Monday, August 25, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #30: Dead Space's Hidden Plot Spoiling Message

When you're playing Dead Space, you are on a quest through a ship full of terrors to be reunited with your lover, Nicole. Having this drive you through the entire game, the developers placed a rather eerie bit into consideration for the title of the chapters you play throughout.


Notice anything about the titles yet? Take the first letter from each chapter to spell it out. That's right: N-I-C-O-L-E I-S D-E-A-D. Gives me chills thinking about how that was there the whole time.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #29: Samus' Ship in Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze

One of the greatest parts about Nintendo is how creative they get with making cross-game references. Every main title Nintendo game has some reference of some kind to the rest of the world of their magical games. Today we are exploring the deep jungles of Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze to find such reference.

Swinging and bashing your way through a level in the game, you might go right past this easter egg if you aren't looking for it. The egg has the same shade as the background, so it actually took me a little bit to see it, myself. Looking by a tree at one point, you can see Samus Aran's spaceship from the beloved Metroid series. The space hunter must have had a pretty big bounty to invade the world of DK and friends.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #28: Nods to the Mushroom Kingdom in A Link to the Past

When Link had to save Hyrule by bravely exploring another world, there must have been some visitors to Hyrule while he was gone. In Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the SNES, there is not one, but two cameo appearances by characters from the Mushroom Kingdom.

In Kakariko Village, Mario must be real important to several villagers, as most of them have a portrait of the loveable plumber on display. 

Also, in Turtle Rock, the classic Mario enemy, the Chain-Chomp, lurks throughout the challenges in the dungeon.
The latter is fascinating seeing as very recently in a new Nintendo Direct, it was revealed that the Chain-Chomp would be usable in the upcoming Zelda game Hyrule Warriors developed by Team Ninja. It's pretty incredible how a subtle easter egg can become an actual thing.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #27: Alternative Gamecube Startup Screens

Oh, the nostalgia...

It is almost impossible to forget the startup jingles that video game consoles have. All of the weekends we spent playing games, and all of the days to come. Every time we start our adventures into whatever worlds we dive into, there will always be the iconic sounds from powering up. Every time I turned on my trusty Gamecube to play the many memorable games of my childhood, I would be greeted by the same tune. One day, by mistake, I held down the Z button on my controller while powering up, and was shocked with the brand new sounds of what seemed like a squeaking monkey and laughter. Turns out, I had found one of my first easter eggs.

Also, if you were to hold down the Z button on the controller on four separate controllers, the Gamecube start up would be that of chants, drums, and a Japanese man shouting. Take a look here!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #26: Super Mario Bros. Hieroglyphs in Super Mario 64

In Super Mario 64, there is a rather nice reference to the Mario games of old. In the Dark World, most players are too busy going through Bowser's lethal traps and minions in such a hurry that they aren't paying attention to the low-poly pillars on the platforms. If you zoom in on one, there are some interesting markings. It would appear that there is a subtle hieroglyphic marking that someone (maybe Bowser?) left for our beloved plumber. An 8-bit Bowser having an iconic battle with the moustached hero straight out of Super Mario Bros. It's a very tiny nod, but it's always refreshing to see a big title remember it's roots.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #25: Fire Emblem: Awakening and Quite Possibly the Smoothest Movie Reference Ever

One of the sleeper hits of 2013 has to be the character driven masterpiece that is Fire Emblem: Awakening. The 3DS title was the defibrillator to the aged franchise that was in desperate need of a good title to be relevant in the U.S. (Ike fighting for his friends in Smash Bros. couldn't keep gamers interested for long). The game was hailed by critics, and the lasting legacy has been pretty immediate.

Being so thick in plot and dialogue, there was bound to be a little elbow room for Nintendo to have some fun with easter eggs for the epic. Today's easter egg is clever little nod to what must be the development team's favorite action flick, Taken. In case you haven't seen it, Taken is essentially every overprotective parent's ultimate nightmare: A secret agent's daughter is kidnapped overseas and thrown into a situation that could nothing short of terrifying. There is one scene in particular that comes to mind to anyone who has seen the film.

When the Avatar confronts Gaius in a.....questionable situation, he begins getting super defensive, and spewing out all sorts of craziness. To the untrained eye, this little gem might slip by, but he makes a reference to Liam Neeson's incredible speech. Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #24: Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Memes....Wait WHAT?!

When a game is made in today's times, it is almost a given that at some point in development, the game designers were sharing a good laugh from something they found online. One of the more popular things of course is the hijinks of memes. Everything from felines yearning for a hamburger with cheese or a scumbag wearing his Yankees cap sideways and informing someone of a real terrible action. One doesn't often get to experience the jump from internet shenanigans into video games, but that's exactly what we're going to find today, in one of the darkest and most unlikely places. Put on your coolest digital shades, we're heading into the world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

One of the (probably augmented) legs of the journey has Adam Jensen looking for a hacker that's on the run. After sneaking/rampaging his way through the security, he will come across the work area of said hacker. While examining his set up, there will be a series of sticky notes on display. One in particular, has a phone number and a name (a very awesome name if I do say so myself) with a drawling beneath it. The drawling is that of the "Forever Alone" face on one of the internet's most well known memes. Plenty of fish out there in the sea, buddy,

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #23: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II's Reference to The Phantom Menace

Atton Rand in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

This is probably the longest titled egg yet! That being said, I hope it won't disappoint! In the game, one of the first characters the player meets is a criminal named Atton Rand. If the player character is female,  he will ask if you are an angel. He then retorts with "Aw, I'm kidding. That was the worst line I've ever used. Hope some poor kid doesn't start using it."
This is a reference to when a young Anakin Skywalker asks Padme if she's an angel in The Phantom Menace. I can't decide if this reference was meant to be a jab at how cheesy the script was for the prequel movie or not.  I'm sure many would agree to the notion that it was insulting seeing as how many people detest the three prequel movies.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #22: Conker's Bad Fur Day's Connection to A Clockwork Orange

The resemblance is terrifying

Conker's Bad Fur Day is a rated M game, believe it or not, released for the Nintendo 64 in 2001. This seemingly kid-friendly game had to have disclaimers saying it contained mature content so parents wouldn't buy it for their children! Some of this mature content included an opening cut scene that was inspired by the movie A Clockwork Orange, in which themes of violence, dystopia, and psychological unrest are represented.

To see the both scenes played out side by side, click here!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #21: Aliens in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

If you've ever played a game from the creative mind of Hideo Kojima, you already know that there are always a wealth of easter eggs scattered throughout his games. Some of them are clever nods to different works that have inspired the game design guru, others are just plain weird. Maybe sometime soon we will explore more of them, but today's easter egg comes from the least expected place it could ever be. Space. The Final Frontier. 

In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, after your epic battle with the frantic killing machine in stealth camouflage that is Laughing Octopus, Old Snake will be prowling through the mountain trails in the blistering sun to track down scientist Naomi Hunter. Things are getting pretty desperate for our aging hero, and he risks losing his only lead if he can't find his target soon.

Once you reach a bend through the mountain, there will be a circular patch of grass that you can crouch  down by. Doing so will trigger a flashback conversation with Snake's old handler Colonel Campbell. He recalls driving home from work and experiencing a light overcoming him and coming to back home.  Judging by the crop circle, it's safe to assume that the Colonel was abducted by aliens. Take a look at this retelling of a close encounter of the fourth kind:

Do you have any memorable Metal Gear Solid easter eggs that you liked, or ones that have stood out from the others to you? Let me know, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #20: Super Mario 64's Stone Tablet in Ocarina of Time

How the tablet appears in Super Mario 64, resulting in the trolling of millions

How it looks in Ocarina of Time

The rumor surrounding this tablet was probably one of the biggest gaming urban legends of its time. Supposedly, according to this tablet which is located in the courtyard of Peach's Castle, Luigi could be unlocked by collecting all the gold coins in the game which number 2401. The inscription on the tablet can be interpreted by some as "L is real 2401", which prompted many to try and collect all the coins in order to unlock Luigi. This rumor is of course false, but many believed it to be true back when Super Mario 64 was released.  The tablet actually reads "Eternal Star", which makes more sense considering there is a statue of one right above it.
This trolltastic tablet can also be found in Dodongo's Cavern in the N64 version of Ocarina of Time (I'm actually not sure if its in the 3DS version or not). I just find it fascinating that yet another element from the world of Mario can be found in Hyrule as well!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #19: Princess Toadstool's ???, Super Mario RPG

What is she hiding?

So, here I am again with yet another Super Mario RPG easter egg to share with you all! Speaking of sharing, Princess Toadstool (Peach) isn't willing to share her secrets with the player. 
If the player pokes around in Peach's room and finds her ??? before she joins the party, her grandma will try to bribe the player to keep quiet about it. The ??? is located in the back of her room between the fireplace and the chair. If the player finds the object when Peach is a part of the party, she will scold the player for being too nosy and not respecting her privacy. So, what is this hidden item Peach wants to keep a secret? I'll let everyone in the comments speculate as to what this item's mysterious identity is. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #18: Are Some of the Masks in Majora's Mask Based off of Star Fox?

A side-by-side comparison of the masks and Star Fox's characters, courtesy of 4chan
There are 24 masks to collect in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and all of them are unique in their own way. However, some seem to resemble some characters from another Nintendo franchise, Star Fox. It is widely believed that the second row of masks in the mask selection screen were modeled after Fox, Falco, Peppy, Slippy, and Pigma. This makes sense considering that Zelda series creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, also created Star Fox.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pokémon Colosseum: Why Pokémon Spinoff Games are Awesome

This is awesomeness defined 

Are you one of those people who wants to play as the villain in a Pokémon game? Well, in Pokémon Colosseum, you get to do just that.

Well, kinda. Also, beware of some mild spoilers below (this also isn't a review of the game. I'll probably be doing a review of its sequel).

Remember how in other Pokémon games you start out in a sleepy town, get a low-level starter, and get your hand held throughout it all? Well, Pokémon Colosseum says, "Screw that!" and decides blowing stuff up is better. That's right, there's explosions in this Pokémon game and it's the greatest thing ever. As it turns out, the main character Wes (the guy who looks like something out of an 80's sci-fi film) is an ex-member of the evil organization, Team Snagem (yes that name is a little ridiculous, I must admit). Why is he an ex-member you ask? He decided one day that the villain scene was a bit too cliché for him, and decided to leave. Well, the truth is that we don't know exactly why Wes decided to leave Team Snagem (and we'll get to why that makes this game a step above the rest later), but my reasoning is just as good as any other since we don't have a concrete answer. Anyways, he thought that betraying his fellow teammates by engulfing their base in a raging inferno would be the best way to cut ties with his old life as a bad guy. To stick it to them even further, he also stole a machine that allows the user to steal other trainers' Pokémon called the snag machine (I know, real original). It's a good thing he did too, because without it he'd be screwed.

This game has all the explosions

And cool guys don't look at them

The game takes place in a new region called Orre, which is mostly a desert. Consequently, no wild Pokémon appear in this region. The only way the player can receive more Pokémon is by stealing them from other trainers. Now, you can't just steal any old Pokémon from a trainer. It has to be a "Shadow Pokémon". These Pokémon have had the door to their hearts closed, and as a result wield greater power and can even attack people. Wes has made it his mission to steal back all these Shadow Pokémon, purify their hearts, and defeat Cipher once and for all. Cipher is yet another evil organization in the game, and they are the ones responsible for closing the hearts of the Shadow Pokémon. As it turns out, Team Snagem and Cipher are bitter rivals. Now that makes me wonder if Wes decided to steal back the Shadow Pokémon out of the goodness of his heart, or if he just really wanted to stick it to Cipher to get revenge of some sort. Or maybe he wanted to steal the snag machine just so he could be more powerful. There is a lot of speculation surrounding this character because his intentions are just so vague. I think that since Wes' choices are open to interpretation, it adds a layer of depth to this game that some (but not all) main-series Pokémon games lack. Because of that, this game feels so fresh and different when compared to the others. Spinoff games have the ability to do completely new things with the franchise, and that's one of the many reasons why Colosseum is so awesome.

Another obvious thing that makes this game amazing is, of course, the battling. Every battle in the game is a double battle, meaning two Pokémon are on the field at the same time. I know some people didn't like being restricted to a certain format, but I think double battling adds more challenging and strategic elements to the game. Double battles also make fighting the various bosses of the game more interesting. The first boss that the player fights uses a team where Earthquake and Protect is used, which can be a tough strategy to deal with early in the game. If you love to battle, then Pokémon Colosseum is for you. Most of the time you spend in the game will be battling other trainers during the main story. But, there's colosseum tournaments to enter, and Mt. Battle to challenge as well. Mt. Battle and colosseum tournaments are good ways to level your team and win great prizes and money. Battling in this game is also just so much fun because all the Pokémon are 3D. You see them attacking, getting hit, and sometimes fainting, unfortunately. They all have their bit-crushed cries too, which I think is a nice touch that adds a bit of nostalgia. There's something just so magical about seeing the usual 2D sprites of Pokémon come to life in 3D. And up until X and Y, the only games that had 3D rendered Pokémon were the ones for consoles. So, Colosseum always just felt so special to me for that reason alone.

Another thing that makes this game special is the setting which it takes place in. Orre may be a desert region, but some parts of it are just stunning nonetheless. You'll go from desolate deserts, to raging volcanoes, to underground cities, to lush forests, and back. My favorite area in the game is Phenac City, which is a desert oasis filled with overflowing water.

I'd like to live in a place like Phenac City in real life

And the music, ugh, the music in this game is fantastic. Seriously, you haven't lived until you've heard Phenac City's theme. The game has great music for every situation whether it be for epic boss battles, intense colosseum matches, or serene cities. You won't hear chip tunes in this game. All the music is very clear sounding and very high quality. In fact, I hope they play a version of Phenac City at the upcoming Pokémon Symphonic Evolutions concerts, because that'd be great.

The story and the unique game play are the main things that make this game awesome. The story is just so dark and deep when compared to the normal main series games. This game is a breath of fresh air because it's just so different. There aren't 8 gyms to challenge, there aren't any wild Pokémon to bother or interrupt you, and the protagonist is an anti-hero who likes to blow stuff up and steal people's Pokémon, for heaven's sake! Unlike the main series games, this one throws you right into the action with two fully leveled Pokémon, and sends you on your merry way, no questions asked. It's a 3D Pokémon RPG, and I love it.

Wes and his two partners, Umbreon and Espeon, ride together in his weird motorcycle thing

Now, this game isn't perfect; it has its flaws just like any other game. I played Colosseum as a kid, so maybe I'm a bit nostalgia blind, but I played it again recently and enjoyed it just as much. There hasn't been a game like it since its sequel, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, and that game came out in 2005, almost 10 years ago! Nintendo and Genius Sonority, I'm begging you, please make another game like Pokémon Colosseum for the Wii U. Some of the best, most innovative games in the series have been spinoffs, and I'd like very much to see that trend continue. Even though there's hardly been any indication of another console game like Colosseum coming out, a girl can wish as hard as a Blissey for one.

Daily Easter Egg #17: Pokémon Colosseum's Different Intro Screens

This is the default screen featuring Wes, Rui, Umbreon, and Espeon

This is one of the alternate screens that features Wes, Rui, and cracked out versions of the Hoenn Trainers

And the final screen features the legendaries from Sapphire and Ruby as well as the Legendary Beasts from Gold, Silver,
and  Crystal

Since I'm doing a post about Pokémon Colosseum, I thought I'd post a little secret from the game as today's daily easter egg! Once you start up the game, press start when you reach the title screen. Once into the menu, press B. You'll see one of the different title screens shown above!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #16: The Wind Fish in Kirby Air Ride

That's obviously the Wind Fish. Normal whales can't fly, don't be silly!

Well, I never thought I'd be finding a Legend of Zelda easter egg in a Kirby game, but video games are full of secrets and surprises, and never fail to surprise me! The infamous Wind Fish from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening can be found in the Frozen Hillside level in Kirby Air Ride. It's not an exact match (it's missing the psychedelic colors, for example), but it looks like the Wind Fish to me, and a lot of sources agree that it is, in fact, the sleeping giant. 

I usually look grumpy when people wake me up too, Wind Fish

Friday, August 8, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #15: Donkey Kong 64's References to Past Games and Future Consoles

Who knew apes could have decent interior decorating skills?

As the title implies, this egg is from Donkey Kong 64. A gramophone, a steel girder, and a painting of a dolphin can all be seen decorating DK's cabin. All but the painting of the dolphin are references to DK's past escapades. The painting is, however, a reference to the Gamecube which was in early development at the time and codenamed "Dolphin".


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #14: 8-bit Mario in Super Mario RPG

Mama mia! Thatsa lota nostalgia!

Here's yet another Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars easter egg, as promised! This one can be found in Booster Tower. Inside, there is a room with curtains and a pillar. Going through these  curtains will cause Mario to transform into his 8-bit self! The original theme song from Super Mario Bros will play as well. However, you better savor this moment because it can only happen once! To see this for yourself, click here.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #13: FireRed and LeafGreen's "Buggy" Easter Egg

I think they need to hire a new landscaper...

This area in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen called "Pattern Bush" is located just a little north of Fortune Island.  It's pretty strange looking when you walk through it during normal gameplay, and only bug type Pokémon can be found here. When seen from above, it's pretty obvious that this grass makes some sort of image, or dare I say, pattern. While the trainers there speculate that this area's strange look is some indication that treasure is hidden there, the developers at Game Freak had a completely different intention when designing this area.
As it turns out, the grass is supposed to look like a circuit board from the original Red, Blue, and Green cartridges. And as for only bug type Pokémon being found there, it's a reference to how buggy the original games are. At least the developers can acknowledge that the original games are less than perfect (I'm looking at you Genwunners)!

(Source 1Source 2)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #12: Mario Paintings in Ocarina of Time

The Royal Family must vacation in the Mushroom Kingdom

When you meet Princess Zelda for the first time in Ocarina of Time, paintings of characters from the Mushroom Kingdom can be seen through some of the windows in the courtyard! Paintings of Mario, Yoshi, Peach, and Bowser can be seen hanging on the wall if you play around with the camera enough.
This easter egg also translated into the version for the 3DS. Instead of individual paintings on the wall, there is now a scene from New Super Mario Bros.

How the easter egg appears in Ocarina of Time 3D


Monday, August 4, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #11: Animal Crossing's Alien TV Channel

That's not Gulliver...

In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, various shows or "channels" will appear on T.V.s in the game at certain times. If you watch T.V. at 3:33AM on Sundays and Mondays, an alien message will appear on screen. It only lasts a minute, and will revert back to static at 3:34. If you want to see the strangeness for yourself, click here.
This isn't the first occurrence of aliens within the Animal Crossing universe. In both Wild World and City Folk, Gulliver would ride around in a UFO and appear in the player's town.

Gulliver and his crash-landed UFO


Concerning Girl Gamers and Girls in Games

The many stigmas of being a girl who just happens to play games 
Considering that 45% of people who play games are female, it surprises me that the term "girl gamer" has so many negative connotations attached to it.
Many (though not all) stereotypically claim that girls who identify as "gamers" are either looking for attention from guys, or that we only like "girly" games, or that we aren't "real" gamers because we only play these so called "girly games". Girl gamers can also be a sort of "fantasy" to some people because apparently we're so rare and desirable. In reality however, we're everywhere. The truth is that lots of girls play games, but some are just afraid to say so for fear of having these stereotypes applied to them. It was only recently that I started to apply the term "gamer" to myself. I had held off doing it for so long because I was afraid of what people would think or say. Then I realized that by hiding, I was only helping perpetuate the stereotype of "the girl gamer".  So, I decided to delve into the issue further, and analyze it from the inside out, starting with how games are made.
As of right now, most of the people who make games are male. Only 11% of game designers are female. As a result, most games are geared towards male gamers. Some examples of such games are Halo and Call of Duty. Now, this doesn't mean that these games are only for boys and that girls don't play these games, because they do. Nor are these games bad just because they don't appeal to girls very much. However, since these games are designed by males with males in mind, sometimes this can drive girls away from playing them. Since girls aren't really involved in the development of games, women seemingly aren't "present" in the gaming world, hence why some people are surprised when a girl calls herself a gamer. Gaming right now is a man's world, and sometimes it can be difficult for a girl to find her place in it.
 Some of the solutions I've heard to solve this issue are along the lines of making games that appeal solely to women. I don't agree with that at all. Girls (at least older ones) don't want their games coming in bright pink boxes straight out of a Barbie commercial. I think developers should make games that appeal to both genders. That way they can make one game that everyone can relate to and enjoy rather than spending more money making two separate games. I love games where the player gets to design their own character to be either male or female. I think implementing character customization is a great way to make games more appealing to everyone. I think the easiest way for companies to understand girl gamers is to treat them like everyone else. After all, many girls love games just as much as boys, and we'd just like to have the opportunity to play along and feel welcome. The industry has already started to include more leading ladies in games, and it turns out that those games have been some of the most critically acclaimed titles to date. Coincidence? I think not.



and Chell, oh my!

Mass Effect, Mirror's Edge, and Portal have all featured female protagonists (or allowed you to choose to play as one, as is the case in Mass Effect). These are obviously stellar games, for more reasons than just that they feature killer leading ladies. These games prove that having a strong female main character can be a good thing, and can be just as normal as having a male main character. I love these characters because they don't carry with them the normal stereotypes that females in games often do. They don't need rescuing, they aren't helpless, and they aren't just pretty faces. These characters are paving the way for future strong female leads in games. However, it seems for every FemShep or Chell, there is the likes of Bayonetta, or Kasumi.

Bayonetta is over sexualized to the extreme 

While Bayonetta and Kasumi kick serious butt as characters, their appearances kind of counteract their roles as strong female leads. In Bayonetta's case, her over sexualized design and demeanor are literally the only character traits she has, making her only a virtual sex symbol, flat and unvaried and nothing more. I want to like Bayonetta, I really do, especially since the sequel is going to be a Wii U exclusive. The gameplay of Bayonetta is over the top and is really fun, but I just don't respect her as a character (and her legs are way too long in my opinion and they kind of freak me out; she looks disproportionate). I understand that video games are supposed to be outlets of creativity and a medium for people and developers alike to express their fantasies, but Bayonetta's design is solely based around fantasy and multiplied by 100. Most of her attacks involve her undressing herself, and she regains health by sucking on lollipops. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with having appealing or attractive characters; in fact I think most people would prefer to play as characters that don't make their eyes burn with their hideousness. However, when the only thing a character has going for them is their looks, it's not a good example of good character design.
Another character that is an awful female lead is Princess Peach. She's remained stagnant for pretty much all  29 years of the Mario franchise's existence, pretty much only filling the role of a helpless damsel in distress. She's only had one game of her own, Super Princess Peach, where her emotions dictate how she gets through the level. That's her only gameplay mechanic, which to me seems like a representation of virtual PMS. Not only is that mildly offensive, but it's also ridiculous.

Seriously, Nintendo? This is the best you could come up with?

Then there are some that are more in the middle in terms of being strong female characters. Zelda, Samus, and Lara Croft come to mind. Starting off with Samus, she used to be the epitome of a strong female lead. Then, players could unlock a scantily-clad 8-bit Samus in the game and that kind of soiled her image as a strong lead a little. Her newer renditions in Zero Suit form aren't much better. She's still a strong female lead, having single-handedly committed mass genocide against the Metroids, but I just don't understand why the developers have to make her sexy.
Samus' "Zero Suit" leaves very little to the imagination

Is this really necessary?

As for Zelda (and this greatly pains me as she is one of my absolute favorite characters in all of gaming), she often solely plays the role as damsel in distress throughout The Legend of Zelda series. While she is scores above Princess Peach, I still wish she wouldn't always be the one to be in trouble and need rescued.  I mean, she has the Triforce of Wisdom for heaven's sake! You think she'd use it once in a while to outsmart Ganondorf. I know she disguised herself as Sheik for 7 years to avoid capture in Ocarina of Time but she still got captured anyways! Also the whole entire franchise is named after her, and I think that merits giving Zelda a better and stronger role within the games. Although, in many games she does help Link take down Ganondorf, and I really like that. I like a princess that is smart, and can also kick butt and take names. Anyways, getting back to the whole damsel in distress thing; isn't having to rescue a princess getting a bit old now anyways?
Finally, Lara Croft is a strong character whose design isn't as bad now as it used to be. Originally, the creator of Tomb Raider didn't want Lara to be a sex symbol. Instead, he wanted her to be attractive for her skill and her intelligence. But then, he accidentally increased the size of her boobs by 150%, and the rest was history. Thankfully, her more recent designs are a bit more realistic.

The evolution of Lara's design.

In all, I think the video game industry has come really far in terms of how they incorporate girls in their games. I just wish developers would realize that sex doesn't always sell when it comes to video gamesgreat characters do.  The industry has more to gain by keeping females in mind when developing and designing their games. If they broaden who they market to, they can expect a bigger payoff. And as for a girl's place in the gaming worldhow about we all just be "gamers"—despite what he have downstairs?

(Source #1, Source #2)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #10: Portal's Cake Recipe

The recipe for Portal's famous "Black Forest cake" appears in fragments in each level

Apparently, the cake isn't a liethe recipe is right in the game! The recipe can be found fragmented and displayed alongside binary code on the computer monitors in the office levels of the original Portal game. 

The recipe calls for:

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can prepared coconut–pecan frosting
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
GLaDOS also recommends that you decorate your cake with various garnishes including: Fish-shaped crackers, fish-shaped candies, fish-shaped solid waste, fish-shaped dirt, fish-shaped ethylbenzene, pull-and-peel licorice, fish-shaped volatile organic compounds and sediment-shaped sediment, candy-coated peanut butter pieces (shaped like fish), alpha resins, unsaturated polyester resin, fiberglass surface resins and volatile malted milk impoundments, an entry called: "How to Kill Someone with Your Bare Hands", 3 tbsp. rhubarb on fire, adjustable aluminum head positioner, slaughter electric needle injector, and cranial caps. Apparently the cake also contains preservatives, including gas and odor control chemicals that will "deodorize and preserve putrid tissue". Yum. 

In reality, however, the cake is based off of one from a bakery called The Regent Bakery and Café not too far from Valve's headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Man, now I really want some cake.

Mmm. Delicious and moist.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #9: Sonic CD's Hidden Message

No, that's not terrifying at all O_O
This unsettling image can be accessed in Sonic CD by entering the Sound Test mode. Players can access Sound Test from the menu screen after it is unlocked by pressing down, down, left, right, A on the controller. Once in Sound Test mode, there will be either 2 or 3 inputs for numbers. If there are 3 inputs, the numbers that will unlock this image are 46, 12, and 25. If there are only 2 inputs, the last 2 numbers will unlock the image.
When the picture is unlocked, the boss music from the North American soundtrack will play. The images in the background are apparently Sonic with a Mario face A.K.A. nightmare fuel. The most unsettling thing about this hidden image is what the text says. When translated into English from Japanese, the top line says, "fun is infinite". The middle line says "Sega Enterprises", and the very last line can be interpreted as "Majin", which is Japanese for demon, devil, or genie. Some also speculate that Majin is a play on one of the developers' names, Masato Nishimura, because he included that signature in other games as well. Whether that's true or not, it doesn't make this hidden message any less creepy. It was removed from later versions of the game as result of it scaring unsuspecting kids, and generally being inappropriate for a game aimed at a younger audience (you know, because it mentions the devil and all). These types of easter eggs creep me out the most because they're so out of place and unnatural. To see the horror for yourself, click here.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Daily Easter Egg #8: Star Fox's Slot Machine in Space

Yup, that is indeed a slot machine in space
I mean, the idea of a slot machine in space doesn't seem as weird when you compare it to the premise of Star Fox as a whole: talking animals piloting space ships. But, there's no denying that this easter egg is probably one of the strangest Nintendo has implemented in a game to date. If you thought that the slot machine by itself was weird, think again—just getting to it is a trip.
In the original Star Fox for the SNES, there is a secret level that is not shown on the map called "Out of this Dimension". To get to this level, the player must first travel to the Hard Asteroid Belt and seek out a strangely colored asteroid and destroy it.  Releasing from the explosion of the asteroid will be a gigantic space bird, which the player must then fly in to. Once inside this outer space behemoth, the player will fly past planets with faces (this must be where the moon in Majora's Mask is from) and the background in general will be all wobbly and distorted. Paper planes and rod-things are the only enemies here until the slot machine rolls in, bringing with it a chiptune version of "When the Saints Go Marching In". In order to "beat" this boss the player must "pull" the slot machine's lever by shooting it and get three lucky sevens, which will  then cause the machine to promptly self destruct. The staff credits will roll and at the end of them the words "The End" will be all scrambled. The player can shoot and re-arrange them until the end of time because there is no way to exit this level besides resetting the game. This egg is truly one of the weirdest and creepiest ones I've seen, and it's one that is definitely worth seeing for yourself. Click here to watch a video of the level and the boss fight.

"The End" indeed. The End of Nintendo's sanity, that is