Easter eggs aren’t just chocolaty goodies that a man-sized bunny rabbit delivers one a year, but also the name given to an intentional hidden message or treat included in all sorts of media, including CDs, DVDs and videogames. Nintendo has included a number of Easter eggs in its creations throughout the years - some useful, others utterly pointless, but all tiny glimpses into the souls of the individual programmers from one of the industry’s biggest companies. Nintendic has compiled a list detailing some of the most famous examples of these in-game secrets.
Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo Entertainment System, 1985)
More of a glitch than an Easter Egg , this one (there doesn’t seem to be many around in the NES era). By passing through a solid wall near the exit in world 1-2, it is possible to travel to “World -1, also known as the “Minus World” or “World Negative One” and considered by the game to be “World 36.” This stage is identical to Worlds 2-2 and 7-2, but upon entering the warp pipe at the end, the player is taken back to the start of the level.
Star Fox (Super Nintendo Entertainment System, 1993)
Star Fox, Nintendo’s graphically stunning (well, at the time anyway) shooter for the SNES, contains two very well documented Easter eggs, both of which transport players to secret levels. The Black Hole is accessed from the Asteroid Field on Course 1 and consists of a “warped space” that loops over and over again. “Out of This Dimension”, meanwhile, is found via the Asteroid Field on Course 3, and features paper planes to fire at and an end of level boss in the form of a slot machine.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64, 1998)
In between working hard on creating what many consider to be the greatest videogame of all time, Nintendo managed to add a cheeky little nod towards some of its other famous mascots in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64. After meeting Princess Zelda for the first time as Child Link, a peek into a nearby window at different angles reveals three very interesting portraits decorating the wall of Hyrule Castle - say hello to Super Mario, Bowser and Luigi.
Nintendo GameCube (Start-up Screen, 2001)
Not just for a game this one, but for a whole console. By holding down the Z button on the controller while turning the system on, the traditional ‘rolling cube’ noise is replaced by what Wikipedia reliably informs us is that of a marimba, while a cheeky monkey also sounds in the background. When the cube drops into the middle of a logo, the sound of a spring is heard, followed by the laughter of a child. Should you repeat the process with a few friends and four controllers, the ‘rolling cube’ noise is replaced with taiko drums, while the settling cube is greeted with the chanting of sumo wrestlers.
Wario Ware: Twisted! (Game Boy Advance, 2004 )
A very simple one this, but significant when you factor in that Wario Ware Twisted! was one of only a few Game Boy Advance titles with a cart that featured a built-in gyro sensor (to detect movement) as well as rumble feedback. Rotating the handheld console left and right when on the title screen messes up the on-screen wording, while waiting a little longer sees a group of (of all things) noses scuttle by.
Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training (Nintendo DS, 2005)
In the first of his massively popular Brain Training games for the Nintendo DS, Dr. Kawashima is partial a few key words, each of which cause him to react in a different way on the title screen. Try ‘Cilantro’, ‘Pickled Plum’ and ‘Brain Age 2′, the latter of which will see his head inflate. In addition, complete a ‘Training’ game at walking pace and the little silhouette of a man will whistle the first few notes of the Super Mario theme when prodded with the stylus.
Super Paper Mario (Nintendo Wii, 2007)
That game-ruining bug in the European version of Super Paper Mario at the beginning of Chapter 2-2 - that really wasn’t included on purpose as a little joke for players. However, a nod of recognition to Nintendo’s eventual past does appear in Chapter 3-4, where close inspection of geeky Francis’ wall reveals a collection of consoles that includes a Nintendo 64, GameCube, Super Nintendo, Virtual Boy - and if you flip into 3D, a Wii.
Our selection above is just a small percentage of the Easter eggs that have appeared in games made by Nintendo, perhaps you’ve got a favourite that we haven’t mentioned? Be sure to let us know about it in the comments section below.