Part 70: Episode LXV: The Buddy System
Episode LXV: The Buddy System
Welp... I guess we could head to the Forest of Myth straight away. But... Meh...
There kind of are three or four sidequests depending on material farming in the Junk Heap that have been simmering on the backburner for a while... I guess I might as well go take care of that while I'm in the neighborhood.
TWO HOURS AND EIGHT RUNS THROUGH THE JUNK HEAP LATER...
I bloody hate the Junk Heap... Forty-five minutes of my life were devoted to getting two goddamn "Mysterious Switches" to drop from those lousy flying drones on the B2 Level... And I still barely got any Broken Lenses... But, there's a way around that one.
Gideon doesn't only augment weapons. He also has a tidy little inventory of useful trinkets for upgrading. Cavia is being shockingly merciful. For now...
Anyway, during my material grinding I'd loaded up on the item cap for the extremely common Dented Metal Boards as well as Broken Antennas along with being not far from capping on Stripped Bolts. All three are as common as grass, so we can more than afford to part ways with the bulk of 'em for quite a decent amount of profit.
In order to save an hour of time we can just purchase the lacking components of that quest and still come out far in the black. Nice doing business with ya, Dr. Claw.
Around half way back to the Village I stopped and realized that...oh shit! I needed twenty of those stupid dented boards for that cheeky fisherman with the ship repairs. I'd sold all but ten. Whoops. It would cost me 7,900 Gold to buy ten back off Gideon but meh...that nonsense is crawling out of the woodwork in the B2 Basement. One more run isn't going to kill me, I say.
So I head back down to the B2 Basement and easily pick-up the desired Dented Metal Boards in one run. So I go "fuck it, let's just kill everything else here and take out that P-33 one more time." I mean, why not...? I'd done it about eight times the other night getting those stinkin' Mysterious Switches.
The game then proceeds to throw fucking five Mysterious Switches on my lap. In a single room. Goddammit, Cavia!
Oh well... I won't make that mistake again. Now that the assorted grinding for materials (it was incredibly exciting, let me tell you) has been finished off camera, we are free to go finish a slew of sidequests. But, there is already one waiting in the Northern Plains. It is a cloudy day...
Sidequest: A Bridge in Peril ~ Continued
Music: Shade Battle
I think we've found our bridge troll Shade. It's killin' time...
This big bastard is sort of like the boar at the beginning of Act 1 in that the quest (and just plain encountering) the foe can go down way earlier than recommended and Nier can get his shit stomped in easily. This bruiser isn't particularly hard at all. He's just at a way higher level than Nier at this point and it takes forever to take the bully down.
The monster itself is an armored version of the very first mid-boss fought during the Prologue. Ya know, the one that spams Sonic Booms? It is functionally identical in its combat capabilities.
It just comparatively hits like a truck. Like, we're talking three hits in a row without healing and Nier is toast. In addition, it has a whole mob of Shaman Shades that spam fireballs like nobody's business constantly. They're set up strategically enough around the boss that they're a pain in the ass to get close and take out. But, they should be the number one priority.
The boss Shade itself is highly resistant to attacks thanks to its full suit of plate-metal armor. An entire full MP bar of Dark Lances only did away with a whole 1/20th of the damn thing's health.
And a full combo with any of the three weapon types will do slightly less than that, with a high risk of being bitch slapped for half a health bar due to being in close proximity to flailing arms. And it takes for friggin' ever even if you just run in circles and chip away at the thing. We really ought to just come back and try again later.
But fuck that noise. I'd been farming in that blasted Junk Heap for nearly three hours straight and I'm not about to start grinding on some HP wall asshole the next day. No... Not today...
Abusing drugs and slamming a strength capsule will double Nier's strength for one minute. More than enough time to ruin this bastard's entire week and boar drift home in time for supper. Downward strikes (jump + triangle/Y) are both satisfying and take a nice little chunk of HP off the golem.
Nier can immediately roll away/behind the thing and cancel the animation after it lands, roll back in, jump, and do it all over again. The giant Shade's AI will completely flip out and not know what in the hell it's supposed to do with this tactic. Doubly so with Emil and Kainé standing off to the side lobbing Hadokens like a kid playing Ken in Street Fighter IV.
The remaining thirty seconds of the battle basically consisted of the poor thing flailing impotently around in circles while a madman with a slab of iron buzzed around mashing the thing into a fine pulp. I have to admit it was quite satisfying. This is all of about...three times I have ever used a buff in all of my playthroughs.
Upon downing the bridge dwelling Shade, the monster drops a shiny new weapon for Nier. Well, howabout that?
Labyrinth's Whisper both looks ridiculously awkward to wield and is...frankly pretty crap. It is going straight in Nier's ever expanding weapons closet. But first, a new story for a new NIER weapon...
Grimoire Nier posted:
The beast lived in the depths of the caves. Huge horns. Steel-like body. Fiery breath. The peace-loving villagers hated this monster that had a bull's head and a human's body. They were afraid. Somewhere down the road, the monster came to be known as "Minotaur of the Labyrinth".
Belying its frightening appearance, the monster was very gentle. It never killed other living beings, and took extra care to not step on flowers with its boneless toes. It lived inside the caves to rest the villagers' fear as best as it could.
One day, a girl wandered into the depths of the caves. The girl saw the monster and began screaming and crying, eventually losing consciousness due to fatigue. The monster was troubled. What should I do, what should I do. I have to send this child back to her village. Her father and mother must be worried…I have to send her back.
In the morning, two days after the girl's disappearance, she was found unconscious in front of her worried family's house. She suffered no wounds, and was merely sleeping. Her mother ran towards her, but let out a small scream at the sight of something. The monster's corpse lay a little distance away. Its corpse was impaled by numerous swords, and blood splattered all over the place in a sinister manner. However, there were no signs indicating that it attacked the girl. Not only that, it seemed like it wanted her to be away from it. Almost as if it didn't want to stain the girl with its blood. The monster curled up on itself and died, almost as if it didn't want to scare the girl.
The Moral of the Story: Don't be a dope and go around helping kids; that shit will get you killed!
"It's hard to imagine a Shade being here. It's almost like it was...waiting for us. They can't be that intelligent!"
"Oh, really now? Can you truly say so with all confidence? The tactics of the Shades grow more intricate with each passing year. It would not surprise me to see them setting elaborate traps for us before long."
"We'd better wipe 'em out before they get too smart."
"If we take out the Shadowlord, we take out the Shades. That's all there is to it."
The party returns to the client in the Village...
Music: Nier's Village Theme
"My daughter is dead. She...she passed away while you were gone. Here. Take this money. I won't be needing it anymore."
"Why have the gods cursed us?"
Well...we got a healthy 30,000 Gold for slaying the monster... That is...uhh....something, right...?
Sidequest: Contract for a Contractor ~ Continued
"Lemme see... Yep! Yep, that's all of it. Here. I hope this qualifies as adequate compensation."
"This is more than I was expecting."
"Yeah, well. I really appreciate all the effort you went to."
"Take it, fool! It is an appropriate reward for our efforts."
"And you could stand to learn more 'appropriate' ways of speaking."
And that is another 30,000 Gold in the bank. And no dead family members this time. Sure, the guy probably dies in a house fire by the end of the week. But feh, fuck that guy. Ten titanium alloys... Honestly...
That is just about it for the Village. Before we head off to Seafront, it is a good idea to hit up the Material Store over by the Tavern.
They are selling Logs for 500 Gold a pop which Nier needs for that dickhead that made fun of his shilling for money task taking. Three ought to do it...
Also before leaving, it would be beneficial to check up with Devola for any new jobs out on the market. The King's Mask and Life in the Sands are both Facade quests. The latter is BAR NONE the very worst sidequest in the entire game. But...more on that exercise in awfulness later. What we want is the Master of the Southern Plains one...
For some reason, most quests involving the Hans the Postman over at Seafront's Post Office must be manually triggered by speaking with Devola. And of course there are some other quests that will never show up in
The gang heads for Seafront...
Music: The City of Commerce
Sidequest: The Masterless Lighthouse ~ Continued
Long story short: 30,000 Gold reward and the lighthouse in the world without darkness got repaired...
Sidequest: Staying Afloat ~ Continued
"Much appreciated! Now I can get back to business! Here's some cash. I'll letcha know as soon as I need my floor swept or a toilet cleaned. Ah ha ha ha!"
Douchebag. 20,000 Gold pay-out for that exercise in annoyance. Minus the 1,500 spent on the logs, of course.
Right, then. That is everything that was outstanding that can be completed at this juncture. A pair of new jobs has appeared in the coastal town since our last visit. And luckily, neither requires trips to Facade or Junk Heap farming.
The first we already know about...
Sidequest: Master of the Southern Plains
"Maybe. What is it?"
"There's a giant Shade in the Southern Plains...and they say it likes to eat POSTMEN!"
"That's crazy. Shades don't eat people."
"Yeah, well, people say the bodies look like they've been torn apart and chewed on. Say what you will, but I'm not about to go see for myself!"
"The Shades are becoming more of a threat than ever before."
"All right. I'll see what I can find."
To the Southern Plains!
This quest, like the one with the bridge Shade up north, is rather picky about when the boss wants to show-up. This one even more so. It will never show up on sunny days...
But at the same time it won't show up always on cloudy days either. This one seems to like dark and overcast, but not too much so. Yeah, the Shades are definitely getting smarter if they are picky about what kind of cloudy weather is their favorite...
"And this close to a human settlement, no less..."
"It probably ran out of stuff to eat up on the mountain."
"Kainé! Keep your guard up!"
"I'm gonna make sushi out of him!"
"Such frightening enthusiasm..."
So this mini-boss Shade is an armored version of the one from the final trial of the Barren Temple with the no-dodging stipulation. It pounds the ground, lava spikes explode out of the ground near Nier. Ho-hum.
While it is a bit more durable than its previous incarnation, it isn't nearly as formidable as its cousin up on the Northern Plains and it will quickly fall with little to no trouble. It didn't even bring little minions to back him up. Shameful.
Returning to the Postman...
"Oh, thank you! Thank you! I don't know what to do about all the postmen who quit, but I guess I'll figure something out. ...Anyway, here's your reward."
And yet another 30,000 Gold enters Nier's ever growing bank account. I'm not complaining.
Okie dokie. I think we have time for one last errand before making our trek to the Forest of Myth. This final task is given by an old-timer in the market district.
Sidequest: The Great Tree
"Yeah, I know about it."
"Listen, I'm what's called a 'botanist.' That means I study plants. ...This is all probably waaaay over your head, but just bear with me, all right, buddy? Anyway, there's this place called the Lost Shrine that supposedly contains a very rare tree. I'm looking for someone to go there and 'borrow' a piece of the tree's root. Come on, buddy! It's just one little piece of root!"
"I'll do it. But you have to stop calling me 'buddy.'"
"Aw, thanks buddy! You have no idea what this means for science!"
The Lost Shrine again...? Really...? You couldn't have triggered this quest prior to our last visit...? Fine...fine... The ferryman will regain the option to row us to the back entrance of the joint.
A ferry ride and a climb up a tower's outer parameter later...
Luckily, Nier just needs to gather a bit of root from the very base level of the Shrine. No need to re-do the entire dungeon all over. Yet...
However, before Nier is free to gather up objective, a mob of Shades ambushes the party. Included in their ranks is another one of the (thankfully unarmored) mini-bosses we just slew.
Needless to say, it ends poorly for the lot of 'em...
Following that brief conflict, our team is free to immediately double-back the way they came and head straight back to the exceedingly patient ferryman still down at the docks. The party has a little chat on the way back down...
"They were never this powerful before..."
"It seems the Shades are continually expanding their forces."
"It looks like they'll just keep pushing us humans back, huh?"
"No. I'll find a way to stop it. I swear it."
Nier returns to the client...
"Oh, how wonderful! This should help my research! See, research is what a scientist does when-"
"I know what research is. Get to the point."
"Oh! Well, um... See, fossil records show that, at one point in the distant past, all plant life just up and disappeared from the surface of our planet. But of course, there are plants here now, which means they managed to come back. And I'm trying to figure out how that happened.
"...Interesting. If you could figure that out, it might make growing crops a lot easier."
"...Wow! You're way smarter than I thought, buddy! I didn't expect some big muscle-bound barbarian to know anything about... You know what? I'm going to shut up now. Here's your payment! Back to work, then!"
The scientist hooks up Nier with 20,000 Gold for being a lab assistant. Hmm... over 100,000 Gold (not counting sold items) in one update. Not a bad haul. On a related note, it is interesting to hear that Caim and Red managed to kill all the plant life on the entire planet for a while. I'm sure Caim would at least be happy to hear that. Any killin' was good killin' for that guy.
With that said, I believe that is all there is to be done with clearing out the back burners. Time to go on one final adventure in text...
Shade Slaying Banter Highlights