SimCity was a game about creating a city. Of course, after hours of conserving resources and building, it seemed like some sort of natural disaster would always come through and completely destroy everything you'd accomplished. Besides the commonplace earthquake or nuclear meltdown, those who played SimCity on the Super NES had an additional disaster to worry about: Bowser from the Super Mario serious would come stomping through like Godzilla, destroying everything in his path. But as mad as you were about having to rebuild your city, you couldn't help but laugh at the fact that it was Bowser that caused all this havoc.
Portal and Half-Life are two fairly different series. However, they both take place in the same universe. According to Half-Life canon, Aperture Science, the setting for the Portal games, is in direct competition for government funding with Black Mesa, the laboratory from the original Half-Life. In Half-Life 2: Episode Two, there are even references to an Aperture ship called the Borealis. While this is only a vague reference to the first Portal, a life preserver from this very ship can be found in a secret room in Portal 2. The Borealis has been the cause of great speculation and wild theories by fans, and it is rumored that this ship will feature prominently in the next Half-Life game. However, we've been waiting for another Half-Life game since 2007, and Valve has remained tight-lipped about their future plans for the series. Until the next game in the series arrives, the Borealis is destined to remain one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in the world of gaming.
Blizzard's mega-MMO World of Warcraft was filled to the brim with pop culture references. But there was one reference in particular that many players didn't catch. In the Uldaman dungeon, there were three NPCs named Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce, and Olaf the Stout. These characters came straight out The Lost Vikings, which released for both SEGA Genesis and Super NES back in the 1990s. The Lost Vikings were three time-traveling Norsemen who had to solve puzzle after platforming puzzle in order to find their way back home.
This was a pretty obscure reference—hardly anyone even remembers The Lost Vikings anymore—but that just made it that much more appreciated by the small number of people who actually got the allusion.
Bonus: In Blizzard's StarCraft II, there was an arcade machine onboard the Battleship Hyperion called The Lost Viking. Clicking on this machine let you play a top-down space shooter in which you took control of a Viking spacecraft. This was another reference that was missed all too often by players too young to remember the greatness of The Lost Vikings.
The Left 4 Dead games were completely littered with graffiti. Players who took the time to read this graffiti were often treated to some pretty cleaver Easter eggs. One of the most interesting showed up in Chapter 2 of "The Passing" campaign in Left 4 Dead 2. There was a room in the pool hall that had a bunch of messages written on the walls. One of these messages stated: "Otis, Out of film, No Helicoptor. Zombies are too fast. Not going to make it. Frank West." As all zombie game enthusiasts know, Frank West was the photojournalist from the original Dead Rising. How nice of Valve to give a shout out to Capcom's zombie shooter.
The Psycho Mantis fight from the original Metal Gear Solid was one of the most memorable boss fights of all-time. This guy seriously messed with your head. On top of making your controller move across the floor with his mind, he was able to read your memory card. If he found other Konami games on your card, such as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Silent Hill, and Suikoden, he would call them out to you. For players not expecting it, this was one of the creepiest video game moments ever. It felt like he was actually reading your mind when he said things like, "You like Castlevania, don't you?"
By Josh Wirtanen
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*