That Nier: Automata “church door” mystery was a very well-done modding hoax

And yet, it’s still something of an announcement.

Image via Platinum Games

An alleged Nier: Automata secret, known as the “church door,” was making the game’s community go wild over the last month. Brief video clips on Reddit showed a player entering a previously unknown area through a hidden door, dropping down a long shaft, and following a twisting hallway. Players were baffled. The game’s “final secret” had already been discovered, so what could this be?

Some thought it was a legitimate part of the game that a player had stumbled into, while others labeled it a hoax from the very beginning. Others believed it to be some sort of ARG that could be teasing future Nier content — the clips were being posted at a strange pace, after all. Common knowledge held that modding in Nier: Automata was not at a level that could achieve what people were seeing on screen.

As it turns out, mods have indeed reached that point in the game. Twitch channel ze34_zinnia has all the relevant gameplay clips, as well as the final answer. This was a mod all along — and an impressive one at that. A clip on ze34_zinnia’s channel reveals everything, stating that the mod was the work of three creators: DevolasRevenge, Woeful_Wolf, and RaiderB. Their thank you message (seen below) declared that the footage was all captured in game, with no editing tricks used. The group designed the new map using Blender to create assets and script the encounter into the game’s Copied City area.

Image via ze34_zinnia

In a way, this actually is a big announcement: high-level modding is now possible in Nier: Automata. The trio will “be releasing the new Blender add-ons and scripting tools, completely open source,” for people who want to start building mods of their own. The church area will available for anyone to download and explore, and RaiderB has another mod that’s “already prepared” for release.

Mods are generally just for the PC versions of games, but Nier: Automata is coming to Nintendo Switch later this year as well. The End of Yorha Edition releases on Thursday, October 6.