7 Things The Drakengard Series Set Up For Nier Replicant
By Michael Llewellyn
Published Jun 08, 2021
Nier Replicant has its origins tied up with the Drakengard series, and here are the connections you can make between the games.
Created by the equally acclaimed and eccentric Yoko Toro, the Nier series achieved critical and commercial success with Nier: Automata. This title was developed along with PlatinumGames and combined with Toro’s unique writing style and script it is now considered to be one of the greatest action RPGs of a generation. Thanks to the success of Nier: Automata, Toro and the studio Toylogic have remastered its predecessor Nier: Replicant to more critical acclaim. Together, they polished up what was already considered a diamond in the rough from 2010.
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However, the story didn’t start with the original Nier. The events of Nier take place after one of the endings in the PlayStation 2 action-RPG Drakengard. Like the first Nier, the Drakengard series had gained a very niche audience but were loved for their complex and mature narratives that transcended many generic fantasy RPGs at the time. Unfortunately, despite the great story, the gameplay and the voice acting have aged quite badly. Thanks to Nier’s accessible lore, the Drakengard games aren’t essential to understanding the Nier franchise, but it’s still useful to know exactly what events lead up to Nier: Replicant.
Released in Western territories in 2014, Drakengard 3 is PlayStation 3 exclusive that didn’t release to critical acclaim. While it’s fair to criticize the combat system and the repetitiveness of the Dynasty Warriors-style gameplay, its true strength was in the game’s plot.
As a prequel to the first Drakengard, the third and final entry in the niche action-RPG series sets up the first game’s events quite significantly. In this entry, players take control of the powerful Intoner known as Zero in a world – parallel to Earth – known as Midgard. She discovers that the source of her power is an evil parasitic magical flower, which has driven her sisters insane and made them hell-bent on destroying the world. Like Zero, her sisters are Intoners and it’s up to her to stop them with her dragon Mikhail.
As mentioned above, Zero’s sisters are known as the Intoners. These are revered by humankind as deities after saving the world and Cathedral City from destruction by the warlords. In addition to Zero, there are six Intoners named One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and the clone Brother One.
Brother One was created by his sister One to kill the last Intoner along with himself to severe the flower’s evil grip on the sisters and save the world in the process. Unfortunately, after Zero killed his sister, Brother One had his own plans. After Mikhail and One’s dragon Gabriel killed each other in combat a bereaved Zero chose to revive him with the curse of the flower instead of destroying it. This formed the very first pact between a human and a dragon. However, almost as soon as the pact was made, Brother One killed Zero which also resulted in the death of Mikhail.
After killing Zero, Brother Zero was the only Intoner left but instead of killing himself like he was destined to, he decided to live on with knowledge of the Pact. With the Intoners gone, Brother One decides to create a new religion and take on the role of his sister due to their looks being almost identical. The new religion would later become known as The Watchers and he leads them under the guise of his sister in Cathedral City.
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In addition to The Watchers, Brother One had descendants of his own becoming High Priests and Priestesses all with the power of the Intoners. Two of the most recognizable descendants are the twin Manah and Seere from the original Drakengard game and they share an uncanny resemblance to One and Brother One. The twins are displayed in the Three-Eyed Twins symbol of the Cult of Watchers
The first Drakengard game is set 98 years after the events of Drakengard 3 and the Cult of the Watchers have established themselves as the most powerful Empire in the world. The Empire has dominated most of the world and only the Union is left standing.
After a devastating attack by the Empire, Drakengard’s protagonist Caim is left mortally wounded but forms a Pact with a dragon named Angelus before it’s too late. The two set out to stop The Watchers from destroying the World by unleashing an interdimensional demon called the Queen-beast.
Despite Caim and Angelus’ best efforts, the Cult of Watchers managed to summon the Queen-beast. Instead of yielding, however, Caim and Angelus charged the demon and the bloody battle sent them into this world’s Tokyo in 2003.
The warrior Caim and Angelus would then fight the Queen-beast right in the middle of Tokyo City until they defeated her. Unfortunately, Caim and Angelus were seen as an immediate threat and were shot out of the sky with a missile shot from a jet fighter.
Unfortunately for Tokyo and the rest of the planet, the remains of Caim, Angelus, and the Queen-beast crumbled to ash. The particles from the ash spread across the planet and not only became the source of magic in Nier’s world but the cause of the apocalyptic disease known as White Chlorination Syndrome (WCS).
After the battle with the Queen-beast, some of Angelus’?remains were still intact?and the Japanese government quickly moved them to a research facility. Meanwhile, the WCS disease was spreading throughout the world either causing its victims to die or become violent becoming a “Legion of the Gods” in service of a demon called Red Eye.
A combination of researchers from America and Japan managed to reverse-engineer the dragon’s remains. This research would allow them and use its magic in an attempt to fight back against the spread of the disease.
In their efforts, the scientists named the particles Maso Particles and found that it was their incompatibility with Earth’s universe that caused the cataclysmic effects of the WCS disease which continued in its destruction. Thanks to their efforts, the researchers executed “Project Gestalt” after discovering the powers of the multiverse and the human soul leading directly into the events of Nier: Replicant.
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From Michael Llewellyn