Part 77: Episode LXXII: The Final Gambit
Episode LXXII: The Final Gambit
Ya know what...I think we could use a break from the damn Junk Heap... Nothing good has happened in this place. Ever. It is like the nexus of misery in NIER. So, let's head back to the Village and see what's shakin' with our old pal Popola.
Music: Village Room Ambience
"Ah, you're back."
"Have you learned anything new about the Shadowlord's key?"
"No, sorry. This is really hard! 'Loyal Cerberus' might refer to a dog, but I've never seen anything that would fit the bill."
"Well, keep trying, Popola. You're kind of my last hope."
"I'll do what I can."
Nier heads out of Popola's room...
"I was walking by your house earlier, and I noticed you had some mail. You might want to check it out."
Alright, some mail for Nier. This better not be another goddamn Ace Hardware flier. Why have I gotten five in the mail in the last week?!
"The king is getting married? Ah, it does this old book good to see a boy become a man."
"It would be rude to miss the king's wedding. We haven't been to Facade in a while. We should pay them a visit."
Music: The Lost Forest
Huh, the King of Facade is getting hitched, huh? Howabout that... Some positive news for a change! I wonder who is the lucky bride to be... It's not like we only met one important named female in The King's age range or anything... Turns out it's that weirdo murder mystery guard girl... Or Fyra... One of the two...
In any case, I believe we finally have an excuse to cross the desert and revisit Facade...
The Desert itself hasn't changed much in the last five years. Still pretty sandy... The only noticeable difference is that the roaming packs of wolves outside the northern maelstrom have been displaced by Shades. Those little bastards are all over the damn place these days... They must be breeding like rabbits in recent years.
Ugh... I don't even want to know how spectral shadow creatures do the nasty... Moving on!
"These scorpions look kinda like shrimp. I wonder if you can eat 'em..."
"Indeed you can! Long ago, people operated food stands where they impaled the creatures on skewers and fried them whole."
"How the hell do you know that?"
"Who can say? I do not know. Some portions of the past are inexplicably clear in my memory."
"What was that, hussy!?"
Ya know what... We're long overdue for visiting Facade and all. But, weddings are stressful advents. To make no mention of catching up on the last five years with the King and such... Plus, I am sure there is a bunch of PLOT!!™ coming our way in Facade. So I think...we could use a little bit of down time. What do you say...?
At the southern edge of the desert are the ferryman's dock and a lake of sand. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I sort of recall an old timer telling us to go catch some Sandfish...
Sidequest: The Fisherman's Gambit, Part 6 ~ Continued
So apparently fish live in the quicksand of the eastern desert. Go figure. The Fisherman of Seafront requests we fetch three Sandfish for his latest challenge. Sure, I think we have some time. Not like the King's wedding is gonna be this afternoon. We've got plenty of time.
"I am amazed that you have not grown weary of it yet."
"Not really, no."
"There's just something about catching a fish that makes you feel alive."
"Perhaps you are forgetting the reason you went fishing in the first place."
"Look, everyone needs a break sometimes."
So, Sandfish are pretty simple to reel in. Nier just needs to use his basic lure at the desert docks. The quicksand lake's fish stable is rather small, so nabbing three shouldn't take very long at all.
- End Result:
- Sandfish x 3
- Rusted Lump x 2
Returning to Seafront...
"Well, keelhaul my granny and call me Gladys! I reckon there ain't much left for me to teach ya, whippersnapper."
"Works for me. I can't take much more of your slave driving."
"Ya call that slave drivin'? Bah! You younger generations with yer big swords and baggy pants and fancy talk. You ain't seen war! You got no idea what slave drivin' means!"
Training montage off screen...
"That was no fishing move. That was the maneuver of a master assassin. I am beginning to fear this old man more than any Shade."
Huh.... Gramps has got some moves. Well, with that Part 6 concludes and Nier's fishing skills level up once more. Oh well...no sense stopping here...
Sidequest: The Fisherman's Gambit, Part 7
Three royal fish, huh? I like the single digit requirements for big catches in this half of the game... Sure, they all take three times as long as the little nibblers to haul in. But, it at least feels like it's going by quicker...
The quest for the Royal Fish takes Nier over to the Eastern Roads linking the Lost Shrine, Village, and the Desert. Nier needs to use an earthworm for bait this time around. They're sold for dirt cheap over at the tackle merchant in Seafront. Like the sand lake, the eastern roads' stream has a very small potential fish catch variety. So it's not much of a sweat pulling in this bounty.
"One wonders how talented a fisherman he actually is."
"You saw that chip on his shoulder! He must be amazing."
"Have you actually seen him in action?"
"...Well, off to fishing, then."
- End results:
- Royal Fish x 3
- It ate my lure and got away x 1
Returning to Seafront again...
"Well, dip my oar and call me Cecil! Looks like the fisherboy has become a fisherman! But do you think you can push me off my spot? Come on! Let's go!"
Training montage Mk. II!!
"I think we've moved beyond fishing at this point..."
And that's a wrap for Part 7. We're nearing the end...
Sidequest: The Fisherman's Gambit, Part 8
"How is that special?"
"Only ever caught one once, m'self. Bring me those fish, and I'll call ya a master fisherman for true! Best of luck with those two blue marlin!"
This one definitely gave me the most trouble of the lot. Mostly due to the fact that we need to fish off the Seafront Pier and said pier has the largest variety of potential catches in any spot in the game. Catching the Blue Marlin requires either the basic lure or Sardines as bait. I tried both for a while. I ended up catching one with each in roughly the same amount of time, so I don't know if it really makes a significant difference.
"Have you been holding back?"
"I always give it my all!"
"Shhhhh! You're scaring them away!"
- End Result:
- Blue Marlin x 2
- Breen x 9
- Rusted Bucket x 5
- Aquatic Plant x 3
- It ate my bait and got away... x 3
"Well, I'll be. Never thought I'd see the day... Well done, master fisherman. Seems I've but one technique left to teach ya."
The final training session...
And that is it for the multi-part continuation of Fisherman's Gambit questline. Nier is now the best damn fisherman in all the land. But...there is one final challenge awaiting his reel...
Sidequest: The Fisherman's Final Gambit
"No man has ever hooked a hyneria and lived to tell the tale! If ya can do it, then yer a fisherman beyond even my own skill. The hyneria would be a legendary catch! I'm sure it would be worth your while to track it down."
Hyneria was a prehistoric predatory lobe-finned fish that lived during the Devonian period around 360 million years ago. It was approximately 4 meters in length and weighed as much as two tons. There is evidence from bones that it had very strong fins and maybe could go onto land.
It would seem Magic has resurrected prehistoric doom fish from the deep. The Hyneria is one of three legendary fish in NIER and the final challenge of the Fisherman's Gambit series. We are given no clues as to the whereabouts of the elusive fish. But...when I think prehistoric... I think...
Music: Fishing BATTLE!
...sand. The hyneria's stalking ground is back where the Act 2 gambit began...on the shores in the quicksand lake of the eastern desert. Nier needs to bait his hook with sardines to call forth the legendary fish from the swirling sandy abyss.
"Oh? And what have you learned up to now?"
"Well, the...art of...perseverance?"
"That's hardly a skill which can be taught."
The Hyneria is definitely a tough bastard to reel in when he finally does nibble on the bait (goodbye 12 sardines prior to the clash.) It took a solid two and a half minute duel with the prehistoric beast to finally reel it in. I even had to take the gamble of pressing X early at the end for fear of losing the big catch the deep. But dammit, I got him! I GOT HIM! HAHA!
- End Results:
- Hyneria x 1
- Rusted Clump x 6
- It ate my bait and got away... x 5
- Sandfish x 1
"This fishing certainly seems like fun."
"Yeah, but it's work, too. Still, I'm grateful for everything that the old fisherman taught me."
A triumphant return to Seafront...
Hey! Who's this bozo hogging the Fisherman's spot?! What's the deal, orange sash?
"Oh, the old fisherman? Didn't you hear? He passed away just this morning. I guess that old war injury finally got the best of him. From what I understand, the guy used to be quite the mercenary."
"That explains a lot."
"He supposedly did all kinds of terrible things back in his day. So truth be told, no one in town much cared for him. But he sure seemed to enjoy your company. I think you made his last days some happy ones."
Oh...goddammit, Cavia! This was supposed to be a chill, relaxing downtime update!! Come on!
"Perhaps that's why he was in such a hurry to pass down his craft."
"This is strange, but I feel like he's still here somehow, looking at me."
"I trust that he is in heaven by now, settling down for a round by the pond."
The Fisherman's Gambit Returns Banter (You Should Probably Watch This)