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Some Characters Returning in the New NieR Game, Three Playable Protagonists, and More

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We’ve learned a bit more about that exciting new project set within the NieR universe, which got announced yesterday morning.

First up, it’s the newest details from this week’s Famitsu (via Hachima Kikou), in which game director Taro Yoko revealed that while the setting is connected, the story isn’t necessarily connected. The game is set in the future, so you won’t need to play the previous game to enjoy it.

Yoko-san confirmed that this entirely new NieR game isn’t quite a sequel, so fans picking it up expecting that might be confused. However, he did confirm that characters from the first game will appear in the new game, although only in cameos. The “weapon story” system from Drakengard is in the game.

Bringing Platinum Games on board makes sense, as weapon-focused combat is going to be at the core of the game. There may be shooting portions reminiscent of the first game, as well. There’s some kind of rotating element, but it’s been switched up from the previous game.

Finally, we’ve learned there will be three playable characters in the game, via an interview with producer Yosuke Saito and GameSpot. Two of the characters have been seen already, the white-haired girl prominently featured in the trailer and the concept art, and the boy seen briefly atop a building’s roof.

“For this new NieR, we kept an action RPG mindset and thought, this time we want to hit out a great, high-level JRPG, so we’re going to stick to one character design,” producer Yosuke Saito said.

“Platinum is great at creating action games, and we’ve asked them to make things a little more simplified, slightly. At first I thought it was going to be a battle-heavy action game, but luckily for us, a lot of Platinum Games’ staff members really respect NieR and took it to heart, and understand the project.

“We’re really fortunate in that they essentially took the battle system and the game design of the original NieR and added Platinum Games-type elements on top of it to make this hybrid if you will. It’s not like it’s a completely new game, they really have respect for the previous game.”

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Both Taro and Saito reiterated (as they have above) that the focus is on creating an original story within the game world, and it won’t follow the same narrative of the original. While the original NieR had five different endings – with one that deleted your save file by your choosing, this may not happen again.

“We are going to maintain that multiple playthrough idea for the new project, but in terms of the save file deletion thing, we probably won’t do it, since we did it in the original one and want to do new things,” Taro said. “But we will have multiple playthroughs involved. But you know… we’re still in early phases of development. Maybe we will delete you save files.”

Fans that enjoyed the haphazard mashup of genres in the original NieR will probably be disappointed to hear the new game won’t have that same mashup. The game will, however, feature the same mature, dark approach to both dialogue and themes, including both sexual themes and violence.

Drakengard was my first game as director, and we were actually told a lot by our advisory board to do retakes and make changes and honestly, I said, screw this, I’m not making another one,” Taro said. “I thought, with NieR, I’m going to make a normal game. That’s what I tried to make, a normal game, though people think it’s very dark and somber. But for me, that’s normal.

“The way I look at original NieR is like your mom’s home cooking: it may not be the best, but it’s okay, you’re comfortable with it. Members of the media told me the original NieR is like a puppy someone threw out. It’s cute in a way, but there’s something wrong in a sense, and you can’t help but love it even though there’s something missing and you can’t put your finger on it.

“But now we’re working with Platinum Games, and with [Akihiko] Yoshida and [Keiichi] Okabe, and we feel we have these great ingredients now. Is it going to be too perfect? We have all these great chefs, if you will, working together, and now, is it going to be missing that thing that made it so endearing to our fans? But after thinking about it, we think, we’re just going to try it and see how it goes.”

A release date is still unconfirmed, but we now know the game will be coming in only one version, as the original had a Japan-only release with a younger protagonist that had a sister, while the western version had an older, father-figure protagonist that had a daughter.

Development on the new NieR game is 10% complete, and more details will be coming some time this fall.

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22 comments
  1. MeteorMess
    MeteorMess
    June 17, 2015 at 10:58 am

    cant wait to play!

  2. mekia
    mekia
    June 17, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Sometimes feel so alone with my love for the series :p.

  3. Tromboner
    Tromboner
    June 17, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    When I heard that music I was excited, then when I saw it say Platinum games I was thrilled. Can’t wait to hear more about this project.

  4. deadeye
    deadeye
    June 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Well pretty much the only thing that concerns me now is that I hope we don’t get a “too many chefs in the kitchen” problem. But it seems that they all respect what the other is good at.

    Also, hopefully this can show that Platinum can do things other than insane over-the-top action. Although Korra wasn’t super over-the-top, but I guess that game wasn’t really that popular.

  5. BLbeel
    BLbeel
    June 17, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Too many chefs in the kitchen…

    or Too Many Cooks

  6. TheCynicalReaper
    TheCynicalReaper
    June 17, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    “While the original NieR had five different endings – with one that deleted your save file by your choosing, this may not happen again.”
    SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE
    oh wait
    “But we will have multiple playthroughs involved. But you know… we’re
    still in early phases of development. Maybe we will delete you save
    files.”
    Based Taro-chan pulling the ruse. Okay, they just meant the “deletion ending”.

  7. TheCynicalReaper
    TheCynicalReaper
    June 17, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    “I thought, with NieR, I’m going to make a normal game. That’s
    what I tried to make, a normal game, though people think it’s very dark
    and somber. But for me, that’s normal.” – Yoko Taro

  8. TheCynicalReaper
    TheCynicalReaper
    June 17, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    I’m glad we heard more from Taro than anyone else and that Taro is so introspective about the whole thing.

    “Members of the media told me the original NieR is like a puppy
    someone threw out. It’s cute in a way, but there’s something wrong in a
    sense, and you can’t help but love it even though there’s something
    missing…”
    GO FUCK YOURSELF MAINSTREAM MEDIA
    Son of a fucking bitch! These twats shlick-off to Gone Home as perfection but look at Nier like it’s “missing something”, “wrong” and “loveable in that pathetic tossed puppy way”. FUCK I hate these limp pricks so much.

    Still, it’s good to see Yoko Taro has no intention of changing his style to appease their whinging, and having him as director is great.

    Only sad to see that there isn’t any quote from the others detailing their appreciation for Taro like the team behind Drakengard 3’s gameplay.
    If I recall right the guy in charge of the gameplay said something to the affect of: “As long as Yoko Taro is around and in charge of the story there will always be great Drakengard games.”

    Great article, mate.

  9. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    June 17, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Just don’t localize the MC in to ManGuy McBarechest again and I’ll buy it. Finding the main character’s design utterly dull is what kept and keeps me from trying Nier.

  10. Reyhip
    Reyhip
    June 17, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    All good things here. Drakengard 3 and Nier were great, imperfections and all, with better gameplay, this game can really take it to the next level. This was the best surprise out of E3!

  11. DwightParkman
    DwightParkman
    June 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    couldnt say i liked Drakengard 3, but 1-2 were fantastic, so was nier. Guess we all gotta wait an see.

  12. Raziel Barkrai
    Raziel Barkrai
    June 17, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Oh man, I still feel burned about the save deletion ending because I missed the ending before it.

  13. Tyrannikos
    Tyrannikos
    June 17, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I love that he consistently desires to do different things with his games.

  14. dsadsada
    dsadsada
    June 17, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    I never played Nier but I heard about the save file deleting ending. Really made me consider getting it at the time because of how interesting it sounds. Those kinds of gimmicks just click with me I guess. I hope they do have something like that with this new one.

    Of course from what I also heard, the file deletion makes sense from the nature of the ending so we’ll see if the plot they’re doing this time can allow for it.

  15. dsadsada
    dsadsada
    June 17, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Having a lot of chefs in the kitchen can still produce a great buffet. It’s when too many of them are focusing on the same thing that the broth gets spoiled.

    Each of the people that we know are involved are good at their own thing and as long as they respect each other’s works and try and mesh them together then it should be fine, hopefully. For now at least, that sounds like what’s going on.

  16. sanic
    sanic
    June 17, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    “NieR had five different endings”

    HUE HUE HUE ending E was never released.

  17. nomuru2d
    nomuru2d
    June 18, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Wrong, actually. Grimoire Nier revealed that there was an unplayable fifth ending in which Nier comes back as a kid thanks to Kaine.

  18. nomuru2d
    nomuru2d
    June 18, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Technically, it was… Just not in video game form.

    lol Grimoire Nier

  19. TheCynicalReaper
    TheCynicalReaper
    June 18, 2015 at 3:22 am

    Well actually young Nier came back as a kid since that’s what that tree remembered him as, if I recall right.

    Papa Nier came back as Papa Nier but with both eyes, according to Yoko Taro when he was asked how the relationship between Nier and Kaine would play out if he’s a kid again.

  20. Feniks
    Feniks
    June 18, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    If only Taro put some lesbian teenagers in his games struggling against male patriarchy!

  21. Viredae
    Viredae
    June 19, 2015 at 6:54 am

    To be fair, the MC in the Japanese version wasn’t any more appealing, he was just your run of the mill “onii-chan” character that are a dime a dozen in anime.

  22. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    June 19, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I know, but its a matter of taste for me. I’ll gladly run around is a bishe onii-chan, but what we (meaning westerners) got is just so unappealing to me. I’m being totally shallow, admittedly. Like even the tiny concession of making the original design as DLC would have probably swayed me.