Part 41: Episode XXXVIII: 1% Margin of ErrorEpisode XXXVIII: 1% Margin of Error
Welp, we are almost done with sidequests! I don't know about you all, but I am pretty stoked. Facade only offers two final quests before we can finally be rid of this kooky place for a decent bit of time.
The first sidequest is just a short jog from the Strange Things store. One of the few times we'll ever find convenient placement and Facade mentioned in the same breath.
Sidequest: The Missing Girl
"What do you need?"
(My daughter's been missing for a few days, and I was wondering if you heard anything.)
"Can't say I did. Sorry."
"But if something comes up, I'll be sure to let you know."
"Does the girl have any identifying marks or scars?"
(Hmm... Well, she's probably wearing her gold ring. It's a family heirloom that I gave to her a little while back, so I doubt she'd take it off. Thank you very much...)
Sheesh! What is with this game and the missing/runaway people? How many has there been now? That thief kid from before, the wannabe soldier, Yonah, the blacksmith brothers' mom, the
Anyway, this quest involves a little bit of investigation across Facade. Several NPCs will gain Important Person Word Bubbles™ and provide a few leads as to the whereabouts of the missing girl. It seems she was last seen with her boyfriend. Now we just need to find out where Makeout Point is in Facade... How does that even work with masks...?
A bit more gumshoe work will reveal they were hanging out in the slums. Always a good sign.
The lowest level of Facade is rather tricky to navigate as there are far more drops and sandpits than any other level. Also, seeing as the lowest level is where the poorest residents are located, I'm sure there is a high crime rate in the neighborhood.
Well...whatever passes for criminal activity in Facade...
Snooping around the area will produce precious few folks to speak with for further clues. But, there is a grim discovery to be made in the northern half of the level.
"I say! Are those bloodstains?"
"Yeah, and it looks like someone was trying to clean them up."
"These are no older than a few days at most. I fear that the missing girl may somehow figure into this yet."
"Well, she was last seen with her boyfriend. Maybe we should ask him a few questions. At best he knows something. And at worst..."
Hmph... The plot thickens. Now, we just need to find the boyfriend.
Luckily, the guard at the nearby treasury (which is also on the lowest level for...some reason...) knows the guy. He's one of the Men of the Mask guarding the gate into town. I think we need to discuss a few things...
Returning to the town entrance...
You know, most towns in NIER (and most games really) are stuffed full of useless NPCs you'd never need bother talking to at any point. But, I do believe almost every single NPC of Facade, outside a few children, eventually becomes involved in at least one quest. Even if in a silly way. But....I don't think this is going to turn out to be a silly affair.
"Your girlfriend is missing. Don't suppose you know anything about that, do you? You were the last one to see her before she vanished, right?"
(I...I don't know what you're talking about.)
"You're her lover, right? Aren't you worried about her?"
(W-well... Yes! Yes, of course I am! What business is it of yours, outsider?)
"Foul creature! We found bloodstains in the very area where the two of you were last seen!"
"You can hide nothing from Grimoire Weiss! Confess, O guilty one! Confess and unburden your soul! Confess, lest others who are not as forgiving as I discover your terrible secret!"
(No! It... She... It was an accident! We were arguing over something stupid and she pushed me, so I pushed her back... And then she must have slipped or something, because she fell and hit her head on the wall. Oh, gods, I didn't mean to hurt her! I loved her!)
"Accident or not, what you did is a crime. And the family won't appreciate you trying to cover it up."
(I know I'd get caught. I knew I couldn't hide it forever... I didn't know what to do, so I put the body in the sandspout well just outside the city. That's all I can tell you. I'm so sorry.)
"We're going to check on the sandspout well. You stay put, understand?"
Welp, looks like we've got a murder on our hands. I hope Weiss thinks up a good one-liner for the episode opening when we fish out the corpse. He's definitely the Jerry Orbach of the crime solving duo.
A jog out of the city later...
"This is hardly the most pleasant task you've ever signed us up for."
Some time later...
"How peculiar. Do you think the young lad lied to us?"
"He confessed to a murder, right? Why would he lie about the body?"
"To slip away while we went out investigating? I do not believe we got a name, nor could either of us pick one masked fool from another out of a line-up, hmm?"
".....Shut up, Weiss."
"I guess we should go tell the family..."
"What's going on here?"
"She must have been carried off by the waters. ...Or the wolves."
"Makes sense, I suppose."
"Or perhaps the man was mistaken all along."
Returning to the mother in Facade...
"Listen, your daughter has been... Wait, she's what?!"
The daughter wanders out of the house, decidedly not dead...
"But your boyfriend told us you were..."
The boyfriend rushes unto the scene...
Boyfriend: (Y-you're alive! But how!?)
Girlfriend: (What's going on? You're all acting like I died or something.)
(Yes, you're acting terribly strange.)
Boyfriend: (But...but back there! The well!)
"...I don't understand a single goddamn thing that's happening right now."
"Could the man possibly have been deluding himself this entire time?"
(Well, our daughter is back with us, so all's well that ends well, as far as I'm concerned. Quite so. Here is a token of our gratitude for helping with the search.)
Uuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhh.... Okay? Fine. Glad we did all the investigating. Case closed. Moving on...
Edit: DeliriousDelight pointed out there is a follow-up conversation upon returning to Facade.
(Boyfriend? I don't have a boyfriend.)
"But wait. Wait, didn't you..."
(Hee-hee! You're really weird, even for an outsider.)
I wouldn't be surprised it later turns out the mask is hiding a gaping head wound and she has actually become severely brain damaged...
The very last person offering a quest in Facade is the look out in the central tower of the city. This quest is...silly.
Sidequest: The Tangled Message
"Yeah. I heard you needed something. What's up?"
(Rule 56,908 says that in order to strengthen community solidarity, we must interact with others on a regular basis. You've been spending a lot of time in our city lately. It might be nice to have you join in.)
"What do I need to do?"
(First, I will tell you who to speak to and what to say. Once you deliver the message, you will receive another message that must be delivered. You must do this five times. If you make a mistake, you must start over from the beginning. The recipient knows what message you'll have, so don't try to cheat your way out of the obligation.)
"I fail to see the point of any of this."
(I know it may seem odd, but it is a rule, and we must follow it, so...)
"Well, if it's a rule, I suppose we don't have a choice."
(Thank you. Here is the first message. The recipient is the person guarding the left side of the exit. The message is: 'The Masked People respect their rules.' I wish you good luck.)
So yeah. We just need to run around the city delivering messages. They're all fairly simple to remember and you'll be given a multiple choice response if you are exceedingly dull-witted. The hardest part is actually finding the jerks the messages are to be delivered to if you are unfamiliar with Facade.
"This is one strange city."
"You got me there."
"Ah, speaking of which..."
"I trust you have not forgotten the message."
Right. Time to bug the other guard at the gates of Facade. There is no amusing response if you fudge the message. It will just boot you back to the client and you'll have to start the entire quest all over again from scratch. Anyway, this guy gives us the new message of "The Men of the Mask work for the king". It is to be given to the "king's right-hand man".
Which I personally would have thought meant the Advisor. But nope, it is the sentry to the left-hand side of the King's Manor. That doesn't even make sense! Well, unless he meant when the king walks out, that is the man on the right. Why am I thinking about this so much...?
Back on track, the new message is "Child care can be difficult" and it is bound for the person taking care of children.
Unless you've gone out of your way to speak to everyone in Facade this one can be tricky to locate. She is hanging out on the uppermost level at the northern reaches of the city around a few pint-sized masked kids. I would think right next to a stream of quicksand is a less than optimal place for a day care, but what do I know? Maybe Facade runs on Darwinian rules. Rule 11,901: If a child is too damn stupid to stay out of the quicksand and drowns, the ignorant runt deserves his or her fate.
Right, new message: "Only nobility may enter the treasury" and it is to be delivered to the southeastern guardian.
This one is easy, since we talked to a guardian of the treasury in the previous mission. There are two treasury guards, one on each side of the place. This message goes to the other guy, as indicated by the directions.
The final message is: "Quicksand" and it is for the "longwinded person". Yeah that is...kind of vague...
As previously stated, these jerks are kind of obscure unless you've talked to everyone in Facade. In the northeastern corner of the top level of Facade is a professor who studies quicksand. He's been researching for ten years about how to harness the sand's flow for energy. He will yammer on for quite some time about how much of what is left of the world is eroding away into desert. Apparently, what little of the world we do not see during our adventures in NIER is basically a barren wasteland thanks to all the assorted magical calamities over the millennium. Good times...
Anyhow, that is it for this odd little game. The original quest initiator will thank us for playing along and hook Nier up with 10,000 Gold for promoting community unity and getting to know some townsfolk. Eh, you know... Facade is full of weird folks, but they've definitely been the least dickish overall people of the three towns in the game.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is 50% quest completion for the first half of NIER. The loose ends have all been tied.
Now is a good time to go upgrade your favorite weapon. Upon entering the next dungeon, we'll have a decent stretch where that option will be unavailable.
I decided to upgrade Faith, the weapon we received back in the Forest of Myth. Its upgrade components are quite easy to hunt down. Silver Ore is a fairly common drop several areas out in the Northern Plains, Eastern Roads, and the Desert. And Broken Antennas are a common drop from those Dalek knock-offs in the Junk Heap. I only had to farm about three more of the latter to meet my quota.
Faith's Attack Power is a notch above Beastbain's with just a notch below in magic power with a trade-up of being much lighter. Frankly, the next dungeon is more melee oriented, so we could use a little boost in that category. Plus, I'd like to look at something new velcroed to Nier's back. It is worth mentioning that the weapon holdovers from Drakengard transform into larger variants with each level. Faith gets a bit wider and longer with each level-up.
Totally not compensating for anything here. No sir!
Well, I think we can embark on the next leg of the main quest. We are at 50% Sidequest Completion. Did some weapon upgrading. Stocked up on healing items. Even Devola says we've done everything there is to do...
Hahaha. Yeah, fucking right. Remember, Cavia hates your filthy completionist ass with all of their souls and beat off furiously every time they crush one of your OCD-fueled spirits.
For you see, the first half of Nier has 51% of the game's quests! There is one final sidequest in a far off, out of the way area you'd have no reason to visit and Devola will never ever mention. It is time to return to Seafront, the epicenter of Cavia trolling for the first half of the adventure.
The final elusive sidequest is found all the way over by the lighthouse in Seafront. There is absolutely no reason to return to this area after the Lighthouse Lady series of quests and this particular job won't appear until quite late in the main quest. It is simply here to troll people unless they're looking at a guide to find all the side jobs to 100% the game. And even when you find it, there are a few hoops to leap through to actually trigger the damn thing.
"See, there's this girl that I'm pretty wild for, so I asked her out. But she won't even consider it unless I take her to a really nice restaurant."
"That seems rather selfish of her."
"No, no! It's not like that! She's just a girl who appreciates the finer things in life. First class all the way, right? You know the type!"
"Oh, I know the type..."
And uhh....that is the end of the conversation... Talking to him again will just have him blab about how the girl he wants to bone is a classy broad. That is...all he has to say... No sidequest here. See, the bubble is even gone!
What we actually need to do is fully leave Seafront once, re-enter, then talk to the guy a second time.
"You mean the girl who won't date you unless you take her to fancy restaurants?"
"Yeah, that's her. Anyway, there was this really amazing piece of jewelry on sale, so I bought it for her. I thought she'd be pretty impressed... But she refused to take it! She said that only commoners wear jewelry that was on sale!"
"She sounds like a real class act."
"Oh, she is! I should have known better than to try and impress her with such shabby flim-flam. Next time, I'll ask the merchant to double the price! That's SURE to impress her, right?"
"Are you certain this woman even cares for you?"
"Of course she does!"
"You humans certainly have complex and exhausting mating rituals."
And once more that is all the gullible dope has to say to Nier. Still no sidequest. Guess what we've got to do again...
Another lap between the Southern Plain and the lighthouse later...
Sidequest: The Pride of a Lover
Finally, this chump will cough up the last errand on the third chat.
"Yeah, but I really don't want to-"
"Oh, perfect! Listen, there's something there that you HAVE to get for me! My girl wants a new accessory, but it has to be made from this really rare metal that they carry in Facade's strange-thing store. So next time you're there, could you buy some for me? I think it's called fluorite. Please!?"
"...Your funeral, pal."
"Oh, thank you! This is fantastic!"
And I thought we were done with Facade for a while...
"If you ask me, I think he's being played."
"Hmmm? Whatever do you mean?"
"Ha! Maybe this is one of those things that a magical grimoire just can't understand."
"Ridiculous! There is nothing beyond my knowledge!"
"Heh. Must be nice."
A trip all the way across the world to Facade later...
Long story short: The Strange-Thing store is fresh out of fluorite. But, if we just mosey on over to the Barren Temple, a sample of the material shouldn't be too hard to track down... Terrific...
Across the Desert to the Barren Temple...
Luckily, we'll never have to slog through the temple's trials again. But, a new form of evil has become the new residents in the angry boxes' place:
Giant fuck-off Webspinners straight out of the world of survival horror have crept their way into NIER.
They attack uhh...literally identical in method to Resident Evil's giant fuck-off spiders: leaping charge attacks with a side of poison status afflicting acid spit. They also hold up about as well as the old Webspinners did. One or two
Back on point, the Fluorite is quite readily found by the collapsed stairs on the southern half of the central walkways of the temple. That wasn't too painful...
A journey across the game world...again...
"Oh, thank you! Now maybe my girl will let me hold her hand! Here's the money for the material, and a little extra for your time!"
Huh... Well, despite the obscurity and general headache in triggering this quest, I'd say that was quite a profitable venture for the amount of effort put forth when it actually got underway.
"Are you kidding? That's what fluorite costs you on the open market! I only threw in a few coins for your trouble."
"It's really that expensive?"
"Hey, I learned my lesson last time. From now on, it's nothing but the best for my girl!"
"The human soul is an unfathomable thing indeed."
"Yeah. Even to me."
Weiss and Nier have their last sidequest post-game discussion following the quest completion...
"Yeah. I think it possible."
"Then we shall inform him at once!"
"...We'd better not."
"Why not!? Have you finally found someone you are unwilling to aid?"
"Relationships are...complicated. I know it's hard to understand, but-"
"There is nothing in the world that Grimoire Weiss cannot understand!"
And now we really and truly have done everything there is to be done in the first half of Nier. 51%... Honestly, Cavia... That's just being mean...
51% Quest Completion Highlights