The chronology of events between all three Drakengard games, Nier, the remastered Nier Replicant, and Nier Automata is honestly pretty convoluted. Yoko Taro really spread that info across all different forms of media. In fact, to get the full picture, fans will need to do a lot of research that includes information found in the Nier Automata stage plays, the Nier Drama CD, the Drakengard 3 manga series, and even the crossover raids in the Final Fantasy XIV MMORPG.


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Thankfully, the actual Nier Automata game, including theEnd of YoRHa Edition, is pretty obvious with its references and homages to its predecessor, but there are still a few of them that only true fans of Nier Replicant will notice.

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7/7 The New Red-Haired Twins & How They’re Different

Devola and Popola, the red-headed twins of Nier’s hub area, are some of the more memorable characters in the game outside of the main cast AKA Nier, Weiss, Kaine, and Emil. The connection between these twins, the Village they take care of, and both versions of Nier (Father Nier and Brother Niet) are very well-written and believable. And, this is exactly what makes it so painful that they end up “betraying” and trying to kill Nier to bring back the Shadowlord and finish Project Gestalt.

And, in Nier Automata these two twins reappear in the Resistance Base, sort of. The Devola and Popola of Nier Automata are actually just the same line of Androids as the twins seen in Nier Replicant. That said, likely because the “original” Devola and Popola failed in stopping Brother Nier from ruining Project Gestalt, all Androids are now hard-coded to feel general dislike for all Devola and Popola units. This is probably done as a way of punishing all Devola/Popola units for the sins of their predecessors.

6/7 The Redemption Of The Twins

And, while on the topic of Devola and Popola, let’s talk about their redemption. In Nier Automata, these two adorable Androids are constantly shunned and disliked by those around them by design. They’re literally programmed by YoRHa to feel constant guilt about something that a different model of them did thousands of years ago.

Yet, somehow, when the situation is perfectly set up for them to act as betrayers once again, they actually step up and help out. While 9S tries to hack into the Tower during the events that eventually lead to Endings C and D, Devola and Popola actually fight off the machines to buy him time. To way this scene plays out is masterful too, as the twins stand in between 9S and the entrance and draw their weapons as if to attack him but then they run right past him and start attacking the machines.

5/7 The Shade-Like DLC Coliseum Boss “Unknown”

Nier Automata has two DLCs, 3C3C1D119440927 and 6C2P4A118680823 (3C and 6C for short). And, while the 6C DLC came out with the Nintendo Switch version release, it doesn’t have a lot of “content” in it outside of some cosmetics. Meanwhile, the first DLC AKA 3C adds three different arenas where players can undertake combat trials at that eventually lead to players fighting against the heads of both Platinum Games and Square Enix as secret bosses. But, what’s most interesting is the Special Challenge at the Gambler’s Coliseum.

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This challenge has players fighting against many familiar Bosses as well as some enemies labeled as “Unknown”. But, fans of Nier Replicant will likely notice that these Unknown enemies almost look identical to Shades (or Gestalts) from the original Nier. This DLC isn’t exactly “confirmed canon”, but if it was the appearance of Shades would have some pretty heavy implications.

4/7 Certain Weapon Stories Reference Nier History

Weapon Stories are by far one of the most interesting mechanics that the Drakengard and Nier franchises have innovated on. As players use these weapons more, complete challenges, and upgrade them, more of the story tied to the weapon is revealed. And, in Nier Automata, a few of these weapons have stories that are obviously references to Nier Replicant. For example:

  • Iron Pipe:
    A story about a girl named Yonah talking to her dad. Obviously a reference to the original Yonah and Nier during the White Chlorination Syndrome crisis long before the start of
    Nier Replicant.

  • Virtuous Dignity:
    The part about its fourth owner is in reference to Brother Nier in Ending D of
    Replicant.

  • Cruel Arrogance:
    Similar to Virtuous Dignity, but the story about its fourth owner is in reference to Father Nier in Ending D of the original
    Nier
    game.

  • Dragoon Lance:
    This is a series of what seem to be journal-like entries from Angelus talking about Caim, both of which are from the first
    Drakengard
    game.

The Weapon Stories present so many interesting characters and unique methods of storytelling, and they always leave fans wanting for more. Hopefully in the Nier Automata anime they’ll reference or elaborate on some of them in some capacity.

3/7 The Library In The Tower

This is likely the reference that had most fans of the original Nier and Nier Replicant bawling their eyes out and not exactly knowing why it was hitting them so hard. While A2 is climbing the tower in Nier Automata, she comes across a library of sorts made of all white material.

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And, anyone who played Nier Replicant will pick up at a glance that this library looks exactly like the one in Brother Nier’s village. From the calming music to the bookshelves and even the placement of the ladders, it’s a 1-to-1 recreation.

2/7 The Sun That Never Sets

In Nier Replicant, there is no day and night cycle. Time still progresses in the game’s systems, in-game days still canonically pass, and people still choose a time of day in which to sleep. But, there is never a point in this game where players will run around at night, and there’s a canonical reason for this.

As it turns out, the Earth eventually stopped spinning or slowed down massively after the events of the Queen Beast from Drakengard 1’s Ending E. And, as such, the sun never sets (nevermind that this would roast the planet) and there is no night. The most obvious example in the original game is during the events of the King’s wedding in Facade where the game talks about the “night before the wedding”, yet shows Facade in bright daylight. And, this system and explanation also exist in Nier Automata as well, with a few sidequests even mentioning the oddity of it.

1/7 The Variety Of Lunar Tears

This is probably the most obvious reference to Nier Replicant of them all, and it’s the Lunar Tears. These flowers that Emil has 2B and 9S running around to find after they meet him and his mysterious shop are very important for some of the events of Nier Replicant. They play into Yonah’s story, Brother Nier’s story, and even the overall story of the franchise.

So, when players are first tasked with finding them in Automata, most quickly became excited to see the flower again and hear what Emil had to say about them. Then, when they finish this task, stumble across the underground field of Lunar Tears, and hear Emil’s tragic backstory, the tears start flowing.

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