Nier: Automata’s new DLC “3C3C1D119440927” is out today. The DLC brings costumes inspired by the original Nier, new music, equipment, other cosmetic items, colosseum battles, and most importantly, boss fights with the CEOs of Square Enix and PlatinumGames. But for the majority of players who have seen through the game’s many endings, being able to access it will be… difficult.
Spoilers ahead. Not strict story spoilers, but y'know, another spoiler.
At the end of Ending E in Nier: Automata, the player is propositioned to sacrifice their save data. To give it up with hardly any qualms, and watch as their progress is eradicated from the game, like it never existed. Like you never existed. Like your experience with the game never existed.
Before that fateful ending is Ending C or D (depending on what you do first). After your first round beating the third playthrough and getting one of those endings, you unlock a Chapter Select. That Chapter Select is how Nier: Automata’s latest DLC is playable: you find the newly arisen colosseums throughout the world. Then, and only then, can you approach their challenging wave-based battles and leave victorious.
I imagine for the majority of players who have seen Nier: Automata through, this caveat will prove itself disappointing. I, alongside many players I suspect, no longer have that save data that carried me through the game’s twisty-turny journey. If I were to ever see this DLC, I’d have to weather through three playthroughs of the game once more. And while one day I’ll likely revisit the game—which as of now is my favorite game of the year—I’m not ready to dive back in yet. There is a such thing as too much of a good thing.
But maybe this was all part of director Yoko Taro’s master plan. A game that’s constructed with the idea of you never returning to it again, only to announce in-game DLC for it weeks after its release knowing the result of most players’ experiences with the game. Taro sculpted Nier: Automata into an impressively finite experience: our time with the game is short, and that’s all the time we get (unless we want to tediously start it all over again from scratch). Our only memories subsist in the screencaps we took on our quest, and nothing more. With the added DLC, knowing that I’d have to skate through dozens of hours of game again just to see what it offers feels like a punch in the gut. Which, honestly, is probably just as intended. Well played.
If you’re one of the lucky players that didn’t sacrifice their save, or just recently got to the Chapter Select option, then you’re still in luck. The Nier: Automata DLC is available for $13.99 on Steam and PSN.