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The Top 7... secret rooms in video games

This is my personal favourite secret room of all time. I didn't even find it myself, my sister did. Sitting in the back seat on the way home from tennis lessons, she said to me 'I've found a room with a little Sonic on TV in it'. I grabbed the Game Gear in disbelief. And there it was - the perfectly executed secret room.

Getting into it is genius. Everyone knows you press right to progress in a platformer, yes? Who would think to press left and jump through the wall? That's just crazy. That's like deciding to drive backwards to work and finding yourself suddenly in Vegas, surrounded by piles of money, exotic fruits and bikini-clad beauties who insist that you lie down.

Then there's the room itself. It is minimalist to the point of art:

Above: There aren't many perfect things in this world. This secret room is one of those things

Honestly, I'm surprised someone hasn't hung it in a gallery as a commentary on Western culture. There's no visible way out of the room. The reward's there if you want it. To break from its oppressive confines you'll need to go back the way you came, man.

Above: "Thewall casts a shadow, children, but the item box does not. Is it really there?"

How secret is it?

Can be seen easily if you've got the shield, as the sprites overlap and glitch out. D'oh.

How roomy is it?

It's a perfectly-formed room in terms of proportions and regularity.It has walls and a ceiling and a floor... although the shadow cast by the left wall and ceiling implies the 'fourth wall' doesn't exist. Something Sonic acknowledges when he gets impatient, by looking right at you. Spooky.

The amazing thing about this secret room is that it remained secret for almost a whole year. In these days of the internet, hacking tools and the like, it's almost unheard of that such a high-profile game could contain a secret for so long. But it did.

The Warden's secret office is hidden behind a destructible wall which doesn't show up in detective mode. Everything else that can be destroyed does, so it's no wonder nobody thought to look there.

What sets this apart from other secret rooms is that it doesn't just contain some power up, extra life or picture of one of the dev team. It contains an 'approved' blueprint for Arkham City, revealing the location of the game's then-unannounced sequel. Magnificent. More like this, please.

How secret is it?

Invisible entrance that requires explosives to unlock kept the entire internet at bay longer than Rooney and the hooker. And he had expensive lawyers and court injunctions to help.

How roomy is it?

It's got desks, chairs, noticeboards… even gothic gargoyle things. It's a proper roomsuch that aperson may wish to spend his time in, which has obviously had some thought put into its look and feel. We'd hang out there.

Above: No-one knows how the warden himself got into his office.Now he can use the handy hole in the wall

Justin worked on the GamesRadar+ staff for 10 whole years. Imagine that. Now he is a contributor, specialising in racing games, retro, and Sanic.