The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 24: Episode XXIII: The Fisherman's Gambit

Episode XXIII: The Fisherman's Gambit

Well, that was a cute little diversion even if fruitcake is a ghastly abomination in the realm of desserts. I still think we could use a bit of down time before trekking out into the desert wastelands. So, let's go have a chat with Devola down at the tavern.

I mentioned in passing earlier that the bard sister can be employed to locate sidequests and there are quite a few stacking up. Not in the Village, mind you, but drunks from all over NIER's countryside apparently come to gab with her and thus she knows of low pay busywork in other towns as well as our own.

Seafront is filled with 3-4 new sidequests, many of which are quite involving. Perhaps we should take a stroll back there to get some money in our mutton filled pockets before venturing once more into the great unknown, hmmm?

Asking about any of the quest will cause Devola to mark precisely where the sidequest initiating client is located on Nier's map as well as provide a brief description of the task. I...really wish more games filled with random sidequests scattered about town would rip this off. It is quite handy a bit more efficient that resorting to FAQs and wikis to discover Old Man Trashcan in the ass of the Mojave Wasteland can hook you up with a unique shotgun if you give him five power converters from Tosche Station.

A jog to Seafront later...

Music: Seafront Tunes

Today we will be getting involved in probably one of the more infamous sidequests in the game: The Fisherman's Gambit. You see his old geezer...? We're going to be getting to know him very, very well this update...

If you've forgotten because you binge drink every evening since high school and your short term memory has gone to shit, this old timer was the fisherman who taught Nier how to fish, gave him his first pole, and made numerous lamers rage quit because they could not follow an omnipresent BRIGHT RED X on the mini-map.

Sidequest: The Fisherman's Gambit

"Well, since yer so insistent, I suppose I better reveal one'a my fishin' secrets."
"I wasn't insisting that you-"
"Oh, fine! Twist my arm some more, why don't ya? Well, if you can catch ten sardines, I'll reveal one of my most closely-guarded secrets."

And so it begins. The game was letting you off easy with that Shaman Fish business? Only one fish? How pedestrian. We're going to need a bit of supplies for this eternal struggle of man vs. the sea.

Over in the market district, there is a tackle shop in which Nier can purchase various forms of bait in order to catch different creatures of the watery abyss.

Bait is very cheap and it is best to just stock-up on a load to avoid having to wander back to top off if we run dry. What we're going to need right now is some Lugworms. I think about 50 ought to do it... What? You think that number is kind of excessive...? Heh... Oh boy.

With a pocket just busting full of Lugworms (and mutton) Nier is now set for his new adventure. For this first leg of the Fisherman's Gambit, Nier is going to need to return to the very same beach he caught the Shaman Fish for Yonah earlier in the game. Only this time, he's going to need to use a Lugworm as bait instead of just the lure.

Some time later...

"Shhhhh! You're scaring them away!"
"Oh. I...I see."

Now, the thing about fishing is that nothing is guaranteed. Only certain fish spawn at certain areas (like the Shaman fish is only on this beach) and some fish will only appear with certain lure (like the sardines are only possible to catch here with the lugworm.) But, there is other crap in the ocean like vicious Aquatic Plants, worm devouring rusted metal buckets, old cans, and other vendor trash crap.

Furthermore, outside assorted rubbish, bait just raises the chance of the desired fish appearing. It is entirely possible to pull up a Shaman Fish when using lugworms. You're still at the mercy of the mysterious unseen hand of God RNG.

Here are my results for this session:

Well, that wasn't too bad a ratio. Don't worry, Cavia is just trying to lure you into a false sense of security. I know your ways, you sadistic jerks!

Returning to the Fisherman...

"So ya did, so ya did. Well then, here's a piece of advice for ya..."


"I guess. But anyone could get better if they did nothing but fish for two days in a row."
"I seem to recall an incident none too long ago which would rather contradict that statement."
"...Shut up, Weiss."

The Fisherman's Gambit does indeed improve Nier's fishing level. He'll reel in fish faster, be able to catch higher level targets, and the chance of them getting away is lessened. We're doing this quest line first because another quest in Seafront makes it a mandatory requirement. Cavia hates completionists.

And that is it for the Fisherman's Gambit... That wasn't so bad, was it?

Too bad that was only Fisherman's Gambit Part 1 of 5  really 8. 

Sidequest: The Fisherman's Gambit, Part 2

"Hold on. I don't think I agreed to-"
"You're so insistent! It really is too much! Well, your next task is to catch seven blowfish! If you can do that, I'll part with another of my invaluable lessons."

Right... Seven blowfish... That's even less than before How hard could that be...? Hint:  It took me over 30-40 minutes of rotten luck. 

Blowfish can be found by just fishing right next to our master of the deep blue sea sensei and utilizing lugworms once more. This is why I told you to stock-up. Unfortunately, this spot is a massive pain in the ass since a massive variety of fish can spawn here. The game teased me for a solid 20 minutes in which I had 6 blowfish and caught everything under the sun, including a pair of higher level fish that Nier is barely able to manage, before finally giving me that last damnable bastard.

Some time later...

"Shhhhh! You're scaring them away!"
"Oh. ...Yes, right."

End results:

"Mmmm... There's nothing like a good blowfish soup, let me tell you. Well, as promised here's your next secret. And this one won't take me two days to pass down! Heh heh heh!"

Some time and some improved fishing skills later...

"Eh? I'm eating them! What else would you do with such tasty morsels?"

Welp, that is two down...three to go.

Sidequest: The Fisherman's Gambit, Part 3

"Gah, another assignment? Though you are doubtless a true man of the sea, I fail to comprehend how you can possibly consume all the fish we are bringing your way."
"What I don't eat I sell. But I can eat a lot! Heh heh heh! Now get moving, greenhorn! Them fish won't catch 'emselves!"

For this next leg of the adventure, Papa Nier will need to leave Seafront and venture out into the depths of the Northern Plains. There is a rather out of the way dock just north of the bridge dividing the plain in half. If you can't find it, just have Nier leap off from said bridge into the water and he'll wash up on the docks with a small energy hit. Yes, suicide is both fast and convenient. Who knew?

Nier just needs the basic lure for hunting the rainbow trout of the Northern Plains. That sounds like a fruity band name. Oh hey, Kainé. Just gonna stand around and watch? That's cool I guess. Hey, if you're bored there are boars around here that you can do some crazy shit with. But...I guess you wouldn't be into that....huh? ...Moving on.

A while later...

"...idea that-"
"Shhhhh! You're scaring them away!"
"Oh. ...Right."

This one was far less painful. My results were:

Back to the old fisherman...

"Well scratch my back and call me Sally! Them's some rainbow trout, all right! Yer getting' better, young one! Right! Time for me to teach ya some new pearls'a wisdom. Let's head over to the harbor there."


*Huff... Puff...* "I can' made me work...on a fishing boat... I oughta...cut you in half..."
"The old man is more fearsome than we thought."

Our hero: duped by an old man into indentured servitude. Yonah is probably dead by now. Oh well, another quest bites the dust...

Sidequest: The Fisherman's Gambit, Part 4

"This time I got a hankerin' for five bream. Catch 'em, and I'll teach ya one'a may secret techniques!"

Right...five bream. You'll recall we earlier caught two while fishing for blowfish. So, at least we know where to look. This time, we're just using the lure. No bait.

Later that afternoon...

"You're really quiet, Weiss."
"The fish will be scared away otherwise, no?"
"Yeah,'s just weird."
"May I talk freely, then?"

"Then what would you have me do!?"
"Shhhhh! You're scaring them away!"

This one was a total breeze. Our results:

"Well, swab the deck and call me Ishmael! I knew ya could do it! Hand 'em over, whippersnapper!"
"I think these are worth more on the open market than the rainbow trout I caught earlier..."
"Worth ain't squat! It's whatcha learn from the catchin' that matters! Now stop all this fool talk 'bout yer wallet and get to practicin'!"

*Huff huff* "Hey...old timer... What does...200 sit-ups...have to do...with fishing...?"
"Ya won't be catchin' anything with those scrawny arms. We got to buff 'em up!"

Alrighty! Only one more to go... I have been doing this quest for about two hours real time now...

Sidequest: The Fisherman's Gambit, Part 5

"I trust that you are not abusing our labors for the purpose of easy profit, old man?"
"Oh, and would a little compensation be a bad thing? I'm teachin' invaluable techniques here, ya floating magazine!"
"Lies! It is clear that money is your ultimate goal. And I am NOT to be referred to as a magazine!!"

Alright, this is it. The end of the Fisherman's Gambit  the first half of it at least...  and the turbulent road we travel will take Nier back to his home village. Black bass hang out in the waters just outside his home. Again, we'll just be using the basic lure.

Time passes...

"-from the water."
"...Wait, you can do that?!"
"If I can establish a line of sight with the fish, then yes."
"...Can you see them?"
"...Back to fishing, then."

Our final round-up of fishing... Bass are definitely the most difficult to reel in yet. But thankfully, they're basically alone in the pond.

All the way back to Seafront while turning up the bass and boar drifting...

"Well, raise the mainsail and call me Cletus! That's some nice work, youngster. Keep it up, and ya just might have a chance of catching...The Fish."
"Which fish?"
"Never ya mind! Time ain't right yet. Now lemme show ya the next technique..."

Counting the Shaman Fish failure, Nier has now spent 35 days fishing...

"No, I've certainly improved. I just don't understand why you wouldn't tell me so unless I bought you drinks in the local tavern."
"Quit frettin'! You'll go bald."

Now that you mention it, I think I need a drink...

Fisherman's Gambit Banter
(You should watch this.)

Papa Nier Concept Art - Hell, the guy is an effeminate pretty anime boy compared to this incarnation.