2017’s Square Enix title NieR: Automata’s ‘final secret’ is finally out in the open. This happens exactly two years after the game’s director teased the fact that the game has an undiscovered ‘final secret’.
The man who accomplished this feat is Lance McDonald. Lance is a well-known modder, who is famous for his works with Bloodborne. The Australian modded the game on his own and patched it up to run at 60 FPS. Here is an individual who does not like to wait for the devs to do all the work.
However, works like these sometimes take years to complete. McDonald took almost four years since the release of NieR: Automata to find the hidden secret. Turns out the ‘final secret’ is a cheat code.
When this cheat code is used, players can directly go from the first boss fight to the final ending of the game. Furthermore, it also unlocks the bonus modes in NieR: Automata. The only way to unlock these modes previously was to complete the game three times in total. That was an extremely tedious and time-consuming method, which meant many NieR: Automata players never got to that part.
However, McDonald has made his findings public, which means everybody can discover the Chapter Select, Debug Mode, the Debug Room and the Trophy Shop. The way Lance achieved this involved hundreds of hours of reverse-engineering the game.
He found the engine codenamed as ‘CheatCommandManager’ in the files. His work began from there and three years 10 months later, the secret was out. This cheat code is not an exploit but has been present in the game since its release.
The devs added it on purpose, expecting somebody with proper knowledge would find the treasure. The official NieR account on Twitter congratulated Lance on his success.
Lance’s cheat code can only be used in one particular place inside the whole game. The player needs to enter Nier Automata’s prologue (chapter 01-02_3: 2B Inside the Factory). After defeating the first boss, the player needs to wait for the conversation between 2B and 9S to get over.
The player can then guide the character to stand between the two sets of three barrels on the screen. This is the only place players can activate the cheat from. Once in place, hold R2 and press up, down, up, right, left, square, circle, triangle, and finally X on the controller. This will make the screen fade to black and take players to the final ending.
To keep 2B in place while typing out the cheat, open the quick menu, and press the buttons in the aforesaid manner. Lance published a YouTube video to explain how he cracked the code and demonstrated the process.
It is interesting to see developers include cheat code in such a manner that it takes years to find out. Here’s hoping the much-expected sequel of NieR: Automata will come packed with similar surprises.