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Posted March 28, 2016 by Zachary Clarke in Feature
 
 

Staff Roundtable: Favourite Video Game Easter Eggs


Easter eggs have been around in games, for almost as long as the industry has existed, beginning with Atari games in 1978 and hidden messages from programmer. Now a permanent part of the lexicon, these secrets were named for their similarity to real Easter egg hunts, which is great for us journalists who now get to tie the two together for the Easter holiday! So join myself, Joseph and Andrew as we share with you some of our favourite Easter eggs in gaming!

 

Captain_blackeye

Joseph

One of my favourite Easter eggs actually spans across two games; Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie.

In Banjo-Kazooie, the Mad Monster Mansion level had character portraits on the wall which monsters would burst out from. Aside from Klungo, Gruntilda and Brentilda, there was also the image of a pirate. Being the young gamer I was at the time, I originally thought that this was some character that would appear in a later level. In particular I can remember searching Treasure Trove Cove and Rusty Bucket Bay, thinking there was some secret I had missed.

Fast track to Banjo-Tooie, the pirate Captain Blackeye appeared in the Jolly Rodger’s Lagoon level drunk off his arse in a tavern – even though the game officially says he’s seasick, it’s obvious Rare did that to keep the game family friendly! At the time I was a little disappointed in the Captain as his inclusion only involved a mere side quest which gained you two Doublooms. The captain also muttered the quotes “Arr! I had a dream once…”, “I were in this fine game…”, and “A bear stole me glory…looked a bit like you, ‘e did!”.

It wasn’t until years later I finally understood what it was all referring to. As fans will know, Banjo-Kazooie originally started development as a SNES game called Project Dream. Captain Blackeye was going to have a starring role in the game at one point, but when development shifted to the N64 much of the story and gameplay content changed.

I think it’s cool that Rare included these references as it shows a sneak peak at the development of Banjo-Kazooie, and also incorporates some of the developer’s trademark humour. Hopefully Rare’s upcoming Sea of Thieves will bring back Captain Blackeye and give him his chance in the spotlight.

 

Guybrush_Threepwood_skin_Force_Unleashed_II

Andrew

Easter eggs aren’t something I normally notice in a game, but when I found out that I could find my favourite pirate in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 I had to find it. In the game there is a hidden room filled with 3 statues of the great Guybrush Threepkiller towering over you. Obviously an homage to Guybrush Threepwood of Monkey Island fame, the room also had some music that is reminiscent of the series playing in the background. Not only was it cool to see Guybrush in another game, you were also able to unlock a skin that let you play as him in the game. While I may not have been able to engage in any pun battles, it was still really cool getting to kill Sith and various enemies as Guybrush.

 

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Zach

I love secrets in games. If I know a game I am playing has some cool Easter egg, I will always make sure to seek it out, even looking it up on YouTube if I can’t find it. However, there is one particular Easter egg I am obsessed with.

Kazumi Totaka is a composer and sound director that has been working at Nintendo since the early 90’s. He holds claim to being the voice of a number of Mario series characters, including Yoshi and Captain Olimar from the Pikmin series. Totaka even served as the inspiration for Animal Crossing’s K.K. Slider (known as Totakeke in Japan). Excluding voice acting roles, Totaka is credited on about 36 different games and applications (such as the menu music for most of Nintendo’s systems since the Wii)

Totaka has built up a reputation for hiding a short 19 note melody in the majority of the games he worked on, with currently 20 known games to feature the song. The song is hidden in a variety of weird and obscure ways, with most methods for finding the song involving the player waiting for a seemingly arbitrary amount of time on a random screen in a given game, with some games choosing more methodical ways to hide it, such as Mario Paint where players need to click the ‘O’ on the title screen or Animal Crossing where players can request K.K. Slider to play them K.K.’s song.

With 20 games and apps known to feature the song, that still leaves sixteen or so titles where the song could be discovered. This has sparked a real-life Easter egg hunt in a small subsection of the Nintendo fanbase, myself included. To this day I will still go back to games like Wii Sports or Wave Race 64 and try and think of new ways the song might be hidden within them. Hell, I even bought a copy of the absolutely horrendous Wii Music just so I can see if I can find this song, that I am almost convinced is hidden somewhere within the depths of its code.

Of course, I encourage anyone intrigued by this to look up one of the many guides on how to locate the song in games, some of which you may very well own, and to consider joining the hunt to find it in the titles it has yet to be discovered in.


Zachary Clarke

 
Zach is a unabashed Nintendo fanatic, however that doesn't mean he doesn't partake in the forbidden fruits of Playstation & Xbox consoles... he even plays on PC from time to time. Zach has dabbled in the video game industry in a number of ways over the past few years, from writting content for Gonintendo & Another Castle, to running the Society for Electronic Entertainment at the University of Melbourne. There is nothing more he loves than getting together, either online or offline with a bunch of fellow gamers, to yell at each other until we just want to punch one another in the throat while discussing video games.


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