Easter Eggs in an Escape Room
What is an Easter Egg? Many of us remember our parents hiding eggs around the yard, and competing with our siblings to see who could find the most, but did you know that an Easter Egg can also refer to a hidden message or image in a movie, video game, or entertainment medium?
Easter Eggs have been around ever since Atari video games coined the phrase in 1979. Atari used the term to describe a hidden message that could be found in their video game titled Adventure. At the time, video game companies did not reveal the names of the video game creators, because they were afraid they would be poached by other companies. One of the creators hid his name in a part of the game that would only appear if you found yourself on top of one specific pixel. When Atari found out, they decided it was an interesting detail they wanted the players of the game to experience.
Before this phrase was coined by Atari, the earliest known Easter Egg was in the 1973 video game Moonlander. The object of Moonlander is to land a spaceship successfully on the moon. However, If the player flies horizontally off the screen and past the moon for an allotted distance, they will encounter a McDonald’s restaurant.
As you can imagine, not every person experiences or finds all Easter Eggs. They are often well hidden and reserved for only the most adventurous explorers. Easter Eggs have also become more elaborate over time.
Many people are aware of the Stan Lee cameos in all the Marvel films, but many Easter Eggs are more obscure.
- In the movie Fight Club, Director David Fincher included a Starbucks cup in every scene in the film.
- When a person is about to meet their demise in the Godfather series, an orange or multiple oranges clearly make an appearance to precede the untimely end of a character.
- R2-D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars make a cameo in the very first Indiana Jones movie. They can be seen as hieroglyphs on the wall when Indy discovers the Ark of the Covenant. This detail even made it into the Lego set of the same name.
- The Star Wars saga is full of Easter Eggs, but one of the most obscure is in reference to an early George Lucas film named THX 1138. Luke claims Chewbacca is from cell block THX 1138 while disguised as a stormtrooper on the Death Star. Also, 1138 is the designation of the Naboo battle droids in The Phantom Menace. Several other filmmakers have jumped on board and have paid homage to George Lucas referencing this same Easter Egg. The Movie Swingers uses THX 1138 on the license plate of a car in Jon Favreau’s Las Vegas classic film.
Here at the Escape Hatch, we have incorporated horror and science fiction-themed Easter Eggs into one of our most popular escape rooms, HaZard Pay. HaZard Pay is an escape experience that incorporates some dark room and scare effects, as you work with your team to enter an abandoned mental hospital and try to save the world from the “zombification” of the human race. As you explore and solve puzzles, you will come across some familiar characters and items in our creepy world that may spark a memory or two from the past.
Spoiler Alert! Stop reading right now if you want to try to find all of the hidden Easter Eggs while playing the game yourself!
Here are some of the hidden gems hidden throughout the game:
When you first enter Hazard Pay, you will notice you are outside WHP hospital, which is a reference to the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital began prescribing regular doses of Hypnocil to patients suffering from chronic nightmares in the series.
There are also references in HaZard Pay to Chucky the killer doll from Child’s Play, Mike Myers of Halloween horror, and Biff Tannen, the troublesome bully from Back to the Future.
Many famous scientists and doctors from books and films also make an appearance in HaZard Pay also. Here are a few:
- The infamous Doc Brown from the Back to the Future series.
- Dr. David Kibner was played by Leonard Nimoy in the 1978 hit film Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
- Professor Abraham Van Helsing is a fictional character from the 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula and is also a co-creator of the cure in HaZard Pay.
- Dr. Hannibal Lecter made his first appearance in the 1981 novel Red Dragon. He then moved on to more important endeavors as a critical resource in the cure production in HaZard Pay.
Along with characters, certain important dates make an appearance in HaZard Pay. Only die-hard fans may recognize one of the most famous opening nights in movie history. The highly acclaimed director and writer, Alfred Hitchcock, released the thriller Psycho in the US on September 8, 1960.
Many more characters make a cameo in our exciting and thrilling escape adventure. Now that you know what to look for, how many can you find?
Thank you and happy Easter Egg hunting from all of us here at The Escape Hatch!