Yoko Taro Reveals Tons of New Details on NieR Reincarnation

Summary of the first NieR Reincarnation live stream, with several comments from creative director Yoko Taro, producer Yosuke Saito, and director Matsukawa.

Square Enix held on February 2 the first official live stream for NieR Reincarnation, featuring most notably Yoko Taro revealing new details on the mobile game’s systems and development. We summarized everything below.

Officially stylized NieR Re[in]carnation, this is the new turn-based JRPG of the NieR series, launching February 18 in Japan on iOS, Android, and Amazon Appstore. Reincarnation is the first mobile game of the NieR series. Mobiles games regularly get streams like these to introduce upates, and February 2’s stream was the first one of the kind for Reincarnation. Square Enix already announced another stream for February 16.

The stream featured NieR series producer Yosuke Saito, NieR series creative director Yoko Taro. And NieR Reincarnation director Daichi Matsukawa. The final part of the stream, available exclusively to Niconico premium members, also had the scenario team. We’ll cover this in a separate story later on.

NieR Reincarnation Introduction Story, Gameplay, and Weapon Story System

Director Matsukawa started by quickly reintroducing NieR Reincarnation for those unfamiliar with it, with comments from Yoko Taro. The game is globally separated between the Cage exploration parts, and the Weapon Story part. In the Cage exploration parts, players explore 3D environments with the protagonist, accompanied by ghost-like character Mama. Battles are turn-based, and are mainly automatic. With Skill gauges filling over time. The player decides when to trigger said Skills.

The Weapon Story parts instead use 2D scrolling. These parts are voiced as well. Yoko Taro explained he made the Weapon Story parts as long as possible to have the seiyuu voice as much lines as possible. This is also when Yosuke Saito revealed the Weapon Story system included in NieR Replicant ver 1.22.

Next up, the opening animation sequence of NieR Reincarnation was revealed:

Artwork countdown to release, Pixiv artwork contest

Starting February 3, until NieR Reincarnation‘s release on February 18, an artwork countdown will happen on the game’s official Twitter. Fans who RT these tweets can win the artwork’s canvas versions.

A Pixiv fan art contest was also announced. With 1,5 million Yen (around 15,000 $ ) as the grand prize. The Pixiv contest goes from February 18 to April 4, 2021.

Yoko Taro jokingly mentioned: “It’s kinda arrogant of us to announce a contest like this when the game’s not even out yet.”

Yosuke Saito also brought up how Square Enix would, soon after the stream, publish guidelines regarding fan-made content of the NieR series. We translated these here.

The second part of the stream was director Matsukawa sharing more about himself.

Yosuke Saito and Yoko Taro: “We don’t have drinks so this is gonna be boring”.

Long story short, the viewers, through the Niconico live poll, and through Twitter, voted to ask specific questions to director Matsukawa. The first question Matsukawa answered is which games inspired him.

Yoko Taro: “I feel like Matsukawa is the type of guy who plays Galge to run away from reality”.

Yosuke Saito:Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School. And Tachibana Risa no Yousei Densetsu. (Both Galge tied up with real idols of the 80s).

Matuskawa: “I don’t play Galge (laughs).”

Daichi Matsukawa explained SaGa Frontier 1 and 2 on PS1 are among his biggest influences. SaGa Frontier 1, which is getting a remaster, is the game that made him want to become a developer. However, Matsukawa’s idea of the game industry changed a lot after joining it himself. Instead of focusing on what you like, he realized it’s important to think of what players will like as well.

Yoko Taro also asked if gacha game developers decide which collab events to do through their own preferences. Matsukawa explained it depends, but he’d definitely like to do a SaGa Frontier collab in NieR Reincarnation one day.

Yoko Taro: “We should do a Kimetsu collab since it’s so popular.”

Over on Twitter, what fans ended up voting for was “seeing what’s inside Matsukawa’s bag”. As Yoko Taro jokingly told viewers he’ll steal and tell us his credit card info if we voted for that.

Inside his bag, Matsukawa had his work mac book, a charger, and his wallet. Only work related stuff. Yosuke Saito’s the one who trifled wih the bag. Matsukawa most notably owns a car. All of this is very important information they spent some time on during the stream.

Next, the NieR staff answered questions from fans

First off, NieR Reincarnation is pretty easily balanced overall. You can use your favorite characters just fine. Without worrying too much if they’re strong or not. Matsukawa also pointed out there’s a lot of cool middle-aged male character for those who like that. And how the NieR series has plenty of female fans too.

Yoko Taro: “Speaking from my experience with Sinoalice, most players want cute girls in swimsuits. Even in winter.”

Next, Yoko Taro most notably explained the music in NieR Reincarnation is different from other NieR games. NieR Replicant and Automata are action games, but this is a mobile gacha game, so the OST feels different. It has more atmospheric feel to it, rather than dramatic music. It’s stuff that’s easy on the ears even if heard for a very long time.

Lastly, Yoko Taro was asked how NieR Reincarnation is linked with the rest of the series. He dodged the question:

Yosuke Saito stated they can’t really talk about this. Meanwhile, Yoko Taro explained he wants every NieR game to be different. Reincarnation was initially supposed to be a spinoff of NieR Automata. But he’d rather do something brand new for the series’ first entry on mobile. Yoko Taro explained Reincarnation is definitely connected to the rest of the series. And since they already talked in the past how NieR is connected with the real world,  Yoko Taro explained it means that NieR Reincarnation is “connected to the rest of the series in the same way Asadora and NieR Replicant are connected”.

Asadora is an ongoing manga by Naoki Urasawa (Monster, 20th Century Boys, etc). Needless to say, Urasawa and his manga Asadora have absolutely no direct connection with Square Enix’ NieR whatsoever. So make of that what you will. Heck, Asadora isn’t even published by Square Enix’s manga department, GanGan Comics.

That’s all for our summary. The full stream is included below. Here are some timestamps for NieR Reincarnation gameplay.

  • 24:20 – Cage exploration gameplay
  • 26:34 – Weapon Story gameplay
  • 28:46 – Battle gameplay

NieR Re[in]carnation Official Live Stream #0 With Yoko Taro

NieR Re[in]carnation will launch in Japan on February 18. Japan already had a Closed Beta Test from July 29 to August 5, 2020. The game was announced in North America and Europe, but with no release date yet.

At launch, NieR Reincarnation will also include 2B, 9S, and A2 from Automata for a collab event.

The remaster and upgrade for the original NieR game, NieR Replicaver ver 1.22, will launch on April 24, 2021, on PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. The game will be out two days earlier in Japan.

The latest NieR series stream happened on Christmas. You can find our summary here. Lately, one player managed to find a secret in NieR Automata that Yoko Taro has been teasing for four years.

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