The tradition of hiding little secrets for gamers to find is as old as the medium itself. Sometimes, an Easter Egg is just a funny character moment or a memorable bit of absurdity; other times, you'll get a few mind-bending plot secrets for your troubles. But all these Easter Eggs have something in common: they're really hard to find. Unless, of course, you have the Internet pointing them out for you. *ahem*
We collected 100 of the greatest Easter Eggs that were ever secreted away in gaming history, and compiled them here for your easy browsing. Some are timeless classics; others were just discovered in the most recent games. We dug deep to unearth these gems, so we bet at least a few will be new to you. Such as...
Half-Life - Room of Gaben
How much do you love Valve founder Gabe Newell? Enough to construct a tiny box with the walls, floor, and ceiling all plastered with a picture of his grinning mug? Boot up the "c1a1c" map (the last segment of the Unforeseen Consequences chapter), then activate -noclip mode to let Gordon Freeman pass freely through the level geometry. Delve beneath the level, and you'll spot a pitch black box. Once inside it, turn on your flashlight to be greeted by 1,000 smiling Newell faces.
Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze - Samus' ship
Nintendo has never been one to shy away from stealthily cross-referencing its various franchises between games. Look closely at the silhouetted background of the Busted Bayou level near the K in KONG, and you can see Samus Aran's Gunship lodged between the trees. Must've been that baby Metroid messing with the controls again.
Aliens: Colonial Marines - Hello, ma baby
Yes, the game might've been marginally better than a vigorous slap in the face--but Aliens: Colonial Marines at least had the courtesy to give us a great Easter Egg. In the laboratory from the mission One Bullet, you can find a special containment capsule with a tiny straw hat and cane inside. Later on in the same level, you'll encounter two contained Chestbuster specimens that are now outfitted with that same hat and cane. This is a reference to the Spaceballs bit lifted from the classic Chuck Jones cartoon One Froggy Evening.
Adventure - Hidden credits
Back in the old days, Atari didn't allow video game programmers to credit their full names. As a result, many resorted to hiding their initials within a game, often in secret areas that required a specific step-by-step process to reach. Such was the case with Adventure, whose creator Warren Robinett hid his name as an Easter Egg.
Batman: Arkham Asylum - Arkham City map
Connected to Quincy Sharp's office in Batman: Arkham Asylum is a secret room. To reach it, you have to place several applications of explosive foam, and using detective vision doesn't unveil the location of the weak wall. Successfully find it, though, and you'll see blueprints of Arkham City hanging up on a wall.
Crysis 2 - Elevator rave
Not even a Nanosuit can provide these kinds of smooth moves. While trekking through the office building in the "Dead Man Walking" mission, you can uncover a lovely surprise: two C.E.L.L. assault soldiers boogieing their hearts out in an elevator car filled with strobe lights, fog, a disco ball, and thumping techno. Maximum Dance, engaged. This is, without a doubt, a contender for one of the most momentous elevator rides in games.
Silent Hill 4 - Robbie the Rabbit sees all
This one's liable to give you nightmares. Robbie is a disturbing, bloody-mouthed pink rabbit mascot from Silent Hill 3; for whatever reason, your neighbor Eileen owns a plushie version of him. You can spot it sitting on her bed if you peek through a tiny peephole in the wall. Usually, the Robbie doll just sits there creepily--but if you take a look after Eileen's gone missing, you'll get a terrifying surprise: Robbie staring and pointing directly at you. Oh dear GOD.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - Frostmourne and hatch from Lost
While X-Men Origins: Wolverine wasn't an amazing game by any means (though it was pretty good), it did include a pretty incredible reference to World of Warcraft and the television series Lost. You can find the hatch from Lost in the very first level, while chapter 2 contains an icy cave in which you can find Frostmourne--Arthas' corrupting sword from Warcraft III.
Donkey Kong - LMD initials
The Easter Egg hidden in the Donkey Kong port for the Atari 400 and 800 went undiscovered for 26 years before programmer Landon Dyer unveiled its existence. By fulfilling a very specific list of criteria before purposely killing Mario, you can see Landon's initials (LMD) on the game's title screen.
Grand Theft Auto IV - Heart of Liberty City
Ah, Grand Theft Auto, always pulling fast ones. In GTA IV, use a helicopter to fly up to a set of doors on the Statue of Happiness. Look for the door sandwiched between two signs that say "no hidden content this way" and just walk through it. Inside the statue you'll find a giant, beating heart. Uhhhhh...