Part 84: Episode LXXIX: Technical Difficulties
Episode LXXIX: Technical Difficulties
How come we only stuck around in some undead afterlife ghost dealie after getting killed this time?
"I do not know, Caim. Why do you wear that absurd beachwear shoes instead of proper boots?"
HEY! Don't knock the crocs! You've seen how much blood I get covered in on an average trip to the grocer, right?
Well, you ever seen what a bucket load of blood does to a pair of leather boots? Sheesh. I couldn't go a fucking week without the damned things getting ruined. And the squishing sound damp boots make. Bleh! But these fine things? Blood just spills through and drips right out. At the end of the day I can just leave 'em by a window sill and they're good to go for another bloodbath the next day. I swear by these, dragon!
"I was not expecting for a serious reply."
Proper footwear maintenance is serious business for a soldier, dragon!
But I was asking a serious question. What's the deal? Didn't we die like a half dozen other times? Time just kinda looped around and we just kept on doing more and more stupid shit. What gives with this time?
"If I had to hazard a guess, I would assume it has something to do with this new world we've entered."
Stupid new worlds. I'm glad we wrecked it...
Hey dragon...whatabout that first time where you like turned into like a glowy ball thing and flew into the sky...and...
"And you wept like a child...?"
THERE WAS WATER IN MY EYES FROM THE RAIN, DRAGON! IT WAS RAINING. AND IT GOT! IN MY! EYES!!!
"Indeed... In any case...hadn't we discussed that already?"
Uhh...no...? Maybe? Shit, I dunno. I ain't killed anything in a while. My minds been wandering a lot... To ya know...past stuff I've killed. Good times.
"It was...what is the best phrase to sum it up...? Hmph..."
"Ah... I have it... What followed was stupid. Profoundly and utterly stupid..."
Stupider than us getting knocked into a portal in another world and getting blown up by a flying metal bird after having a singing contest with that big preggers bitch?
"Okay... It was just outside the same ballpark..."
Music: Village Room Ambience
I still have a headache from that last quest... Ugh... There are a handful of new sidequests in Facade as well as Seafront... But, to be frank I am burnt out on them at the moment and really it is best just to hold off for the last big sidequest trigger with the unlocking of the Shadowlord's Castle. That way we can just mop 'em all up in one big go around. So, let us troop on and finish up the fifth and final key collection quest.
Popola! Time to get your work interrupted!
"You know, I was just going to talk to you about that. You remember The Aerie, right?"
"That depressing shell of a village?"
"Not so much anymore. I just got this letter from the village chief."
Letter from the Chief of The Aerie
"Sacrifice? This is it! But how..."
"I brought this up with leaders from every town in the land."
"Mmm... This entire affair strikes me as a bit too convenient."
"I'm afraid Grimoire Weiss is correct."
"What? Oh, come on! What now!?"
"The Aerie has been shut off from the world for years. And now they've not only opened trade routes, but they freely exchange information about the Shadowlord?"
"I agree. It seems rather unnatural."
"Yeah? Well, it doesn't bother me! I won't get Yonah back if I sit here and try to make sense of every little thing. And if there's Shades there, I'll just kill 'em all and be done with it!"
"Well, if that's the way you feel, I guess I won't stop you. Try speaking with the chief when you get there."
Huh... The Aerie. I suppose I should have figured that the one of the key locations would have been there. Seeing as there was already two big boss battles in and around the area in Act 1. Well, hopefully Nier and the gang won't wreck half the town kicking the shit out of whatever Shade villainy might be lurking in the shadows of The Aerie...
While traveling the Northern Plains...
"They must have truly opened their minds!"
"You think so? I have my doubts."
"Aren't you glad to be going back home, Kainé?"
"That place is a shithole."
"Don't be so nervous, Kainé. We'll protect you."
"I got me taken care of! Worry about protecting yourself."
And uhh...well.... I've hit a bit of a snafu here. I went ahead and plowed through the whole Sacrifice event in one sitting, then came back to finish a bunch of sidequests so I'd have a nice backlog of material for ease of updating. But, when going back to review what I'd recorded, I found my capture device shat out about half way through The Aerie video... I saved over that save about uhh...five hours of gameplay later.
So now...I've got to speed through the entire goddamn game a second time to get to this point and re-do this event. Fuck my life...
I really don't have the free time or patience to do that for several days. So, we're gonna have to have a brief intermission in the meantime. I'd prefer not to let the thread go idle lest I come back to multi-page derails about Shelke's ass or Emil's bones or who the fuck knows! So, we're going to do a bit of game substitution for the next few days...
Chapter 1: Premonition ~ Verse 3
"Understood. Tell General Gismor that Commander Eris has received his message. The monster army will be destroyed!"
"Dammit. Some of them must have escaped. Sorry, Eris. I'll come, too!"
Music: Plains of Pity
Welcome to Drakengard 2! I skipped the first couple of Verses of the game. It was just an extended tutorial and ham-fisted exposition dump. I'll hop back to them later. All you need to know is our hero Nowe is a new Knight of the Seal (the cool hip re-branded Union) and Eris is his token childhood friend/commanding officer/lawful good paladin that will blindly be following everything the Knights of the Seal say, even if it sounds tremendously shady. She's also just joined our party. But she sucks and we'll never be using her.
Oh yeah, General Gismor is the douchebag leader of the Knights of the Seal. He couldn't me more transparently evil if he tried. We'll be seeing a lot more of him later. He's got a rockin' beard and the deepest, most guttural voice ever. He also doesn't like Nowe because...well, Nowe is just utterly unlikable tool on nearly every level.
So, a bunch of subhuman goblins have been running around causing a ruckus in the "District of Shining Life"...whatever the fuck that is... Nowe, Eris, and a platoon of knights have been detached to go kick the crap out of 'em and purge the non-human scum from the face of the earth.
The Knights of the Seal were set up by Hierarch Verdelet before the events of the game (it's been 18 years since Drakengard 1.) One of their basic tenets is "Expunge All Non-Human Filth From Our Blessed Lands". The Shades back in NIER's world might have questionable sentience among their ranks. But, subhumans are organized tribal folks and that spells trouble for good, god fearing humans. So time to bring the boot down on their collective horrid faces.
"You honestly do not know this? Our job description is literally to defend them... How do you not know this...? Indeed, we grew up together! We're the same age... We went to the same school! How on earth can I possibly be more knowledgeable about this than you?"
"Because of the danger, the Knights of the Seal were charged with directly administrating the lands by the former hierarch."
"I didn't know."
"Well, it's not surprising. It's an old story. I don't know all the details myself. Granted, that is due to the fact it was being set up while we were both in pre-school. But, honestly... It could not be more common knowledge... A potato farmer in a field fifty miles from civilization could rattle off these details. I am utterly astounded by your ignorance."
"Look, Eris. It's not my fault I'm so pretty and you needed to hit the books to get ahead and make up for your homely shortcomings and know all those useless junk..."
"'Homely shortcomings'?! I will have you know I have had many potential suitors over the years."
"I see... And yet here you are hanging out with a new recruit whom, as you yourself said, you'd know since we were in pre-school..."
"That does not mean- Ugh... Nevermind!"
"Honestly, how did you make it past the academy exam to join the knights in the first place and have not even a peasant's basic knowledge of this?!"
"Tch... My dad is a dragon, Eris. You know...the type that breathes fire and can decimate an entire battlefield within seconds... I just simply wrote 'CAN RIDE DRAGON INTO BATTLE' on the front of the exam and bam...here we are..."
"Well, duh I remember that, Eris. I was there. It is still the talk of the kingdom. Everyone knows that! Honestly, are you just here for mindless exposition? Where is the real love interest of the story...? You grow tiresome."
Right, we need to go meet one of the random knights loitering about the field on the hill. Unlike those layabouts of 18 years ago, the Union, the Knights of the Seal actually bother to show up on the field and "help" in battle. Granted, they fight about as well as human Emil if he lacked his stone gaze attack. But, it's the thought that counts.
A hike up the hill later...
But we....just came up the hill... Why did I need to run around finding this jerk if he was just going to take everyone and run right down the other side of the damned cliff edge...?!
Oh well, in any case a healthy amount of ethnic cleansing takes place at the far canyon. You see the Attack Gauge on the left side of the screen? That is a meter of the required murder that must be committed in order to satisfactorily meet the Knights of the Seal genocide quota for this campaign. With each bucket of spilled goblin blood, it will deplete a tad bit. About fifty or so of the bastards slain should be enough to meet mission conditions.
Many, many dead goblins later...
So hey, meet Legna the
Legna is basically this game's Angelus and is almost functionally identical.
Nowe can summon him in battle and ride around providing aerial cover on the hapless cannon fodder below. Unlike the Red Dragon, the Blue Dragon can slow down to a near hover in order to more precisely target and immolate Nowe's enemies. This goblin tribe, being equipped with only sharp sticks and crude axes, has absolutely no counter to the dragon raining death upon them from high above. So the rest of the battle turns rather one sided quite quickly...
"They're taking a different path to the District of Shining Life. Also, you are riding a frickin' dragon! You do not need ground support here..."
"Tch... Moral support is important too..."
"I am leaving you and going ahead now... Try not to get your dragon killed."
I do believe all three of those statements are synonyms, chief... And...the dragon is dealing all the carnage here...he's just riding it around and watching... Is there any way to turn off the Union intercom chatter...?
As one last ditch effort to repel the Knights of the Seals' onslaught on their tribesmen, the goblins call forth an ogre to the battle. Funny, I could have sworn Caim drove those things to extinction a few years back... But feh... It's not like Drakengard 2 is big on continuity or consistency. Wait until you see the world map...
Ogres are resistant to dragon fire. But, that's okay. Nowe does a bang up job of dashing around the awkward, lumbering beast, slashing its shins, and brutally stabbing it to death while it is temporarily disabled. Somewhere up in the sky Verdelet is shedding a tear of joy before returning to afterlife proclamations that the end of days is upon us and the end is nigh.
After the ogre and the last of the goblins are lying face down in puddles of their own blood, Nowe is free to secure the entrance to the District and complete the mission. That was easy enough...
"Yes. Up ahead is the District of Shining Life. But the gate is sealed shut."
Ben Kenobi emerges from beyond the barred gate of the District and begs to be released. I guess the Knights of the Republic have fallen on hard times following the rise of the Knights of the Seal.
So yeah, following the events of Drakengard, what few Imperial Soldiers that survived Caim's wrath, Red's fires, Fantasy Nukes, zombification, the fall of the Sky Fortress, the sinking of the Sea Fortress, the sacking and burning of the Imperial Capital of Notspain, and the 50-Story Tall Manah stomping around have been imprisoned for...ya know...numerous war crimes, genocide, trying to end the world, being possessed by cannibal space babies, and what have you...
"What crimes did I ever commit?! Yeah, I stuck a bunch of kids with arrows and burnt down their home. But they were brainwashed and defending some godforsaken child molester that needed to be brought to justice. I bet he's still out there violating the younglings while I'm locked up here! Bastards! Let me out!!"
"Each of the districts contains a 'key' that serves to seal in the poisonous air. In Shining Life, that key is the Holy Flowers."
""Yes, but what do the people have to do with the key?"
"The Holy Flowers draw on the life force around them to produce their blossom. This releases a perfume that neutralizes the poison and cleans the air."
"Nowe! Don't be a fool! They are the chosen ones, proud martyrs..."
"Okay...seriously, Nowe... Did you not recall the war between the Union and the Empire? These people are from the Empire... They literally tried to destroy the world. Murdered the previous Goddess. Destroyed the old Seals... Slaughtered over half the known world's population... Rape, pillaged and plundered their way across the continent... You are honestly not defending these people...?! There were entire mass trials following the war. The options were this fate or...immediate execution for their many, many, many crimes against humanity. The ones here chose it rather than face the gallows. Again, it was only 18 years ago... I am fairly certain any veterans of that war would cut you down for this talk... In fact..."
Seriously, Nowe. Stop defending Fantasy Nazis. That is not an endearing side to take. Next thing you're gonna tell me that little shit Manah wasn't that bad.
This kid is the worst. There's like some kind of miasma of failure about him...
Verse 3 Highlights
Music: Plains of Pity
Knight of the Seal Nowe Illustration