*QotM is a most excellent Later Levels initiative
Like the trilobites from ‘Ecco the Dolphin’, Easter rockets around springtime, not quite knowing where to settle and so our thoughts inevitably turn to it around this time of year… possibly… it’s something to do with the moon and luckily my calendar always tells me when it is.
It is a special time of year for gamers when we all recall that legendary story of Warren Robinett & Atari for coining the phrase ‘Easter Egg’ in relation to a little game called ‘Adventure’; which I have never played. Since that fateful cartridge, whenever gamers think of Easter, we think of the many different hidden messages, features, jokes, and references that developers have carefully squirreled away into the lines of code; sometimes with the publisher’s knowledge and sometimes entirely in secret only to be unearthed many years later. Last year I took the opportunity to highlight a favorite subset of these mysterious little diversions when one game-world inexplicably becomes another.
To mark the occasion this year, and as my premier appearance in this particular feature, I will be participating in the excellent ‘Question of the Month’ posed by Later Levels who ask, in 100 words or less:
‘What’s the best easter-egg within a video game?’
The “Dog” ending from Silent Hill 2 wins it for me. Unlockable after several completions, James Sunderland finds a mysterious key which opens a previously locked door in the iconic ‘Lake View Hotel’… only to find that he was being toyed with by a canine trouble maker at a control panel. The stark contrast of this overtly silly and scooby-doo-ish ending to the dark & chilling themes of the game makes it memorable as an easter-egg, and a bizarre experience if you, like me, found it without prior knowledge.
So that’s my nomination, do you agree? Head on over to the QotM post on Later Levels (Goes live 7th of April) to see the other nominations, vote for your favorite, or shove a personal preference into the spotlight that was overlooked.