Does Nier: Automata still have secrets left to find after all?

By Luke Albigés,

A video has emerged that appears to show off a previously unseen 'Easter egg' location in Nier: Automata, but the fact that nobody seems to be able to replicate the so-called secret has the community rather puzzled. [updated]

Update: The Nier: Automata Easter egg rabbit hole keeps getting deeper... the mysterious video's creator has returned with a much longer clip showing off the new church location in full, a cutscene in the area, and what appear to be multiple callbacks to the original Nier. Folks have also turned up a discovery from four years ago where a church in the Copied City was found in the game's code. To confuse the issue further, we see a few more details that could be seen as red flags indicating a fake, and more stuff that shouldn't be possible within the current confines of Nier modding suggesting it could be real... which side are you on?

Original story: Nier: Automata was thought to have given up its final major secret last year when well-known modder Lance McDonald revealed a cheat code used to skip right to the end of the game, which he found via "hundreds of hours of reverse engineering." So while the location shown in the new video might not be an intended secret, it could still be leftover unused content that only exists in an early version of the game.

While many have been quick to accuse the video's creator of it being an elaborate hoax, here's where the story gets interesting — multiple people from Automata's modding community (including McDonald himself) have come out and said that the game's mod tools aren't nearly at a level needed to fake something like this. So if it does turn out to be a modded version of the game, it's still a remarkable breakthrough for Nier's mod scene if nothing else.

The finder is reportedly playing on version 1.0 on PS4, leading some to speculate that this strange new area in the Copied City could be cut content in that specific version that was later removed via an update, which would explain why dataminers haven't been able to find it in the equivalent PC version. Still, the fact that nobody has been able to replicate it and the odd manner in which the player has been dripfeeding information and assets have a lot of folks in two minds about the legitimacy of the discovery. This odd scenario has been playing out for weeks now, starting with the video's creator signing up to Reddit to ask how to get through the door in the church — an area that seemingly only they have ever been known to access — and causing plenty of confusion, followed eventually by a few images of the location in question and culminating in the clip itself, which was shared on Reddit earlier today.

What do you make of the footage? Cool discovery of some unused content, or super-elaborate mod far beyond anything that should currently be possible in Nier: Automata? Let us know!
Luke Albigés
Written by Luke Albigés
Luke runs the TA news team, contributing where he can primarily with reviews and other long-form features — crafts he has honed across two decades of print and online gaming media experience, having worked with the likes of gamesTM, Eurogamer, Play, Retro Gamer, Edge, and many more. He loves all things Monster Hunter, enjoys a good D&D session, and has played way too much Destiny.