[Spoilers] Nier Automata Tore Out My ❤️ And I Want It Back

Let’s talk/exchange theories/cry together about all the ways Yoko Taro exploited our emotions.

Feel free to spoiler tag stuff but know that this thread will be unmarked spoiler territory too!!


I didn’t believe the game/Patrick/other people in ending E and I said YES without thinking into it. Deleted my save. But at least I helped someone, right?! Right???


I’m really mad at this game because it kills pretty much all the women.


People who delete their saves are heroes. It’s done in a way that feels satisfying. A way that I don’t think I’d ever feel bad if I never picked the game back up again because that one experience felt complete, resolute. It may be my favorite game this year but I think multiple playthroughs of A-E again would only be a disservice to it. I’ve passed on the torch, I’ve made my peace, the game lives on in the continuum of other people playing it and experiencing the game for themselves; and crying when 2B says “Nines”


The real question is what’s y’all’s ships. I’m on 2b/6o, mainly (although there was a pretty neat 6o/21o fanfic I read one time)


You know I was sold on the 2B/Nines thing being the canon love thing but when Austin mentioned the fact that XXXX could be ANYTHING - my mind was spinning.

In my head now he wanted to SAVE 2B from her terrible cycle of servitude and pain. :cry:

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I just beat this game last night. I knew I had to go through the whole thing to get the proper ending, and once I had, after accepting the help of another, I knew I couldn’t just not pay it forward. Looking forward to coming back to it in a few months to run through with the knowledge that I know now to appreciate the nuances of the story. And to grab all the trophies.

2B/6O, 9S/a hug, 2B/60/Commander.


Ending E wasn’t really much of a decision compared to something like the A2/Pascal thing.

I’m kind of looking forward to going back in since the DLC comes out tomorrow.

@jazzcatte totally agree, I wasn’t a fan of the fact that it was more 9S’s story than 2B’s, especially since the rest of YorHa (with like 2 exceptions) is female. I’ve heard some people discuss if genderswapped 9S would smooth out some of the rougher edges. I’m tempted to agree and it’s something I’m planning to keep in mind for my next playthrough.

Also I didn’t play the first Nier (but I have watched the videos in Patrick’s article about the backstory, plus a 4+ hour movie someone made of it) but I kind of want to now? Like I know Automata plays better but I’ve heard some people say it did a better job on some of the emotional beats which is hard to imagine. Has anyone played it? What about Drakengard 3?


Given how interested the game is in the tension and interplay between sex and violence – the scene near the end of C/D where 9S has straddled a 2B unit and is stabbing it over and over while crying/laughing springs to mind – the XXXX could really mean anything. I imagine it is either KILL, SAVE, or [the one you’d expect].

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NieR: Automata is my favorite game of this year and I have a super hard time figuring out how to do the one-line elevator pitch to people. People straight-up NEED to play this. I was actually tempted to make a thread about it. Any suggestions?


Speaking of the Pascal story, I had NO idea you could revisit the village after you choose to wipe his memories. It makes the whole situation even MORE heartbreaking!

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Nier is decent, if slow, with a lot of fodder sidequests. Drakengard 3 runs glacially and the gameplay is nowhere near as good as Automata’s. Let me humbly recommend The Dark Id’s LPs of the entire Drakengard series, or at least 3: https://lparchive.org/title/drakengard They’ve also done Nier in the same style on that site.

And you can sell the cores of the children back to him at a modest profit!

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I couldn’t bear to wipe Pascal’s memories. I killed them

So I beat Nier Automata, endings AB&C. I picked it up because some voices in games media that I really respect were gaga for it, but it didn’t real click for me. A lot of what the game hung its hat on were its emotional tone and themes, but it was difficult for me to feel the heft of the tone and themes, because I was constantly mildly annoyed at how mind numbingly boring the game was to play. If you play any of the side quests you quickly become over leveled (and you should play the side quests because they contain more of the tone and themes which justify playing the game). Normally being overpowered would and should feel good in a video game, like carving through a squad of soldiers in dynasty warriors, but the drab aesthetics of Nier takes those moments and makes them feel more like dragging your feet through mud then cutting through butter. This is something that could have been solved by making the combat more challenging, for instance by making you have to be more precise with your button inputs in order to pull off a combo, but there isn’t much if any incentive to just mindlessly spam buttons. the argument could be made that the drabness of the game play adds to the aesthetic of the Nier, similar to the way that the difficulty of Dark souls Adds to what that game is as a concept. To this I would say that, while a game could use drabness of play to reinforce its narrative, Nier does not take the opportunity to make that point, one of the few opportunities to be depressing that it misses. There were some moments that were undeniable impactful, but I cant help but wonder how much better those moments could have been if they weren’t accompanied by such a underwhelming game. 3/10 for game play ?/10 as a piece of art.

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I did the same and kept their core with me for the rest of the game.

If you didn’t sacrifice your save data, you are a monster.

That being said, I came away from the Waypoint spoilercast on Automata disappointed. It was kept close to an hour long and really didn’t discuss all that much of what the game was about nor a very broad range of subjects. The first twenty minutes were devoted mostly to Pascal (who is a great character, don’t get me wrong), but zeroing in on Pascal at the expense of most everyone else really misses the forest for the trees.

I mean, they didn’t mention a single word about the Operators, for example. Are they minor? Yes. But they both left a strong impact on me despite most of their time being spent as radio voices. 6O is a great figure in that role because she’s so unexpected and a great match for 2B. 2B spends so much time trying to stay emotionally distant and focused on the job, but 6O literally calls and e-mails out of the blue on personal topics, up to and including the moment she needs a shoulder to cry on after getting rejected by a girl she asked out.

The first moment in the game that seriously gutted me? The one that made me put down my controller and take an emotional breather? It was during the Bunker escape at the start of the third cycle. I had helped 6O out earlier by being a friend and sent her data on a flower, which she really appreciated. And during that escape from the logic virus-infected YoRHa units, I passed by 6O’s quarters, and she thanked me for the flower in a distorted, disjointed, virus-infected voice. 6O’s dying words caught me so off guard that I was still wrecked after I stopped playing for the night and went to bed.

Just…good god. And this is to say nothing of 21O’s fate, and her (admittedly probably unattainable) desires being left unfulfilled.

And then there’s the paths that 9S and A2 take during the third cycle. 9S, the dorky, inquisitive, talkative goof, has his world shattered over and over. First he learns that the humans are actually all dead. And then he sees A2 kill 2B, and one thing just leads into another, and it’s clear that his sanity was wearing away, and it’s difficult to tell how much of that was due to the logic virus that ultimately infected him versus cold reality hitting him like a sledgehammer. Meanwhile, A2 goes from being alone and on the run, distrustful of YoRHa and machine lifeforms, to becoming more willing to open up. She progresses from avoiding contact with androids to reconnecting with Anemone, and from threatening Pascal’s life to running errands for him. And then things go really, really bad.

But man, Ending E? That whole sequence is just beautifully done. Yoko Taro said before the game launched that it would have a happy ending. I wasn’t exactly sure I could believe him because, well, he’s Yoko Taro and happy endings aren’t exactly what his games are known for. And there is a happy ending in E, if that’s how you want to read into it. Fighting against the very game itself in order to give 2B, 9S, and A2 a second chance. It could all just end in disaster, but it’s worth a shot, right?

On another note, I really love the way that references to the original Nier are scattered about the game. There’s Emil and his whole side quest of course, which is really sweet a great nod to the first game. But then there’s the way that machines in the desert dress like people from Facade in the original Nier, or A2 stumbling across a perfect replica of the original game’s library while exploring the tower, which in turn contains an old medical record on Yonah. As someone that played the original Nier, this sort of stuff made me stop and take serious notice.

Oh, and for the heck of it, here’s Ending E of Drakengard, which kicked off all of this madness in the first place:

Seriously, someone give Yoko Taro the money to remake, or at the very least remaster Drakengard 1, and relocalize it with the same team that handled Nier, Drakengard 3, and Automata. Please.

And just for fun, Yoko Taro revisited the concept of the Drakengard 1 Ending E boss in the Drakengard 3 Ending D boss, but as a proper rhythm game that is roughly 10,000% more sadistic in its design:

Bless Yoko Taro. I really hope Square Enix keeps giving him the money to make the games he wants.


I don’t know how well this worked but I just played the soundtrack constantly when people came to visit and just occasionally slipped in ‘hey, did I mention you should play this game’?


That’s not bad. I’m making a remix album of the soundtrack that is essentially my own way of doing that!

I think the spoilercast could be rolled into pilot week as the start of Sad Robot Sundays or something. The podcast will continue until Patrick/Austin + guests somehow run out of stuff to talk about.

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I’m really annoyed that the soundtrack doesn’t include the Become as Gods track with the chanting!

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