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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, a subsidiary of Tencent Games. It was released worldwide on November 3rd, 2022 for iOS and Android. A PC client was released worldwide on February 15, 2023.

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.

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.


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 Raptilion, 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. At the end of his questline, he is about to be arrested by Ark Central Government forces for colluding with Raptures when he is suddenly saved by Raptures despite his cover already being blown. He proceeds to ride off into the sunset with his new Rapture friends, with his final message to the Commander having him wondering if Raptures really are the enemy of humanity.
  • Advertised Extra:
    • The game's opening movie features a few characters that are largely irrelevant to the plot, such as Novel, Epinel, and Noah.
    • Makima, despite being one of the main characters of Chainsaw Man, has surprisingly little participation in the Bullet Chainsaw event. She's only really there at the start when she's pulled in with the rest of the cast, then disappears offscreen for most of the plot until the very end to congratulate the team and subsequently get sent home.
    • 2B and 9S, while present throughout most of the OuteR: Automata event, do relatively little of actual importance besides provide some talking points for the protagonists. The lion's share of the focus actually goes to a trio of Product 12 mass-produced Nikkes whose differing ideologies form the backbone of the event's themes, as well as A2, who is a major character in a B plot with a fourth Product 12.
    • Although Pascal is a playable character from NieR: Automata, he does not actually appear at all in the event story and exclusively appears in his own Bond Episodes.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Raptilion names the Mother Whale he befriended "Whaley".
  • 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. However, the finale of OVER ZONE reveals that the Ark believes she is too much of a threat and is planning to dispose of her.
  • All for Nothing: The Vapaus bullet that the Commander acquires in Chapter 22 is ultimately wasted, as it is stolen by Yuni in Chapter 24 who subsequently uses it on herself.
  • 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.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: The game does not put hard dates on how certain major events in the timeline line up with each other. The most precise numbers given are for Red Ash, which takes place 4 years after the start of the 1st Invasion, OVER ZONE, which takes place at the end of the 1st Invasion and is set roughly 1 year after "Red Ash", and the present day, which takes place over 100 years after the 1st Invasion. It is also unclear how far forward in the future the setting is, with the setting's technology being incredibly advanced but trailers at best giving a number equivalent to Year X.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The Advise scenes for Snow White: Innocent Days and Scarlet: Black Shadow are set from the perspective of the Legendary Commander, who is a functionally distinct character, rather than the main playable Commander.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Character skins are one of the main avenues of monetization in the game besides Bribing Your Way to Victory. These give the Nikkes new artwork, animations, super-deformed models, voice lines, and Burst animations. Skins are primarily paid with real money via the Rewards Pass, Costume Gacha or sometimes buying directly from the shop, although a handful of skins are given out for free.
  • Androids Are People, Too: The Commander seems to think so, at least. Not that there are many others who sympathize with them.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: At the end of LION HEART, it is revealed that the orders to close the animal shelter were issued by a local animal rights organization, who fabricated the purpose of the closure in order to ensure the shelter was unattended so that they could raid it and break the animals loose. However, because the Commander and Happy Zoo had gotten Guillotine to take their place in their absence, they were unable to break in since Guillotine prevented the "protestors" from getting in, thereby foiling their plans.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Unlike most gacha games, most characters featured on a Special Recruitment banner are added to the permanent pool very shortly after their banner ends, within a span of 1 to 2 weeks. This lets lower spending or non-spending players to get them after the fact even if they are unable to do so on their Special Recruits. The only characters currently exempt from this are Seasonal units and Crossover units.
    • 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. Once you hit the base maximum level cap of 200 for five SSR characters, level grinding for individual characters stops completely as the Synchro Device itself becomes the player's new level cap, with all further progress made by pouring materials into the Synchro Device directly and allowing every single character you own to stay fully leveled. Notably, this will boost the level beyond what would normally be possible for R and SR characters, who normally cap out at 80 and 160, but will be set to 200 if you have five SSR Nikkes at the cap.
    • 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.
    • Starting from the second event onwards, Rapi, Anis, and Neon always give a 20% Event Item boost, ensuring that you will always have a fair shot at getting bonus Event Items even if you don't have any of the featured SSR Nikkes.
    • The "Quick Battle" option allows players whose team's power sufficiently exceeds certain stage's recommended power to instantly complete them. With the Half-Year Anniversary update, this feature was added to game modes that previously lacked it, such as Event Stages. For players that meet the requirement, this is a massive boon as it essentially eliminates the time spent tediously grinding their way through stages that otherwise pose absolutely no challenge to them.
    • The same update above also adjusted Simulation Room Sector C such that at least one Normal Battle or event will appear every wave up to the final wave. Previously, Sector C would exclusively spawn Hard Battles with a random chance of events, which cannot be Quick Battled and are much more time consuming to sit through compared to clicking one button.
    • In OVER ZONE's White Memory minigame, endings are normally only unlockable once per day, with players required to wait for the next day to replenish the entry fee needed to open a new ending. However, on the final day of the event, this entry fee was made unlimited, allowing players who fell behind during the event to see all of the endings at once as opposed to being forced to miss them.
    • The "Hero Road" minigame from the game's second event, Hightech Toy, was brought back for its Summer 2023 event Blue Water Island as "Volt Road". The latter iteration of the minigame was tweaked to be less annoying compared to "Hero Road", with demerit spaces being less common and only reducing the search gauge by 5, better prizes from non-event spaces, and co-existing with a traditional shop.
    • During the event "SEA YOU AGAIN", players soon realized that Volt's presence on the map usually meant that he sensed the location of a Lost Relic, which would then become available for them to tap on the next day.
    • For the game's first few months of events, the Event Shop would sell all available play currency (used to play Event Stages) from the very start. This is unfortunately a trap as Hard Mode unlocks one week (for minor events) or two weeks (for major events) from the start of the event and provides double the rewards of the standard stages, meaning that buying out all the play currency immediately will rob you of free resources. The developers eventually wised up and adjusted the Event Shop such that play currency is now sold in waves, with only a few pieces sold initially (for players who want to complete the story more quickly) and the bulk of it showing up at Hard Mode release, preventing players from screwing themselves over as easily.
    • As of the October 5th, 2023 update, login events now have a Retroactive Login feature, where you can pay Gems to unlock days missed on login events. Previously, if you missed days on login events, you could not get them back, forcing you to miss the rewards entirely if you failed to log in on enough days.
    • The 1st Anniversary update added Excessive Accumulation to Outpost Defense, which allows Defense rewards to overflow past the standard 12 hour limit and continue building at a slower rate. This helps alleviate complaints of being forced to log in twice per day to keep up with Defense rewards. A later update released on November 10th, 2023 increased the base Outpost Defense timer to 24 hours, making it even easier to manage than before since Excessive Accumulation reduces the build rate for rewards to 15% of normal.
  • Anti-Trolling Features: In Coordinated Operation, if another player is failing to use their Burst Skill for whatever reason (such as deliberately throwing), other players can vote to force that player to use their Burst Skill by clicking on their Burst Skill icon; if a sufficient number of votes are reached, their Burst Skill will be automatically cast, preventing the party from being locked out of Full Burst by trolling teammates. Unfortunately, this mechanic suffers poorly from Guide Dang It! since its existence isn't obvious on the interface save for the five circles undearneath the Burst Skill icons that only appears in multiplayer.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • In Snowfield Oasis, Ludmilla hands the Commander the Snowfield Hot Springs' guest book and asks him to read it. At first it reads like a standard guest book, but after a few pages it becomes a diary from the previous occupants. Upon further inspection, the Commander discovers that the guest book diary is from Lumi's older sister Lena, whose unhealthy possessiveness and obsession with getting rid of Lua become increasingly desperate and deranged, with the diary further devolving into madness after Lumi disappears.
    • A series of Lost Relics in Chapter 26 detail a certain Commander's encounter with a strange crystal, which was collected by a Nikke in his squad. Soon after it was picked up the Nikke began behaving extremely oddly before suddenly dropping dead one day while emitting what appeared to be a loud cracking sound on impact. While investigating the cause of her death, her corpse suddenly reanimated itself and stood straight up like a zombie with dead eyes. The other Nikkes immediately requested a memory wipe and their Commander accordingly requested a leave of absence.
  • April Fools' Day: In 2023, a limited event was held where the Commander is called in to help Shifty with field work and can play as her for a few levels. After helping Shifty, the Commander returns to the Outpost and gets pranked on by several of his associates. A "chibi toggle" button was also enabled for certain content, which replaces all characters' Live2D models for combat (except Shifty) with their 3D Super-Deformed models.
  • Arrange Mode: A new type of diffculty for the Simulation Room called Overclock Mode was introduced on January 16th, 2024. Overclock Mode turns the final area of the Simulation Room into it's own Arrange Mode with selectable modifiers, spicing up the difficulty in exchange for additional rewards upon completion, depending how high the selected modifier Ratio is. These modifiers range from simple ones, like buffing enemies or removing the stat boosts Nikkes receive via their Bond level, to those that require additional thought towards team building, like locking the player out of using certain units (like all Burst I SMG units, e.g. Liter) or locking all enemies to one element while making them immune to any damage from elements other than their weakness.
  • 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 Outdoors Display:
    • The Ark is surrounded by a massive screen that simulates what the sky looks like on the surface. This is combined with a Weather-Control Machine to replicate realistic living conditions. It is mentioned in one instance that the Big Three once decided to run a 30-second ad on said display some time in the past, which resulted in mass hysteria and a sharp increase in suicides due to the broken illusion irreparably shattering their citizens' depiction of reality, after which any use of the screen besides displaying the sky was permanently banned.
    • It is mentioned in some supplementary material that the Outpost is still located underground, just closer to the surface than the Ark. The environment there is also simulated via the Ark's resources.
  • 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.
  • Asshole Victim: The commander of the Melee Squad in New Year, New Sword is depicted as high-strung, incompetent and lazy and doesn't care enough to give the Nikkes under his command the time of day. It's later revealed that he only signed on to the job under the promise that he'd get a cushy pension after the fact, has been lying to the squad about incoming support and has little remorse for the fact that the United Forces of Humanity is trying to kill off his squad. Naturally, little pity is spared when Rose kills him shortly afterwards.
  • 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 Backfire: A CG cutscene in Chapter 24 involves Indivilia attempting to strike Rapi with her bladed tail, which she previously used to bisect Neon and Anis. Rapi simply catches it, snaps it in half and plunges the sharp end into Indivilia, incapacitating her.
  • 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.
  • Awful Truth:
    • A certain incident in the past occurred where the Big Three decided to run a 1-minute advertisement on the Dome of Eternity, the giant screen used to stimulate the Earth's sky. This caused many citizens to Go Mad from the Revelation as the knowledge that the sky they grew up seeing wasn't real shattered their perception of reality and caused a large increase in suicide rates. Since then the Big Three have maintained that the Dome of Eternity is to be exclusively used for showing the sky only; Trony's motivation for joining Electric Shock was to make sure it never turns off lest a repeat of that incident occur.
    • The truth behind whatever is supplying the Ark's infinite power is apparently so horrific that it traumatized Trony. Elegg mentions in Chapter 28 that if the public knew the truth, no one would ever want to live in the Ark ever again.
  • Background Music Override: When playing as RE: The Hood in "Memory of Goddess", all standard stage themes will be replaced by a chiptune arrangement of Red Hood's theme song, "The Red Hood".
  • 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.
    • Clearing Special Interception awards an item called Manufacturer Arms, the quantity of which is based on your clear stage. 200 Manufacturer Arms can be exchanged for a single random piece of Tier 9 Manufacturer equipment, ensuring you aren't stuck on a dry spell of not getting decent drops for too long.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Dirty Backyard ends with Sixo getting away with everything and destroying Peony Association's reputation in the process. Furthermore, Moran destroying Fog Hollow failed to stop the production of Mist, as it's revealed that some residents are still producing more drugs at undisclosed locations throughout the Outer Rim.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: At the start of Nya Nya Paradise, we are introduced to two nameless NPCs who are clearly shown to be awful people, abandoning their pet kitten Ruru in a garbage dump and clearly showing no affection for the cat because they deemed it too much to handle. A health examination later reveals that Ruru's body shows signs of sustained physical abuse and she is too injured to be healed given the Ark's standards for animal care.
  • 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.
  • Bathos: At the end of Chapter 28, the heroes find Elegg and Liveryn trapped in a giant structure of parasitic crystals with no way to escape, putting them at imminent risk of death. The gravity of the situation is counterbalanced by the fact that they have somehow gotten themselves stuck in such a way that they are bent over forwards with only the top half of their body inside the crystal, such that their butts are facing outwards on full display.
  • Batman Gambit: In Chapter 24, Enikk rules that Syuen will be turned into a Nikke and handed over to Counters for her crimes against the Ark. Chapter 25 reveals that this is a ploy from Enikk to force Syuen to cooperate, as due to her status as Missilis CEO she simply cannot be punished in a reasonable manner and cannot be stripped of her title as CEO as it would result in Missilis' imminent collapse and disastrous repercussions. To circumvent these flaws with the Ark's justice system, she formulated a "punishment" consisting of everything Syuen hates knowing that if offered any alternative whatsoever she would take it, forcing Syuen to play into both Enikk's hand and the Commander's. The Commander calls out the moral flaws in this plan, but Enikk simply tells him that she took the most logical and possible course of action given the unique circumstances.
  • Beach Episode:
    • The Blue Water Island event. After Enikk explains that recent events have drastically diminished the Ark's resource supply and may result in economic collapse if left unchecked, Burningum reveals that he possesses secret knowledge of a loaded mining deposit on the surface with low Rapture activity. The result is Counters and associated parties, including Liter, Yan, Cafe Sweety and Seraphim heading to the beach to find that deposit (while having some fun in the sun at the same time after Yan suckers the group into buying swimsuits).
    • SEA, YOU, AGAIN, the Immediate Sequel to the above, has Andersen redeploying Counters to Blue Water Island to investigate the appearance of a mysterious signal that they detected while mining the deposit. Cafe Sweety is unable to tag along on the second venture, leaving Helm and the crew of the Admire to take their place.
  • Benevolent A.I.: In the "Maid in Valentine" event, the Commander and the Nikkes of Maid For You go up to the surface to visit the factory of an abandoned chocolate manufacturing plant. Turns out that it's being run by an AI manager named Sweet Johnny, who teaches the Maid For You trio how to make genuine Valentine's Day chocolate using real ingredients.
  • 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.
  • Betrayal Insurance: In Chapter 25, Enikk decides that she can no longer play by the rules set for her by the Ark Central Government if she wants to ensure humanity's safety. Due to the obvious implications that she may go too far, she decides to make the Commander her own contingency plan by effectively giving him a "kill switch" via Einkk if he feels that Enikk has exceeded her bounds.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: There are a great many factions at play throughout the world of NIKKE that each want to tear the others down for one reason or another and are willing to go through the Commander to do it. It typically falls to Counters to put a stop to each and every one of their plans before they make a bad problem worse.
    • The Raptures are the main antagonistic force in the story, being human-killing machines that want exterminate what's left. They are lead by Heretics, Nikke-like androids who want revenge against humanity, and above them is the Rapture Queen who controls all Rapture operations.
    • Syuen, one of the Big Three of the Ark, is in it for herself and her business. Many of her tactics are disgustingly underhanded and threaten the safety of not only her supposed allies but also the entire Ark, forcing the Commander to mitigate any damage she may deal to the war effort and set them back even farther than they already are. She winds up being unwittingly subjugated by Enikk enacting a Batman Gambit to force her to cooperate with Counters, taking her out of the picture for the time being.
    • Heavenly Ascension and Exotic are terrorist units stationed in the Outer Rim who want revenge against the Ark's humans for forcing them to live in squalor and without access to basic rights. Heavenly Ascension eventually gets taken out of the picture when their leader E.H. is incapacitated by an excavation bomb sabotaged by Exotic, forcing the heroes to go after Exotic if they want to ensure the Ark doesn't fall into total collapse. Exotic themselves are also soon removed, as Crow is finally dealt with in Chapter 24 and Viper and Jackal decide to give up terrorism in favor of protecting the Outer Rim.
    • Dorothy, a Pilgrim from Eden, was betrayed by humanity decades ago and now seeks revenge for being locked out of the Ark. While Eden in general dislikes the Ark, Dorothy in particular stands out for being an Anti-Hero to a dangerous degree and refuses to stop until she gets the love and admiration that she desperately craves. Dorothy eventually reveals that her ultimate goal is to bring down the Ark, although the Commander intuits that she does not want to destroy it, hinting at a different ulterior motive.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The 1st Anniversary update introduces Ultra, a giant insect-like Tyrant-class Rapture from the 1st Rapture Invasion, that attacks it's victims with immense physical strength and toxic spit. It is fought as the Final Boss of the Red Ash event, as well as Chapter 26.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • During the climax of Chapter 22, Counters manages to push back Nihilister's initial assault, but she responds by flying into the air and spewing flames at Enikk's command center, putting the entire party in imminent danger as the fire quickly chews through the protective barrier's defenses. Right before the flames can reach them, however, Nihilister is suddenly shot down by a single bullet, to which it is revealed that Dorothy has come to the Ark's aid in their hour of need.
    • Attempted in Chapter 24, but it ultimately fails. As it turns out, E.H. survived getting blown up by her own excavation bomb and was tended to hastily by Viper in secret so she could be used to get the jump on Crow. However, because E.H. is human, the damage she suffered from the explosion was incredibly crippling, and as such when she tries to take out Crow in the hospital she almost immediately succumbs to her wounds and collapses.
    • Chapter 26 ends with Counters being saved from an army of Raptures by a blue/white-colored Mother Whale Rapture crushing the aforementioned army. As the Commander is watching this, not sure what to make of it, he receives an SMS from none other than Raptilion, introducing them into the Main Story proper.
  • 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.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The settings menu for the PC version has a toggle for "Play BGM". This does not turn the game's music on and off (which is controlled by another setting), but lets all of the game's audio, not just music, play in the background when its window is out of focus. Another setting tab is labeled "Nearby", which contains apparently miscellaneous settings.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The "License to Kill" event reveals that Central AI Enikk operates on these standards. Based on her programming she will only enact direct judgment on a criminal party if a loss of life is involved. However, she is not inclined to act under any other circumstances, regardless of the severity of crime, as long as it does not involve death. K remarks that Enikk sees it strictly as a problem of numbers; to her, there is no issue as long as the number of humans doesn't decrease.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Justified during Chapter 16, as Exotic has the Commander on the ropes but because of their inhibitor chips they are physically incapable of inflicting a lethal wound. They settle for punching two bullets through his stomach instead, which would have killed him had Rapunzel not come along and resuscitated him before he bled out.
  • 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.
    • Some Nikkes have Burst Skills that play this straight by giving them temporary unlimited ammunition. This is marked by their ammo counter underneath the crosshairs transforming into an infinity symbol.
  • Bowdlerise: While the global version of Nikke doesn't actually do anything to the ingame graphics, the official media used to create ads and preview thumbnails is sometimes made less spicy. For example, for "SEA You Again", the summer event, Anis's summer swimsuit remained as daring as ever in-game, but the ads that were posted on the Internet changed her skimpy bikini into a less scant and more frilly number. As a matter of fact, Anis's regular clothes are also censored in the ads, with her low-cut neckline brought up to cover her impressive cleavage and bust.
  • 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.
    • The Gate Keeper has a unique Desperation Attack where it will summon a wall of Interruption Parts as well as fake white Counter Parts. Breaking all Interruption Parts cancels the attack as usual, but if a player breaks a Counter Part the break attempt fails and attack executes immediately.
  • Break the Cutie: NIKKE's Half-Anniversary event, OVER ZONE, is basically Dorothy experiencing one long Trauma Conga Line and seeing how much stuff you can put one person through to make them so thoroughly cynical and jaded that they attempt to kill themselves several times over.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: Toward the end of OVER ZONE Story II, the Goddess Squad, having been betrayed by humanity and stranded on the surface, decide to go their separate ways to make themselves less vulnerable targets and search for their own ways to take down the Rapture Queen.
  • 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 extremely tragic and depressing OVER ZONE event was followed up by Bunny x 777, a much more light-hearted affair about helping Blanc and Noir by winning the grand prize at a casino.
    • The similarly heavy Red Ash event was subsequently followed by Alone Survivor, which, while having its heavy moments, largely consists of the Commander following Tove's comedic bumbling as she tries to handle wilderness survival.
    • Dirty Backyard, which is rather dark by most event standards and involves an exploration of several characters' morals and convictions, was immediately followed by Perfect Maid, where the Commander helps Privaty, Drake and Maid For You run a maid cafe.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Challenge Stage in "Memory of Goddess", unlocked after clearing Snowfield Lv. 2. While the game expects you to do some Missions here, it doesn't really expect you to beat it, as making any significant progress practically requires a fully upgraded character and an extreme level of luck to roll the best possible weapons and upgrade them before reaching the 15 minute mark, at which point there's not much left to do except sit in place and hope your build is strong enough to auto-battle through the next 15 minutes to reach the final boss.
  • 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).
    • During the OVER ZONE event, the Outpost was set to Holiday Mode in celebration of the game's half-year anniversary. Among other visual effects, it was possible to see Volt Mk. 2 fly by in a hot air balloon.
    • For Red Ash, the Outpost was decked out for the 1st anniversary, with Liter now appearing in hot-air balloons.
    • On Day 15 of Snowfield Oasis, Anne, Angelina and Rupee are invited by the Commander to Snowfield, during which they get special cutscenes until Day 16.
    • In the Hard Mode ending of Perfect Maid, Yulha and Admi drop by to check in on how Privaty is doing with her temp job. However, they get weirded out by seeing Privaty being visibly flustered and promptly leave, causing Privaty to chase after them.
  • 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. The NieR: Automata Crossover plays on this by giving Rapi a +28% Bonus Reward chance rather than the usual multiple of 10.
    • This also extends to 2B's English voice actress, too: Privaty has a 40% Bonus Reward for the crossover event.
  • Central Theme:
    • Keeping in the spirit of NieR: Automata's themes, the plot of OuteR: Automata focuses on "what it means to be unique" while Side: A focuses on "what it means to live".
    • New Year, New Sword waxes philosophical about the impermanence of life. Rose's sword being named "Fleetly Fading" reflects her belief that all things must eventually end.
  • 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.
  • Cheated Angle: During gameplay, a Nikke can be seen holding their gun while reloading, but when firing from behind cover they are posed in such a way that their body hides the majority of their gun except the barrel from certain positions. This is done to obscure the fact that a Nikke's firing sprite does not actually have a gun and instead has a 3D model of their gun placed in front of them. This is more easily visible in landscape mode or on the PC client, where there is enough screen real estate to see the moving guns of the characters next to the one you're controlling.
  • 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.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • Miracle Snow occurs when the Ark holds annual December festivities, where the Commander finds Rupee and Anne celebrating the holidays. When Anne makes a wish to see her mother, the Commander and Rupee set out to deliver the ultimate Christmas miracle.
    • The major story event NEVERLAND takes place in December, when Unlimited stumbles upon an abandoned hot spring resort. After Tove and Neve accidentally restart the resort's hot water supply, Ludmilla spruces up the place and sends word to the Ark, whereupon the Commander, 777, Absolute, The Carronades, and The Scouts are deployed to excavate resources and materials for further research and development. Much of the story focuses on helping Mica overcome her fear of Christmas due to Belorta's unlucky streak of being injured on Christmas Day.
  • 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.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Red Ash ends with Red Hood waking up 30 years in the future and meeting the original version of Rapi, with the screen cutting to black as Rapi reveals her name. As the cutscene ends, the final line reveals the event's true name, RE: DASH.
    • Although Dirty Backyard has a conclusion, it largely serves to set up future conflicts. Moran destroys Fog Hollow, but victims of Mist are still running rampant and Mist itself is still being distributed from several undisclosed locations. Furthermore, Sixo has slipped through the heroes' fingers, managing to erase any potential leads and smearing the general public's opinion of the Peony Association. Sakura and Rosanna vow to the Commander that they will make Sixo regret ever crossing paths with Underworld Queen, while Sugar admits that she was wrong and also promises that she will hunt down Sixo before they get away forever.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In Chapter 26, the Commander has the option of telling Chime that she seems familiar, as they had first met during the Golden Ship event. If so, Chime will briefly acknowledge their previous encounter in turn.
    • Einkk has additional dialogue in Simulation Room: Overclock where she references Memory of Goddess, the software that she originally got the idea for the Simulation Room from.
    • In Perfect Maid, Cocoa mentions that the situation with Ade is worse than last year's Valentine's Day event, referencing the 2023 Valentine's event Maid in Valentine. The Commander can choose to mention the chocolate escapade, upon which Cocoa will congratulate the Commander for remembering and give him a thumbs up.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • In Chapter 24, Burningum and Enikk point out the extremely odd coincidence that Dorothy happened to be visiting M.M.R. with Poli and Miranda right before Nihilister escaped and revived Indivilia and Chatterbox using Material H. Enikk comes to the probable (but incorrect) conclusion that there is a chance that Dorothy and Nihilister are in cohorts with each other, which gives Burningum food for thought for his next move considering Dorothy's proposed "partnership" with the Ark.
    • Hilariously, the Commander suggests getting a doll for Marian for no particular reason when the rest of the team runs out of ideas about what to give to cover up, to which she insists on getting a doll that looks like the Commander. The Commander tries his luck at the toy store for the insanely slim chance that such an item exists, and almost inexplicably Belorta informs him that not only does a Commander plush toy exist due to the power of crowdfunded merchandise but she also just got a display sample, letting him get one for her.
  • 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, and even when there is an actual reason, like the Blue Water island event, it's just not possible due them not only not wanting to risk their only ship, but the costs would be too high to do so. The advent of the Kraken near Blue Water Island finally forces the Ark to deploy the Admire during the climax of Sea, You, Again, with the ship showing up at the heroes' most desperate time of need to help them repel the Tyrant-class Rapture and take it down for good.
  • 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.
  • Crossover: The game has featured a few crossovers with other franchises, adding new additional characters under the Abnormal Manufacturer category. All crossover events so far are tied together via an overarching sub-plot involving a recurring Tyrant-class Rapture called the Gatekeeper, which has a strong connection to the appearance of these characters.
    • February 2023 has the game crossing over with Chainsaw Man. In addition to adding Makima, Power and Himeno as playable characters, the event featured a special Coordinated Operation sortie against a mysterious Rapture called Gate Keeper.
    • September 2023 featured NieR: Automata in the OuteR: Automata event, adding 2B, A2, and Pascal as playable characters.
  • 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.
    • Despite Snowfield Oasis apparently featuring the Commander's relationships with Mica, Ludmilla, Emma, Blanc, and Noir, the actual protagonist of the event is a completely new character named Lumi, whose connection to the legends of the hot springs forms the central focus of the minigame's events.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Denji, the protagonist of Chainsaw Man, doesn't do much in his event. Although he shows up in more scenes than Makima, he's relegated to backup for Counters, Power and Himeno since his presence is regarded as unnecessary to a 5-person squad. Counters doesn't even flinch when they stumble across information indicating that he can turn into a living chainsaw (which he doesn't do in-game). He's also not playable, since he's, well, not a woman.
    • In NEVERLAND, Tove and Neve are responsible for discovering the abandoned hot spring resort. After Tove uses her makeshift tools to accidentally restart the resort's water supply, the two disappear for the remainder of the event as Ludmilla had assigned the rest of Unlimited to continue investigating further areas. They later make a reappearance beyond a certain date, albeit exclusively as overworld chibi characters and have no further bearing on the event's plot.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Vapaus can be converted into the form of a "bullet" (essentially a casing with a purified Vapaus crystal loaded in the tip) and fired from a gun to embed itself into a target, causing its effects to activate in whatever it was shot into. As it turns out, it is possible to synthesize more of these "bullets", but doing so requires Rh x type blood fused with human cells as a catalyst and cannot be used at low purity due to the resulting crystal being unable to withstand the propelling explosion from a firearm. Chapter 21 involves Counters and Inherit going on an expedition to track down Mother Whale, a Tyrant-class airborne carrier Rapture dating back to the 1st Invasion whose core contains enough human cells to be combined with the Commander's blood to create extremely high purity Vapaus bullets that can be used as a weapon.
  • Desecrating the Dead: The Omega Ending of White Memory reveals that Liliweiss's coffin has been destroyed and her head has been ripped from its body. Snow White comes to the conclusion that the Raptures are to blame and prepares to do everything in her power to take it back.
  • 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.
    • Chapter 23's climax involves Exotic taking the Commander hostage, where they reveal their twisted goals to him before he is ultimately bailed out by timely intervention from Extrinsic.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Anne's memory problems have haunting parallels to real-life dementia, a topic that is further reinforced by Miracle Snow.
    • Red Hood's corruption in Red Ash is spoken about and treated very much the same way as a terminal illness, with Red Hood and Snow White struggling to come to terms with the former's looming demise.
  • 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.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Chapter 24 opens with Poli and Miranda escorting Dorothy to the Ark Central Government, where they pass by a Goddess Statue. Upon Dorothy's inquisition, Poli explains how the Goddess Squad impacted life for everyone in the Ark, while also totally unaware that she's talking to the Goddess Squad's former leader.
    • Counters is informed by Nihilister that Liliweiss's body is needed to locate the Rapture Queen, and Snow White is the most likely person to know where it is. Unfortunately, the former does not know who Liliweiss is and thus would not be able to extract the correct information, and the latter does not know that her former leader's body is a prerequisite for finding her mark.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: The Goddess Squad is single-handedly credited with helping defend the Ark during its final stages of completion during Operation: Ark Guardian and are the oldest and most powerful Nikkes alive. Sadly, despite their heroism and sacrifices, humanity has never been kind to them, as they were locked out of the Ark as soon as it was completed due to a heavy helping of You Have Outlived Your Usefulness. Although they are revered with the highest honor within the Ark for their role in saving humanity, much of the information surrounding their feats has been lost to time and virtually none know about the true fate of the Goddess Squad besides its own former members. It is inferred from details and later confirmed that the Ark Central Government has explicitly erased virtually all data pertaining to the Goddess Squad in order to prevent the masses from believing in a higher power.
  • 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.
  • Dwindling Party: In both OVER ZONE and Red Ash, checking back on the main overworld frequently between story missions makes it clear that the number of present mass-produced Nikkes gradually become fewer and fewer with story progression. By the end of both events there are little to no mass-produced Nikkes remaining.
  • 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.
    • Ditto Pinne, who is forced to convince Dorothy to shoot her before the Rapture corruption overwhelms her.
  • 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.
    • It's rather common for new Nikkes to show up in another Nikke's debut event or Bond story. For example, Mast and Anchor were revealed in Helm's event, Jackal and Viper were revealed in Crow's Bond story, Nero was revealed in Biscuit's event, Rosanna and Moran were revealed in Sakura's event, and Leona was revealed in Nero's event, among others.
    • Chime and Crown, a duo of Pilgrims from White Knight, were first introduced at the end of the First Affection mini-event. Chime later made an appearance in Mast's Golden Ship event before the duo were introduced proper at the end of Chapter 25.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The game's first event, NO CALLER ID, is thus far the only event to both not introduce a new playable unit nor focus on one in particular, instead focusing exclusively on Counters.
  • 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. The Goddess Squad, unlike later Nikkes, have different biological composition due to their nature as Super Prototypes and require food to keep their brains alive since they lack a power core to supply energy.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • While the majority of Raptures appear animalistic or monstrous in nature, the Gate Keeper is the first Rapture whose appearance is downright otherworldly, resembling no living creature conceived by man. Turns out its powers also border on inhuman as well; not only does it protect itself with an invisible barrier that deflects anything with mass, it is in a perpetual state of sleep, which not only allows it to observe countless other universes and their past and present but also manifest anything it dreams of into reality. In addition to the Chainsaw Man cast being sucked into the NIKKE universe, the heroes end up fighting old Rapture models from the 1st Invasion which were discontinued decades ago, and even summons a copy of itself to defend its main body once it realizes that the heroes have discovered its weakness.
    • Crystal Chamber is a boss made of infectious crystals that transform non-organic entities into more of itself, Rapture and Nikke alike. Its design is completely alien and unlike any other Rapture seen before, to the point where even its official description claims that no one is sure if it's even a Rapture at all.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: All Nikkes and boss Raptures have an affinity to a single element among these: Fire->Wind->Iron->Electric->Water. Unlike other mobile RPGs, countering attributes contributes very little to combat, amounting to an additional 10% damage bonus.
  • 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.
  • EMP: Alva Particles are a type of electromagnetic interference particle that is predominantly spread by Raptures. At surface level concentrations they typically interfere with communications and need to be dispersed before surface operation teams can establish contact with the Ark. At extremely high concentrations, however, Alva Particles can have EMP-like effects, causing electronics to spontaneously fail and directly impairing or disabling Nikkes.
  • 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.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Once Rapi and Dorothy force Chatterbox, Nihilister and Indivilia out of the Ark, a frustrated Nihilister tries to boss around her allies while touting the success of her Playing Possum gambit to them. Indivilia and Chatterbox quickly grow tired of Nihilister and decide to turn her into scrap metal for the effort.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: After Crow puts a bullet in Yuni's head in Chaper 24, Viper comes out of the event having second thoughts about Crow's rather excessive behavior, including getting both of Wardress killed despite being totally unnecessary to the plan and leaving Jackal to die for no particular reason. After further consideration, Viper realizes that she no longer wants a hand in Crow's scheme and immediately turns on her, starting by siccing a revitalized E.H. on her position.
  • Evil Orphanage Lady: Genderflipped. The man who ran the orphanage where Belorta and Mica lived at pretended to be kind for the public as he was receiving charitable donations from Sovereigns, but in reality was horribly abusive to the children in his ward. After Belorta nearly exposed him in front of a live audience, Belorta was later seen gravely ill and starved to death after days without food. Despite Mica's begging, the man refused to seek treatment for her, and when he attempted to hit her again, Belorta protected Mica one last time before succumbing to her illness.
  • Excellent Judge of Character: By Chapter 27, the heroes have had enough experience meeting all types of people that they can almost immediately tell that Liveryn, the courier sent from Pathfinder, is acting way too suspicious. Sure enough, a subsequent scene reveals that she is interfacing with a mysterious client with ulterior motives.
  • 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.
  • Fake Longevity: Snowfield Oasis, the minigame for NEVERLAND, is a visual novel minigame designed to be played over the course of the entire event duration. However, because there is a limited amount of things that can be done in each in-game day, the minigame engages in a substantial amount of side events that push the main scenario along at a rather slow pace in order to make the story last for a whole 21 real-time days.
  • Fanservice Pack: A2 from NieR: Automata is typically of fairly modest bust size, but her illustration for NIKKE makes her look considerably more filled out than average.
  • Fantastic Caste System: According to Anis, rich humans tried to install one based on the value of the identification chips installed in their bodies, splitting themselves into Sovereigns (the rich) and Quotidians (everyone else). However, the masses vehemently protested against such a fictitious system and the Ark Central Government attempted to pacify the rich by creating Royal Road, a luxurious shopping district exclusive to Sovereigns. The Sovereigns eventually got bored of Royal Road when they realized that they couldn't lord their superiority over the common folk and spread out across the Ark, and with the Ark Central Government banning any special privileges to Sovereigns. The class system that they had attempted to create effectively imploded on itself and faded into obscurity. Despite this, there are still some rich folk who retain the Sovereign title just to satisfy their superiority complex.
  • Fantastic Drug: A large part of the Dirty Backyard event involves a drug called "Mist", which takes the form of an edible candy-shaped ball in a wrapper. Mist is an incredibly powerful hallucinogenic and induces a state of dream-like ecstacy when taken, such that it even completely dulls any sense of pain even from grievous wounds. It is also frighteningly addictive and once it wears off users will do anything to get more, including stealing and killing others. Distribution of Mist begins to throw the Outer Rim into chaos, forcing Moran, the Commander, and Sugar to step in and get to the bottom of the drug's origins before it's too late.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: At the end of Red Ash, Red Hood meets a mass-produced Nikke who identifies herself by her serial number, "RR-15436", but is otherwise silent. When Red Hood demands her real name, she finally speaks up right before declaring what her name is, with it being immediately clear from her voice that it's Rapi's voice.
  • Flashback Episode:
    • The OVER ZONE event takes place many years before the present-day events of the game and focuses on Dorothy, Snow White, Scarlet, and Rapunzel's final mission together as the last line of defense for humanity during the construction of the Ark.
    • Red Ash takes place 4 years after the start of the 1st Rapture Invasion and follows the Goddess Squad from the perspective of Red Hood.
    • New Year, New Sword has Scarlet telling the Commander about the Melee Squad, a group of experimental mass-produced Nikke with a focus on melee combat, as well as the relationship she had with her sister Rose.
  • Foil: Rupee and Viper. On the surface both appear very similar being busty, blond women with playful and somewhat airheaded personalities and an enjoyment of shopping. Underneath that first impression though are two total opposites. Rupee is kindhearted, fun loving, and a bit airhaeded despite her great business sense. Viper is manipulative, cruel, and vindictive. Appropriately they appear together in side stories pretty often and they share a voice actress in the English dub.
  • 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 stat penalty, which scales harder the bigger the gap becomes.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Played for drama with the OVER ZONE event. It takes place before the current events of the game and throughout the story, one cannot help but silently cringe whenever Dorothy states that they will be thanked by mankind as goddesses that saved them from destruction as even cursory reads of the main story will tell players that Nikkes are often seen as nothing more than disposable weapons and more to the point, the Nikkes that were part of her squad are now wandering the surface.
  • 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. Nihilister's Liberation Story additionally has her explain that Heretics are created by manifesting the subject's idealized form, which is noted by Rapi and the Commander to be a direct mirror of how Nikke appearances are created.
    • 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.
    • Several events in the OVER ZONE minigame, White Memory, hint at events that are further elaborated upon in both Red Ash and New Year, New Sword.
    • Early on in A.C.P.U! Freeze! after the Commander and Quiry are offered and accept some sweets from a woman in a ghost outfit, Quiry mentions that she was able to see the woman quite clearly, a far cry from her usual blindness and something that usually only happens when she spots important evidence (or the Commander himself). It eventually turns out the woman has been handing out separate batches of sweets on her own initiative, one of which tasted nasty, upset some of the guests and made Novel suspect deeper foul play, so Quiry's roped in to spot her again once the rest of the ACPU and Counters mobilise to solve the problem.
    • In one of Red Ash's Lost Relic events, it is revealed that Scarlet was originally a mass-produced model before being converted to a unique model, revealing that it is possible for mass-produced Nikkes to essentially "upgrade" if they prove to possess exceptional merit. This hints at a later reveal in the Hard Mode ending of Red Ash, in which Rapi is revealed to also have originally been a mass-produced Nikke before she met Red Hood.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: The standard issue uniform for the Melee Unit that Scarlet was originally a part of is a tight-fitting one-piece dress with a low neckline and cleavage that barely covers past the hips with grey full-body stockings and high heels.
  • Framing Device: The setup for the Whole Episode Flashback of New Year, New Sword is Scarlet regaling the Commander with her origin story en route to a nice vantage point on the surface after a New Years concert ends with a horde of jealous Nikkes gunning for the Commander.
  • From Zero to Hero: Red Ash reveals that it is possible for a mass-produced Nikke to be upconverted to a unique model if they prove to have outstanding merit, as is the case for Scarlet. This is also heavily implied to be the case for Rapi, as revealed by the Wham Episode at the finale of the event.
  • Full-Conversion Cyborg: The first Nikkes were human brains transplanted into android bodies, and (initially) it was heavily implied that the process has carried over to the modern day despite Nikkes being able to be mass produced. As one gets deeper into the story, the implication gives way to outright confirmation that many Nikkes are converted humans. Their revealed backstories make it clear that pretty much all of the unique Nikkes the player meets (and recruits via gacha) during the story are former humans who have been turned into Nikkes, and this plays a major part in the worldview and personalities that many of them currently have. As for how a human becomes a Nikke, its revealed that 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. Some choose to be converted into a Nikke while still alive out of their own will. It's also shown during the story that those who commit particularly heinous crimes can be sentenced to being converted into a Nikke against their will and this is what happens to Syuen. Even more distressingly, there are storylines in the game that reveal that many are converted into being Nikkes against their will by less than scrupulous individuals, or tricked into the procedure, while others turn to the procedure out of desperation.
  • Fun with Acronyms: NIMPH stands for "Neuro-Implanted Machine for Protecting Humans". This is first revealed by Exia in the main story, but for many players either stuck on the campaign or new to the game, the reveal happens thanks to the NieR: Automata event instead.
  • 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.
    • OVER ZONE's first story reveals that one of the mass-produced Nikkes, Pinne, managed to earn the respect of several of the Nikke who would become Pilgrims, even being called a Goddess of Victory herself for her contributions. As such, it retroactively makes Product 23's appearance as a possible drop from a Pilgrim Manufacturer Mold logical, as she was inducted into their ranks posthumously. Another part of the gameplay that reflects this is that Goddess Squad's other Nikke are Dorothy, Rapunzel (both Burst 1), Snow White, and Scarlet (both Burst 3), thus Pinne, being one of the Product 23 Nikkes with a Burst 2 skill, ends up being the linchpin of their skill loadout and rounds out their team composition.
    • Some characters' orders in the "BBQ Master" minigame are consistent with their characterizations. For example, Helm's orders will never include shrimp or octopus because she hates seafood, and Volt's orders are invariably always meat.
    • In Snowfield Oasis, Blanc and Noir have the unique distinction of "sharing" a Bond meter, indicated by having rabbit symbols in place of hearts. Unlike the other Nikkes, who function independently, Blanc and Noir are functionally conjoined and can only be progressed if both of their Bond gauges are full.
    • More generically, Nikkes that are canonically in the same squad usually have their burst skills arranged such that they can always be used together to unleash full burst e.g. Neon, Anis, and Rapi can have their skills chained together and if you add in Modernia, she'll add in an additional Burst III skill, while having all five focus dolls for Perfect Maid (Aide, Cocoa, Soda, Maid Privaty, and Drake) while give you a full set that can chain Full Bursts as soon as the bar is full.
  • 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.
  • Go Through Me: When Deputy Chief Doban prepares to march down to the Outer Rim to exterminate every last citizen, Moran stands before him within the partition leading to the Outer Rim, prepared to defend the opening until one of them keels over dead. It fortunately does not come to this, as she manages to buy enough time for Hedonia and Seimeikai to complete the dearming of the Outer Rim, forcing Doban to stand down and get sent packing.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The United Forces of Humanity deemed the Melee Squad project a failure and sought to weed out the strongest member to convert them into a Grimms model. They did get their wish, albeit in an unexpected way: upon discovering the UFH's betrayal, they soon turned on each other and killed themselves until only Scarlet remained.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: The modified Mother Whale that Raptilion drops on a horde of Raptures at the end of Chapter 26 is notably colored a glistening white and emits blue lights, rather than the standard black, grey and red that normal Raptures have. Raptilion later suggests that the change in its color scheme may be linked to a change in its diet after he suggested that "Whaley" (as he calls it) switch to eating vegetables instead of animals.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Near the climax of Dirty Backyard, Moran and Sugar are at odds with each other concerning how to handle Fog Hollow; Moran decides it needs to be destroyed as punishment for manufacturing an incredibly dangerous and addictive drug that is throwing the Outer Rim into chaos, while Sugar decides that its residents should not be punished for trying to protect their own lives. They decide to settle their argument with a fistfight, with both Moran and Sugar trading blows until both are badly beaten and injured.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The mysterious substance Vapaus is a Finnish word for "freedom". In the Japanese dub, it is referred to by the English word "Unchained".
  • 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. The "offscreen" part is gradually being averted, with OVER ZONE and Red Ash being Flashback Episodes that take place during the war and detail the exploits of the Goddess Squad.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Papillon, Burningum's sole Nikke, winds up temporarily joining Counters for an extended period of time after getting inadvertently roped into Eden's plan to defeat Nihilister.
  • Gun Porn: Although not quite as focused on as heavily, there game prides itself on gun fanservice almost as much as actual fanservice. Most firearms used in the game are heavily stylized takes on a large variety of real-world firearms, and each character has visually distinct and satisfying reload animations and gun handling.
  • Hacking Minigame: The Hacking mini-game from NieR: Automata makes an appearance in the game's Crossover event, where Counters can explore the factory and hack electronic devices to obtain Story Breadcrumbs. The minigame is copied directly from its source game with only a few tweaks, such as the player ship being touchscreen piloted and having auto-fire.
  • Hand Wave:
    • The "Memory of Goddess" minigame features the current Snow White as a playable character despite being canonically developed by a younger Snow White during the start of the 1st Invasion. This is justified by Red Hood suggesting that she wanted to depict herself in the game as a "cooler and more badass" version of herself.
    • The absence of the main heroines during Christmas Episodes is explained away as Counters needing to perform scheduled maintenance every year at around Christmas, freeing up the Commander to hang out with other Nikkes.
  • Hannibal Lecture: When confronted by Diesel and Soline in Chapter 24, Crow explains how they're being played for fools by their superiors and digresses into the inhuman nature of Nikke conversion and experimentation. She gets nothing in return for this speech save for a salvo of warning shots from Diesel, who has other priorities in mind given she's facing her brother's murderer.
  • 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. Later revealed that hotel is run by Perilous Siege squad.
    • 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.
    • Nihilister can do this as well, and about the only way to stop it is a direct shot of Vapaus. Johan nails her with a direct shot to the arm, but she simply severs it to stop it from contaminating the rest of her bloodstream. However, she is caught off-guard when Johan continues shooting more Vapaus bullets into her despite there supposedly only being one bullet, negating her healing and paralyzing her to the point where Counters and Inherit can put her out of commission.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Willpower: Generally shown off by Nikke who are in the last stages of being corrupted, several have managed to fight it off long enough to ask for a Mercy Kill. Fittingly, Laplace displays this the most as she not only fights through a supression round, she then almost terminates herself, something other corrupted Nikke's couldn't manage.
  • 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.
    • Nearly happened during the events of Goddess Fall. 200 mass-produced Nikkes decided that they have had enough of the abuse and mistreatment they had to endure, so they decided to use the main Ark elevator to the surface to go AWOL en masse. Unfortunately, the Central Government saw this as a mass desertion, so they decided to kill power to the elevator. By this time, the elevator was already 4 kilometers (almost 2 1/2 miles) in the air. Oooooooooops. At that height, the elevator crashing back to earth would have been totally catastrophic, had the mass produce Nikkes not decided to blow themselves up to take out the elevator.
  • Horrifying the Horror: The parasitic crystals encountered in Chapters 27 and 28 are so deadly and terrifying that even Raptures flee from them en masse, something that comes off as incredibly alarming to the protagonists.
  • Hot Springs Episode: NEVERLAND, the Christmas event of 2023. After the Unlimited squad stumbles upon an abandoned, but functional hot springs resort near the Northern Base, the Commander is tasked by Andersen to travel to it with Absolute, the Scouts, the Carronades and 777 to examine the location for potential resources (and take some well-deserved time off once they're finished). At the resort, they are welcomed by Ludmilla, who has taken on the role of resort manager.
  • Human Disguise: Its revealed in the story that there are many Nikkes in the Ark who have their status as such hidden by the government and are thought to be human by the public. This is because these Nikkes are in positions of authority within Ark society that they would normally be precluded from holding due to the fact that most of the humans of Ark hold Fantastic Racism towards them and oppose Nikkes being able to exercise authority over humans (or potentially kill or arrest humans, in the case of the police). Ironically, this puts a new perspective on the fantastic racism experienced by Nikkes, as it implies that most humans couldn't tell the difference between a Nikke and a normal human being unless they were told what they were.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Many, many story beats make it evidently clear that there are astonishingly few genuinely good humans in the Ark. A vast majority of people are horrifically bigoted against Nikkes and will treat and abuse them like shit before they ever consider them to be on the same level as other humans. In addition, the existence of the Outer Rim and the whole Commander program reveals that there's a massive classism issue with Ark society and that the people living good lives in the Ark are (unknowingly or otherwise) throwing other humans under the bus for the sake of the status quo. These elements added up are a big part of why Team Inherit refuses to associate with the Ark and prefers to take the war on their own terms: they just don't trust humans enough to not ruin everyone else's lives. That said, there are some Nikkes that aren't exactly saints themselves. Crow in particular was once, and still is, a terrorist that had bombed a train full of people and during story events, she and her squad shot the Commander who is one of the aforementioned humans that are genuinely good. As another example, Dorothy is a Nikke who has a very compelling reason to hate humans for how the Ark abandoned her when she had done nothing but protect them from Raptures. However, that does not really excuse how she then attempts to use Counters as nothing more than meat shields to weaken Nihilister.
  • 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.
  • Identity Breakdown: At the climax of OuteR: Automata, 6000-D turns on the party and shoots B-0006 in the head, killing her and revealing her to be empty just like all of the other fake Nikkes in the factory. She then proceeds to spiral into a madness-induced rant about her inability to be unique as a Product 12, cursing the heroes for being uniquely special individuals and having appearances and personalities all their own while she's doomed to be the exact same as every other Product 12. This culminates into 6000-D absorbing a massive amount of D-WAVE energy from the Gatekeeper and transforming into a Mechanical Abomination Rapture by absorbing parts from other Product 12s, forcing the heroes to take her down by locating her core and destroying it. After 2B and 9S leave, the dying 6000-D comes to the conclusion that the only way to be truly unique is to find a way out of the hellish cycle of death and rebirth she is fated to as a Nikke, upon which she brandishes a termination pistol and shoots herself.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Crow reveals in her Motive Rant during the climax of Chapter 24 that getting the Ark to respect Nikkes was only half of her actual goal. The other half is to bring down the Commander, but considering he's displayed an uncanny level of serendipity to cheat death and he has too much of a good heart to be corrupted by base level motivations, Crow decides that the only way to defeat him is to bring him down to her level by doing something so heinous that he will kill a Nikke with his own hands. He very nearly goes through with it as well; only a well-timed intervention from Rapi stops him from pulling the trigger.
  • Inconsistent Dub:
    • The English localization can't seem to agree on whether it's called "Alva Particles", "Alba Particles", or even "Elva Particles".
    • The Central Government Official's sidequest involves a missing commander who is either a woman named Janne Miller or a man named James Miller.
    • Likewise, the game frequently misspells "Volt", the name of Liter's robot hound, as "Bolt".
  • Invisibility Cloak: A key piece of technology is optical camouflage. It is a beacon that first relays a fake tracking signal to all nearby Raptures in order for the beacon's users to eliminate them; upon successfully doing so, it then deploys a barrier within a given radius that not only disguises the protected area as empty, but also disorients and misdirects nearby Raptures to prevent attacks. The downside is that the materials to produce optical camouflage are difficult to procure and all nearby deposits within range of the Ark have been long since exhausted.
  • 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.
    • In Sea, You, Again, Mast is informed by a maintenance crew that the Aegis Cannon can only be used a single time due to a lack of regular maintenance; as a full repair would cost weeks, the Aegis Squad decides to deploy with the single charge. They manage to score a direct hit on Kraken with the blast, but since the Cannon is no longer functional, Helm decides to ram Kraken with the ship directly in an attempt to finish it off. However, by some miracle, the Aegis Cannon suddenly begins overcharging itself despite apparently being expended, releasing a beam powerful enough to rip straight through Kraken and kill it once and for all.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: Early in Chapter 19, Counters makes their way to their destination at a rather swift pace and manage to locate the storage facility where a vial of Vapaus is being kept. It's only then that Anis notices that the going has been almost too easy and that Rapture patrols have been virtually non-existent on the way there. No sooner does she mention this that the group is immediately jumped by Johan, a Commander from Eden, and his squad of Pilgrims, who have already claimed the Vapaus and separate the Commander from the group for interfering.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: Nikkes are incapable of bearing children. This becomes an issue to Sakura, the current head of a prominent Yakuza clan in the Ark whose family is constantly pestering her to get a husband and sire an inheritor, unaware that she is a Nikke and thus cannot have one. She winds up roping the Commander into faking a marriage under a cherry tree in hopes of getting the clan to shut up about it.
  • 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.
  • Insult Backfire: When Anis and Neon meet Hammerung from the Hammer & Drill squad in Chapter 27, the duo remark on how uninventive their squad name is and Neon sarcastically asks if her teammate is named "Drilley". Hammerung responds with surprise that they already know her teammate's name, which Anis and Neon only respond to with Stunned Silence.
  • 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".
  • Involuntary Group Split: At the end of Chapter 28, Elegg and Liveryn wind up separated from the main party when an attack from the mysterious woman causes a crystal growth to block their path. They try to find a way around and end up getting stuck in a crystal; when Hammering attempts to break them out, the ground beneath them suddenly gives way, causing all three of them to plummet into what is revealed to be an unfinished elevator shaft.
  • It's Probably Nothing: After the crew returns to Blue Water Island during Sea, You, Again, Helm dives into the ocean in pursuit of the mysterious signal and feels a strange vibration. However, no one else reports anything unusual and write it off so they can resume their vacation, leaving Helm to fret over the noise. Her fear turns out to be well placed, as not a few days later the heroes are attacked by the Kraken, a Tyrant-class aquatic Rapture that traps them on Blue Water Island by blocking the only mainland passage.
  • 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.
    • Implemented comically on Rei, a Nikke from School Circle who has the body of a toddler. Despite having a child body, they did figure out where to put the jiggle physics... not on her specifically, but on her pet robot penguin Naru. Yes, its butt jiggles exactly the same way as on the other Nikkes.
  • Just a Flesh Wound: Justified for the Nikkes, as unless they take critical damage directly to the brain, they can be repaired, rebuilt and replaced with spare bodies regardless of how much damage they take (although they are still incapable of action if they are sufficiently damaged or destroyed). Less justified for the Commander, who takes an astounding amount of punishment throughout the main story and still manages to keep going despite rather grevious wounds.
  • 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.
  • Kill Him Already!: Syuen attempts to do this to Exotic in Chapter 23 when their treachery towards the Ark becomes too much to handle. She is stopped by both the Commander and Mustang, the latter of whom destroys Syuen's phone to prevent her from detonating the Explosive Leash, because not only do they not have concrete evidence that Exotic was involved when E.H.'s bomb detonated, but they are fully aware that Syuen would absolutely be willing to kill them and bury the story to protect Missilis's reputation as Exotic is officially a Missilis squad. Syuen ends up sending Wardress to take care of it and get the jump on Exotic before Counters can get there first, which turns out to be a massive mistake as Yuni is already in Crow's pocket, causing a cavalcade of events that escalates the situation even further and ultimately nearly gets Syuen herself killed.
  • 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. Chapter 24 adds Yuni to the list, after she shoots herself with the Vapaus bullet the Commander brought with him from Eden.
  • 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.
    • Yuni aligns with Crow and betrays the Ark during the Rapture invasion, getting hundreds of civilians killed by hijacking a sector's warning system to convince the civilians there that their evacuation shelter was already breached and they should flee to the surface, running them right into the invading Raptures. She's then betrayed herself and incapacitated by Crow, and although she survives, she is rendered catatonic and sentenced to solitary confinement for the forseeable future.
  • 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.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Heavenly Ascension is officially labeled as a terrorist group and has blown stuff up here and there to get their message out, but they generally do not advocate for actions that involve killing innocents and genuinely want the Outer Rim to improve. While they are still armed and dangerous, they are still noticeably less bad than Exotic, who are actual terrorists who only want to burn everything to the ground and will lie, cheat and steal to get their way.
  • 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.
    • A different type of loophole regarding the same rule gets brought up in Vesti's Bond Story. Normally, it is forbidden for a Nikke to attack a human unless they have a very convincing reason to do so. So when the Commander and Vesti are confronted by Vesti's old bullies and they wind up attacking the Commander, the "protect the Commander" rule supercedes the "don't hurt humans" rule and Vesti immediately goes to town on them.
    • At the end of Chapter 24, Ingrid refuses to divulge information regarding Red Hood to the Commander under the justification that it is highly classified. However, she goes on to mention that if, for some "odd" reason, the Commander were to find out on his own, the information would then be considered "leaked" and thus he would have free reign over his findings.
    • In New Year, New Sword, it is revealed that is possible for a Nikke to bypass their Restraining Bolt if they can mentally convince themselves that they aren't attacking a human. Rose does this by blindfolding herself and convincing herself that she is fighting Raptures, attacking indiscriminately and slaughtering her human commander.
  • 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.
    • Viper gets her head blown off by her Explosive Leash in Chapter 24 after Syuen misclicks and detonates her bomb instead of Crow's. However, she survives thanks to the Commnander tugging on the collar at an angle at the very last moment and thus directing the explosion in such a way that it barely missed her brain.
  • Lost Pet Grievance: In Nya Nya Paradise, Nero and the Commander learn that Ruru is terminally ill and is unable to be cured due to a lack of access to sufficient veterinary care. They spend Ruru's last days making her as happy as possible, and for her last request they take her back to the garbage dump where she was abandoned and she cries out for her owners one last time before succumbing to her illness. The next day, Nero and the Commander hold a funeral service for Ruru alongside the cats at the shelter, with Nero promising to do everything she can to ensure that the same fate does not befall another cat.
  • 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.
  • Marathon Level: Much like the games it is inspired by, the "Memory of Goddess" levels require you to survive for a rather lengthy period, to the tune of 15 minute sessions per normal level. The Challenge Mode, on top of having much tougher foes, bumps this up to 30 minutes.
  • 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.U. 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.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: While the game's setting has relatively high science-fiction hardness, there are some phenomena that occur that can't be concretely explained by anything within the boundaries of the setting's rules that the viewers are currently aware of.
  • Meaningful Name: New Year, New Sword. At the turn of the new year, Scarlet was forced to kill her sister Rose, in the process claiming her blade Fleetly Fading.
  • 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.
    • It is revealed in the climax of School of Lock that Nikke students who fail to pass year-end exams are subject to this fate, having their memories and experiences completely wiped clean and their appearances altered before rejoining M.M.R. Vocational School as a freshman. However, there is a hard limit of 3 resets that can be performed on a single Nikke; if a Nikke fails to achieve results after three resets, they are taken away permanently by M.M.R. so their bodies can be used for even more horrific experiments.
  • 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.
  • Mini-Game: Major story events will usually have a minigame attached that players can participate in for bonus prizes.
    • Hightech Toy has "Hero Road", a board game where you spend event currency to Roll-and-Move for free rewards. Blue Water Island had a variation called "Volt Road", which is similar but adjusts the specifications a bit to make it easier and doesn't replace a shop.
    • Miracle Snow has "Gift Factory", where players must send presents down either the left or right chutes depending on if the present contains a Rapture inside.
    • OVER ZONE has "White Memory", a choose-your-own-adventure game where you play as Snow White and explore the area around the operation zone, gathering clues to the Goddess Squad's past along the way.
    • Sea, You, Again has "B.B.Q. Master", a fast-paced game where you try to correctly fulfill the orders of hungry Nikkes as quickly as possible.
    • OuteR: Automata has a simplified version of the Hacking Minigame from NieR: Automata. By traveling to specific points on the overworld, players can hack into data points to unlock Story Breadcrumbs.
    • Red Ash has "Memory of Goddess", a roguelike top-down survival shooter where you play as the Goddess Squad and face off against hordes of Raptures in a simulated environment. This was the first minigame to become a permanent fixture.
    • NEVERLAND has "Snowfall Oasis", a visual novel game where you help Nikkes discover the mystery of the hot springs resort alongside a mysterious mass-produced Nikke named Lumi. Dialogue choices allow you to build Bond with Nikkes required to progress further events.
  • 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.
  • Mood Whiplash: At the end of "Blue Water Island" Story I, the squad decides to have fun on the beach as they watch the sun rise and starts playfully splashing water at each other, which eventually escalates into pushing each other into the water. The situation suddenly turns very dark when the act of pushing Mary into the water causes Pepper to stop dead in her tracks, which quickly turns into her screaming in agony as her erased memories of murdering Mary begin to resurface.
  • Multiple Endings: The half-anniversary OVER ZONE event included the minigame White Memory, an Interactive Fiction adventure where you play as Snow White and explore the outskirts of the base where the Goddess Squad is conducting Operation: Ark Guardian, looking for food, supplies, and potentially hints of the past buried within the rubble. There are 21 endings in total split among four areas, with a new ending unlockable at the start of each day of the event.
  • 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.
  • Mushroom Samba: One of the possible choices in White Memory involves Snow White ingesting hallucinogenic mushrooms found in the forest. Ironically, there are plot-relevant endings tied to ingesting the mushrooms as the visions that Snow White sees are tied to her past and give important backstory and lore.
  • 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.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • 2B and A2 have alternate skins that use their self-destruct outfits (skirtless for 2B and short hair/midriff for A2). In addition, they each have a paid Costume Gacha skin for their YoRHa Uniform 1 designs, which are taken directly from the "6C2P4A118680823" DLC for the Nintendo Switch port of NieR: Automata.
    • The events of OuteR: Automata focus strictly on a factory, reflecting how a factory was the first level in NieR: Automata.
    • A dialogue option you get with C-1002 in the Hard Mode ending of the event mirrors a late-game story option in Automata, where you can suggest to her a memory wipe, death, or carrying the burden by continuing to live.
    • The final Hacking minigame in the event takes place on a fascimilie of the game's Home Screen interface, referencing the final Hacking sequence of Automata where 9S hacks A2 by fighting through a minigame version of the game's pause menu.
  • 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.
    • Dorothy is if nothing else pragmatic, and is perfectly willing to throw as many unwitting pawns under the bus as needed as long as she gets what she wants. She reveals to Johan that the whole plan of getting Counters on board was explicitly to use them as meat shields so that in the (highly likely) scenario they get burned to a crisp, Inherit can swoop in and effectively Kill Steal Nihilister. This conversation is the first moment where Johan's opinion on Counters wavers, as he realizes that Dorothy's plan is disgustingly heartless regardless of Counter's chances of survival, and by the time Nihilister is encountered for real he changes his mind and jumps into the fray with Inherit to help rescue Counters at their time of need.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The events of Perfect Maid are kicked off when Drake intervenes on a confrontation between Privaty and a group of Heavenly Ascension members. One of the terrorists whips out a grenade launcher, but Drake swoops in and kicks it out of her hands, causing the launcher to accidentally discharge and fire a grenade directly at the maid cafe at the other side of the street, destroying it. While only Ade is harmed, the Commander convinces the two to become temporary maids to fill in for Ade's absence when she declares that she cannot attend the Valentine's Day event.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between:
    • The "Big Three" CEOs - Mustang is an eccentric, flamboyant Benevolent Boss happy to help out Counters, Syuen is a petty, selfish Jerkass who repeatedly gets in the Protagonists' way and causes problems, and Ingrid is a stern, no-nonsense Iron Lady who's willing to back the team once they give her a good reason.
    • The "Deputy Chief Trio" - Andersen is the effective Big Good among the Ark's forces and one of Counters' most reliable backers and allies, Doban is a Jerkass Bad Boss who actively tries to wipe out the Outer Rim in the middle of a Rapture invasion and Burningum will go to extremes for humanity's sake but treats his subordinates well while sponsoring the Admire.
  • 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.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Nya Nya Paradise is named after the previous Happy Zoo event Bow Wow Paradise as a Continuity Nod despite the fact that not only does the shelter have little relevance in this event, but the title betrays the fact that it is much more depressing than Bow Wow Paradise. This ultimately turns into a Title Drop at the event's Hard Mode finale, where it is the name of an afterlife for cats from which Ruru sends her regards.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: In Chapter 21, Counters and Inherit are forced to split up to man a triangulate of cannons. When Johan orders Noah to man one of them, Neon volunteers to pair up despite Anis's protests. It's later revealed that Neon did so specifically because she realized that Noah was much like herself, being the third wheel to an established group and not being able to find a way to fit in despite their efforts. She uses this (along with an ample serving of ego stroking) as leverage to convince Noah to climb the hookshot ballista they were manning and get close enough to Mother Whale to damage its propulsion systems, forcing it to drop within firing range.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse:
    • In Chapter 22, Rosanna attempts to strongarm 777 into cooperating with her for an undisclosed scheme by siccing her Hedonia goons on Coin Rush to trash the place and proposing that she take an exorbitant amount of their funding to set up "protection". Sakura from Seimeikai, a rival clan in Underworld Queen, intervenes on 777's behalf, but Sakura also demands a large cut in exchange for protection from Hedonia, which turns nasty when Moran shows up uninvited and offers Peony Organization's assistance for free. It turns out that none of the offers (except Moran's, who was Locked Out of the Loop) were genuine; Rosanna and Sakura simply needed an excuse to be at Coin Rush without looking suspicious. Their actual target was a gemstone being held at the venue, and Underworld Queen had received intel that it was being targeted by Heavenly Ascension for unknown purposes. Although they are able to intercept Heavenly Ascension, their lone operative manages to stun them with an Alva Particle grenade and make off with the target.
    • In Chapter 23, Exotic breaks a stalemate between themselves and Counters by igniting flamethrowers embedded in the tunnel walls. While the Nikkes are unaffected unless they walk directly into it, the fire begins to rapidly burn up the oxygen supply in the tunnel, causing the Commander to quickly suffocate. Exotic promises his survival in exchange for taking him with them, which Counters has no choice but to accept if they want to keep him alive.
    • In Chapter 24, Dorothy offers to Burningum a "partnership" with the Ark and gives a USB stick containing schematics for Eden's hyper-advanced camouflage technology as a down payment. On further deliberation both Burningum and Andersen come to the conclusion that they don't have the ability to turn down Dorothy's offer even if it is blatantly obvious that it is a trap, because refusing to do so would make an enemy of Eden and spell doom for the Ark.
  • Oh, Crap!: In New Year, New Sword, the Commander receives a kiss on the cheek from Noise during a concert in front of an audience composed of practically half of the game's cast. Naturally, everyone gets vehemently jealous (including Rapi and Anis, to an extent), and no sooner does he step out and meet Scarlet that he receives a text from Rapi telling him to run for his life if he doesn't want to get overrun by a deluge of Nikkes who want to compete for the Commander's cheek.
  • Old Soldier: The Goddess Squad is comprised of the oldest and most powerful Nikkes from the 1st Rapture Invasion. Of the original six members, Lilith and Red Hood perished during the war, leaving the remaining four members to carry on in their wake. They have long since separated and now operate on the surface individually; Snow White, Rapunzel, and Scarlet all continue the war on their own terms, while Dorothy now leads Team Inherit.
  • Once More, with Clarity: During Part 2 of Over Zone, the revelation that Dorothy is hallucinating Pinne is followed by replaying previous scenes where Dorothy was responding to her, but with Pinne visible to the audience this time.
  • 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.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: At the end of Chapter 19, Harran sets up the Commander in a trial against a group of weakened Raptures to see if he is truly willing to put everything he has on the line to commit to his ideals. The Commander fights the Raptures for an entire day straight until neither he nor his enemies are able to move an inch, the Commander having passed out standing from sheer exhaustion and the Raptures being too injured to move. Harran considers the test passed and sends the Commander to Eden.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: One special event in Snowfield Oasis involves all of the characters and Lumi gathering to investigate a room in the dormitory that is supposedly haunted. When they reach the room, it is apparently empty with no paranormal activity whatsoever. This changes when Lumi steps into the room and stares at the ceiling, at which point all of the other characters witness an apparation of a girl appear before them. This becomes much creepier when said "girl" suddenly begins to say "Save me" while Lumi lets out a horrific scream, causing everyone to beat a hasty retreat and Ludmilla to seal off the room permanently.
  • Out of Focus: Anis and Sugar are technically present for Blue Water Island but they wind up separated from the rest of the party early on, preventing them from being present for most of the plot.
  • Perpetual Poverty: The Counters may have contributed many meritorious deeds for the Ark, but they still live in shabby dorms with no running water because they're technically still being punished.
  • 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.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Despite supposedly being a crime syndicate, Underworld Queen is more effectively a peacekeeping force in the Ark employed to resolve tensions between the Ark and criminals from the Outer Rim. It's later revealed that Underworld Queen's formation was headed by none other than Mustang, who convinced the three clans to swear an oath to bring harmony to the Ark and the Outer Rim and stop its residents from breaking out into civil war.
  • 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.
  • Playboy Bunny: 777 consists of a duo of them: Blanc and Noir. Viper also has the "Toxic Bunny" cosmetic skin and Rupee has the "Bunny Deluxe" cosmetic skin.
  • The Power of Blood: There is a blood type in the NIKKE universe known as "Rh X", which is only carried by humans and is extraordinarily rare. Not only are the only known carriers all male, but Rh X blood type is the only blood that can be used to synthesize Vapaus. Because of this, anyone who possesses Rh X blood has their medical records explicitly kept out of the Ark's database, as word getting out would spell doom for its carriers.
  • Promotion, Not Punishment: Downplayed. After the Commander unveils the cheating Sullen Man in Bunny x 777, Mustang ensures that he will be punished accordingly, but at the same time he's so thoroughly impressed that the cheater was able to construct a makeshift remote control solely out of spare parts that he offers him a position at Tetra Line as an electrical engineer.
  • 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.
  • Rare Random Drop: Pilgrims have a unique distinction of being an entire classification of these. They are the only Manufacturer to not have any R or SR units, being composed exclusively of SSR units, and have outright lower pull rates compared to every other character in the game. They also cannot be pulled in certain ways, such as through Social Point Recruit or Molds, meaning that you must use Gem or Ticket pulls to get them. Rate Up Recruits that add new Pilgrims additionally only give them a 1% Rate Up, unlike all other Rate Up banners which give the featured character 2%. All of this makes them very hard to get relative to the rest of the cast, but they make up for it by being very, very powerful, oftentimes having unique abilities and/or noticeably powerful attributes not found on other characters.
  • 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.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • In the climax of Chapter 24, the Commander pins Crow down at gunpoint and gives her an absolutely scathing breakdown of how much of a piece of shit she is by letting her impulsive thoughts control her life and alienate everything and everyone she's ever known, leaving her spiritually devoid of all meaning and doomed to die alone and unloved. Crow, being the psychopath that she is, simply ignores him and cares more about seeing the Commander pull the trigger.
    • In Chapter 25, Dorothy gives her honest assessment on Counters, where she bluntly tells Anis and Neon that they provide no meaningful functional support to either the Commander and Rapi. This infuriates the duo at first, but they manage to sit down and talk it through logically and come to the conclusion that while Dorothy isn't entirely off the mark, the fact that Rapi always puts her absolute faith in them at all times means that they are valuable allies.
  • 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.
  • Redshirt Army: At the start of OVER ZONE, the Goddess Squad is accompanied by a large battallion of mass-produced Nikkes. After a devastating Rapture assault, nearly every single one is killed in battle. The only survivor of them is Pinne, a Product 23 Nikke who doesn't wear her visor.
  • 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.
    • This is the main mechanic in the Snowfield Oasis minigame. By spending a Heart Clock, you can build Bond with a Nikke if a Heart Clock scene is available. Bond works similarly to the main game, with the player being given two dialogue options in each scene and granting a bigger Bond bonus if the correct one is chosen. In addition, extra Bond can be earned in special events, where you will be given the option to pick one of the four Nikkes (with Blanc and Noir counting as a single unit) and gain a large Bond boost towards that character. A character's storyline can only be progressed if their current Bond level is maxed, upon which their cutscene will unlock given certain day and time prerequisites.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Nikkes who make their debut during events are treated by the story as already knowing the Commander and often being familiar enough with him to call him by an Affectionate Nickname, despite the event being the player's introduction to the character. This frees up the Event Stories for focusing on specific plotlines while relegating the actual introductions to Bond Stories. Tove averts this as her event serves as her introduction, which is later continued in her Bond Story.
  • 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. Chapter 21 reveals that this is actually a prime directive embedded into the code of NIMPH injected into a Nikke's brain. However, NIMPH are far from foolproof and thus the rule is able to be overridden to a certain degree depending on the specific Nikke.
  • The Reveal: The final cutscene of OVER ZONE reveals that the Ark's government is forming a secret squadron of the Ark's top minds to figure out how to take down Enikk, having deemed her presence too great a threat to the Ark.
  • 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. This is later shown to be a subversion, as it is explained that many, maybe even most, unique Nikkes (as opposed to the mass produced models) aren't Robots at all but Full Body Conversion Cyborgs, and thus they are mentally human, even if their body is that of a machine.
  • 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.
  • Robot Dog: Liter's companion Volt is a friendly mechanical hound. Missilis also developed a successor to Volt, known as Volt Mk. 2, who becomes the focus of a subplot after it escapes custody and winds up on the surface. The Commander agrees to help catch it, but after observing its behavior he concludes that Volt Mk. 2 either may not want to be caught or is being field tested by Missilis, and thus allows the pup to stay on the run for a while longer.
  • Roguelike: The "Memory of Goddess" minigame in the Red Ash event is a Vampire Survivors-esque top-down survival shooter where you pick a character and gear up throughout stages by leveling up to acquire randomized weapons and upgrades. Each run resets your collected items but grants you Coins that can be used to power up the Macrogame by upgrading character stats and unlocking new characters.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The title screen for OVER ZONE Story I shows a stained glass window of Dorothy surrounded by the Goddess Squad, with two faces shattered to represent the deaths of Liliweiss and Red Hood. The title screen for Story II shows a different stained glass window of Dorothy surrounded by Rapunzel, Scarlet and Snow White with a portion of Dorothy's panel shattered, representing her broken mind in the wake of Pinne's death.
  • Running Gag: The precarious conditions of the Command Center, specially it's water supply, is repeately used as a point of mockery in the main story, events, Bla Bla Chats and even Advising Interactions - even after the Outpost is upgraded into a genuinely lively and enjoyable place to live in, Counters has no luck into getting another building to stay since the license to make one needs to come directly from the Central Government - which means they're stuck with the most precarious dormitory in there.
  • Sanity Slippage: It's revealed near the end of OuteR: Automata that 6000-D, one of the two actual Product 12s present, underwent a Mind Switch after being trapped in the factory for an extended period of time. It was during this time that the Gate Keeper saw 6000-D fighting Raptures and decided to simulate a war between Product 12s and Raptures seemingly for its own amusement, using cloning technology from NieR: Automata to mass-produce hollow Nikkes and Raptures. Being forced to witness this fruitless and eternal war where identical copies of herself are endlessly killed and replaced eventually broke 6000-D's mind.
  • 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.
    • Blanc and Noir get bonus effects when paired with each other. Blanc's Burst II reduces from a 60 second cooldown to a 20 second cooldown when paired with Noir, and Noir's Burst III gains a Hit Rate bonus and Interruption Part damage bonus when paired with Blanc.
    • Downplayed with Tia and Naga, who do not explicitly have to be paired with each other but are designed in such a way that they function optimally if deployed together, with both girls having buff effects that activate the other's skills.
  • 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.
    • Snow's old teammate Dorothy is revealed to be much worse than her in this regard. In her efforts to protect Eden, she's begun adopting the methods of The Ark she so hates, lying to and manipulating a team of Nikkes (plus their human Commander) and then hanging them out to dry to save herself and Eden. In some ways, she's actually even worse than them since she goes so far as trying to convince Eden's own Commander Johan to voluntarily hang back and let Counters all die softening up the Heretic Nihilister before Inherit moves in to deal with her.
  • 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.
    • In one of Milk's Advise conversations, she brings up a technique called the Hadouken, where the user shoots a wave of energy from their hands.
    • 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".
    • Quency's Burst Skill has her breaking out of prison in the pouring rain via an underground manhole, mirroring the famous ending from The Shawshank Redemption.
    • Novel's "Penguin Holmes" costume gives her an attire that bears a striking resemblance to Fuka Kazamatsuri.
    • In the "License To Kill" event the Commander and D go undercover using the aliases Steve and Diana.
    • The battle music for the "Blue Water Island" event is titled "HOLY CRAB" and is a direct reference to the famous "Crab Rave".
    • During Neve's advice she wants to be nicknamed by the Commander, one of the Nicknames to choose? Snorlax.
    • The field visual effect for Nero's Burst Skill is the famous internet meme "Longcat".
    • The visual for the Golden Ship event features a treasure map crudely drawn on a volleyball with a red handprint on it, referencing Wilson the volleyball from Cast Away.
    • The image upon losing the BBQ minigame is a direct reference to Slam Dunk.
    • In Red Ash, Red Hood ends up paraphrasing one of Kamina's famous lines from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann to Snow White about what it means to live forever and claims she got it from a cartoon somewhere. Later on, she jokingly asks Snow White to build her an "automatic drill" for a weapon, much to the latter's confusion.
    • When Emma needs to think of a soft food that's also filling in NEVERLAND, the Commander initially suggests Lembas bread.
    • Liter's "Cute Sunflower" outfit is a reference to Shigure Ui, specifically her nine-year-old version as popularized by "Shukusei! Loli-gami Requiem".
    • Privaty's animation for starting a Fever in the Perfect Maid minigame is the Sad Cat Dance.
    • Elegg's game of choice is "BOOM", an obvious riff on Doom (and the real name of a Doom source port). The game's cover art is a parody of Doom (2016) and shows that the protagonist resembles a cross between the Doomslayer and the Goblin Slayer. In addition, her weapon bears a resemblance to the BFG-9000, specifically the one from the live-action movie.
    • The Event Item for BOOM'S DAY is a Platinum Trophy, referencing the Achievement System used by Sony's PlayStation consoles.
    • Among Final Quest and BOOM, games announced for the Ark Gaming Expo include Iron Punch and Dragon Dungeon.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: After awakening from a brainwashed stupor in the middle of a garbage dump, the Commander decides that he's had enough of Sin's bullshit and gives her a verbal lashing (via video chat) calling her out for abusing her powers purely for the sake of getting a kick out of bullying people around. While Sin is unable to refute the Commander's argument, he delivers an ultimatum to her: accept rehabilitation and join his squad, or stay locked up in solitary confinement until she rots. Lucky for her, she reconsiders her options and picks the former.
  • Significant Anagram: Central AI Enikk and her "sister" from the Simulation Room, Einkk, both are named after an anagram of "Nikke".
  • Single-Target Sexuality: The vast majority of Nikkes in the game only have eyes for the Commander, and even those who don't express interest at first eventually come around to feeling attracted to him. Somewhat of a Justified Trope as the Commander is the only Ark commander who treats them no differently than humans, but he still couldn't have accomplished gaining so much amorous affection without being a veritable Chick Magnet. The only clear exceptions are Yuni and Mihara who are in a lesbian relationship with each other, but even they open themselves up quite readily to having a threeway relationship with the Commander involved.
  • 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.
  • Space Elevator: As revealed in the Red Ash event, there is a towering structure on the surface referred to by humans as "The Lift". It apparently leads into the stratosphere and is guarded by the largest Rapture army on the entire planet. It is surmised that if the heroes can gain access to it, they can ride it to space and confront the Rapture Queen; thus, the Goddess Squad is tasked with carving a path through the army and boarding it to end the war once and for all.
  • Spanner in the Works: E.H. set up a plan to use an excavation bomb to unclog an elevator leading from the Outer Rim to the surface in order to allow Nikkes from the Outer Rim to escape to the surface and live their lives in relative peace away from the oppression of humans. Unfortunately, she made a fatal mistake in informing Viper on it before executing the plan, which gave Exotic time to sabotage the whole thing and take advantage of E.H. to transport the excavation bomb to the surface so they can rig it to blow a hole in the Ark and allow Raptures to overrun the place.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Members of Happy Zoo have the ability to understand the animals that they care for at the shelter.
  • Species-Specific Afterlife: Nya Nya Paradise is revealed to be the name of an afterlife for cats.
  • 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: Continuously fires a cone of bullets that spreads outwards the farther they travel from the user. High range effectiveness at close range.
    • Automatic Weapons:
      • Assault Rifle: Jack of All Stats. Shoots fast, workable at any range, decent magazine size and reload speed.
      • Submachine Gun: High fire rate, but mediocre damage and accuracy. High range effectiveness 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 and accuracy. 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.
  • Stationary Boss: Subverted by Land Eater. At first glance, it appears to be just a large building with guns... until you destroy the cannons. It then stands up and starts advancing towards the party on legs.
  • 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.
  • Superpower Lottery: Some Nikkes can obtain additional abilities related to how they perceive themselves on initial construction. For example, Rapunzel's hair serves as jamming devices and she can absorb the NIMPH of deceased Nikkes, Maiden has the ability to use mass hypnosis on other Nikkes to temporarily control their movements or boost their power, Sin can use mind control, and so forth. Heretics take this a step further as being Nikke-Rapture hybrids makes them magnitudes more powerful than even unique Nikkes, such as Marian gaining a suite of protection based abilities including skin hardening and nullifying an explosion.
  • Super-Strength: This is a default ability for all Nikkes, since they are also much more dense and heavier than regular humans and are required to carry extremely dense and heavy equipment. Among other feats, Snow White casually mentions that she can carry 4 tons (8000 lbs) of equipment without issue and Laplace can lift an entire collapsing building with one hand (albeit with some difficulty) and text on her phone with the other. Exaggerated by Guilty, who has the distinction of being unable to control her strength and frequently severly wounds other humans or Nikkes via crushing them (whether accidentally or otherwise).
  • 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.
  • Surprisingly Creepy Moment: The last three endings needed to unlock the Omega Ending in White Memory is a series of somber but heartwarming moments where Snow White rediscovers her memories of Liliweiss and returns to her coffin to pay tribute to her departed leader and sister figure. For the final ending, Snow White happens upon the lost dog tags of the 1st Commander and returns to the coffin to lay them to rest... upon which she discovers that Liliweiss's coffin has been smashed open and her head removed from her body (depicted in illustration as her decapitated body with a black scribble atop it). What follows is a ranting wall of text that can only be described as Snow White undergoing a Freak Out as she rapidly experiences fear, confusion, and sorrow before all of her emotions turn into single-minded hatred for the Raptures, with her speech becoming increasingly glitchy as her mental stability deteriorates. The incredibly unsettling piano track "6d696e6420737769746368" ("Mind Switch" in hexadecimal) plays in the background while this is happening, lending to the horrifying nature of what's unfolding.
  • 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.
  • The Syndicate: The Ark hosts an underground crime syndicate known as Underworld Queen, itself a conglomerate of three criminal groups: The Yakuza-style Seimeikai, the Triad-like Peony Organization, and the Mafia-esque Hedonia.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: The climax of Red Ash Story I ends with the Goddess Squad being attacked by a corrupted Cinderella, who assails the party with a hailstorm of attacks. Although the party attempts to hold out and counterattack, they quickly realize that even with their combined strength they are completely outmatched. In one final effort, Liliweiss picks up the entire squad and carries them to safety, evading Cinderella's assault and saving everyone's lives. Unforunately, this loss terminates the attempt to invade the Lift and all but seals humanity's loss to the Raptures, with the global united front being forced to switch to the backup plan to migrate the remnants of humanity to an underground city called the Ark.
  • 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 Advantage of Generosity: Unfortunately frequent in many of the sidequests encountered on BlaBla, where many people of suspicious repute contact the Commander and ask him to do their dirty work by dressing up the request in an innocuous guise or obfuscating vital information. Usually the Commander won't probe especially hard until the request is completed, at which point anything suspect about the mission or its results will usually be brought up to the person who requested it. This usually results in the requester trying to paint their dubious request in a favorable light, playing dumb or outright hanging up on the Commander.
  • Taking the Bullet: During the climax of Chapter 24, Yuni shoots herself with Vapaus and prepares to kill Syuen, but as she hits her she realizes that Mihara has used her receptor swap ability on Syuen to protect her. Yuni escalates the situation by putting a bullet in Syuen's head in an attempt to kill her, which, due to Mihara's ability, causes Mihara to drop dead instead while Syuen continues hanging on by a thread.
  • 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.
  • Tastes Better Than It Looks: In NEVERLAND, the Commander, Mica, Emma, and Belorta wind up making a strawberry cake decorated with half chocolate and half ketchup (the latter at Emma's request). Although the Commander and Mica are apprehensive of the final product, they receive confirmation from Blanc that the ketchup on cake tastes delicious, much to their surprise.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The OVER ZONE theme song, "SATELLITES", begins playing when Snow White is delivering her "We are the Goddess of Victory" Rousing Speech to Dorothy in the wake of the Ark's betrayal.
  • 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").
    • Scarlet and Rose are named after the title characters in Janghwa Hongreyon jeon (The Story of Janghwa and Hongryeon), a classic Korean folktale.
    • 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 A.C.P.U. are named after words related to police: Poli is named after... "police", Miranda is named after the Miranda warning/rights decree used in America, and Quiry is named after "inquiry", like the kind one would pose to a suspect.
      • 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).
      • Five of the six members of the original Goddess Squad are named after prominent fairy tale characters: Snow White, Rapunzel, Scarlet, Dorothy, and Red Hood. The only one who doesn't fit this naming scheme is Liliweiss, who is not a Grimms model Nikke. There was also an intended seventh member who would have also followed such a naming scheme named "Cinderella" were she not seized by the Raptures.
      • Cafe Sweety is named after stuff that goes in coffee: Milk, Sugar, and Frimanote .
      • Perilous Siege's members, D and K, both have a One-Letter Name. Given that the duo are assassins, it can be inferred that they stand for "knife" and "dagger".
      • Maid For You (Privaty excluded) is named after types of drinks: Ade (such as "lemonade"), Cocoa, and Soda.
      • Dazzling Pearl is named after legendary mythological serpents: Naga (from the human/serpent hybrids of Asian myth) and Tia (from "Tiamat", the goddess of the seas from Babylonian lore).
      • Exotic is named after predator animals: Crow, Viper, and Jackal.
    • Each of the Big Three has a specific name pattern for their mass production units.
    • Elysion mas production Nikkes are called Soldier, followed by two letters.
    • Missilis Nikkes are designated Product followed by a number.
    • Tetra Line Nikkes all have the world iDoll at the start of their names.
  • There Is Another: Chapter 19 reveals that despite all reports pointing to the surface having been wiped clean of all human life, there is one surviving bastion on the surface: Eden, a paradise where humans and Nikkes co-exist in harmony. After being accosted by a Commander from Eden named Johan and suffering yet another near-death experience, the Commander receives assistance from a Pilgrim under Johan's command, Harran, and eventually makes his way to Eden to see the truth for himself.
  • Threesome Subtext:
    • Mihara and Yuni are basically an item, but their interactions with the Commander (beyond the Main Story) make it fairly clear that they're comfortable with adding him as a +1 to their relationship regardless of their existing preferences.
    • Blanc and Noir have absolutely no qualms with sharing the Commander between them.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: After the start of OVER ZONE Story II, a Product 23 Nikke can be seen wandering the base in spite of specific events that transpired at the end of Story I. It's later revealed that killing Pinne was so traumatic for Dorothy that she unconsciously repressed the memory of her death and hallucinated that Pinne was still alive.
  • There's No Kill like Overkill: In the "White Memory" minigame, Snow White encounters a deer and has the option to shoot it with either her anti-ship rifle or a regular rifle. The former option causes the deer to disintegrate into a fine red mist and attracts Raptures, preventing Snow White from going hunting, while the latter "simply" causes the deer to explode into Ludicrous Gibs.
  • 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.
  • Time Skip: At the finale of Red Ash, Red Hood wakes up after a nap only to find out that she's been sleeping for 30 years. While getting a handle on her surroundings, she eventually runs into the remnants of a firefight and meets a mass-produced Nikke named RR-15436, or "Rapi" for short.
  • Title Drop: From Dorothy during the OVER ZONE event, in regards to protecting the soon-to-be Ark from Rapture assault.
    Dorothy: When all of this is over, we'll be rewarded. People will call us the Goddess of Victory, the savior of mankind. We'll live the rest of our lives in luxury, reveling in our well-deserved praise.
  • 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.
    • The Snowfield Oasis minigame has the "Snowfield Special Date" special event, where Ludmilla allows the Commander to take herself, Mica, Emma, or Blanc and Noir out for the night. The catch is that in order to choose a partner (or partners), you must have seen completed their entire scenario, and the Special Date has a hard deadline of Day 18.
  • To Be Continued: The Summer 2023 event is a two-parter. The Hard Mode of Blue Water Island ends with Shifty reporting the presence of a massive underwater structure moving near Blue Water Island, forcing Andersen to send the Commander back to the coast for a follow-up mission, leading into the Sea, You, Again event.
  • 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.
  • Too Awesome to Use: When Anis questions why the Ark can't send the Admire to handle a seafaring mission in Blue Water Island, Liter explains that they'd rather not risk using their one and only battleship unless absolutely necessary, not to mention the costs involved in simply deploying it. When the Tyrant-class Rapture Kraken resurfaces near the island, however, Burningum has no choice but to relent and send the Admire.
  • Too Hot for TV: The game's online advertisements often show off the characters, but for avenues like YouTube the ads often heavily censor the characters to an almost comical degree to make them suitable for the ad space. This mostly includes slapping hastily-made foreground elements over gameplay footage or using convenient video cuts to hide the incredibly voluptuous breasts and butts of the playable cast, although in the case of Anis: Sparkling Summer they opted to draw a completely different (and far more modest) swimsuit on her while toning her bust size down by several magnitudes.
  • Tracking Device: The premise for the Investigation branch of the Liberation mechanic is that Cecil grants the Commander a Heretic tracker, a rudimentary device designed to sound an alarm when in close proximity to a Heretic by picking up on radio signals used to communicate between Heretics and lesser Raptures. The Commander and Counters attempts to use it on Nihilister, but it fails to work even when they can see her and Anis throws the device out of frustration, triggering an encounter with her.
  • Trapped in Another World: In the Bullet Chainsaw event, the cast of Chainsaw Man finds themselves in the world of NIKKE following a mysterious energy wave erupting on the surface. They eventually team up with Counters to discover the source of the energy and figure out how to make their way home. This is subverted as it is revealed that in reality they are copies created by Gate Keeper, a Rapture that can observe other universes and worlds in its sleep and "dreamed" them into existence, the real ones are still on their world. Once the Gate Keeper woke up at the end of the event, the copies ceased to be instead of being "sent back home". Only Rapi is aware of this, who chose to withhold the information regarding this from everyone else.
  • Tropey, Come Home: The "Bow-Wow Paradise" event introduces Biscuit, a Nikke who cares for a dog shelter and a group of dogs living within it. One day, Max, the leader of the shelter dogs, suddenly stages an escape and turns the shelter dogs loose on the Ark, forcing Biscuit to recruit the Commander in rounding them up. Once they learn why Max wanted to leave the shelter, the duo set their sights on turning the shelter into the ideal home so Max and the dogs will come back.
  • Uniformity Exception: Pinne, an important figure from Dorothy's past, is distinguished from the rest of the Product 23 Nikkes by lacking the face-covering visor that the rest of the Product 23s have, allowing everyone to see her eyes.
  • 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 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.
    • During the Rapture invasion of Chapters 22 through 24, Deputy Commander Doban, who is known for his extremely strong hatred for the Outer Rim, decides to use the invasion as a convenient excuse to burn the place to the ground and brings a platoon of mass-produced Nikkes to raze it. It takes a mass combined effort between all of Hedonia, Seimeikai, and Peony Organization's forces in order to not only non-lethally repel Doban's troops but also to disarm the entire Outer Rim so neither Doban nor any authorities will have a valid excuse for attempting to slaughter everyone there.
  • We Can Rule Together: Dorothy proposes a solution to the Red Hood/Rapi predicament by suggesting that Red Hood keep Rapi's body and come with her so they can reunite the Goddess Squad. Red Hood, who both intuits a hidden meaning behind Dorothy's words and is Not Afraid to Die to give Rapi her body back, declines, telling Dorothy to pull herself together.
  • 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.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The "License to Kill" event revolves around a shady corporate CEO who recently started an electronics manufacturing company and is raking in a suspiciously high amount of cash. Furthermore, while some of that cash is going back to the Ark Central Government, a substantial portion of it is going towards medical research and healthcare donations. Perilous Siege is called in to investigate the anomaly and recruit the Commander for assistance as the governing body of the Ark is apparently deferring judgment. A week or two of digging reveals that the company is engaging in illicit weapons and Nikke trafficking to the Outer Rim, indirectly fueling conflict and civil war problems already plaguing the lawless district. However, the charitable donations made with the dirty money are found to be 100% legitimate and have drastically advanced medical research with the amount of Credits the CEO is pouring into the system. This presents a moral dilemma, as the CEO is performing rather immoral acts for a genuinely good cause. K and D find themselves at an impasse, and they also discover that the government doesn't want to get involved because they are afraid of losing the cash flow the CEO is throwing at them. The ultimate decision eventually falls to the Commander, who is given the responsibility of judging if the ends justify the means and whether or not he deserves to live.
  • 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.
    • Chapter 22: The Ark is invaded by Raptures lead by Nihilister thanks to Crow sabotaging the bomb Heavenly Ascension wanted to use to bore an escape route to the surface for themselves and triggering it early.
    • Chapter 24: Wardress and Syuen are dispatched by intervention from Crow, who reveals that her real goal is to destroy the Commander from the inside by pushing him over the edge enough that he will break his one rule of never killing a Nikke. Crow herself is dispatched and detained by Rapi, putting an end to Exotic's schemes and ending immediate danger to the Ark. However, Dorothy discovers that Nihilister faked her death in Chapter 23, allowing her to sneak into M.M.R. and release Material H to resurrect Chatterbox and the Heretic Indivilia. Rapi is forced to use Red Hood one more time to drive them out of the Ark, causing her to lose her body, where she is taken over by a resurrected Red Hood. Meanwhile, Enikk reveals that Syuen will be turned into a Nikke and forced to join Counters as punishment for her crimes, and also reveals to Burningum that she plans to create two special Nikkes under her direct control to protect the Ark.
    • The "Memory of Goddess" Challenge Mode introductory cutscene involves an incomplete form of Einkk contacting the Goddess Squad via hidden data in Snow White's game and revealing parts of her backstory as a human-developed AI to counteract an unknown threat. It is also revealed that she got the idea for the Simulation Room from Snow White's game.
    • The Hard Mode ending of Red Ash: After Red Hood awakens from her slumber in an old house, she feels something is off, noticing her surroundings are covered in dust. Hearing gunshots, she decides to check out the commotion outside and finds the remains of several mass-produced Nikkes and Raptures, with each side having one survivor. After being saved by the other Nikke, Red Hood asks her for the current date, only to realize she has slept for 30 years. Trying a bit of small talk, Red Hood asks for the Nikke's name, only to hear her model number. When Red Hood insists she must have one, the mass-produced Nikke finally reveals her name: Rapi.
  • 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.
    • Even Central AI Enikk isn't immune, as you can find several Lost Relics in Chapter 22 and 23 detailing the public's hostility toward Enikk for being an AI and their belief that the Ark should be run by humans for humans.
    • Surprisingly, this becomes the main topic of Perfect Maid, where Privaty explains that humans are desensitized to seeing perfection from Nikkes because in their consciousness they expect robots to act and do perfectly. Privaty makes it her mission to show Ade that one can be a perfect maid and still bring happiness to others, Nikke or not.
  • 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.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: Crow attempts to remotely detonate a bomb she placed in the AZX's restroom in Chapter 24, only for it to not go off and instead trigger a full lockdown with Diesel and Soline busting into the room fully armed. Turns out that they learned from the last time Crow bombed a train and set up a system that automatically intercepts and disables remote detonation signals, causing Crow's bomb to misfire.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The general premise of androids fighting against alien robots After the End to protect what's left of the human race mirrors the premise of NieR: Automata fairly closely, with the game's leading lady Rapi being an Expy of 2B. The similarities are not lost on neither the writers nor the game's characters in the crossover event with Automata, with Anis and Neon pointing out how remarkably similar they are with the Androids from NieR.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change!: The game strongly implies that in addition to being supernaturally fortuitous, Blanc and Noir have the ability to literally diffuse good luck to other recipients with their hands. It is unclear if this actually affects the outcome of anything, but the Commander seems to experience better luck after receiving a boost. It is also established by other stories that their luck works like an energy reserve and directly influences their health if it runs empty, assuming they aren't together when they use it.
  • 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 ability to reproduce the Vapaus. She gloated that she planned on telling the Central Government and the other CEOs 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.
  • The Worf Effect: The end of Chapter 24 allows Rapi to show off the full extent of her powers from Red Hood, taking on two Heretics and Chatterbox at the same time and wiping the floor with them with her bare hands. Also, Liliweiss, during the events of the Red Ash anniversary story event, is shown absolutely decimating a horde of Raptures ''with her bare hands'', without the aid of a weapon.
  • Worf Had the Flu: The most prominent example of this is Liliweiss. Despite her obliterating, with just her bare hands, an entire horde of Raptures, it is revealed during the events of Red Ash that she is the original Nikke, and a prototype. As such, her body is (slowly) shutting down. The final Lost Relic of Red Ash has her coming to terms with her mortality by recording a dying message to be sent out to the rest of the Goddess Squad upon her demise, with said message being received sometime before the events of OVER ZONE.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The director of the orphanage that Belorta and Mica grew up in, who physically abused the children under his ward until Belorta died of injury and starvation.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: The Outer Rim is the most lawless, segregated portion of the Ark, separated by The Partition. 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.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Sixo manages to get something out of the events of Dirty Backyard no matter what happens. If Moran chooses to have Peony raze Fog Hollow to the ground to stop them producing Mist for Sixo, then the incident will shatter Moran and Peony's reputation even further by painting them as psychotic criminals in the media who slaughtered an innocent town. If she chooses to leave it alone, Mist production will continue and Sixo can keep making a profit on selling it. Should Peony attack and her hired gun Sugar manage to repel them, then Sixo gets both the continued Mist production and the opportunity to slander Moran and Peony, while Sugar failing still lets her go with the slander. And no matter what happens in the endgame, she gets to psychologically torture her old enforcer Sugar by reminding her of the life she left behind and all the sins she committed.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Deconstructed in Chapter 18 - Mihara tries using this on Yuni after Crow ropes the latter into her plan to destabilize the Ark by allowing the Wardress Nikke to kill Syuen. Mihara attempts to dissuade Yuni by stating that she knows that the real Yuni would never hurt anyone. The problem is that while Mihara and Yuni were extremely close, Mihara was punished for hte events of Chapter 4 by being given a Mind-Reformat Death, and among the memories lost was the fact that Yuni is a Sadist. Since Syuen is the one who mandated the botched operation that Mihara was punished for, Mihara's efforts on enrage Yuni into further attacking Syuen while cementing that the Mihara she knew is gone for good.
  • 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 Raptures.
  • You Are Number 6:
    • Ether refers to the Commander as "No. 7."
    • The Mass-Production Nikke models from Missilis Industry are named "Product 08", "Product 12" and "Product 23".
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • In New Year, New Sword, it is revealed that the United Forces of Humanity did not want to keep the Melee Squad around as they had proven to be too high-maintenance compared to normal mass-produced units. As such, they had decided that the difficulty of their missions would escalate rapidly until only one unit from the squad remained, at which point that unit would receive an upgrade to a Grimms model. Rose did not take this news well, putting it lightly.
    • It's strongly implied as such when Oswald, Goddess Squad's contact in the Ark, reveals that the human leadership in the Ark never had any intention to allow the Goddess Squad to enter the Ark. The four Nikkes are naturally distraught and furious at this betrayal, but Oswald hangs up on them before Dorothy can thoroughly chew him out.
  • 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" Burningum to call off the assault.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Diesel and Soline have Crow at gunpoint after the latter's failed attempt to blow up the AZX. Crow goads Diesel into killing her to take revenge for her brother, knowing full well that Diesel doesn't have the ability to resist her inhibitor code enough to put a bullet in her. Soline eventually intervenes with a If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him! speech, convincing Diesel to stand down and allowing Crow to walk away scot-free.
  • You're Insane!: The Commander is absolutely appalled when he hears Crow's plan in Chapter 23, which involves subjecting humans to the horrors of the Rapture invasion just to see if they will accept Nikkes or shun them. He calls her out on this, which she doesn't necessarily rebuke.
  • 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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