- "I never quite realized...how beautiful this world is."
- —A2, in Ending C.
She is a prototype of the YoRHa android line, and combat data from her and her comrades was used to create the superior current lines, including 2B and 9S. She doesn't like to speak and often keeps to herself.
Three years prior to the events of NieR: Automata, she was a member of the first YoRHa squadron deployed to Earth as part of the Pearl Harbor Descent during the early years of the 14th Machine War. Her alias at the time was No2 which is parsed in Automata as "Number Two". She was portrayed by Ruka Endo in the stage play.
|That is why you, the YoRHa forces, exist:|
SPOILER ALERT - Plot details for NieR: Automata follow.
A2 appears as part of the initial YoRHa squadron deployed to earth during the 14th Machine War.
A2 is first encountered by 2B and 9S killing Immanuel. Pod 153 warns the pair that A2 is a wanted android and is recommended for annihilation. 9S questions the directive while 2B initiates battle against the mysterious A2. Following A2's defeat, 9S asks her why she betrayed them. A2 mentions that Command was the one who betrayed them and escapes. 2B and 9S attempt to give chase but realize she's already gone.
After the defeat of Adam and Eve, when a corrupted 2B is being accosted by androids of YoRHa, A2 appears and disposes of her assailants. Realizing there's no hope for survival, 2B relegates her sword and memories to A2. A2 stabs 2B with her sword while 9S watches her take the sword out of 2B's bloodied corpse. 9S has a mental breakdown and angrily proclaims that he will kill the rogue android. A2 cuts her hair with 2B's sword in a style reminiscent of the deceased android. As he runs towards her, he falls off a bridge while gigantic pillars rise from the ground, forming The Tower. A2 is caught within the pillars' movements and is knocked unconscious.
A2 wakes up on a piece of debris with Pod 042 greeting her a good morning. A2 wonders about the Pod following her and is told that 2B's final order insisted that Pod 042 should assist A2. A2 scoffs at the notion of needing help and tells the Pod to shut up. After requesting her motives several times, A2 finally relents and tells the Pod that her goal is to destroy machines. He then directs her to the Desert.
A2 arrives at the desert and encounters a Goliath-class Machine named Hegel. She defeats the machine and hacks into its mainframe, ultimately annihilating its core. A mirage of 2B appears to her and tells her that she and A2 are the same, with A2 angrily rejecting the notion by throwing her sword at where 2B appeared. After falling unconscious and reawaking, Pod informs A2 that her filter is full of sand and must be replaced. After heading to the Resistance Camp, A2 meets Pascal, who is under attack by several hostile machines. After dispatching them, A2 spares the machine, despite her grudge, and continues to the camp.
After reuniting with Anemone, A2 finds out she needs Pascal's help in order to get a filter. Hesitantly, A2 receives help from Pascal, and in turn, helps him and his villagers with requests. After obtaining a book on philosophy from Anemone, Pascal's village turns on itself with some of the machines becoming cannibalistic. A2 returns to the village, only to find it in flames and the villagers feeding on eachother. She tells Pod 042 that they need to locate Pascal immediately. After dispatching the zombie machines, she and Pascal take the child machines to the abandoned Factory to hide from the machines.
This proves to be a mistake, however, as a force of machines descend upon the factory. A2 and an enraged Pascal take up arms against the machines, and eventually overcome the enemy force when Pascal takes control of an Engels and kills them all. When the two return to the factory, they find all the children commited suicide out of fear of dying. Pascal, feeling guilt for having taught them the concept of fear, mentally breaks down and asks that A2 fulfill his final request: erase his memories, and therefore who he is, or kill him. After making her choice, A2 leaves the factory and makes her way to the Tower.
A2 enters the God Box, and finds 9S who is about to be attacked by a corrupted Operator 21O. She kills 21O by impaling her several times, saving 9S. A2 then tells him that 2B wanted her to tell him that he should continue to be a good person. A mentally unstable 9S becomes enraged at the mention of 2B and attacks her. However, he falls down through the crumbling floor and Auguste appears before A2. Following the machine's defeat, its brothers surround it with pleas of "Big Brother", kowtowing and begging A2 to spare them. She hesitantly executes them all.
Having arrived at the base of the Tower, A2 encounters a wounded Devola and Popola, who explain that they've already opened the tower for 9S. As they make their way up the tower, A2 and Pod 042 enter a familiar Library, with Pod 042 explaining to A2 what libraries are. Within the library's depths, A2 encounters a book titled "Operational Summary of Model Number Two in Project YoRHa", and opens it, expressing surprise at its contents. Shortly after reading through the book, A2 is attacked by Ko-Shi that's infiltrated the library. After fighting the machine on an ascending elevator while 9S combats Ro-Shi above, the two knock their respective enemies into an arena. 9S attempts to confront A2, but the two are forced to work together to combat Ko-Shi & Ro-Shi, the two previous machines merged. After destroying the machine, A2 and 9S finally confront one another.
A2 mentions that the tower they are in is actually a cannon aimed at the human server on the moon. If they don't do anything, all of the remaining human data will be destroyed. A mentally unstable 9S tells A2 that humanity is extinct and that the human server was a lie perpetuated by YoRHa to keep the androids in line. If an android did find out, they were deigned to be killed. He states that the commander, him and 2B were all sacrificial lambs. A2 reveals to 9S that 2B was actually a special android unit called 2E that was designed to specifically execute YoRHa units, and that 2B hated killing 9S over and over again. Enraged by A2's words, 9S tells Pod 153 to stop talking until either he or A2 is dead.
flowers for m[A]chines
- A2 is absent for the events during Ending A.
or not to [B]e
- A2 is absent for the events during Ending B.
- Choosing A2 will yield this ending.
- A2 decides to battle 9S and near the battle's end, she cuts off his arm and hacks into his mind with Pod 042's assistance. While navigating the mind of 9S, Pod 042 continuously warns A2 that the chances of removing the corruption plaguing 9S are slim at best. A2 suggests she has a plan but Pod 042 strongly advises against harm against YoRHa units it supports, with A2 expressing admiration at the pod's loyalty. After discovering a slumbering 9S at the end of the labyrinth, A2 tells Pod 042 to take care of 9S while she tries to accomplish one more thing.
- As Pod 042 leaves with 9S's body, A2 walks towards the pillar of light and hears the laughter of children. She severs the functionality of the structure, causing it to crumble and returning her to reality. A2 mentions that she never realized how beautiful the world was, proclaiming to "everyone" that she is coming. As A2 reaches her hand out to the sky, she perishes within the crumbling structure's decline and debris.
- In the aftermath of the credits, the debris from the destruction of the structure is seen throughout the area. A lone moose stares at a rock with 2B's sword and mask impaled on it.
- Choosing 9S will yield this ending.
- 9S fights A2 with severe malice and is almost overpowered by her. A2 hesitates as she recalls 2B's request and is impaled by 9S's sword. A2 falls to the ground in a pool of her own blood while 9S falls right beside her, impaled on her sword as he succumbs to his data corruption.
the [E]nd of YoRHa
- Obtain Endings C and D
- During the credits. the Pods begin to delete all data related to the YoRHa project, as was originally intended. However, Pod 042 has doubts and refuses to go through with it, which Pod 153 agrees to. The two both voice their wishes that A2, 2B, and 9S could have lived, and decide to rebuild them. The player must do a final hacking game, fighting all the names in the credits. After this, the Pods are shown flying parts to a building that 2B and 9S are laying on. The screen then pans up to show A2 sitting on the edge of another building as a dove perches near her.
As a Playable CharacterEdit
A2 handles very similarly to 2B, but she has several key differences.
- Primary Attack - Basic light attack, does less damage, but is faster and has a higher combo potential. The precise nature of the attack depends on the equipped primary weapon: large weapons equipped as primary will still be slow. Holding down and releasing light attack does not perform a stronger short attack combo, as this control is instead used for A2's taunt move.
- Heavy Attack - Basic heavy attack, does more damage, but is slower and has shorter combos. A heavy attack can be inserted as a finisher at any point in a light attack combo, with the type of heavy attack depending on the equipped primary and secondary weapons. Jumping and then immediately pressing heavy attack will perform a launcher move, with the precise move depending on the selected secondary weapon. Holding the heavy attack button with a spear or large sword set as the heavy attack weapon will charge a powerful attack, which has two levels, the second of which will have an extended attack if it connects. The latter is enhanced by "Charge Attack" plug-in chips.
- Aerial Attack - Primary attacks in the air will keep A2 in the air as long as the combo lasts, which varies depending on the selected primary weapon, while using a heavy attack will result in powerful downward strike. The power of the latter is enhanced by "Down-Attack Up" plug-in chips.
- Pod Shot - Fires the ranged weapon of the currently selected Pod. The missile launcher Pod must have the button held for it to lock on before launching. Upgraded Pods go through multiple phases as they fire, and have effects associated with releasing the button after firing for a while.
- Pod Program - Hold to charge the selected Pod Program, and release to fire: with the Pod Scanner, hold to scan. With most Pod Programs, if the player has multiple Pods, holding for a long period will cause the additional Pods to appear and create a more powerful effect, with the nature of the effect depending on the selected program. The recharge time of a multi-Pod attack will be correspondingly increased. Firing a Pod shot will cancel a charged Pod Program. A Pod Program will generally fail to fire if the button is released while A2 is taking damage or during the invincible frames of her evade animation. Holding the Pod Program button prevents A2 from gripping the Pod to slow her descent in mid-air.
- Jump moves - A2 can evade in mid-air (see below) and jump a second time in mid air: if she falls off a ledge rather than jumping, she can perform two jumps in the air. Holding the jump button causes A2 to grip onto the Pod to slow her descent. She also has two mid-air special moves: the first is a quick twirl which gains a small amount of additional height, which is performed by pressing light or heavy attack while gripping the Pod. Note that performing this move removes A2's ability to grip the Pod unless she performs one of her other air moves afterwards. The second move has A2 use the Pod to slingshot herself forward, functioning like a second air evade: this is performed by pressing jump and Pod shot at the same time while in mid-air. Combining these moves is essential to reach some objects in the game.
- Evade - Allows for a dash in whatever direction the movement control is pressed, defaulting to backwards if no direction is pressed. If the direction is held, after a short while A2 will start sprinting: holding also increases the speed at which A2 climbs ladders. Can also be performed in the air: a longer jump can be achieved by dashing off a platform and then again in mid-air. This dash move has invincible frames and can be used to avoid enemy attacks: the distance travelled and the number of invincible frames can be increased using "Evade Range Up" plug-in chips. The distance travelled with such a chip equipped can be controlled: holding evade will result in the full-length dash, while just a tap will result in a shorter one. Double-tapping a cardinal direction and pressing evade and attack at the same time results in a special dodge and attack animation where a rotating blade is left at A2's previous location.
- Dash Boost - Exclusive to A2, holding down evade will result in a dash where A2 starts to glow red. If she is in Berserk Mode (see below) this dash will deal damage to enemies: even in normal mode it seems an attack immediately after the dash concludes deals slightly more damage.
- Perfect Evade - Evading just before an attack connects will cause a special evasion animation of A2 breaking into multiple hologram-like copies: if the player then quickly presses primary attack, heavy attack or pod shot, a powerful counter-attack will be performed.
- Counter - Timing an attack to strike the enemy's weapon or fist as they swing will deflect their attack and allow a counter-attack in the same manner as after a Perfect Evade. In addition, if a "Counter" plug-in chip is equipped, the player can perform the same move by tilting the movement stick in the direction an enemy attack is coming from just as it connects.
- Berserk - Rather than self-destructing, A2 has the ability to enter a "Berserk Mode," increasing damage both dealt and received and rapidly depleting her health until it hits 1 HP, whereupon Berserk Mode will end. As with self-destruct, the button must be held to the completion of a short timer to activate the mode. Plug-in chips that restore health will still function normally (though auto-heal will not trigger due to the constant health loss and auto-use item does not trigger until it ends) and the player can also manually heal A2 with health items, allowing Berserk Mode to be extended. A2 will have a short downtime to reboot when Berserk Mode concludes, similar to the other characters after self-destructing. During this period most of her abilities are disabled, though the Pod can still attack normally. Notably, if A2 takes a hit that would reduce her HP to 0 or less while in Berserk Mode, she will not die, instead being knocked out of Berserk with 1 HP remaining: this even happens in Very Hard mode.
- Taunt - Rapidly flashing the Pod's light close to enemies or holding down light attack to perform a taunt will temporarily enrage them, causing them to both deal and receive more damage: this enraged state is shown by the enemy's head(s) glowing orange-red, and the enemy emitting a blast of steam as the effect starts. An enemy remains taunted for 15 seconds, after which they return to normal: re-taunting them resets the timer, though there is no visible indication of this. A2's special taunt is faster, more reliable, and taunts all enemies within a set radius rather than using the cone of the Pod light: the length of this animation depends on the equipped primary weapon, with Combat Bracers being fastest. A2 can also trigger an alternate taunt with her heavy weapon by holding light attack until the taunt animation starts, then pressing and holding heavy attack as well. The amount of damage dealt and received by taunted enemies can be enhanced with "Taunt Up" plug-in chips.
- Finisher - Pressing the action button on a downed or otherwise disabled enemy will perform a randomly-selected attack animation that does a fair amount of damage if it connects. This attack may fail to connect properly if, for example, the launcher finisher is randomly selected on an enemy that cannot be launched.
Strategy - A2 has a very aggressive moveset, and as such, has the highest damage potential out of all the playable characters in the game, especially with the right Plug-in Chips. When using Berserk with higher level Offensive Heal, Deadly Heal, or Damage Absorb Chips, the health drain will be offset by the massive amounts of health gained while dealing damage and killing enemies.
As a Boss Edit
- Chapter 06-05 - 2B and 9S are designated to investigate the Forest Kingdom by Pascal, until the two come across a large castle structure, in which various robots protect their "king" by attacking the two androids. Whilst this happens, 2B and 9S make it to the end of the castle, to find A2 at the end, impaling the king in the side, killing it. 2B fights this new android with the assistance of 9S, and is informed by the Commander through the Pod that A2 deserted the YoRHa force and needed to be annihilated. The two fail to defeat the android, as 9S asks A2 why she left the force, when A2 responded by saying that YoRHa betrayed them. During the battle, A2 will dash around the screen and attack the player, jumping from high distances, and will not use Berserk mode.
- Chapter 17-09 (Branch D) - As in the Forest Kingdom, A2 is fought in a side-on mode. She will now use pod weapons including specials.
A2 is initially depicted as mysterious and taciturn. However, it is eventually shown through her interactions with Pod 042 that she possesses an aggressive and fiery personality. She has a propensity towards reckless behavior as she will dive head-long into dangerous situations without consideration for strategic evaluations or her own personal safety. When speaking to others, she tends to be blunt, impatient and foul-mouthed.
After the death of her squadron, her hatred for Machines and desire for their destruction becomes encompassing and defines the rest of her continued existence. However, her self-imposed mission of vengeance also serves as a means to distract her from her inner turmoil and regret as she privately longs to be with her dead comrades.
Despite her rough mannerisms, she is not without compassion. She reluctantly took 2B's life at her request, so that she would not suffer through the agony and insanity of the logic-virus deteriorating her mind. She allowed Pascal to live in spite of her virulent hatred for Machines when she realized that he was docile. She later assisted him by protecting the Machine children at the Abandoned Factory. She also expressed sadness over the death of the Machine children as well as sympathy for Pascal, who had been driven to despair. She continuously spared and reached out to 9S, despite the latter's numerous attempts on her life, in the hopes that he could return to his kind-natured self.
Pod 042 has also insinuated that A2's AI parameters are not to the standard of current YoRHA models, as she often requires him to simplify terms for her to understand.
Intel Description Edit
Chapter 06-05 - The A-model is a YoRHa prototype that specializes in close-quarter combat. Though not presently in use, it was originally created to speed along the implementation of other official models such as 2B and 9S. This particular unit- whose official title is Class A, Number 2- was wanted by Command for desertion and ordered to be destroyed on sight. She first appeared in the Forest Castle, where she slew the Forest King. 2B and 9S engaged her in combat, but she managed to escape.
Chapter 17-09 - 9S and A2 face off. A2 tries to convince 9S of how pointless the fight is, but her words fail to penetrate the cloud of violent anger in his mind. During the battle, A2 hesitates for a moment when she hears a memory of 2B call out to her, leading to her demise.
If players pay 300 magical crystals to the limited-time Nier Automata gacha, they may have a chance to receive A2/Breaker and the weapon that unlocks her, Type-4O Blade. Alternatively, players can spin the Nier Automata gacha fifteen times to exchange 1,500 Lunar Tear Medals to get her job class (without the weapon); her weapon will be another 1,500 Lunar Tear Medals. Her stats are stronger than 2B/Breaker.
- It is mentioned in the stage play that A2's memories were taken from the memories of a young girl who lived a happy life with her grandmother, likely in reference to Kainé.
- According to Nier: Automata Guide Book, A2 three sizes are B: 73cm, W: 54cm, H: 82cm. Her height is 168cm (including heels). Her weight is 139.2kg.
- While A2 does not self-destruct, she still loses the midsection of her clothing when activating Berserk mode.
- A2 being shown with long hair was a deliberate attempt to conceal 2B's death in advertisements: since 2B has short hair, it was thought that audiences would assume the short-haired A2 was a severely damaged 2B rather than that A2 would cut her hair.
- A2's name is a reference to the apocryphal last words of Julius Caesar, "et tu, Brute?" ("even you, Brutus?") spoken to his traitorous friend Brutus as the latter stabbed him. This line was made famous by Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, though it did not originate with it. This is a twofold reference, both to her status as an alleged traitor and her own betrayal by YoRHa.