Brace yourselves, Easter is coming.
It’s only proper to honor Easter with a feature about video game easter eggs, the developers’ way of telling us that they are, indeed, human and have a healthy distance to their creations. Of course picking only ten Easter eggs is ridiculous by itself, since there are tons of games, many of which have multiple secret.
Without much further ado, let’s see what amusement the developers have hidden from us..
|Batman Arkham Asylum Goty||2010-03-26||Adventure||Feral Interactive (Mac)||85%||Read more|
|Fallout New Vegas||2010-10-21||Action & Shooter||Obsidian Entertainment||66%||Read more|
|Dead Space||2008-10-20||Adventure||EA Redwood Shores||31%||Read more|
|Diablo 2||2000-06-29||RPG||Blizzard Entertainment||46%||Read more|
|Monster Hunter World||2018-08-09||Action||CAPCOM CO., LTD.||81%||Read more|
|Horizon Zero Dawn||2020-08-07||Adventure||Guerrila Games||65%||Read more|
|God Of War||2022-01-14||Action||Santa Monica Studio||28%||Read more|
|Ghost Of Tsushima Directors Cut PS5||2021-08-20||Action-adventure||Sucker Punch Productions||Read more|
|It Takes Two||2021-03-26||Cooperation||Hazelight Studios||56%||Read more|
|Hitman 3||2022-01-20||Stealth||IO Interactive||Read more|
|Kingdom Come Deliverance||2018-02-13||Adventure||Warhorse Studios||85%||Read more|
|Grand Theft Auto V||2015-04-14||Adventure||Rockstar North||67%||Read more|
|The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Goty||2015-05-18||RPG||CD PROJEKT RED||68%||Read more|
|Batman Arkham City Goty Edition||2012-09-07||Adventure||Feral Interactive (Mac)||90%||Read more|
|Divinity Original Sin Enhanced Edition||2015-10-27||Adventure||Larian Studios||60%||Read more|
|Doom||2016-05-12||Action & Shooter||id Software||76%||Read more|
|The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim||2016-10-27||Adventure||Bethesda Game Studios||68%||Read more|
Hitman 3 - Potato Jesus
The Hitman series, including the recent trilogy, are serious games about serious people. But even as Agent 47 is a humorless killer, the developers certainly aren’t above having fun.
From a guided briefcase, through 47’s often incredibly silly disguises, to the topic of this entry: the Potato Jesus, the heavily memed-on effect of a famously botched attempt at restoring a 1930s fresco.
To find the memetic image you need to play the Apex Predator mission. If you go backstage and find the club owner’s office, you’ll find the painting towards the back, partly hidden behind other stuff. Amusingly enough, this isn’t even the first appearance of Potato Jesus in the series – the meme was present back in the first part of the new trilogy, on the Sapienza level.
Batman: Arkham Asylum - City map
|Developer:||Feral Interactive (Mac)|
There are some Easter Eggs you really wonder how they got discovered in the first place, and this one is among them.
Some time after the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum it turned out that there is a very strong spoiler for the story of the next game in the series, Arkham City. But discovering it isn’t easy, and might not ever work if you already know how, because it requires a measure of precision.
Courtesy Rooster Teeth
First of all, you have to go to the warden’s office once it becomes accessible. Then you have to go towards the wall on the far left (before the elevated floor) and put 3 doses of the explosive gel in a very tight cluster right in the middle. If you do it right, the wall will be destroyed, revealing a secret room filled with evidence of the warden’s ambitions, including plans for the Arkham City.
Dead Space – The missions are spoilers
|Developer:||EA Redwood Shores|
Dead Space does its best to be among the scariest horror experiences in gaming. From the monstrous necromorphs built of dead bodies, to Isaac Clarke’s own struggles, there’s no shortage of brutal sights and harsh reveals.
One of the plot’s major twists is actually teased in the mission names, spoiling the game for the eagle eyed who spotted the letters forming a simple, but impactful phrase.
If you pick the first letter from every mission name and put them all together, they say “NICOLE IS DEAD”. While it is hardly a fun, quirky easter egg, it is an easter egg, nonetheless. If you’d like something less awful, if you beat Dead Space 2 on Hardcore difficulty you unlock a bright-red foam hand whic doubles as a rocket launcher. I guess being hardcore is required to have some cheesy fun in space.
Fallout: New Vegas - refrigerator skeleton
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
The Fallout games are no strangers to easter eggs and popcultural references. While the 3D-era games have toned them down, there are still to be found.
One of them can be found in Fallout: New Vegas, and to see it you have to pick the “Wild Wasteland” perk for your character. If you do, your travels along Route 160 might bring you to a fridge with a skeleton inside.
As you might gather, it’s the reference to the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It has a scene where Indy survives a nuclear blast by hiding in a fridge. While Indy emerged unscathed from a fridge hurled hundreds of feet, whoever hid in the Fallout fridge clearly didn’t have so much luck in life.
Diablo 2 - the cow level
It would be unwise not to include the Diablo II cow level, seeing how it might be the world’s most famous easter egg.
Motivated by a persistent myth surrounding the original Diablo, Blizzard decided to make the myth come true in the sequel and put a full level filled with murderous cows in D2. It’s fully your own fault if you die there, you went to all the effort to reach that place, after all.
Diablo 2 Resurrected – Courtesy xGarbett
To reach the fabled Cow Level, you have to combine Wirt’s Leg and the Tome of Town Portal by using the Horadric Cube in the Rogue camp. Provided you’ve already defeated the final boss, a portal will appear taking you to a fight against polearm wielding demonic cows and their mighty king. Well, now you know how to get there, go make royal beef.
Monster Hunter World - Dark Souls bonfire
|Developer:||CAPCOM CO., LTD.|
Dark Souls has become an integral part of the gaming culture, so it’s not surprising to see games trying to emulate the series’ style and paying homage to it in various ways.
Take Monster Hunter World, for example, which snuck in a DS easter egg and put it in plain sight in an area you’re most likely to visit during one of the side-quests tied to the Elder’s Recess map.
Courtesy Eco Games
While you’re focused on dancing Galajaka, a fire with a sword sticking out of it is right there, mocking your attention focused elsewhere. While it doesn’t let you rest like a proper Dark Souls bonfire, you can set up camp not too far away from that place, so that’s something. It’s a nice touch, especially considering that the Monster Hunter series shares some DNA with the Souls games.
Horizon Zero Dawn - Rabbits
This one’s a deep cut that might feel completely random to people who don’t know obscure games from the 90s. To find it you must travel west, towards a mining camp.
There’s a small alcove where you’ll see two rabbits, just chilling. If you scan them, you’ll learn they are called Jazz and Jack, a reference to Jazz Jackrabbit, a 90s platform game programmed by Arjan Brussee, who would later cofound Guerilla Games.
It’s a nice tribute to not only a seasoned developer, but also to a series of games which is fondly remembered by many 30 gamers. That’s about it.
God of War 2018 - Infinity Gauntlet
|Developer:||Santa Monica Studio|
Kratos and Thanos have more in common than being bald and having Greek names. They also happen to enjoy gauntlets which can be accessorized with colorful magical gems.
While Thanos has the Infinity Gauntles, Kratos can find and fix the Shattered Gauntlet of Ages. The finding that fancy glove becomes possible after completing The Sickness quest, and accepting two side-quests from Sindri.
After completing Family Business Favor you’ll get the gauntlet itself. The gems you’ll find by completing side-quests, defeating bosses, or exploring the map. There six of them, but even the fully upgraded gauntlet can hold max 3 of them. The good part is that, once socketed, the gems provide new effects for th gauntlets shockwave power and significantly increase Kratos’ stats.
Ghost of Tsushima - origami figures
|Developer:||Sucker Punch Productions|
Ghost of Tsushima is a quite serious game, set amid a historical Mongol invasion of Japan and starring a samurai who has few reasons to smile.
But, once again, the serious matters aren’t enough to prevent the developers from putting something cute or funny in the game. This time it’s a bunch of tiny origami figures based on other PS4 games from several different studios.
To find the location of these cute easter eggs, you’ll have to wait until you complete the main story and unlock Jin’s island house. You’ll the origami figures on a table with a sword display. There are twelve figures total, and identifying them is its own treat, so you won’t see spoilers here. Test your own game knowledge and see how many of the references you’ll recognize.
It Takes Two - A Way Out figures
Hazelight Studios is very keen on making games which can only be played by two players working in tandem.
In 2021 the studio released a deceptively cute game It Takes Two, a platform game relying heavily on cooperation, and it features an easter egg referring to Hazelight’s previous co-op game: A Way Out, a significantly less cute game about two people escaping prison.
This easter egg is located in Chapter 3, in the pillow fort in the bedroom of the playable characters’ daughter. It comes in the form of figures of Vincent and Leo. You can make them recite lines from A Way Out, and if you activate both at the same time, a short cutscene will play out. In the same area you might also find another easter egg, based on the game director’s famous speech from 2017.
Uncharted 3 - a newspaper from The Last of Us
Here’s a fun one, and its backstory is even more amusing than the egg itself, but first things first. In Uncharted 3, the penultimate instalment of a series depicting the life and times of a lucky rapscallion Nathan Drake, in one location you can spot a newspaper with a headline reading “Scientists are still struggling to understand deadly fungus”.
Which on its own might seem innocent enough, except we’re talking about Naughty Dog, who have also developed The Last of Us, where the zombie-calypse has been caused by a fungus overriding human nervous system.
Uncharted and The Last of Us shared universe confirmed? Eh. Amusingly enough, the Easter Egg ended up being a spoiler. As investigated by Kotaku way back when, it turns out that the announcement of The Last of us was supposed to come before the launch of Uncharted 3, but due to things being ever in flux, the dates changed and people have only heard about The Last of us after they’ve already played Uncharted 3 to the end.
The best part is that Naughty Dog forgot the Easter egg was even in the game, or they would have simply removed it to avoid spoiling their secret project.
Kingdom Come Deliverance - Horses
For all of its talk about historical accuracy and realism, Kingdom Come: Deliverance doesn’t really shy away from doing something fun, either. There are several Easter eggs in the game, but perhaps the most useful of those are two horses you can get during the game.
One of them is called Epona, a name also shared by Link’s horse from The Legend of Zelda. Of course (we totally googled it) it is also the name of a Gallo-Roman divine patron and protector of horses, which grounds the name in the historical context a little bit, even if it’s unlikely that someone in late-Medieval Bohemian village would know anything about “pagan” gods like Epona..
Courtesy Game Guides Channel
The other horse is even more cheeky, and she’s called Roach. Which is a pretty common word, but also a name of Geralt of Rivia’s memetic horse. The game even acknowledges that, saying the horse merchant bought it “from some odd Polish fellow“. She reportedly has a mind of her own. It checks out. There’s also a line that the fellow’s wife would want to stuff the horse, a reference to the original books and The Witcher 3 saying and showing that Geralt and Yennefer would gladly have sex on a stuffed unicorn.
Grand Theft Auto V - Sasquatch
Rockstar has a thing for Sasquatch.
The myth first emerged in GTA: San Andreas, then you could encounter one in Red Dead Redemption (you monster), but it wasn’t until GTA5 that things really started to get weird. First we can spot a Big Foot with a thermal scope during the Predator mission. Then during The Last One we end up on a Sasquatch hunt only to find it’s a guy in a suit roleplaying one. He even offers a reference to RDR for good measure.
Courtesy GTA Series Videos
The last one is easily one of the most convoluted Easter eggs in history. Grab your seat folks, it gets crazy. For a good start it requires the player to have completed 100% of the game, AND found all 27 Peyote Plants (which are trippy on their own). Then and only then golden Peyote plants will start appearing… on a narrow time window, in a different locations each day, and only if there’s a specific weather. The player character has to eat all seven of them, specifically in order from Sunday to Saturday.
After eating the last one, a corpse of a big foot hunter will be laying nearby. Once you growl (as the character, not yourself, though it would be understandable too), a distant roar initiates a hunt, where you follow a breadcrumb trail of hunter bodies. If you manage that, a fight with a Beast (looking like Michael J. Fox’s Teen Wolf character, because nothing makes sense anymore) will begin.The process is shown neatly above in a video by GTA Series Videos.
Win that and you’ll unlock the Bigfoot and Beast as models for the Director Mode. How on Earth anyone managed to find it is beyond me.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - DRM of evil
|Developer:||CD PROJEKT RED|
The Witcher games definitely aren’t above taking a friendly jab at the industry. The Assassin’s corpse from The Witcher 2 is well known already, but The Witcher 3 had one even better.
In a quest The Tower Outta Nowheres on Skellige you encounter an obstacle in the form of a Defensive Regulatory Magicon, which locked down the tower for everyone except the one who legally owned the key. The way around it could be found in Gottfried’s Omni-opening Grimoire, a simple way to bypass the lock.
Courtesy Theofanis Kerasidis
Of course this is meant to poke fun at the DRM practices preventing players from sharing games, and in certain forms harming the performance, or even preventing players from playing the game they purchased because of failed verification. Goffried’s Omni-opening Grimoire stand in for GOG, CD Projekt’s platform publishing games free of any form of DRM. What makes the entire thing even more amusing is that The Witcher 3 can also be bought on Steam (of course it can), which is a DRM itself.
Batman: Arkham City - Calendar Man
|Developer:||Feral Interactive (Mac)|
There’s always a degree of creepiness involved when the games access your system for some inscrutable reason.
There’s no shortage of games which do something festive when your PC or console’s calendar shows Christmas, but the Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham City goes a bit further.
See, in one of the cells Bats can find Julian Gregory Day (horrible parents with terrible sense of humour), a guy better known as Calendar Man (no idea why). When approached on specific dates (easily manipulated by changing your system’s time manually), Calendar Man has something to say about a number of holidays.
One for each month, to be exact, and he speaks of murders he committed on those days. Here it is, documented by WikiGameGuides. One has to admit, the guy has a grim sense of humour, and is a pretty decent storyteller, because his tales are rather interesting. The deeds were despicable, sure, but one has to admire the dramatic flair.
Divinity: Original Sin - Battle of the bands
Here’s one for the audiophiles. So you know Divinity: Original Sin? Yeah, the first one. It was a fairly cheeky game, with an unobtrusive narrative and plenty of humour.
An inquisitive player would spot a number of references are Easter eggs, but there is a couple of them that share a common theme, which is what we’re writing about here.
Nine Inch Nills
Early on in your adventure among various items to pick you can spot a pile of Nine Inch Nails, an American prominent rock band founded by Trent Reznor back in the late eighties. A bit further on you can unearth an undead on the Cyseal cemetery, a guy called Rob. A Rob Zombie, if you will, a musician active since mid-eighties, who over the course of his career has worked with the likes of Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne.
In Homestead, the game protagonist’s intertemporal HQ an item a perceptive character could reveal is Hanneman’s Axe, a reference to Jeff Hanneman, a co-founder of the metal band Slayer, and his signature guitar. Something tells me that somebody at Larian enjoys the soothing tones of electric guitars and drums. Respect.
Doom (2016) - Classic levels
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
The sequel/reboot of Doom published by Bethesda back in 2016 was a jackpot, an instant hit with critics and audiences for its unrelenting bloodbath and surprisingly competent storytelling, including a strong, if silent, characterisation of the Doom Slayer.
A hardcore original soundtrack didn’t hurt either. But in the end it boiled down to it being, you know, DOOM. It’s DOOM so much, in fact, that the developers, id Software, have included the original Doom’s levels hidden in there.
Courtesy Neil Dinsmore
There is one classic level per each of 13 levels of the new game, each opened with a cleverly hidden lever and entered through a door somewhere nearby. And when we say ‘classic levels’, we mean it.
They are flat corridors filled with sprite-based enemies. And since the Doom Slayer and his weapons don’t change, it is a nice way to see just how much the video game visuals have progressed over the 23 years since the original Doom.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Notched Pickaxe
|Developer:||Bethesda Game Studios|
There is a peculiar item in Skyrim, located on a mountaintop called Throat of the World. It can normally be accessed only at the end of the quest of the same name, but patient and dedicated players can go there using the ages-old solution of jumping up the mountain slopes in video games.
The Pickaxe in its natural habitat. Source: http://elderscrolls.wikia.com
The item is called a Notched Pickaxe, and has a simple enchantment: gives you 5 to Smithing, and its attacks are boosted with 5 points of shock damage. But its enchantment isn’t the interesting part. On the surface, the joke is clear: it refers to Minecraft, where pickaxes are the basic tools, and the game’s creator, Markus Persson, who goes by “Notch”. Thus: Notched Pickaxe.
However TES Wikia suggests a different possibility: a reference to a marked pickaxe left by an unlucky expedition to Mount Everest back in 1924. It was found relatively near the top, but it seems the mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine had never made it.
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes - Psycho Mantis
|Developer:||Konami Computer and silicon Knights|
Remember the part with Calendar Man?
The original Metal Gear Solid was even more nosy, since it read your PlayStation’s memory card looking for game saves from other games published by Konami. The nosy character in question was Psycho Mantis, whose fourth-wall powers also involved being able to read your controller…until you plug it into a different port.
Courtesy The Gamer Liquid
If your card had saves for games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Suikoden, or Vandal Hearts the antagonist would address it in dialogue. There would also be a double-special dialogue should you have saves from both Snatcher and Policenauts, games developed by Hideo Kojima before MGS. Is Mantis spots that, a message from Kojima plays, thanking for support. That’s nice. Disturbing and somewhat invasive, but nice.
Silent Hill 2 - The Mastermind
Sometimes an Easter egg takes you by total surprise, destroying what you felt real and supplanting it with madness. Which feels just about right when it’s Silent Hill that we’re talking about.
This one is pretty well known, mostly by word of mouth, but still worth writing about for the sheer absurdity of it. It can only be accessed on a second playthrough at best, since it requires having achieved specific endings (In Water, Leave, and Maria, or Rebirth), using a Dog Key and entering the Lakeview Observatory room
Courtesy Ken McDougall
Then it turns out that everything that happened was controlled and masterminded by a very clever Shiba Inu called Mira. Why a nice and rather friendly dog would go to such lengths to torment James with all the horrors of the game remains unknown to this day. Perhaps this dog was actually a cat. That would explain everything.
Your easter eggs
That’s just a tip of a retired simile as far as the old and vast world of video game Easter eggs are concerned.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands could be spotted across the past decades of gaming. What are your favourites?