Happy Easter! Even though I don’t celebrate the holiday, I’ve got to love the idea of a hunt for treats hidden in the most innocent places. Of course, to my ears, “easter egg” primarily means a secret in a piece of media that the creators threw in for eagle-eyed audience members to spot. Here are a few of my favourites.
Metroid Fusion Acknowledges Your Awesomeness
This one is fairly notorious among Metroid players. In Metroid Fusion (and other games), you can perform a move called Shinespark when you have the Speed Booster. You need to run at full speed and press down to charge up the move, which can break open walls. The easter egg in question involves carrying the Shinespark charge through several rooms so you can backtrack to an earlier navigation room that you’re supposed to be locked out of at the time. You need to exploit the fact that if you spark into a slanted surface you can keep the charge, and you need to time it extremely well to avoid losing the charge. It might be the hardest sequence to do in a Metroid game, and your reward is a message telling you how impressive it was.
Megaman X’s Ultimate Powerup Sounds Totally Fake
I’m convinced Capcom’s programmers were just trying to mess with kids when they added the Hadouken to Megaman X. To obtain the signature Street Fighter move, you must first have beaten all 8 bosses and found all other upgrades in the game. Go to Armored Armadillo’s stage and make your way to a hidden platform just above the boss door. Collect the health capsule there and then exit the stage or die. Repeat that step four more times, and on the fifth time a Dr. Light capsule will be there. Light will be dressed as Ryu and will hand over the Hadouken, which works just as it does in Street Fighter and kills almost everything in the game in one hit.
Look at what I just wrote. It sounds exactly like the ramblings of that one kid we all knew in primary school. You know, the one who had an uncle who worked for Nintendo and totally knew how to get Pikablu in Pokémon Red. But it’s genuine.
Oh, and it doesn’t save, so when you turn the game back on you’ll have to get it again, making it just that much harder to prove it exists. Nevertheless, this secret became popular enough that including a secret Street Fighter move became a running gag for the series.
Nintendo Loves Musical Secrets
Nintendo’s music composers are enamoured with hiding little musical callbacks in plain sight (uh, in plain hearing?) where no one notices them for years. The most famous is Totaka’s Song, a tune slipped into almost every game that composer Kazumi Totaka worked on. It’s most easily heard in Mario Paint, where you just click the O in the title screen, but in most games it’s more well-hidden. You need to wait around on specific screens for 2 minutes or more to hear it in Link’s Awakening, Luigi’s Mansion, Yoshi’s Story, and Super Mario Land 2 among others.
That’s kind of crazy, but not nearly as crazy as the secret track in Mario Kart 64. To hear it, you need to wait on the race results screen for 52 minutes – that is, after the regular music has played 64 times. Give it a listen here.
The fun continues with songs being hidden by warping them to the point of being unrecognizable. When you access the Gamecube’s system menu, a generic ambient track plays. But speed that track up and you’ll find that it’s actually the same song as the startup tune for the Japan-only Famicom Disk System.
Memento’s Commentary Reveals All… Or Does it?
Not a game, but I love this hidden feature that may make you question your sanity. Memento was an excellent movie that raised a lot of questions about the nature of memory and trust. Was Leonard’s story about Sammy Jenkins really about himself? Was Teddy telling the truth or just manipulating Leonard? The DVD commentary by director Christopher Nolan has a wonderful way of keeping things ambiguous. The commentary track actually has four alternate endings that split off about 90 minutes into the film. Which one you get is random. In one, Nolan reveals that Teddy was lying throughout the movie, and in another, he states that he was telling the truth. The third talks about the relationship between Teddy and Leonard without attempting to clarify the ending. The fourth is only accessible by switching the commentary on after the branching point; it’s the same as the third, but played backward, fitting in with the movie’s non-chronological storytelling.