Sometimes a game developer leaves little extras for the more adventurous or eagle-eyed player to discover. These can range from nods to other games to bonus levels or weapons or just something weird and out there. Here are five of my personal favourite easter eggs (using the phrase in its most general sense)
1. Death in Assassin’s Creed: Over the course of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, you met a lot of historical figures, such as Benjamin Franklin in Assassin’s Creed III; Queen Victoria in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and most of the famous Golden Age pirates in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. You kill a few historical figures, such as French silversmith Francois-Thomas Germain in Assassin’s Creed Unity; American general Charles Lee in Assassin’s Creed III and Italian nobleman Cesare Borgia in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. However, the Easter egg lies in the details of the death- every historical figure you kill over the course of the franchise dies in the right place in the right year. Borgia dies in Spain (where franchise staple Ezio throws him off a wall) in 1507; Germain dies in Paris (where Arno stabs him a lot) in 1791 and Lee dies in a tavern (where he is stabbed up by an unnamed Assassin) in 1780s Philadelphia. And who said that video games couldn’t be educational?
2. Off-script guards in Halo: Halo 4 is seventh instalment in the grandiose space opera about Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John-117. Halo has always been a pretty serious franchise but that doesn’t mean the devs can’t throw some humour in. During Mission 6: Shutdown in Halo 4, you can find two NPC looking guards standing by some crates. They are motionless and look like nothing more than static models.
However, if you wait for a little while, the guards will begin to talk to one another, discussing everything from how sweet their union is to criticising elements of the game’s plot. Comedians Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter provide the voices of the guards for this humorous Easter egg.
3. The Stripping Coin: Hitman: Blood Money is considered one of the highlights of the open level assassination Hitman franchise. In the mission ‘Till Death Do Us Part’, you are tasked with killing a groom on his wedding day. In the build up to the ceremony, you can traverse the redneck crowd, participating in Hoedowns and watching a large group of men have a fight…that is until you seek out and shoot a tiny coin hidden in the grounds of the wedding venue. If you choose to do this, the large group of fighting rednecks all strip down to their boxers and converge on your position, giving you a round of applause.
Real subtle, 47.
4. It IS the fall that kills you: The Witcher franchise is a trio of sprawling fantasy hack and slash games based on a series of Polish fantasy novels. During the prologue of The Witcher 2: Assassination of Kings, you come across a tragic sight:
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the Assassin’s Creed series, the man in white is a depiction of the face of the franchise, Ezio, in his signature hooded robe. It appears that this man failed to execute the iconic leap of faith from the Assassin’s Creed series, which sees the main character swan dive off tall things into hay or leaves. The Witcher, as you can see above, tells you what would actually happen if you tried that.
5. Barry Burton’s legacy: In the original Resident Evil, known for its truly fantastic dialogue, there is a moment where tough cop Barry Burton jokes that fellow cop Jill Valentine nearly became a “Jill sandwich” after saving her from a descending ceiling trap. Jump forwards to Dead Rising, an open world zombie game set in a shopping mall. As you wander around the mall, not getting zombie suppressant drugs for your infected daughter, you come across a lovely looking sandwich shop:
This would then elicit a small chuckle from Resident Evil fans.
What are some your favourite easter eggs in games? Let me know!