If Trying Glass Studios had survived till this present day, its premises can be the least safe within the US video games trade. The legendary developer secreted the door code to its workplace into the primary degree of System Shock – and ever since, the numbers 0451 have turn into a calling card for many who share Trying Glass’s immersive sim values; studios that faucet into System Shock’s deep worldbuilding, dense degree design, and reactive simulation.
Redfall is the newest to pay homage, however follows practically 30 years of riffs and twists on the code that first allowed you entry to Citadel area station’s therapeutic suite. We’ve collated among the most ingenious and memorable under, and received’t even ask you to crack a mixture lock to see ‘em.
Ion Storm Austin’s beloved spy story arrived half a decade after System Shock, but was many gamers’ first introduction to the 4 digits that may form a style. Tucked away behind the helipad of UNATCO headquarters on Liberty Island – the scene of Deus Ex’s first terrorist standoff – is a comms van with a satellite tv for pc dish, made accessible by way of the well-known code. Funnily sufficient, earlier than becoming a member of Ion Storm, lead designer Harvey Smith labored in satellite tv for pc communications for the US air power. He put collectively the Liberty Island map, and later labored on each Dishonored and Redfall.
Alumni from Trying Glass and Ion Storm are divided on whether or not the code references Fahrenheit 451, the 1953 dystopian novel about an American bookburner in a censorious society. However the connection fits Deus Ex, which has a strong political bent.
Given BioShock’s shut affiliation with System Shock by way of Irrational Video games, it’s no shock that 0451 ought to crop up a number of instances over the course of the sequence. The neatest tackle the method may be discovered within the ignored BioShock 2, the place the code seems within the fogged-up window of a locked sauna, as if anyone had pressed their finger in opposition to the glass pane in a determined plea for escape.
For the reason that message is daubed on the alternative aspect of the glass, it wants reversing to the right mixture, 1540, earlier than it may be used to open up the sauna. Positive sufficient, there’s a lifeless physique inside – belonging to a Rapture resident who bought on the unsuitable aspect of her husband by slipping Mind Increase into his breakfast.
Dishonored: Loss of life of the Outsider
Arkane is broadly recognised because the torch holder for Trying Glass values within the triple-A sphere, and that fame is mirrored in its lengthy historical past of System Shock easter eggs. In Dishonored 2, 451 is scribbled on a picket body behind a portray that may be pulled from the wall of a personal residence. And in Loss of life of the Outsider, the code to a secure is hidden in plain sight. “Tally the books over your desk,” one gangster tells one other. “Perhaps they’ll uncover your reminiscence.”
The shelf above the desk in query carries 10 books in whole, break up into three piles. No prizes for guessing, at this level, how they’re organized. It’s a traditional Arkane second – in that it pushes you to essentially have a look at the world round you, reasonably than treating it as set dressing.
This roguelike FPS was an experimental break from kind for Arkane, and so it’s solely becoming that it ought to break from easter egg custom, too. As you method a locked door within the tunnels beneath Deathloop’s social gathering island, Blackreef, you’re taunted by the unconscious of amnesiac protagonist Colt, represented by means of onscreen textual content: “You already know the code! This one proper right here.”
Enter 0451, nonetheless, and the door will keep resolutely shut. “Outdated habits die arduous,” quips Colt, as a associated achievement pops up. Not less than you’ve unlocked one thing, eh?
Whereas virtually perverse in its dedication to recreating the vibe and aesthetic of Thief – the traditional Trying Glass stealth recreation – Gloomwood nonetheless has a definite character of its personal. As such, whenever you enter a mixture of 451 into any secure in its world, the lock explodes in your face. Take that, custom.
In an extra twist, and to the delight of developer Dillon Rogers, some Gloomwood gamers have begun to use that explosive potential – laying traps for enemies and setting off the bomb intentionally to trigger huge harm. Now that’s the Trying Glass spirit.
Atomic Coronary heart
Mundfish’s FPS is at the very least thrice faraway from System Shock on the Trying Glass household tree – pulling extra from the shoot-first spectacle of Bioshock Infinite than any true immersive sim. Nonetheless, it pays tribute to its forefathers throughout what’s greatest described as a theme park tugboat experience. As you glide serenely previous a pair of NPCs, one passes the four-digit management code for a bunch of malfunctioning robots to their fellow, in order that some close by homes can get painted.
Trying Glass wouldn’t approve of the rollercoaster-esque absence of interactivity, however the pig on a leash is undeniably a brand new and shocking addition to this previous ritual.
Arkane’s new co-op shooter, Redfall, strays farther from Trying Glass and its beliefs than another recreation within the studio’s softography. It’s applicable, then, that its nods to System Shock are delicate and simply missed. First (on the 23 second mark of its launch trailer, above) there’s a penciled observe a couple of 04:51am rally on the fireplace station which doubles as Redfall’s hub. And second, there’s a parked police automotive within the recreation bearing ‘RF04510’ as its registration. You’ll discover different references to the quantity in notes scattered round Redfall’s open world.
BONUS: Slayer Shock
Eerily, there’s a really comparable automotive registration plate in Slayer Shock – the indie immersive sim from Minor Key Video games that launched in 2016 and, sure, tasked you with saving a city from encroaching vampires. Slayer Shock’s developer has catalogued these coincidences on Twitter, in a thread cheekily dubbed ‘I’m owed royalties for Redfall’.
If solely Trying Glass have been nonetheless round to select up its personal royalties. Nonetheless: it’s encouraging to assume that builders right this moment proceed to hunt affiliation with the studio and its concepts. And much more encouraging to see a brand new era take these concepts and subvert them – blowing up the conventions of immersive sims as a mark of respect to a studio of forward-thinkers.