As Pokémon Go takes over the world, gamers and non-gamers alike indulge in the nostalgia the 90's generation came to love (and got up at 7:00am to watch on SMTV:Live). This got me thinking, whilst the silver screen is a particular passion of mine and Easter Eggs have become prevalent amongst most genres, the Easter Egg origins actually lie way back in the 70’s, when a humble game designer snuck his accreditation into an Atari secret level.
Whether you’re an old school Sega fan, or like getting lost in augmented reality, you will most likely have stumbled across, or searched out a golden nugget of an egg in your gaming history.
Have a look at my top 5 Easter Eggs in gaming to date, in no particular order.
Spyro vs Crash Bandicoot
Picture Credit: www.destructoid.com
This marvelous mauve dragon and energetic Australian Marsupial have a long standing gaming affiliation, both titles revolutionising platform gaming and introducing yours truly to the wonders of gaming Easter Eggs. The two owning studios; Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games were constantly in friendly logger heads, releasing similar hero-driven titles throughout the 90’s, before releasing a combo super pack on the Game Boy Advance (Crash Bandicoot Purple & Spyro Orange).
I uncovered this gem during a surfing session on the Lamb families very own dial-up line. Head to the start screen of Spyro 2 press L1+Triangle and get a full Crash Bandicoot: Warped Demo, or on the crash main menu press up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, square for a sneak peak at the then upcoming Spyro.
Dig out those PS1s and dust off those discs, it’s time to go retro!
Hot Coffee (NSFW)
Picture Credit: www.rockstargames.com
Gaming's most notorious and ever so slightly NSFW Egg to date (cover your eyes kids!) comes from one of the most controversial titles to grace our small screens; Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
The inaccessible mini-game was originally released to the public through the Hot Coffee mod for Microsoft Windows, before also being discovered in PS2 & XBOX versions of the game by hackers, causing unprecedented controversy and an adjusted ‘Adults Only’ rating, it was also removed from sale in several countries.
The mod itself allows the gamer to engage in un-pixelated naughtiness with one of his six in-game girlfriends after being invited up for ‘coffee’. I won’t go into detail, but it gets pretty graphic!
Arkham Asylum (Hidden Blue Print)
Picture credit: www.comicvine.gamespot.com
The caped crusader and all-round bad-ass bat flew onto PS3’s and XBOX’s across the world when Batman: Arkham Asylum , written by Batman veteran Paul Dini and developed by Rocksteady Studios, unleashed the time-honoured hero onto our small screens. Receiving critical acclaim, Batman cleaned up at the gaming awards, even holding the Guinness World Record for ‘most critically acclaimed superhero game ever’.
Entering Arkham’s Warden Quincy Sharp’s office and blowing up a wall will expose a hidden chamber with a large blueprint of an asylum expansion taking up a whole city sector, which reveals the setting for the sequel.
This Easter Egg was so well hidden it lay undiscovered until Rocksteady gave it away in a preview for the second title; Batman Arkham City.
Super Smash Bros; unlock Master Hand
Picture credit: www.poohadventures.wikia.com
Debatably a glitch not an Easter Egg, but Potaeto potahto, the Master Hand served as the mega-boss throughout the Smash Bro’s series, a nigh-on undefeatable (for me anyway) being and creator of the Smash Bro’s Universe, the Master Hand becomes playable when plugging in your controller to the third console slot and skipping the character select screen; simples!
Golden Eye (Nintendo 64)
Picture credit: www.en.wikipedia.org
Now this is a serious throwback! I’m not talking about the double oh-so disappointing re-make for Wii and DS here, but the original ’97 Nintendo 64 Golden Eye; 007 first person shooter that eclipsed most of my time as a pre-teen and contained Unlockables Galore.
Firstly; Sean Connery is a playable character, there’s also Line Mode and the Unfinished Citadel level, to name but a few. The one that puts it firmly on-a-topp of my list is the discovery that came in 2012, a mere 15 years after the original release, when a bright spark found an emulator for the ZX Spectrum computer hidden in the very code of the game!
For those not familiar with retro gaming jargon, the ZX was the equivalent to a big, hulking version of today’s iPhone, an 8-bit personal home computer that was released in 1982 as Britain’s equivalent to the Commodore 64 (stay with me kids). A truck-load of games were developed for the Spectrum, way back when and ten of these titles, including the Emulator itself, were included as playable on the Goldeneye game. You have to run a special patch whilst playing the game on an N64 emulator, it’s all pretty complex, but a pretty nifty Easter Egg none the less!
So there you have it! Again this is a small sampling of hidden secrets, scenes and cross overs the gaming industry has to offer. Keep those eyes peeled, those thumbs at the ready and that google bar flashing and you may just uncover the next big gaming reveal!