Scott Stilphen's Master ATARI VCS/2600 Easter Egg Compendium!

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, email me. Thanks!


Click the egg for info on the Easter egg contest!

 

Atari VCS/2600 system
A-Team, The
A-VCS-tec Challenge
Actionauts
Adventure
Adventure II
Adventures of TRON
Air Raiders
Air-Sea Battle
Alfred(s) Challenge
Alien Greed II
Alien Greed 4
Allia Quest
Alligator People, The
Amidar
Amiga Boing demo v1
Amiga Boing demo v2
Anteater
Aquaventure
Arcade Pinball
Artillery Duel
Asterix
Asteroids
Astroblast
Atlantis
Backgammon
Barnstorming
BASIC Programming
Basketball
Battlezone
Backgammon
Beamrider
Beany Bopper
Bermuda Triangle
Berzerk
Big Bird's Egg Catch
Blackjack
Blue-Print
Boing!
Bowling
Bouncin' Baby Bunnies
Breakaway IV
Breakout
Bridge
Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom
Bugs Bunny
Bump 'N' Jump
BurgerTime
California Games
Cannon Man
Canyon Bomber
Carnival
Casino
Cave In
Centipede
Challenge
Checkers (Atari)
Chopper Command
Chuck Norris Superkicks
Climber 5 / Atari Climber
Combat
Commando Raid
Communist Mutants from Space
Compumate BASIC
Congo Bongo
Conquest of Mars
Cosmic Ark
Cosmic Commuter
Cosmic Swarm
Crazy Climber
Crazy Valet
Cross Force
Crossbow
Cruise Missile
Crypts of Chaos
Crystal Castles
Cubis
Cuttle Cart
Dark Cavern
Dark Chambers
Dark Mage
Deadly Duck
Death Trap
The Activision DECATHLON
Defender
Demon Attack
Demons to Diamonds
Desert Falcon
Dig Dug
Dodge 'Em
Dodger Cars
Dolphin
Donald Duck's Speedboat Race
Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Junior
Double Dunk
Dragonfire
Dragonstomper
Duck Attack!
Dukes of Hazzard, The
Dumbo's Flying Circus
E.T. Book Cart
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Edtris
Elevator Action
Elk Attack
Enduro
Entombed
Escape from the MindMaster
Exocet
Fast Eddie
Fatal Run
Fathom
Fire Fighter
Football
Four-Play
Frogger
Front Line
Frostbite
G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike
Galaxian
Gangster Alley
Garfield
Gas Hog
Ghost Manor
Ghostbusters
Ghostbusters II
Go Fish
Gopher
Gorf
GoSub
Grover's Music Maker
Guardian
Gunfight
Gunslinger
H.E.R.O.
Halloween
Halo 2600
Hangman
Harmony
Haunted House
Hozer Video Promo Cart
Human Cannonball
I Project
Indy 500
Infiltrate
Ixion
James Bond 007
Journey Escape
Joust
Jungle Hunt
Kaboom!
Kangaroo
Keystone Kapers
Kool-Aid Man
Krull
Kung Fu Superkicks
Lasercade
Lady Bug
Laser Blast
Laser Gates
Lock 'N' Chase
Lochjaw
Looping
Lord of the Rings, The: Journey to Rivendell
Lost Luggage
M.A.S.H.
Malagai
Mario Bros.
Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man
Math Gran Prix
Maze
Maze Craze: A Game of Cops 'n Robbers
Maze Mania
Mean Santa
McDonald's
Medieval Mayhem
Mental Kombat
Merlin's Walls
Midnight Magic
Millipede
Miner 2049er
Miner 2049er Vol. II
MiniGame MultiCart 2005
Missile Command
Montezuma's Revenge
Moon Patrol
Moonsweeper
MotoRodeo
Mountain King
Mouse Trap
Mr. Do!
Ms. Pac-Man
My Golf
Name This Game
Nexar
Night Driver
No Escape!
Off the Wall
Okie Dokie
Omega Race
Oscar's Trash Race
Othello
Outer Space
Outlaw
Pac-Man
Pac-Man (Ebivision)
Pele's Championship Soccer
Pengo
Pesco
Pete Rose Baseball
Phantom II + Pirate
Pharaoh's Curse
Phoenix
Picnic
Pitfall!
Pitfall II: Lost Caverns
Planet of the Apes
Planet Patrol
Pleiades
Poker Plus
Pole Position
Pooyan
Pong Sports
Popeye
Porky's
Power Off!
Pressure Cooker
Pressure Gauge
Princess Rescue
Q*bert
Q*bert's Qubes
Qb
Quadrun
Quest for Quintana Roo
Quick Step
Rabbit Transit
Race
Radar Lock
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Rainbow Invaders
Rampage
Reactor
RealSports Baseball
RealSports Basketball
RealSports Boxing
RealSports Football
RealSports Soccer
RealSports Volleyball
Reindeer Rescue
Revenge of the Apes
Riddle of the Sphinx
River Raid
River Raid II
Road Runner
Robin Hood
Robot Tank
Room of Doom
Saboteur
SCSIcide
Sea Battle
Sea Hawk
Seawolf
Secret Quest
Shark Attack
Sinistar
Skateboardin
Skeet Shoot
Skeleton
Skiing
Sky Jinks
Sky Patrol
Sky Skipper
Slot Machine
Slot Racers
Slots
Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle
Smurfs Save the Day
Snoopy & The Red Baron
Solar Fox
Solar Plexus
Solar Storm
Solaris
Sorcerer's Apprentice
Space Cavern
Space Invaders
Space Jockey
Space Shuttle: A Journey Into Space
Spacechase
Speedway II
Spelling
Spider Fighter
Spider-Man
Spinning Fireball
Springer
Sprintmaster
Spy Hunter
Squeeze Box
Squish 'Em
Stampede
Star Raiders
Star Ship
Star Strike
Star Voyager
Star Wars: Jedi Arena
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - Death Star Battle
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - Ewok Adventure
Star Wars: The Arcade Game
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Starmaster
Stella's Stocking
Strategy X
Strawberry Shortcake: Musical Match-Ups
Street Racer
Sub-Scan
Subterranea
Super Action Pak
Super Baseball
Super Breakout
Super Challenge Baseball
Super Challenge Football
Super Football
Superman
Survival Island
Sweat: The Decathlon Game
Sword of Saros
Swordquest EarthWorld
Swordquest FireWorld
Swordquest WaterWorld
Synthcart
Tank Plus
Tape Worm
Targ
Target Fun
Tax Avoiders
Taz
Telepathy
Tennis
Thunderground
Threshold
Thrust
TI Rom-On-Board demo
Tooth Protectors
Towering Inferno
Toyshop Trouble
Trick Shot
TRON Deadly Discs
Tunnel Runner
Turmoil
Tutankham
Up'n Down
Universal Chaos
Vanguard
Vault Assault
Venture
Video Checkers
Video Chess
Video Olympics
Video Pinball
Video Reflex
Wall Ball
Warlords
Wing War
Wizard of Wor
Wolfenstein VCS
Wolfenstein VCS: The Next Mission
Worm War 1
Word Zapper
Xenophobe
Xevious
Yars' Revenge

an egg!


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