Part 54: Episode LI: Status UpdateEpisode LI: Status Update
Music: Village Tunes Mash-Up
"We sure lost a lot of time with that."
Alrighty, then. We've got a bit of down time now. So, let's take a look at the pair of new weapons we picked up at some point in the five year interval between acts...
Nier's new two-handed weapon of choice is the Kusanagi sword. It is light, as far as huge fuck-off slabs of metal go. Its attack power is well above our previously best one-handed sword, Faith (189 Attack power.)
Kusanagi is a brand new weapon in NIER and I do have its weapon story squirreled away. Let's take a look...
Grimoire Nier posted:
The shield fastened to the wall gathered dust. The sword kept within its sheath rusted. I forgot skills that I no longer use. I left my trained body as it is. I lost my judging heart.
I thought that this could end without me telling anyone. I saw others' violence, and pretended not to see. I gave up since I couldn't change it anyways. I thought that I couldn't go against great strength. I laughed at the hearts that believed.
I laughed at them for being worthless. That's how I ran from everything. I gave up, thinking that it was impossible. Foolishness and ugliness brought me much lament. I lost my life's meaning.
I lost sight of my treasured person. I could not continue believing in their gentleness. I could not save them from heart-tearing sorrow. I forgot the courage needed to protect mundane happiness. Because I thought that these words will never reach anyone.
Well...that is a bit different from the norm... A bit of an indication of things to come, really.
Nier also has a new spear: Transience. Its attack power is also a decent stroke above our old one-handed arm, but well below Kusanagi. I'll cover spear combat at a later time. For the most part, Spears are the best weapons in the game despite the mediocre early showing. Personally, I really don't care for them much. Yeah, they're extremely powerful to the point of being pretty damn broken. But, they're just not any fun to use in my opinion. Like I said, I'll get into that later.
Transience is also a brand new weapon. We'll be seeing a lot more unique, non-Drakengard hand-me-down weapons in Part Two of the game. Noting that, have a new weapon story...
Grimoire Nier posted:
Those people were scarily hardworking. They tore through forests and hunted animals though they had no need. They learned how to preserve food that they could not finish, and tried to unnecessarily save up money. However, there were none who questioned this. Because everyone was doing it.
Those people were scarily studious. They repeatedly did numerical calculations that had no application and predicted the future, repeating their arguments. They created numerous difficult languages, made tons of complicated machinery that they threw away right after. However, there were none who looked back. Because nobody realized.
Those people were scarily obedient. When the sun rises, they get up at the same time, put on the same clothes and began their work in a stuffy room out of their own will. However, there were none who complained. Because they did not know what to do otherwise.
Those people who overworked themselves lost the forest and live on sands now. Those people who were too smart for their own good could only talk in a language that nobody else understood. Those people who behaved too well could not defy the laws that were continuously made and lived surrounded by tens and thousands of laws.
Well, I wonder where on earth Nier picked up this spear...?
Popola apparently has something to tell Nier and Weiss. However, there is really no rush to go see what is up just yet. It's been half a decade since the first act of the game. Maybe we should take a bit of time and see how the Village has been holding up over the years, hmmm?
Devola can be found singing over by the fountain outside Nier's home. It looks like those two kids running around all the time outside have buggered off... Well, it has been five years. I guess they've grown up by now. So anyway, Devola...
"Just old, is all."
"If you say so. By the way, Popola said she had a letter for you or something."
Huh. A letter...? Intriguing. Devola goes back to singing. After this, she will move back over to the tavern and resume her duties as sidequest info booth. While we're in the area, let's talk to the old lady by the fountain. Remember, she's the tavern keeper's grandmother. We had to go gather some medicinal herbs and ferns early on to make her some medicine for err...digestive ailments...
"We'd best leave her be. Wherever her mind has gone, it's a happier world than this."
Huh... That is not a good start to NPC chatter time...
One noteworthy detail is that the remaining gates in town are barred shut at all times nowadays. In the first half of the game, you could just dash right out of 'em. But, now there is a prompt to get the guards to open them for you. It is a little thing, but I thought it was a nice touch.
"AAAARGH! A SHAAAAADE!"
"...Oh, wait, no. That's just a shadow."
"AAAARGH! A SHAAAAADE!"
"...Wait. Sorry again. That's just some old box. Gods, I'm so jumpy these days."
Consequently, everyone kind of shits themselves every time Nier leaves town and it's just the town guard's job to defend the town.
"I had the Shadowlord in my sights, and I couldn't finish him..."
"Hey, come on now! Turn that frown upside down! If you're getting depressed, then there's REALLY no hope for the rest of us!"
So yeah, the Northern (and Southern for that matter) Plains are both now absolute clusterfucks of Shades. Like, I'm talking on a good day you'll get swarmed by about a dozen as soon as you set foot beyond the little canyon outside town.
In addition, many Shades no longer possess that whole sunshine weakness in bright days. That armor they're wearing isn't just for protection against humans with swords. On the same note, sunny days seem to be a lot less....frequent in Part 2...
Let's see how the main village is holding up, eh?
Hunting has gone from an activity that you could ask some random fellow to go fetch ten helpings of mutton if he has spare time to an extremely dangerous way of getting food that is killing people just about weekly.
And indeed there is much less to hunt. Sheep? Extinct. Deer? All dead. Goats? Mostly goners. The Shades have more or less massacred a large chunk of the wildlife. Peachy.
Walking around town, the amount of guards on stationed has more than doubled. That guard earlier on that thought the shopping district was such a bore to patrol is now just thankful he doesn't work the gates where the chance of getting brutally murdered has skyrocketed.
Entering the tavern...
"I'm worried about you. You've been a different person since Yonah was taken away."
"I'll be fine once I get her back..."
Oh... So that's what happened to those kids and the granny... That's kind of dark...
So, the ceiling caving in messed up a decent chunk of Popola's library reading material? Just that? Not the evil floating book ramming into shelves or the buckets of blood gushing all over their pages? If you say so, lady.
Rising child mortality rates from germs and parasites. Lovely stuff, no?
The village blacksmith has a new two-handed sword and spear in stock. Nier can easily afford to purchase both weapons. And they are both superior to our current equipment. However, we've barely even touched our newly unlocked instruments of war. So let's just hold off for a bit before trading up to the next level, mmm?
Hahahahahaha... Ohh...no, kid. They are so dead it is not even funny. Pfft... "I hope they're okay..." Haha...classic...
We occasionally hear about other unseen villages outside the big four of this one, Seafront, The Aerie, and Facade. Nowadays, we more occasionally hear about how they've all been razed to the ground.
If you didn't notice during the intro monologue, nobody has really bothered to repair the southern gate since Jack smashed through it. It seems that masonry is a rather lost art in NIER's world, so I guess that's understandable. There are twice as many guards loitering about this part of town than any other to make up for the structural shortcomings.
It would seem both Seafront and especially The Aerie are falling on hard times. At least, Seafront is barely trading with the Village anymore due to the danger of traveling between towns. And The Aerie no longer has Kainé begrudgingly defending the town. We'll be revisiting all of those areas in due time.
That couple up on the hill's relationship never really got very far. By all accounts, the Black Scrawl has become rather an epidemic up from a time when Yonah was a very rare case of it in the region. Well, this has been an uplifting experience... Meh...let's go see what Popola needs...
"She trusts me to keep the library secures, so maybe someday she'll trust me with...other things. Grawwwwl!"
"False hope is better than no hope at all, I suppose."
Nier and Weiss enter the library...
It is certainly a good thing it never rains anymore or that skylight could be a problem.
It looks like our old friend hasn't gone anywhere in the last five years. But, at least the same can be said of our old foe...
"The real trouble started when something terrible came down from the sky... It seems that this event turned the world into a "metropolis of salt." I guess they're talking about how most of the cities sunk into the ocean."
And that is one of the few direct allusions to Drakengard's events that we're ever going to get in-game.
Oh well. Let's go bug Popola for the first player controlled time in many moons. I'm sure there have been several hundred instances in the years past they we have missed out on.
"I'm fine. Just tired, is all. We can't all stay as young and pretty as you, Popola."
"Well, aren't we feeling saucy today?"
"No, it's true. You look the same as the day I first met you."
"Okay, now you're just embarrassing me. Anyway... Here. This is from Emil."
Letter from Emil
"Does this mean you'll be leaving the village?"
"Sorry... I know things have been rough lately."
"It's okay. Go. We know you're doing it for Yonah. Please take care of yourself."
Huh... I didn't expect to be heading back to the Haunted Manor so soon. Joy...
Music: Village Tunes Mash-Up
Papa Nier Render