I’m sure you’re all currently recovering from chocolate-induced comas and trying to come to terms with the long weekend being over, so to ease you through it I’ve decided to use an appropriate theme for my column this week – gaming easter eggs.
To make things a bit more interesting, however, I haven’t chosen the most popular or most well-known, but rather the creepiest, weirdest and at times frankly unsettling garbage that has been inexplicably hidden in games for the last couple of decades.
The Canine Mastermind has your dead wife
In Silent Hill 2, protagonist James something-or-other goes in search of his missing (presumed dead) wife in the worst possible place to look for anyone.
If you play through this nightmare twice, you’ll get access to a bone-shaped key which will unlock a secret room. Behind the door you’ll have your mind blown harder than it was at the end of The Matrix 2, except somehow even more confusing.
In the secret room you’ll find a dog that looks suspiciously like that meme breed I can never remember but that speaks like it’s had several strokes.
This one doesn’t speak at all – it just wears a headset, pushing buttons and pulling levers like the freaking Wizard of Oz. You’re left to believe that everything that took place in the game was the ploy of some kind of sentient, sadistic dog – but somehow your wife is still dead.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the game insultingly spams you with pictures of pizza and women in bikinis in the credits; possibly in an attempt to repair the mental scarring.
So, like The Matrix 2 you’re left feeling both confused and kind of wanting your money back.
GTA V’s haunted mountain will ruin your underpants
The creepiest aspect of this one is that it has its own backstory.
Perhaps in response to rumours of a ghost in GTA IV, Rockstar included one in the latest game which looks eerily like that girl from The Ring – but perhaps white nightgown, wet black hair and a tilted head is just the ghostly uniform at this point.
To find her, you’ll need to go to Mount Gordo between 11pm and midnight (aka The Witching Hour; pleasant) and stare at the right spot through a sniper scope you’ll catch a glimpse of the lady of the hour.
If you have balls forged from molten brass, you might head over there, where you’ll find a name written in blood splashed on the rocks – “Jock”.
Now we get to that backstory I was talking about. Jock Cranley is a consistent character in the GTA franchise – a stuntman in previous games, he’s now running for governor in this one. And, if you really go Magnum PI on the thing, you’ll find a news clipping that details how his wife Jolene mysteriously fell from those very same rocks.
Jock claims it was “an accident”; convenient since she was poised to “ruin his career”.
I’m sure M. Night Shyamalan is already in talks with Rockstar over the rights.
Peter Molyneux is talking to you
Before Molyneux was churning out horrible crap like Minecraft: Just Mining And Nothing Else, he tried his hand at making games that were actually innovative.
One such game series was the Black and White franchise, which attempted to be the closest thing to an actual God-game we had gotten. Players were free to hurl villagers into the sea and slap around enormous animals as they saw fit.
One creepier aspect of the second game was a ghostly voice that would whisper “deeeaaaaath” when someone died in the game. What was even creepier, however, was when that voice said your damn name.
The developer has never come out and explained this, but it’s assumed that the game pulled your name either from your profile or from actual Windows, checked it against a database of names it had recorded and then played that file sporadically to mess with you.
Contra dude, King of monkeys
Contra is a pretty badass franchise, but like any serialised IP, some of the entries are better than others.
One lesser known (to me, anyway, and really what else matters?) entry is Contra: Hard Corps, which is if you’re following along at home is a hilarious pun.
This is one of the more convoluted easter eggs you’ll come across – you have to find a hidden man in a tophat, who will offer you a chance to fight in the Battle Arena for money.
There, you’ll have to take down a robot scuba diver who bleeds giant fish, a hideous rotting monster who pushes around an equally hideous zombie infant in a blue pram, and finally some kind of teleporting robot.
If you make it all the way through that somewhat unpleasant acid trip you’re sent back to Japan’s impression of the dinosaur era, with exploding volcanos, sentient monkeys and a brontosaurus lumbering around.
Flash forward a couple of years, and you are now the kind of the monkeys.
Seriously. Credits roll, game over. Oh I’m sorry, you wanted to continue with the regular game from where you were?