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NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... (ニーア レプリカント ver.1.22474487139...) is an enhanced rerelease (termed "version upgrade" by the developers) of the Japan-only NieR RepliCant, exclusive to the PlayStation 3.[1] First announced during the NieR 10 Hour 10th Anniversary NicoNico Livestream held on March 29, 2020 along with NieR Re[in]carnation, the game is a collaboration between Toylogic and Square Enix.[2]

The game was released on April 22, 2021 in Japan and April 23-24 worldwide for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and on Steam, alongside a set of free downloadable content called 4 YoRHa. It marks the first global release of NieR RepliCant, with NieR Gestalt (released as NIER worldwide) previously the version made available in 2010.[3]

Plot

The story is mostly the same as NieR RepliCant, introducing a few plot elements inserted during the game's two halves. The game once again begins in the summer of 2053, where a young man fending off strange monsters at a supermarket in Tokyo finds his sister suddenly suffering from a black illness, afflicted upon her as a result of touching the black book next to her.

Act I

1,412 years later, a similar looking young man providing care for his sister Yonah, who is suffering from the Black Scrawl, encounters a powerful arcane tome named Grimoire Weiss. After presenting the white book to Devola and Popola, he learns that Weiss might be able to cure the Black Scrawl and sets off on a quest to retrieve the Sealed Verses, which they believe will help cure Yonah.

The protagonist travels to The Aerie, where he meets the scantily-clad and foul-mouthed swordswoman Kainé. Together, they defeat the Shade Hook, and Kainé agrees to join him in his quest. The party continue searching for the Sealed Verses in such places as the Forest of Myth, the Junk Heap, and even to far-flung places as the Barren Temple. Beckoned by a letter later on, the protagonist travels to a manor in the Southern Plains. There, he meets the manor's owner Emil, a boy that petrifies anything he looks at. After defeating Grimoire Rubrum in the manor's study, they retrieve a page related to curing Emil's eyesight, which is written in an unreadable cipher. Emil's butler, Sebastian, immediately pledges to translate the cipher, and the protagonist returns to his village.

After he gathers vapor moss to make medicine for Yonah, a battered Emil appears at the village's southern gate to warn them of an impending Shade attack. Almost immediately, the village is swarmed by Shades led by the Jack of Hearts. The protagonist and Kainé trap the Jack of Hearts in the basement of the library, only to find that Yonah has been kidnapped by the Shadowlord, accompanied by Grimoire Noir. Kainé asks Emil to petrify her against the basement's door before the Shade can escape, to which Emil reluctantly agrees.

Act II

Five years pass and the protagonist, alongside Emil, traverse through the manor's Underground Facility to find a way to undo Kainé's petrification. The party discovers Emil was created as Experimental Weapon Number 7. Traveling deeper into the facility, they encounter Experimental Weapon Number 6, revealed to be Emil’s sister Halua, and that she is the reason the facility was sealed and abandoned. During the encounter, Halua consumes Emil and their bodies fuse together, leaving Emil with not only her powers, but also her skeletal form.

Returning to the library, Emil successfully frees Kainé, while also finally vanquishing the trapped Shade who had survived in the basement for five years. The party begin a hunt to collect all the key fragments required for entry to the Shadowlord's Castle, which they acquire from revisiting the Lost Shrine, the settlements beyond the Northern Plains, and the desert. Barring the key fragment from the Forest of Myth, they find the rest guarded by powerful entities—Wendy at The Aerie, Roc at the desert, and Military Defense System P-33 with Kalil at the Junk Heap, who they all successfully triumph over.

To travel to the Lost Shrine and find the Shadowlord’s castle, use of the canal is required, but the Red-Bag Man in charge of the ferry has gone missing during their search for the missing key fragments. While investigating at Seafront, they find his remains at the hull of a wrecked ship that washed ashore during the timeskip. Venturing further in, the party finds a seemingly young girl known as Louise, who acts very frightened and afraid of them. She is revealed to be a very powerful Shade and battles with the party, but is subsequently cast off as well. Delivering the news to Popola afterwards, she appoints someone else to man the ferry.

The party are finally able to travel to the Lost Shrine and onto the Shadowlord’s castle. Fighting their way inside, they encounter Devola and Popola, who attempt to stop them from looking for Yonah. Devola dies in the ensuing battle, causing an enraged Popola to go berserk, and Emil sacrifices himself in order to subdue Popola. As the remaining members of the group proceed to the castle's chamber, they find Yonah in stasis, and are interrupted by the Shadowlord emerging from the ground. After a battle with Grimoire Noir and the Shadowlord, the protagonist manages to defeat them and is reunited with Yonah.

Endings

Up to five endings are now displayed upon the Shadowlord's defeat, versus the original's four:

Ending A: Call Her Back
After the Shadowlord is defeated, the protagonist offers to let Kainé settle in his village. Kainé, with her arm flaring black, refuses and claims she has her own "shit to take care of".
The younger protagonist is shown at the village, presenting Yonah with a Lunar Tear. As they happily lie on the village's grassy fields, the Shadowlord and his Yonah are shown reunited in a white void.

Ending B: Lingering Memories
In a white void, the Shadowlord laments his failure to save Yonah before she reappears and shares a cookie with him, intercut with the two again sharing a cookie at the convenience store from the prologue.
After the credits, Emil's intact head crash-lands in the desert, having survived the blast at the Shadowlord's castle. He immediately sets out to rejoin the protagonist and Kainé.

Ending C: Thank You
After Ending A, Kainé is shown to have barely inched away from the two before the Shade inside her engulfs her body, forcing the protagonist to fight her one last time. As she is weakened, Tyrann gives him the choice to either kill Kainé or save her. Ending C results from choosing the former, and Kainé manages to thank him one last time before disappearing entirely.

Ending D: Something Very Special
If choosing to save Kainé, the protagonist deletes all of the player's save data.
Kainé awakes fully restored, but with the save data deleted, the game's events have been rewritten so that Kainé defeated the Shadowlord and the protagonist never existed. However, Kainé bursts into tears, as she still faintly remembers the protagonist.

Ending E: e8a898e686b6e382b5e383bce38390e383bc
Continuing off Ending D, the player's new game progresses as normal until after Hook is slain at The Aerie. The cutscene featuring the protagonist reaching out for Kainé's hand is altered, and she is revealed to have been dreaming the same scene for the last three years following the events at the Shadowlord's castle. She is led to the Forest of Myth by a man originally sent to investigate the settlement, where she finds its villagers slaughtered, and a number of machines exiting the Divine Tree.
Heading deeper inside, Kainé encounters a pair of humanoid machines that identify themselves as the Administrators, who she proceeds to deal with aggressively. The twins then respond with mechanized copies of Kainé that would have nearly overwhelmed her, were it not for Emil's timely arrival. Past the array of machinery, Kainé and Emil stumble upon a wholly white expanse, featuring a cityscape much like the old world, as well as facsimiles of the atrium and chamber at the Shadowlord's castle. She fends off an assault from the black cube at the chamber, with her final blow somehow sending her inside its cyberspace.
From there, the twins' attack on Kainé continues. Taking advantage of the artifice, they turn her memories against her, culminating in a rematch with Hook. On the verge of defeat, Grimoire Weiss is made manifest, and they take down Hook together one last time. The surge of power from the battle overwhelms the Administrators and the surrounding area, leaving Kainé with the person she cherishes the most.
As he is restored, a colossal white flower blooms over the landscape, with the young man in her arms at its center.

Changes

Gameplay

  • Complete graphical overhaul.
  • Reworked movement and combat:
    • Grimoires Weiss and Noir now follow the player around in the overworld instead of only appearing when using magic. Also added is a small feature where the player may interact with Weiss in a similar fashion with the Pods from NieR:Automata.
    • Weapons and magic may now be used seamlessly, without interruption, and even in mid-air. With the exception of Dark Blast, the player would come to a complete halt when using and charging magic prior to ver.1.22....
    • Soft and hard lock-on features now available. Removes manual aiming for the Dark Lance in particular; Dark Blast, on the other hand, retains its crosshair.
    • Weapon quick-switching added; lets the player tap or hold the assigned weapon slots on the D-pad to equip without opening their respective menus.
    • The "Defend" martial art now functions similarly to the "Counter" plug-in chip. Deflecting enemy attacks the instant they land lets the player perform a strong counterattack.
    • Finisher Commands now bound to the B/Circle buttons, and is no longer tied to "Defend" in order to execute the command.
    • Adds a sprint feature which triggers after jogging for a few seconds, complete with visual cues. Can be toggled on and off from the main menu.
    • Sidestepping adjusted; lets the player dash behind enemies in an instant.
    • Wall Skipping has been removed. Its accompanying tutorial, however, is still present in the game files.
    • A new Word, named "Ashurfarra". Grants a 20% MP Recovery Rate when used with Martial Arts, and Drain HP when used with weapons.
    • Kainé features as a playable character while working towards the game's final ending. Comes with her own moveset, and two skills (Whirling and Charging +*&%! Slash) unique to her.
  • Kainé's Sword now a usable weapon in-game, marking its first proper appearance in the series.
  • Weapon stories make a return; previously only available in Grimoire Nier.
  • A new side quest titled "The Promised Gift", with the Red-Bag Man as the client. Total quest count subsequently raised from 70 in the original release to 71.
  • Two new locations: The Beached Shipwreck and Sleeping Beauty, accessed from Seafront and the Forest of Myth respectively. Listed as "Wrecked Ship Interior" and "Beneath the Forest of Myth" in-game.
  • Five new achievements: Gratitude, Dear Diary, e8a898e686b6e382b5e383bce38390e383bc, The Little Mermaid and Daredevil. Several achievements from the original have also had their requirements adjusted:

Audio

  • Rearranged soundtrack, barring the music found in "A Departed Mother's Diary". Music from NieR:Automata may also be toggled from the Options menu in the title screen after beating the game once.
    • Two new tracks: "Fleeting Words" and "Analogous Memories". The piano piece that Emil plays, previously unlisted, has also been rearranged and included in the soundtrack, now titled "Halua".
  • Rerecorded voice acting, fully voiced dialogues, and new story segments. Limited portions of the first Deathdream sequence, Emil's Dream: Promise, and the final text segment also include voiced audio.
    • Zach Aguilar and Ray Chase star as the protagonist's English voice actors during the game's first and second halves respectively.[4]
    • The World of Recycled Vessel (15 Nightmares) is now included in the base game, with Jamieson Price reprising his role in a new conversation with Grimoire Weiss upon reading the diary. Kenichiro Matsuda cast as his Japanese voice actor accordingly.[5]
    • Halua now given a speaking role. Voiced by Ayaka Suwa and Lizzie Freeman in Japanese and English respectively.[6]
    • "Extra Episode: Mermaid"—a new story scenario based on the novella from Grimoire Nier titled "The Little Mermaid". Introduces Louise and the Red-Bag Couple, both found in Seafront. The postman is featured prominently in this scenario, with Yuri Lowenthal and Hiroki Yasumoto reprising their roles.
    • Addition of Ending E, previously explored in a novella titled "The Lost World", also from Grimoire Nier. Features the voice actors of 2B and 9S as the Administrators.
    • Grimoire Weiss's Japanese voice actor, Peter, replaced by Hiroki Yasumoto.
    • Adds sequences featuring Kainé and Emil bonding over a campfire in the Northern Plains, as well as three sets of conversations between Devola and Popola in the library.

Miscellaneous

  • The player's deleted save file may now be restored after viewing Ending E.
  • New loading screen entries, spread out over subsequent playthroughs. Adds a loading bar below Yonah while moving between areas.
  • All aspects of the heads-up display may now be disabled; previously limited to the mini map, text log, enemy health bars, and combo counter only. Camera controls may now also be finetuned.
  • "Auto-Battle" mode may be turned on when playing on Easy difficulty. Lets the game take over most combat inputs similar to NieR:Automata's Auto-Chips.
  • Harvest points now cast a faint glow on the ground beneath them, and no longer pause the game while they display items hidden in each of them when interacted with.
  • A bobber is now attached to the end of the rod while fishing, replacing the visual cue from the original where the rod itself would bend sharply.
  • Adds a watering pot to the player's hand while gardening.
  • New lines between the protagonist and Weiss whenever the former drowns in bodies of water or quicksand.
  • Costumes from the diary may now be applied per character, as opposed to either the "Kabuki" or "Samurai" sets applying to the entire party in the original. Magic orbs, as well, may be toggled to Emil's head separately.
  • Altered versions of "Repose" and "Snow in Summer" play at the Northern Plains and Lost Shrine respectively at certain points in the game's second half.
  • New rules added in several puzzle rooms at the Barren Temple.
  • New text prompt featured at the Junk Heap when asked to collect Memory Alloy for Gideon during playthroughs after Ending A.
  • "Keys" now listed as "Fragments" in Grimoire Weiss's notes. Several items, such as the White Moonflower and Shaman Fish, have had their descriptions updated.
  • Quest log updates for Yonah's Gift and Closure. The Belated Letter also renamed as "Letter to a Lover" in ver.1.22....
  • A final farewell to players after viewing Ending E, listed as "A Parting Greeting" in the Options menu from the title screen; unlocks Kainé's Sword at "that woman's house" when listened to. The title screen also changes a second time, swapping out the Lunar Tear with Emil's staff, Kusanagi, and Kainé's swords instead.

Development

Yosuke Saito, the series producer, clarified in the earliest introduction that this game "is not a remake or a remaster. It's a version up," hence the new subtitle. According to his remarks in the May 21 Dengeki Online interview, Yoko Taro claimed to not remember why they chose the subtitle. The chains around Grimoire Weiss within the logo represents the curses within the NieR universe that "remain even a decade later."

ver.1.22... was made to celebrate the series' tenth anniversary. Toylogic was approached due to Saito's experience working with them on Dragon Quest X and Dragon Quest XI. Many developers of those teams formerly worked on NieR RepliCant, so Saito asked them to join its version up.

Takahisa Taura from PlatinumGames remarked that he considered himself more of an advisor to the development process. It's an ongoing joke in interviews that Yoko disdains "good looking, popular guys" like Taura and finds it impossible to get along with them. Saito clarifies that Taura's involvement is an effort to bring new talent to the table.

Yoko commented that the game's battle system "must appeal to Automata fans", while also stating that he doesn't want to lose RepliCant's charm either. His goal was for a revised take that will appeal to fans of both titles.

Kazuma Koda, who has previously done key visuals for the series, including the YoRHa stage play, created concept art for this version up. He was nervous to have his artwork being used in a main entry within the series since his previous experience was for promotional media. He tried his best to preserve the original title's mood and tones while updating them to follow modern conventions. He is relieved and grateful to read fans' positive online reactions to his artwork.

Original character designer D.K. did not return to the project due to returning to his home country, although he cheered for the version up on social media. No direct answers were given when asked if new characters will be introduced. Since D.K did not return, the artwork for the main characters have been redrawn by Akihiko Yoshida and Kimihiko Fujisaka for ver.1.22....

When asked if "version up" means that there another ending will be added to the original game's scenario, Saito claimed to not know on the spot. Yoko stated that he didn't want to betray fans' expectations with any confirmation and had wanted to keep it free to interpretation.

Trivia

  • The number 1.22474487139... is the approximation of the square root of 1.5.
  • The game received two limited editions, one called "White Snow Edition" featuring a steelbook, 20 soundtrack remixes, 3 pins based on the 3 grimoires and 7 script books from the game. The other “Lunar Tear Edition” exclusive to Southeast Asia featured everything from the “White Snow Edition” except the scripts.

Gallery

External Links

References

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