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Video Game / NieR

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For the sake of one person, he would do anything.

"Our world is dying. Once thriving populations now lie decimated by plague and disease... The end has never felt so close."
Opening Monologue (Gestalt version)

NieR (alternately rendered Nier or NIER) is an action/role-playing game developed by Cavia and published by Square Enix, released in 2010 for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Has two sequels, NieR: Automata (as well as its worldbuilding play series YoRHa) and the Mobile Phone Game NieR Re[in]carnation. A Video Game Remake of Replicant (which also serves its first worldwide release), with the subtitle ver.1.22474487139... (a play on the square root of 1.5) for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC released on April 23rd, 2021.

In 2003, a large, monstrous humanoid creature landed in Tokyo and was killed by a mysterious creature resembling a dragon, before the dragon itself was shot down by the Japanese airforce. In the aftermath, a disease called White Chlorination Syndrome began killing people or converting them into zombie-like monsters, resulting in the near-extinction of the human race. Mankind survives the conflict, but at the cost of nearly all of humanity dying, resulting in the remaining survivors doing as best they can to survive in a world robbed of resources and technology for the next thousand years. Yet the already dwindling population is again under threat from Black Scrawl, a disease that seems to be connected with the malevolent creatures known as Shades. One of the victims is a little girl named Yonah. This is where it gets a bit complicated...


There are two versions of the game, Gestalt and Replicant, and each has a slightly different protagonist. The former is a burly middle-aged man who is Yonah's father, whereas the latter is a slender adolescent who is Yonah's elder brother. Though everything else remains the same, the age gap between the two protaganists produces a different context for the story, with the world-weary father contrasting sharply with his younger, foolishly-optimistic counterpart. Gestalt was released worldwide, but Replicant is Japan exclusive. It should be noted that in Japan, Replicant is treated as the official version, as it was the original and only version planned until the Occidental branch of Square Enix requested an older and more muscular lead for an alternate version.

The protaganist survives by hunting Shades and relying on the charity of his village, but he is powerless to help Yonah. However, after a chance encounter with a talking Spell Book named Grimoire Weiss, he discovers that there may be a cure after all and immediately sets out on a quest to find it, using his newfound Black Magic to cut down anything in his way. During his travels he is also joined by a scantily-clad, foul-mouthed swordswoman named Kainé, and Emil, a lonely young boy with terrible powers.


Gameplay is a combination of traditional Hack and Slash combined with various other RPG elements thrown in. The story at first appears to be completely standalone, but the player will come to find it has some very close links to Drakengard. As with its predecessor, this game gets very depressing at points.

Oh, and play it more than once. It has secrets that are revealed after the first play-through. Many secrets.

A DLC package called The World of Recycled Vessel or 15 Nightmares was released May 2010 that included various bonuses. The plot revolves around the death of the protaganist's wife/mother and the cryptic diary entries she left behind.


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  • 100% Completion: Obtaining all the weapons and all four story endings will get you the loss of your save data.
  • 20 Bear Asses: Many sidequests require you to fetch various items for the requester, without much of a tangible reward. In some cases, you can just buy the items from a vendor; and certain sidequests do have significant rewards, like unlocking your farm (one of the only consistent revenue sources in the game).
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: 99, but you can curb-stomp most enemies by level 25.
  • Addressing the Player: You can name Nier whatever you want at the start, so he's never called by name; but you need to re-enter the name you gave him to get Endings A and D.
  • After the End:
    • While the Crapsack World did get better for a while after the first cataclysm, it's implied that sooner or later, humans will die out altogether. But it's not like they're not trying to prevent it: the real humans — or, the Shades — are trying to survive by body-jacking Replicants.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: On one hand, the Defense System Geppetto has long lost distinction between friend or foe; on the other hand, Military Defense Unit P-33 is intelligent enough to distinguish invaders from innocents.
  • Alien Sky: A subtle example — there is constant daylight, but the Sun is nowhere to be seen.
    • Grimoire Nier explains that the cataclysm caused the planet's axis to tilt towards the Sun; it's safe to assume the game takes place along the equator, where the temperature is more tolerable.
  • All Just a Dream: The opening sequence is described as either a dream or a distant memory. It did happen, but not with the people you've seen throughout the game.
  • All There in the Manual: Almost all of the game's backstory was relegated to the Japan-exclusive Grimoire Nier resource book, including the nature of the Black Scrawl, the names of the Shades, what happened to the world, and its ties to Drakengard.
  • Already Undone for You:
    • In the Junk Heap, Nier and Weiss search for Jakob and Gideon's mother even though, as Weiss acknowledges, there's no way she could have gotten through all the deadly traps and barriers. She had entered from the back elevator on the surface, and was killed right before she could reach Geppetto.
    • The Barren Temple tests Nier with a new Block Puzzle in every room, but by the time Nier reaches the innermost sanctum, the Prince of Façade has already made it without incident. Maybe the Temple resets itself for every new challenger?
  • Alternate Continuity: from Ending E of Drakengard.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Shades look the part, so of course the people of Nier's world would want them dead. The truth is a lot more complicated: only severely relapsed Shades become hostile, but calling those "evil" is questionable when they're not even sentient.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: NieR Replicant features Nier as a teenage boy and a young adult after the Time Skip; meanwhile, NieR Gestalt was developed for non-Japanese audiences with Nier as a gruff, muscular middle-aged man. Since Grimoire Nier features mainly his Replicant version, that is considered the canonical version of the game.
  • And I Must Scream: It's heavily implied that during the five-year Time Skip, when Gestalt Yonah took over her Replicant, she couldn't do anything but cry for Nier the whole time — and Replicant Yonah heard it all.
  • Antagonist Title: Nier Gestalt actually refers to the Shadowlord, the original incarnation of the protagonist.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you fail the first fishing segment enough times, it'll be skipped automatically.
    • If you don't have the Iron Pipe by the third playthrough, it's secretly added to your inventory at the start. Given that it's normally acquired through an absurdly out-of-the-way sidequest, it's a welcome gift.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • The Project Gestalt reports that occasionally appear in the loading screens. Aside from the twins, it's safe to assume the authors are long dead or turned into Shades.
    • The diary in World of the Recycled Vessel plays a similar role.
  • Are You Sure You Want to Do That?:
    • The game asks this multiple times if you choose to save Kainé.
    • This also happens in ver.1.22's Ending E, since it means losing your current save to regain the one lost in Ending D.
  • Artificial Human: Replicants, which are recreated from a Gestalt's data to serve as its future vessel. In addition, Devola and Popola straddle the line between this and Ridiculously Human Robots — both they and the Gestalt Reports call them soulless androids and they can only mimic emotion, not feel it; but by the end, they can feel grief, rage and despair, and can even cry.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Lampshaded while fighting Defense System Geppetto.
    Weiss: Really, the mouth? Such an obvious weak point!
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Knave of Hearts, a colossal Shade that attacks Nier's village; and Hook, the giant lizard Shade that attacks the Aerie (and killed Kainé's grandmother.)
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The World of Recycled Vessel has music like this, including an electronic remix of "Song of the Ancients" and a heavy metal version of "Blu-bird".
  • Ax-Crazy: Tyrann, the Shade possessing Kainé.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Ashes of Dreams", a vocal version of Yonah's theme.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: The whole main cast: Nier chooses to use Black Magic for a greater purpose, Emil refuses to unleash his petrification powers, and Kainé doesn't have much choice in the matter.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The Grimoires (including Weiss) were originally humans who learned magic and were turned into books by the Gestalt Project, to ensure the operation would succeed. Of course, they were drugged and forced to fight to the death against their will...
  • Batman Gambit: Once the Shadowlord plays his hand, Devola and Popola are forced to take action, giving Nier clues that they know will cause him to fulfill their intended role for him.
  • Beam-O-War: How Emil ends his showdown with Wendy at the Aerie.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: This game loves pointing out details we take for granted in many games.
  • BFS:
    • Nier's default weapon. In fact, most of Nier's weapons, particularly the two-handed swords.
    • Special mention to the Iron Will: when fully upgraded, it clips through the ground even with Nier standing up at his full height. The description says that it gets heavier after each blow due to the blood and flesh clinging on it.
  • Big Bad: Despite appearances, there is no overarching villain. Just two Mirror Characters who are Well Intentioned Extremists with identical motivations but whose objectives directly clash with one another. The closest thing to an actual villain is in the backstory; and that was wiped out centuries earlier.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Masked King and his entourage at the Shadowlord's castle.
    • Emil and then Weiss in Ending E.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Shadowlord's castle, which is several times larger than the roof of the Lost Shrine that leads to it. Grimoire NieR says it's just an elevator followed by a tunnel out the back.
  • Birds of a Feather: Of a non-romantic kind: Kainé, cast out from her village due to her condition, and Emil, who lives in total isolation due to his terrifying nature. Kainé immediately sees a kindred soul in him and constantly encourages him to be proud of who he is.
  • Bishōnen: Young Nier, Emil, and the King of Façade.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All four endings, in some capacity. And ver.1.22... adds a fifth.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Aerie is comprised of many tiny, round houses dotted over a sheer cliff face, connected by huge bridges and ladders.
    • Façade, which is made almost entirely of stairs and can only be navigated with the sand boat.
  • Black Speech: Shades murmur unintelligibly when they die, which can be pretty discomforting. Until they get subtitles after Ending A.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: A certain type of Shade possess giant hammers in place of arms.
  • Blade on a Stick: Nier can use lances in battle. This also seems to be a Weapon of Choice for the people of Façade.
  • Blatant Lies: The Hamelin Organization told the Shadowlord they would cure Gestalt Yonah if he provided maso for the Gestalt Program. Over 1300 years later, there still wasn't a cure, which drove him to take action.
  • Bleak Level: The Haunted Mansion is almost entirely in black and white, and the camera picks up grime while there.
  • Block Puzzle: Often used so Nier can jump onto higher platforms, or to go around obstacles he can't jump over. Even in Seafront's post office.
    • A special example is in the Barren Temple, where he must use blocks to create safe paths across cannon-filled rooms.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Kainé. But that's mostly Tyrann's fault.
    • Nier shows shades of this after the Time Skip.
  • Blood Magic: Grimoire Weiss absorbs the blood of Shades to recharge his magic.
    Grimoire Weiss: Blood is sound... sound is words... and words are power!
  • Bookends:
    • At the beginning of the game, Yonah tries to share a cookie she found with Nier, insisting that he should eat. During Ending B, Gestalt Nier, alone in a White Void Room, hallucinates about himself and Yonah hiding out in the grocery store. When he comes out of it, the real Gestalt Yonah joins him and gives him his half of the cookie.
    • The last thing the player does in endings A and D is type the name they gave to the protagonist, in the first to answer Yonah about who's the most important person to her and in the last to confirm you want to negate his existence entirely. And again in Ending E, where you type it in once more to bring him back.
  • Body Backup Drive: The end goal of Project Gestalt was to survive the White Chlorination Syndrome by separating human souls into Gestalts, which would then inhabit Replicants based on their data. Things went wrong when the Replicants developed intelligence while the Gestalts began to relapse.
  • Body Horror: The Black Scrawl: excruciating black symbols appear all over your skin as your body disintegrates and you turn into a Shade.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Weiss starts acting like this when Grimoire Noir tries to remind him of their original purpose to serve the Shadowlord. At least, until Kainé's swears him out of it.
  • Brainwash Residue: Nier decides to save Kainé at the cost of his own existence in Ending D. When she comes to, she finds the flower Nier gave her and starts crying because she can't figure out who it reminds her of.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • The Forest of Myth is entirely told through text, and the characters are well aware of this.
    • When Gideon gives you the Iron Will in a New Game+, Nier will recognize the sword only to be interrupted by Weiss.
    • Ending D has a truly impressive example: Nier sacrifices his existence to save Kainé by erasing the player's save file.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The World of the Recycled Vessel is the best place to obtain several of the rarer materials.
  • Broken Bridge: Literally. In the early game, Nier has to kill some Shades interfering with the construction of a bridge in the Northern Plains. Doing so will give you access to the north-eastern half of the plains and let you advance the plot.
  • Bullet Hell: Many enemies use this as a magic attack, in a game that isn't a Shoot 'em Up. Fortunately, Nier can destroy the magic bullets with physical attacks to recharge his magic gauge.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Thou must enter a pact with Grimoire Weiss at the Lost Shrine, otherwise the game will keep sending out Shades until you die or accept the pact.
    • At the end of the first part of the game, you must choose to either have Emil petrify Kainé to seal the door and the monster behind it, or just give up and perish. Choosing the second option returns you back to selection.
    • In the Forest of Myth, Divine Tree asks the hero three questions. The first two test how carefully the player has read the text before, but the third one asks the hero what is the most important thing in the world; all three options are differently corrupted versions of "Yonah".
  • Came Back Wrong: "Relapsed" Gestalts, the remnants of human souls that lose their memories and sentient mind and become hostile, nigh-mindless creatures that attack anything that moves.
  • Camera Screw: The game cannot decide if it wants to have a free camera or a fixed camera in some areas. Also, the Haunted Mansion switches to a particularly awkward Resident Evil style camera as a Shout-Out to said game.
  • Central Theme: An oddly unintentional example. Yoko Taro stated that he intended for the story to focus on the meaning of justice and if it's "right" to kill in the name of that justice, but it focuses more on humanity's many facets (love, hate etc.) and what it means to be human.
  • Charged Attack: All weapons have a charged attack resulting from holding down the melee button at some point during the combo (which results in a different animation, range, and attack vector depending on the timing). Most of them coat Nier's weapon in flames, others in dark or light magic, and even others in lightning. There is no point to these visual effects other than to look cool.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The man found with the blacksmith brothers' mom turns out to be the subject of a sidequest in the second half of the game.
  • Cloudcuckooland: Façade, due to Loads and Loads of Rules.
    • And the Forest of Myth, after its people get brainwashed.
  • Climax Boss: Devola and Popola.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Virtually the entire Opening Monologue courtesy of Kainé.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Gestalt is characterised by reds and browns, and Replicant with blues and greys, to contrast the protagonists and the general theme of the game.
  • Combat Tentacles: Wendy and to some extent the Knave of Hearts.
  • Conlang: The vocals on much of the soundtrack are in a warped mix of several languages.
    • The Façade people’s speech vaguely sounds like ancient Japanese. Your character can’t understand a word of it until you get help from Fyra and save the prince.
  • Convenient Questing: Everything Nier needs to complete his journey is conveniently located in the immediate area around his village. And while he supposedly travelled far and wide during the Time Skip, it's only after he comes back to the village that he picks up the clues necessary to continue the plot.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • After the timeskip, an NPC in the library mentions how one book he read suggests that the cause of the worlds issues wasn't climate related, but that something fell from the sky many years ago and caused something called a "city of salt".
    • Sleeping Beauty hints at one during its monologues.
      "Look at my memory. A red dragon falls from the heavens... Ah, that memory has been lost. A shame. It was a favorite of mine..."
    • Also the presence of weapons which, despite having different names, are clearly from Drakengard.
    • The DLC "The World Of The Recycled Vessel" rewards the player with weapons which, besides being quite powerful, are references to Caim.
    • In the remaster, one of Yonah's journals mentions running into a random traveler named Accord.
  • Cool Mask: Everybody in Façade wears one.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Keystone.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene:
    • Nearly every boss fight concludes with a cutscene of Nier applying an insanely over-the-top version of one of the Sealed Verse attacks to the boss in question.
    • Also counts as a slight case of aversion of Gameplay and Story Segregation, since the last attack you perform on the boss that leads to the cutscene also completely fills your MP.
  • Crapsack World: It looks nice enough on the surface, but we are repeatedly informed that humanity's days are numbered and things are just winding down in general.
    • Becomes even more evident after the timeskip. The animals outside the towns become rare, the Shades appear more frequently and now have armor to protect themselves from the sun, and the townspeople voice their concerns about the lack of food and the deaths of people who go hunting out of town.
  • Creepy Child: One of the short stories also included a Shade in Seafront who takes the form of a creepy little girl. In the remake you finally get to meet her...
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The boss Shades certainly tend to suffer these. Examples include getting skewered bodily on a wooden tower, ripped to shreds over and over until you can't regenerate, stabbed through the skull, half your face torn off, your throat crushed by two giant hands, and impaled from the inside-out by hundreds of spikes. Ouch.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Reading all the extra material only makes it worse.
  • Cult Soundtrack: The most acclaimed part of the game initially, standing out for its ethereal and haunting vocal tracks. Even as the game gradually received acclaim for its story and characters, the music is still consistently highlighted as a big part of its appeal. Several tracks such as Song of the Ancients were rearranged and included during pivotal scenes of NieR: Automata further cementing their popularity.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: At the end (and sometimes in the middle) of a boss fight the hero strikes his enemy with a spell you do have in the gameplay, but an insanely stronger version of it. Normal Dark Hands lets you pummel the enemies with magical fists larger than a human body, but the cutscene version crumples a monster larger than a building in its palms.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Somewhat oddly, not only in that the endings are for the most part immediate continuations of the previous one, but that the one that actually leads to NieR: Automata, isn't playable in the original release of the game - it's an "Ending E" made out of the Ending D you can get in the game, where Nier sacrifices his existence to save Kainé, combined with the later short story "The Lost World", where Kainé suddenly starts to remember Nier existed a few years after his sacrifice and fights to bring him back, which only became an actually playable ending with the 2021 remaster.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The wolves and the people of Façade are locked in this, with both believing themselves to be innocent victims of the other's bloodthirst and violence. This comes to a head when the Masked Men slaughter all the pups in the den and the wolves kill Fyra in retaliation. After these events, the King, accompanied by Nier, launches a final assault on the den that kills off the pack leadership (including a Shade) for good.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Kainé, Emil, Weiss, Fyra, Nier and Yonah to some extent.
    • Hell, even the fisherman who gives you the Fisherman's Gambit quests qualifies.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Gestalt version is normally portrayed as this in trailers, with less emphasis on the plot and more on the fighting style and gore, plus a much grittier, more ruthless protagonist. This was of course done intentionally due to American Kirby Is Hardcore.
  • Dark Reprise: During the endgame, the final battle with the twins is scored with a dramatic, high-tempo version of their theme, "Song of the Ancients (Fate)". They also each have their own different version of the theme, including a down-tempo variation called "Hollow Dreams".
  • Daylight Horror: Shades are weak to sunlight, and in the world of NieR it is always daytime, however as they grow more powerful they are merely limited to shadowy areas, and once they start wearing armor are free to roam where they wish.
  • Day-Old Legend: Take your weapons to be upgraded and you get some backstories claiming that the weapon once caused an ancient tragedy. There's a reason for this. Nier is a direct sequel to one of Drakengard's most esoteric endings. Most, if not all, of those weapons were Caim's. Not to mention that Nier and the blacksmith don't create any of the weapons. You find or buy them all, the blacksmith is just improving or restoring them.
  • Days of Future Past: Kinda justified, since civilization essentially had to be rebuilt from scratch. Especially since the now-sentient Gestalts and Replicants had to recreate culture from scratch, too.
  • Deal with the Devil: Nier makes one with Grimoire Noir in the opening. It's not a dream, it's what turns him into the Shadowlord.
  • Death Is a Sad Thing: Every single death is treated as a significant, tragic, and often pointless occurrence. Their loved ones are always shown to be deeply affected, with even nameless background characters getting a few minutes to be mourned by the main characters. Every time Nier does a sidequest where someone dies, both versions of the character are somber and saddened by the update.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: As with the original Drakengard before it, Nier tears into many video game heroism tropes and turn them completely on their heads. For more detail:
    • Papa Wolf: Father Nier is a very loving and devoted father to Yonah, but the game implies that all the travelling and odd jobs he takes up to care for her is only making things worse by making him largely absent from his daughter's life and only makes the situation with the Gestalts far worse.
    • Lost Technology: NieR is set so far in the future that almost all technology seems alien from what's currently available, which is why Shades/Gestalts and Replicants sound like magic.
    • Protagonist-Centered Morality: During the first playthrough, Nier comes across as very likable and sympathetic. However the end of the game and the entirety of route B shows that the situation isn't what the players or Nier himself thought, and that during the game he was responsible for murdering countless people, even children, all while being none the wiser because of the forms the Gestalts took and his inability to understand their language. It isn't even that Nier was consciously doing this, he simply didn't know any better and was acting according to what he thought was right based on what he knew, which just makes it even more tragic. In short, it critiques the idea that we should only care about the events of a story in relation to the protagonist, or gloss over the more horrible things they might do, because they aren't the only people whose lives matter. Every story has more than one side to it and sometimes you're the one who happens to be wrong.
    • The Power of Friendship: In two ways:
      • Friendship and relationships are not an excuse for not thinking your actions through. Nier shows time and time again that just invoking the power of friendship is shockingly self-centered of him; through this act he is basically saying that his motives are better than that of his opponents because he is doing them for another person, thus dismissing his opponent as people and their reasoning, or even ability to make meaningful connections of their own. Ultimately it is Nier's inability to empathize and him hiding behind his friends in order to justify his actions that leads to the end of the human race.
      • A subtler one, but still present. The moment where Weiss rejects fusing with Noir is portrayed as a triumphant moment in the story where Weiss is able to overcome a bad situation by drawing upon his attachment to his friends. However, the only reason it felt triumphant was because the heroes did not know the full context of the situation. In reality, that moment was when the original plan to save humanity was irreversibly destroyed, guaranteeing humanity's extinction. In other words, yes, you and your friends can rely on each other for strength, but what guarantees that what you're doing with that strength is even morally right in the first place? It's also directly invoked by Gretel when he tries to fight Nier and co. to save the other shades, but he simply isn't strong enough and ends up killed.
    • Dark Is Evil: The creepy Shades are not actually evil, but due to their behavior and appearance, everyone assumes they are. This leads to a number of Shades to invoke Then Let Me Be Evil out of desperation to survive.
    • The Prophecy: After meeting Grimoire Weiss, Popola explains that there is a prophecy surrounding him and the Sealed Verses, which hold the power to cure the Black Scrawl and defeat the Shadowlord. In truth, it's less of a prophecy and more of a ruse meant to set Nier and Weiss on their way. Yes, Weiss was meant to rid the world of the Black Scrawl, but only by fusing with Grimoire Noir and reuniting the Gestalts with their Replicants. Ironically, the part regarding defeating the Shadowlord does happen. But instead of his death making the world better, it dooms the human race.
    • Screw Destiny: Even though the party is confronted by The Reveal regarding Project Gestalt, they ultimately go through with their original plan to defeat the Shadowlord and save Yonah. It ends up ruining any chance for Gestalts to become normal humans again.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The Replicant remake becomes this thanks to the inclusion of Ending E. Kainé manages to successfully bring back Nier after he sacrificed himself for her, and in the end she and Emil remark that even if their journeys end up meaningless and humanity does meet its end, they can still live their lives with those they love. The administrators who serve as the antagonists are also impressed by the party's determination to Screw Destiny and the possibilities it can open up, for better or for worse.
  • Deletion as Punishment: To get the Ending D where Kainé is saved, Nier must choose to have his existence erased, including everyone's memories of him. If you do choose this, the game erases all of your save data, and doesn't even allow you to choose the same name if you start a new game. It does give you three or four "Are You Sure You Want to Do That?" warnings, first and asks you to input the name you gave him in the beginning, though.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: In Emil's mansion, the moment you walk past the entrance gate all color fades away, aside from the characters themselves.
  • Depopulation Bomb: WCS — White Chlorination Syndrome. A disease originating from the world of Drakengard and brought over when Caim, Angelus, and the Grotesquerie Queen arrived in Tokyo. It has a near-100% mortality rate, and those who survive only exist to become Legion. Eventually, WCS annihilated all of mankind... except for the Original Gestalt, the Shadowlord.
  • Destructible Projectiles: The pink orbs.
  • Developers' Foresight: By default, the game has the prologue take place in Tokyo, as seen by the ending having a shot of Tokyo Tower. However, if played outside of Japan, the game will check for the settings of the hardware and instead adjust the ending shot to be a recognizable landmark from the player's current location. For example, the American version has Manhattan instead. This was done to make the ending of the prologue hit harder.
  • Determinator: Past Ending A, turns out P-33, the Knave of Hearts, and Goose are all this, fully committed to their goal and they will not stop until success or death.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Project Gestalt was created to save humanity from the White Chlorination Syndrome, separating their souls from their bodies before these could be infected by the disease, and creating soulless Replicants to inhabit later, once the disease had vanished. They didn't foresee Replicants gaining sentience and Gestalts becoming corrupted into shades...
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Fyra in the King's arms, Devola in Popola's arms. In Ending C, Kainé in Nier's arms.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The Beastbain is the strongest weapon you get in the first half of the game, and it does massive amounts of damage even before you upgrade it. After that, you gain access to spears and two-handed swords, both of which outpace the one-handed swords like Beastbain in raw burst damage or DPS.
  • Distant Prologue: 1,312 years before the main story begins, to be precise.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: No one in Façade wears shoes, which seems unwise considering they have nothing to protect their feet from the burning hot sand and stone. There's probably a rule against wearing them.
  • Downer Beginning: The moment you hear the Ethereal Choir, and see the snowy, abandoned city and the guy in the overcoat fighting to stay awake to protected a little girl from giant bloodthirsty shadow creatures, you know this is gonna be a pessimistic game.
  • Dual Boss: Hansel and Gretel, the golems you fight at the shrine when you find Grimoire Weiss. Also, the twins, at the Shadowlord's castle. Twice.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Since Gestalt removes all of the post-timeskip Ship Tease between Nier and Kainé, making him more than twice her age and a widower to boot, the kiss in Ending C comes out of absolutely nowhere.
  • Dungeon Bypass:
    • Sort of an intentional example: when you're requested to visit a dungeon on the second playthrough onwards to get some rare metal from a boss enemy, you only need to enter the said dungeon for the game to drop the said item in your inventory right at its entrance, allowing you to skip the first visit entirely.
    • This only works if you have the necessary item in your inventory when you enter. Otherwise you'll have to go through the dungeon again.
  • Dwindling Party: Depending on which option you choose, the only characters who survive until the very end are Yonah and either Nier or Kainé. Ending B reveals Emil survives, but he's still out of your party after his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Dysfunction Junction
    • Note that this doesn't just apply to the main party. The Ultimate Blacksmith is a batshit insane babbling lunatic obsessed with creating weapons of mass destruction with no regards to the consequences due to the deaths of his mother and brother. The people of the Aerie are utter Jerkasses who refuse to give any foreigner the time of day just because one of them turned out to be a half-breed. The people of Façade are locked in a Cycle of Revenge against a wolf tribe, and neither side is clearly in the right over their conflict. The people of Seafront are in on a lie perpetuated for fifty years against the lighthouse keeper, all so they can keep her from learning that her husband had died from Black Scrawl long ago as well as forcing her to keep operating the lighthouse since nobody else knows how to.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Most of the bosses you come across, which seem to get bigger, squishier and uglier the more you play.
  • Elite Mook: The armored Shades.
  • Ethereal Choir: "Snow In Summer", "Cold Steel Coffin", "Gods Bound by Rules" and "Shadowlord - White". Yeah, the soundtrack likes this trope.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Young Nier, if that guy from Seafront and Emil are anything to go by.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: The downloadable expansion has alternate costumes with samurai motifs.
  • Evil Counterpart: Grimoire Noir to Grimoire Weiss.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The game adds a white flower to the title screen after the player sees the final ending which involves the main character being erased from reality, leaving behind only a Lunar Tear floating in water. Completing Ending E replaces the Lunar Tear with the party's weapons (Nier's Kusanagi, Kainé's swords and Emil's staff) Sword Planted on the water.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Kainé, naturally. Also Father Nier, who wears little more than a shoulder guard and oversized bermuda shorts. The people of Façade claim that their simple, cone-shaped robes protect them from sandstorms and make it easier to move around the desert, but one has to question the truth of this when they're all barefoot and the robes fully expose their limbs.
  • Expy: The small, child-like Shades look very similar to the Heartless.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Devola and Popola, once Nier strays too far from their objectives. The game itself refers to them as "The Betrayers." Of course, this is only from Nier's perspective. The twins have been running the same agenda from the start, and arguably they were betrayed by the Shadowlord, desperate to get his Yonah back.
  • Faceless Eye: One of the Boss Shades, Wendy, resembles a giant eyeball with tentacles.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Most of Nier's world is based off Medieval Europe, however Façade seems to be influenced mainly by ancient Andean culture such as the Incas, particularly the clothing, architecture, and desert setting.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Justified. By the time the story proper takes place, firearms had long since been forgotten.
  • Feed It a Bomb: Defense System Geppetto dislikes having its own bombs tossed into its mouth. Maybe he should stop spawning them...
  • Fictionary: The language of the people of Façade. According to Grimoire Nier, it was created by shuffling hiragana around, which sometimes makes it sound like actual Japanese.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Kainé, twice. First as a regular boss (until the battle is hijacked by a bigger threat), and then at the Lost Shrine, when her fatal wounds cause her to be momentarily taken over by her inner Shade. And then, in Endings C and D, she's completely taken over and becomes the True Final Boss. You then must make a final decision concerning her fate.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Kainé joins Nier's group after they take down Hook together, and they earn the King's friendship after rescuing him from the temple and defeating Shahriyar.
  • Flower from the Mountaintop: The Lunar Tear, a very rare white flower than grows in high places, like The Aerie and The Lost Shrine. Rumoured to have healing powers, though this is never confirmed in-story: however, if you spend ridiculous amounts of time to actually grow your own in the garden, you'll find out that they heal you completely. Yonah goes to find one in the hopes it will make her better, which eventually leads to Weiss joining the party.
  • Flunky Boss: The opening parts of the Hansel and Gretel battles, during which they fight alongside smaller Shades; Defense System Geppetto will raise elevators containing lightning-prod and magic-battery robots after its laser finger attack; Hook will cough up bomb-type Shades that just roll around and spit out magic during the second phase of the fight; Wendy will use its tentacle attack to slam down armored Shades on the platform to distract you from hitting its eye; Roc will sic his pack on you before joining the fray himself. Evidently, all of these but the first and last examples are also Mook Makers.
  • Flying Books: The Grimoires.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the backstory Red and Black, Nier notes how eerily similar Shades and humans are. Guess what The Reveal was...
    • Nier also notes following the timeskip that Popola doesn't appear to have aged since he first met her.
    • The first Shades Nier encounters after the prologue just stand in place, without attacking the player.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Most of the canonical extras and out of game material such as the short stories published in Grimoire Nier range from melancholy to very dark, and then we have Emil's drama cd. Where he fights some aliens and shoots Emil Beams. Aliens have nothing to do with the rest of the game or story and yet here they are. This is also the furthest forward we ever see, that is until NieR: Automata came out.
  • Full-Boar Action: One of the side quests involves hunting a giant boar on the Northern Plains. After defeating it, you gain the ability to use boars as transport.
  • Functional Magic: The Sealed Verses, which fits into Device Magic, as it can only be used with the assistance of a Grimoire.
  • Fusion Dance: Larger, non-humanoid Shades result from this. In a few cases, you'll get to see the fusion take place.
    • Also, Number 6 and Number 7 Halua and Emil do this in order to combine their power, resulting in the latter's mind ending up in the former's nigh-invulnerable body (though it loses much of its size in the process.)

  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite being an adult and having muscles Father Nier is only strong enough to use Short Swords in part 1.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Ending D of NieR has the player simulate the main's character predicament of erasing his own existence by asking the player to delete all their save data. The game actually goes through with it, and you are unable to make another file with the same name you first used.
  • Gargle Blaster: Popola is too shy to sing a duet with Devola unless she's completely hammered. What sort of drink does she crave? A bizarre... concoction, which includes, among other things, mouse tails and lizard tails.
  • Gender-Blender Name: It would appear that both Hansel and Gretel are male.
  • Genre Shift: While most of the game is a third person action adventure game NieR isn't afraid to change things up on you. Sometimes it acts like a shoot'em up, at one point it turns into an isometric action game, but the most unusual genre shift is in the Forest of Myth when you enter the dream world the game suddenly becomes a text adventure.
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: After Emil's apparent death, Kainé beats the grieving Nier to a pulp, partly to snap him out of it and partly to vent her own emotions. According to Word of God, this is also where she has her Love Epiphany.
  • Glasgow Grin: Halua and Emil both have their mouths fixed in a toothy Slasher Smile in their Number forms.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Many of the Boss Shades have these, in particular the two golems at the Lost Shrine, with the added bonus of Red Eyes, Take Warning.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: All the central protagonists have white/silver hair, and their Grimoire's name also means "white". In turn, they are fighting against the Shadowlord, who has black hair and whose Grimoire's name means "black".
  • The Great Offscreen War: According to the backstory, the WCS and the infected Legion that Project Gestalt was originally designed to counter have long since faded to history. All that remains is the Shadowlord.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • The Watchers/Queen Grotesquerie. While hardly anyone save severely relapsed conglomerations of Shades like Hook can be called truly evil, with the game's Grey-and-Gray Morality running rampant, the Watchers/Queen Grotesquerie are unquestionably malevolent and eventually succeed in wiping out humanity, even if indirectly.
    • The Hamelin Organization is another major antagonist. While their goals were to fight off the Legion and cure WCS, their methods were questionable at best. Highlights include trapping teenagers inside of books (two of whom would later go on to become Weiss and Noir), giving drugs to child soldiers to fight the Legion, promising Gestalt Nier/the Shadowlord they'd cure Yonah's relapse in return for his supply of maso to run the Gestalt project (which they don't do), and cruelly and inhumanely experimenting on children such as Emil and Halua. By the time the game rolls around, they've been essentially wiped out, leaving behind their experiments and work.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Especially evident during New Game+ playthroughs.
    Popola: You have your own motives, your own desires...
    Devola: And we have ours. I fear it really is just that simple.
  • God Is Evil: White Clorination Syndrome is revealed to be an ultimatum to whomever is infected by the gods. If the infectee refuses, they dissolve into salt. If they accept, they join the Legion to destroy the world. Considering these gods are the ones from Drakengard, this is no surprise.
  • Golden Ending: Inverted in the original release: The easiest ending to get is (by comparison) the best ending, the one you get simply from beating the game once. As you replay, the endings becomes more and more depressing. This culminates in Nier annihilating himself as well as your save files after 3-4 playthroughs. The Replicant remaster plays this straight however thanks to the inclusion of Ending E; playing it all the way through results in Kainé successfully bringing Nier back, and allows you to restore the save data you lost in Ending D.
  • Grand Theft Me: Once Replicants started developing their own sentience and consciousness (they were supposed to be empty vessels,) being possessed by a Shade became this. Originally it actually meant that a Gestalt was returning to its intended shell. Mass-possession is what the overall Project Gestalt tried to accomplish by force via Grimoire Noir and Grimoire Weiss, explaining the twins' manipulative and deceitful actions throughout the game. Gestalt Yonah's realization that this is what the Shadowlord intends to do to her Replicant also causes her to sacrifice herself out of guilt.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The songs are sung in a mixture of Gaelic, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, French and English, all with enough linguistic drift to make it sound bizarre and to not interrupt cutscenes.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Both Kainé and Emil before they officially join the party.
  • Guide Dang It!: A bunch. If you're going for 100% Completion, get a guide from the start and spare yourself the pain.
    • Probably the meanest example happens before the Point of No Return. If you reach 50% sidequest completion and talk to Devola, then she'll tell you there's no more sidequests to do. Nobody in any of the towns has a sidequest bubble above their heads, either, so you're good, right? Noooo. There's one last sidequest in Seafront, found by talking to an out of the way NPC, leaving town, talking to him again, and repeating until he coughs up a Fetch Quest.
  • Happily Ever Before: This is technically what the A ending counts as: it cuts away from the rest of the ending right before everything goes to hell and moves onto a previously unseen flashback with Nier and Yonah lying happily in the grass before any of the game's events took place.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: The game has two poignant messages that, sadly, Nier ignores throughout, and which lead to the tragedy of the game:
    • Everyone dies, it's not pretty, it's not fair and it's never glorious. It's sad, it can be very painful and it's always scary. Nevertheless, everyone dies, and pretending that there is a magical solution that will avert this is an immature and toxic fantasy. The events of the game unfold because Nier doesn't know when to quit in the search of a cure for Yonah's disease, even in the face of little actual evidence, and people don't stop him because they can't break it to him that such a thing cannot possibly exist, or are using his fantasies for their own gain. Ultimately, the most Nier is able to accomplish is rescue his Yonah from the Shadowlord's grasp, nothing more.
    • The Power of Friendship doesn't automatically result in moral righteousness, and it's definitely no excuse to not think for yourself. Nier often tries to justify his actions by claiming that he is doing it for his friends, but such a thing is nothing more than an excuse to satisfy his own bloodlust by using peer pressure. Moreover, he denies the causes of his opponents without caring that they too have friends and family they are trying to protect, effectively denying their ability to have meaningful connections or causes of their own because it would be inconvenient to his point of view. The result? All of humanity is doomed to death.
  • Haunted House: The mansion where Emil lives looks like a stereotypical version of this, being dilapidated and mostly empty with a huge Creepy Basement, disembodied screams, rooms infested with Shades, a courtyard with human-looking statues, paintings that switch places when you're not looking etc. etc. The whole stage also has a very creepy soundtrack.
  • Healthcare Motivation: Nier (particularly the younger version) has been through hell and back in the past to get Yonah her medicine. Even though he knows the Black Scrawl is terminal.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Kainé still mourns the loss of her grandmother, and is one of many the reasons why she kills Shades.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • In endings C and D, Tyrann actually helps Nier in defeating Kainé after she loses control of her body. Heck, both of the options he gives to Nier in saving Kainé's life only screw HIM over.
    • The second choice also affects the PLAYER by giving a whole new meaning to Heroic Sacrifice. Make a backup if you intend to go this route, because it will delete all your save files. Seriously.
  • Hell Is Coming With Me: Emil comes to warn Nier at the latter's village moments before it's invaded by Shades and the Knave of Hearts. A Man of the Mask in Façade comes to warn "the wolves are coming" during the King and Fyra's wedding. Both are too late to make any difference.
  • Hermaphrodite: Kainé. The English version is more ambiguous about this, but it can be found in Kainé's diary after beating the game once and in some Japan-only supplementary material.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Masked King. And Emil. And Weiss. Hell, even Nier.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: You don't get lances until after the timeskip. Aside from that, all your weapons are swords.
  • He Will Not Cry, So I Cry for Him: Nier for Kainé and Emil, although he doesn't actually cry, just feels terribly guilty for their unfair treatment by the villagers and how they accept it without protest.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Aerie is a town full of xenophobes who are too terrified to leave their houses for fear of either Shades or just outsiders in general.
  • High-Pressure Blood combined with Overdrawn At The Bloodbank: Even getting kicked by a sheep will make what appears to be half the blood in your body gush spectacularly over the surrounding area. And this is nothing compared to the rivers of blood that pour forth from any boss shades you defeat (which tend to be killed in pretty grisly ways).
  • Hold the Line: The men of Façade seal themselves in a room with the immortal Goose to prevent it from chasing Nier's party. In the post-Ending A paths, it's revealed that many sentient Shades, particularly in the Lost Shrine and the Shadowlord's castle, were attempting this against Nier.
  • Hope Spot: The same infobook that reveals the below Nice Job Breaking It, Hero also says that even with that, there's still a small sliver of hope in ending D that mankind isn't completely screwed.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Everyone. Except the twins. Who are robots.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Played with. In the Ending B path, the player discovers that not only are the "humans" mere sentient replicas of the true human beings, but that the latter have been reduced to Shades — which the Replicants have no problems slaughtering with prejudice. Taken to a vicious extreme in Kalil's backstory.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: While Nier's carrying around stacks of documents and letters, a grocery store's worth of healing items, seeds, fruits, and potions, and a veritable museum of key items somewhere on his person is not too surprising, his carrying dozens of weapons larger and heavier than himself probably is. Especially with weapons like Iron Will and Fool's Lament hiding somewhere in his pockets.
    • Kainé's pair of BFSs, both longer and broader than her legs, disappear completely when not in combat or in cutscenes. She is explicitly wearing nothing but the skimpiest of lingerie.
  • Idle Animation: Nier takes a rather relaxed seat on the ground.
  • I'm Crying, but I Don't Know Why: Kainé when she wakes up in Ending D, after Nier has been erased, and finds the Lunar Tear he gave her.
  • Immortality: Humanity's Project Gestalt attempted The Ageless combined with Resurrective Immortality, as separating body from soul results in Gestalts who cannot die unless they are killed or "relapse" into Shades. Due to their origins and extremely long lives, it's possible Devola and Popola, as well as Halua and Emil, were given The Ageless.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:`
    • Roc, the wolf Shade, in an awesome moment for the King of Façade.
    • Again, the King of Façade when he drives his spear into the nigh-invulnerable boar Goose's skull and finally kills it.
    • Nier, twice in the same scene from Grimoire Noir's Blood Magic spikes, first through the shoulder from behind and then as an near-fatal attack to defend Weiss.
    • Kainé, courtesy of Gretel's pike when he deflects Nier's magic and the weapon goes flying. It heals almost immediately since she's a Gestalt.
      • Again in Ending C, where she is impaled on Nier's sword. Though in this case it was with the best intentions.
    • Any Coup de Grâce Cutscene involving Dark Lance. And, during gameplay, finishing off Shades with Dark Execution (which causes spears to shoot up from the ground) will lift the Shades off the ground and leave them hanging there from the spears until the magic fades.
  • Impassable Desert: Played with. The desert is difficult to get through without being attacked by wolves or stung by hidden poisonous scorpions, and some parts are only accessible when Fyra is with you.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Yonah has one.
  • Info Dump: Most of the information on Kainé's backstory seems to be from a bunch of text dumps in the second playthrough onwards.
  • Insistent Terminology: You shall refer to the great book Grimoire Weiss by his full and proper name!
  • Instant Runes: A primary element of the game's style. Everyone's magic has it, and the Black Scrawl even makes them appear on your skin. They're also remarkably detailed and complex; try taking in all the interlocking spinning symbols present in Kainé's electroball attack.
  • Interface Spoiler: Surprisingly averted; until you get Weiss, a vast portion of the menu doesn't even exist.
  • Interface Screw:
    • The Forest of Myth sucks the hero and Weiss into a text adventure. It's not just interface: the characters actually experience existence in a world of words, and complain about how hard it is to endure.
    • The final portion of Ending E's dungeon resembles the style and aesthetic of NieR: Automata, down to the minimap and loading screens (though not the item menus).
  • It Can Think: Shades learn to wear armor and lure you into ambushes as the plot advances. It becomes increasingly hard to deny that they are sentient beings.
  • Item Crafting: Nier's weapons get stronger (and sometimes their weight changes) by being reforged at the two brothers' shop. In the case of the Drakengard-derived weapons, their appearance also changes.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: To try and get rid of the White Chlorination Syndrome, Tokyo was walled off and then had a nuke dropped on it by the USA. Which, since the disease was magical in nature, only succeeded in spreading it worldwide.
  • Jerkass: The people of the Aerie triumph by far.
  • The Juggernaut: The Knave of Hearts, which attacked Nier's village, and Goose, the boar Shade that will absolutely not stop in its pursuit. Both are the accumulation of countless Shades, have a Healing Factor that makes them Nigh-Invulnerable, and possess endless vitality.
  • Just Before the End: The game's atmosphere makes it clear that the world is winding down to a conclusion. Humanity's already small population is dwindling, wildlife is dying out, and hostile shades are appearing in ever-increasing number.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: The destruction of the Aerie is nothing short of karmic. Especially as the denizens could've prevented it if they had simply allowed foreigners to help them instead of being a bunch of bitter, selfish shut-ins.
  • Kill 'Em All: Not in the game itself, whose endings are varying flavors of bittersweet, but creator interviews and Route B of NieR: Automata reveal that humanity eventually went extinct as a result of the events of the game.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: When Nier kisses Kainé in Ending C, the camera moves away just before their lips meet. Due to the situation, this makes it more emotional.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Weiss comments that it was a bit too easy collecting the pieces to the Keystone. Almost as if someone set them on the right path...
  • Leitmotif:
    • "Ashes of Dreams" has four variations (one for each ending,) and it shows up everywhere throughout the game in the form of "Dispossession" and "Yonah" — which also have four variations each.
    • An orchestral version of it called "Dance of the Evanescent" also plays in the Shadowlord's castle.
  • Loads and Loads of Rules: Façade, which has over 1,000,000 rules (and they're still coming up with more). As a result, Façade is a maze of stairs, everyone has to wear a mask at all times, one is only allowed to buy items there after seeing the entire village from a sandboat and so on. Their holy site, the Barren Temple, operates on this premise as well, with each room forbidding a specific action (such as guarding, running, using magic, using weapons, and so on.)
  • Loads and Loads of Sidequests: The game can be finished in 15 hours (there's even an achievement for it) but can take over seventy if you do the sidequests, especially if you want to max out all your weapons which requires a massive amount of item farming.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: Yonah's theme has a variation like this.
  • Lost Technology: The Scrap Heap and the mines beneath it are full of this.
  • Love Hurts: There is not a single successful romantic relationship in the game. Either it's unrequited, abusive, or one or both of the lovers expire before anything serious can come of it. Ending E in the Replicant remaster is a possibility, as Kainé regains her memories of Nier and successfully revives him, allowing them to spend the rest of their lives together.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Nier, although he doesn't realize it until the end. Kainé to a lesser extent.

  • MacGuffin Delivery Service:
    • Nier and Grimoire Weiss are told that collecting the Sealed Verses could lead to defeating Grimoire Noir and eliminating the Black Scrawl off the face of the Earth. When they finally do, turns out that it was exactly what their antagonists needed all along.
    • And that it really would have led to the elimination of the Black Scrawl and the ending of what Grimoire Noir began, at the cost of the Replicants suffering a mass Grand Theft Me.
  • Madness Mantra: Recycled Vessel, Severance, Penance, Aberrance, Sufferance, Acceptance, Disturbance, Hindrance, Defiance, Forbearance, Intolerance, Vengeance, Repentance, Radiance, Extravagance, Malignance, Vigilance, Obeisance, Dominance, Allegiance, Resistance, Discordance, Petulance, Misguidance, Deliverance...
  • Magic from Technology: Or, more accurately, Magic From Another World That Led To Countless Technological And Scientific Breakthroughs Which In Turn Use And Produce Even More Advanced Magic. Even the Junkheap's robots and security systems use the exact same magic that Grimoires and Shades and the twins use. This is more pronounced in the Replicant remake, where Weiss' voice crackles like a failing radio when he's dying at the end.
  • Mama Bear: Mother Goose. And when we say she goes Mama Bear, we mean Nigh-Invulnerable Determinator Juggernaut who curses Nier and the King of Façade in rage for destroying her children's future.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Kainé means "broken sound", and Tyrann means "tyrant". Emil is named after the younger of The Brothers Grimm, and Yonah after the biblical Jonah. Nier is a little more ambiguous, though the director mentions something about his body being "near" to his soul.
    • Not sure if this was done on purpose, but "nier" means "to deny" in French.
  • Mega-Corp: The Hamelin Organisation, who try and dragoon refugees into working with them in project Gestalt against the Legion.
  • Mercy Kill: In one ending, Nier is forced to kill Kainé to prevent her becoming a complete Shade. Additionally, killing the Big Bad is unintentionally this to humanity as a whole, since it was going extinct painfully slowly, and that makes it a short-term thing rather than centuries of slow decay.
  • Mood Dissonance:
    • The ending credits music. While endings A and B are mostly optimistic, the lyrics that are sung for the credits song are pretty nihilistic. To paraphrase it: "things might be fine for now but it's all meaningless because of what we've already lost and the inevitable return of danger".
    • This was the whole point of the game, essentially. Nier fights to protect those he loves because life and family are made all the more precious due to not knowing when the world will end and you'll lose everything. You need to make the most of what you have while it lasts. Particularly since they're still doomed to extinction.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Stinger of Ending B, which, after the Player Punch that is seeing original (Gestalt) Nier finally die together with his Yonah, has the nerve to be pretty damn hilarious.
    • Though considering that you've just experienced Kainé's Dark and Troubled Past, the Tear Jerker backstory of each boss Shade, the absolute destruction of the Aerie, the betrayal of Popola and Devola, their deaths, and the deaths of Fyra, Emil, the King, his Advisor, the Men of the Mask, and Weiss, this is a welcome whiplash.
      • An opposite version of this are the alternate loading screens that show up in preset points of the game which might also count as a minor version of Surprise Creepy considering the overall tone of the game: when you're used to seeing Yonah's diary entries, a black-and-white page talking about severe military casualties comes off as a surprise when you first see it even if you were expecting something like that based on the intro of the game.
  • Multiple Endings: There are four of them. The Replicant remaster includes a fifth.
  • Multi-Track Drifting: ...with boars. And it is awesome.
  • Mythology Gag: A good number of weapons from Drakengard, almost all of which have had their names changed, make a return. Why? Word of God says they went flying and were scattered when Caim and Angelus were hit by the missile that killed them during Drakengard's Ending E.
    • In the remake, there's a loading screen journal entry where Yonah has mention being visited by a merchant named Accord. Given that Accord has access to multiple timelines, it's probably the very same one.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Shadowlord", "The Black Book", "Tyrann".
  • Nerf Arm: Nier starts off the game by taking on a huge army of Shades armed only with a metal pipe. It's just as effective as any of his low-level swords. When you replay the scene later after finishing a sidequest, you can find it in a box in the area: it turns out to be a Lethal Joke Weapon and the strongest 1-handed sword in the game.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Director Yoko Taro has confirmed that, no matter which ending you get, your actions have doomed both Gestalts and Replicants, turning the world into an empty, rotting husk. Nice going! The existence of a sequel would seem to cast a little doubt on this... however, NieR: Automata is more or less about dealing with the fallout of this and what, if anything, will come after.
    • Also, the backstory reveals that in an attempt to wipe out the disease afflicting humanity, Tokyo and everybody in it was nuked, which only served to spread the particles further abroad.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: The Knave of Hearts and Goose, being made up of lots and lots of Shades. Also, Emil, who can survive blowing up and being reduced to just a head rolling cheerfully in the desert.
  • No Hero Discount: In all fairness, Nier isn't out to save the world, just his daughter/sister, and he gets legitimate payment for running errands for the villagers. However, after saving the son of one particular shopkeeper, she will give Nier a lifelong discount at her store.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Several boss fights, but the most notable is the rematch with Knave of Hearts.
  • No Name Given:
    • The Masked King. Interesting, since he is considered a major character in the story while several of the more minor characters are named.
    • Although in Grimoire Nier, the King and many minor characters not identified in-game are given names.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The Aerie is a village built into the cliff sides all across some canyon. Not only are there barely any guardrails along the sides of the pathways, but the ones that exist make it up to around Nier's knees, and look like they could be very easily jumped over into the chasm.
  • No Periods, Period: Oddly averted in the remake. In the Little Mermaid quest, the postman mentions that the "girl" is "bleeding" and asks Kainé for help. This Innocently Insensitive remark sparks her anger. This serves as foreshadowing, as Kainé is intersex, and wouldn't have a period, and she is extremely upset about this.
  • Not Quite Dead: P-33 "Beepy" is revealed to have survived and rebuilt himself in the story Fires of Prometheus.
  • Non Standard Game Over: In Route E while playing as Kainé if you keep positioning the camera towards her crotch, she will kill the player causing an instant game over.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: By the time Nier and his party make it into the Shadowlord's castle, the twins are already there, even though he had last seen them at the village and it's a very long road to the castle. He expresses no small surprise at this, until the ensuing battle reveals they have Villain Teleportation...
  • Oh, Crap!: Kainé spends considerable effort kicking down a door, and feels pretty good about herself when she does... until she sees that the room beyond is packed floor-to-ceiling with "bomb" infant-type Shades. She barely has time to say these words before she's bowled over and knocked unconscious.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: "Blu-Bird" and "The Dark Colossus Destroys All".
  • Only One Name: The entire cast.
  • Opening Monologue: From the Gestalt opening movie, taken from Kainé's speech trying to snap Weiss out of being mind-controlled by Grimoire Noir. This was used as the opening of the reveal trailer for the remake.
    Kainé: Weiss, you dumbass! Start making sense you rotten book, or you're gonna be sorry! Maybe I'll rip your pages out one-by-one, or maybe I'll put you in the Goddamn furnace! How can someone with such a big, smart brain get hypnotized like a little bitch huh?! Oh, Shadowlord! I love you Shadowlord! Come over here and give Weiss a big sloppy kiss, Shadowlord! Now pull your head out of your Goddamn ass and START FUCKING HELPING US!
  • Orcus on His Throne: The Shadowlord was willing to wait for 1300 years, believing in Project Gestalt's promise that it would one day restore his Yonah to him. When he finally loses patience and does something about it, he kidnaps Replicant Yonah so that his sister/daughter's Gestalt may inhabit her... and then goes back to doing nothing, even as Nier keeps killing his guardians and comes ever closer to him, because he had what he wanted.
  • Painting the Medium: The utterly alien environment of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in ver.1.22474487139... is reflected by the game's fantasy-style HUD being replaced by the NieR: Automata HUD.
  • Parental Abandonment: Virtually all the characters have this to some degree.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Many quests from the first half of the game become inaccessible after the Time Skip — which is reasonable enough, since who would wait five years for his mutton to be delivered? If you accept these quests but fail to complete them before that deadline, they will be placed in a special section of your menu for quests that can no longer be completed. And since New Game+ places you after the Time Skip, it means you'll have to start a whole new game in order to finish these quests.
  • Pinball Scoring: Applies to your stats, most notably your HP: you start with 100 HP on lv 1 and end up with 400k+ HP on lv 99. Granted, it's not like you'll ever really notice it since the only place where it's shown in numerical form is the status screen and your HP bar extends very little with each level up, with the lv 99 bar only being maybe 2 or 3 times the length of a lv 1 bar despite the actual difference of their contents being over 4000 times larger. This has the result of some optional minibosses being impossible when you first encounter them, and five levels later they become relatively easy, and by the second third playthrough, you end up waiting for major story bosses to finish their scripted lines before you can kill them.
  • The Plague: Both the White Chlorination Syndrome, which caused The End of the World as We Know It in the backstory, and the Black Scrawl in current times.
  • Planet of Hats: Or City of Masks, anyway. The people of Façade must all wear masks, and their "hat" is that there are an incredible number of rules that govern their daily life. In Nier and Weiss' opinion, these rules often have no apparent function other than to make life frustrating; in the opinion of the people of Façade, these rules exist "so that you may know your freedoms."
  • Player Nudge: The Replicant remake gives more clarification for the fishing segment early in the game than the original.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • A lot could have been avoided if more humans understood the Shade language. Devola and Popola in particular were in a very good position to inform people of what was actually going on, but decided not to due to their Grand Theft Me plot of overwriting all Replicants.
    • Worse, it's revealed in the Boss fight with Goose that Kainé can understand the Shades perfectly well, but being a Blood Knight who's herself held hostage by a bloodthirsty Shade (and had her entire life ruined by another one who was also a Voice Changeling), she doesn't clear up any of the issues.
  • Point of No Return:
    • Played straight with the first half of the game. After you complete it, any unfinished sidequests are lost not just for this playthrough, but in the following New Game+, too. The point itself is the moment you grab the Vapor Moss for Popola at the southern end of the village, as Emil runs all the way from his manor to warn Nier's Village about the massive Shade army coming towards it.
    • Subverted at the end of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. When you enter the door, the game warns you that you can't go back. However, shortly after that you meet Popola and Devola who ask if you could just turn around and go back to the Village. While this looks like a But Thou Must! moment, you can do exactly that: instead of fighting, go back and return later. After that, it's played straight: when you start fighting, there's no going back.
  • Precision F-Strike: Devola delivers one during The Reveal, emphasized by voice acting: "(Laugh) Yeah, sometimes truth can be a real bitch".
  • The Power of Friendship: What stops Weiss from merging with Grimoire Noir. Also invoked by Gretel the second time you fight him. It doesn't go quite as well...
  • Promotion to Parent: Jakob with Gideon, and 'Brother' Nier with Yonah.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: One of the sidequests also deals with a runaway boy from Façade who thinks of himself as this.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Although the landscape is littered with remains of what seems to be a railroad track, the entire military facility known as "the Junkheap" operates perfectly, from the cargo lines to the defense systems to the autonomous robots to the elevators and even the lighting. Also, the Weapons Research Laboratory beneath Emil's Mansion (and the Mansion itself) is in pristine condition despite being well over 1,300 years old.
  • Rain of Something Unusual: In the modern-day prologue salt, not snow, is falling from the sky.
  • Random Number God: Many of the items required for upgrading weapons and for the side quests are rare spawns and/or drops from monsters. Expect to spend much time cursing until the game finally coughs up the items you need.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A special kind of WCS Legion known as Red Eye are not only extremely violent, but also fully sentient, allowing them to organise other Legion into armies.
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation: In the Replicant game, the original Japanese version, the titular protagonist is Yonah's brother, while in the Gestalt version, which till the remake was the only version in the West, he's Yonah's father. The designs, of course, was changed accordingly to each version, with Brother Nier having a much more feminine, lithe design, while Father Nier is much more typically masculine and is a muscular Walking Shirtless Scene. This was mostly done because it was believed that the Western audience would have appreciated an older and more mature protagonist.
  • The Reveal: Turns out the Shades are the real humans.
  • Revenge:
  • Robot Buddy: P-33 Military defense robot, also known as Beepy, with the child-like shade.
  • Rousseau Was Right: On your first NG+ we find out that all of the conflict stems completely from misunderstandings, as we are shown the enemies' perspective and/or background behind the situations and conflicts that arise. There are one or two times when the boss fight is only just the boss protecting themselves from your relentless bloodlust.
  • Recurring Riff:
    • The theme of the Grotesquerie Queen from Drakengard returns as the underlying melody to most songs in the game.
    • Inuart's song from Drakengard 2, aka "Fate", is the "Song of the Ancients".
  • Running Gag: Weiss scaring fish away by being a Large Ham, much to Nier's annoyance.

  • Sand Is Water: In Façade it is, anyway.
  • Savage Wolves: The desert wolves are massive and extremely dangerous. The Shade that leads them, Roc, in particular.
  • Scenery Porn: Some of the stages (like Seafront, The Aerie and the Forest of Myth) are made in stunning detail and very pretty. Most of the others, like the Forbidden Shrine, fall into Scenery Gorn.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Fyra went on to save the prince despite the rules forbidding her.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Knave of Hearts becomes one, when Nier can't truly kill it, and they have to instead seal it in the basement of the library by having Emil petrify Kainé in front of the only exit. Eventually, five years later, they unseal the beast when Nier is finally powerful enough to crush it.
  • Sequential Boss: At least half, or more, of the bosses, including the Final Boss. Special mention goes to the Defense System Geppetto, Hook, the Knave of Hearts, and Wendy.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several, but a notable one to the 3D Legend of Zelda games all throughout the Barren Temple.
    • The whole game is fraught with Drakengard references.
    • Apparently, the scene where the Men of Façade pull a Big Damn Heroes is based on "a certain manga where Death Gods fight with swords".
    • Grimoire Nier also has some short stories, two of which are named "And Then There Were None" and "Around the World in 80 Days" among others.
      • Grimoire Nier's timeline of events also reveals that the pilot who shot down Caim and Angelus in Drakengard Ending E had the callsign "Scarface".
    • Emil's mansion, which includes an underground weapons research facility, weird fixed camera angles and giant spiders not found anywhere else. Resident Evil anyone?
    • The first major bosses of the game, Hansel and Gretel, resemble Gunmen. Nier even kills them with a rather Giga Drill Breaker-like Dark Lance.
    • The dream sequences with the tree Sleeping Beauty are similar to that of Thousand Years of Time stories in Lost Odyssey
    • Among the chatter in the market of Nier's village is a merchant shouting "C'mon, buy somethin' will ya?", and one of the generic female dialogue lines is "Hey, listen".
  • Spanner in the Works: Weiss refusing to join force with Noir was a setback but the king of Façade saving the group from Goose destroyed the whole thing.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Debol/Devola and Popol/Popola. Vier/Fyra, Cleo/Kalil and Curly/Kali also run into this issue.
  • Sphere of Destruction: The result of Emil unleashing his power as "the Ultimate Weapon." It even leaves a perfect sphere-shaped void in its wake.
  • Sphere of Power: Mage-type Shades will empower themselves and their allies with support magic that has this visual effect. They (and the Grimoire) can also surround themselves with spherical shields that make them impervious to magic or physical attacks.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening cinematic (after Kainé's profanity laced rant) reveals, among other things, Weiss's connection with the Shadowlord, Kainé's half-Shade nature, Fyra's death, and the twins' betrayal.
  • Story-Driven Invulnerability: It's probably not noticable your first time through the game, but the bosses are invulnerable as long as there's dialog going on. When your level and gear get high enough, boss fights turn into long periods of doing zero damage while waiting for the dialog to end, only for the boss to drop dead instantly once the talking stops.
  • Stripperiffic: Kainé is wearing little more than a skimpy nightdress, high heels, and some bandages. Lampshaded during younger Nier's first meeting with her. Any cutscene where she is not standing straight up (or is even turned around) includes a Panty Shot or twelve, and even her panties have a Cleavage Window for her derriere.
    Nier: Why is that woman going around in her underwear?!
  • Super Drowning Skills: Nier drowns in any water deeper than his ankles. He'll lose a bit of health (unless he's in a town) and wash up somewhere nearby for his troubles. Explained in that none of the villagers know how to swim, since they are forbidden from coming into contact with the precious water resources, and even after the timeskip, Nier admits to not having learned because he hadn't thought about it.
  • Take Your Time: While fishing for the Shaman Fish which will ease Yonah's pain, you can go do the a part of the Fisherman's Gambit quest which will put you on a boat for two months.
  • Taking You with Me: Popola attempts this on the group, but Nier and Kainé escape thanks to Emil's Heroic Sacrifice. The boar Shade, Goose, has a better go at it.
  • A Taste of Power: During the game's prologue, you make a pact with a Grimoire and slowly unleash each one of the Sealed Verses in sequence. Not only will you level up abnormally fast (typically ending up in the 30s by the time the miniboss arrives) but the charge time for your magic attacks is decreased tremendously, allowing you to use the complete forms of Dark Execution or Dark Hand after only a few seconds of charging.
  • Terrible Ticking:
    • If you start hearing bells ringing in your ears, it's a sign you're going insane from WCS and will soon turn into Legion.
    • I c a n h e a r s o u n d s
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: Over half the soundtrack consists of variations of earlier themes, with a subtitle tacked at the end. Surprisingly, these variations are different enough to stand out on their own, enhancing the overall quality of the soundtrack.
  • Theme Naming:
  • These Questions Three...: You have to answer three riddles surrounding the cause of humanity's downfall in order to enter the Shadowlord's castle. Each answer has two options, and getting one wrong will only send you back to the entrance of the room, so there's not much at stake and their actual purpose is to clue you in on things not being what they seem due to what the correct answers are.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: The thirteen Grimoire. Only three make an appearance in the game, and only one of them is remotely benevolent.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: While it may not seem it at first, it's played straight. The party is attacked by robots such as P-33 "Beepy" and androids like Devola and Popola. However, none of the party are actually human. Nier and Kainé are Replicants, and Emil is a deathless skeleton. The same applies to the various automatons in the junk heap attacking people like Blue, as well.
  • Time Skip: It happens twice. Three times in the remaster:
    • After the prologue which takes place in 2049 (2053 in Replicant) it then jumps 1,312 years (1,412 in Replicant) into the future with the Replicant versions of Nier raising money for a cure to Yonah's illness.
    • Halfway through Route A, after the Shadowlord kidnaps Yonah and Kainé is petrified by Emil, the game jumps five years to an older and more hardened Nier looking for clues to the whereabouts of the Shadowlord in order to save Yonah.
    • Exclusive to the remaster, all of ending E takes place three years after ending D in which Nier erases his own existence (and by proxy the player's save file).
  • Together in Death: The Masked King invokes this when he dies, promising to meet with Fyra again. Possibly the Shadowlord and Yonah too.
  • Tomato in the Mirror:
    • The human race. But Nier especially when the twins tell him he is simply a vessel for his real self, the Shadowlord.
    • On New Game+ subsequent playthroughs. Not only you can understand boss banter and it becomes clear they are not there to stop your progression (well, they are, in the sense that the Shadowlord is using them as cannon fodder, but that's not their own personal reason), they attack you because you entered their home and are slaughtering their loved ones but collecting all weapons and going through all the endings will end with your save files being erased. Also sidequests in general mock the player, with NPCs calling you that idiot who'll do anything for cash and one even giving zero reward.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Downplayed with Seafront. In the Lighthouse Lady questline, Nier discovers that the town has been lying to the lady about her lover, who has been dead for over fifty years, because she is the only person they know who can work the lighthouse. As part of the lie, the postman takes her letters, stores them in the back, and then writes a letter while pretending to be her lover. When Nier and Weiss learn of this, they call them out for lying, but are presented with an opportunity to either tell the truth, or continue the lie. The postman does admit that the town feels bad for doing so, but feel they have to because of how important the lighthouse is.
  • Tragic Dream: Nier's simple dream to live a healthy, happy life with Yonah leads to all sorts of questionable behaviour and heartbreaking decisions. In the end, he can't save anyone from the impending demise of humanity, given that he was supposed to be a mere tool to be used and overwritten when his purpose had been served.
  • Tragic Monster: The Shades post-timeskip, after watching Ending A.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The wistful and melancholy "Emil (Sacrifice)" is revisited as the much more spirited "Emil (Karma)" for emotional action sequences. Likewise, "Kainé (Salvation)", a peaceful and mostly happy theme, is made into the rousing "Kainé/Escape" for appropriately inspiring effect.
  • Trophy Room: And it's located across the stairs from Popola's office in the Library, filled with effigies of previously-defeated bosses. Nier and Weiss will have choice comments for each, always wondering who could have put them there.
  • True Companions: Nier refers to himself, Kainé, Weiss, and Emil as this. Also a standard Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.
  • True Final Boss: Kainé in the original, Hook in the remake.
  • Tutorial Failure: The in-game instructions for the fishing minigame are flat-out wrong. Interestingly, the correct method is actually a lot simpler than the awful tutorial would have you believe.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The prologue, set in 2049/53.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: And a lot of it. There are a few 2D Platform Game sections, as well as some top-down bits reminiscent of Robotron. In addition, enemy magic attacks, especially those of bosses, are straight out of a Bullet Hell shooter. And then there's the Forest of Myth, which involves a dreamworld that's a damn ''text adventure''.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Nier and Kainé, particularly post-timeskip in Replicant.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Even as the people of Nier's world (and Nier himself) marvel at the thought of mankind once moving via "metal boxes on rails" (railroads,) they don't bat an eye at the highly-sophisticated robots or heavy machinery in the Junkheap. And when they finally take notice of the flying book floating right behind Nier, they take issue with his manners rather than the flying book itself. Even more befuddling, they never seem to notice that Devola and Popola never age, and have always been taking care of the village, even when the people themselves do.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crime: The Shades are fully sentient and were in fact once human too. This hits full force when you're able to understand what they're saying.
  • Variable Mix:
    • In the last part of the final battle, the layers of the boss music gradually fade out as you come closer and closer to defeating the Shadowlord, eventually leaving a simple and mellow music box version of his theme.
    • Some towns also have variable mixes in them; in Nier's home village, the regular village theme gets vocals added to it when you get close to Devola (who is usually singing in the bar or at the fountain).
    • During the last flight through the Shadowlord's castle, the vocals fade out to leave behind the high-energy music, hurrying you to your goal.
    • Encounters with Shades in the Lost Shrine will add percussion to the "The Incomplete Stone" track.
    • The haunting music heard throughout Emil's mansion won't go into its second phase until Nier and Emil discover and go into the Weapons Research Lab beneath it.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: The game does its best making you care for Yonah, from adorable little "Now Loading" animations, to letters to you telling you about her daily life, to her earnest efforts to cook a good meal, to her vulnerable, frail demeanour.
  • The Virus: White Chlorination Syndrome. Contrary to its name, the Black Scrawl isn't actually a virus.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Nier and Grimoire Weiss, early on, until they settle into a powerful friendship. Weiss and Kainé, on the other hand, remain acerbic to each other throughout the whole game.
  • Vocal Evolution: Among the English cast for Replicant ver.1.22474487139, Kainé has the most notable change in voice performance, coming across as older sounding than she actually is, complete with a Contralto of Danger. This is justified, as Laura Bailey did her voice work ten years ago (when she was roughly 29 compared to being around 41 years old for Replicant), and her voice has changed since then due to age.
  • Voice of the Legion: Larger Shades and boss Shades have this, especially those that are an agglomeration of multiple Shades. Most notably, Wendy, once it sucks up all the Shades and villagers of the Aerie and they all start crying out and screaming in confusion.
  • Was Once a Man: All the Shades. It's the game's main reveal.
  • Weather Dissonance: In the opening, it is snowing heavily. In summer. Though it turns out that it's actually not snow, but salt.
  • Wham Line:
    • The reveal that the Shades are the real humans.
    Weiss: No. They live on. You know them as Shades.
    • Right before Ending D, you get a major meta one that is sure to throw 100% Completion seekers off guard.
    If you choose this option, all of your save data will be erased.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Along with What Measure Is a Mook?, this trope is deconstructed and subverted. Especially after seeing Ending A, but also during many insightful sequences in one's first playthrough.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After the Knave of Hearts is (finally) defeated for good and Kainé is cured of her stone curse, the villagers call Nier out for bringing "monsters" (referring to Kainé and Emil) to their village. At which point he then proceeds to call them out for ignoring the fact that the so-called "monsters" basically saved all of their lives five years ago. Popola reluctantly agrees to try and talk them into understanding afterwards.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Brother Nier and Yonah rarely saw their father, who worked in a far away city and died before returning home. Also traces of Disappeared Dad. Father Nier spends so little time at home he becomes this towards Yonah.
  • Where It All Began: The game's plot kicks off when Nier retrieves a wayward Yonah from the Lost Shrine, meeting Grimoire Weiss for the first time. At the end of the game, the Shadowlord's castle is accessed via a portal at the top of the Lost Shrine. Even Weiss himself comments that it feels strangely nostalgic.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The player. Every small Shade were youths and even babies. Replaying the game shows that most of those in the beginning weren't even fighting you.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Uniting Grimoire Weiss and Grimoire Noir will force all Gestalts into the bodies of Replicants.
  • You Are Number 6: You actually fight a boss called No. 6, who is Emil's twin sister Halua. Also, Emil himself is actually No. 7.
  • You Bastard!: The game had might as well change your profile name to "Asshole" for how much it uses this. For all his good intentions, Nier ends up doing some very nasty things —and while he might not be aware of them, the player definitely is.

"Our journey may have been meaningless.
Our past may have been a mistake.
But we're not going back.
Even if this world comes to an end.
Because this... This is the world with the people we cherish.

Video Example(s):


NieR Replicant

A Video Game Remake of Replicant (which also serves its first worldwide release), with the subtitle ver.1.22474487139... (a play on the square root of 1.5) for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC released on April 23rd, 2021.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / VideoGameRemake

Media sources: