Easter eggs are hidden secrets in games that developers purposely put in for players to find, usually players find these themselves and then their location goes viral but other times content is added to a game to coincide with seasonal holidays such as Christmas.
Shenmue – Dreamcast
Shenmue was probably one of the best (if on a short list) games on the ill fated Dreamcast. Players that booted up the game on Christmas day were treated to Christmas decorations, snow and even Santa walking around Dobuita.
Christmas Nights – Sega Saturn
Technically this isn’t an Easter egg or secret to find nor was it timed as it wasn’t in the original game but it was Christmas themed and it was fantastic and most importantly it was FREE! Nights into Christmas was the follow up to the Sega Saturn game Nights, it was released in December 1996 on disc (we weren’t quite into the internet years for consoles then) and was given away for free with many new consoles or Saturn games as well as being included with issues of Sega Saturn Magazine, Game Players and Next Generation Magazine. The game was about as festive as you can get an even let you unlock Sonic in playable bonus stage later on.
Donkey Kong Country 3
DKC 3 was a fantastic game that never got the limelight that the earlier two games had mainly due to the timing of its release. The game was released two months after the launch of the N64 and a long time after the Playstation’s launch and thus many SNES players had moved on. For those that had stayed faithful to the trusty console and the fantastic games that Rare were still producing for it, there was a special code you could input (no internet connection here and thus no timed content) to have snow on several of the levels along with festive decorations & music and the bananas you had to collect were replaced with baubles & presents!
Lemmings – PC/Amiga
If you are under the age of 20 or so you may not know what Lemmings is, if so and you care about games then please go away and educate yourself as it’s one of the most important games of the 90’s.
Back? OK good.
Like Nights into Christmas Lemmings was also a holiday themed version that was released on disc as a demo and then later expanded into a full commercial releases. Like the main game you had to stop small lemming creatures from walking to their death but now they were dressed up as santas with a variety of other festive decorations in the levels.
Clayfighter 63 1/3 – N64
Clayfighter was a short lived beat-em-up game that was a slapstick version of Mortal Kombat. The N64 version with its (trying too hard) comedy name had an unlock code that let you play as an obnoxious version of Santa Claus whose main special move was using his enormous belly to hit you in the face, yes really.
Secret of Mana – Super Nintendo
Ok this is another one that’s not really an Easter egg but it’s included here anyway so quit whinging ok?! In the Ice Country area of the game you can find Rudolph the reindeer who tells you that Santa has been captured by an ice monster and asks you to save him.
And finally to round of this list here are a few modern games that have new Christmas content for 2014.
Unless you are playing BF4 on PC and using the community test environment servers then you will not have seen this new content yet but a Youtube user DANNYonPC recently published a video showing a wide variety of new Chritsmas content that DICE has added including Santa hats, snowmen heads for players, reindeer antlers on snow-mobiles and presents along with plenty of other Christmas assets.
This is a timed unlock for GTA online so there is no footage available yet but Rockstar have already released Santa Claus hats and other Christmas items for players and say that there will be snow in the game and that players will be able to take part in snowball fights frop Christmas day onwards. I guess that’s a good way to distract from the fact that they still don’t have heists ready after 14 months of waiting then…
For the zombie survival fans out there (or those that have stuck around with Dayz and it’s slow updates) if you go into the experimental build of Dayz Standalone during the Christmas period you can find a Christmas tree in one of the main cities with presents under it. Just make sure you don’y look at it for too long otherwise you will be picked off by one of the many snipers there.
Gears of War 3
During the holiday periods there will be a special online event for Gears players called ‘Gearsmas’ it will include special maps and events and snowmen heads for players. These events are limited to Gears of War 3 only, and can be found under the regular special events playlist. You can read more here.
So that’s my list of 10, I know there’s many, many others I haven’t included (yes, yes I know Animal Crossing wasn’t included calm down Nintendo fans), are there any Christmas secrets in agmes you know? Tell us in the comments!