Easter Egg Compendium (and more) !
The greatest resource for classic gaming info you won't find in the manual!


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Although Atari VCS programmer Warren Robinett is often regarded as the first person to hide their initials/name in a video game with the ability to trigger their appearance on the screen, we know of at least 3 programmers to do so before Warren. Atari coin-op programmer Owen Rubin included his initials (and those of other people) in two 1978 games - Orbit and Skydiver (the method to trigger them, if possible, is still unknown).  Fairchild Channel F programmers Brad Reid-Selth and Michael Glass put them in their games as well (Brad with 1978's Video Whizball and Michael with the original 1976 demo cart - which although it isn't a game, is the earliest egg on a video game system). 

It's unknown where Michael got the idea (he may have included them in his other games as well), but Brad mentions getting the idea to include them after learning Atari programmers were putting them in their games.  Owen doesn't recall anyone else doing it, but that "it was something most hackers did".  Warren states he was inspired by artists putting their names in their paintings.

Steve Wright (from Atari) is credited with coining the term Easter eggs (in regards to hidden surprises in video games) in a quote from an article in the 1st issue (Winter 1981) of Electronic Games magazine.

Russ Perry Jr. and his brother, David Perry, coined the term "frying" in regards to the technique of using the power switch on a VCS to (temporarily) alter a game's code. This article in Electronic Fun & Games magazine may have been the first mention of how to use this trick.

Some of the VCS/2600 tricks require a disassembled joystick in order to activate 2 or more directions at the same time (for LEFT+RIGHT combinations, the paddle FIRE buttons can be used).

It's not our intention to take credit away from those people who have discovered some of these eggs/tricks/bugs, etc. - however, credit is only given to the earliest-known published account. The list is merely a compilation of all the presently-known facts. Future revisions will include proper credit as it becomes known.

If you know of any tricks, glitches, or hidden messages not listed here, or feel any of the info here is incorrect, contact the creator of this section, Scott Stilphen. Thanks!



Apple II-II Plus-IIe-IIc computers
Arcade coin-op
Atari Video Computer System/2600
Atari 400-800-XL-XE-XEGS computers
Atari 5200 Super System
Atari 7800 Pro System
Channel F
Commodore 64-128-Plus/4 computers
DVD games
electronic handhelds
Emerson Arcadia 2001
Game Boy
Game Boy Color
Interton VC-4000
Nintendo NES
Odyssey 2 / Videopac
Sega CD
Sega Master System
Nintendo SNES
Turbo Duo
TV Plug-N-Play
Vectrex Arcade System
an egg!

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