Everybody loves a good secret. "Spill the tea" as the kids say!
Whilst cheat codes in video games seem to be a thing of the past, over the years we’ve only seen a rise in Easter eggs. From little nods and winks to hidden rooms and menus, sometimes discovering something tucked away in a game you love gives you another layer of appreciation for it.
And as much as we love to find and see them, it seems as though developers equally love to make them.
Developers might craft a tasty secret and sit, waiting patiently for us dullard gamers to piece together the clues or chance upon the right button combination for years. On the other end of the spectrum, clever players sometimes luck into locating or connecting things that were not meant to be found at all. Whatever the case, some games that we all thought we knew have surprised us years or even decades later.
With that in mind, these Easter eggs are some particularly sneaky ones, dropped into their games by developers either for their own amusement, to set off an Easter egg hunt, to rebel against studio wishes and more.
10. Sonic The Hedgehog’s Hidden Credits
It's hard to imagine now but not all that long ago, it wasn’t unusual for video games to have limited to no credits. In fact the term "Easter Egg" was birthed by developer Warren Robinett, bucking this trend to hide a room in the Atari 2600 game Adventure that displayed his name against his boss' wishes.
Many publishers wouldn't budge on the stance and those that did, such as Sega, had a habit of asking programmers to use nicknames and pseudonyms for their staff roles rather than real names. With the looming release of Sonic the Hedgehog, soon to be the crown of the Genesis/Mega Drive, the blue blur’s co-creator Yuji Naka was displeased with the idea that his team would go without the recognition he felt they deserved.
In a fashion like Robinett before him, Naka went against his superiors and slipped a little something-something in as a gift to his co-workers. Thus, through a series of long winded button inputs, Sonic players could boot up a secret staff roll that contains the real names of the men who worked on the 16-bit classic.
Story details on this are light but it can be assumed that Sega found this Easter egg pretty early on as it’s only possible in the first print (v0.0) of the Japanese version of the game. Later revisions, and international releases, saw the secret credits removed.