7 Creepy Video Game Easter Eggs You'll Wish Were Never Found
Video game Easter eggs can be a fun way to motivate players to continue exploring a game they've completed ... or they can be terrifying experiences that make sure the players never go near that game again. We've told you about those Easter eggs that took years to be found; here are some more that we wish had remained undiscovered.
Video games are insanely hard to make, but usually that stuff pays off with some really awesome content. Hell, some of our favorite childhood memories are the result of game designers putting in a level of work that would drive a normal human insane.
And that's kinda the problem because, as this Cracked Classic shows, some game designers are normal humans, and they do go insane. And not jovial, Willy Wonka crazy, either -- we're talking Dexter meets Buffalo Bill meets whatever-American-Idol-Host-It's-Cool-to-Make-Fun-of-Now. The kind of crazy you can shake a stick at, but if you do that, it'll bite that stick right out of your hand and use it to make a creepy doll to hang from trees. -Cracked
Portal 2 -- Hidden Messages and Rape-y Sounds
Portal 2 brought us everything we loved about the first game (portals) and left out everything we hated (cake-related meme horseshit). What it also brought us is a whole bunch of weird secrets, and some of them are downright creepy.
Who knew a game about ripping holes in reality could get creepy?
For instance, in one of the earlier test chambers of the game, you can find an abandoned room hidden off to the side of the level, much like the abandoned rooms found in the original game. This one's got a creepy surprise, though. If you stand close enough to one of the graffiti-covered walls, you can hear a kind of disturbed chanting. Someone went ahead and pulled out the sound files embedded in the game: the voice is clearer, but still nonsensical.
Above: Either a screen grab from Portal, or literally any alley in Philadelphia.
Fan speculation is that this is a background character (introduced in a comic book set between the two games) named Doug Rattmann -- a schizophrenic who was the only survivor of GLaDOS' neurotoxin attack prior to the events of the first game. And he apparently lives inside a wall. He also just happens to be the dude responsible for all the graffiti and junk laying around the labs in both games.
If video games could smell, we're pretty sure Portal would stink of this guy's poo.
In fact, in another of his rooms, you can bring a radio inside and listen to some kind of strange, blaring noise. It's even an achievement. But that's not the weird part. That blaring sound is an encrypted SSTV image signal, and if you take the time to decode it, it's actually a reference to another scene in the game ... which hasn't happened yet.
But the creepiest thing of all isn't even in the game. Not technically, anyway. Players who decided to hunt through Portal 2's sound files found recorded lines of dialogue that aren't in the game -- more specifically, an increasingly agitated woman saying "I don't want this!" If you've played the whole game you can guess that's actually (spoilers ahead) Caroline protesting her transformation into GLaDOS, but it still sounds kinda rape-y if you don't know the context. In fact, J.K. Simmons, who provides the voice for Caroline's boss, purportedly refused to record his half of the scene because it was so disturbing. The developers actually agreed and dropped it from the final game.
It made him uncomfortable, and he played a Nazi rapist on Oz
Halo 3 -- The Monkey Family
You've probably heard of Halo, the popular first-person shooter featuring a diverse cast of memorable characters, such as the space marine with the green armor, the space marine with the gray armor and, our personal favorite, the other space marine with the gray armor. And, uh, that's pretty much everyone, we think.
Unless you count the Monkey People.
Above: Four characters with more development than Master Chief.
The Monkey People (or Monkey Family as they're sometimes called) can be found on the first playable level of Halo 3. If you follow these instructions you can spot them hiding in the jungle, and then ... nothing, they're just completely frozen there. Watch:
They're not just part of the scenery, though -- you can't kill them, but if you shoot them they actually bleed (only real characters do that). Note that they all look exactly the same only in different sizes, which suggests that they might be the product of genetic experiments or excessive inbreeding. For all we know, the monkeys might keep decreasing in size right down to a subatomic level.
And they're not the only ones: A lone Monkey Man can be found in a different, much harder to reach part of the level (it's actually outside the game map and you can only get there by killing yourself and respawning in the right place). This one's hiding behind some bushes. Why the others have chosen to ostracize him remains unclear.
But it's probably because he appears to be touching himself.
They're in more than one game, too. If you get to the end of Halo 3: ODST, sit through the credits and watch the final cut scene that comes afterward, you can actually move the camera to the left during the last few seconds and take a look around the spaceship. Guess who was sitting right there the whole time.
Looking at you.
Another freaking Monkey Man. At this rate, we'll be seeing Monkey People as the main antagonists in the next game. What do these man-faced apes want, and how did they achieve immortality? According to some fans they are supposed to resemble Marcus Lehto, the Creative Art Director of Bungie -- and, by extension, the various space marines modeled after him throughout several Halo games. We'll let you figure out the nasty implication there.
Which is that they like screwing monkeys.
GTA IV -- The Statue of Liberty's Secret
Because the game world is so vast that you can almost never fully explore all of it, the Grand Theft Auto series is full of bizarre urban legends about what you can find hidden there. Like the one that claims you can see Bigfoot wandering around, or Leatherface, or the ghost of CJ's mom, or that CJ is actually a woman under his armor (or something). The truth, however, is even stranger than those rumors.
Rumors that some GTA titles include "plotlines" remain unsubstantiated.
This involves the Statue of Happiness in GTA IV, which is exactly like the Statue of Liberty except with a disturbing, almost inhuman grin.
We're not sure what it is, but reportedly Bill Clinton started crying when he saw it.
The statue is only reachable by helicopter, boat or swimming to the island, which seems like way too much effort to look at a monument that's clearly just background scenery for your killing spree. If you still decide to go and you manage to climb to the upper level of the statue's base, you'll see a door with a sign that reads "No Hidden Content This Way."
Nice try, nerds.
We're assuming not many people make it past this point, because if you can't trust a video game about stealing cars and shooting people, then who can you trust? However, if you do walk past the sign you'll find a ladder that takes you inside the statue, where you'll see this:
A giant heart suspended by chains. Check out the eerie sound it makes:
That strange glow suggests that there might be something supernatural about this. Also, the fact that it's a giant beating heart. Why is that there? What does it do? Can you kill it? If you think no GTA player has ever tried that, you've probably never met one. No, you can't kill it (not even with the rocket launcher, which does kill one of the pigeons on the outside of the statue), and nobody knows why it exists.
Speaking of which, there's also no explanation for the stroller you can find on the beach in the same game. "Big deal," you might say. "It's a stroller. Who cares?" Ask yourself this: How many children have you seen in the Grand Theft Auto games? Why would there be a stroller, abandoned by the ocean, no less, in a world without children, if not to freak you the fuck out?
Hitman: Contracts -- The Hidden Ghost
You wouldn't expect ghosts to show up in a straight action/stealth game like Hitman. The series is known for its gritty realism, and besides, the whole point is that you can kill pretty much anyone you see in contrived ways, so why would they even bother to include the one type of person that's completely immune to being shot at?
Other than to make you shit your pants, that is.
The "Traditions of the Trade" mission in Hitman: Contracts takes place in a hotel where you have to find a device and kill some dudes. At one point during the mission you come across this door:
The door is closed, but if you pick the lock while nobody is looking, you can go into a hidden area of the hotel. Once you're in there, if you hurry up you can catch a glimpse of something going through a wall. Take too long to get there and you'll miss it.
This screenshot is more thrilling than all of Ghost Hunters combined.
At this point you have two options: You can turn around, pretend you didn't see that and go on with the rest of the game -- or you can keep going and find out what's ahead. If you do, you'll run into a cop who tells you there's been a "nasty accident" in one of the rooms. There's blood all over the place, a dead body on the floor and a knife on the wall.
It was probably a cooking accident then.
And this is where it gets creepy: Walk into the bathroom and you'll see a bloody smudge on the wall and a bathtub filled with even more blood. That's all there appears to be in there. However, if you happen to look in the mirror ...
... a ghost flickers into existence. You can actually see him in the bathroom of another room while a dude showers, so apparently this is a spirit of the voyeuristic kind. In this scene he's probably just waiting there, hoping he'll get to see you take a crap.
Hitman: Teaching our children crucial lessons.
The ghost has no relation to the plot whatsoever. It's not an achievement or anything like that, and you can complete the whole game and still get the highest rating while being blissfully unaware of its existence. The bloody hotel room itself is also kinda creepy: that's not the most grisly murder scene you'll see in Hitman, but the difference is that in every other case, you always know the exact reason behind the tragedy.
Oh, and remember how we said that you can't kill a ghost? Apparently in this game you can. Twice. That's probably a glitch, but still.
Game Boy Camera -- Disturbing Error Faces
The Game Boy Camera was a weird accessory to begin with: It allowed you to take small, grainy photos with your Game Boy, which could then be printed out into small, grainy stickers if you hooked it up to the Game Boy Printer.
It's only practical purpose was convincing your friends you were trapped inside a game.
But what made it downright bizarre was the creepy messages hidden through it. The system came loaded with several mini-games and image editing features, among which was a "Run" option. Every kid who ever owned a Game Boy Camera was terrified to accidentally select Run from the menu, because if he did, the system would freeze for a moment and show one of three vandalized faces ...
"Now this game is ready for children."
... accompanied by the phrase "WHO ARE YOU RUNNING FROM?" and this sound.
Even if you managed to steer clear of the Run option, though, you were still under permanent risk of being randomly subjected to inexplicable images like that if you happened to come across a system error (like if the game couldn't find the printer or something). So, while playing with the Game Boy Camera you always had to be extra careful if you didn't wanna run into something like this:
Here's the third error face, and there were two more that were only present in the Japanese version, which is kind of puzzling, because it means that someone at Nintendo actually sat there and said "No, no, the American market will never go for these faces, let's get different ones."
"These are Japan-creepy. We need America-creepy."
There's more: If you looked at the Game Boy Camera's credits sequence and pressed "B," the screen would be overtaken by a self-replicating dancing Japanese person (possibly Mario's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto):
The Game Boy Camera wasn't a big hit and was eventually discontinued, but its legacy of terror lives on in the nightmares of thousands of gamers and lo-res photography enthusiasts.
Various Games -- All Sorts of Weird Sounds
Apparently game developers get off on hiding creepy noises in games, because Portal 2 isn't the only one. If you stand in certain spots in multiplayer maps in Call of Duty: World at War, you can hear nice, pleasant things like girls crying, a disembodied piano, Red Army rallies, people being tortured and even a speech by ghost-Hitler himself. (And if that's not weird enough, Call of Duty: Finest Hour has a blackened room filled with candles and the ghost of a young boy sitting around in a baby's crib.)
This is why grandad got quiet whenever we watched Ghost!
Half-Life 2 and its expansions also contain insane shit. For example, the zombies you frequently encounter in the game usually make some strange, howling noise that's kind of disconcerting on its own. It gets weirder if you reverse it, though, and hear a mostly unaltered human voice screaming "Oh God, oh God, God help me" over and over. So you can sleep well with that in your head.
We hate to stray off topic, but man is that one bloody crotch.
In the expansion Half-Life 2: Episode One, you also encounter City 17 police forces that have been infected and turned into zombies. They're generally unintelligible, but with a bit of sound manipulation, you can hear some kinda disturbing stuff. Essentially, these things seem to be reliving their last human moments over and over again, using words and phrases like "infestation," "parasites," "sector is not secure" and "necrotics inbound."
"Tomorrow was my retirement party."
And, you know, maybe those kinds of Easter eggs are a little understandable, being in intense, mature games like they are ... unlike the next one. In the game Jam Sessions for the Nintendo DS, of all things, you can allow the A6 guitar chord to ring out and, if you don't play any other notes afterward, it plays a whispered message that sounds a hell of a lot like "forgive us."
What's that doing there? According to one of the game's developers, it's actually a bit of the recording artist caught on tape saying "tsugi ikimasu," which is Japanese for "next," which is creepy enough in and of itself, if you think of it in a "you're next" kinda way.
This is basically the console equivalent of that VHS tape from The Ring.
But, speaking of ghostly voices ...
Related: NBA Games Are Gonna Be Weird
World of Warcraft -- The Ghosts of Warcraft Past
We've talked a bit about strange things you can find in World of Warcraft before, but who are we to resist writing about what is, essentially, a haunted castle from a previous game?
How many of you know more about the history of this castle than World War I?
Before World of Warcraft there were Warcraft games, a series of non-MMORPG strategy games focusing on the war between humans and orcs. On WoW there is an area called the Ruins of Lordaeron over the undead capital, and inside the main castle-looking area, you can find an abandoned throne room. If you listen very closely (that is, crank the "ambient sound" volume slider to the max), you can hear some spooky, disembodied voices:
On top of that, if you go just outside the castle into Lordaeron's courtyard and use the "detect invisibility" spell, you can actually see the ghosts of the former townspeople wandering around.
They look like blue farts, basically.
These could just be random video game ghosts, but they're not: There's a whole back story here. Those ghostly voices we just showed you actually come from the opening and closing cinematics of the human campaign in Warcraft III. The throne belongs to an old character called King Menethil, and Lordaeron itself, before turning into ruins, was a main setting in Warcraft II and III. It turns out that the ghostly whispers are actually replaying the catastrophe that doomed the city.
The whispers about the tides of darkness and all that? That's King Menethil being warned that his son, Prince Arthas (also from the Warcraft games), is gonna fuck everything up for everyone. The rest of it is Arthas later returning home after being possessed by something called the Lich King and stabbing the shit out of his own dad. After that, the undead kinda came in and set up shop underneath the abandoned city and killed off all the remaining humans that were still there and in the surrounding area, hence all the ghosts and shit.
"Arthas, your skin is totally bloodless and your armor is covered in skulls. Are you planning to murder everyone? Be honest."
The point is that throne room is where Arthas/Lich King betrayed King Menethil and the rest of humanity and set in motion the events that caused pretty much every problem in World of Warcraft.
So if you're wondering who to blame for your sleepless nights and Cheetos-stained fingers, now you know.
Maxwell Yezpitelok lives in Chile and likes to waste his time writing back to scammers or making stupid comics. Ashe recently wrote a short story for a charity book that you can buy here. For more of his stuff, check out Weird Shit Blog and Bad Metaphors.
For more Easter egg hunting, check out 10 Mind-Blowing Easter Eggs Hidden in Famous Albums and 7 Insane Easter Eggs Hidden in Movies and TV Shows.
And stop by LinkSTORM to help get over the Mondays.
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