The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 37: Episode XXXIV: A Wet Dream

Episode XXXIV: A Wet Dream

Well, that was wiggy... Nier and Weiss, having obtained the Sealed Verse, are free to just leave at this point.

There are still a couple of villagers locked in the Deathdream and it is up to our plucky heroes to emulate Inception and dive into their dreams to save them. Oh well...duty calls, eh?

"This must be another person infected by the Deathdream."
"It would appear that way, yes."
"Gods, please don't tell me we have to go back in there. I'm no good at this mind-game crap. I'd rather hit something in the face and be done with it."
"Perhaps you should spend less time complaining and more time getting on with the mission!"
"Yeah, yeah!"

Music: The Wretched Automatons

I breathe air scented with death and resist the urge to laugh, for I know it will sound like the words of a madman. How long have I been in this fresh hell? My box, my prison, is tucked under a stairway in the long-unused catacombs of some infinite castle. Outside, I hear the sounds of a funeral dirge that seems without end. Light has no place here. Wind is a forgotten friend. I pray for Death to come, but He forsakes me. Time passes. An eternity slips by in the single tick of the clock.

Someone knocks on my prison!

"Hey! Anyone there!?" I hear an unfamiliar voice say.
My savior! I claw at the door of my jail, embedding thick splinters under my ragged nails. I scream for help; I laugh; I sob. Surely this is a product of my addled mind! Surely it cannot be true!
"Help me!" I cry. "For the love of all the gods, help me!"

Impossibly, I hear the sound of a lock being torn out and falling to the floor. As the door slowly creaks open, I have just enough time to see a sliver-haired man and a floating book before the light pours inside. My eyes, accustomed to blackness, explode with pain, and I am forced to turn away.

"Who are you?" I ask, shaking hands covering my face. "How have you come to this place?"
"I am Grimoire Weiss. This is Nier. Long have we been searching for you. Now come. Stand. We shall awaken from this nightmare together."

The one known as Nier extends his massive hand and pulls me from the cell. Though my eyes are slow to adjust to freedom, my ears are as keen as ever, and they recognize the staccato sounds of heavy rain.
"I never thought to hear the rain again," I whisper.
"Would that been a relief were this not such a terrible storm," said Grimoire Weiss. "Look at your feet."

I force my eyes open and see water pooling around my feet and lapping at my shins.
"There's so much of it..."
"Yes, and more comes each moment we delay. If we do not make good our escape, we shall all drown in this castle. We know that you are weak, but you are our only hope to survive this place."
Time, that long-forgotten friend, made itself known again. I nodded my head and swore to save my rescuers, no matter the cost.
The castle catacombs are a maze, twisting upon themselves like the endless entrails of a giant.

At the end of the corridor...

I find a row of twenty gorgeous canopied beds resting atop a carpet of velvet. All are covered in a thick layer of dust and cobwebs. Searching for the door to the next room, I come upon a shapeless mass of gray matter. I has been shoved against the side of the wall, and despite my fever, I think I see the outlines of a door just beyond. When I reach out a finger and touch a piece of the mass, it turns to dust and drifts away on the wind. Realization slowly dawns, and I fall to my knees and weep.

...Corpses. I face a mountain of charred and crumbling corpses.

I look from it to the beds and back again until the horror dawns full upon me: Someone has piled these bodies into a tower and set them ablaze. Whether they were alive or dead, I do not know-and sanity will not permit me to consider the proposition further. I make a sound, whether scream or laughter I cannot be certain. Then my mind grants me merciful blackness, and I find myself opening the door and leaving that most terrible of rooms.

Against all hope, we make it to the front door.
"Break it down!" someone cries, and so I give myself to the effort.
In tandem with Nier and Grimoire Weiss, I slam my body against the thick. sturdy door. On the third try it gives way, and we find ourselves sprawled in front of the castle. The storm is in retreat. The clouds above are still dark and foreboding, but to the west I can see a thin shimmer of sunlight trying to break through.
"How can I thank you?" I cry as tears join the rain on my cheeks. "I would surely have died in there."

Looking down, I suddenly notice my dress is in tatters, and sheepishly try to cover my exposed skin.
"Your dress?" asks Weiss. "Then you are a woman, madam?"
"Yes, I am." I proffer the two a smile. "I suppose that comes as something of a surprise, seeing as how I exist only in the form of words."

I can see that the one known as Nier is disappointed that the torn dress will be given no further description, but he hides it well. With a nod and a shrug, the three of us set forth to our awakening.

But behind us, an awakening of another kind is taking place. Black smoke fills the abandoned castle, providing the countless damned souls inside with their final shroud. After a moment, the castle's windows shatter with a mighty roar. A fresh breeze blows through the hallways and corridors, clearing the smoke away for good. As we watch in awe, uncountable black shadows slowly flicker to life, crossing to and fro in front of the broken windows.

The castle's dead have awakened to their new Shades.

"...You have anything to say about that?"
"Hopefully there will be no labyrinth next time!"
"I hear you..."