The purpose of this document is to serve as companion to the book Grimoire Nier. This book contains extensive background info on the world of Nier and many short stories. However, this book is only available in Japanese. Many Japanese speaking fans of the game on the GameFAQs message board have been translating different sections of the book and we are trying to collect all of them here.
Please be advised that some of these stories contain mature themes relating to violence and sexuality. It should already be obvious but this document contains major spoilers. If you have not completed at least endings A and B yet you should stop reading now. This document also contains some spoilers for the game Drakengard on the Playstation 2.
In 2003 Cavia released Drakengard, an action RPG for Playstation 2. This game received decent reviews and it became something of a cult classic due to its incredibly dark storyline and foreboding atmosphere. In Drakengard you play the role of Caim, a young prince whose kingdom was destroyed by an evil Empire. Wounded and near death, Caim meets Angelus, a red dragon. They decide that the only way for the two of them to survive is to form a pact. As a result Caim loses his voice. They go on to try to destroy the Empire and save Caim's sister Furiae. The game has 5 endings. The first ending, ending A is thought to be the canonical ending and led to a sequel, Drakengard 2. Ending E leads the world of Nier. In ending E, Caim, Angelus, and the giant queen are teleported to modern day Tokyo. The player then has to complete a notoriously difficult minigame to defeat the giant queen. After defeating the queen, they are shot down and killed by Japanese fighter jets.
Now the story of Nier takes over. The appearance of the dragon causes people to be infected by an unknown disease which spreads and leads to the end of civilization. The game takes place about a thousand years after these events, in a post-apocalyptic world.
There are 2 versions of Nier. They are "Nier Replicant" and "Nier Gestalt". In Gestalt, you are an older man trying to save your daughter Yonah from the Black Scrawl virus. In Replicant, you are a younger man trying to save your sister. Nier was developed by Cavia and released in 2010. In Japan, "Nier Gestalt" was released on the Xbox 360 and "Nier Replicant" was released on Playstation 3. America and Europe only got the Gestalt version which was simply titled "Nier" on both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. Aside from the main character and his relationship to Yonah, both games are identical.
Translated by Defade
Debriefed on the project. It’s a highly classified case. No room for rejection.
Extremely unwilling. In the first place, what the hell do they want a particle physics specialist like me to do?
Saw the object assumed to be the cause for the incident. It must be some kind of bad joke. Who would believe that a ‘dragon’ and ‘giant’ fell on Shinjuku? However, it’s true that the substance’s energy characteristics are abnormal. The plan was to begin detailed investigations tomorrow. Now I get why I’m called to this project.
The food here is really bad. It’s like they were trying to make do by stuffing tons of NSG into it.
Well, it’s free, so I can’t really complain that much. But I really wish they’d improve, if only for the sake of keeping researchers motivated.
Another victim of the rare disease appeared in the department. I heard bad rumors about this. Something about the researched particle being the cause. It’s true that the substance is shrouded in mysteries. I’m sure some people would buy that.
I’m worried that the research will be delayed.
Contacted by Watanabe. There’s a high possibility that the particle is the cause of the rare disease after all. Direct contact was forbidden. Research is only going to get harder from now on. However, it’s pretty much confirmed that the particles which make up the giant change their energy levels according to the state of the observer. What on earth are they reacting to?
Variations in heat and brainwaves? Changes in the water amount in the atmosphere due to sweat? Some of them are saying that it’s reacting to changes in a person’s mental state, but
that’s just occult talk, not science.
To investigate the relationship between the mysterious disease and the particle, the corpse was moved into the research room. My first impression was that of a white statue. Similar to recordings of the giant that I’ve been shown. I thought it was turning white due to denatured proteins, but it was composed of purely NaCl – in other words, it’s turning into salt. It’s much higher than the amount in a human body, just where is it absorbing the sodium from? The victims are said to suffer from auditory hallucinations, so maybe the grey matter is getting destroyed first. Well, I’ll leave that part to the neuroscientists.
Tired today. Won’t they lessen the amount of useless report sessions and meetings. They’re a waste of time.
Contacted by Kobayashi. Succeeded in cultivating tissue D from the sea of origin. The density of particle G seems to be important after all. Now research on tissue D could proceed smoothly. But the vitality of tissue D is quite surprising. It’s rather resistant to heat and impact. Planning to perform experiments on its resistance on a grander scale.
No matter how much I look into it, the energy change accompanying the cultivation of tissue D defies the law of conservation of energy. It’s not even on a micro level like quantum physics – how could you explain the energy failure on such a macro level? I guess the remaining energy came from unknown particle G after all.
Seems like there was some sort of accident during the experiment on tissue D’s resistance. Are we being blocked off or what? I don’t get that much information these days. I feel like we’re doing too many rash experiments just to get some results.
Wonder what got the higher up’s knickers in a twist.
Christmas Eve. Ever since the accident, security level has been bumped up to red, so I can’t even leave. I told my husband to get a present for my daughter, so let’s hope he didn’t forget. However, a teddy bear might’ve been a bit too childish for her. Statistics dictate that girls in her age group like stuffed toys, but standard deviation for preferences is simply too big, so I can’t really put too much trust in that. I’ll ask her what she wants next time.
Rumors about black monsters are spreading. Mass hysteria due to stress from the recent state of affairs? Not only are absurd experiments being continued, security is abnormally tight. What exactly is going on? Is it related to how investigation reports on tissue D aren’t coming this way anymore?
I’m really not feeling so good recently. I guess I am pretty tired.
The recent mainstream law of conservation of energy expansion theory that sprung from the parallel dimension explanation works perfectly fine with calculations, but I can’t help but think it’s forcibly tacked on. Moreover, saying that the giant and dragon are from parallel worlds is sci-fi territory. As a scientist, I can’t accept this.
My ears are ringing.
I’m in really bad shape. There’s some buzzing in my ears that sounds like bells. It’s a hindrance to sleep.
so n ds
First part: 16
Second part: 21
First part: 157cm
Second part: 183cm
Single-handed swords, two-handed swords, spears, magic
A shade of silver close to white
Blue with a hint of gray
First part: 39
Second part: 44
Single-handed swords, two-handed swords, spears, magic
A shade of silver close to white
Blue with a hint of gray
First part: 7
Second part: 12
First part: 132cm
Second part: 160cm
Gray with a hint of blue
Two swords, magic
Silvery white with blue
Rod, magic(eyes of petrifaction)
Experimental weapon no.7
Maroon tinted with red
Gray tinted with aqua
Maroon tinted with red
Gray tinted with aqua
30cm long x 23 cm wide x 7cm thick
Magic, spiteful tongue
King of Facade
First part: 10
Second part: 15
First part: 130cm
Second part: 175cm
Silver tinted with red
Gray tinted with aqua
First part: 5
Second part: 10
First part: 135cm
Second part: 164cm
?(can’t be seen due to mask)
?(can’t be seen due to mask)
30cm long x 23 cm wide x 7cm thick
Single-handed sword, magic
Translated by Defade
Nier A.D. 2049 & A.D. 2053
CV: Okamoto Nobuhiko
A world where the mysterious epidemic “White Chlorination Syndrome” started to spread when the red dragon fell. Humans who are infected with this disease either die from chlorination, or become ferocious and attack other humans. The Japanese government feared the further spread of the strange disease, and brought a complete lockdown upon its source, Tokyo – Shinjuku. As a result of this, Shinjuku has been transformed into a district of death, in which Nier wanders with his only relative, Yonah.
When he ran out of food to give to Yonah and was left with no choice, purely by coincidence, he caught wind of the country’s “Salvation Support Plan” that provides food and medical care (a ruse to gather people. It was actually a human experimentation site designed to find the “original Gestalt”, who can keep his own consciousness even after going through the “Gestalt process”. Of course, Nier and Yonah didn’t know that). Along with Yonah, Nier headed towards the facility that provided support as a last resort. However, neither food nor medicine was given out at the facility, but mysterious books (clones of “Grimoire Noir” that forces humans who come in contact with it to become Gestalts), so he became suspicious of the support plan. When the surrounding crowd touched the books, becoming Gestalts and gradually transforming into “relapsed Gestalts”, Nier was sure that they were deceived, and ran away from the facility with Yonah. But they were discovered by a crowd of relapsed Gestalts while trying to hide in an abandoned super market, and the situation turned grim. In order to protect Yonah from the attacking relapsed Gestalts, he was forced into making a great choice…
Nier A.D. 3361 & A.D. 3465
CV: Okamoto Nobuhiko(part 1), Yusa Koji (part 2)
The protagonist who dotes upon Yonah, his only relative. To save Yonah, who was infected with the incurable “Black Scrawl Disease”, he embarks upon a journey in search of the “Sealed Verses” with Grimoire Weiss. He has a gentle and bright personality, but because he’s always thinking of Yonah, he often neglects other things in favor of her. He is very indifferent to his own feelings, and though he was gradually drawn to Kaine, whom he met during his travels, he remained oblivious of those feelings. In “NieR Replicant”, he is sixteen (the story takes place in A.D. 3465), and Yonah is his sister. In “NieR Gestalt”, he is thirty-eight (the story takes place in A.D. 3361), and Yonah is his daughter. In the planning stages, “the story of siblings” was the only idea, but taking into account the different markets for the platforms, “the story of a sturdy father fighting to protect her daughter” was born. Moreover, the character you control in the game is “Replicant Nier”, who was given the job of managing the body created from the data of “Gestalt Nier” (“Gestalt Nier”, who solely exists as a soul appears as the “Shadowlord” that takes away Yonah from him). The name “Nier” has no specific origin. Soul and body, the two existences that should be the closest to each other were torn apart and brought into conflict for their respective goals. It is nothing but irony that the protagonist was named a word that brings to mind “near”. Also, his name could be changed freely by the player. When you reach ending D and lose all of your “Memories(save data)”, you won’t be able to use the name you used in said memory(if your system data remains the same).
Gestalt Nier, who deeply loves Yonah, his only relative. Long time ago, he chose to go through the Gestalt process to protect Yonah, and became the first one to succeed at “keeping his own consciousness as a Gestalt” amongst countless experiments. That fact came to the attention of the “World Purification Organization”, the instigator of “Gestalt Project”, and they recognized him as a “stabilized case”, calling him the original Gestalt. They claimed that by “freezing Yonah’s body for 1000 years, they could stop her from relapsing”, and requested his provision of the “demonic element” (with the demonic element, people other than Nier could turn into Gestalts while keeping their consciousness and preventing themselves from relapsing) in exchange for putting Yonah into cold sleep. However, he realized that even after the promised 1000 years, there was no way of saving Yonah, and that the replicants somehow gained their own consciousness in between. This in turn induced his wrath, and he tried to forcibly return “Gestalt Yonah”’s soul to “Replicant Yonah”’s body and halt her relapsing.
CV: Nonaka Ai
Nier’s sister (daughter in “NieR Gestalt”). She touched Grimoire Noir by accident and turned into a Gestalt, and began to relapse. Because the soul, Gestalt Yonah, was kept in her near-relapsed state, Replicant Yonah who was made from her data will always get the black scrawl disease. The Shadowlord (Gestalt Nier) realized that Gestalt Yonah's relapse couldn’t be stopped, and planned to give his all to put her soul into Replicant Yonah. On the other hand, the androids who managed the replicants, Devola and Popola, observed that the amount of relapsed gestalts is increasing from the Shadowlord’s rampage. They used Replicant Nier, making him gather “Grimoire Weiss” and the “Sealed Verses”. This was to activate the system of Grimoire Noir and Grimoire Weiss before all gestalts relapsed. Through the energy released through the two books’ fusion, all gestalts should’ve been able to return to their replicant’s bodies safely. Her name comes from one of the old testament’s books, the “Book of Jonah”.
Devola & Popola
CV: Shiraishi Ryouko
A pair of twins who are the central figures in Nier’s village. Their true identities are androids made to provide support when the day has come for gestalts to return to the replicant’s vessels. They are tasked with extracting data from gestalts’ souls, making new replicants’ bodies, and returning a dead replicant’s data to its gestalt. They managed the replicants for over 1000 years, but due to the Shadowlord’s (Gestalt Nier) rampage, they decided to execute a plan to forcibly return gestalt souls to replicant bodies. This is a direction programmed in them by the World Purification Organization 1300 years ago. Because they’re androids, they don’t have feelings, just like replicants. However, through a long period of time, replicants somehow gained the same feelings as those of a human, and began to adopt a lifestyle similar to them. While watching over those replicants, they gained feelings of “envy”, and they began to become similar to humans. However, they did not realize their newfound feelings until one second away from being slain by replicant Nier. Their names come from the weapon “Devolapopola” in “Drag-on-Dragoon”.
The “Sealed Book” that contrasts with Grimoire Noir, it was made as the one with the key to the Gestalt Project. It can understand human language because a human’s gestalt was put into the vessel that is Grimoire Weiss. It was programmed to give off great power when it fused with Grimoire Noir after gaining the “Sealed Verses”. In the Gestalt Project, that power was supposed to be used to forcibly drag all gestalts’ souls into their replicant bodies. However, when it awakened in the Lost Shrine, its memories were a mess due to replicant Nier’s violent method of waking it up. As a result of that, it ignored the Shadowlord, Devola & Popola who wished for the fusion between replicants and gestalts, along with Grimoire Noir, who wanted to fuse. It became the comrade of replicants. Also, because Grimoire Weiss is surrounded by high-level magic, it’ll be fine even when splashed with water. If its surrounding decorations were taken off, it’s possible to wash it whole. Its name comes from the German word Weiss (white).
CV: Tachiki Fumihiko
The sealed book opposite Grimoire Weiss, it made a contract with the leader of gestalts, the Shadowlord (Gestalt Nier), and tried to fuse with Grimoire Weiss in order to return the gestalts’ souls to replicants. Like Grimoire Weiss, it’s also a book infused with a human’s gestalt. Its name came from the French word Noir (black).
CV: Tanaka Atsuko
The heroine. As a response to the harassment she received in her childhood for being a hermaphrodite, she had taken a liking to clothes that emphasize feminine characteristics. She holds both love and respect for her grandmother Curly, who accepted her and treated her as a woman. Her crude speech and action were both due to the influence of Curly. Her grandmother was killed mercilessly by a Shade, and Kaine herself bore a life-threatening injury back then. When half of her body was taken over by the Shade “Tyrann”, she became a “Shade-possessed” and gained humanly impossible battle power and the ability to hear the voices of Shades(humans who went through the Gestalt proccess). By becoming possessed, Kaine suffered even more persecution and lived only to exact her revenge even if it means using the powers of a Shade. However, influenced by her meeting with Nier (replicant Nier), who lived an upright life even under excruciating circumstances, her heart began to change. After exacting her revenge, she took up her sword for the sake of her comrade, Nier. When they first met, she only treated Nier as her traveling companion, but after reviving from petrifaction, she gradually began to recognize him as a male. By the way, she’s a hermaphrodite because a female development staff from Cavia commented “How about we make the heroine into a male…” to director Yokoo. The kanji of her name was meant to be “壊音”(broken sound). It doesn’t really have a specific origin, and is probably a development staff’s made-up language. For Kaine, who can hear “the voice of the Shades’ souls”, does their dying breath sound “broken”? Maybe she can even hear the “sound of herself breaking".
CV: Morikubo Shoutarou
The gestalt of someone other than Kaine, who shares her body. He feels at home in Kaine’s trauma-filled heart, and planned to take over her body in her moment of weakness. When Kaine suffered a life-threatening wound, he managed to take over her body successfully for once, but was forced to give it up through the combined efforts of Nier (replicant Nier) and Emil. Touched by Kaine’s heart wavering between hatred for Shades and love for Nier, he began to take interest in replicants even as a gestalt. If Tyrann managed to take over Kaine’s body – not his own replicant – the “Gestalt Project” might possibly move towards a new direction. Also, his name “Tyrann” means “tyrant” in German.
CV: Yokoo Mari
Kaine’s grandmother. She has a crude and violent personality, but loves and cares for Kaine from the bottom of her heart, trying her best to protect Kaine. She made Kaine wear feminine clothes, gave her the hard to obtain flower, the legendary “Lunar Tear” as a hair decoration and showered her with love. She died from being trampled by a Shade right in front of Kaine’s eyes. Her name comes from the orphan that lives with "Peter Pan".
Translated by Defade
Emil, Experimental Weapon No. 7
CV: Kadowaki Mai
“Project Snow White” – to create weapons in opposition to “Legions” that have become ferocious due to the White Chlorination Syndrome. He is the 7th body born from human experimentation. The greatest amount of power has been given to “Experimental Weapon No. 6” already, and for restraint, Emil was given “eyes of stone” that could petrify even No. 6. However, he could not control the sheer amount of power, and would petrify all that he sees. To stop that from happening, he began to seal his eyes with a blindfold and live with his eyes closed. He used to be reproachful of himself for having special powers, but gives unconditional trust to Nier (replicant Nier) and Kaine, who accepted him without hesitation. Especially towards Nier, for whom he harbors feelings close to ‘love’, however, Nier himself did not realize that. His feelings did not go unnoticed by Kaine though, who also harbored similar feelings towards Nier, and this became one of the many factors troubling her (Emil wasn’t aware of that). After assimilating with No. 6, he gained even greater magical prowess and the ability to control petrifaction, but his appearance is now that of an ugly skeleton. He also attained incredible vitality, as he could survive even as a head. Emil’s name comes from “Ludwig Emil Grimm” (the younger brother of the Grimm Brothers). He was named in connection to “Snow White”. (In early development stages, he was named even more directly as “Snow”)
Halua, Experimental Weapon No.6
Emil’s older sister. A beautiful young girl that shares many similarities with Emil, she loves to dote on her little brother. At a certain facility, her body was converted and transformed into the strongest weapon “Experimental Weapon No. 6”. However, because her human heart was still left intact even after the remodeling, she went berserk. Her powerful magic could not be controlled by the researchers. As a result, her brother Emil was remodeled to keep a watch on her. In the end, she understood Emil’s desire, and disappeared after entrusting her power to him. Her name comes from a confectionary much liked throughout the Middle Eastern countries. Also, in the early development stages, there were plans of her being a party member instead of Emil.
Prince of Façade
King of Façade
CV: Ayasato Maru/Shigematsu Yousuke
The leader of the “Façade” who follow a set of “rules”. To regain the country’s lost trust as a result of his predecessor dying from Black Scrawl Disease, he entered the Barren Temple to obtain the proof of kingship, a “mask”. There he met with Nier (replicant Nier), who came to save him, and they cultured a solid friendship. Though rules offer important order, he instinctively understood that he cannot proceed if he was bound by them. During his wedding with his childhood friend, Fyra, she was killed by the wolves, and he attacked the wolf pack with Nier and others. He accomplished his revenge. He feels deeply grateful towards Nier, who often put his life on the line for him, and brought his subjects to battle with the Shades to save Nier when he was cornered in the Shadowlord’s Castle. Also, his real name is “Sechs”, the number 6 in German.
CV: Ayasato Maru
She was abandoned as a child due to the burn marks on her face, and set to work in the Façade. She follows the rule that doesn’t allow people without a family registrar to talk, and communicates in body language with the people in town. When she was young, she was once saved from the wolves by Kaine, and greatly respects Kaine as her savior. Also, she harbors straightforward feelings towards the prince of Façade, who called her his “first friend” and her wishes were granted when she was 15. She was to become the queen after marrying him. However, to protect the king from the wolves attacking in the middle of the wedding, she gave up her young life. Her name comes from “Vier”, the number 4 in German.
CV: Hayashi Masayori
An old soldier that accompanied the king of Façade and his predecessor, he is the king’s adviser. He’s almost a walking encyclopedia of the town’s “rules”, and the wild king of Façade often gave him many headaches. However, he acknowledges the king’s qualities, and often finds many choice words for him. The king of Façade also understands that, and gives his complete trust to the adviser. His real name is “Neun”, the number 9 in German.
The older brother in Junk Heap
“NieR RepliCant”: Jiminy
“NieR Gestalt”: Jakob
CV: Naruse Makoto
A steady young man that raises his younger brother at the foot of Junk Heap. Ever since his mother disappeared with her lover, he entered the Junk Heap to collect metals and robot parts, making a living by reinforcing weapons with them. Although he knew why his mother left and that she’s dead, he’s strong enough to keep up a brave front before his brother. Through his dealings with Nier(replicant Nier), he realized that he admired his mother even though she was terrible. In the end, he was caught beneath falling machines due to his brother’s mistake and died. Also, his name is different between the two gaming platforms. The name Jiminy comes from the character Jiminy Cricket in “Pinocchio”.
The younger brother in Junk Heap: Gideon
CV: Tamura Mutsumi
A young boy who lives with his brother in Junk Heap. For a long time, he behaved like a spoiled child in front of his brother, and would flaunt his status as a younger brother as an excuse for his selfish words and actions. However, after his mother disappeared, he became overtly dependent on his brother, so when he lost his brother through his own mistakes, his personality began to break down. He managed to keep his ego by making himself believe that the robot caused his brother’s death, and continued making strong weapons to exact his revenge on the robot. Also, he remembers ripping off his brother’s arm while trying to pull his corpse out of the debris, a memory that caused him much trauma. After that, he began injuring his own arm, eventually going overboard and requiring an artificial arm for his left arm. His name comes from the cat in the fairytale “Pinocchio”.
The mother of the brothers in Junk Heap: Blue
She ran away from her abusive ex-husband and began living with her children. However, she despised her harsh life, and would constantly abuse her own children. She didn’t have a job, didn’t take care of her own children and barely cooked for them, so the older brother became the main support of the family even back then. She met a man who made advances towards her, and abandoned her children in hopes of crossing the mountain and escaping. However, she was killed mercilessly by the defense system in the bowels of the mountain. Her name comes from “Pinocchio”, the Blue Fairy that gave life to Pinocchio.
The man who ran away with the mother: Carlo
The man who ran away with Blue, a woman who lived at the foot of Junk Heap. He tells Blue to abandon her children and head towards a new haven, maybe out of his young, reckless and ambitious personality. He has no love for Blue’s children. His name comes from Carlo Collodi, the author of “Pinocchio”.
The old woman in the lighthouse: Ursula
CV: Wada Michiru
An old woman who lives in the lighthouse in Seafront. She’s loud and stubborn, and behaves less than pleasantly most of the times, so the residents have learnt to avoid her. She made Nier (replicant Nier) run many errands for her and overworked him. However, even she would show expressions like that of an innocent young girl when talking of her husband who could not come back because he was injured in foreign countries. Actually, her husband is already dead, but she did not realize it. Due to her worry and anxiousness at her progressing Black Scrawl disease, she hoped to cross the sea and go to her husband, but she died without ever having that wish granted.
The postman: Hans
CV: Yasumoto Hiroki
A postman who takes his job seriously. He was worried about Ursula, who lived in the lighthouse alone without trying to gain understanding from anyone. He knew that his husband had already left this world, but could not bring himself to tell her that, and continued to deliver letters to her that he wrote under the pretense of her husband, never knowing whether he was doing the right thing or not. This fake and hypocritical action was a tradition passed on from his father’s generation, and Hans simply could not give up on it out of his own will. He possesses conflicting feelings of relief and regret at the old woman having passed away without knowing the truth. His name comes from the author of “The Little Mermaid”, Hans Christian Andersen.
The moonflower color change induced by one neighbor
Neighboring color and changes
The moonflower color changes induced by two neighbors of same color
Neighboring colors and changes
Translated by Defade
Hensel & Gretel
They’re the pair of Shades that guard “Grimoire Weiss” in the Lost Shrine. They hold great trust in each other, have very high self-esteem and take pride in their time spent guarding “Grimoire Weiss”. After Hensel was destroyed by Nier (replicant Nier), Gretel sunk into a period of madness, for a long time appearing to have lost its heart. However, it was touched by the gentleness of the small Shades, whom it once looked down due to its arrogance, and began to feel shame at how prideful they used to be. In the end, it acknowledged the small Shades as its comrades, and wished to become stronger to protect them. However, it was defeated along with the small Shades it was supposed to protect by Nier, who was looking for clues to the Shadowlord’s castle. Their names come from the Grimm fairytale “Hensel and Gretel”.
The Shade you fight at the Aerie. It killed Kaine’s grandmother mercilessly, and is the object of Kaine’s revenge, which she dearly wishes death upon. It’s an entity created from the aggregation of numerous gestalts. Due to its inflated ego, it takes joy in cruel acts like massacring replicants and tarnishing the memories of others. It has long lost its consciousness as one entity and went berserk. Its name comes from Captain Hook, a character from the fairytale “Peter Pan”.
The gigantic Shade you fight in your first visit to Aerie in years after Kaine’s revival. Like Hook, it’s also an aggregation of ‘gestalts’, but it has also absorbed the consciousness of the replicants, who were supposed to be no more than pseudo-personalities. Because of that, it no longer has reason or identity, and its words were a jumbled mess. It has transformed into a lump of hatred, spitting out curse-like words as it moves along. Its name comes from the heroine in “Peter Pan.”
CV: Kadowaki Mai
The huge defense system you battle in the depths of Junk Heap. It was once a system used in experiments testing the endurance of weapons and robots that were made in Junk Heap’s military factory. It has gone out of order after long years, and whenever it detects an intruder, it’ll activate its systems and begin the endurance experiment, regardless of whether the intruder is a gestalt or replicant…its name comes from Pinocchio’s father, the watchmaker Geppetto in the fairytale “the Adventures of Pinocchio”.
A child Shade chased into the Junk Heaps by a group of replicants on a Shade hunt. It’s still young, and has a straightforward and cute demeanor. Its mother loved him deeply, and became a decoy to let its escape, being killed by replicants in the process. After that, Cleo met P-33 in the depths of Junk Heap, and stayed with it. Its name comes from a goldfish named Cleo in “the Adventures of Pinocchio”.
CV: Yasumoto Hiroki
A security robot at Junk Heap that works faithfully according to its mission. After Geppetto’s destruction, it met Cleo in a coincidence after losing sight of its mission. It was taught many things and admired by Cleo, and sometime in between, “protecting Cleo” became its priority. Of course, it’s not used to dealing with kids, but despite its lack of skill, it tries its best to avoid hurting Cleo; the importance it places in Cleo could almost be called blind devotion. The P that goes before its type number 33 was taken from “the Adventures of Pinocchio” – the first letter of the main character, Pinocchio’s, name.
A strange tree that shows dreams of death to the inhabitants of a foggy and mysterious forest. Its true identity is a huge network computer that runs on demonic element, and it drops hints suggestively telling of truth. It’s working to keep the web of memories that has been torn apart following the destruction of the world. Its name comes from the fairytale “Sleeping Beauty”.
An entity that resides the deepest part of the Barren Temple in the desert. It’s in charge of testing whether a royal has the qualities of a king, and oversees the ritual of bestowing the king’s mask upon the fit. If a king dies, his mask is returned to it. Its method of attacking hints at the presence of an ego, perhaps a gestalt has possessed the statue? Its name comes from the king of Persia, Shahriyar, that appears in “the Arabian Nights”. It’s interesting how the name of a foolish king that takes on and executes numerous wives is used as the name of “one who chooses a king” in the game.
Leader of the wolves: Roc
The leader of the pack of wolves that take up residence in the desert. As one that gathers the wolves, it is a mixture of nobility and severity. 1300 years ago, the leader of wolves used to be a dog. It was raised by an old man, and underwent the gestalt process, gaining eternal life in the place of his owner. Due to its fond memories of the old man’s care, it wishes to live in peace without coming into conflict with the humanoid replicants. However, it understands that those replicants have deprived them of their habitat and killed many of their comrades. In the end, it realizes that they cannot coexist and leads its pack on a battle to end all battles with the replicants. Its name comes from the huge bird Roc that Sinbad meets in the “Arabian Nights”.
One of the sealed books, it sleeps within the depths of Emil’s mansion. A gestalt was sealed inside, granting it powerful magic. However, unlike Grimoire Weiss and Grimoire Noir, it was not programmed to be able to understand and converse in human language, and was limited to support those two books. Its name comes from the word for red in Latin, Rubrum.
The Knave of Hearts
An aggregation of many gestalts. It has lost anything that could be called a personality or ego, and has strong destructive urges. However, it remembers its given duty of “taking replicant Yonah to the Shadowlord (gestalt Nier)”. For that reason, it kept moving on towards the library in which Yonah is hiding, after reviving numerous times thanks to its overwhelming vitality. Its name comes from the card soldier that serves the Queen of Hearts in the fairytale “Alice in Wonderland”, the Knave of Hearts.
An aggregation borne from the fusion of gestalt babies and their parent. Because it’s not a fusion between relapsed gestalts, its reasoning capabilities and will are still intact. It burns with rage at Nier (replicant) and his companions that have mercilessly slaughtered its many friends. It revives after being killed uncountable times because of the huge number of gestalts being used in its fusion, and is definitely not immortal. Its name comes from “Mother Goose”.
Translated by Defade
 Facial sketch of his younger days. The idea of a hair band was present in the beginning.
 Short hair, and very little skin exposure.
 The princely figure of a young nobleman.
 What nobleman Nier looks like after growing up.
 A sketch with an in game screenshot in mind.
 Default sketch of Yonah. A pretty girl that gives off the image of light.
 Yonah with a stuffed toy.
 An eyecatch slipped on the title page of the settings.
 An eyecatch to reflect development progress ver.2.
 So cute it’s a sin.
 Compared with the finished product, her dress is made of better fabric.
 The idea of a sleeping beauty is present from the beginning. It might be possible for her to grow to Kaine proportions?
 Kaine’s image color used to be red or black. I never thought that she’d end up being called a ‘hussy’.
 Kaine with a dagger. Her hair design was kept pretty much the same.
 A huge contrast with . She hid her violent tendencies.
 Child Kaine. This was before she got possessed by Tyran.
 Default setting of no.7, who was called “Halua” at this stage. The information I got was “a nice character who supports Nier”.
 Sketch of no.7’s head, which looks more like a hard-boiled egg than a skull.
 Apparently, Halua was supposed to join your party(and become no.7).
 Emil was probably a character that was derived from this Halua.
 Close-fitting shirt and scarf…? Default sketch of Nier(Nier Gestalt) in very fashionable clothes.
 Sketch of Nier(Nier Gestalt)’s face. Long hair falling behind; a dark expression.
 Portrait of an older Nier.
 Portrait of young Nier. That’s when his hairstyle and clothing became very close to the finished product.
 A sketch of the Shadowlord completed at pretty much the same time as ’s Halua.
[66~70] Project plans made at the initial stages of “Nier Project”. The keywords from back then, “Love” “A world on its path to destruction” “Word system” were passed onto “Nier Gestalt” and “Nier Replicant”.
 Amongst the 13 volumes of grimoires, “Grimoire Weiss” already existed.*
 World map where you can see “the Aerie”, “the Forest of Myth” etc. The basic settings were kept consistent.
 “Nier” who began his battle after attaining the power of “Grimoire Endia”. Saving his sister from an incurable disease was a concept present back then.
 Half of her body was possessed by a Shade, so “Kaine” sealed herself in order to protect Nier. She was supposed to have “Grimoire Schwert”.
 Young “Nier”.
 The sorceress “Halua” who controls “Grimoire Magie”, she looks like a mix between human and pig. She was a young girl, took her present form in exchange for magic.
 “Humpty Dumpty”. The eighth book “Grimoire Axe”.
 “Henzel”. The third book “Grimoire Phantasm”. It’s good at doing combination attacks with another giant “Gretel”, and this setting stayed in the finished product.
 “Dorothy”. Closes in upon children with a smile and devours their souls. The twelfth book “Grimoire Virga”.
 The users of “Grimoire Endia” suffer the utmost torment physically, and pitch black darkness descends upon their minds. However, if they wish for power for their most beloved, they shall attain the power to change the world. Even if the same power guides the world to its destruction.
*The 13 books are sword, spear, phantasm, magic, bow, skill, axe, might, flight, wand, form, healing and white.
translated by DaBubba
*Chronology of "Project Gestalt" related events
Translated by Defade
"Project Gestalt" proceeded smoothly for the most part despite many unstable factors. However, its fatal flaw of "Gestalts relapsing", combined with a product of coincidence - "Replicants attaining self-awareness" ultimately decided its failure. Since the original Gestalt, Gestalt Nier died, all "Gestalts" will eventually relapse and die out. As a result, since the "Replicants" possess no reproductive abilities and need to copy the Gestalt's data to regenerate their bodies, they will die out within this generation. It is not known whether Replicant Nier, who slew Gestalt Nier, put the destruction of the world at his own hands and Yonah on a balance and intentionally chose the latter or not. However, as long as a new original Gestalt remains to be found, humanity will certainly become extinct in the near future.
GAK GAK GAK GAK
A man is sweating as he chips away at the iron ore.
Men's joyful singing fills the dark cave.
We are workers. We are miners.
Workers covered in dirt. Today we will mine for metal in high spirit too.
GAK GAK GAK GAK
VROOM VROOM VROOM VROOM
The sound of women working the furnace can be heard in refinery.
The sound of red hot iron sand taken from the furance.
We are worker. We are iron makers.
Workers who utilizes the wind. Today we will make iron in high spirit too.
VROOM VROOM VROOM VROOM
GAN GAN GAN GAN
The sound of hammering for the creation of a strong and powerful sword.
I am a swordsmith. A natural born swordsmith.
A swordsmith who controls steel.
GAN GAN GAN GAN
SLASH SLASH SLASH SLASH
The sound of flesh being slashed apart on the battlefield.
The sound of killing, killing whoever. The sound of killing people.
Can anyone help me. It hurts. It hurts.
Help me mother.
SLASH SLASH SLASH SLASH
All the money is gone because of the food inflation caused the war.
A lot of injured people helped me out at the church.
Yonah is slimming down. I want to get her something good to eat.
Some nice ladies were able to get some food.
They are homeless people like us, we can join any countries' salvation groups.
They decided to let me go with them as well. Yonah is looking very lively today.
The nice ladies were turned into black monsters from that book.
I ran in fear.
That old lady isn't human anymore.
The adults were all lying.
We can't get any money from them, nor could Yonah get any examination for her sickness.
This city is barricaded by the high walls and there is no way back out.
I shouldn't have come here.
It's very cold today. Summer is a lie. There is a white atmosphere.
I decided to lose the monster and hid in the supermarket.
We ate some left-over canned food, but those are gone too.
Yonah kept on coughing. I am getting a bad feeling.
Translated by Defade
The shield fastened to the wall gathered dust. The sword kept within its sheath rusted. I forgot skills that I no longer use. I left my trained body as it is. I lost my judging heart.
I thought that this could end without me telling anyone. I saw others’ violence, and pretended not to see. I gave up since I couldn’t change it anyways. I thought that I couldn’t go against great strength. I laughed at the hearts that believed.
I laughed at them for being worthless. That’s how I ran from everything. I gave up, thinking that it was impossible. Foolishness and ugliness brought me much lament. I lost my life’s meaning.
I lost sight of my treasured person. I could not keep believing in their gentleness. I could not save them from heart-tearing sorrow. I forgot the courage needed to protect mundane happiness. Because I thought, that these words will never reach.
Translated by Defade
Those people were scarily hardworking. They tore through forests and hunted animals though they had no need. They learned how to preserve food that they could not finish, and tried to unnecessarily save up money. However, there were none who questioned this. Because everyone was doing it.
Those people were scarily studious. They repeatedly did numerical calculations that had no application and predicted the future, repeating their arguments. They created numerous difficult languages, made tons of complicated machinery that they threw away right after. However, there were none who looked back. Because nobody realized.
Those people were scarily obedient. When the sun rises, they get up at the same time, put on the same clothes and began their work in a stuffy room out of their own will. However, there were none who complained. Because they did not know what to do otherwise.
Those people who overworked themselves lost the forest and live on sands now. Those people who were too smart for their own good could only talk in a language that nobody else understood. Those people who behaved too well could not defy the laws that were continuously made, and lived surrounded by tens and thousands of laws.
Translated by Defade
Once upon a time there were three brothers in a kingdom. The youngest of the three was a lazy person who slept through his days. But the youngest brother had a cheerful demeanor, so he was liked by everyone.
Even when an epidemic broke out in the country, the youngest brother merely hummed to himself while lazing about the palace. But the people in the city found healing in his cheery voice so they praised him. That person is amazing. He really is.
Even when the country was involved in war, the youngest brother merely talked about things past while lazing about the palace. But the people in the city could forget the war with his anecdotes and comforted each other. That person is wonderful really wonderful.
One day the youngest brother was lazing about the palace again. But today he could not hear the voices of the people in the city. While lazing about, the youngest brother continued thinking…idle, “Why?” idle, “Why?” idle, “Why?” But he eventually became sleepy. In a country where everyone had died from sickness and war, only snores resounded throughout the palace today. This is a happy kingdom. A happy kingdom. A happy kingdom. A happy kingdom. A happy kingdom. A happy kingdom.
Translated by Defade
Once upon a time there were three brothers in a kingdom. The eldest of the three was the ruling king of the country. The king was very cruel and feared by everyone.
The king chose a sacrifice from the people every day and executed them. Today he decapitated a mother in front of her family. The mother’s head rolled about three times, and fell beside her killed son’s head. Oh my, how unfortunate. The king saw that and laughed. A disgusting laugh. “Gehehe…”
One day, the king became sick. It was a disease that made his body rot while he was alive. Dragging his rotting body along, the king continued his executions. His advisors did not defy him, and continued executions day after day after day after day.
Finally the king rotted and died while giving off a very disgusting smell the king rotted and died but the advisors continued the executions in front of the king and killed them every day the rotten king and the rotten advisors and the rotten people and the rottenrottenyour
Translated by Defade
Once upon a time there were three brothers in a kingdom. The second of the three was a mighty general leading the army. The army was very violent and feared by everyone.
The general loved wars. He liked seeing burning cities and rolling corpses. The general dedicated his life not to conquer, but to destroy. Soldiers trained like machines destroyed alllllllllllllll the villages and cities and countries for the general. The might general saw that and laughed. A vulgar laugh. “Guhuhuhu…”
The army marched on. They destroyed the winter country, the eastern country, the southern country indiscriminately. Obeying the absolute orders of the mighty general, for yeaaaaaaaaaaaars and years they killed and killed and killed and killed and killed and killed and killed.
Eventually the army reached a certain country. They pierced the people in the city the armies the princess the prince with their spears and killed them. In the end a general begged for his life while crying but he was killed right away. The general’s face seemed familiar. The soldiers tried to remember, but the general’s daughter appeared and they were absorbed in killing her, and did not think about it again.
Translated by Defade
In a country near the border, there was a warrior who did not fear death. His formidable body was so sturdy that even arrows could not seem to pierce them. Because of that, the warrior constantly threw himself in the midst of the battlefield.
Once, a beautiful bird appeared in the warrior’s dreams. The bird praised the brave and fierce warrior, and whispered to him that it could fulfill one of two wishes – “end the war and make the world into a peaceful one” or “attain immortality”. The warrior wanted “immortality”.
Ever since then, the warrior in battle became a sight to behold. He cut down enemies like grass, and no matter how many arrows have been shot at him, no matter how many swords he’s been showered in, he remained perfectly fine and continued to cut open a path in the enemies. The king bestowed numerous titles and praise upon the warrior, and the warrior thought that his glorious days will continue until the ends of time.
However the war did not end, and the border country eventually came to destruction. The flames of battle expanded and wrought devastation to nearby areas. Trees and grass withered; the people died out, and eventually, there was no one who knew of the warrior anymore. No matter how much he starved himself, the warrior could not die. He dreamt of the beautiful bird again. He begged to die, but the bird answer that he couldn’t. It told the warrior that he could never die no matter what.
Translated by Defade
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.
Translated by Defade
A girl was engaged to a man who roamed the battlefields. The girl held her belief, prayed in mornings, at noon, on evenings, and simply hoped that the man would remain safe and sound. Maybe her straightforward prayers did reach – one night, a brightly shining bird appeared in her dreams and left her with these words.
“The man shall return safe and sound.” At the bird’s whispered words, the faithful girl cried in joy. “However,” the brightly shining bird continued in its beautiful voice. “His heart won’t return.”
Eventually, the man came back alive, just as the bird predicted. With a plethora of scars across his formidable body. Eventually, the man did come back alive, just as the bird predicted. With a beautiful stranger at his side. Even then, the girl ran towards such a man, her heart filled with her love until this point.
The man was surprised and embraced the girl, however, he eventually fell down. Standing beside the fallen man was the girl, her right hand grasping a blood-stained dagger, her left hand holding what resembled a red-black ripened fruit – the man’s heart. His heart shall never wander again. Standing in the pool of blood, the girl kissed the man’s heart with an expression of utmost fulfillment and intoxicated happiness, and gave a prayer of thanks.
Translated by Defade
The girl had two huge horns. They were just a bit above her ears, and they looked like those of a cow. I saw the root of her horn once, and it looked like something that grew out of her skull. Of course, only she was like that. Everyone else was normal. The kid with the horns was small when she was born. Ah, I meant her horns. Well of course. If she had those huge horns, she’s not gonna be able to come out of her mom’s belly.
You thought that she would be bullied, didn’t you? Then you’re completely wrong. That child was stronger than anyone in the village. There were no males that could win against that kid. She did all the work that required brute force, and whenever Shades attack the village, she’s always the first to fight them. More than that, everyone loved her – she was bright and strong.
But this Shade that attacked one day was strong. The village men were tossed around like rags, and half of them were dead. She with the horns fought as hard as she could, but even she exhausted her power. At last the Shade took her body and ripped her horns off. Her scream back then was really something. It was a sound that shook the ground. When everything settled down, I went out of my house and saw that both she and the Shade died. Both were bleeding from countless holes throughout their bodies. They…how should I put it…were
beautiful, like bright red flowers. Even though that’s a pretty insensitive comment.
That’s the answer to your first question. Why nobody in this village can hear anything. But I want you to know – none of us blame her. It’s much better than being dead. We confirmed with each other in the aftermath, but her last shout seemed to be “Goodbye”. I’m proud that the last sounds we ever heard were her words of parting. Really.
Translated by Defade
The beast lived in the depths of the caves. Huge horns. Steel-like body. Heated breath. The peace-loving villagers hated this monster that had a cow’s head and a human’s body. They were afraid. Somewhere down the road, the monster came to be known as “Minotaros of the Labyrinth”.
Belying its scary appearance, the monster was very gentle. It never killed other living beings, and took extra care to not step on flowers with its boneless toes. It lived inside the caves to reassure the villagers’ fear as best as it could.
One day, a girl wandered into the depths of the caves. The girl saw the monster and began screaming and crying, eventually losing consciousness due to fatigue. The monster was troubled. What should I do, what should I do. I have to send this child back to her village. Her father and mother must be worried…I have to send her back.
In the morning, two days after the girl’s disappearance, she was found unconscious in front of her worried family’s house. She suffered no wounds, and was merely sleeping. Her mother ran towards her, but let out a small scream at the sight of something. The monster’s corpse lay a little distance away. Its corpse was impaled by numerous swords, and blood splattered all over the place in a sinister manner. However, there were no signs indicating that it attacked the girl. Not only that, it seemed like it wanted her to be away from it. Almost as if it didn’t want to stain the girl with its blood. The monster curled up on itself and died, almost as if it didn’t want to scare the girl.
Translated by Defade
That woman was unbelievably dim-witted. She was unskilled, and would take three times as longer than the average person at doing anything. She walks slowly. Talks slowly. Blinks slowly, and can’t even accomplish the simple task of taking water from the well. Even when called “cow” by the children and laughed at, she could only laugh back. “Ehehe…”
That woman was unbelievably dull. Even when she fell and blood was spilled, she acted like nothing has happened. She dropped money all the time, but never tried to take them back. Even when someone badmouthed her right in front of her, it’d take her at least half a day to realize what happened. When the children saw the woman, they happily threw rocks at her.
That woman was unbelievably foolish. During the summer, when the village suffered from the sunlight, she disappeared somewhere by herself. All the children died from starvation. The villagers did not think about the escaping woman. After two days or so, rain fell upon the village and provided salvation, yet the woman did not come back. And 20 days after the woman ceased to return, a priest came to the village.
The priest held in his hand a spear with horns. The spear was sticky to grasp due to the oil. The spear was too heavy to hold and wasn’t practical to use. That spear could not pierce through anything when used. The priest forcibly left the spear to the villagers, but they found it creepy, and none came close to it. The spear was not used by anyone, and slumbers even now in the corner of the village.
Translated by Defade
I was saved from that entrapped despair.
I was able to abandon that cursed fate.
I was able to calm those wrath-filled flames.
That day of our meeting changed me.
I shall burn the ground to a crisp with my flames.
I shall sip blood with my fangs.
I shall tear apart thine enemies with my claws.
I shall soar through the sky with my wings.
If light was to be deprived of thine eyes.
If blood was to stain thine skin.
If thine sword is heavy.
If thine mouth can no longer speak.
Even if this body burns up.
Even if these words are taken away.
Until the ends of this contract.
Until I lose this warmth.
translated from chinese forums and blogs
This is a story about a sad prince. A story from long time ago set in a kingdom. A dark force attacked the kingdom. In a single night an army of red-eyed monster decimated the kingdom along with enough black dragons to cover up the sky. It’s been said that the King and Queen were disembowels in the royal city under the claws of the black dragon, and the entire place was a sea of blood. The Prince and the sister were able to escape, but the prince vowed to become a demon of vengeance after witnessing the disaster.
This is the story of a frightening Prince. A history of a war from very long ago. A cruel and murderous prince indulged himself in the violence of vengeance. He killed all fleeing enemy as if it was a matter of course. Some people have even seen the prince slashes the enemies’ bodies’ multiple times. Not even the commander could hold him back, as the prince threw himself into the cruel battlefields.
This is a story about an unfortunate prince. A story about a rocky and unfortunate path of fate. The next battlefield was where a goddess was to be protected. The prince slashed at the enemy, cut off their limbs, opened up their bowels, cut off their heads, and gouged out their eyes. He couldn’t even tell if the blood on him is his or the enemies’. The heavily wounded prince fell at last. The prince experienced excruciating pain as he lies in a puddle of blood. He looked up with blurry eyes, and saw the shape of a cursed dragon.
This is a story of a mad prince. A story from long ago about the encounter with a dragon. In fornt of the prince was a heavily injured red dragon. The prince wished to kill it. Even though the dragon wasn’t of the right color, their species was still responsible for his parent’s death. The dragon spoke as the prince raised his word. “I will let you live. We will exchange our soul, and I will give you power.” The Prince thought about it long and hard, and decided to enter into the contract with dragon. It didn’t matter what he’ll lost, it didn’t matter if it is a dragon, noting else mattered as long as he can wield his blade of vengeance. The only thing in the Prince’s heart was a pitch black desire.
Translated by Defade
Memoir 2003/06/12 at 15:00
A giant white humanoid weapon(referred to as “weapon” in the beginning but “giant” now) falls from the sky in Shinjuku, Tokyo, bringing a huge amount of casualties in the area. Also, at the same time, an organism bearing likeness to that of a red dragon(“dragon” from now on) appears and was seen to engage the “giant” in combat. However, the principles and effects of its attacks remain to be determined. An emergency cabinet is formed while the self-defense squad examined offensive methods against its targets.
Memoir 2003/06/12 at 16:00
The “giant” that battled with the “dragon” suddenly began to crumble. The cause remains unknown. The remaining “dragon” was shot down by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s 6th Air Wing, 303rd squadron. No records were made of who ordered an attack on the “dragon”. Also, the corpses of the “giant” and “dragon” were being collected, but even we could not get an official confirmation from the organization responsible for the collection.
First case of “White Chlorination Syndrome” confirmed in Tokyo Shinjuku.
More and more humans become vicious due to the “White Chlorination Syndrome”. The conflict worsens in polluted areas. While the reason still remains unknown, the infected are separated and the rioters neutralized. Main streets are blocked, and railroads are shut down, leading to the later lockdown of Shinjuku. At the same time, America offered military support unofficially, but the Japanese government remained on the fence about this issue. On one hand, research was being done within the government on the demonic element gained from the “giant” and “dragon”, as well as a counter to “White Chlorination Syndrome”, leading to the Gestalt Project 10 years later.
Translated by Defade
Ever since her birth, the girl has been told that she had a fiancée. She was brought up being taught how to be a proper wife, and at night, she offered prayers for her fiancée while facing the scenery outside her window. “Lord XX, I eagerly await the day of your arrival.”
Several other girls lived in the house that she lived in. They were all brought up being taught how to be proper wives, and at night, they offered prayers for their fiancées while facing the scenery outside their windows. “Lord XX, I eagerly await the day of your arrival.”
One day, the girls had an argument about whether or not the most brilliant of them will be the only one chosen by their fiancée. The girls stubbornly clung to their claim that they were best suited as a fiancée, and their caretaker spoke to them gently. “Don’t worry, you will all be Lord XX’s wives.” Hearing that, all the girls broke out into smiles.
On the day of the wedding, the girls were brought to a place with stone pavements that could be seen from their windows. One dagger was given to the girls. They were told that to meet their fiancée, they have to kill themselves right here. Hearing that, the girls fought for the dagger and committed suicide. Afterwards, a temple was built on where the girls died. The temple’s name was the name of their fiancée.
Translated by Defade
Deep inside the smelly museum, one old scholar sat in the dim archives. Before him was a box tightly sealed. He was told by the former owner, in no uncertain terms, to “Never open it”.
Apparently a fossil that sucks human blood was inside. How foolish. Who’d believe something like that in this time and age? You only believed in this superstition because you lived your life surrounded by books.
He opened the box. Dust flew wildly. There was one strangely shaped stone inside. Since it had a hilt, it might be an equipment for some kind of ceremony… or a weapon. Such a fascinating shape. I have to do more research on this.
Still, how foolish would you have to be to fear such a thing? Hehehe…the old scholar laughed while gouging out his left eye in front of the fossil.
Translated by Defade
There was a ceremony where fairies gather. It took place on the tenth night of full moon of the year. They gathered upon the bank of a lake beautifully lit by moonlight, and bragged to each other their vile acts in the past year.
One fairy bragged about how cruelly she killed a stubborn man. The best soldiers of a certain country had their bodies pulled apart by the fairy disguised as a prostitute. The fairy talked at length about how the men shed tears of regret without being able to put their sword skills to use, and her companions all sang cheerily.
The next fairy boasted of how sly and cunning she was. She first sunk a small boy in a swamp. His sister, who tried to save him, was sunk in the swamp as well. Just like that, his siblings, parents, relations - and even all of the villagers - sank into the swamp. The fairy recalled that scene, and she smiled while drooling.
The smallest fairy spoke up hesitantly. I think I’m the most amazing here. The small fairy was usually made fun of, and it took all of her strength just to talk. I pushed many life forms into the depths of terror! The surrounding fairies clutched their bellies and laughed. They only stopped laughing after ugly monsters came out from the pathway to the demonic realm that the small fairy opened and ate all of them.
Translated by Defade
The girl merely stared at the scene before her. On her side, numerous cuts littered her father’s body, and though dead, her mother was continuously raped by the soldiers. Her young brother who was born not long ago was thrown into the furnace, and his body burnt to a crisp. The soldiers who killed her three family members, merely stared at the girl while she cried.
A few years later, she set out for revenge. The first one was such a fat soldier that his military clothes were bursting at their seams. The girl approached him, and told him of a medicine that could make him lose weight. She told him that she has to give him a physical examination, and made him lie on a bed. Then she cut off his hands and feet with an axe. Without his limbs, the man could not even attempt an escape. You can get even thinner, the girl said and pressed down on him. Now you’ve become very slim, the girl whispered to the now round torso.
The second soldier was matchless in his lust for women. He called numerous women to his mansion every day, and spent the night with them. The girl killed all the women around him. She stood before the man possessed by terror, reduced to mumbled pleas for his life, and chopped off the symbol of his masculinity with her axe.
The third soldier retired from the army, and lived an easygoing life with his family in a village on the borders. While his family was sleeping, the girl put cracks into the house’s pillars with her axe. Losing its support, the house crumbled, and the girl lit a fire upon it. The fire grew into enormous proportions. The son of the soldier, who suffered burns all over his body, escaped from the burning house. The son of the soldier merely stared at the girl who killed his entire family. The girl offered the son of the soldier her axe, and escaped into the darkness.
Translated by Defade
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 can’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.
In a far-away Eastern land, there was a poet who made a living reciting songs. But he keenly felt the limits of his own skills, and so be made a pact with a ghost.
With the power of the ghost inside him, he began to compose glorious and beautiful songs. His fame spread through the city, and before long, he was named the official Poet to the Imperial Court.
But one day, the ghost returned to him, and she said thus: "Your life as a genius poet is over. You shall henceforth never sing a song again."
It was as the ghost said. The poet fell silent and no more songs came from his lips. His dream gone, he plunged this sword into his breast. It still gleams with the glistering of his blood.
translated from chinese forums and blogs
There was a famous singer living in a city in the far east. However, he was no longer able to sing in his later years. A monk appeared by his side out of nowhere and whisper to the singer: “you should pick up this sword.”
“If you kill a single person you’ll be able to sing one song. I you kill two people you will sing two songs. Go ahead and sing some unparalleled songs!” The singer picked up the song from the monk, hid in the night, and slashed at two bystanders. The next day, the singer can produce beautiful songs, and regained fame and fortune.
Afterward the singer sang a song for each person he killed, and sang two for every two he killed. He continually attained more fame and fortune. However, his desires could no longer be suppressed. If he killed his most important person, what kind of marvellous song would be produced?
And so the singer killed his wife and sang a song. He killed several of his children and sang multiple songs. He killed everyone in his family and he sang and sang and sang. He killed so many people on the streets that he cannot even sing fast enough. He killed and killed and killed and killed. In the end he didn’t sing anything as he killed himself. All that is left is a blood stained sword.
Translated by Defade
In a certain country, there lived a man who acted as a double for the prince. The man took care of official business every day in place of the prince. When he went to the prince after finishing a day’s work, he found a naked woman sleeping in his room. The woman was the prince’s sister. A man with the same face stared at the man’s shocked impression, and invited him to join in while laughing flippantly.
The man loved the prince’s sister. He also felt that she, who adored him like an older brother, loved him back. Even if goes through every day in a façade, she was the only thing he was living for. He, who put his life on the line for the most despicable prince.
The prince took command during the war. He told this to the man who was prepared to risk his life to accomplish his job: If he managed to take the enemy commander’s head, then the prince would let him sleep with his sister once. The man shoved a spear through the prince’s mouth as he laughed flippantly.
After the war, the “prince” made his sister his wife and began to injure his own face and throat. He repeated his actions every time his sister called him “big brother”. Eventually, the “prince” was found with his face burnt and a spear impaling him in the mouth. His burnt face looked very calm.
REBIRTH - 輪廻転生
You see this? This here is for me to cut your life away. There's no need to panic, it won't hurt at the beginning. Later, though, I'll make you feel the worst pain imaginable. And nobody screams at the pain. Just when they see themselves bleed, first.
But I'm not going to let you off so easy. This part of the blade here is very sharp and painful, so it's only for after I've had my fun. And your voice will go hoarse like that, and become loud and unintelligible. How irritating...be quiet, or my hand just might accidentally slip.
Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you. Yet. The fun part is drawing all the pain and suffering out as long as you can. You see, humans are surprisingly hard to kill. And besides, we all have two eyes...two ears...twenty digits...and one hundred and forty-four joints. We can take our time.
You ask me why I'm doing this? Heh...this is all because of you, don't you know?
You're the one framing and torturing your people. You're the one putting their bodies out on display. Oh, you don't remember? Then I'll just make you remember each and every thing you've done to my family, one, by one, by one. Hahahahaha...
SUNRISE - 日出国の魔刃
Long ago, in the Land of the Golden Bird, there was a sword said to be made of every precious metal and inlaid with every kind of gemstone known to man. This sword was said to be so sharp, even a small cut by the edge of the blade would bleed out the entire body, and could never be healed.
Some way or another, this sword fell into the hands of a woman selling her body. She became compelled to hide the blade in her bedding, and upon being taken by a man, she would turn the sword on him. Before even feeling any pain, the men would completely bleed out and die, and from the wounds would flow an endless amount of gold and money.
One day, bursting with wealth and dressed in the finest garments available, the woman sought to liberate the gemstones from the sword. Driven by her greed, the blade's edge turned slick and deadly, as the woman sent for the blacksmith.
On the way there, weighed down and unbalanced by the sword, the woman fell off the side of the bridge into the river. Her greed was such that even as she was swallowed up by the water, she refused to let go of the heavy blade. Her body was found the next day, drained of all its blood.
MOONRISE - 月光と闇
There is a legend of a blade that cooled an entire country wrapped in a hellish conflagration. Out of the misery of the endless flames came the people's savior: a sword, surrounded by thousands and thousands of statues made entirely out of ice.
A man searching for the world's legendary weapons came across the sword. He bundled the sword tightly in a long roll of cloth, and took it in hand. But as he placed the sword in his pack and left, unbeknownst to him, the sword began to freeze the cloth, and soon froze him too.
A priestess traveling the world came across the sword. She offered a prayer to the gods, and attempted to draw the sword. But frost quickly spread from her fingertip, to her arm, and all across her body. As she cursed the gods she had invoked, the sword froze her too.
A slave woman, working in a cave, came across the sword. Hoping to escape her painful life forever, she gripped the handle of the sword and drew it out. But, neither did she freeze, nor was she able to thrust it into her breast. The blade's edge gleamed in the moonlight as she was beaten that night by her quickly freezing master.
LILY-LEAF SWORD - ゆりの葉の剣
I love him. From the bottom of my heart. And I know he loves me too. Every time our eyes would meet, I could see the looks he'd give me. And I could hear him telling me to keep this hidden from everyone, and to hide all my feelings and gifts for him. I kept them locked away in my room. He was my one and only.
I don't believe him. The one I thought was my friend seduced and stole him away from me, and he just disappeared and left me all alone. All that's left was me, and all the things I hid away and never gave him. I sold them all off in the market.
I can't forgive him. He was taken away from me against his will by that woman. He still loves me, I know it, and I have to make him realize how much better and prettier and nicer I am than she ever will be! I just have to get rid of her! I have to find her, beat her, maim her, and rip her to pieces!!!
Blinded by rage and jealousy, she took off after the young and naive couple, and stabbed and beat them until her sword was warped and bent from the abuse. The next day, she was nowhere to be found, and sticking out of the pile of meat and flesh that was once a couple of humans, stood the twisted blade. Countless blacksmiths forged and remade the sword, but no matter how hard they tried, it would never regain its former shape.
Translated by Defade
Drag-on Dragoon weapon story
The captain confirms his “death”
His touch transforms into tears of the world
His flowing blood from darkness into light
His teachings shall deprive lives, and bestow new ones
Nier weapon story
The captain tramples upon his “life”
The others’ screams turn into songs of joy
Their flowing tears from despair to darkness
Conflict shall call for revenge, and give birth to new loneliness
IRON WILL - 鉄塊
We give the cry of life.
Hot iron forms our body.
Steel hammers temper our shape.
The dim light of the forge and sparks of steel watch over us.
We are the iron will.
Born of the thundering roar.
We give the finality of death.
Iron skin draws out fear and terror, and is bathed in flesh.
We are satisfied by the snatching of life.
We realize our purpose through the crushing of the bodies.
In our delight, we spread death far and wide.
We are the iron will.
We kill. Kill. Kill. Kill.
Hate and anger tear our body up in the midst of blood and battle.
Madness-inducing power raises a storm of blood and shrapnel.
We battle the red dragon day, after day, after day.
We are the iron will.
Cursed steel sinks into the darkness of sleep.
The dream of a tiny butterfly,
Wildly dancing in the rain.
We are the iron will.
We dream, a deep, unfulfilled dream.
BLADE OF TREACHERY - 背信の刃
The two sisters were a perfect pair of walking mannequins.
In no way could you tell they were mechanical.
State of the art technology gave them the gift of life,
Of laughter, of joy, of satisfaction.
But, they could not cry.
They were never meant to cry.
Being mere dolls, they could not feel.
They could be sad, but not feel sadness.
Sadness was unknowable to them. Even the death of a loved one,
Even as their creator succumbed to disease, they felt nothing.
As if their creator had just disappeared from the face of the earth.
One warm spring day, a stray cat approached and greeted them.
Covered in scars, riddled with disease and thin as a rail,
They took it in, and cared for it.
"Ah, what a fuss."
Their tender care rejuvenated it, and in time regained it health.
From that day on, that cat became a fixture in their daily lives.
Every day, it would beg for food, affection, and praise.
"Ah, what a fuss."
Winter's cold blew into the house as it staggered in from outside.
With a weak meow, the cat's strength slipped, and it fell limply to the floor.
The younger shook it again and again. The elder called for it again and again.
But in the end, not a single cry, not a single response came.
Something in the twins, something deep in their hearts, broke.
And from that day on, they felt nothing at all.
THE DEVIL QUEEN - 王妃の玉座 (Actually called "The Queen's Throne")
In a small country at about the same latitude as a province directly north of a city-state that included a town that traded with an island of a republic of a kingdom led by a queen,
The queen of the small country's younger brother's male cousin's elder brother's son-in-law's adopted child's minstrel lover's beautiful queen who danced on stage when he played's lovestruck admirer's employer's wife's secret lover's child's wet-nurse's store she commonly went to's proprietor asked,
"Where do I send the throne decorated with the decorations made of the same materials as the handle of the lid of the pot of the same weight as the tableware of the same color as the weathervane of the house of the one peeping through the door reflected in the mirror of the decorative frame carved with the carving tool made of the splinters of the grindstone that sharpened this kitchen knife?",
Of the wife's husband's younger sister's older brother's daughter's husband's younger brother's nephew's father's mother's husband's bride's niece's friend's wife's younger sister's daughter's husband's younger brother's nephew's father's mother's husband's niece's husband's younger sister's older brother's daughter's husband's younger brother's nephew's father's mother's niece's husband's younger sister's older brother's daughter's husband's younger brother's nephew's father's
Translated by Defade
Drag-on dragoon weapon story
A long time ago, there were twin gods that held the power of flames. The gods bestowed fire and reasoning, along with many languages upon mankind and watched over them.
However, mankind fell, and angered the twin gods. The twin gods brought down thunder on many cities, began floods, and tried to burn the earth with their flames.
Mankind finally realized its own mistakes, and offered a huge axe in hopes of stilling the gods’ anger. It was a cursed offering, baptized by the blood of a pair of young twins.
The gods made the twins into stars, and sealed the light of exorcism into the axe, so that mankind may never repeat its mistakes again.
Nier weapon story
we have been together since birth. when we eat, when we sleep and dream.
we get the same things as well. mommy’s breasts, and daddy’s gentle words.
but we died separately. me, at daddy’s hands, my sister at my mother’s hands. they cut off our heads, and we died separately.
but it’s okay. our blood mixed together, and stay in the same axe. we will always be together from now on. two bodies will return to one.
ANCIENT OVERLORD - 古の覇王
A sword that has been passed down for centuries in the royal lineage of a prosperous and long-living kingdom. Legend has it that the gem in its hilt glows bright red when it absorbs the blood of ten thousand men, and bestows immortality upon the bearer. The last king to wield it, however, cared less for the immortality and more for the welfare of his subjects.
One day, his beloved queen passed away during childbirth, as did the child. Upon hearing that his wife and child were dead, he was stricken with grief, and coupled with his old age, the royal lineage was set to die out.
In his mad obsession with extending the life and power of his country, he took up the sword and slaughtered subjects and countrymen alike. "If I am to be the last ruler, than I shall simply never die!!"
Tens, hundreds, thousands of deaths at the hands of the king, and the gem was close to reaching its full brilliance. Finally, his heart unable to take the burden any longer, the king died without reaching his goal. If he had just reached the pregnant woman in front of him...
translated from chinese forums and blogs
This part is less faithful to the original source, but the whole thing is for the lulz anyway
The Red Book
Right right! This book! The naughty book that flies around in my library. It uses magic to fly all over the place, it’s so dangerous… Good thing my petrifying power could help. Though I still couldn’t find any information to fix my eyes, as the book only contained the location of my sister. Speaking of which, at that time I didn’t know I could go on an adventure with Nier and the others. And why does the book look so much like Weiss? Nah, I’m just overthinking it.
A shade that resides in the Lost Shrine. Nier and the others seem to have fought him once. But it’s only my first time seeing it. That head is so big, I wonder where the body is. If the upper body is the face, then it has no belly. Or if the whole thing is the body, then the eyes are its chest… And what about the head? Oh this is so hard to figure out…
Jack, the monster that attacked young Nier’s village
I heard very deep footsteps of the giant Shade all of a sudden that day. Strange, when I asked Nier and Kaine about it afterwards, they both said they couldn’t hear it. This Shade is formed by multiple snake-like Shades combined one by one. It looks so much like spaghetti! Do you guys like spaghetti? I love Fettuccine alla Salmon and spicy spaghetti! My butler Sebastian cooks the best spaghetti, you should all come and try it!
The wolf king Roc
This Shade is very strong, but I put in a lot of effort in defeating it too, because this guy killed the kind Fyra. But the fact that he can gather up so many wolves is amazing. Is this what they called charwolfsma? (there is a bunch of silly puns afterwards that I am not even gonna try and translate).
Hook, the Shade that killed Kaine’s grandma
Even though Sebastian gave me some information on it, I still don’t know much about it because I didn’t fight it myself. Still, it’s really disgusting.
Emil’s sister Halua
It’s thanks to my sister that I am still alive today, so I have got to pick myself up. It would make my sister sad if I were to give up. Please continue to protect me sister, my soul co-existing with sister… forever.
Right, that one time Kaine was going berserk as the Shade was taking over. That was really, scary, like three times as scary as usual. What? No no, not saying that you are scary all the time, that is more like a nice version of “scary”! No no no don’t draw your swords come on Kaine don’t joke you are so awesome NO NO NO STOP IT THAT’S REALLY DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!
Mr Robot soldier from the Junk heap. It was so dangerous when all those bullets were flying everywhere. Plus it can collect parts from everywhere, that’s so cool. Still, that’s like a kid’s toy. No wait, what me? How rude! I’m not a kid! I just used the same face to live through over a thousand years! I’m much more of an adult than you guys! I can even use the washroom at night all by myself!
This is the Shade we fought in the Shadow Lord’s castle. It really scared me when the dancing spirits fused together! Kaine said it before too, the more Shades that combines into one, the stronger it gets. It really is strong. Would I be stronger if I COMBINE as well? For example, (bleep) with Nier? Wait, why did that get censored. I just (bleep) with all my heart, with my body (bleep) what I said was (bleep) wait (bleep) hey! (etc)
Wendy from the Aries
This is the Shade that was formed from everybody in the Aries. Looking at its picture right now makes my heart hurt. The whole village was destroyed because I got out of control. ….sorry. I’m not going to talk about this Shade anymore. …sorry.
Devola and Popola
Who would’ve known. Their singing is so beautiful, and they took care of me when I was hurt…… Who knew they would be the ones who was behind everything. But Nier must be the one who is hurt the most. He was with them since he was young. I shouldn’t say anymore about this. In the end, I flew veeeeeeeeery far when I fought with Popola’s magical power. I hope I can find Nier again soon. When would I be able to restore my body…
Oh Nier? He is so cool! That sparkly silver hair, his strong and cool appearance along with his gentle side……. But if I have to say what I like the most about Nier, it would be the sweet smell that comes from his body when he hugs me tightly! AHHH!!! I accidentally said it out loud! Don’t tell this to anyone!
Translated by Defade
-Lost in feelings, memories written down.
Tracing the silhouette of lost days through words.
01 From Nier to Yonah
Have you been eating properly?
Have you been doing what Popola tells you to?
I can see the big ocean in the city I've just arrived in.
There was an ocean in Yonah's favorite picture book, wasn't there?
The real thing's just as described.
Can you read all of today's letter?
Thank you for the letters you keep sending me.
Have you been drinking your medicine as prescribed?
I'll be back soon. I'll make something nutritious for you to eat!
And if you couldn't read some of the words in my letter,
I'll read it with you when I get back.
Just wait a bit.
I'm always reading your letters, Yonah.
02 From Nier to Kaine
Sorry, Yonah wouldn't stop coughing.
So I'll stay with her for a bit more.
And...you're always sleeping outside the village, Kaine.
I'd like you to stay at my house, but...
I can't leave Yonah right now,
so I'll give this letter to Devola.
Come by anytime!
Some Shades have been sighted in my village, so I don't think I can leave.
Sorry, but wait a bit.
I'll head over immediately after things calm down.
Tell this to Emil.
I'll make sure that you two can come into the village someday.
03 Love letters to Popola
Dear Popola, my love,
Maybe you forgot, but I didn't.
You smiled gently at me once.
A beautiful smile - all the other smiles I've seen pale in comparison,
And the prettiest out of all of them.
I've found the place to be - right next to you, my beauty, my love.
Please accept my feelings.
Sorry for giving this to you out of the blue!
I have a small-build, and I don't earn much.
But I've loved you ever since I first laid my eyes on you.
I thought you were such a pretty person at first.
Now I love that beautiful heart of yours as well - you, who always watched over the villagers gently.
My feelings won't be triumphed by anyone else's.
Please go out with me if you'd like.
You'll always be on my heart.
I love you-!
I love you, love you, loooooooooove you-----!
Let's get married!
Thank you for your letters.
Your feelings have made me very happy,
But my head is full with thoughts of this important village.
04 A trashed letter
I can't stop coughing.
Brother....what will happen to me?
I don't need my medicine anymore,
I just need you by my side.
05 Letters from the old lady in the lighthouse to her husband
I thought my heart would break when I heard of your injury.
How bad was it?
How long does it take to heal?
Are you eating properly?
I want to go and be with you right now.
But I was stopped by the people in the city.
My days without you have been both lonely and painful.
Please get well soon.
I've been praying every day for your swift return.
P.S. The people and I have been well, as usual.
Right, how long are you going to make me wait?
Well, I'm still waiting, so I guess I can't really say.
Every morning when I wake up, I hope for a letter that tells of your return.
Every night before I sleep, I dream of seeing your boat returning the next day.
Time passes just like that.
I've already become a wrinkled old hag.
My desire to see you has not changed.
But I'm a bit wary of showing you my aged appearance.
Still, despite that, I want to see you.
You must've become a wrinkled old geezer as well.
Even so, I would still love you - that fact won't change.
I'm always dreaming of the day of your return.
P.S. The city has changed a bit, but everyone is healthy.
06 A report from Devola to Popola
The Gestalt synchronization towards villagers is increasing.
The process was smooth, and everything is according to plan.
It's easy to stir up a village engulfed in fear.
However, even within this terror, they manage to create new songs and sing them.
Why can they make songs?
What's the difference between us - who can only sing the same song over and over while adding new twists to it - and them - who can create songs in any situation?
Commentary: We're introducing the contents of letters that never appeared in the game.
 A letter sent while traveling. You can see the image of a brother who's always worried about Yonah.
 The first letter was written soon after their first meeting, so Nier ended up rubbing salt on her wounds with good intentions. In the second letter, Nier knew the circumstances surrounding Kaine, so his words became more strengthened, and conveyed a strong will.
 These are merely a fraction of the love letters given by a multitude of males. Popola's reply is always the same.
 It was never posted, and merely thrown away in a trash can.
 One letter written right after the delivery of unfortunate news, one written years later.
 They both possess communication methods from the old ages, and this letter was a result of them mimicking the actions of Replicants.
Translated by Defade
*Before you read*
1. You saw ending D or confirmed its contents through this book
2. You read all the short stories in this book (191-224)
3. You can keep a straight face no matter what you know
Only read if you fulfill these requirements.
Director – Yoko Taro
The director of this game, the one responsible for creating Nier’s unique worldview. He’s not too good with interviews, photo shoots, praise or great expectations.
Scenario Writer – Sawako Natori
Famous for her work in “DOD” and “99’s Tear” etc. Did some novelization work as well. Wrote Popola’s madness scene while role-playing PreCure with her daughter.
Novelist – Jun Eishima
Novelized the “DOD” series. Also wrote “W – the two summers” under the penname Nagashima Emi. “Completely obsessed with shounen stuff” according to Yokoo.
It’s been one week since NieR’s release…Replicant was sold out in many shops, and “NieR Rhapsody”-esque movements have sprung all over the streets and alleyways. A small banquet was set in a corner of Shinjuku. How did the world full of mysteries; the sad, painful yet beautiful story which grabbed our hearts come to be? The three most important people will meet for the first time this night, and reveal to us all there is-
Both the software and the soundtrack were immensely popular
The director’s butt feels itchy
-Nier was released without a hitch, and it seemed to have garnered quite the popularity.
Yokoo Tarou(Yokoo from now on): To tell you the truth, as someone involved in the development, I never expected such positive response, and I was caught off guard.
-The software and soundtrack were received with such praise that it’s hard to find them anywhere.
Yokoo: Well- I never thought that they’d garner such praise. I’m pretty uncomfortable with praise, so my butt is itching quite badly as a result.
Eishima Jun(Eishima from now on): I thought that Yokoo would definitely lock himself in his locker from the backlash of Ending D…(laughs)*
*The Locker Incident = Happened after the release of “Drag-on Dragoon” on anonymous chat boards on the net. A huge amount of internet backlash arose from the strangeness of the last battle in ending E and depression-inducing contents of the multi bad ends. In response to that Yokoo hid in a locker to ride out the storm of ASCII art flames directed his way. “Maybe Yokoo will drag himself to the locker again” became an expression that captures the conflicting feelings of hate and love from the fans.
Yokoo: I was completely prepared to go into the locker myself.(laughs) We put quite a lot of things in Nier, and as a result it had its fair share of rough edges. As developers, we caught many of those rough edges ourselves, but if we wanted to fix all of them, the game will never get released. That’s why we just took a “Whatever!” attitude regarding some issues. We did feel really bad for the players though.
-Despite all that, the general response is very positive. It seems like the satisfied players outnumber the ones who aren’t.
Yokoo: I wonder…actually, I’m not really confident, and I always look at reviews with a “This is so suspicious….!” attitude.
Eishima: Why are you always preparing yourself for the worst like that. (laughs)
Natori Sawako(Natari from now on): It’s like “If only 1 out of 10 people was satisfied…” except the ratio ended up being a bit more than 1:10. (laughs) Some good probably came out of reading tons of shounen manga and looking into their formula stories.
-How is it like for the publisher?
Square Enix Promotion Staff(Mr. T from now on): Even we didn’t expect such popularity. Yokoo’s works are often quite enigmatic, and their target audience is mature. However, Nier’s official site suddenly experienced an accessing boom before the official release date, and more and more inquiries were made as the release date closed in. We tried to satisfy the market as best as we could with a happy scream, but we couldn’t quite keep up with the sales. It was pretty painful for us.
Yokoo: It’s a new game, so nobody is looking forward to it – maybe that’s the secret behind Nier’s success!
Eishima: Ah- That might actually(laughs)
Natori: Be right.(laughs)
-Of course there were the introductions in Dengeki PlayStation and Dengeki Games, but the weapon stories and short stories(SS from now on) garnered the highest amount of feedback.
Yokoo: That…is Eishima working too hard.
Eishima: What are you saying! It was your idea to have young Nier prostitute himself in the first place! I tried making it as tame as I could.
-…it was supposed to be more shocking…?
Nier’s secret past
It was actually more…!!
Eishima: Ever since I took the SS job, I learnt a lot about the settings and worldview of the game from Yokoo aside from doing test plays of the game. Every time I saw the contents of my mail, I froze before my computer and shouted “Ehhh-!?”
-The same scream was heard from the editor’s room.
Yokoo: Me, scenario writers Kikuchi and Natori decided that Nier couldn’t possibly survive without earning money like that. So the setting was pretty normal, wasn’t it?
Natori: Yes. It was normal.(smiles)
Eishima: T-true….it…might be common? However, that’s still too much for a game setting to be published officially in a normal game magazine. The first setting I got from Yokoo said “He earned money by being their partner for the night, no matter the gender”.
Eishima: And Yokoo’s description of it was horrible.
Yokoo: Eh, no it wasn’t!? It was just him looking at the ceiling and waiting for unpleasant times to end, and finding it a bit hard to sit down the next day…
Eishima: That’s exactly it! It was indirect, but still too direct!(laughs) In the end, we managed to tone it down considerably by agreeing on Nier tying up his hair after that night.
-You could’ve included those “direct” parts in this book.
Eishima: I probably wouldn’t be able to hold myself back…in different manners of speaking, so I refrained from doing that.(laughs)
Depicting the normal workings of humanity
-Since we’re talking about the SS, Natori’s story about Kaine packed quite the punch as well.
Natori: That was partially inspired by Eishima’s SS. Since Nier was like that(laughs), maybe Kaine had that side to her as well. It was normal to her. However, there are people who couldn’t accept that as normal. I wrote it in hopes of depicting those differences.
-Her female side was emphasized in the game, so there might be many users who are surprised at her male side in this SS.
Natori: We didn’t really put much emphasis on her being a hermaphrodite in the game, so I wanted to write about that somewhere. In the game, we only touched on her being bullied as a child.
-Did you intentionally not emphasize the hermaphrodite issue in the game? What were the reasons behind that?
Yokoo: To me, Kaine being a hermaphrodite wasn’t really a point of importance. Since people like that do exist in reality, we just don’t know about them. I was actually surprised that it garnered so much attention after the game was released.
Let's ask director Yokoo a simple question 1: Since Gestalts are souls, why do the Shades bleed?
Yokoo: Gestalts don’t possess a physical body or cells, but the instant they get hurt, their wounds temporarily try to return to their human state. That’s why they bleed, and can die like normal humans.
“Normality” in Yokoo’s works?
-Kaine became a huge topic of discussion even before the release, but Emil’s feelings towards Nier got its own share of attention after the release.
Yokoo: I thought I made it quite clear with that bride statement, but it didn’t seem to have gotten the message across.
-One theory was that Emil developed feminine feelings and liked Nier as a result of fusing with his sister Halua
Yokoo: No, Emil is gay!
Eishima: Oh, confirmation is good. I thought that I saw nonexistent undertones because of my dirty mind. (laughs)
Mr. T: I thought Emil liked Kaine since they slept outside together, and wanted to marry her.
Yokoo: Emil saw Halua in Kaine. To Emil, she was a reliable sister figure.
-There always seem to be some characters with unusual sexual preferences in Yokoo’s works.
Natori: We just feel like that we’re reflecting the real world while creating the worldview and settings.
Yokoo: How would you define “unusual”, is the question. If we look around, we can definitely see homosexuals, few in number they may be. I’m not trying to say “Don’t discriminate” or anything like that, just “People like that exist. It’s simply the way the world works.” They’re labeled with “normal”, “unusual” and compared quite often, but the difference between people with certain sexual preferences lies purely in number. Some are quite abundant, some are not, but we’re all in the same world. I never intended for them to appear as special.
Kaine’s love scene
And why ending C and D feel strange
-As I was playing, I understood that both Emil and Kaine liked Nier. However, very little emphasis was put on who Nier likes.
Yokoo: I don’t want to complicate the main point of the story. “An older brother saving his sister” was the main theme we wanted to portray, and I wanted to deliver all the drama involved as a first impression. Details of the worldview or personality quirks of other characters can be left later for people who really want to know. If I put in more about Nier and Kaine, the main theme would get muddled, so I refrained.
-Kaine loves Nier, doesn’t she?
Natori: That’s right. When he was young, she just felt friendship towards a fellow comrade and a person she could trust, but she realized the changes in her feelings when she woke up in the library. We made to emphasize that during the scene.
-Did Kaine ever reveal her feelings towards Nier during the journey?
Natori: Nier’s heart was filled with thoughts of Yonah and revenge against the Shades. He really wasn’t fit to deal with Kaine and Emil’s faint feelings for him.(laughs) And Kaine wasn’t good at confessing, so she resolved to be useful to him in his revenge at least. That’s why she said “I’ll become his blade and die!”
Yokoo: By the way, Kaine first realized that she loved Nier during the love scene in shadowlord’s castle.
Yokoo: When she kicked Nier in his stomach.
Eishima: That…could it even be called a love scene? (laughs)
Yokoo: It is a love scene! She realized that “Ah, I actually love this person!” when she was kicking him and beating him up! Her backing off was the girl side in her coming out.
-It was a good scene. I could clearly see how Kaine’s brain works. (laughs)
Yokoo: It was the most romantic scene in the game.
Natori: When I was writing the scenario, I almost dipped into Kaine and Nier’s romance territory a few times, but I remember Yokoo telling me that “This isn’t what I wanted to show” and asking me to change it. I have to focus on writing them as “comrades”. So it ended up as a rather simple love scene.
-However, as a result of that, the development in ending C and D may come off as rather strange to players.
Yokoo: Instead of being a decision for “Nier and Kaine”, it was more like a choice for “the player and Kaine”. If you like Kaine after playing through the game twice, then sacrifice yourself and save her, if you don’t then you don’t have to save her. I wasn’t trying to force your hand into saving her by shoving romance down your throat.
-I see. However, Nier’s “My beloved~” line comes off as even more abrupt now.
Yokoo: That was more like a spur of the moment thing rather than intended direction.(laughs) “Whether the player loves Kaine or not” – base your decision on that.
-Ending D isn’t the true end just because it comes last, but the player could freely choose “their own true end” .
Yokoo: That’s pretty much it.
Eishima: However, as a gamer, you simply have to proceed to ending D since it was present in the system. After all, you do want to see it.(laughs)
-Hearing you say that, I feel pain at having made my choice on the basis of Nier being a game. Now I’m told to make that choice based on what I really feel for Kaine…in a certain manner of speaking, the hurdle the player had to cross was quite high.
A study on ending D
Eishima and Natori’s interpretations
Natori: Ending D felt very natural to me. Nier’s love for his comrades was really strong, and even if that were Emil, he’d still save him. To him, only Yonah is special, and everyone else sort of shares the 1st place in his heart.
-He probably thought that he’d be happy simply with people important to him, including Yonah, living on.
Eishima: To me, ending C was father Nier’s choice, and ending D was brother Nier’s choice.
-What is the reasoning behind that?
Eishima: A father is responsible to his own daughter, so he couldn’t just give up his existence. He feels that it’s his duty to protect Yonah and raise her, so he’d kill Kaine and live on. On the other hand, a brother and sister both coexist with and depend on each other, so maybe he’d choose to disappear and be relieved from his burden.
Natori: I see…
Eishima: Interpretations of ending C and D could really vary from person to person. That’s why I think Nier is a game made for a wide audience. You do have a choice to make, but we don’t try to force you into one by shouting “This is it, right!”
Yokoo: However, it is a strange game.
It’s strange, but it still garnered the acceptance of many
The reason lies in the focus on “impacting people on an emotional level”
-When I read the settings in this book, I realize that many of them were not revealed in the actual game.
Yokoo: That’s true. We barely explained “Project Gestalt”.
-Was that intentionally done?
Yokoo: We didn’t explain everything because that’s just how reality is. I wanted to reflect certain elements of reality in this game, so I didn’t put too much focus on explaining everything. I also wanted to make the basic story simple and easy to understand, so I deleted most information that weren’t vital to emotional impact.
-That’s why it makes you feel “refreshed, but leaves a weird taste in your mouth”. It’s very dramatic, but you feel indigestion.
Yokoo: At the end of the day, I wanted to make a weird and strange game. More like, I can’t make anything but strange games.
The day it rained salt in Shinjuku-
What is “Project Gestalt?”
-So, can I direct detailed questions on the worldview to Yokoo specifically?
Yokoo: Shoot. I’ll answer to the best of my ability.
-Yokoo, were you the only brains behind “Project Gestalt” and “Replicant System”?
Yokoo: The general idea came from me, but it was later refined by Cavia’s planners, programmers, Kikuchi and Natori. They all contributed to different parts of the concept.
-The game began halfway through the 21st century in Shinjuku, I was quite surprised that it was snowing in summer?
Yokoo: That isn’t snow but salt. The corpses of victims suffering from chlorination decomposed and fell from the sky.
-Because of the white chlorination syndrome.
Yokoo: In 2003, Caim and Angel came to this world from a multi-dimensional world. After they fought with the giant, they were shot down by fighter planes. What came out of their bodies was the “demonic element”. When humans come in contact with the demonic element, they’re pulled into contract ala DOD styled. Except instead of a contract, it’s more like a forced curse. “Become a servant to god and destroy the world according to its will, if you reject then you shall die” is the content of the contract. If they reject the contract, they’ll suffer chlorination and die, if they accept it, they’ll turn into servants of god(legions).
-No matter the outcome, they won’t be able to live as humans. “Project Gestalt” was devised as a counter for that, right?
Yokoo: The Gestalt process was a system where a person’s mentality dwells in a yorishiro refined through the dragon’s corpse. DOD’s contract involves an exchange of souls, but in this case the contractor – the “dragon”, is already soulless and an empty yorishiro, so there is no soul to exchange with. That’s why the person’s soul will simply be transferred into the yorishiro and take over that.
-If people go through the Gestalt process, they can avoid the WCS?
Yokoo: Because their body is separated from their soul, they have no fear of entering a contract when they touch the demonic element.
-And the soul can be reunited with the body.
Yokoo: It’s possible. However, though the soul shall remain ageless and live on indefinitely, the body isn’t made of the same stuff. That’s how the “Replicant System” came to be – having androids manage fake bodies without a consciousness within a regulated area. If they die, then the androids make more, rinse and repeat. They make the Replicants who are immune to WCS exterminate the legions and uncover the truth behind the WCS. During that time, the Gestalts sleep and eventually regain their human form and everyday life after everything’s been said and done. That’s how “Project Gestalt” and “Replicant System” should’ve ideally functioned.
Eishima: These kind of settings are so complicated – you won’t even know unless you ask Yokoo. I had to ask him a lot of questions while writing the SS, and I learned quite a bit.
Let's ask director Yokoo a simple question 2: Why doesn't it ever get completely dark at night?
Yokoo: The axis of the earth has changed in that time period, the sun won't sink below the horizon even at night – it’ll be like a midnight sun.
A product of coincidence from experiments
Yokoo: The humans have managed to combine science and magic through the dragon’s corpse, leading to the successful Gestalt process. However, there were fatal “inconveniences”. One of them was that Gestalts were weak to sunlight. The other one is that a soul that went through the Gestalt process will eventually lose its sense of self and start attacking humans, eventually dying.
-Those are the “relapsed Gestalts”, the Shades that attack the replicants.
Yokoo: The siblings Nier and Yonah took part in the Gestalt experiment, but Nier became suspicious of the project and escaped the facility with Yonah. Nier probably realized the dangers of the Gestalt process.
-After that, they were attacked by Shades, and Nier had no choice but to make a contract with Grimoire Noir, thereby becoming a Gestalt and gaining the powers of magic – to protect Yonah.
Yokoo: That is the beginning of the game. Yonah also touched Grimoire Noir and became a Gestalt like Nier, but since she was unhealthy to begin with, she immediately began to relapse.
-And Nier didn’t relapse at all?
Yokoo: He just “happened to have the stabilizing factor that allows him to keep his sense of self”, regardless of his readiness to become a relapsed Gestalt. The actual reason was unknown, and even in later experiments, he was the only one that remained stable. The World Purification Organization used Nier for that. His sister, who became a relapsed Gestalt will die somewhere down the road, so they convinced him that they’d find a solution to that in exchange for him providing his demonic element as a stabilizing agent until then.
-And as a result, he did that for over 1000 years?
Yokoo: That’s how it ends up as. The Gestalts = Shade treat him like their “king”. Because if Gestalt Nier didn’t exist, they would all relapse. However, a way to save Yonah wasn’t found, and he realized that nothing’s going to happen if he just waits, so he put Gestalt Yonah(soul) into Replicant Yonah(body) and tried to get back his own body, so that they could live together again.
-I understand Gestalt Nier’s objective now. So Devola and Popola supported a Shadowlord like that?
Yokoo: Devola and Popola interceded as beings programmed to complete “Project Gestalt” – the general will of humanity. Their objective is the completion of “Project Gestalt”, not the “Happiness of the Shadowlord”. The Shadowlord’s rampage puts flaws into “Project Gestalt”. In order to stop that, they tried to fuse “Grimoire Weiss” and “Grimoire Noir” to return all Gestalts(souls) to their respective Replicants(bodies).
“Grimoire Weiss” and “Grimoire Noir”
Are a set of programs meant to finish the project
-They appeared in the SS “And then there were none”, but what exactly were “Grimoire Weiss” and “Grimoire Noir”, which gained immense magic through Gestalts being sealed in them?
Yokoo: If Grimoire Noir is activated, all Gestalts can be returned to their Replicants(changing from a world of Replicants to a world of humans). It’s a program that utilizes magic. The keys that are vital to its activation is Girmoire Weiss and “the sealed verses”. The sealed verses are offensive magic in expectation of legion battles. Grimoire Weiss is necessary for Grimoire Noir’s activation, and the sealed verses in turn are vital for Grimoire Weiss’s. In other words, it’s a double lock intended to prevent any accidental activation of the system, so that they’ll only be activated by the manager when the time has truly come.
-When the time has come?
Yokoo: When the legions have been exterminated, and when the WCS has ceased. However, the Shadowlord Gestalt Nier realized that he was being lied to.
-Yonah’s relapse wasn’t getting cured at all, and he’s just one-sidedly providing the demonic element.
Yokoo: He’s irritated at the lack of change, and tried to use force to gain Yonah and Nier’s replicants, as well as Grimoire Weiss. The very roots of the system are impacted, and though the time hasn’t come yet, Devola and Popola tried to return the Replicant’s bodies to their original owners before everything is too late…however, Grimoire Weiss lost his memories, and took Replicant Nier’s side. Moreover, the replicants gained sentience. The twins tried to make amends to the plans and control the Shadowlord as best as they could, but since Replicant Nier’s own will was involved as well, nothing really went according to plan. That is the basic plot of “NieR”.
-I became really confused as I was listening to all that.
Yokoo: That’s right. We became confused when we were thinking of all that.(laughs) But I didn’t think these information necessary to the enjoyment of the game. These settings don’t really matter.
-They’re unrelated to the player=Nier. That’s true.
Yokoo: Many things are going on in the world, but Nier simply fought against Shades to protect Yonah – that’s what I wanted to portray, and it’s pretty similar to our world. You don’t know why exactly everything boiled down to this in history’s long span, but somehow people were at war for all sorts of reasons since you were born – something like that.
-So, let’s say Replicant Nier didn’t defeat the Shadowlord but gave up his body instead, and Grimoire Weiss fused with Grimoire Noir, will the world become peaceful with humans again?
Yokoo: If the legions are exterminated and the WCS eradicated. However, Yonah’s black scrawl cannot be cured either way, so she won’t be saved.
Yokoo: Yes. No matter what, the path towards Nier and Yonah surviving has long been closed.
The legend passed on
This game also has multi-bad ends?
-In ending A, B and C, Replicant Nier successfully saved Replicant Yonah, and still..?
Yokoo: Replicant Yonah and Nier remained, but since Gestalt Nier was killed by Replicant Nier, he couldn’t provide the stabilizing demonic element anymore, and all Gestalts will relapse eventually. If that happens, their respective Replicants cannot regenerate their bodies anymore. Also, the managers of the Replicant’s death and rebirth system, Devola and Popola were killed by Replicant Nier, so the replicants in that area will come to an end in this generation.
-In the end, Yonah won’t be saved?
Yokoo: Replicant Yonah’s Black Scrawl remained uncured, so the disease will proceed and kill her.
-What happens after Replicant Nier loses his existence in ending D?
Yokoo: Firstly, since the Black Scrawl isn’t cured, Yonah will still die.
-W-what about Kaine who survived?
Yokoo: She won’t die immediately, but since the Replicant System itself has become dysfunctional, she’ll eventually die.
-Hearing all that, I can’t help but think that everything Replicant Nier’s done has been in vain…
Yokoo: What you said. (laughs)
Eishima: Well, whichever ending you reach, it’s always “Yonah dies” “everyone dies”.(laughs)
Natori: Yes, that’s Yokoo’s world.(laughs)
Eishima: That’s why we had a multi-bad end system this time as well~♪
Mr. T: What, why is everyone so happy.
Eishima: Whatever Yokoo and his team come up will never conclude nicely. Actually, when I heard of these endings, I thought that he finally managed to conclude something in a relatively nice manner.
Natori: No matter how much of a happy end it is, or how much of a brilliant hero the main character is, it’s just a part of the bigger picture, and even us who are talking here today will eventually die. It’s all very normal.
-The word normal is pretty heavy.
Exclusive to this book, ending E?
Know its mystery, hope and despair
-Even amongst the various SS in this book, “The Lost World” that depicted “what happened after ending D” has to be the most surprising. I’ll simply call it “ending E”.
Eishima: To those who left ending D with a hole in their heart, the contents should be quite pleasing.
-What kind of situation does this ending E take place in?
Yokoo: After the Shadowlord disappeared, a program to reset the entire replicant system begins its execution in the Forest of Myth, and Kaine goes to destroy it.
-Why did he return as a young boy?
Yokoo: He was reconstructed with the “memories” that the tree had of his first visit to the Forest of Myth. Also, as the writer, I simply wanted them to “repeat the fun times they had, traveling together”.
-Personally, I thought that if he returned in his older form, he’d have a chance with Kaine.
Yokoo: In “Gestalt”, he returns in the state before he got his eye patch! So he might have a chance?!
Eishima: Well, there’s nothing really bad about a couple with such a huge age difference, but still.
-If Emil could petrify Kaine for another 5 years…
Natori: He’s got four arms now, so that must be as easy as breathing for him.(laughs)
Eishima: But…you see, if 5 years pass, then the Replicants with Gestalts will start dying one after another due to the black scrawl~(looks faraway)
Yokoo: Even if the destruction system is gone, everyone is going to die, be it late or soon~(looks faraway)
Let’s ask director Yokoo a simple question 3: The lockdown of the Aerie is unusual. What exactly are those people?
Yokoo: There are quite a few Gestalts in that village that didn’t wait for the fusion of Grimoire Weiss and Grimoire Noir, but went into their Replicants out of their own will. The relapsed ones were absorbed by Hook, and together they fused to become Wendy.
Is so realistic that it’s scary?!
Yokoo: You said that it’s cruel, but I really cut down on the kind of cruelty that’s really harsh mentally. I turned down quite a few scenes in Natori’s scenario.
Yokoo: Personally, I can’t stand the depiction of Emil and Kaine outside the village, like the SS “The Narrow Gate”. I just feel really bad when I read about it.
-Emil simply laughing along just adds to it.
Yokoo: Yeah. But that’s what Natori is best at. She also wrote some realistic scenarios involving Nier and Yonah as siblings, but that was simply too real, and I couldn’t bear it. My heart just hurt too much.
-What kind of scenario was that?
Natori: In the beginning of the game, I remember writing about Nier thinking that Yonah was a heavy burden, and couldn’t stop himself from exclaiming “If only you weren’t here!” and hurting Yonah with his feelings. After all, he is a young boy, so it’s natural that he couldn’t control his emotions and end up hurting his family.
Yokoo: To me, that was too realistic and hard to bear, so I gave her the NG.
Eishima: If that scene made its way to the completed product, maybe Nier wouldn’t have come off as such a pitiful child? Nobody is going to scold Yonah, who gets all the love, so the players might get irritated at his actions. (laughs)
Difference between Nier and mainstream shounen manga
The lack of reality
-Eishima, what did you think of Nier’s scenario when you read it?
Eishima: To be honest, I thought it was pretty normal for something coming from Yokoo. I heard he was aiming for something like mainstream shounen manga, so felt that this was pretty much it. However, as I read along, I just felt really weird, and somewhat disgusted. I understand it better now that I heard Natori’s “no approval for real scenarios” incident. The thing is, every character reacts differently from what you’d usually expect. Everyone just sort of accepts it and goes along with it. That’s why when I look at the story from a whole, I just get this weird sense of wrongness.
Yokoo: Aren’t shounen manga like that as well? The cream of the crop all feel really wrong.
Eishima: Not really, shounen manga still fall into some sort of harmony. In a certain sense of speaking, “NieR” completely neglected all that, and feels rather odd.
Natori: In that case, the NGs Yokoo gave were spot on. If you were trying to make it into an odd game, you’d have to delete things that are too real. I can think of it that way now.
Yokoo: Nah, I’m pretty weak against those scenarios, so I just couldn’t bear looking at them. I never thought it end up like this.(laughs)
-Since replicants had artificial personalities, I instinctually thought that their expressions might not be quite human-like.
Eishima: That’s one way of looking at it. You could also say that the most human-like being was Popola, who was actually an android.
-In summary of what you all just said, ultimately, the world of “NieR” did not have “the reality of the human world”. What remains is only a dreamlike and surreal sense of reality. In that manner of speaking, it might’ve become the kind of story that people who seek for RPGs have been looking for.
What saved Kaine in ending D
Was the player’s….love!?
-If we’re talking about the lack of realism, then the hermaphrodite heroine has to be the epitome of that. Was Kaine a hermaphrodite as a human?
Yokoo: No, in our setting, she was born as a hermaphrodite due to an error in the long-running replicant system. Originally, she was a female with a fiancée, and was supposed to get married.
-Wasn’t the Shade Tyran her original gestalt?
Yokoo: Kaine has her own, separate gestalt. Tyran was still a normal Shade who hasn’t begun to relapse yet, but he just happens to like slaughter in the first place, and attempted to take over replicant Kaine’s body. He gets enjoyment out of Kaine’s anguish and worry.
-Nier and Tyran combined their efforts to save Kaine, who went berserk in ending C and D, but how exactly is Kaine saved in ending D?
Yokoo: …by everyone’s love and spirit!
From non-humans to hermaphrodites
“NieR” is a harem game!?
-Well then, let’s hear everyone’s favorite character.
Yokoo: No.7 for me. I really liked him ever since D.K. proposed his design, and as a result he didn’t go through many retakes.
Natori: My favorite’s Kaine. If the characters in “NieR” were in my class at school, I want to call out to Kaine, who’d probably be sitting all by herself.
Eishima: It’s definitely young Nier for me!
Yokoo: Eishima is simply crazy about young Nier’s zettai ryouiki.
Eishima: I want to play as young Nier forever…but actually, I think that in “NieR”, everyone but Nier himself is the heroine. Weiss even confessed to him at the end.
Yokoo: Huh!? Where?
Eishima: That parting scene where he was like “I rather like the name Weiss”.
Yokoo: If you say that was a confession, then Eishima, I applaud your brain. (laughs)
-Both Weiss and No.7 are rather popular amongst the females as mascots.
Yokoo: Emil was always shut inside the mansion, so he’s pretty naïve. He stopped growing and remained young ever since becoming a weapon, but his stupidity is rather endearing.
Eishima: I really laughed at the post-credit sequence in ending B. I really had fun writing about No.7’s solitary travels in the SS.(laughs) That’s why I thought that I couldn’t finish the DLC…the not-quite-magic-bullets-but-Emil-bullets…I can’t cut them!
Yokoo: That was pretty easy to make, and when it was actually implemented, it made a rather funny picture, so I liked it. It’s rather creepy, but all the female staff just went “So cute, so cute”. He’s quite the character.
-Now that you think about it, Nier is quite popular, being surrounded by all these fascinating characters.
Yokoo: It’s a harem.
Eishima: Nobody is fully female though.
Yokoo: He’s rather popular amongst non-humans. Still, he remains oblivious, and all he thinks about is Yonah. Such a horrible man. (laughs)
Borne from Natori’s scenario
A Yonah who “hurts others mercilessly”
Yokoo: I actually really like the scenes with Yonah, and the one that really caught my favor was when Kaine left in ending A. In my request to Natori, I only wrote “please make it a beautiful ending where they look upon the sky”. And then she gave me that scene where Yonah says “Brother, look!” at the worst possible moment. I was like “What’s up with this amazingly twisted scene, wow!!” (laughs)
Natori: That was a calculated crime. Although they’re siblings, their positions are also similar to that of a protector and his daughter, so I thought that Yonah would do something like that.
Eishima: That really caught me off guard. Saying something like that at that moment seems probable for a father and daughter, since the daughter has the right to have her father all by herself. But it’s just too dark for siblings…!
Yokoo: She’s still mentally five. But that’s still not something to be excused. (laughs) Someone needs to scold her.
Love towards Kaine and Emil
“I’m glad that I had companions”
-Natori, please tell me your favorite scenes or lines if you have any.
Natori: I loved that scene where Kaine fell asleep in Emil’s mansion, and the exchange with Weiss following that. When I write those scenes where they seem like a family, I feel happy for Kaine. Also, I’m a bit wary of blowing my own trumpet, but I liked Kaine saying “This isn’t a sin” to Emil. When I thought of how much Emil needed someone who thinks like that and poured in all my love, that line just came out naturally.
-It really makes her seem like a big sister.
Natori: I feel like I put more thought into Kaine and Emil. They possess more of a burden than Nier and Weiss, physical-wise, which led to their isolation, so I put a lot of conversations that emphasizes how great it is to have companions.
-Which scene does Eishima like?
Yokoo: Eishima is definitely satisfied with just watching young Nier’s back while he roams the fields, since it’s zettai ryouiki and whatnot.
Eishima: I did get satisfaction from making him run like crazy.(laughs) But you see…when I get really happy watching that, my high school son would just pass by and say “But, haven’t this kid’s tunnels been opened up already?”, popping my bubble.
Yokoo & Natori: (laughs like crazy)
-That is Eishima’s sin.
Eishima: No! Yokoo was the one who made young Nier do that, and I just novelized it!
Yokoo: My my, Eishima’s a sinful person. Fueling every fan in the nation.
Eishima: This game is just too controversial, seriously!(laughs)
Let’s ask director Yokoo a simple question 4: In the second part of the story, why are there white flowers floating in the pond beside Nier’s house?
Yokoo: He was trying his best to plant Lunar Tears and make them into hair decorations in anticipation of Yonah and Kaine’s return. He didn’t want to throw away the failed attempts, so he let them float in his pond.
“Replicant” was almost
Cancelled in the process!?
Yokoo: We somehow made it possible to release both “Replicant” and “Gestalt” at the same time, but there was a time when “Replicant” almost got called off.
Mr. T: Something like that did happen.
Yokoo: It took approximately 3 years for development, but during that time we were called to a meeting with America’s Square Enix to give a brief report on the game and its progress. Back then, we planned to release the two games earlier, so we were on a tight schedule. When we realized that during the meeting, those higher ups just reasoned “Can’t we just go with “Gestalt”? We could live with not releasing a special version in Japan, can’t we?” in english. (laughs)
-And what happened after that?
Yokoo: The producer Satou, who was sitting by my side, just sort of looked at me with a “…what do we do now?” face, and I just stuck to my opinion that I really didn’t want this. (laughs) If we can’t make “Replicant”, our development team’s motivation will go down like crazy, and as a result even “Gestalt” will be released later!? Are you okay with that!? Is what I threatened them with.
Mr. T: That was pretty selfish.
Yokoo: We planned to make a sibling story in the first place. Although back then “Replicant” was to be voiced in English, but there was some trouble with the voice actors.
Eishima: Now that’s news to me! If “Replicant” had English voices with subtitles, it might not have become such a topic of discussion.
Yokoo: Then producer Satou said “Let’s just do it with Japanese voices” at the last moment on a whim…maybe it was a wise decision.(laughs) So he adjusted the voice actors.
-I heard that you were pretty insistent on Kaine’s voice.
Yokoo: Our original concept was for her to have a cute and lovely voice in the beginning to go with her feminine design. But I wanted to reflect her rough side even in her voice, so that’s why we asked Atsuko Tanaka to do the role.
Natori: I had the most fun writing Kaine’s vulgar lines. I remember writing **** to censor the words, but putting the dirtiest words and most horrible profanities in parentheses after them. “She’s saying something like thiiiis!♪” I had a lot of fun, so it was great to be able to write them out even though they were censored by beeps.
Yokoo: Having Tanaka say “all of that” and hearing “all of that” in the studio was a nice experience as well.
-If they just heard that, Tanaka fans throughout the world are going to faint in agony.
Save data was the final price
What if there was no ending D…
-Hearing all that, the successful release of “NieR” definitely seems to be the product of the hard work of many parties.
Yokoo: Yeah, I feel that it’s very fortunate in that regard. Back then we didn’t plan a limited edition first press version, and it was thanks to Mr. T and his crew that it was made possible.
Mr. T: That’s because the music was simply too good. I insisted that we should do it, and it did eventually get realized.
-I’m surprised that the soundtrack released earlier than the game.
Yokoo: I made quite a lot of selfish requests to Okabe Keiichi from MONOCA and Emi Evans. In the end, they made great songs that far exceeded my expectations, so I’m really grateful. I’m really happy that the soundtrack has been receiving such positive reviews.
-Ending D must come as a huge surprise for players. It’s amazing how such a system could come to pass.
Yokoo: I really wanted to do that, so producer Satou did his best to realize it. At first, we didn’t even allow players to make backup data.
Eishima: If that got passed, Yokoo’s definitely heading to his locker.(laughs)
Yokoo: Yeah, even I know when to restrain myself.(laughs) So we allowed backups to be made, and added several confirmation messages after the choice that would lead to data deletion. Only after all that did my idea get passed, so all’s well.
-If that system was turned down, how would the players reach the final ending?
Yokoo: After playing the game once thoroughly, you won’t be able to use your first save file name. After seeing endings A, B and C using your second name, you would be able to play the portion described in the SS “The Lost World”. And after inputting the name you used the first time, you’ll be able to take back the protagonist.
Eishima: That seems really fun by its own rights. I’d actually like to play.
Natori: That, by its own rights, seems like some twisted mechanic that’s going to open up the locker’s door.(laughs)
-Is there any special meaning to the fact that you can’t use the name of your first playthrough?
Yokoo: Back when we planned on the 7-playthrough system, we wanted to emphasize the fact that he definitely “existed”, and that players “remember him clearly” by forbidding you from using the name you used at first. Not being able to use the same name after ending D is simply what remained of the “7 playthrough system just in case”.
Homage and respect
Towards a lot of works
-If we’re talking about things that flew under the radar, we have to mention similarities and references to a lot of famous works aside from ending D.
Yokoo: We looked to mainstream hit works for “reference”. We’ll get flamed if we overdid it, so we scattered most of them throughout the game…
Eishima: Is it really okay to scatter them everywhere even when you’re trying to tone it down!?
-When I got some meat from the sheep, I thought that I could definitely cook this somewhere.
Eishima: Me too!(laughs)
Yokoo: I’ll get into trouble if I don’t hold myself back. Mr.T is constantly watching.
Mr.T: I heard that it was even more shocking in the beginning of development. If you go in front of the door in the mansion, you’ll get a scene change and the door will open with a huge creaaaaaak…something like that.(laughs)
Together: That’s definitely not okay!!
Yokoo: What I thought.
A sequel? A series?
Looking towards the future
-“NieR” became a huge topic of discussion everywhere, but what are your thoughts concerning your next piece, Yokoo?
Yokoo: I just finished with “NieR”, so I didn’t really think of anything. After all, I(from cavia) am but a developer. I only make things according to plans that were approved by the publisher and okayed for budget. I’ll be glad if another opportunity like this comes up.