Whether it’s a secret song, reference or in-game item such as these holy hand grenades in Bethesda’s Fallout New Vegas, almost every game has at least one little Easter egg. Some showcasing the lighter side of game development whereas others are tributes or nods to other works, Easter eggs add a welcome personal touch to games and seem to symbolise the unique relationship between developers and the fans who play their games in a quirky and creative way.
So let’s celebrate that quirkiness with 5 Easter eggs that you might have missed:
Uncharted 3 – Last of Us Newspaper
This one slipped almost everyone by, an Easter egg in Uncharted 3 which alludes to the plot of “The Last of Us” that pre-dates it’s reveal trailer and would have been removed if the developers remembered it actually existed. It was so subtle that people didn’t spot it until after Last of Us was announced which served to add more fuel to the fire of the marketing of the game. The Easter egg itself is a rather innocuous newspaper at the start of the game with the headline referring to a “deadly fungus” which we now know to be relevant to the plot of Last of Us. It’s discovery sparked discussion about what it could all mean summed up here by IGN’s delightful Greg Miller. Loved this one personally, an Easter egg so secret that even the developer didn’t know about it.
Gears of War 3 – “Mad World” on Gridlock.
Epic could have made a standalone game with all the Easter eggs in their Gears of War franchise, from boomshots that fire chickens to gears with beards, Epic seem to be the kings of the in-jokes and novelties. One Easter egg you might have missed however, is the instrumental version of the song “Mad World” in the multiplayer map Gridlock which can be activated by leaving the “ash people” who are scattered throughout the map alone during a round, which if done successfully will cause the song to play over the next round.
This one is not so much obscure, but more unlikely to happen as someone in the lobby will invariably destroy one of them preventing you from getting the song, something which makes yelling “Everybody leave them alone” in the pre-game lobby utterly pointless.
Runescape – Herring and the Mightiest Tree
Jagex draws alot from British culture including their sense of humour with numerous references to British comedic institutions such as Monty Python and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in their highly successful MMORPG Runescape. One such reference is to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, involving a line about cutting down a tree with a herring. Attempting to imitate this in-game will cause a message of “This is not the mightiest tree in the forest” to appear in the chat log.
Mass Effect 2 – Dying for Tax Reasons
This is easily the most easy to miss Easter egg on the list in that it is simply a line of dialogue. During a conversation with C-Sec Captain Bailey, a passing remark is made about spending a year dead being “a popular tax dodge”. Which is actually an homage to the second Douglas Adams book “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” in which a minor character, a wealthy rockstar named Hotblack Desiato is spending a year dead for tax reasons.
Mercenaries – Star Wars WMD Blueprints
Mercenaries, a game from back when games boiled down to sheer mindless fun which sure had alot of in-jokes. Produced by now-defunct Pandemic studios with Lucasarts, the game was practically a pop-culture/George Lucas love-in to the point where you could even unlock an Indiana Jones skin for your character. But one of the more subtle Easter eggs that might have slipped you by however is the names of the collectable WMD blueprints which make reference to Star Wars, including Death Star plans, Kessel Starchart and Hyperdrive motivator. Remember kids, it’s all fun and games until General Song can blow up planets and make the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs.
That’s our big 5, let us know what you think of any of the Easter eggs listed or about any that we didn’t list in the comments below or on Twitter.