Plenty of games contain Easter eggs that reference other games. For example, literally every game released since 2012 has included a Dark Souls bonfire in an obscure corner of at least one map. Rare, however, is the Easter egg that straight up transforms a game into the thing it’s referencing. Just Cause 4 has gone the extra mile.
The latest entry in the tender, boldly progressive three-way love story between a grappling hook, a parachute, and explosions contains an incredibly overt reference to a game that can only engender the exact opposite emotion: hate. I speak, of course, of Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy, an indie game in which you, a man who’s stuck in a cauldron, must pull yourself up a trash mountain using only the world’s most unwieldy hammer. Late last year, it became a Twitch and Steam sensation, because people like torturing themselves. Now it’s in Just Cause 4 – cauldron, developer narration, and all.
As discovered by DANNYonPC and MathChief, among others, the Easter egg takes the form of a cauldron and pickaxe in an obscure location on the game’s map. If you interact with them, you’re transported into a Getting Over It-style side-scrolling level complete with self-referential narration from Bennett Foddy himself.
“I could’ve made another silly weapon or pop culture reference,” he says. “Most people like those. But not everyone’s the same. I created this Easter egg for a certain kind of person. To hurt them.”
The Just Cause series has always been about ridiculous verticality – about quickly and easily catapulting yourself to heights that’d give god vertigo and then crashing aeroplanes into dictators. Getting Over It, on the other hand, is about moving upward with all the speed and efficacy of a sea turtle trying to overcome a rock climbing wall. So while this might seem like an odd fit for an Easter egg at first, you’ve gotta give developer Avalanche props for recognising the potential in what may low-key be one of gaming’s single most whiplash-inducing juxtapositions.