Secret Donkey Kong easter egg uncovered after 26 years

Finding easter eggs, those small goodies hidden by developers inside their games, has always been one of the many joys of playing videogames. I know I loved when Banjo-Kazooie developer Rare hid all sorts of little references to their other projects inside of their games back in the N64 days. Of course, some easter eggs are hidden better than others, and we are talking about one that was hidden so darn well that it was just uncovered now, after 26 years of hiding.

Landon Dyer was the developer of the Donkey Kong port for the Atari 400 and 800. Like any hard-working proud code writer, he wanted to leave a tiny piece of him behind inside the game that would immortalize him in game legend. That piece of him was hidden for a score and six years before Don Hodges dug it up just the other day using an emulator.

According to Hodges, you can make Dyer’s initials “LMD” appear on the title screen by setting a high score that has the numbers 37,000, 73,000, or 77,000 in it. The other digits in the score can be anything (they don’t have to be “0”s). Once the player has the score, he or she must use up the remaining lives, but the last death MUST BE due to falling. Then set the difficulty to 4 by pressing the option button three times. Finally, wait for the game to demo screen to pass and then “LMD” will appear on the title screen.

Wow that is riduclous. It’s no surprise that this little secret went undiscovered for so long with those conditions. Thanks to Don Hodges for being so diligent and making sure no stone went unturned.