NieR is an action-RPG video game series created by Yoko Taro in 2010. In the decade since the initial debut of this niche franchise, NieR has fought to reach a larger audience. As you may already know, the NieR series finally achieved this in 2017 with the release of NieR: Automata. This sci-fi post-apocalyptic title was showered in acclaim from all who played it. Plus, it had an extra push in popularity from a variety of YouTube channels.
NieR: Automata is only a brief glimpse into the world of NieR, however. Fortunately, a remake of the first entry in the series, titled NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…, has been announced for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and will possibly release sometime this year.
While the original NieR Replicant is a good starting place for fans of Automata and newcomers to the series, there are far more pieces of NieR material than you may realize. Let’s take a look at nine NieR series entries you may not know about.
Drakengard is a relatively unknown action-RPG series created by Yoko Taro, as well. There were three entries in this franchise, each of which had multiple endings. The end of Drakengard 3, however, had a very specific ending entitled “Ending E” that actually kicks off the NieR series.
NieR was not an obvious spin-off of Drakengard 3, whatsoever. It took players delving into the rich backstory of the original NieR game to make the connections to Drakengard 3 more apparent, but the links have confirmed that both series are connected to each other. While the Drakengard series is pretty hard to play these days and is far different than that of NieR: Automata, the story of how these two franchises play into each other is well worth researching.
‘The Red and the Black’ novella
NieR is a series that thrives with supplemental material. Of course, the games provide all of the context you need within them, but the series is more fully fleshed out in side stories such as novellas.
One of these novellas is titles The Red and the Black. This story follows the titular main character of NieR, providing backstory as to who he was before the events of the game. While this is an interesting story, it may be wise to wait until after playing the NieR: Replicant remake before reading it.
‘The Witches’ Sabbath’ novella
This is another novella that helps establish another main character of the first game. It follows Kainé and gives a little more context into her backstory. This novella is also meant to be read after playing the first game. However, many fans say that it’s a good idea to read it while playing the game, following the character’s first introduction.
‘The Stone Flower’ novella
Emil is a character featured mainly in NieR. Fans may also recognize this interesting character from NieR: Automata, as well. As he is so crucial to the series as a whole, it isn’t a terrible idea to learn a bit more about him. This is where the novella entitled The Stone Flower comes into play. By fleshing out his character a little more, both games carry a bit more weight in the end.
‘And Then There Were None’ novella
The final novella that we will be discussing today carries the title of And Then There Were None. This story follows the fourth main character of NieR, Grimoire Weiss.
Weiss is one of the more mysterious characters of the game, so learning his backstory makes for an enlightening experience. Naturally, fans who appreciate the character will more than likely want to soak up as much information as they can.
NieR Replicant Drama CD: The Lost Verses and the Red Sky
This drama CD works similar to a radio drama. It tells the story of a top secret experiment that players learn about within the first NieR game. Naturally, this drama CD contains spoilers for the game and works best as a sort of supplemental prologue. It was made to give a little more context to the story once you’re done playing.
‘YoRHa’ stage play
Where NieR thrived with the help of novellas, NieR: Automata has stage plays. These wonderfully crafted plays help give a little more context to the factions and cultures found within Automata.
While nothing within YoRHa is incredibly important to the story of Automata, the backstory that you get for the game is worth a watch. This is especially true if you’re a huge fan of the game and would like to see a little more content from this series in a new medium.
While you will most likely never be able to see these stage plays in person, they can be found on Blu-ray and DVD. Although, those copies can be a bit hard to find. Fortunately, however, some loyal fans have adapted these plays into translated scripts that can be found online.
‘YoRHa Boys’ stage play
Much like the previous stage play, YoRHa Boys isn’t necessary to fully enjoy NieR: Automata. It simply adds a little more context to the world. It follows the story of the YoRHa M squad as they train for their future as infantry.
Just like our previous entry, the actual visuals of this play may be hard to track down, but there are translated scripts easily available if you’re interested in a little more NieR: Automata.
Final Fantasy XIV – YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse
Alright, as you can see, Yoko Taro enjoys slipping tidbits of lore of this series into other storytelling mediums. That certainly makes things interesting for fans, but he went a bit further than that recently by injecting NieR into an entirely different franchise.
Final Fantasy XIV is an MMO that is based within the Final Fantasy universe. However, there is an entire raid within the game that seemingly works as a sequel to NieR: Automata. Of course, only one part of this three part raid series has been released so far. As such, the entire story on what this raid actually means to the NieR series is unknown at this time.