It isn’t difficult to understand what is so captivating about video games for the fans. The creation of an entire new world is an instant invitation to a new adventure. The characters’ design and story arcs are a way of stepping into the shoes of an amazing hero or villain. And more importantly, the narrative can take you on a whole journey of emotions and surprises you weren’t expecting. If any of those reasons are not captivating enough, sometimes blowing stuff up and communicating with your friends at the same time is always good fun.
However, another aspect that makes gamers feel so invested is the search for the unknown: the secrets hidden inside the video games! From the beginning of game developing, creators have left clues and hidden messages here and there as type of signature or wink to the fans. It is that invisible connection between the creators and the consumers that can make a game all the more special.
Nowadays, that concept has evolved into creation other dimensions in the games that only the true hardcore fans will find after clocking in hours of gaming and investigation. Such clues can include hidden places with additional weapons, shortcuts to other worlds, or levels-- unlocking a secret character or even entire locations that are invisible to the amateur player. Missing secret levels or hidden locations happen way more than people think, but thanks to the internet, nothing stays secret for very long.
Here are 25 Hidden Locations In Video Games (And Where To Find Them).
25 Castle Roof - Super Mario 64
When Nintendo came up with its new console Nintendo 64 in 1996, every gamer’s world was blown to pieces. Super Mario 64 opened up Mario’s levels to a three -imensional world never seen before which, of course, made the levels that much harder.
The game starts with Mario entering the castle but the roof is inaccessible unless you are able to collect all the stars in all the different worlds. Once all 120 stars are collected, Mario can go onto the rooftop and receive 100 lives and a new jump ability.
24 Hidden Crypt - World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft contains a ghoulish world called Karazhan, a leftover raid from the Burning Crusade. The location contains wraiths, ghosts, and plenty of creepy monsters for the slaying.
Aside from the supernatural, Karazhan contains a hidden crypt covered in disturbing sights of drowned sinners and mountains of bones. Not a very cheery place.
The crypt could only be accessed if the player perished close to the gate and ran through it.
This was changed in Patch 2.0. In Patch 7.3.0, the crypt can be accessed by anyone who can solve the Riddle of the Lucid Nightmare.
23 Mysterious Ghost Level – Hitman 2
Sometimes in order to find a secret level or character, one must veer off course from what the story wants the player to do. Hitman 2 is no exception.
In Hitman: Contracts, the player can find a ghost character that haunts them throughout the level. It will not try to attack the gamer and if it’s stared at for too long, it disappears.
To find the ghost, one must go through the hotel entrance and take a right. A locked door must be picked in order to find an investigation and a wandering ghost.
The ghost can also be seen in mirror reflections and it can even be taken out. The "how" of it all is unclear. It is, after all, a ghost.
22 Secret Cow Level – Diablo II
The Moo Farm has become a gaming classic in gamer culture. It all started with the first Diablo and the rumors of a mysterious portal if a player clicked on a certain cow. After too many fan theories, the developers decided to make a Cow Level in Diablo II.
To teleport to this level, you must complete the Eve of Destruction quest.
Afterward, you must combine Wirt’s Leg and a Tome of Town portal in the Horardric Cube while standing in the Rogue Encampment. Then a red portal will appear and the player must defeat the boss before entering the portal. Good luck with the evil cows!
21 Under the Sphinx – Assassin's Creed Origins
Origins is set in Ancient Egypt, a time and place associated with secret tombs and treasures. The game’s map shows all the unlocked locations, nearest missions and landmarks. Unexplored places are marked with a question mark and there is a very mysterious one right under the Great Sphinx.
When searching around the Sphinx’s hindquarters, a small crawl space can be found where the player can enter. After encountering the end, enter the crack in the wall, which will lead to a circular dais with a planetarium. If the 12 Stone Circles quest was completed, you will be able to open a doorway to an ancient mechanism and complete the question mark.
20 Menace Beneath Lucis - Final Fantasy XV
The side quest in the latest Final Fantasy game deals with evil beings sealed behind doors and it is the main character, Noctis, who must vanquish these menaces. After finding and completing each sealed door, the player receives all kinds of helpful artifacts and treasure.
In order to find them, the player must complete Dungeons Balouve Mines, Daurell Mines, Crestholm Channels, and Costlemark Tower.
Only then will the player will find an elderly woman named Ezma in Meldacio. Ezma will then hand Noctis the Sealbreakers key, a key forged by a Lucian King and an oracle, which starts the entire quest.
19 Secret House in Venice- Player Unknown Battleground
Avid players of PUBG keep finding all sorts of place loaded with everything needed to eliminate the enemies but some are best kept secret.
The original map shows a flooded city that many don’t think twice about. In this Venice area of the map, a home can be found without any obvious entrance. The windows and doors appear to be either locked or blocked by floating debris.
This particular house has a door on the roof which can be reached by climbing up the concrete fence next to the house. Anyone who makes it in will find plenty of loot and gear for battle.
18 Mario’s Secret Room - Ocarina of Time
Sometimes, hidden locations are nothing more than a tribute to those classic games that inspired the creators. That doesn’t make them any less exciting to find.
In Zelda’s Ocarina of Time, there is a secret room that serves as an homage to Super Mario 64. The room can be found when entering the Castle Courtyard with Princess Zelda. When looking through the window to the right, you will see images of Yoshi, Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser. You can even shoot at the window and be rewarded with a red rupee.
17 Secret Island - Player Unknown Battleground
It’s been established PUBG players miss awesome perks all the time, even if they think they know the map very well. If in the middle of panic battle, players feel like wandering, they will find the secret island.
Getting to it involves a long swim or a boat ride and possibly dodging your enemies.
If players make it to the other side unharmed, they will find some sweet loot waiting for them. It is rumored the island will be removed soon so take advantage of it while you can!
16 Mushroom Kingdom - Super Mario Odyssey
What is a Mario game without a hidden level or entire world? In 2017’s Super Mario Odyssey, Nintendo outdid itself by giving the fans the Mushroom Kingdom.
When the players have finished the main story, they find Mario relaxing in his home of Mushroom Kingdom.
The secret world is meant as a tribute to the classic 3D game Super Mario 64. When accessing this world, players must buy a suit that turns Mario into his original 64 look and only with this suit can they play and collect all of the Power Stars.
15 Launch Facility - Duke Nukem 3D
What can be better than finding secret levels and blasting aliens? In the sequel Duke Nukem 3D, a secret location can be found in LA Meltdown. It is a launch facility infested with aliens which can only be accessed from Toxic Dump or The Abyss.
Inside the facility, the player is meant to launch a rocket but it’s never destined to take off. It ends up malfunctioning and exploding.
Even though it’s pointless to the story and it serves as another way to take out a bunch of angry aliens, the location is not without its perks. There are passageways where shotgun ammo and atomic health atoms can be found.
14 Fighting Reptile - Mortal Kombat
It’s never fun to have someone interrupt your battle match, but players tend to forgive Reptile. In Mortal Kombat, this secret character would show up randomly to a match, leaving hints as to how one could find him and play against him. This was Reptile, who had the same skills of Scorpion and Sub-Zero.
How to find him varies in every version.
In the arcade version, however, the player had to play the Pit Stage repeatedly until a strange silhouette flies across the full moon. Once that happens, the player had to lock in two flawless victories – good luck- and perform its characters fatality. Then and only then would Reptile’s hidden location appear with the character there, ready to fight.
13 Aztec Level - GoldenEye 007
The Aztec level in the legendary FPS game Goldeneye 007 is one of the hardest secret levels. The hidden location, based on the James Bond film Moonraker, can only be accessed once the player completes every mission on the Secret Agent difficulty.
The level’s purpose is to reprogram a satellite while eliminating any guards that come your way.
It is by no means an easy level and only the true pros can complete it. The guards are much faster and their shooting accuracy is superior to the others. You need to face Jaws as well.
12 All Hallows - Tomb Raider III
In its essence, Tomb Raider is a game that looks for the hidden secrets of the archeological world. The fun of it all is discovering these tombs and riddles as Lara Croft.
In Tomb Raider III, after collecting 59 out of the 60 secrets in the game, Lara can investigate a London Cathedral where puzzles can be solved and other treasures can be discovered. It’s got everything one can expect from a raider level.
It has been rumored the secret location was meant to be an official location in the London levels between Thames Warf and Aldwych but this has never been confirmed by the creators.
11 Lost World - Donkey Kong 2
In their quest to save Donkey Kong, Dixie and Diddy Kong go through a lot of interesting worlds in order to save their friend.
A secret area in Crocodile Isle is The Lost World. This mysterious world contains different environments which allows for the player to complete a variety of levels in the jungle, frozen caverns and volcanic challenges.
This area can be accessed by paying Klubba fifteen Kremkoins per entrance.
If the player can collect the seventy-five Kremkoins to open each entrance into The Lost World and complete every level in it, they can go into the volcano called Krocodile Kore.
10 Star World- Super Mario World
Super Mario World is easily one of the best Mario games Nintendo has ever created. As Mario makes his way through worlds and islands in order to defeat his enemy, Bowser, there are plenty of secret levels and shortcuts along the way. However, there is one magical and colorful world that offers a rainbow of Yoshis and more: Star World!
There are different ways to access Star Island but all include finding mysterious keys in the levels and opening up a keyhole. The first Star level appears after defeating a secret Ghost House in Donut Island.
Make sure to pass each Star level in order to open up another secret world!
9 Map31: Wolfenstein – Doom II
Map 31 is a secret location that can be accessed when traversing through the Industrial Zone in Doom II.
The hidden map is a faithful remake of the first level of Wolfenstein 3D.
It's an ample room with dark textured walls with side rooms and villains that need to be taken out.
There are some differences to the original map. The secret location doesn’t contain the same villains and the brown guards and German shepherds were replaced by Guards and Demons but it is still a bunch of fun clearing the map of the enemy soldiers.
8 4th Survivor - Resident Evil 2
While Resident Evil 2 doesn’t exactly feature a hidden location, it does offer a separate mini game from the perspective of a fourth character who survives the destruction of Raccoon City, HUNK. The scenario presents the fourth survivor going through a segment filled with enemies while having a scarce amount of supplies.
This feature can be unlocked when the player completes both scenarios with an A Ranking, which is not an easy thing to do.
Once accessed, the player must guide HUNK from the entrance of the sewers to the Police Department’s helipad without being fatally attacked by the zombies.
7 Gnasty’s Loot - Spyro the Dragon
Spyro the Dragon has one final hidden location that can only be accessed when the player completes 100% progress of the game. This means every corner of the game must be explored, collecting all Gems, freeing all the Dragons and collecting all the Dragon Eggs.
If the player is up to the task, they will be rewarded with Gnasty’s Loot, where Gnasty Gnorc kept his entire stash of Gems. The player will be allowed to fly freely through the level but they must first unlock all the doors by catching the Thieves.
When the level is completed, a room with Gnasty’s portrait will be filled with purple gems inside of crates.
6 Loot Cave - Tom Clancy’s Division
One of the rarest but most sought after items in Tom Clancy’s Division is the Phoenix Credit, which help buy the best weapons and gear. However, this type of cash is incredibly difficult to find but this hidden loot cave can be a great find for anyone searching for Phoenix Credits.
The player will have to travel to Autumn’s Hope safe house, which they must enter and leave quickly.
Soon they will encounter a group of enemies with a boss that must be vanquished. Once this happens, the player must lose their life in order for the trick to work. Once brought back to life, the player must do it all over again and wait for the boss to offer the Phoenix Credits.
5 Secret Library Rooms - Gears of War: Judgment
In Gears of War: Judgement a selection of hidden rooms can be found in the Library. Inside this library, bloody footprints can be found near a wall covered in bookshelves. Once standing in front of this wall, the player can press X and the secret wall will open to reveal the secret rooms. Inside the player can find an incendiary grenade and several doors the lead to different rooms in the library.
There is also a passage that leads to a room behind a glass clock, where the player can shoot from a high point and eliminate their enemies without losing the element of surprise.
4 Hidden Chambers - Prince of Persia
There is a secret location hidden in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time that can only be accessed at the beginning of the game.
The code varies from each console but it must be entered when selecting a new game.
When the combination is done properly, it will unlock a hidden level: a redesign of the original Prince of Persia released back in 1989.
This secret level offers fans a chance to play the original first level with a fresh modern look and a fully dimensional perspective. When the level is completed, the player will be rewarded with a special sword before having to make it all the way back to the initial entrance. There will also be a hidden room where a large picture can be seen of all the game developers.
3 Mario-esque Hidden Room - Dying Light
In Dying Light, a secret Super Mario level can be found in Old Town. In order to achieve this, the player must already be halfway through the game since finding this location requires traveling through the sewers and start the Sector 0 part of the story.
On top of a brick house, the player will find a chimney with the classic green pipe coming out of it. After going inside of it, the player will land in a long room filled with a river of blood, but it contains a wooden long plank that shows a Mario level from the first person perspective.
2 Green Hill - Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Dedication is rewarded in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.
Players can access the Green Hill secret location if they manage to collect all 180 emblems in the game and passing every level with A ranking.
This alone can take hours and hours of playing.
Once achieved, the player will be rewarded with a 3D version of the Green Hill Zone, which is the first level in the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. The hidden location allows to see this classic level in a completely different light as Sonic can explore in every direction while fans relish in the nostalgia.
1 Reverse Castle - Castlevania Symphony of the Night
The Castlevania franchise is well known for its secrets but very few can compare to the upside down map of the castle featured in Symphony of the Night.
The only way to reach this hidden location is by finding an obscure object and not defeating a boss, Richter Belmont.
Instead, the player must free him from a dark spell which can only be done by collecting the holy glasses in the castle.
Inside the inverted castle, which looks like a darker upside down version of the normal castle, Alucard must find five of Dracula’s body parts in order to challenge him and get one of possible good endings.
Do you have any tips for hidden locations? Share them in the comments!