Video games are not usually meant to be seen outside of the confines of how they’re presented. As expansive as a world might seem, if you pan the camera out enough you’ll see the edge of the universe, or just exactly how much of a world the developers actually created with the intention of you running around in it. This extends to characters and cutscenes as well. More often than not, scenes are shot in a very particular way to cover up things like a character model being removed from a scene because it’s not relevant anymore, or maybe they’re t-posing off to the side just out of the frame. But sometimes, when we break through these things we can find hidden jokes, like one that was discovered today in 2018’s God of War reboot.
If the rest of the game wasn’t an indicator of this, it turns out Baldur, the main antagonist of the Norse Mythology-based game, doesn’t like Kratos very much. In one of God of War’s earliest sequences, you, as Kratos, get in a superhero-styled fist fight with the God of Light. At some point he says he actually can’t feel anything that’s happening in the battle, which turns out to be a major point of contention between him and basically everything around him as the game goes on, but I digress. When the fight is over, Kratos snaps Baldur’s neck and tosses him off the side of a cliff. Normally, this scene would continue and Kratos would walk back home to find his son, but @manfightdragon on Twitter actually found out that if you hack the camera and follow Baldur’s body as he tumbles down, my guy is actually giving Kratos two middle fingers.
Absolutely laughing at this, can't wait to see what else is hidden in the game off-camera pic.twitter.com/V3r8dV4gMw
— Lance McDonald (@manfightdragon) March 5, 2020
Odds are, Sony Santa Monica anticipated someone would come in and hack the camera eventually. Otherwise, what’s the point of adding this little detail to something that ostensibly no one would see? Makes you wonder what other things could be happening just out of the camera’s field of view. It also makes you wonder if Baldur is still “alive” in this moment and just making his feelings on the God of War clear at this point. My original reading was always that he was probably “dead,” but would regenerate and then come back stronger later, but maybe that doesn’t hold up now with this new information.
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But also, not gonna lie, I immediately saved the image of Baldur plummeting to his possible death, bloody and bruised with two middle fingers in the air to my camera roll on my phone because it just feels really appropriate for the state of things, and I can use all the visual aids I can get for communicating right now.
In other Sony Santa Monica news, Shannon Studstill, who previously was head of the God of War studio, is now working with Google over at Stadia Games and Entertainment where she’ll be acting as head of a studio based in Playa Vista, California.