The Call of Duty games aren’t just known by hardcore gamers anymore; they’ve entered the public consciousness and are known, by name, by people who have never even picked up a game. This is, in part, because of the game designers’ eye for detail, endless easter eggs, and references that are found in great numbers throughout the series. It’s a gold mine for anyone that loves adventure, which is what attracts many people to this addicting title. This list is going to give you some of the lesser known secrets that only die-hard gamers may know in a few of the Call of Duty games. With allusions to popular movies and TV shows ranging from Marvel to Game of Thrones to Aliens, there is a lot to be explored in your Call of Duty games that you may have neglected to notice. We’re not including any mods, so each of these unknowns have been placed there just for gamers by the Call of Duty producers and game developers themselves. For anyone curious enough to find these hints and easter eggs on their own, I’m going to warn you that what you’re about to read below will definitely spoil some of the campaigns and maps for you. Otherwise, see how many you know. You may find out that you’re more of a hardcore gamer than you know!
19. The Simulation Hypothesis
“Everything you know is wrong” was said in the Black Ops 3 teaser trailer, and it was nothing short of true. If you’re familiar with the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 campaign, then you’re aware of the conflict between reality and illusion. A common belief/theory is that all of the multiplayer maps are a simulation. In-game, most of the specialists believe that what they’re experiencing is real because it’s based off of their memory. However, some gamers will argue that this is not the case since a specialist that kills his/her own look-alike, during multiplayer, will say things such as, “Demo unit down.” This theory has been confirmed by several quotes that can be found within the game.
18. A Rather Ghostly Room
It’s not often that Call of Duty soldiers get spooked, however, players witness this first-hand in Call of Duty: Finest Hour. “The Ghostly Room” is an easter egg found in the level “Underground Passage,” and right away, the room gives off an ultra-creepy vibe. Players will witness a ghostly figure roaming the dank room, floating candles, tiny war planes and tanks moving, and an oversized rat trapped beneath the stairs. If players return to the German dance party after visiting “the Ghostly Room,” their character will say something along the lines of, “When I get back from the war, I’m going to open a burger stand or a frozen yogurt stand or something,” giving off the impression that he was severely traumatized by the room. Overall, this is a peculiar easter egg that every self-proclaimed hardcore Call of Duty gamer should see.
17. Hey, He Looks Just Like You
Speaking of chilling scenes, Call of Duty: Zombies has its own fill of eerie easter eggs and jump scares. One in particular is a bit lesser known because of its irregularity that it will appear. While playing multiplayer on the “Zetsubou No Shima” map, if one player chooses to play as Richtofen the game will create a convincing doppleganger that will look just like one of the players. The twin will even have a gamertag and level above his head. However, upon approaching the “player” he’ll turn around to face you, while making a shrieking noise, and it’ll seem as if he’s momentarily on fire before disappearing entirely. What makes this jump scare really work is its unpredictability, but what also adds to the creepiness factor is the slightly drowned-out dialogue during the scare, saying “let me help you.” Some gamers have claimed that they know how to incite this easter egg intentionally, but no techniques have been confirmed as of yet.
16. The Nuketown Homes
Many players have noticed the names of the players on the “Nuketown” homes found in Black Ops 1-3, although few have stopped to think of the significance of these names. In Black Ops 1 and 2, “Woods” and “Mason” can be found on each of the houses in Nuketown. As you may know, Mason is the main character of Black Ops and Woods is a very important supporting character, so it would make sense that they would be neighbors. In Black Ops 3, however, this takes a bit of a twisted turn as the two houses belong to Corvus and Hendricks, with Corvus being a rogue AI program and essentially the primary antagonist of the game. Hendricks, on the other hand, is a good guy until the end when he is overcome by Corvus, finally becoming an antagonist as well. Corvus attempted to convince the characters through their minds that they needed to reach the “Frozen Forest,” a peaceful, but imaginary place. If gamers notice the things in Corvus’s home, specifically, they’ll find many photos of a snowy terrain. All of this seems to be the producers’ hint toward the storyline of the game.
15. A Voice In The Distance
This little known secret can only be found while in spectator mode of the multiplayer map, “The Dome,” on Call of Duty: World at War. If a player enters spectator mode and moves to the center of the room; the player will begin to hear the sound of the Russians chanting, as heard at the completion of the campaign level, “Downfall.” Some gamers claim dropping through the abyss in the center of the room has the same effect as entering spectator mode. Though, what’s really unsettling about this map is the sound of Adolf Hitler’s voice giving one of his infamous speeches. If players move near the Nazi flag on the ledge, they’ll be able to hear the faint words of the Fuhrer, himself.
14. This Ghost Sniper Has A Vendetta
As any lover of video games knows, it’s fun to break the rules a bit. Going against the objective of the level, mission, or chapter, even if it means costing you cash or losing a life, is all a part of the experience. Call of Duty is no exception to this. In World at War, some players have figured out that while playing on the “Vendetta” map, it’s possible to glitch out of the map. Although, this game is serious about evoking consequences on any troublemaker that dares to try. An invisible sniper will shoot and kill a player if he/she manages to exit the boundaries of the “Vendetta” map.
13. These Words Are A Bit Sneaky
In Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, each mission begins with a protocol word, which will pop up on-screen while it’s loading. These words happen to belong to the phonetic alphabet. If it’s decoded, each of the protocol words used will unveil an anagram that says, “We are Taylor.” Obviously, it’s a reference to the character, Taylor, from the campaign. Conversely, there’s a large dispute as to what the campaign story actually is. Some conclude that the plot of the Black Ops 3 campaign exists entirely in Taylor’s mind, which would mean it’s not real. Others believe that the main character’s mind is immersed in Commander Taylor’s memories, and therefore, they combine as one. The last theory is that the main character dies at the very beginning, during surgery, and his mind exists through the DNI, gamers are actually playing as Taylor throughout the campaign. Trippy, right? I don’t expect you to be able to resolve the campaign debacle any more than I expect you to be able to find the above protocol word.
12. Hammer Of The Gods
This easter egg is found in the campaign of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. In the mission, “Celerium,” once you’ve landed after skydiving, you need to take out each of the opponents. After you have cleared the area of everyone, travel near the rocks until you find a cliff. There should be a cave hidden in the rocks near this landmark, which is the secret hiding place for Thor’s legendary hammer. Of course, no player has been able to pick it up and shooting at it seems to have no effect. But, hey, it’s a pretty cool easter egg for any fan of the Marvel movies and comics.
11. Don’t Talk To Strangers
Call of Duty: Zombies is one of the lesser known games of the famous series, however, it definitely has lived up to its name. With detailed, creepy maps and endless jump scares, it has captured the hearts (and fears) of many gamers. The “Shi No Numa” map has become one of the more popular maps of this game. There are still a few stones left unturned, though. Players may stumble across an old rotary dial phone; if players interact with it, their character will begin dialing a number on the phone. When the other line picks up, an unnerving voice will respond, “I know you’re sleeping.” No one’s exactly sure what this line is referring to, but that may be a good thing…
10. The Infamous Dummies
Many players are aware of the “Nuketown” mannequins found in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. While playing the multiplayer map, it’s tempting to shoot at the unsuspecting figures. But many gamers have cracked a code behind these dummies… they may be more alive than the average player may think. It’s becoming more well-known, but I had to throw this one in because it’s an entertaining easter egg that all COD gamers should know. During multiplayer mode, if a player shoots off all 28 of the mannequins’ heads within the first two minutes, they will begin to attack the players as if they’re zombies. Plus, if a player blows off all of the mannequins’ arms, then they’ll follow the players until players look behind them, in which case the mannequins will stop moving. Be careful! If you don’t look back at them, the mannequins will attack you! This is actually a reference to the weeping angels from Doctor Who.
9. Cliffside Coffin
Found in Call of Duty: World at War, the “Cliffside” map is easily one of the most fun maps in all of the Call of Duty games. To add to its appeal, “Cliffside” also has a few mysterious regions within it; unsurprisingly, a Japanese tomb is most definitely one of those places. While playing in multiplayer mode in one of the bunkers, players can hear loud chanting in a foreign language. The noise becomes increasingly louder the longer players stay in the area. If players investigate where the sound is coming from, they will discover a chilling reality: the ominous chants are coming from an open, empty casket. As if the dangerous jungle scene wasn’t threatening enough, the ghostly encounters will only enhance the excitement.
8. Shi NO(!) Numa
Another of the unsettling Call of Duty: Zombies maps is “Verrückt.” It’s packed full of both visual and audial easter eggs. There are, especially, a few different ghostly occurrences that can be found if players are curious enough. If players point their gun at the dentist’s chair, in “Verrückt”, they will be able to hear the sound of a dentist drilling into a patient, while the tortured individual screams in agony. Venturing down to the crematory, gamers can walk into a bit of a melancholy easter egg. Upon walking near it, they’ll be able to hear the sound of a baby crying. Naturally these are even more eerie when actually experienced in the Call of Duty: Zombies. For added effect, turn off all of the lights while trying this at home.
7. A Little Bit Alien
Not to get all technical on you but the LSAT (a pretty popular weapon from Call of Duty: Black Ops 2) is a lightweight machine gun. It has a relatively high amount of damage, tearing through metal with ease. Plus, it’s a versatile gun with a huge magazine capacity. It’s pretty much got it all going on, with all of the benefits of this gun, it doesn’t have to compromise many of the beneficial features that other LMGs have to. What makes this particular gun interesting, though, is the engraving that can be found on it. When viewed closely, players should be able to find a sloppy engraving in the LSAT that reads: “Adios.” It’s a quote from the famous movie, Aliens.
6. The “Advanced” UAV
The unearthing of an advanced UAV is an exciting discovery for most gamers. However, this may not exactly be the case once the benefits are actually evaluated. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, an advanced UAV is actually relatively easy to incite. During co-op play, if you or your teammates have three UAVs active at one time, it will make an advanced UAV. However, there a couple of drawbacks to this so-called “advanced” UAV. For one thing, the UAV doesn’t give real-time enemy locations; instead, it will sweep the area periodically like the normal UAV does. Additionally, the advanced UAV from Modern Warfare 3 can be shot down by a single missile and those with assassin perks are immune to the UAV. It’s a rather unreliable combatant.
5. You Know Nothing, Jon Snow
So many people are die-hard fans of the HBO hit series, Game of Thrones. Relentlessly urging neighbors, friends, coworkers, and even the mailman to watch it, fans will be excited to learn of this subtle easter egg. Many will be happy to know that, apparently, the Call of Duty producers are no exception to this. The same actor who plays Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in Game of Thrones also plays Admiral Kotch in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. In Infinite Warfare, after your character kills Kotch and launches a missile at a nearby aircraft, a trophy is earned called, “You Know Nothing.” This is actually a reference to Game of Thrones when the character Ygritte, says, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”
4. Dogs With Ray Guns
In Call of Duty: World at War, most people know of the ray gun easter egg that can be found in the campaign level, “Little Resistance.” In this level, the player will find himself/herself on a narrow expanse of sand after arriving on the beach. There are craters that can be found in the beach. Stepping into all three of them from biggest to smallest and waiting for a few seconds at each crater will cause the earth to shake and several demonic voices will chant. Stone fu dogs will rise from the ground, each with a ray gun in its mouth. This is an easter egg that many people know of, but unless you’ve looked it up how to find this easter egg online, it’s unlikely that you’d stumble across it by accident. In order to avoid losing the rocket strike, players should call a rocket strike then get the ray gun immediately afterward.
3. The Sad Reality Of Sanctuary
In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the multiplayer map Sanctuary is full of ghostly noises in the cemetery. If you’ve accomplished the mission “Davis Family Vacation” in campaign mode, then you’re familiar with the family that dies during this scene. If players have their character lay down in the grass within the cemetery, they will be able to hear dialogue from each of the family members in their last moments alive. This easter egg is especially eerie because this scene is very likely one of the gloomiest in Call of Duty. The family is on vacation in London, talking about what they’re going to do that day while filming a video on the sidewalk. When a truck pulls up beside them, Russian men quickly sprint away from it. The truck explodes in seconds, killing the entire family instantly.
2. Nuketown’s Inspiration
The beloved map, “Nuketown,” has become a favorite in all of the Black Ops games. It may be one of the most well-known maps, but it has one of the best hidden secrets. The map design was based off of the Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull scene in which Indiana Jones actually finds himself in a nuclear test facility that has a 1950s style. When viewing a side-by-side of the scene with the original “Nuketown,” the similarities are undeniable. If you happen to look back at this map, you’ll find that many of the rooms and even the exteriors of the homes are very similar to the film. Since the initial “Nuketown,” the map has evolved into a much more advanced and technologically-inclined arena, but it still remains a favorite of Black Ops players. It’s intriguing to know where the inspiration for this highly-popular map originated from.
1. Where Did All These Bears Come From?
The well-known teddy bear easter egg actually has a bit of a heart-wrenching story behind its origin. Many gamers don’t realize that it represented a comfort item that real soldiers would take with them to war, as a way to remember their wives and children. The teddy bear made its first appearance in Call of Duty: Finest Hour as ragged and disheveled. Although, the teddy bear looked brand new and had a star over its heart when the easter egg was introduced once again in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The word in the gaming world is that it represented a bear that belonged to a young daughter of one of the producers whom passed away at six years old. The story has yet to be confirmed, but in both cases, the teddy bear is a bit of a gloomy emblem.