The Nier: Automata community finds itself ‘in shambles’ today after a new video has surfaced, showing a brand new area that nobody has found for 5 years known as The Church.
2 months ago, a Reddit user known as u/sadfutago made a post asking other members of the NieR community how to get into an area that they called The Church. At the time, they were completely ignored on the r/NieRFanart subreddit, while they were met with confusion on the official r/NieRAutomataGame subreddit. User sadfutago would try again one month later to try and showcase the area in a screenshot, but it was removed by moderators.
The main reason for this scepticism and lack of attention was mainly because there is no area even similar to a Church in the original NieR: Automata game, at least not one as hidden as the one being described. The game had already been datamined for secrets many times, with even out-of-bounds locations revealing no new information. In fact, there had already been a massive hunt for the ‘final secret’, one which had already been solved last year by Twitter user @manfightdragon. There were no more NieR: Automata secrets left… was there?
Ok Here it is! After being teased by the game's director @yokotaro two years ago, I discovered the "Final secret" in NieR Automata. Please take a moment to watch and retweet, as it was a monumental task. Also please enjoy the familiar cameo in the intro: https://t.co/XwhqDN5RmU pic.twitter.com/TfIMcHmriQ
— Lance McDonald (@manfightdragon) January 4, 2021
User sadfutago made one more post, this time including a screenshot of a never before seen secret location, the visuals matching that of the Copied City.
Finally, yesterday they posted a full-length video showcasing them opening a hidden door in the Copied City as the character A2, which took them to a room with an insanely long ladder and a twisted hallway of books and shelves. And at the end of this hallway sat the room they had been referring to. There was the Church. A more in-depth video posted later showcases the Church in more detail, which includes an introduction cutscene, dialogue from A2 and Pod and a strange black cube creature crying over a figure with a Lunar Tear stuck in their chest.
Since then, NieR fans have been in a frenzy trying to figure out what this location is, how this person accessed it and if it is even real. As previously stated, NieR: Automata has already been mined for all the secrets it had, and the ‘final secret’ had even been confirmed by game director Yoko Taro himself: so what was this?
Some users have tried to say that this is a mod or a replicant of the game made to fool and troll the community. Others find themselves transfixed, attempting to recreate the circumstances which allowed user sadfutago to enter this area in the first place. Matters of the videos legitimacy were furhter upended when NieR series producer, Yosuke Saito, responded to videos of the Church with his own cryptic responses.
Eternal mystery… https://t.co/crCyL0hZQ3
— 齊藤陽介 Yosuke Saito (@SaitoYosuke_Z) July 26, 2022
The theory that many have landed on is that this is, in some way, a form of marketing for either the upcoming NieR: Automata Switch port or a hint at a new game entirely.
Inside the Church, much of the architecture and items resemble items from the game preceding NieR: Automata, the recently remade NieR: Replicant. In addition, there are some strange parts of the room, such as the chest only accessible by 9S, despite only A2 seemingly having access. Part of this has to do with user sadfutago themselves, whose post history is certainly strange and contains a lot of weird discrepancies.
Whatever the reason or origin of this room, this NieR: Automata secret has certainly lit a fire under the NieR community, with ‘Nier’ trending on Twitter with over 50,000 Tweets, and a storm of theories and hypotheses being drummed up all over social media. This incident has certainly put more eyes on an upcoming NieR Fan Festival, which will take place on November 25th and 26th.
NieR is a special and bizarre game to a lot of people, with one of the most devoted fanbases and most infamous game directors. The best thing said about this entire situation is a response from Saito on his Twitter where he simply said:
‘This seems like something Yoko Taro could do. lol.’