Nier: Automata player stumbles onto a secret that's remained hidden for 5 years

Android A2 from behind approaching a twisting funhouse hallway.
(Image credit: Square Enix, user sadfutago on Reddit)

It seems Nier: Automata's final secret wasn't so final after all⁠—a user on Reddit by the name of sadfutago seems to have stumbled onto a sizeable hidden area in the existential android action game, and long-time fans and seasoned dataminers are absolutely flummoxed by the news. Spoilers for Automata ahead.

Sadfutago initially made posts on the game's subreddit a month ago about "the church," asking if anyone else knew how to reach it. One such post was auto moderated for "low engagement." They then proceeded to show screenshots of the church in question—an area no one has seemingly reached until sadfutago—and finally today posted a short video demonstrating their discovery.

Sadfutago's footage comes from close to the end of the game, with Automata's third, hidden protagonist, A2, fighting in the "Copied City," a surreal, whitewashed area from earlier in the game. A2 begins the clip engaged in battle with some standard enemies who spawn in the area after its initial story appearance. Approaching a nondescript wall, A2 gets an interact prompt. Sadfutago told us they initially thought it was an item drop, but activating it caused a doorway to open in the wall.

hello_here_is_the_video_for_the_clip_i_recorded from r/nier

On the other side is a precipitous drop that leads to a twisting funhouse hallway. The video cuts off before A2 reaches the site of sadfutago's earlier screenshots. With no one else having discovered the area, it remains unclear how the hallway transitions into a church interior, as well as if there's anything else down there, which means plenty of Redditors are skeptical of the footage.

But it's highly unlikely that this was added to the game through a mod⁠—Automata's community has yet to achieve the capacity to introduce significant map changes to the game. A commenter on sadfutago's video, thatwillROAR, put it succinctly: "One person solo building a generational leap in Nier modding in secret just for a prank versus Taro Yoko having even more obscure secrets?" Indeed, it would be an equally momentous event if this was a hoax, given the currently known limits to modding the game.

This surprise discovery has also been made by an unlikely protagonist⁠—sadfutago seems to have been playing the game casually, in tandem with a friend, and that friend's inability to access this secret area is what led them to seek answers from the subreddit. Professional dataminer Lance McDonald, who has made previous discoveries in Nier, P.T., and most notably the Souls series, expressed his shock at the development on Twitter.

No one seems to have replicated sadfutago's discovery as of yet. They're playing on the PS4 version of the game, but it's unclear what combination of inputs, choices, difficulty level, or even system settings might enable access to this area, as well as what it may hold. This is certainly an exciting time for a game whose final secrets were already thought to have been revealed.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.