These are some frequently asked questions by fans regarding the STORY and CHARACTERS that appear in NieR:Automata. This is also a work in progress, so if you’ve seen other questions asked multiple times that are not shown here, please feel free to let me know, and I’ll add it here.
Also, it may be important to point out that these are my own, personal answers. Although I try to give as many sources to support these answers, at the end of the day, they are still opinions. If you have a different take than what is listed here, please feel free to share your ideas with us.
** Please be careful of spoilers. **
You should not read the following until you’ve finished the game.
| Why do the YoRHa androids cover their eyes?
How are they supposed to see if their eyes are covered?
|The “blindfold” aka “goggles” aka “visor” does not impede their vision in any way. Rather, it gives them better sight since it is a piece of tactical equipment that they are required to wear at all times. It is part of the regulated uniform for all YoRHa androids.
There could be several symbolic reasons for this addition to their uniforms; one could be that they are blind to the true workings of Project YoRHa. They are not required to ask questions. They only take orders and do what they’re told to do, blindly, even if they’re told to go against a fellow YoRHa android. It could also show that they need to block their vision from what they must do in order to protect their own psyche that would otherwise crumble if they allowed the images of the horrors of war enter their minds.
It also may be part of an extended metaphor of “Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil.”
The YoRHa androids deployed in battle have on occasion removed their visors or worn them a little different than regulated. In the YoRHa stage play, this was done during pivotal moments to further characterize the cast. It was especially used to show that the character is no longer blind to the lies all around them, and their path forward–their true mission–is now clear. This could also be seen as a shift in character (for example, a once timid, unsure character is forged by the horrors of war into a strong and purposeful individual).
|Why do the Operators have their mouths covered?|
|Assuming the Operators’ face veils that only covers the lower half of their faces has a similar practical usage similar to the deployed YoRHa androids, the Operators must communicate with deployed units from the moment they leave the Bunker. The veils over their mouths may enhance their ability to communicate long distances; however, you could also say that other non-Operator units also use similar lines of communication with the YoRHa androids. Exactly what special abilities the veil could have has never been stated.
Again, symbolically, the veils could represent the “Speak no evil” line since the Operators are right in the thick of things and have direct contact with Command. As was shown in the YoRHa stage play and even the KimiShini stage play, the Operators gradually learn that so many innocent androids are suffering for no reason– they witness so many YoRHa androids being deployed and slaughtered over and over again that they begin to ask questions: WHY. It could be that the veil represents their inability to ask questions, that such questions are forbidden. In the play, we see one particular Operator who began asking questions was told to get a “check up” that erased part of her memory and reestablished her purpose to not ask questions and to only do her job. She was in essence silenced.
|Which is canon, Father or Brother Nier?|
|Looking at the Weapon Story for the Iron Pipe, the original Japanese text states “Brother” whereas the International releases (since Replicant was only released in Japan) states “Father”. Therefore, you can’t really say that one or the other is NOT canon.
It was stated in an old article by Yoko Taro that both Father and Brother scenarios in fact occurred. How this could possibly happen, he didn’t go into detail, but he gave the explanation that the Replicants are in a sort repeating cycle. Sometimes Nier is younger (brother) and sometimes he’s older (father); and the same goes with Yonah. Depending on when Nier and Yonah are constructed, their familial relationship will change. I know many people prefer a father-daughter relationship over a brother-sister relationship, but I think Yoko Taro was trying to say that LOVE is LOVE and one isn’t stronger than another. It’s by implementing your own experiences and opinions into the story that change.
|Why did A2 cut her hair after 2B’s death?|
|This is a common trope in many stories. In this particular one, however, it represents A2’s willingness to take on 2B’s cause after her death since they are pretty much one and the same. It is a gesture of respect and a sort of “rebirth” for A2 as well. Although it may not seem like much, A2 *did* change drastically after that moment. She helped Pascal in his endeavors and was obviously emotionally struck by those events. A2 has taken so much weight upon her shoulders, and yet she shows very little strain. She has but one mission: to avenge her fallen comrades and set things “right”… Throughout her seemingly cold interactions with other characters and her outward appearance and actions, she has a genuinely feeling heart.|
|What does “YoRHa” stand for? What does it mean?|
|Yoko Taro has not stated what–if anything–it stands for (ie. “that’s secret.”); however, he has said that there is kanji for it: 寄葉 (yoru-ha; near or passing leaf).|