Part 25: Episode XXIV: The City of CommerceEpisode XXIV: The City of Commerce
Music: Seafront Tunes
Welcome back. Last time we took a 33 day hiatus to Seafront to become a master fisherman. Fun times! Now that Papa Nier is king of the reel, we're free to complete a few more Seafront sidequests before moving on to the mysterious Facade. They will all also be...quite time consuming... I am utterly ignoring that sidequest flowchart for two out of the coming three quests.
This first sidequest will take Nier to the eastern port of town to check-up on a merchant that Devola mentioned back when we inquired about clients for odd jobs.
Sidequest: The New Merchant in Town
"What's the problem?"
"Well, I'm trying to get into the trading business, so I'm stocking up on the essentials."
"Is this some kind of import-export thing where you sell local products to faraway lands?"
"Not products so much as raw materials. With every nation running out of the basics, I figure that's the way to make a killing! But right now I don't have a source for materials, and it's driving me crazy! I just need to make one trade. Then I can use that money to fund an expedition, and I'll be set for life! But right now I don't have anything to trade. It's a real...whatcha call it? Conundrum."
So this is a dire farming for materials sidequest that will take a very, very long time as it is almost entirely composed of rare drops. But meh... Let's bite the bullet.
"Seriously? Well, that would really save my bacon!"
"What do you need?"
"It's a pretty big list, so you might want to write it down in that floating notebook of yours. Okay, let's see... I need ten bundles of wool, five lumps of natural rubber, and ten goat hides."
"Those...aren't very common. I hope you aren't in a hurry."
"Oh no. Take your time. That'll give me time to set up shop and fill out forms and the like."
So, Nier actually does write down all the quest requirements in Grimoire Weiss and you can thumb through to the Quests tab to check on required materials and how many are currently in Nier's inventory. Let's take a gander...
...Goddammit. Wool will be easy to top off. Natural Rubber eh...we might need to find somewhere to buy some of that... Goat Hides are going to be a severe issue...
Wool is the simplest of the three requirements. It is a rare drop from harvesting sheep for...some reason... Luckily, if it is a sunny day on the Northern Plains, there will be at least two dozen sheep roaming the countryside. Utilizing the animal whistle ability will summon them all for a quick makeshift slaughterhouse using magic. I ended up with enough mutton to open a full butcher shop, but hey...it only took about ten minutes.
Goat Hides were...far, far more trying an experience. The best bang for your buck with goats is to return to the Eastern Road where we traveled to the Lost Shrine earlier. The problem is that there is only maybe err...six goats tops. And they like grazing pretty much the entire length of road between the village and the Lost Shrine path making it about a 1-2 minute round trip to kill six whole goats. The drop rate for hides is absurdly low. I think this took me a good forty-five minutes to finally get all I needed.
Natural rubber spawns very, very seldom in the Southern Plain. At that point, I was fed up with farming so I just went the easy route.
There is a merchant in Seafront who just sells the damn stuff. It was a 3500 Gold investment, which is quite pricey. But, on the other hand Nier has enough useless Goat Meat and Mutton in his pockets to feed every NPC in the entire game's whole family and we've yet to pawn that off. So, we'll still be coming out in the black for this one.
Back to the merchant...
"Your timing is...um...what's the word? Impeccable. Yeah, because they're just about to launch the trading vessel. As soon as your cargo is on the ship, I can pay you. But if you wanna help load it, I can throw in a little extra!"
"Sounds like a plan."
Later that day...
"Yeah, they're loading cargo from all sorts of traders into this ship. It's kind of like...um...you know? Egalitarianism."
"...I don't understand half the things you say. Anyway, maybe I can organize this."
"If you can carry the cargo to the front of the ship, the crew can bring it inside for us."
"So, just carry it over there then? 'Kay"
Later in that afternoon of busting our asses. Don't worry, there's no block puzzles. Yet...
"What is it?"
"What are we doing here?"
"We're organizing all this stuff."
"Let me rephrase myself. This is for the sake of the merchant in training, yes?"
"Then would it not be more appropriate for him to take care of his own belongings?"
"The man's in a pinch, Weiss. We're just helping him out."
"I yearn for the day when someone shows such kindness to us."
The end of the day...
"You're fantastic. Now we just have to wait for the ship to leave. You mind if I pay you after the trade is complete? I can give you more money that way. And then everything will be...you know. Awesome."
"...That's not the world I was expecting you to say. But sure. I can wait."
"Thanks. Boy, the launch day can't come soon enough!"
At this point, Nier needs to bugger off for a few days. Go visit Yonah, do a few other sidequests, just leave Seafront and immediately re-enter , farm for something else, you know... The usual.
A few days later...
"Oh, it went...um...fine. It was fine."
"If the fool says he lost everything and there is no reward for this tedium I am tearing him asunder. Just a fair warning."
"You don't look happy."
"Yeah, well. I didn't realize this until I got on the boat and we took off, but apparently I get seasick. ...Horribly, violently seasick. The smell in the cabin was just unspeakable. I had no idea one guy could create that much...um...you know?"
"I want to stay in the trading business, but I don't think that's possible if I can't sail. Anyway, here's your payment. Thanks again."
"Thanks. And, uh...good luck?"
"I never imagined my dreams would be dashed quite like this. What a bummer."
So, there is quite a nice reward for putting up with all that bullshit. Too bad all of Nier's efforts in setting up some poor sap with business went entirely to waste. But whatever...we've got enough for a night out on the town! Weiss still is a bit annoyed with the entire situation, though...
"Who knew the guy would get seasick? Maybe next time he can try finding work that doesn't involve the ocean."
"Maybe next time he'll try sitting at home and doing nothing!"
And that is a wrap...
These next two sidequests take us to the tavern of Seafront. They are both a bit interwoven with the Fisherman's Gambit, so it's best to do that quest line before tackling this pair. The latter of which has a high level fishing skill as a rather mandatory component.
Sidequest: A Signature Dish
The barkeep of the tavern tells Nier that she has run dry of ingredients for his most popular dish and if he doesn't get his hands on some more, the business will go under. Oh boy, I love the sound of this already...
Anyway, she requires:
- 10 Medicinal Herbs
- 10 Bags of Rice
- 10 Sardines
Welp, we are flush with sardines after the Fisherman's Gambit so that's no problem. Same deal with herbs; they literally grow on trees everywhere. This will completely deplete Nier's healing item supply since he is limited to only 10 of any heal item but again...they grow out of the woodwork.
So, the only problem will be wheat. Like natural rubber, wheat is also sold in a shop in Seafront. For...500 Gold a pop... So we'd be looking at a 5000 Gold investment to do this the lazy way. Uhh...I don't think this quest is going to pay that much...
Instead, Nier can return to the Florist that unlocked the use of his garden and just buy Wheat Seedlings for 50 Gold a piece. This is much, much, much economically viable.
You only need to buy maybe two seedlings for the quest requirements. But personally, if I am doing gardening, I like to just plant a whole row all at once, harvest what I need for the quest, and sell the rest for massive investment/profit ratios. What? I like to be frugal with my farming.
There we are! Brilliant. Each planted seedling produces between 8-12 pieces of wheat. I don't believe there are any other quests requiring the grain. But, even if you hold unto 10 out of sheer paranoia, that's still about roughly 30 that can just be sold off at any vendor.
Returning to the client...
The shopkeeper thanks us for saving his business and tips our menial task master 5000 gold for his effort. Geez...all that bullshit with the merchant somehow annoys me that much worse when a quest that took roughly a quarter of the time paid out half of what he gave me.
Anyway, the barkeeper immediately has a follow-up quest. Hell, might as well do it while we're in the area...
Sidequest: Bon Appetite!
This time, the tavern keeper is looking for new ideas for recipes. Nier doesn't have any culinary skills beyond mutton and roast herbs. But hey, we know of a source of info about the old world, don't we...?
¿Dónde está la Biblioteca? Later...
Right then. A quick browsing of Popola's collection will cause Nier to run across an old world collection of culinary treats. I believe the title is "Crazy Shit People Eat: Vol. 2 - World's Most Dangerous Dishes". Well, maybe the cook client can find something good in the text.
All the way back to the tavern...
"Oh, wow! I haven't seen one of these in a long time! Hmmm... Shark? Really? Wow, this is some high-class cuisine. I've never even tried cooking something like this before. Hmmm... The shark fin fried rice sounds amazing! Think you could help me track it down?"
"...You can eat shark fins?! I mean, um...sure. I'd be happy to help. Okay! Here's the shopping list: Five sharks, five bags of rice, and five mushrooms. And thanks in advance!"
"It is fascinating how gourmet cuisine can survive even in the midst of a food shortage."
Riiiiight... Sharks... We need to go fishing for sharks... This...is why we needed to do the Fisherman's Gambit first. Nier needs to be quite the skilled man of the sea before he can pull predators of the deep from the ocean with just a rod and line. Let us get the other materials first before that herculean effort.
Mushrooms are a rare drop over by the Eastern Road where we were farming for Goat Hides earlier. I think I picked up all of...two during my forty minutes scooping up everything in addition to goat butchering. Meh...
Mushrooms sell for 800 Gold (4000 total for five) over in Seafront's shops. Personally, I just bought the fungus I was lacking and called it a day.
Rice, like wheat, is absurdly expensive individually grown but seeds are dirt cheap and we can sell all the leftovers. No problemo. Now, about those sharks...
In order to fish for sharks, Nier must return to the Fisherman's Pier and utilize excess sardines as bait. Yes, we have now fished for fish in order to fish for other fish. This meal had better be goddamn phenomenal for what is about a two hour net investment of man hours just to get one component of its ingredients.
Luckily, with a good stock of sardines and fully leveled fishing skills, Sharks are a piece of cake to collect. This is nice, considering the effort to get to that point in the first place.
The animation for Nier landing a shark is pretty hilarious. He basically yanks the thing so hard out of the water that it goes flying a few blocks into Seafront. I bet that jackass fisherman would still call Nier a greenhorn novice. Prick.
Five sharks, one aquatic plant, and one rusty bucket later...
Okie dokie. Well, that was only about ten to fifteen minutes. Not too bad. Let us complete this absurdity.
"Fantastic! Let's see how this tastes!"
Later that evening...
"It's good, but I don't taste the shark fin at all. Wouldn't it be easier to just make regular fried rice?"
"That's funny. I was thinking the same thing. I don't think anyone would pay for all these fancy ingredients anyway. I guess I'll just experiment and see what I can come up with!"
Commerce Related Highlights and Shark Fishing