Part 44: Episode XLI: Survival HorrorEpisode XLI: Survival Horror
"I don't know what happened..."
"Butler? Where's the butler?"
"Well, I'm sorry. But he's probably..."
"Ahem. If you would just follow me this way..."
"What was that?"
"I'll go and check!"
"Okay. Kainé and I will stay in the hall in case of an emer-"
Music: Haunted Manor Ambience
So hey folks, welcome to Ozwell E. Spencer's Post-Apocalyptic Estate. Hey, if he could have one built in an underground base in Antarctica, he can have one build after the fall of civilization.
It would seem Cavia just decided to throw in a great big Resident Evil homage for no readily apparent reason. Sure, why not? They did make Umbrella and Darkside Chronicles for the Wii. I guess that is kosher.
For the duration of this dungeon, camera angles are in fixed cinematic angles. Nier's running speed also tops out at a mild jog. Since, to this very day, survival horror protagonists have a mandatory requirement of at least a one meter stick shoved up their ass to limit movement.
In addition, Evade Rolling is disabled. Resident Evil 3 was the only classic Resident Evil that had dodging (and you know...fun gameplay) but nobody liked it so that shit is out.
Right then... The butler seems to be showing our band to a new room down the corridor. No use waiting about.
"A dining room..."
"Feel free to sample some of our monochrome refreshments. The master will be with you in time."
The butler wanders off...
"Well, we've come this far. I suppose we can't turn back now."
"This boyfriend better be worth it."
"I don't get how she can sleep at a time like this."
"She must have nerves of steel."
Nier also gets impatient waiting around. What a lame dining room. There's not even blood on the ground for us to hope does not belong to Chris.
Entering the side corridor...
Okay... I remember this one. If we just run back into the dining room after we see Kenneth getting eaten, Barry will then take the thing out with four shots to the head from point blank with a magnum.
Oh...huh... I guess not... Oh well... Now how are we going to get that VHS tape we need to hold onto until the last hour of the game in order to see a 10 second poorly rendered video of the black guy dying first?
At the end of the hallway is another large corridor. Hallways opening up into other hallways... Yeah, this is definitely some George Trevor architecture up in here. I wonder how long until we need to track down some themed keys...?
Speak of the devil! I've got to say, mansion locked doors were already silly back in Resident Evil when you had shotguns and grenade launchers in your inventory. It's just a wee bit more ridiculous when you've got magic fists that can trash 50 foot tall monsters... Oh well.
One of those painting just has to have an emblem behind it. You probably have to extinguish and light certain candles or something.
Anyway, Weiss pusses out before we can explore any further and demands we return to the dining room to see if the butler returned. That door on the far end of the hallway is locked with the "Moon" key, by the way. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that if there is a third key in the mansion, it will be "Sun", "Light", or "Star" key.
Returning to the dining room...
"I knew this was a terrible idea! Haunted manors and the like... Oh, why does no one ever listen to me!?"
"Weiss...you didn't say any of that..."
"What, fool? Of course I did! Why...why just when we-"
"The last thing you said to me before we entered this weird mansion was a remark about how Yonah's pen pal could end up as my son-in-law. I remember that clearly because it kind of pissed me off..."
"Hmmm... Yes well, but after that I must have... I mean..."
"Let's just go look around some more."
Returning to the front foyer will reveal the butler has vanished to points unknown and the front door is locked tight. Just as well, there's like three Cerberuses behind the thing.
Returning to the hallway past the dining room...
When traveling down the hall this time, a male voice will yell out for help. Huh... Well, there is a door we skipped earlier.
And it is empty... Of course it is. Surprisingly clean kitchen for a haunted survival horror house.
Entering the painting hallway...
Oh, calm down Weiss. It's just UBCS Commander Vodka Drunkenski that Cavia retconned into Umbrella Chronicles to be involved in every early game in the series and be half-responsible for everything (but nobody saw him except Wesker...who was also involved with every game behind the scenes but nobody saw him...) Nothing to worry about.
Oh...you meant that picture... Okay, that's a bit unnerving...
Weiss will not object to continuing the exploration of the manor this time. The door he threw a bitch fit at earlier leads to a courtyard lined with some rather peculiar statues.
"Y-y-yes... Come now! Brave faces! Onward and upward, eh?"
Following a couple more hallways beyond the courtyard, Nier and Weiss will come upon a shiny key object...
Alright, spiffy. That was the key to the far end of the painting hallway.
Survival horror staple backtracking...
Music: Haunted Manor Battle
Shades show up at this point of the adventure. They are limited to the slower, but somewhat hardier sword wielding variety of foes. There are none of the quick little ankle biters. As previously stated, there is no evade rolling in the mansion; that would be silly. Also, with the stationary camera views, using magic outside Dark Phantasm is a bit cumbersome. Ah well...at least they didn't put in tank controls to complete the old school experience...
This is why I went and upgraded the Faith sword. It's really powerful, especially against living things.
After the Shades are slain, Nier can use the Moon Key on the first of several locked doors in order to proceed further into the crazy house. Remember to discard it here. There are no item boxes for a while.
I've always wondered what was up with huge mansions/castles/doom houses and having couches and chairs in the middle of hallways. I mean, I can see a small table and the like. But who gets tired and lounges about between rooms?
Alongside the Shades are more Webspinners to complete the Resident Evil experience. If you're ever going to get poisoned in NIER, this is the most likely dungeon in which it is going to happen.
Luckily, the single shot Dark Phantasm is the fantasy equivalent to a shotgun blast and puts the arachnids out of commission in short order. Hey...you guys hear something down the hall...?
Music: Haunted Manor Piano
At the end of the passage is a door leading into yet another room with a faint piano tune drifting through. Well, it's not the Moonlight Sonata and it's not being played terribly so at least there's no chance of running across any incredibly flimsy medic girls. It's worth listening to the piano tune. I don't think it ever crops up again and in-game it is there for all of the time it takes you to round the corner and enter the door.
Nier enters the room. The piano stops almost immediately thereafter...
"Welcome, Meeeestar Scott Kennedy!"
"It's not hard, once you know how."
"Then I suppose I should tell you about my friend, Weiss."
"I...I only heard one set of footsteps..."
"Grimoire Weiss does not strut about like a common land mammal!"
"But enough of this introductory chatter! Let us hear your tale!"
"My name is Emil. I'm the master of this manor."
"You the kid that sent a letter to my little girl?"
"...Letter? I don't know anything about a letter."
"No, of course not. Such a thing would be far too simple."
Nier tries to approach Emil...
"I'm sorry. It's my eyes. Anything I look at gets turned to stone. That's why I live with this blindfold."
"What a remarkable skill! I've never heard of such a thing."
"Anyway, um...my butler might know more about the letter you received. My key can unlock any door in the manor, so if you want to follow me..."
"That's all right. We can get around on our own."
"Oh! Well...um, okay. Here's the key. The butler's quarters are at the far end of the manor. Let me give you a map. It's a big place, and I don't want you to get lost."
Alright, now we're getting somewhere... And I totally called it with the key name!
Manor Full Exploration (Part 1)
Music: Haunted Manor Ambience
Music: Haunted Manor Battle
Music: Haunted Manor Piano