Part 82: Episode LXXVII: RocEpisode LXXVII: Roc
Music: The Dark Colossus Destroys All
Welp, time to take on Roc and his entire wolf pack. I guess we ought to have been more thorough during that wolf den purge in Act 1 of the game, mmm?
The King of Facade, Advisor Neun, and the Men of the Mask all join Nier and the gang for this battle. They're not like those jerks in the Union that show up for the rumble in cutscenes and then vanish from the field to put on a radio drama over the intercom while the hero does all the heavy lifting. I'm glad those jerks got fantasy nuked.
Roc himself quickly retreats from the battle after his brief intro howling in lieu of letting his mates deal with the intruders in their territory. Before we get to the slaughter, there is a little detail in this area worth noting. There is a fountain here. It is identical to the rest of the fountain fast-travel monuments through the rest of the Desert, except for one detail: There's no sand coming out of it. It's still flowing with water. There's never really any reason given for this. But, the little doggie fountain is an interesting detail.
During the first half of the battle, wolves will pour into the arena from all over the canyon edges. Most of them will attempt to target the King of Facade. I'm pretty sure the King (and his Advisor) is marked as essential and act like party members in they cannot die, just get knocked out briefly before returning to battle. But, pretty much everyone starts freaking the hell out if the King gets his shit kicked in and Weiss will bitch at Nier repeatedly. So, it's best to just stick close to the pissed monarch and keep the wolfen heat off of him.
The Men of the Mask, however, can all quite easily die. There is no penalty to letting them buy the farm for their king and country. But, you're kind of a jerk if you use them as meat shields.
Now, when I said this was going to be a full blown extinction event for the wolves...I wasn't kidding. Pretty much every single wolf left in the desert shows up for this brawl and Nier's gang along with the King's party is cutting their way through all three dozen or so of 'em. We're never seeing another wolf again after this point. Those 8 wolf furs and 79 wolf fangs in Nier's inventory are about to skyrocket in value on the market.
Despite the wolves' overwhelming numbers, I don't think Roc anticipated the devastating effect Nier with a 450+ attack power weapon and Dark Phantasm would have on his pack. It's raining
"If even one Shade is here, then I have to kill all of 'em!"
(Come, wolves! Taste the sting of our blades! I'll leave not a single one of you alive!)
"Such dogged, unwavering defiance! Why do these beasts hold so much rage?"
When the battlefield is utterly clogged with the rotting corpses of Roc's eradicated pack, the leader himself will finally show up for a proper throw-down.
Unlike the rather dimwitted lesser wolves, Roc is smart enough to know that Nier is the most deadly thing on the battlefield and will focus its attack on him accordingly.
The Shade-Wolf himself is on the lower end of the dangerous boss spectrum. None of its attacks are particularly damaging at all. Roc's main attribute lies in its ridiculous speed. I erroneously stated that Shade-Kainé was probably the fastest boss in the game earlier on. Obviously, I forgot about Roc at the time. Roc can dash circles around Kainé's alter-persona.
Attack wise, Roc hasn't gained many new tricks from his previous encounter. He still jumps around and spams sonic booms, still does the weird magic reflecting howling shield deal, still charges around.
He does gain a duo of new charging variants. One is a very quick, unblockable dash across the entire arena. It'll sometimes bust this out multiple times in a row, making for some tricky dodging. It also has a much more often utilized air charge where it will attempt to dive-bomb Nier from the fountain. Both are fairly readily evaded by just keeping on the move when not on the offensive.
When not dodging like a madman, Roc takes damage like a bitch. One good combo with the Phoenix Spear can eat away a third of the boss wolf's health bar. Following up said combo with a charge dash can up that damage threshold to over half.
After taking enough pointy sticks to the gut, Roc will eventually fall and an Attack Gauge will appear signaling the ever popular Clobberin' Time!
Nier goes with a pair of souped-up dual-Dark Hands and decides to see how well Roc holds up to having his spine meet the corner of a stone structure at high, forceful speeds.
Hint: Not well at all!
(Horrid beast! Die! We cannot know peace as long as you draw breath!)
Roc scrambles to his feet and barfs out some angry sounding retort in that ugly perversion of language the Shades belch out occasionally.
(This is for my people! And our fallen! And for Fyra!!)
The King of Facade proves he's the biggest badass outside the main party by bum rushing his wife's murderer and doing a twenty yard leap in the air to spear that sonuvabitch right in the face...
Music: Emil's Theme
...and keep driving it right out its skull straight through half its body and into the ground. Sechs does not fuck around when getting his murder on.
Roc mutters some closing unintelligible words to the King; which is quite impressive considering the beefy spear currently piercing its cranium at the moment.
And that is the end of Roc and the wolves. Nothing like countering grave injustices against the ruling regime via
The death of Roc releases the Loyal Cerberus key into Nier's hands. I'm not quite sure what was so loyal about a pack leader that chilled out on a cliff edge until its entire pack was brutally slaughtered before intervening. But meh... 4/5 are in the bag! Almost there!
Some time later...
(And just as her future was looking bright...)
"I believe that young Fyra was perfectly content with the life she had."
"Of course! Does this not sound like what she would say to you? She was terribly proud of her king. And now you must do all that you can to honor her memory."
(...I will do my best. I swear it.)
(I'm sorry. I need to be alone right now. The king isn't allowed to shed tears in front of others.)
"Is that another infernal rule?"
(The People of the Mask live and die by our rules. And sometimes, even break them. Isn't that right, Fyra?)
"I know. But there's nothing more we can do for him."
"A sad truth, indeed. Come. We'd best to leave him be."
And that is the end of the Loyal Cerberus quest. All that's left now is the "Sacrifice" key... That...that ain't going to end well, is it...?
Roc ~ Full Boss Battle
Loyal Cerberus Conclusion