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This battle will likely have a great effect on the outcome of the war. 2B and I---our battle will continue for some time to come. But that's another story for another day.
~ 9S

YoRHa No.9 Type S, generally known as 9S or Nines, is the deuteragonist and male lead of the video game Nier: Automata. He is a male android created by an organization called YoRHa. He is a scanner type android who is specialized for investigative purposes and infiltrating enemy systems. He was sent to Earth to fight against the Machines during the 14th Machine War. He is assigned with her partner and superior, 2B throughout the majority of this conflict to assist her in various missions or quests given to them. 

He is voiced by Natsuki Hanae in the Japanese version and Kyle McCarley in the English version, the former of whom also voices Rokuro Enmado and Ken Kaneki.

Appearance

9S has the appearance of young man with light skin and silvery white hair. he wears a black blindfold and a black coat and with shorts and boots. Around his neck is a choker.

Personality

9S, despite being a scanner model, displays an emotional and kind-hearted personality. Throughout the game, he is shown to be polite and friendly towards 2B, initially addressing her as "ma'am" as she is his superior, though he starts calling her by name when she tells him to. He is shown to be very sociable to other species, whether it'd be non-YoRHa or androids or non-hostile Machines. Despite this, he has a habit of complaining when doing jobs for the Resistance, wondering if they think of him and 2B as just "gofers." He even refers to the Commander as a "slave driver." 

Due to being a scanner model, 9S has curiosity towards new technology and new knowledge as a whole. Developing excitement when given the chance to study or see what is new to him. One instance is that he expressed a great desire to study Pascal and the Machine village, although he doesn't trust them. In general, 9S is shown to be highly bigoted towards machines, in some ways even more so than 2B, believing there to be no logic behind anything they do. 

9S is also shown to very dedicated and helpful partner to 2B throughout the story, prioritizing for her safety and success in various tasks over everything else, even to his safety. One instance is where she jumped to save 2B from Eve, he was infected with the logic-virus, forcing 2B to have no choice but to put him down, however, he survives in other machines. It is heavily implied that throughout his time working with 2B, he has developed romantic feelings for her.

Later in the game, 9S witnessed 2B, who was infected by the logic virus, be killed by A2 which resulted in him become unstable, and his mental state quickly starts to deteriorate, becoming more ruthless, violent, and self-destructive. Creating a desire to destroy A2 and to all machines. by the Branches C and D, he has become mad with grief (most likely due to becoming infected with the logic virus), refusing to listen to A2 or Pod 153.

Background

9S was born on January 30, 11942, amid the 14th Machine War at 4:25 AM. It is unknown what battles he participated in before the events of the game. 

9S participated in the Assault of the Machine Factory to cut through the defense systems to cut through enemy territory and to deploy YoRHa troops to perform operations and assist the Resistance in the city, he was deployed into the factory to begin his infiltration to find and locate the Goliath that pose the threat to YoRHA troops that were en route to the factory. Although all units except for 2B didn't make it through, the two links up, and 9S continues to provide support for 2B as she made her way throughout the facility. 

Unable to find their target in the facility, they eventually encountered it at the bridge outside, a fight ensues and 9S eventually joins the fight to help 2B, however, he was slammed off his flight unit by the Goliath, mortally wounding him, he landed on top of the Goliath, for a time he had Pod 153 to fend up waves of machines that were on the Goliath until 2B arrived.

He implores 2B to leave him to finish the mission and destroy the target. 2B hesitantly complies and takes his flight unit to defeat Goliath. After the target is destroyed, 2B and 9S reunite, only for three more Goliaths to appear and attack them. 2B and 9S are forced to detonate their black boxes to destroy the Goliaths, destroying themselves in the process. However, their data is soon uploaded back into the bunker where they are transferred to new bodies.

9S was assigned for maintenance for 2B's boot sequence. He becomes 2B's partner and follows her to take care of the missions on Earth. 

Powers and Skills

  • Primary Attack - A basic light attack, which does less damage, but is faster and has a higher potential for combos. The precise nature of the attack depends on what primary weapon is equipped: large weapons equipped as primary will still be slow. Holding down and releasing a light attack will perform a powerful single strike. Pressing jump and then light attack immediately after will perform a launcher move.
  • Heavy Attack - While 9S has no button for a heavy attack since this is taken up with the Hack function, he can actually perform a heavy combo with his equipped weapon: to do this, the player must tap the evade button, then press light attack repeatedly to perform the heavy combo. If the evade button is pressed for too long the post-evade attack will be used instead.
  • Aerial Attack - Primary attacks in the air will keep 9S in the air as long as the combo lasts, which varies depending on the selected primary weapon. All of his air combos end with a heavy downward strike.
  • Hack - Holding the button which is heavy attack for the other characters with an enemy or electronically locked door or chest in range will hack into it. A circular indicator around the button prompt will fill as a target is hacked (depleting after a while if not fully filled), eventually triggering a short minigame where the player controls a triangular ship and must destroy the enemy's program core(s) to complete the hack, usually before a timer expires and while taking less than three hits. At higher levels the core(s) may be protected with a forcefield, which lowers when all other black-colored units (sometimes aside from squares) are defeated, including stationary circular posts. If the hack fails, either due to taking three hits or the timer expiring, 9S will take damage. What happens after succeeding with enemies depends on the state the enemy was in when 9S hacked them: if they were in combat with 9S, they will detonate, causing significant damage to themselves and other enemies around them: the damage is a percentage of their health, with the precise amount calculated based on the level difference between the enemy and 9S. Killing an enemy with hacking gives bonus XP over the XP for simply killing them: each enemy has a set amount of XP for being hacked, and each hack will give an amount of that total equal to the percentage of their total HP it deals in damage. If they were not aware of 9S or were peaceful, a menu will pop up giving the option to detonate them as before, but also having the options to subjugate or remote control the enemy. The former will turn them against other enemies for a time after which they will explode, while the latter allows 9S to directly control the target enemy. Enemy robots have three attacks, using the buttons for light attack, Pod Shot and Pod Program: most can only evade with a basic backward jump, cannot attack while jumping (though some have jump attacks triggered with the attack buttons) and cannot sprint. Flying enemies can only be pushed upwards for a short time with the jump button, and move by gliding along the ground. It is best to experiment to discover what each robot type can do. The hijacked robot's health and level are displayed above its head: 9S himself cannot be damaged while controlling a hijacked robot. Many plug-in chips do not affect hijacked enemies, particularly those that restore health The player can relinquish control of the robot by either allowing it to be killed or manually self-destructing it. A hijacked robot inherits 9S's ability to hack, and other robots will not aggro against it unless it attacks them first: this means hacking of a peaceful Stubby can be used to approach a more powerful enemy from the front and hack them. Hijacking another robot will cause the original to self-destruct. When a hijacked robot is destroyed, 9S simply appears precisely where it was. In the Forest Colosseum, the player will only have access to enemies they have hijacked: weapons work the same, the player must have hijacked an enemy with a particular weapon in order to select it.
  • 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 9S is taking damage or during the invincible frames of his evade animation. Holding the Pod Program button prevents 9S from gripping the Pod to slow his descent in mid-air.
  • Jump moves - 9S can evade in mid-air (see below) and jump a second time in mid air: if he falls off a ledge rather than jumping, he can perform two jumps in the air. Holding the jump button causes 9S to grip onto the Pod to slow his descent. He 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 attack or hack while gripping the Pod. Note that performing this move removes 9S's ability to grip the Pod unless he performs one of his other air moves afterwards. The second move has 9S use the Pod to slingshot himself 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 9S will start sprinting: holding also increases the speed at which 9S 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.
  • Perfect Evade - Evading just before an attack connects will cause a special evasion animation of 9S breaking into multiple hologram-like copies: if the player then quickly presses primary attack or pod shot, a powerful counter-attack will be performed. Pressing hack seems to perform a "power hack" which will fill the hack bar more quickly.
  • 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.
  • Self Destruct - 9S has the ability to self destruct, dealing immense damage to himself and those around him. This requires holding the self-destruct button until the completion of a short on-screen countdown. It does not actually kill him unless the player is in the Bunker, in which case self-destructing triggers Ending U. The base damage it deals to enemies is equal to 9S's current HP, though this is still level-scaled. After self-destructing, 9S will be left with 1HP and briefly be unable to perform most actions for a short period while he reboots his systems, though the Pod attacks function normally.
  • Taunt - Rapidly flashing the Pod's light close to enemies 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. The amount of damage dealt and received 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.

Trivia

  • Much like all other YoRHa Androids, 9S was modeled after his creators, as he stated in the game. 
  • 9S' Sword Cruel Oath is said to be a black blade used by warriors of the East.
  • 9S' height is 160cm
  • 9S states that he enjoys taking baths, even though they are not required for androids, describing that it "FEELS good".
  • While setting the voice volume during the menu tutorial, if one waits long enough 9S will say: "Er, could you try and pick up the pace a little bit? This is getting embarrassing...". Furthermore, if one stays too long in the menu (5-8 minutes), 9S will state that he has reached his "max storage limit" and forcefully ends the boot process.
  • Only 9S can hack into digitally locked chests, so he is the only character that can unlock the first secret boss battle.
  • It is revealed in the novella The Memory Cage that 9S originally didn't possess Cruel Oath or any close-combat weaponry.
  • According to Nier: Automata Guide Book, 9S's three sizes are B: 61cm, W: 53cm, H: 73cm. His height is 160cm (including boots). His weight is 129.9kg.
  • Whenever 9S self-destructs, his shorts will be removed.
  • In the original release of the game, sometimes during the final boss battle 9S would use his default model instead of the one with his blindfold removed and arm replaced. This was later patched.
  • 9S is the only playable character that is dead by Ending E according to the Automata Concert script "Farewell." However, the concert itself showed 9S surviving, it is currently unknown which version is the canonical ending.
  • When he is captured by the machines, Adam asks him if he wants to "****" 2B. In most translations of the game, the censored space is large enough to contain words equivalent to "love," "fuck," "save" and "kill."
  • His name is a Latin pun: "non esse" is "not to be," the opposite of 2B's "to be." It could also be read as the German "nein es" ("no id") referring to Freud's theory of id, ego and superego, though this is not proper German grammar.
  • 9S's English voice actor, Kyle McCarley, was told in the recording booth that 9S would be around 19 years old if he were a human.

External Links

9S- Nier Wiki

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