A reader lists his favourite video game secrets, from the beating heart of GTA IV to the Assassin’s Creed cameo in The Witcher 2.
I’m the type of gamer who likes to finish a game and move on, I don’t tend to stress about collectables, 100 percenting or getting platinum trophies for a game for me to consider it done. There is one thing I’ll go out of my way for though: I love a good Easter egg, and once the jungle drums of the Internet send word of an Easter egg in a game I’m playing I’ll seek it out with gusto.
I love the cross pollination from different entertainment medium, games, and hidden messages from the developer to the player. They feel personal and mischievous. Here are a few of my personal favourites that I found. If you’ve found any better ones than the few I’ve scraped together throw them up in the comments section.
The Witcher 2: dead assassin
Before Witcher 3 blew everyone’s mind I played and thoroughly enjoyed the more compact Witcher 2. Early in the game, trying to break a siege, Geralt works his way over a precipitous castle wall at the bottom of which he finds a white-clad assassin dead in a straw-filled horse cart. This could only be a reference to Assassin’s Creed’s haycart loving Altaïr, who must have misjudged the depth of this particular pile of dead grass. It was a subtle and easily missed nod, but I assume someone in CD Projekt RED was a fan.
The Witcher 3: spoons instead of rings
Witcher 3 could fill this entire article with it references and Easter eggs, but an entire side mission was dedicated to hunting a twisted being with an unnatural attachment to spoons. There was a slow burn to the creepy journey to find our spoon-obsessed spook, with only glimpses and peripheral flashes of them. But eventually you find yourself in a mansion bedecked in so many spoons Uri Geller must have been the interior designer. I read this to be a reference to Lord Of The Rings and Gollum with his fixation on the one ring.
Grand Theft Auto IV: have a heart
As usual with GTA there’s a lot of time to just roam the world, so they must be clever where they hide their Easter eggs. The most memorable one for me was not so subtle. I think once players saw Liberty Island we were drawn to it like flies to a blue light. You would swim, fly, or powerboat your way out to the Statue of Liberty and once inside there is a beating chained heart throbbing inside its copper centre. Gruesome but definitely worth a visit.
Metal Gear Solid 2: slippery customer
Hideo Kojima was clearly an Escape from New York/L.A. fan and again the Metal Gear Solid series is a cine-literate production absolutely dripping with film, TV, and other game references throughout. In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty, Raiden is guided through his infiltration of the Big Shell by a mysterious stranger on his codec who goes by the pseudonym of Iroquois Pliskin (who to the surprise of absolutely no one turns out to be Solid Snake). The Easter egg is the name Pliskin, which is also the surname of eyepatch-wearing badass and protagonist of Escape from New York/L.A. Kurt Russell’s Snake Pliskin, supposedly the inspiration for the character of Snake himself.
Borderlands 2: caustic secret
Borderlands 2 was Gearbox at their very best, and Borderland’s bombastic and funny take on the MMO shooter would later be wrested from it by Destiny. Missing from Destiny was the humour that permeates Borderlands, seen in a small Easter egg in the Caustic Caverns referencing Minecraft. In a small, easily missed corner of the caustic caverns map there was some destructible scenery behind which lurked a group of green blocky exploding creepers, the famous antagonists from Minecraft.
Batman: Arkham City: tragic secret
While wandering around Arkham City I happened upon the Monarch Theatre, a famous name in Batman lore referencing the moment Batman’s folks mishandled their mugging moment. As if to prove this point a short sojourn to the back of the theatre reveals the chalk outline of the B-unit’s folks, where Batman is encouraged to pay his respects to his parents. And for the player to marvel at the amount of stuff Rocksteady were able to stuff into this dense game.
Mortal Kombat: toasty punches
This one may not be much of an Easter egg, but in Mortal Kombat II when you upper-cutted an opponent, occasionally a picture of one of the developers would pop up and squeak ‘toasty’ in a falsetto voice. If you hit a few buttons at that point you would get a chance to fight a hidden character called Smoke. Fighting games are great for this sort of stuff.
This of course is not an exhaustive list. After all, I’ve stuff going on like work, eating, sleeping, and Easter egg-hunting to fit into my unsatisfyingly short human lifespan. But it gives you an idea of the hidden pleasures beating in the copper chest of some video game franchises. Go out there and find them and dive in… but before you do check the depth of the hay in the cart first.
By reader Dieflemmy (gamertag)
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.