Assassin's Creed: Revelations Easter Egg Hunt
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 22nd Jan 2012
The Video Game East Egg
Before we can begin exploring the Easter Eggs of ACR we really should explore in depth just what qualifies as an Easter Egg -- what are they? Why did the Code Wizards that create video games start hiding them in the games in the first place? And what was the first Easter Egg? Just exactly what the hell is an Easter Egg?!
Obviously it is not a chicken egg that has been immersed in boiling water until its insides have been cooked firm, then cooled and dipped in water tinted with food dyes and perhaps decorated using wax, paint, or stickers only to be concealed in out of the way places so that some adult can blow on a whistle and an army of children can hunt down and collect the eggs. Nope, that is not what we are talking about here, though that sounds like fun...
We are talking about virtual Easter Eggs, and they are not even eggs really, but events, images, sounds, or other objects that represent an in-joke, nostalgic reference, or a piece of some other event, story, or game that exists primarily to amuse you... Err, me... Um, us!
It turns out that Easter Eggs are found -- and concealed -- in everything from computer programs, web pages, video games, movies, books, even in crossword puzzles! The term itself was coined -- according to game writer Warren Robinett -- by software engineers at Atari after they were guided to a secret message that was left by Robinett in the game Adventure (a popular game for the Atari 2600 that was created in 1979 and is widely considered to be the very first action-adventure game for gaming consoles).
The label and at least part of the idea for the concept of an "Easter Egg" as we are referring to it actually originated as a rather short-lived tradition created by Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias of concealing small presents (usually jewelry) inside of decorative eggs made of precious and semi-precious materials and gemstones as works of art by the famous jewelry maker Peter Carl Fabergé. We say short-lived because he was only able to do it for something like 22 years, and then the Russian people took him out to an old mine and, along with his family, put a bullet in their heads.
Sad story, but hey, the eggs he had made were pretty amazing in their craftsmanship and execution, cleverly designed to be both a container for a gift as well as a puzzle in their own right, and clearly old Nick really understood the ladies -- after all he not only gave them a nice piece of jewelry but the container it came in was pretty spiffy as well -- check out the image below to see what we mean.
Today these are a sought-after treasure for collectors, who while they would love to possess one of the relatively few that were actually created for the royal family (an estimated 52 with the location of 8 of them lost to time), many collectors are just as happy to have any of the 15 Fabergé eggs from the first period and the unknown number that were made after the fall of Russia by Fabergé family members in Switzerland and France -- but we are getting off-track here.
The point is that the phrase has come to represent the appearance of an unexpected -- or bonus -- content or experience within the construct of the media experience that you are enjoying. The famous author, director, and film writer Alfred Hitchcock was notorious for sneaking Easter Eggs into his movies and believe it or not is thought to be responsible for the trend as it appears in games and software today -- for example he inserts cameo appearances of himself in every one of the films that he made, though some of these cameos have even today still not been discovered!