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Strategy Guide/Q&A with Yoko Taro

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Q&A with Yoko Taro
Printed in Strategy Guide
Translated by /u/Merutan
Date of copy 06.10.2017
Source Full translation
Discussion [Reddit post]
Yoko Taro answering 50 questions.


Q1. Why do androids come in female and male models?

Because they’re based on humans. To be more precise, since androids were first created when humans (not the replicants) still existed (Devola and Popola being an example), they came in female and male models. The newer androids were based on the first models, so that’s why androids still had female and male types even after humanity died out.

Q2. How does an android’s skin feel?

Very soft and warm.

Q3. Is the red liquid flowing in the androids blood?

It is not blood, but something made to look like it.

Q4. Do androids, as well as Adam and Eve, have reproductive organs? Do they use them?

They do not have them right after their ‘birth’. Since reproductive organs were hidden in most of the information from humans, they failed to copy those organs. However, during their learning process, they may gain body parts that serve as reproductive organs. Since they can copy anything, they can create semen, change their sex, and even mimic pregnancy to a certain extent, but since they cannot become truly organic lifeforms, they will not be able to undergo insemination or mitosis. They can only create very convincing imitations of the real thing using other materials.

Q5. Why do androids have a concept of leveling up?

Because this game is an RPG.

Q6. The timing of the machine lifeforms’ attack on the bunker via the backdoor just seems too perfect. Are the androids and machine lifeforms in cahoots with each other?

This has been shown in the stage play YoRHa, but the machine lifeforms have always been coming through the backdoor. However, the androids and machine lifeforms are not in cahoots with each other. There were mainly two reasons the virus spread through the bunker so quickly. One, since YoRHa launched an all out attack on the machines lifeforms, they were deemed a threat, and two, the red girls just felt like it.

Q7. What is this “Command” organization that came up with project YoRHa?

Since humanity’s forces consist of all the androids who report to the Council of Humanity on the moon, the so called Command is just the Council of Humanity. However, as revealed in the game, the Council of Humanity does not actually exist, and neither does the Command (the closest thing would be the server on the moon). The one who came up with project YoRHa is an individual android, but we have not revealed the details yet.

Q8. So the YoRHa’s black boxes are made from machine lifeform cores, but do the machine lifeform’s data and memories remain on the core?

Since the core is sealed tightly, the machine lifeform’s memory will not transfer over. However, if you copy an android’s memory space into the machine lifeform’s core and then corrupt the android using the core, you can transfer the core’s memories.

Q9. Approximately how many YoRHa members are there? Do they have bases other than the bunker?

There are around 100~200 YoRHa members. There are 13 orbital bases, but the bunker is the only YoRHa base.

Q10.  How many units of the same type (i.e. 2B and 9S) are deployed at any given time? Or will there only be one of each at any given time?

It’s not exactly limited to one, but it’s very rare for more than one unit of a particular model (for example, the 2 model) to be deployed at the same time. This is to avoid causing confusion to the android’s individual consciousness when the unit’s memories are recovered and integrated. However, during a high priority event like an all out attack, multiple units of the same model could be launched.

Q11. Why are there even multiple types to begin with?

The numeric part of the type represents the personality data, and the alphabetical part represents the functionality of the unit. The reason there are multiple functionality types is so that each type can specialize in their area to greater effect. The reason there are multiple personality types is because “having variety in our ranks decreases the chances of complete annihilation”, but deep down, the androids are imitating humans (or attempting to) in that regard.

Q12. Please tell us about all the YoRHa types.

B -> Battler

S -> Scanner

A -> Attacker

D -> Defender

H -> Healer

E -> Executioner

By the way, G stands for Gunner. I think there’s another type as well, but I can’t quite recall…

A and G were prototype models, and were integrated into the B model for production use. Also, prototype models’ types have the numeric and alphabetical parts switched, like A2.

Q13. Is there any reason the YoRHa member’s outfits are based on the gothic lolita style?

The world of Nier Automata is way into the future, where things like appearances and sizes have lost their meaning (just because you stand out doesn’t mean you’re strong). Though there were multiple choices for the YoRHa’s costumes, the individual who came up with project YoRHa chose the color black for a particular reason.

Q14. Why did 2B tell 9S to ‘stop calling [her] ma’am’?

Because 2B felt there was no reason for him to address her like that.

Q15. How much does it cost to produce a YoRHa type android?

A lot. The value of money has changed too drastically in the Nier world to compare to our current standards, but one YoRHa unit has about the same value as one state-of-the-art fighter jet in our world. The flight units are even more expensive, and cost about ten times that of a regular YoRHa unit.

Q16. Why are emotions prohibited for YoRHa?

There are two reasons for that. First, during the descent operation depicted in the YoRHa stage play (that A2 participated in), A2 went into hiding after the battle due to emotions. Because of that, emotions were deemed unnecessary for combat and were subsequently banned. The YoRHa squad members only know that ‘emotions were deemed unnecessary at some point in the past’ but not any details. Another reason is that YoRHa units have black boxes. The fact that black boxes are a product of enemy technology is a subject of much shame to androids. The one who created the YoRHa forces decided that units with such a tainted origin ‘should not be allowed to act in the same way as the noble humans’, and banned emotions when YoRHa was officially established.

Furthermore, to account for having black boxes, YoRHa units were implanted with a powerful program that compels them to love humanity (this is taking into account the possibility of a unit going rogue). YoRHa units salute using their left hands instead of right because they themselves are conscious of ‘not being allowed to mimic the actions of such noble beings as humans’.

Q17. Why did 2B need to hide the fact that she was 2E?

As to not arouse suspicion from 9S, her assigned target.

Q18. How do the transportation devices scattered around the area work?

Each of them contain a great amount of materials (but not yet in humanoid form) that are used to reconstruct a unit’s body.  

Q19. So permission to use flight units is rarely granted, but how many flight units are stored in the bunker?

16 of them. In the beginning of route C, you see more than 16 flight units in the all out attack, but that’s because they include units from orbital bases other than the bunker.

Q20. Does every YoRHa unit have their own rooms? How many rooms are there in the bunker?

The bunker has around 100 rooms. In general, each unit has their own room, but sometimes units share connected rooms.

Q21. Where does Emil get all those materials from?

He has been around for a long time, so he was able to gather materials from a lot of different places. For more details, see “The World in 80 Days” from GRIMOIRE NieR.  

Q22. Do Emils (including replicas) other than the one that 2B & co encountered exist in the world?


Q23. Why did the berserk machine lifeforms start attacking the resistance camp?

They didn’t really go berserk - it would be more accurate to say that their restrictions were lifted and they returned to their original function. Their previous passive behavior is the irregularity, since the basic function of machine lifeforms is to attack androids.

Q24. Why did the machine lifeforms start devouring the androids?

To make the androids part of themselves and further their own evolution. Machine lifeforms may look rather plain, but as can be seen from how they created Adam and Eve, they are in reality very complicated beings.

Q25. Was the tower created in an instant? Or was it created bit by bit, hidden away underground? Also, does the tower have anything to do with the giant tree from the previous NieR?

Like the copied city, the tower was created underground by the machine lifeforms in a gradual process. The machine lifeforms extracted data from the previous NieR’s giant tree, so I guess in that sense the tower and giant tree are related, but it doesn’t mean that the tower IS the giant tree.

Q26. What is it that was launched by the tower at the end? Is it a rocket?

That is the ark that the machine lifeforms launched towards the future. I guess you can call it a rocket in the sense that it uses propulsion to escape the earth’s atmosphere. The contents of the ark differ by route. In ending C, it’s empty (since all the machine lifeforms’ data that were supposed to be on there was destroyed), and in ending D it contains the data of machine lifeforms including Adam and the red girls.

Q27. Why did Adam talk to 9S in the end, even though Adam was destroyed?

Due to 9S’s repeated hacking and him fusing with the machine network at one point, traces of Adam were intermingled with 9S’s own memories and took such a form.

Q28. Why did the machine lifeforms have top secret information regarding project YoRHa?

Because the machine lifeforms accessed the bunker and council of humanity through the backdoor. Furthermore, leaking this kind of information to the machine lifeforms has always been part of project YoRHa’s plan.

Q29. Why did 9S give 2B an E-drug before the machine lifeform annihilation battle?

“Humans on the frontlines used drugs during wars” - 9S was simply putting that information into action. There’s not really any deep meaning beyond that.

Q30. What kind of memories did 2B leave on her sword before she was slain by A2? Do the weapons even come with that sort of system?

What 2B left behind was what she’d like A2 to do, which includes protecting 9S. It is possible to store memories on the weapons, though the amount of storage is limited.

Q31. Why did A2 cut her hair after slaying 2B?

It’s her way of paying tribute to a unit which had the same type of personality data (type 2).

Q32.  Why did A2 have a berserk mode?

It was an experimental mode that was implemented in prototype units. During the YoRHa stage play, 16G used it to annihilate the enemies. However, berserk mode was a bit difficult to use in practice, so the production models have the self-destruction mode in place of berserk mode.

Q33. What kind of feelings did 9S harbor towards 2B? What kind of feelings did 2B harbor towards 9S?

No comment.

Q34. Who made the recovery units, and for what purpose?

The machine lifeforms wanted to launch a large amount of data (mainly the personality data of various machine lifeforms) into outer space along with the ark. The recovery units were created to gather such data.

Q35. Does the machine network have a concept of ‘ego’? And if so, how did its ego manifest?

Since the definition of ‘ego’ is a complicated matter, I can’t answer this question.

Q36. The machine lifeforms absorbed the memory data of ‘a certain human’ that was stored on the old servers, and the red girls (N2) were born as a result of that. Who is this ‘certain human’?

No comment.

Q37. Why did the aliens attack the earth? And why did they just let themselves be killed by the machine lifeforms?

The aliens attacked in order to inhabit earth. They were wiped out by the machine lifeforms simply because the machine lifeforms evolved to surpass the aliens.

Q38. Does the demonic element (maso) exist in this world as well? How is it used in battle?

There’s not a lot of demonic element going around, but it does exist (for example, Emil’s attacks). Also, the YoRHa units’ skills utilize the demonic element.

Q39. Androids and machine lifeforms who go berserk have their eyes turn red; does this have anything to do with the Red Eye?

If I have to pick a side, it’d be yes.

Q40.  Multiple machine lifeforms formed a cocoon from which Adam was born - how does that work, exactly?

Multiple machine lifeforms fused to become a temporary factory, and gave birth to Adam from that. Since they used drastically different materials when creating Adam, Adam looks like a regular human, but the fact that he has a core means that he’s still a machine lifeform.

Q41. Why is it that only Adam can grow (level up)?

It’s not just limited to Adam - all machine lifeforms can learn and grow. Adam was born as a complete blank slate, so he evolved quite rapidly thanks to 2B and 9S’s attacks.

Q42. When Eve is overwhelmed by his emotions, the markings on his left arm start to enlarge - what’s up with that? Is it related to the black scrawl in the previous NieR? And why is it that only Eve has those markings?

He has those markings to imitate humans, based on what’s recorded in humanity’s past information. Adam told him to get those markings, and to Eve, those markings are like a keepsake from his brother, so he tried very hard to keep those markings, but when he goes berserk, he couldn’t maintain the shape of those markings anymore.

Q43. Why did A2 kill the forest king right after her sudden appearance?

A2’s goal is to destroy machine lifeforms, so she decided to destroy the forest king after hearing that the ruler of the forest was a machine lifeform. Though A2’s main goal is not the destruction of YoRHa units, she will destroy them if they chase after her. A2 continues to fight due to her oath with her comrades who fought with her during the descent operation, and especially her promise with number 4, who saved her life.

Q44. Both 2B and A2 have a beauty mark near their mouths. What’s the point of androids having beauty marks?

To imitate humans.

Q45. Are there any androids above YoRHa in the chain of command who’re responsible for calling the shots in the war against the machine lifeforms?

There aren’t any. YoRHA, resistance members, other androids from the orbital bases, as well as the androids fighting in the kingdom of night* are all equal below the council of humanity.

*This is the region of the earth that’s permanently night, which includes North and South America.

Q46. Who is the ‘god that emerged from the volcano’ as depicted in the picture books?

See “Prometheus’s Fire”, a novella featured in the book that comes along with Drag-on Dragoon 3 limited edition.

Q47. Does Leonard III, the lord of Schwanstein Castle in the forest kingdom, have anything to do with Leonard from the first DOD game?


Q48. One of the archive entries is a flyer for Accord’s shop. Does Accord exist in this world?


Q49. Do you have any ideas for a sequel? Any offers from Square Enix so far?


Q50. Last but not least, got anything to say to the fans?


(All curses stem from the day of the Great Calamity.)