Otaku USA Magazine
Take Me to Church: Why the NieR: Automata Mod Makes Us Happy

The Nier: Automata church was a mod... but what a mod

Delving into lost, hidden, and unfinished portions of games has become as much of a pastime as gaming itself. Fans can discover massive secrets years, and even decades, after a title’s release. So when Reddit user sadfutago shared footage of an as-yet-unseen church hidden deep in NieR: Automata‘s new End of YoRHa edition, players went wild. Was it additional content? An unfinished level lost for ages? A tease of something more to come from Yoko Taro?

Well, no. It was a mod… but a really good one. As it happens, sadfutago is three people, and they built it all themselves. Map designer DevolasRevenge said it was never meant to get this big or disappoint anyone. But frankly, we couldn’t be happier. Because this whole situation confirms, and re-confirms, a few great things about the game franchise.


NieR Fans Are Really Talented

2B as modded into Skyrim

Modern fandom isn’t just about consuming—it’s about creating, too. Whether you’re an artist, writer, cosplayer, coder, designer, or whatever, you know the desire to pay tribute to the faves. NieR fans are no different, and this church mod is even more proof that the fandom is full of talent.

From mods that let you play as 2B in other games (like Skyrim, seen above) to fan-written tunes, there’s no shortage of creative goodness from lovers of the game. sadfutago’s church mod in particular shows just how much talent there is… to the point that they’re mistaken for the real deal.


Yoko Taro Rocks

Absolute madlad Yoko Taro

Naturally, the church mod looked so true to NieR:Automata that fans had to fact-check it. Game dev and renowned madlad Yoko Taro did respond… but he didn’t give the game away. Instead, he simply responded that he doesn’t tweet in English much, and that he loves sausage and beer.

Game producer Yosuke Saito also shared the footage, simply responding “Eternal mystery…” Both had the chance to blow the lid off sadfutago’s ruse, but opted instead to boost it and play along. Anyone who knows anything about Yoko Taro knows how on brand this is. Even so, seeing the man himself let them have their fun was great.


We Still Get to Visit the Church

Secret room

Despite the impressiveness of sadfutago’s mod, lots of fans were disappointed. The modders themselves even admitted that the reveal was “anticlimactic.” It’s understandable—the idea of more NieR and Drakengard content is enticing. And it certainly wouldn’t be the first time a game dev played games on their way to a big reveal.

So it may not be a Yoko Taro original. But sadfutago will be making their Blender addons and scripting tools open-source. That means we likely will have an opportunity to explore the church for ourselves. Not only that, but those talented fans I mentioned before will have even more tools at their fingertips. We can’t wait to see what comes of it.

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Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.