Easter eggs are hidden bits of media within video games; they often offer fan service to those loyal enough to seek them out. Rarely do they affect gameplay (though there are exceptions). Sometimes developers hide them a bit too well, and they are not found for years after a game’s release.
Goldeneye 007 – Games Within a Game (1997)
Goldeneye 007 revolutionized first-person shooters. Still beloved by gamers to this day, one would think that all its secrets would have been found shortly after its release. However, in 2012 a computer engineer who went by “spoondiddly” discovered that deep within the game’s code was a fully functional emulator containing 10 ZX Spectrum games. (The ZX Spectrum was the UK’s version of the classic Commodore 64 console.)
Rare, the company that developed Goldeneye 007, had been tinkering with console emulation on the Nintendo 64. For whatever reason, they didn’t remove it from Goldeneye’s code, just disabled it. Spoondiddly discovered how to enable the emulator.
Wave Race: Blue Storm – The Apathetic Commentator (2001)
Wave Race: Blue Storm, a jet ski racing game on Nintendo’s GameCube, was a sleeper hit in the early days of sixth generation consoles. In 2011, it returned to relevance when a hilarious secret was discovered within it. If players enter a certain code while in the audio settings menu, the voice of the game’s announcer—who enthusiastically spouts words of encouragement as players race—will be changed.
The new announcer is bored and sarcastic, telling the player that their performance is “pathetic” or “weak.” In fact, the kindest adjective in his vocabulary is “adequate.” Considering that Wave Race: Blue Storm was marketed towards impressionable children, it makes sense that this easter egg was so difficult to find.
Resident Evil 2 – What’s in Wesker’s Desk? (1998)
The fact that this easter egg was discovered at all is absolutely baffling. If the player searches the desk of Albert Wesker (the game’s primary antagonist), there will appear a message that reads, “There’s nothing here.”
But if the player searches the desk 50 times, they will receive the item “film D.” And what image is contained in this film? It is a photo of prominent character Rebecca Chambers in a basketball outfit. Yes, that’s it.
While the easter egg itself is less than spectacular, one must admire the tenacity of the player who discovered it. What possessed them to continually look inside a desk after being told time and time again that there was nothing there? If only they had found something more useful.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – The Chris Houlihan Room (1991)
In 1990, the magazine Nintendo Power hosted a contest that would award the winner with an appearance in an upcoming SNES game. A five year-old boy named Chris Houlihan won the contest, so a secret room in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was named after him. The room was so secret, in fact, that it wasn’t discovered until 2002.
Players can access the room by using the Pegasus Boots to perform a specific sequence of dashes from the Sanctuary to the Sewer Passageway. If done correctly, the room will reveal itself. Inside are 45 blue rupees.
For whatever reason, Houlihan’s name was removed from the GameBoy Advance remake of Link to the Past. The room has been renamed “Top Secret Room” and is only accessible via cheats.
Super Smash Bros. Melee – Play as the Master Hand (2001)
Master Hand is the recurring final boss in the Super Smash Bros. universe. Even before the release of Melee, fans gossiped that there was a way to play as him. The most prevalent rumored method to unlock the iconic villain was to beat the game with every character. But it eventually became apparent that there was simply no way to play as Master Hand in the original Super Smash Bros. title.
Melee finally afforded fans the opportunity to play as Master Hand. However, doing so is no easy task. It took seven years for a fan to discover the elaborate combination of button smashing and inserting controllers needed to unlock the character. Instructions are listed below.
First, plug a controller into port three of your GameCube. Next, go to the character selection screen, pick an opponent, and select your character as “Human.” Now, instead of choosing a character, delete all the names on your list except for one. Move your cursor to the name selection entry box. But instead of entering a name, press A and B simultaneously. Keep holding onto B, but let go of A briefly but smash it again as soon as the character selection screen exits. You will now be in the location selection screen. Choose any level, and you will be playing as Master Hand.
Perhaps the arduous process of unlocking Master Hand is necessary: the character is an absolute tank in battle.