Videogames have long been used by developers as a way to poke fun at themselves, the player, other games, or make a cheeky reference to other titles. From the early 80s and developers hiding their name as a secret credit somewhere in the game – publishers used to refuse to credit the coders – to hidden levels, areas and messages, gaming has become a time-honored way for game creators to have a little fun.
In honor of Easter, These are our top fifteen videogame Easter eggs, in ascending order of awesomeness.
15. Resident Evil 2 – Rebecca’s Basketball Uniform
Resident Evil has always been a series that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Each game in the has been packed full of unlockable and hidden content, but if we had to choose, we’d go for the hidden photo of Rebecca in Resident Evil 2.
This Easter egg is only awesome for one reason: you have to check Wesker’s desk 50 times before this picture shows up. Which begs the question, who had the patience to keep checking the desk, despite the message “this desk is trashed. Someone must have searched it” being the only thing you’ll see until check number 50? That’s dedication.
14. Mortal Kombat Trilogy – Supreme Demonstration
Mortal Kombat is another game that has traditionally been filled to the brim with secrets – everything from secret stages, secret characters and hidden moves. Mortal Kombat Triloy, originally released waaaay back in 1996 contains one of our favorites.
Beating the arcade mode on Champion difficulty allows you to chose from twelve of “Shao Kahn’s Lost Treasures.”
They were all pretty interesting (you could play Pong with another player); but the best reward, by far, was the Supreme Demonstration — which was a video of every character performing all their fatalities back-to-back.
This was before Youtube, so you actually had to beat the game all over again if you wanted to re-watch it in all its bloody glory. If you haven’t seen it, click here and enjoy. Some of them are really brutal.
13. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria – Adele
If you have the Mists of Pandaria expansion installed, head to Widening Deeps in Townlong Steppes.
Once there, you’ll a Pandaren named Adele rolling back and forth endlessly – an obvious reference to Rolling in the Deep by British pop star Adele.
Adele doesn’t have any use in the game – she doesn’t issue any quests, nor does she feature in any. She purely exists for Blizzard to have a bit of fun.
All together now: “There’s a fire, starting in my heart…”
12. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Frostmourne
Previously featured in our list of 5 movie tie-in games which don’t suck, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a fun hack-and-slash game that ended up being far superior to the film on which it’s based. The game explores Wolverine’s history with a black-ops team of mutants, carrying out covert operations behind enemy lines. It’s a surprisingly enjoyable romp and actually stands up as one of the better movie-based games.
Despite the grim and gritty story though, the developers weren’t afraid having a little fun, as this Easter egg shows.
Hidden in a cave on the second level, you can find Frostmourne, Arthas’ sword from the Warcraft franchise. And next to it? A skeleton lies on the floor, with a familiar-looking yellow exclamation mark floating above it.
Elsewhere, other references to pop culture can be found – including the hatch from the tv show Lost – but Frostmourne is easily our favorite.
11. Deus Ex: Human Revolution -Final Fantasy XXVII poster
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an excellent game, as demonstrated by our glowing review. It was a fantastic return for a beloved franchise which managed to bring the series up to date while preserving what made it so popular in the first place.
Of course, another Square-Enix-owned franchise has fared less well in recent times. Final Fantasy is seen by many as a franchise in decline, following the lukewarm reception to Final Fantasy XIII and the disastrous original launch of the fourteenth installment in the series.
Try telling that to Square Enix, though. Proudly displayed on a wall in one of the game’s offices is a poster for Final Fantasy XXVII. It seems that the publisher clearly hopes the series will be around for a good while yet.
10. Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow – MissingNo
Hidden away in Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow is an interesting bit of leftover code that Game Freak neglected to remove prior to the game’s release. While MissingNo may have been the first glitch Pokemon in the series, he certainly wasn’t the last – subsequent games have all contained their own glitch Pokemon. However, Missingno is undoubtedly the most well-known.
While some would call this a glitch, because of the complicated effort required to find it, we say it’s an Easter egg – and a pretty damn awesome one, at that.
MissingNo could only be found after talking to the old man in Viridian City who shows you how to catch Pokemon before then surfing on the coast of Cinnibar island. MissingNo would then randomly appear, presenting itself as a mess of sprites
Catching and using MissingNo could really mess up your game and hall of fame data. But honestly, people only exploited this trick to get infinite master balls and rare candies, right?
9. Crysis 2 – Elevator Disco
The Crysis series has always taken itself rather seriously, despite its ridiculous subject matter that sees you donning a suit which enhances your abilities to superhuman levels and lets you sneak around the place like the alien from Predator.
But despite all the violence, blood and macho bravado, Crysis 2 contains one of most ridiculous Easter eggs of recent years. In the hallway of an abandoned hotel partway through the game is a hidden elevator switch. Flick the switch and travel back down the corridor to the elevator at the other end, and you can open the doors – only to be confronted by two soldiers taking a break from hunting you down by staging an impromptu disco, complete with flashing lights, thumping dance music, fog and a disco ball.
The scene only lasts for a few seconds, but it’s definitely one that will stick in the mind long after completing the game.
8. Rage – Doom Room
Rage may not have set the world on fire upon its release back in 2011, but it was still a solid shooter with plenty to like about it. Built using id Tech 5, the game featured the developer’s proprietary Mega-texture technology, a technique whereby levels was textured with a single giant texture rather than the usual method of thousands of individual tiles.
Despite this innovative technology however, one hidden room in the game is distinctly low-tech. Hidden away in the Gearhead Vault is an office area with a number of computer keyboards lying around, several of which cause a sample from Doom to be played when activated. Activate all of these, and you’ll trip a hidden switch opening up a door to a secret room. Inside is a brilliant homage to Doom, complete with low-res wall textures and the Mars backdrop outside the windows. There’s also a bobble-head figure of the marine from the game resting on a plinth.
7. Baldur’s Gate – Golden Pantaloons
Quite possibly one of the most extended Easter eggs ever committed to gaming, the sheer amount of time required to unlock the mystery of the Golden Pantaloons – well over 200 hours – means that most players never managed to achieve it. In the first game, shortly after setting off on your quest, the player can obtain a pair of golden pantaloons after being mistaken for a launderer. While most simply sold or dropped the pants, simply assuming them to be a joke, if you keep hold of them throughout your playthrough and import your save to Baldur’s Gate II, you’ll also be able to acquire a pair of silver pantaloons. Finally, in the Throne of Baal expansion, you can find a pair of bronze pantaloons.
With all three pairs of pants in your possession, visit Kerrick the Blacksmith in Amkethran and he will use them to create the Big Metal Unit – a giant suit of plate armor with an armor rating of -10 which gives the player the appearance of a Golem.
6. Halo: Combat Evolved – This is it, baby
Halo is often unfairly accused of taking itself too seriously. While the campaigns’ storylines often are pretty overwrought, the games are also full of moments of levity – from the ridiculous grunts that run around each level screaming in terror, to a mutator which sees a shower of confetti erupt from the enemies after a well-placed headshot.
While this Easter egg is ridiculous, it’s also rather touching. Finish the campaign on Legendary difficulty, and you’re treated to an extra scene that shows Sergeant Johnson locked in combat with a Covenant Elite. All of a sudden, the Pillar of Autumn’s self-destruct sequence is initiated. In the face of certain death, the two combatants stop their fight and look into each others’ eyes, with Johnson saying “This is it, baby. Hold me.”
The two then enter into a loving embrace just as they’re blown to pieces.
5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Falling Wizard
If you played Morrowind, chances are you’ll recognize this reference to the game. Early in Morrowind’s epic campaign, the player would come across the corpse of a Wizard who’d met an unfortunate end while trying out a flying spell. It’s a memorable moment due to what often happened next – many players tried out the spell for themselves, only to jump hundreds of feet into the air before coming back down to earth with a rather lethal bump.
In Skyrim, developer Bethesda pay homage to that classic moment in one of the game’s random encounters. On your travels around the world, you might come across a wizard muttering to himself while reading from a scroll. Approach him and he’ll successfully cast his spell and be launched up into the sky while screaming “It’s working, I’m flying! I’m really flying! Hahahaha!”
His elation is short-lived however; as in Morrowind, the flying spell doesn’t quite work as expected, and the Wizard soon returns to earth, where he meets a grisly demise at the hands of terra firma.
4. Red Faction: Armageddon – Mr Toots
It also had one of the more surreal Easter eggs on this list. Finish the game, and you unlock a new weapon – a miniature cartoon unicorn called Mr. Toots, who farts rainbows. Enemies killed by the weapon tend to explode in a shower of rainbows and butterflies, while Mr Toots himself doesn’t seem to enjoy the experience – a pained expression crosses his face with every anal eruption.
Mr Toots is also incredibly powerful – perhaps the most powerful weapon in the game. Ammo is finite, but can be topped up – by picking up the appropriately-named “Gas.”
At this stage you may be asking yourself why the developer included weaponized unicorn farts. To which we reply, “why the hell not?”
3. Metal Gear Solid – Psycho Mantis Reads Your Memory Card
Hideo Kojima has long been known as much for his sense of humor as he is for his love of cutscenes and lengthy ruminations on the nature of humanity, war, and technology. The Metal Gear Solid series is packed full of references and amusing asides hidden away in its levels, and our favorite has to be the interactions Snake has with Psycho Mantis.
Psycho Mantis is a boss in Metal Gear Solid. As his name suggests, he has psyhic powers which allow him to read people’s minds. In one particularly notorious and mind-blowing instance, he breaks the fourth wall and reads the data off your memory card. He then talks to you about what games you’ve played, and even comments on how often you’ve saved your game – either calling you prudent or reckless.
In the original version of the game on the first PlayStation, he’ll notice if you have game saves of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Vandal Hearts, Suikoden and Azure Dreams. The scene was also carried over to the 2004 remake on Nintendo’s diminutive GameCube, where he’d notice if the player was fond of Super Mario Sunshine, Super Smash Bros. Melee, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Eternal Darkness.
As one of the most memorable bosses in a series brimming with fondly-remembered characters, Psycho Mantis managed to both surprise and delight players the world over.
Silent Hill 2 – Canine mastermind
The Silent Hill series has long been known for featuring ridiculous secret endings, and our favorite has to be the secret Dog ending in Silent Hill 2. After obtaining all 3 regular endings, start a new game. When you head out of Rosewater Park for the first time, walk straight ahead and unlock a yard next to Jacks Inn, where you can find a key on the floor of a doghouse. This key unlocks a room on the 3rd Floor of the Nightmare version of the Lakeview Hotel, where James learns that the entire game’s events have been orchestrated by a cute puppy operating an elaborate control console. His mind blown, James collapses to his knees exclaiming “So it was all your work!”
In an effort to comfort him, the dog walks up and licks his face.
Mega Man X – Hadouken!
This Easter egg holds a special place in our hearts because we discovered it pre-google. We just played the game through so many times that we stumbled upon it purely thanks to dumb luck. Imagine our surprise when we saw that light capsule come out of the ground. We entered, received our “special present” and watched in awe as X shot a FREAKIN’ HADOUKEN across the screen. HOLY SHIT!
X was already a badass, but now he could perform a move from Street Fighter, which – spoiler alert – was a one hit kill (except against the final boss). There was no longer any reason to feel fear. The game wanted us to re-fight the bosses in Sigma’s lair? No problem. Come on boss, give it your best shot.
HADOUKEN!!! That’s why it is so awesome, and deserves the #1 spot on this list.
To get it, you must have all four upgrades, all eight health containers, all four sub tanks, have defeated all eight bosses. Then you have to go through the armadillo stage five times, making sure to have full health at the end of the stage. If you do all this, you’ll find a capsule and be greeted by Dr. Light dressed as Ryu from Street Figher II.