The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 38: Episode XXXV: A Dream of Art

Episode XXXV: A Dream of Art

Welp, that is two down and one to go. We're almost done with this world jumble woods. For now...

The final victim of the Deathdream is standing at the very edge of town, next to the Divine Tree that the mayor spoke of earlier.

"I'm surprise, Weiss. You're a book. All this word stuff should be right up your alley."
"Hmm, yes. Quite. ...Well, enough chatter! Let's be off!"

Music: Kainé's Theme

A colony of massive sculptures was visible in the distance, their tall forms scraping against the sky. Weiss and Nier had never seen such a sight, and their eyes widened as they tried to take it in.

"Hey, Weiss. We keep walking, but those things don't get any closer. I don't get it. Are they really that big?"
As Weiss considered his answer, the sun beat down on them with renewed ferocity.
"Perhaps they are some manner of mirage," he said. "Under this heat, a mirage or two would hardly be an unexpected sight."

Nier nodded and wiped the sweat off his brow, leaving a trail of sand in its place. He thought he'd never been so thirsty. The ancient road on which they walked was black and cracked with age. Here and there, thin wisps of grass pushed up through the rocky surface, as if defying those who had laid this material down over their home. The heat reflecting from the road made Nier lightheaded.

Suddenly, he dropped to his knees and slammed his hand against the black surface. "Goddammit!" he said. "Is this some kind of joke!? Well, I'm not laughing!"
The complaining had already begun.
Weiss tried not to let his eyes roll too much. "A joke?" he said. "No. No joke This road leads to the City of Art. Perhaps the path itself is simply some manner of grand artistic work."
"Oh, come on! That's bullshit and you know it!"
"Possibly. But thinking of it in this way might make it easier for you to bear."

Nier glanced at Weiss's grinning face, cursed silently to himself, and resumed walking. As time passed, Nier's feet grew more painful, and his throat drier than he thought possible. He tried not to look further than the next step ahead, because the bright sunlight made him hesitant to trust his own senses.
"We are definitely getting closer," said Weiss in an effort to cheer his companion. "Yes, this much is certain."

Encouraged, Nier lifted his gaze. Suddenly, he stopped walking, choosing instead to stand in the middle of the road with his mouth and eyes wide open and his finger pointing in the distance.
"Water!" he cried! "It's water!"
"Water?" asked Weiss. "Preposterous. I don't see any way."
"It's right there, idiot! Can't you see it!? Look, the sun is reflecting off it!"
Without waiting for a response, Nier sprang to life and bounded toward the sight.
"What in the..."
There was no water. There was nothing but sand in every direction. Nier closed his eyes and sighed as Weiss floated up behind him, chuckling softly.
"I believe this is known as a mirage," he said. "Many a desert traveler has spoken of such things."
Nier shook his head, bewildered. Suddenly he pointed off in the distance, his eyes wide once more.
"Wait, there it is! I just missed it! Look, it's right there!"
Nier sprinted off again, leaving Weiss with no choice but to follow.
After a few minutes of running, Nier came to a halt.
"I could've sworn it was right around here..."

Confused, he put his hands up to his eyes and rubbed them vigorously. As soon as he stopped, he noticed a blue, shimmering pool of clear water just over the next rise. With a shout, he bounded off in search of it. The chase continued for nearly an hour, until an exasperated Weiss finally floated up to Nier and struck him in the face with his cover.

"You damn, blithering idiot! Stop this at once!  There   is   no   water   here!" 
Nier's face clouded. "There...there isn't?"
"There is not! And perhaps next time you will listen to me when I tell you as much!" Weiss paused for a moment, then continued speaking in a slightly kinder tone. "However, I suppose this mad chase was not altogether wasted: It seems we have arrived in the City of Art."
Nier looked up. Stretching out before him was a row of impossibly tall sculptures. Their journey was at an end.
"They're huge!" cried Nier, completely forgetting the heat and pain of the past few hours. "I've...I've never seen anything so big!"

Each sculpture was formed from roughly the same shape-a tall rectangle that stretched up toward the sky-but that is where the similarities ended. Most were covered with panes of glass that reflected the light in a thousand directions, while others seemed to be noting but frames of steel. Some had tall spires on their tops, while others possessed triangular caps.

"What kind of city is this?" said Nier. "Where are the people? Where are the houses?"
"Perhaps the land is intended exclusively for artistic use."

The debate continued as they made their way through the city. Miracles of artistry were everywhere. Great iron crates with wheels sat silently on steel rails. Beautifully carved works with lights of red, amber, and green dangled over every street. As they moved away from the massive sculptures, they found a great array of smaller ones. Some were covered in glass or brick, but many were composed of materials they had never before encountered. The sheer variety of colors and styles was staggering. Unable to find a theme or purpose to the abstract works around them, Nier and Weiss eventually fell silent.

On the outskirts of the city, they discovered three sculptures in the shape of humans. Nier uttered a sigh of relief as he approached them.
"Finally, I was getting tired of modern art."

The three statues were indistinguishable except for a single word chiseled into their right arms. One read Alpha, one read Beta, and the final one read Gamma. As Nier moved to touch the nearest statue, a bird flew from the top of one of the sculptures. Alighting on the statue's shoulder, it emitted a brief, beautiful song that took the form of words.
"Only one form is real. The others are false."
"The real form will always speak the truth."
"The false ones will only speak lies."

Music: Kainé's Theme ~ Escape (You should really listen to this.)

With that, the bird departed. As if on cue, the three statues shuddered to life, acquiring color and form as they began to breathe.
"Hey, look at that," said Nier. "They're alive."
The triplets bowed low before Nier.

"Please!" said Alpha. "You have to get me out of this nightmare! I am real!"
"Stop lying!" said Beta. He turned to Nier and threw his hands in the air. "Alpha's a fake, you know. I'm the real one!"
"What a load of crap," said Gamma. "Beta is a fake! Everyone knows I'm the only real one around here."
Their respective pleas given, the three statues returned to their frozen state as silence once again enveloped the city.

"When you consider all the statements, only one of them could be the real thing," said Weiss.
Nier furrowed his eyebrows and considered his answer.

"Congratulations, villager," said Weiss in a cheerful voice. "The time to awaken has arrived."
"Thank you for saving me!" cried the villager.
He dropped to his knees and bowed his head as low as it could go before an uncomfortable Nier pulled him to his feet.
"Why did you have a dream like this before?" asked Weiss. "Have you been to this city before?"
"I...I don't think so. I mean, it's impossible, right!? There's no way I could have ever been to a place like this...but at the same time, I feel like I've seen it before."
"Déjà vu," muttered Nier. "It's just like that damn mayor."
The vague sense of unease that struck Nier during the mayor's dream spread once more through his mind.

"Okay, that was terrible."
"I am positive I have seen that place before."
"Stop! I get enough foreboding crap from everyone else in my life. Don't you start, too."
"Okay. There. Now all the villagers can wake up, right?"
"Yes, if the mayor's assumption was correct. I think I have had enough wordplay to last a lifetime, thank you very much!"
"Yeah, I hear you. ...Well, let's go see the mayor."

Music: Kainé's Theme ~ Escape