In video games, sometimes it pays to turn over a rock and see what lies beneath. It may surprise you!
Video games are an entertainment medium like no other. Because of its expansive (and non-linear) nature, it can take people in directions that passive materials like novels or films cannot. By design, these worlds lend themselves to fun little side exploits, such as bonus missions and Easter Eggs. They often fuel people’s exploratory nature to see what other secrets can be found. This week, we uncovered what clearly appears to be a structure resembling a certain “Chiefs” iconic helmet in the new sci-fi MMO Destiny. And since this got me thinking about some of my favorite gems buried in games over the years, why not kick your feet up and enjoy a look back at a few I’m sure you’ll recognize.
NOTE: These are in no particular order, and don’t necessarily represent my TOP picks (perhaps I’ll cover that another day). These are just five off the top of my head, which really stick out in my mind as something special.
#1 – “Thelma…ya’ get yer’ butt back here now!”
Grand Theft Auto V is so expansive, it could literally take weeks, if not months, to see every corner of the game’s huge map. To experience this little Easter Egg, you’ll need to take a trek off the beaten path out into the vast desert terrain. If you hi-jack a helicopter and fly above a certain ridge (Google it for directions), you’ll see an old convertible boxed in by a police blockade. In an obvious tip of the hat to Thelma and Louise, the car guns it and careens off the end of the cliff. It still pulls at the heart strings just as much as when I first saw it happen in theaters!
#2 – Dr. Arkham’s Arkham City Plans Seen in Arkham Asylum!
Damn, that’s a mouthful of Arkham right there! At the time, folks didn’t pay much attention to blue prints for a proposed prison encampment known as “Arkham City” hanging on the wall during the 2009 release. It was only after the sequel debuted did eagle-eyed gamers realize the seeds for the follow-up had been planted within the first story. In addition, many of the audio surveillance tapes dropped hints regarding what the not-so good doctor had planned for the future of Gotham’s underbelly. Little did he know the can of worms this series of events would soon open for our caped-crusader!
#3 – YOU HAVE FOUND ME. NOW PROVE YOURSELF!!
If you’ve read my work in the past, then you know what an absolute Mortal Kombat junkie I am. Even though current next-gen exploits look to continue the lineage of the Mortal Kombat franchise from the early ‘90s, nothing will recapture the magic of that time. Like when rumors spread that a mysterious green ninja was interrupting some player’s fights with cryptic clues during the original arcade era. Only after unlocking him at the Pit Bottom (by preforming a double-flawless Fatality without hitting block) did players realize this secret character came to take names and chew bubble gum. Defeating him would net you a HUGE point bonus, but typically the encounter results in just getting your ass handed to you for your trouble.
#4 – Ebony and Alien Ivory…Together At Last!
When I played through the original Halo for PC the very first time, I cheated. I admit freely to downloading a hack that would give me access to unlimited weapons, health and several other naughty tweaks. While I do feel this practice typically sucks the fun out of the game (thus killing the challenge and ruining the experience), I made an exception in this case. I had read online that, if you beat the game on its most difficult setting, you’d get a very special ending. It didn’t disappoint, as after you witness the destruction of the Halo 04 Installation, we’re treated to a glimpse of Sergeant Major Johnson’s softer side. With certain death looming near, he hugs it out with a Covenant solider, whispering softly: “This is it…hold me baby.” This was also before the days of YouTube, so it was definitely worth cheating to see this one. I laughed for about an hour afterwards (and still do).
#5 – Damn It Yoshi, You’re Drunk. Get off the roof!
When Super Mario World debuted for the SNES, it really took the franchise to a whole new level (99 levels to be exact). Expanding on what made Super Mario Bros. 3 so wonderful, the 16-bit version introduced us to a great new companion in the form of Yoshi! He became such a hit, many were sad to see him absent in Super Mario 64. However, I’d learn later (via the Official Super Mario 64 strategy guide) that Yoshi was in-fact hiding in the castle, or rather on top of it! After you’ve collected every star in the game, a special cannon opens up outside that blasts you to the roof. There you’d find Yoshi waiting, who grants you a special triple-jump ability (which I always found to be kind of pointless now that the game was over). It wouldn’t be until the re-release on the DS years later that brought the whole gang back together (including Yoshi) as playable characters.
Do you have a favorite Easter Egg that made you laugh, cry or scratch your head in disbelief? The rich history of gaming has given us no shortage of titles to choose from, as game developers have always crafted ways to inject little bits of humor (and sometimes inappropriate content) into the programming. Be sure to list a few of your own picks in the comments section below.
Who knows? Maybe you’ve discovered one we’ve never heard of! You could end up being the Indiana Jones of gaming and not even know it!