It's Easter Sunday, and however you treat the day there's a good chance that you will, at the very least, eat a little more chocolate than you would on a typical day. However you spend the day, we should also celebrate the fact that the occasion lends its name to one of gaming's coolest features — in-game Easter Eggs. Typically hidden messages, items or simply objects that are quirky and out of place in their respective game worlds, they are as varied as they can be hard to find.
We want to do our part to point out some classic and recent examples to get this Easter Egg hunt started. These are just a select few that we like, and it should be remembered that Easter Eggs are, by their very nature, great big spoilers, so if you read it here and regret that you didn't find it yourself, don't say we didn't warn you. Some of these are well known around the web, and some have just been found recently.
We've also selected options with video footage available on good-old YouTube. These intrepid recorders have have taken the time to show off these Easter Eggs, so if you want to see any of their channels just click on the YouTube link within the embedded videos.
Chris Houlihan's Secret Room in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Back in 1990, and one of its various quirky competitions back in those times, Nintendo Power offered one lucky reader the chance to appear in a future Nintendo game. The winner was Chris Houlihan, and so he was given his own room in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past; definitely something to show off, as not many people can say they've featured in a Zelda title.
Mario's Long Lost Brother Meets a Sad End in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate
This is one we told you about recently; you spend large parts of this game finding and reading the memories of those that have met a grisly end before you, and one set of remains lies within some pipes. You can guess where this is going, as Nintendo's most famous mascot gets a namedrop in the Castlevania universe.
Cheep-Cheeps Everywhere in LEGO City Undercover
We have two Cheep-Cheep examples for you from the recently released LEGO City Undercover. This is a title with a number of Easter Eggs and Nintendo-themed items to find, but these are perhaps two quirkier examples. Our very own Philip J Reed discovered that you can fish for Cheep-Cheeps (second video below), and in the process of finding that footage we discovered the first video below, where you can trigger a funny fish-tank scene featuring the iconic creatures.
A Bit of Mushroom Kingdom is Most Wanted Indeed
Need for Speed: Most Wanted U may be a game that's all about fast cars and high-adrenalin racing, but even its developer Criterion couldn't resist throwing in a Super Mario Bros. reference. Discovered earlier this week, below is footage of an actual green warp pipe that can be found in Fairhaven.
Trolling Becomes an Art Form in Wave Race: Blue Storm
Wave Race: Blue Storm, the GameCube follow up to popular Nintendo 64 title Wave Race 64, may unfortunately turn out to be the last in the series. If it is, then hopefully this Easter Egg will keep it on the radar for people at this time of year, as it's possibly one of the most fun examples out there. If you manipulate the audio settings in a certain way you can unlock a sarcastic, mean-spirited commentator to troll you as you race. Awesome.
Some Famous Faces in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
This example from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the best-known Easter Eggs out there. If you look through various windows when visiting Princess Zelda in the castle, you can see portraits of a number of Nintendo's most famous characters; quite what Ganondorf though of these when walking past to pay false homage to the King, only he knows.
These are just some examples, and there are more well-known Easter Eggs besides that we haven't covered here. Let us know of your favourite discoveries in the comments below.