Easter Eggs Revealed: Hidden Wonders in Video Games

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Easter eggs is like finding hidden treasures in a virtual gaming world. From year-long secrets to clever in-jokes and nods to pop culture, these surprises add an extra layer of fun to the gaming experience. Today, it’s almost rare to find a video game without at least a secret or reference tucked away.

Some of the most memorable video games, such as Easter Eggs, pay tribute to other games and media, while others hold secrets that continue to spark discussions among players. Easter eggs are a nice surprise – players have been eagerly hunting for these hidden gems to find what developers have in store.

Finding the best Easter eggs is a daunting task, and there is an endless variety of secrets, but what makes it great is its ability to engage players and get rewarded with a fascinating discovery!  

What is an Easter Egg?

a hand collecting colored easter eggs

In video games, an Easter egg doesn’t mean an actual egg – it’s a hidden feature, message, or inside joke that is intentionally inserted in the game by game developers. They are not essential parts of the game – the kind that you have to find to progress in the game – but they are meant to be discovered by players as a form of reward.

In the context of video games, an “Easter egg” refers to a hidden feature, message, or inside joke that is intentionally inserted by the game developers. These hidden elements are often meant to be discovered by players as a form of reward for exploring the game thoroughly or for solving a particular puzzle.

Easter eggs can be found in different forms, such as:

  • Secret areas: Sometimes, developers add hidden locations of the game that are not part of the main storyline. Players may need to solve a puzzle or find a hidden passage to access these areas.
  • References: Some Easter eggs pay homage to pop culture, other video games, movies, or historical events. It may be subtle that only players with a keen eye can observe.
  • Developer credits: Game developers sometimes include hidden credits or messages to express a sense of humor or acknowledge the people in their team.
  • Secret characters or items: Easter eggs may introduce hidden characters, special weapons, or unique items that players can unlock through specific conditions or actions.
  • Clever achievements or prizes: Developers can sometimes create achievements or trophies that are not mentioned in the game instructions. Players are supposed to stumble upon these by experimenting with gameplay.

The first recorded Easter egg in a video game is found in Atari’s 1979 game Adventure. Programmed by Warren Robinett, he added a gray dot in the game, and when a player takes the dot and uses it to get through a side wall, they can enter the secret room, which had his signature on it: “Created by Warren Robinett.”

During that time, Robinett implemented the Easter egg to claim his work and make a statement in the company since programmers and designers were usually not credited by big companies.

Here are some examples of Easter Eggs in video games:

Batman: Arkham Asylum – Arkham City Plans

Batman: Arkham Asylum captivated both long-time DC fans and newcomers to the Batman universe. The game featured the iconic Caped Crusader facing off against his infamous Rogues Gallery, all locked within Arkham Asylum.

Inside Quincy Sharp’s office, players could use the Explosive Gel gadget on a specific spot on the left wall. This will trigger an explosion to reveal a secret panel leading to another office. When players explore this hidden space, they could stumble upon blueprints for North Gotham, now renamed “Arkham City,” complete with an official seal of approval. This Easter egg remained undiscovered for years until Rocksteady themselves unveiled it to the public.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – Jar Jar Binks in Carbonite

In 2008, the Prequel Trilogy had just wrapped up with Revenge of the Sith, and the Star Wars franchise was all over the place – books and video games abound and featured different Star Wars eras. Not everyone was a fan of Jar Jar Binks and his cartoonish antics during this time.

In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, players can find the goofy Gungan frozen in carbonite. Players can find him in the trophy room on the level where they return to Kashyyyk. Unfortunately, there’s no way to thaw out Jar Jar and take him along for the adventures.

Grand Theft Auto 4 – The Heart of Liberty City

Rockstar Games is known for sprinkling its games with unsolved mysteries and eerie and weird Easter eggs, and Grand Theft Auto 4 is no exception. Among the enigmatic surprises is a beating heart that can be found at the core of Liberty City. Players need to go to the Statue of Happiness on Happiness Island to unveil this grizzly secret.

Upon entering the statue, players come face to face with a startling revelation—the statue is alive. Kept together by chains and metals, the heart within the statue pulsates slowly, and all Nico Belic can do is witness this dark and mysterious secret. It’s creepy to encounter a heart larger than a car, especially within the iconic Liberty City statue. However, it’s just one of the many unexplained Easter eggs that Grand Theft Auto 4 has to offer.

Astro’s Playroom – Sony’s Legacy

For those lucky enough to own a PlayStation 5, Astro’s Playroom is a delightful platformer game that comes with the package. Beyond being a fun way to explore the new controller features and delve into the inner workings of the PlayStation 5 system, Astro’s Playroom is also a heartfelt homage to the rich history of Sony Entertainment and its iconic characters.

As players navigate through Astro’s Playroom, they’ll discover relics from Sony’s past consoles and controllers. What makes it even more special is the appearance of beloved characters like Kratos and Atreus from God of War and Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy 7. In every nook and cranny of the game’s rooms, there’s a character Easter egg waiting to be explored and recognized.

Call of Duty: Black Ops – Atari Games

Call of Duty: Black Ops is renowned for its intense and action-packed gameplay, but it also offers a nostalgic surprise for players seeking a break from the battlefield. Tucked within the game’s main menu are fully playable arcade games, providing a dose of retro entertainment.

Players need to interact with the main menu’s computer terminal to unlock these hidden arcade games. Typing “Zork” on the keyboard reveals a text-based adventure game from the ’80s, and players can also stumble upon a top-down, twin-stick shooter called “Dead Ops Arcade.”

But there’s more! In the Nuketown stage, players who swiftly head-shot all the mannequins unlock a secret: the television displays Activision’s logo, and players can indulge in classic Atari games like Pitfall II, HERO, Kaboom!, and River Raid.

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past – Chris Houlihan’s Hidden Room

This Easter egg not only serves as a reward for those who find the secret room but may also be a prize for a fan. In 1991, Nintendo held a competition in which Chris Houlihan won. His prize is a “spot” in the official release of The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past.

In the game, players can stumble upon a sign that reads, “My name is Chris Houlihan. This is my secret room. Keep it between us, okay?” as they enter a room full of money.

Despite Chris receiving his prize, due to confusion among debugging teams, the secret only made it into the North American version and was inaccessible. There was also a discrepancy – the contest winner was never revealed, leaving uncertainty about whether Chris Houlihan actually won.

Halo 3 – I Would Have Been Your Daddy Skull

Halo 3 is known for featuring concealed skulls that alter gameplay mechanics. One of the most elusive and sought-after is the IWHBYD (I Would Have Been Your Daddy) Skull. Uncovering this hidden skull treats players to humorous and entertaining dialogue modifications throughout the game.

To locate the IWHBYD Skull, players must be meticulous in exploring and keen in observing. Players must search for concealed symbols scattered across the game’s levels and interact with them in a specific sequence. Once successfully completed, the skull becomes available for collection.

When the IWHBYD Skull is activated, players get a delightful series of unexpected dialogue changes from various characters in the game. These dialogues range from quirky to funny to references to popular culture. It adds an extra layer of entertainment to players who are dedicated to the game.

Diablo II – Secret Cow Level

Rumors had circulated about a “Secret Cow Level” in the original Diablo game, and the demand for it gained so much momentum that Blizzard decided to include the Secret Cow Level in the sequel, Diablo 2. To access it, players had to combine Wirt’s Leg and a Tome of Town Portal in the Horadric Cube, creating a red portal in the Act 1 area that transports players to a hostile dimension.

This area is full of Hell Bovines, which are bipedal cattle with polearms. Despite its amusing name, players had to fight for their lives against these formidable foes and a Cow King.

Borderlands II – Minecraft Area

 Borderlands 2 is known for its quirky sense of humor. It features a lot of pop culture references and Easter eggs. While some of the game’s humor remains timeless, some moments might feel like a throwback to 2012 with references to somewhat dated memes and pop culture from over a decade ago. Yet, there’s one timeless element that everyone can appreciate: Minecraft.

This game features a Minecraft-themed area – a blocky, pixelated world that looks like the popular sandbox game. To access it, players must travel to the Caustic Caverns and discover a hidden passage in the northwest part of the map. Inside, players can find a vibrant, voxelized landscape where everything – the loot, enemies, and surroundings, takes on a blocky form.

The players will also encounter Creeper and Skeleton enemies straight from Minecraft. Look out for square, Minecraft-style blocks that serve as clues and give them a hit to break through. This playful crossover showcases the enduring popularity of Minecraft.

Silent Hill II – Dog Ending

Silent Hill 2, known for its eeriness, surprised fans with a lighthearted twist and a dog ending. While getting a happy ending in the game is fairly difficult, players can stumble upon this amusing Easter egg for a change of pace.

Players need to take an alternate route at the Lakeview Hotel to unlock this unconventional ending. After receiving the dog key and heading to the observation room on the third floor, make sure to watch the videotape. This sequence leads to the secret Dog Ending, where a shiba inu dog named Mira is revealed as the unexpected orchestrator behind the events in the game.

Even though this ending is a non-canon joke, the Mira shiba inu dog ending has made appearances in a few other Silent Hill games – simply because it’s fun. It provides a welcome departure from the usual horrors, fog, and mysteries, showcasing Mira as the canine mastermind responsible for the peculiar events in Silent Hill 2.

Batman: Arkham City – Scarecrow’s Secret Room

In the dark world of Batman: Arkham City, players can stumble upon a hidden room that delves into the psyche of one of Batman’s most iconic foes, Scarecrow. This hidden surprise offers a unique and immersive experience for players ready to uncover its secrets.

To find Scarecrow’s hidden room, players must meticulously explore Arkham City by interacting with specific objects to unveil the secrets within. As they piece the clues together and follow the trail of fear, they eventually gain access to a secret chamber where Scarecrow’s terrifying experiments come to life.

Inside this hidden room, players will experience hallucinatory sequences that can challenge Batman’s sanity and confront him with his deepest fears. This immersive experience allows players to step into the shoes of the Dark Knight and navigate through a psychological maze designed to unsettle and test their resolve.

Assassin’s Creed Origins – Alexander the Great’s Secret Tomb

Assassin’s Creed Origins takes players away on a journey through ancient Egypt, where a secret tomb is hidden within its expansive world dedicated to the legendary warrior Alexander the Great. If you try to explore this concealed tomb, it does not just offer valuable loot – it also gives a glimpse into history.

Players must be carefully observant and scrutinizing to find the entrance to the Tomb of Alexander the Great. Once inside, players navigate through ancient traps and puzzles that echo the rich history of the famous conqueror. The hidden chamber is also meticulously designed.

Players can reap valuable treasures and artifacts as they progress through the tomb. These items not only provide in-game benefits but also enrich the historical context of the Assassin’s Creed universe.

DOOM – Original DOOM Levels

After a lengthy hiatus, DOOM was ready to make a comeback, so the developers decided it was time to rouse the Doom Guy from his slumber – quite literally. In DOOM (2016), there was no attempt to reinvent the character; instead, they revived him as the formidable Doom Slayer, a man unafraid of Hell, having already conquered it. The Doom Slayer takes pleasure in ripping, tearing, and dispatching demons, just as he did in the original DOOM game of 1993.

During the main campaign of DOOM, players could discover classic maps and levels tucked away as retro secret areas. Players could activate a hidden door by locating a retro lever, revealing original DOOM enemies from the 1993 game. It’s a delightful and nostalgic experience that offers players a glimpse of how far the Doom Guy has come.

Cyberpunk 2077’s – Bridge Baby

Cyberpunk 2077 is another game packed with Easter eggs and nods to various pop culture creations, especially video games. One noteworthy inclusion is the appearance of Hideo Kojima in the game. However, there’s another hidden gem that players might have overlooked—the Bridge Baby from Death Stranding.

To encounter the Bridge Baby from Death Stranding in Cyberpunk 2077, players should progress through River Ward’s questline until they unlock the “The Hunt” side mission. During this mission, they can infiltrate a medical clinic. Inside one of the rooms, the infamous and eerie Bridge Baby rests in an artificial womb, awaiting a connection. If you are a fan of Cyberpunk 2077 and want to watch movies that served as inspiration for the game, you can check out our list of the Top 5 Ultimate Cyberpunk Movies of All Time.

Fallout: New Vegas – Indiana Jones and The Nuclear Fridge

Fallout: New Vegas, never one to shy away from pop culture references, playfully includes one of its best Easter eggs: Indiana Jones. For those fans of Indiana Jones, they know that it was debated to have him survive a nuclear blast by hiding in a fridge. Fallout: New Vegas joins in on the cheekiness after the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Wandering through the Mojave Wasteland, players might stumble upon an open fridge containing skeletal remains. This unfortunate soul, dressed eerily similar to Indiana Jones, complete with a fedora, implies that the famed archaeologist didn’t attempt the fridge trick during the Atomic War of Fallout.

Fallout 4 – Secret Weapons

In the post-apocalyptic setting of Fallout 4, players have the opportunity to discover a hidden weapon with extraterrestrial origins—the Alien Blaster. With its distinct design and potent capabilities, this powerful energy weapon is a sought-after treasure for any explorer braving the wasteland.

To acquire the Alien Blaster, players must first locate the crashed UFO northeast of Oberland Station, marked by a trail of green blood leading to the wreckage. Exploring the area reveals the remains of the alien pilot, with the Alien Blaster nearby.

Fueled by alien energy cells, the Alien Blaster delivers substantial damage with each shot. Its green laser blasts make it a formidable weapon against both human and mutated foes. Uncovering this hidden gem adds an exciting sci-fi element to the already immersive world of Fallout 4.

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