NieR:Automata FAQ

These are some frequently asked questions by fans regarding the STORY and CHARACTERS that appear in . This is also a work in progress, so if you’ve seen other questions asked multiple times that are not shown here, please feel free to let me know, and I’ll add it here.

Also, it may be important to point out that these are my own, personal answers. Although I try to give as many sources to support these answers, at the end of the day, they are still opinions. If you have a different take than what is listed here, please feel free to share your ideas with us.

** Please be careful of spoilers. **
You should not read the following until you’ve finished the game.

 

Why do the YoRHa androids cover their eyes?
How are they supposed to see if their eyes are covered?
The “blindfold” aka “goggles” aka “visor” does not impede their vision in any way. Rather, it gives them better sight since it is a piece of tactical equipment that they are required to wear at all times. It is part of the regulated uniform for all YoRHa androids.

There could be several symbolic reasons for this addition to their uniforms; one could be that they are blind to the true workings of Project YoRHa. They are not required to ask questions. They only take orders and do what they’re told to do, blindly, even if they’re told to go against a fellow YoRHa android. It could also show that they need to block their vision from what they must do in order to protect their own psyche that would otherwise crumble if they allowed the images of the horrors of war enter their minds.

It also may be part of an extended metaphor of “Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil.”

The YoRHa androids deployed in battle have on occasion removed their visors or worn them a little different than regulated. In the YoRHa stage play, this was done during pivotal moments to further characterize the cast. It was especially used to show that the character is no longer blind to the lies all around them, and their path forward–their true mission–is now clear. This could also be seen as a shift in character (for example, a once timid, unsure character is forged by the horrors of war into a strong and purposeful individual).

Why do the Operators have their mouths covered?
Assuming the Operators’ face veils that only covers the lower half of their faces has a similar practical usage similar to the deployed YoRHa androids, the Operators must communicate with deployed units from the moment they leave the Bunker. The veils over their mouths may enhance their ability to communicate long distances; however, you could also say that other non-Operator units also use similar lines of communication with the YoRHa androids. Exactly what special abilities the veil could have has never been stated.

Again, symbolically, the veils could represent the “Speak no evil” line since the Operators are right in the thick of things and have direct contact with Command. As was shown in the YoRHa stage play and even the stage play, the Operators gradually learn that so many innocent androids are suffering for no reason– they witness so many YoRHa androids being deployed and slaughtered over and over again that they begin to ask questions: WHY. It could be that the veil represents their inability to ask questions, that such questions are forbidden. In the play, we see one particular Operator who began asking questions was told to get a “check up” that erased part of her memory and reestablished her purpose to not ask questions and to only do her job. She was in essence silenced.

Which is canon, Father or Brother Nier?
Looking at the Weapon Story for the Iron Pipe, the original Japanese text states “Brother” whereas the International releases (since Replicant was only released in Japan) states “Father”. Therefore, you can’t really say that one or the other is NOT canon.

It was stated in an old article by Yoko Taro that both Father and Brother scenarios in fact occurred. How this could possibly happen, he didn’t go into detail, but he gave the explanation that the Replicants are in a sort repeating cycle. Sometimes Nier is younger (brother) and sometimes he’s older (father); and the same goes with Yonah. Depending on when Nier and Yonah are constructed, their familial relationship will change. I know many people prefer a father-daughter relationship over a brother-sister relationship, but I think Yoko Taro was trying to say that LOVE is LOVE and one isn’t stronger than another. It’s by implementing your own experiences and opinions into the story that change.

Why did A2 cut her hair after 2B’s death?
This is a common trope in many stories. In this particular one, however, it represents A2’s willingness to take on 2B’s cause after her death since they are pretty much one and the same. It is a gesture of respect and a sort of “rebirth” for A2 as well. Although it may not seem like much, A2 *did* change drastically after that moment. She helped Pascal in his endeavors and was obviously emotionally struck by those events. A2 has taken so much weight upon her shoulders, and yet she shows very little strain. She has but one mission: to avenge her fallen comrades and set things “right”… Throughout her seemingly cold interactions with other characters and her outward appearance and actions, she has a genuinely feeling heart.
What does “YoRHa” stand for? What does it mean?
Yoko Taro has not stated what–if anything–it stands for (ie. “that’s secret.”); however, he has said that there is kanji for it: 寄葉 (yoru-ha; near or passing leaf).

 

  • MagicianX26

    Check the Weapon Stories for Virtious Dignity and Cruel Arrogance. They also hint at Father/Brother Nier respectively.

  • Re Nato

    One thing I did not understand.
    One information I may have not noticed when I read the timeline of nier events.
    The humans were extinguished when the Shadowlord was killed. Okay, but the replicants (which are “soulless” human replicas) are still alive. When Emil made copies of himself to fight the aliens, were the replicants still alive? For I can not find information on how the replicants were extinguished. In the game of Nier Automata, it is revealed that the fulda of humans the moon was all a lie, that there is nothing on the moon, except a false signal sending and a server.
    Another point in the story that I did not understand is about the Nier Replicant. The Nier Gestalt lived waited for the Yonna Replicant to wake up from his sleep. If Nier and Yonnah underwent Gestaltification process at the same time, where the Nier Replicant came from. Can replicators live forever? For it implies that the Nier Replicant also lived for 1000 years.

    • Andra Cimpoesu

      I think its because replicants are sterile.

      • Re Nato

        I ended up not paying attention to that information.
        Thank you.
        I left some questions for Rekka, if you want to answer them feel free. 🙂

    • Both Gestalts & Replicants (the remainder of humanity) are dead.

      Replicants cannot live forever. When their corresponding Gestalt relapses, this manifests as the Black Scrawl on Replicants. Gestalt NieR is able to live for so long because he is the first and only Original Gestalt. It is he who gives the other Gestalts the maso they need to sustain their consciousness, otherwise they would relapse and become Shades.

      Replicants are unable to reproduce; therefore, they cannot live forever, especially with the destruction of the Shadowlord.

      • Re Nato

        I understood the extinction of the Gestalts.
        I understood the Nier Gestalts live for so long.

        But what I did not understand is that if Nier and Yonnah were Gestatification at the same time, Yonnah Replicant woke up 1000 years later, how did the Nier Replicant live all this time?

        Between the death of the ShadowLord and the war of Emil against the alinígenas, has passed 100 years. Since the replicants can not reproduce, were they all extinct at this time? I think that’s the only rational answer I can think of.

        About the postwar war between Emil and the aliens, were the former Gestalt project androids who built the orbital bases and fucked Yorah? Or at this time half time the replicators fled to the moon and died there, since they could not create more replicants since they did not have Gestalts to serve as a basis for the Gestaltification process?

        On the process of Gestaltification the soul was separated from the body and placed in an empty body (Replicant) with the memories of the ancient body. If this memory were kept, could not replicators ever be built?

        • Kevin Truong

          I didn’t play Nier but I watch the cinematic gameplay (all cut-scenes+ all dialog in game) however, after ending E I believe, Nier would sacrifice himself in order to save kaine . Later on. she would see another replicant, which is a younger version of Nier.
          Since Shadowlord died, future replicant wont be able to be create because of the black crawl. (how the yound Nier is unexplained). So the current replicants would slowly die from the black crawl.

          The network aka Red girl bult the moon and YoRHa. How it was done it is unknow.

          The memory would be kept, however, the replicant would develop their own judgment(I can’t find the right words but they develop their own emotion technically). Since it was an error, I belive they would lose parts of the memory. (if they would have the memories of the ancient body, they would know about the project itself and that they are not humans)

          I might be wrong but this is what I remember from Nier

  • Tomek

    Hi! 🙂 I’ve just beat the game and got endings ABCDE. However, I still couldn’t find answers to some questions… I know they were not given on a plate and I haven’t played previous games + my English is not that good, but…
    1. Aliens. Why they came? What were they looking for?
    2. Why aliens have created so many robots? Who was their enemy (humanity didn’t exist at this point in time)?
    3. How Adam and Eve were born? Why?
    4. Why Adam and Eve have killed their creators?
    5. Why they shoot themselves into space? Where are they going? What for?
    6. What is the actual purpose of the tower?

    Thank you in advance for any answer! 🙂

    • Kevin Truong

      Hi, I will try to answer your question many answer will be a “guess” from what I understood from the game

      1. Aliens actually came from god, how so? When Eve went in rampage after his brother death, his tattoo will cover almost all his torso and you can see the symbol of the cult of the watchers. The cult of the watchers is from Drakengard 1, who are the antagonist of the story, In short, they goal was to destroy the world and the mastermind behind all of this was a kid under control of god. So in another words, aliens are maybe control like the kid by god and sent to kill humanity
      2. The reason is currently not explain, but my guess is because they couldn’t find any humans, since they all die even before the invasion ( humanity went instinct the moment shadowlord died back in Nier) Since they didn’t know I would guess, they would sent endless wave in order to completly crush humanity. Back then Androids would fight instead of humans (yoRHa wasn’t create yet)
      3. This is an excellent question indeed, There was another discussion about this on a Nier video. Since the black box (YoRHa core) is similar to the machine core, I believe lifeform machines actually create the androids, I mean, how YoRHa are create after they get wipe by the logic virus? Furthermore, since robots were so obsess with humans, they might try to create robots to be identical to humans. So here we got Adam and Eve.
      4. Robots killed their creator, the alien because they found humans to be more interesting and wish to learn more about them
      5. The arc was meant to shot all the data into space. This base of my memory ( I finished the game 2 month ago) and I remember they wanted to launch the data alongside robots into another planet. However, someone point out that the arc might be the new “bunker” or moon since the logic virus cause the moon to explode and the system, AKA Red Girl, wanted to recreate the cycle of wars with robots against YoRHA.
      6. The huge tower was actually a cannon that would shot all the humans data into space

      • Tomek

        Thank you Kevin!
        Interesting thoughts.
        However, why did god send aliens when humanity no longer exists?
        Why launch human and robot data into space?

      • 1. There was absolutely no mention of that “god” in Automata. There is no connection between the aliens and the entity that was dubbed “god” in DOD1. This is the definition of “god” from the DOD1 source material that I translated:

        God? / 神?
        This is the humming, painted with the color of insanity, that flowed from Manah’s mouth as she danced in front of the alter. Layered upon her own voice was the sound of a deep voice filled with apathy; its source unknown. More than likely, it was the voice of God who merely borrowed Manah’s voice. As previously mentioned, this world did not have any particular god that ought to be worshiped by all. Nonetheless, it’s difficult not to say that an entity who created the universe does, in fact, exist. Should such a being be called “God”?

        Throughout the entirety of “Drag-on Dragoon”, God makes no personal appearance. That being said, there have been plenty of moments in which God’s hand in the world’s affairs can be seen ever so faintly. A small glimpse of God materializes in the world through such times as when a mysterious voice came out of Manah’s mouth, the time when the strange form of the “enemy” descended upon and destroyed the Empire, or the time when Furiae lost her human form and was transformed into a goddess of destruction. For the human race, these are the manifestations of nightmares, not a single one depicting a merciful God.

        From God’s perspective, the human race was a defective creation. That is why God cast a seal over the world, which should more accurately be called a program for destruction, and created the race of dragons to destroy all of humanity. Moreover, God created the Red Eye Disease that, when infected, it would drive the humans themselves to break the seals, inevitably leading to their destruction by their own hand. Did God hate humanity that much? If so, why didn’t God destroy humanity by his own volition? Certainly, the existence known as “God” should have the power to do so. So then why did he refrain from using this power and instead enlisted others to do his bidding?

        It’s a question without an answer. Perhaps someone could appreciate this situation as a test given to humanity. How can we call such an existence “God” when it personally sought the complete annihilation of the human race? —DOD Perfect Guide (http://firesanctuary.com/2015/04/04/dod-encyclopedia/)

        2. This theme is repeated throughout multiple times: People only do what they have been taught. This is true of the machines (they only do what they’re programmed to do: destroy the enemy), of the androids (they are fighting to “save” humanity because they were programmed to “love” and “desire” to be like them). Who’s not to say that the aliens also have a similar built-in mechanism that entices them to explore the universe and conquer and/or destroy anything they come in contact with?

        3. “Since the black box (YoRHa core) is similar to the machine core, I believe lifeform machines actually create the androids.”

        This is incorrect. The the nuclear core that powers the YoRHa androids were salvaged from Bio-machines, this is true. But we were shown who created the YoRHa androids in the NieR:Automata concert recitation act #2, which I translated here: http://nier2.com/blog/2017/05/14/concert-recitation-act-2-project-yorha/

        4. “Robots killed their creator, the alien because they found humans to be more interesting and wish to learn more about them.”

        Humanity was already dead before the aliens invaded. The machines didn’t kill the aliens because they wanted to be more like humanity; but rather, they did so possibly because they *wanted* to be more like humanity. They wanted to be more than a bucket of bolts. They wanted to evolve, which is what Adam & Eve were.

        5. “The arc was meant to shot all the data into space. This base of my memory ( I finished the game 2 month ago) and I remember they wanted to launch the data alongside robots into another planet. However, someone point out that the arc might be the new “bunker” or moon since the logic virus cause the moon to explode and the system, AKA Red Girl, wanted to recreate the cycle of wars with robots against YoRHA.”

        The machines intended to use the Tower to destroy the human server on the moon which housed samples of human DNA which could theoretically revive the race at some point in the future. N2 decided against this at the last moment and changed their plan to EVOLVE further by growing beyond the small confines of Earth. The Arc is *not* another Bunker (and moon!?). The moon did not explode. The moon did not explode due to the Logic Virus. The Red Girls never wanted all-out war and destruction. They were continually learning through everything, and in the end, once they learned all they could from the androids and machines, the only thing they could do to continue to evolve was to leave and search out for something new, to expand beyond their design.

        • Kevin Truong

          1.
          It is really interesting since I have not play any other drakengard/nier, I only watch the cinematic+dialog ingame but you mention god saw human as a defective creation and create dragons to eliminate humankind, however in drakengard 3, dragons were the only 1 to be able to kill the flower (zero and her sister) and the flower was also a creation of god. so why would he creates something that can be destroy by 1 of his own creation.
          5.

    • 1. Aliens. Why they came? What were they looking for?
      No one knows who or what they are. Humanity was dead by then and the only ones who encountered them was Emil besides the old-gen androids who were only fighting to save the planet for when humanity made a come-back.

      2. Why aliens have created so many robots? Who was their enemy (humanity didn’t exist at this point in time)?
      There were many, many aliens to begin with… and Emil countered their attacks by creating 80+ million copies of himself to fight them. He was able to keep them at bay and I believe the aliens learned. Nothing about the Bio-machines’ origins has been stated officially, but I believe the aliens took and reprogrammed many of Emil’s copies to be used as mindless soldiers. Emil was already nothing more than a robot with a round head by that time anyway, so it would fit with the previous sourse material (NieR Drama CD, Disc 2, Track 3 “The Space Wars”).

      3. How Adam and Eve were born? Why?
      They are machines but evolved beings that were learning from humanity. They were becoming more and more human. It is unknown exactly how they were created and how they were different from any other Bio-machine, but they clearly display many aspects in humanity’s past that the player would recognize (dragon-like gloves that resemble Gabriella from DOD3 and Eve’s tattoo the most obvious). Why were they born? Because everything is trying to evolve, even machines.

      4. Why Adam and Eve have killed their creators?
      The aliens didn’t really create them in my view, plus they were far more powerful than the aliens anyway, so it’s a very typical “child exceeds the parent” sort of theme. It’s all about becoming more enlightened and therefore powerful than the previous generation.

      5. Why they shoot themselves into space? Where are they going? What for?
      It’s mostly symbolic, I think. They’ve outgrown the little planet and nothing remained to help them grow. All that was left was leaving the nest and continuing to evolve somewhere else. They weren’t necessarily going anywhere specific; it was to explore, to learn and grow. It’s a common theme throughout the whole game, whether it’s the androids or the machines: They all desire to become something more than what they are.

      6. What is the actual purpose of the tower?
      It was built by machines in the hopes of ending the war by destroying the human server on the moon.