7 Video Game Easter Eggs Designed to Screw With Your Head
Video game Easter eggs come in a variety of flavors. Some are meant to amuse the player, some are meant to creep the hell out of the player and some ... some have no discernible purpose other than making the player go what the actual fuck?
These are the latter kind.
Silent Hill 2: The Dog Ending
The Silent Hill franchise is generally recognized as one of the most terrifying game series ever produced. It's all evil gods and twisted limbs and beings with geometric objects for heads.
So these games are pretty freaky to begin with, but somehow, a secret ending for Silent Hill 2 managed to make the entire franchise even weirder. The second game is about James Sunderland, a widower who goes into the haunted town of Silent Hill to look for his dead wife. To see the coveted ending, you need to beat the game at least once and play it over again to find a bone-shaped key, which grants you access to a secret room.
It may take you as many as three playthroughs to get this right, but it's totally worth it, because once you open the door, you'll find ...
... a dog in a headset, mucking around at a control panel. Apparently, everything that happened in Silent Hill was his work -- that isn't us talking, that's the game.
"Now it all makes sense!"
Realizing that the search for his wife has all been for naught and he's been a puppet of a freaking dog all this time, James falls to his knees for the small comfort of said dog licking his face.
"Damn you, evil ... haha ... evil beast ... aw, I can't stay mad at you."
Then the credits roll to circusy organ music, accompanied by yapping dog sounds and random pictures. And we mean random.
This is what a brain stroke looks like.
By the way, this isn't the last we see of the dog -- in Silent Hill: Origins, one of the endings has an alien beaming down to help the protagonist get his missing truck back. Wanna guess who's with him?
Now we know why the fans hated the movie so much: No dog ending.
Gears of War 3: Magic Chickens Everywhere
Gears of War is a dark, gritty trilogy of shooters where the planet is in ruins at the hands of alien invaders and the only thing between humanity and extinction is a bunch of muscular soldiers pattering on about their missing fathers and wives while shooting said aliens to shit. It's not a game where you'd expect to find a hidden race of chickens with magic powers, but life is full of surprises.
Perhaps we should elaborate. In the first level of the third game, you'll come to a docklike area with pipes. At one point, a chicken jumps out of one of those pipes.
Just a regular ol' pipe-dwelling chicken.
Now, as a video game player, your first instinct upon seeing the harmless little hen will most definitely be to shoot it ...
Did we learn nothing from the Zelda games?
... at which point it will magically transform into a giant golden chicken and come at you with a vengeance.
That's the second largest golden cock we've ever seen.
Wait, make that a giant fire-breathing golden chicken, zipping around, flamethrowering your sorry ass.
And then, if you manage to kill it, it will explode into confetti, of course.
Somehow, this isn't even the most baffling of the game's chicken antics. If you're playing on the hardest difficulty setting and don't disturb any of the dead bodies at the beginning of Act 4, you can find a chicken wearing a neon-trimmed pirate hat in a storage room. This one skips the fire-breathing bit and goes straight to the "exploding into confetti when shot" part.
"Seriously? What do I have to do to get some chicken wings?"
However, this is actually the beginning of an optional side quest for a secret weapon called the Cluckshot, which, as you've probably guessed by now, is a rocket launcher that fires exploding chickens. And yeah, you can kill enemies with it, or yourself, if you're not careful.
Contra: Hard Corps: Beat the Disco Robot, Become a Prehistoric Monkey King
Contra games are usually pretty straightforward: You walk in the same direction, shooting everything that crosses your path until you get to the boss. Contra: Hard Corps for Sega Genesis, however, lets you take a small detour from the main game if you find the hidden man in the top hat, who offers you a chance to partake in something called the Battle Arena.
"All you have to do is put on this thong and ..."
If you accept, you find yourself in a secret room where you have to fight a disco-boots-wearing, Afro-having robot with cool shades who attacks you with a whip and shoots fish pastries at you.
Really should have seen this coming.
When beaten, the Disco Robot will erupt into fish pastries and explode.
This is how all video game bosses should die, always.
Your next opponent is a giant zombie in a dress pushing around her baby slime monster in a carriage with a turret on the front ... but you know what, this still makes more sense than the previous guy.
This is precisely why you say no to men with top hats.
And finally, the third opponent is a robot who warps around the room by ripping holes in the fabric of space, and who manages to look really out of place here by at least resembling a normal Contra enemy. So then you go back to the normal game, right? Nope: Defeating it will cause your character to get sucked into one of its portals ...
... and get sent back to the Cretaceous Period, where he'll find himself surrounded by freaked out monkeys and a really thrilled Apatosaurus.
At this point, we're not even surprised that the monkeys have glasses.
Cut to several years later: Your character is now king of the monkeys, for lack of anything better to do.
Those monkeys are livid that he got the sexiest monkey wife.
The motherfucking end. Credits start rolling, and it's over. Oh, what's that? You wanted to return to the normal game? Then we hope you remembered to save before you walked into this insanity, buddy.
Perfect Dark: The Hidden Cheese Wedges
Perfect Dark was the spiritual successor to GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64, only instead of being James Bond, shooting Russians in the crotch, you're Joanna Dark, fighting an alien conspiracy at Area 51. But, as you go through the game, you may stumble across a different, far more insidious conspiracy: There is a single piece of cheese hidden in every level. For some reason.
Seriously. You can find them behind grates ...
Air vents: Not just for hiding serial killer blood slides.
... on shelves ...
... in the toilet ...
It's that or a really big piece of corn.
... and so on. There are 22 pieces in all, but you can't pick them up or photograph them or even eat them -- the game gives you absolutely nothing for finding them all, other than the depressing feeling that you've wasted a significant portion of your life tracking down and looking at pixelated cheese.
And it's not like they're a piece of cake to find: You have to go through some absurd measures to find some of them. A couple require you to complete little challenges, like not being seen or not taking damage for the first part of the level, while others require you to look through the sniper scope to catch a fleeting glimpse of them.
Who was the first person to find this, and what went wrong in their lives?
We can only speculate on why the game's creators did this. Maybe Area 51 has a mouse problem and the cheese is poisoned. Maybe the pieces of cheese are remnants of a more complex feature that the company scrapped during production. Or maybe they're just fucking with us. We'll never know (but it's definitely the last one).
Saints Row 2: The Giant Bunny Doll Buried in the Sea
Saints Row 2 is a sandbox crime game, very much in the vein of Grand Theft Auto, if Grand Theft Auto let you run over civilians while dressed as Santa Claus. Sandbox games consist of vast worlds that the player can explore, making them ideal for hiding Easter eggs -- Saints Row 2, however, gives you the whole damn bunny.
You see, while exploring the area around the prison island, you may come to a smaller island containing nothing but a sign with an arrow pointing out to sea. If you jump on your watercraft and ride in that direction, you'll find ... another island with an arrow pointing in a different direction.
Is it an extremely elaborate version of the Konami Code?
Repeat the process and you'll find a third island and a third sign. At this point, few people would blame you if you said "Fuck this" and got back to the main game, but if you're persistent and/or bored enough, you'll eventually reach a final island with several arrows. Then the island disappears, and something starts rising out of the sea. Something massive.
So, you see, when we said that thing about giving you the whole bunny ...
... we meant it literally.
There's an underwater sea giant somewhere who doesn't know how to take care of his toys.
Unfortunately, you can't climb up it and dive off its ear like the world's most adorable diving board -- like most things in this game, the only thing you can do is shoot it, which will make it fall over and vanish into nothing, so maybe it was just a hallucination brought on by the same crazy part of your brain that made you follow all those signs.
Lay off the absinthe, dude.
Or not, because in Saints Row: The Third, guess what you'll find in the harbor:
Dear God, don't turn your back to it, you fool.
Yup, somebody dredged him up and brought him ashore. That, or he dragged himself out of the ocean, for revenge.
Star Fox: The Outer Dimensional Slot Monster
Star Fox was one of the first Super Nintendo games to feature 3-D graphics, and also the first game to feature anthropomorphic space pilot animals fighting a monkey emperor, probably. If you're an expert Star Fox player (or, like, you've looked at the map screen for five seconds), you already knows there's a secret Black Hole level. However, it turns out there's another, even more secret and completely batshit crazy level that isn't even shown on the map, so most people will blissfully go through their lives never knowing about it.
To reach it, you must go to the Hard Asteroid Belt and destroy a greenish-gray asteroid that will release a giant space bird. Now you have to fly into the giant space bird.
Once you do that, you'll be thrown into a warping and waving field of stars and planets. Planets with faces. That are grinning at you.
What the literal flying fuck, Nintendo?
The level isn't especially hard: The only enemies here are sheets of paper that float onscreen and fold into paper airplanes, and ... whatever these other things are.
The real challenge is playing through the level without losing your lunch.
When you think it can't possibly get any weirder, a giant slot machine flies in front of you as the music changes to "When the Saints Go Marching In." This is the boss. The boss is a huge slot machine in space. You beat it by shooting its lever and randomly getting three 7s, which can take anywhere from 10 seconds to all year, depending on how nice the game feels like being.
When you finally do score a jackpot, it spills a bunch of gold and silver coins and self-destructs ... but then it's over, right? Please? Nope. Here's where this level becomes truly disturbing. Unlike the Black Hole level, which would at least let you resume the normal game, this one never ends. After you beat the slot machine, the credits will fly by, ending with a scrambled "The End" while enemies fly onscreen.
You can try to unscramble the letters by shooting at them, but they'll just undescramble themselves again. Your only hope to leave this place is to let the enemies kill you, but even then, that just sends you back to the beginning of the level. So you're trapped here forever, and presumably the monkeys now rule the universe.
Diablo: The Secret Cow and Secret Pony Levels
The Diablo games are about killing Satan, so as you can imagine, the enemies are going to be things like demons and dragons and ... cows? Hordes of bipedal, axe-wielding cows?
You're the soon-to-be-trampled guy at the center.
The "explanation" for this is that when the first Diablo game came out, a bizarre rumor started going around claiming that if you clicked repeatedly on a specific cow found outside of town, you could reach an all-cow level. It was just one of those stupid things bored kids come up with to make their friends waste entire afternoons clicking on cows. Diablo's creators at Blizzard actually went out of their way to point out that there was no cow level in Diablo ... and then they included one in Diablo II.
And that was the day when nerds learned that if they bitch enough, anything can happen.
In order to reach it, you have to beat the main game once and then combine two specific items to create a portal. Step into the portal and you'll find yourself in a large meadow, being chased by dozens upon dozens of killer cows. Their leader is a powerful bovine warlock called the Cow King, and as long as you don't kill him, you can keep coming back to the Secret Cow Level to collect items for the normal game.
Or for your own sandwich shop.
Even if you kill the Cow King, though, that's not the last of him. Fast forward 13 years to Diablo III, where you actually encounter the Cow King's ghost -- he will deny the existence of another Cow Level, but we're not falling for that one again. If you gather some items and combine them into a staff, a portal will open that will lead you into th-
That's Whimsyshire, the Secret Pony Level, a magical place in Diablo III that is filled with rainbows, happy clouds and pink teddy bears that you can violently slaughter. We give up, Blizzard. We just give up.
For more video game shenanigans from Codie, visit her site at Codiekitty.com.
For more Easter Eggs to pay attention to, check out 7 Insane Easter Eggs Hidden in Movies and TV Shows and 10 Mind-Blowing Easter Eggs Hidden in Famous Albums.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 4 Crucial Rules of End Zone Celebration Etiquette