- "You know...when I was young. I...I hated my eyes. And now that I'm older, I hate what my body has become. But there's something else there now. Something like...pride. You know? I mean, without all this... I couldn't have become your friend. Good-bye, my friends! Thank you for everything"
- —Emil, to Nier, Kainé, and Weiss.
Emil is a companion and major character in NieR. He is a young boy that joins Nier's party towards the end of the first half of NieR. Emil is cursed (or as otherwise reassured by the party, blessed) with the ability to turn anyone who sees his eyes to stone.
Within the first half of Act II, Emil reveals himself to be No. 7, an ancient weapon created by magical experimentation. He is ultimately transformed into a skeleton-like being after fusing with Halua, but retains his soul and gains new magical powers.
In NieR:Automata, Emil is revealed to have survived the events of the previous game; a disembodied copy of Emil is briefly encountered inside the head of a Machine and is later seen again attached to a moving sales cart where he offers his wares for the roaming androids of YoRHa. He recovers his memories with the androids' help and reveals he and countless other Emils were created by the original Emil to fight against the Aliens, to no avail.
- See also: The Stone Flower
Emil is a young, kind hearted boy who lives in the old mansion on the southern plains, tended to by his butler, Sebastian. Despite his gentle demeanor, Emil possesses unimaginable power - everyone he looks at is turned to stone. Rather than abuse this power, Emil is burdened by a terrible guilt and wears a blindfold to avoid petrifying anyone. He brings a sense of youthful exuberance and takes to Nier and Kainé as if they were the older brother and sister he's wanted his entire life.
Eventually he is forced to petrify Kainé in an attempt to keep a monstrous Shade locked away, and five years later he requests for Nier to help him find a cure for reversing the effects in a laboratory in his mansion. While in the laboratory, Emil remembers that he was experimented upon by the National Weapons Laboratory in the search to create an "ultimate weapon". His sister Halua, labeled Number 6, became the ultimate weapon while he was known as Number 7 and kept in reserve, in case he was ever needed to keep her at bay. Their mission below the mansion is successful and Emil gains not only the ability to see without harm to others, but also the power to manipulate all forms of magic and and thus the power to reverse the effects of Kainé's petrification. There is a price, however: having gained this power through merging with his sister, Emil is granted a new form reminiscent of his sister's "weaponised" body; he becomes a skeletal creature that floats above the ground, wearing a ragged cloak and wielding an enchanted staff. At first he is ashamed of his new look, but learns to accept it once everyone assures him that they do not feel any differently towards him.
He accompanies Nier on his quest to defeat the Shadowlord, and is responsible for the destruction of The Aerie after losing control of his powers as the "ultimate weapon". He later tearfully sacrifices himself to save the others from Popola at the Shadowlord's Castle.
However, Emil did not die, but is now a disembodied head. Emil expresses his relief as he lands somewhere in the desert and begins rolling along to locate the others.
|That is why you, the YoRHa forces, exist:|
SPOILER ALERT - Plot details for NieR:Automata follow.
Following the events of NieR, Emil is revealed to now have the body of a moving cart. He now operates a shop that supplies any androids of YoRHa that approach him.
Upon discovery of a Lunar Tear, 2B and 9S are greeted by an enthusiastic Emil who mentions that the sight of the flower gives him a surge of unfamiliar memories and a strange feeling. He requests the pair to let him know if they find any more flowers.
After discovering the second flower, Emil recounts the time when he stopped seeing people as the sand started expanding and flowers began to wilt.
Finding the third flower, Emil remembers the time when the aliens started invading the world. He admits that he forgot something important about the person he wanted to protect.
Discovering the fourth flower, Emil reveals to the pair that the war with the aliens wasn't going well. To combat the failure of their operations, he decided to create multiple versions of himself. Unfortunately, those versions were lost to the war as well. 9S asks Emil how old he is but the latter cites it as a memory he didn't need to remember.
The fifth flower discovery reveals to Emil a precious memory. He recalls to the pair that it was "a place very special to him." He gives 2B and 9S a key for the elevator in the shopping mall. He then tells the two that he needs to stay in the area for awhile to reflect.
After 2B and 9S use the key to access the elevator in the shopping mall, they discover Kainé's Shack surrounded by Lunar Tears. Emil reveals to the pair that it was a place a version of himself once protected long ago. He explains his background as a weapon and that the war with the aliens provoked the original Emil to create copies of himself. The Emil reveals that he was one among countless Emils but the more Emils there were, the more that Emil's memories became fragmented. The duplicate Emil reveals that the real Emil "spent a lot of time here with people he loved," admitting that they were tough and sad times, the memories of which were ultimately valued by Emil as his greatest treasure. 9S asks him where the original Emil is and he admits to the android that he doesn't know. He thanks the pair for helping him recall his memories and mentions that he and the other Emils need to settle something together. He rewards 2B and 9S with a Lunar Tear.
flowers for m[A]chines
or not to [B]e
the [E]nd of YoRHa
Power and Abilities
To begin with, Emil's only power is the ability to turn anyone he looks at to stone. This is involuntary and Emil is forced to blindfold himself to ensure the safety of innocent people. He also seems to be able to sense Shades, as seen when he identified Kainé's possession when he touched her arm, and ran to warn Nier at his Village when a huge army of shades was in the process of invading. However, after merging with Halua, he gains the power of Number 6, the "ultimate weapon", in place of his own. This grants him his skeletal form, as well as the ability to hover in the air and use immensely powerful magic to various ends, such as to heal others (including from the effects of his own petrifying stare, as seen with Kainé) and cast strong offensive spells to aid in battle. He does not have total control over his magic however, as shown when he was required to use extreme force to defeat the Shade Wendy at the Aerie, only to go overboard, losing control of himself and obliterating the entire Aerie in a massive blast of magic.
If players pay 300 magical crystals to the limited-time Nier Automata gacha, they may have a chance to receive Emil/Cleric and the weapon that unlocks him, No.7's Staff. Alternatively, players can spin the NieR:Automata gacha fifteen times to exchange 1,500 Lunar Tear Medals to get his job class (without the weapon); his weapon will be another 1,500 Lunar Tear Medals. The majority of his quotes reference his role in NieR:Automata; his entire Job Story is him badly singing.
The weapon story for No.7's Staff is a series of mad chants. Level 1 is a bunch of "tasty" with a single "bitter." Level 2 is a flood of "beautiful" with a single "painful". Level 3 is just "I love you" (大好き) being repeated until the character limit runs out. Level 4 is a series of "I'm scared" (コワイ) and a lone "help me" (タスケテ).
The second Nier collaboration includes two versions of Emil, his blindfolded human form (Boy Emil/Mage) and his copies (Emil Copies/Minstrel) as separate characters. Both have job stories that distinguish themselves from the NieR:Automata collaboration. Emil Copies can be earned by finishing the collaboration event while Boy Emil can be obtained through the collaboration gacha. His job is unlocked with the weapon "Halua Head."
NieR RepliCant's collaboration event begins with a decapitated Emil pleading for Nier to wake up. Despite his new appearance, Nier quickly recognizes his comrade. They are surprised to find Shades in the Library (SINoALICE's setting) since they had already defeated the Shadowlord. While accompanying Nier in his search for Yonah, Emil monologues about his gratitude for Nier's acceptance of his skeletal form and his desire to always support Nier.
Towards the end of the event, Emil is distressed when Nier regresses into the Shadowlord before him. He pleads for his friend to revert to the person he once was as he defends himself. As the battle continues, Emil remembers the truth and realizes that everything he has experienced in the Library was a sweet lie. When the Shadowlord revives again, he somberly vanquishes it with the knowledge that his most treasured person is no longer alive. The Library had responded to the remaining sentiments in Nier's weapons and Emil's loneliness to create a former remnant of his past life.
Even if it was a dream, Emil is thankful through his sorrow. With his memories being split in his fight against the alien invasion, Emil could no longer remember the people important to him. He only had the lingering feeling of "missing" someone. Seeing Nier again in any way was comforting to him. Resolved to always honor their will to never give up in the face of despair, Emil swears again to always protect the place that was important to his comrades. From the ending visuals and descriptions, it is revealed that the Emil for the event scenario is one of his many copies.
The last battle in Normal difficulty plays Emil/Karma for the first part of the battle and Emil/Sacrifice for the second half as opposed to Shadowlord's Castle / Roar.
Boy Emil's job story has him cheerfully citing key events of his life that extends to NieR:Automata's setting. Regarding the restoration of his body, Emil rejoices that it's a terrific feat achieved through magic. He remembers that he went on a journey long ago, but he cannot recall any details. "For some reason," he only feels a warm and clenching feeling around his heart.
Emil Copies' job story has them aware that they are a weapon created by the original. Though confused by their Library surroundings, they group together to face any threat with bubbly cheer. While the last part of his job story lampoons the addictive nature of micro-transactions in social games, his remark hints that copies can tell each other apart by the age of their creation and there are at least 12,682 of them.
- Emil is named after Ludwig Emil Grimm, the younger sibling of the Brothers Grimm.
- His original power to petrify people on sight into stone is in many ways similar to the powers of the mythical Greek monster Medusa.
- Originally, his name was going to be "Snow" (as in Snow White). This was changed to be the official code name for the project that created No. 6 and No. 7.
- No. 7's original concept was a giant boar. When the prototype design was given to character designer D.K., it was immediately revised to be closer to his current design. Yoko and Saito were quite taken by it on first glance. Yoko still wanted to keep the boar design in the game, so it was recycled for Goose.
- In an interview with Yoko Taro (and any other after 2011), he confirms Emil to be homosexual and is attracted to Nier. This is a contrast to an earlier Get News interview where he avoided saying Emil was gay but considered his behavior as transgender.
- The monochrome setting for Emil's manor is to reflect the idea that time has stopped. Neither him or his butler are human and can no longer age.
- Emil makes an appearance in the arcade-based fantasy collectible card game Lord of Vermilion Re:2.
- Emil is Mai Kadowaki's first role as a male character.
- In NieR: Automata, attempting to hack Emil as 9S when encountering him in the world map will result in 9S being briefly stunned.
- Emil's exact age is unknown; however, it has been theorized that the experiments have halted his aging process. For example: After the five year time skip, Emil's character model remains the same, while some character models (such as Gideon) have matured and grown. To further prove the theory, Grimoire Nier details the use of Emil in the defense against the Legion, as well as his being kidnapped by the original Tyrann from 1000 years ago.
- In the game's Japanese script, Emil explains that he was no longer human once he became the weapon No. 7 (by the year 2026). When he fuses with his sister, he lost the ability to ever go back to "looking human."
- Saito conducted a NicoNico livesteam to promote Automata which included a character popularity poll for Replicant. Users voted him to third place. Saito was surprised that Emil was less popular than Grimore Weiss.