Part 30: Episode XXVII: The City of RulesEpisode XXVII: The City of Rules
Music: Facade's Theme
Welp, we now somehow need to cross this labyrinthine city of Facade. This is...easier said than done. Facade is intentionally made to be an absolute clusterfuck to navigate, so do not worry if you get lost as hell. You are pretty much supposed to do so the first time.
Eventually, a fast travel option will open up if the docks located at key points around the city if normal video game logic is to be believed.
Of course, we'll probably have to learn to speak Wingdings first. Well, let's squiggleylinewithdotcurvyMblackpointer squiggleylinewithdotwhiteboxcurvyHblackboxsquigglylinewithdot!
The easiest way to transverse Facade is to just stick to the very outer perimeter of the city and always head for higher ground. There aren't too many invisible walls in the town, so if a platform looks like you can double-jump to it, you probably can double-jump to it.
That said, there are pit-falls, quicksand traps, and sudden drops all over town. Falling into any of these will boot Nier to the central look-out platform of the city and trigger a conversation with Weiss.
"I am a brilliant book of unspeakable value, not some dog-eared travel guide!"
"All these stairs... They couldn't have made this more needlessly complicated if they tried!"
"We'd best figure out a way to the king. Elsewise, we'll be ascending and descending stairs until doomsday!"
Several minutes of running in circles, climbing stairs, running into dead-ends, and the like later...
Finally, Nier and Weiss reach the King's Palace. There is just one small catch...
We're outsiders, we don't speak the language, and you usually can't just waltz into a King's Palace, much less immediately chat-up the head of state, now can you...? The hell were we even thinking we'd accomplish here...?
In a rare show of mercy, Cavia does not make the player bumbled all the way back to the entrance of the crazy town.
A quick travel breaking MY IMMERSION later...
Back at the entrance of town, our heroes come upon a small child trotting along with some groceries.
The kid promptly does a face plant, no doubt from the shock of seeing a burly unmasked man storming toward her with a sword bigger than she is on his back and a dapper tome floating alongside him. She spills her bag of goods all over the ground in doing so.
Since Nier is obsessive-compulsive about helping people, he immediately springs into action and gathers everything off the ground to hand back to the kid.
The kiddo seems to be thankful, but fails to state as much. She just kind of waves her arms around in a friendly manner.
As it turns out, the little girl (yes it is a girl) is a mute. Luckily, Grimoire Weiss knows sign language. I am not even going to ask how that works but whatever...
"'I...am Fyra. Are...you...in trouble?'"
"No, we just need to ask your leaders about something. But I can't do that unless I can understand them."
"'I...can... Guide...you?' Oh, she will act as our guide! How fortuitous!"
"'But...first...I must...explain...this town.'"
"I'm not here for a tour."
"'No... There are rules to follow... Follow...me.' ...Well, there you have it."
Fyra will now give Weiss and Nier a tour of Facade. We need to follow our little guide around town as she shows us the sights. Sure, why not? Note that auto translated dialogue will now be denoted by (Parentheses) from here on out. Grimoire Weiss is a floating Babel Fish. I'll just let this section speak for itself. We'll be learning a bit about Facade's err...odd...culture.
A walk around the corner later...
(All shops and houses in this city must abide by the following rule. Rule 106: Do not live on level ground.)
(We have many rules.)
"Is Rule 106 the reason for your labyrinthine system of staircases?"
(Yes. That is the rule.)
"Well, I suppose eccentric people deserve an eccentric town."
I should mention that Fyra runs...very...very slow. Like slightly above Nier's walking speed slow. Nier himself moves at speeds of "mild jog" and "HAUL ASS!" so it is a bit annoying to take it slow.
A tip-toe down to the docks later...
(Rule 115,017: You must view the town by ship before purchasing any items.)
"Oh, come now! What could possibly be the point of such an absurd rule!?"
(I don't know. It's a rule that was in place when I first came here, not a new one.)
"Hold on. Your people are still making rules?"
(Yes. I heard that we passed Rule 124,046 earlier this month.)
"Of all the idiocy! I could never live in this city."
Following this tour, the sand-skiff fast travel option becomes available to get around Facade in a much less tedious fashion. It is worth noting you can SKIP THE RIDE if you press start at any point shortly after it begins. Otherwise you'll ride the sands in real-time to your destination. I've talked to a few people that realized that about 75% of the way through the game.
A trip on the token quicksand that is functionally re-textured water later...
(Rule 11,034: You must live at a level appropriate to your position.)
"Ah! So the aristocracy lives in the top levels, while the commoners subsist below?"
"Seems like a rather unpleasant rule for those on the bottom. Does this girl plan to drag us about the entire town in this fashion!?"
"The kid sure does love her rules, doesn't she?"
If you are the impatient type, you are now given the option to be a dick to the helpful 10 year old and skip her tour of town. But, we're not going to be doing that because Papa Nier isn't a jerk to kids. Stuff, it Weiss.
Another trip across town...
"Hold on-a 'strange-thing' store?"
(Yes. A store that sells strange things.)
(I don't know. The things are so strange, no one is sure what they do.)
"...Yeah, that's pretty strange."
Yet another skiff journey later...
(We use this material to make masks. Rule 12: Do not neglect your mask. If you want to live here, you must have a mask on at all times.)
"Yes, I was beginning to suspect that."
Another sand sailing trip...
(This concludes your tour of the city. Thank you for your patience. I will now guide you to the king's manor.)
"These rules are enough to make a sensible man reach for the noose! I don't know how you survive in a place with so many inconvenient prescripts."
(It's not so bad. Although I used to ask the same question. And then someone told me... 'Rules do not exist to bind you. They exist so you may know your freedoms.' When I look at it like that, they don't bother me.)
"Whatever gets you through the day."
One last sand crawler tumble...
At least Fyra and Nier return to the King's Manor to conclude this foolishness. Fyra speaks once more when we arrive at the gates.
(However, we have no king now.)
"You have no king?"
(Our king was stricken with a foul black illness, and so passed away. His son, the prince, now rules this land.)
"The Black Scrawl..."
(This is the prince's royal advisor. He would know far more about these things than I.)
"Thank you. All of this touring has been helpful in understanding your language."
So, Weiss is now fluent in Wingdings (well their writing is just Wingdings, they speak Japanese with hiragana shuffled around) and will auto-translate any of the residents of Facade's speech from here on out. I'm not sure how a tour from a girl doing sign language accomplished that but...I'm not complaining...
Here is the King's Advisor. He never actually gets a proper name in-game, but it is Neun (Nine in German.) Facade residents follow a German numbers naming scheme for unknown reasons. Fyra's Japanese name was Vier (Four.)
(I'm afraid the prince is not taking outside visitors at present. I would appreciate it if you could come back another day.)
"My patience for this kind of things has long ago evaporated!"
"It's not your fault, Fyra. Let's go back to Kainé for now."
Welp...that was a massive waste of time. This town...
All the way back to Kainé...
"Yeah. Thankfully, we met a girl who helped us get around."
Fyra runs over to the group...
"Slow down! I can barely... 'The person...who saved me?' Surely, you don't mean Kainé!? Kainé? Helped you? This foul-mouthed hussy!?"
"...Piss off, book. You guys done?"
A masked soldier runs over to a pair of his comrades loitering about the gates...
A: (The prince is missing!)
B: (What!? Then we're in violation of Rule 83,348!)
"What's going on?"
B: (The prince is gone! And according to Rule 83,348, we have to start looking for him right away!)
A: (No, you don't get it! The prince went missing in the Barren Temple!)
B: (But Rule 50,527 states that only nobility may enter the temple!)
C: (...Oh no! That means we CAN'T go look for him!)
A: (But what about Rule 83,348?)
B: (What about Rule 50,527!?)
"This is their way and their system of laws. As outsiders, we have no say in the matter. ...Come. We should be off."
Nier and Weiss return to the gateways of Facade. But, Kainé seems to be holding back for some reason. Let's see what is up...
(No! You can't! Have you forgotten Rule 50,527?)
(Oh, screw the rules!)
"You could just ask an outsider to go save him. Then no one violates a rule."
"You know, an outsider. Like me."
"And oh, what luck! There just happens to be an outsider here who can't stop meddling in the affairs of others!"
"I'll do it. Fyra told me about Rule 1,024. You know that one, right? Rule 1,024: You must honor the request of any outsider owed a debt. That's how it goes, right, Fyra?"
"Why did I ever agree to travel with such a pack of do-gooders?"
Welp... If 'Barren Temple' doesn't sound like a new dungeon, I don't know what does... At least we'll get away from this nutty town's rules venturing there. Right...?
Full Facade Tour