The cheat code is hardcoded in the engine as was revealed by Lance McDonald (@manfightdragon) on Twitter. Even the developers have confirmed that it was in fact, left there on purpose.
And all it took was a few HUNDRED hours of reverse engineering by Lance
To check out the Twitter thread regarding the cheat code posted by Lance McDonald, click here.
The cheat code has apparently been hardcoded into the game engine itself as was confirmed by the developers. This could probably be seen as a cool developer’s note left by the makers of the game. Lance has also released a YouTube video on how to apply the code yourself. Click here to check out the video.
The cheat code is called the “Final Secret” and allows you to skip to the final ending after killing the first boss as well as unlock the bonus modes. However, if we somehow pass through the initial area and proceed with the mission, we will lose access to the cheat forever.
So, if we move on to the next part of the mission, due to the game forbidding backtracking by closing the doors behind us, we lose access to the Final Secret.
Sections of the game such as lifts and automatically closing doors allow the hardware to focus on rendering future scenes. Thus, most games forbid us from backtracking after a certain point.
Two years ago, the director of the game had hinted at the “Final Secret” and had said that there would be problems if it was ever found out. Lance revealed that he usually likes to reverse engineer games that he really likes. Thus, the inkling given by the director was enough for him to dedicate hundreds of hours to reverse-engineering the game.
Stay tuned for further updates on NieR: Automata!