During a panel at PAX East, NieR: Automata Creative Director Yoko Taro was asked a few questions about the game, and he responded with his usual adorable and modest mannerism.
Among other things, he talked about how he hopes fans will receive the game, localization, his famous mask, and why protagonist YoRHa 2B wears high heels.
Yoko-san mentioned that many ask if there are any differences between the original Japanese version of NieR: Automata and the localized English version, and there is a name of a character that had to be changed due to a copyright issue. Yet, it’s only one instance, and if you compare the English localization with the Japanese original, you’ll notice that there isn’t much difference in the overall games.
While at times there is censorship in regards to certain materials, Yoko-san continued, no changes were made to the game due to those factors. Of course, with regards to different cultures between Japan and North America and Europe, the developers feel that it’s best to have the localization team use the best expressions that would be fitting for each regions, and that kind of expressions may change, but then again, Yoko-san doesn’t understand English very well, so even if they did change everything, he wouldn’t notice.
He also explained why he wears his iconic mask: he personally doesn’t believe that creators should be in the eye in the public. To give an analogy, if he found out that that the erotic novel he’s enjoying is written by a middle-aged man, he’d be disappointed. That’s kind of the reason why he doesn’t want to show his face in public.
To a question asking why a combat android wears high heels, Yoko Taro answered that the game is set 10,000 years in the future, so when he tried to imagine what it would be like, he thought about how it was 10,000 years ago, and people back then probably would not have been able to imagine what it would be like nowadays. That’s why he decided to think freely and willfully about it. Since a lot of western games feature space marines and that kind of concept, he let his ideas flow freely and came up with a girl wearing heels in the future. Yet, the biggest reason is simply that he just really likes girls.
The developer also explained that the hilarious Nier: Automata T-Shirt video took three takes to complete, and he was exhausted at the end, since he had been rolling around for a while, yet Producer Yosuke Saito asked him to do more. He did, and he was at the point in which he was about to faint, and that’s why that exclamation at the end [S**t Square Enix!] came out, so it’s not all his fault.
Asked about the positive critical and fan reception of the game, Yoko Taro mentioned that he is extremely thankful for the great feedback and responses he is receiving from everyone, and that’s largely due to PlatinumGames, but for those who haven’t played NieR: Automata, he wants to say that it’s not a perfect game. It’s a little bit off and strange, it may not be the most fun, it may not be the most beautiful in terms of graphics, it may not have the most interesting story.
Yet, to bring an analogy, during your school days there might have been a girl or boy that you liked, and they might not have been the most beautiful or funny. You weren’t quite sure what the reason was, but you just liked that person for who he or she was. NieR is kind of a off-beat and strange game, but just like that memory of the first boy or girl that you liked back then, Yoko-san hopes that it will have a very fond place in your memories and in your hearts.
In addition to Yoko Taro’s answers, Square Enix also showcased a video message with further questions and answers featuring Composer Keiichi Okabe and Designer Takahisa Taura, and you can enjoy it below.
In case you missed it, you can also check out the announcement that Keiichi Okabe worked on Final Fantasy XV‘s upcoming DLC Episode Gladiolus, and read our full NieR: Automata review.
NieR: Automata is currently available for PS4, and will come for PC on March 17th, via Steam.