Lost is no longer just a show. Lost is a multimedia mythology. So while the television series ends this weekend, its impact on popular culture – the island's hold on our collective imagination – will endure.
Just look to videogames for proof. Even though Lost has only been around since late 2004, and even though a single game can take that many years or more to develop, the connection between these two geek hobbies is already surprisingly strong. Hidden references (the numbers, the hatch, polar bears) and clever cameos (Jack, Desmond, Locke) pop up in nearly every genre and on nearly every system.
Above: No, this doesn't count…
Here are the 16 we've discovered. How many more are out there? And how many more are yet to come?
This movie-licensed game begins in a lush jungle, with Wolverine searching through temples and fighting through hostiles to reunite with his friends. In other words, the perfect setting for our first Lost Easter egg – a hidden hatch, complete with glowing window (that only lights up once you approach) and accompanying Achievement (predictably titled "Found!")
The world's first and only baseball MMO strived for authenticity, supporting 18 players so that each team could have a human-controlled player at each position. Such realism, however, was apparently worth breaking for the chance at an awesome Lost reference. Before the game was shut down in 2008, you could occasionally spot stadium advertising for Oceanic Airlines – now with nonstop flights to Sydney, Australia!
Remember this game's bizarre intro, in which you can flip back and forth between various surreal and ridiculous TV channels? Like Snake voice actor David Hayter appearing on a talk show as himself? Or some lady cooking breakfast with slithering snakes and buzzing flies?
Well, that's not even the weirdest part. Pay attention to the channel numbers the next time you play: 15, 16, 23, 42 and 48. Now split 48 in half, move it to the front of the sequence and – voila – you have Lost's six famous digits.
The symbol above represents White Forest Station, an abandoned military base and scientist Gordon Freeman's main objective throughout Half-Life 2: Episode Two. The inset symbol in the upper left represents Dharma Station, an abandoned scientific lab and self-made commando John Locke's main obsession throughout the second season of Lost.
Coincidence? Not when this computer is tucked away in a secret area behind that symbol…
And not when you turn on the audio commentary and learn that the game's developers were returning a favor: Lost actually referenced Half-Life before Half-Life referenced Lost. Here's a scene from the 21st episode of the first season, in which Sayid's terrorist buddies argue over a very special shooter:
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