It's Easter Sunday, and all over the country children will be set loose in their backyards, hunting for colorful treats hidden away by mischievous and sometimes sadistic adults. I'm speaking, of course, about Easter eggs, and while here at Kotaku tower we prefer to shop for our Easter treats in bulk after the holiday is over and the prices get slashed, we can still share with our fluffy bunny readers some of the best video game Easter eggs we've come across in our travels. To start us off on our egg hunting adventure, we give you - well...
Adventure - Atari 2600
In the beginning...
In the early days of Atari, programmers weren't given credit for the games they designed for fear of other companies trying to steal them away, but Adventure designer Warren Robinett felt that credit was due. He included a hidden object in the game that lead to a secret room that displayed the words, ""Created by Warren Robinett," which was the first known video game Easter egg. Not exactly the most exciting example, but the first deserves credit.
Final Fantasy VII - PlayStation
The Debug Room
While completing Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation was a joy, once the credits rolled I felt a certain sadness, knowing that the game was at an end. Then I discovered the debug room, a place generally open only to programmers to allow them to test certain areas of the game. While it required a Game Shark to access, what was found within the room was worth the shame of being seen in public purchasing a cheat device. You could access key scenes in the game, play through the mini-games, add the invincible Sephiroth to your party or even resurrect the poor little dead flower girl Aeris.
SiN - PC
Activision and Ritual Entertainment's PC shooter SiN was chock full of Easter eggs, but none quite as intriguing as a surveillance camera that showed a slightly more human side of chilly SiNtek CEO Elexis Sinclaire. Before you click play be warned - definitely not safe for work!
Diablo II - PC
The Secret Cow Level
"There is no cow level." Perhaps this was true in the first Diablo and in Starcraft, where the phrase was featured as a code, but persistent rumours and speculation led Blizzard to finally included a secret cow level in Diablo II.
The Secret Cow Level can be very easy or very hard depending on your class, and what skills you use. The first thing you will notice is there are a LOT of cows. Exploring is not a wise idea, as you will quickly have an unbelievable number of Cows on your trail. Try to avoid being surrounded by the Cows at all costs.
Incidentally, "avoid being surrounded by the Cows at all costs" is sound advice in any situation.
World of Warcraft - PC
Chicken Dancing In Westfall
Yeah yeah, two Blizzard games make the list. What can I say? The people know their eggs. Case in point, the Alliance-specific (boo!) quest in Westfall, which involved you spamming /chicken with an actual chicken targeted. Eventually the chicken will look at you, and clicking upon it gives you a quest for some special feed, which Farmer Saldean just happens to have for sale. Feed the chicken, /cheer it, and it'll lay an egg containing your own pet chicken. It's an actual egg Easter egg!
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes - GC
Panties, Panties, Panties
Metal Gear Solid and its remake on the Gamecube was chock full of Easter eggs, from posters for other games to funny character reactions, to Meryl in her underwear not once, but twice! After seeing Meryl working out in her cell while in the ventilation shafts you can exit the shafts, return, and she'll be pantsless! If voyeurism isn't your thing, if you follow Meryl into the restroom later in the game fast enough, you'll get the entire Snake flirting cutscene with her in her skivvies, as seen below.
Of course for every half dozen great Easter eggs, there's always a few rotten ones laying around. The worst?
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas - Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Oh My God There's An Axe In My Game
Ridiculous product placement is one thing, but tie in a little in-game blooper reel to a conspicuously placed container of Axe deodorant and you've got by far the most rotten Easter egg around. It's an adver-egg!
There's a lovely set of six and one bad egg to get you folks in the Easter spirit. Now it's your turn to share your favourite gaming Easter eggs. Is it the Mortal Kombat Reptile fight? Good old Hot Coffee? Is it a secret to everyone? Feel free to post your picks in the comments section. Happy Easter everyone!