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“” which became a huge topic of discussion in the first half of 2017, the shock of which continues to stick in our minds more than the number of sales. For those of you who are experiencing “NieR Withdrawl”, we hope these pages will help to fill that void in your hearts.
Special Feature Diagest: Beware of Spoilers!
Interviews with the cast and staff,
A look back with comments from fans,
The Memory of “”
It’s been about five months since the release of “”. Since then fans have been thoroughly emersed in playing the game, enjoying watching official live broadcasts, listening to the soundtrack, carefully reading through the source materials, going to the collaboration with the Square Enix Cafe, playing through the DLC and customizing the characters with the unique costumes; I think people have been widly grinning with excitement. We’ve also got additional merchandise, the novelization, and the music concerts in Taiwan yet to look forward to, but at the official “Memory of Dolls” concert in May, we were treated to one more stage that lead to the development of the “” project. Maybe you feel like you’re in that lull after the storm, a sense of calm yet great sadness!? For those suffering from “NieR Withdrawl”, we’ve gathered together a bunch of information in diagest form including several interviews with the cast and staff members, the results of the questionnaire from our readers, and much more. In one of the interviews with the staff, we talked with illustratior Yoshida Akihiko about the key visual that was used for the cover of the game in Japan, and we learned of the goggle-less version among other facinating miracles. A B3-sized poster is included in this issue, so please check it out.
**Spoiler Warning** There is a ton of spoilers throughout this special feature, so for anyone who has not yet completed the game at this time, it is recommended that you skip over these pages.
Distributed at the 2nd Nier:Automata collaboration with the Square Enix Cafe in April, we’ve included a product code on p.210 to download the “Pod Skin: Retro Gray”! Additionally, you are able to purchase digital copies of past issues of Famitsu magazine that feature . Not only are introductory articles are included but also past articles, too. Items related to have been compiled into a really nice digest format that would go well with this special feature on . Check it out!
The “Pod Skin: Retro Gray” product code can be found in the download contents envelope.
Also check out the digital articles about you can read on your iOS or Android!
2B’s Voice Actor: Interview with Ishikawa Yui (2 pages)
9S’s Voice Actor: Interview with Hanae Natsuke (2 pages)
A2’s Voice Actor: Interview with Suwa Ayaka (2 pages)
Rabid Dogs of’s World: A Conversation with Yasumoto Hiroki & Yuki Aoi (4 pages)
Act 3: Killer Beasts Scene 1: The Pearl Harbor Descent Mission
A2 (Narration): Everything is designed to be destroyed.
In the never-ending spiral between life and death……
I continue to be trapped.
Is this a curse?
Or is this some kind of punishment?
Whatever god who dealt me this mysterious puzzle,
I wonder, will I someday raise my bow at him?
2B (N): She’s A2. Attacker No2.
A new model YoRHa android.
A2: I was first deployed on December 8, 11941, the Pearl Harbor Descent Mission during the 14th Machine War.
I was a weapon created to take back the planet stolen by the Bio-Machines.
……We were that weapon, the “YoRHa Squadron”.
No9 (Narration): Everything is designed to be destroyed.
In the never-ending spiral between life and death……
I continue to be trapped.
Is this a curse?
Or is this some kind of punishment?
Whatever god who dealt me this mysterious puzzle,
I wonder, will I someday raise my bow at him?
Zinnia, sounding very cheerful.
Zinnia: Hey, my name’s Zinnia. Everybody calls me Genius.*
…I’m just kidding.
“Zinnia” is the name of a flower. I guess they go through long periods without blooming.
My job’s, how do I put it……
I’m the head director of technological advancement for the Human Forces, I suppose.
I’m developing new android soldiers called “YoRHa” here on the 6th orbital satellite, “Lab”.
We’re developing state-of-the-art mechanical parts here and have gathered the most distinguished personnel.
The last post that I made regarding this interview with Yosuke Saito and also Ishikawa Yui was a complete mess that was not entirely my fault. The translation there stemmed from Japanese answers being translated into Chinese (most likely on the fly). I then took that Chinese text, used an online translation page to translate it into Japanese from which I translated once more into English.
Phew! I’m tired just trying to get that straight!
Suffice it to say, a completely Japanese source, Game Watch, has posted this interview in Japanese to help clear up a couple important points that seemed like they came right out of left field. I’ll highlight the most important points.
* * * * * * * * * *
ーThe demo received positive marks in Japan, but what sort of feedback did you get from the players?
Saito: Our goal for the demo was to give players a hands-on experience, to witness firsthand how fluid the action is, and to show them what to expect from the final product. We released a demo because it’s difficult to explain in words what a game will be like—it’s better to show you the game and let you experience it for yourself. I’m extremely pleased with all the positive feedback the demo has been receiving. Even though it is an Action RPG, we really want to save the RPG elements for the final release of the game, things like the story, various forms of level progression, and buying and selling items.
ーYou’re not able to use the lock-on function in Hard or Very Hard. Will this stay the same in the final release?
S: There are many settings at work including the lock-on function, but it won’t be accessible in Hard or Very Hard, unfortunately. For Easy and Normal modes, you can equip a Plug-in chip to turn on this ability, but you are also free to remove it to further personalize your own difficulty level. If you’re not good at action games, you can equip every chip to help you on Easy mode so all you need to do is move the joystick. On Normal, you are also welcome to equip or unequip the lock-on chip as you like. I think the player will be able to customize the game around their own gameplay preferences.
ーWe were able to see a few new weapons in the demo that included background illustrations and corresponding weapon stories. I’m sure there will be many more in the final release of the game. Can we expect to see these illustrations change as you level up your weapon?
S: I can’t say much about this, but… (haha) Even though the background illustrations won’t change as you level up the weapons, the corresponding weapon story will. The weapon itself will also change its appearance.
ーIn the demo, we saw the 3D screen change to a 2D side-scroller. Was there any particular reason you designed stages like that?
S: The previous also implemented similar 2D side-scrolling and top-down views. It’s one of the many things that make a “NieR” gameーa fun action gameーso we wanted to throw in a little homage to retro games and what made them so good. It was all the brainchild of Director Yoko Taro, especially since he loves retro 2D games. Simply put, Platinum Games is handling all aspects of the action, so these stage designs are their way of respecting the previous.
ーThis is a question for Ishikawa-san. Do you have any interesting stories to tell us from your recording sessions?
Ishikawa: Right, I don’t have any funny stories to tell, but when we first began recording, but back then character illustrations were still in development. We had very little to work from. Now we have things like images of 2B and we can actually see how characters robots move, but in the beginning, all we had was a video of real actors performing a particular scene. That was a first for me. It was really interesting to see how that would eventually become part of the actual game.
ーThe ending of the demo was so shocking; how does that connect to the finished game? Or was is purely a separate story only meant for the demo?
S: Hmm… What do you think, Ishikawa-san?
I: You’re passing this to me? (haha) Well, I’ve played the demo and, of course, I know the story, but I thought the ending was a huge cliffhanger.
S: It actually caused a bit of a controversy in Japan. People were wondering things like, “Could this actually be the ending of the game!?” (haha) First of all, it’s not a separate story made specifically for the demo. Although it doesn’t depict the very beginning of the game, it still takes place roughly during the beginning. I hope you look forward to the official release of the game to see the resolution of this cliffhanger!
ーSo, will there be multiple endings this time around?
S: Yes, there will be multiple endings, but exactly how many is a secret.
ーAnother question for Ishikawa-san. Without spoiling anything, can you tell us what do you think of 2B?
I: (hahaha) Okay. First of all, the story itself is shocking in a multitude of ways—I’m really scared I might accidentally blurt something out. 2B isn’t allowed to express emotion, but in small places, here and there, you can see her treating 9S with gentle care. Since she isn’t overly flamboyant, she may be holding back her feelings, although they tend to unintentionally show in the heat of the moment or in slight subtleties of the heart. I recorded so many lines while thinking how it would be nice if she could express how she really feels.
S: I won’t spoil anything, but listening to you just now almost made me cry. (haha)
I: The release can’t come sooner! I want to get rid of this antsy feelingーlike I MUST play this game right now!!
ーPS4 Pro Support?
S: We talked about this with Platinum Games, and of course you can play おn a 4K TV, but when 4K is actually supported, it spoils the 60fps action. At any rate, when we set our minds on it, we were able to make it work. We entirely intend to preserve Full HD 4K/60fps so you can get every ounce out of . We’re very particular with the motion blur, shadows, and other fine details. After that, we need to maintain the overall performance stability, I suppose. For example, the action cannot lag when a ton of enemies appear on screen.
ーIn your demonstration, when you ran from place to place, we got a feel for how big the stages will be. Will we be mostly walking or running between locations?
S: You can also fly in the sky and ride on animals. In the presentation, we literally ran through some of those areas because half of it is filled with story elements. Just past where we stopped at the front gates of the Amusement Park, it opens up to an entirely new area for you to explore. I hope we were able to tease that a little for you!
ーBefore the presentation began, we saw multiple characters in a trailer. How many playable characters will there be?
S: So far, we’ve only stated that 2B and 9S will be playable. There’s also A2, but whether she’s playable or not is a secret, so look forward to that reveal! Maybe she won’t be a playable character. (haha)
ーIs this game somehow connected to the previous title? Does it have anything to do with?
S: I could talk all night about how things are connected, but to answer you briefly, there is no need to play any of the previous games to enjoy’s multiple endings. Simply, if you have played them, I think you’ll really get a kick out of seeing Emil again. As it turns out, though, Hanae-kun (voice of 9S) went back and played them ALL again to refresh his memory. (haha)
ーNow that you mention Hanae-san, didn’t he manage to clear Very Hard?! Can you share anything more about that?
S: Yeah, he wrote to me on LINE and said, “I’m at the last boss now, but I have to work in the morning, so I need to sleep.” I wrote back and told him, “Go to bed!” About an hour later, I saw he wrote on Twitter that he beat Very Hard. I tried to tell him that he should sleep since he had to appear on the “Oha Suta” TV program the following morning. (haha)
According to an interview by A9VG, we’ve learned a couple new things regarding the game and what’s in store for us…
Please note that I’m going from a very round-about way to translate this. I know *nothing* of Chinese but I do understand Japanese. I used an online translation site to first translate this into Japanese and then I attempted to translate that into English. ^^;
First of all, the Chinese version of the game has been confirmed for this spring.
—Will there be any changes from the demo leading into the actual release of the game? Saito:We released the demo version with the intention of gaining some important feedback from players. The main purpose was to allow players to experience the action part of the game and let them tell us what they thought.
—In the Hard and Very Hard modes, the player is not able to use the lock-on function. Will this still be true for the official release of the game? Saito: Yes, the lock-on function is not accessible in the harder difficulty levels, but in Normal and Easy modes, the player can select whether or not they want to use this function.
—In the demo, we’re only able to explore the area on foot. Will there be other modes of transportation in the official release? Saito: In the official version there will be aerial vehicles and also animals that you can ride on.
—In the demo, we could see that weapons have their own stories with illustrations. Will the official release have more of this, additional illustrations, for example? Saito: As you level up your weapons, you can gradually unlock additional portions of the Weapon Stories. The background image that’s used for the Weapon Stories won’t change, but the actual appearance of the weapons will.
—Ishikawa-san, do you have any interesting stories for us? Ishikawa: Perhaps when I started working on this game. At the time, even the character designs were not yet complete. Since the dubbing was done along with the development of the game, I could really get an inside look on its production.
—What significance does the content in the demo have to do with the official release? Saito: In Japan, it was discussed whether or not the demo depicted the ending of the game. We can reveal here that what you see in the demo occurs roughly at the half-way point of the game. We selected that part so you can get a nice chunk of the game to experience. The story in the demo is not an independent story from the rest of the game.
—Ishikawa-san, how do you feel about your role as 2B? Ishikawa: There are so many emotional moments in the story. As for 2B, she isn’t allowed to express her own feelings. Although she doesn’t sound like it, I think she’s a really gentle person. She’s also very concerned about 9S.
—What can we expect from the PRO? Saito: We initially discussed using 4K with the PRO, but as an action game, we needed to be sure we had at least 1080p/60fps. So, the movement in the PRO version should feel more fluid with better lighting and shadows.
—How many different characters can we expect to play? Saito: Right now we can confirm that 2B and 9S will be playable.
—We know there’s a connection between and the series. Should people play the previous games to prepare for this one? Saito: There is a connection between them all, but there’s absolutely no problem if you haven’t played them. Simply, if you are familiar with the other titles, you may notice some interesting things. For example, the voice actor for 9S, Hanae-san, has played all of the previous games.
According to other Japanese-Chinese translations, not just mine, it appears as though the events that we see in the demo may not actually take place at the *beginning* of the game, but rather a bit further in. It’s described as the “mid-way” point or half-way through the game, but the DOD/NieR series always use multiple playthroughs… so perhaps this could be towards the end of the first run through, “Branch A”.
There are several points that create confusion with this statement, one is my own translation of some of the storyboards and scripts from the Character Introduction video that was originally shown at the Music Concert & Talk Live. Plus, it appears as though 2B and 9S had never met–so would that mean that 2B is alone for the whole first playthrough? Or perhaps there’s an entirely different story gimmick in play that we have no clue about yet?
We don’t have much to go on here, so it may be better to give our brains a rest and just wait until the game is finally released. We’ve only got a month left to go here in Japan… <3
Dengeki had their first Live Broadcast showcasing the beginning portion of the up-coming demo last night. I was busy at a dinner party with people from work, so I apologize for the delay in this post.
Beginning the broadcast, we are introduced to the cast on the show:
Dengeki Writer Tadatsugu and Ishikawa Yui
Voice of “heroine” 9S Hanae Natsuki & “DJ” Saito Yosuke
Platinum Games Producer Nishimura Eijiro
■PS4 Vs. PS4 Pro
The first topic of choice was comparing the differences between the PS4 and PS4 Pro versions of the game:
Motion Blur – This feature is meant to be demonstrated in actual motion, but the PS4 Pro adds a little bit of motion blur to make movement more realistic.
Light/Shadows – The beams of light and details of shadows are more clearly defined.
Detailed Shadows – The PS4 Pro version has a much higher defined shadow.
For me, I don’t need these added details in order to enjoy the game. In my current financial situation, I would much rather go with the PS4 instead of the Pro.
Next we were shown the Difficulty Select menu. As it was stated before, the player is able to change the level of difficulty at anytime during the game. According to these screens, there are a total of four difficulty levels: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard.
The descriptions for each difficulty level is pretty entertaining as well… Probably.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Auto Mode is only accessible from the Easy difficulty setting. Just like the rest of the difficulties, you are able to enter the Auto Mode at any time. The System Message also details exactly what areas the Auto Mode will help you with.
■The Demo: Setting
We’re shown very briefly a screen of text which details the setting of the demo. I had originally thought the demo would be merely a YoRHa training simulation on the Bunker (which is may still be), but the events that take place here appear to follow along with the clips of the Opening Sequence Conte that I translated before.
First off, let me translate the setting screen:
243rd Descent Mission
Mission Dispatch Date: March 10, 11945 Target to be Destroyed: Enemy Massive-scale Weapon (Various specifications confirmed) Active Units: 1D (Captain), 2B, 7E, 4B, 11B, 12H
According to the information gathered by the Intelligence Squadron, it is clear that “there is Bio-machine activity with a large-scale weapon in the Factory Ruins in which Mankind has sent you”. Additionally, the Analysis Squadron reports that after thorough inspection of the Bio-machines’ activities and the amount of materials they’ve gathered, it has been concluded that “it is highly probable that they are building a weapon of massive proportions.”
The objective of this Assault Mission includes the dispatch of a 6-unit squadron to the enemy territory (the Factory Ruins) to gather intel of the area and the large-scale weapon in order to destroy it. Unit 9S from the Intelligence Squadron is scheduled to rendezvous and assist with the mission.
End of transmission.
It was stated that the B Type of androids is an all-rounded “Battler” model series, whereas the S Type is the analytical, information gathering “Scanner” model series. I entirely forgot that an old page detailing information on the YoRHa idol group from DearStage listed additional android types. So, here’s what each type is likely to stand for, including the discontinued type designations:
Continuing with the information from the Opening Sequence Conte, 2B is flying in her “Ho229” aerial suit (the mech) and it eventually receives massive damage before 2B has to jump from it. This is where Pod042 quickly states the situation:
Ho229 equipment has received massive damage. Abandon operation. General communication system down. Booting the Laser Communication System. Scanning terrain……long-distance. Transferring control to FCS. Transferring control to IMU. Booting FFCS. Signal from 2B’s Black Box confirmed. Booting NFCS. Beginning secondary assessment sequence of 2B’s vitals. Beginning short-range camouflage pulse. Booting close-range battle parameters. Enemy response, massive numbers detected.
I can see that.
In this sequence, we see 2B battling some Lv1 Bio-machines of small to medium sizes within an enclosed area.
When she defeats the larger machine:
Pod042: Enemy destruction confirmed.
And that’s when the gigantic saw busts through the wall.
And we’re presented with a warning screen that lists the enemy’s name in classic Angelic Script format, which reads “Mars”.
When 2B first engages in battle with this huge machine, she wonders if this is the “Massive-scale Weapon” that they were charged to destroy, but Pod042 tells her that it is, unfortunately, not their target.
Eventually, 2B thinks that she’s defeated the gigantic machine, but it comes after her with another saw. This time, she gets a little help–and scolding–from 9S.
“It’s dangerous if you don’t make sure it’s dead…”
You’re 2B, right? I’m 9S. I’ve been instructed to assist you.
So that big can opener was the “Massive-scale Weapon” we were after?
No. It seems like it was just a defense mechanism.
Then… I guess we’ll have to look for it.
I’ve got an aerial suit, so I’ll take a look around out here.
Alright. I’ll search the area inside.
■Merchandise: YoRHa / 2B Hoodie
This is the new hoodie that will first become available at Jump Festa this weekend at the Square Enix booth. This item will also be available from the Japanese SQEX e-STORE at a later date.
■NieR Music Concert & Talk Live Blu-ray
The very nice Blu-ray of the Music Concert & Talk Live event that was held this past April was just released on December 14. This also became the present for a lucky viewer on the NicoNico side of the broadcast; the blu-ray would be opened and signed by the hosts of this broadcast.
■The Resistance Camp, Items, and Weapons
As it had been shown in past live streams of the game, the Resistance Camp is populated by many different types of androids, some very human-like types and others that clearly resemble tin robots. Devola and Popola also reside somewhere in the camp.
Within the camp are item and weapon shops, people to talk to and even some who will enlist your help in the form of quests. Here’s a quick glance at the Item and Weapon Shops:
Producer Saito Yosuke mentions that you are able to obtain new weapons from the shop or by discovering them out in the field. Weapons can also be upgraded with the use of items that you gather from defeating enemies. Weapon upgrades can be done in the Weapon Shop menu:
Of course, Weapon Stories are back in, so you can expect to see the typical 4-step story progression for each weapon. And with the collaboration with FFXV, Noctis’ Engine Blade will be a usable weapon in along with its own Weapon Story.
Speaking of weapons, another type of weapon was announced during the PSX events in the US and Mexico: the spear! Here is a quick look at the names of these weapons:
■Other Playable Characters & The Open World
At about 39 minutes into the live broadcast, Saito says that at some point in the game, 9S will become a playable character. He wouldn’t elaborate on that any further before Tadatsugu followed up with another question regarding the “Open World” aspect of the game. He went on to say that each area connects seamlessly (no loading time necessary), but there are parts of the story in which some areas are closed off to you…possibly making this definition of “Open World” a little less open. Perhaps it’s more like FFXV in which the majority of the world is free to roam as you like…up until a point. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
■Android Report – Multiplayer?
During the gameplay footage, one of the hosts playing the game died, which displayed the “Android Report” screen…which they didn’t want to release just yet.
As far as the YoRHa stage play goes, upon the destruction of the androids, their remaining data is uplinked to the Bunker to be used in the creation of future, more advanced androids. Could this be the function that would utilize multiplayer aspects? Maybe this is a sort of scoreboard in which you can view when and how players DIED. lol
■Further Collaborations and More!
A weapon or other equipment from will be in PSO2! (Expect to see Emil’s head)
▶︎ The collaboration with PSO2 will include the following items from :
Costumes and hair designs of 2B, 9S, A2
Theme Song Music
A weapon or piece of armor from will appear in Monster Hunter Frontier Z! There will even be a related original quest as well! (Expect to see Emil’s head)
A “visual summary” of the game detailing its artwork, additional text by Yoko Taro, and more will be released on the same day as the game (Size: B5).
Dengeki has been the publisher of the these giant collections known as the “complete guide” for these games, and they plan to release their next work for sometime toward the end of March! (Size: B5, Pages: Roughly 300 pages)
Regarding the release of the guidebooks, Hanae suggests that the publisher release enough books since it was very difficult for him to even find one to buy! Let’s hope they listen to him!
Shortly after SQEX updated the official site with the English version of the new theme song, I was intrigued to find out as much as I could about the vocalist.
The quality of her voice reminded me a lot of the Japanese singer AI. I looked into it some more and came to the conclusion that this wasn’t AI, but probably an entirely different vocalist than we’ve heard before.
Ever since then, I had been working on this interview and, being delayed by many personal ups and downs in my life, I feel badly that it’s taken me this long to put the final touches on this to share. So, for everyone involved, I’m very sorry for working so slowly.
Then, without further adieu, please enjoy the interview:
Like the theme song, there will be multiple versions of songs
—You received a warm welcome at last year’s Paris Games Week, but how do you think that compares with the “NieR Fever” in Germany? Although this hasn’t been discussed by the press yet.
Saito: The members of the media have brought up the music and expressed their fervent desire to have a concert hosted in Germany. The whole world is enamoured with Okabe-san.
Okabe: No, no, no! I thought the people in Germany were just being nice, but I’m still very grateful. Although putting on a concert overseas is just a dream. (haha)
Saito: Our staff has expressed their enthusiasm to do another concert, but I’m afraid they’d be more wishy-washy if we actually did it. (haha) Putting on a concert in our home country was hard enough. (haha)
Okabe: Yes, it was pretty rough. (haha) Not only was it rough for me, but it must have been really hard on the concert staff who gave it a real concert feeling that spring. So, compounding everything for an international concert…… I’ll keep on dreaming. (haha)
Saito: Well, if sells well, we could make it a possibility.
◼︎ Let’s take another look at NieR Replicant since it’s been released on Playstation Now.
Saito: Sorry for the sudden inconvenience, but Yoko is running a little late…
Saito: But, we can start without him. (haha) You can add in his comments after the fact wherever you like. (haha) Or maybe just put them in bold.
ーAlright. (haha) So…… Now that the previous game is available through Playstation Now, may I ask your thoughts on it as you look back at it once more?
Saito: I’ve heard here and there that there are some people who’ve heard the soundtrack from the first game but never actually played it, so with in the works, this is a great opportunity for them to try it out. It’s absolutely not necessary to play Replicant in order to play Automata—we’ve made sure of that—but still we’d love for more people to give it a try. It will only be available for a limited rental period at a reduced price, though. Even still, we’d love to get more people to experience it. I think there may have been many people who stopped playing after the A Ending, but if you hang in a little longer, the story gets much fuller from the B Ending on, so I really hope you try it out!