NieR:Automata™

NieR:Automata™

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af Apr 25, 2017 @ 5:06am
[Open Discussion] The Android Anatomy in NieR:Automata
For the more sciencey people, the anatomy of an android in NieR:Automata has likely been a major mystery. The story indicates they are capable of many human like features such as pain perception, drinking or eating (possibly even digestion of some sort), and even showing emotion. This thread is an open discussion for exploring the anatomy of the android body.

[For people who want more info about the three features provided above]
Pain - this is a given. However, whether they feel pain or simply are told by their sensors that there is damage to their anatomy, this is a different topic.
Drinking and eating - Operator 6O stated she “asked someone out for lunch”...whatever “lunch” is for an android. Additionally, (minor spoiler, if it even is a spoiler), Devola is an alcoholic.
Emotion - this is also a given. However, how emotions are perceived by the characters specifically in comparison to human minds, similar to pain perception, deals with altered states of consciousness - a whole new topic.

Android by definition is a humanoid machine (tech/robotics/engineering specialists, help me out here if there are other details we can add). It seems to be the androids in the story are similar to the robots seen in classic films such as the Terminator series, just that in NieR, androids are much more advanced. The interpretation I offer specifically is about their cognitive ability and mental capacity. It seems to be that the androids in NieR:Automata are a result of a modern day project in the neuroscience field called The Connectome Project.

For those who have never heard of this project before, it is a neurological project currently in development that is attempting to map the entire human brain on a computer. The question then arises, if the neural pathways and features of the human brain are copied onto a computer in the form of digital data, does the computer become a human? It further extends into other debates such as whether consciousness or the soul are part of the brain or if they even exist at all.

In the world of Nier:Automata, it seems to be that projects such as The Connectome Project succeeded and served as the precursor to Project YoRHa. By copying the ability of the human brain into the form of digital data, computers could then, at the very least, act like people. To make androids, the brain data translated into digital data could have been placed into humanoid machines. Pain perception could also be simulated in a mechanical body, even if pain perception may have differed to how humans perceived it. Emotions could be displayed through the reaction the data is programmed to evoke when a certain stimulus is perceived by the programming in the android body.

By converting brain features into digital data, special ideas such as “the soul” ultimately seem to be neurons or matter in a special form to provide us with what is called self awareness or consciousness. Through the above interpretation, NieR:Automata’s world seems to be nihilistic to a whole new level. I am not sure how much Yoko Taro thought about the science behind the android anatomy. However, after thinking further about the way androids are built, it was fascinating and I kept prying further at what possibilities there were.

It would be extremely helpful if there were an official source from the publishers of the story to expand on this part of the lore. So far, there seems to be no written rule on how the android body functions. If someone does have any useful, official info, please comment below. Until then, this topic is open to discussion. Make sure however to backup ideas with at least some scientific basis. For info containing spoilers, please use the blackout formatting function. What do you think the android anatomy is like? What are some other major questions you had about the way the androids function?

Updates on community's analysis of the android anatomy
I have kept track and updated everything we have discussed as a community so far on the android anatomy. So far we have:
  • The brain: Other than my original post, this part hasn't been touched on much, yet.
  • Digestive system: Maybe?
      Clues
    • Devola is an alcoholic
    • Eating mackerel
    • Operator 6O inviting a coworker for "lunch"
  • Circulatory system: Maybe? Possibly some form of hydraulic fluid.
    • Blood
  • Reproductive system: [Confirmed by Yoko Taro] Androids can have genitalia if they decide to have such modifications. However, the genitalia will not be organic. One member has suggested the idea that maybe hacking is involved with the reproduction process (hack the egg cell like portion of a female genitalia in a female android).
  • Speech Input and Output: Radio/transmission, "gibberish" language seen in the game, possibly even the use of digital telepathy.
  • High heels: Not for practical combat use, but rather for appeal. Yoko Taro explained in an interview that he simply went wild with creativity. He said, "human civilizations thousands of years ago couldn't imagine what our civilization would be like, so I decided there would be no constraints to what 2B would be wearing." Not scientific, but an explanation we can remember.
  • Blindfold - most of us already know what it is and that it isn't a "blindfold" but that it is instead a standard issue military visor.
Last edited by af; May 15, 2017 @ 2:07pm
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Showing 1-15 of 126 comments
人妻キラー Apr 25, 2017 @ 5:34am 
Does 2B poop?
lPaladinl Apr 25, 2017 @ 5:38am 
"Pain - this is a given. However, whether they feel pain or simply are told by their sensors that there is damage to their anatomy, this is a different topic."

What do you think pain is for living beings like us Humans? It's just a warning system telling you that, hey, brain, up there, something's not right about this location on your body. Do something about it.
Your Neighbour Apr 25, 2017 @ 5:40am 
Doubt androids poop, but I wonder if they do actually have genitals and buthole just to look like their human gods. Adam/Eve have none but they are not really on the same line as the androids per se.
Last edited by Your Neighbour; Apr 25, 2017 @ 5:41am
Yesaul Apr 25, 2017 @ 7:28am 
Originally posted by Your Neighbour:
Doubt androids poop, but I wonder if they do actually have genitals and buthole just to look like their human gods. Adam/Eve have none but they are not really on the same line as the androids per se.
Androids are sterile. It would be inefficient to have genitals if they don't serve any function.
Tatsu Apr 25, 2017 @ 7:36am 
It's magic, it's all just magic.
SageFreke Apr 25, 2017 @ 7:38am 
Originally posted by YESAUL:
Originally posted by Your Neighbour:
Doubt androids poop, but I wonder if they do actually have genitals and buthole just to look like their human gods. Adam/Eve have none but they are not really on the same line as the androids per se.
Androids are sterile. It would be inefficient to have genitals if they don't serve any function.

efficiency seems to be a minor consideration considering they can cry, wear heels, and feel emotions
they don't have genitals though, we see enough dead androids to know that. whether they have nipples is another matter though...
af Apr 25, 2017 @ 2:23pm 
Originally posted by lPaladinl:
"Pain - this is a given. However, whether they feel pain or simply are told by their sensors that there is damage to their anatomy, this is a different topic."

What do you think pain is for living beings like us Humans? It's just a warning system telling you that, hey, brain, up there, something's not right about this location on your body. Do something about it.

I agree with you. I should have clarified a bit more. Physical pain is ultimately a feedback mechanism. But then there is a "higher" level of pain perception such as gut churning guilt, blood boiling rage, physical changes imposed through mental or emotional damage. Even in terms of physical pain, some go as far as to say there is some form of consciousness that makes it not all physical.

Some people seem to think such physical changes are not just physical but "something else." This is what I meant when I stated "whether they genuinely feel pain or are simply told by their sensors there is damage to their anatomy." This is where my nihilism kicks in and proposes that no, there is nothing else other than our biological circuits telling us something is wrong, that everything is ultimately physical.
af Apr 25, 2017 @ 2:27pm 
Originally posted by Your Neighbour:
Doubt androids poop, but I wonder if they do actually have genitals and buthole just to look like their human gods. Adam/Eve have none but they are not really on the same line as the androids per se.

Remember that time when 9S was taken captive and Adam said that one line...?

You're thinking about how much you want to **** 2B aren't you?

(And yes, I was one of those people who laughed because it caught me off guard.)
People have proposed it wasn't what we all thought it was, but rather "kill" instead. I can't tell which it is, the latter has a lot of evidence to back it up in excerpts such as the ones that describe the secret behind 9S and 2B's relationship written in places like the guidebooks. However...if the initial word we all thought it meant was actually what the author meant...the genitalia thing...
Mepho Apr 25, 2017 @ 3:02pm 
I don't understand why you're so confused about these androids emotions. I mean, you did finish the game, right? Hence you know their true purpose.
Those emotions (achieved through implanted personalities by design, but also emerging from their own development of "self") are the point of their existence. It's no wonder it would be more efficient to have emotionless androids, but that's the whole point.
It seems pretty obvious to me that they are also forbidden from expressing such emotions on purpose, to actually entice them into focusing on them.
That's unless I missed something.
Last edited by Mepho; Apr 25, 2017 @ 3:02pm
Hued Apr 25, 2017 @ 3:03pm 
Originally posted by Tuuu Bi:
Originally posted by lPaladinl:
"Pain - this is a given. However, whether they feel pain or simply are told by their sensors that there is damage to their anatomy, this is a different topic."

What do you think pain is for living beings like us Humans? It's just a warning system telling you that, hey, brain, up there, something's not right about this location on your body. Do something about it.

I agree with you. I should have clarified a bit more. Physical pain is ultimately a feedback mechanism. But then there is a "higher" level of pain perception such as gut churning guilt, blood boiling rage, physical changes imposed through mental or emotional damage. Even in terms of physical pain, some go as far as to say there is some form of consciousness that makes it not all physical.

Some people seem to think such physical changes are not just physical but "something else." This is what I meant when I stated "whether they genuinely feel pain or are simply told by their sensors there is damage to their anatomy." This is where my nihilism kicks in and proposes that no, there is nothing else other than our biological circuits telling us something is wrong, that everything is ultimately physical.
Yeah, basic pain is a given in all animals as it is a fundamental tool for survival. In a most basic explanation, a stimulus causes an electrical impulse to be fired through the nerve fibers and towards the brain. The brain then registers what it should do based on the level of pain received to mitigate further tissue damage to the body. The nervous system as a whole is not overly complicated so I can see it being possible of androids even having the sense of touch which is also proven within certain points of the game.

Given how pain is a primitive reaction to prevent further damage, would certain emotions also be hardwired to trigger based on certain stimuli? Animals have instincts that drive them to react based on outside events such as the fight-or-flight response. I would imagine these instincts would trigger emotions such as anger or fear as an animal backed into a corner would growl, bear its fangs, or even bulk itself up to appear larger and more intimidating. It would be odd if it feels indifferent emotionally while adjusting its physical appearance for defense. With this in mind, androids can be coded to experience emotion based on stimuli too.

The odd thing that androids can do that has been shown throughout the game is that they are capable of readjusting their behavior and emotions by a third party. There are two major points in the game that show a reformat or recoding core behavior can change how the affected android lives. Going through spoilers here, Devola & Popola were reprogrammed to have a constant feeling of a guilty sin due to one pair of Devola & Popola failing to maintain Project Gestalt. Another side quest details this one android couple on the run. The female confesses at the end that she and her lover have been on the run for a long time with her reformatting her mate based on circumstances.

As for physical anatomy and possibility of genitalia, I have heard something from the first Nier that may bear proof to that, but I have yet to play the game to know if this is true.
Last edited by Hued; Apr 25, 2017 @ 3:03pm
lPaladinl Apr 25, 2017 @ 3:23pm 
Originally posted by Mepho:
I don't understand why you're so confused about these androids emotions. I mean, you did finish the game, right? Hence you know their true purpose.
Those emotions (achieved through implanted personalities by design, but also emerging from their own development of "self") are the point of their existence. It's no wonder it would be more efficient to have emotionless androids, but that's the whole point.
It seems pretty obvious to me that they are also forbidden from expressing such emotions on purpose, to actually entice them into focusing on them.
That's unless I missed something.

The Forbidden Fruit concept.

Tell someone they can't do something because you "ban" it, and it just makes them want to do it more, getting more desperate to find new ways to get around the supposed 'ban'.
Marshie Apr 26, 2017 @ 12:57pm 
This is just head Canon for me. You know chaos language? The gibberish language of nier? I have a theory about that which plays a part in their anatomy. People mention that they don't have genitalia, but how do you explain why they have mouths? Humanity is extinct and so is language. The only reason why 2b and 9s speak English is for the benefit of the player. In reality they speak in binary because they are Android's so they have nfc abilities in the network. They might not even need mouths since their nose is enough to take in air and water which is what allegedly fuels the android. Chaos language is the remnant of humanity and because there are no more humans they try to replicate the remaining popular languages in the world from relics and combine it thinking only 1 language is spoken. So this brings me to two theories:
1 they must have genitals if they have mouths
2 they must have mouths and need them in order to communicate and chaos language is the remains of human language that is spoken by the Androids now
af Apr 26, 2017 @ 3:16pm 
Originally posted by Marshie:
This is just head Canon for me. You know chaos language? The gibberish language of nier? I have a theory about that which plays a part in their anatomy.

Interesting theory. Did not think about how the languages we hear in the story were more for practical communication to the audience, always thought it was part of the story since androids were programmed by humans. By chaos language, did you mean the "gibberish" lyrics heard in the songs of the soundtrack? Or something else?

A friend and I were joking around about this subject about anatomy and I remember we had an interesting (but honest to god impossible) theory. It also relates to why the human race actually went extinct.

The idea was "why does 2B and other female androids have breasts?" The question was paired with why they have the clothing they wear such as the white leotards (?) they wear underneath their black uniforms. Even the uniforms show some sexual appeal, definitely not what fighters would wear. Of course, Yoko Taro's preferences and a way to grab the audience's attention and all. However, we wanted to go further.

The theory is that humanity did not go extinct necessarily because of aliens. Rather, the aliens were the ultimate killing blow. What really drove humanity to extinction was a significantly reduced population. This was caused by a trend we are starting to see happening gradually today: sex robots.

The human race in NieR:Automata drove themselves into extinction because they had too many people buying sex robots that became highly advanced technologically, not only for sexual pleasure, but even had the ability to simulate affection and care to their owners. As a result, it was impossible to hold off the alien threat because there were not enough people.

What does this mean about YoRHa? In other words, although YoRHa (and other androids) is a spectacular legion of elite mechanical agents, it is all the result of a highly advanced, red light, pornographic industry. So who knows? 9S only stated they can't reproduce. Never explained why, though.Sex robots can't reporduce either. So despite lacking biological functions to make offspring, they may still have retained the artificial organs humans placed on their mechanical ancestors ages ago.

And to top it off, it would be quite shocking to know the elite organization you're a part of had such an origin. The Commander probably had no way to break it to everyone, she didn't know how well the organization would take it, how, at the very least, awkward it would be. So instead, she felt it was easier to say humanity existed, and if the lie was busted, say humanity didn't exist and blame it all on the aliens.
Last edited by af; Apr 26, 2017 @ 3:19pm
Prolixus Apr 26, 2017 @ 4:28pm 
Originally posted by Tuuu Bi:
A friend and I were joking around about this subject about anatomy and I remember we had an interesting (but honest to god impossible) theory.

Your theory is quite entertaining but I wonder why you came up with such theory in the first place. We know precisely what happened to humanity in the world of NieR:Automata. Basically the original NieR game covers the whole story. I suppose you weren't aware of this, hence
the theory relating to humanity's fate. So my point is, I would recommend checking out the story of that game. I myself didn't play it either, but there are a few references to NieR so better knowing what's what makes NieR:Atuomata even more enjoyable.
af Apr 26, 2017 @ 5:02pm 
Originally posted by Prolixus:
Originally posted by Tuuu Bi:
A friend and I were joking around about this subject about anatomy and I remember we had an interesting (but honest to god impossible) theory.

Your theory is quite entertaining but I wonder why you came up with such theory in the first place. I would recommend checking out the story of that game. I myself didn't play it either, but there are a few references to NieR so better knowing what's what makes NieR:Atuomata even more enjoyable.

Oh, I know the true reasons and what actually happened to humanity. I haven't played the past games, but I have read on what happens in the previous stories along with the details of the past projects, Gestalt, and Replicant. I understand the lore. The theory I presented is interesting, but as you said, just isn't possible. The theory was ultimately really to appeal to the silly side of my personality.
Last edited by af; Apr 26, 2017 @ 5:03pm
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Date Posted: Apr 25, 2017 @ 5:06am
Posts: 126