The Top 7... in-game in-jokes

Inside gags, for better or worse, are a staple of videogames, whether they're in the form of hidden characters, outright parody of the competition or just another tired reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail snuck in by a translator. If you're not in the know, most of them will shoot right over your head. If you are, they can range from dull to chuckle-worthy, but either way you'll feel a tiny surge of pride for picking up on them.

And then there are the geeky little references that are just kind of cool independent of whatever it is they're referencing. The ones that, whether you're geeky enough to get them or not, add something special to the game they're in. And in the case of this article, the ones you should get anyway, because they're referencing other games. What follows is a look at the very best of these, along with a bit of explanation for those of you who - for whatever strange, non-geeky reason - still don't get it.

7. The DOOMed Marine
Duke Nukem 3D | 1996 | PC, PSone, N64

Half action-packed gorefest, half comedic romp, 1996's Duke Nukem 3D was jammed full of weird little asides and in-jokes, but none stuck out as much as the relatively good-natured jab it took at its competition. Early into the game's prison-themed third level, you'll come across a creepy-looking chapel, and if Duke flips a semi-hidden switch, its true nature will be revealed: the lights glow red, and the giant cross behind the altar flips upside-down. But if you squeeze into the secret area that this transformation opens up, you'll find a then-familiar badass - the space marine from DOOM - torn in half and splattered all over the floor in the back. Just in case you don't get the joke, Duke makes sure to hit you over the head with it by growling, "That's one DOOMed space marine!" Thank you, Duke. The five people who played your game without ever having played DOOM first are in your debt.


Top 7

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  • pyro9393 - December 7, 2008 11:09 p.m.

    first haha wat about jak and daxter in ratchet and clank 2
  • Remake - July 7, 2009 9:06 p.m.

    World of Warcraft has more Easter Eggs than I've seen in my life elsewhere. You can't find a region in which there's not atleast one random character.
  • LieutenantCipher - June 12, 2009 5:16 a.m.

    lol, wonder if I'm the only one to get the Carrie reference in the title of the Metal Gear part XD
  • Thequestion 121 - April 7, 2009 4:09 p.m.

    Great in-jokes.
  • WaldoOfWhere - April 6, 2009 11:45 p.m.

    Halo 1, 2 and 3 Bungie, Marathon and Oni Jokes
  • Narudude360 - February 11, 2009 1:52 a.m.

    What about the Nintendo Gamecube in Metal Gear Solid 2: Solid Snake.- Gamecube Port/Remake And the Sega Dreamcast in Metal Gear Solid 2: Solid Snake.- Dreamcast Original
  • AA95mp - January 7, 2009 5:58 p.m.

    when where jak and daxter in rachet and clank 2?