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Goddess of Victory: NIKKE is a mobile free-to-play Science Fiction Third-Person Shooter Role-Playing Game developed by Korean developer Shift Up (previously known for their work on Destiny Child) and published by Level Infinite. It was released worldwide on November 3rd, 2022 for iOS and Android.

It is the far future. Mankind, after a long and deadly war against extraterrestrial robots called "Raptures", has lost control of Earth's surface. Leaving behind a post-apocalyptic hellscape ruled by the alien machines, the remnants of humanity have fled underground, constructing a massive, technologically-advanced bunker called the Ark. Over time, humanity has developed a way to counter the might of the Raptures: Nikke, combat-ready androids in the form of beautiful women who take to the surface and eliminate the Rapture with the assistance of the human Commanders trained to lead them.

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You take the role of a rookie Commander fresh out of military training who is suddenly thrust into the heat of battle when an aerial transport suddenly explodes, killing the present senior Commander. Taking control of a Nikke squad called "Counters", the Commander sets out with Counters to defeat humanity's greatest extraterrestrial threat and discover the truth behind the Raptures.

During gameplay, players take control of a squad of Nikkes, pit against an onslaught of enemy Raptures. Players can direct the squad to aim and shoot at Raptures to destroy them using their finger to direct an on-screen crosshair to target vulnerable foes or order the party to defend themselves. Nikkes come in multiple roles, each specializing in different weapons with unique use cases for each unit, allowing the player to strategically build their team to combat any threat. In addition to the main Campaign mode, where players tackle the story, they can challenge a variety of side modes via the Ark, including the Simulation Room, a Roguelite mode where players defeat waves of enemies and collect buffs to power up their team, and Tribe Tower, a high-difficulty mode where players duel against increasingly tough enemies to see how far they can go.

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This game contains examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: While investigating a power plant, the heroes decide to crawl through the sewers to avoid the Raptures guarding the gate, with Rapi leading and the Commander bringing up the rear. When Rapi stops suddenly, the rest of the team winds up bumping into each other, with the Commander's face smacking right into Anis' behind. He can opt to comment on it, which Anis definitely doesn't appreciate.
  • Achievement System: There's an achievement system in the game called "Challenges" that rewards players with in-game currency, materials, and Infrastructure Points that are needed to unlock relevant quality-of-life features for the Outpost.
  • Action Girl: All the Nikkes are one.
  • Admiring the Abomination: There is a sidequest chain involving a person named Raptillion, who views the Raptures as akin to a fascinating animal species and wants to spread Rapture appreciation to others. The Commander winds up being roped into their pro-Rapture antics, including donning a homemade Rapture camouflage to blend in and interact with Raptures.
  • After the End: The game is set in a post-apocalyptic future, with the Rapture, mechs from outer space, having destroyed and taken over the Earth's surface.
  • Aggressive Negotiations: All but stated to have occurred between Andersen and Burningum in Chapter 14, with Andersen beating the shit out of Burningum to convince him to call off the attack against Counters.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: To an extent. Enikk flatly admits to the Commander that she had been sacrificing Nikkes to the Raptures in exchange for a guarantee of protection for the Ark, as she was programmed to prioritize the safety of the Ark and the human race above all else and saw the deal as a necessary evil.
  • Amazon Brigade: Nikkes by design are all women no older than 30. Lost Relics indicate that Nikke recruitment was originally open to all humans of all ages, but the requirements eventually narrowed to women of ages between 10 to 25, potentially due to compatibility concerns.
  • Androids Are People, Too: The Commander seems to think so, at least. Not that there are many others who sympathize with them.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The Synchro Device offers a way to subvert Level Grinding to a certain degree. Nikkes assigned to the Synchro Device will have their level automatically matched to the 5th highest level character the player owns, allowing them to see use even if the player hasn't been pouring resources into them.
    • If you invest resources into leveling up a Nikke but later decide that you no longer want to use them, you can pay a small Gem fee to reset their level and get a full refund on all the leveling materials you used on them. This function is disabled for any SSR Nikke that reaches Level 200, although it doesn't matter much in this case since a Level 200 Nikke contributes to the Synchro Device and thus there is little reason to reset them.
    • The various grinding spots in the Ark usually provide a "quick battle" button that lets you skip through any fights, granted that: a) you are significantly stronger than the enemy, b) have cleared a battle once a day for Interception, and c) as long as it's a "normal" battle for Simulation Room and Lost Sector.
    • In Coordinated Operation battles, battle does not end until time runs out or the party wipes. In most boss fights, the boss will continue fighting even after its HP has been depleted, forcing the party to run out the timer. The Nihilister Coordinated Operation remedied this by only triggering its second phase when its HP runs out, which turns it Nigh-Invulnerable and causes it to start using One-Hit Kill attacks so the players don't have to sit around waiting for it to die when they have already obtained the highest possible score.
  • Artificial Limbs: Another positive about the Nikkes being Ridiculously Human Robots: their biological structure is near-identical down to the nervous system, to the point where Nikke parts can be used as backup prosthetics to temporarily replace human limbs.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Auto-Battle does not seem to care one bit about defending itself no matter how many enemy projectiles are aimed at the party. Its enemy prioritization is also rather wonky, which can make Defend and Protect missions difficult to win without taking direct control. It also cannot aim at Interruption Parts, which effectively means that major boss battles must be manually piloted for a good chunk of time.
  • The Assimilator: The Raptures have "Material H", a strange substance that can convert compatible parts of any captured Nikke into more of itself and is used for Heretics and their equipment. The Rapture have an entire facility dedicated to 'producing' more of it.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Nikkes can survive virtually any form of bodily harm and be repaired, but if their brain is toast, they're toast.
    • Shooting a Rapture in the core inflicts a Core Hit and deals much more damage, indicated by a red number appearing.
  • Bad Luck Mitigation Mechanic: Pulling on the Standard Recruit banner awards 1 Silver Coupon per pull. 200 Silver Coupons can be traded for a Spare Body of a Nikke in the permanent pool, which functions as a dupe for Limit Breaking but does not actually give you that character. Special Recruit banners, on the other hand, rewards 1 Golden Coupon per pull. 200 Golden Coupons can be traded for any currently available featured Nikke from a Special Recruit Banner. Golden Coupons also do not expire and can be carried forward to future Special Recruit banners, allowing you to save the guarantee for a future character if you do not want to buy the current one for whatever reason.
  • Bait-and-Switch: A Chapter 11 side quest involves a music lover introducing the Commander to their teacher, who has survived from the surface era but is aging and no longer what they once were. They request the Commander to escort their teacher to the surface and have Julia heal their legs. It turns out that the so-called "Music Master" is not a person, but in fact a walking jukebox. Anis and Neon take turns giving it song requests.
  • Berserk Button: Disrespecting Nikkes, especially those under his command, is a very easy way to get on the Commander's bad side. He gets into multiple altercations with other humans over this topic.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: At the start of the game, the Raptures are clearly given as the main antagonizing force, existing solely to eliminate all humanity. Soon after, Syuen gets into the ring, who repeatedly obstructs Counters' progress as much as humanly possible and remains a persistent thorn in their side despite supposedly fighting for the same objective. Chapter 16 adds Heavenly Ascension and Exotic to the mix, who want to destroy the Ark for the injustices enacted upon them as Nikkes and sees the Commander's purity of heart as a threat to their ambitions.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Vapaus" means "freedom" in Finnish. It is a substance designed to "free" a Nikke of their immortality by destroying the NIMPH in their brains.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The Raptures are Obviously Evil, but even among humanity's remnants, it's still humanity. The Commander and Counters happen to be strictly on the heroic side, but there's quite a number of humans and Nikkes who are far less altruistic and won't exactly hesitate to continue making each others' lives worse.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Exotic, having the Commander completely defenseless, puts two bullets through the Commander's stomach and leaves him to die rather than simply inflicting a fatal wound. This gives him enough time to be rescued and resuscitated by Rapunzel before he bleeds out. Rapunzel acknowledges that this is at least in part due to the NIMPH in their brains, which prevented them from inflicting a lethal wound.
  • Booby Trap: While attempting to find a radio tower to contact the Ark in Chapter 14, Counters finds themselves harassed by explosive traps and suspect that someone is following them. They soon discover that Perilous Siege is setting them up, with their latest attempt allowing them to take the Commander hostage after Marian grabs a rigged box of bandages. Unfortunately for them, Marian invokes Violation of Common Sense, detonating the box and using her mysterious powers to nullify the explosion before incapacitating the duo.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Played with. Nikkes follow standard gun rules and must reload after emptying their magazine but have otherwise unlimited ammo at their disposal. Exaggerated with Diesel, who has a Skill that increases her magazine size whenever she runs out.
  • Behind the Black: Pretty much all Lost Relics are hidden this way.
  • Break Meter: Major bosses will spawn Interruption Parts where a red target marker appears on their body just like in a Rail Shooter. The player must attack the target marker to deplete its health and destroy them all to inflict major damage. Failing to destroy all of the markers in time will cause the boss to perform a special move, typically an extremely powerful attack.
  • Breather Episode: After the double whammy that is Chapters 13 and 14, Chapter 15 is a largely Filler chapter about Counters and Talentum heading out on a treasure hunt to recuperate funds needed to repair the Outpost. The only lasting plot points are Syuen stealing the Vapaus-laced bullet that the Commander attempted to use on Modernia in Chapter 13 and the Commander acquiring a mysterious diary page.
  • The Cameo: While they aren't physically present in the event, Matis makes an appearance in the Christmas 2022 event as part of Emma and Exia's alternate costumes. Emma's "Color Me Red" outfit has a Maxwell doll, while Exia's "Joy to the Nerds" outfit has a Drake doll while Exia herself wears a Laplace backpack (that spits out colored ornaments for some reason).
  • Car Fu: In Chapter 13, the heroes are saved from an overwhelming swarm of Raptures by Infinity Rail, who bursts onto the scene with the AZX and takes out the incoming Raptures at once. The heroes proceed to board the train and use it to make headway across the battlefield, crushing any Raptures in their path. Unfortunately, they soon find themselves pursued by the Raptures' own train, the Alteisen Mk. VI, forcing the heroes to engage in Vehicular Assault.
  • Casting Gag: Yui Ishikawa portrays a Ms. Fanservice Ridiculously Human Robot protagonist who is The Stoic and engages in navel-gazing quite often. Outside of the context of this game you'd probably be thinking of 2B.
  • Charge Attack: Rocket launchers and sniper rifles can charge up their shots, indicated by a gauge next to the crosshairs that fills as the user aims their shot. The damage of the shot is modified according to the percentage fill indicated by the gauge, with additional damage applied if the shot is charged longer.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • After the Commander shatters his leg in an incident, he is given a Nikke exoskeleton as a temporary replacement to allow him to walk. He later loans this exoskeleton to Snow White after the encounter with Modernia leaves the entire team severely damaged. Snow White uses it to go outside and call Unlimited, who comes to the heroes' aid before the Commander freezes to death.
    • "Red Riding Hood". Chatterbox recognizes Rapi as such in Chapter 4, but she dodges the query and moves to crack skulls. Much later down the line in Chapter 13, when Modernia inflicts a fatal wound on the Commander, Rapi invokes "Red Riding Hood" and briefly gains an exponential burst of strength, enough to rip Modernia's protrusion out of her body with her bare hands and hurl it at speeds exceeding Mach 1, shattering Modernia's armor on impact before she has time to react.
  • The Chosen One: While not outright stated, Andersen and Ingrid mutually agree that the Commander has something special about him that sets him apart from the run-of-the-mill commanders despite his inexperience, although they are not exactly sure as to what. To this end, Andersen gives the Commander a sort of preferential treatment, "banishing" him to the Outpost to keep him out of the reach of Ark's government, keeping him teamed up with his current Nikkes despite the existence of unspoken rules to the contrary, and giving him dangerous, top-level missions that he believes are key to taking the advantage in the war against the Raptures. Dorothy expresses a similar sentiment when showing the Commander around Eden in Chapter 19, admitting that she's been waiting for him to show up and believes he may be able to help Eden with the Heretics that have been plaguing them, since he's already defeated one of them before.
  • City in a Bottle: The Ark, as it's an Underground City, is surrounded by a massive screen that only shows an image of the sky, just to remind people of what they've lost After the End. Even if the populace experience some level of rain or snow here, it's all artificial and the surviving elderly that did live on the surface long ago all know it to be fake. In one of Anis' character stories, she tells a tale of when, in the past, the Big Three decided to run a one-minute ad on these very screens, giving rise to mass hysteria from the people and skyrocketed suicide rates due to the people's realities being shattered, thus prompting them to only use the screens to show the sky.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The Coordinated Operation events, where players join a team of four other players and play a boss fight, with each player controlling their own Nikke of choice. Depending on the damage accumulated on the boss, players are awarded Broken Cores that they can spend on an event shop for valuable prizes.
  • Com Mons: An interesting case for a gacha game. All Nikkes that are of the R rarity are mass-produced units that have some level of distinctiveness from one another, with their own set of voice actors to give them life.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Mihara and Yuni are a duo of them. Mihara experiences a rather unique high off battle damage and has the ability to swap pain receptors with any target, including other Nikke, humans, or even Rapture, allowing self-inflicted wounds to affect her target physiologically. Yuni has a defect that prevents her from feeling anything except through physical contact, causing her to become obsessed with giving and receiving pain.
  • The Confidant: Despite the massive risks, Counters decides to share a critical secret with Andersen and Ingrid in hopes of winning their cooperation for the battles ahead. The bet pays off, as they prove to be Counter's most valuable allies within the Ark, especially when nearly everyone turns against them once Marian is recovered.
  • Cool Boat: The Admire is the pride and joy of the Ark's naval branch, a technologically advanced amphibious battleship captured from the Raptures and outfitted with the best technology in the world, making it the most powerful craft to ever grace the seven seas. There's just one problem: It's never been deployed. There's no real reason to use it since most of the war is on land, so it typically just sits in place and functions as a glorified dining hall.
  • Crapsack World: Humanity lost the Earth's surface to the Rapture and are forced underground to keep on living and fighting against them. Almost everyone here are living shitty lives, from the fact that almost no one living in the Ark has ever seen the actual sky or experienced actual rain and snow, the mistreatment of Nikkes due to their Human Weapon status, commanders essentially having cases of "It Sucks to Be the Chosen One" due to how little they end up learning about the fight they're supposed to lead before being thrust to the surface, to the unfavorable living conditions of those who were banished to the Outer Rim, the Ark's own badlands.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The threat of this trope is what drove Enikk to her Deal with the Devil with Chatterbox. As she explains to the Commander when they talk in person, the sheer strength gap between humanity and the Rapture will ensure that the latter will win in a head-on confrontation...which the Rapture are capable of forcing at any time, as they've known the Ark's location for a long while now and are only held off from doing so by Chatterbox's end of the deal with Enikk.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: In-game lore through the Lost Relics and some bond stories suggest that Nikkes were once normal human girls that, due to reasons, had their brains fitted into an artificial body capable of fighting against humanity's greatest threat. Their first incarnations were more machine-like in appearance with more robotic-looking appendages and a green coolant that acts as their "blood", which caused fatal levels of cognitive dissonance among a lot of them due to the disconnect between their human brains and robotic bodies. It's one of the justifications as to why Nikkes in the present day are Ridiculously Human Robots.
  • Dark Action Girl: At the end of Chapter 6, the Commander is introduced to the Heretics, Nikkes who have sided with the Raptures, and witnesses Snow White squaring off against one of them named Modernia.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Absolute's dress code is black uniforms with red accents. Rapi, having kept the uniform from her time in the team, also abides by this color scheme.
  • Day in the Limelight: The "High-Tech Toy" event focuses on Matis, who have been deployed to investigate a string of recent unexplained mass-produced Nikke disappearances.
  • Deal with the Devil: Chapter 14 reveals that Enikk, the Central AI of the Ark, made one with Chatterbox in the past. In exchange for randomly corrupting Nikkes with the Rapture code periodically, Chatterbox will have the Rapture leave the Ark alone, explaining how Marian was corrupted in the prologue.
  • Death of Personality:
    • While Mind-Reformat Death is one possible fate for a Nikke, there is also a phenomenon called a Mind Switch, in which the brain experiences severe psychological trauma to the point where the brain is permanently physically damaged. Very few Nikkes experience this and come out unscathed; the majority go insane and need to be put down. Nikkes that do survive a Mind Switch have their personalities irrevocably altered, essentially becoming completely different people altogether. Pilgrims, due to the era in which they were manufactured, have a unique brain structure that induces the risk of a Mind Switch if they have too many memories, essentially giving their brains a maximum hard drive space limit.
    • During the 1st Rapture Invasion, this was a common fate for young girls who underwent the Full-Conversion Cyborg procedure and were transplanted into mass-produced models, much to the dismay of the human families they left behind.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The very first Nikke you meet in the story is Marian, a kind Nikke who recognizes the Commander's human compassion and reciprocates in kind, setting her up as a clear protagonist role and potential companion. She goes rogue 15 minutes in due to Rapture corruption and the Commander is forced to Mercy Kill her. Finding out the reason behind how she was corrupted becomes the Driving Question of the game's story.
  • Distressed Dude: A trap set by Chatterbox in Chapter 6 leads to the Commander being separated from Counters and captured by the hulking Rapture. He winds up being bailed out by Snow White, who intervenes before Chatterbox has the chance to kill him.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male:
    • This is what Maxwell's Attraction Story effectively culminates into during the final episode, with Maxwell forcing herself on the Commander before he's mentally prepared for any physical interaction.
    • There's also the Outpost event where Mihara and Yuni trick the Commander into getting trapped in their personal sex dungeon.
  • Dumpster Dive: The "treasure" of Chapter 15 turns out to be a heap of junk littered with scrapped Goddesium and Rapture parts. Counters and Talentum grab what they can and escape before they're overwhelmed by Raptures. It later turns out that neither Anis nor Neon grabbed anything of value while Rapi lost everything she got while retreating, leaving them with effectively nothing.
  • Dying as Yourself: For as heavily corrupted as her mind is, Marian still finds the wherewithal to guide the Commander to killing her, thanking them for being by her side right before they pull the trigger.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Alteisen Mk. VI is able to be fought as early as Chapter 2 as an EX boss and is an Intercept boss that can be fought daily. It's the first major boss of Chapter 13.
  • Easy Level Trick: During a Base Defense mission, the spawning of new enemy waves is triggered by the defeat of all enemies in the current wave. However, the Defense progress meter is only affected by enemies that are physically standing inside the target zone. Aerial targets don't count for this, so one simple way of cheesing Base Defense missions is to kill all grounded enemies, leaving only airborne enemies, then command the party to Defend. Since there are enemies still alive, the next wave won't spawn, and since there are no grounded enemies the base counts as being unoccupied, meaning it is a simple matter of just waiting until you win.
  • Eating Machine: Nikkes technically do not require food and can subsist on energy produced by their core for days on end. However, history has proven that for most Nikkes, they still need to eat for purely psychological purposes, since it helps them retain their humanity and keeps them sane.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: All Nikkes and boss Raptures have an affinity to a single element among these: Fire->Wind->Iron->Electric->Water.
  • Elevator Failure: An Outpost story involves Neon relaying the tale of Nikkes before modern civil rights. A group of 200 Nikkes, frustrated by discrimination from humans, rallied together and boarded an elevator to the surface to prove their worth. The Ark's government, clearly unhappy with this development, cut power to the elevator mid-ride, causing it to plummet towards the Ark and potentially cause catastrophic damage. The Nikkes inside, prioritizing human life, self-destructed simultaneously, killing them all while minimizing damage to the Ark. The incident, later named "Goddess Fall", resulted in a huge push for Nikke civil rights in the present day, which many Nikke have to thank for their current living conditions.
  • Enemy Mine: Two examples thus far, both involving the same characters.
    • The end of Chapter 15 sees the Commander accepting Syuen's proposal to find more Vapaus in exchange for sending support in the expeditions. Though he was originally dead set against it, eventually he decided to accept after Syuen asked what he'd do if one of his Nikkes gets corrupted, since while Syuen's current claim to holding and being able to produce Vapaus is phony, and she do plan to monopolize the Vapaus once she can actually produce it,, the offer for the commander to be able to obtain more produced Vapaus from her in case the Nikkes they are close to gets corrupted was still too enticing.
    • Chapter 18 sees him helping Syuen with her Engineered Heroics plan to restore Matis' reputation and help dispel the Anti-Nikke protests that have been forming with the revelations about NIMPH and Heavenly Ascension agitating the populace with the "John Doe" identity. To his credit, the Commander did refuse twice thanks to the past bad blood between Counters and the Missilis CEO, to the point that Syuen had to get on her knees and beg for his help for him to give the okay.
  • Equipment Upgrade: Armor you pick up can be upgraded to gain stats by feeding materials and other armor into it. Armor rarity scales from Tier 1 through Tier 9, and the maximum level cap of each armor is based on its Tier, with Tier 7 and higher going up to Level 5. Manufacturer Tier 9 gear specifically unlocks the Modification mechanic upon reaching Level 5. Modfiying Manufactuer Tier 9 gear transforms it into Tier 10 Overload gear, converting the Manufacturer bonus into a Modification bonus and boosting its stats even further while also granting it up to three random bonuses. The main catch with Overload gear is that once a Tier 9 equip is turned into Overload gear, it becomes permanently affixed to the character that was wearing it.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The Commander's capacity for kindness towards Nikkes is one the first moments of the story that establishes them as a distinct character, when they wrap a bandage around Marian's injury despite being functionally useless to a Nikke.
  • Faceless Goons: The heroic kind; mass-produced models are designed to be these. One Lost Relic involves a mother protesting against Nikke production after her daughter was turned into a mass-produced model and lost her memories.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The origin of Nikke technology has yet to be revealed, but it's heavily implied that Nikkes and Raptures are not as unrelated as they seem. Not only can Raptures turn Nikkes into Rapture parts, Snow White reveals that it's not only possible but rather simple to modify Rapture parts into Nikke parts. Modernia's Bond Story even has M.M.R. discovering that Nikke and Rapture materials are perfectly compatible with each other, a line of thought that Ingrid refuses to entertain.
    • After Chapter 13, Andersen reveals to the Commander that both of them share a blood type that is otherwise highly classified and thus does not appear in any Ark medical records. The relevance of blood to the plot becomes substantially more significant in Chapter 17, where the Pilgrims reveal that Vapaus was originally manufactured using the blood of the First Commander during the 1st Rapture Invasion.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: That "recommended" Power Level number isn't for show; attempting a fight that is higher than your Power Level automatically smacks your team with a 25% stat penalty, making fights borderline unwinnable in many cases.
  • Full-Conversion Cyborg: The first Nikkes were human brains transplanted into android bodies, and it's heavily implied that the process has carried over to the modern day despite Nikkes being able to be mass produced. Some playable Nikkes are former humans who were subject to fatal accidents and were revived as Nikkes, with their brains extracted from their human bodies and installed into an identical Nikke replacement.
  • Funny Background Event: One of the events you can get in the "Hero Road" minigame is Training, which shows art of Laplace lifting a huge set of weights. To her left, Maxwell can be seen comically dropkicking Drake in the background.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: All food in the Ark is made of a mysterious product called "Splendamin", which looks like konjac and is totally flavorless in its base form. Food is made by combining Splendamin with other artificial additives to make it look and taste like real food. There are some places in the Ark where "genuine" artificial food is produced, which are considered an extreme luxury but do not taste that much different from Splendamin products.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • A vast number of characters were broken at launch due to bugs making them not work as intended. This includes multiple characters having non-functioning Draw Aggro skills, some buffs flat out not working properly, among other things.
    • While the December 2022 update fixed a good 90% of the character bugs and other various things not working properly, it also introduced a new bug where AI-controlled allies won't follow your crosshair during Full Burst, which can make fights such as Interception much harder than they realistically should be.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Marian, after her death in the opening parts of the story, does not appear in the Nikkepedia, and she cannot be summoned in the gacha even when she was a playable unit, making her only playable during that section of the game.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Though you're banished from Ark once you unlock The Outpost, you can still make full use of Ark's features, even unlocking some of them during the questline of your banishing. Some Nikkes' bond stories are even set inside the Ark. Then again, it's not like Andersen fired the Commander and exiled him out of the Ark.
    • Nikkes that are antagonistic or unaffiliated with the story's squadron can still join your roster once you got them from the gacha, regardless of the story.
  • General Failure: A large majority of commanders hardly pass for competent, considering they are essentially shoved through military academy for a year for the sake of getting credentials before being booted off into the midst of a losing war. The failure rate for commanders is shockingly high, and the ones that survive tend to receive less than stellar compensation for their efforts.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Grave Digger is an interesting case. It is actually chasing the player and is thus on-screen at all times, but it constantly bounces around the room. Its Interruption Parts also follow its movement, which makes shooting at them extremely difficult since you have to adapt to its movement on the fly to get enough damage on to break them and stop its advance.
  • Genius Loci: Counters, Absolute and Matis happen upon a large underground facility created by the Raptures as a production plant for Material H, which they quickly discover is constantly shifting and turning them around despite constant movement. Rapi and Absolute deduce that it is actively trying to keep them trapped there, and that Matis "finding" a way through the labyrinth is a telltale sign that they've been corrupted and are leading them into a trap.
  • Gratuitous French: Mustang, the CEO of Tetra Line, peppers his speech with French words in the English dub (rendered as Gratuitous English in Korean/Japanese).
  • Great Offscreen War: The 1st Rapture Invasion, the event that kickstarted The End of the World as We Know It. The lore bits told by the Lost Relics take place during this time period and reveal how humanity initially reacted to their alien invaders before society slowly collapsed and forced them to move underground. This was also when Nikkes were invented, with other Lost Relics explaining the development of Nikke technology throughout the course of the war. The Pilgrims are Nikkes who survived on the surface since the 1st Invasion and have continued to fight Raptures ever since.
  • Hate Sink: The researcher who goes by the handle of "9s2ba2" is presented as a pretty immoral person, taking advantage of N102's condition to perform memory manipulation experiments on her without anyone's consent and having little concern for N102's safety or anything else except their paycheck. "Eternal Memory" reveals that the whole division is pretty damn corrupt, stiffing N102's mother out of money she can barely earn for years to line their own pockets, an act so horrific that even Syuen, one of the worst and most bigoted people in the entire Ark, fires them all on the spot and threatens legal action.
  • Haunted Headquarters: Various Outpost events seem to imply that the area is under the influence of some paranormal activity, possibly related to the 200 Nikkes who sacrificed themselves in the Goddess Fall.
    • In "Elevator Ghost Story", Anis seems to hear a voice talking to her after Rapi and Neon explain the Goddess Fall.
    • In "Mystery Hotel", the Commander and Mighty Tools decide to take a breather at the hotel, where they are cared for by a non-appearing host. They assume that the host is simply shy and doesn't want to show their face.
    • In "Scary Shower Story", the Commander, Anis, and Helm encounter an empty shower room that sounds like it's running even though it is unoccupied. Helm later discovers wet handprints in the shower, prompting them to leave.
    • In "Three's a Crowd", the Commander and Admi wind up watching a horror movie about an evil ghost despite ostensibly picking a cute film about cats. They wind up hearing strange voices telling them to get closer to each other despite being the only ones in the theater, prompting them to leave prematurely.
  • Healing Factor: Chatterbox has the ability to regenerate its body given enough time. It exploits this to take out Mihara by ripping off limbs, causing her pain receptor swap ability to backfire, before regrowing its lost limbs back. The only thing stronger than its healing is Snow White's anti-material rifle, which deals damage faster than Chatterbox can heal itself.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted by the Rare rarity Nikkes; they are considered basic mass-production models, and their generic quality is reflected by the fact that they all wear face-covering helmets that makes them indistinguishable from others of their model.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When the party encounters Chatterbox, Mihara uses her pain receptor swap ability on it. Chatterbox realizes this and starts dismembering itself, overloading Mihara's pain receptors to such a degree that she briefly goes comatose and keels over twitching, rendering her out of commission.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Corrupted Nikkes are incapable of killing themselves due to becoming a cipher for the Rapture, and Nikkes cannot kill other Nikkes. If a Nikke must be put down, it must be done by a human using a special pistol designed to be used against Nikkes. The Commander finds this out the hard way when he is forced to shoot Marian.
  • It Can Think: The heroes discover first-hand that the Rapture are not the mindless beasts they had been seen as for a long time. Their first official mission results in them encountering Raptures operating a human power plant, demonstrating human-like intelligence, and they soon run into Chatterbox, a powerful Rapture who is not only intelligent but can also speak human language.
  • It Only Works Once: In Chapter 5, Rapi kicks in Syuen's ribs believing her to be an intruder while faking Laser-Guided Amnesia. To her chagrin, Anis realizes that trick will only work one time.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Most Nikkes use fairly standard guns. Some... do not. One example is Rapunzel, a "rocket launcher" user whose "gun" is a staff that shoots explosive energy rounds.
  • Internal Reveal: Rapi's "memory loss" was discovered by Syuen offscreen and is later mentioned by her during a meeting in Chapter 12. While Ingrid and Counters are taken aback by the fact that she already knows, this is new information to Yuni, who is none too happy that Mihara "died" and Rapi didn't even though they were both sentenced to "death".
  • Jack of All Stats: Assault rifles are generally useful everywhere and can be deployed in any situation despite not having any particular specialty compared to other weapons.
  • Jiggle Physics: You'd swear the breasts, butt and thighs of every single Nikke were made of Jell-O with the way they bounce whenever they move or shoot.
  • Just a Machine:
    • A fairly prevalent opinion of Nikkes amongst human society. Few humans are more sympathetic, with the Commander themself being the pinnacle of equality.
    • Anis has a pretty cynical view of the world, having accepted her place as a tool to be discarded and often speaking her mind accordingly when stressed even though the Commander thinks otherwise.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Chatterbox is destroyed in Chapter 13, during a raid on an underground Rapture facility.
    • This is in danger of happening to any Nikke that loses their NIMPH nanites, since they can't be restored to a fresh body without them preserving their memories and personality. As of Chapter 18, Rapi and all of Matis are in danger of this.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • As a result of the Commander and Counters accidentally leaking the Chatterbox escapade to the Ark, Rapi and Mihara are sentenced to having their memories wiped, effectively deleting their entire personality and resetting them back to factory settings. Rapi manages to escape punishment by faking through it, but Mihara isn't nearly as lucky.
    • Lampshaded with the Commander. They've admitted to only remembering the fact that they lived in the Ark all their life, and that all the events they've experienced before they graduated from military school are all but a blur to them. This has prompted the Counters group to speculate whether their memories were wiped for some reason... or if they really are just that inattentive and forgetful.
    • Rapunzel reveals that she has been persistently deleting old memories except her oldest ones to protect her brain from a Mind Switch, meaning that aside from her exploits from the 1st Rapture Invasion, she has a hard limit of up to 1 year's worth of memories.
    • The "Eternal Memory" Christmas 2022 event reveals that Nikkes have their memories of their family deleted after being transferred from their human bodies. This is because familial connections pose a massive psychological risk for both the Nikke and their family. For the Nikkes, it gives them the idea that they have a family to return to and thus has adverse effects on their combat performance. As for their original family, the unaging properties of Nikkes means that it is possible for a Nikke to outlive all of their relatives. History has shown that Nikkes who show up to their families after a long absence tends to sharply increase suicide risk in their relatives.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • After Mihara causes the Commander so much pain with the pain receptor swap ability, several moments later, Chatterbox would inflict an even worse pain toward Mihara through Mihara's own pain receptor swap ability.
    • When Syuen has the audacity to barge into the Outpost after causing such a disaster in Chapter 4, Rapi (who is faking Laser-Guided Amnesia) delivers a swift kick to the abdomen and sends her packing under the "assumption" that she was just a random intruder.
  • Last Request: A sidequest in Chapter 6 involves the Commander receiving a text from Coree, a 7-year old boy who is about to receive life-saving surgery and wants to see the real sky. The Commander agrees to go to the surface and take a picture. By the time the Commander gets back with the photo, Coree has passed away, with his mother thanking the Commander in his stead.
  • Limit Break: Dealing damage fills the Burst Gauge, and when it's full the player can activate a Level 1 Burst Skill. Activating a Level 1 Burst consequently enables chaining a Level 2 Burst Skill, then a Level 3 Burst Skill. Activating a Level 3 Burst triggers Full Burst, giving all Nikkes an attack power buff for 10 seconds and forcing the whole squad to focus fire on whatever your crosshair is pointed at.
  • Loophole Abuse: By law, it is required that Nikkes must protect their commander at all costs, even superseding direct orders; failure to do so comes with severe punishment, up to death. However, if it is determined that the commander's death was self-inflicted, suicide or otherwise, they are absolved of punishment. The commander in charge before the player Commander, who previously led Counters, was determined to have suffered self-inflicted death (by shooting at a Rapture with a human firearm, which veers into Too Dumb to Live territory) and thus Anis and Rapi were let off scot-free.
  • Losing Your Head: Rapi winds up decapitated by an electron beam after a mission to scout a functioning power plant goes awry, forcing the Commander to escort her head back to safety.
  • MacGuffin Super-Person: After Modernia is captured, mind-wiped and restored to Counters as Marian (albeit missing all of her memories) in Chapter 14, the Ark wastes no time squabbling over and trying to abduct her from Counters for their own reasons. As the first Nikke to become a Heretic and then be restored to a Nikke, Marian is now a unique fusion of Nikke and Rapture technology that far outclasses almost any other Nikke that exists. Deputy Commander-In-Chief Burningum even points out that taking her apart and examining her could jump the Ark's technology forward a whole century.
  • Machine Blood: Nikkes bleed red when injured, just like humans. The earliest Nikkes used green blood instead, but they quickly switched to red blood once they realized that human brains do not process the sight of bleeding something other than red blood very well.
  • Male Gaze: The game being a 3rd-person shooter and all, you get a pretty clear shot of a Nikke's butt when they're shooting from behind cover, not especially helped by the recoil produced by gunfire. Especially more prominent with the more Stripperific outfits.
  • Martyrdom Culture: Most of the Commanders and Nikkes that fight and die against the Raptures do so believing they're committing a Heroic Sacrifice for the Ark. Nikkes are mass produced off the assembly line while Commanders are given just the barest education about the war with human armaments unable to hurt the Raptures.
  • Masquerade: Some of the playable Nikkes are former humans who suffered a fatal injury during life, transferred into an identical Nikke body then later redeployed. This includes members of the A.C.P.D. and Triangle. The fact that they have been turned into Nikkes is kept out of public knowledge, since the current state of Nikke civil rights bars Nikkes from holding certain public positions.
  • Microtransactions: You can buy Gems with real money. Gems can be used to Recruit new Nikke or at the shop for exclusive items. Some bundles can only be purchased with money as well.
  • Mind-Reformat Death:
    • A possible fate for Nikkes judged by the law of the Ark to have committed a sufficiently severe crime, being subject to complete memory erasure and essentially reset to factory settings. Mihara gets mind-wiped as punishment for Syuen's off-the-books mission, effectively "killing" her. Yuni, who knows every single aspect of Mihara's former life, promises to turn her back into "the real Mihara", which the Commander and the rest of Counters can't help but find just a little bit creepy.
    • It is mentioned that it is possible to save an Irregular this way, but the success rate is extremely low since experiencing a Mind Switch inflicts physical damage to the brain, so most Irregulars are simply Mercy Killed instead.
    • This is a constant issue for N102 due to getting mind-wiped so often. She has to keep a notebook of what her previous personalities were like just to keep grasp on what she actually is.
    • Modernia is eventually subjected to this once she's captured in Chapter 13, thanks to it being the only way to overcome the vegetative state Chatterbox induced by injecting Rapture corruption directly into her brain. Unfortunately, thanks to her having been shot with a Vapaus-laced bullet by the Commander earlier, the mind-wipe results in all of her memories being lost, forcing Marian to essentially start from scratch as a person once she re-joins Counters.
  • Mind Virus: It is revealed in Chapter 12 that this is how Rapture corruption works, by injecting malicious code into a Nikke's body that hijacks the NIMPH in their brains, forcing their brain to involuntarily fire off neurons against its will and effectively becoming mind-controlled by the Rapture. Rapi discovers that she is immune for the same reason she is immune to memory erasure: since the NIMPH in her brain was destroyed by Vapaus, she cannot be corrupted.
  • The Mole: Andersen theorizes that the Raptures have a human or Nikke ally within the Ark as it's the only logical way that Marian could have been corrupted, since the Ark has virtually impenetrable safety measures against outside interference and Raptures are not known to possess any hacking abilities. Chatterbox later confirms the existence of a mole when the Commander interrogates it in Chapter 6 and the mole's identity is revealed fully in Chapter 14.
  • Multiple Life Bars: Major boss Raptures have several health bars overlaying one another. Luckily, Cognizant Limbs is in effect, where attacking a boss part not only depletes boss health, but destroying a part deals massive bonus damage to the boss's health gauge.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Too many to list. It is an intentional design point of the Nikke, after all. The ones that don't qualify are typically the more covered up ones, and they are usually on the younger side in terms of appearance.
  • Nanomachines: Nikkes have nanomachines called NIMPH saturated in their brains, which allows for the control of memories, including erasure, backup, and restoration of memories via manipulating the synapses between the neurons. This even allows dead Nikkes to be "revived", so to speak, as long as any memories backed up by the NIMPH are uploaded to another brain in another Nikke. In Chapter 9, the heroes discover the existence of a substance called Vapaus, a black substance which was found coating the bullet that the Commander shot into Modernia's back in Chapter 7. They soon learn that it has the ability to destroy NIMPH, negating a Nikke's ability to be restored into another body and ending their "immortality". They also discover that Rapi has had contact with Vapaus at some point, which protected her from having her memories erased in Chapter 5 since the NIMPH could not be used to erase her memories.
  • Necessarily Evil: Central AI Enikk believes that her deal with Chatterbox certainly is. Despite the Commander accusing her of using Nikkes as bargaining chips, Enikk simply asserts that sacrificing a few Nikkes to The Corruption periodically is a far more favourable alternative to allowing the Rapture to attack and overrun the Ark, pointing out that humanity at their current strength has a zero percent chance of actually winning against the Raptures in all-out war. That said, she does encourage the Commander to find another way, confident that he'll be the one to do so given what he's already accomplished, including destroying a Rapture facility and neutralising a Heretic.
  • The Needs of the Many: Cited by Enikk as the reason for her deal with Chatterbox that has her periodically corrupting random Nikkes with Rapture code in exchange for Chatterbox leaving the Ark alone. As her primary function is to maintain the Ark and protect humanity, and with the Rapture's significant strength advantage over humanity at present, Enikk believes that the deal was necessary to protect the remnants of the human race from a Curb-Stomp Battle at the Rapture's hands.
  • No Help Is Coming: Matis always operates with the expectation to come back with results or die trying, and they are perfectly aware that Syuen doesn't give enough of a shit to send help even if they asked for it. A mass-produced Nikke is appalled at the thought that they'd be unable to call for backup, only to attempt to do so and get immediately rebuffed by Syuen.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Averted; a few Nikkes end up strongarming the Commander into a relationship one way or another. A handful of them even have (heavily implied) sex with him.
  • Only Mostly Dead: The Nikke unit "Unlimited" specializes in the recovery and restoration of Nikkes that wind up lost and lose their brains. The bodies of recovered Nikkes end up in suspended animation inside pods where they are kept safely until their brain can be reunited with its corresponding body. The process isn't without fault, however, since a Nikke's body being separated from its brain for extended periods of time can cause desynchronization resulting in severe mental damage, but ultimately their survival is what counts.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Crow expresses this after she ambushes the Commander alone in Chapter 18. While irritated that his and Syuen's Engineered Heroics plan managed to foil her own plot to exploit the Anti-Nikke protests, Crow simply asserts that she'll have another chance later on and hopes the Commander will stay alive till then...wanting to bring his story to a close herself.
  • Pixel Hunt: Lost Relics are frustratingly hard to find. The game immediately stops being kind once the tutorial for them is over and starts sticking them behind pieces of scenery where the only way to know that there is something hidden is to look for the tiniest of moving sparks emanating from behind the foreground.
  • Phone Call from the Dead:
    • A Chapter 12 sidequest has the Commander receiving a heavily garbled message from a "Special(?) Offer" alongside a set of coordinates. The coordinates lead to a cell phone, which is somehow still operational. Exia explains that the phone belonged to a man named Jade Hansen, a soldier from the 1st Rapture Invasion who mysteriously vanished, although there appears to be little logical explanation as to how the message made its way to the Commander's phone long after he died.
    • In the "No Caller ID" event, various Ark residents begin receiving a mysterious, heavily garbled voice message only stating "this place — paradise." The strange part is that the transmission is coming from the surface, where all humans have been wiped out by the Rapture, so Andersen sends Counters to investigate. The team discovers that it is a radio ad for a nearby theme park that is still partially functional. The team goads the Commander into taking a ride on the ferris wheel, whereupon he gets the clearest view of the scorched earth they are trying to save as he could possibly ask for. The finale cutscene has Andersen and Shifty deducing that the odds of the signal being accidentally activated are virtually impossible, although the implications of such remain a mystery.
  • Pronoun Trouble: The English localization tries its hardest to obscure the Commander's gender (inherently due to the self-insert aspect of the character), using they/them pronouns throughout the main campaign, but said localization also slips up in some of the character stories, with some Nikkes addressing the Commander with he/him pronouns instead. It also doesn't help that there are some promotional material for the game that depicts the Commander as explicitly male, and that there are gags made at the Commander's expense that make more sense if he was male.
  • The Proud Elite: Matis is basically the favorite child of Missilis Industry and function as Syuen's enforcers, whether it's doing her dirty work or going on missions to earn brownie points among the general public. They are outfitted with the absolute best gear the company has to offer and are given the most elite missions. The downside is that they're very full of themselves, much like Syuen herself; Laplace thinks herself above virtually every other Nikke and even Maxwell has an inflated ego and demands respect from others. The only member who is genuinely good is Drake, who pretends to be a villain but is actually rather compassionate.
  • Random Number God: The "Hero Road" minigame in the "High-Tech Toy" event is a board game where you roll dice to move Laplace around a board by spending event currency. The goal is to build up 100 Hero Power by landing on boost spaces or lapping the board, which will unlock the Decimate option and grant a valuable reward. Landing on spaces can grant Hero Power and award Consoles that can be used to power up the Recycling Room, but certain spaces can also decrease Hero Power. The random nature of the minigame means that its rewards, and when you can get the Decimate prizes, are effectively random as well.
  • Rank Up: Following the events of Chapter 7, the Ark's government officially promotes the Commander and Counters to Special Commandos status in recognition of their breakthrough efforts in the war. This effectively gives them autonomy to operate however they choose, including the ability to withhold information, and perform excursions on the surface without explicit permission from a superior. They also gain diplomatic immunity to all but the government's top brass, meaning they are no longer required to take orders from the likes of Syuen or the rest of the Big Three.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Rapture corruption is signified by a Nikke's eyes turning glowing red.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Near the beginning of the story, the Commander is blamed for destroying a power plant despite the extenuating circumstances and is banished to the Outpost alongside Counters as punishment. However, it's quickly revealed it is really because Ingrid and Andersen are investigating some mysterious quality the Commander has, and are keeping them stashed away beyond the jurisdiction of the Ark Central Government.
  • Recoiled Across the Room: While Modernia is ripping Snow White apart piece by piece, the Commander decides to grab Snow White's BFG and fire a bullet into Modernia's back. The massive weight of the rifle combined with the sheer force of the shot causes the resulting recoil to launch the Commander across the field hard enough to inflict bodily harm.
  • Relationship Values: You can raise Bond levels with Nikkes by Advising them or giving them Gifts. Higher Bond levels unlock Episodes that expand on the characters and setting, as well as provide stat boosts to the characters.
  • Restraining Bolt: Chapter 14 reveals that the Nikkes' general Thou Shalt Not Kill policy towards humans is thanks to an inhibitor chip inside them preventing them from knowingly and deliberately killing humans.
  • Rewards Pass: There is a Mission Pass you can undertake, which cycles out every month. Each pass comes in 15 Ranks, with Missions that refresh each day that award points to level up your Pass when cleared. The free Pass awards Mid-Quality Molds, while you can buy the Premium Pass with real money, which unlocks a "Premium" reward track that awards Recruit Tickets, High-Quality Molds, and exclusive outfits.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Nikkes are virtually indistinguishable from humans to the point where they even have a near-identical internal body structure. Rapi explains that there's a Deconstruction aspect to this, as Nikkes are so human-like that being reminded of their inhumanity can cause varying degrees of mental instability. Severe cases can cause a Mind Switch that completely alters a Nikke's personality, and the majority of Nikkes who experience this become Irregulars that threaten the safety of those around them.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: At the start of Chapter 9, Anis suddenly starts having suspicions against Neon thanks to her supposed status as a spy for Ingrid and Andersen, fearing that she'll report them and almost causing a Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure. When Shifty gets in on the action, Anis starts accusing her too since she works for the Central Government, but after a while they all get each other to cool down. It turns out Anis was correct for suspecting Shifty, but only because it wasn't actually Shifty; it was Syuen posing as Shifty. Rapi unfortunately figures out the ruse a little too late, but they are able to stay one step ahead of her thanks to Exia's quick-wittedness.
  • Say My Name: When Counters and Chatterbox are locked in a stalemate in Chapter 13, the Commander reveals his trump card by shouting Snow White's name, causing her to appear and blow a hole through Chatterbox. She laments that the Commander ruined a perfectly good sneak attack.
  • Set Bonus: The main way to power up in Simulation Room is to collect buffs of matching shapes. Buffs can come in either Triangle, Circle, Square, or Diamond forms, and having more copies of the same shape in your buff chain levels up all the buffs in your inventory. 3-of-a-kind raises it to Level 2, two 3-of-a-kinds raises them to Level 3, 6-of-a-kind raises it to Level 4, and having all 8 slots filled out with the same shape raises it to Level 5. The higher the buff level, the more potent the effect and the bigger boost you get to your Power Level.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Syuen threatens the Commander to continue the black ops mission by telling him she's planted damning evidence of a coup d'etat against the Ark if he doesn't come back with Chatterbox or at all.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: In her bond story, Snow White, a Pilgrim dead-set on fighting for humanity, is so focused on eradicating the Rapture that she basically takes Rapture parts to fit them into herself in lieu of actual repairs and maintenance if need arises. She claims she's now 30% Rapture parts, and cites this trope for her very reasoning as to why she does so instead of actually getting maintained properly.
  • Shoot the Hostage Taker: A variation occurs in Chapter 14, where Marian threatens to detonate a bomb that she is holding. Perilous Siege, flabbergasted that she would actually willingly detonate a bomb, immediately takes cover, only for Marian to absorb the explosion with her bandages before it can expand. At this point Perilous Siege no longer has the Commander hostage, allowing Marian to incapacitate them before they can return fire.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Shotguns function best on enemies at close range since it allows for most of the pellets to hit, and even gain a range effectiveness bonus. Incidentally, they are rather ineffective at hitting distant enemies, as the pellet spread means that most of their pellets will not hit.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When the Commander first meets Deputy Commander Andersen, he gives him an option on how to address him. The two options are Lord Andersen and Mr. Andersen. He's definitely heard the second one too many times before.
      Andersen: Like nails on a chalkboard.
    • The Tactics Academy screen includes the quote "Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer." from The Ancestor inscribed at the upper right.
    • Guillotine, being the Chuunibyou she is, loves pop culture. Her introduction to the Commander is ripped straight out of Fate/stay night. She also goes on a tangent by paraphrasing Rintaro Okabe's famous monologue from Steins;Gate, complete with a parody of his "El Psy Congroo" catchphrase.
    • The Toy Train gift item mentions that the creator "wanted to paint a pale face on it", but refrained due to copyright concerns.
    • The researcher who manages N102 goes by the blabla handle "9s2ba2".
  • Skeleton Key Card: Right before Counters is deployed north to find the Pilgrims, Mustang, CEO of Tetra Line, appears and hands the Commander a key card to use when they arrive at the research base there. There's just one catch: it activates by dancing. This later leads to an impromptu dance party when Counters and Unlimited arrive at the research base and need to open the door.
  • Skewed Priorities: During the Christmas 2022 event, Rupee, N102 and the Commander find Maiden being mopey because she wanted to enter a game competition but left her controller at home and doesn't have time to go get it. Rupee promptly gets a viewer to send over a limited edition controller to cheer her up. Maiden enters the tournament and gets her butt kicked by Exia, but not for lack of skill; rather, she effectively refused to play because she was so worried about damaging her new controller that she pushed all the buttons very gently.
  • Slasher Smile: Chatterbox has a vicious grin on his face and loves to inflict pain on his victims. You get a close-up of it when you first meet him in Chapter 4.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Generally flip flops between Live2D and 3D, with 3D being used mainly on Raptures and on the overworld, while Live2D is used for Nikke (except in the overworld) and some in-combat foreground features.
  • Standard FPS Guns:
    • Short-Range Shotgun: Deals a lot of damage up close, subpar damage at range.
    • Automatic Weapons:
      • Assault Rifle: Jack of All Stats. Shoots fast, workable at any range, decent magazine size and reload speed.
      • Submachine Gun: Higher fire rate than an assault rifle, but higher than average shot spread means it functions best at close range.
      • Machine Gun: Very high fire rate, huge magazine size, great damage, and functions at any range, but has slow reload speeds and requires a spin-up time to reach maximum fire rate. It also cannot stop firing while aiming unless the user stops to reload.
    • Sniper Rifle: Low magazine size and requires charging to fire, but packs a punch and is the best long-range attacker.
    • Rocket Launcher: Low magazine size and requires charging to fire, but does huge Area of Effect damage and ignores range effectiveness modification.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: The Lost Relics, scattered throughout the overworld maps, serve as exposition to the state of the world while humans were still living on the surface.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Most Nikkes cannot swim, likely because they are too dense to float. Members of Admire are specifically fitted out with swimming capabilities.
  • Symbol Swearing: At one point, the Commander catches Rapunzel deep in prayer as he's falling asleep, during which she is confessing all of her unrestrained sexual fantasies that she wants to do the Commander, helpfully indicated by the "naughty" words being substituted by symbols. The Commander decides to sleep with one eye open that night, just in case.
  • Take a Third Option: Throughout Chapter 14, Counters is forced to deal with just about anyone and everyone besides Andersen and Ingrid attempting to secure Marian for themselves, which typically involves them outright attacking the Outpost with other Nikke teams or regular soldiers, gradually wearing down Counters' resources through attrition. The team is faced with continuing to essentially fight against the entire Ark or surrendering Marian to save themselves further hardship. Eventually, the Commander opts for another way out: have Marian go with the Pilgrims and live on the surface, out of reach of the Ark, to protect both her and Counters.
  • Taking You with Me: The Commander threatens to blow himself up with a non-existent hidden bomb when Chatterbox captures him and has him on the ropes. Chatterbox calls his bluff, but the Commander manages to out-bluff him sufficiently to buy him time until Snow White comes to his rescue.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The name "Nikke" is a corruption of Nike, the goddess of victory from Greek mythology. Just as well, the boss Raptures have their elemental affinities designated by an acronym code that spells out the names of other Greek deities, such as Z.E.U.S. and D.M.T.R. (for "Demeter").
    • Many instances in individual squads or collective groups.
      • The three members of Infinity Rail are named after types of automobiles: (hy)Brid, (ga)Soline, and Diesel.
      • The Mighty Tools duo are named after units of measurement: Centi and Liter.
      • Matis is named after famous mathematicians: Laplace (Pierre-Simon Laplace), Maxwell (James Clerk Maxwell), and Drake (Frank Drake).
      • Members of Prima Donna are named after music-associated terminology: Aria, Noise, and Volume.
      • Members of Talentum are named after real-world currencies: Dolla (dollar), Rupee, and Yan (yen/yuan).
      • Members of Pioneer are named after various fairy tale characters, thus being given the name "the fairy tale era" of Nikkes: Snow White, Rapunzel, and Scarlet. When Chatterbox first meets Counters, he refers to Rapi as "Red Riding Hood".
      • Cafe Sweety is named after stuff that goes in coffee: Milk, Sugar, and Frimanote .
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: There's some Exact Words going on with how Nikkes are programed in regards to human safety. The only strict rule is that a Nikke cannot turn their firearm on a human. It does not strictly say that Nikkes cannot harm humans, as long as they know it won't kill them. Granted, Nikkes will still hesitate to do anything that has the potential to cause major damage without a justifiable reason. Chapter 14 makes clear that this is thanks to a Restraining Bolt 'inhibitor'...and also introduces K and D of the Perilous Siege team, who've had their inhibitors removed, meaning they're fully capable of killing humans should the need arise.
  • Title Theme Drop: During the Outpost event "Elevator Ghost Story", the game cues the title screen music, "The Goddess Fall", when Rapi describes the titular tragedy.
  • Time Stands Still: Maiden and Guillotine pull off a Big Damn Heroes moment in Chapter 12 this way, preventing the corrupted Laplace from committing suicide and disabling her rocket launcher before it explodes. No one involved is aware that anything happened except Rapi and the Commander, who decide to keep quiet about it.
  • Timed Mission: All combat scenarios are set on a timer. For standard "Destroy" battles, all enemies must be cleared before the time limit or else it's an automatic loss. For "Defend" missions, you must survive to the end of the timer to win. For "Protect" missions, you can win as long as you control the greater portion of the gauge when the timer runs out, if filling the gauge completely becomes unfeasible.
  • Toilet Horror: An Outpost scene has the Commander and Helm visiting the Hotel on-site to use the shower, only to run into Anis using the exact same room they were going to use. While they attempt to clear up any confusion, the trio suddenly hear the shower running despite no one else being in the room. Anis checks the shower and reports that not only there is no one inside, the floor is also completely dry. Helm insists that there is a logical explanation for hearing the sound of a running shower inside of an empty shower room, but after she opens the door and finds wet handprints she proposes that the trio leave the hotel immediately.
  • Unobtainium: Nikke skin is made out of a recently-discovered material called "Goddesium". You can get equipment made out of Goddesium, which is noted to be of vastly higher quality compared to your run-of-the-mill gear thanks to being made out of the stuff that Nikkes are made of.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Snow White manages to pin down and nearly kill Chatterbox, but Modernia summons a horde of Raptures to delay her and escape with Chatterbox before Snow White can deal the finishing blow.
  • Walking the Earth: Nikkes referred to as "Pilgrims", officially called a unit but are otherwise independently-operating Nikkes who survive on Earth's surface out of the reach of the Ark or commanders. Although many of them pursue different goals, they are helpful to different degrees when they catch humans or Nikkes in a bind and will not hesitate to aid when Raptures are involved.
  • We Have Reserves: Justified; Nikke production has been so heavily optimized that it's practically cheaper and easier to manufacture new parts for damaged Nikkes over repairing them. Nikkes are so easy to mass produce that it's become rather convenient for humans to treat them as disposable objects that can be quickly replaced if needed.
  • Wham Episode:
    • At the end of Chapter 7, Modernia is revealed to be none other than a Brainwashed and Crazy Marian, who appears to have inexplicably survived despite having her brain destroyed via a bullet to the head. The Commander manages to reach out to Marian by calling her name, causing her to override her programming and briefly return to normal right before an explosion of black energy knocks out the heroes and separates them from her once again.
    • Chapter 13: Chatterbox is destroyed, Mordernia is captured and brought back to the Ark before being subjected to Mind-Reformat Death, to eventually re-join Counters as Marian once again, now robbed of all her memories and forced to start from scratch.
    • Chapter 14: Counters are forced to flee to the surface as others within the Central Government begin squabbling over custody of Marian. Syuen manages to get her hands on a Vapaus bullet and the identity of the Rapture's mole within the Ark is revealed...and it's none other than Enikk, the Ark's central AI, who cut a deal with Chatterbox to corrupt random Nikkes into Heretics periodically in exchange for the Rapture leaving the Ark alone.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Even with humanity decimated, chased from the surface and reduced to living in a single City in a Bottle while trying to reclaim the planet, not everyone is on the same page:
    • The "Big Three CEOs" do NOT get on with each other, Syuen being the most decidedly antagonistic of the trio towards Counters and the Commander, repeatedly blackmailing and threatening them into going on Black Ops missions for her, then callously throwing the team under the bus to save herself when things get hairy. When Syuen inserts her elite Matis team into an expedition to retrieve Heretic Fragments in Chapter 11 and then jeopardises the mission by having Laplace separate them, the Commander and Rapi from Counters and Absolute, in an attempt to secure the fragments for herself, Ingrid doesn't hesitate to ream her out for it and promises to file an official complaint.
    • Once a mind-wiped Marian re-joins Counters in Chapter 13, the Central Government quickly begins squabbling over trying to secure her for themselves, despite the team's status as Special Commandoes and having the backing of Andersen and Ingrid. The start of Chapter 14 alone has Counters having to flee to the surface when Deputy Commander-in-Chief Burningum sends the Triangle and Perilous Siege teams after them.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Fantastic Racism is a recurring topic in the game's setting. To many humans, Nikke are simply weapons of war, human-like sentience be damned, and are treated as disposable and inferior to humans; the sentience is only really there to give them some measure of control in the absence of direct orders. It used to be even worse in the past, up until a certain elevator incident that resulted in the deaths of 200 Nikkes kickstarted a major push for Nikke civil rights, but even then they still do not have the same rights as humans do. The Commander is one of the only people in the setting who truly treats Nikkes as human equals, which comes with rather distinct advantages when it comes to earning trust with Nikkes.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Both Anis and Rapi call out Privaty for Triangle's insistence on antagonizing them in Chapter 14 despite the fact that they are supposed to be on the same side. Admi and Yulha admit that they're Just Following Orders and that Marian's fate won't be pleasant if they comply.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: This is why Nikkes don't use as high-tech equipment as they could theoretically have and opt for firearms. Early iterations of Nikkes were outfitted with cutting-edge armaments such as embedded missiles, booster rocket legs, and hyper-accurate camera eyes, but the mental disconnect between their human brains and their decidedly not-human bodies drove them insane.
  • Withholding the Cure: Chapter 15 sees Syuen feint this to save her company stock value. Thanks to retrieving the Vapaus bullet the Commander and Counters attempted to use on Modernia earlier, she's had used it to cure the Matis team and attempted to reproduce it, which failed. however, she used the fact that Matis team is now corruption free to claim that Vapaus is Missilus technology and can now be reproduced on public television to drive up her company's ailing stock price. When the comander faced her and demand her return the Vapaus bullet, she reveals that the sample was used up, and there was no abiliity to reproduce the Vapaus. She gloated that she planned on telling the Central Government and the other CE Os that the new treatment costs more than simply producing a new Nikke, effectively maintaining a fake monopoly and abandoning all their Nikkes to be memory wiped or terminated when they're corrupted instead of cured, simply to drive up Missilis' stock price. The Commander is naturally enraged by this and vows to both find a new sample of Vapaus themselves, and to reveal the phoniness behind her claim.
  • Wretched Hive: The Outer Rim is the most lawless, segregated portion of the Ark. Most of the people who live there are exiles and criminals who have no human rights. If someone from the Outer Rim even attempts to enter the Ark, they're shot dead on sight.
  • You Are in Command Now: The story begins with the player Commander gaining immediate control of Marian and Counters after their senior commander dies fighting the Rapture.
  • You Are Number 6: Ether refers to the Commander as "No. 7."
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Triangle tries to stop Counters from escaping with Marian by showing up to a bridge with an army of mass-produced Nikkes. Counters prepares for what appears to be a very nasty fight, but Andersen saves them at the very last second by "persuading" Burmingham to call off the assault.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Subverted by Exotic, who brush off the "terrorist" label when Anis attempts to call them out on their moral dubiousness. Although they posit that this is their official stance, Counters comes to realize that they are less so advocates of Nikke freedom and moreso actual terrorists who want simple Revenge against humanity and are willing to incite full-scale war to do it.

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