Nier Replicant’s ‘canon’ Protagonist Name is simpler than you’d think

We at RPG Site know what some of y’all are like. Some people absolutely love to embrace when games give you choices - and others want to play as close to the canon as possible. An issue that always splits opinion like this is that of canon protagonist names - that is to say, what the formal, official, proper name of a RPG lead character is when the game gives you a choice of naming them whatever you want.

We’ve done pages like this explaining the canon names for the Persona series before, and with the re-release of a Nier remaster - that is to say, NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139, we know that many of you will want to know what the canon name is. Right at the start of the game, you’ll be prompted to enter a name - up to ten characters.

Well, here’s the rub, straight from Nier creative director Yoko Taro: there is no ‘true’ canon name for the protagonist. So you can safely call them whatever you want. However, they have been referred to by a name in some external media to the games.

That name is simply Nier, the name of the game. The lead character is referred to as this in a few different places, including the instruction manual of the original PS3/360 release of Nier Replicant & Gestalt, and in the official ‘Nier Replicant Drama CD’, an audio drama release in Japan that tells new stories around the Nier series. This is the same for both the 'brother' version of the character in Replicant and the 'father' version in Gestalt.

Nier is pronounced like ‘Near’, as confirmed in some other supplemental materials released around the game. Yoko Taro has said the name has no specific or special origin, with the official Grimoire Nier guide book that released around the original version of the game saying as such but also noting that it is appropriate that the protagonist has a name that evokes the concept of being “near” - for various story-related reasons as you will learn while playing.

But that’s your answer - the closest thing to a canon protagonist name in Nier Replicant is simply Nier - but ultimately, you can safely use whatever name you want. Use a name you won’t mind inputting a few times - as if you’re going all the way and planning to see all of Nier Replicant’s endings, you’ll need to enter that name a few times further as you play. 

Once you're started, consider taking a look at some of our other Nier Replicant guides, which can help you with many more aspects of the game: