Part 87: Episode LXXXII: Homecoming
Episode LXXXII: Homecoming
Welp, we murdered a sentient Shade-Tree guarding ancient memories, took out a powerful defense drone leaving a crazed blacksmith to make doom weapons at his leisure, drove wolves to extinction, and now fantasy nuked one of the four remaining population centers in the known world. But finally, our quest to collect the keys to The Shadowlord's Castle has come to a close.
And at the end of the day, that's all that matters...
"This is the last of them."
"We certainly can."
"We're almost there, Yonah. Hold on."
All that is left to do at this point is to return to Popola for a final quest debriefing before heading off to the Lost Shrine and the endgame of NIER...
Returning to The Village...
Music: Yonah ~ Piano
Upon returning to The Village, the usual relaxing village tunes are replaced by the somewhat more somber piano version of Yonah's Theme. And it remains that way for the remainder of the playthrough. All the idle chatter when walking around the market also changes to reflect Nier finally found the way to the Shadowlord's Castle and he'll be taking off soon and wishing him luck. It's a nice little touch. Anyhow, let's get to the Library.
"-process proved to be. It is almost as if someone deliberately set us on this path..."
"You've over-thinking again, Weiss."
"I don't care if it's a trap. Yonah's waiting for me, and I'm going."
Entering the Library...
Well, now that we've reached the endgame, there is one location we haven't visited in the second half of the game: Popola's Boss Trophy Room. Let's see how the full collection looks...
"Popola certainly has eccentric tastes."
"It's the massive Shade we saw in The Aerie."
"I don't even want to know..."
"Of very fine construction, I would add."
"It was a fearsome foe, but under this environment, it looks almost...charming."
"I have long ceased trying to puzzle out this room."
"An exquisite piece of work! It feels as alive as you or I."
The pair turns to leave the strange chamber...
"I haven't a clue. Ah ,hell. If they aren't real, I guess I don't give a damn. Let her do what she wants."
Well, maybe it's a big old diorama of all the adventuring and asskicking Nier and the gang have done. When we get with Yonah, then Nier can have some visual aids for telling her about his quest the last five years. It was gonna be a surprise for when they got back, but Nier had to go snooping around. Jerk.
Oh well, let's go talk to the twins...
"The whole village is buzzing. They say you're gonna rescue Yonah."
"It's true. This is my final journey."
"Hard to believe this is the end."
"I'll bring her back. I promise."
"N-nothing. Never mind."
"Popola just loves to worry... Anyway, you be careful."
"Yes. Do be careful."
"I will. Watch over the village while I'm gone."
"By the way... How did things at The Aerie go...?"
"Umm...I'll uhh...I'll tell you all about it a-another time... I need to uhh...go..."
"Prepare for the trip to the Shadowlord's Castle!"
"Yes... That... Take care..."
At this point, Nier has everything he needs to return to the Lost Shrine, go kick in the Shadowlord's front door and stomp a mud hole in his ass. The POINT OF NO RETURN in NIER is quite clearly labeled as the elevator to The Shadowlord's Castle. The game will inform you of such, require a prompt to continue onward, and everything. We're almost there...
Buuuut...I did not complete that godawful Life in the Sands quest for nothing. We still need to 100% all the outstanding sidequests and collect the last of the weapons before the endgame rolls around. Don't worry, there's not a whole lot of either left. Indeed, the Village itself only has one final remaining errand left for Nier. Let's take a look...
Sidequest: Search for the Shade
"What is it?"
"People are saying that a Shade has managed to enter our village. I was hoping you could track it down."
"This isn't a very big place. Wouldn't we have seen it by now?"
"I had my own doubts at first, but there have been too many witnesses for me to ignore this matter any longer."
A little girl runs out from the market...
"She saw it, too?"
"Apparently. I can't say for sure who's seen it."
"I saw the monster right around here!"
"You did, huh? Can you tell me what the monster looked like?"
"It was over at the river, and it was huge and scary! ...I didn't like it."
"Over by the river, eh? Let's go take a look."
"So we find them and we kill them. It's simple."
"Will it be, though? I wonder..."
"What do you mean?"
"Would you be able to simply slaughter the people you lived among for so many years? Would you truly murder friends if you suspected them of being Shades?"
"Yeah, I would. Yonah's not coming back to a village full of those things."
"When the time comes, I pray you can follow through."
"Down by the river" is rather vague directions. I figured the child meant over by the main body of water where the ferry dock is near Nier's house and ended up running in circles around there from several minutes my first time. But nope. She actually means the little creek over on the edge of town near the Northern Gate. Kids suck at directions... Especially given that there isn't a damn thing here.
"Perhaps the young lass misremembered the location."
"Yeah, maybe. Kids aren't so great at stuff like that. Let's go ask her again."
Returning to the little girl...
"Um...no. Oh! Oh, oh! I remember now! I saw it in the square in front of the library!"
"Okay, let's check it out."
Over across town...again...
Nier scans the area but still no dice on the rogue Shade... This seems
"This is a fool's errand. Even a young girl would hardly confuse a library gate with a river. Perhaps we should ask some of the other villagers."
Several of the townspeople NPCs now have a bit of info to share on the mysterious Shade sightings. Maybe this can shed some light on the Shade problem...
Dammit, that was not intentional!
"But whatever I saw, it wasn't much bigger than a kid."
"Strange thing was, it seemed to be accompanied by a child."
"The girl's story is not agreeing very well with the rest of the villagers' testimony. I think we should question her a bit further."
"How do you mean?"
"We are being lied to."
"And... I cannot say. Perhaps it is but an honest mistake. Or perhaps there is a good reason for the lie."
Back to the kid one last time...
"I'm NOT lying! I saw it! It was big and scary and...and...and big!"
"Tell us this, then: In which location did you NOT see the Shade?"
"...You're weird. But, um...I guess I didn't see it near the northern gate or on the hill to the west!"
So, of course, we need to head straight to the hill to the west not far from the Northern Gate. Kids are such dopes...
"The little girl must have been trying to protect it."
"A touching story, but humans and Shades cannot coexist. We'd best defeat this monster while we can."
The little critter makes no effort to attack Nier or even flee for that matter. It just kind of hangs out on the cliff edge taking little notice of the brute lumbering towards it and drawing his massive sword.
In fact, the only action it will take is to get spooked and leap back a bit if Nier runs around too close to it. It then returns to chilling out and enjoying the weather. It's kind of cute.
But hey...you heard what Grimoire Weiss said. Slim Shady has gotta go! I'm not about to start arguing with the guy at this point. Mission complete. The village is safe for another day!
Returning to the guard...
And that's a wrap. Nier gets a quite meager 5000 Gold reward for his heroic efforts and the gratitude of the town guard. The little girl from before is nowhere to be found. Oh well, the dopey child is probably befriending a rogue robot now or something. Damn kids...
THE VILLAGE SIDEQUESTS: 100% COMPLETED!!!!!!!
Village Homecoming Highlights