Five years after the release of NieR Automata, it seems the game may still hide some secrets. An anonymous player may have discovered a secret church in NieR Automata, hidden in the game’s Copied City area. That is, of course, if the claim can be verified and it doesn’t turn out to be an elaborate hoax or prank.
One complicating factor is that only a single anonymous player has been able to access the NieR Automata secret church. The area is supposedly hidden behind a wall in the Copied City. A player named “sadfutago” posted to the NieR Subreddit board asking about the requirements to access the area, which were unclear. Most respondents did not believe that any Copied City buildings were accessible. Sadfutago posted video of the area, which revealed a previously-unknown hidden door. Commenters were divided between calling the video a fake and investigating the claim.
More credence to the NieR Automata secret church investigation came from Lance McDonald, a modder and player credited with uncovering the game’s supposed “Final Secret” cheat code in 2021. McDonald said that the Automata modding community “is in shambles over this discovery” and that it’s “not yet possible” to mod NieR Automata in the way shown in the secret church video. McDonald’s claim lends credence to the notion that the secret church is a hidden area, or created with tools that aren’t yet accessible to the wider modding community.
Someone randomly posted a video on the Nier Automata subreddit showing they found a secret room in the Copied City. So far no one else has worked out how they managed to make this secret door appear. Literally 1 person on earth has accessed this room and we are uttered mind blown pic.twitter.com/g7W4JxiNDg
— Lance McDonald (@manfightdragon) July 25, 2022
One complication is that as of yet no one else but the original poster has been able to visit the area. Players and modders are still investigating with new playthroughs of the game and tricks known to the community, but so far none have succeeded in accessing the church. Some have surfaced detailed analysis suggesting that the area may be an elaborate hoax, though even these debunking attempts haven’t conclusively isolated how such a mod might be created short of developer-level tools or access.
Even high-level NieR Automata developers like Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito commented on the matter. Saito tweeted about it, calling it an “Eternal mystery“. For his part, Yoko Taro directed people to his Twitter profile, which said that he “can’t answer about any products”, communicating a lack of interest in confirming or denying the NieR Automata secret church rumor.
All this has spawned another theory: That the secret church is new content, and that sadfutago’s discovery is a work of guerilla marketing, either for the upcoming Switch edition of NieR Automata or perhaps some kind of update, remaster, or remake of the existing versions. Those suggesting this angle point to sadfutago’s history as an account on Reddit: It’s only ever been used to post about the NieR Automata secret church. Further, their handle may be a reference to longtime NieR characters Popola and Devola, two sad twins. Even further, the altar at the church itself contains references to Devola and Popola, as well as to the NieR Replicant character Yonah.
New content on an older game isn’t a new occurrence for the NieR franchise, either. NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…., the “upgraded release” of the original NieR, contained new content, such as a story episode.
NieR: Automata is immediately available on the PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. A Nintendo Switch port will come out on October 6, 2022.