This is a quick FAQ for those of you who may still have some questions regarding DOD3 and others. If you have another question that isn’t covered here, please let me know and I will add it.
This is a compilation of the answers that I made in various posts on GameFAQs.
** Also, please beware of spoilers. You should not read this if you have not yet completed through Branch D of the game. There may also be spoilers related to other works by Yoko Taro as well, such as the various manga series and Nier.
Last Updated: June 10, 2016
Why can Zero regenerate her entire body but not her arm?
This is due to the initial attack by Gabriel at the beginning of the game. Zero is a product being kept “alive” by the power of the Flower. The only way to exterminate the Flower or any of the Utautai is by using a dragon or a weapon forged from the body of a dragon, like a dragon-tooth sword (Zero and Brother One’s swords); therefore, since Gabriel—a dragon—severed Zero’s arm, the power of the Flower cannot regenerate this limb.
Why did One want to kill Zero in Branch A?
According to this scene and the DOD3 Complete Guide, both One and Zero shared the same goal: To kill all Utautai.
One appears to have the most clear understanding about their situation–that the entire purpose of the Flower is to destroy the world, which is why she believes that the Utautai should not exist.
In the scene in which Zero approaches One in the main hall of the Cathedral, One is sitting with a book in her hands that deals with the history of the Cathedral City. I really think that if she could get Zero to stop and really think things out clearly, they might have been able to come to a different conclusion besides murdering each other. Then again, maybe not.
Why is it the younger Utautai seem to have memories of their past childhood, their families, and various memories of a kind Zero?
This is a complete and total farce. The Utautai girls have memories of their past but none of it ever happened. It’s merely the Flower making them believe that they are REAL people when they are very far from it. I also see it as a means of manipulation and control. The Flower uses this to give the girls something to fight for.
If One wants to save the world, why does she say “Let us sing unto the world’s end” in the prologue?
I think this line was said in jest. One perceives the path Zero is following to kill her sisters will throw the world into chaos once more… I don’t believe One wishes to see the world be destroyed and yet she’s beginning to see that there is no way around dealing with Zero. Perhaps she thinks that she still has a chance to reason with or defeat Zero and thusly save the world from ultimate destruction. Of course, One has been reading about the history of the Cathedral City, the people who apparently disappeared, and the magic as it relates to the Utautai. She learns about the Flower but cannot understand much more about the purpose of their existence. Perhaps some of those residual feelings has seeped into this scene.
<<More unnecessary info and interpretations on this topic…>>>
In the original Japanese, she doesn’t specifically mention “saving the world” per say, but it’s pretty close enough:
One: The existence of us Utautai will only bring evil to this world. Soon, the entire human race will be annihilated. After you kill all of us for the sake of world, you plan on dying yourself, don’t you?
I also think that battle quickly escalated into that all-out battle to the death. During the initial fight with Abdiel, One reminisces how unfortunate it is that they must fight:
One: We were both rejected by this world, we share the same feeling of danger, but still… We still fight to kill each other in the end.
Zero: You talking about fate? Heh. How chilly.
One: ……That’s just like you, Zero, pretending to be the bad guy. I’ve always hated that part of you.
One: But, for whatever reason, I always thought……we could come to an understanding.
Zero: Despite being a forged existence, man, aren’t you stupid?
One: It’s so unfortunate. It really is.
Then One starts getting pissed and losing her cool after Abdiel is destroyed:
One: Zero……Of course, you must know, that in order to kill an Utautai, you need the power of a dragon!
At this point, I think One is completely committed to her all-out attack on Zero, whereas in the fight before she sounded a bit unsure and helpless toward the situation.
Then I love the moment later in the fight, after Mikhail dies, Zero’s all like “Nooo, Mikhail!! AHHHH!!” and One is like, “What do you know of suffering?” I *totally* see One referring to the death of Gabriella here. They’ve both since lost a dear loved one, and it just fuels their rage:
One: This is what happens because you thought you could be the only one to either curse or save this world!
The following was originally from the TGS trailer but actually takes place after Mikhail is dead and One starts getting desperate in the following battle. I think the lines before this particular few are important, too, as it shows exactly why One is so angry:
One: I……I……I’m standing here because I’ve prepared to meet the same fate. I will protect Gabriel. Even if it means shredding the last of this Utautai life in the process! Come! Zero!
Zero: I’ll kill you!
One: What do you know! You disturb the peace, and kill your own sisters bound by blood… Is that how…Is that how you plan to save the world on your own?
Zero: Is that all you wanted to say! One! Mikhail……It should have been me…… That child, that child, had a future……!
One: Don’t you dare think you can finish me off! I……Five, Four, Three, Two, this world—don’t you dare think that we will lose! Zero! You are the source that created us!
I sort of think that One is associating the way she plans to “save the world” though order with Zero’s version of “saving the world” through destruction and chaos. I don’t think she’s really admitting that Zero has any desire to actually save the world. haha Just this fact contracts the two characters really well.
Why is Two not in Branch D?
We don’t know how Two died in Branch D, but according to the DOD3 Complete Guide, she is already dead at the point we enter this branch–after Chapter 2, Verse 3 on March 19, 1000. If you also take note of the date in which Two’s DLC takes place, we can assume that she died in the battle with the Homunculus.
HOWEVER! Given the particular scene that happens in the DOD3 Story Side Novel, it is highly likely that the same thing occurred in Branch D. After her mind is shattered after the events with Homunculus, she very briefly regains control of her mind…and in that time, she thanks Cent and tells him to live on, for her. It is later implied that she kills herself.
Zero assesses that it may be possible for the other girls to off themselves since they are incomplete “seedbeds” for the Flower. It may be possible for them to die by their own hand before the Flower takes over their persona.
Also, please check the following pages for further reference:
The Complete Timeline (Work in progress)
Why did Cent capture Mikhail in Branch A, Chapter 3, Verse 6?
In the original Japanese at the end of chapter 3, Cent says that he is there to collect Mikhail on Two’s orders. In the beginning campfire scene in Chapter 4, Verse 1, Dito has this discussion with Zero:
Dito: I wonder what plan the Land of Sands will use to come after us.
Zero: Plan? Neither Two nor Cent should have the mental capacity to think of things like that…
Dito: I dunno. It was under Two’s orders that Cent took Mikhail in the first place, wasn’t it? She must have some reason to go to the trouble of kidnapping a dragon. Just…what could it be?
I think Zero is being pretty thick in this scene. She assumes that Two is the same as she last saw her in the prologue of the game, but many things have happened since then. Two is hardly the same giddy, madly-in-love sap that she was before. She is utterly broken and at the mercy of the Flower’s influence. I don’t think Zero really had an idea of what Two was capable of doing–Cent included. He’s always playing the fool, but I never saw him as one; it was just an easy guise to hide his true feelings and intentions.
I believe Dito is trying to reason with Zero in this scene. By looking at the facts of what happened, Dito seems to be certain that Two & Cent kidnapped Mikhail for a specific reason. I don’t believe Dito thinks them to be as stupid as Zero does.
This topic continues in the following question…
Who cursed him later in Branch C?
For clarity’s sake, Branch C takes place just after Zero and the others rescue Mikhail in Branch A, Chapter 4, Verse 1. On page 75 of the DOD3 Complete Guide, the first line in the description for Branch C says, “After Mikhail comes in contact with Two, his body undergoes a change and reverts back to its weakest form.” What if Mikhail was cursed from being in mere contact with the broken Two? Maybe that was the real reason Cent (under Two’s orders, apparently) took him to begin with?
It’s interesting that the curse that Two supposedly cast on Mikhail didn’t break after her death. Zero’s line after that scene makes it seems as though the curse was much stronger and could still remain intact even after Two is killed. Zero assumes that this might be because One is still alive and that once all of the Utautai are dead, then the curse will be lifted. She then deflects all of her anger toward Two onto One, which is why I think she says that she will make One pay…since One is pretty much the ring leader. She might not have been to blame for the curse, but she is still the main obstacle in her way.
Why does Two kill her sisters in Branch B?
According to the Complete Guide, it says that Two goes nuts (presumedly after the events in her DLC) and goes on a rampage. She kills Three and then kills One before Zero and the gang catch up with her. The thing is with the Utautai is that they are very unstable. The Flower copied their personalities and created their memories of their lives together–in essence, it gave them fake emotions and love for each other. So this is why the younger Utautai love One, because she is like their big sister, always looking out for them (also check the events in the manga “Utahime Five”). But when they use too much of their power and if they use it too long, they begin to come unraveled and can even fall into a berserker rage, unable to control their actions. This is basically what happens to Two in these branches.
In the end of Branch B, how or why is the Flower transferred to Mikhail? What happened to Zero?
Like what happens with Gabriella and One in Utahime Five, Zero enters into a contract with Mikhail in order to save his life. She forfeits her body (loses her adulthood and is reverted back to a child) as collateral. But this doesn’t exactly explain why Mikhail now has the Flower. An alternative interpretation to this would be to suggest Zero merges with Mikhail entirely and loses her body as a whole. She and Mikhail become one, body and soul, which is why Mikhail appears to have attained the Flower in his eye. No matter what contract may occur, nothing can erase the Flower from existing—it would only be transferred to the next victim.
Where is Brother One in Branches B, C, and D?
Brother One’s story from Branch A continues in the manga “Shi ni Itaru Aka”. For the other branches, we can assume that since the final battle between One and Zero never took place in the same location (Branch A was in the main hall of the Cathedral, Branch B was in the Land of Forests, Branch C was in the basement orphanage area of the Cathedral, and Branch D was above the ruins of the Cathedral City) or never took place at all, Brother One could still be in hiding. From his novella chapter, we learn that One instructed him to hide away inside and to never come out. He only comes out in Ending A so he could finish One’s wish and kill Zero… but this could explain his absence in the other branches. For all intents and purposes story wise for the game, he is not a vital figure to further the plot, so it could be a reason why he never made another appearance. His story is really only explored in Branch A… so I welcome all “better ends” that may or may not occur for him in other branches…
On a side note, we know that Branch E, which is explained in the DOD3 Story Side novel, directly links to the events in DOD1. Brother One makes an appearance as the narrator as he’s telling his story to an unnamed audience, although he is probably talking with the unnamed, female aide who eventually appoints herself as the Second Seal of the Goddess. I have yet to read to the end of the novel (other projects keep popping up), but you can read my notes on what I’ve read thus far here.
At the end of Branch D, it says that the Flower has been sealed away… What does this mean?
At first I was confused about this as well, but after further viewing of the ending and actually asking Yoko Taro about this, I’ve come to the conclusion that the girls have been SEALED away into another world or dimension; essentially meaning that for all intents and purposes, they are dead…but not quite. There is a possibility they could come back at some point in the future, which is what Accord’s final words allude to.
Also, by saying “another world”, it’s unclear whether this is another branching timeline, a parallel universe, or an altogether different world/planet. However, since there are so many similarities between them, the stone-like version of the flower/the girls could be the same as the Queen-beast at the end of DOD1. Of course, any connection between DOD3 and DOD1 at this point has been made in retrospect, so anything is possible.
If Zero wanted to kill her sisters, why did she create the Apostles to protect them?
Zero did not directly create the Apostles. According to the scene depicted in Utahime Five, it was due to her attack on the four weakened girls that caused the Flower to create the Apostles in order to protect them. So, it’s not entirely correct to say that Zero created them, but she is certainly the indirect cause of their creation. As for why the Flower created them out of doves, it is never clearly stated; however, one could associate the symbolism of doves as representing “peace”. Zero’s attack would be an act of war; therefore, the Flower responds with the exact opposite.
However, according to the DOD3 Story Side Novel, it is clearly stated that Zero intentionally created the Apostles. This is an excerpt from the DOD3 Story Side Novel that I translated:
The Flower had been sealed within the Cathedral City—probably behind the Mercurius Gate. The Flower did not only exist inside of Zero with its parasitic connection to her, but it also existed elsewhere. It is unknown who or from whence they came, but somebody sensed the threat that the Flower posed to the world and they sealed it away, deep within the Cathedral City. That was also in the far, distant past.
When does Mikhail’s journal unlocked in Zero’s DLC chapter actually take place?
We don’t know a specific date even though months are given in the journal entry. I don’t believe all of that occurs in the course of the following year after Zero and the other girls are gone. I sort of interpret the given months as the timeline of a dragon’s life. We all know dragons can live almost indefinitely, but they certainly can still die. I see this journal entry occurring through centuries. And this is something that was CUT from the English version (very upset about this!) of the journal entry: In the first couple entries, Mikhail does not speak in “adult” language—in Japanese, it’s just about all Hiragana, which shows that he is quite young (and is also why he talks so “cute” about the animals he comes in contact with). Then later he starts talking normally in Japanese, which gives the impression that he’s older and more mature. Then toward the end he seems to relapse a bit when he’s reminiscing about Zero before his death. His final words are stretched out to give the impression that he’s slowly fading away. I took the whole journal entry as extremely emotional and tragic.
You can read my translation of this entry here:
Where do One, Two, Three, Four, and Five get their personalities from?
The Flower copied their personalities from people that Zero met throughout her lifetime. There is more detail on this in the DOD3 Story Side novel.
It had been said in the past that the girls’ personalities were taken from a band of female freedom fighters or rebels, but I don’t believe this is accurate, especially given the narrative in the novel. It may be more accurate, however, to say that the leader of this rebellion gave One her leadership skills and desire to protect her younger sisters.
On a side note, Five’s personality was modeled after a nun that Zero encountered and thusly murdered.
Are there any reoccurring characters?
Brother One is directly related to both Seere and Manah from DOD1. They are separated by roughly 4 generations. Visually, it should be obvious that they are related.
Considering how similar the ending battles to both DOD1 and DOD3 are, the connection between the Flowerified Utautai girls and the Queen-beast should be pretty obvious. The connection is never confirmed point-blank, but the similarities are certainly there.
Who is the old man Zero kills in the prologue of the game?
This is Partition, a character we first meet in the Utahime Five manga. Like one of the Lords of the Land, he is a magician who can steal the youth of people in order to stay young. By the time we see him in the game, One has imprisoned him in the Cathedral City in order to “rewrite” the history books as she sees fit. During his imprisonment, he is unable to maintain the magic to keep him youthful and therefor appears as an old man. Partition is also listed in the ending credits of the game.
How does Nier fit into the whole universe?
The majority of the “connecting” stories has been made in retrospect and was never intended in the beginning. Yoko Taro is quoted as saying that he never envisioned there would be a sequel to DOD1, so he didn’t really think that far into it. He was largely left out of the development of DOD2 but was active as creator/director for Nier, although he worked on the story for the unfortunately cancelled game for the Xbox360 called Cry-on in 2008 (it is unclear whether or not this unfinished game has a place in the timeline along with Nier).
The story of Nier directly connects with the timeline, taking place after the events of the original DOD1, Ending E. So, once you beat that, you could effectively go and play Nier again. DOD2 does not apparently exist in the same timeline.
And this is specifically to help illustrate where the DOD1.3 novella fits in the overall timeline, but I think it can apply here as well. This will help you see how all the games are tied into each other in the overall flow of the timeline.
Is Accord related to the androids Devola and Popola in Nier?
It is entirely unclear if there is any direct relation between these characters aside from the fact that they are all androids. Accord and her twin sisters are from the same “Old World” from which the Cathedral City originally came from. There is little known about the origins of the city, and therefore, there is very little you can infer here in terms of relating these characters together.
Nier as we know it takes place along the following path on the overall timeline: DOD3—>Ending E (Novel)—>DOD1—>Ending E—>Nier. In order to unravel this mystery, I think we need to fully understand the meaning of “Old World”. My interpretation of this term refers to a distantly remote future world that no longer exists due to changes made earlier on in the timeline. Maybe the Old World refers to an even distant future after the events of Nier in which the last ditch effort to save the world/race of humans is to send androids back into the past—maybe by this time the human race has already met its doom.
Whatever interpretation you may have of this has of yet remained unconfirmed.
Are there any other spinoffs related to the/Nier franchise?
If you feel like the game left a ton of holes… it could be because the majority of the story is spread throughout multiple different mediums besides the game itself. The above image regarding the timeline will also help you to see how all the “extra” story material fits in, but here’s a general overview:
MANGA: Utahime Five –> Prequel to DOD3. Tells the story from the view of One and her younger sisters.
MANGA: Shi ni Itaru Aka –> Continuing story after DOD3, Branch A. Follows Brother One and his psychotic Elf friend, Nero, as they attempt to find the cause and eradicate the Red Eye Disease.
CHARACTER NOVELLAS –> The majority of these are available online at the official Web site. These chapters will give you a better inside-understanding of the characters. There are a few that are only available in Japanese (and/or fan translated) because they were only released in the 10th Anniversary Box.
-World Inside- NOVELLAS –> There were three novellas printed in the -World Inside- book that was included with the 10th Anniversary Box, one for each of the main titles: DOD1, DOD2, and Nier. There are also 10 Nier-themed short stories in Grimoire Nier.
NOVELS –> There have been several novel versions of the games (especially DOD1). They’re all pretty good, but only the “Story Side” novels are actually written by one of the main DOD novelists, Eishima Jun.
I believe that is the majority of the connecting material, but I’m still not convinced that Yoko Taro’s “YoRHa” stage play is not connected somehow. If you haven’t heard anything about this, I suggest reading the posts here.
Many of the images on this page were created from yosuga’s channel on YouTube.