Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Personal List: 5 Curious Cases of Game Developers in Games

Oh, easter eggs. Personally, they are one of my favorite things to talk about in games other than, say, glitches, and with so many ridiculous easter eggs it's rather surprising how few I can think of where the creators appear, in flesh, as a secret. They have since become the stuff of legends. Here are five that I think are worth taking notes on. It doesn't matter if it's surprising, useless, or just downright weird, but these are my favorites.

5. Postal II (2003) - The Whole Staff
Oh, Postal II, you card you. I don't like it, I don't like mentioning it, but it somehow keep appearing on my lists. The game is best known for the controversy surrounding it, what with all the violence, vomiting, urinating, animal cruelty, stereotypes, and the generous amount of gore. As such, there are equally as many people who love it and hate it; it gained a cult following, two notoriously bad movies, and a Kickstarter for a third in the duo. (It failed.) The creators even claimed it was "satire". (Of course, they went a little bit too insane for me to actually consider it as satire.)
At some point in the game, you can actually storm into the Running with Scissors headquarters (the company that created the game) and massacre them like some barbaric savage. Then again, they probably deserved it.

4.Doom II (1994) - John Romero
What a great way to kick off the list: with sequels.
John Romero is famously narcissistic and a little bit too much into his ego, and judging by the following easter egg, it didn't resonate that well with the rest of the team.
At the end of the game, you hear the final boss gargle some random stuff. Seems like hogwash coming from a demon, but listening to it backwards, you can clearly hear, "To win the game, you must kill me, John Romero!" By clipping into the walls, you can clearly see John Romero's severed head on a stick (Hey, everything's on a stick nowadays). The intention was to shoot at the final boss' exposed brain, and Romero's head (which is right behind the head) serves as a hit detection point, so you are technically hitting Romero to kill the boss.
Naturally, this was done without Romero's consent, but it has sense gone down as one of the greatest easter eggs of all time. Unfortunately he didn't exactly learn his lesson soon enough (I'm looking at you, Daikatana).
3. Mortal Kombat II (1993) - Dan "Toasty" Forden
After long chains of combos in Mortal Kombat II (and many of the games following), the sound designer, Dan Forden, would appear in the right corner and say, "Toasty!" It seems so random that it might as well be Photoshopped in. I swear, I spent like five minutes because I thought all the photos were fake before settling on the conclusion that these were, indeed, actual snapshots.
Due to his odd appearance, he became the subject of some classic video game myths (consider him a less-appreciated Ermac). It just seems so out of place in a game where you brutally murder people, y'know?
2. Chrono Trigger (1995) - The Whole Staff
Chrono Trigger is often considered one of the greatest RPGs of all time, and that is a statement that I can't really argue against. The characters, the story, the graphics, the music; they all blend together in essentially the definitive RPG. One of its greatest claims to fame was the multiple endings encouraging replayability. Did badly? The world is destroyed. Happy birthday!
Accompanying the bad ending are several good endings, one of which is lovingly called "The Dream Project." It's also the most notorious to obtain.
Essentially, you have to defeat Lavos at the beginning of the game or the double-powered Lavos at the Ocean Palace, both equally insane. Doing so will grant you access to an ending in which you end up returning to the End of Time, inhabited by the game developers. Each one has some witty (and maybe rude or confusing) stuff to say, and after all of that, talk to Hironobu Sakaguchi, who crowns you as a member of the Dream Team, fulfilling all your childhood dreams.
1. Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 (2012) - Keiji Inafune
This has got to be the weirdest cameo of all time.
In the uber-Japanese HNMk2, at some point in the story, you are confronted by a ClipArt television with Mr. Inafune's face plastered on. He then asks a long series of questions, which you all have to say yes to, and then he gives you the "Inafune Brand". As a summoning power, when you unleash it, Inafune does some rather, err, unexplainable things, including what I can assume is his best Shoop Da Whoop impression. Oh yeah, it's also freaking overpowered. Not enough power, you say? Good news; he also appears in some shape or form in every other Hyperdimension game, including as a flying battleship.
...... Backing away slowly....

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