Stray, the long-awaited video game from Annapurna Interactive, is equal parts puzzle and adventure. That doesn't mean that it isn't also chock-full of Easter Eggs that players can discover as they navigate a forgotten cyber city. Below are some of our favorites that we've noticed so far.
Game Easter Eggs in Stray
- Skyrim: Sojiro, a bar tender in Midtown tells the cat that he used to own a nice bar until he "took a screwdriver in the knee, and it's closed now." This isn't the only Easter Egg related to this character, but it is one of the most obvious Easter Eggs in the game.
- Skyrim: In Antvillage, two robots are gardening near the red flower tree. If you ride the bucket down into the sewage lake, you can talk to one of the robots named Jenkins who tells the cat that "some may call this junk. Me, I call them treasures" which is a reference to a trader in the Skyrim series.
- Half-Life: On the subway ride to Midtown, you can find a crowbar on one of the seats. Most Half-Life games begin on a train and Half-Life's protagonist, Freeman, favorites a crowbar as his weapon of choice.
- Half-Life: The main antagonists of Stray are the Zurks, which will overwhelm and kill you when given the chance. These little metal bugs bear a strong similarity to the Headcrabs found in Half-Life.
- Untitled Goose Game: Around the middle of the game you'll need to sneak into a Midtown hat shop to steal a construction worker's hardhat. In order to do this, you have to pull a patented goose move from Untitled Goose Game and hide in a box so you can be carried in, which is exactly how the goose manages to sneak into the pub. As a nod to the music of Untitled Goose Game, Stray plays a little mischievous horn music as you steal the hat.
- Nier Automata: Bladee, the robot sitting under all of the cow pictures in the first building of Midtown, wonders if he'll still be the same robot if he replaces all of his parts and software. This is a reimagining of the famous Theseus' Paradox, which wonders if an object is still the original product if all of its parts have been replaced. The dialogue of Bladee is also extremely similar to a supply trader found in Nier Automata.
- Nier Automata: The circular setup of Antvillage is a nod to Pascal's tree.
- Persona V: Sojiro, the robot who took a screwdriver in the knee, has the same name of the bar owner of Cafe Leblanc in Persona V.
- Dungeons and Dragons: On your way to Clementine's apartment complex in Midtown there are two robots in the corner of an upper floor. The robot standing over the seated robot is berating their friend for forgetting their character sheet, though - like many human D&D players - the seated robot is convinced they don't need it to play and enter the cave. Later on, you can interact with these characters again to find out that their game has been canceled.
Related: How to install mods for Stray
Book, TV, movie, and media Easter Eggs in Stray
- Back to the Future: Doc is one of the first Outsiders you'll meet. Like his namesake Doc Brown in Back to the Future, Doc wears a white lab coat and goggles with wires sticking out of his head. There are two more references to the Back to the Future series in the game. The first is when Doc tells the cat that the Defluxor gun, which is needed to kill Zurks, requires 1.21 Gigowatts of energy, which is what Doc tells Marty in the movie. Seamus, Doc's son, is also seen wearing the same orange puffy jacket of Marty "Seamus" McFly.
- The Simpsons: The one bar in the Slums is called "Dufer bar." While it's not totally identical to Moe's Tavern in The Simpsons, it does feature the same shoddy, dim light that can be seen in the TV show. This may also be a nod to the Duffer brothers who created Stranger Things.
- Mr. Robot: Elliot, the programmer of the Slums, is named after the protagonist of the show Mr. Robot.
- Stranger Things: The beginning of the game uses strings of lights to help you move towards B-12's apartment. In the same way that Will and Joyce manipulate the Christmas lights to communicate, B-12 uses the lights to guide the cat.
- Blade Runner Inspiration: Interact with the robot sleeping on the couch in Antvillage and he'll mention electric zurks in between snores. This is a reference to the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which served as inspiration for the film Blade Runner.
- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Inside the library of the Slums is a robot laying near a table, surrounded by books. Read the book in his hands and it says "How to develop your artificial intelligence in order to be as creative as a real human, volume 42." As any Douglas Adams fan knows, 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything.
- Gravity Falls: Stay in the library but head over to the wall, where you'll find a fancy red leather journal with a gold cat paw situated on a low shelf. This journal in Stray is extremely similar to the three cryptic journals that are found in Gravity Falls, except that this one features a cat paw instead of a human hand.
- Songs: You can find up to eight pieces of sheet music for Morusque, the musician of the Slums. Each song has a unique name and tune, but some seem to take inspiration from real-world songs. "The Way You Compute Tonight," for instance, seems to be a reference to "The way you look tonight" by Frank Sinatra.
- Neco-Corp: References to Neco are scattered throughout the game. Later on in Midtown, you learn that Neco is the primary sanitation management system for the whole city. The word Neko is Japanese for "cat".
- Criminals: In the late-game when you break out of "Al-cat-traz" you'll encounter two robots in the prison yard who are named Pablo and Capone. These are the names of two real-life large scale criminals, Pablo Escobar and Al Capone.
Related: Best mods for Stray
Developer Easter Eggs in Stray
- BlueTwelve: The development team for Stray is based in France. Nods to this can be found all over the game, especially inside buildings. If posters aren't written in robot code they are often written in French. Nothing is more evident, however, than the fact that most of the boxes you can knock over in-game feature the label "made in France."
- B-12: As the faithful sidekick to the cat throughout the majority of the game, B-12 is a helpful robot who also becomes your best friend. This little Wall-E looking creature is named after the development studio of Stray, BlueTwelve. There's a double layer to this Easter Egg, however, as the vitamin B-12 is essential to keeping cats healthy. Just like the robot B-12 keeps you alive in game, this vitamin is necessary for keeping your furry friends kicking in real life.
- Message from the developers: In the Slums, head along the rooftops until you get to the couch with the TV set in front of it. Hit the remote on the couch and paw through the channels until you get to what looks like a shopping TV network. In the bottom lefthand corner there's a QR code. Scanning this QR code will bring up a string of binary code that translates to "Hello you! :3."
- Baladin and Alterisateur: Baladin guards the entrance of Antvillage and he's named after one of the main QA testers for Stray. Alterisateur, the reprogrammed robot found in the jail, has the same name of Hugo Dunas-Wald's website. Hugo served as the lead game designer.
- Miko, Simon, and Jeanma: The three robots who just want to dance in the lobby of the apartment complex in midtown are named after the three animators of the game: Miko, Jean-Marie Vouillon, and Simon Jacquart.
- Robot Koola & Viv: When you get to the nightclub in Midtown, make sure to interact with the robots on the dance floor. There, you'll meet two characters named Koola and Viv who represent the creator and director for the video game. Viv is wearing a cool mask that can't be read by scanners and Koola is across from them wearing a puffy orange jacket.
The developers worked hard to add a bunch of Easter Eggs to Stray, and we may have missed a few. If you noticed something we didn't, add it as a comment below!