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Why does the Nier: Automata secret church include references to Replicant?

And who really is sadfutago?

New videos of the Nier secret church have been released that appear to reference Nier Replicant. The plot thickens!

As we've reported, reddit user sadfutago has been posting videos of a secret church area in Nier: Automata that has been previously unseen since it was released five years ago. Even Yoko Taro chimed in.

Now they've posted new, extended videos to reddit with more gameplay of the church area. They show a different character - 9S - battling a "black blocky guy" the poster is struggling to beat, as well as new written dialogue in Japanese.

NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa Edition

And so the investigation continues.

Dataminer Lance McDonald, who's been keenly following the story, noted in the video the player interacts with a bird bath, an asset ported over from Nier Replicant.

He also notes that none of the assets used in the secret church area exist on datamined builds of the game across PC or PS4. So where did they come from?

Streamer and translator Aitai Kimochi has translated the Japanese dialogue, claiming it's a direct callback to Nier Replicant's Shadowlord Castle.

What's more, a report found in a hackable treasure chest contains a reference to Yonah (a character from Replicant) and the "black blob" enemy looks similar to the shades from Replicant.

So, why all these references to Replicant?

A remaster of Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139... was released last year across PS4, Xbox One and PC, but not on Switch. A Switch version of Nier: Automata will be released on 6th October this year. Is this all wild promotion for Automata, or could a release of Replicant also be on the way?

Also, why is sadfutago playing a version of the game with Japanese dialogue? And most of all: who the hell even is sadfutago?

Could it really be Yoko Taro himself?

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Ed Nightingale

Deputy News Editor

Ed has an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.