The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 83: Episode LXXVIII: Life in the Sands Friggin' Sucks!

Episode LXXVIII: Life in the Sands Friggin' Sucks!

Welp...the wolves are defeated, Facade is saved, Queen Fyra is avenged, and the penultimate key to the Shadowlord's Castle has been retrieved. Not a bad week in the desert. We could now return to Popola to unlock the fifth and final main quest before the endgame of NIER. But...there has been one...terrible, horrible, no good, very bad sidequest floating around Facade since we first arrived in town and indeed...since Act 2 initially began...

A seemingly innocent looking masked person loitering about the Facade mailbox is the subject of today's expedition into the bowels of Cavia's sadism. If there is one quest I had to guess as to the most people straight up going "fuck that noise" and skipping...this would most certainly be it.

Sidequest: Life in the Sands

"Why? You want me to join a cult?"
(Oh, no! I just enjoy flowers. But there are so few out here in the desert. My dream is to find some flower seeds and turn this desert into a beautiful garden. I'm trying to collect pink moonflower seeds. it would be great if I could get ten of them.)
"If I can track them down, they're all yours."
(Really!? Oh, thank you!)

Ten Pink Moonflower seeds, huh...? Well, surely that doesn't sound too hard. To the nearest florist! I think I saw some miscellaneous moonflower seeds on sale in the one in Seafront.

While traveling to Seafront...

"Yeah, this will never work."
"How do you mean?"
"I mean if plants could grow here, it would be full of 'em! ...God, books can be so stupid sometimes."
"Have you ever planted anything before, Kainé?"
"Well, then you don't know! You gotta try things out for yourself!"
"Indeed! Experimentation can often be the key to new knowledge."
"You guys sure are a bunch of optimists."

At Seafront...

As simple as this quest looks at first glance...there is a bit of a hitch in this simple errand item retrieval. Namely...there are Red, Blue, and Gold Moonflower Seeds for sale...but no pink. Anywhere. Nor are they ever dropped out on the field... Ever. No...we are going to need to embark on the far and away most tedious venture in all of Nier: Gardening Grinding.

Didja know it is possibly to cultivate hybrid flowers in Nier's garden via meticulous swapping and rotating of crops for days on end real time...? Fuck no you didn't! Nor would you ever possibly think a bare bones Farmville simulator would feature some bullshit like that. But, you've obviously underestimated Cavia's hatred for completionists. Welcome the biggest goddamn road block in 100% Sidequest completion in the game. For this quest Nier is gonna need 15 of each type of Moonflower seed (a 5400 Gold base investment), a ton of time, and a saint like amount of patience.

Remember that flowchart I posted way back when? Remind me to add an addendum to the side with a box for Life on the Sands and an arrow leading straight to SKIP IT!

So, here's the godawful tedium that is this quest. First up, Nier must plant all fifteen plots of his garden with Blue Moonflower seeds. Did I mention planting a seed is slow as hell? Well, it's slow as hell. It's about a ten second investment of time going through menus and watching the same animation over and over. Now ten seconds doesn't sound too long. But, when you end up doing this...oh...I don't know...five or six dozen starts to add up...

Once all fifteen seeds are planted, it's time to save that shit. You must now either opt to wait 18 hours real time. Or else...

Quit the game and juke the system by fiddling with the console's system clock. Even when "cheating" (though I do not believe any sane person did this the legit way), this quest is still going to take about an hour and a half to two hours. And god help you if you go for the legendary flower Lunar Tear cultivating trophy. Add another hour or two onto that total.

Anyway, we need to skip ahead 18 hours for this first part...

Loading the game back up after this time jump will cause Nier's garden to have flourished with a full set of lovely Blue Moonflowers. Blue Moonflowers are a healing item equal to a Medicinal Herb (i.e. 30% heal.) Nier is free to harvest all of 'em now (though he can only carry 10 at a time, since it is considered a consumable item.) BUT! As he harvests one flower, he needs to plant a Gold Moonflower Seed in the newly opened plot. The whole field must be rotated out in this fashion.

Once that is done, it's time to go fiddle with the system settings again. Expect to do this a lot... Thank the heavens the PS3's dashboard remembers what system setting you altered last and leaves it queued up in the menu when scrolling over. I recall the Xbox360 having much more menu diving shenanigans. Anyway, this time we need to jump forward 36 hours into the future!

This time, about half our flowers should be dead while around half ought to still be flowering. Nier is free to harvest all the dead ones for additional Gold Moonflower seeds. But, the blooming flowers need to be left alone. Those flowers are all Indigo Moonflower hybrids. They have about a 20% chance of spawning during the previous planting cycle.

You cannot save scum hybrids. The random percentage kicks in as soon as they're planted and there is no way to know the results until after they bloom. Reloading before the bloom always yields the same results. You need to reload prior to the initial planting (and the fiddle with the system settings again) in order to re-roll the dice.

Now the clock must be sped ahead by 18 hours in order to cause those hybrid plants to wilt for seed harvesting. They'll all give up a plentiful amount of Indigo Seeds for the next leg of the adventure. That was the easy part...

Now comes the fun part! It's time to make Pink Moonflowers and complete our quest. Pink Moonflowers are hybrids of the newly obtained Indigo hybrid and Red Moonflowers. But, we need to plant 'em a bit differently this time. Instead of doing the whole field in one type, then swapping out with the other, we need to plant the two flower seed types in an alternating pattern.

For each tract the plants must be alternating between Indigo and Red seeds. So: Red-Indigo-Red-Indigo-Red or Indigo-Red-Indigo-Red-Indigo. I've heard the former works better but I've done it either way and gotten it to work. The trouble is that there is only a fucking 5% chance of a Pink Moonflower spawning...

The same deal as before must follow afterwords. Skipping ahead 36 hours and harvesting the failure plants for seeds. At this point you can see if you've gotten any Pink Moonflowers. They'll be...err...pinkish flowers. More purple in tone really, but feh...they just won't be blue! If you get more than one in a batch, you're a lucky bastard. Expect to be mired in this step in the quest for a while. It's quite possible (and indeed quite likely) to get fuck-all and have nothing come up but more Indigo moonflowers too. The most I've ever gotten in one harvest was two Pink Moonflower plants. want to know the real big dickmove on top of this already long, annoying quest...?

Pink Moonflowers only produce three seeds. You need ten for the quest. So, when you finally do get a Pink Moonflower seeds to're still going to have to do two more cycles of harvesting by planting the Pink Moonflower seeds, harvesting those to get 9 seeds, and then one more time to finish the quest. You didn't need that extra fifteen minutes anyway.

In all, between travel time, buying materials, watching the damned slow ass animations, saving, quitting the game, messing with the system clock, reloading, and the times getting shit results I ended up with about an utterly soul crushing hour and a half of this bullshit. The reward for this nonsense had better be some solid cash or I friggin' swear...

(Bwa ha ha! Now we are one step closer to bringing forth The Order of the Demonic Blossom!)
"...Sorry, what? I wasn't listening."
(Oh, uh...nothing. Thanks for the flowers!)








Desert Flower Banter