Nier 3 Has Been in Front of Us All Along, Per Series Creator’s Tease

If you’ve got ever dipped your toe into the Nier/Drakengard video games, you already know that their plotlines can get…fairly wacky. Technically, all three Drakengard video games and each Nier video games happen in the identical timeline, however spaced 1000’s of years aside, and with a bunch of alternate timeline wackiness thrown in for good measure. While the ending of 2017’s Nier: Automata may simply be learn as a definitive conclusion to the entire enterprise, for years, followers have been wildly speculating about the place the story may go from right here. Could there be a Nier 3? Will there be?

It seems, Nier 3 could exist already. In truth, it might have been launched approach again in 2021, and in true Yoko Taro trend, it additionally could also be about to formally disappear perpetually.

Yes, I’m speaking about 2021 cell recreation Nier: Reincarnation.

Credit the place it is due: I used to be first caught up on this idea after I learn a Kotaku piece positing this actual factor earlier this 12 months. In the second, I assumed there was no approach the connection was as specific because the article made it sound, however I gave the sport a shot and was completely floored. While on its floor, Reincarnation seems to be completely unrelated to the remainder of the Nier universe, its most up-to-date updates have began dovetailing fairly closely with the ending of Nier: Automata, and with the ultimate chapter looming, it is beginning to look increasingly more like Nier: Reincarnation has quietly been the sequel followers have been ready for all alongside.

Even collection creator Yoko Taro appears to be suggesting as a lot:

Warning: I’m about to get actual deep into spoilers for Nier: Automata, Nier: Replicant, the latest Nier Orchestra Concert (sure, that is one thing that may be spoiled), and the present ending of Nier: Reincarnation. If you do not wish to know concerning the endings of all of that, go play Nier: Reincarnation and are available again later.

You have been warned!

The Stories So Far

So, to know what is going on on in Reincarnation, we have to recap precisely the place Nier Automata and the latest orchestra live performance go away the sport’s heroes. To oversimplify the heck out of the ending of Nier: Automata, the sport’s true and remaining ending (Ending E) primarily leaves androids 2B and 9S in a reasonably lonely spot. Humanity, which the androids have been advised lived on the moon and which they have been instructed to guard from aliens and machines in any respect price, has been fully extinct for 1000’s of years. The androids, too, are nearly all both useless or insane from a logic virus, and principally everybody who knew or helped the primary characters (Devola, Popola, Emil, principally all of YoRHa) is useless.

Despite all of this, Automata ends on a hopeful be aware, with Pods 042 and 153 defying orders to destroy all YoRHa information in the hopes that 2B and 9S will be capable to reconstruct themselves and create a future for themselves on their very own phrases. The Nier Orchestra Concert, which I had the pleasure of attending in Chicago earlier this 12 months, provides onto this a bit. It finally leaves 2B and 9S in the identical place as they have been on the finish of Automata, however with the added bonus of informing them about your complete plot of Nier: Replicant and giving them some emotional closure with each other as a bonus.

So with all that in thoughts, we come to Nier: Reincarnation. For the previous couple of years, Nier: Reincarnation has appeared, for all intents and functions, to simply be a spin-off recreation with solely imprecise connections to the Nier and Drakengard universes in the shape of some of its subplots. Reincarnation takes place in a mysterious, maze-like location referred to as The Cage, and follows a quantity of characters’ efforts to reconstruct the plots of numerous quick tales that appear to be saved there as information, all whereas working by their very own respective points and finally coming to new revelations about themselves. The first arc adopted somewhat lady and a monster going by a physique swap, and the second arc was about two siblings, Yuzuki and Hina, coping with parental trauma and finally reconciling with each other. All the primary characters are guided by mysterious little ghost-like creatures, led by one in specific referred to as Mama that appears to know extra about all of them than she lets on. It’s all very bizarre, and really Yoko Taro, however for essentially the most half it appeared to have little or no to do with the Nier universe.

Until just lately.

Fio, the main character of the first arc, runs down a stone pathway in the Cage with Mama in tow.
Fio, the primary character of the primary arc, runs down a stone pathway in the Cage with Mama in tow.

The third and remaining story arc, The People and the World, brings collectively all the primary characters from the primary two arcs in addition to all of the characters from the tales they pieced again collectively in The Cage. Together and guided by Mama, your complete group works to cease an assault on The Cage itself that threatens all of them. However, in the latest few chapters, the group has come collectively solely to be taught that The Cage is definitely a digital server on the Moon, the place humanity’s historical past and information has been preserved. Everyone inside The Cage is technically simply information, with the exception of Yuzuki and Hina, who’re precise human beings pulled out of an alternate actuality the place the occasions of Drakengard (those that kickstarted the catastrophe that led to Nier: Replicant and Automata) by no means even occurred. And then we meet a brand new character: 10H, one other YoRHa android who has been defending the moon and its information this whole time with the help of her pod…aka Mama. The most up-to-date chapter ends with 10H sacrificing herself to permit Yuzuki, Hina, Mama, and all the info characters from the Cage to journey to Earth, the place an enemy machine drive is poised to assault.

If all of that sounds completely bonkers, I’m completely with you. But the purpose of all of it is that Nier: Reincarnation takes place in the identical universe as all the opposite Nier video games, and its characters are on the cusp of smashing proper into the center of no matter it’s 2B and 9S are doing. And critically, Reincarnation fully transforms the ending of Automata: humanity could also be extinct, however the implication is that the info saved on the moon would possibly maintain the likelihood of resurrecting them. Hence, “reincarnation.” Blammo. Mind blown.


Which brings me again to Taro’s tweet from yesterday, which appears to be alluding to this actual factor. Fans have been already buzzing earlier this week about what they thought was a Nier 3 tease on the Orchestra Concert, when the phrase “R3PENT” was briefly proven on display with a 3 in place of the E. This may have been a purely creative alternative, but it surely does tie in fairly properly with the themes of Reincarnation. Like the live performance’s plotline, a lot of Reincarnation’s story is closely targeted on repenting for previous sins, reflecting closely on the responsible conscience of humanity writ giant and whether or not or not people deserved their finish.

And positive, Taro’s “r3incarnationan” tweet is mispelled, somewhat foolish, and instantly adopted up by a tweet about writing reviews of home appliances. Maybe each of these are nothing! But even when each these teases are simply Taro being a goober, it does not make Reincarnation’s twists right into a direct Automata follow-up any much less mind-blowing.

One of the many stories players can piece together in Nier: Reincarnation
One of the various tales gamers can piece collectively in Nier: Reincarnation

So Nier 3 is already out! It’s Nier: Reincarnation! You ought to play it! If you are hesitant about leaping right into a free-to-play cell recreation with gacha mechanics, do not be. Reincarnation has been piling on the free foreign money for gamers in its remaining months. I used to be in a position to begin the sport, purchase and stage up a number of highly effective groups of fighters, and catch as much as the place the story is now in about ten complete hours of play. I paid nothing.

And it is a good suggestion to leap in and take a look at it now, as a result of Reincarnation will not exist perpetually. Reincarnation’s remaining story chapter comes out on March 28, and can hopefully see all of the Nier characters from each Earth and Moon come collectively for one large remaining conflict of destinies earlier than the actual, definitive ending. The recreation is shutting down on April 29, and will not be obtainable in any respect after that time. It’s a becoming finish, on condition that Nier: Automata asks gamers to delete their save information on the finish of Ending E to assist different gamers full the difficult credit sequence.

After that, it will be time to cease asking Yoko Taro about Nier 3, and begin bothering him about Nier 4.

Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a narrative tip? Send it to [email protected].

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