Discovering an Easter Egg can be a slice of unexpected fun in games. They have traced all the way back the Atari age and continue to be as frequent as ever as games get more large and open. The best Easter Eggs deliver wit, extra value, continue a punch line or split your gut. With those four criteria, here are the 5 of my favorite gaming Easter Eggs with a little scoring for some context flavor of each one.
Wit Score: 5 Extra Value: 3 Continuing Secret: 10 Funny: 2
Metal Gear games are no strangers to Easter Eggs. The most mind blowing of them is Psycho Mantis who would read your memory card to tell you what games you’ve played. Do you like Castlevania? Mantis knows. Even the GameCube remake was programmed to read current first party Nintendo games in the memory cart. To date no other title has gone this deep for a shock effect and for its time was completely unique. Combine this battle with being near impossible to beat without swapping the second controller port and this fight is seeping with fourth wall breaking creativity.
Wit Score: 8 Extra Value: 3 Continuing Secret: 4 Funny: 4
For a more recent reoccurring Easter Egg my hats off to Call of Duty for bringing in the classic games.
After a challenging sharpshooting run in Black Ops 2 you unlock a TV in the center of the map where you can play classic Atari games. To top it off two pixelated hands come up holding a joystick much like how people were in the 80’s. While classic games in newer games is nothing new (Animal Crossing on the GC takes the crown for this one) what makes this secret so great is how it started off with hiding Zork within Black Ops 1. This was one if not THE defining games of the adventure genre with its text basic adventuring and those god forsaken grue…may you forever be spared from the grue…
Wit Score: 2 Extra Value: 9 Continuing Secret: 6 Funny: 5
From melee on every smash game has had a large series of hidden dialog trees with specific characters. Star Fox and Falco have chatted with his crew above. Pit and Palutena discuss other competitors. And my favorite, Snake gets intel from HQ. With each codec Colonel and cast give a witty banter over each Nintendo character. Not only are they funny, but offer a rare insight over the background of many characters. The tongue in cheek takes-its-self-too-seriously signature delivery of MGS games is above and beyond most Easter Eggs.
Wit Score: 9 Extra Value: 5 Continuing Secret: 9 Funny: 7
I’m not entirely so sure who started this trend but chickens have never been treated well in gaming. While most people would understandingly give Zelda the credit, gaming as whole has a prejudice against one of nature’s dumbest animals. They are not going quietly. With few wacks they bombard Link with reckless abandon, ripping out hearts faster than Ganon could ever dream. Gears of War 3 will spawn a chicken that will mutate after a barrage of bullets into a giant golden fire breathing clucking nightmare. Not everyone is ignorant of the power of the chicken. Master chicken wing chef Blonde Beard in the Curse of Monkey Island is so paranoid of the revenge of chicken he is edgy as a beached whale in Nantucket. THE DEVIL CHICKEN!