5 Video Game Easter Eggs That Were Absurdly Hard To Find
Video game Easter eggs, by definition, are difficult to find. Otherwise, they wouldn't be "hidden content" -- they would just be "content." But sometimes, game developers go way beyond "a fun little secret," and venture firmly into "paranoid recluse hiding jars of his own urine" territory. Some of these secrets weren't found for years, or even decades ...
Play As Teen Wolf In GTA V
In Grand Theft Auto V, there are 27 wild peyote plants hidden on the map. If you want to take a break from repeatedly ramping ice cream trucks off a mountain for some reason, you can eat one of these plants and experience a "hallucination" which lets you play the game as an animal. You can explore the map as a dog, or a dolphin, or even a bird with a fully operational "shit on people's heads" mechanic. Pretty cool, right? You probably even found some of these!
Please. We're not talking about that paltry secret. We're talking about the crazy super secret hidden within the already-secret secrets. When players accessed the code for the game, they discovered coordinates for a few plants that nobody had ever found, accompanied by a cryptic clue within the code itself. You actually had to crack into the game -- which is going way beyond "Easter Egg" -- and even then, you didn't get the answer. You merely got a hint.
"And you are insane to start this hunt at all."
It took a long time, but eventually players figured out the conditions required for the mystery golden peyote to appear. You must complete the whole game at least once, you have to have collected all the regular peyote already, and you have to have completed the mission "The Last One," in which you hunt down a guy in a Bigfoot costume. Oh, and also, the plants only appear on a certain day of the week, at a certain time, and only if the weather is set to snow or fog, which is itself next to impossible without a cheat code.
If you possess the patience and lack the job to meet those criteria, the game lets you play as Bigfoot.
Surprisingly in focus for once.
And it's still not over! If you collect all the golden peyote, you access a secret mission in which you, as Bigfoot, have to hunt down and kill Michael J. Fox's character from Teen Wolf.
Sadly, you don't get to kill the MTV reboot one too.
Doing so unlocks Teen Wolf as a playable character. Only he is now possibly an undead Teen Wolf? We're not super solid on the taxonomy of teen wolves.
Because the government keeps stopping our research!
Batman: Arkham City's Hidden Calendar Man Dialogue
The Arkham series by Rocksteady Studios took those classic goofy Batman characters and gave them dark and gritty makeovers. What a novel thing to do! Here's a before and after of Batman's most dignified nemesis, Calendar Man.
Above: comic camp.
Below: slightly dumber version of Krang's body.
He doesn't play any role in the story, but if you talk to him on a public holiday, he'll tell you a story that relates to that holiday. That's it.
"You see, Arbor Day can trace its roots back to the small Spanish village of Mondonedo in 1594 ..."
That's typically what you think of as an Easter Egg. You could probably stumble upon that on accident and it would be "kind of neat." Are you proud of yourself? You shouldn't be; you're practically chewing pencils in the remedial class. Here's the real secret: an extra line of dialogue that went undiscovered for three years after release. It was so obscure that, much like the secret room in Arkham Asylum, Rocksteady eventually gave up and told people. Apparently, they have twice the skill of the Riddler, but none of the patience.
A few days after the announcement, somebody finally figured it out: You have to change the date on your Xbox 360 console to December 13, 2004. What's the relevance? That's the date that Rocksteady was founded. Once this is done, Calendar Man tells you about his "flawed early work," and that his "skills improved" thanks to Batman, but that the "end is coming." He then ominously predicts that he will "be there at your end."
"But not, like, in a sexual ... I didn't mean ... that came out wrong."
All this foreshadowing had fans wondering if the series was about to come to a close. And they were right. At the end of Arkham Knight, ostensibly Rocksteady's final Batman game, Bruce Wayne is (supposedly) killed when Wayne Manor explodes. If you pause at precisely the right the moment and look really closely, you'll see it. Who is there watching at the gate, waiting "at the end," as promised?
"Who's got 'oh my god the dumbest' gimmick now, you dead pointy-eared bastard?"
The Elaborate And Ultimately Disappointing Secrets Of Trials HD
You'll remember from the previous installment that the makers of Trials are goddamn lunatics. For some reason, the developers of an amped-up Excitebike clone consistently author the most absurdly complex riddles this side of a mysterious old man guarding a bridge.
In between rounds of pressing throttle slightly too hard and falling on their backs, players began to notice odd things hidden away in far corners of the game. Strange patterns, cryptic structures, and coded messages ...
When in doubt, always guess Douglas Adams.
The pieces came together slowly. Very, very slowly. No, not that slowly! Aw, you didn't make the jump. Game over. Start again? It took three years of Trials and error (no apologies will be made for that pun -- or indeed, for anything we ever do) to crack the puzzle. For example, Roman numerals on this sign decode to spell out the word "Croatan," a reference to the famous missing Roanoke colony ...
... another weird symbol, this one part of an inscription on the Voyager spacecraft ...
... this pile of random-looking junk turned out to be a machine invented by Leonardo da Vinci.
It took humanity another 300 years before we reinvented the steam-powered goodbye-waver.
Of course, even when you know what it means, you still don't know what it means. What happens when you solve it? Do you get a bitchin' new motorcycle, a cool new rider, what? In 2012, the developers figured players had come as close as they were going to get, and wrapped up the mystery.
The answer was ... curiosity.
And you get ... nothing.
Fuck you for wondering.
Final Fantasy IX's Hidden Sidequest Which Took 13 Years To Finish
There are people who have done nothing for the last decade but repeatedly play Final Fantasy games, and when the reaper comes for them, we're sure they'll have no regrets. Well, none except for that one quest in Final Fantasy IX that they never finished. The quest that haunts them at night as they snuggle up with their Aerith body pillows and cry bitter tears of frustration into a Moogle plushie. The quest whose mystery went unsolved for 13 years.
The quest takes place on the last disc. In a war-ravaged city, an NPC runs out of his house and stops you from saving the world or whatever (you've long since forgotten, as you've already been lost in sidequests for like 20 hours by this point) to ask you for help finding his missing brother.
"Bullshit. You literally just made those names up."
Most players assumed they'd find the next step later on and pick up the trail. And if by "later on," they meant "after over a decade of real time," they'd have been right. What you're supposed to do is backtrack after fighting the next boss to revisit the house, where you'll meet another brother or sister who is also missing their siblings.
"See my previous statement."
Then you do it again. Go fight the boss, come back, talk to another sibling, go fight the boss again ... in total, you have to do it 10 times before a slight change in the dialogue pattern reveals that you've reached the end of the mission, at which point you can go inside their house and loot it ...
... for a Protect Ring. Which you could have bought at a goddamn shop. Ah, but if you come back, the quest repeats. Simply travel back and forth, running through the exact same boss fight 10 more friggin' times, and you'll get...
You could complain about the wasted time, but honestly, there's no way in hell you were doing this unless you had nothing else in your life, anyway.
The Secret Profane Dialogue In The Discworld Games
The mid-'90s saw the release of two adventure games based on the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, both featuring the voice of Monty Python alum Eric Idle. Many nerds' hearts exploded at that news. It was a tragic time. The games were notorious for their brutally difficult puzzles, even by adventure game standards, so it makes sense that finding an Easter egg would be nigh impossible.
In 2005, a full decade after its release, someone was combing through the text file that cached every line of dialogue from the game -- because some people never discover their true calling, and their spare time is a vast, barren desert. The file included one line that nobody had ever heard spoken in the game: "I want to be the first person in a game to say #$%&." Fans tried to find the hidden dialogue, to no avail, but it wasn't until the lead programmer confirmed it (along with some vague and misremembered instructions) that the hunt could begin.
Ohhh, so adventure game developers weren't being jerks. That's just how they all operate in real life.
In fact, both games (which were made for children and young adults) contained hidden sound files of Eric Idle clearly saying the word "fuck." According to Dave Johnston, the programmer responsible, the publisher was so mad at him over his inclusion of the offensive dialogue that he all but had to put it in the sequel as well. His hands were tied!
And yet the line itself wasn't discovered for another decade. In 2014, Adventure Gamers forum user Dan_Dan_91_07, one of the few people with a computer antiquated enough to even play them, managed to crack the Easter egg in the second game.
"I also want to be the first person in a game to get every single player to yell, 'ARE YOU F**KING KIDDING ME?!'"
You have to stand in a specific place near a stone circle, then use two particular objects from your inventory on each other 12 times, then walk through the stone circle 25 times without skipping the cutscene that plays each time. Of course! It's so obvious in retrospect.
If you manage to pull off that OCD fit of a code, you're treated to a hidden scene in which Rincewind teleports into the first game and has a conversation with his low-res self, including the infamous line:
We'd like to say it was worth the payoff, but they bleeped it, so ...
The clip from the first game took even longer to figure out, but if you go to the right place and land a certain number of clicks on precisely the right spots in an exact sequence, you too can listen to a cartoon wizard drop an uncensored F-bomb in a video game for kids.
Not only did they not bleep it, but you have to click on nipples. Much better.
Then you can stop, lean back in your chair, and wonder what the hell you're even doing anymore.
Adam Koski might have hidden a bunch of Easter eggs in his hilarious and exciting fantasy book Forest: A Tale Of Magic Gone Wrong. The only way to know for sure is to buy a copy here. Better buy a couple to be safe. Scott Elizabeth Baird can be found rooting for the White Walkers on Twitter.
For more insane moments in the world of gaming, check out The 5 Craziest Things Ever Accomplished In A Video Game and The 5 Most Sadistic 'Game Over' Scenes In Video Game History.
Also, follow us on Facebook, and be the Tails to our Sonic.
Every year we're inundated with movies that are based on true stories. We're about to get a Deepwater Horizon movie where Mark Whalberg will plug an oil spill with his muscles, and a Sully Sullenberger movie where Tom Hanks will land a plane on the Hudson with acting. But we think Hollywood could do better than this. That's why Jack O'Brien, the Cracked staff and comedians Lindsay Adams, Sunah Bilsted, Eli Olsberg, and Steven Wilber will pitch their ideas of incredible true stories that should be made into movies. Get your tickets for this LIVE podcast here!