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Feature: The Nintendo Easter Egg Hunt

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

We'll get you started with a few

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.

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.

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User Comments (49)

Mikau94
DestinyMan

#3

DestinyMan said:

Here's a few of my favorite Easter eggs here.
In the third intermission screen of Wario's introduction game in WarioWare, Inc. Mega Microgames, Satoru Iwata, who would've been the newly appointed President of Nintendo at the time, appeared on Wario's TV.
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Iwata also appeared in Smooth Moves as the shopowner of a video game store.
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In Kid Icarus Uprising, Donkey Kong was mentioned in Chapter 19 in which there was a chamber in the Chairot Master's tower that had barrels roll down slopes.
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I'll share more later.

Geonjaha

#4

Geonjaha said:

Chris Houlihan's Secret Room? Why is this still even being talked about. >.>

Moshugan

#5

Moshugan said:

I stumbled upon Chris Houlihan's room as a child. I couldn't understand english back then. I was completely dumbfounded because I didn't know what the sign said or how I even got there.
It was hard time convincing my friends that I really found it.
Only years later I found out what was actually going on and could vindicate myself.

SunnyShores

#10

SunnyShores said:

there is a mario reference in assassins creed 2. when you see your uncle mario he says. "it's a me, mario"

Lo3edia

#11

Lo3edia said:

There are at least 2 green warp pipes in NFS MW U, one by the bridge construction, one in the airplane graveyard. Tunnels take you to the same places though.

MadAdam81

#12

MadAdam81 said:

NFS MW U is on my to buy list, this easter egg hakes it even more a must buy for me.

Yoshi3DS

#13

Yoshi3DS said:

on chapter 9 in kid icarus uprising palutena and pit can sometimes talk about how pit wasn't in a ‘brawl’ but was in a ‘melee’.
also in chapter 21 pit says the aurum are doing an impression of game and watch and how komayto's are identical to metroids. aswell as donkey kong being mentioned on chapter 19 as someone said earlier

K964

#14

K964 said:

Spoilers: In the plant room of the last mansion in Luigi's Mansion 2, you can see a Tiki mask from Donkey Kong Country Returns on the spears.

DestinyMan

#16

DestinyMan said:

In Donkey Kong Country Returns in the Foggy Fumes level, 25m from Donkey Kong, Mr. Game & Watch, and machinery in the form of Crocomire from Super Metroid appear in the background.
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Also in the second level of the Ruins world, there's a monkey statue with a stone tie designed with the American flag. The American flag tie refers to Billy Mitchell, one of the champions of Donkey Kong.
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In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble, Wrinkly Kong is seen playing Super Mario 64 in her Save Cave.
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Also in the same game, a bear named Bazaar talks about how Link visited his shop.

Haxonberik

#19

Haxonberik said:

In Kid Icarus Uprising, if you watch the tutorials Palutena mentions Super Smash Bros incorrectly, which Pit then corrects, and in the second battle with Twinbellows Pit makes a comment about getting nintendog points. Those two were missing yet in the comments. Also, the CPUs in multiplayer have Nintendo related names.

TeslaChippie

#20

TeslaChippie said:

Borderlands 2 is absolutely chock full of references to popular culture (Yu-Gi-Oh, My Little Pony, you name it--it's in there somewhere).

In addition to having an achievement/trophy reference to the Mario series ("Definitely an Italian Plumber" for killing a special bullymong called Donkey Mong), there is also a reference to the Zelda series (Crazy Earl will sometimes say "It's dangerous to go alone, jerkwad!" when you meet him at the black market).

One of my favorite games :3

WaxxyOne

#21

WaxxyOne said:

Perhaps not a cross-Nintendo reference, but I laughed pretty hard the first time I waited long enough in Super Mario 64 for Mario to fall asleep on the floor and then start talking in his sleep. "Ahhh spaghetti... Ahhh ravioli. Mama-mia..."

kingston589

#23

kingston589 said:

dancing wretch in gears of war 3,mw3 the girl with the sledge hammer grafitti is a refrence to sledgehammer games, o and my favorite if you do a bunch of backflips by the racing girl in rachet and clank her breasts will expand a bunch.

catsrnice

#24

catsrnice said:

One of my favorites that I found is in Bowsers Inside Story, if you don't save your minions as Bowser when they're trapped in cages, if you come back later as Mario and Luigi you can talk to them for some really funny dialogue.

Gnoll

#25

Gnoll said:

In Final Fantasy I, in the elf city, there is a tombstone reading: "Here lies Link". Overconfidence?

SanderEvers

#27

SanderEvers said:

Most Nintendo games "borrow" characters from other Nintendo games. Those aren't easter eggs, guys ;)

Pichuka97

#29

Pichuka97 said:

I like the reference in LM:DM that pokes fun at the first game. In the opening, in Luigi's house, you see a map of the route to the mansion in the first game.

WingedSnagret

#30

WingedSnagret said:

Pikmin 2 has numerous Easter Eggs. As treasures, there is a Game & Watch handheld system, gyro blocks from Gyromite, R.O.B.'s head, plus many real world items like Duracell batteries and a Vlasic pickle jar lid for a couple examples.

Emaan

#32

Emaan said:

I've always loved finding these. That Wave Race one is perfection. :p

Gnoll

#36

Gnoll said:

@Tasukik
I played the mobile (Windows Phone actually) version.
On the other hand, "Erdrick" sound much like a mistranslation of "Link" from Japanese, as it's easy for Western translators to mix Ls and Rs if they don't know already the word they're translating. A similiar error originated the Aeris/Aerith problem in FFVII.

SheldonRandoms

#38

SheldonRandoms said:

(This one isn't Nintendo related, but I thought it was cool)

In the opening of Burning Rangers, there's a secret message in the lyrics.

"Sight of night I cheer to embrace a magic"

If you pick out the first letter of each word, it spells Sonic Team.

Sonic And All-Stars Racing Transformed made me find that out.

Stuffgamer1

#39

Stuffgamer1 said:

@Gnoll: Actually, "Erdrick" is the legendary hero from the NES localization of Dragon Quest I...so...Dragon Warrior I, of course. Square poking fun at Enix long before they became one. :D

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#40

Philip_J_Reed said:

The whole of Lego City is a giant easter egg of Nintendo goodness!

It really is...and I'd have it no other way. :)

wing0black

#41

wing0black said:

In Ocarina of Time 3D there is a poster of link from Skyward Sword hidden behind a destroyable crate in the Gerudo Fortress.

Buob

#42

Buob said:

@Gnoll: Mistranslation is impossible. Erdrick in Japanese would be aadoriku (アードリク), where as Link would be rinku (リンク) As you can see, aside from the ending ku (ク), they look and sound nothing alike.

What really happened is that they purposefully changed the name in the versions. It's Link in one version, and Erdrick in another. See Stuffgamer1's post.

Gnoll

#43

Gnoll said:

@buob,stuffgamer1,tasuki
Oooops, sorry! :-S
However... this means we get TWO Easter eggs in the same place!!! ;-)

berenlazarus

#45

berenlazarus said:

"I am Error" is not a translation mistake. The actual translation mistake is Bagu who gives you the letter to show to river man to get across the river in Sarai to go through Death Mountain (otherwise known as hell) to get the hammer. His name should have been "Bug". Error and Bug were a joke.

berenlazarus

#46

berenlazarus said:

My favorite easter egg is from Zelda II from the Famicom Disk System version.

"In the Water Town of Saria, there's a little reference to Dragon Quest in the Japanese version, not included in the NES version. On one of the graves there, it reads, "The hero, Loto, rests here." Loto, also known as Erdrick in the Dragon Warrior translation, is a longstanding hero of the games. It seems that putting characters from competing series in graves was a common gag back then; for example, the first Final Fantasy has "Here lies Erdrick" in its English version, and "Here lies Link" in its Japanese version."

Chriiis

#47

Chriiis said:

@berenlazarus There's a guy who later on tells you to talk to Error so you can find the hidden tunnel to the Island Palace; Where's the joke there?

Harley

#48

Harley said:

Retro City Rampage is chock full of these. The letter that Buttnick leaves for you later on in the game after he kidnaps Doc Choc, for instance, is modeled EXACTLY like the one Bowser leaves you after clearing world 7 in Super Mario Bros. 3.

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