Batman: Arkham Asylum – Plans to Arkham Cit
Hints at possible sequels are some of the best Easter eggs because they build up discussion and hype. Rocksteady didn’t get this hype when Arkham Asylum initially released because the tease to Arkham City was so well hidden that no one found it for six months! The developer had to reveal the Easter egg itself. The plans for Arkham’s expansion into a full-fledged city can be found behind a hidden destructible wall in the Warden’s Office.
Dead Rising – Jill’s Sandwiches
“You were almost a Jill sandwich” was once the pinnacle of video game writing, coming from the original Resident Evil. Dead Rising pays homage to this with the Jill’s Sandwiches restaurant that can be found in Paradise Plaza. Unfortunately, Barry Burton cannot be found dining here.
Diablo II – Secret Cow Level
At first, Diablo II’s Secret Cow Level can just seem like a silly little joke thrown in by the developers with no real meaning behind it (hordes of bipedal cows brandishing axes are pretty funny, after all). But this Easter egg actually stems from a rumored cow level in the original Diablo, which didn’t exist. The real joke comes from the fact that the Secret Cow Level had to be nerfed in patch 1.10 because players were using it to easily farm experience points, returning it to the useless novelty that it was supposed to be.
Doom II – Romero’s Head
Easter eggs are weird. Easter eggs are really weird. Did I mention that Easter eggs are weird? Here’s Doom developer John Romero’s head on a pike in Doom II. He can be accessed by using the idclip cheat code, and going behind the final boss’ face. Shoot him in the face, and you win the game. Weird.
Gears of War 2 – Cowboy Corpser
The Gears of War series has a bunch of bizarre and funny Easter eggs, and this may be one of the funniest. In the mission ‘Rolling Thunder,’ shooting three cowboy hats will deck out your whole team with cowboy hats. It doesn’t end there, though. When the giant spider/crab-like corpser enemy pops out later in the level, it is also sporting a giant cowboy hat, and lets out a booming “yeehaw!”
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – No Easter Eggs Up Here
You know a joke is incredibly meta when it references the fact that it’s a joke within the joke. You’ll find one of these meta-jokes when you take a jet pack to the top of Gant Bridge in Grand Theft: Auto San Andreas. You will be treated to the message “There are no Easter Eggs up here, go away.” But the reference to Easter eggs is in and of itself an Easter egg, so despite what they are telling you, there is an Easter egg up there.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – Gun Savage
It’s interesting to see just how far developers will go to make something that a majority of players won’t ever see. In the case of Metal Gear Solid 3, an entirely different kind of game exists within the game. If you happened to save and quit at a specific part of the game, when you reload your save, you will be greeted with a game entirely unlike Metal Gear Solid 3, known as Gun Savage. Its a basic hack ‘n’ slash game where you mow down hordes of zombie-like enemies. The sequence only lasts around five minutes, and is completely unrelated to the rest of the game, and makes you wonder why the devs put in all of that effort on something so seemingly insignificant. It’s pretty cool nonetheless.
Portal – Rat Man
The Portal games don’t exactly hide their narrative, but you’re missing out on such a juicy bit of lore if you haven’t dived into the Rat Man Easter egg. Doug Rattman, nicknamed the Rat Man, doesn’t appear in any Portal game, but you can find traces of his story scattered through dens in Portal 1 and 2. His frantic scribblings revealed his psychotic obsession with the companion cube, and his warnings to Chell that “the cake is a lie.” The immediate narrative in the Portal games isn’t exactly ‘happy-go-lucky,’ but you have no idea how dark it gets until you start piecing together the horrid history of the Rat Man.
Silent Hill 2 – Dog Ending
In stark contrast to the Rat Man, Silent Hill 2’s dog ending makes you go “aww” for the first time in the survival-horror game. This alternate ending reveals that it has been a dog tormenting James Sunderland this whole time! But when he starts licking James’ face, you can’t help but forgive him for the psychological pain that he has caused – he’s just too cute!
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – Jar Jar Binks Frozen in Carbonite
Now that’s fan service, if I’ve ever seen it. The Force Unleashed finally gives all Star Wars fans exactly what they want.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – Chris Houlihan Room
The Chris Houlihan room has an odd history. It is named after Chris Houlihan, winner of a Nintendo Power competition where you had to photograph yourself encountering Warmech in the original Final Fantasy. The prize was to have your name featured in an upcoming Nintendo game. However, the room can’t be accessed via normal means, and is intended as a crash prevention room. If you do manage to find a way in, you are treated with the message “My name is Chris Houlihan This is my top secret room. Keep it between us, OK?”
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Marco Polo
A typical occurrence in the Uncharted series is blending real-world historical figures with the games’ fantastical fictitious narrative. But in Uncharted 2, Marco Polo is more than that; he is also the butt of a simple joke where Nate and Chloe play a game of ‘Marco Polo’ in a swimming pool atop Hotel Shangri-La.
Adventure – The First Easter Egg
The one that started it all. 1979’s Adventure for the Atari 2600 featured a simple hidden message that read “created by Warren Robinett.” At the time, Atari removed the games’ designers from their products, so Robinett included the hidden message in the Atari-published Adventure to identify himself as the creator. After contention as to whether to remove the hidden message or not, it was decided to keep it in the game as it gave players additional incentive to play around with their games more. And thus, the video game Easter egg was born.
Hitman: Blood Money – The Lucky Coin
In Hitman: Blood Money’s ‘Til Death Do us Part’ mission, you’ll come across a group of party guests who are having a bit of a fight. If you walk over to the water and shoot a small disc, for some reason, the guests will now be in their underwear, and will begin running towards you while clapping. Hilariously, once they stop, they will continue the scuffle whilst still in their undies. Video games, ladies and gentlemen.
NBA Jam Tournament Edition – Cheat Code Characters
Playing an NBA game with your favorite basketball players is cool and all, but what if you want to play basketball as Sub-Zero, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or Hilary Clinton? Well thanks to NBA Jam Tournament Edition, you can! There are over 30 hidden characters that can be accessed with cheat codes, including former presidents, rock stars, and even some of the game’s developers.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops II – Atari 2600 Games in Nuke Town
In Black Ops II, shooting the head off of every mannequin on the Nuke Town map will let you play emulated versions of some of Activision’s classic Atari 2600 games. You can play H.E.R.O., Kaboom!, Pitfall, and River Raid. It’s a shame you can’t play an emulated version of Adventure, then Easter eggs would have really come full circle.
Crysis 2 – Elevator Disco
In Crysis 2’s ‘Dead Man Walking’ mission, interacting with a supposed non-interactable control panel will allow you to access an elevator where some soldiers are having a disco party. That’s it. Enjoy.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl – Snake’s Codec Conversations
This Easter egg is more a series of Easter eggs. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, pressing down on the D-Pad for a split second when playing as Snake on the ‘Shadow Moses Island’ stage will start a “smash taunt.” After a few seconds, a codec call begins between Snake and either Otacon, Mei Ling, or Colonel Campbell from Metal Gear Solid. There is a different conversation for each individual character – 37 in total. In Captain Falcon’s one, Snake and Otacon perform their best Captain Falcon impressions. In Ness’ Snake likens Ness to Psycho Mantis. This is truly an S tier Easter egg.
Grand Theft Auto IV – Heart of Liberty City
If you make your way up to Liberty City’s Status of Happiness, walk past the “no hidden content this way” sign, and you will find the Heart of Liberty City: a massive beating heart held up by chains, complete with veins and arteries. Even scarier, in The Ballad of Gay Tony expansion, if you pass out drunk, you could wake up inside the statue next to the heart. I hope you’re prepared for the nightmares.
Day of the Tentacle – Fully Playable Maniac Mansion
Atari 2600 games inside an Xbox 360, PS3, and PC game is cool, but what about an entire point and click adventure game inside another point and click adventure game? In Day of the Tentacle, using one of the computers will open up a fully playable version of the game’s predecessor, Maniac Mansion.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Final Fantasy XXVII
Looks like we’ll be playing the 27th installment in the Final Fantasy series by the year 2027, according to a poster in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. That means they’ll have to release just over one Final Fantasy game a year to be able to meet this release date. Better hurry up and announce Final Fantasy XVI then, Square Enix.
Various Nintendo Games – Totaka’s Song
Starting in 1990’s Japan-only Game Boy game X, and up until its most recent inclusion in 2015’s Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, video game composer Kazumi Totaka has inserted a short melody known as “Totaka’s Song” into over 20 games that he’s worked on. In Animal Crossing for GameCube, the song can be heard by requesting “K.K. song” when K.K. Slider is playing on a Saturday night. In some games, however, it is much harder to find. For example, in Mario Kart 8, certain spectator Yoshis will hum the song very faintly, and is only really audible when the BGM is removed.
Metal Gear Solid – Psycho Mantis Knows What You’ve Been Playing
The original Metal Gear Solid features quite a few fourth wall breaking Easter eggs, the most famous of which is probably Psycho Mantis reading your memory card. Psycho Mantis will “read your mind” and be able to tell you if you’ve played any of the following Komani games: Azure Dreams, Suikoden, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Vandal Hearts, Policenauts, and Tokimeki Memorial. In the Twin Snakes remake for GameCube, he can even tell if you’ve been playing certain Nintendo games: Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Mario Sunshine, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem.
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour – Pikmin Cameo
Remember: Not all Easter eggs have to be nightmare inducing, or weird meta-jokes. Some can just be fun little nods to other games. In Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour hitting your ball into certain patches of flowers will make some Pikmin pop out. It kind of sucks, actually, as its difficult to hit your ball out of a flower patch, but the appearance of the cute little creatures would always tempt me.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U – “Your Body is Ready”
For the small percentage of us who collected every Mii costume in the European version of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, we were greeted with a phrase familiar to die-hard Nintendo fans: “Collected every type of custom outfit! Your body is ready!” I’m not sure why Americans were deprived of this message, who only received the less referential message “dress to success.” Unfortunately, Reggie-Fils Aime will remain the only American whose body is ready.
Wave Race: Blue Storm – Sarcastic Announcer
Here’s another Easter egg that wasn’t discovered until a while after the game was released. In Wave Race: Blue Storm, inputting a certain cheat code will turn the announcer into a bit of a dick. I’m not sure why this is an option, but hey, if you want someone to try and diminish your self-esteem, then you sure can in Wave Race: Blue Storm, for some reason.
Sonic CD – Hidden Message
Here’s another creepy one that makes us wonder what is going on inside the developers’ heads. Inputting the numbers 46, 12, and 25 on the sound test screen will take you to a disturbing screen with a demonic-looking version of Sonic. The Japanese text translates to “Fun is infinite. Sega Enterprises.” A harmless message by itself, but why is it accompanied by the horrid Sonic and creepy music? We may never know.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – Dead Altair
Assassins of Kings? More like Assassinations of Assassins, am I right? This Easter egg is the hilarious depiction of the Assassin’s Creed protagonist, Altair, if he were to miss the hay stack after performing a leap of faith.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II – Guybrush Threepkiller
According to Wookiepedia, “Guybrush Threepkiller was a dual-lightsaber-wielding Human male who lived during the reign of the Galactic Empire, before the year 1 BBY. He had blond hair, fair skin, and wore black armor with black boots.” If you’re thinking to yourself “hang on, that’s just Guybrush Threepwood from Monkey Island,” well, yeah it is. But he’s a Jedi now. Because Easter eggs.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest – No Hopers
Donkey Kong Country 2’s ‘Cranky’s Video Game Heroes’ screen features a couple of Easter eggs. There’s the obvious appearance of Mario, Yoshi, and Link, but the more interesting Easter egg is at the bottom-right of the screen where a sign reads “no hopers.” Beside a trash can, you’ll be able to see some familiar shoes and a plasma gun, which belonged to Sonic the Hedgehog and Earthworm Jim, respectively. A crafty little jab at the competition from Rare.