Easter’s here, that glorious time of year where it’s socially acceptable to eat a grotesque amount of overpriced chocolate (Just three months after Christmas, too – we love our regularly scheduled pig-out excuses). So while you’re waiting to tuck into your pile of hollow milk chocolate shells – assuming you haven’t demolished them already – join us as we share some of our favourite Easter eggs. From games, obviously. We’re not sharing any sweets.
Left 4 Dead 2 – An ode to staying alive
KAESIYA: Whilst it may be no surprise that Valve incorporated easter eggs from their other published titles, early on in The Parish level of Left 4 Dead 2 you come across a jukebox that very occasionally churns out Still Alive from Portal.
There is something wonderful about shooting zombies to GlaDOS’ eerie tones, even if you have to whack the jukebox for about ten minutes sometimes to trigger it. Patience isn’t much of a virtue in Left 4 Dead 2‘s zombie infested world, but it pays off here.
The same jukebox also plays RE: Your Brains by Jonathon Coulton, writer of Still Alive – a charming song about eating brains in the office. Classic Bob from the office down the hall, always trying to eat my sweet, sweet eyeballs. It’s also worth noting that The Parish level is set in Bienville Parish, the place in Louisiana where Bonnie and Clyde were killed.
The Witcher – Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out!
NIL: The Witcher franchise is full of quality easter eggs; hidden nods to the fantasy genre and pop culture at large are rife within CDPROJEKTRED’s masterpiece. Players can encounter Doctor Who’s eternally terrifying Weeping Angels, mock the corpse of a tomb raider, and listen to Ciri talk about a world where people “had metal in their heads, waged war from a distance, using things similar to megascopes”, foreshadowing Cyberpunk 2077. She had nothing to say about all the rampant T-posing, oddly enough.
Without a doubt though, my favourite is the Rabbit of Caerbannog, a loving nod to Monty Python & The Holy Grail. By heading to the town of Benek, Geralt can stumble upon a fluffy white snow hare surrounded by ravaged corpses. It’d be quite easy to miss this one entirely, and luckily it doesn’t pose as much of a threat to Geralt – in the 1975 movie, the rabbit was only defeated with the use of the Holy Hand Grenade. That’s basically the one thing the witcher doesn’t keep on hand, and as such the rabbit remains invulnerable to all attacks, magical or physical.
It Takes Two – There was a Way Out, apparently
MADDOX: I recently picked up the latest co-op release from Hazelight Studios, It Takes Two; the tale of two parents who have hit a rocky patch in their relationship and heading rapidly towards the iceberg that is divorce. Their daughter wants nothing more than to bring her parents back together and turns to the book of love to see how they can work through this.
Somehow, her tears transport the minds of her parents into two dolls who will have to learn to work together and rebuild their relationship to get back to their normal bodies. On one particular section of It Takes Two, you’re making your way through your daughter’s pillow fort. As you walk through, a small tunnel leads off the main path, and at the end are two figures with buttons you can jump on to activate catchphrases.
It turns out these two figures are from the father’s favourite video game, which just happens to be A Way Out, Hazelight Studios first co-op release. A pretty cool Easter egg paying tribute to the game that started it all off for Hazelight.
Borderlands 2 – The Minecraft Cave
KAESIYA: Tucked away in a far off corner of the Caustic Caverns within the Sanctuary hole is a very well hidden wall of Minecraft blocks. Break them using melee attacks and you emerge into the Creeper cave, where various Creepers spawn. Kill them all for an opportunity to bag yourself Minecraft themed character skins; and perhaps if you’re even luckier – themed weapons. The Badass Creeper in this area has a rare chance to drop a Tediore shotgun named the Blockhead, and a Hyperion sniper called the Longbow, which shoots Minecraft arrows.
World of Warcraft – Cloud (Sorry, Koraud) and Aerith’s flower shop
NIL: World of Warcraft has been online since 2004, and at this point in time is probably more Easter egg than actual narrative. There’s references to other Blizzard titles like Overwatch and Diablo, and a practically uncountable number of nods to pop culture in some subtle and… not so subtle ways. Like the fact that Cloud and Aerith from Final Fantasy VII have been sat in the magical city of Dalaran selling flowers for years, or the encounter with a Forsaken named Nicolas who’s stuck in a cage.
Wandering through Azeroth for long enough will expose you to more cheap Easter eggs than half an hour in the local Aldi, but there’s some really good stuff there for watchful adventurers – the bunker from LOST, a respectful homage to long-time player Robin Williams, and entire questlines revolving around building a Big Daddy from Bioshock. And who could forget the series of celebrity-fronted adverts from back in the day?
From everyone here at FULLSYNC, happy Easter – may your weekend be filled with eggs of the digital and chocolate variety.