New Smartphone Game by Yoko Taro: SINoALICE

Almost exactly a year ago, we got the first whiff of Yoko Taro possibly working with Square Enix to develop a smartphone game, which I wrote about here.

Today, we were presented with a trailer and some additional information regarding the game and its story.

The absolute worst “Story”

Yoko Taro x Square Enix x Pokelabo

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One Week to Go!

We’re down to just one more week before the release of in Japan! 

Today we got 19 pages of goodness in Famitsu, plus all Lawson convenient stores are sporting the nice nobori signs to advertize their exclusive goodies!

I’ll be adding more detailed info later, but here’s a few pics to start off…


Source: All photos in this post were taken by me!

Countdown to NieR:Automata – 12 Days

I was really busy yesterday at Tokaigi and exhausted from being my usual socially awkward self (lol), so I wasn’t able to comment on the new illustrations that are coming out of the official Twitter among other places. I thought this was a good chance to start covering this since I did something similar leading up to the release of Drag-on Dragoon 3 when it came out here in Japan. So, let’s start the countdown!!


This illustration is by Platinum Games character modeler, Funahashi Eiji (舟橋英志).

  • He has been working on character modeling artist at Platinum Games for about 8 years since 2009.
  • He has participated in special seminars at various locations such as the Osaka Information And Computer Science College (OIC).
  • He worked on titles such as Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101.

Sources: NieR Official Twitter | Funahashi’s Twitter | PG Inside | Game Business | OIC

NieR:Automata Movie 119450310 at Tokaigi

Today started off before 5am. My crazy neighbor got stuck in the slanted driveway out front and couldn’t get out, squealing his tires forever. Suffice it to say, I was awake before my alarm went off at 5.

Today’s events at Tokaigi started at 10am with the concert kicking off at 11am, which meant I needed to leave my house at the butt-crack of dawn to get there early enough to get in line…and wait. I got into the Makuhari Messe complex at 8am and there were already a billion people there. xD But I suppose I was relatively at the beginning of the line, anyway. Once 10am came around and they started letting people in, it took me about 20 minutes to enter the first area.

I had an amazingly fun time at the event, and I feel awkward talking about the details–I don’t know if the other parties involved want me to mention them. ^^;; But I was given an amazing opportunity as a mere fan and I will be forever grateful for that act of kindness! Thank you!!

▲ The entrance sign for Tokaigi 2017

▲ This was the main entrance into Tokaigi. Every one lined up here and around 9:30, they started a short stage event to help pass the time. They had a cute countdown for the last couple seconds until 10am when they dropped the stage backdrop that obscured the entrance into the venue that you can see at the center of this photo.


The Concert

NieR White of Destruction, Black of Rebirth -Tokaigi 2017 Version-
Time: February 11, 11:00-12:00
Appearances by: Saito Yosuke, Yoko Taro, Okabe Keiichi, Emi Evans, J’Nique Nicole
Program: White of Destruction, Black of Rebirth

A select bunch of songs from the last concert were performed at Tokaigi, which included some really amazing renditions of songs that you could hear nowhere else. For example, vocalist Nakagawa Nami usually sings Emil’s theme, but since she was unable to come to this event, Emi sang it instead. She did such a wonderful job with it; I almost wish they would put it on a CD sometime. Likewise, J’Nique sang the harmony line to the Song of the Ancients / Fate. Their voices melded together so well, I often felt emotional throughout the whole concert. ;_;

01. 夏の雪 Snow in Summer
02. 光ノ風吹ク丘
03. カイネ Kaine
04. イニシエノウタ Song of the Ancients
05. Weight of the World
06. Emil (Emi Version)
07. Ashes of Dreams (English)
08. Grandma
09. イニシエノウタ Song of the Ancients / Fate

Voice actors Isobe Keiko (Operator 6O) and Hatsumi Meari (Operator 21O / Anemone) were also present toward the back of the standing area at the concert.


The New Opening Sequence



The Translations

▲ A2: こんなに世界が綺麗だって気付かなかったわ。
  English: I never quite realized… how beautiful this world is…
  Direct: I never realized… how beautiful this world is…

▲ 9S: 司令官からの命令で2Bさんのメインテナンスを担当する事になったんです。これから、定期的にチェックしますね。
  English: The Commander’s put me in charge of your maintenance, ma’am.
  That means I’ll be performing regular checks on you from now on.
  Direct: I was assigned by the Commander to oversee your maintenance.
  I’ll be performing regular checks on you, okay?

▲ Notice here that… it appears as though 2B is unconscious or dead… and 9S grabs her hand, using it to caress his own face… *creepy*

▲ 2B: この記録を聴いた者がいたら、伝えて欲しい事がある。もしヨルハ部隊所属9Sに会う事があったら、私は彼に…
  English: If anyone is listening to this, there’s something I need you to do.
  If you ever meet up with YoRHa Unit 9S, I want him… I mean…
  Direct: If anyone hears this recording, there’s something I need to tell you.
  If you ever come in contact with YoRHa Unit 9S, please tell him…

This image reminds me a lot of what was shown in the storyboards from the Character Introductions video last year:

▲ 9S: ポッド153に命令:貴様の独断論理しかの発言を禁止する
  English: Pod153: I order you to halt all logical thought and speech.
  Direct: Pod153: I forbid you to voice your damn dogmatic logic.

▲ 2B is damaged and having extreme difficulty moving forward, many of her systems failing…

AD: 11945, the 14th Machine War

▲ Short-haired A2/B2(?)

▲ Notice that this gigantic centipede appears to be the same boss that A2 comes across in the desert, as depicted on her character poster:

▲ Short-haired A2/2B with Pascal who seemingly has a “headache”. Again, the color of the machine’s eyes is important here. Green = good, Red = bad!

▲ Note that this shot is in grayscale. Since all shots on the Bunker are displayed in grayscale, this is more than likely within the Hanger on board the Bunker.

▲ The Commander ordering her battle Operators forward within the Bunker.

▲ These are the “battle” type Operators that serve the Commander.

▲ 9S with the short-haired A2/2B(?).

▲ Adam: 機械生命体とアンドロイドは同類と言えなら…
  English: Perhaps we’re not so different after all.
  Direct: Perhaps you could even say Bio-machines and androids are similar.

Rekka’s Comments
It’s clear there’s something going on odd here.
Adam & Eve do not seem to label themselves, whether they are Bio-machines or androids in the English line, but comparing it to the Japanese, we can assume that they are not androids
and are therefore Bio-machines… Perhaps along the lines of Term Alpha & Term Beta.

▶︎ Pascal: A2さん、ここは私が!
  English: Fear not, A2! I can handle this!
  Direct: A2, I’ve got this!

▲ A2 stands above a defeated or incapacitated 2B. This shot ends when A2 steps closer and takes 2Bs sword that’s sticking out of the ground.

▲ The Commander’s Operators… losing sentience.

▲ A2/2B: 私達はアンドロイドがあるい自体に人類を守るように作られている。
  English: Androids were designed to protect their human masters.
  Direct: Androids were created to protect humanity.

Rekka’s Comments
Personally, I really dislike the “human masters” thing.
Yeah, humans created the androids, but… Mmm…
I don’t know; it just doesn’t feel right to me.

▲ Emil: 無駄と分かって言っても、やらなきゃダメなんだ。
  English: Even if it’s pointless, we still have to do it!
  Direct: Even if it’s meaningless, we still have to do it!

▲ I really want to say that this is Eve that they’re fighting. The figure appears to be all black… which is what happens to Eve when his tattoos expand across his entire body.

▶︎ Commander: お前達二人は最後のヨルハ部隊…
  English: You two are the last members of YoRHa.
  Direct: You two are what’s left of the YoRHa Squadron…

Rekka’s Comments
The… last of the YoRHa Squadron?
What the heck happened to wipe out all other YoRHa??
There weren’t many to begin with, but still…

▲ Eve: 俺は、俺は…!
  English: I… I’m…!
  Direct: I’m… I’m…!!!

▲ 9S without his visor and destroyed left arm. He does not look… “well”.

▲ 2B: 違う、9S。あれは…
  English: That’s not the Operator… It’s…
  Direct: No, 9S… That’s not…

Rekka’s Comments
There is *no* mention of the Operators from the original line.

You’d have to infer a lot to come to that conclusion.

▲ The Celestial Script reads “YoRHa Truth”. Hmmm…

Dengeki PlayStation Vol. 632

The new issue of Dengeki PlayStation Vol. 632 featured 6 pages on to help people get up-to-speed before the game’s release on February 23rd! Here are a couple notes on 20 points about the game that you should know:

#1 Is this madness or depression?
The overwhelming “World of Yoko” Story

#2 The Sci-Fi atmosphere gets a big boost!
This story takes place on an Earth that has been stolen by Bio-machines

#3 Androids without emotion?
The “YoRHa Squadron” is humanity’s only hope

  • Among the ranks of androids, a small number of mighty warriors known as the “YoRHa Squadron” were created.
  • Rogue androids: The mysterious A2. Although she is also a member of the YoRHa Squadron, she entirely works on her own.

#4 The Commander in charge of the YoRHa Squadron and the Resistance, all of which are androids

#5 The action is amazing!
Platinum Games is in charge of the battle system.

  • Speed attack… Square button
  • Heavy attack… Triangle button

TOPIC #1: The dodge function adds a ton of fun to the action

  • If you dodge at the right time, you can counter an attack

#6 You also have long-range attacks to your disposal
Support unit Pod

  • Machine Gun… R1 button

#7 There are 4 weapon types
Each weapon has its own unique pros and cons

  • light sword
  • heavy sword
  • spear
  • combat bracers

#8 Use the plug-in chips to design your character around how you like to play

#9 If you’re having trouble, turn on the “Auto Mode”
There are 4 difficulty levels: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard

#10 Nature is slowly returning to the planet abandoned by man

#11 A world filled with wild animals
They are also mountable and have their own unique abilities!

  • boar: drift
  • moose: high jump

#12 Enemy Bio-machines have interesting designs
Their appearance will differ from location to location

  • Desert: mask & cape
  • Amusement Park: clown

Topic #2: Bio-machines have uniquely evolved in each area
What is the purpose for this distinction?

Boss enemies also have their own special design.

  • As you progress through the game, you will fight bosses that have unique attacks. You’ll have to discover what their weaknesses are on your own!
  • Some bosses use long-range attacks that you’ll have to maneuver through if you really want to prevail.

#13 Depending on the situation and the enemies you fight, the camera angle will change.

#14 Fighting is not the only thing?
Sometimes you can take a break and go fishing!

  • There are some really rare fish that you can sell for a lot of money when you’re short on cash.

#15 Friend or Foe? The mysterious pretty-boys appear… Adam and Eve

  • Shrouded in mystery, their silver hair and red eyes are a slightly concerning…

#16 The Access Points are hugely helpful in your mission, allowing you access to:

  • Area map updates
  • Quick save
  • Mailbox
  • and other abilities…!?

#17 If you’ve played the previous game, this ought to make you smile.
Very nostalgic name-drops hit!

  • Since the game takes place so far into the future, there is no deep connection with the previous game; however, Emil, Devola, and Popola seem to be returning (this Devola & Popola are not the same individual androids as before). If you’re a fan of the first, then you’ll be very happy to see these guys again!

Topic #3: Even some Bio-machines will help you fight!?

  • Pascal is a pacifist who hates fighting. She works with other Bio-machines who share the same hopes for a peaceful world. Sometimes Pascal will tag along with 2B, but what is her true intentions?

#18 A ton of Sub Quests and Weapon Stories

  • Get quests from various people from all over the place
  • As you upgrade your weapons, an additional portion of the Weapon Story will be unlocked

#19 Multi-ending Story?
Work your way to the very end

  • Could 2B & A2 be on opposite sides even though they’re both YoRHa androids?
  • The original game had multiple endings as well; but a revealing truth will become clear through the further you progress through each ending.

#20 The game is out on February 23rd! For the Glory of Mankind!