Part 19: Behind The Scenes - Easter Eggs
Today's Behind the Scenes Update takes a look at Easter Eggs, jokes, and some of the more satirical/humorous elements of San Andreas. The GTA games have always shined at satire, even in games with more serious stories to be told like San Andreas, there are some remarkable parodies, easter eggs and out and out insults to be found.
Rockstar has created almost an entire world of products and themes underlying the world of Grand Theft Auto. Some you're probably aware of like Ammu-Nation, the massive gun store run by violent, paranoid conspiracy buffs. Others that you haven't been exposed to in this Let's Play (so far) are some of the radio commercials that play between songs on the radio. They range from "subtle":
Ultimate Disc in the Dark
Man 1: In darkness, you only have your nocturnal instincts to rely on.
Man 1: Ultimate disc on the dark! The electric, stimulating new game that's
sweeping the city of San Fierro! It's a non-contact, contact sport where you
throw a flying disc in the dark!
Man 2: I got it!
Man 3: Ooh, get him! Nail his ass!
Man 1: It's a new competitive sport for the uncompetitive! An aggressive,
action-packed game for those who love nature and living on the edge. It's
harder than football! It's faster than rugby! It's about throwing a plastic
disc and catching it! Pitch, then catch! Run to the goal and score! Ultimate
disc in the dark! Just like a real sport, only we made it up! And it has a
great social side.
Man 4: Oh my God. What team are you on?
Man 5: I'm on the other team!
Man 4: Me too! Ah! Take that, silly!
Man 1: If you catch it, you gotta know what to do with it! Some will struggle. Some will submit. And everyone is laughing! But it's your quest to come out on top. This is a great excuse for some serious fun and a way to meet people like you- and never see them again. Late games begin every night in San Fierro Civic Park. Or, start your own game! And, because it's at night, it's not too embarassing to play a strip version! Come play Ultimate Disc in the Dark!
To the explicit:
Woman 1: Wow, look at him!
Woman 2: Yeah, I'd do him right now.
Woman 1: Yeah, me too. If he weren't bald!
Woman 3: You may not know it, but this happens to every man at least twice a
day. If you're balding, you might as well kiss sex goodbye. Even if you're 16
and have a full head of hair, women can tell if you're going to go bald. And
that spells trouble. Let's face it- women hate bald men, except basketball
What causes baldness? Don't take this the wrong way, but the explanation may
be downstairs. It's bald, and it wants you to be, too. Through a partially
scientific study, doctors have determined that an abundance of testosterone
causes baldness. And let's be honest- who needs testosterone? Now science
brings you Castrodone. Castrodone goes to the glands that produce
testosterone, and kills them, protecting your hair and saving your sex life.
Within a few days, you'll notice a big difference. You'll begin to look and
feel different. If you're willing to do anything to prevent the unspeakable
from happening to you, take Castrodone. Remember, baldness, is loneliness.
Disclaimer (read quickly): May impair driving time, map-reading, and home
improvement skills. Castrodon may also cause periodic moodiness, retail
addiction, face-painting and menstruation.
There are a ton of them, ranging from an Insect Extermination Service staffed by jittery Vietnam veterans; a Scientology-based religion; morphine/codeine/alcohol based children's cough syrup; a diet spa run by a Nazi War Criminal; a bodyspray that makes women desperately want to have sex with you (this isn't so much a parody ad anymore, thank you very much Lynx and your stupid, stupid ads); parents who hate their children; ads for Cluckin' Bell which actually point out they use battery farms and pump chemicals into their chickens; a family-based Casino that includes gambling for children; diamonds for shallow, materialistic women - "Nothing says I love you like a lump of carbon, mined by wage-slaves in Angola!"; calls for more people to drive cars; a rich Conservative doing seminars preaching the virtues of poor people getting further into debt and chanting,"USA! USA! USA!" over anyone who disagrees; a utensil store that sells tiny little utensils that definitely are NOT for assisting drugtaking; a legal drama focusing on the sexy world of filing legal paperwork; and a family theme park called Glory Hole with the motto,"It'll hurt, but it's worth it."
Rockstar also took the opportunity to take some potshots at other games in San Andreas. During the "Madd Dogg's Rhymes" mission, there is a scene where you sneak through a bar where one of Dogg's entourage is playing a console game. While you can't see what he is playing on the screen, he is making comment on it:
Dogg's Goon posted:
Yeah, look how this Tanner guy runs! He moves like his bowels have let go... This
sucks. I mean, how could Refractions mess up so bad? Tanner, you suck ass!
Tanner is the name of the main character in the third game in the Driver series - Driv3r - produced by the company Reflections (Refractions in GTA) and criticized for its poor controls. The criticism was reciprocated by Driv3r which poked fun at the inability of GTA characters like Tommy Vercetti being unable to swim (swimming was only properly incorporated into San Andreas, in games like Vice City it was possible for characters like Tommy Vercetti to drown in tiny pools of water if it wasn't possible to get out of the water onto dry land.
In another poke at a GTA-style game, Rockstar poked fun at "True Crime" with this little billboard:
"True Grime: Get Rid Of Old Rubbish Fast!"
While it isn't explicitly stated, the suggestion was that True Crime was trash, a blatant rip-off of GTA's free-roaming sandbox style of gameplay.
There's also a little Easter Egg to be found in the trashcans outside of a Cluckin' Bell outside of Angel Pine, in which you find the maps from previous GTA game Vice City.
That's only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the little Easter Eggs, secrets and nods to games and the fanbase you can find within GTA:SA. In fact, there are so many that Rockstar popped in THIS Easter Egg about Easter Eggs on the top of their version of The Golden Gate Bridge in San Fierro (San Francisco)
I'll do my best to incorporate more of this stuff into the game as I can, though much of it is stuff best appreciated by playing the game yourself. The real point of this update was to show a little more of the incredible depth and level of detail that was put into almost every aspect of San Andreas. For all of the complaints about Rockstar's "laziness" (characters can't swim, there aren't enough planes, why do we have glove hands, why do pedestrians jump in the way of cars, the AI is all screwy, ), sometimes it is nice to give credit where it is due.