This year, Square Enix released two games, Nier Gesalt and Nier Replicant, in Japan that features the same exact character with totally different appearances. Only Nier Gesalt was released in the US because of its beefed up, badass looking main character.

Nier Replicant has the “girly” looking version of Nier, the main character, and Gesalt has the muscle bond Nier in its version. Why did Square Enix decided to make two versions of the same game? To appeal to the varied audiences.

Check out the interview below of publisher Square Enix’s Executive Producer Yosuke Saito, and developer Cavia’s Nier director Taro Yoko from Inside-Games (translated by Sankaku Complex):

Saito: We were initially planning an Xbox 360 target, which we expanded to PS3 multiplatform afterwards. However, the production process turned out to be quite storied.

Yoko: At first we were just doing the youthful protagonist version (which became “Replicant”), but Square Enix started taking talking about international markets during development.

Yoko: In fact, an argument erupted at Square Enix’s Los Angeles studio, over whether a thin looking male character [hereafter translated as “girly”] was possible for the game. For the North American consumers, it was decided to provide a macho main.

Yoko: A heated discussion ensued once the American and European staff were gathered to discuss it. It was said that “A slender and girly protagonist like this couldn’t possibly swing a huge sword like that, it’s ridiculous.” Certainly, if you look at American games it’s always muscle bound mains who look like they play American football.

Saito: We thought that as it’s a new IP, it really must sell, and we were persuaded [by the Japanese staff’s desire to make a girly lead] – we opted to leave the Japanese version with the girly character, and instead make two different versions.

Saito: We did realize that not all international audiences are the same though – it was thought that Replicant [the girly version] might be suitable for the French, as they have a greater appreciation of Japanese culture.

Yoko: That meeting was pretty amazing. A lot of people were arguing for making only the macho old guy version for cost reasons, and we [the Japanese developers] were saying “But if we don’t make a girly version we’ll lose heart and it’ll take even longer.”

Saito: As a result, the Japanese PS3 version only became the girly version, and both PS3 and Xbox 360 international version were the macho old guy versions.

I understand why they would make such a decision but I personally prefer the “pretty boy” version of Nier. I’m used to playing this kind of character when I play Japanese video games because of the anime-ish style. But what ultimately matters when buying a game (at least for me) is not how the main character looks, but the gameplay. Since it’s an action role-playing game, I might actually check it out (with the steroid-driven Nier).

Which version do you prefer?


(Avg: Need 5 votes)



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well base on the picture, the macho man doesn’t look good xD so i vote for pretty boys <3

pretty boys <3

hmmm..... well, it’s up to the player whatever he/she prefers

And yes I prefer pretty boys!

Of course. I like kpop boy groups & most are pretty. My friends that aren’t into kpop call them gay or whatever -.- just cuz they don’t look manly/ macho enough :(

Pretty boy<3

mizakiwa - 05/24/10 7:27 pm

I like the girly version better raspberry He’s more good looking <3

I agree with you.
And like it was said, what matter is the gameplay not if the character is girly or not. I mean, mario is a chubby, short, mustache, dinosaur owner, Italian dude and everyone loves him ^_^

i like the japanese version better.

Pretty boy for me! I guess I’m just used to it. The big macho men are usually the supporting characters.

I like the girly version better raspberry He’s more good looking <3

Seridowen - 05/24/10 12:20 pm

I prefer the “girly” man :(, I think that the macho version is ugly and scary looking x.x

haha ^^ true true keke

it’s interesting that they decided to have different versions of the same character. I also prefer the girly version.

Wow, it’s interesting they decided to change the design..LOLS
But I like the girly version, since it kind of defines Japanese gaming and anime and stuff.
The macho guy looks kinda slow and scary. xD

i think that’s just ridiculous

For these kind of games, I prefer Macho guys haha, but either way works fine, as long as the story is good lol

Well~~ I prefer the pretty boys~~ But I think it goes by taste…

I prefer the “girly” man :(, I think that the macho version is ugly and scary looking x.x

i’d prefer the girly man, but maybe thats cause im asian?
i can understand what they’re talking about though

I prefer the girly version, macho man scares me. I mean if I am running for my life I would much rather be with the girly looking. Macho man would be like you’re too slow I’m leaving you. lol

depends on the person. but for games i kinda prefer the girly type. they just are nicer to look at. lol

Me I’d prefer the girly type but macho type would be more accepted when it comes to America.

Keke I like the girly version more smile

I think that if you are a female that you would be more inclined to play the “girly” version unless you are the I like the bada** type.  Males I think would most definately like the “macho” version.  Me, being a female, I like the girly version and I am a hardcore bada** type of person.(lol) So, in all, I guess it is just whatever you prefer.

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