NieR: Automata is a fun and unique adventure. Anyone who’s played it for even a few minutes can see what makes it so special. But, it takes a bit more time to appreciate one of its best parts. This is a game with 26 possible endings. Five of these are full, serious endings, while 21 others are smaller, sometimes even sillier, conclusions we can arrive to as we play. While many are good in their own way, those five major ones really are something.
Editor’s note: there will be overviews of and information on how to get every major NieR: Automata ending on this article. Some spoilers, such as bosses that will be faced or characters controlled, are mentioned.
The first NieR: Automata ending is the most basic and the one you get after beating the game for the first time. This final battle will see 2B, joined by 9S, as they face Eve. The ensuing ending allows an end to a cycle. We see an opportunity for some sort of happiness, as well as 2B’s thoughts on the divide between androids and machines. If someone wants to completely stop at this point, it isn’t the worst thing. The ending is satisfying.
Of course, the second ending, known as Ending B, is even more satisfying. In this case, we’re following 9S and seeing from his perspective. This ending is the one you get after obtaining Ending A and going through again. While the actual ending is quite similar to Ending A, you learn more about YoRHa and the Council of Humanity and get a step closer to other, more unique endings. Again, it’s satisfying, but definitely hints at something more and encourages you to keep moving onward.
It’s after beating NieR: Automata’s B ending that C and D open up. Each one addresses the truth learned in Ending B and showing how that influences 9S and A2’s actions. For the C ending, you need to pick A2 for the fight. This ending sees A2 doing what she feels she needs to do. Conversely, picking 9S for Ending D gives us a chance to learn even more about the tower and, again, the game’s world, as well as make a choice regarding his future. Both choices lead to the same ending.
Once endings C and D have been seen, you can unlock Ending E. It’s easy enough, considering you’ll have experience beating the A2 or 9S fight. All you do is choose one of them, play through the ending as normal, then wait for Pod 153 to ask Pod 042 to pause during the credits. Say yes, They’ll confirm data noise. After some conversation, you need to choose yes after Pod 153 asks an important question. We’re then presented with an interesting opportunity.
Though, each of these endings affords us an opportunity. Even when NieR: Automata is sad, there’s still some sort of hope for those that remain. We get to know that some of the people we’ve seen and connected with will have a future. We get answers about the nature of life in this world. There are always resolutions that help us come to grips with existence.
All of these endings help make NieR: Automata richer and more realistic. Life doesn’t quickly and easily usher you down a single path. There are variations and options as you go along. You’ll be able to make choices that can end things prematurely. It’s possible to go along and discover new possibilities when you learn more about the people and world around you. Endings might be bad, or you might even come across one good one. NieR: Automata showcases that in all the best ways with its paths.
NieR: Automata is available for the PlayStation 4 and PC.