Automata That Show How Complex It Is

Yoko Taro is the director behind the Drakengard and Nier franchises. He’s an extreme eccentric who only makes public appearance’s wearing a mask of one of his characters, Emil. The man is one of the most well-known developers in the business because of his loud personality. Taro’s games are action based, story-heavy games that really don’t pull any punches with the dark overtones. His games tend to have incredibly dark themes and characters that are deeply flawed.

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NieR: Automata was a financial savior of a game for both Yoko Taro and for Platinum Games. The game featured the unique storytelling of Taro, with the high intensity action of a Platinum game. Honestly, it was a match made in heaven. The plot of this new title somehow involves androids, aliens, magic, sentient machines, and even an amusement park. It’s just as much of an experience as it is a game.

Updated June 26, 2022, by Gabrielle Huston: NieR: Automata is a video game that its players are never going to forget. Here are the best reasons why.


14 NieR Has 26 Endings — This Is The Weirdest

These games are meant to be replayed. The original Nier had 4 endings and NieR: Automata decided to grab the full alphabet with 26 unique endings! Even if a lot of them are text-based, Yoko Taro really does things differently. One such ending is Ending K, in which the protagonist and certified android 2B can’t suppress her curiosity/hunger any longer.

When given a live fish by an in game NPC, if the player chooses to ingest the fish, we’re shown a black screen and the curtains are quickly drawn on 2B’s story. Then there’s a text crawl describing just how delicious the fish is, and it was worth it. Turns out fish oil isn’t so great for machines.

13 Jean-Paul Created The Opera Boss

So, one of the main locations at about the halfway point of NieR: Automata is Pascal’s village. It’s the village where the player usually starts to questions their actions in their fight against the robots. A village full of peaceful, completely individual machines who have disconnected themselves from the network/hive mind of the other machines.

One of the character’s in the village is Jean-Paul, a top hat sporting robo who spends all his processing power philosophizing. A side quest in the game features many of the “female” robot’s writing him love letters (that he ignores) and, thanks to some sleuthy fans, we actually know that the Opera Boss from the amusement park was pursuing Jean Paul when she was driven to insanity.

12 Drifting Into Action With A Moose Or Boar

One of the most publicized details from the original Nier was its high speed boar drifting. If you completed a specific early game side quest in the prequel title, you could ride the boar in certain areas of the game. And, because this game reuses a lot of areas and assets, you’ll be running back and forth a lot.

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So, obviously, speeding up that back and forth was pretty convenient. But, this boar apparently went to driving school because it doesn’t control like a normal boar. Instead, it runs at Mach speed and drifts like it’s in Fast and the Furious.

Turns out the boar makes a return in Automata, although not quite as spectacularly. But now we can also ride a moose! Woohoo!

11 Shin Godzilla Bossfight

So, after an entire year, fans thought they had found every secret to be found in NieR: Automata. They had combed every building and exhausted every dialogue. But then, Yoko Taro said in an interview that there was one last secret he couldn’t believe hadn’t been found yet.

One of the things players thought it could have been was the hidden boss fight with Godzilla. There’s a hidden fight with a mechanized dinosaur in the game that is an obvious homage to Japan’s goliath anti-hero. In the path to ending C we fight the creature and, thanks to its fire breath, we can tell it’s a direct homage to 2016’s Shin-Godzilla.

10 Pay To Win PSN Trophies

So NieR: Automata not only has controversial topics in its dialogue, costumes, and narrative choices, but it also has controversial mechanics! There’s a secret shop in Automata where players can actually spend in-game currency to unlock the Trophies on PS4.

Yoko Taro himself has stated that he’s not a big fan of the whole “achievement” system introduced with the Xbox 360. And they made sure to also keep the feature in the Xbox One release, Become as God’s Edition. Now, this shop isn’t accessible until after you clear ending A, so, at the very least, players obsessed with their Gamerscore don’t have the option to rent Automata, buy all the achievements and return it immediately. Guess you’ll just have to play the game, how awful!

9 Merchant From Resident Evil 4, An Android?!

Of course, most people know Claire, Leon, Barry, and Chris, but fans of the franchise also fondly remember the merchant from Resident Evil 4. Players never get the full story on him and because of his weird way of speaking, though. The phrase “Whaddya buyin” has become iconic in the video game industry, and Yoko Taro agrees.

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In the Forest Kingdom Colosseum, there’s an NPC Merchant you can interact with that utters the Resident Evil Merchant’s prodigal phrase. When asked why they speak like that, the NPC says that they learned it from a fellow Merchant. This little secret doesn’t do much for you, gameplay wise, but it is totally awesome.

8 Automata And Drakengard Share A Language

In both Nier and Drakengard, there are a variety of different “magics.” In the case of Nier, it’s most likely not magic but rather highly advanced technology. But, in Drakengard, characters cast spells and create magic circles. In those circles we can make out specific characters of an unknown language.

And, in the promotional material for NieR: Automata, fans could see the abilities in-game shared those same letters. So, it’s confirmed that Nier and Drakengard used the same ancient language, and super fans have now even decoded it! Most of the words are variations of the letters ACT and G. These are the letters of the nucleotide bases in DNA, which has some odd implications for Automata.

7 Timeline Hopping Drakengard Character Cameo

Drakengard 3 takes place in a semi-medieval setting. Yet somehow, near the end of the game, an android named Accord pops into the plot in order to check the “validity of the timeline.”

Players were immensely confused by this and couldn’t have had more questions. Rest assured, none of them were answered and Drakengard 3 ends. Years later, NieR: Automata comes out, a game full of androids! Fans of Taro couldn’t be quicker to ask “Where’s Accord?”

Turns out she’s not physically in the game, but there are mentions of her in a couple of locations. She’s a weapons merchant now, and apparently, it’s a booming business. Not what I expected, but okay.

6 Hidden Lunar Tear Field

Again, this little hidden thing is another tribute to the original Nier. In that game, the quest that starts off the events of the story is rescuing Nier’s daughter Yonah in her pursuit of a legendary flower, the Lunar Tear. Legends say this flower can grant any wish and Yonah hoped to use her wish to cure her disease, so that her dad Nier would be at ease.

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The Lunar tear makes an appearance everywhere in Yoko Taro’s works and, in NieR: Automata, it’s a reward for finishing part of Emi’s quest line. Players are able to access a hidden Lunar Tear field! It’s a beautiful area and the emotional implications had true fans teary eyed.

5 Machine Named “Beepy” Gave Robot’s Sentence

Get ready for some lore. In the original Nier, there was a machine boss called P-33 who we later learned was actually fighting to escape, thanks to the wishes of his friend who named him “Beepy.” Our protagonist Beepy escaped from the Junk Heap, gained sentience and combined with other machines around him.

This new hive mind machine then launched itself into space. As it left Earth, it saw the war between the machines and androids and decided to gift the machines with intelligence. So, the actual mass network all the machines are connected to in NieR: Automata is actually thanks to a minor boss in the original Nier. Yoko Taro is insane, but obviously loves the Greek legend about Prometheus.

4 You Can Uninstall Windows

One of the most unique features in Automata is its Plug in Chip System. This is essentially the main way a player augments their stats and abilities. To match the machine aesthetic, players can equip chips such as “Attack Damage” or “Drop Rate.” But just like a machine, there’s only so much memory, and players have to micromanage their upgrades.

The real interesting part is that HUD features also take up space. A player could remove their mini map, in exchange for a damage increase. Or, if you were to remove your OS chip, well, then that’s it. The credits role and you’re taken back to the main menu. It’s actually one of the 26 endings, and an amazing way to mess with the players.

3 A Familiar Library Returns

Fans of the original title will recognize the image above as an all-white version the library in Nier. In the original adventure most of your downtime takes place in a sweet little town managed by the twins Popola and Devola.

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Devola is constantly out by the fountain demoing some of the critically acclaimed soundtrack, while Popola spends the majority of her time managing things from inside the town library. The location is where you’ll get most of your mainline quests, fight the Shadowlord for the first time, cry as you turn Kaine to stone, and get your mind blown as its lower exit leads to the futuristic abandoned city.

2 Fight Platinum & Square’s CEO’s

Another aspect of the C3C1D119440927 DLC is that it included some extra boss fights. At the end of the all the Colosseum trials, you are able to go back to the Flooded City arena and choose to fight both the CEO of Platinum Games and Square Enix.

It’s also worth noting that, in order to start said fight, you have to talk to a specific NPC in the arena and confirm 3 times that yes, and you want to fight you-know-who. After confirming, you are also told this fight can ruin the immersion of the game, in which you have to respond “immersion schmmersion” in order to begin. Try to be at least level 85; these fights are by far the hardest in the game.

1 Antagonist Connected To The Cult From Drakengard

It’s up for debate who the true “antagonists” of NieR: Automata are, but we do know that after Adam and Eve enter the scene, they oppose our characters every step of the way.

Interestingly, the designs for Adam and Eve were actually released well before the game came out, and a few lore nerds noticed that the tattoo’s Eve sports when angered is also seen in another Taro game. In the Drakengard series, the penultimate big bads are called “The Watchers” and are literal interdimensional beings. Well, humans that worship these “Gods” are called the “Cult of the Watchers” and Eve’s ink shares their symbol.

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