Square Enix's Message After Nier: Automata Ending A Is Just Confusing

For the past couple of weeks I have been gradually playing through Nier: Automata, a video game about robot depression, and just a few nights ago I reached ending A. If I didn't know any better — and if I took Square Enix's message literally — I might just call it quits.

See, Nier: Automata has 26 endings — one for each letter of the alphabet. Many of these are joke endings, triggered by dying prematurely or walking in the wrong direction after a cut-scene. When you get ending A the first time you play, it feels very much like the real one. If you haven't already seen the internet buzzing about Nier: Automata, you might think the story is over.

And then, once the credits have rolled, you see the following message:

Although this message is full of good intentions, it's also wrong. When you load up your save file and start playthrough B, you'll immediately realise that you're not really "play[ing] through again" — you're continuing the story of Nier: Automata. When Square Enix PR writes that "This game has several different storylines that change each time you play", what they really mean is "To see the whole story, you need to get endings A through E." Stopping after ending A would be sort of like quitting Final Fantasy 7 after disc one.

So when Square Enix says they "highly recommend you play through again", allow us to be clearer: You haven't actually finished the game until you've gotten all five endings. Which I look forward to doing as soon as I've gotten "THIS CANNOT CONTINUE" out of my head.


    Yeh it was only on my 3rd play through that i would say the real game begins. :P When i first heard about this I was a little dejected. But funnily enough to my amazement, i wouldn't really call each play through "repetitive" either. It felt quite fresh each time. Love this game.

    That song just doesn't flow as well in English... the beat fits the Japanese so well. このままじゃだめ!

    I honestly was going to call it quits after the first ending, given how lacklustre and generic-anime it felt. SqEnix's message made it sound like I'd have to play the exact same content for another 17 hours to get the next ending, with only minor differences, if any. Started Route B with the resolution that I'd abandon it if it felt to samey... those concerns lasted two seconds into the opening cinematic. Second playthrough was also only about 7 hours, and the new sidequests, the extra lore into the bosses... way better than the first route, and it just kept getting better from there.

      This is what I've been wondering as I ponder whether or not to buy this game.

      How long is it on the first play through? Are the subsequent ones the same length or shorter? How many hours am I looking at if I want to finish it "properly"?

        A playthrough is actually pretty short, just depends on how deep into the side quests you want to dive (which are all 100% worth doing.) it almost does it a disservice by saying "endings", because while it technically yes is an "end", it's definitely just the end of chapter 1 (of 3). But the whole idea of endings in general is something this game pokes at, so it makes sense once you've made your way through it.

        For real, ending A is chapter 1, ending B is chapter 2 but kind of chapter 1 again but with so much more context and new gameplay and sequences added in, and endings C, D, E are chapter 3 with the very end of it splitting into 3 variants.

        For real... play it xD

        Adding to @lawnch's comments, I spent a lot of time doing the sidequests, and clocked in about 16-17 hrs for the first playthrough, and about 7 hours each for the second and third, then about 30 minutes to get the final two endings. So, all up I probably spent about 32hrs to get all five major endings, but if you ignore side-quests, you can probably cut that down quite a bit.

    This is so weird, I actually thought it was pretty explicit and upfront. Being plain and saying "YOU GOT MORE TO PLAY" kind of would ruin part of what makes this game special. It's about subversion, expectations and surprises.

    I seriously look forward to the Jason Schrier piece explaining why it makes sense when you've actually played it.

    Anyone coming to it with knowledge of Yoko Taro's design approach would already expect to need to play it again because everything changes.

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