Part 61: Episode LVIII (Part 1): Seasick
Episode LVIII (Part 1): Seasick
"...Well, if you say so."
"I need to go see Devola and Popola."
Music: Song of the Ancients ~ Devola
Kind of a dick move back there by the twins and the villagers. But, at least Nier has had a night to cool down. If this were Caim, he'd have punted both their severed heads into the pond by now and had Red raze the rest of the town. Not to stick up for his friends or anything. Those guys were a bunch of awful jerks. You just didn't say "no" to Caim...
"...Hi. I kinda thought you'd never talk to us again."
"This is bigger than you or Popola. It's about the whole damn village."
"I know. ...But regardless, you should go talk to Popola. I think she wanted to discuss the Shadowlord with you."
"I can do that. Oh, and also..."
"Sorry about yesterday. I kind of flew off the handle."
"No you didn't. Besides, it was our fault in the first place. Let Emil and Kainé know that we're sorry, all right?"
"I'll do that."
Alright, off to go bug Popola. I wonder what the running count is now...
As a sidenote, those two thieving kids really do end up staying at the Library with Popola after that earlier sidequest. I guess Popola must have some back bedrooms and the like somewhere around here. Or maybe she had a pad in the basement and she can finally get back down there now that there are no homicidal Shades or petrified women in their underwear blocking the path.
I do not even want to imagine what five years of Shade droppings smells like...
"Look, I want to apologize for yest-"
"Stop. Don't you dare. You had every right to be upset."
"I understand why you did what you did. ...Even if I don't agree. You're just trying to protect the villagers. It's not your fault."
"Well, I still feel terrible. Just so you know."
"Ahem! I believe there was something you wished to discuss with us?"
"Oh, right. Yes, about that. You know the Lost Shrine, right?"
"The temple where I was first discovered!"
"That's it. And it seems that the Shadowlord's lair is connected to it somehow."
"Oh ho! It was right under our pages the whole time!"
"But the entrance is sealed off. And the bridge that led us there..."
"So take a boat."
"Yes. The trade waterway's been repaired. We've been using it a lot recently. With all the Shades running around, it's safer than trying to cross the plains. There's landing point near the path to the Lost Shrine's back entrance. I let the ferryman know about you. He'll take you wherever you need to go without charge. That should make it easier for you to move from town to town."
"Thanks, Popola. I feel like you've done so much for me. I can't believe I was such an ass to you earlier."
"I told you not to worry about it. So don't."
"All right. I'll see you around."
"Yeah. ...And for the love of everything, be careful!"
So there is now a fast travel option between towns. The ferry runs straight between Seafront and the Village, as well as just outside Facade. Honestly, I never really used the thing much since it's not much of a lengthy trip either way and hell...I just like killing Shades.
Having said that, I think we could use a little break from adventuring for a short while. Emil's Mansion Underground and freeing Kainé was basically an extended opening to Act 2. From this point on we're pretty much free to go do what we please now that the band is all back together. So why don't we go ch-NEW SIDEQUEST!
Sidequest: The Damaged Map
"A treasure map?"
"Yeah! A treasure map! You know? A map that shows you where to find buried treasure? I'm collecting them. My lifelong dream is to one day roll naked in a pile of sweet, sweet treasure!"
"That's...an interesting plan."
"So that's why I'm lookin' for a new treasure map or two. If ya find one, bring it on over for me, all right?"
<to Weiss> "I guess I should know where to look for a treasure map before telling the guy 'sure thing.""
"One could hardly expect to stumble across such a thing lying on the ground. Perhaps we should look for a place where old documents are stored."
"Old documents, huh...?"
Hmm...old documents? Well, that narrows it down a bit.
Poking around the upper level of the Library just outside of Popola's room will reveal a document which catches Nier's eye.
"As a fellow tome, I find this a sad sight to behold. When will books receive the respect they deserve?"
"Calm down. I'm sure it had a happy life. Let's see here... Hey, is this a map?"
"It is a map, and one with many unusual markings at that. Perhaps this is a treasure map like that strange fellow was referring to earlier."
"Well, this one is damaged as hell. I can't make heads or tails of it."
"I wager the damaged sections can be repaired. Perhaps the Facade strange-thing store would be able to assist us."
"Let's give it a shot."
Let's not. The strange-thing store of Facade is unusually popular with questgivers in Part 2. But, we're still not heading over there until we have a better reason to do so other than the village blacksmith wants to be a nude Scrooge McDuck.
One town that gets the shaft in Act 2 of NIER is good old Seafront. There is almost never a reason to go visit the dump in the second half of the game. If you just stuck to the main quest, you'd never once need to set foot in the town again during the second half of the game. And if you just stuck to sidequests as they came up while traveling around, they still seldom involve the coastal village.
So, let's take a little field trip and see how Seafront has held up over the half-decade interval since our last visit.
As an aside, we will never ever be setting foot in Emil's mansion again outside a couple of very short, easy, and forgettable sidequests. Those poor frozen saps in the courtyard are frozen forever and nobody even mentions 'em. The gang can go re-enter the Underground Facility to grind Shades if they're into that kind of thing. But otherwise, the manor is rather spent for the duration of the game.
"Well, yeah. They're Shades."
"That is not what I meant. Hmmm... How to explain it?"
"You think about it while I kill 'em."
A boar trip to Seafront later... Thank the heavens boars were badass enough to survive the mass extinctions over the last five years...
Music: The City of Commerce (Seafront Theme)
It's been some time since we've seen this crummy troll filled town. Seventeen updates or so, to be exact. Let's see how the townspeople have held up in our absence.
It's gotten by extremely shitty, as it turns out. Far worse off than Nier's Village even. With the legions of Shades now roaming the wastes, Seafront has basically become an island surrounded by the ocean on one side and a sea of Shades on the other. As a result, all trading has utterly tanked.
Much like how the children in the Village are no longer allowed to frolic outside of the main hub of town, the kids in Seafront are barred from going near the ocean anymore. And this is for fairly good reason...
A massive Shade washed up in town a few years ago and massacred half the village as well as unleashed a Black Scrawl epidemic that is still killing a fair number of people to this day. It least it's always sunny in Seafront or else this would be getting kind of dark.
There is actually a piece of concept art for the shipwreck in Seafront. It's possibly they were planning for Nier to go battle the giant fuck-off Shade at some point. As it stands, the townspeople managed to gang up and finally kill the thing on their own and one of the NPCs mentions the wreck was swept out to sea in a typhoon last year. Oh well.
Remember that kid that said her friend wouldn't come out because his hands were turning black? Yeah...that didn't end well.
All the shopkeepers in the market district are pretty damn desperate to make a sale. Though, with supplies so short, the prices for many goods have gone way up through the roof. A single melon now costs 1,200 gold a pop...
Alcoholism has gone from a policy of "It's 5 o'clock somewhere!" to "Oh hey, I'm partially aware of my surroundings...time for another few shots!" Uplifting stuff.
The Seafront blacksmith has a variety of new and unique (as well as extremely pricey) wares in his shop. The Phoenix Dagger, in particular, is one of the very best one-handed swords in the game. We'll do some shopping another day. We've barely gotten a chance to try out our newest sword as it stands.
Down by the beach we fin-hey... HEY! WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE SEALS?!
Okay...there's still a couple left. Just a couple. The number of seals lazily rolling about the beach sand has gone from six or seven to...two... And this is why I walk between towns and murder every Shade that even looks at me funny.
Mr. 51% up by the lighthouse recently got dumped because his gold-digging ass of a lady-friend wasn't happy that her supply of expensive pretty things had dried up due to...you know...half the town getting slaughtered, the economy going bust, rampant disease, and starvation. Sucks, bro. That one was a real catch.
The postal service has kind of run into trouble given the herculean effort just to get from town to town nowadays. Shorts as a part of standard uniforms still remains.
Hahaha... Oh dude... Have you paid any attention to how shit is rolling downhill these days?! Your brother's innards are staining a wall red somewhere right around now.
The fishing industry has gone belly-up as well due to most efforts being devoted to holding back the Shades from overrunning the town and people basically being afraid of going near the water for fear of pirate Shades.
Furthermore, it seems the oceans are churning up a good pace out to sea making sailing rather dicey. It is not at all helped by the fact that most of the remaining fishermen are fairly inexperienced given the death toll in recent years culling many of the veterans.
"And it's not a happy grin, either! It's like they're losing their minds or something. But it gets weirder! Whenever I see that grin, the person always moves out a few days later. ...What the hell is this world coming to?"
"Hmm... That is a disturbing tale indeed."
I am not even sure what to make of that last one. Anyhow, like any good populated town in NIER, Seafront has a new slew of sidequests to undertake. The vast majority of 'em are backburner material which either involves tons of material grinding or else trips to faraway lands that Nier will not be undertaking at this juncture. We'll take a gander at those quests next time. For now, let's try out the single quest line that does not involve leaving Seafront.
Sidequest: The Strange Fate of the Jewel
"Yes, yes. People have been talking. They say you're a very adept freelance agent. I'm a jeweler by trade, you see, and I am currently in search of a precious gem known as the Mermaid Tear. Have you ever heard of it, sir?"
"I don't know much about jewelry."
"Yes, yes, of course. Why would you? Well, then let me tell you I believe the Tear to be located somewhere in this very town. I am close now. So very close..."
"This seems like more than a business transaction for you."
"You see the core of me, sir. The Mermaid Tear is one of my family's most precious heirlooms. My grandfather was originally the possessor, but upon his death some fifty years ago, the jewel vanished without a trace. I have devoted my life to searching for it, and that quest lead me here. It must be in this town!"
"Well, I'd be happy to help with the search."
"A thousand thank-yous, good sir! Having the assistance of a local will surely make the search much more fruitful."
"Not a problem."
If Nier goes and gabs with some of the locals, they will reveal that the old Lighthouse Lady was the resident expert on jewels. Well, we're about five years too late for her to be of any help in the search.
"Perhaps a visit to her home is in order."
Sure enough, Nier now needs to make a trek back to the lighthouse. I thought we had some closure with that old battle-axe. But, I guess I was wrong. Luckily, it seems nobody has touched the lighthouse in the last five years.
Music: Repose (Seafront Room)
"...Whoa. According to the postmark, they're fifty years old. Didn't that jeweler say the Mermaid Tear was lost fifty years ago?"
"Perhaps this is more than coincidence, hmm? It may behoove us to sneak a look inside these letters."
"Well, I suppose it can't hurt... Here's the first letter."
Letter From 50 Years Ago... posted:
"...I am enclosing the Mermaid Tear with my next letter. It is the only thing I have found in this world that can hope to compare to your beauty."
"And here's the second letter..."
Second Letter from Long Ago... posted:
"My dearest, I fear I cannot send the Mermaid Tear at this time. I hope you can forgive me for this terrible slight."
"So the Mermaid Tear was supposed to go to the lighthouse lady, but never made it."
"And yet the Tear is no longer with its original owner. What can we conclude from this?"
"Hmmm... The second letter was sent from Seafront. Which means the postman's father had started writing letters by that time."
"And therefore, the jewel must have made its way to this town... I smell a rat. To the post office!"
You heard the magic talking book... To the post office!
"I'm looking for a package addressed to the lighthouse lady. It would be about fifty years old."
"...You want a package from half a century ago?"
"Your father was the previous postman, right? Did he even mention something like that to you?"
"No. He just told me to keep writing the letters. But we keep all of our unclaimed packages in the storage room. So if she didn't pick it up, it's probably still there."
"Great. I'm just going to take a look around."
A trip to the back room and a block puzzle later...
Some time passes while sifting through the room...
"...Is this it?"
"It bears her name, and the postmark is fifty years old... Look! The jewel lies inside! Quickly, what does the letter say?"
The Mermaid Tear Package Note posted:
"As promised, I am enclosing the Mermaid Tear. Unfortunately, with this gift comes a piece of sad news. My love, I fear the illness which ravages my body will soon claim it. My dreams of traveling to you are all but lost. I desire so to give you this stone with my own hand; that I cannot is my greatest regret."
"He gave her his family's heirloom as a final gift."
"Hold a moment. I see another letter."
"...It's a death notice."
"Ah. So the man had already passed on when the package arrived at Seafront."
"Which means the postman had already begun to lie to her. So what now? Do we give the jewel back to the client, or...? Maybe the postman would have a better idea."
Nier takes the Mermaid's Tear back to Postman Hans...
"Well, yeah, but... It's complicated."
Nier explains the situation...
"...Oh. I see. It was from the woman's lover."
"I don't know what to do here."
"Well, you're the one who found it. Do whatever you think is best."
We are now given the option as to the fate of the Mermaid's Tear. I'll let you jerks decide the quest's outcome...
- Option 1 - Bury the jewel in memory of the woman. I suppose that would be a nice thing to do.
- Option 2 - Give the jewel to the client. Her story seems to line-up with the dates. Though, it's a bit weird it belonged to her grandfather...
- Option 3 - Fuck it. Sell the thing. It's probably worth more on the open market than that girl is gonna offer.
I leave it entirely in your hands. Bold your vote or I'm not counting it. I'm getting too old for this parsing vague replies shit.