It has been an incredible year for video games. The release of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has taken the gaming world by storm, and other titles, like Horizon: Zero Dawn and even Final Fantasy 15 late last year have exceeded the lofty expectations attributed to them. In an industry where falling short of the uncontrollable hype can happen to very good titles, it is remarkable to see so many AAA games excel in such a short span of time.
NieR: Automata, on the other hand, is a title that people will be forgiven for not knowing given the hectic release schedule that has been the February and March months this year. NieR: Automata is a Platinum Games and Square Enix collaboration that serves as the sequel to cult classic NieR, and until a few months ago, the game was low on everyone's respective radars.
That all changed rather quickly once a NieR: Automata demo proved the game's combat would be refreshingly fun, and now that it has been released, it has become pretty clear that NieR: Automata is a game of the year contender. With so many people only finding out about NieR: Automata after its strong critical reception, however, there will be plenty of new players unaware that designer Taro Yoko is fond of hiding multiple endings in each of his games. NieR: Automata might be different from NieR in a lot of ways, but both titles share numerous different endings, with some clearly being better than others.
To that end, there exists an ending in NieR: Automata that is, without a doubt, the game's "true" ending, and one of the only satisfying conclusions to the tale of androids 2B, 9S, and others. Here, Game Rant will quickly walk players through how to achieve ending "E".
Warning: there are spoilers ahead. This guide does not spoil the "good" ending, but will, by necessity, discuss others.
Complete Both Ending "C" and "D"
Unfortunately, there's no way around this – players will have to progress through 9S and A2's endings before they are able to unlock ending "E". Luckily, after completing the third playthrough that will unlock either "C" or "D" depending on the choices players make, the game will unlock a "Chapter Select" function that will let gamers quickly backtrack to the moment where that decision is made. Doing this, it only takes about five or ten more minutes after completing one of these endings to unlock the second.
Watch the Credits and Pay Attention
Gamers often tune out and listen to the beautiful music score once they reach a game's credits screen, but NieR: Automata will actively punish players for doing so, so pay attention! There will be a series of prompts from Pod 042 that ask the player about fate and choice, and they will need to answer "yes" to all of these questions to unlock ending "E". Once all the questions have been answered, the credits screen will suddenly rewind, unlocking the credits mini-game.
Beat the Credits Mini-Game
Good luck, too. The credits mini-game is incredibly difficult even for seasoned veterans of bullet hell games, although those who have beaten Enter the Gungeon might be able to complete it on the first try. For the rest of us, a number of grisly deaths awaits, with prompts from the game suggesting giving up each time the player dies – always choose to continue onward.
Eventually, the game will inform players they have received a rescue offer from a random player name. Accept that offer and suddenly the player's ship will be joined by several others, making the game much easier. Complete the mini-game to unlock ending "E", titled "the [E]nd of yorha".
Make the Hardest Choice in NieR: Automata
We won't spoil it, but after the final cutscene ends, players will be presented with a revelation about the credits mini-game and the hardest decision that exists within NieR: Automata. Good luck – it isn't easy, and it won't lead to any trophy or recognition, but it will stay with players for a long, long time afterwards.
That's all gamers need to do to unlock the best ending in NieR: Automata. There are, of course, endings that correspond to each letter of the alphabet, and most of them involve humorous deaths as a result of player choices during the game. They're all worth exploring, as NieR: Automata is one of the best games in an already stacked 2017 release year.
NieR: Automata is available now for PS4, with a PC version releasing on March 17, 2017.