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To answer your questions about mankind and Emil, the protagonist of Nier killed off humanity by mistake and Emil was a kid with a petrifying gaze that was transformed into what he looks like now.
Life for Emil is fucking awful and miserable and Automata only adds onto that even further.
All No.9 Personalities are based on the Prototype Number 9. All Number 2's based on Prototype Number 2. Finding out they were made to be dispoasable and used machine cores to be more "humane" by their Android creator Zinnia sent No.9 off the deep end.
The machines simpy rose up and killed the aliens after contact with a robot from Nier, Beepy, touched them and embedded a love of all things human into the Machine Lifeforms in a short story.
A2 was part of the current war against the Machine Lifeforms. She participated in Pearl Harbor and went rogue after learning about the truth of Yorha.
Androids are a disorganized mess. They have a council that doesn't exist and isn't made of humans long befor the Humans on the Moon lie was made that leads them.
Edited by OmegaRadiance on Jan 14th 2020 at 10:14:25 AM
I haven't dug into the lore enough to answer most of those questions but at least two of them are answered in the first Nier. SPOILERS abound her for it obviously.
What happened to humanity? Long story short, the E ending of Drakengard fucked up the whole world and most people died because they either turned into mindless beasts serving an Eldritch Abomination or got turned into salt.
The remnants of humanity during that whole fiasco developed a method to make biomagical clone bodies using magic from the Drakengard world, while the souls of those people who got cloned are stored somewhere. Basically they'd wait until the disease to die out and these souls would then be placed into the new bodies. This plan went South during the first Nier and basically didn't work out because the clones had long since developed sentience and since the souls of the original humans couldn't speak human language anymore, they had no way to understand each other. Even if they were able to it was kind of a zero sum situation. The main characters actions basically made completing this plan impossible and since the clones can't reproduce and the original souls were doomed to turn into feral monsters, humanity gradually died out.
The aliens aren't important. As I recall Adam implies that the machines killed them off. That's all we know I think.
As for Emil, he's essentially the last "true" human in a manner of speaking. He used to be a normal boy but he and his sister were experimented on so they could serve as weapons in the fight against the Eldritch abomination I mentioned earlier. He got petrification powers and his sister turned into a strange skeleton thing. During the events of the first Nier hes transformed into his sister's body by some accident and that's why he is the way he is now. Hes one of the most powerful beings in the setting.
Edited by Draghinazzo on Jan 14th 2020 at 2:17:30 PM
The aliens did provide the scapegoat for this perpetual war. The reason why the war has been going on for so long is because it's their way of denying that their original purpose was void with humanity being gone, with the added irony of both machines and androids vying for humanity by trying so hard to emulate them.
And of course the Androids are the Axis Powers whie the Machine Lifeforms are the Allies in this future History Repeats version of World War 2.
Thus A2 participating in Pearl Harbor.
There also is no point to the war. The current war is being masterminded by the Red Girls, who are machine intelligences. If I remember right, they're essentially making themselves stronger by training up YoRHa to fight them - both the Machines and YoRHa, minus Pascal and their village, are ultimately controlled by the Red Girls. That's why the backdoor entryway into the YoRHa command center 9S finds exists, so the Red Girls can use their kill program to scrap the entire YoRHa system once it becomes more trouble than it's worth.
They're making themselves more human, and ultimately they decided when they evolved enough they'll just leave earth behind and go to SPACE with digital copies of all Machine Lifeforms
Nier Automata is ultimately an exploration of what it really means to be human.
I was going to make a joke about "and fanservice," but actually the fanservice is kept reasonable throughout. It never becomes a distraction.
It's mostly the otaku part of the fanbase who can't stop shutting up about it and as a result inflating the degree to which it's present in this game.
Reminds me of how people act about SSSS Gridman. From the way people talk about it, youd think it's a nonstop fanservice machine when it's really not.
There's a bit of irony that the characters who seem to come closest to understanding what it means to be human in the end are the two Pods — ie, the least human looking characters in the game.
Edited by M84 on Jan 15th 2020 at 3:03:31 AM
Wait so then NieR: Automata's also got "Don't judge a book by its cover" as a theme? How pedestrian!
Not to mention it's the only game I know of where the leading lady swats away the camera if you focus it on her rear for too long. XD
There's definitely fanservice, but you have to put a bit of an effort into it. Like there's that trick where you activate the self-destruct, but survive, blowing all of 2B's clothes off.
that's the only really big one that I can recall, 2b and A2s designs obviously have a male gaze element to them but I didn't find it so bad that it got in the way of my immersion or the story at large. Compared to some other recent japanese games like Xenoblade 2 it almost comes off as tame.
Sam Bridges also smacks the camera if you ogle him too much.
Oh boy, yes. I love Xenoblade, but the fanservice is way too in your face. I started God Eater 3 recently, and it's even worse. I'd be less annoyed by it if the fanservice was more equal-opportunity, with shirtless guys running around with the half-naked girls.
But to bring this back to Nier, 2B has more emphasis on being elegant than "in your face sexy." And as impractical as that outfit is for combat, at least I could believe it's actually theoretically possible to fight in it. In a lot of games, I have to wonder how the girls can even walk around normally without everything popping out.
Somebody on YouTube liked the comment I made.
I really like the Destroyer outfit on A2, I think she rocks it. And for shits I like having 2B wear the alien mask with the heavy armor.
After starting it way back when it got ported to Xbox, I picked Automata back up and pushed through to the end and wow, that last ending was maybe my favorite moment in any game I've ever played? I'm a sucker for playable credits in general, but working it into the story? 042 and 153 defying their objective to save the ones they care about? The fact you have to accept the offers of help, and the way the music swells when you do? The payoff at the end? Beautiful.
I had fallen off because 2B dying was a real punch in the gut and I needed a break, and drifted away from it after that. I went back, and then Pascal's story ripped my whole heart out. I really hesitated, but eventually just walked out of that room. Knowing how the other options go, I'm... still not sure if that was the best call. But, well, there's no good call, is there?
I wonder if the Red Girls directly had to do with the backdoor being placed in the Bunker, playing both sides, or if they just found and made use of it. Midway into C/D I had thought the former, but as things went on my thinking turned toward the latter. The fact that (if I have the dates right) the game takes place like less than five years after A2's initial landing, and thus the production of mainline YoRHa, it kinda seems like it ended a bit early.
I got Short Story Long and read through it, which was fun. Currently poking around through other lore online, since this is my new world to be enamored with.
I'll poke into NieR and Drakengard eventually, though I think Automata has a lot of special appeal. I'm a big fan of AIs and such.
It was the Prototype for No.9 who made the backdoor. To say he took finding out Zinnia made them to be disposable and even used machine cores so it wouls be "humane" poorly is..... well you now know where 9S gets it.
I still think one of my favorite mindfuck moments in that game is 9S finding out that not only is it not a surprise that he found the backdoor, it's not the first or even the tenth time he's almost found it, and 2B is meant to make sure he never survives it.
You know, after playing Code Vein recently, I wonder how fucked over the Draken Nier world would get if The Aragami appeared out of nowhere during the backstory of Nier in the aftermath of Drakengsrd Ending E....
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