The Easter holiday may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the hunt for eggs is over.
“Easter eggs” – as it pertains to video games – are hidden treats you can find by taking the time to explore your virtual surroundings. In other cases, you might need to press a combination of buttons on the game controller (or computer keyboard) to unlock the secret.
Easter eggs date as far back as 1980, when Atari programmer Warren Robinett included a creator’s credit in a hidden room in the game "Adventure."
Planted for some extra fun by developers, an Easter egg might be a funny poster, music video, bonus mission, or nod to another game. Consider these eggs undocumented extras not listed on the back of the box.
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Here's some hints on how to find some Easter eggs hidden in recent releases.
“Nessy” – a dinosaur-like creature inspired by the Loch Ness Monster – has long been an unofficial mascot at Respawn, the studio behind "Apex Legends," and it has appeared in all the company’s games since 2014’s "Titanfall."
In "Apex Legends," there are 10 plush Nessy toys hidden around the map. If players find and shoot them all in a single match, a “real” and full-size Nessy will appear off the misty shores of King’s Canyon.
On a related note, gamers might also find a small stuffed dog toy, alongside pictures of a real dog, which serves as a shrine to Shadie, the dog of lead level designer Jason McCord, who passed away while the game was in development.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
In Activision’s "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" and the new “Alpha Omega” Zombies experience, there are more than 35 secret 4-digit codes that players can enter into a keypad to trigger a reaction from A.I. supercomputer “Rushmore” (played by John de Lancie of "Star Trek: The Next Generation").
Some codes will give you power-ups, some will activate character dialog, and some are just plain silly. Despite the Zombies community’s best efforts to discover them all, there’s still a single remaining code that hasn’t been found … until now.
Launch an online game and turn on the power to activate the Pack-a-Punch machine in the Bunker area of the map. Once Rushmore is activated, enter G-R-A-V (4-7-2-8) on the keypad to activate the “Newtonian Negation” effect, which causes zombies to fly straight up into the air after dying.
"Syphon Filter" fans were pleased to find an Easter egg hidden inside "Days Gone," the post-apocalyptic PlayStation 4 thriller made by Bend Studio.
Scattered throughout the landscape are pieces of IPCA Tech (a fictitious government agency) – with no description or explanation – and those who find all the pieces will unlock a Stun Gun used by Gabe Logan, the hero of Bend Studio’s first game, "Syphon Filter" (1999).
A hot tip: Not only does the stun gun stop Freakers in their tracks but keep it on them long enough and they’ll catch fire!
Devil May Cry 5
Dante, the protagonist in Capcom’s "Devil May Cry 5," can wield two rocket launchers – if you know where to find them, that is.
You may notice the character Lady loses her Kalina Ann rocket launcher during the opening prologue of the game, and Dante has access to an updated version, Kalina Ann 2, from the character Nico. But you can still get Lady’s original Kalina Ann, to use both at once.
In Mission 11, destroy the Qliphoth roots and instead of going back up to the higher level, destroy another set of roots on this lower level, which causes the building to descend and open up a new path to take. Look for an unassuming room to the right of a well-lit room (with a painting in it).
In id Software/Bethesda Softworks’ dystopian adventure, go to the Shrine of Awa. Walk around the tree until you find an upside-down chair (yes, it looks exactly as it sounds).
When you stand by the spinning chair, time rapidly speeds up, including day-to-night cycles. Can you use this time warp to your benefit?
Also in "Rage 2" are Easter eggs featuring a creepy “Wimothy Tillits," found in a small room, petting a rat. That's a play on the name of legendary developer and id Software studio director Tim Willits, who recently announced he is departing id Software after 24 years. There are also Willits-branded sausages strewn around the game, too.
Crash Team Racing
The game developers at Beenox hid a chicken in almost every racetrack in
"Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled." Some examples:
•Blizzard Bluff: You can see a chicken ski down a slope and miss its landing next to the starting line.
•Tiger Temple: You can see a chicken being chased by a tiger on the first upper bridge. The roles are reversed on the second upper bridge where you can see the chicken chase the tiger.
•Crash Cove: There is a chicken in the central part of the cove surrounded by 3 sharks.
•Papu’s Pyramid: You can see a chicken by the side of the track watching as a mother carnivorous plant teaches her kids how to eat drivers.
Tom Clancy's The Division 2
From chickens to ducks, those who play Ubisoft’s "Tom Clancy's The Division 2" may notice several hidden ducks throughout Washington, D.C.
Why are they there? The ducks started out as a placeholder, for developers to remind themselves to do something in that area (like fix something) before the game shipped.
In the end, they decided to keep them in the world, accompanied by little stories, as a fun treat for curious fans.
There’s also an Easter egg tied to Hydden Hotels. By checking into all the hotels, you’ll unlock a trail laid out for the Hydden Family’s lost son, Bobby, which takes you to a hidden room underneath the monument where the Hydden Family left a message for Bobby (telling him to catch up with them through the tunnel they dug out).
Mortal Kombat 11
There’s a silly Easter egg in Warner Bros. Entertainment’s "Mortal Kombat 11" that reintroduces “Toasty!” – originally seen in 1993’s Mortal Kombat II. The face of sound designer Dan Forden would pop up, along with a high-pitched “Toasty!”
In MK11’s Tournament stage, perform a few uppercuts on your opponent and you may just see and hear Toasty! Appear – but be aware it’s completely random.
Sea of Thieves
Players with a keen eye who travel to Plunder Valley in Rare’s "Sea of Thieves," can find a familiar friend from Rare’s past waiting for them – Banjo-Kazooie – in the form of a cave painting.
Finally, there are pictures of the Insomniac Games development team as employees of the month in F.E.A.S.T. (their office can also be spotted in the game).
Plus, virtually every backpack in-game has an Easter Egg (such as a Nelson and Murdock business card; Matt Murdock is the lawyer who is also Daredevil) and look out for Marvel landmarks, including Doctor Strange’s house Sanctum Sanctorum, Wakandan Embassy, and Avenger’s Tower.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Video game 'Easter eggs' in latest hits reward players for the hunt