk Heap... I really dislike the Junk Heap... It is basically nothing but copied and pasted brown corridors. Punctuated by copied and pasted central rooms which spawn all of two enemy types ad nauseam of which you will need to farm for materials endlessly since the Junk Heap is a damn nexus of quest requirement trinkets.
The primary enemies of the Junk Heap are these Dalek looking little bastards. All they do is roll toward Nier and utilize a taser-type electrical field to zap the guy in the nads. And...that's about it.
Said electrical field makes it quite difficult to use melee on them. But, magic works like a charm. Dark Hand is in particularly REALLY useful as it is a one hit K.O. on every one of the little scrappy bots.
Speaking of scrapping bots, it is worth it to know that robots all violently explode after defeat and being caught in the blast radius is quite hazardous to all walks of shirtless burly men.
"Yes, well. I suppose it's hardly suitable work for children."
"They both look pretty skinny."
"And the elder has been giving his share of food to his brother. I'm sure of it!"
One of the more annoying quirks of the Junk Heap is every few rooms the doors will slam shut and you'll be forced to battle a dozen of the bots.
Also, the view will occasionally shift to overhead for no particular reason. What we are looking for are rooms like this in the corners of this level of the Junk Heap.
These rooms spawn the red light equipped variant of the sentry bot. The red light robots are the ones who will drop the much sought Titanium Alloy. Though, Titanium Alloy is a rare drop even knowing where to find it. It is entirely possible to go through the entire Junk Heap and not have a damn one drop. Like it did for me... Twice. I cleaned out the entire first level of the area and got only one Titanium Alloy. So, I had to leave the dungeon, re-enter to respawn all the enemies, and try again. My third trip I got three of 'em. Go figure...
The red automaton model shoots energy balls instead of electrocutes people. This can REALLY hurt if you are unprepared as a full volley of energy orbs can chew off half of Nier's energy bar. The rooms they spawn in are usually tight quarters with many friends, so it is pretty easy to have one sneak out some shots when you're not paying attention.
Anyhow, after about twenty minutes of farming Nier finally obtains all three Titanium Alloys and is free to return to the brothers for his reward.
A trek back to the weapon shop later...
You do realize where this talk of a missing mother is heading... What, did you think we were getting through a dungeon without a boss fight...? Hah!
Nier wanders in once more...
"We got your materials."
"Ah, thank you very much! I'll level your weapon up right away. Normally I'd charge for this, but you can have this one for free."
So, the Nameless Blade automatically is leveled to Level 2. Unlike Drakengard's complicated method of replaying the first Ground Mission twenty minutes to slaughter low level baddies for minimal effort, leveling weapons in NIER is accomplished by farming materials and paying a nominal fee to the brothers' weapon shop for the upgrade. You're going to be playing NIER for a very, very long time if you get into the habit of leveling everything. Since Cavia hates your guts if you're a completionist, they of course put in an Achievement/Trophy for just that. Have fun!
Sadly, even upgraded the Nameless Blade is still shittier than the Lily-Leaf Sword. Said Lily-Leaf sword can be upgraded by simply paying a 1000 gold fee and err...collecting...three more titanium alloys...
Nier thanks the boy for the augmentation to his arms and goes to leave. Unfortunately, Gideon decides it's time to throw another tantrum.
"What's wrong now?"
"I'm sorry. He's just impatient, and he thinks we should go look for Mom. We just need to wait, okay? She'll be back soon."
"Yes, yes. I know. We're off to search for the misplaced mother, aren't we?"
"Please, no! I already owe you far more than I can ever repay!"
"Save it. I don't care."
"You don't understand! Our mother is..."
"...Never mind. Mom usually went pretty deep inside the mountain. I think she used the elevator a lot, so I'd better give you the activation code."
So, it's back to the Junk Heap proper now... You didn't think we were getting off that easy, did you? I think everyone knows this isn't story isn't going to have a happy ending...
"If I may ask, what is it that possesses you to meddle in their affairs?"
"Growing up without parents is tough. I just want to help however I can."
There are a few elevators in the corners of the complex we can use Jakob's keycard to access the lower levels.
Yeesh... Endless brown corridors, key card fetching, only two enemy types, elevators downward, and a jerk named Weiss... I am having very unpleasant flashbacks to a certain deep area...possibly under the ground. I wonder what that is all about...?
Music: Junk Heap Field
Music: The Wretched Automatons