Countdown to NieR:Automata – 12 Days

I was really busy yesterday at Tokaigi and exhausted from being my usual socially awkward self (lol), so I wasn’t able to comment on the new illustrations that are coming out of the official Twitter among other places. I thought this was a good chance to start covering this since I did something similar leading up to the release of Drag-on Dragoon 3 when it came out here in Japan. So, let’s start the countdown!!

12…

This illustration is by Platinum Games character modeler, Funahashi Eiji (舟橋英志).

  • He has been working on character modeling artist at Platinum Games for about 8 years since 2009.
  • He has participated in special seminars at various locations such as the Osaka Information And Computer Science College (OIC).
  • He worked on titles such as Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101.

Sources: NieR Official Twitter | Funahashi’s Twitter | PG Inside | Game Business | OIC

NieR:Automata Movie 119450310 at Tokaigi

Today started off before 5am. My crazy neighbor got stuck in the slanted driveway out front and couldn’t get out, squealing his tires forever. Suffice it to say, I was awake before my alarm went off at 5.

Today’s events at Tokaigi started at 10am with the concert kicking off at 11am, which meant I needed to leave my house at the butt-crack of dawn to get there early enough to get in line…and wait. I got into the Makuhari Messe complex at 8am and there were already a billion people there. xD But I suppose I was relatively at the beginning of the line, anyway. Once 10am came around and they started letting people in, it took me about 20 minutes to enter the first area.

I had an amazingly fun time at the event, and I feel awkward talking about the details–I don’t know if the other parties involved want me to mention them. ^^;; But I was given an amazing opportunity as a mere fan and I will be forever grateful for that act of kindness! Thank you!!

▲ The entrance sign for Tokaigi 2017



▲ This was the main entrance into Tokaigi. Every one lined up here and around 9:30, they started a short stage event to help pass the time. They had a cute countdown for the last couple seconds until 10am when they dropped the stage backdrop that obscured the entrance into the venue that you can see at the center of this photo.


 

The Concert

NieR White of Destruction, Black of Rebirth -Tokaigi 2017 Version-
Time: February 11, 11:00-12:00
Appearances by: Saito Yosuke, Yoko Taro, Okabe Keiichi, Emi Evans, J’Nique Nicole
Program: White of Destruction, Black of Rebirth

A select bunch of songs from the last concert were performed at Tokaigi, which included some really amazing renditions of songs that you could hear nowhere else. For example, vocalist Nakagawa Nami usually sings Emil’s theme, but since she was unable to come to this event, Emi sang it instead. She did such a wonderful job with it; I almost wish they would put it on a CD sometime. Likewise, J’Nique sang the harmony line to the Song of the Ancients / Fate. Their voices melded together so well, I often felt emotional throughout the whole concert. ;_;

01. 夏の雪 Snow in Summer
02. 光ノ風吹ク丘
03. カイネ Kaine
04. イニシエノウタ Song of the Ancients
05. Weight of the World
06. Emil (Emi Version)
07. Ashes of Dreams (English)
08. Grandma
09. イニシエノウタ Song of the Ancients / Fate

Voice actors Isobe Keiko (Operator 6O) and Hatsumi Meari (Operator 21O / Anemone) were also present toward the back of the standing area at the concert.


 

The New Opening Sequence

 [ JAPANESE ]

 [ ENGLISH ]



The Translations

                         
▲ A2: こんなに世界が綺麗だって気付かなかったわ。
  English: I never quite realized… how beautiful this world is…
  Direct: I never realized… how beautiful this world is…

           
▲ 9S: 司令官からの命令で2Bさんのメインテナンスを担当する事になったんです。これから、定期的にチェックしますね。
  English: The Commander’s put me in charge of your maintenance, ma’am.
  That means I’ll be performing regular checks on you from now on.
  Direct: I was assigned by the Commander to oversee your maintenance.
  I’ll be performing regular checks on you, okay?

           
▲ Notice here that… it appears as though 2B is unconscious or dead… and 9S grabs her hand, using it to caress his own face… *creepy*


▲ 2B: この記録を聴いた者がいたら、伝えて欲しい事がある。もしヨルハ部隊所属9Sに会う事があったら、私は彼に…
  English: If anyone is listening to this, there’s something I need you to do.
  If you ever meet up with YoRHa Unit 9S, I want him… I mean…
  Direct: If anyone hears this recording, there’s something I need to tell you.
  If you ever come in contact with YoRHa Unit 9S, please tell him…

This image reminds me a lot of what was shown in the storyboards from the Character Introductions video last year:

           
▲ 9S: ポッド153に命令:貴様の独断論理しかの発言を禁止する
  English: Pod153: I order you to halt all logical thought and speech.
  Direct: Pod153: I forbid you to voice your damn dogmatic logic.


▲ 2B is damaged and having extreme difficulty moving forward, many of her systems failing…


AD: 11945, the 14th Machine War

           
▲ Short-haired A2/B2(?)

▲ Notice that this gigantic centipede appears to be the same boss that A2 comes across in the desert, as depicted on her character poster:


▲ Short-haired A2/2B with Pascal who seemingly has a “headache”. Again, the color of the machine’s eyes is important here. Green = good, Red = bad!


▲ Note that this shot is in grayscale. Since all shots on the Bunker are displayed in grayscale, this is more than likely within the Hanger on board the Bunker.

           
▲ The Commander ordering her battle Operators forward within the Bunker.


▲ These are the “battle” type Operators that serve the Commander.


▲ 9S with the short-haired A2/2B(?).


▲ Adam: 機械生命体とアンドロイドは同類と言えなら…
  English: Perhaps we’re not so different after all.
  Direct: Perhaps you could even say Bio-machines and androids are similar.

Rekka’s Comments
It’s clear there’s something going on odd here.
Adam & Eve do not seem to label themselves, whether they are Bio-machines or androids in the English line, but comparing it to the Japanese, we can assume that they are not androids
and are therefore Bio-machines… Perhaps along the lines of Term Alpha & Term Beta.

▶︎ Pascal: A2さん、ここは私が!
  English: Fear not, A2! I can handle this!
  Direct: A2, I’ve got this!

           
▲ A2 stands above a defeated or incapacitated 2B. This shot ends when A2 steps closer and takes 2Bs sword that’s sticking out of the ground.

           
▲ The Commander’s Operators… losing sentience.


▲ A2/2B: 私達はアンドロイドがあるい自体に人類を守るように作られている。
  English: Androids were designed to protect their human masters.
  Direct: Androids were created to protect humanity.

Rekka’s Comments
Personally, I really dislike the “human masters” thing.
Yeah, humans created the androids, but… Mmm…
I don’t know; it just doesn’t feel right to me.

           
▲ Emil: 無駄と分かって言っても、やらなきゃダメなんだ。
  English: Even if it’s pointless, we still have to do it!
  Direct: Even if it’s meaningless, we still have to do it!

▲ I really want to say that this is Eve that they’re fighting. The figure appears to be all black… which is what happens to Eve when his tattoos expand across his entire body.

▶︎ Commander: お前達二人は最後のヨルハ部隊…
  English: You two are the last members of YoRHa.
  Direct: You two are what’s left of the YoRHa Squadron…

Rekka’s Comments
The… last of the YoRHa Squadron?
What the heck happened to wipe out all other YoRHa??
There weren’t many to begin with, but still…

▲ Eve: 俺は、俺は…!
  English: I… I’m…!
  Direct: I’m… I’m…!!!


▲ 9S without his visor and destroyed left arm. He does not look… “well”.


▲ 2B: 違う、9S。あれは…
  English: That’s not the Operator… It’s…
  Direct: No, 9S… That’s not…

Rekka’s Comments
There is *no* mention of the Operators from the original line.

You’d have to infer a lot to come to that conclusion.


▲ The Celestial Script reads “YoRHa Truth”. Hmmm…

NieR:Automata Completes Its Gold Master Ahead of Schedule

According to a recent tweet by Producer Saito Yosuke, has hit a significant period in its development and has “gone gold”, completing the Gold master* of the game well ahead of schedule.

Gold master: Gold master is the final game’s build that is used as a master for production of the game.

Here’s what Saito Yosuke had said in his tweet:

“I was asked to write this since it will quickly go viral, but “ has gone Gold (quite a while ago)”, so please look forward to the game’s release!” ーSaito Yosuke

So it appears as though there is no worry of a delay before the scheduled release date! That’s very reassuring news! Today marks 20 days until the game’s release!! Hang in there, everybody!

3rd Live Broadcast – Recap

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!

Continue reading

NieR:Automata Original Soundtrack to be released on March 29 with a secret 4th disc!

This just in! The OST will be released on March 29! The soundtrack alone will be three discs, but the initial release will come with a  “secret” 4th disc as a bonus!! I wonder what it could be!!!

The bonus disc is not only for pre-orders!!! The initial release, whether you pre-order it or purchase it when it’s released, will come with the bonus CD. I expect it to be similar to the bonus discs that originally came with the previous soundtrack.

Title: Original Soundtrack
Product Number:SQEX-10589-91
Release Date:Wednesday, March 29
Price:3,200 yen (+tax)
Composers:Okabe Keiichi, Hoashi Keigo, Takahashi Kuniyuki (MONACA)
Details:Three 12cm CD set
Publisher:Square Enix


Source: Square Enix | MONACA

 

Interview with Yosuke Saito from Taipei Game Show (Corrections)

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)


Source: Game Watch