The mystery of Nier Automata’s secret church continues to spiral out of control, with new videos raising more questions than they answer, and the game’s community expanding aggressively as it collapses.
What started as a potential Easter egg has evolved into a wild goose chase involving countless depositors, science masters, and interesting newcomers. One inexplicable room gave the Nier community a sense of excitement usually reserved for new games. Let’s get you up to speed in this weird and wild saga.
Secret Church History
This turbulent saga is the work of Reddit user sadfutago, who first posted about the mysterious Nier Automata Church on June 10, the same day their Reddit account was created.
“Hey, I’m new to Reddit and I want to know how to open a church in Nier Automata,” they said in a brief. Mail (Opens in a new tab) on the subreddit Nier fanart, which is now inundated with questionable comments. On the same day they Requested (Opens in a new tab) The Nier Automata subreddit had the same question, and the community was understandably confused because no one knew of such a church.
Four days later, Sadfutago subscriber (Opens in a new tab) Two screenshots taken inside the church they described – or rather taken from the screen apparently with a phone. They said that they entered the church through a door in the copied city after the chief’s fight with Adam, but noted that their friend could not replicate this in their game. This post was initially deleted by the Nier Automata subreddit (now restored), but on June 15 it was also deleted Spread (Opens in a new tab) For the bigger mainline Nier subreddit, which is when the mystery really took off.
Nier fans were immediately baffled, in large part because in January 2021, Nier Automata Director Yoko Taro personally confirmed that The ultimate secret of the game has been found, which is the true blue color cheat code.
On June 18, sadfutago followed up with a short video of A2, one of the many playable Nier Automata heroes, making its way to the hidden door they described. The video appears to have been filmed with a phone and the footage ended immediately after the door was opened, raising some red flags among curious onlookers.
While fans were debating whether there was anything to this discovery, the sadfutago disappeared for about a month. Out of nowhere on July 25th – 1 day after creating a profile Mail (Opens in a new tab) Claiming that they forgot their Reddit password and wanted it reset – sadfutago shared a new, longer video of the alleged secret.
This time, they showed the A2 going through the hidden door and down a huge moving walkway – but then again, no church. Lance McDonald, well-known PlayStation investigator and player who discovered the aforementioned Nier Automata cheat code, shared this video on Twitter (Opens in a new tab)Since then, it has garnered more than three million views from that tweet alone.
McDonald’s involvement gave the whole thing an air of mystery. He hastened to note that “it is not yet possible to modify the Nier Automata in this way, if anyone is curious if this is a fake”, and with that, the fuse was lit. Sadfutago has been dancing around a hornet’s nest before, but with this video they’ve officially kicked him.
And on July 26, the sadfutago posted another longer video that finally took us inside the church.
The opening of the door connected to the chapel appears to be a written event, as it results in a short scene on a black ribbon showing the interior. In the heart of the church, a disfigured cursed figure prays to an alabaster corpse with a white lily sprouting from their chest – an idea familiar to Nier fans, and could easily pass for a Nier Replicant Easter egg. The video continues but there seems to be nothing else of interest inside the church except for a strangely placed treasure chest, and this becomes even more significant in recent sadfutago posts.
On July 28, sadfutago posted two new videos within hours of each other. the first video (Opens in a new tab) Presenting a gritty boss fight sparked by 9S – not A2 this time – hacking into a curious treasure chest, the second long video clip shows Sadfutago defeating that boss and interacting with a statue near the back of the church hall. This bird-bath-like game asks three questions adapted directly from the last chapter of Nier Replicant – in Japanese, for some reason, even though the sadfutago game is in English.
This boss and the apparently sealed script record he was guarding can be found elsewhere in Automata, but this video seems to draw another connection to the events of the Replicant. Players now hope to see footage of the sadfutago answering the statue’s three questions correctly, working on the assumption that the answers are the same as they were in the Replicant.
Limited developer response
Nier fans have been divided over the legality of this secret church since June, and since no one has been able to find or access this area on their own, many depositors are convinced it’s some kind of elaborate hoax.
Optimists believe this is a fitting ARG campaign that leads to a new commercial for Nier or Drakengard, the series that has served as an incubator for Nier’s dramatic stories. Some think this is all a marketing ploy aimed at garnering interest before Nintendo Switch version of Nier Automata launched on October 6.
Others think it’s a joke organized by Yoko Taro, the director of Nir. Nier Automata producer Yusuke Saito joked about this possibility in a tweet (Opens in a new tab) Addressing the mysterious church after the story spread to the Japanese outlet Automaton (Opens in a new tab)but it is not surprising that only Taro himself has He broke his usual silence (Opens in a new tab) To confirm that he cannot comment on the situation – and to add that Likes beer and sausage (Opens in a new tab).
I reached out to publisher Square Enix to see if they had any thoughts on the situation. A representative told me that “unfortunately we will not be able to make a comment”, and they did not elaborate further. I also contacted sadfutago directly but never got a response.
Nier Automata experts think about it
With a sadfutago MIA and no official details, Nier fans have begun researching the game’s origins and re-examining what they know about the mod scene. Someone was quick to share the noclip on NexusMods (Opens in a new tab) Specifically designed to breach city walls in search of the secret church, but the uploader said he had not found anything. Reddit noted that Nier Automata often loads into specific assets once the player plays something in the world, supporting the theory that this chapel is the result of an incredibly rare interaction hidden somewhere in the game, but that has been somewhat debunked. big.
Recently, a complete refutation (Opens in a new tab) To the sadfutago allegations shared on Reddit, led by a moderator named Meowsandstuff. In addition to comparisons with Nier Replicant’s originals, they claim the differences in lighting and ambient occlusion between the sadfutago videos show that the secret area is not only fan-made and works on PC (not PS4 as claimed), but has also been updated and reintroduced among the sadfutago posts.
“Whether it’s a mod created using the official development tools/SDK or a custom tool is not yet 100% confirmed,” the document reads, “although the latter is likely, due to some details like the church scene’s lack of interpolation for camera movement and camera cut-outs.” (Note that there is a slight shake to several frames when a camera cuts in the new scene.) The sound lines are also recycled from a previous point in the game. Either way, this is clearly the work of a talented and experienced person.”
An early theory suggested that sadfutago had somehow acquired the game’s pre-release build which included content that might have been cut or blocked by the launch update. But after scanning the oldest archived builds from Nier Automata, depositors have largely moved away from this theory. So proponents of “debunked sadfutago” are operating on the assumption that this is all a mod that has seemingly been isolated from the mainstream game mod scene. It’s not a well-articulated explanation, but it does have some compelling evidence behind its claims.
Others like Redditor _emoose_ have pointed to (Opens in a new tab) Spotted unused assets in a test version mined data from a copied city map, which could explain some of the sadfutago shots. This does not fit with the interior of the church shown in the videos, but the surrounding buildings visible through the windows of this mysterious church do match with Archived assets (Opens in a new tab)including a building model believed to have originated in Bayonetta 2, released by developer Platinum Games three years before Nier Automata.
This might leave the door open to a grafted mod on an unused level, but it might also bring the line of thought back to the Easter egg world. However, the working theory at this point is that nothing less than modified content could explain this mystery because many of the Church’s origins cannot be found in any known version of Nier Automata.
To help get to the core of things, We spoke to three senior moderates from Nier who are working to re-establish this secret church for themselves.
Who is sadfutago?
Not a simple part of the entire investigation process focused on the sadfutago rather than the photos and videos they shared. Their online presence is limited and can fit into a normal troll profile, although if they are just trolling, their efforts go well beyond the usual red-eyes and jokes. Some people think they are a robot designed to wreak havoc.
Even their username, which can be translated to “sad twins,” perhaps in reference to the iconic redheads of Divola and Popola, is being called into question. However, they say it is a simple reference to a “clan,” most likely either a clan they played with their friends or a clan in another game or series.
Sadfutago verified on Nier modding Discord in the midst of all the chaos, and while they haven’t shared a new video of this so-called secret area, they’ve been pretty candid with minor details. When asked how they opened the secret door the first time, they said, “I don’t know I was killing robots with my friend to raise the level, and then he said I could open the door. I thought it was an item.”
Several users mentioned sadfutago’s brief and sometimes wonky verbiage, but based on a Gallery (Opens in a new tab) From the photos they shared on Discord when asked about the Nier Automata case and disc, their native language is French, and that would explain their perceived language barrier.
Sadfutago’s comments on Discord also correspond to the history of Reddit’s comments, which is important to note because fakes have already been confirmed. Radiator Alexray 35 observer (Opens in a new tab) A new NexusMod project someone shared the same username, but was quickly taken down after fans decided it was an ARG smokescreen looking to hijack the community’s hype.
What do we know for sure?
This is one of the strangest moments in the long and bizarre history of the Nier community, and we still desperately need more information at this point. Everyone is constantly waiting for the next sadfutago video. All we know is that someone has apparently set up a secret area within Nier Automata, and no one has been able to completely replicate or refute it, and even the game’s developer and publisher won’t talk about it openly. If this turns out to be just Yoko Taro in a raincoat raising an ad, give the guy the budget for whatever game he wants to do.
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