Game developers have been hiding secrets in their games since 1979's Adventure. But the inclusion of secret levels in games is a bit more rare, as it means hiding away tons of content (which takes time and money to produce) where many players will never find it. These levels are often snapshots of abandoned or forgotten content, tantalizing players with mystery and sometimes downright creepy additions to a familiar world, or just Easter eggs meant to satisfy the secret-hungry player.
Hidden levels in video games exist outside the main content of a game, meaning you'll have to dig a little deeper to find them. Whether that means glitching through a wall, entering a particular button combo at the right time, or venturing far off the beaten path, you'll have to look hard to find what developers are hiding in your favorite games.
Whatever the reason behind their inclusion, players delight in finding entire new secret video game levels. From the hidden depths of Karazhan to psychedelic space adventures, these secret levels are some of the weirdest, creepiest, and most mysterious in gaming.
Kanye Quest 3030 is a weird little JRPG in which you play as the infamous Kanye West on a journey through time - but that's only the beginning of the weirdness. Keen-eyed players discovered that entering the word ASCEND into a random dialog prompt in the game opens up an entirely new level.
This level requires you to input password after password, only to end in front of a terminal that instructs you to input your address and await further contact, with a note that the developers will "interact with you and your possessions." Players have speculated the mysterious level is part of a recruitment effort for a new-age cult, but the developer hasn't responded to repeated efforts to contact them.
World of Warcraft's Karazhan is spooky enough on its own, a leftover raid from the Burning Crusade era packed full of ghosts, banshees, wraiths, and all manner of other creepy monsters to slay. But it also holds a secret - a hidden crypt containing disturbing images, including a large water-filled room where the upside-down sinners, bloody bodies held in place by heavy chains, float.
To get there requires glitching, a potentially bannable offense. If you manage to do it anyway, you're greeted by a horrorshow of fiendish delights, including the aforementioned sinners, a giant pile of bones to break your fall, and numerous graves. It's an unnerving sight, especially because the game makes no use of it - it's just there, an eerie bit of trivia hidden just beyond reach.
Part of Portal's lasting legacy (the cake is a lie!) is hidden in its secret Rat Man chambers, but Portal 2 takes that a step further. At one point, GLaDOS throws a bunch of garbage at the player, including a radio. Taking that radio into the secret office in the Rat Man den nearby causes the radio to play an awful screeching sound, likely driving most players to drop it.
But that's not all - the screeching sound, when decoded properly, reveals an image of a Companion Cube on the moon, hinting at the game's ending before it occurs. Is there a time-travel twist involved in the Portal storyline?
Fallout is a series rife with nostalgia, and Fallout 4's post-apocalyptic vision of Boston is no exception. Hidden in the wasteland is a faithful recreation of the bar from Cheers, the '80s sitcom about a place where everybody knows your name.
Except Fallout 4's vision of Cheers is a little less cheery. The bar's denizens are long dead, slumped over in their familiar spots, likely lost to the nuclear fallout. It's a pretty grim reference, one that probably inspires a fair bit of head-scratching among players who missed the show in its prime.