Part 94: Episode LXXXVIII: Dance of the EvanescentEpisode LXXXVIII: Dance of the Evanescent
"Yes, they do seem to be putting us through a great deal of tuuuur... Tuuuhhh... Tr-tr-tuuurb..."
"You all right there?"
"How odd. For long years, my mind and tongue have been my greatest assets. But now the latter seems to be faaallll... Faallll... FIIIIIIII..."
"Don't look at me like that! I am Grimoire Weiss! I am perfectly fiiiii... Fiiiii... Fi-fi-fi-fi-fi-fiiiiiiiiiii..."
The twins gave Weiss a fucking STROKE?! What the hell! You can't just give my snarky sidekick a crippling speech impediment. He's a friggin' floating book! That is all he has going for him! Goddamn, Devola and Popola... Working for the Shadowlord all along was bullshit enough, but this is not cool girls... Not. Cool!
Right... The twins seemed to have dropped a map during their silly little escape into the sky. I'm not sure why we need a map of the Shadowlord's Castle. It is pretty much a straight path through a one-story building... Oh well, forward we go...
The party enters The Shadowlord's Castle...
Music: Dance of the Evanescent
Sure enough, a ballroom waltz drifts in from up beyond the next pair of doors. This is...gonna get weird, isn't it...?
Continuing further into the castle...
Huh...dancing ghosts. Man, I hated those things in Castlevania. They always had just enough HP where killing them took slightly more of an investment of time than they deserved.
"Buncha dancin' bastards..."
Music: Dance of the Evanescent ~ Distorted Waltz
"Ah, a royal hall! How utterly d-diviii...dvvvvvnnnn..."
"I think we're locked in!"
"It's not like I was planning to leave."
"Yeah, it's a bit late for that."
Music: The Shadowlord's Castle ~ Roar
A swarm of fully armored, very beefy Shades flood the ballroom dance floor to rumble with Nier and the gang. I hope you like throwing down with Shades, because you're getting a metric ton of that from here on out. We did bust in the Shade's HQ doors with intent to murder the shit out of their leader, after all...
"I'll open the next door! Cover me!"
"Oh, how I do love a good daaaaa... Daaannnn... Da-da-da-da-"
"Knock it off, Weiss!"
"...Mmm? Oh, right. Protect the hussy, yes? Good plan. Let's go."
At this point the party just needs to keep the onslaught of Shades off Kainé's back as she struggles with busting down the next door so we can get past the endless horde. The Shades do not focus on her any more than they normally would, so it isn't too taxing to keep her covered.
"It's not open yet!?"
"Do I look like a goddamn locksmith to you!?"
Kainé starts just kicking the shit out of the door instead...
"No! You idiot! What are you doing!?"
"Lock doesn't wanna open? Fine! I'll just break it down!"
"You impatient fool! Stop!"
"Goddamn-no-good bullshit bastard! COME ON!"
Kainé kicks that sonuvabitch open. After getting frozen for five years keeping a door shut, I'm sure her patience for locking mechanisms in general has evaporated long ago...
"Kainé! Look out!"
Kainé gets trampled under the mountain of spherical Shades that Hook and Jack of Hearts would occasionally crap out. They are now all quite talkative in whatever chattering childish babble Shades speak. They sound like...well...
"These things are freaking me out!"
Nier needs to fight his way back over to Kainé, avoiding the very damaging energy balls the little critter Shade mob is spewing out. Killing them is an exercise in futility. For every one cut down, two more will pop up. They're like Shade Tribbles.
"Yeah, but we got problems..."
One of the flying witch Shades speaks with the little ones about the area. I'm not sure what the hell it is saying...
...but the little guys all seem to respond quite enthusiastically and begin to bounce, roll, and scurry over around the flying one while squealing happily.
The witch Shade continues speaking to the crowd as they all are engulfed in a dark cloud. And...
Holy...shithog... They turned into a friggin' BOAR-SHADE!!!! Welp...we're doomed! Game over, man! GAME OVER!
Boar-Shade, better known as Goose (as in Mother Goose) fights...pretty much exactly like you'd expect a beefy uber-boar. This mostly involves charging full steam at Nier and ramming him around the room.
It also has a body slam shockwave attack which is only dangerous if Nier lingers close to the thing when it is on its feet. Note: one should avoid being close to giant Shade-Boars when they are on their feet.
Much like standard boars of long ago, when Goose rams into walls it will briefly be stunned, allowing Nier and the gang to lay into the thing while it recovers from its own stupidity. There's also a secondary way to stun the creature. But, I'll get to that in a bit.
Throughout this battle, Kainé seems to be occasionally having a one-sided conversation with...someone. It is a touch unnerving. It's bad enough there were a bunch of ghosts dancing around here a few minutes ago and a monster pig is trying to smash the party and Weiss had a stroke. You don't need to start acting weird too, Kainé.
"Gah! How can a stupid pig be so strong!? It doesn't make sense!"
Overall, Goose is a pretty simple fight. Rather disappointing for a final dungeon boss battle, to be honest. Oh well, I'm not complaining. We've still got the Shadowlord, Grimoire Noir, and the turncoat twins to worry about. Let's just make this thing bacon and move onward.
Weiss, what the hell you looking at? The defeated doom boar is back over that wa-
-HOLY BALLS!! WHAT IS THAT THING?!
Goose apparently did a magic trick in which it doubled in size and covered itself in makeshift armor. Don't ask me how it did that while it was lying on the other side of the room quite dead a minute ago. It's a friggin' DOOM BOAR. It is beyond the comprehension of mortal men.
Goose's second form fights in much the same way as its original. The only difference is its armor plating makes it invulnerable from the top and sides unless said armor is stripped away. Nier rather lacks the ability to accomplish that very efficiently with the tools at his disposal. Emil has some magic spells that will instantly knock away bits of the metal plates, but that's rather unreliable. We'll need to find another way.
Now, if Nier plays a game of chicken with Goose and lobs a couple of Dark Lances at the massive doom boar's legs while it's dashing, the thing will lose its footing and spill over on its side stunned for several seconds. The Shade didn't bother to armor its squishy underside, making it ripe for Nier to practice his stabbin' skills.
Despite Goose's massive upgrade in size and strength, it still isn't particularly difficult to take down even with its fancy iron overcoat.
Well...except for the fact that it will instantly regenerate all its health immediately after being slain. That is uhh...concerning, to say the least...
At this point, Goose stops attacking and instead just begins to spew a toxic green gas from its body that quickly fills the room. Yeah, that's definitely concerning... Nier's health will begin depleting constantly at this point. I think it's time to get the hell out of this ballroom.
"We can't...stop now... Dammit..."
"Stay focused, Kainé! No! Don't fall victim to such distractions!"
"Come on! We have to keep going!"
The party rushes into the next room...
Well, that could have gone better. At least we get a quick breather as the gates slam shut behind the gang.
Emil and Kainé keep rushing down the corridor, but it's best for Nier to take it slow and check the surroundings. Particularly, when the very last weapon in the game is hiding in a nearby crate just ready for the taking.
The Dragoon Lance is a rather mid-range spear. I'm not sure why it was chosen as the last available weapon in the game. But hey, the last one-handed sword was a dud too. Oh well... Not only is this the last weapon in the entire game, but it is also one final Drakengard veteran as well.
The Dragoon's Lance or Knight's Vow was found just outside the Goddess' chambers during the opening chapter of Drakengard. It was also one of the few weapon stories with a happy ending. Maybe that's a good sign for things to come...? Let's see NIER's version of the tale...
Grimoire Nier posted:
The king grew old. His piercing eyes lost their light, and his formidable body has suffered regression. The vanity and fear he gathered upon himself throughout the years devoured his heart in their ugliness. The king was afraid. So to prevent himself from losing the borders under his protection, he repeatedly invaded the surrounding countries. The king was afraid. He could not bring himself to trust in his people's voices or his advisor's words. So he tried to take away everything with violence and tyranny.
There was one dragon that was loyal to the king. The wingless dragon followed every word that the king said. It was once saved by the king, and swore to repay his kindness with its soul. Even if they were foolish acts that it couldn't stand to overlook, it would follow along if the king ordered it. For the dragon, the king was justice itself.
One day, the dragon appeared before the king, covered in blood - blood spilled from the young prince when he was murdered. The one who gave the order was none other than his own father, the king. The dragon pleaded with the king. I cannot defy your commands. But I cannot follow them anymore. Kill me, the dragon said, and lowered his head tiredly.
That's an old story. The story of a foolish king, his country that had come to ruin hundreds of years ago and a wingless dragon. Even today, wind rushes through the plains. The same wind that blew on the day the king and the dragon exchanged vows.
Oh dear. That's a distressing update... Anyway...!
WEAPON COLLECTION 100% BITCHES!!!!! CAVIA AIN'T GOT SHIT ON ME, SON!!!!!
Ahem... Right, then... Fleeing from a giant doom boar... Emil and Kainé have already rushed on ahead up the stairwell to the north. We'd best meet up with them.
Nier runs up the staircase...
I was hoping that door would hold Goose back a little bit longer. So, who's up for some Crash Bandicoot?
Nier must now haul ass up the spiral staircase, avoiding ill placed crates along the way while Goose charges after him. If Goose catches up, it's an instant death. So, Nier really needs to keep on the move. Uhh...by the way... You notice we are going up...? Like...several stories up...? I think we all saw the Shadowlord's Castle from outside. I do believe a several hundred foot tower maybe a couple hundred feet into the place would have been a rather distinct feature from the outside, yet the whole place didn't look more than a floor or two tall. This place is screwy...
That said, this part is a real pain in the ass since it's hard to judge the depth of boxes from the weird 2D-esque camera angle. I think I died more during this part my first time through than the rest of the game combined.
Nier narrowly avoids getting drilled by Goose's tusk and retreats into another large, empty room. Kainé and Emil are busy trying to bust open the next door. I guess that is a somewhat acceptable reason for the flying and teleporting allies to total ditch Nier and leave him to nearly get trampled to death back there. Still kind of a dick move, guys.
Unfortunately, the party is unable to break the door's lock before Goose explodes into the room for another round of battle. This thing has really put Nier and the gang on its shit list.
"It seems that we're in a bit of a predicament."
This battle goes about as well as last time. Goose goes down simply enough. But it then immediately revives and starts farting out nerve gas or the world's smelliest BO or whatever...bad news! We can stab the thing to death again, but it will just revive endlessly.
The party soon begins to succumb to the deadly miasma. This isn't really going particularly well...
With the party both physically and cutscene weakened, Goose goes in for a final charge to finish off the mortal enemies of Shades.
...And it gets a face full of a half dozen spears for its troubles and crumples to the floor. Say what...?!
The King of Facade and the Men of the Mask as Big Damn Heroes out of fucking NOWHERE! Aww yeah!
Shadowlord's Castle Highlights
Goose ~ Full Boss Battle
Music: Dance of the Evanescent
Music: Dance of the Evanescent ~ Distorted Waltz