Nier Automata has a mysterious secret room that only one player has been able to enter - but is it real, or an elaborate hoax?

A Nier Automata player claims to have found an until-now undiscovered secret room - and it's sending the game's community of dedicated fans wild as they try to discover how the area is accessed. 

The mystery began with a fan taking posting to ask the Nier Automata reddit community why their friend couldn't access "the church". Fans were confused by this, and asked the player what they meant. After some time, the same user followed up with screenshots of a church area that isn't in the normal game, followed up with a video that shows a secret door being opened in the Copied City area of the game.

This door leads off the drawn in-game map, deep underground, to an area with strange spires that retract as the player gets close to them. There's also a few items dotted along the way. Through a twisted corridor, the secret eventually leads to a church area, complete with stone architecture and pews.

The Nier community has naturally been obsessing over the footage ever since it was released - trying to ascertain its authenticity, and if real puzzling out exactly how the user - who hasn't exactly been enormously talkative - triggered the secret door in the first place.

The secret doorway leads underground, into this twisted corridor.
The secret doorway leads underground, into this twisted corridor.

While the posted video features PlayStation inputs, these can be accessed on a PC by plugging in a PS4 or PS5 controller. That has led some fans to suggest this could be an elaborate hoax, a significant PC mod - but if it is, it's larger in scope than any Nier Automata mod achieved to date. Thus far, only making smaller edits to existing geometry or actor spawns has been possible - not something so large as adding a secret door and a significant-size bespoke area behind it.

Hopping into a four-figure strong Discord community of Nier Automata modders reveals them largely frantically and excitedly trying to puzzle out this player's discovery, believing it to be real - though some dissenting voices are more skeptical. 

Nier Automata is no stranger to easter eggs and secrets. Last year, modder Lance McDonald discovered a secret code that would allow players to skip from the game's prologue right to the end credits - but doing so required devilishly specific trickery that was only uncovered by scrutinizing the game's inner workings.

One of the images uploaded of the
One of the images uploaded of the "church" area, which the secret door ultimately leads to.

After Lance's discovery, Nier creator and Automata director Yoko Taro noted that it'd taken 3 years, 10 months for the secret to be found. Around this time, he also described it as Nier Automata's final secret - which does contradict this recent discovery. 

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McDonald, for what it's worth, appears to believe that this secret room is real; and he has significant experience reverse-engineering the game. Equally, no other player appears able to trigger this, and the player responsible for discovering it is frustratingly unwilling to talk, and has a recent reddit account that has essentially only posted about their Nier discovery. Even if fake, a mod of this scope is an enormous achievement and a community milestone that could lead to even bigger things, however.

Is it real, another excellent bit of secret content and low-key trolling by Yoko Taro and his team? Or is it an incredible showcase of a new breakthrough in modding tools? Hopefully, we'll soon find out...

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