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User:Anil/Evaluating Easter Eggs

< User:Anil


I've spent a fair amount of time on this wiki (most of my time on this wiki) monitoring the Skyrim and Dragonborn Easter Egg pages. The process can actually be fairly contentious, particularly here, where we have somewhat strict Easter Egg rules that have changed over time (the Morrowind Easter Eggs page contains many things that would be rejected completely out of hand now). This page is my attempt to write down some questions that can be used for scrutinizing potential eggs.

UESP Easter Egg CodeEdit

Note that this code is not official, I wrote it based on experiences.

To be considered an Easter Egg on this wiki, the proposed egg needs to have all of the following

  • It must be a reference outside of TES series If it is (like the patchwork airship or Tarhiel) it is a historical reference on this wiki, not an Easter Egg. The Imperial Library counts as part of the TES series.
  • It must be referencing something particular. A broad reference, such as all of Skyrim being related to Norse mythology or broad parallels to Lovecraft's works, are not Easter Eggs. Well-known euphemisms are also not Easter Eggs, unless they have a particular root in a piece of pop-culture (such as 'It's a secret to everybody')
  • Things that just look or sound funny (such as giant nirnroots or Old Salty the shoe wearing mudcrab) are not easter eggs without any other connections. The developers have placed many little jokes in the game, but that does not make them all Easter Eggs.
  • This has only come up once or twice, but it needs to have appeared for the first time in the game in particular. The Oghma Infinitum may very well be a reference to the D&D god Ogma, but it has appeared before in the series and cannot be categorized as a Skyrim easter egg.
  • This is difficult to define, but the Easter Egg must be very specific. A book that shares a name in common with a real-life book must have content similar to the real life book. A conversation that is meant to reference a line from a movie should repeat that line near-verbatim. Extrapolated evidence (such as 'There are five apples sitting on the table and the song was released in 1985') doesn't count.
  • The Easter Egg also must refer to only one thing, if different people could interpret different meanings, it is likely not an egg. Finn's Guide to Troll Slaying could reference Finntroll or a completely different Finn.
  • It must be obvious that the egg was placed there on purpose. A guy who spawns in green clothes with a bow is not necessarily a reference to Link. Any other player should be able to duplicate the egg, things created through random chance do not count.
  • There can be no ingame explanation for the egg. It is meant to be completely out of place with the game itself. If there is an ingame justification for the egg, the justification itself should add to the egg (like this).

Evaluation QuestionsEdit

  1. Is the egg chronologically possible? Check the date of when the proposed reference came out. If it occurred after the game in question or very near the release date, it requires no further pursuit.
  2. Could the egg be referring to anything else? It can be helpful to google search some of the details of the Easter Egg, just to see if any other things share the same characteristics. Looking at websites such as Tvtropes that categorize popular culture bits can be helpful in determining whether the egg is specific enough.
  3. Is the reference in question well known enough for a developer to have read it and added it to the game? While not every suggested reference is going to be known to you, it's unlikely that a developer would reference a very obscure book or band.
  4. Could the egg have occurred by random chance? Could there be a normal ingame explanation for it? Does the egg occur in circumstances that make sense to the reference, or is it just random?
  5. Are their any other Easter Eggs that are similar? I personally think that the Easter Eggs reflect the devs interests. The Dungeons and Dragons and Star Trek easter eggs are very specific, making it likely in my mind that they are the responsibility of one developer putting his personal interest in the game. While this shouldn't make an Easter Egg go either way, it can add credibility to an already strong egg.

Already Proposed Easter EggsEdit

In general, if an easter egg has already been proposed before and rejected, it should not be brought back. The only way an Easter Egg should be reproposed is if there was never a discussion on it. It's also considered common courtesy to search the archives to make sure this hasn't already been proposed. We are aware the archives are extremely long, but pressing the F3 key will allow you to search for a specific word on the page.