Part 73: Episode LXVIII: Mind Your Manors
Episode LXVIII: Mind Your Manors
Music: Song of the Ancients ~ Devola
Well, other than Nier's bout with explosive diarrhea, that last quest went surprisingly well. Let's check the mailbox to see if there's anything delivered besides post-apocalyptic junk ads and bills. And wouldn't you know it, a letter has just arrived in the mail.
Weapon Upgrade Notice
I am going to roll the dice and gamble that this request will involve the Junk Heap and robot smashing. I have a good feeling about this.
"The kid's been pretty good to us. We might as well see what he wants."
"Off to the Junk Heap, then."
Not so fast! We just finished a main plot quest. There must be some new sidequests poking around... I don't wanna go back to the goddamn Junk Heap already...
And the best way to quickly look into that is to check Devola's List for job listings in our area. Those two less than desirable Facade task are still listed. But, a new one has indeed cropped up at the bottom of the want ads.
"Yeah, don't look at me..."
Huh...back to the Haunted Manor...? I guess there is a bit more to be done there. I wonder what Sebastian does all day without Emil to butler...
But, there is no rush to find out. After the last slew of sidequests, Nier is just swimming in cash. We are going to need to eventually collect all of the weapons for the Ending C & D thing way down the line so meh... Let's splurge a bit...
First up we have the Axe of the Beheading. Apparently axes are now grouped with two-handed weapons. How discriminatory... This hulking axe is a bit weaker than Beastlord at the moment. But, we could upgrade it next trip to Gideon in order to bump it up to the best in our arsenal thus far...
The Axe of Beheading is another refugee from the grim dark world of Drakengard. Back there it went by the title of Lovekeeper and it was found by murdering a bunch of jerks on the Imperial Sea Fortress.
But, I've also got a fresh new tale from NIER's world...
Grimoire Nier posted:
AXE OF BEHEADING
There was a ceremony where fairies gathered. It took place on the night of the tenth full moon of the year. They gathered upon the bank of a lake beautifully lit by moonlight and bragged to each other their vile acts in the past year.
One fairy bragged about how cruelly she killed a stubborn man. The best soldiers of a certain country had their bodies pulled apart by the fairy disguised as a prostitute. The fairy talked at length about how the men shed tears of regret without being able to put their sword skills to use, and her companions all sang cheerfully.
The next fairy boasted of how sly and cunning she was. She first drowned a small boy in a swamp. His sister, who tried to save him, was sunk in the swamp as well. Just like that, his siblings, parents, relations - and even all of the villagers - drowned into the swamp. The fairy recalled that scene, and she smiled while drooling.
The smallest fairy spoke up hesitantly. I think I'm the most amazing here. The small fairy was usually made fun of, and it took all of her strength just to talk. I pushed many life forms into the depths of terror! The surrounding fairies clutched their bellies and laughed. They only stopped laughing after hideous demons came out from the pathway to hell that the small fairy opened and ate all of them.
Good to know that Fairies are still totally douchebags in both dimensions.
Next up is Sunrise. Sunrise at its base level is the strongest weapon in Nier's inventory; with some pretty nice magic power to boot. The only downside is its range is somewhat lacking for a spear.
This too is a defector from Drakengard. Going by the name of Fheng's Glaive, it was obtained by committing demi-human ethnic cleansing at the behest of the ever racist as all hell Hierarch Verdelet. Sadly, I lack a follow-up tale for that one in NIER's continuity.
Welp, two weapons closer to having a full set. Hopefully Nier won't have his arsenal blown to the four winds thanks to a cruise missile to the back of the head... Now, about that manor...
Sidequest: A Tale of the Study
Music: The Ultimate Weapon ~ Vocals Only
"What is it, Sebastian?"
"I was attempting to tidy up the study earlier, only to find that it has been occupied by a Shade."
"That seems to be happening a lot lately. You want me to kill it?"
"That may not be necessary, sir. It's not causing any trouble; it is simply sitting in the study."
"It didn't attack you?"
"It did not, sir."
"I don't care if it's wearing a tuxedo and drinking a cocktail! It's a Shade, and I'm going to kill it!"
"Whatever you think best, sir."
Well, the "study" is a touch vague considering all the rooms in this sprawling house. But, Jeeves is referring to the library where we fought Grimoire Rubrum during our original visit to the manor.
Yes...I do believe...
...we have found our bothersome home invader Shade.
"...Ah, screw it. Let's go kill the thing."
"I'll crush you like a bug!"
"Be careful, please!"
"Hmph! This is a rather hard shell to crack!"
"Doesn't matter! I'll slice it apart one way or the other!"
As the dialogue suggests, the library Shade has quite the magical shield. It can take a huge beating and keep on ticking. If you want the 100 hit combo trophy/achievement, this is a terrific place to pick it up. Mostly due to the huge amount of defenses and HP the librarian Shade possesses. But more importantly its attack pattern consists of...
Running in terror! Yes, this Shade is not at all hostile. It just takes up the entire "battle" fleeing from the party attempting to murder the shit out of it for...trespassing, I guess...? Maybe it's just me, but I kind of get the feeling we're being huge assholes with this quest...
Oh well. One less Shade in the world. That'll teach that fucker to...read without first getting permission from the librarian. Prick.
The gang wipes off the buckets of blood they spilled slaughtering a non-combatant and return to Sebastian...
"Excellently done, sir. And now I must insist that you take this payment."
Nier receives a 15,000 payment for his efforts and leaves the manor...
"I wondered that myself. Surely that creature lacks the intelligence to read the books, yet I cannot imagine what else it hoped to accomplish there."
"It accomplished getting my foot up its ass."
Now, if we return to Devola a second time she will inform Nier there is a secondary quest involving Sebastian and the Haunted Manor. Might as well tackle 'em both in a single go, hmm?
Sidequest: Research Project
"Hello, Sebastian! I'm glad you're doing well."
"Is something the matter, butler?"
"Yes, well... I am searching, sir, for a way to restore Master Emil's body to its previous state."
"Regrettably, the above-ground archives are somewhat limited. According to my information, the records related to Master Emil are stored in the second basement floor. Things would be easier if I could delve into the manor's underground research facilities. But what with all the creatures there..."
"You want us to go down there and take out some Shades?"
"Oh no! I can't let you do that for me!"
"Knock it off, Emil. We're friends. This is what friends do."
"Please do keep yourself safe, Master Emil."
So, back down to the revisit the Underground Facility... This time around, there is no keycard fetching, mini-bosses, or anything but the same levels Shades from the first go-around. Only this time Nier is ten levels higher, with much stronger equipment, and two team members backing him up.
Needless to say, it is a bit of a cakewalk dungeon crawling through here this time. Nier alone can kill every runt Shade with one spear thrust and two stabs to dispatch all the longer ones. With charge dashing being a kiss of death to anything in his way...
So, it is just a simple matter of returning to the B2 level (what is with this game and its love for second level basements?) and finding a shiny object on one of the derelict laboratory desks.
"It appears to be a list of names and addresses. Perhaps they were employed at the laboratory. The text has half-faded by this point, but I see one of them used to live in a 'coastal town.'"
"A coastal town? They must mean Seafront."
"The woman is most likely dead by now, but perhaps a search of her home will turn up something."
The party returns to the surface...
Huh... Well, it's a long shot but meh...it's the only lead we have... Off to Seafront it is!
Nier travels to Seafront...
Music: The City of Commerce
That is somewhat vague. You'd think they would still use direct addresses a millennium ago...
Consulting the Seafront map, it would seem there is a series of back alleys that wrap around toward the entrance. Looks like we need to take the first left, then the first left from there, then the first left up the stairs from there... Simple enough...
Nier knocks on the property's gate...
"Not at all."
"Did anyone in your family ever do weapon research? Anything like that?"
"Um...yeah. Yeah, actually. I think one of my oldest relatives used to do something like that. Why are you asking me this?"
"I'm looking into some of her research. You have any old records or anything?"
"Oh, man... Maybe? I dunno. If you hold on, I'll go take a look around."
"It's a letter. ...How strange. It is written in a language that I do not recognize."
"Yeah, I don't recognize it either. We never could figure out what this was about. But it was important, whatever it is. She kept this thing under lock and key at all times."
"You know, it might be some kind of code that we can decipher back at the lab. You mind if we take this?"
"Eh, go ahead. We've just been keeping it around because we don't know what else to do with it."
"Let's go back to the manor and show this to the butler."
Nier and the gang go do just that...
"Let's see...it starts with, 'Dearest Emil.' It appears to be a message for you, Master Emil."
"A letter is it?"
The Researcher's Letter posted:
You do not know me, but I know you. My research has twisted your life in unfathomable ways. I tried to make up for this by serving as your mother, but I know now that my efforts fell far short. I would have done anything to save you from this fate, and you will never know how guilty I feel that I could not.
"...I remember her now. Hundreds of years ago, there was a woman who watched over myself and my sister. The other scientists treated us like lab rats, but that woman... She was really nice to us. I think she kinda made me what I am today."
"Your mother, huh?"
"You know, I didn't find a way to fix my body, but I don't care anymore. This letter helped me recover my mother, and that means more to me than anything!"
Well...that was nice... No reward or anything. But, it made Emil's day a little better... I guess that's cool...
In any case, that is the very last time we will ever be setting foot in the Haunted Manor for any reason. Now Sebastian falls off the face of the earth, never to be seen again. I'm sure there is some ageless kid elsewhere that needs him to butler the hell outta 'em... And in addition, that is all there is for sidequests outside the desert and Facade.
So, I guess there is no more putting it off... Time for one last trip to the Junk Heap... Joy!
Library Shade Banter
Emil and Number 7 Poster