Project Gestalt was the underlying premise for the setting in NieR Replicant. The project caused the evolving process that eventually turned people into Gestalts or Shades

Project Gestalt Infromation

Project Gestalt was the separation of human souls from their human bodies with the intention to restore them back into a new Replicant body. The project was launched when humans faced extinction and the earth was plagued with a lethal disease. The only way humans could survive was to temporarily live through it as Gestalts.

Devola and Popola were created as Androids and were alive since the early beginnings of the projects. They exist to oversee the success of the project and ensure Replicant shells were made available in time for when the human Gestalts needed it. 


  • Replicants are the created shells that were created under Project Gestalt to save the human race. Each replicant was created with the same likeness as its human counterpart with the data extracted from a person's Gestalt, or Shade. 
  • Unfortunately, the data that was used to create each Replicant had mostly managed to create a copy of the Gestalt in human form, developing their own consciousness and living on as the human. They believed themselves to be the real original humans. As more Replicants grew sentient, more shades were left without vessels, causing more of them to relapse. Most Replicants came to believe that all Shades were just monsters and evil beings that only cause chaos and destruction. Most probably were not even aware of their human past. 


  • Shades, also known as Gestalts, are the true humans in NieR Replicant. Each Shade is a twisted remnant of what was once a human being. They are the separated souls without vessels that underwent a process from Project Gestalt. The process was a necessary solution in order to preserve the human souls as they were going extinct and dying off.  The shell-less transition was intended to be temporary. Replicant bodies were created so that eventually the vessel-less souls could re-enter into a human body and live normally once again once there was no longer a threat. However, the process was complicated when the Replicants gained a consciousness of their own, and Shades were soon left without their vessels. 

  • The lost souls without a Replicant's shell would eventually relapse and evolve into the hostile monsters, they now call Shades. 

  • "Relapse" refers to the catastrophic loss of sentience as seen in certain Gestalts. 

  • Relapsed Shades then began to attack Replicants. They determined that the rise of relapses was due to an unexpected spike in the sentience of Replicants, as well as genetic instability within the original Gestalt. Fully relapsed Shades would no longer retain extractable data, and the Replicant process cannot be recreated once they have reached this stage. 


Project Gestalt Appearances

Throughout NieR Replicant, the full project is only revealed by Devola & Popola at the Shadowlord's Castle. They remind Grimoire Weiss of his purpose within the project and the Project Gestalt documents are revealed to him and can be briefly accessed in his menu. It is only then that NieR and his companions are informed that they are not the true humans, but the Replicants. 


Project Gestalt Documents






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