FAQ/Walkthrough by Mwulf

Version 2.01, Last Updated 2011-09-26

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Nier FAQ (version 2.01)

DISCLAIMER: This FAQ is meant for personal use only. You may host this FAQ on your own website if you so wish, don't bother asking me for permission--in fact, I'd rather you didn't.

The latest copy of this FAQ will always be available at http://www.gamefaqs.com/

(c) Copyright 2009 by J.F. Fox

Introduction

Welcome to my FAQ for Nier. I realize it's not much to look at right now, but I sincerely hope you'll find some use for it as you play this wonderful, fun game.

I will try my best to assemble all of the pertinent information regarding Nier in a clear, concise and organized manner. With luck, everything should be clear and easy to find. Again, I hope you'll find this FAQ helpfuland I also hope you'll have as much fun with this game as I've had.

Current FAQ Status:

This FAQ/Walkthrough is complete! And I did it in record time, too! Future updates will be limited to minor updates,
corrections and/or revisions.

Game Information

Nier is an action role-playing game, currently on the market in North America, Europe and Japan, on both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. This FAQ is written specifically for the PS3 version of the game, but all of the information here contained should also apply to the Xbox 360 version, as both versions of the game are identical.

The PlayStation 3 version of Nier released in Japan is slightly different than the normal version. Called Nier Replicant, it features a different protagonist: rather than play an old man and father, you play a younger man and brother. All of the dialog and story content, however, is identical.

Controls

The controls are all very simple and self-explanatory, so I don't think there's much need to tarry too long on this. I will remind you, however, that you can customize the various bumper buttons (R1, R2, L1, L2 on PS3; RB, RT, LB, LT on X360) with different attacks. This can be particularly useful if, like me, you don't bother much with evading and would rather dedicate a second button to a third magic attack.

Playstation 3 Controls

Left Analog StickMovement (walk/run)
Right Analog StickCamera Movement
R3Reset Camera
D-Pad UpItem Menu
D-Pad RightSpear Menu
D-Pad DownSingle-Handed Sword Menu
D-Pad LeftTwo-Handed Sword Menu
CrossJump (double jump)
CircleExamine
SquareAttack
TriangleSpecial Attack
L2Defend
R2Evade
R1Cast Magic
L1Cast Magic
StartSkip Cutscene
SelectExpand Mini-Map

Xbox 360 Controls

Left Analog StickMovement (walk/run)
Right Analog StickCamera Movement
R3Reset Camera
D-Pad UpItem Menu
D-Pad RightSpear Menu
D-Pad DownSingle-Handed Sword Menu
D-Pad LeftTwo-Handed Sword Menu
AJump (double jump)
BExamine
XAttack
YSpecial Attack
LTDefend
RTEvade
RBCast Magic
LBCast Magic
StartSkip Cutscene
BackExpand Mini-Map

Premise


It is the distant future. Humanity's past glories are but a forgotten memory, its greatest achievements vanished into dust on the wind. The world that remains--a strange and savage place--is dying.

The few humans who remain now live a medieval existence, eking out what sustenance they can from a harsh and unforgiving land. Dark, twisted creatures known as Shades roam the world, bringing with them terror and death. Fear and chaos rule each day. As it did yesterday.

...As it will tomorrow.

In this world lives a modest, unassuming man and his young daughter. She has been infected by a deadly disease known as the Black Scrawl, and so her father has sworn to journey in search of a cure.

The adventure that ensues will be beyond anything he has ever experienced.

He will encounter Grimoire Weiss, an ancient book of almost unbelievable power who can use words as weapons. He will face off against Grimoire Noir, a supposed harbinger of the end times. And he will learn the truth behind both the legendary Sealed Verses, and the cursed Shades that hound his every step.

As the world collapses into chaos around him, as his very mind betrays him, the man will press on with a single, dim light flickering in his mind:

He will save his daughter. No matter the cost.

Characters

The Father Strong, kind, and unwilling to abide cruelty of any kind. He has a single daughter, Yonah, with whom he is gentle and protective to a fault.

Grimoire Weiss An ancient book that joins the father on his quest. Powerful and arrogant, he is quick to proclaim his mastery on any and all topics which present themselves. While he prefers to be called by his full and proper name of Grimoire Weiss, most refer to him simply as Weiss.

Yonah A daughter who lives to please her father, even though her efforts often cause more harm than help. Due to her frail health, she spends most of her time at home.

Kaine A human who has been possessed by a Shade. Vulgar, violent, and unpredictable, she is nevertheless a valuable companion on the father's quest. Some think her harsh exterior hides a shy, endearing side.

Emil A companion who joins the father during his travels. He combats Shades with a powerful arsenal of magic.

Shades Mysterious creatures that appear out of nowhere to prey on people and livestock. They come in a variety of types, each with its own unique set of attacks.

Contact Information

For any questions, comments, and concerns, you may contact me via my email address (mwulf.0079@gmail.com) or attempt to reach me through the Nier 3 message board (either one) at GameFAQs.com.

In general, I reply to any emails I get within two days, unless the email is asking for information that is clearly within the FAQ.

Walkthrough (Part One)

Nier is a very straightforward game, so I sincerely doubt this is a walkthrough that any will need to follow straight-on-through. Rather, think of it more as a resource for those rare occasions when you cannot figure out where to go next or, in the first part of the game, want to know just how much story content you can pursue before reaching the point of no return.

As per my typical style, I'll keep the walkthrough as brief as possible, and avoid as many spoilers as humanly possible.

Prologue

The Distant Past

The prologue serves mostly as a tutorial to the combat mechanics of the game. Follow the prompts and kill all of the shades in the room. After a short cutscene, more shades will spawn for you to fight. You'll be forced to lose the fight and view another, rather cool cutscene. When it's over you'll be outside--for magic practice.

Here, you'll fight a crazy-ton of shades. This is a good point to try and earn those 50 and 100-combo trophies. You'll level up very quickly and get a whole slew of awesome new spells to play around with, and you've got infinite magic power here, so just have fun. When you're done, a giant shade will spawn and it'll be time for your first boss battle.

(!) BOSS BATTLE (!)

You'll want to clear out the tiny shades first. Once they're clear, you can fight the big boss however you want. I would recommend pulling back, as his ranged attacks are easy to avoid, but his melee attacks are not. For this fight you'll be stuck with only two magic spells--dark blast and dark spear. If you want to play it safe, you can slowly and steadily shave off the shade's HP with dark blasts. I would recommend, instead, that you use fully charged dark lance attacks (hold down the L1 button until you've conjured a full semicircle's worth of giant magic spears). Three or four fully charged magic attacks ought to be more than enough to take this boss out.

Once you've dealt enough damage, the shade will slump down and a circular icon will appear over his "weak point." There are a number of symbols in the circle, representing the shade's remaining HP. You need to attack the weak point in the circle: once the words are gone, the boss will die. There's a catch, however--the circle is a "clock." You have until the hand rotates a full 360 degrees to obliterate the shade's remaining HP, otherwise the shade will recover a portion of his HP and you'll have to repeap the entire process.

The Village

The Village

Now that the tutorial is over, you can finally start playing the "real" game. If you don't quite understand what the prologue has to do with the game proper, don't worry. You'll figure it out eventually.

Anwyway, welcome to the Village. After you finish speaking with Yonah, go downstairs. Examine the glowing spots on the wall to retrieve some items and money. After you leave the house, head toward the fountain. You'll see a woman in red sitting down. Speak to her. Her name is Devola, and she is the woman you hear singing in the background. Don't ya' just love the music? After that brief conversation, head north to the building on the cliff--that's the library, and you'll need to speak to Devola's twin sister, Popola, inside.

Popola is inside a room on the second floor. You'll notice that her exact position is marked on your mini map with a large red X. This symbol will always be present on the map over the location you are required to visit in order to advance the story. She will give you 1000 gold and instruct you to find three pieces of mutton for the item shop keeper, and also ask you to bring her three medicinal herbs.

On your way out, you'll see Yonah standing in the library looking at some books. Speak to her, then leave the library. As soon as you exit the building, you'll be treated to a brief cutscene describing the post-post-apocalyptic setting.

The Northern Plains

First thing's first: the mutton. Leave the library and exit the Village through the Northern Gate. Welcome to the Northern Plains! The bridge is broken at the moment, so you cannot explore the whole area, but you also don't have to worry about running into any shades out here just yet. To get mutton, you'll have to kill some sheep. Remember to attack the sheep from either the front, or one of the sides, otherwise they have a nasty habit of kicking you. Their kicks won't cause any real damage, but it can be annoying. Once you kill and animal, appraoch the corpse until a harvest icon appears. Harvest the corpse, and you'll get an item. Sheep commonly drop mutton, but sometimes drop wool. There are also some goats in the area you can kill if you feel like it. Also keep an eye out for glowing lights on the ground--these are harvest points. You should be able to collect several medicinal herbs, and other items, while you're here.

Once you've got the mutton and have done everything you want to do in the Northern Plains, head back toward the village. Near the exit, you'll be ambushed by a small group of (very weak) shades. Kill them and head back into the village.

The Village

Head down to the market district (past the stone archway) and speak to the item shopkeeper. Once you've given him the mutton, you can speak to him again to purchase some medicinal herbs, if you didn't gather any from the harvest points in the Northern Plains, or elsewhere in the village. Once you've got the herbs, go back to the library and speak to Popola. Once you've done that, head back to your house. Go upstairs and speak to Yonah to advance to the next day.

After speaking with Yonah some more, go back to the library to speak with Popola again. This time, she'll send you to the Northern Plains to kill some shades that have been attacking the men repairing the bridge.

The Northern Plains

Go to the Northern Plains. This is the very last time you'll be able to explore the Northern Plains without having to worry about hordes of shades roaming around, so if you want to stock up on goat and sheep parts, now is a good time.

When you approacth the Bridge, a number of large shades will spawn. Despite the build-up, they're pretty easy to take out. Once you've killed them all, Nier will say so, and you'll be able to head back to the village to report to Popola.

The Village

Into the library again, to speak with Popola. After checking in with her, go home. Go upstairs to Yonah's room and examine the empty bed. Then, back to the library. Go speak with Popola again to figure out what happened. Once you've realized what's happened, it'll be time to make your way to the Lost Shrine. Begin by heading to the Eastern Gate. You'll see an item on the ground just inside the gate, examine it to confirm your suspiscions and then exit the Village.

The Lost Shrine

The Eastern Road

The Eastern Road is a pretty small area, but it's got a fair number of goats and harvest points, which makes it very useful for harvesting quest items. you'll want to take the left path, up the mountain, to get to the Lost Shrine. Before you do so, however, I would recommend fully exploring the area to harvest as many items as you can. The right path leads to the desert, but you can't get there yet, so don't worry about it. Once you're done, head north.

Path to the Lost Shrine

Head straight ahead through the valley: there's been a rock slide, so you'll have to take the long way around. Climb up the ladder to your right to find the path. You don't have to worry about any shades in this area, and there's nothing to harvest, so just make your way down the trail as quickly as you can. When you get to the bridge and walk down it, the camera will zoom very far out, but you're still in control of your character. Go up to the main door and enter the Lost Shrine.

The Lost Shrine

The main floor is quite large, but there's really nothing to see here. Head up the large circular flight of stairs. Before you get to the second level, you'll pass by a small platform with a single box. Break open the box to find the Lost Shrine Map. Once you get to the second floor, you'll notice that the rest of the staircase is broken, so you'll want to find another way up.

Head toward the outer edge of the temple. You should see a closed door and an open doorway. Head through the open doorways and follow that path until the end to grab the Bronze Key. Once you've got the Bronze Key, go back the way you came. Use the key to unlock the door, and make your way inside. You will have to fight your way through the rest of the rooms--each time shades spawn in a room, you'll have to defeat them all before you can open up the next door. Anyway, fight your way through all the rooms until you get to a ladder.

Climb up the ladder and break open the box on the platform to obtain a new weapon, the Nirvana Dagger. Then, climb up the second platform to reach the third floor of the temple. Once again, you'll need to head to the rooms on the outer edge of the temple and fight your way through them. Remember to break open any boxes you may see to collect their contents--usually medicinal herbs. Eventually you'll see a large door leading outside. Go through it.

You'll now have to navigate through a very short, very simple platforming sequence to get to the very top of the temple. Once you've reached the top, take the right path through the ruins until you get to a large blue block. Grab onto the blue block and move it forward toward the broken wall; then, move it to the right; finally, move it forward again. Move the block through the light, and once it's in the shadows again (even only partially) press it against the wall with the broken ladder. From the top of the block, you should be able to double-jump onto the ledge with the ladder.

Keep going through the ruins until you see a pair of ladders leading down. There's the entrance to the final room of the temple, beyond the large doors. Remember to save at the mailbox before going inside. Once inside, head toward the barrier at the end of the room. Several shades will spawn to attack you, but you can ignore them. Attack the book in the red circle until a cutscene starts.

You will now face a very large horde of shades while the great and powerful Grimoire Weiss illuminates your dark existence with his words. Eventually, Weiss will offer to help you. At this point, you need to examine the book to advance the plot. Until you do so, the shades will continue to respawn forever. After teaming up with Weiss, you'll still be on your own for a while. Fight off the horde of shades as best you can. Eventually, you will obtain your first Sealed Verse and be able to use the magic attack, Dark Blast.

Once you've cleared out all of the shades, the two statues will come to life, triggering a boss battle.

(!) BOSS BATTLE (!)

Keep your distance from the two bosses and bombard them with dark blasts. Remember to tap the button instead of holding it: doing so will make your attacks more powerful, and let you move around more quickly, to better dodge the statues' charge attacks. Eventually, one of the statues will encase itself in a spherical shield: when it does so, ignore. Always focus your attacks on the unshielded foe.

When you've dealt sufficient damage to the boss, it will collapse and a circle icon appear, the same as last time. Take it out, and you'll be treated to a short cutscene and earn your second Sealed Verse, emporing Weiss with the very useful Dark Lance magic spell. Now that you've got dark lance, use it on the unshielded boss to kill him. Now, it's one-on-one.

But, oh, look at that. The second statue has summoned another horde of small shades to annoy you. Deal with them and attack the second statue the same way you did the first. When the damage circle appears, use your dark lance magic attack to land the killing blow. Once both bosses are dead, run up to Yonah to trigger a series of cutscenes.

The Aerie

The Village

You are now back in the village. After speaking with Yonah, leave your house to start a short conversation with Weiss. You may now start some sidequests, should the need consume you. (Refer to the side quest section of this FAQ for further information). Go to the library and speak with Popola. She'll tell you to go to another village called the Aerie, to speak with its mayor. Exit the Village through the north gate.

The Northern Plains

The path to the Aeries lies in the southwestern corner of the Northern Plains, on the other side of the bridge. You'll notice that the plains are now infested with shades. You can fight them as you go, or not, it really doesn't matter. The entrance to the Aerie is rather odd: it looks like the entrance to a mine.

The Aerie

As soon as you enter the area, head toward the small hut on the right for a (very short) spot of dialog with Weiss. Then, continue through the tunnel until you reach the village proper. Head down the bridge to the circular platform. A large number of shades will spawn and attack you--apparently, the Aerie is under attack. Kill them, and continue to the valley wall. You'll see a ladder on your right, leading up to another level. Climb it, then turn around and cross the bridge to the other side of the canyon.

You'll see a hut up high on the right on the other end of the canyon. That is the mayor's house, your destination. Cross the bridge, fending off all the shades that spawn, and when you reach the other end climb up the ladder to your right. Go to the door of the house to speak with the mayor. After that elucidating conversation, it's time to go back the way you came. As you leave the village proper, be sure to save your game at the mailbox.

When you reach the clearing at the exit, go inside the small hut and examine the flowers inside. This will prompt a cutscene introducing a new character, Kaine... and trigger a boss battle.

(!) BOSS BATTLE (!)

Kaine is very fast, and has some pretty mean attacks. She also happens to be very resistant to magic attacks, so you're going to have to melee it up, duel-style. Once you've lowered her HP a bit, she'll power up and start using some pretty heady magic attacks. You'll have to focus on dodging them, but the tactics to use are more or less the same: avoid her melee attacks, get behind her and start hacking away. Once you've dealt sufficient damage (when her HP is down to 25% or so) a giant shade will appear, interupting the duel.

(!) BOSS BATTLE (!)

Kaine, it turns out, isn't so bad after all: she'll help you kill the shade. Just don't expect her to be nice about it. This shade is a pretty easy kill: it has two attacks to watch out for. One is a shockwave attack--it raises an appendage and slams it down on the ground, releasing a massive shockwave you'll have to jump to avoid. The second attack is a scatter-shot ranged attack, which can either be blocked, evaded, or negated with dark blast magic attacks. I recommend keeping your distance from the shade so you can avoid its attacks, and damaging it with a constant stream of dark blast attacks. Eventually, a damage circle will appear on the shade's left leg. Break it, and the shade will retreat up the face of the cliff and spew a bunch of very odd, spherical quasi-shades onto the ground.

The spherical shade things are pretty useless. Kill them or ignore them, it doesn't much matter. Just keep using magic attacks on the big mother shade. Eventually, a damage circle will appear over her other leg: break it, and she'll come back down.

This third stage is identical to the first stage of the boss battle, only now the shade is enraged. The scattershot attack lasts much longer this time around, and involves a great many more magical projecticles, and the shockwave attack now unleashed multiple expanding waves as she pounds her fists onto the ground one after another. Keep attacking, and soon a damage circle will appear over the shade's head: break it to end the battle.

View the scenes with Kaine, and then depart the Aerie.

The Northern Plains

Once you enter the northern plains, you'll be asked to make a choice. You can either choose to go back to Popola to check in, or you can go straight home to see your daughter. What you pick here doesn't really effect anything other than where the map marker will appear. You can see either Popola or Yonah no matter whom you choose. Speaking to Popola first will yield a very, very small amount of additional narrative; speaking to Yonah first will move the story along just a little bit faster. Since you'll have to speak to Popola after seeing Yonah anyway, I'd recommend going home to speak to Yonah first.

The Seafront

The Village

Go home and speak to Yonah. It turns out she isn't feeling so well. Go to the library and speak to Popola: she'll tell you about a special fish that can be used to make a potent painkiller, and direct you toward the Seafront. To reach the Seafront, you'll need to exit the Village through the southern gate, which lies at the end of the market district. There are a number of quests in the market district that involve going to Seafront, so now might be a good time to get started if you haven't already.

The Southern Plains

Occasionally, a very large "boss" shade will spawn in this first area of the southern plains. If it does, you should avoid it--it's much stronger than you at the moment. That does not mean you cannot kill it, however. By now you should have access to the Dark Hand magic attack. This is what you need to use. Run up to the shade and circle around behind it. You'll want to stay directly behind the shade and pound him with dark hand attacks until he dies. It can be very time-consuming, but odds are most of his attacks can kill you in a single hit, so it's your only option.

Soon after you enter the southern plains, you'll see a guard being attacked by a number of shades. Kill all the shades to save the guard and then speak to him. He'll give you the one-handed sword, Moonrise.

As per the usual, run around through the area gathering everything you can at all of the harvest points, and killing all the deer you find. Harvest them for venison, and the occasional antler. At the other end of the Southern Plains, you'll see a narrow path leading upward to a very creepy looking mansion. If you're short on cash, this area is a godsend. There is one giant spider lurking outside the gate to the mansion: knock it over with a dark hand attack, and then either keep using magic to attack it, or close in and chop it up with your sword. Watch out for it's wide-angle poison attacks. Kill it and harvest the corpse. Both the giant spider's common and rare drops can be sold for a good bit of money.

You can enter the gate to the mansion and go inside the yard. Everything turns black and white inside, which is rather odd, but just go with it. Use the same strategy on the three giant spiders inside the yard, and harvest their remains. You can't do anything more here, so head back down the path and keep moving south toward the port city of Seafront.

Seafront

There are no map icons in Seafront, so you'll have to figure out what to do all by yourself, which is what I recommend doing. There's some rather amusing dialog with Weiss. Eventually, Weiss will tell you exactly what to do if you ask him, or you can just listen to me. The man you need to speak to is the old fisherman, standing at the wharf looking out over the ocean, just beyond the fishmonger's stall. Speak to him, and he will give you a fishing pole and a lure.

Rather than simply give you a fish, the old fisherman decides to teach you how to fish. Ignore everything he says. It's rubbish. Refer to the fishing section in this FAQ for details. Anyway, once you've got your fishing gear, head toward Seafront's largest beach, now marked with one of those handy red Xs on your mini-map. Start fishing. If you catch the fish, great. If you fail to catch the fish, and keep failing, you'll trigger a brief cutscene that is somewhat less amusing than it was intended to be, and recieve the desired fish automatically.

On your way back to the city, you wil be accosted by an elderly woman. Speak to her to start a chain of sidequests to solve the "mystery" of Seafront. She wants you to pick up her mail, so run on over to the Seafront post office. Speak with the postman and he'll give you a letter for the old woman, as well as a letter for Popola back in the village. Remember, you can read any letter you recieve, even after you give it away, through the documents section of the main menu. Anyway, go back to the beach: the crone is no longer there. Take the other path through the cave up to the lighthouse. Go inside the lighthouse and start climbing. When you find the old bat, giver her the mail she so politely asked you to fetch. When you're done, you can leave Seafront through the exit in the north.

The Southern Plains

Same as before, there's not exactly a lot to do here. Kill the giant spiders if you feel like it, and don't forget to collect whatever you can from any harvest points that you see.

The Village

Go straight to your house and give the fish medicine to Yonah. Apparently, it works wonders. The following morning, head straight to the library to speak with Popola. She'll tell you to go and check out the Aerie again, but wants you to upgrade your weapon before you do. First, go to the tavern in the market district and talk to Devola. If you're short on cash, now's the time to start doing some sidequests. After you leave the tavern, head for the northern gate--it's off the the Junk Heap to upgrade your sword.

The Junk Heap

The Northern Plains

Head to the northwest area of the plains. Climb down the cliffs to the waterfall pond--that's the iron bridge you need to climb up. The wooden scaffolding on the side of the bridge has a number of ladders, so get climbing! If you're low on medicinal herbs, all of the boxes on the wooden platforms contain some, so stock up.

Once you're on top of the bridge, follow it north to the chain link fence. Go inside to enter the outer grounds of the Junk Heap. There's a hut surrounded by pipes to your immediate left--go inside and speak with the two brothers. They'll agree to upgrade your weapon, but they don't have the material they need. They'll send you deep into the Junk Heap in order to scavenge up three pieces of titanium.

The Junk Heap

You'll only have access to the first floor of the Junk Heap for now. Titanium is a rare drop, and only falls from the robots with the red lights on their heads. You may have to exit and re-enter the Junk Heap a couple of times to collect everything you need, depending on how lucky you are. The first floor is pretty straightforward, but there's a blue block very early on that you'll have to move to the end of the corridor in order to jump up onto the ledge. Anyway, once you've collected three titanium alloys go back to the forge and speak with Gideon. He'll upgrade your Nameless Blade, and then send you back inside the Junk Heap to look for his mother.

This time you can access the elevators. The second elevator goes up to the second floor--there's really nothing there, but the robots that mob you can be useful for item-farming. The elevator you need to take is the very first one you see--just before the blue block. Take it down to the first basement level and fight your way past all of the robots until you get to a room with a turret that pops up out of the floor. After you destroy the turret, the doors will open, but your path is blocked by some wreckage! Examine the point of the floor where the turret was. A bomb should appear there very soon: toss the bomb at the wreckage to clear your route forward.

You'll come to a mine-cart. Jump inside and examine it to begin a simple rail-shooting experience. Use your dark blasts to kill all of the enemies that swarm around you. You can move forward to speed up the cart, and move backward to slow it down. Try to take care of every single enemy here, they make for good XP farming.

After getting off the mine cart, make your way to the robot ambush room. Kill all of the robots and both turrets. The way forward looks a bit tricky: you've got two doorways blocked by debris, and a chasm to get pass through. Use one bomb to blow up the immediate wreckage and toss another at the far wall to clear that path, too. Now you'll have to leap over the chasm. You'll have to double-jump carefully to land on the other side, but it's not too difficult.

Save at the mailbox and break open the boxes for some medicinal herbs. You can go back the way you came if you feel you're not quite ready: run forward onto the large circular platform to trigger a boss battle.

(!) BOSS BATTLE (!)

This giant robot is all head and hands. You won't be able to damage it for a while, so just sit tight. The boss will attack you with it's hands, by way of very slow moving lasers. Dodge the laser attacks and wait for one of the hands to "detach" from the head and hover just over your head. Now's your time to act! Run away from the hand's shadow, toward the edge of the palm. That way, you'll have time to escape before it slams down. If you run toward the shadow of the fingers or thumb, you'll be crushed. Once you've avoided the the giant metal slap, turn about and attack. I recommend using Dark Hand magic attacks, as they deal the most damage. The hand will retreat, and the next one will move toward you. Repeat the tactic. After the second hand retreats, the boss will go back to using slow-moving lasers. Just keep on doing what you've been doing. Once both hands have been destroyed, you'll trigger the second phase of the boss fight.

The head will retreat and try to deal with you by sending wave after wave or robots at you. These are the same guys you've been fighting in the Junk Heap, so they shouldn't be any trouble at all. Once all the robots are dead, several turrets will pop up around the peripherary of the platform. Destroy them all to trigger the third and final stage of the boss fight.

This bit is fairly simple: the boss will shoot a barrage of missiles from its eyes. You need to focus on avoiding those missiles. When all of the missiles are spent, the boss will lower its head and attack you with a mouth-laser. Grab a bomb from the spot where one of the turrets was, and lob it into the robot's mouth without getting hit by the laser. The boss will take damage, and raise up to fire more volleys of missiles out of its eyes. Keep dodging the missiles and tossing bombs in its mouth until it is destroyed. Once the boss is dead, you'll obetain the sealed verse, Dark Gluttony.

Now, move across the only bridge and through the door for a short scene. Examine the corpse on the floor, and you'll be transported back to the two brothers' shop. Speak to Gideon, and either tell him the truth or lie to him--it doesn't really effect anything. Exit the shop for a small scene. Now, leave for the Northern Plains. The next time you visit the Junk Heap (in Part 1 of the game) you'll be able to upgrade your weapons as you see fit.

The Aerie, Again

The Northern Plains

As soon as you climb down from the bridge, you'll be attacked by a mob of shades. Actually, there are a lot more shades pretty much everywhere in the plains now. Fight your way toward the Aerie. If you feel like it, kill the wild boar near the cliff again to harvest some of it's valuable, erm... fleshy bits. Prepare yourself for some major combat, and head into the Aerie.

The Aerie

Run into the clearing and help Kaine take care of all the smaller shades in the area. Once they're all dead, run through the tunnel, killing all of the shades that you encounter on the way. Examine the mailbox or not once you get to the village--you cannot save, either way. Run to the first large platform to trigger a scene and initiate the first half of a very cool boss fight.

(!) BOSS BATTLE (!)

The strategy here is the same as the last time you fought this bad mother. Attack the feet, and watch out for the shockwave attacks. Once you've dealt enough damage, a damage circle will appear over the boss's leg: destroy it to trigger an epic scene. Yeah, that's the kind of fight this is gonna be.

Cross the bridge to the other side of the canyon and climb down the ladder on the left. Move to the right side of the platform, killing all of the shades that appear in your way as you go, and then climb right back up another ladder. Cross the bridge to the Aerie's second large platform to begin the second phase of this boss battle.

This taime around, you need to focus on the boss' giant tail. Fire dark blast and dark lance magic attacks at it until a damage circle appears. It will fire off those odd little spherical shades at you, but for now you can safely ignore them. Destroy the damage circle to trigger another scene. Then cross the bridge to the web of platforms lining the far canyon wall.

This section is a bit like a 2D, sidscrolling shooter. The objective is fairly simple: move from the right side of the screen to the left side of the screen, killing all of the spherical shades with damage circle icons around them. Once all of those special shades are dead, another scene will trigger. Keep moving through the platforms, making your way up and to the left. Eventually you'll come to a bridge: cross it to get to the third and final large circular platform.

Once again, you need to focus your attacks on the boss' legs. Watch out for its double-shockwave attacks, and deal out as much damage as you can. When the damage circle appears, obliterate to trigger yet another short scene. Now, the boss is angry. You need to dish out as much damage as you can as quickly as you can. Be vary wary, here. This boss will try to ram you, and will temporarily encase in a magic shell rendering it immune to your attacks. Keep fighting and when you have suffficiently depleted its HP, the boss will collapse, a damage circle appearing over its head. Kill the boss to trigger a scene.

You're not done yet. Cross the bridge and make your way all the way back to the first platform, where Kaine is. Examine Kaine to trigger the final scene, and to earn the sealed verse, Dark Phantasm. Kaine will now join you. Exit the Aerie and make for the Northern Plains. Your new destination: the desert city of Facade.

Facade

The Northern Plains

To get to Facade, you've got a long journey ahead. First, you'll need to backtrack to the Village. Just before you enter, there'll be a short scene with Kaine.

The Village

The area around Facade can be rather rough, so now's a good time to take care of some sidequests, earn some money, and level up. If you haven't already bought the Beastbane from the weapon shop, now is the time to do so: you're going to want it. When you're ready, exit the Village through the eastern gate--the same way you went when you visited the Lost Shrine.

The Eastern Road

This time, you'll be taking the right branch of the path, toward the desert. There's a river right by the fork you can fish in, and plenty of harvest points in this area. It's a good idea to grab everything that you can. Then head south into the desert.

The Desert

The entrance to Facade lies straight ahead, but the dunes are littered with enemies. You will be attacked by some wolves: watch out, these beasts are far more aggressive than any of the shades you've seen. After you fought some off, a shade wolf will appear in the distance and all of the other wolves will run off. You're now mostly safe to head for Facade's gate, but there are still scorpion to look out for. Scorpions hide under the sand, but you can still spot them as a cloud of dust clinging to the ground.

There are a number of items to seen in the desert: the fountains, the graveyard, the docks and the sandstorm. But you can't do anything with any of those things yet, so just head straight for Facade. Once you reach the main gate, a scene will trigger and you will be transported inside the city.

Facade

Facade can seem a bit labyrinthine at first, but it's actually pretty easy to navigate. You need to go to the royal palace, located at the opposite end of the city. Simply hug the outer edge of the city and keep going until you get to the palace. You can speak to some of the locals if you like, but won't get anything for doing so save some extra dialog from Weiss. Once you get to the palace, examine the door. Then, you need to go all the way back to the exit.

Once you approach the exit, you will see a small masked child carrying a bowl of fruit. She trips and falls, spilling everything on the ground. Pick everything up, and then speak to her. Her name is Fyra and she volunteers to show you around the city. Follow Fyra but be careful not to block her path. When she stops, speak to her to continue the tour. Eventually you will be given the choice to skip the tour. Skipping the tour has no consequence, but I highly recommend that you complete the full tour yourself.

Once the tour is done, Fyra will run up the steps to the palace. Speak with her, and then talk to the royal advisor, who is standing right beside her. Unfortunately, it all seems like a big waste of time. Take the sand skiff with Fyra back to Facade's gate.

Fyra will stop once she reaches Kaine. Speak with Fyra to trigger a scene. Then, head to the gate. Examine the door, and then head back toward Kaine and speak with Fyra one more time. You now have a new destination: the Barren Temple. Exit Facade.

The Desert

When you leave Facade, Fyra will follow you, offering to guide you through the sandstorm. Follow her to the edge of the storm, and then speak to her. She will then happily trot right into the heart of the storm. You need to follow her, and stay close. You will be attacked by wolves: fight them off. Eventually, you will reach the entrance to the Barren Temple in the far north of the desert. Speak to Fyra one more time, and then procede inside.

The Barren Temple

The Barren Temple

The Barren Temple is divided into a series of trial rooms with simple puzzles that you must solve in order to procede deeper in. When you enter, move down and enter the door on your right to begin the first trial.

The First Trial

For the first trial, you are forbidden to jump. Here, you are presented with a simple maze. There are a number of movable blocks, and several cubed cannons. You need to move the blocks to block the cannons' fire. Remember, a single block can block two cannons that are next to each other. Make your way to the glowing block in the back of the room and destroy it to end the trial.

Go back into the main halway and approach the door to the second trial. This will trigger a dialog with someone else in the temple. Once the dialog is over, the seal over the door will disappear and you will be able to enter the second trial room.

The Second Trial

For the second trial, you are forbidden to stand still. Run and jump and make your way to the glowing cube as quickly as possible to destroy it and end the trial. If you stand still, for even a moment, you will fail the trial and be forced to start over.

Exit through the other door and make your way down the short, 2D platforming section. Enter the far door to begin the third trial.

The Third Trial

For the third trial, you are forbidden to use magic. There are three possible ways to defeat this trial. Either keep your guard up, and defend all the way through all the cannon fire; jump on top of the cannons and slowly walk over them; or my personal favorite, fight your way through. Just keep melee attacking to move forward, blocking after each combo. This is the fastest and easiest method to get to the other end of the room. Once you're there, destroy the glowing block to end the trial.

The Fourth Trial

For the fourth trial, you are forbidden to defend. The goal here is to move the blocks to block the cannons, and safely make a path to the far end of the room. You can do that, easily: simply start by moving the blocks on the right side, and finish with the blocks on the left side. An easier way? As soon as the trial starts, run toward the line of cube cannons on the left. Jump on top of them and run over to the glowing cube. Destroy the glowing cube to end the trial.

The Fifth Trial

For the fifth trial, you are forbidden to use magic. This trial looks like a mess, but it's pretty easy. Just jump on top of one of the cube cannons, and hop from block to block until you get to the glowing cube. Destroy the glowing cube to end the trial.

The Sixth Trial

For the sixth trial, you are forbidden to use melee. Another easy puzzle: use magic, either dark blast magic attacks or dark lance magic attacks to destroy all of the glowing cubes in the room. Once they're all gone, exit the room and make your way down the second 2D platforming level and enter the room for the seventh trial.

The Seventh Trial

For the seventh trial, you are forbidden to evade. Run across the open area and open the door at the end for a new trial. Finally, a man's puzzle! You shouldn't have been evading before, either--only cowards evade. Simply kill all of the shades, and then take care of the sub-boss that appears when they've been dealt with. Once everything's dead, congratulations! You've passed the seventh and final trial.

The Barren Temple

Exit the seventh trial room and head down the narrow corridor to your left. Run out across the bridge and enter the large door at the other end. Save at the mailbox. When you're ready for a fight, head down the stairs into the main chamber to face the boss.

(!) BOSS BATTLE (!)

This is a pretty odd boss. The first section has you face off against several circles of spinning cubes, piled on top of each other. Certain cubes will glow pink: destroy those cubes. When all of a circle's glowing cubes have been destroyed, that circle will collpase. Once all four circles have fallen into the ravine, there will be a short and the second stage will begin.

Your immediate focus is simple to avoid the boss' attacks. It's fairly easy. It won't be long before another scene with Kaine starts up, and the boss begins attacking you in earnest. When the "fists" hit the ground, the blue cubes will turn pink, and be vulnerable to your attacks. When all four cubes on a hand are destroyed, the entire arm of the boss will fall down. I recommend using Dark Hand magic attacks, as those can destroy all four cubes with a single hit.

Once both arms are gone, the boss will reform into a series of concentric, rotating squares... with glowing pink cubes. Destroy the glowing cubes to destroy the square, while evading the boss' ranged attacks. It's really quite easy. Dark Lance magic attacks work very well, as they slow down time when you charge them. Once the boss is dead you'll be transported back to the palace in Facade.

Facade

Speak to the prince of Facade and he'll give you the one-handed sword, Rebirth. Speak to him a second time to learn about the Black Scrawl. Try to leave, and the prince will speak to you a third time. You will then obtain yet another sealed verse--Dark Wall. Now it's time to cross the desert once more and go back to the village.

Before you leave Facade, you can speak to the royal advisore outside the palace. He will grant you permission to use the sand-spout wells in the desert, which enable you to fast-travel across the sands. Very useful for the quest, "Fragile Delivery 3." Also, if you speak to the guard on the right side of the palace, you will obtain a compass that allows you to better navigate through the sandstorm in the desert's north.

The Desert

There'll be a lot more enemies out in the desert this time around, so be careful. You can now venture into the sandstorm, should you choose to do so. When you're done dinking around, make for the Eastern Road.

The Eastern Road

Same as every time you enter the eastern road: kill all the animals, grab all the lizards, and harvest all the harvest points. This area is perfect for gathering some of the rarer materials, like iron ore, silver ore, and gold ore. When you're ready grab the next sealed verse, enter the Village.

The Forest of Myth

The Village

Go straight to your home. Head upstairs and speak with Yonah. Tell her that you will spend the night. While you sleep, you will experience a very odd dream. When you wake up, go upstairs and speak with Yonah again. Now, leave your home and head for the library. Speak with Popola and she well tell you about the Forest of Myth. When you're ready, exit the Village through the northern gate. We're approaching the end of the first half of the game, so now would be a good time to take care of any sidequests that you may have put off.

The Northern Plains

The entrance to the forest of myth lies in the far, northwestern corner of the northern plains. You won't be able to ride a boar there, so get ready for a long walk. Kill the shades or flee from them, and follow the path to the Forest of Myth.

The Forest of Myth

There are only three people in the Forest of Myth. The first person you see. sitting down, is the mayor. Speak with him and enter his dream. I recommend not pursuing the Forest of Myth while tired. This part of the game is something of a text-adventure, and if you're exhausted or impatient you won't be able to fully appreciate it.

The Mayor's Dream

Read the text. Eventually, you will be asked three riddles. They're all extremely simple, but I'll tell you the answers just in case. For the first riddle, reply, "the answer is...a secret." For the second riddle, reply, "Sunlight." For the third and final riddle, reply, "a man." You will then exit the mayor's dream. He will give you the Sealed Verse, Dark Execution. Now, head for the next villager to save her from the deathdream.

The Woman's Dream

Again, focus on reading the text. When it comes time to escape the flooding castle, you'll want to be heading north and east whenever possible. If you make a wrong turn, you can back track, but if you take too long you will fail and have to start over from the begining. When you've left the dream, go and speak to the third and final villager to enter his deathdream.

The Man's Dream

Read through the story. It's all very interesting, no? At the end, you will be provided with a single riddle. It's a good bit more challenging than the others ones, but it's a classic, so you've probably heard it before. Just in case, the answer is, "the real one is Beta." You will then exit the man's dream.

The Forest of Myth

Go back to the Mayor and speak with him. He will then give you what I, personally, feel to be the best weapon in the game--the katana, Faith. It's got a wide attack range, is fairly strong, and looks just plain awesome. Anyway, when you're done head back to the Village.

The Northern Plains

You can ride a bull this time. If you care about trophies or achievements, there's one for riding a boar for at least 5 minutes. This is usually a pain because shades infest the plains and have a bad habit of knocking you off. If you get on the boar right here, outside the forest of myth, you can sit there in safety. Wait five minutes, and that trophy/achievement is yours.

Anyway, now's a great time to upgrade your weapons because the shades you'll be facing soon are quite, quite strong--and you're going to want all the power you can get. So either stop at the Junk Heap or, if your're confident enough, just go right on back to the Village.

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