Easter eggs in video games run rampant across our most favorite titles and series. They grant players the rare opportunity to find hidden items, secrets, unlockables, and subtle references/nods to other popular franchises. It’s appropriate to present at least 9 of my favorite Easter eggs in video games for the special occasion. I know these will not represent anything near the thousands of hidden content out there. Definitely leave a comment about YOUR favorites at the bottom of the list!
Fun Fact: Did you know the first Easter egg that has been recorded in gaming history was hidden all the way back in 1977 in an Atari arcade game called Starship 1? The secret was recently discovered in March 2017 in an interview with game engineer, Ron Milner. After entering a certain sequence of controls, a message appears that says, “Hi Ron!” and the player receives 10 extra lives.
EASTER EGGS — Spoilers Ahead
1. Grand Theft Auto IV: Beating Heart of Liberty City
Many people hear about the Big Apple and the Heart of New York! Grand Theft Auto IV used New York City as inspiration to develop Liberty City, so much so that it included the physical beating heart of the city! Off the coast of Liberty City is a neighborhood called Happiness Island. Happiness Island directly resembles the Statue of Liberty with its very own Statue of Happiness.
The entrance to the heart is only accessible by helicopter, and the southern door leading to the heart has a sign that reads, “No Hidden Content This Way.” Climbing up the ladder will reveal a platform with the beating heart chained to the inside of the statue! Rockstar loves to sprinkle insane Easter eggs in every game title, but the beating heart will always remain one of the most notorious for the AAA game studio.
2. Dead Space: Spoiler Alert!
Dead Space’s protagonist is Isaac Clarke, an engineer who travels with a crew to find out what happened to his girlfriend Nicole Brennan, Ishimura‘s senior medical officer. Isaac suffers hallucinations while investigating the Ishimura during the course of the game, leading to believe Nicole is still alive. It’s not until near the end of the game you find out she has been a hallucination and has been dead the entire time. Cue the Easter Egg for the video game: if you read the first letter of each Chapter name, it will grimly spell out “NICOLE IS DEAD.”
3. Gears of War 3: Golden Chick Bait
Gears of War 3 arguably includes the best Easter egg about a chicken in video games. Literally in the first mission of the game too! You’ll know once the buzzing of chainsaws and splattering of limbs halt to an abrupt silence. Look at the wall with four circular vents. Shout into each one and you’ll chuckle to yourself as a chicken pops out from one of the vents. Take aim and fire on the animal to witness the evolution of a legendary Pokem—I mean fire-breathing, man-devouring chicken assassin! Similar praises are awarded to the Shadow Warrior series for their Demon/Shadow Rabbits!
4. Monster Hunter World: Dalamadur Corpse
I love Monster Hunter and especially Monster Hunter World! What a thrill it was to find out that the upper levels of the Rotten Vale exploration region are made out of a Dalamadur’s skeleton! A Dalamadur is a massive Elder Dragon fought in a previous Monster Hunter title. Its body and head mainly forms a large snake covered in thick gray and black scales. The spiraling twists of the region are coiled like that of a snake. This makes perfect sense since we are stepping on the skeleton of a massive dead snake carcass! Players can also find more than 8 tail bones in the region that resemble ancestor species of the Dalamadur. Amazing discovery!
5. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: The End
Hideo Kojima, famed video game director and movie enthusiast, uses an acute sense of detail in every game he creates, down to the tiniest thing like odor, time, or hunger. A whole Easter egg list could be made from each of Kojima’s directed games alone.
My favorite one is the alternative way to defeat The End in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The End is patient, deadly, quiet, but also very old. You can easily skip one of the hardest boss fights in the game by merely switching the internal clock on our PS2 a few weeks ahead. When you reload your game, a cinematic will play and you’ll learn The End is dead!
6. Hitman Absolution: I Scream for Ice Cream
Agent 47 is almost as iconic in the video game realm as Agent 007. In Hitman: Absolution, players can witness a rather unique Easter egg during the missions, “End of The Road.” The opening scene shows Lenny digging his own grave as Agent 47 watches close by. Most of us would shoot the man, call it a day, and order an espresso from your favorite neighborhood coffee shop. Or if you feel a bit remorseful, maybe you leave him in the desert. Yeah, let fate decide the victor…
Or, hear me out, instead of the most obvious solutions, why not glance around the area to find pesky buzzards floating above. Aw, look at the buzzards waiting to eat some good grub. Maybe you should shoot the buzzards and let the circle of life continue? In a strange turn of events, shooting the birds will summon an ice cream truck screaming across the screen, bulldozing the man, and driving off into the blazing sunset. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
7. God of War: Infinity Gauntlet
Kratos already has the innate ability to wipe out a planet. I mean he already wiped out all of Greek life on Earth. You can have Kratos ascend even higher on the totem pole by completing the Family Business quest that you’ll be given by Sindri. The player will find the remains of the dead men on the boat and be attacked by a Traveler. Defeat it and you’ll be awarded the God of War Shattered Gauntlet of Ages talisman.
Once upgraded, the gauntlet is capable of holding up to three enchantments. Although only three can be equipped at a given time, there are six enchantments that you can find which function like the Infinity Stones. Equipping three at once won’t allow Kratos to snap half of existential life away, but it does allow him to fire an iconic purple laser beam from the Infinity Gauntlet. I don’t know about you, but now I’m dying for Kratos to enter the MCU. Make it happen, Disney!
8. The Evil Within: Vending Machines
Vending machines in The Evil Within are the funniest Easter eggs to me and definitely listed as one of my favorite all time Easter eggs just because of my personal experience. The Evil Within 1 & 2 love hiding all types of content in vending machines. They allow the player to repeatedly press the push button to dispense green gel for upgrades, secret photos, baby dolls (no, really), reveal peepholes that peer into hidden rooms, and my personal favorite, explosive devices!
9. Borderlands 2: Pssst….. BOOM!
Speaking of explosions and horror, how about some Minecraft nods to the Creeper? Borderlands 2 not only includes the most lovable and notorious villain, Handsome Jack, but also includes a hidden Minecraft cave that rewards players with a creeper skin! The hidden area is located in the Caustic Caverns. Follow the train tracks, turn right at the big door, and hop up the cliffside until you reach the Minecraft cavern. Be careful, though. You will be surrounded by Creepers, full-on ants-in-the-pants and pssst parading agenda to blow up some cubes!