Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Maria Cristina Fava, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lauron Kehrer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lisa Renée Coons, Ph.D.


Game soundtracks, ludomusicology, NieR

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis analyzes the soundtrack to the 2021 game NieR: Replicant Ver. 1.22474487139…, examining its approach to character leitmotif and the centrality of the voice as an expressive and dramatic layer of the soundtrack. The NieR series has received considerable acclaim for its music, with 2017’s NieR: Automata gaining widespread critical and commercial success that has led to a wave of scholarly analysis of it. This document analyzes Replicant, the previous game in the series, through the experiential framework of a player, highlighting how the game recontextualizes themes through repeated playthroughs, and on the strong link that the soundtrack’s vocals carry with their character counterparts, in the process illustrating the musical voice’s humanizing aspects. The final chapter examines the “Ending E” sequence added in 1.22, examining how it serves as a microcosmic summation of almost every other musical technique utilized throughout the series.

Included in

Music Commons