Sometimes, you’ve just gotta flip somebody off, even if they can’t see you. Maybe they cut you off in traffic. Maybe they took your spot in the carpark. Maybe they did a third thing involving a car. Or, as is the case 99 per cent of the time, perhaps they pushed you off a cliff.
Kratos has been on the other end of a secret middle finger this whole time in 2018's God of War, and players were none the wiser. Game developer and hacker Lance McDonald recently discovered, via his own custom camera hack, that when Kratos shoves Baldur, the game’s main antagonist, off a cliff after their first fight early in the game, he tosses up two alarmingly large middle fingers on the way down.
— Lance McDonald (@manfightdragon) March 5, 2020
In the regular version of the scene, the camera does not follow Baldur down the rocky ravine, but McDonald used his camera mod to chase after Baldur’s not-so-lifeless body and discovered that he enthusiastically flips the bird at Kratos near the conclusion of his plummet.
In an email to Kotaku, McDonald explained how his camera hack works.
“The camera exploits some leftover debugging code in the game which I heavily modified, and then added new code [to] the game’s pause screen, which allows me to control the flow of game time to slow pause/unpause functions,” he said. “My modified code allows me to turn my modifications on and off my pressing certain combinations of buttons on the pause screen.”
The hack, which he only got up and running earlier this week, would have been operational last year if not for “debugging code overriding the normal buttons used to navigate the pause/equipment screens, which broke gameplay fairly severely.”
In the end, though, it was all worth it, if only to capture Baldur’s majestic middle fingers soaring skyward in all their defiant glory. Norse and Greek gods: They really are just like us!
Kotaku reached out to Sony for more information about the two birds who paradoxically flew highest while falling off a cliff, but the company has yet to respond as of this publishing. However, one God of War developer has acknowledged McDonald’s find: game director Cory Barlog.
“Cory Barlog tweeted a heart emoji at me,” said McDonald.