A short list of our favorite video game Easter eggs
Happy Easter, friends.
Because it’s Easter, we thought we’d take a moment to dig through the Kotaku Australia archives to find something thematically appropriate for the weekend. We created Easter Eggs because if there’s one thing developers love, it’s hiding jokes in their games. We’ve collected a few of our favorites over the years in one convenient place for you. We hope you enjoy this little trip in the homecoming machine with us.
This is one of those easter eggs that I love because it was clearly made by a developer, and only for themselves. A Gearbox Software developer hid his initials, off-camera, in Half-life: decomposition and it went undiscovered for nearly two decades until a particularly astute YouTuber pieced it all together. To see the initials, which were written in sparks from a broken computer, you had to modify the game so that you could see the game’s final cutscene from the POV of the game’s second protagonist. I like this one because it’s nothing more than a talented artist signing their work, and in a way that isn’t intrusive.
I legitimately cried with happiness the first time I came across sea of thieves‘Monkey Island Easter egg. It’s a beautiful moment, and you don’t realize what you’ve fallen into until the familiar theme begins to play. The moment just gives you a little skerrick of history, strung together through five journals found in the area, about Guybrush and Elaine escaping the clutches of LeChuck to live out their days on the Sea of Thieves. Fool by composer Robin Beanland take the classic theme song is a sweet and loving tribute to a beloved pirate series.
Titanfall 2a game that I think most of us would happily consider a spiritual successor to Half Life 2hid a half-life Easter egg for all to see. During the time travel level of the game, it is possible to find yourself in a reconstruction of HLthe famous cloakroom, complete with HEV suits.
Like its predecessors, Hitman 3 is a game that rewards deep exploration and close attention to small clues. For this reason, developer IO Interactive loves hiding Easter egg “moments” in-game that only players in the right place at the right time will be able to find. The talking hippopotamus is just one example. My agent 47 once ran into a guy being abducted by aliens, I swear to god.
It was a bit odd, proving that not every Easter egg is a funny slam dunk gag. After revelations about the seriousness of the crisis conditions within Naughty Dog during the production of The Last of Us Part II, players were able to find an in-game trading card depicting a super-villain version of the game’s director, Neil Druckmann. The card, titled Doctor Uckmann, details a man ostracized by the scientific community for “questionable experiments in the field of overstepping human limits”. What may have read as a tongue-in-cheek joke internally didn’t work as well in the real world.
This one honestly made me smile, because it’s so specific. In insomniacs Spider Man for PS4, it is not uncommon to see Jewish pedestrians moving through the digital gaming city of New York. Because the game has access to the PlayStation’s internal clock, programmer Elan Ruskin arranged for the game’s Jewish NPCs to observe the Sabbath. If you played the game on a Saturday IRL, the Jewish NPCs would not appear, reflecting the real-world Jewish custom of not working or leaving home on the Sabbath.
GTA online has many easter eggs, some of which remain the subject of conspiracy theories and hearsay to this day. This particular Easter egg, however, was pretty easy to get. When Rockstar added a new drink to the game’s club menu, the Macbeth Whiskey shot, players started using it as a teleport. Drinking one of these heady shots would cause the character to quickly pass out and wake up elsewhere in the game. More often than not, you wake up in the club bathroom. But sometimes you would end up on the other side of the map, a useful way to get around without fast traveling. However, if you were very lucky, your character might get so drunk that they would join Epsilon, GTAthe canon version of Scientology. Players waking up in the Epsilon building unlocked the group logo t-shirt. The shirt could not be obtained otherwise.
So there you have it, a few of our favorites over the years. We have so many more. Maybe we’ll do another one soon? Maybe tomorrow ? In the meantime, what are some of your favorite video game Easter eggs? No egg too small or obscure, you can be as niche as you want!