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A2 is the third playable character in the game. She's also the prototype YoRHa model that inspired both the 2B and 9S models of YoRHa android.
Deployed to Earth as part of the first YoRHa squadron, she deserted the organization after seeing all her comrades die and is wanted by them as a result. She has a dislike for following orders and acts as a rogue soldier on Earth, avenging her fallen comrades by killing any machines that she can find.
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2B is the main character of Nier: Automata. It's her role to monitor 9S and help in the fight against the machines.
Over the course of the game, 2B's character changes quite a bit. She goes from a staunch follower of commands to a much more personable figure. This is shown through her relationship with 9S. Initially greeting him with a cold and resolute tone, she eventually warms to him and even starts to use his nickname "Nines". It's a sweet relationship that stands out as one of the game's most endearing attributes.
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9S is a scanner model android who's tasked with helping 2B complete her mission on Earth.
Out of all the characters in the game, his transformation is arguably the most pronounced, going from a childish figure who is only concerned with completing the task at hand to a vengeful soul intent on killing all machines.
It's a heartbreaking arc that's made all the more upsetting by the time you spend alongside the character.
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Another returning character from Nier, Emil appears in the form of a machine with the body of a rolling cart.
His function is to provide help to the player through selling items and upgrading gear, much like the other merchants in the game, but he also holds some story significance.
By completing the quest Emil's Memories, you'll find out that he's actually a copy of the original Emil made to fight off the alien invasion. This is revealed by finding several glowing flowers that are spread throughout the game's world. After failing in repelling the alien threat, his kind were dispersed, with the original Emil disappearing in the process.
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A pacifist robot detached from the network, Pascal greets players after they defeat Simone, inviting them to his village.
Ironically one of the most human of the characters in the game, he became a pacifist after he realized the loss that it caused and set up a village to protect other machines from the warring factions.
Complex and likeable, his character and dialogue is used to explore both the Just War theory and social responsibility.