B1 Intermediate US 17 Folder Collection
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When looking at his work, you can tell that Yoko Taro is no stranger to convoluted stories.
This really shines through in the Drakengard and NieR series.
Although you don’t have to play any of the previous games in order to enjoy the story that’ll be presented in Nier Automata, there is a underlying story that connects the games together.
However, it’s not really explained in-game, which can make it a bit hard to piece it all together.
Which is why I decided to make this video trying to explain what ties the series together.
Although events in the game’s story have been canonically recorded ever since year 1 and the birth of Christ. The real story begins in 856.
A giant earthquake shakes the Iberian Peninsula and lots of weird occurrences happen throughout the entire world, including a giant metropolis rising seemingly out of nowhere in just one night.
This incident shakes the entire world around and is dubbed ’‘The Great Disaster’’. The event brought both powerful dragons and otherworldly beings known as ’‘Watchers’’ to the world.
It also caused the ’‘Multiple-World Divergence Phenomenon’’, which is a phenomenon that occurs when a chosen group of sentient beings come together, which in turn then causes a timeline to split.
The dragons wreak havoc in following years, destroying entire empires. In 865 Europe casts aside the concept of individual countries in order to come together and form Midgard.
A Cathedral City is made in Midgard and an institute known as Pythagoras Institute is formed
where Midgard’s nobles and intellectuals come together to study both The Great Disaster and the other strange occurrences that were taking place in the world.
In 981, a girl is born. She suffers through a tragic childhood, having been sold off to child prostitution by an abusive mother.
The girl wasn’t given a name by her mother, which leads to the people at the brothel referring to her simply as
''Usubeni'', (薄紅) meaning light crimson, based on the color of her eyes.
After an unsuccessful heist where she is betrayed by another girl from the same brothel, Usubeni is captured and brought back to the brothel only to kill everyone in the facility.
She then flees to another town where she happens to run into one of the brothel’s regulars.
He offers Usubeni a place to stay but after she contracts a contagious illness, the man does everything he can to get rid of her.
She kills the man in self-defense before he can sell her off to prostitution again.
Usubeni goes on with her life, now a numb and merciless killer. During one of her later killing sprees, her illness gets the better of her and she is captured by guards.
Usubeni is then placed in a cell together with five other girls who are all subjected to horrible torture. They all die one by one, and Usubeni is eventually the only one left alive.
But it doesn’t take long for her illness to catch up with her and soon, she is on the brink of death.
In her last living moments, she sees a beautiful flower rise up from the ground.
In 995, the Cathedral City is struck by an explosion accidentally caused by the central magic institution.
Witnesses to the explosion say that the debris formed something akin to a giant flower that covered the sky. This explosion is what causes the mysterious flower to find its way to Usubeni.
Her body is brought back to life by the magical flower as it takes root deep within her.
She is made into a magic weapon of destruction, as she is given the power of an Intoner; a Godlike being that manipulates magic through songs.
Usubeni, feeling very upset about this, tries to kill the flower by committing suicide.
However, this causes the flower to create five more Intoners (creatively named One, Two, Three, Four and Five) splitting Usubeni’s powers up between them in the process.
She sees the creation of her five ’‘sisters’’ as her own fault and sets out to kill them, taking on the new name: Zero.
Zero goes on to search for a dragon who is powerful enough to help her destroy the flower and the rest of the Intoners. She ends up making a pact with a dragon named Michael.
Hellbent on making sure that Zero is killed, One creates a clone of herself from one of her ribs as a failsafe if she would fail to kill Zero herself.
This clone is kept secret from the rest of the Intoners. Although the clone is physically identical to One herself, it is male.
Here is where the events of Drakengard 3 begin.
Zero and Michael team up try to take on the five sisters, who have been traveling across the world defeating numerous evil monarchs and are now being praised as heroes in Midgard.
In the fight with the five sisters, Zero loses one of her arms and Michael dies, only to be reincarnated and renamed Mikhail.
After their plan fails, Zero and her ‘’new’’ dragon Mikhail go into hiding in order to prepare for another attack against the sisters.
Drakengard has four different endings in-game: ending A, ending B, ending C and ending D.
However, only two paths lead to other entries in the series.
The game’s ending A leads to a spin-off manga called ’‘Shi ni Itaru Aka’’ (死ニ至ル赤 The Red Unto Death) starring One’s clone.
Ending A also leads to a collection of short stories known as Drakengard 1.3.
It borrows a lot of the same characters from the game Drakengard 1 but it tells a different story.
What leads us to the actual game Drakengard 1 however, is a bit tricky to explain.
In 2014, writer Jun Eishima created a novelization of Drakengard 3’s story with the intention of creating a link between the games.
Which means that no canonical in-game ending in Drakengard 3 actually leads to any other game in the series.
The novelization retells the events that took place in Drakengard 3 from the perspective of One’s clone.
In the year 1000, Zero successfully kills all of the Intoner sisters, but Mikhail is poisoned in battle.
In order to prevent Mikhail’s death, Zero forms a pact with him to try and save his life.
However, Zero is stabbed by One’s clone and dies alongside Mikhail.
One’s clone then goes on to form The Cult of the Watchers in honor of the dead Intoners, claiming the name One for himself and then posing as his dead sister.
This is the game’s ending A and what ties in with the manga ’‘Shi ni Itaru Aka’’.
Three years later, a plague is taking over the world and monsters are running around freely, but The Cult of the Watchers are fighting against them.
In 1012, a system know as ’‘the Seal System’’ is created by priests that were a part of the Cult of the Watchers.
They were created in order to seal away a great danger known as ’‘The Seeds of Destruction’’ to keep the world from falling into chaos,
as anything that enters the seed will be transformed into a creature hellbent on destroying humanity.
One woman is also appointed as the Goddess of the Seal. Her job is to act as the guardian for the final seal.
However problems quickly arose due to jealousy being targeted at the Goddess and the founder of the cult, being One (the clone, not the dead Intoner sister), is exiled.
Whilst he is exiled, a disease that turns people into mindless drones known as ’‘The Red Eye Disease’’ infects someone related to the cult. They die shortly after having been infected.
One meets a refugee named Rosa in 1024. One year later, Rosa gives birth.
The following years are filled with a lot of to and fro, Goddesses die left and right due to different circumstances.
Now, the easiest way to explain the time split that occurs is to look at One’s bloodline.
The events of the spin-off manga ’‘Shi ni Itaru Aka’’ follows their son Gruen’s bloodline.
Following along with Grenat's bloodline instead, is what brings us to Drakengard 1.
Grenat meets an unnamed woman and together they have one child. This child’s name is never specified but she or he then grows up and in turn eventually has a child named Ramia.
Ramia then goes on and gives birth to twins Seere and Manah. Ramia's parenting is very inconsistent.
She showers Seere with love but absolutely hates Manah. Going as far as leading Manah out into the woods only to abandon her.
Which leads to Manah being found and taken in by the Watchers and worshipped as a High Priestess in the cult.
Now the events of Drakengard 1 begin.
The protagonist Caim meets and forms a pact with a red dragon named Angelus in order to protect his sister Furiae from being kidnapped by an evil group known as the Empire.
Furiae is the 13th Goddess of the Seal and the Empire wants to get rid of the seals so that they can bring forth the seeds of destructions and call upon the Watchers to destroy humanity.
Unlike the story of Drakengard 3, Drakengard 1 only has one path that leads to another entry in the series; which is NieR.
A popular misconception is that Drakengard 2 continues on from Drakengard 1’s ending A. However, this is not true.
Drakengard 2’s timeline completely separate from Drakengard 3 and Drakengard 1’s timeline even though the setting much the same.
In all honesty, I’m unsure why they decided to give Drakengard 2 it’s own timeline but that’s a question for another time.
After the events of Drakengard 1’s ending A: Furiae dies and her betrothed Inuart brings her to one of the seeds of destruction known as ’‘The Bone Casket’’.
The Bone Casket is a special seed that’s different from the other seeds of destruction. As the other seeds of destruction were placed on the planet by the Gods,
The Bone Casket is a seed that is used by the dragons who are fighting against them.
As Inuart enters the Bone Casket together with Furiae, a child is formed. This is child is Nowe, a human-dragon hybrid known as ’‘the new breed.’’
Nowe goes on to become the protagonist of Drakengard 2.
Caim’s red dragon Angelus takes over as the Goddess of the seal after Furiae passes. The Red Eye disease begins to wither away and the Empire is dissolved.
A new foundation called ‘’The Knights of the Seal’’ is founded by a man named Verdelet in order to protect the seals.
Nowe ends up joining the Knights of the Seal when he’s older and the events of Drakengard 2 begin.
I won’t really dwell into Drakengard 2 though, considering that Yoko Taro didn’t work on the title and that it doesn’t lead up to any other entry in the series.
Drakengard 1’s Ending E however, is a lot more interesting.
In this ending, both Furiae and Inuart pass away without leaving an offspring.
With all of the seals broken, including Furiae who was the Goddess of the final seal at the time being dead, the Watchers appear along with a being known as the ’‘Queen-beast.’’
Caim and his dragon Angelus attempt to attack the Queen-beast, unwillingly passing into a parallel dimension when doing so.
Now trapped in modern Tokyo, they’re forced to fight and defeat the Queen-beast.
After having defeated the Queen, her body disperses into an undeterminable substance somewhat akin to sodium chloride.
Japan’s Air Force then shoots Angelus down with a missile strike, her dead body impaling itself on the Tokyo tower. Her body is retrieved and stored it in a research facility.
This is where the two series meet and Drakengard ends only for NieR to begin.
Caim and Angelus’ battle with the Queen becomes known as the ’’6-12 incident’’ in Japan. Because it occurred on June 12th.
Although a gag order was issued, both pictures and videos are quickly spread online and so naturally, conspiracy theories begin blossoming.
Later that same year, an unknown deadly disease begins spreading in Shinjuku. The effects of the disease cause the infected people’s bodies to turn into sodium chloride, much like how the Queen’s body broke down.
The disease initially starts off as very rare but it doesn’t take long for it to spread like wildfire, and some victims would cave in to psychotic breakdowns.
The following year, the medical research team that were put in charge of researching the disease give it the name ’‘white chlorination syndrome’’. Due to some of the infected people chlorinating and essentially turning into dust.
What the scientist didn’t know and what really happens when an individual is infected by White chlorination syndrome goes a lot deeper however.
When infected, people are essentially put in-front of a God and forced to make the choice of either dying and turning into salt or becoming a mindless drone that’ll be used as a tool for the Gods themselves.
As the research continues on. The Japanese government plans to build a wall around Shinjuku, sealing it off for good. However, they are met with violent protests.
That changes however when a popular celebrity is attacked by one of the infected and passes away.
The government sees this as an opening to turn the public’s opinion around and successfully manages to get their plan approved by the people.
A giant wall, known as the Wall of Jericho, is built in order to seal Shinjuku off despite protests being aimed at them from all over the world.
Japan continues their research on White chlorination syndrome, both from outside the walls as well as within them. Transmissions are sent to the outside from volunteers who decided to stay within the walls as a way of communication.
However, one day they are abruptly cut off and the last piece of film that the outside receives ends with a weird creature making its way on-screen as the people scream in horror.
In 2006, an unknown faction raids the research facility that acts as a home for what is left of the Red Dragon’s body.
Conspiracy theories quickly spread and Japan’s security measures are drastically heightened.
One year later, a strange black dot starts appearing in satellite photos of Shinjuku. The black dot is being observed but there seems to be no need for any further investigation.
In February 2008, the Wall of Jericho is destroyed from inside and strange sounds, similar to sounds heard during the 6-12 incident, fill the air.
A large army of white creatures break out from behind the wall and start slaughtering any human they come across.
This army is named ’‘The Legion’’ and a creature who seems to be observing and organizing their attacks is given the name ’‘Red Eye.''
The Japanese Self-defense force attempts to combat The Legion’s attacks, however White chlorination syndrome begins spreading regardless.
Not only do the cases of White chlorination syndrome rise but so do the number of the members of The Legion.
So, back the choice that the infected are confronted with:
If they chose to defy the Gods, they are killed and their body dissolves into salt.
If they accept however, they are made part of the Gods’ new army of mindless killing machines, which is the army that was nicknamed ’’The Legion.’’
The scientist are still unaware that the Gods are at play here but continue to study the disease further.
The identity of the Legion’s leader ’‘Red Eye’’ hasn’t been confirmed in canon yet. But one popular fan-theory is that it is in-fact Caim; the first game’s protagonist.
Although, that’s just a theory.
As the threat of White chlorination syndrome grows stronger, Japan suggests teaming up with the US in order to try and contain it.
The US agrees and so Legion corpses begin being transported overseas to American research labs.
The US army also lends a hand in trying to fight back against The Legion and slowly but surely, The Legion are pushed back. Although not for long as new members keep on spawning from inside Shinjuku.
Now desperate for a solution, the US and Japan turn to nuclear air strikes in order to take out The Legion.
Although Japan’s citizens are not very welcoming of the idea, it’s being strongly encouraged by the rest of the world.
The bombings are deemed successful as no signs of The Legion is found within the country, and the butchered remains of Shinjuku came to be known as ’‘Ground Zero.’’
However, the otherworldly particles are sent flying all over because of the bombings and soon, they’ve spread across the sea and reached China.
In 2010, the first case of White chlorination syndrome is recorded outside of Japan and The Legion shows itself again throughout different parts of Asia.
It doesn’t take long for White chlorination syndrome to spread across the globe and so the research that is already being done is reinforced when The Legion’s leader ’‘Red Eye’’ is confirmed alive.
Further research being done on the red dragon’s body confirms the ’’Multiple-World Divergence Phenomenon’’ and that both the red dragon and Caim came from a parallel world along with the Queen-beast.
They brought otherworldly particles known as ’‘Maso’’ with them, which is what is causing the White chlorination syndrome.
A year later, the new research facility holding the remains of the dragon is attacked by an unknown faction and Angelus' body disappears.
In 2014, a project known as ’‘Project Gestalt’’ is launched in an attempt to stop White chlorination syndrome from spreading.
Utilizing the effect that the otherworldly particles have on the human body, scientists manage to successfully split a person’s body and soul apart, only for them to then join back together at a later point.
The process is dubbed ’‘Gestaltization.’’ The project is introduced to the public in 2015 but is rejected by the masses.
A year later, in 2016, another project called ’‘Luciferase’’ is developed with the goal of slowing down the outbreak.
Elite soldiers are injected with a drug known as Luciferase. They are sent out into battle against The Legion, and although they do manage to battle them for quite a while, they are eventually wiped out.
After more research, scientist find Luciferase to be more effective when given to younger patients, which leads to the formation of the ’‘Hamelin Organization’’;
an organization made for training teenagers whose bodies were compatible with the drug to fight The Legion.
The Japanese government expresses displeasure against the amount of trust being placed in the Hamelin Organization by the military,
and so the ’‘National Research Weapons Laboratory’’ is founded with the aim of harvesting the energy of the otherworldly particles ’‘Maso’’ for the sake of weaponization.
The Legion and the Hamelin Organization engage in fierce battles all over the world, and although the Hamelin Organization’s reputation grows and a huge number of new recruits are waiting to join them,
Japan’s economy is struggling and a majority of the country’s survivors are taking refugee in Kyushu.
The battles keep on going, creating gigantic gaps between the rich and the poor; not only in Japan but all over the world.
In 2025, the very first ’‘Replicants’’ are created. These so-called Replicants are a part of the Gestalt process.
They act as the solution in the case where a Gestaltized soul lose its physical body. The experiments prove successful and Project Gestalt is making headway.
Red Eye, leader of The Legion, is killed in Jerusalem in 2030 by the Hamelin Organization. Without a leader, The Legion is no longer able coordinate their attacks and soon seize to be an actual threat.
But, this did not stop the rapid spreading of White chlorination syndrome.
In 2032, there are still no signs of a cure for White chlorination syndrome and so Project Gestalt is brought up to the public once again.
This time, standing amidst the terror of the seemingly unstoppable White chlorination syndrome, the people agree to be Gestaltized.
Project Gestalt is popularized across the entire world. People allow their soul and body to be separated as they were put to sleep until they were ready to wake up once the pandemic was over.
Androids are created as a means to watch over the project and keep it in check.
The Grimoire Project is also created the following year. This project allows a Gestalt to be transformed into a book-like vessel.
Thirteen different books are created, starting with the first two named ’‘Grimoire Noir’’ and ’‘Grimoire Weiss.’’
If these two Grimoires were to be activated at the same time, multiple Gestalts would be joined back together with their Replicants at once.
Depending on which version of the game you’re playing, the story begins in different years.
2049 for NieR Gestalt and 2053 for NieR Replicant.
For the sake of this summary, I will be re-telling the events of NieR Replicant as that is the game which eventually leads us to NieR Automata.
After further research is done on Project Gestalt, the scientist realize that the Replicants created from the process would eventually ’‘relapse.''
Meaning that they would break down if they were put in the Replicant state for too long.
In 2058, Nier’s younger sister (or daughter, if you’re playing Gestalt) who is currently infected with White chlorination syndrome falls into a state of deep sleep.
In order to save Yonah, Nier makes a pact with one of the Grimoires.
He is given the title of the original Gestalt, and the name ''Shadowlord.''
He goes on to live one thousand years into the future together with Yonah who is destined to wake up from her sleep state after 1000 years, free from White chlorination syndrome.
Granted that Nier, as Shadowlord, is providing genetic material to keep the Gestalt project from collapsing.
During this thousand year skip, the Replicants are fighting against the Legion and are making good headway.
However, the Replicants start growing into sentient beings, developing their own culture and deviating from their original Gestalts.
One Replicant who wishes to bring a loved one back from the dead, travels to Jerusalem.
Although he manages to successfully resurrect the other Replicant, it shows no signs of its previous memories or personality.
The Replicant’s eyes have a red glow in them, having been taken over by the evil Legion’s leader Red Eye, and so the Legion’s leader is alive once more. After 11 years however, the Legion is destroyed again.
Now, in 3288, the Gestalts regain their consciousness only to meet up with confrontational Replicants.
After awakening a thousand years into the future, Nier continues on with his life together with Yonah.
Yonah is still sick however so Nier journeys out to find a cure for his sick sister and meets a group of companions along the way.
A swords-woman named Kainé, a young boy named Emil and a magical talking book.
Together they work to find a cure for Yonah and fight the mysterious beasts known as ’‘shades.''
Although they’re a mismatched group of heroes, Kainé being 50% human and 50% shade and Emil being a secret super-weapon, they travel together nonetheless.
NieR Gestalt and NieR Replicant both have four in-game endings: Ending A, B, C and D.
However, NieR Replicant has a 5th Ending dubbed ’‘Ending E.'' This ending is what leads us to NieR: Automata.
During ending D, Nier sacrifices himself to help Kainé. He then disappears and no one remembers he ever existed, not even Yonah.
However, because he was the original Shadowlord - AKA the one tasked with providing genetic material to stabilize the Gestalt project -
Nier sacrificing himself leads to the destruction of all remaining Gestalts.
Continuing on from Ending D and leading us into Ending E is a novella named ’’The Lost World.''
In 3473 Kainé finds a mechanical tower in the middle of a forest known as ’’The Forest of Myth’’ tasked with creating new Replicants from the already existing ones, essentially making it the core of Project Gestalt.
Here, she meets with a mysterious young man who refers to himself as the ’‘overseer of the forest’’. The overseer claims to be of similar existence as the magical book Grimoire Weiss, as he is able to control the lives of both Gestalts and Replicants.
The overseer also states that the forest is a place where an ancient race of people studied something known as the ’‘demonic element’’ which is Maso, the element that was spread when Caim fought the Queen-beast.
He then cryptically reveals that the area is entering its ’‘final phase’’ and that the ’‘shut down sequence’’ has already begun.
Emil, having reconstructed his body after losing it during the events of NieR, helps Kainé attack the mechanical tower.
The overseer continues chastise Kainé about someone whom she cannot seem to remember no matter how hard she tries before claiming their current world to be ''a failure.''
Together, Kainé and Emil manage to reach the tower’s power source. Here Kainé is met with a familiar voice, telling her to stay away.
Kainé however is having none of that and reaches into the blinding white light that the source is emitting. The white light then disappears and Kainé is able to reunite with a reconstructed Emil and a younger Nier.
725 years later, the last Gestalt is destroyed.
In 5012, the planet is invaded by aliens and ’’The Space War’’ begins.
Emil successfully manages to create over 85,000,000 copies of himself in order fight against the aliens.
Machines are taking over the planet. The ’‘living machines’’ we’ve seen from the recent NieR Automata demo are being controlled by aliens.
In 5645, the short novella story ’‘The Fire of Prometheus’’ takes place, where a robot nicknamed ’‘Beepy’’ climbs its way out of a heap of junk only to find robots, humans and aliens, seemingly all at peace.
However many years later, several new wars are started and squadrons of androids are being put together in order to fight the resistance, but the aliens prove to be too strong.
In 11939, the 14th machine war breaks out and the remains of humanity flee to the surface of the moon where they work on developing new and better androids to fight the ’‘Living machines.''
It is during this time that the very first successful YoRHa units are created.
We know that NieR Automata takes place somewhere around the year 11944, during the aforementioned 14th machine war.
But this leads us to a stop as we do not know how NIER Automata ends yet, obviously, seeing as the game hasn’t been released.
However, Yoko Taro did write a stage play titled YoRHa which tells the story of the YoRHa units during humanity’s war against the Living Machines.
Which bears striking resemblance to the plot of NieR: Automata we’ve seen thus far. So I won’t go into the plot of the stage play any further in order to avoid potential spoilers.
Now, I really hope this wasn’t too confusing but I mean, it IS Yoko Taro’s stories I’m trying to piece together here.
There were obviously parts that were skimmed over as it’s difficult to summarize such a large and convoluted plot
but I hope that I at least managed to spike your interest for the series if you weren’t already going to check out NieR Automata.
Yoko Taro’s way of storytelling is very interesting and unique. Although the Drakengard games and NieR all have their fair share of flaws, they’re all very unique and very strange games.
Personally I’ve been a long-time fan of Yoko Taro’s work as I know that with each new game he makes, I’m in for something I’ve never experienced before.
In an interview with Dengeki, Yoko Taro stated that NieR Automata will have a happy ending.
However, it IS Yoko Taro we’re speaking about here. A man known for never providing endings that are happy for everyone.
The bad guys don’t always die, the heroes don’t always survive, and the innocent aren’t always spared.
But that’s part of what makes his stories so great!
Anyway, I can’t wait to play NieR: Automata and I truly hope that you feel the same way after having seen this video.
I mean, assuming that you weren’t already excited for the game.
I hope you enjoyed the video, feel free to leave a comment if you felt like I left any huge plot relevant pieces of information out (which I’m sure I did!)
Thank you for watching and I hope you have a great day!
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Lore summary - From Drakengard to Nier: Automata

17 Folder Collection
Kaiging Zack published on March 29, 2020
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