The NieR series celebrates its 10th anniversary today, as it originally made its debut in Japan on this day ten years ago with NieR Replicant for the PS3 and NieR Gestalt for the Xbox 360.
NieR started out as an action RPG spinoff of the Drakengard series, directed by Yoko Taro. The game was developed by Cavia and published by Square Enix. The Xbox 360 version, NieR Gestalt, released in the West as NieR for PS3 and Xbox 360. NieR Gestalt features a middle-aged Nier, father to Yonah, as its protagonist.
The original PlayStation 3 version, NieR Replicant, released exclusively in Japan, featuring a younger protagonist named Nier, brother to Yonah. The story follows Nier’s search for a cure to his daughter/sister’s unknown illness called Black Scrawl. Differences between both versions include the appearance of the protagonist and their relation to Yonah. NieR Gestal starts in the year 2049 while NieR Replicant begins in the year 2053. Other than that, the two games were mostly the same.
While NieR takes place about 1,000 years after the fifth ending of Drakengard, it originally started out as plans for a third entry in the Drakengard series. However, after the project went from a small-scale project to a full-fledged RPG, it became its own spinoff title. At one point, there were plans for a PlayStation Vita port of NieR at producer Takuya Iwasaki’s company Orca but the plans fell through due to the studio’s work on Dragon Quest X.
Last month, Square Enix announced NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…, an upgraded version of the original NieR Replicant. The game will release for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.
Happy 10th anniversary, NieR!