It’s not secret that Nier Replicant on a whole is something of an acquired taste, but the game’s side quests are in a league of their own. Video games side quests have a bad habit of often being mundane or repetitive, a fact Nier Replicant outright weaponizes in order to seemingly taunt the player. Some side quests seem to exist solely to waste your time, but that’s part of the experience with Nier Replicant. This is an apocalyptic world where everyone’s just trying to get by.
Not everyone in Nier Replicant has your best interests in mind and The Runaway Son is ample proof of that. A Village side quest that can be triggered right before the time skip halfway through, The Runaway Son tasks Nier with tracking down a father’s missing boy so that they can run the family business together. What initially seems like a simple side quest quickly spirals into one of Nier’s most chaotic. Sending you back and forth all over the world for a reward that might not even pay off, The Runaway Son is exemplary of Nier Replicant’s side quest design at its core – for better or worse.
The Runaway Son can be triggered as soon as you get back to the Village after completing The Barren Temple as part of the Facade storyline. The man right across from the weapon shop will task you with tracking down his son who wears a large, easily identifiable hat. Exit towards the Southern Gate and start making your way to Seafront.
At Seafront, make your way to the Post Office, but keep past it towards the courtyard. The Runaway Son will be wearing a tall red hat by the tree. Speak to him and he’ll agree to go back home, but only after you help him thank the local tavern owner for hosting him. The Runaway Son will tell you to find 5 Mutton and 3 Goat Meat.
Thanking The Tavern Owner
It’s time to track down some ingredients. To find Mutton, head to the Northern Plains and start killing the dozens of Sheep in your path. Mutton drops rather frequently, so you should be able to find five pieces in no time (if you don’t have them already). While Goats also graze in the Northern Plains, they’re more easily farmed on the Eastern Road near the Lost Shrine.
Goats drop Goat Meat far more often than they do Goat Hide, so you could realistically find all three pieces in one run of the Eastern Road. Once all the ingredients have been collected, return to the Village, exit towards the Southern Gate, and return to Seafront. Go deliver the food at the tavern to discover that the Runaway Son never so much as met the tavern owner.
Searching For Clues
Get ready to do some serious walking. From Seafront, go all the way back to the Village and speak with the Runaway Son’s father. You’ll be sent right back to Seafront to look for clues where a guard near the entrance will direct you all the way to Facade. Once you make it back to the Village, exit towards the Eastern Gate and follow the path forward into the Desert.
Start investigating Facade by speaking to anyone with a side quest bubble above their head. After exhausting all the dialogue, you’ll learn that the Runaway Son is now living in town. His home can be found in the southwest living quarters. Examine his front door above the weapon shop and he’ll slip into the Desert.
Bringing The Son Home
The Runaway Son will be ambushed by wolves as you follow him into the Desert, but they’re easy enough to kill. Once all the wolves are dead, speak to the Runaway Son one last time to teach him the error of his ways and send him home. Now return all the way back to the Village to learn the horrible truth of your endeavors.
Neither the father or son are home. Worse, a guard comes by to reveal that they’re both actually swindlers who borrowed money from everyone in the Village before skipping town – something they’ve apparently been doing to other settlements. In a game full of cruel narrative twists, The Runaway Son is Nier Replicant’s meanest trick on the player. The Runaway Son was found after much effort, but you get absolutely nothing for your troubles.
Next: Nier Replicant Complete Guide And Walkthrough
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