Part 93: Episode LXXXVII: Permission Granted
Episode LXXXVII: Permission Granted
I guess this is it... Sidequests are 100% completed, every weapon available has been collected, and we've gathered all the keys to the Shadowlord's Castle. Nothing left to do but to go and finish this thing once and for all.
I think it is time for Dadass Nier to go save his damn daughter!
And to do that, we need to return to where this all began so many years ago. Buckle up kids...it's time for the endgame.
Music: The Lost Forest 2
"Let's all make it back alive, okay?"
"It's a plan."
Our goal is to return to the chamber where we first found Grimoire Weiss and use the collected keys to descend to the Shadowlord's Castle. Piece of cake. It's not like we didn't just do that a few hours ago...
Of course, the Shades are probably aware we're about to bust down their leader's front door and jam our boot up his ass. As such, they've flooded the area with nothing but heavily armored and rather high level foot soldiers to defend the route. Like those goons are gonna really stop us...
Dozens upon dozens of dead Shades later...
As it turns out, the very first Save Point mailbox we found outside the Village is also the very last one. The Shadowlord doesn't believe in snail mail. So, we won't be seeing another one beyond this point. Best to save now.
"Yeah. This is where Weiss and I first met."
"Wow! This is where you used to live, Weiss!?"
"Well... Yes, I suppose. In a technical sense."
"Pretty nice digs for a floating magazine."
"At least it was free from annoying hussies like yourself!"
Cavia is nice enough to point out that this is, indeed, the POINT OF NO RETURN™ and gives you a prompt to continue on to the endgame of NIER. So hey, folks...
I know this is the endgame and some of you are all very excited to discuss all the crazy shit that is about to go down. But hey! IT IS STILL NO GODDAMN SPOILERS! This includes "helpfully" clarifying somewhat vague happenings with info from Grimoire Nier or whatever. Also don't do any "oh man, wait until..." *wink/nudge* crap either! Just don't. It will piss me right the fuck off! Clear? Good! Thanks!
I'm glad we're all on the same page. With that said, let's begin...
Using The Stone Guardian, The Memory Tree, The Law of Robotics, The Loyal Cerberus, and The Sacrifice Keys will dispel the magical glyph barrier and activate the elevator leading down to the Shadowlord's Castle. Don't look back.
Music: Shadowlord's Castle ~ Memory
Nier and the gang emerge in some manner of ancient...bunker, I guess? Pretty brightly lit for an underground facility. But feh... No time to gawk at the sights. We've got a daughter to rescue.
The gang continues out the massive gates to...
Uhh... Okay...? We are somehow back outside. In a surprisingly lush, well trimmed atrium. There are even some doves happily hanging around in a fountain nearby.
This was...not what I was expecting for the digs of a spectral lord of darkness... I was expecting...ya know...some kind of underground cavernous waste with maybe some lava pits and a general air of villainy. Like Bowser's Castle or something along those lines. More...ya know...castle-esque at least... Not a well groomed upscale mansion.
Indeed...how in the hell did we even get here...? The Lost Shrine is nowhere to be found, despite clearly descending below it. In fact, we seem to have exited from a rather "modern" looking building.
If we take a look at the surrounding area outside the Shadowlord's Castle, we can quite clearly observe several similar modern office buildings and apartment complexes. I dare say it appears we have made it back to post-apocalyptic Tokyo... Huh, we really are coming full circle with this strange journey.
At the far end of the courtyard is another massive pair of doors leading further into the structure. But, there is no need to be so hasty. A couple of out of place boxes are resting just to the left of the door. These are pretty important.
Mostly due to the fact it contains the Phoenix Sword - the final two-handed blade in the entire game. It is powerful as hell at base level and turns out to be...pretty good when upgraded to full. But hey, that is 100% Two-Handed Sword collection! Have a weapon story as celebration.
Grimoire Nier posted:
This is an old story. A beautiful bird with brightly shining feathers lived silently and carefully in the depths of a forest.
One day, a child abandoned as a burden wandered into the depths of the forest. The bird took pity on the starved and sunken child, and pecked off one of its feathers to give to the child. The child brought it back and pleased his relatives, and he was able to live with his family again.
Hearing the story, people barged into the forest one after another, and told the beautiful bird of how poor, how unfortunate and how unrewarded they were. The beautiful bird took pity on them, and gave them one shining feather after another, and when it gave its last feather, the bird's beautiful body was reduced to a sorry state. However the ugly bird did not have any regrets.
The ugly bird that lost its feathers was freezing in the cold, and the child from before appeared in front of it. He told it that he was searching a brightly shining and beautiful bird to repay his debts. The ugly bird was overjoyed, and told the child of its desire. "That was me. Please, would you not keep me warm in your chest?" But the child merely took one glance at the ugly bird and called it a liar, killing it with a huge sword and eating the burnt bird, afterwards he continued to search for the beautiful bird.
Kids: Fucking assholes! You see what happens when you don't kill them! You end up dead yourself! Never take mercy on children, they're a bunch of lousy ingrates!
Right, then. Enough of this rubbish. Let's carry one with the jo-
-urney...? Eh... I guess the Shadowlord really liked this courtyard design. Shades are such jerks.
Anyway, let's try that again. Who builds doors this huge, anyway?
Uh...huh... I think we're doing something wrong here...
"-around the same paths."
"What do you mean?"
"I think we're stuck."
"There must be an escape route somewhere..."
Indeed, there is a trick to this room. It involves those rather out of place doves lazing about the central fountain. Let's investigate them a bit closer, mmm?
"To whom does the true form show itself? You must answer."
"It...it can talk!"
"I ask: Why did humans disappear from the world?"
"The hell should I know?"
"Patience. I believe this is some manner of password."
"Yes. The correct answer should grant us access to the castle. I feel confident I have heard this somewhere before..."
Right, then. We now need to answer the magic pigeons' riddles before this infinite loop of courtyards will end. If Weiss responds to any of the questions incorrectly, then the party will get booted back to another loop and he'll have to try again until he gets it right. Obviously, we do not want that outcome. So, I'll just show you the choices and the correct reply. Let's begin...
"To whom does the true form show itself? I ask: Why did humans disappear from the world? You must answer."
"I answer: Because of a black disease."
"I ask: How can humans extend their lives?"
"I answer: By separating body from soul."
"I ask: What is the destination of souls?"
"I answer: They are placed in their corresponding shells."
"...Very well. ...You are acknowledged as master. You may enter."
Well, that was strange... And rather ominous. But, the gang can finally proceed further into the Shadowlord's Castle. Hopefully, with less riddles along the way...
Right, then. Let us try this one last time...
"Popola? Devola? What are you doing here?"
"Hey. Any chance you'll just...go back to the village?"
"This is a very dangerous place."
"Even if you can find Yonah here, you probably can't get her out."
"How did you get here?"
"Shhhh... We're asking questions right now."
I knew that last OCD completionist induced sidequest to climb up the Lost Shrine just to make an extra bit of lunch money was going too far. Popola's finally done gone and snapped from getting bugged one too many times for stupid nonsense.
At this point, we're given a few options as to how we can respond. Saying we're here to rescue Yonah will continue the conversation. The second one will just make Popola tell Nier to shut it again. But the last one... Well, Weiss will ask if Nier is really sure about going back. Which is a silly question, since we're already past the POINT OF NO RETURN™ Though, if you still say yes to that...?
Time turns back a bit and events reset to before the point you entered the endgame and Nier is tossed back to the middle of the Village. And now he must re-climb the entire Lost Shrine all over again...
Goddammit, Cavia... That is not how a POINT OF NO RETURN™ works!!!
"No, I suppose not. ...How sad."
Music: Shadowlord's Castle ~ Memory 3
"We didn't want to fight you."
"It's true. We didn't want to..."
And so it's time to fight Devola and Popola... Ergh... Okay...? I guess that boss trophy room wasn't just a cute little meta-game token of our victories thus far. It was straight up a memorial to all the fallen bosses and a big flashing neon "DON'T TRUST THE TWINS" sign that's been there since the beginning of the game... I guess I should have been a bit more concerned when Nier and Weiss actually commented on the room outside of examining random trophies...
"Sorry! This is our fate."
"I spoke the truth. We did not want to fight you."
"We wanted to put it off for a hundred years or so. Until the next generation came along."
"What're you talking about!?"
"Are these Shades?"
"I don't think so."
"It's a lie! I don't believe it!"
The first stage with the battle against the twins is fairly simple. All they do is run around trying to lob Hadokens at the party from close range or attempting to whack them on the head with their puny little mage staffs.
They also have the ability to teleport around the room. The magic circle they make to phase through the floor is a bit damaging, but with longer weapons Nier can still get a couple of hits in without taking damage while they go through the teleportation animation.
"This is madness! Why do you block our path?"
"You have no cause to speak so with us, Grimoire Weiss! You are a traitor!"
After depleting a fifth of their health or about a minute passes, another cutscene kicks in...
"Oh, what now?"
Music: Shadowlord ~ Roar Instrumental (Shade Battle Theme)
"Oh, shit on a shingle... They can use the Sealed Verses."
"Of course we can! The power came from us in the first place."
"We simply loaned you a small portion of it."
"Weiss! Are you all right?"
"Devola! Popola! Why are you doing this!? Why are you siding with the Shades?!"
The twins now can use most of the magic Weiss possessed. They particularly love spamming Dark Blast all over the area and following it up with a homing shot.
But, they'll also occasionally use Dark Lances, Dark Execution, and Devola can do a pretty awesome dashing Dark Hand combo. Why can't I do that...? Anyway, none of it is particularly threatening at this point. Then again, I doubt this is the real battle with the heel turn duo.
The twins' health falls below 25%. They both share one life bar...
"The answer to every riddle lies within the heart of the Shadowlord."
"The Shadowlord? ...You've been on his side this whole time!?"
"You must search for that answer yourself."
"You've gotta face your own truth now."
"Please... Enter the Shadowlord's Castle."
And with that the twins zoom off into the distance... Well... That was...certainly a...thing...
The Shadowlord's Castle Opening
Twins Heel Turn Highlights
Devola and Popola ~ Full Boss Battle