Assassin's Creed: Revelations Easter Egg Hunt

Of the 52 movies that he made, his appearances have only been discovered in 39 of the films, brief instances in which he inserted himself obscurely into the films -- often in the background scenery -- with examples being boarding a bus, crossing in front of a building, standing in a window, appearing as a member of a crowd, sitting on a train or bus as a passenger in the scene, or even appearing in a photograph in a newspaper held by one of the characters in the film.

This playful game of his was originally conceived as a private joke, but once it became known by the public, fans began to make a sport of it, and success in spotting him in one of his films was often marked by tittering and even applause in the movie theaters -- though bear in mind that these were seen in an era in which motion pictures were shown exclusively in movie theaters that were often constructed and decorated like literal palaces, and the act of seeing a movie was both entertainment and a social activity.

Perhaps the most famous of his cameos in film are his appearance in The Birds (1963) in which he appears in the background leaving a shop, with his pair of pet dogs (Sealyham terriers) Geoffrey and Stanley. Another amusing cameo is his appearance in the background as star Joel McCrea leaves his hotel, passing Hitchcock who is wearing a coat and hat and reading a newspaper in the classic film Foreign Correspondent (1940). One of my own favorites is in the film Lifeboat (1944) -- a film that you had to wonder how he could possibly pull off a cameo considering that it takes place in a lifeboat on the ocean -- but he manages to pull it off by sticking his photos in a newspaper advertisement for the "Reduco Obesity Slayer" as the before-and-after pictures in the ad!

If you ask most classic film buffs what their favorite Hitchcock cameo is, chances are that they will say it is from To Catch a Thief (1955) when he appears sitting to the left of Cary Grant on the bus -- and Grant, who had previously been directed by Hitchcock in the films Suspicion and Notorious, very nearly breaks the fourth wall when he gives Hitchcock a look as if to say, "Oh, no. Not you again!"

This little game of Hitchcock's in his films is widely credited by game writers as what personally motivated them to begin sticking Easter Eggs into the games that they created, and of course once it became an established trend it really did not matter who originally prompted it, but rather how the act was engineered, with the cleverness of the Egg becoming the important focus; the more clever an insertion for an Easter Egg the better!

The video embedded above shows the complicated process that is required to reveal the Easter Egg that is concealed in the game -- the name of the primary programmer for the game: Warren Robinett -- a process that was so complicated that it was not something that the average gamer would simply stumble upon but rather they had to be actively seeking it.

In that sense the concept of the Easter Egg has undergone a transformation of sorts, in that it is no longer simply the private "in-joke" of the people who write the video games but is intended to be found and celebrated by the players. It is fair to say that Atari's Adventure set into motion a tradition in gaming that is still with us today, but it turns out that it probably was not the first video game to include an Easter Egg!

The Fairchild Channel F video game console may well be the system upon which video game Easter Eggs first originated -- it is rumored to have had inserted into its cartridge-based games several Easter Eggs, and it is known that there are two easily reproduced Easter Eggs on the console, one in the 3rd cartridge, Video Blackjack, triggered when drawing a specific set of cards, and one on cartridge 18, in the game Hangman, when a specific combination of moves are made.

Some of the most famous (or infamous) Game-Related Easter Eggs include:

-- Microsoft Office 2000: Dev Hunter --
When Microsoft Office 2000 was released one of the subprograms in the package -- Excel 2000 -- included a small 3-D game called "Dev Hunter" that was inspired by the arcade game Spy Hunter that is directly accessible in the application -- as long as the user has DirectX installed and enabled.

To access the game the user needs to load Excel and then use "Publish Sheet" and "Add Interactivity" then save to an htm page on your drive. Loading the htm page with Internet Explorer, the user then needs to scroll down to row 2000, column WC; select row 2000, and then tab so that WC is the active column. With that setup, simply hold down Shift+Crtl+Alt and click the Office logo in the upper-left corner and the game will then load and play. The controls are: arrow keys to drive, space to fire, O to drop oil slicks, and when it gets dark, H for your headlights.

-- Ultima Online: the JWilson Slime --
One of the most infamous Easter Eggs in the world of online gaming had to do with Johnny Wilson, the Editor-in-Chief of Computer Gaming World (CGW), a magazine that back in the day was pretty influential when it came to writing about video games. We are talking the 1990's here just to give you a frame of reference...

In the months that lead up to the launch of Ultima Online -- which for the youngsters among you was the world's first MMORPG and one hell of a fun ride until it got all grief-ridden with that whole player-killing thing -- but anyway, Mr. Johnny Wilson firmly believed that (A) nobody actually wanted or would play a game that included thousands of other real life players, and (B) there was no way that gamers would pay a monthly subscription fee for a game that they already had to spend $39.95 buying at a game store.

Wilson was so firmly convinced that he was right about the matter that he actually gave Ultima Online the magazine's award for "Coaster of the Year" -- which you would have had to be around in the 1990's to appreciate as it is something of an in-joke... You see at the time the budding online service America Online was in the habit of giving away free CD's any way that they could -- like in magazines, by direct mail, and sending tons of them to be handed out at computer shows. Because of this AOL usually won the whole "Coaster of the Year" award, the idea being that people used them to set their drinks on to protect the surface of their table...

Giving UO that award was tantamount to saying that the disc was not worth, well, anything. That gamers would never use it. Man was he wrong. Ultima Online ended up being the runaway hit game of the year, and stores could not keep it in stock, it was that popular.

Shortly after the first major update to the game, players were tickled to discover that in the swampy area just off of the main road as you left the capital city for other parts of the world, there was a new "enemy" to be found -- actually to be fair it was not just in that swampy area, it could also be found at the Vermin Horde Champion Spawn, in the Bog of Desolation, in the Fens of the Dead, and in Fire Level 1 of the Palace of Paroxysmus. What was this new enemy? It was a Frost Ooz (slime) called JWilson.

If you attacked the JWilson Slime it would corrode any metal weapons, if it actually hit you it would poison you with a low-level poison, and killing it was only worth 1 point. Oh, and it did not drop treasure or money of any sort, which meant for the most part it was a slimy pest that was best avoiding... Hmm...

Posted: 22nd Jan 2012 by CMBF
Assassin's Creed Revelations, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC,