The tail end of 2016 saw one of gaming’s weirdest, shortest lived “scandals,” concerning whether or not the lead character of Nier: Automata, a female-presenting android named 2B, had a graphically detailed rear end. Yoko Taro, the game’s director, has finally weighed in, but he hasn’t much cleared up matters. Instead, he stoked the flames by enlisting followers to help him compile all of the “rude drawings” created following the incident.
２Ｂのお尻騒動でケシカラン感じの絵とか沢山アップされてるけど集めて回るの面倒だから zip にして毎週届けて欲しい。— yokotaro (@yokotaro) January 8, 2017
“Because of the brouhaha over 2B’s butt, there are loads of rude drawings and whatnot being uploaded [online],” Taro tweeted, according to Kotaku’s translation. “And since going around and collecting them is a pain, I’d like it if I could get them sent in a zip file every week.”
Fans quickly complied, leaving behind a very not safe for work chain of tweets. Taro, to his credit, seemed grateful to all the fans who were sending him their own takes on 2B.
@StarKibu Thank you. :)— yokotaro (@yokotaro) January 8, 2017
It also seemed as if the director was surprised by the volume of the butthole artwork created since Nier: Automata’s popular demo hit the PlayStation Store last month. Taro wrote in a follow-up tweet that this is part of what makes the internet “great.”
「２Ｂ絵をzipでクレ」って書いたらどっかに晒されたらしく巡り巡って本当にzipが来た。インターネットすごいなー— yokotaro (@yokotaro) January 8, 2017
“When I wrote ‘a .zip of 2B pictures,’ it seems that it was exposed somewhere and it really came back with a .zip,” he said. “The internet is great.”
Interestingly, no one appears to have tweeted the offending image in question at Taro. That screenshot, purportedly from the Nier: Automata demo on PlayStation 4, can be seen below — again, it’s not safe for work.
>NieR Automata has butthole pic.twitter.com/hdvoTccC6h— Kab (@solebrotherkab) December 29, 2016
What we’re seeing here is an upskirt shot from the game, a tight zoom right onto the butt of 2B, the female android who stars in Nier: Automata. 2B, as the tweet reads, appears to have a “butthole.”
Two lines of questioning immediately emerged as the image spread across Twitter, Reddit and other platforms. “Is that ... real?” many asked. If so, why does an android have such specific, detailed human anatomy? How did that make it into the game?
Neither the original poster nor anyone from Square Enix, Nier: Automata’s developer, came forward with the truth behind the behind, allowing the Twittersphere to debate and discuss ad nauseam.
Most eventually came to agree that the details on 2B’s backside are Photoshopped, but wasn’t until Taro’s requests for fans to bring on the butthole that anyone involved with the project had spoken out about the mini-controversy. Although the director hasn’t quite said as much, his comments suggest that the butthole was indeed just a fan-made creation all along.
With that, we can most definitely leave the case of the Nier: Automata butthole where it belongs: behind us. Instead, let’s focus on the truth: The PlayStation 4 and Windows PC sequel to Nier, Square Enix’s action game set in the Drakengard universe, is due out this March.
Want the latest news, videos and podcasts sent to your inbox once every weekday? Then sign up for the Polygon Newsletter below.