Here’s the best games & movies within games

Here’s the best games & movies within games

In this article, I’ll take a look at some of the best games and movies (okay, movie) that can be found within games. If I’ve missed your favourite from this list, please do comment below and let me know.

The hidden and not-so-hidden gems

Some of the games highlighted in this article you’ll no doubt already be familiar with, as they weren’t exactly hidden – in fact, they were sign-posted by the games’ developers. But they took up so much of my time that they warranted a mention anyway. Other ones you may not be as familiar with. Let’s take a look

1) Rapunzel – Catherine.

Rapunzel is the in-game arcade machine in the Stray Sheep bar in Catherine. It’s a devilishly tough puzzler with 128 levels in total (64 in each mode). The gameplay mimics that found in the core game but with a twist. Rapunzel differs from the main gameplay in that there’s no time limit to complete the stages. Sounds easy, right? Well, the number of moves you make is really limited. So you’ll need to really think about what brick you’re going to remove. Unless you’re just using an online walkthrough, but that would spoil the fun.

In Catherine, you can also learn the story of how the Rapunzel arcade machine came to be (yes, there’s a story to it). I won’t post it here, as I’d sooner not spoil the surprise.

If you like your puzzlers to be nightmarish and to be damned difficult, play Catherine. And make sure that you also give Rapunzel a try.

2) To Kill a Mockingbird – The Darkness.

And now for the one movie that I mentioned. The Darkness is one of my favourite comicbook games. In a particularly touching scene in the game, anti-hero Jackie Estacado gets to snuggle up with the love of his life Jenny. It’s movie night and they’re watching To Kill a Mockingbird. And if you want to, you can watch the entire film this way. Yep, developer Starbreeze included the whole movie. Getting to spend some quality time with Jenny helps you to build a connection with her, which helps you to feel Jackie’s loss when her life is taken.

Here’s what Starbreeze said about this scene:

“When we were designing The Darkness, one of the things we set out to do was to have the player really hate Uncle Paulie and Captain Shrote.”

“Killing the player’s innocent orphan girlfriend was the of course the obvious choice for this. But first we had to create a bond. So what do you usually do with your girlfriend?”

“Ok, so we couldn’t let them have sex. We can’t do that in videogames yet and as you all know Jackie dies if he has sex after The Darkness manifests itself. So, what is the other thing you do with your girlfriend? You hang out and watch a movie of course.”

“The actual implementation of the event presented a lot of challenges. As we started creating it in the engine, we noticed we needed Jenny to be smaller, to give her a more petite and feminine feel. However all her animations had been done to match the environment with her being unscaled.”

“To solve this we had to create and destroy different versions of Jenny throughout the scene. The first Jenny that greets you at the door is scaled down to 0.86 of the original model scale, we then hid the switch to the next Jenny when the player blows out the candles on the cake.”

“The Jenny that talks to the player and walks into the living room is scaled to 0.95, once you’ve talked to her in the living room she turns and walks towards the couch.”

“We hide the switch here by letting the Darkness say a line and doing a quick fade to black. After the fade, Jenny is scaled to 0.86 again. As the player gets cozy with her we switch her to scale 0.95 and finally as the player gets up to leave we switch her to scale 0.86.”

3) Dead Ops Arcade – Call of Duty: Black Ops.

In the loading screen of Call of Duty: Black Ops, you can escape the chair your character’s bound to. In the corner of the room you were held captive in is a computer. If you enter the right commands, Dead Ops Arcade is unlocked. It’s a top down, twin stick shooter – and a decent one at that. You have to try and fend off hordes of zombies and survive as many rounds as you can. It’s a fun addition – especially if like me you’re a fan of the game’s Zombie mode.

Dead Ops Arcade 2 was later introduced in Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

4) Maniac Mansion – Day Of The Tentacle.

One of the best adventure games of its time, Maniac Mansion was acclaimed for its writing and humour. So it’s a nice bonus that in Day of the Tentacle, you can find the entire game hidden on a computer. If you’ve not played these games, give the remastered versions a go.

5) Gwent – The Witcher 3.

The Witcher 3 wasn’t the first roleplay game to include a card game. Final Fantasy had also pulled off this trick previously for example. However, Gwent is one of the best games. It was so good that it distracted me from continuing the main campaign for hours. A stand-alone Gwent spin-off game was also released as a result of the game’s popularity.

6) Blitzball – Final Fantasy X.

The Final Fantasy series has included a lot of mini-games. My personal favourite is Blitzball. What’s that? Everybody is being massacred and only I can defeat Sin? Yeah…I’ll get to it eventually. I’ve just got to win one more season in Blitzball first. Or maybe two.

7) Red Menace – Fallout 4

Red Menace is an arcade game in Fallout 4 which you can play on your Pip Boy. It’s heavily inspired by the original Donkey Kong game. Check out the video below.

So, what were your favourite games or movies that you found within games? I’d love to hear your recommendations – especially if they’re obscure ones that I may not have discovered.

I hope that you liked this article. If so, you may want to read the Square Enix CEO joins debate about loot boxes article. Alternatively, you could try Dragon Quest Builders 2 is related to Dragon Quest II next.


I love gaming, creative writing, the theatre, anime, watching football & spending time with friends & family. I'm also a bit obsessed with superheroes.

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