Episode Alive – As NieR fans know. Theres no difference between the overall structure of the NieR games, but it is extremely difficult to follow when you dive deeper into the story. Other options, branched plotlines, but also all the more details throughout the story and the side quests.
NieR story reaches over 10,000 years, yet lots to pass on if we know all the details. The NieR timeline constantly confuses people, that’s why we wanted to help you know how all works so that you can know what you can expect from the next anime in terms of its plot.
NieR timeline overview
In this section, we want to give you a quick preview of the complete NieR chronology without diving in too many details (at least here). Now here’s the NieR chronology at a glance:
- Drakengard 1, 2, 3
- Novella, Song Of Fourteen Years
- Game Drakengard
- Branch E: The End of the dragon sphere
- Novella: The Stone Flower
- But There Was None(Novella)
- Red, Black/A Little Princess(Novellas)
- Witches Sabbath(Novella)
- Games For NieR Replicant/NieR Gestalt
- Magic Mountain(Novella)
- The Narrow Gate (Novella)
- The Little Mermaid(Novella)
- DLC: The World of Recycled Vessels
- Ending A:Call Her Back
- B:Lingering Memories Ending
- And Around the World in Eighty Days(Novella)
- Ending C:Thank You
- Ending D:Something Very Special
- Novella’s The Lost World
- The Space War (Drama CD)
- Prometheus'(Novella) Fire
- SitoLoads: YoRHa (Stage Play)
- YoRHa Boys (Stage Play)
- Branch E: The End of the dragon sphere
Two titles do not listed, they are NieR: Automata Ver1.1a, upcoming anime and the NieR Re[in]carnation video game as you can see. The former-one anime is by all means set during the NieR: Automata shooting event, a new take on a familiar plot while the latters place in the timeline is completely unknown, as no other NieR work makes any reference to a concept from NieR Re[in]carnation, but definitely set within the same universe. Now that we have a little more information about the chronology, let us start clarifying this.
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NieR story actually starts with first game in the series: Drakengard. Final ending actually led to more than a decade later events that happened in NieR and thus became an alternative reality related to the main Drakengard timeline. Caim, dragon decide not to take Away with Seere, throw themselves against Queen-Beast, absorbable in space-time distortion. They live in modern Tokyo, where Dragon claims to be gods. Japanese air force fighter rockets kill Caim, dragon with Queen-Beast attack reminiscent of battle. Dragons charred corpse remains impaled on Tokyo Tower. NieR returns again from this story. The King-Beast can also be called The Giant, while the Dragon may not be called the Dragon.
Tokyo appears to have several cases of unknown disease that breaks humans into sodium chloride several months after it collapsed; mortality rate 100%, and scientists’ initially optimistic because it is a rare disease despite its unknown origin. Tokyo reports explosion of new cases as scientists investigate disease in February 2004.
Japan isolates parts of Tokyo, more and more cases that go into berserk state with psychotic fits emerge as cases increase. The researchers reveal their findings so far in June 2004 to identify the cause of the disease White Chlorination Syndrome; no cure in sight as the scientists still cannot understand the origins, mechanisms of the disease. The so-called Wall of Jericho is built around Shinjuku in October, where the disease started; the location is physically sealed off to stop spread.
Some media members stayed in Shinjuku, video showed in December that a media member screaming as a giant white being seen behind him. Shinjuku’s last transmission and its leaked online although it was a deliberate move. Japanese government estimates the numbers of infections steadily decreasing in January 2005.
Scientists reveal genetic issues with WCS and people with irregularities within their chromosomes have higher rate of going berserk in May 2006. The government continues to conduct its research in secret, not reveal anything to the public. Shinjuku, wall shattered from inside in February 2008 as white creatures break out and slaughter all the people they encounter. Red Eye stars red-eyed creature and can repel army attempts at stopping the Legion, is dubbed the Legion.
WCS re-emerges soon after, number of cases rises fast – first outside Tokyo. Dragon remains relocated back to another secret location in the meantime. Legions continue to ascend as army unsuccessful to stop Legions. Legion slow and not stopped just in January 2009, when Japan allies itself with U.S. Tokyo launches agreement nuclear attack in August, Shinjuku becoming Ground Zero. Nuclear attacks reveal Legion destroyed in November.
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It’s February 2010, first WCS case emerges in China, Legion members also on the lookout for another region of Asia. Soon, Red Eye spreads to all over the world; also confirmed to have survived nuclear attack at Tokyo. Fearful truth lies out in June. Namely, scientists confirm that Dragon and Giant came from a parallel universe, WCS is caused by unknown particle from the world dubbed Maso that should not exist in our universe. No known technique or element can kill Maso particles and no cure for WCS – nuclear attacks on Japan helped spread Maso particles around the world.
Masos nature research continues as disease spreads. Deadliest group attacks secret facility storing Dragons corpse in 2011; corpse defys, government decides to hide it. Gestalt Project begins in March 2014. The aim of the project is to separate the human body from its body to curb the spread of WCS; the initial experiment is successful the separation and re-merging are done without any risks. Released 2015, Public says if it rejects it. Luciferase is a herbal remedy that should stop WCS spread.
One of the top groups in the elite squad, called 1st Crusade Squad, works on growing legion but are ultimately eliminated. Luciferase elongates better on children, taken and experimented soon. Hamelin Organization is established in helping to grow children. The long reigns force the world into even bigger chaos in the coming years as the economy virtually collapses, and we see a surge in civil disturbance.
Replicants Become a part of Project Gestalt, Based On Original Process in Jan 2025. The Replicants are empty shells created by a Gestalt conversion of patients genetic data. Shells to tackle the problem of a Gestaltized soul losing its physical body; the first integration of a Gestalt and Replicant comes. In 2026, an incident occurs in which a weapon to combat the Legion actually a weaponized child is lost. Jerusalem kills Red Eye IN 2030, Legion loses leader and dies as physical threat. WCS continues spreading across world.
The world is finally endowed by 2032. Project Gestalt showcases the full scope of its story as survivors rekindle as Gestalts, then Replicants are also created. Androids are placed around the world to control Maso particles, are placed in charge of controlling unmerged Replicants, immune to WCS, sent to defeat the Legion. Gestalts could merge, humans continue to live. Once disease rages. Grimoire project also launches in 2033 with Grimoire Noir and Grimoire Weiss being the first examples of such Gestaltized books.
NieR Gestalt / NieR Replicant
The timeline for now seems to be tricky as it appears that the Japanese game started in 2049, the Western version started in 2053, so all of the events depicted here must be viewed accordingly. Gestaltized souls lose self-awareness and go berserk, labeled as a relapse, begins to emerge in the beginning. Maso from a stable Gestalt is required to stabilize the process; this Gestalt was named the original Gestalt, and it was determined that using one of the Grimoires would be the best way to produce it. Tests on children to find the one attuned to Noir power on Grimoire Noir. Nier tricked into entering the experiment and satires to Noirs power but runs away when he feels like something isn’t amiss; he needs to also protect Yonah.
Nier is attacked by relapsed Gestalt in abandoned supermarket and is given himself to Noir and becomes the Original Gestalt. Nier gives deep sleep to Yonah until project ends, has to offer Maso to them; Nier agrees -this continues for thousand years. Replicants begin to develop sentience in 2764, with they still in sleep, and by year 3000, they are completely sentient beings. Replicants begin constructing a human civilization, rebuild the planet, but still under the control of the androids and are looking to destroy the Legion, the relapsed Gestalts.
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Red Eye reborn in Jerusalem in 3276, in 3287, amasses remaining Legion, attacks Replicants. Android, 4 Replicants unite, manage to end Legion again. After all, the other Maso is sent to the world, purified of the White Chlorination Syndrome. Project Gestalt ends with completion in 3288 after disease eradiated but Replicants begin seeing original Forms as monsters, dubbing them Shades, attacking them. Some parts of the world offer full merger of Gestalts, Replicants but are rare. Original Gestalts Nier starts to suspect Yonah wont be revived around 3300, says stabil Gestalts begin rolling very early. He then hits Noir again and wants to save Yonah, and that is where NieR plot actually starts.
This story is about a man named Nier, either a young man or a middle-aged man, depending on the version), whose name can be customisable, hoping for a cure for his younger sister or daughter Yonah (again, depending on the version). Black Scrawl kills whole villages, looks apparently incurable. Ner also makes himself a worker to be able to recover from pain related to his daughters.
Nier discovers Yonah fleeing from village to search for imaginary flower in any way that could give any wish one day. Roughly a short time, he stumbles in the Lost Sanctuary where he finds the bizarre and know-it-all talking tome Grimoire Weiss.
Weiss aims to cure the Black Scrawl by using the Sealed Verses, defeating the Grimoire Noir, his dark counterpart allied with the Shadow Lord, and killing the Shades and the Black Scrawl in the world. At night, alongside him in a journey to Canada and to the Netherlands, he will also be Kaine, a young warrior who dresses, is a bit of an antidote and has the power to petrify anything and can do anything via seeing it. Fast all the headhunts have names of famous characters from fantasy, fairy tales (Hook, Hansel & Gretel, Geppetto).
Nier includes all kinds of secondary quests that will earn the rewarded with experience or money if completed, fish or farming among other hobbies. Some side quests to unlock the new ends will complete the NieR story. These are:
- Ending A: The game ends normal until the credits sequence.
- Ending B: Continuate with last saved game to end credits of first phase. The story to start late on the initial plot and will include new scenes and dialogue throughout the adventure. More details to be added, including all weapons, items, and texts being retained.
- Ending C: Beginning late in the plot, like Ending B. For this end, only to complete A and B, get the Weapons Collector Trophy, obtained in acquiring 100% of the weapons in the video game. As for ending of plot, an election to determine future of main characters to be presented for the final characters.
- Final D: Make this outcome of choice opposite to Final C, so after viewing the previous results, it is recommended only to check if you have done that.
Replicant Nier reconstructed in 3474; the original NieR game was remastered. Last humans die in 4198 after many attempts to preserve humanity. Replicants were still alive at that time, Androids are the only available in the world.
Androids increase not long after that, number of smartphones up. Androids split into the conservative ones, loyal to humans around 4500, Independists who garnered no loyalty to the human. Short civil war breaks out, quickly halts, Independists form sovereign state in Australia. In 5012 aliens arrived on Earth and exploded into storms all around the world; Androids formed an army to fight back, Aliens also made machinecraft and soon overpowered the Androids. It was interestingly remarkable that they stopped expanding when they conquered 80% of the planet, although the number of machines was growing. Androids also expanded to space, build space bases for preserving human culture, living and fighting.
Emil, who survived NieR, built over 85,943,258 clones of himself to fight aliens in 5112.
Androids make few wins over the years, no breakthroughs. On the other hand, aliens start building large, Goliath-like machines that also wreak havoc on Earth, boosting aliens authority. This occurred over 6,000 years, until around 11,000 aliens presence slows down. All the aliens were crushed and killed in 11,306 by aliens x-rays.
Staff in the Android field for the Army of Humanity launched various wars on the machines, they failed to wipe them out, would go back to winning. Außerdem, in the next century, more gigantic machines will emerge and displace after a while. Ernst-Class Goliath-class machine declared independency from other machines in 11,689, formed Forest Kingdom where he will continue to reign as sovereigns. YoRHa approved for construction in 11,932; first model built in 11,937 and deployed to Earth.
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14th Machine War began in 11,939; next year, Bunker constructed. Pearl Harbor Descent Operation took place in 11,941, killing Androids, only alive member. NineS awakened in the Bunker in 11,942, and these events lead us into Nier: Automata story. What next? We wont be revealing that.
No, with the anime coming up, we wont spoil everything for you, so we urge you to check the anime out, then check out what happens after Automatas Final End. And we will wrap up our view of the NieR timeline and the highlights of its key events with this. This is just a small part of the entire series so hopefully weve enabled you to grasp this big, complex universe before the anime actually begins.