It’s Easter! Time for chocolate eggs, terrifyingly large bunnies, weird mythology that makes no sense and a new set of clothes thanks to all the chocolate you’ve eaten. It’s also the time of the videogame Easter Egg. Bad, bad bunny.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
These games are more than just the coolest way to listen to fabulous music while smooshing the neighbourhood. Rockstar have always had a bit of a thing for sticking Easter Eggs into their games.
This one is my favourite of them all purely because it’s so damn innocent. Visit the helipad at the top of the news station on the west island. In the east you’ll see a grey building. Hop through the fake window on the side and you’ll find a little Easter egg with a sweet a message as you could give your dear old Auntie.
The origin of the Easter egg in the videogame as created by programmer Warren Robinett in 1980. He stuck his name down the centre of a secret room in the text game Adventure. His little moment wasn’t discovered until it was too late to change it so off it was shipped and so began a fabulous trend. I hereby thank Warren from the bottom of my crusty heart.
While I’ve not played this game, it’s still sitting on my “games to play before I die” list, I must confess to loving it pure because it has an Easter egg known as the Secret Cow Level. Originally a rumour surrounding the original, it became a reality in the sequel and is one of the most challenging levels in the game. You have to complete the game and several specific tasks in order to unlock the portal that takes you to the cows of hell. Brilliant.
Sometimes it feels a bit like the devs get more excited about the Easter eggs than they do about the game and this particular example is one of that crowd. Tons of these blighters abound in the game Halo but one of the most popular has to be the Grunt birthday party skull. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then do a little research on the interweb.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Remember this old 90s classic? Oh man, do I have the fondest memories of Alucard and the mental castle, not to mention the seriously brilliant twist at the end. Yeah. So it was with glee that I discovered that there was an Easter egg buried within. Open the disc as a music CD and you’ll uncover Alucard 2. While not aiming for Now 2010, it’s still worth a desk jiggle or three.
Runescape/ World of Warcraft
As a huge fan of Monty Python I loved the idea of this particular Easter egg. The Knights Who Say Ni – the very ones that had me in stitches when I first discovered them – have been used quite a bit in the world of gaming. In Runescape there is a message “This is not the mightiest tree in the forest” when players use a raw herring on a tree and in World of Warcraft a NPC demands a shrubbery. I giggled my way through the latter quest like a complete child. Brilliant.
Metal Gear Series
According to internet lore this particular series of games by Hideo Kojima has quite a few of the eggs hidden away. I’ve not had the chance to play this fab series so I bet there are many of you who know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s the naughty – a zombie bashing minigame in Metal Gear Solid’s Snake Eater – and the naughtier – Meryl working out in her undies. No. I’m not telling you how.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Another classic from the eighties, Final Fantasy Tactics was a kicker of a game and also a rather big deviation from the norm for the series. While sporting an entirely different game structure and battle system from the other titles, it did include Cloud Strife as a secret Easter egg. It wasn’t easy to uncover him and get him to join your rusty band, but it was worth it.
I has girl crush on John Romero. This is one of my all time favourite Easter eggs as a result. Apologies. So there is quite a bit of history behind this particular Easter Egg that includes in-office jokers replacing the head of the boss in the final level (in ‘no clip’ mode) with that of John Romero on a stick.
John Romero then recorded “To win this game you must kill me, John Romero” and played it backwards and distorted to get a modicum of revenge. It’s almost a touching moment.
Resident Evil 5
Fancy a trip down memory lane, back to the old days of 1996 and the original game? A little birdie told me about this particular Easter egg the other day and inspired me to write this feature. Yes, I know I’m probably behind the times but still, I’m busy.
So in Lost in Nightmares, the new chapter for RE5, start a new game and when you gain control turn around and press the Investigate button. Do this until you see the ? prompt and press it again. Enjoy.