Tis the season to break out the Easter eggs. As we get older, we no longer have to search grass fields and grandparents houses for eggs. Now, we get them in our media. Our adult eggs (that sounds wrong!) are found in Marvel Cinematic Universe, AAA video game releases, and books (yes, they still make those). Self referencing is a common Easter egg in media, like MCU referencing comics. Often Easter eggs are developers and artists sneaking in their own flair. Let’s just make the minimum 37 pieces of flair. Let’s be honest though, not all flair is created equal. So, in order to express myself, and I do want to, here are my favorite Easter eggs in gaming. Mmmmmmk?
Portal: Let ‘em have cake
Cake becomes legendary in the original Portal, or maybe it’s a lie? We may never know the truth. Valve wants to make sure that you can have authentic cake from Portal, as it knows you now have the munchies. In the next to last level, there is a monitor that has a scrolling recipe for cake. I have not tried it, but if I do I will make sure to invite companion cube.
Metroid: Samus Zero Suit
Complete the game and you get a hero shot of Samus. Do even better and Samus will take off the helmet to reveal that Samus is a kick ass girl. Shocked gamers rioted in the streets, heads exploded, all thanks to this Easter egg. To unlock, or to play with Samus in the Zero Suit, the game must be completed quickly.
Mega Man X: the Street Fighter
In the X series Mega Man finds hidden capsules to power up. In a later level, if completed with the exact right criteria, there is one extra capsule that allows Mega Man to use Ryu’s Hadouken. This amazing power rips through enemies like they are butter. Thanks Capcom, now please go make a Mega Man game before I Hadouken you.
Day of the Tentacle: Maniac Mansion
A game within a game?! Not possible! In a classic point and click adventure you get a complete second game. Find a computer hidden and “use” it. The only thing installed on the machine happens to be Maniac Mansion. Great egg that adds lots of extra game play.
Batman Arkham Asylum: The City
City planning takes time. Proof of which Rocksteady left laying about in the very first Batman Arkham Asylum. In a hidden room there is a city map for the very next game in the series, Arkham City. Only sad thing about this Easter egg, and a few others in Batman games, is Rocksteady had to drop some heavy handed hints in social media to get gamers to find them.
NBA JAM TE: POTUS
Boom Shakalaka! This classic basketball game featured dynamic two verses two hoops. In the sequel, the game hid a roster of awesome celebrities such as Fresh Prince, Beastie Boys, Crunch and even president Bill Clinton. All you had to do was know the secret initials of the player. Nothing like Al Gore protecting the environment and posterizing your sorry self on his way to the rim.
Doom 2: Die John Romero
Seems straightforward, unload rockets on final boss and win. Only later did we find out that hidden inside the boss was the truth. Use the IDclip to go through the walls and see the secret room. There you will find John Romero’s head on a stick. Way to stick it to him!
Metal Gear Solid 1: Psycho Mantis
Mantis is one of the all time best bosses as he plays mind tricks on you through the whole fight. The game accesses your memory card, a first, and comments on the games you like to play. Freaked out gamers could not believe that this boss knew about them. The game had become conscious! You like Castlevania, don’t you?
Toe Jam and Earl: Hot Tubbin’
Two party creatures from another plant go hot tubbin? Sign me up. This roguelike game has a first level that seems just like a basic way to introduce the game. It seems that if you go exploring you will just die in the water. Not true! Go to the bottom left corner and find the passage to level zero where babes are waiting in the hot tub just for you. Best way to earn an extra live and health, ever!
Duke Nukem 3D: Homer Base
With a name like Nukem, it makes sense that Homer Simpson would be involved. In the next to last level you can run through/against a wall and find a hidden room. The room is Homer Simpsons power plant office complete with donuts. Just watch out for old Grimmie.
Portal 2: Radio Message
Valve has some of the best Easter eggs. They go to great lengths to provide some fun. Found in Chapter 2, Test Chamber 6. Grab the radio and head to the rat den secret room. While there you get a transmission that can be decoded with the companion cube and Aperture Science Logo. Remember, the Aperture Science Bring Your Daughter to Work Day is the perfect time to have her tested.
What are your favorite Easter eggs in video games? Let me know in the comments below.