Easter eggs are not just chocolate-y treats wrapped in tin foil but an opportunity for developers to sneak in fun references that only the most dedicated fans will notice. Sometimes these are hidden in plain sight, sometimes they’re so well hidden it would take the love child of Lara Croft and Nathan Drake to find it but no matter how well hidden, Easter Eggs are always a fun treat for players. So now that we’re coming down from the sugar rush of eating a small colony of chocolate bunnies we decided to look at the ten best Easter Eggs that developers have hidden in their games.
10 – Call of Duty: Black Ops II Classic Games
How do you make the best map in Call of Duty history even better? Throw in some classic Activision games! In Nuketown 2025 if you shot off the heads of all the mannequins you could play some arcade and Atari 2600 games like Pitfall 2, River Raid and Kaboom!. This of course follows in the tradition set by Call of Duty: Black Ops where you could enter a cheat to play the graphic-less classic Zork.
9 – Crysis 2 Elevator Dance Off
The world of Crysis is not a happy-go-lucky on but that’s not stopping these two free spirits from getting their boogy on. It’s a weird moment in an otherwise pretty straight-faced game and gave the the grim-ness that is Crysis 2 a little bit of color and humor.
8 – Doom 2 & John Romero’s Head
Back before John Romero was making us his b**** he was busy being the architect of one of the marquee, early first person shooter franchises – Doom. Well, hidden away in a corner of Doom 2’s hallways it seems that good ‘ol John got his comeuppance as some beast from hell not only torn his head from his body but left it there for all to see. Ouch!
7 – Silent Hill 2 Dog Ending
Silent Hill 2 is a masterpiece of the survival-horror genre filled with grisly scenes, psychological terrors and your worst nightmares come to life. What (somehow) makes it worse though is the realisation that all the pain and torture you went through were the machinations of a nefarious puppy. I mean, going through unspeakable terror is one thing but having been a dog’s plaything? That’s just cruel.
6 – Mega Man X Hadouken
In the early 90’s Capcom was known for two key franchises – Street Fighter and Mega Man. So what better way to promote their fighting game than by giving their reincarnation of the blue bomber Ryu’s signature move? The process to unlock the hadouken was a bit convoluted and had you throwing X to his death over and over…. and over again but the reward was well worth it. Sending Armored Armadillo to this doom with a well placed HADOUKEN! – nothing sweeter.
5 – Chris Houlihan Room
Some of the best secrets are the ones you’re not supposed to find. Enter the Chris Houlian room in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, once teased as a prize in Nintendo Power, seemingly nothing came from it until it was discovered by accident years later. The story is a bit complex but essentially the room and its secrets were supposed to be cut from the final game, but ingenious players were able to discover the room and turn Chris Houlihan into a legend.
4 – Diablo II Cow Level
Rumors of a mysterious ‘cow level’ hidden somewhere in the original Diablo persisted for years, so when it came time for a sequel Blizzard obliged and hid a stage filled with murderous bovine that could be only be found by the most dedicated of explorers.
3 – Adventure by Warren Robinett
Back in the days of the Atari 2600, it was uncommon for developers to get any credit for the work they put into making a video game and as such it wasn’t uncommon for the coders to hide a signature or trademark inside the game. One of the earliest examples of these is in the classic game Adventure where an intrepid Warren Robinett not only put in a small token of his work but his entire signature. This small move not gave birth to the Easter Egg as we know it but paved the way for game developers to get the credit they deserve.
2 – Psycho Mantis Reads Your Mind
Probably one of the coolest and most unsettling moments in gaming memory is the battle against Psycho Mantis in the OG Metal Gear Solid. Not only is the guy a total creep he can ‘somehow’ read your mind, manipulate your controller and tell you all about your gaming history. It’s one of the few instances where gamers were caught completely off-guard and had to think outside the box to solve his riddle.
1 – Totaka’s Song
The difference between Totaka’s song and all the other Easter Eggs on this list is that this little tune isn’t tied to a game, a console or even a series but serves as Kazumi Totaka’s signature. It’s only a couple of notes long but the tune has become instantly recognizable and has had generations of Nintendo fans searching through dozens of games just searching for a hint of the song’s existence and it’s this level of pervasiveness that is why we’ve chosen it as the best Easter Egg in gaming.
Did you find the Easter Eggs you were hoping for in this list? If not let us know what your favorite Easter Eggs are in the comment section below.