This last broadcast was for the most part uneventful, but there were some interesting moments, I suppose.
First, we’re introduced to a pre-recorded video with Yoko Taro, Saito Yosuke, Taura Takahisa in which they played an early prototype version of the demo. They weren’t able to participate in the live broadcast this time due to a double-booking error that co-producer Ebara Jun’ichi explains later in the broadcast.
Yoko Taro first states that Square Enix asked them to present more about the game, but at this point there’s very little they can show without spoiling the story or other contents of the game, so they decided on showing off a little bit of the prototype demo. Taura says he’s a little embarrassed to show it, however.
* Note: I’m not translating what they’re saying word-for-word, nor am I translating everything they talked about.
Yoko: Alright then, cue the game. LET’S GO!
Yoko: About how long did it take you guys to make this?
Taura: Well, from start to finish, I think it took about three months.
Saito: It took three months for you to move around like this?
Taura: Yes, that’s right. The text sort of resembles a debug mode, so it may look a little funky.
Yoko: In an earlier version of this, 2B didn’t take out her sword like that.
Taura: Oh, right. This was after we added that in so she takes out her sword.
Saito: But as far as the design for the Bio-machines goes, that hasn’t changed from the beginning, right?
Taura: Yeah, they were like this from the very start.
Saito: The order of events might be a little different, but this is generally what’s in the final product. I’m sure people who’ve played the demo have noticed how precise it is.
Yoko: Yeah, they’re pretty much the same. The action hasn’t changed much either.
Taura: It’s obvious where the gaps are here and there, though.
Yoko: But Platinum Games is really amazing to pull this off in just three months.
Taura: At this time, we didn’t have a working lock-on function yet, and a lot of the controls were different then. Like if you press that button, you’ll guard instead. Another thing you might notice is the window in the top left corner.
Taura: Those are two Pod skills that you can use.
Yoko: Taura, what the heck is that machine doing?
Saito: Oh, god–look at it!
Yoko: haha I don’t think we were supposed to see that.
Taura: Yeah, there’s a lot of bugs. This was partly through development, so you’ll see all sorts of weird things happening.
Yoko: It’s a very common sight.
Yoko: This part hasn’t changed at all.
Taura: Yeah, I think we added more objects and stuff.
Saito: And tricks in the stage.
Taura: In this version, you hardly even touch the right analog stick. Pod will fire in whichever direction you’re facing.
Yoko: Ah, that’s pretty useless.
* * * * * * * * * *
Taura: I was really worried whether Square Enix would like what we did here. If they didn’t, we would have been finished right here.
Yoko: And if that happened, I’d have to move back from Osaka.
* * * * * * * * * *
Saito: What’s that at the top right, where it says Parts. What is that?
Taura: As you defeat enemies, you collect parts to increase your number of lives.
Saito: Ahh, I see. When you collect 10 Parts, it will give you an extra life.
Taura: Nothing really became of it, though. We were just trying various things.
▲ Here is a comparison between two images of the same general location within the Factory Ruins: The left photo was shown during this live broadcast, whereas the other was a photo that I took at the NieR Music Concert & Talk Live last April. You can see the fiery factory machine displayed very prominently in the background.
Yoko: You guys added in the top view pretty early into the development, didn’t you?
Taura: Yeah, we did. There were some aspects in the last game, such as the number of enemies and how the camera angle would change as you progressed through a dungeon, so we didn’t want to change those things that we considered to be the “heart” of NieR.
Saito: The switch between these different views from a typical 3D view to a top or side view is all done very seamlessly.
Yoko: Taura seems to like the 3D and side views, but you don’t really care for the top view, huh?
Taura: Yeah… Really, I wouldn’t have any problem if we made the whole game from the beginning to end with only the side view; that’s how much I like it.
* * * * * * * * * *
Yoko: Wasn’t it you who said that you wanted to be able to use two weapons in the game?
Taura: Yeah, it was my idea from early on I suppose.
Yoko: Why did you decide on only using two weapons?
Taura: I didn’t want it to be like switching between a ton of weapons, I wanted to be able to use them at relatively the same time. We experimented with a couple different things and I think maybe it turned out well.
Yoko: It was a good experiment!
Saito: This event is almost exactly the same.
Yoko: You know, Taura, if you made this much in just 3 months, you might get other companies demanding that you complete something in that same amount of time…
Taura: Yeah, you’re right… Sometimes you get lucky with good timing like that, but honestly speaking, it should have taken about 2 years to get this far.
Yoko: The really awesome thing about this part is that Robot Punch! Platinum Games is great!
Taura: Yeah, it’s cool to see two huge things battle it out like this.
Taura: While the boss is down like that, you’re able to get some distance away from it.
Yoko: When you’re working on a game in pre-production, do you always make it this detailed?
Taura: I think we have a good idea of what we want to do early on so we just delve into it pretty quickly. From there, it’s just fine tuning things.
Yoko: Okay, then why don’t we release our next game when you’ve finished the pre-development stage like this?
Taura: What do you mean?
Yoko: Well, I mean, I bet a lot of people would think it’s interesting.
Saito: Actually, don’t you think it’s more interesting once it’s been completely finished?
Taura: Yeah, that’s what I think.
Yoko: I guess if we released this as the sequel to NieR a lot of people would be shocked.
Taura: If you look closely, she’s actually running here.
▲ Just as you can see in this sample title screen, they had originally used the subtitle “Androids”. This was earlier stated in Weekly Famitsu, No.1404 on November 5, 2015. Below is a short excerpt from that interview.
|—At this year’s Paris Games Week, you announced the new title “NieR: Automata” but, did you come upon this title very easily?
Saito: No, it was hardly an easy task. Yoko-san was the first to propose the title “Android” but we had a problem with trademarks with that.
Yoko: There’s no possible way to fight Google with something like this. Just before the E3 2015 announcement we got together to try and think what we should do about the title, but inevitably couldn’t come to a decision, so we had to go with the tentative title “NieR New Project”.
Saito: Since we said more information would be available in Autumn, we felt like we could come to a decision on the title by then. Out of more than 20 possible titles, we finally decided on “Automata”. That was in September.
Saito: In the early stages of development while working on the demo, they were able to imagine what would work or maybe what would be cool if they added into the game. That is basically the process the development takes, so I hope you were able to enjoy seeing a little bit of that.
Taura: I hope that you were able to get a small taste of what we do in the development stages. Maybe you’ll have a little more fun playing the demo after watching this. Thanks a lot!
Yoko: There is noting more to talk about. We will not show any more videos. So, sayonara & bye-bye.
Saito: There’s still a ton left…
- Ebara Jun’ichi: NieR:Automata Co-producer
He joined the Automata production team last summer and mostly works with the advertisement wing.
- Nishimura Eijiro: NieR:Automata Producer (Platinum Games)
He joined the team about a year and a half ago, working mostly on the schedule and other problems and issues throughout the whole team. He also appeared in the Dengeki live broadcast.
- Negishi Isao: NieR:Automata Game Designer (Platinum Games)
He joined the team roughly the same time as Nishimura, which was just about when the demo prototype was finished. He mostly worked on the in-game sub quests, various RPG aspects (everything not dealing with the battle system).
The reason why Yoko, Saito, and the others couldn’t join this broadcast was because… Ebara had mistakenly booked them for two things at the same time; double-booking. Woops. So, they were on a media tour that took them to Taiwan, France, Germany, Italy, and lastly the UK.
Ebara: The one who holds the most sin for this mistake is me. I’m very sorry. Anyway, it’s a little boring for only us three “boys in glasses” to talk… Here we’d like to introduce to other guests: Isobe Keiko, who plays 2B’s support, Operator 6O; and Hatsumi Meari, who plays 9S’s support, Operator 21O.
As Isobe explains, the Operators all have their own unique personalities, and Operator 6O especially has a happy personality. On the other hand, Hatsumi explains that Operator 21O is rather calm and collected. As for Anemone, she is also very calm but her personality is in direct opposition to Hatsumi herself, so there were some places that were difficult to perform.
|Operator 6O: This is Operator 6O. 2B, do you read me?
2B: This is 2B. Roger.
Operator 6O: The signal from the activated access point has been jammed. I will transmit the location coordinates to you, so please investigate the cause.
2B: Got it.
|Operator 21O: Operator 21O to 9S. Commencing periodic communications.
9S: Oooookay. This is 9S. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Ahh, today’s another day with great weather……
Operator 21O: Nothing out of the ordinary. Copy that. There is no need for a weather report. Over and out.
9S: Oh boy, Miss Operator……as as impersonal as ever…… Well, I suppose it’s alright anyway.
In this particular moment in the live broadcast, Ebara mentions that this is the first time since the NieR Concert that we get to see 9S being controlled directly.
Negishi: How can you control 9S?
Ebara: That’s a secret. I know we’ve said it over and over again, but really we’d like you to play and find out for yourself.
There’s a moment where Neigishi is asked what his favorite Operator 6O line is… and he says, “It’s something like, ‘I have something to ask you’ or ‘There’s something I’d like to talk to you about”… Nishimura seems to know what he’s referring to and agrees that it’s a good scene, but Ebara says that it’s a bit spoilerish, so the discussion stopped there. I can imagine it was something similar with Futaba’s conflicting conscience in the YoRHa stage play.
▲ Isobe introduces a new black version of the 2B parka! You can order it through the SQEX e-STORE here.
▲ This is the NieR:Automata World Guide book. It’s a smaller B5 sized book, just like the DOD3 First Edition guide, but it has 192 pages, so there ought to be a good chunk of info in here. Since this guide will be released on the same date as the game, they suggest that you be careful looking through it before you’ve finished the game…
▲ There will be a NieR concert held on Saturday, February 11 from 11:00-12:00 at the Music Stage area at Tokaigi. The concert will also be broadcast online for FREE, so even if you’re not able to go, you should be able to watch it. More details on how to watch this to be announced at a later date. As for the contents of the concert itself, Ebara said that they will perform some–not all–of the songs previously done at the NieR Music Concert & Talk Live last April.
▲ You can now order all of these items through the Lawson Net Shipping website. Before the cookies were only available from the Loppi machines at the Lawson convenience stores.
▲ The collaboration with Monster Hunter Frontier Z includes an Emil head with the character Gu-Ku. Depending on if you are using a female or male type character in Automata, the eye mask/scarf is warn a little differently. Also, the Celestial Runes that are used on the scarf spell out “Monster Hunter F Z x NieR.
- There will also be other heads and item DLCs to be announced at a later date.
- There will also be an Emil head for PSO2.
- The character with the hat is *not* 9S.
- The song was available to preview on the official amazarashi for a single 24 hour period. It’s a really great song that I would *love* to sing in karaoke…!
- The first limited release edition of the single CD will come with a PS4 product code to change Pod into an “amazarashi head”.
▲ The very last thing they announced at the end of the broadcast was this… Is it an entirely new NieR themed PS4 or could it be a skin…? or is it merely a plastic cover that will fit over the top of your PS4?! More information will be announced about this next week!
So, that is all for the recap this time. I didn’t cover everything that was discussed in the broadcast, but I think I touched on all the important parts. We’re down to about a month left before the Japanese release of the game. I hope you all hang in there as we count down the remaining days…!!