Part 18: Episode XVIII: The Wretched AutomatonsEpisode XVIII: The Wretched Automatons
Music: Junk Heap Tunes
Going down. You know...I've been thinking about the Junk Heap...
Here we are in a supposed "military complex" built entirely of several stories of corridors (all leading a 100% straight line across the place) leading to nearly empty rooms with a clusterfuck of the same two or three easily slain enemies cogging said corridors. All the halls have ridiculously tall ceilings for no real reason and about 95% of the place is copied and pasted endlessly. We will also be coming here again and again for menial tasks off to the side. Yeah...this whole place really gives me a sense of déjà vu...
Sky Fortress! It's you! This industrial make-over and new interior lighting scheme ain't fooling anybody!
The third and final enemy type (for this visit anyway) of the Junk Heap are these magic turrets. They basically just kind of lazily rotate in place spewing an endless stream of energy orbs.
They go down just as easily as the K-Mart brand Daleks, so they are not much of a noteworthy threat. Even less so since you can easily melee them, unlike the rest of the bots. The only real trouble they pose is when the game spawns three or four in a single room.
In any case, destroyed turrets will occasionally produce bombs. Seems logical.
Picking up a bomb will immediately activate it and begin around a five second delay before exploding. The explosion isn't really particularly damaging. But, it has a function that quickly becomes apparent.
There are wooden barriers barring the path in certain stretches of the Junk Heap. Always immediately within bomb range. I think you know where this is going...
I'm not sure why they felt this was a necessary mechanic. Bombs are used exactly once in a battle. The rest of the time they're just used for a minor nuisance to clear crap out of the way for a brief delay in Nier's progress.
There is one rather unique section of our trip to the Robot Mountain. Mine cart action! No, it is not at all what you think when you hear "mine cart level".
Nier can make the cart go quicker or slower by shifting his weight to the front or back of the cart. Pretty standard stuff. It is highly recommended he equips the Dark Blast. Why you ask?
Gameplay shift to a top-down shooter, yo! You'd best be representin' with your pew-pew laser. Atari sound effects are optional.
During the top-down rail shooter section, Nier is besieged by flying discs that will
In addition, there are turrets firing laser blasts from the sides of the crash course. Blowing them up and avoiding energy orbs to the face is also recommended.
A minute or two of pew-pew later...
That was the only particularly interesting part between now and the boss fight. It's back to brown corridor dungeon crawling after that, with the occasional wee bit of platforming.
"-her way down here!"
"Or, for that matter, that she has been collecting scrap metal for a solid week? Open your eyes, fool! The woman is clearly-"
"That's enough, Weiss!"
"Those kids are in a bad way. Maybe they just need a...miracle."
Eventually, Nier and Weiss reach a huge central chamber. If this isn't a boss arena I'll eat my hat. Well, were I type to wear a hat. Which I am not. You can never trust those constant headgear sporting types. They're a shifty lot...
All the platforms to the central platform retract, leaving Nier stranded for the moment.
"Defenses activated. Commencing extermination protocol. Threat level: Orange."
"Mmm... This bodes ill."
"Attention all personnel: ID badges are required to avoid disintegration."
"It appears that only machines remain in this infernal place..."
"What's going on?!"
"If I had to hazard a guess, I would wager a rather large, awkwardly constructed, and utterly ridiculous looking robot will appear any moment and force us into battle."
"Alert! Alert! Alert!"
Music: Boss Battle
Behold what science has wrought! Behold! Boss fight #3...
Cyber Bongo-Bongo! ...Sure. Sure, why not? Good to see he's still getting work these days.
"This thing's crazy!"
Actually, this is Defense System Geppetto (named after the doll maker of Pinocchio fame.) This Geppetto will not be getting swallowed by a whale any time soon, mostly due to its size. But, the laser beam fingers also serve as a formidable anti-whale defense mechanism.
The first half of the fight mostly consists of evading mecha Andross' laser beams until they need to cool off. They are fairly easily double-jumped over.
"No mere machine can defy us!"
"How about you stop talking and start helping!?"
When Geppetto eases off on the lasers briefly, it's time to attack. Predictably enough, the underside of the robotic monstrosity's hands are vulnerable. Dark Lances and Dark Blast both work wonders.
When the defense drone's health dips below 50%, it will attempt the ever original method of raising its gigantic hand over the platform and attempting to crush our hero. Like a good protagonist, Nier needs to scramble about and avoid the hand's shadow before it eventually crashes down.
"Watch out for the shadows!"
"Great advice, thanks!"
After pounding away enough, Geppetto's hands will be destroyed leaving just an iron giant head. Yeah...all that was just to take down its limbs. There's still another half of the battle to go.
The security bot decides to take a little breather and summons a swarm of its mechanical compatriots to take on Nier for a bit. This can get a bit hairy as dozens of the things spawn from all directions, including the health wrecking red variants.
After about two dozen scrapped droids, the robot spawning slots will be replaced by turrets producing a mini bullet hell from their combined efforts. Nier and Weiss need to scrap all eight of these too to finally cease the endless cannon fodder stream and resume the boss battle.
Geppetto's head gets a full health bar and it switches tactics to vomiting a laser blast out of its throat across the arena. It too is fairly simple to evade as it just sort of slowly sweeps the area back and forth.
After it finishes the laser deepthroat, it will then close its maw and shift tactics to shooting heat seeking rockets out of its eyes. Good grief, did a military R&D's violent fourteen year old son design this thing...?
The problem with this stage of the fight is that the robot is too far away to melee and it seems to have a barrier against magic, which limits our options. But... You know how turrets will often produce bombs when destroyed? Yeah... Nier and Weiss have this situation handled...
"I think I've heard that plan before..."
Nier tosses that sonuvabitch down the boss's plasma spewing throat...
"Really, the mouth? Such an obvious weakpoint! Oh, what fun!"
"Good, keep after it!"
So, that's all there is to it. It's just a simple matter of lobbing bombs into its gullet when it has its mouth open and then dodging rockets briefly until the pattern resets. Repeat until destroyed. Be sure to grab the heart piece on your way out the door.
And that's it for Geppetto. Sorry, no dramatic finisher this time. We need a ton of blood for those, remember? The doll maker here is a bit dry on that front.
We do, however, gain a new Sealed Verse! Dark Gluttony...perhaps the very most useless spell in the entire game. Dark Gluttony will create a magic field around Nier that will absorb energy orbs that enemies just adore spewing all over. You know...the energy orbs you can just block, slash through, or blast away with magic...
Nier can then blast the collected energy back in a big, difficult to aim charged mass. Using it devours the magic gauge extremely quickly and I am almost never going to equip it since it is just pure, unadulterated crap. Oh well...I guess they can't all be winners...
Geppetto was nice enough to re-engage the bridge out of the boss arena before going to the great scrap heap in the sky. This allows Nier to continue to the end of the Junk Heap.
A jog just outside the boss arena later...
Outside the boss chamber, our heroes come across a pair of corpses. One of them female. I think we all saw this outcome from miles away...
"I fear we've discovered the delinquent mother..."
"She's got company."
"It's a male."
"Hmmm... Cosmetics, a travel bag, and money. Not exactly metal-harvesting gear, is it?"
"Disgusting! She abandoned her children to seek comfort in the arms of a swain!"
"Ah, dammit. This is... Damn."
"So much for miracles. Though in truth, I'm sure you suspected this all along. What will you tell the children?"
"...I don't know."
The mother of the year is holding something shiny in her hand which Nier can retrieve.
"It smells of roses."
"I guess I should bring this back to them."
Some time later...
Nier Is given the option of telling the boy that she died or lying and saying he couldn't locate her. I'll...let you jerks decide what we do...
- Option 1 - Tell Gideon his mom
got smashed by a cybernetic Zelda boss while attempting to run off and get laidunfortunately didn't make it.
- Option 2 - Tell Gideon we couldn't find his mommy and hope the boys never comes across her rotting corpse.
Junk Heap Highlights
Rail Shooter Gameplay
Defense System Geppetto (Full Boss Battle)
Defense System Geppetto Concept Art