Part 33: Episode XXX: Gods Bound by RulesEpisode XXX: Gods Bound by Rules
Yup...if that ain't a boss fight arena I'll eat my hat. Not that I wear a hat. I never trusted hat people. What are they hiding...?
Music: Gods Bound by Rules (You should really listen to this. It only plays this one time the entire game and it's a pretty damn awesome track.)
"It's an odd place, to be sure."
Like any good boss battle room, the door immediately slams shut and locks behind our heroes.
Grimoire Weiss knows the score.
Well, at least we found the Prince. After all the cube oriented nonsense I had half forgotten we were searching for him... Or Kainé for that matter. I wonder what happened to her...? Eh, I'm sure she's fine. God help any Cubivores wandering around the general area...
The box carrying the Prince of Facade sinks below the arena...
"Without any rules to bind us, we are free to unleash the entirety of our powers!"
"Less thinking, more killing. I like it!"
Meet the master of the Barren Temple: BOXES! What better way to cap off a dungeon composed entirely of box puzzles, avoiding shots from boxes, and destroying boxes than to battle every damn vaguely square shaped object we've encountered thus far?
The true name of this foe is Shahryar, named after the Persian King Shahryar of Arabian Nights.
Shahryar has several forms. The first one is quite simple. A circle of boxes spins slowly about and shoots energy orbs outward in Nier's direction. Just like in the trials, the objective is to destroy the glowing red boxes. There are four layers and each layer has four target boxes. It is worth nothing the glowing weak points can only be destroyed when they are red. They can be slightly damaged while glowing blue, but the killing blow is only available during the red phase. Most weak points will alternate between red and blue unless otherwise noted.
Destroying any of the non-important boxes will result in energy orbs immediately shooting out at Nier. They will then be replaced by the seemingly infinite supply of ornamental cubes at the bottom of the chasm dividing the chamber.
With each destroyed layer of Shahryar, the circle will spin faster and shoot out magic balls far more quickly until it is a bit of a dicey clusterfuck by the end. Dark Lance is instrumental during this fight, both for its accuracy, speed, and the slow down effect that allots a bit of breathing room.
Once all four layers of the blockhead are disabled, the rest of the cubes will scatter and fall. But, of course, we're not done yet. That health gauge at the bottom ain't just for show.
After a bit of tumbling and churning at the bottom of the pit, Shahryar will show its true form... BEHOLD AND DESPAIR!
THE BOXMAN COMETH! THE TYRANNY OF PUSHING THE KING OF CUBES' BRETHREN ONTO WEIGHTED SWITCHES IS AT AN END!
"...Says the talking book."
Boxman's weak point is its err...hands...? Of course it's the hands. It's always the hands! If I ever turn gigantic I am wearing protective goggles, a surgeon's mask, and steel gauntlets.
Unfortunately, Box King Shahryar is rather reluctant to set its glowing weak points to the ON position, so there is precious little that can be done early on.
The mighty container captain has only a pair of moves. There is the ever popular "slam your fists into the ground so hard it causes shockwaves" attack; a staple of all colossal enemies the world over.
That is followed up by the slightly more unorthodox "swapping the segments of your arms by quickly sliding them across the platform" method. It...really isn't too effective, to be honest.
A bit of fruitless attacking later...
"How'd you bastards get here?"
"Stay there! I'll take care of this loser!"
Kainé chips in by jumping on Shahryar's shoulder and slicing half his face off.
Not bad, kiddo... I'm a bit jealous of her cutscene overpowered abilities. Just one little problem...
That...wasn't one of its weak points. I mean...they're glowing bright flashing colors. Come on!
The Barren Temple dungeon master is less than impressed at Kainé's shaving methods and nearly punches her head off for her trouble.
Kainé jumps down to safety after her failed attempt at one-shotting the boss...
"Don't get all weepy, okay? It's not like I was searching for you."
"So you were simply lost?"
"Fuck off, book!"
So basically, at this point it is just a matter of waiting for Shahryar to do the ground pound attack and then wailing away at its briefly vulnerable fists. It's worth a mention that you should go for the bottom two cubes first. Shahryar's boxes stay aligned, so if the bottom two are gone it can't do the pound attack since...well...just air is hitting the ground. That's a nice little detail.
A bit of a job taking out the hands later...
Once the two hands are destroyed and Shahryar's health drops to 25% it will reconfigure itself into its last form.
The boss now breaks itself into four spinning squares with weak points in each corner of the square. So, it's a bit of an inversion of the first form. With just one minor upgrade...
DOOM LASERS! In its final form, the creature will put on a deadly laser lights show for the party in one last ditch effort to uhh....well, I'm not really sure what it is even doing here. But it's being a jerk so it has to die.
As with its first form, each destroyed layer will give way to a faster version which spins quicker and spams even more of its attacks. The lasers aren't really all that difficult to evade and the Dark Lance's time slowing abilities are undoubtedly helpful here. Though, there is definitely a seizure warning.
When down to the wire, an Attack Gauge will appear signally the end of the battle. About time. I am beyond sick of this area and friggin' boxes.
Nothing too fancy as a finisher this time. I mean...they're flying stone cubes. What is he gonna do? Juggle 'em?
Nier just merely sticks every last remaining bit of Shahryar with enough Dark Lances to make sure that every bit of the thing is collecting dust at the bottom of the Barren Temple.
Oh hey...The Prince made it... Huh...sorry about dropping several tons of stone on your head while you were down there kid... At least we didn't destroy half of Facade in the process.
The Prince of Facade notices something seems to have shot out of the Barren Temple guardian upon its defeat.
Oh, well it appears to be some kind of mask. Fancy finding that here. Getting a mask at the end of a dangerous, box puzzle filled temple. That kinda reminds me of something...
Some time later, back in Facade...
Music: Facade's Theme
(My liege, have you any idea of the trouble we've-)
The Prince shows The Advisor the mask he found in the Barren Temple...
(Ah! The Royal Mask!)
(Our people have suffered since the king's death. I was too young to bridge the gap between our people and other civilizations. Trade has come to a halt. We lack food and water, and the people despair for it. This mask is an emblem of the king. With it, I can project a strong image to other lands, and our people can be prosperous once more.)
('Rules do not exist to bind you. They exist so you may know your freedoms.' Those are the words of the previous king. ...My father. And now that I have his mask, I believe I can ascend to the throne. Is this correct?)
Welp, Facade has a new king. Sure, having some big burly guy and his magic talking book doing all the heavy lifting for the ascension to the throne challenges is probably cheating. But eh...details...
(I swear by my new position as the king of Facade, I shall grant whatever you desire! Please! What is it I can do for you?)
"I appreciate the offer, but I'll have to pass. My wish...well, it kind of has to take care of itself."
(Then think of a wish I can grant on behalf of another!)
"I think he just gave us an order..."
"A new wish..."
"A splendid idea!"
(What? But, my king! This cannot be!)
(Our people have long memories. We shall never forget the debt we owe you, no matter how hard the times. Such is the way of the Masked People. And thus, we shall grant your request. Still, that alone cannot repay our debt to you. Please accept this.)
The new King of Facade forks over a shiny new weapon. Well, that was nice of him...
The Rebirth is a silly looking circular sword which is far weaker than the currently equipped Beastbain. Oh well, it's the thought that counts...
Ravenfeeder is also yet another Drakengard hand-me-down. Sadly, I do not have a translation of its updated story. So, a blast from the past will have to suffice.
(Thank you, Fyra. And I am sorry for all I put you through.)
(It's...it's not a problem!)
(Ah, yes. The foul disease that claimed my father's life.)
"We heard that you were searching for a cure. Did you ever learn anything?"
(I'm sorry, no. Everything we tried ended in failure.)
"It seems there is no way around it. We'll have to collect the Sealed Verses one by one."
"Yeah. Thankfully, there aren't too many left."
(Pardon me, but what are these 'Sealed Verses'?)
"We're not sure. But if I find them all, I can save my daughter from the Black Scrawl."
(You...don't know what they are?)
"I don't know and I don't much care. I just want to save my daughter. I'll run around collecting a bunch of crystal horse manure if that's what it takes."
Nier turns to leave...
(Can I ask you to visit us again? To return as friends?)
"Sure. Why not?"
"Just try not to get yourself kidnapped again, hmmm?"
(Oh, thank you! And I promise to be careful!)
(Come visit us again, okay!?)
A bit of a delayed effect, but it seems Shahryar dropped another of the Sealed Verses: Dark Wall. As the name suggests, it creates a magical wall of energy that will block attacks at the cost of magic energy. It is about as useful as an asshole on my elbow.
Yeah...it's been quite a while since we've seen Yonah. Let's go home. I'm sure Facade will be okay under the rule of the new king. Plus they've got that Rule 0. Things should turn out just dandy...
One week after the implementation of Rule Zero...
Shahryar Battle Highlights
Shahryar Full Boss Battle
Music: Gods Bound by Rules
King o Facade Concept Art