Eight of Gaming's Most Bizarre Easter Eggs
Easter eggs can be thought of as a game developer’s overt nod to their fans and customers – another way of thanking the community that surrounds their studio for their dedication. I’d imagine that’s not their only purpose, either. At a certain point in the development process, every dev must start to get a little tired of all the work set out in front of them; a little weary of what begins to seem less like a dream job and more like daily drudgery.
As much as they are miniature love letters to fans, I’ll wager Easter Eggs are a means of injecting a little bit of extra entertainment into the development process; a method for game developers to leave their own unique mark on their work. Of course, sometimes they might just be intended to screw with us, too. Long hours and lack of sleep can do strange things to someone’s mind, and I’m sure sleep deprivation played a role in the creation of some of these Easter eggs, which can surely be counted among the most absurd ever conceptualized.
Giant Toilet (Crackdown 2)
Crackdown 2 is a third-person shooter/sandbox game in which you play as a genetically enhanced superhuman police officer tasked with pulling Pacific City out of the dark depths of anarchy. You must defeat both criminal and civilian organizations in order to bring the city back under Agency control, no matter how many city blocks you need to detonate and lives you need to destroy to do it. Yeah…I never said you were on the side of the good guys, did I?
Anyway, once you’ve reached the final mission, climb to the highest point in the agency tower and jump down the nearby smokestack. After falling for a while, you’ll end up in the bowl of a giant toilet, the origins of which are a complete mystery. Apparently it even flushes.
Secret Levels (Diablo)
Diablo II’s Secret Cow Level was one of the most awesome –and probably worst-kept – secret Easter Eggs in gaming’s history. By transmuting Wirt’s Leg with a Scroll of Town Portal in the Horadric Cube (but only after killing Diablo), the player could open a portal to a secret field filled with giant, bipedal cows. In a game about facing the most horrific forces Hell can muster, it was a welcome – and entertaining – change, particularly since said cows were obviously voiced by a few bored developers.
Apparently, the whole thing was born out of a rumor that the first game contained a secret level which could be accessed by repeatedly clicking on the cows outside town.
Not to be outdone, Diablo III turned the absurdity up to 11 with Whimsyshire: a pastel-and-rainbow paradise chock-full of murderous teddy bears, homicidal flowers, and psychopathic unicorns. Likely as not, this was a tongue-in-cheek response by the developers to player complaints that the game looked too ‘cheerful’ and ‘colorful.’
Hidden Cheese Wedges (Perfect Dark)
I feel as though somebody on the Perfect Dark development team either had an unhealthy obsession with cheese or just really, really wanted to mess with the player. Because for some reason, there is a single piece of cheese hidden on every single level of the game (even the tutorial), in some of the most bizarre places you could imagine. They’re not in plain sight, either – you’ll actually have to go out of your way to find a few of them.
But hey, it’s worth it, isn’t it? Once you’ve tracked down every piece of cheese, you unlock some sort of awesome reward, right? Some sort of secret weapon or god mode cheat?
Nope. You can’t interact with the cheese, and finding every piece nets you nothing, save for a vague sense of bitterness and the realization that the people at Rare were actually kind of dicks.
Guybrush The Jedi (The Force Unleashed II)
Apparently, after his high-seas, pirate-foiling adventure, Guybrush tripped and fell into a portal to the past, which unceremoniously spat him out in a galaxy far, far away…or maybe LeChuck finally got his revenge on his long-time nemesis. Either way, Guybrush Threepwood is, for one reason or another, in The Force Unleashed II. And he’s a Jedi.
Unicorn Rainbow Gun (Red Faction: Armageddon)
This is Mr. Toots. He is a happy unicorn. He also happens to fart out devastating laser rainbows. This makes him less happy. Nothing is safe from the devastating power of his colorful emissions: aliens, soldiers, and mutants alike all violently explode into clouds of rainbows and butterflies from even the most glancing of blows.
The Hand Cannon (Dead Space 2)
Quick question – in a survival horror game set on an abandoned space station filled with horrifically mutated monstrosities, what’s the most effective means of killing the mood and turning something terrifying into something ridiculous? Why not a super powerful giant red foam hand? The Hand Cannon, unlocked by completing Hardcore, is the most powerful and the most
Ladies and gentlemen, meet The Hand Cannon, a giant foam hand which just so happens to be the most powerful weapon in the game. With a mighty battlecry of “pew pew,”Isaac can use it to instantly kill virtually any foe in the game.
Dom’s Beard (Gears of War 3)
In a game that’s all about machismo, guns, war, and more machismo; the beard sported by deuteragonist Dom is probably the manliest thing there is. With that in mind, there’s only one way to make the game manlier: more beard. Starting up a new game on Insane and following Dom for a certain amount of time will give his glorious facial hair to every single character in the game – including the women.
A similar Easter Egg- Dom’s Sun – can be found later in the game as well, and causes even the sun to start sporting a manly beard.
The Heart Of Liberty City (GTA IV)
At the center of Liberty City’s Statue of Liberty stand-in, there’s a rather disturbing secret: a giant human heart, suspended in the air by a series of metallic chains and pipes. No one’s really certain where the heart came from, why it’s there, or what it even means – only that it’s somehow completely impervious to damage. Oh, and sometimes drunks will pass out next to it.
The Dog Ending (Silent Hill 2)
Topping our list of messed up Easter Eggs, we’ve got the Dog Ending of Silent Hill 2. The fact that this ending managed to be bizarre by Silent Hill standards should speak for itself. To sum it up: there’s a dog by the name of Mira, and it’s apparently the insidious puppet-master behind the events of the entire game. When James discovers her, he’s actually not all that perturbed. Instead, he exclaims his surprise (or perhaps bemusement), then kneels down as she jumps up to lick his face.
What follows is perhaps a visual representation of his mind finally snapping; an upbeat, goofy montage of clips set to a strange children’s song.
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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