Known Easter Eggs in Commercial Jaguar Games
Easter Eggs-Software Surprises
Easter Eggs are secrets hidden in many pieces of software, from operating
systems and applications to games on PCs and consoles. This book provides
an excellent insight into why programmers add these unofficial features,
and how to access them.
Click on the book to find out more, and order.
Reasons for including Easter Eggs
There may be lots of reasons for including Easter Eggs (or Gang Screens)
in games. The very first Easter Egg apparently originated with Atari, when
the programmer of "Adventure" for the Atari 2600 got sick of his bosses refusing
to include any credits, and hid his name behind a "dot" in the game. It is
nice then that most Jaguar games included Easter Eggs of some sort.
The programmers who wrote MYST for the Atari Jaguar CD unit included themselves
in the game, stood on a balcony at Atari HQ. This kind of easter-egg which
relates only to the programmers, either showing their pictures, their names,
and other secret credits was traditionally called a "gang screen". Normally
such screens include the names of the programmers, but these were not secret.
Eggs are usually well hidden, this so complicated it had to be leaked to
find it. To activate this egg you enter May 22, 1970 6:30am in the planetarium,
and this changes the view of the library to a view of the Atari building.
Looking up shows the Myst team on the balcony.
The Development Team "Gang Screen"
The Atari programmers who wrote Hoverstrike for the Atari Jaguar included
a team photo of themselves in the game too, stood against a game landscape.
This kind of easter-egg which relates only to the programmers, either showing
their pictures, their names, and other secret credits was traditionally called
a "gang screen". Normally such screens include the names of the programmers,
but Atari credited each member of the team by name in the Jaguar game manuals.
To activate this egg...
|The Programmers Friends / Lovers
Defender 2000 by Jeff Minter
Jeff Minter had a special relationship with Atari after the success of Tempest
2000 and was able to include this tribute to his pet sheep Flossie, the "most
beautiful sheep in the world" if I remember right. Spitting lasers, and powered
with a jet (of methan presumably) from her rear, this feature is unlocked
by entering your name as OVINE on the Defender Plus high score table, and
starting the game with A instead of B. Fame for Flossie, yes.
As Tributes to Other Programmers
This much sought after recent release apparently holds a number of secret
features unlocked by secret codes found in the game, one being "Yak Mode"
which offers a "VLM" style display to accompany the game music. As a tribute
to Jeff Minters Jaguar CD VLM, it is a great example of this type of Easter
Egg. It is activated by typing 842659686275 from the Game Options. (This
screenshot captured by JC.)
Mini-Games Similar to Real Games
BattleSphere Gold by Scatologic
This follow-up to BattleSphere includes a mini-game called Defektor, which
is simplistic, but similar to Protector, a Defender type game by Songbird.
The game may be considered a tribute to classic Defender or Protektor. Later
levels include falling meteors as does Protektor, as is ground and background.
The game is activated by typing 752933332867 from the Game Options. (This
screenshot captured by JC.)
|Nostalgia and "Retro"
Pitfall, The Mayan Adventure
Possibly the most interesting Jaguar Easter Egg in some respects for the
unlocked potential it holds, by pressing C 26 times, then down, while
over Info on the main menu the game gives you a full and apparently perfect
game of Atari 2600 Pitfall. If this uses an emulator, Pitfall holds the potential
to play many more 2600 titles on your Jaguar. Great implementation.
Nostalgia and "Retro" Updates
Defender 2000 by Jeff Minter
Defender 2000 was originally intended to have a number of hidden games, but
I guess due to shortage of cartridge space most were culled. Entering NOLAN
as a high score (for Nolan Bushnell, considered "creator" of Pong) permanently
unlocks "Plazma Pong", classic Pong with a very psychodelic background,
and sound. A nice example of a tribute and update.
| Sub-Game to Unlock
The already excellent game, Rayman, .includes an excellent secret game. Rayman
can play a special version of Breakout in order to unlimited continues when
he wins. Not just a Breakout clone either, it is beautifully implemented
fun, and pressing 1,3,6,4 on the walking hands screen unlocks this sub-game
| Secret Level from
Perhaps feeling guilty at the "prototype" nature of Club Drive, an excellent
game in concept, but rushed to publication long before it was ready, one
of the programmers included a secret level called "Todd's World", captured
here. Sadly it is not much of an easter egg as it is so small. Holding 4+2
on world select, selects this.
Arcade Secrets as Game Feature
NBA Jam TE
At the opposite end of the scale from Club Drive, NBA Jam TE is a Jaguar
port of the massive arcade hit of the same name, but in this case the programmers
wanted to add more to the Jag version..There are numerous secrets in this
game, many more even than the arcade version, includeing the option to play
as all the programmers, so this is definitely Easter Egg heaven.
As a special Jaguar feature, shown here is the 32X Doom egg in action. All
the players face front only, and move left and right still facing front.
This is to make fun of the Sega 32X port of Doom, which shows all enemies
with minimal animation frames, all face on, unlike the superb Jaguar version.
An Easter Egg which slams a so-called Jaguar competitor had to be fun.
| Secret Level from Programmers
Val D'Isere by Virtual Studios
The last common reason for Easter Eggs in games, Jaguar included, was
playtesting. It is very difficult for playtesters to try every feature if
they have to play from the start every time they get a new version. Many
games have a secret menu or options for infinite lives for Playtesters. Val
D'Isere includes a menu activated by pressing 4,0,8,5,7,4,1,4 on the main
menu which offers an impressive set of options.
More to follow if you are interested...