Hey, video game-liking person! Just so you know, some of these easter eggs contain SPOILERS. Most of them are pretty minor, but there's a big one for FarCry 4 right at #9. Skip on down to #8 if you're still skinning snow leopards and honey badgers instead of finishing up the game.
FarCry 4 starts with a clear-cut goal: Return to your home country after a long absence in order to spread your mother's ashes in a place called Lakshmana. At the outset, you're riding along on a rickety bus, enjoying the cutscenery, when boom, you're kidnapped by a megalomaniac in a pink suit.
His name is Pagan Min, and it quickly becomes clear that he's a strict but fashionable dictator, like M. Bison with the contrast turned up. Pagan speaks warmly to you as he brings you into his home and feeds you crab rangoon. In between torturing suspected terrorists, he assures you that he will help you on your quest to find Lakshmana.
And then there's gunfire.
Of course, you gotta leave, right? The commercials for this game promised lots of gunplay and explosions, so you ditch the Dieter wannabe and run out to join the rebels. Putting aside your mother's ashes, you spend the game fighting Pagan's forces. When you finally confront him again in his fortress, Pagan is a little disappointed in you.
Sounds like your typical overconfident supervillain, indignant even when a gun is pointed to his head. But he's telling the truth.
Rewind back to the beginning of the game, where he's treating you to crab rangoon and suddenly heads out to check on those pesky insurgents. All you have to do is wait for 15 minutes, in that room, and he'll actually come back.
Pagan will take you on a helicopter ride straight to Lakshmana, which turns out to be the shrine dedicated to your long-dead half-sister (and also, you learn, Pagan Min's biological daughter). You lay your mother's ashes to rest, and the guy who is supposed to be the villain of the game keeps his promise.
The crazy thing is, this isn't necessarily a "bad ending" -- if you play through 15-20 hours of the game proper and decide to end the game by putting a fresh hole in Pagan Min's head, you never never lay your mother's ashes to rest. By being patient and doing what the bad guy says, you gain a whole new perspective on the story, and you're allowed to do the most human thing in the entire game. It's one of the easiest easter eggs ever, and also one of the most relevatory.
Now let's talk about zombies.
If you're not familar with the newest game on the list, here's what you need to know about Dying Light: It's a zombie game. In this case, it's a zombie game with a ton of easter eggs. People have found all sorts of crazy callbacks to other games, from digs at Left4Dead to a recreation of Destiny's infamous Loot Cave. But maybe the most insane is in the southwest side of the map, where you can find a little green pipe.
Anyone with a pulse and the capacity for love knows what a green pipe in a video game means.
Aww yeahhh. The developers of Dying Light were smart enough to know that anyone who sees a green pipe will automatically try to travel down inside, sight unseen. What follows is an insane first-person version of the NES classic Super Mario Bros. complete with coin blocks, 8-bit music and fat little Goomba zombies to step on. And in case you ever wondered what was in those bottomless pits, it's apparently a frothy mix of blood and sewage.
The entire thing is done in Dying Light's engine, so you're parkouring over the pipes in a world where the clouds and sky are patched together like an anti-undead fort. It's one of those pandering extras that's obviously made to be found and shared on the internet to publicize the game, but you gotta give 'em credit for fitting in the flagpole and fireworks.
Resident Evil 4 makes a strong first impression. Thrust into a town of mind-controlled half-zombies called Ganados, Leon Kennedy spends the opening minutes of the game racing around the village, fending off attackers any way he can. But maybe the most badass thing about the beginning of RE4? Leon's dope leather jacket.
It's too bad that he ditches the thing after the first chapter.
There's something a little sadder and less radder about "Tactical Vest Leon" as opposed to "Sweet Jacket Leon." Given the choice, which one would you base your Leon cosplay on? But there's nothing you can really do about it. Leon gets knocked out by a giant zombie Rasputin, and when he wakes up, that jacket is gone, forever lost in the digital aether.
Until the Ada side mission.
Yep, that's Leon's jacket on a mindless Ganado. If you play as Ada, you can find this petty criminal partway through your journey. The perp is extra tough and takes a while to kill, which implies that the jacket's badassening abilities do not discriminate from user to user. When you do put the thief down, you can actually check the body (a rarity for Ganados, who tend to dissolve instantly upon death).
Before his uh, sympathetic euthanization, you can figure this dude was assigned to move Leon's unconscious body, and the mind-controlling parasite inside of him made him comply. But somewhere there was a shred of free will inside of him that, while not strong enough to break out of the evil spell, was at least enough to allow him to a) admire a fine garment and b) steal and wear said garment. Did this half-zombie steal a glance of himself in the mirror and like what he saw? Were the other half-zombies slack-jawed (well, more than usual) when they saw their comrade's slammin' new duds?
If you think that's a little creepy for an easter egg, wait 'til you see the stuff hiding in Dragon Age and Grand Theft Auto.