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

Famitsu Issue No.1468

Yesterday in the new issue of Famitsu magazine, we were treated to 6 new pages of goodness introducing the Amusement Park area with their clownish Bio-machines and the Submerged City.

Below are my own [bad] scans of the pages. I also included some other images that I got from the Famitsu App. I edited and cleaned them up more, so those few images ought to look the nicest.

 

Could the ruins of a dreamland be but a nightmare awaiting 2B!?

We’re down to about a month left before the release of . This time, we take a closer look at two locations that have not yet been announced: the Amusement Park Ruins and the Submerged City. We’ll also take another look at the mounts in the field and areas near water where you can fish!

meets amazarashi Collaboration Project

The joint collaboration between and the rock band amazarashi was just announced during the 2nd Live Broadcast. The first edition release of their new single “Inch ni Fusawashii” comes with an original picture book directed by Yoko Taro. There will also be a cool music video to show off more of’s world view.

 

 

A dreamland that people once enjoyed. There is a special community of Bio-machines in this area, many of which are dressed in flamboyant costumes.

Amusement Park Ruins

Clown-type Bio-machines appear. Perhaps they’ll give 2B a warm welcome?

Production Notes:
I’m the sound designer, Shindo. I work on the sound effects and everything besides the BGM, stuff like “pew-pew” and “booom” and “uh-huh”. I’m from Kansai, so I always explain stuff with sounds.

The sound effects are subtle and don’t stand out all that much, but I made a ton of them! Even after a deadline had passed, I kept getting requests for more SFX from the game designer: this happened at least 30 times! They’d always come with a note that said, “By Order of Yoko, the Director~~” But I’m losing so much sleep, my skin’s going to be a mess…… That’s about when Yoko brought in his favorite donuts. They taste way better than eating them at the normal time. He, on the other hand, had seconds… Yoko, you’re so unfair…… —Platinum Games Lead Sound Designer, Shindo Masato

The Submerged City

This is a large city devastated by an all-out war that left it submerged by rising sea level. All that’s left are skyscrapers peeking out of the water, a remainder of the world’s past splendor.

2B attacks a Bio-machine in the Submerged City with her bare hands. This type of attack has its own visual effects. Although this attack is rather fast since no weapon is necessary, it hardly packs any significant punch.

 

 

Wild Animals

You can ride on a large moose! You can’t drift, but they have an amazing ability to jump!

You can bash into enemies while on the boar or even fire simultaneously with Pod.

Just like in the previous game, you can drift on the boar, an irreplaceable aspect of “NieR”.

Production Notes:
I’m in charge of the BGM and the implementation of environment sounds. The BGM seamlessly switches as you progress through the game, but “how long should it continue” or “what about in this situation?” I have to be sure of all of this. Then based on the instructions from Mr. Director Yoko, I can keep working, filling in the gaps in the crossroads. This is often the most difficult thing to work out, but it can also be fun. In the end I feel like “Man, this ain’t gonna work (seriously)” and then the desperation hits, but I suppose everything worked out well anyway! I just hope he isn’t hiding any additional areas from me… Well, maybe it’ll be alright! —Platinum Games Implementation, Ueda Masami

  • This issue of Famitsu also corrected a mistake printed in an earlier issue stating the voice actress for Anemone. It was originally printed as Kanou Chiaki, however this is incorrect. The same actress who plays Operator 21O, Hatsumi Meari, will voice Anemone.

Fishing

Anywhere there’s water, you can toss Pod in to have fun fishing. You can catch fish, Bio-machine type of fish, and a bunch of other interesting things. Just what exactly can the the stuff you catch be used for……!?

Create your own musical arrangements at the jukebox!

There is a handy little jukebox within the Resistance Camp where you can play some tunes from the soundtrack. You can even change the lyrics, turn on or off the vocals and chorus among other things to make your own arrangements. Look forward to creating your own soundtrack just the way you like it for a little change in atmosphere.

Just like any other program, you mix around the rhythm and vocal tracks in the game to create your own musical settings here at the funky jukebox!

 

Regarding the Submerged or Sunken City, we first got a glimpse of this area at the NieR Music Concert & Talk Live back in April of last year. They had a really nice display of design images, concept art, and more at the show, including these shots of the Submerged City:

             

 


Lastly, I wanted to mention something about that red-headed character that seems to be hanging around the jukebox.

Is it just me, or does she appear to be a YoRHa android with a typical visor obscuring her eyes? I couldn’t help be feel excited to see this because…

This was my YoRHa cosplay from Halloween 2014 as the Destroyer Type “YoRHa No34”. I doubt this character in is anyone important, but… now I feel like I should make a new cosplay for her, too. xD

Edit: According to the new updates by Famitsu, this particular NPC does in fact appear to be a YoRHa Android like I had suspected.

Square Enix Presents 2nd Live Broadcast – Recap

Here’s a recap of the Square Enix Presents 2nd Live Broadcast featuring . I’m mostly going to translate some of the funny banter that they had throughout the broadcast, but I’ll also try to cover some of the new material that we learned about the game in this broadcast. You can view the broadcast in its entirety below!

Now, there’s not too much meat to this post as much as there is translations for the fun and interesting bits that the guys said during the broadcast, so this will be pretty bare bones. First of all, let’s introduce the MCs for this broadcast!

             Saito Yosuke                                                  ▲ Taura Takahisa


▲ Yoko Taro ー “People kept telling me that you can’t hear me when I’ve got the mask on, so I’ve decided to stop wearing it for all eternity.”

             
Isobe Keiko                                                   ▲ Negishi Isao

Yoko: I haven’t cleared the Very Hard mode yet, either. It’s impossible.


▲ Yoko: If I remember right, Operator 6O is the one on the bottom right of this image.

Saito: It’s a rule for these androids to not express emotion, but Operator 6O is a relatively emotional character.

Isobe: I thought I had many lines that sounded pretty human in terms of emotion.

Taura: The section of the game that I worked on included a lot of her lines (Operator 6O), so from the beginning of the day as I worked and listened to those lines, I thought, “Alright! I can do this!”

Saito: What lines were they, for example?

Yoko: “I will destroy you!”

Isobe: I never said that!

Taura: Whoever would get off listening to that is a freak.

Saito: So, what was the actual line?

Taura: It was a line where she says, “Hang in there!” Just the nuance or intonation of that line felt really good to me.

Yoko: Okay, I’ll be sure to delete those lines, then. I’ll change it to something like, “I’ll fucking kill you!”


Saito: Everybody keeps saying “Pants! Pants! They’re PANTS!!” But they’re not.

Taura: It’s a leotard…

Saito: But who really cares if they were pants? It’s alright.

Taura: No, it’s a leotard…


Isobe: Wow, it’s like… You [Taura] really know how to play!

Saito: Of course.

Yoko: I’d be really surprised if he didn’t…


Taura: Okay, I’m going to take out some of these enemies.

Isobe (in Operator 6O’s voice): “Taura, hang in there!”

Taura: Stop that! Stop it! I’m going to die…!

Yoko (in a deep voice): “Taura, I will make you wish you had never been born!”

Taura: Okay, now I’m back to normal…


Yoko: I’ve seen it here and there on YouTube, but some people have made it to some weird location that I’ve never seen by dashing and jumping and stuff.

Saito: It’s really something.

Yoko: Who at PG was responsible for that?

Taura: That was me.

Saito: That’s different from the script that I’ve got here… It was you? You made that blunder?

Taura: Well, not me exactly. There was another guy who did it. And we’ve called him in today: Platinum Games, game designer, Negishi.

Negishi: Hello, everyone, I’m Negishi. I just stopped by after working out a couple bugs.


Sub Quests

Saito: We’re progressing a little fast here, so you can totally go through this part slowly.

Yoko (talks slowly): Sssssssssuuuuuuuuuubbbbbbbb Qqqqqqquuuuuueeeessssssttttttttt.


▲The above conversation with Anemone, who is a returning character from the YoRHa stage play, is HUGE in giving us more information to prove who A2 really is. You can view my speculation on that here. But beware of potential spoilers!!

???:  You people…… No2……

9S:  Huh? Do you know 2B?

???:  ……No, I got word from the Bunker. My name is Anemone. This area is a safe haven for those in the Android Resistance. I’ve heard everything from the Bunker. It seems as though you are in charge of investigating this area. I’m sure there are others around with more knowledge than me. You don’t need my permission to come through here, so ask whomever you like.


Weapon Shop: Ah…… You’re the YoRHa Squad, huh? I’ve heard about you. I collect weapons. What would you like to sell? I also like to tinker with old weapons and make them shiny and new. Just right now, some of my tools are broken. If this one tool in my tool box could be fixed, I’d be able to open my shop to you guys, but……

Look in the tool box…

9S: Yeah…… This is pretty well broken.

Weapon Shop: I know, right? As you can probably tell, I’m not great at fixing complex devices like this.

 Help.
→Ignore.

Weapon Shop: Hmm… If I can’t fix this device, there’s no way I can stay in business.

→Help.
Ignore.

Weapon Shop: Wha-what…… Are you serious? Man, that’d really help me out!

9S: It looks like a mechanism inside the devise has shorted out. We’ll just need to scavenge four “Complex Robotics” to fix it. Is there a place around here where we can find the necessary parts?

Weapon Shop: Yeah…… I think I’ve often seen them around the inner area of the Factory Ruins, but there are all sorts of crazy machines running around in there…… It’s dangerous in there, so you can’t get very close.

Sub Quest Status
Sub Quests have been updated.
For more information, access the Quest tab from the System Menu.

* “Weapon Shop’s Request” has been updated.

Weapon Shop’s Request

The Weapon Shop in the Resistance Camp is having a rough time since their maintenance device is broken. If they could gather the necessary parts to fix it from the inner area of the Factory Ruins, it could be fixed, but… Due to an infestation of dangerous Bio-machines in that area, no one can go near it.

Gather the following items in the inner area of the Factory Ruins for the Weapon Shop:
― Complex Robotics:  0/4

             
▲ These screens show you where to go to complete your quest.

9S: This area is overrun by vegetation now, but at one time this used to be a sprawling city, huh? This is the area the Weapon Shop told us to check out, but… I’m only registering Bio-machines here. In fact, it looks like they’re preparing to attack.

               
9S: That’s all of them. Let’s get these back to the Weapon Shop.

― Deliver the gathered items to the Weapon Shop.

9S: ……Great, you can fix your tools with this, right?

Weapon Shop: Oh! Thank you! I can finally open shop with this!

9S: That’s great to hear. We look forward to it.

Weapon Shop: Leave it up to me! I will make the best weapons to protect my friends! But, you know…… I get to thinking sometimes.


 The Cypress Stick from Dragon Quest!

             
▲ With the Cypress Stick equipped, it will change the design of all the treasure chests to resemble those in Dragon Quest. This color scheme may be handy to help you spot hidden treasure chests in hard-to-see areas, too!

Negishi: Why is it that when you equip the Cypress Stick that the treasure boxes change?

All: ……

Saito: It has a mysterious power.

Yoko: Did you make 2B kick the treasure chests open them because that’s what you like?

Taura: …not exactly.

Saito: It’s just the particular movement.

Taura: It’s nothing that strange, so…

Yoko: It seems like she’s a little on the violent side.


 The Engine Blade from Final Fantasy XV!


 The Novel Included in the Japanese Black Box Edition

The Boy’s Chapter ー Page 36

The first time he was called to work at the Seafront was about half a year ago. He helped deliver urgent letters, tulip bulbs to the flower shop, and buy natural rubber for the material shop.

With the thought of leaving Yonah alone at home weighing heavily on his mind, he quickly slipped passed a large Shade visible in the distance. The first time he set eyes upon the ocean he thought it was such a beautiful sight, but he was utterly dumbfounded how the entire town reeked of fish so putrid. Just by walking around for a short while, his hair and skin grew sticky from the fishy air that it often made him feel ill. It was the girl at the flower shop that told him this was because of the salty sea breeze.

After purchasing the bulbs and materials he was asked to fetch, he set upon a large house that spanned an entire city block. The path leading there was always packed with pedestrians, making it difficult to reach the house itself. Finally succeeding in the task he set out to do―to deliver the letter―he hardly had the energy left to find his way back.

Maybe it was due to the time of day, or maybe it was the people who lived in that area who didn’t particularly care to have discussions with strangers walking through town, but he felt like he couldn’t even ask for directions. He was so completely lost, with no inclination on how to get anywhere, that he didn’t even know what to do. With fatigue setting in, he decided to rest near the front gate of a nearby house.

“Hey, what are you doing over there?”

Entirely startled by the voice, Nier jumped to his feet and moved slightly away from the front gate.

“You’re not from around here, are you? Are you lost?”

 

▲ As it turns out, a portion after the segment that I translated above had to be cut from the novel due to…reasons. If you have read the novella “The Red and the Black” you will know that brother Nier was selling his body to someone in Seafront in order to get money to care for Yonah. It is highly probable that this is what the publisher wanted to remove from the novel.


New Merchandise!


▲ Presenting the new Emil head pillow! It’s apparently really soft and squishy! The actual design may change a little for the final product.

Yoko: This is a great item for your to throw when you’re pissed off girls in order to feel better.

Taura (to Negishi who’s apparently doing something on his phone): What do you think you’re doing on your cell phone at a time like this? We’re live, you know?

Negishi: Yeah, you’re right… But have a look at this!

 


How to obtain Plug-in Chips
● Buy them at shops
● Find them in treasure chests
● Defeat enemies that drop them
● Complete certain Quests

Create Plug-in Chip
● You can create chips that will be given a random cost value. You can have fun trying to create your own chips for the perfect total cost value.

Miscellaneous Info
● There are lots of hidden items and areas all around. You may discover some stronger enemies in these areas.
● There’s a Plug-in Chip to automatically pick up items on the field when you walk near them.
● When you leave and come back to an area, enemies will respawn.


Sources:
● All translations were the product of Fire Sanctuary.
● Photos were taken from the live broadcast on YouTube.

Lawson and HMV Merchandise Collaboration

During the 2nd Live Broadcast tonight, we were shown some new merch available through Lawson’s online shop:

12 piece Limited Cookie Set, 2,250 yen [Loppi #214267]

Mini Emil Table, 4,320 yen              [Loppi #214266]

Smart Phone Case, 4,536                  [Loppi #214263]

Emil Pillow Cushion, 4,104 yen       [Loppi #214262]                                             Diameter: 300mm, Width: 100mm         Polyester cover with stuffed beads

Yoshida Akihiko Reproduction Genga Illustration, 16,200 yen [Loppi #214258] Acrylic, with unique serial number, Size: 328 x 415 x 22mm

 * I’ve already ordered these items and it looks like they’re planning on shipping things out on May 9th for free! Cool! No shipping fees!! 😀

This is what the display looks like for ordering the cookies on the Loppi system at a Lawson convenience store:

So, it looks like the delivery box that the cookies will be packaged in is the same design as the smartphone case!


 

In other news, Yoko Taro was asked to make a comment regarding the new Fantasy RPG in development from Atlus*.

* I was a little quick to write about this, so I apologize for getting your hopes up that he would be directly involved. It does not appear that is the case at the moment.

NieR:Automata Updates – Famitsu No.1460

There were a couple new updates this week for . Check out the new pages that were published in this week’s issue of Famitsu!

famitsu-no1460-01 famitsu-no1460-02

The two new titles by Square Enix, Final Fantasy XV and have just been revealed to collaborate together. Noctis’ Engine Blade will be an available weapon for 2B! FFXV will also borrow something from, but exactly what that will be has yet to be announced!

 
famitsu-no1460-03

FFXV will be out soon, huh? I’m so happy for them! I thought it was very “NieR” like to have to ride such a big wave as this, so I asked Taba-chan for a favor. “Gif us some cool weapon from FFXV!” And what did he cough up–? The actual Engine Blade!! How sweet is that!? Taba-chan’s the man! FFXV is the best! So, please, look forward to the release of ! ーSaito Yosuke, Producer

Since the release of FFXV is quickly approaching, I wanted to congratulate them & this has been something I’ve been hoping to see for a long time! ……I’m really glad the release date for doesn’t overlap (seriously). We were also very lucky to introduce the Engine Blade into the world of. We were able to borrow not only the weapon design but also the special effects and the unique damage indicator displays as well! The director involved said, “We had a look at FFXV and visually copied it.” I was also able to include a Weapon Story for it. I thought, “Is this really going to be okay?” but the FFXV supervising team gave us the OK, so… I guess it’s okay……probably. ーYoko Taro, Director

Equipping the Engine Blade will alter the evasion effects.

The numbers indicating damage will also change to be more like FFXV.

What is the Engine Blade?

The Engine Blade is one of the single-handed swords that Noctis uses. It is the sword that is given to him on his 16th birthday from his father. The blade features a unique mechanism at its hilt. As the blade is swung, the mechanism activates and gives off a distinctive “engine” sound. As enemies are defeated, the engine absorbs energy from their elements.

 

famitsu-no1460-04

Hi, I’m one of the Environment artists, Kouda.
9S is pretty cute, huh? Despite being something seldom seen, I thought that showing off his kneecaps was a must. I’m really glad I suggested it to Yoko that one night out drinking that we have a cute guy in the game (I doubt he remembers this, though). Actually, one thing that sticks in my mind is Yoshida-san’s rough sketch of him in a sailor uniformーit’s unfortunate nothing became of it……
I sort of got off topic there, but it’s thanks to the background team that the environments turned out so beautifully. Of course, there will be plenty of exhilarating action, but it’s also fun to stroll through gorgeous locations like this, right? ーKouda Kazuma, PG Environment Concept Artist

 Forest Region

Running along a quietly flowing river, a luscious green forest rich in nature opens wide into a expansive field beyond. Deep within the forest lies the ruins of a gigantic castle that holds the remains of an ancient, lost civilization. There’s even the figure of a run-down Bio-machine standing in the middle of the road as though it were protecting the castle.

 
famitsu-no1460-05

Top Image: Further in the distance in this picture of 2B and 9S running, you can see something that resembles a reindeer. Perhaps it can be ridden, too!?

Main Art: It’s now become known that the location depicted in the very first promotional illustration is actually of this Forest Region.

Production Notes: I’m Mashiba, the Environment Artist in charge of the background development. The one known as Kaji (Kaji Yasuyuki) used to be the background team leader, but now this responsibility was passed to me.
The expansive world in ruin is turning out to be much larger than originally imagined. I was in charge of the maps in the Bunker and the Factory Ruins among others, but since he stepped down halfway through development, the remaining work fell on me to complete. Although you may thing “Why was this world made so huge?”, we’re working on increasing the quality, so we hope you look forward to it! ーMashiba Junpei, PG Environment Artist

 
famitsu-no1460-06

The Bio-machines that appear in the Forest Region have a very medieval feeling to them with their heavy armor; there’s something about it that seems rather humorous. The one who appears to be the leader, the one in command, leads some sort of battle exercise, and fight in large formations.

Bio-machines in hardened medieval armor

Bio-machines fighting in formation

 
famitsu-no1460-07

Weapon Intro: Spear

Up until now, we’ve introduced the single-handed sword, double-handed sword, and gauntlet weapon types. Next up we’ve got spears. Compared to other weapon types, the spears are average class, but they make up for that in their power and reach. However, since they’re mostly a thrust weapon, they can become a disadvantage when many enemies rush you at once.

First Edition Release Bonus Items

It has been announced that the first edition release will come with special bonus items as well as purchasing the game from various store locations. The first release will come with a production code to change 2B’s Pod into Weiss from the previous game. Other bonus items include Pod variants from the SQEX e-STORE, Amazon.co.jp, Tsutaya, PlayStation Store, Geo, and Lawson.

Tokaigi 2017: The Music Concert returns!
Tokaigi is a somewhat scaled-down version of TGS that will take place on Saturday and Sunday, February 11 and 12 at Makuhari Messe. This will be the second coming of the “White of Destruction, Black of Rebirth” concert that was held earlier this year in April. More detailed information about this event will be released at a later date.

 


This issue of Famitsu also featured a nice ranking of the best, high quality PS3 games as chosen by gamers. See the translation below the picture.

top-30-best-ps3-nier

Player’s Choice of High Quality PS3 Games – Top 30
#6 Replicant (197 Votes)

NieR is an Action RPG that puts you into battle against “Shades” in order to save your little sister inflicted with an incurable disease. For every main boss you defeat, you collect the “Sealed Verses” that act as power-ups for your weapons and magic, all within a story torn between themes of love and despair. Especially with that shocking B Ending; perhaps it has been seared into your memory!?

Players’ Comments

  • This is a game that you can experience so many things that you normally wouldn’t, and even long after its release, I feel like so much of it has stayed with me, in my heart. (30s / Male)
  • My heart was throughly ripped out from the second play-through. (30s / Female)

 


  • Images and Translations by Fire Sanctuary
  • Famitsu

NieR:Automata Presentation Recap from TGS 2016

** Beware of possible spoilers below: trailer discussion and YoRHa stage play references appear below. **

Did you guys catch the  presentation at TGS2016? Check the video below if you haven’t!

I needed a day or so to recoup from being on my feet all day there… so I’m sorry for the delay in writing anything about it.

Here are some of my notes from the presentation:

Continue reading

Gamescom 2016 Interview by Hooked

Thanks to Christian on Twitter, I’ve learned that Hooked has made yet another interview, this time from the recent Gamescom 2016 in Germany! Check it out below!

And here are a few things that they discussed:

  • The game was never delayed. The staff had always imagined a 2017 release, but the media was always asking or expecting Automata to be released in 2016, so that is reason for this disconnect. An actual delay is when you have an exact release date which is changed to a later date.

  • Yoko Taro has always wanted to make a stand-alone shooting game, but Square Enix always denied his requests. This is why he likes to put in as much shooting scenes as he possibly can. He likes to throw in a bunch of different game genres into one. That being said, Automata will have much more shooting aspects than the previous title, so have fun imagining what might be in store!

  • The team wants to put on a similar concert, like what was held in Japan this past spring, internationally, but nothing can be decided yet until they have a sense of how many people are likely to attend such an event. Once they see how well performs, then they will be able to decide on future events; this includes other spin-off titles like an anime series or another stage play.

  • There will be multiple versions of particular songs that are sung by different individuals. The boys choir that was used in the previous NieR cannot be used again because all of the boys are older now and cannot produce the same tone; therefore, other younger voices will be occasionally used. Okabe Keiichi also sporadically provides the vocals.