Gamers of a certain age: How did you learn about the Adventure easter egg?

I was re-reading Ready Player One (which should allow you to pinpoint my age pretty accurately). He mentions the Atari 2600 Adventure easter egg as being the first video game easter egg. I remember it; I know I did it myself. In fact I had the series of joystick motions necessary to get to the secret room memorized.

The question is, how did I find out about it? I didn’t figure it out myself. Either a friend showed it to me, or perhaps I saw it in a gaming magazine? Only, I don’t remember reading gaming magazines then. I certainly didn’t BBS for a few years after. So I suppose a friend must have showed me, which doesn’t help, because how did he know?

I guess I just don’t remember how information propagated before the internet. Does anyone have any concrete memories of how they learned about it? Or maybe did anyone here find it themselves?

I read about it in a magazine, I believe. I didn’t try it at the time as I didn’t have the game, but when I went over to a friend’s house to play and showed it to him, I became a hero (for all of 5 minutes, but I took what I could get).

That’s a really good question. I know I’m not clever or determined enough to have just figured it out, especially at eight years old or whatever. But what resources did we have available to us for finding these things out? I’m guessing a friend must have showed me?

Friends told me about it. I remember feeling so awesome when I figured out how to do it myself.

My cousin showed it to me one day. I wasn’t really sure of the significance at the point that I learned about it.

Somebody showed me.

I still haven’t found out about it. Why don’t you tell us all? :)

I asked my parents but they said I was too young to know about it. Instead I got my best friend to explain it to me.

Wait, what were we talking about?

NotSureIfSerious.jpg, but:

Brian Jones, a classmate of mine, knew about it. He also had the Black Tower boardgame. I had Electronic Detective. Gamer from the start, baby.

I would have been all over Adventure as a kid, but we never had an Atari console (we had one of those Pong-alike Grandstand game machines, which wasn’t quite the same). Still, I remember talking about cheats and strange easter eggs at school as early as 1981. These snippets usually came from computer magazines, or electronics mags that had small computer sections. I remember hearing some from the local computer store, where someone had obviously read it in a magazine and it propagated from there. I also remember discovering some ourselves, either by complete fluke or by looking at the code with a text / hex editor. Several games had short text messages embedded in the code in hex if you searched around for them, and I’m certain at least one of these talked about cheat codes in the game itself. It’s all too long ago to remember the details.

I loved that game. 99 brigands!

Edit, wait… is that Black Tower, or Dark Tower? I did a quick google and I’m thinking of the latter.

I read about it in some history book about games. I think it was this one but I’m not positive.

Found it on my own, exploring in the game.

I also found that if I turned the power switch off and on quickly in Space Invaders, I gained access to ‘game 0’ in which the cannon could fire 2 shots at a time. Still not sure if it was a glitch or a hidden feature.

I think that was all the hidden stuff I came across on the Atari. I remember reading about an Easter Egg in Missile Command too, but I don’t recall the details.

Not that I doubt you J Thomas, but how did you just find it on your own? As I recall, you had to find a pixel-sized object that was hidden in a wall that required the bridge to get to. You were just larking about and stumbled on it?

Someone showed me.
Dark Tower.

Hmm. I don’t remember. Either someone showed it to me, or I read it in a video games book.

I think this was the book I had? Wish I still had it.

Well, somebody had to find it. Probably quite a few somebodies. Not terribly surprising that someone on this forum did. Good work J Thomas! I guess you win Warren Robinette’s fortune? There’s a problem though, I think Warren is still using it. (Ready Player One joke, sorry. If this thread makes any sense to you, you probably ought to read it anyway).

I have dim memories of reading it in a magazine. Either way they were definitely written instructions which I was following.

Holy crap! :o