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I never quite realized...how beautiful this world is.
~ A2

A2 or YoRHa No.2 Type A is a female android that formerly served YoRHa in the game Nier Automata. She is an prototype android model that was used as a base to create 2B and 9SShe was deployed to Earth as apart of the Pearl Harbor mission in 11941 during the 14th Machine War. 

She was voiced by Ayaka Suwa in the Japanese version, and by Cherami Leigh in the English version.

Appearance

A2 has a appearance of woman with long white hair and a sleeveless black outfit which shows off some skin.

Personality

A2 is typically a reserved, and generally a quiet type due to not having a fondness to talk and prefers to keep to herself. However, later it is revealed through her interactions with Pod 042 that she possess an aggressive and fiery personality. Often would become more agitated as Pod 042 repeatedly asks her to state her intentions in order to provide optimal support for her.  She has a propensity towards reckless behavior as she will dive head-long into dangerous situations without consideration for her own personal safety. When speaking to others, she tends to be blunt, impatient and foul-mouthed.

She also has a intense hatred towards Machines, expressing a desire to seek and destroy anyone of them she finds. However, with the exception of Pascal and the inhabitants of the Machine Village. Despite her aggressive nature, she is not without any form of compassion. She allowed Pascal to live despite her virulent hatred for Machines when she realized he was docile and eventually helped his Machine Village whom she eventually established bonds with the machine inhabitants who reside there. 

Background

It is unknown when A2 was created but it is specified that she fought during the earliest years of the 14th Machine War. She was deployed to Earth as part of the Pearl Harbor mission to assist the Resistance destroy the server located in Mt. Kala on Oahu Island. However, they encountered heavy anti-air defenses and suffered heavy resistance, leaving only four YoRHa units, presumably A2's squad.They attempted to call for reinforcements but was ultimately denied by the YoRHa Commander to the bitter end. The surviving units joined up with the local Resistance forces to continue the mission despite initial losses. Although they suffered fierce enemy counterstrikes and overwhelming numerical odds, they manage to successfully reach and destroy the server, although at a cost. She was forced to mercy kill some of her squad mates who were infected with the logic virus, and one, particularly A4 (Number Four) detonated her blackbox to destroy the server. 

At this point on she was left die by YoRHa and decided to desert the organization, leading her to become wanted and to be hunted by YoRHa Type-E Units. 

Later she encounterd 9S and 2B at the Forest Castle where she killed the Machine King Immanuel and then initiates a fight against the two androids. 9S questioned A2's directive on why she betrayed YoRHa. She mentions that their command was the one who betrayed them and escapes. 2B and 9S attempt to give chase but realize she's already gone.

Powers and Skills

A2 handles very similarly to 2B, but she has several key differences.

  • Primary Attack - A basic light attack, which 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. Tapping a cardinal direction and pressing evade and light 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 move set, and as such, has the highest damage potential out of every playable character in the game, especially when equipped 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.

External Links

A2 - Nier Wiki

Trivia

  • A2 is most likely a predecessor to 2B as Anemone referred to 2B as Number Two due to their physical similarities.
  • A2's weapon Beastlord is said to be a greatsword shaped after the king of beasts.
  • A2's height is 168cm.
  • It is mentioned in the YoRHa stage play that No2 aka A2 has the "false memories" of a young girl who lived happily with her grandmother on a farm, possibly a reference to Kainé.
  • According to 'Beasts of Slaughter', a story from the NieR Music Concert, A2 utilizes a 'counterattack-type logic barrier', a technique she learned from one of their four previous encounters, to destroy 9S's data as he attempts to hack her. She additionally implies she killed him on each of their previous encounters, though she admits it was difficult.
  • According to the NieR: Automata World Guide, A2's 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?" ("and 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.
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