The YoRHa Musical and YoRHa Boys Stage Play, Interview by Famitsu

<< This is an early release of the translation. >>
If there are any typos or other mistakes,
these will be corrected in the next day or so.
Thanks for your understanding!

<YoRHa Musical Ver.1.2>

Today (January 4th) is the first meeting for the “YoRHa Musical Ver.1.2”, but as for actual practices…

Matsuda: Practices will start from tomorrow (January 5th). We plan on working on making the play over the course of the next month.

After this meeting once everyone has had their first look at the script, do you ask the cast what they think about it?

Yoko: No… because I didn’t finish it until early this morning!

Eh!?

Matsuda: I got his E-mail around 2:30 this morning and finished reading it around 6am. (haha)

I understand there’s usually not much time to cover the play, but for the playwright to finish the script just before the first meeting…

Matsuda: It’s not all that unusual. Just, the play this time around is on a much larger scale… (voice trails off)

Yoko: SoRRy for making you wait!

So, you’re comment in the end of the year issue of Famitsu, where you said “I haven’t finished writing the script,” you weren’t joking… Since the “YoRHa Musical” is essentially the third run of the stage play, I assume that the fundamental story will remain untouched, but are there any details that have changed?

Yoko: For the previous plays, I wrote the original manuscript but Asakusa Kaoru write the script, but this time I took Asakusa’s script and made some edits to it to make it more my style. I ended up taking out a couple characters and creating a new character that Maria Yuriko will be playing.

A new character!? Judging from her name, it seems like she’s a member of the Resistance.

Matsuda: Definitely watch out for that. As I read the script, by removing some of the characters, I think the relationship between characters is much clearer and more fleshed-out… I think it’s been improved a lot.

Yoko: The previous versions of the play were set up to be “Girls Theater” where a lot of young girls perform, but this time around, that wasn’t necessary any longer, so it wasn’t necessary to actively aim for a large cast. I think the number of cast members is appropriate this time.

Matsuda-san, you worked with Yoko on the previous “YoRHa Stage Play” and “Thou Shalt Not Die –Zero–”, but what was your first impression on the “YoRHa Stage Play”?

Matsuda: I remember being really shocked at the setting that required the girls to wear blindfolds. I was like, “they’re going to be blindfolded on stage!?” (haha)

Yoko: At the meeting he asked me, “Can’t we have them remove the blindfold sometime at some point?” and I was like, “Okay, I guess we can have them take it off somewhere in the middle.”

Matsuda: (haha) But I’m glad No2 ***** **** *** at the end. Not only that, but when I saw the release of the game, I was really impressed how well it connects with the play.

Yoko: I’m glad this concept connected so well with the game. That’s because I’m good at figuring out how things can fit together as though that was the plan all along.

From a director’s standpoint, what do you think about Yoko’s world view?

Matsuda: The setting and details are so finely detailed, I think it makes my job as director much easier. He sets it up in such a logical way that I can just think, “This is like this, and therefore this needs to be like this.” It’s at these moments that I really think this is the foundation of the “World of Yoko”. 

What do you think when you watch Matsuda-san’s directing?

Yoko: During the process of developing a game, I do a lot of directing, but I think Matsuda-san has an amazing talent of utilizing rhythm and the precise timing of sound. Because we work in the same industry I can appreciate his amazing attention to detail. Even with the new musical drama, I was quite surprised with how much of a professional director he is, how he’s able to pick certain songs and incorporate them into the play.

 Is there anything that you feel like you really put your heart into directing this play?

Matsuda: With the previous plays, “” didn’t exist at the time, but now since the game’s been released, I think the fans will have a better understanding of the play’s world and it will be important for us to draw out the fine details from the game. The impact of live music

Yoko: Not solely drawing from the game, but also accentuating the strong points of a stage performance, I think if we can do that, it’d be great; I would be really grateful. For example, there are certain costume designs that look better on stage, so we needed to change the designs from the game a little bit. I think the costume designs look really great for the play.

Okabe: Costumes were even made for the musical performers; Emi was pleased very much. For the music concert, we discussed what sort of clothing would be appropriate and each individual prepared their own attire for the concert, but this time for the musical, the costumes are all taken care of, so everybody’s really excited.

Matsuda: The cast and Yoko were all at the auditions, so I think this new cast is much closer to his original vision for the characters.

Yoko: Last time, I think the young women we casted felt synonymous with the characters, but this time, we’ve added many people who have their own careers, so I think the play will be much more complete with its slightly different direction. I’m personally very excited to see the differences between the new and old versions of the play.

See Also: About my audition to the YoRHa Musical Ver.1.2

-This time since the play is called a “Musical” with live music, I think it will be different from the past concert. Can you tell us anything on this front?

Okabe: The concert “Memory of Dolls” in 2017 included a live recitation drama, but this time the recitation has become a full-fledged theater performance, so I think that will take the spotlight. The play is just now taking shape, but I think the final result will be forged through trial and error.

-So, the general flow is drama―>live performance―>drama?

Matsuda: That’s right. The live performances a sort of scene change, choosing specific songs that reflect the feelings of the character.

Yoko: There won’t only be live performances but also BGM music that will play from time to time.

Okabe: I think the live performances will greatly enhance the excitement of pivotal moments.

-Yoko-san, was it your wish to make a musical out of this?

Yoko: No, the capacity of the auditorium is much larger than last time, so Matsuda-san said, “I’d like to get our value’s worth,” and so the word “musical” came out of that discussion.

-Then this didn’t originally start out as a musical?

Yoko: No. The concert seemed to be extremely popular, so now I get the feeling that Famitsu wants to fill the remaining seats with a misleading article along the lines of “we want to experience the emotion of the concert one more time!”

-Then I dare to make the headlines! (haha) I believe there are still A seats available. Have you already decided which songs will be performed?

Matsuda: We made the final decision at the last meeting.

-Do you have any plan to perform songs that weren’t included in the last concert?

Okabe: I think there’s quite a few.

-There were a couple songs made specifically for the previous “YoRHa” stage plays.

Okabe: Yes, there are two songs that were used in the previous two plays, “Normandy” and “Quadalcanal”, but this time we plan on arranging them for the musical.

-That’s very exciting. Yoko-san, I asked about your desire to make a stage play, but what is it that attracts you to stage performances?

Yoko: With games, we can control everything, but stage performances are live so we can’t necessarily control everything about it. I really like how the whole thing feels as though it’s alive.

-Lastly, let’s hear some enthusiasm for up-coming performances!

Okabe: When I saw last year’s concert along with the live recitation dramas, I felt like it exceeded my expectations. I’m really looking forward to the musical, as I’m sure it will also be beyond my imagination. I’ll be doing my best to put on a great show for all those who can attend!

Yoko: I finally finished writing the script, so thinking about all I’ll have to do now is maybe some minor edits here and there has me feeling quite relieved. If it sounds interesting to you, please come to the show.

Matsuda: I would like to invite you to come and experience the stage version of YoRHa that combines live musical performances with acting and dance routines as well as exciting fighting scenes. I hope to see you there.


<YoRHa Boys Ver.1.0>

Story Summary
Automatic Infantry Android, YoRHa
M Squad, an all-male model squadron, was created on a test case basis. The boys trained in a place resembling a school setting. The story begins with the enrollment of the second term students including the main character, No9. New students get acquainted to school life with the aid of their senior models. But then, those who harbor doubts about the YoRHa squad appear…

-How did the “YoRHa Musical Ver.1.2” reading go yesterday?

Yoko: Yesterday, at the script reading, I think I could grasp the atmosphere and got a better feel of each character’s personality. I realized that there were some parts to the story that required additional scenes, so I’ve got more work to do. On the other hand, I actually wrote too much for the “YoRHa Boys” stage play and had to cut out a lot… It was like a game that didn’t have a definite length, so I could keep on writing freely without really thinking about it. But a stage play needs to be a certain length, so it was hard to get used to that. I always write like crazy.

-Is it normal for plays to be about 2 hours long?

Tani: There are shows that are 2 hours long, but I think people’s general attention span is somewhere between an hour and 40-45 minutes.

-The “YoRHa Boys” stage play is directed by Tani-san. Yoko-san, what is your impression of his direction from what you’ve seen?

Yoko: Tani-san is also a playwright, so I watched some of the DVDs of plays he worked on and everything had a dark story. There was a story about mental illness, the story of a kidnapped person, a story about trauma and inner psychology, like… really surprisingly dark material.

Tani: (haha)

Yoko: Plus, there is absolutely no salvation from beginning to end, like hellish proportions. (haha) I really wonder if he can direct a poppy play like “YoRHa Boys”.

-I find it hard to believe that “YoRHa Boys” will be ‘poppy’… As far as a story that has no salvation, I think Yoko-san is notorious that sort of thing. (haha)

Yoko: For the most part, my work has its base in commercial entertainment, whereas Tani-san’s work is “real”. It’s really sick. (haha) If you compare “YoRHa Boys” with some of Tani-san’s other work, you’d think the story’s rather bright and bubbly. It’s like playing.

Tani: No, no no, it’s not. (haha)

-Have you completed the script for “YoRHa Boys”? I heard you just finished the musical script yesterday, so…

Tani: What!? Yesterday? (haha)

Yoko: I finished writing “YoRHa Boys” at the end of the year!

-Tani-san, I assume you’ve been able to read the script. What is your impression?

Tani: It was really good. Especially halfway through, I found myself thoroughly engrossed in it. The ending is quite to my liking; I read it excitedly while on the train.

Yoko: This time I’m depicting a sort of prequel that connects with the game, but in terms of the “YoRHa Musical”, I feel like the content in this stage play pairs well with the musical. I was actually thinking about using the same script as the musical and just gender bending all the characters, but I thought it would be better to do something original, so I thought up something new. Merely, the theme and the frame of the stories are similar, so please look forward to picking out the differences.

-So, there’s something extra we can enjoy if we go see both of the plays? Hearing that, does it make you more curious about the “YoRHa Musical”?

Tani: The “YoRHa Boys” stage play has its own color, so I’m not all that concerned about the musical.

-What about the music in “YoRHa Boys”?

Yoko: Unlike the musical, Okabe-san doesn’t need to do anything, so he’s just hanging out. He didn’t even need to be here today.

Okabe: I didn’t hear about the meeting today until yesterday; he was like, “Can you come tomorrow?” (haha) I guess that’s about how it’s done. (haha)

-Then is Tani-san choosing what songs to use?

Okabe: Yes, that’s right. I believe we’re focusing on music from “”. However, there are many quiet  and scaled themes from “” so we may use more songs from “Drakengard” if a scene requires something more ferocious.

Yoko: Regarding the music, nothing has been decided yet, so I believe Okabe-san’s going to double check the themes that Tani-san assigns to various scenes.

Okabe: I heard that we’re going to use the two theme songs from the musical, “Normandy” and “Guadalcanal”, but even that hasn’t been finalized yet. (haha) At the script reading yesterday for the musical, it became apparent that we really needed to include those two themes, so we may decide something similar at the reading for “YoRHa Boys” as well.

-I think a lot of “NieR” fans are excited about this play since it’s a completely original work, but could you tease a little something about it?

Okabe: Hardly anything about it has been decided yet, so there’s not much I can say. (haha) So, can I talk about something a little off-topic? Yoko-san and I have known each other for a long time, and ever since those bygone days, he’s continually said things like “handsome people must die”. More recently, with “”, Taura is a good-looking guy. Tani-san is young and good-looking as well. And of course the cast of “YoRHa Boys” are all good-looking, so with this play, I’ve come to realize that Yoko-san has a strange way of drawing good-looking people closer to him, contrary to his own thoughts. (haha)

Yoko: Once “YoRHa Boys” wraps, I think all the good-looking guys, including Tani-san, should succumb to instant death.

-That’s extreme. (haha) I bet the cast members who read this interview will be shocked. (haha)

Yoko: If this is included in the article, I think the person who writes this is a bit crazy, too.

-If you say so, I think it’s probably accurate. (haha) Can you give a brief comment that we can use in this article?

Yoko: I think it’s symbolic that the world of YoRHa begins with a stage play, continues on in the game and the recitation dramas, and finally ends with yet another stage play. I’m honestly very happy.

-Finally, Tani-san, if you could please cleanly conclude the discussion.

Tani: I’m Tani, and I will die. (haha) While treating the world view very carefully, perhaps you could say there’s meaning in my participation as director? I think Yoko-san will make some edits if I go a little too far, so I will challenge myself until the very end. Just like the characters in the play, I, too, will struggle and suffer, even cough up blood as I try best to make this a great play. The rest of the cast and staff have such overwhelming skill, I want to follow their lead. Thanks a lot.

-During your introduction at the first meeting, you said you wanted to make a play that doesn’t lie. What did you mean by that?

Tani: Stage plays are fiction, essentially a lie, so I have this theory that if I tell an additional lie, it’s all over. Do not lie in that world view; everything you show must be the truth. For the stage, I think only if you go to this length, the audience will come to see the show. I hope that “YoRHa Boys” will be such a play.



▲ (Left to Right) Tani Aoto, Yoko Taro, Okabe Keiichi, Saito Yosuke

<A message from Saito Yosuke>

Although, he normally doesn’t come out and say “I want to do that!”, all through the development of, Yoko-san was constantly talking about how much he wants to do a stage play. Now that his dream is coming true, I think it will certainly be interesting. I’m thoroughly looking forward to it, too, since a major theme deals so much with humanity even though our characters are androids. So, to everyone who comes to the show or watches it on NicoNico, I hope you will pay close attention to the great actors and the unique characters they play. For the musical, it’s pretty rare to get the chance to hear a live performance from Okabe’s group helmed by “Okabe of the World”. It would be great if you could come see the show with the feeling as though this might be your last chance.


Source: Famitsu
Translation by: Fire Sanctuary

Regarding My Translations of Yoko Taro’s “Thou Shalt Not Die” Manga

I haven’t been able to be as in depth and up-to-date with writing posts here as I would like, but I’ve had several people ask me this recently:

“Are you still translating ‘Thou Shalt Not Die’?”

→No, unfortunately I’m not. I had to stop and delete everything because it was officially licensed by Yenpress, as it was stated at Anime Expo last year. Please check out the clip of the official announcement (and my editorial about it in the comments) on YouTube below!

Famitsu Issue No.1494 – Translations

* This is a work in progress that will be updated periodically. Please check back again to read additional updates.


The Introduction
Pages 126-127

” which became a huge topic of discussion in the first half of 2017, the shock of which continues to stick in our minds more than the number of sales. For those of you who are experiencing “NieR Withdrawl”, we hope these pages will help to fill that void in your hearts.

Special Feature Diagest: Beware of Spoilers!

Interviews with the cast and staff,
A look back with comments from fans,
The Memory of “

It’s been about five months since the release of “”. Since then fans have been thoroughly emersed in playing the game, enjoying watching official live broadcasts, listening to the soundtrack, carefully reading through the source materials, going to the collaboration with the Square Enix Cafe, playing through the DLC and customizing the characters with the unique costumes; I think people have been widly grinning with excitement. We’ve also got additional merchandise, the novelization, and the music concerts in Taiwan yet to look forward to, but at the official “Memory of Dolls” concert in May, we were treated to one more stage that lead to the development of the “” project. Maybe you feel like you’re in that lull after the storm, a sense of calm yet great sadness!? For those suffering from “NieR Withdrawl”, we’ve gathered together a bunch of information in diagest form including several interviews with the cast and staff members, the results of the questionnaire from our readers, and much more. In one of the interviews with the staff, we talked with illustratior Yoshida Akihiko about the key visual that was used for the cover of the game in Japan, and we learned of the goggle-less version among other facinating miracles. A B3-sized poster is included in this issue, so please check it out.

**Spoiler Warning**
There is a ton of spoilers throughout this special feature, so for anyone who has not yet completed the game at this time, it is recommended that you skip over these pages.

Distributed at the 2nd Nier:Automata collaboration with the Square Enix Cafe in April, we’ve included a product code on p.210 to download the “Pod Skin: Retro Gray”! Additionally, you are able to purchase digital copies of past issues of Famitsu magazine that feature . Not only are introductory articles are included but also past articles, too. Items related to have been compiled into a really nice digest format that would go well with this special feature on . Check it out!

The “Pod Skin: Retro Gray” product code can be found in the download contents envelope.
Also check out the digital articles about you can read on your iOS or Android!

CONTENTS

  • 2B’s Voice Actor: Interview with Ishikawa Yui (2 pages)
  • 9S’s Voice Actor: Interview with Hanae Natsuke (2 pages)
  • A2’s Voice Actor: Interview with Suwa Ayaka (2 pages)
  • Rabid Dogs of’s World: A Conversation with Yasumoto Hiroki & Yuki Aoi (4 pages)
  • The Inspiration for “(2 pages)
  • Report: Questionaire Results (4 pages)
  • Messages from the Fans (2 pages)
  • Message and Cosplay from Yui (2 pages)
  • Taking a Look Back at “” — Discussion with the Main Staff (3 pages)
  • Present for the Readers

Concert Recitation, Act 3: Killer Beasts

Act 3: Killer Beasts
Scene 1: The Pearl Harbor Descent Mission

A2 (Narration):  Everything is designed to be destroyed.
In the never-ending spiral between life and death……
I continue to be trapped.
Is this a curse?
Or is this some kind of punishment?
Whatever god who dealt me this mysterious puzzle,
I wonder, will I someday raise my bow at him?

2B (N): She’s A2. Attacker No2.
A new model YoRHa android.

A2:  I was first deployed on December 8, 11941, the Pearl Harbor Descent Mission during the 14th Machine War.
I was a weapon created to take back the planet stolen by the Bio-Machines.
……We were that weapon, the “YoRHa Squadron”.

Continue reading

Concert Recitation, Act 2: Project YoRHa

Scene 1: Zinnia

No9 (Narration): Everything is designed to be destroyed.
In the never-ending spiral between life and death……
I continue to be trapped.
Is this a curse?
Or is this some kind of punishment?
Whatever god who dealt me this mysterious puzzle,
I wonder, will I someday raise my bow at him?

Zinnia, sounding very cheerful.

Zinnia: Hey, my name’s Zinnia. Everybody calls me Genius.*
…I’m just kidding.
“Zinnia” is the name of a flower. I guess they go through long periods without blooming.
My job’s, how do I put it……
I’m the head director of technological advancement for the Human Forces, I suppose.
I’m developing new android soldiers called “YoRHa” here on the 6th orbital satellite, “Lab”.
We’re developing state-of-the-art mechanical parts here and have gathered the most distinguished personnel.

No9 suddenly speaks up.

Continue reading

Interview with Yosuke Saito from Taipei Game Show (Corrections)

The last post that I made regarding this interview with Yosuke Saito and also Ishikawa Yui was a complete mess that was not entirely my fault. The translation there stemmed from Japanese answers being translated into Chinese (most likely on the fly). I then took that Chinese text, used an online translation page to translate it into Japanese from which I translated once more into English.

Phew! I’m tired just trying to get that straight!

Suffice it to say, a completely Japanese source, Game Watch, has posted this interview in Japanese to help clear up a couple important points that seemed like they came right out of left field. I’ll highlight the most important points.

* * * * * * * * * *

ーThe demo received positive marks in Japan, but what sort of feedback did you get from the players?

Saito: Our goal for the demo was to give players a hands-on experience, to witness firsthand how fluid the action is, and to show them what to expect from the final product. We released a demo because it’s difficult to explain in words what a game will be like—it’s better to show you the game and let you experience it for yourself. I’m extremely pleased with all the positive feedback the demo has been receiving. Even though it is an Action RPG, we really want to save the RPG elements for the final release of the game, things like the story, various forms of level progression, and buying and selling items.

ーYou’re not able to use the lock-on function in Hard or Very Hard. Will this stay the same in the final release?

S: There are many settings at work including the lock-on function, but it won’t be accessible in Hard or Very Hard, unfortunately. For Easy and Normal modes, you can equip a Plug-in chip to turn on this ability, but you are also free to remove it to further personalize your own difficulty level. If you’re not good at action games, you can equip every chip to help you on Easy mode so all you need to do is move the joystick. On Normal, you are also welcome to equip or unequip the lock-on chip as you like. I think the player will be able to customize the game around their own gameplay preferences.

ーWe were able to see a few new weapons in the demo that included background illustrations and corresponding weapon stories. I’m sure there will be many more in the final release of the game. Can we expect to see these illustrations change as you level up your weapon?

S: I can’t say much about this, but… (haha) Even though the background illustrations won’t change as you level up the weapons, the corresponding weapon story will. The weapon itself will also change its appearance.

ーIn the demo, we saw the 3D screen change to a 2D side-scroller. Was there any particular reason you designed stages like that?

S: The previous also implemented similar 2D side-scrolling and top-down views. It’s one of the many things that make a “NieR” gameーa fun action gameーso we wanted to throw in a little homage to retro games and what made them so good. It was all the brainchild of Director Yoko Taro, especially since he loves retro 2D games. Simply put, Platinum Games is handling all aspects of the action, so these stage designs are their way of respecting the previous.

ーThis is a question for Ishikawa-san. Do you have any interesting stories to tell us from your recording sessions?

Ishikawa: Right, I don’t have any funny stories to tell, but when we first began recording, but back then character illustrations were still in development. We had very little to work from. Now we have things like images of 2B and we can actually see how characters robots move, but in the beginning, all we had was a video of real actors performing a particular scene. That was a first for me. It was really interesting to see how that would eventually become part of the actual game.

ーThe ending of the demo was so shocking; how does that connect to the finished game? Or was is purely a separate story only meant for the demo?

S: Hmm… What do you think, Ishikawa-san?

I: You’re passing this to me? (haha) Well, I’ve played the demo and, of course, I know the story, but I thought the ending was a huge cliffhanger.

S: It actually caused a bit of a controversy in Japan. People were wondering things like, “Could this actually be the ending of the game!?” (haha) First of all, it’s not a separate story made specifically for the demo. Although it doesn’t depict the very beginning of the game, it still takes place roughly during the beginning. I hope you look forward to the official release of the game to see the resolution of this cliffhanger!

ーSo, will there be multiple endings this time around?

S: Yes, there will be multiple endings, but exactly how many is a secret.

ーAnother question for Ishikawa-san. Without spoiling anything, can you tell us what do you think of 2B?

I: (hahaha) Okay. First of all, the story itself is shocking in a multitude of ways—I’m really scared I might accidentally blurt something out. 2B isn’t allowed to express emotion, but in small places, here and there, you can see her treating 9S with gentle care. Since she isn’t overly flamboyant, she may be holding back her feelings, although they tend to unintentionally show in the heat of the moment or in slight subtleties of the heart. I recorded so many lines while thinking how it would be nice if she could express how she really feels.

S: I won’t spoil anything, but listening to you just now almost made me cry. (haha)

I: The release can’t come sooner! I want to get rid of this antsy feelingーlike I MUST play this game right now!!

ーPS4 Pro Support?

S: We talked about this with Platinum Games, and of course you can play おn a 4K TV, but when 4K is actually supported, it spoils the 60fps action. At any rate, when we set our minds on it, we were able to make it work. We entirely intend to preserve Full HD 4K/60fps so you can get every ounce out of . We’re very particular with the motion blur, shadows, and other fine details. After that, we need to maintain the overall performance stability, I suppose. For example, the action cannot lag when a ton of enemies appear on screen.

ーIn your demonstration, when you ran from place to place, we got a feel for how big the stages will be. Will we be mostly walking or running between locations?

S: You can also fly in the sky and ride on animals. In the presentation, we literally ran through some of those areas because half of it is filled with story elements. Just past where we stopped at the front gates of the Amusement Park, it opens up to an entirely new area for you to explore. I hope we were able to tease that a little for you!

ーBefore the presentation began, we saw multiple characters in a trailer. How many playable characters will there be?

S: So far, we’ve only stated that 2B and 9S will be playable. There’s also A2, but whether she’s playable or not is a secret, so look forward to that reveal! Maybe she won’t be a playable character. (haha)

ーIs this game somehow connected to the previous title? Does it have anything to do with?

S: I could talk all night about how things are connected, but to answer you briefly, there is no need to play any of the previous games to enjoy’s multiple endings. Simply, if you have played them, I think you’ll really get a kick out of seeing Emil again. As it turns out, though, Hanae-kun (voice of 9S) went back and played them ALL again to refresh his memory. (haha)

ーNow that you mention Hanae-san, didn’t he manage to clear Very Hard?!      Can you share anything more about that?

S: Yeah, he wrote to me on LINE and said, “I’m at the last boss now, but I have to work in the morning, so I need to sleep.” I wrote back and told him, “Go to bed!” About an hour later, I saw he wrote on Twitter that he beat Very Hard. I tried to tell him that he should sleep since he had to appear on the “Oha Suta” TV program the following morning. (haha)


Source: Game Watch

Interview from Taipei Game Show 2017!

According to an interview by A9VG, we’ve learned a couple new things regarding the game and what’s in store for us…

Please note that I’m going from a very round-about way to translate this. I know *nothing* of Chinese but I do understand Japanese. I used an online translation site to first translate this into Japanese and then I attempted to translate that into English. ^^;

First of all, the Chinese version of the game has been confirmed for this spring.

—Will there be any changes from the demo leading into the actual release of the game?
Saito: We released the demo version with the intention of gaining some important feedback from players. The main purpose was to allow players to experience the action part of the game and let them tell us what they thought.

—In the Hard and Very Hard modes, the player is not able to use the lock-on function. Will this still be true for the official release of the game?
Saito: Yes, the lock-on function is not accessible in the harder difficulty levels, but in Normal and Easy modes, the player can select whether or not they want to use this function.

—In the demo, we’re only able to explore the area on foot. Will there be other modes of transportation in the official release?
Saito: In the official version there will be aerial vehicles and also animals that you can ride on.

—In the demo, we could see that weapons have their own stories with illustrations. Will the official release have more of this, additional illustrations, for example?
Saito: As you level up your weapons, you can gradually unlock additional portions of the Weapon Stories. The background image that’s used for the Weapon Stories won’t change, but the actual appearance of the weapons will.

—Ishikawa-san, do you have any interesting stories for us?
Ishikawa: Perhaps when I started working on this game. At the time, even the character designs were not yet complete. Since the dubbing was done along with the development of the game, I could really get an inside look on its production.

—What significance does the content in the demo have to do with the official release?
Saito: In Japan, it was discussed whether or not the demo depicted the ending of the game. We can reveal here that what you see in the demo occurs roughly at the half-way point of the game. We selected that part so you can get a nice chunk of the game to experience. The story in the demo is not an independent story from the rest of the game.

—Ishikawa-san, how do you feel about your role as 2B?
Ishikawa: There are so many emotional moments in the story. As for 2B, she isn’t allowed to express her own feelings. Although she doesn’t sound like it, I think she’s a really gentle person. She’s also very concerned about 9S.

—What can we expect from the PRO?
Saito: We initially discussed using 4K with the PRO, but as an action game, we needed to be sure we had at least 1080p/60fps. So, the movement in the PRO version should feel more fluid with better lighting and shadows.

—How many different characters can we expect to play?
Saito: Right now we can confirm that 2B and 9S will be playable.

—We know there’s a connection between and the series. Should people play the previous games to prepare for this one?
Saito: There is a connection between them all, but there’s absolutely no problem if you haven’t played them. Simply, if you are familiar with the other titles, you may notice some interesting things. For example, the voice actor for 9S, Hanae-san, has played all of the previous games.


Source: A9VG

* * * * * * * * * *

According to other Japanese-Chinese translations, not just mine, it appears as though the events that we see in the demo may not actually take place at the *beginning* of the game, but rather a bit further in. It’s described as the “mid-way” point or half-way through the game, but the DOD/NieR series always use multiple playthroughs… so perhaps this could be towards the end of the first run through, “Branch A”.

There are several points that create confusion with this statement, one is my own translation of some of the storyboards and scripts from the Character Introduction video that was originally shown at the Music Concert & Talk Live. Plus, it appears as though 2B and 9S had never met–so would that mean that 2B is alone for the whole first playthrough? Or perhaps there’s an entirely different story gimmick in play that we have no clue about yet?

We don’t have much to go on here, so it may be better to give our brains a rest and just wait until the game is finally released. We’ve only got a month left to go here in Japan… <3

Dengeki 1st Live Broadcast – Recap

Dengeki had their first Live Broadcast showcasing the beginning portion of the up-coming demo last night. I was busy at a dinner party with people from work, so I apologize for the delay in this post.

Beginning the broadcast, we are introduced to the cast on the show:


Dengeki Writer Tadatsugu and Ishikawa Yui


Voice of “heroine” 9S Hanae Natsuki & “DJ” Saito Yosuke

Platinum Games Producer Nishimura Eijiro

 PS4 Vs. PS4 Pro

The first topic of choice was comparing the differences between the PS4 and PS4 Pro versions of the game:

Motion Blur – This feature is meant to be demonstrated in actual motion, but the PS4 Pro adds a little bit of motion blur to make movement more realistic.

Light/Shadows – The beams of light and details of shadows are more clearly defined.

Detailed Shadows – The PS4 Pro version has a much higher defined shadow.

For me, I don’t need these added details in order to enjoy the game. In my current financial situation, I would much rather go with the PS4 instead of the Pro.

 

 Difficulty Levels

Next we were shown the Difficulty Select menu. As it was stated before, the player is able to change the level of difficulty at anytime during the game. According to these screens, there are a total of four difficulty levels: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard.

The descriptions for each difficulty level is pretty entertaining as well… Probably.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Auto Mode is only accessible from the Easy difficulty setting. Just like the rest of the difficulties, you are able to enter the Auto Mode at any time. The System Message also details exactly what areas the Auto Mode will help you with.

 

 The Demo: Setting

We’re shown very briefly a screen of text which details the setting of the demo. I had originally thought the demo would be merely a YoRHa training simulation on the Bunker (which is may still be), but the events that take place here appear to follow along with the clips of the Opening Sequence Conte that I translated before.

First off, let me translate the setting screen:

243rd Descent Mission

Mission Dispatch Date: March 10, 11945
Target to be Destroyed: Enemy Massive-scale Weapon (Various specifications confirmed)
Active Units: 1D (Captain), 2B, 7E, 4B, 11B, 12H

Mission Details:
According to the information gathered by the Intelligence Squadron, it is clear that “there is Bio-machine activity with a large-scale weapon in the Factory Ruins in which Mankind has sent you”. Additionally, the Analysis Squadron reports that after thorough inspection of the Bio-machines’ activities and the amount of materials they’ve gathered, it has been concluded that “it is highly probable that they are building a weapon of massive proportions.”

The objective of this Assault Mission includes the dispatch of a 6-unit squadron to the enemy territory (the Factory Ruins) to gather intel of the area and the large-scale weapon in order to destroy it. Unit 9S from the Intelligence Squadron is scheduled to rendezvous and assist with the mission.

End of transmission.

 

It was stated that the B Type of androids is an all-rounded “Battler” model series, whereas the S Type is the analytical, information gathering “Scanner” model series. I entirely forgot that an old page detailing information on the YoRHa idol group from DearStage listed additional android types. So, here’s what each type is likely to stand for, including the discontinued type designations:

  • A – Attacker (Discontinued)
  • G – Gunner (Discontinued)
  • C – Canceller
  • S – Scanner
  • B – Battler
  • D – Defender
  • E – Executioner
  • H – Healer

Secondly, we now have a precise date for the beginning of, which does indeed start in 11945, like was stated in Ishikawa Yui’s monologue as 2B from the Music Concert & Talk Live event. You can also note that the year 11945 is the final year of the 14th Machine War, which is meant to be an allusion for WWII.

 

 The Demo: Character Lines

Continuing with the information from the Opening Sequence Conte, 2B is flying in her “Ho229” aerial suit (the mech) and it eventually receives massive damage before 2B has to jump from it. This is where Pod042 quickly states the situation:

Pod042:
Ho229 equipment has received massive damage.

Abandon operation.
General communication system down.
Booting the Laser Communication System.
Scanning terrain……long-distance.
Transferring control to FCS.
Transferring control to IMU.
Booting FFCS.
Signal from 2B’s Black Box confirmed.
Booting NFCS.
Beginning secondary assessment sequence of 2B’s vitals.
Beginning short-range camouflage pulse.
Booting close-range battle parameters.
Enemy response, massive numbers detected.

2B:
I can see that.

In this sequence, we see 2B battling some Lv1 Bio-machines of small to medium sizes within an enclosed area.

When she defeats the larger machine:

Pod042:
Enemy destruction confirmed.

2B:
Not yet…..

And that’s when the gigantic saw busts through the wall.

And we’re presented with a warning screen that lists the enemy’s name in classic Angelic Script format, which reads “Mars”.

When 2B first engages in battle with this huge machine, she wonders if this is the “Massive-scale Weapon” that they were charged to destroy, but Pod042 tells her that it is, unfortunately, not their target.

Eventually, 2B thinks that she’s defeated the gigantic machine, but it comes after her with another saw. This time, she gets a little help–and scolding–from 9S.

“It’s dangerous if you don’t make sure it’s dead…”

9S:
You’re 2B, right? I’m 9S. I’ve been instructed to assist you.

2B:
I understand.

9S:
So that big can opener was the “Massive-scale Weapon” we were after?

2B:
No. It seems like it was just a defense mechanism.

9S:
Then… I guess we’ll have to look for it.
I’ve got an aerial suit, so I’ll take a look around out here.

2B:
Alright. I’ll search the area inside.

 

 Merchandise: YoRHa / 2B Hoodie

This is the new hoodie that will first become available at Jump Festa this weekend at the Square Enix booth. This item will also be available from the Japanese SQEX e-STORE at a later date.

 

 NieR Music Concert & Talk Live Blu-ray

The very nice Blu-ray of the Music Concert & Talk Live event that was held this past April was just released on December 14. This also became the present for a lucky viewer on the NicoNico side of the broadcast; the blu-ray would be opened and signed by the hosts of this broadcast.

 

 The Resistance Camp, Items, and Weapons

As it had been shown in past live streams of the game, the Resistance Camp is populated by many different types of androids, some very human-like types and others that clearly resemble tin robots. Devola and Popola also reside somewhere in the camp.

Within the camp are item and weapon shops, people to talk to and even some who will enlist your help in the form of quests. Here’s a quick glance at the Item and Weapon Shops:

Producer Saito Yosuke mentions that you are able to obtain new weapons from the shop or by discovering them out in the field. Weapons can also be upgraded with the use of items that you gather from defeating enemies. Weapon upgrades can be done in the Weapon Shop menu:

  • Buy
  • Upgrade
  • Sell

Of course, Weapon Stories are back in, so you can expect to see the typical 4-step story progression for each weapon. And with the collaboration with FFXV, Noctis’ Engine Blade will be a usable weapon in along with its own Weapon Story.

Speaking of weapons, another type of weapon was announced during the PSX events in the US and Mexico: the spear! Here is a quick look at the names of these weapons:

 

 Other Playable Characters & The Open World

At about 39 minutes into the live broadcast, Saito says that at some point in the game, 9S will become a playable character. He wouldn’t elaborate on that any further before Tadatsugu followed up with another question regarding the “Open World” aspect of the game. He went on to say that each area connects seamlessly (no loading time necessary), but there are parts of the story in which some areas are closed off to you…possibly making this definition of “Open World” a little less open. Perhaps it’s more like FFXV in which the majority of the world is free to roam as you like…up until a point. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

 

 Android Report – Multiplayer?

During the gameplay footage, one of the hosts playing the game died, which displayed the “Android Report” screen…which they didn’t want to release just yet.

As far as the YoRHa stage play goes, upon the destruction of the androids, their remaining data is uplinked to the Bunker to be used in the creation of future, more advanced androids. Could this be the function that would utilize multiplayer aspects? Maybe this is a sort of scoreboard in which you can view when and how players DIED. lol

 

 Further Collaborations and More!

A weapon or other equipment from will be in PSO2! (Expect to see Emil’s head)

▶︎ The collaboration with PSO2 will include the following items from :

  • Costumes and hair designs of 2B, 9S, A2
  • Accessories
  • Weapons
  • Lobby Actions
  • Mag: “Pod”
  • Theme Song Music

A weapon or piece of armor from will appear in Monster Hunter Frontier Z! There will even be a related original quest as well! (Expect to see Emil’s head)

A “visual summary” of the game detailing its artwork, additional text by Yoko Taro, and more will be released on the same day as the game (Size: B5).

Dengeki has been the publisher of the these giant collections known as the “complete guide” for these games, and they plan to release their next work for sometime toward the end of March! (Size: B5, Pages: Roughly 300 pages)

Regarding the release of the guidebooks, Hanae suggests that the publisher release enough books since it was very difficult for him to even find one to buy! Let’s hope they listen to him!

 


Credits:
All translations and photo edits on this page were done by me. Photos from the Dengeki 1st Live Broadcast were taken from the YouTube version of the broadcast.

Exclusive Interview: J’Nique Nicole

Shortly after SQEX updated the official  site with the English version of the new theme song, I was intrigued to find out as much as I could about the vocalist.

The quality of her voice reminded me a lot of the Japanese singer AI. I looked into it some more and came to the conclusion that this wasn’t AI, but probably an entirely different vocalist than we’ve heard before.

A week later, I was able to attend the NieR Music Concert & Talk Live concert and we learned the name of the new vocalist: J’Nique Nicole.

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Ever since then, I had been working on this interview and, being delayed by many personal ups and downs in my life, I feel badly that it’s taken me this long to put the final touches on this to share. So, for everyone involved, I’m very sorry for working so slowly.

Then, without further adieu, please enjoy the interview:

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Famitsu Interview – August 18, 2016

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Like the theme song, there will be multiple versions of songs

—You received a warm welcome at last year’s Paris Games Week, but how do you think that compares with the “NieR Fever” in Germany? Although this hasn’t been discussed by the press yet.

Saito: The members of the media have brought up the music and expressed their fervent desire to have a concert hosted in Germany. The whole world is enamoured with Okabe-san.

Okabe: No, no, no! I thought the people in Germany were just being nice, but I’m still very grateful. Although putting on a concert overseas is just a dream. (haha)

Saito: Our staff has expressed their enthusiasm to do another concert, but I’m afraid they’d be more wishy-washy if we actually did it. (haha) Putting on a concert in our home country was hard enough. (haha)

Okabe: Yes, it was pretty rough. (haha) Not only was it rough for me, but it must have been really hard on the concert staff who gave it a real concert feeling that spring. So, compounding everything for an international concert…… I’ll keep on dreaming. (haha)

Saito: Well, if sells well, we could make it a possibility.

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