Barbarian Nier Was Born In Los Angeles

By Spencer . May 20, 2010 . 2:09pm

While the gameplay is the same, there are two versions of Nier. A youthful looking protagonist saving his sister is the main character of Nier Replicant, a Japan only release on PlayStation 3. The rest of the world and Xbox 360 in Japan got a brawny hero on a quest to save his daughter.




image Originally, the young Nier was the only main character. “I made the youthful version (the protagonist of Nier Replicant) first, during development Saito-san (producer) talked about considering overseas markets,” Taro Yokoo, Director at Cavia, explained in an interview with Inside Games. “At Square Enix’s Los Angeles studio we had a discussion, it was said having a fragile young character was not possible. So, I started preparing a macho protagonist for North America.”


European and American staff were brought in for a heated debate. The point in question was whether a delicate looking character can wield a giant sword without looking ridiculous. Because Nier is a new intellectual property and they wanted it to sell, Cavia and Square Enix moved forward with two versions.


Another interesting tidbit in the interview is about Nier’s target platform. Nier was being made for Xbox 360 first, but in the middle of development the team decided to make it a multiplatform game. At the beginning, there were some difficulties, but the team successfully brought Nier to PlayStation 3 too.

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  • MrRobbyM

    “The point in question was whether a delicate looking character can wield a giant sword without looking ridiculous”

    …Reminds me..

    • yh…look at Cloud!! *facepalm*…

      • Aoshi00

        The 16yr. old bratty Nier actually looks like a splitting image of Cloud, except his chicken hair-do is more funky and silly w/ a rubber band thing, he doesn’t get very cool until he grew up to be like the picture above. I must say the old man Nier’s drawing is very cool.

        • yh th drawing is cool but ingame th oldman’s face is just… –‘

          • Aoshi00

            Old man was like 10x cooler though once he has the mask on (at first I couldn’t believe it :). They are both cool in the 2nd half. Actually in some more detailed cutscenes (not the real time ones) old Nier actually looks quite handsome, and wild w/ blood on his face :) (which kinda fit the crazed atmosphere of Cavia made games)

          • [The Hunter] Doomrider

            Alright, and this is where I take the opportunity to ask you this:

            in the Dark Horse comic, in the last issue, Nier finally finds the Shade he’s looking for, and when he does, he gets this… “Caimistic” expression on his face, like he’s going to enjoy every second of tearing the creature apart, and I love it, but people only seem to talk about how he’s a desperate father and bla bla bla.

            So, is that picture hinting at something, or is it just there for the sake of… well, nothing?

            Anyway, I’m going to start playing it this weekend, and I know I’ll love it. (Guess that makes my question stupid? Bear with me, fellow cavia fan =P)

          • Aoshi00

            Forget the comic, it’s “supposed” to be the prequel but I see no such thing in the game, at least not yet (I’ve only get the first two endings A & B). Maybe there’s something more I haven’t seen in Endings C or D so I can’t say for sure. Just play the game first at least, the art in the 3-part comic was horrible…

  • vrakanox

    Wow. Well we finally have proof that the original character was the young guy. Nothing wrong with the old guy though. Okay I’ve got a question though. That sword young Nier is holding right there. What is that sword. I have every sword in the game. It must be an upgraded version of one of the swords. Help me out.

    • Aoshi00

      Can’t see very well, do you think it’s the first “nameless” blade? I’m still maybe missing one weapon for the all weapon achievement and ending C. So it really was developed for the 360 first. I just started playing Replicant the other night and thought I prefer the 360 control much better.Comparing side by side now, I actually find the older Nier’s 3D model and motion to be much more detailed and fluid, maybe it’s the first one that I got used to.Despite being the bro being the original, I must commend them for making the decision of adding the bulky dad. The interaction w/ Yonah felt more emotional to me (I haven’t played the entire Replicant yet of course), and I must admit, their judgment is correct at least for me, “delicate” heroes aren’t too appealing to me these days.

      • vrakanox

        I thought it might have been the nameless blade but someone told me that one doesn’t change with upgrades.

        Yeah I really like both heroes. It’s wierd with me because I’ve always liked big badass guys like Gattsu from Berserk but also the more bishounen type heroes as well. I think more games should allow you to choose your hero.

        • Aoshi00

          I guess it depends on my mood lol, sometimes I like pretty boy too, but w/ the recent Genesis (played by Gackt, model and voice) from Crisis Core, it just gets too much for me..

          I just chk’ed the Jpn site, so the Jpn PS3 Replicant DLC does have the old man just like we get young Nier (but it’s a whopping 840 yen!), only in the special stage of course.. I got to like level 14 or something and then got killed by the boss w/ 1 hit… I unlocked the samurai and kabuki costumes before but now they’re not in the option anymore, weird :(…

          • vrakanox

            Thanks for the input on Peace Walker :)

  • Ereek

    I’m glad they chose to make the older character. While I will fully admit the younger Hero is better looking, I love the Father-Daughter relationship. Also, there are a few scenes later on that felt more emotional to me with the older Nier.As a new IP, the game seems to have done decently in Japan. Considering SE’s comments about making it another pillar, not well enough, unsurprisingly. Though I actually feel this one’s better as a single game rather than as a series. If they do make it a series, I hope they make it more Fallout 3-like, atmosphere wise.

    • Aoshi00

      Yes, totally agree. I got 2 endings for the old man version so far, and I just started playing Replicant, the father-daughter cutscenes pack much more of an emotional punch than younger Nier, a dedicated father giving his all to save his only child in the world but felt helpless against this incurable disease slowing consuming his daughter, it really strike a chord w/ me. I guess I just need to get used to a different one. What most people don’t mention though is in Replicant there’s a 16 yr. old Nier and 21 yr old Nier, so you have 2 ver. of Nier in the Jpn ver, while the old man stays relatively unchanged.I haven’t seen the last two endings yet, but I definitely don’t want them to make this a series like Assassin’s Creed or something. Sequels cheapen a perfectly good standalone game, like Blue Dragon so far.This game is so good though, so I definitely don’t mind getting all the endings for both US and Jpn ver. I love it each has a different language dub too. FFXIII though, that’s a game I don’t want to go back to… but Replicant and endings C & D would need to wait, there’s Alan Wake and Red Dead Redemption lol

      • Ereek

        I was amazed at how good the English dub was in Nier. Liam O’Brian (Wiess) shows, once again, that he’s absolutely brilliant. And Laura Bailey shines, of course.

        And yeah, I have a lot of games on my plate, too. 3D Dot Game Heroes is waiting for me, as are some of the older games I started but didn’t have time to finish (WKC, Badman 2, and so on). It even looks to be a release-heavy summer, as well, and usually summer is when I catch up on my titles.

        • Aoshi00

          Lol, Kaine is Serah (enemy of Cocoon, danger to us all)!? Now that you mention it it was her, awesome Laura Bailey… Not familiar w/ Liam O’Brian, got to look him up, yes, his portrayal of Weiss is amazing beyond words, added a lot to this game bringing it to another level. yea, so many games, and Mario Galaxy 2 (haven’t even finished NSMB Wii w/ my sis….)

      • vrakanox

        Yeah talk about emotional endings, you were right about just letting the tears flow. Especially the wolves and Fyra and all that. Also old Nier goes from age 39-44. He just doesn’t look much different.

        I keep switching between Nier and Alan Wake. (trying to get all weapons fully upgraded). Both terrific games but so far I like Nier more just because of how unique it is. I’m on day two in alan wake. Tell me how Red Dead Redemption is. It doesn’t look like my type of game (not a big fan of GTA or Westerns) but I’m curious.

        • Aoshi00

          Yep, the mask makes the man :) yea, the wolf thing was sooo sad.. and Beepy! That was sad… and then the bro went nuts, that’s sooo Drakengard. I won’t get my Alan Wake till tmw, hopefully would have time to play it over the weekend. I know, haven’t played a game as fun as Nier in a long time..I’m a pretty big western fan, I’m not crazy about sandbox games either, but I liked GTA IV because of the story (Ballad of Gay Tony was fun). I guess you have to like Rockstar games to like RDR. I think I would like it a lot because of the western setting, I heard it’s much better than the disappointing Call of Juarez Bound in Blood (I didn’t play that because of the low reviews). Originally I wasn’t going to get it because I have Nier (& Replicant) and Alan Wake, but w/ $20 credit from Amazon I caved. I heard the story and chars are great in RDR so I got it.

          • vrakanox

            Yeah I’ve got $10 amazon credit myself, debating whether to spend it now on Hexyz Force or on MGS Peace Walker. Doing that will give me another $10 credit. Hmmmm. Definately getting Hexyz Force either way.

          • Aoshi00

            I don’t know how big you’re on MGS, for me I don’t like this portable entry mainly because of the control and the multiplayer feature they added (boss is hard in single player and I only fought the first one..), if you can wait maybe wait till Peace Walker drop to $20 later on? Like Chrono Trigger was $40 and now $20…

    • cowcow

      how bout a younger lookig Nier as a father?
      Father or not, his design is ugly.
      Kratos was a father. Splinter Cell character was a father.
      Goku from DBZ is a grandfather! (ok bad example)

      • Ereek

        Sure, why not? It doesn’t really make sense in this case considering how old Yonah is and how young Nier is in Replicant, but a younger father Nier wouldn’t bother me at all as long as Nier wasn’t ~11 years old when he sired the child.

  • just release a DLC so that i can play th main story with th “youthful looking protagonist” and i’ll buy it!!

    • vrakanox

      Me too.

    • BrotherCavil

      Lame reason is lame.

  • EvilAkito

    I think steroids-Nier is a bit of a lost cause. The change doesn’t really bother me, but in all honesty, this game had niche written all over it. I doubt that the few of us who actually bought the game would have cared if the main character was a young pretty boy.

    • Aoshi00

      You’re correct, in that it’s a new IP that doesn’t have FF, DQ, or KH in its title. Sad that those games sell millions and a lot of people miss this true gem high quality, carefully made, and fun game.

  • Kris

    Is there a bigger version of the picture above somewhere? That would make a lovely wallpaper! Also, while I like young Nier’s aesthetics better than older Nier, I love older Nier’s character.

  • StealthKnight

    So the young Nier was first? Was that a triple lie then? They need to make up their minds on what is the true story or whatever.

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