Since the demo was released last week, gamers have discovered a truly unique way to get a game over in NieR: Automata. By removing a computer chip from their inventory, players will have their screen fade to black before being presented with the menu screen.
Well, it’s not just any computer chip: it’s the OS chip for the android that serves as the protagonist in NieR: Automata. Players are essentially throwing away their own brain by clicking on the “remove” button despite the warning tooltip that says “removal means death.” Never a crowd to be deterred by warnings, curious gamers decided to test whether it does exactly what it says on the tin and so discovered this little Easter egg. That it took almost a week after the NieR: Automata demo launched last week for anyone to make this public is the bigger mystery.
In all fairness, one could be forgiven for committing robotic suicide by accident since the OS chip is one among many that players hold in their inventory. Each can boost a particular skill or change things about how the player interacts with the world, serving as passive abilities while players roam the world of NieR: Automata, cutting their enemies to ribbons with huge swords and impressive combos.
The demo shows that NieR: Automata will be an action-filled romp in the tradition of Final Fantasy 15and its own predecessor, though with fewer of the flaws that prevented it from becoming a real success. The new NieR will be more about androids and mechs than weird sorcery, though apparently director Yoko Taro is enough into game-within-the-game weirdness that removing a chip can end the session for you.
Not that NieR: Automata is the only game to ever break the fourth wall and present gamers with an ending screen through metagame shenanigans. Indie game The Witness may have one of the weirdest endings ever, which may leave players to wonder who’s playing who, but even more well-known games like Far Cry 4 have played around with such themes. The quickest, though least satisfying, way to finish that game is to do exactly as the antagonist says right from the start.
Obeying instructions also seems the course of wisdom in NieR: Automata, though right now it’s not clear whether death by chipset will be in the full game as well. Just in case it isn’t, gamers can get the satisfaction of breaking the rules by downloading the demo.
NieR: Automata will release in North America on March 7, 2017, for PS4, with a PC launch scheduled for sometime in 2017 as well.