Everyone loves a good Easter egg. We’re referring to gaming by the way, not the chocolatey delights you overdose on every March. Although those are pretty good, too. Life-affirmingly good, actually. Can this article be about chocolate instead? Mmm, chocolate… sorry.
Easter eggs make us happy in a different way. These types of Easter eggs are little surprises hidden inside the pockets of our favourite games, put in by developers strictly for fans dedicated enough to look for them. A true gamer does not play through any of their beloved franchises without keeping an eye out for Easter eggs.
These days, thanks to the Internet, casual gamers don’t need to tread through colossal mountains of content alone in order to find the coveted Easter egg. Usually, the first person who finds it posts it online without much delay. Depending on their mental wiring, some players go through games strictly on an Easter egg hunt, with the purpose of sharing their findings with the rest of the world. We salute these trailblazers, these stoic egg hunters, with honour. The rest of us can enjoy the following fanfare without having put in much work.
10. Is Mario A Deadbeat Dad? – Punch-Out!!
Mario is famous for saving the Mushroom Kingdom time and time again, and that’s really the only part of his life that any of us pay attention to. People don’t tend to question whether Mario has any real world obligations, like a family. It’s not like Mario gives us anything to work with — all he tends to say is, “Yeah!” and, “Yahoo!” However, we might have found some information about Mario’s private life in one of the newspaper entries in ‘Punch-Out!!’ There is a subtitle on the paper next to Mario’s picture that says, “Daddy, come back home!” Has Mario been neglecting a child while he’s been out saving Peach?
9. Play As Master Hand – Super Smash Bros. Melee
What could be better than playing as your favourite characters from various Nintendo games? Playing as a giant overpowered hand, of course. Players who have gone several maddening rounds against the mysterious hand need no longer fret, since he can be yours to control by simply having your controller in the third slot and pressing the A and B buttons at the right time. Now you can watch your friends burst into tears as you slap, poke, and slam their favourite characters across the stage.
8. Throwback To Comfy Shorts – Pokémon X and Y
If you’ve played through Pokémon Red and Blue (which anyone with a healthy soul has done), you remember Youngster Ben and his timeless declaration, “Hi! I like shorts! They’re comfy and easy to wear!” Shorts have never been worn the same since then. Almost 20 years and several generations of Pokemon later, the developers of Pokemon X and Y included dialogue from a few trainers that recalled Youngster Ben’s enthusiasm toward shorts, such as, “Shorts are the coolest! And the comfiest!” and, “I really like shorts! You should totally give them a try sometime!”
7. Chris Houlihan Room – The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past
Chris Houlihan was the randomly selected winner of a contest held by Nintendo Power in 1990. As the winner, Houlihan was chosen to have his name programmed somewhere inside a future NES game. That game ended up being A Link To The Past, where Houlihan was given his very own room. There isn’t really much going on in there; there’s a few Blue Rupees scattered on the floor and a tile on the wall that reads, “My name is Chris Houlihan. This is my top secret room. Keep it between us, OK?” Still, who wouldn’t want their own room in a Zelda game?
6. Developer’s Secret Initials – Donkey Kong, Atari 400
The sequence of events needed to reach this Easter egg is so specific, the chances of someone stumbling upon it by accident are microscopic. This is why it wasn’t discovered for a whopping 26 years, and even at that, it was only found because the developer of the game revealed its existence. After following the Easter Egg’s requirements (which include attaining a certain high score, losing your last life by falling, and setting the game’s difficulty to 4), you will reach a title screen where the developer’s initials, LMD, will appear. Was it worth it? You tell us.
5. Play As The Duck – Duck Hunt
There aren’t many situations in which a human being would be interested in embodying a duck. Ducks don’t seem to have nearly as much fun as we do. But when it comes to Duck Hunt, the classic NES shooter, players would be delighted to know that the duck they’ve been firing at has been playable the whole time. Simply plug a controller into Port 2 in “Single Duck Mode”, and you can play as the iconic duck, avoiding the bullets of a virtual faceless person who wants to murder and eat you. What could be more fun?
4. 10 Whole Games Hidden Inside One – GoldenEye
We all loved playing GoldenEye. It was the closest many of us could get to actual violent fun on the Nintendo 64, and the game took on a whole new dynamic the moment we discovered there were cheat codes to exploit. However, one thing many of us did not get to exploit in our childhood was the secret emulator hiding inside the game’s programming. Apparently Rare, the game’s developer, was experimenting with their own emulator in the GoldenEye cartridge. Rather than remove the emulator before the game’s release, they decided to keep it in there, along with 10 of the emulator’s titles, hidden under layers of code. You can access these games if you run GoldenEye through a Nintendo 64 emulator.
3. Mario Meets Yoshi – Super Mario 64
Anyone who’s played through Super Mario 64 (which essentially means anyone born in the Western world in the early 90s) knows that it’s an adventure Mario embarks on solo, without the aid of his pet dinosaur. However, what many players don’t know is that Yoshi is waiting on the roof of Princess Peach’s castle, at the very end of the game. Once you’ve collected all 120 stars and blast yourself onto the roof via cannon, the lovable green monstrosity eagerly greets you and delivers an important message from the Super Mario 64 development team: “Thanks for playing Super Mario 64! This is the end of the game, but not the end of the fun…”
2. Luigi Hanged – Luigi’s Mansion
Luigi is so vastly beloved by Nintendo fans, it would break our hearts to see any harm come to him. That’s why this particular Easter egg hits closest to home. Not only did we have to see our weak-nerved bro get constantly spooked by Boos in Luigi’s Mansion, but we might have also seen a shadow of his hanged body. In one of the scene’s in Luigi’s Mansion, as Luigi answers a scary phone call, we see a shadow on the wall that looks a lot like Luigi hanging in midair, possibly dead. It’s almost too painful to type.
1. Metroid Ship In Donkey Kong Country – Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
There are several things you’d expect to find in the average Donkey Kong games: apes, bananas, tropical trees, perhaps an evil alligator or two. You probably won’t run into any highly advanced spaceships, unless you’re playing DK Country: Tropical Freeze. In one of the game’s levels ,camouflaged in the background, is Samus Aran’s spaceship. What is Samus doing there? Is she hunting Donkey Kong? What a fight that would be! Let’s pick up Super Smash Bros. and play it out.