Among the many joys of playing a new video game is the experience of stumbling upon a delightfully nerdy Easter egg hidden away by the developers. Video game movie references offer an entertaining look at the pop culture that shaped the creators of your favorite games. While some are easy to spot, such as a nod to a famous Star Wars scene in Skyrim, others are more obscure, like the easy-to-miss shout-out to Office Space in F.E.A.R.
The pleasure of these little cinematic nods is often directly proportional to how out of the way they are. Plenty of games rub our noses in their pop-culture pedigrees, but the selections below demonstrate that a little subtlety can go a long way.
- Photo: Bethesda Game Studios/20th Century Fox
As mentioned above, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim contains a little nod to a famous scene in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. After the player ventures into Bleakcoast Cave and defeats the Ice Trolls that lie within, they'll encounter a skeleton suspended from the ceiling by ice.
This is a reference to Luke Skywalker's early predicament in The Empire Strikes Back, in which a Yeti-like monster called a Wampa has suspended the Jedi-in-training from the ceiling of his icy cave. While Luke escapes before the Wampa can eat him for dinner, Skyrim imagines a darker ending for our hero.
The Red Stapler In 'F.E.A.R.'
The 2005 release of F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon features a beautiful shout-out to the 1999 comedy Office Space. During the eighth level, "Interval 04 - Infiltration - Watchers," there's a room located next to the crushed Armacham Technology Corporation officer.
Inside that room is a cubicle that has a radio, a TPS report, and a red stapler. The red stapler is a direct reference to Milton in Office Space, as the office pushover is seen with it throughout the film. The TPS report references another scene, in which the vice president of Initech, Bill Lumbergh, chastises Peter Gibbons for not filing his TPS reports with a cover sheet.
Despite the increased graphical realism in every new game in the series, the crime-ridden world of Grand Theft Auto continues to get more surreal.
Nothing signifies this better than the Thelma & Louise Easter egg hidden in Grand Theft Auto V. When flying near the cliff that's next to the Altruist cult between 7 pm and 8 pm, you can witness a reenactment of the famous ending to the 1991 movie, with Thelma and Louse driving off a cliff to avoid life behind bars.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has its share of critics and fans, but the one thing that's generally agreed upon is that Indy surviving an atomic blast by shielding himself in a lead-lined refrigerator is just too much to buy. The developers of Fallout: New Vegas seem to agree, as the skeletal remains of Indiana Jones within a fridge can be found in the game. While Indy isn't explicitly named, the bones in the fridge have shreds of his clothes, along with a "Suave Gambler Hat" that looks exactly like the iconic fedora.
To find the hilarious Easter egg, players must have the “Wild Wasteland” trait activated and travel south after leaving Goodsprings. The fridge is seen on the left side of the road.