|Platforms||PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3|
|Platform of origin||PlayStation 2|
|Year of inception||2003|
September 11, 2003
February 23, 2017
Drakengard, known as Drag-On Dragoon[a] in Japan, is a series of action role-playing video games. The eponymous first game in the series was released in 2003 on the PlayStation 2, and has since been followed by a sequel, a prequel, and a spin-off. It was conceived by Takamasa Shiba and Takuya Iwasaki as a gameplay hybrid between Ace Combat and Dynasty Warriors 2. The story was created by Shiba, Iwasaki, Yoko Taro and Sawako Natori, who were influenced by European folklore and popular anime series and movies of the day. Shiba, Yoko, and Sawako have had involvement in every entry of the series since its debut.
The setting of the main series is a Northern European-style dark fantasy world where humans and creatures from myth and legends live side by side, while the spin-off game is set in an alternative reality leading from one of the first game's possible endings. The stories generally focus on the fortunes and personalities of a small group of protagonists either directly or indirectly connected to and affected by the events of the story. Dark or mature plot and character themes and multiple endings have become a staple of the series. Their popularity in Japan has resulted in multiple adaptations and additional media in the form of novelizations and manga.
The series is considered highly popular in Japan, having sold well and gained a cult following, though it appears to be a niche series in Western territories. The main games have become noted for their dark storylines and mixture of ground-based and aerial combat, while Nier stood out because of its mixture of gameplay styles. The series has received mixed to positive reception in both Japan and the West: the majority of praise has been given to its story and characters, while the gameplay has come in for criticisms for being repetitive or poorly designed.
- 1 Development
- 2 Common elements
- 3 Games
- 4 Related media
- 5 Reception
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes and references
The idea for Drakengard originated in 1999 between Takamasa Shiba and Takuya Iwasaki. The gameplay was conceived as a blend of elements from Ace Combat and Dynasty Warriors 2. The team developing the game went under the moniker "Project Dragonsphere". The team was joined by director Yoko Taro, who was the main drive behind the game's dark atmosphere. It was Shiba's first project as a producer. As Yoko was told there would not be a sequel, multiple endings were created. When it was localized and released in the west, references to things such as sexual taboos were censored. In addition, the title was changed, as Drag-On Dragoon was considered wrong for a western audience. Drakengard was considered enough of a success that a sequel was commissioned. Multiple staff members returned for the creation of the second game, although Yoko was mostly tied up with other projects and was replaced as director by Akira Yasui. Yoko still had a role in development, and he and Yasui had creative clashes during development. Yasui ended up making Drakengard 2 the thematic opposite of the previous game, employing a lighter tone and broader color palette.
Nier originated when Yoko and Shiba teamed up to create a third Drakengard game. As the project continued, it became more detached from the main continuity and eventually developed into an entirely new spin-off. Despite what it became, Yoko has stated that he considers Nier to be the true Drakengard 3. After the release of Nier, Cavia closed down and was absorbed by AQ Interactive, then Yoko Taro left the company to pursue a wider range of projects. A stalled attempt to begin production of further games in the series at AQ Interactive was blamed by Shiba on a prevalent trend at the time for light-weight games for the general gaming community. Later, Yoko and Shiba came together again to create a proper second sequel to Drakengard, with the intention of creating a hard core RPG for the fanbase. Unlike the previous games in the series, Drakengard 3 was developed by Access Games, a developer whose noted games included Deadly Premonition, and brought in team members used to create action games. During the run-up to Drakengard 3's release, both Yoko and Shiba expressed their willingness to continue the series on the PlayStation 4 if the latest game was enough of a success. Speaking in 2014 after the game's release, Yoko stated that the series was on hold due to lack of funds. A new Nier game was revealed to be in development at Square Enix and PlatinumGames.
Writing and character design
The stories of the original game's characters were written by Yoko, Shiba and Iwasaki, while the main game script was written by Sawako Natori, who would go on to co-write the main scenarios for future Drakengard games. Yoko designed the darker elements to both contrast and actively compete with the likes of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. Yoko conceived the "insane" characters around the premise that people who killed hundreds of people in pursuit of their goals and took satisfaction from it were naturally insane. During the production of Nier, his focus changed to writing a story where everyone believed they were in the right whatever their actions. Through the series, Yoko has also been attempting to answer the question of why people are driven to kill. Although some of the dark narrative themes were kept for Drakengard 2, many of the other narrative elements were made more mainstream. Drakengard 3 was intended to return to a dark aesthetic, but also to include moments of humor and tie in with Nier.
The character designer for nearly all entries in the series is Kimihiko Fujisaka. Initially a minor staff member at Cavia, the team were impressed by his skill as an amateur artist and he was recommended for the post of character designer for the game. The designs for both the characters and the world were influenced by armor and clothing of Medieval Europe. He returned in the same capacity for Drakengard 2, and later for Nier. Disliking some of his initial designs for Drakengard, he took the opportunity to remodel them more to his liking for the arcade game Lord of Vermilion. For Nier's international release, the protagonist was redesigned from a teenager to an adult character. This was because the publishers felt an older character would appeal more to western players. In Drakengard 3, Fujisaka designed the protagonist Zero around the dark themes of the game, although some unusual elements were nearly cut. The other female characters were inspired by Puella Magi Madoka Magica, while the male characters, considered a low priority, were designed around male archetypes and approved quickly. For Nier: Automata, the designs were handled by Akihiko Yoshida, an artist noted for his work on the Final Fantasy series. While he was initially expected to refuse, he agreed as several staff members at his company CyDesignation were fans of Nier. For his designs, Yoko requested he focus on smooth outlines and black coloring.
The first game's soundtrack was created by Nobuyoshi Sano and Takayuki Aihara. The two created the score using samples from well-known classical composers. The second game's soundtrack was composed by Ryoki Matsumoto and Aoi Yoshiki, who had never before been involved with video game soundtracks. The game's Japanese theme song, Hitori, was sung by Mika Nakashima. The music for Nier was composed by Keiichi Okabe, who composed the soundtrack as something different from the main series, and to directly reflect the sombre tone of the game's setting and story. Singer Emi Evans (Emiko Rebecca Evans) wrote and sung the vocal tracks, and performed many tracks in an invented language dubbed "Chaos Language". "Chaos Language" is less a language and more a writing style, as each individual song has a different language based on a real-world language. The one exception to this is "Song Of The Ancients" which is sung in a language based upon multiple different languages, instead of a single language. Okabe returned to compose the soundtrack for Drakengard 3: in an interview, he stated that, in composing the music, he tried to emulate the work of the earlier composer without imitating them. He also commented that the result was very unlike the traditional Square Enix game. The game features two theme songs: "Black Song", performed by Eir Aoi, and "This Silence is Mine", the game's theme song proper, written and sung by Chihiro Onitsuka. Okabe is again providing the music for Nier Automata, with singer Emi Evans also returning.
The Drakengard games take place in a dark fantasy version of Medieval Europe called Midgard. Humans appear to be the predominant species, although races such as dragons, fairies and elves are shown to exist. The setting, mythos, and landscape borrow extensively from the lore of Northern Europe. The world is overseen by a group of unnamed gods who have yet to make a personal appearance.[b] The gods are served by beings known as the Watchers,[c] entities created to destroy humanity because they are considered a failure. The Watchers are kept from entering the world with the seals, which act to keep the world in balance: should the seals be destroyed, the Watchers would enter the world and destroy humanity. At the core of the seals is the Goddess of the Seal, a mortal virgin female chosen and branded with the final seal: if all the seals are destroyed, all that stands between the Watchers and the world is the death of the Goddess herself. A core element of the Drakengard universe is the ability for humans and beasts to form a Pact,[d] a magical bond which links their souls and grants the human partner great power at the cost of some physical ability or personal trait (their voice, singing abilities, etc.). Pacts are normally entered into by beasts so they can feed off negative emotions, but sometimes they will enter a pact for other reasons. A recurring element across the series is the representation of magic using the Celestial Alphabet, with a common letter arrangement representing the human gene.
The universe of the Drakengard series is split between multiple timelines. Events in those timelines are separate, but they can overlap. The core timeline is formed from Drakengard and its sequel. Drakengard 3 acts as the first game's prequel, but most of its events take place in separate timelines leading to different outcomes. In Drakengard 3, a malevolent flower uses servants called the Intoners, women gifted with the power to use magic through song, as instruments of humanity's destruction. In Drakengard, which succeeds the fifth version of Drakengard 3's events detailed in a supplementary novel, the Watchers use a group known as the Cult of Watchers[e] to spark a religious war and destroy the seals. In Drakengard 2, the Watchers continue to use the former head of the cult to destroy the new seals, while the dragons prepare to usurp the gods and rule over the world. Nier is set in an alternative reality created by events stemming from Drakengard's fifth ending: in this reality, our modern world was decimated by a plague created by the magical beings who came through the portal, bringing humanity to the brink of extinction. Nier: Automata takes place after the fourth ending of Nier, featuring appearances and mentions of characters from both Nier and the Drakengard games.
The Drakengard games feature a mix of action-based hack-and-slash combat during ground-based battles and aerial combat mixed in with RPG leveling mechanics. In the original, the player guides the characters around ground-based battles to combat small groups of enemy units. In aerial combat, the player takes control of the protagonist's dragon partner. In these situations, the dragon can either lock onto a target and unleash a barrage of small fireballs, or the player can manually aim and fire large bursts of flame, which do more damage but do not home in on a target. Basic gameplay changed little for Drakengard 2, but there are some differences and additions, such as weapon types being tied to the character they are associated with, with changing them also swapping the character. The dragon gameplay remained virtually unchanged, apart from the ability, during air-ground missions, for the dragon to swoop down on a group of enemies in a special attack depicted in a short cutscene.
In Nier and Drakengard 3, the player controls the main protagonist with two other characters acting as AI-controlled supports. Drakengard 3 was designed to be a faster experience than the previous games, with the protagonist being given a special hyper-mode and the ability to freely switch between weapons without pausing the action. Aerial gameplay was also changed, with the dragon now capable of ground combat. Nier, while featuring similar hack-and-slash combat, also includes other gameplay types such as a top-down view for puzzle areas, 2D style areas for buildings or similar structures. Side-quests were also added, which often involved fetch quests, fishing and farming.
Themes and influences
One of the running narrative themes for the main series is Immorality, which also became the key character theme and was expressed through their personalities and actions. The second game also focused on themes of war and death. The theme for the world of Drakengard 3, as described by composer Keiichi Okabe, is "the sense of contrast". Multiple anime series have influenced the series' characters over the years, including Neon Genesis Evangelion, Sister Princess and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. The series writer, Sawako Natori, drew inspiration for her writing from shōnen manga. The original game world was designed around Celtic and Norse myths, together with Japanese-style revisionism. The team for the original game were influenced by Asian epic movies and western action-adventure films such as the 1999 remake of The Mummy and Dragonheart. While developing Nier, the team drew inspiration from the God of War series, while the narrative structure was inspired by the September 11 attacks and the War on Terror. The central theme of Nier: Automata is struggling out of a bad situation, defined by the game's staff using the Japanese word "agaku".
The first installment in the series, Drakengard released for the PlayStation 2 in September 2003 in Japan, March and May 2004 in North America and Europe respectively. Square Enix published the title in Japan and North America, while Take-Two Interactive published it in European territories. A Europe-exclusive mobile port was released in August 2004. The mobile version was co-developed and co-published with Macrospace.
Drakengard 2 (2005)
The second installment in the series, Drakengard 2 was released on the PlayStation 2 in June 2005 in Japan, February 2006 in North America and March of the same year in Europe and Australia. For its release in western territories, Square Enix partnered with European game developer and publisher Ubisoft. Ubisoft also handled the game's localization.
A pair of spin-off games from the main series stemming from Drakengard's fifth ending, the Nier duology was released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (as NieR Replicant in Japan PS3 only, and NieR Gestalt in Japan, North America and Europe) in April 2010 across all regions. It was published by Square Enix across all regions. It was the last game developed by Cavia, as the company closed shortly after Nier's release.
Drakengard 3 (2013)
The third main installment in the series and a prequel to the first game, Drakengard 3 released on the PlayStation 3 in December 2013 in Japan and May 2014 in North America and Europe. Like Nier, it was published in all regions by Square Enix.
Nier: Automata (2017)
Another spin-off from the main series stemming from Drakengard, set in the same universe of Nier and is a sequel of Nier. It was developed by PlatinumGames, published by Square Enix, and was released for PlayStation 4 (Pro) and Windows in March 2017 and a Xbox One (X) version later in June 2018.
The games received multiple adaptations and additional story content in the form of novelizations, manga and supplementary material. The first game received two novelizations: Drag-On Dragoon: Side Story on November 28, 2003, and Drag-On Dragoon: Magnitude "Negative" on January 23, 2004. The first book was written by Emi Nagashima, writing under her pen name of Jun Eishima, and the second by Takashi Aizawa. The novelization of Drakengard 2, written again by Nagashima, was released on September 30, 2005.
Nagashima wrote character stories and manga for Drakengard 3 leading up to that game's release. The manga was Drag-On Dragoon: Utahime Five, a prequel following the game's main antagonists, and Drag-On Dragoon: Shi ni Itaru Aka, which acts as a sequel, although for Branch A, as it along with Branches B, C, D, and E lead to alternative timelines. A book detailing the narrative connection between Drakengard 3 and Drakengard, titled Drag-On Dragoon 3 Story Side, which serves as the fifth branch similar to the events of B and D, narrated by Brother One, was released on 28 August 2014. Drag-On Dragoon 3 Complete Guide + Setting, a complete guide to the game with extra features explaining the game chronology and a novella set after the events of Shi ni Itaru Aka, was published by ASCII Media Works in 2014.
Nier was expanded after release with a CD drama which told of events immediately after the events of Drakengard's fifth ending, and a supplementary book titled Grimoire Nier containing extra stories and concept art alongside a fifth ending for the game. Square Enix also paired up with WildStorm to create a digital comic, which detailed the backstories of the game's characters and world.
The Japanese girl band Yorha performed on the Drakengard 3 soundtrack, and in 2015 performed a stage production written by Yoko Taro that is directly related to the plot of Nier: Automata. The band's fictional backstory places them as military androids similar to the playable characters in the Nier: Automata game.
|Drakengard 2||58/100 (PS2)|
|Drakengard 3||61/100 (PS3)|
|Nier: Automata||88/100 (PS4)|
The Drakengard series has received mixed to positive reviews over the years. So far, the original Drakengard has received the most positive response of the main series games. Nier has the highest aggregate score overall so far for the PS3 version of the game and slightly lower scores for the Xbox 360 version. Drakengard 2 and Drakengard 3 have received lower scores. Each title in the series has received favorable review scores from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu.
The common point of praise for the series through most of its life has been the story. While individual aspects have come in for criticism, the dark atmospheres, unconventional characters and general scenarios have been cited as one of each game's strengths. Despite some mixed feelings from reviewers either for the story as a whole or certain aspects of it, the characters and plot of Drakengard 3 have also been praised. The major exception is Drakengard 2: the story's lighter tone and more traditional narrative were noted and sometimes criticized for being overly simplistic or too similar to other games in the genre. The Drakengard characters have remained popular in Japan, with Dengeki holding a popularity contest for those characters to celebrate the series' tenth anniversary and the announcement of Drakengard 3. Among the most popular characters were the first game's main protagonists, Caim and Angelus (the former having earned the nickname Prince (王子 ouji) among fans). The characters of Drakengard 3 have also proved to be highly popular.
The gameplay has so far come in for major criticism, with the original title's aerial and ground-based gameplay being seen as repetitive and dull, although some reviewers found it entertaining. Drakengard 2 also came in for such criticism, although minor improvements were cited. In contrast, the gameplay of Drakengard 3 was generally praised or seen as an improvement upon the previous two entries, though the dragon-riding segments came in for criticisms for difficult controls. Opinions were divided on Nier's unconventional mix of gameplay styles from multiple game genres, with some praising the variety and others seeing it as poorly executed. The series as a whole has gained a cult following in Japan.
Each game has sold relatively well in its home market. The original game was a commercial success, selling over 120,000 units in the first week of release and eventually selling over 240,000 copies in Japan. Drakengard 2's first-week sales were similarly impressive, selling 100,000 units. It sold over 203,000 copies by the end of 2005. Drakengard 3 sold just over 15,000 units in its first week, and over 150,000 units by May 2014. The two versions of Nier—Gestalt and Replicant—sold roughly 12,500 and 60,000 copies in their first week respectively. Replicant eventually sold over 121,000 in Japan by the end of May 2010. The series has sold over 770,000 units in Japan as of May 2014.[f] Sales figures for western regions are unavailable. The first two games in the main series have both been included in Square Enix's Ultimate Hits series, re-releases of popular titles developed or published by them.
Nier Automata became a worldwide success, shipping over 3 million copies by June 2018, becoming the best-selling title in the franchise.
Notes and references
- Drag-On Dragoon (Japanese: ドラッグ オン ドラグーン Hepburn: Doraggu on doragūn, commonly abbreviated as DOD)
- In the Japanese versions, the world is ruled by a single eponymous deity referred to as "God" (神 Kami), and are also referred to in the English version of Drakengard 2 as "the Nameless"
- Watchers: Angels (天使 Tenshi) in the original Japanese and the English version of Drakengard 3, also referred to as "Grotesqueries" in Drakengard
- Pact: Contract (契約 Keiyaku) in the original Japanese
- Cult of Watchers: Church of Angels (天使の教会 Tenshi no kyōkai) in the original Japanese
- Drakengard series:
- Calvert, Justin (2004-07-08). "Square Enix plans to release mobile versions of Aleste, Actraiser, and Drakengard in Europe this year". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
- Perry, Douglas C. (2004-05-15). "Take-Two Snares Drakengard". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- "Ubisoft and Square Enix Deliver DRAKENGARD 2 To North America and Europe". Ubisoft. 2005-11-16. Archived from the original on 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- "Cavia Inc. Line-Up". Cavia Inc. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008.
- Sato (2013-05-16). "Why Drakengard Had Forbidden Love Between Siblings And Other Insights". Siliconera. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- Square Enix (2014-03-04). "Interview with Producer Takamasa Shiba / Drakengard 3". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
- Dunham, Jeremy (2003-05-23). "Drakengard Interview". IGN. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
- Yin, Spencer (2014-05-29). "Drakengard Had Multiple Endings Because Taro Yoko Was Told There Wouldn't Be A Sequel". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
- Hawkins, Matt (2013-10-13). "Drakengard 3 Connects To Nier, Will Have A Balance Between Darkness And Humor". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Eurogamer staff (2004-04-19). "Here be the makers of Drakengard!". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- Gantayat, Anoop (2004-12-17). "First Details: Drakengard 2". IGN. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
- "『ドラッグ オン ドラグーン』シリーズ座談会、佳境へ。ヨコオタロウが暴く『DOD2』安井ディレクターの心の闇＆『ニーア』反省話". Dengeki Online. 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
- "ドラッグ オン ドラグーン』シリーズ居酒屋座談会 with ヨコオタロウ on 仏滅。聖地・新宿で語られる『DOD』ぶっちゃけトーク". Dengeki Online. 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- Sato (2013-04-05). "Drakengard 3 Producer And Creative Director Explain How The Game Came To Be". Siliconera. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- Quillen, Dustin (2010-07-13). "Nier Developer Cavia is No More". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- Gantayat, Anoop (2010-11-04). "NieR Director Quits Cavia/AQi". IGN. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- "結果的に新情報満載 『ドラッグ オン ドラグーン3』開発者インタビュー". Famitsu. 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Agnello, Anthony John (2013-10-24). "Shoot the core: How Takamasa Shiba plans to preserve the old ways with 'Drakengard 3'". Ditigal Trends. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- Phillips, Tom (2013-03-14). "Deadly Premonition developer making Drakengard 3". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- Ashcraft, Brian (2014-01-06). "Drakengard 3's Director Is Keen for Drakengard 4". Kotaku. Retrieved 2014-05-25.
- Michael, McWhertor (2015-06-16). "Square Enix is making a new Nier with Platinum Games". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2015-06-16. Retrieved 2015-06-16.
- Cook, Dave (2013-06-27). "Drakengard 3 dated for Japan, 10th Anniversary Commemoration edition revealed". VG247. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- "『ドラッグ オン ドラグーン3』キャラデザ担当の藤坂公彦氏と柴貴正Pのロングインタビューをお届け". Famitsu. 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- "『DOD3』ジョシカイ、開幕。女性視点（映島×名取×白本×サガコ）で語られる『ドラッグ オン ドラグーン3』の狂気の深淵とは？【電撃DOD3】". Dengeki Online. 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- Cavia (2006-07-10). Drakengard 2. PlayStation 2. Square Enix. Scene: Credits.
- Corriae, Alexa Ray (2014-05-20). "Drakengard 3 director discuss finding beauty in a bloody story". Polygon. Retrieved 2014-05-21.
- "『ドラッグオンドラグーン2』の完成披露会が開催！". Famitsu. 2005-06-02. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
- Yoon, Andrew (2013-10-18). "Drakengard 3 trying to avoid 'formulaic' JRPG tropes with its dark setting". Shacknews. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- Yin, Spencer (2010-05-20). "Barbarian Nier Was Born In Los Angeles". Siliconera. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
- "『ドラッグ オン ドラグーン』のスタッフが再集結！PS3とXbox360で異なる主人公を描いた『ニーア レプリカント／ニーア ゲシュタルト』に迫る" (in Japanese). Inside Games. 2010-05-18. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- 『NieR』の新作は前作を遊んだファンほど混乱する!? ヨコオタロウ氏ら開発スタッフに直撃インタビュー (in Japanese). Dengeki Online. 2015-06-19. Archived from the original on 2015-06-19. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
- Romano, Sal (2015-06-18). "NieR New Project producer and director talk happy coincidences, happy endings". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2015-06-18. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
- Schweitzer, Ben. "Drag-on Dragoon Original Soundtrack :: Liner Notes Translated by Ben Schweitzer". Square Enix Music. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
- Schweitzer, Ben. "Drag-on Dragoon 2 Original Soundtrack :: Liner Notes Translated by Ben Schweitzer". Square Enix Music. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
- Dunham, Jeremy (2005-03-21). "Pop Hottie for Drakengard 2". IGN. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- "Interview with Composer Keiichi Okabe". Square Enix. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
- Napolitano, Jayson (2010-05-04). "Deep into NieR: Interview With Vocalist and Lyricist Emi Evans". Original Sound Version. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
- Gifford, Kevin (2013-07-17). "Drakengard 3 will not 'feel much like a Square Enix' release, if music department has its way". Polygon. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- Sahdev, Ishaan (2013-07-01). "Drakengard 3's First Trailer Shows Off Gory Gameplay Footage". Siliconera. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- "『ドラッグ オン ドラグーン3』テーマ曲『This Silence Is Mine』は鬼束ちひろさんが担当。最新PVは血まみれのファイブなど意味深な場面が連続" [Onitsuka Chihiro is in charge of "Drag-On Dragoon 3" theme song "This Silence Is Mine". Latest PV contains profound scenes such as a blood-covered Five]. Dengeki Online. 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Ciolek, Todd (2014-05-22). "Drakengard 3 review". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
- Drag-On Dragoon Official Guide Book (in Japanese). Tokyo: Square Enix. 2003-10-24. ISBN 4-7575-1031-4.
- "『ドラッグ オン ドラグーン』シリーズ座談会でヨコオタロウから飛び出す過去作の衝撃的真実…『DOD1』のアレは神様じゃない!?". Dengeki Online. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
- どうしてこうなった!? ディレクター、横尾太郎氏が語る『NieR』の秘密. Famitsu. 2010-05-27. Archived from the original on 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
- ドラッグ オン ドラグーン3 設定資料集＋ザ・コンプリートガイド [Drag-On Dragoon 3 The Complete Guide + Settings] (in Japanese). Tokyo: ASCII Media Works. 2014-04-11. pp. 180–181. ISBN 978-4-04-866086-0.
- Nagashima, Emi (2014-08-28). "『ドラッグオンドラグーン３ ストーリーサイド』". Emi Nagashima Blog. Archived from the original on 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2014-11-01.
- Drag-On Dragoon Official Guide Book (in Japanese). Tokyo: Square Enix. 2003-10-24. p. 191. ISBN 4-7575-1031-4.
- "『NieR Replicant（ニーア レプリカント）』／『NieR Gestalt（ニーア ゲシュタルト）』戦いの地は……東京!?". Famitsu. 2010-04-16. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- Dunham, Jeremy (2004-01-22). "Drakengard Progress Report". IGN. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- Gantayat, Anoop (2005-07-07). "Drakengard 2 Update". IGN. Retrieved 2013-10-17.
- Chris Roper (January 30, 2006). "Drakengard 2: North American Impressions". IGN. Retrieved 2013-10-17.
- Cunnginham, Becky (2014-05-20). "Drakengard 3 Review". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
- den Ouden, Adriaan. "Nier – Staff Review". RPGamer. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- Sato (2013-07-22). "Drakengard 3 Lets You Perform Weapon-Switching Combos In Battle". Siliconera. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- Romano, Sal (2013-10-06). "Mount Mikhail in Drakengard 3's sky battles". Gematsu. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (2010-03-17). "NIER Preview". Video Gamer. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- Sahdev, Ishaan (2014-05-06). "Drakengard 3 Sound Director On How The Music Is Different From Nier's". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- Grimoire Nier: The Complete Guide (in Japanese). Tokyo: ASCII Media Works. May 28, 2010. ISBN 978-4-04-868671-6.
- Ward, Robert (2014-03-20). "NieR and Drakengard Creator Says NieR Was Inspired By 9-11". Siliconera. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
- Sullivan, Meghan (2015-06-19). "12 Things We Learnt About the New Nier". IGN. Archived from the original on 2015-06-20. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
- "All Square with Vodafone". GamesTM. United Kingdom: Imagine Publishing (22): 18. August 2004.
- Thew, Geoff (2014-03-26). "A Look Back at Ubisoft's JRPGs". Hardcore Gamer. Archived from the original on 2014-04-04. Retrieved 2014-04-26.
- Ng, Keane (2009-05-29). "Square-Enix Announces New Front Mission, Nier". The Escapist. Archived from the original on 2009-06-08. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- Sahdev, Ishaan (2014-02-05). "Drakengard 3 Collector's Edition Announced For North America". Siliconera. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
- Karmali, Luke (2014-02-05). "Drakengard 3 Release Date, Opening Cinematic Revealed". IGN. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- Romano, Sal (2013-03-12). "Drakengard 3 announced for PlayStation 3". Gematsu. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- Eishima, Jun (November 28, 2003). Drag-On Dragoon: Side Story (in Japanese). Tokyo: Square Enix. ISBN 978-4-7575-1086-9.
- Aizawa, Takashi (January 23, 2004). Drag-On Dragoon: Magnitude "Negative" (in Japanese). Tokyo: Enterbrain. ISBN 978-4-7577-1707-7.
- Eishima, Jun (September 30, 2005). Drag-On Dragoon 2: Sealed Red, Immoral Black (in Japanese). Tokyo: Square Enix. ISBN 978-4-7575-1086-9.
- Nagashima, Emi (2013-04-27). "『ウタヒメファイブ』始まりました: 永嶋家の食卓". Emi Nagashima Blog. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- "Square Enix e-Store: Drag-on Dragoon 3 Side Story". Square Enix e-Store. Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
- "『ドラッグ オン ドラグーン3 設定資料集＋ザ・コンプリートガイド』". Dengeki Online. 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
- "『ニーア』ドラマCDに出演した遊佐さん＆門脇さんが注目するのはテュラン!?". Dengeki Online. 2011-04-11. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- Sahdev, Ishaan (2010-03-17). "Square Enix And Wildstorm Publishing Nier Comic". Siliconera. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
- "Yorha 対機械生命体用自動歩兵人形ヨルハ", dearstage.co.jp (in Japanese), retrieved 9 Dec 2016
- Priestman, Chris (29 Oct 2015), "What the stage play Nier: Automata is based on tells us about the game", killscreen.com
- "Drakengard for PlayStation 2". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- "Drakengard 2 for PlayStation 2". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- "Nier for PlayStation 3". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- "Nier for Xbox 360". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- "Drakengard 3 for PlayStation 3". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
- Cite error: The named reference
MCPS4was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- "Drakengard for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- "Nier for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- "Nier for Xbox 360". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- "Drakengard 2 for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- "Drakengard 3 for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
- Winkler, Chris (2003-09-03). "Famitsu Weighs in on Drag-on Dragoon, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life". RPGfan. Archived from the original on 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2014-05-03.
- "ドラッグ オン ドラグーン2 封印の紅、背徳の黒" [Drag-On Dragoon 2: Sealed Red, Immoral Black]. Famitsu. Archived from the original on 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2014-05-03.
- Romano, Sal (2013-12-10). "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1306". Gematsu. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Gifford, Kevin (2010-04-14). "Japan Review Check: Nier, Knights in the Nightmare PSP". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- Dunham, Jeremy (2004-02-13). "Drakengard Review". IGN. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- CVG Staff (2004-06-14). "Review: Drakengard". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- Kasavin, Greg (2004-02-23). "Drakengard Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- Jarvis, Adam (2004-08-20). "Drakengard Review". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- VanOrd, Kevin (2010-05-03). "Nier Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- Dustin, Quillen (2010-05-06). "Nier Review". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- Schilling, Chris (2010-04-22). "Nier Review". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- Clements, Ryan (2010-05-11). "Nier Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- Carter, Chris (2014-05-20). "Review: Drakengard 3". Destructoid. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
- Wallace, Kimberley (2014-05-20). "Drakengard 3: Soulless Blood Splatter". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
- Sullivan, Meghan (2014-05-20). "Drakengard 3 review". IGN. Retrieved 2014-05-21.
- Schilling, Chris (2014-05-29). "Drakengard 3 review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
- Kemps, Heidi (2014-05-27). "Drakengard 3 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
- De Meo, Francesco (2013-12-15). "Drakengard 3 Reviewed By Playstation Dengeki: 100/90/85/95". Explosion.com. Archived from the original on 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
- Lewis, Ed (2006-02-16). "Drakengard 2". IGN. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- Mueller, Greg. "Drakengard 2 review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- Parkin, Simon (2006-03-13). "Drakengard 2 Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- 1Up staff (2013-02-17). "Drakengard 2 Review for PS2". 1Up.com. Archived from the original on 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- "『ドラッグ オン ドラグーン』シリーズ10周年記念アンケート＆キャラ人気投票を開催！ 熱き思いよ、開発スタッフへ届け！". Dengeki Online. 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- "『ドラッグ オン ドラグーン』キャラ人気投票中間報告（ネタバレあり）―『DOD』を代表するカップル＆毛を代償にしたあの人の順位は？". Dengeki Online. 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- "『ドラッグ オン ドラグーン3』キャラ人気投票の途中結果発表（1月26日締め切り）。フォウ＆デカートがゼロを抑えて大金星!?【電撃DOD3】". Dengeki Online. 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- IGN Staff (2003-09-22). "Drag-On Dragoon Flies off Shelves". IGN. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "GEIMIN.NET／2003年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP300". Geimin.net (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- "GEIMIN.NET／2005年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP500" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- Ishaan (2013-12-25). "This Week In Sales: At Last ... Drakengard 3". Siliconera. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "2013年度ゲームソフト販売ランキングTOP100！ 1位は2バージョン合計で411万本を販売した3DS『ポケットモンスター X・Y』が獲得". Dengeki Online. 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
- "【ゲームソフト販売本数ランキング TOP30】集計期間：2010年4月19日～4月25日" (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2010-05-10. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- Graft, Kris (2010-04-30). "Cavia and Square Enix's Nier Replicant Leads Japan Charts". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
- "【ゲームソフト販売本数ランキング TOP30】集計期間：2010年5月24日～5月30日" (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2010-06-10. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- "9月発売の「アルティメット ヒッツ」は『DC -FF7-』など3本！". Dengeki Online. 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
- Lee, Anne (June 6, 2018). "Nier: Automata Hits 3 Million Sales Worldwide". IGN. Retrieved June 28, 2018.