No Man's Sky — the space exploration game just released on Windows and PlayStation 4 — features a universe so vast it could be considered infinite. With over 18 quintillion planets randomly generated by a complex algorithm, it was unclear whether or not developers would be able to insert Easter eggs hidden throughout gameplay. If so, what are the chances of players stumbling across those secrets in such a sweeping, unpredictable cosmos?
Sean Murray, No Man's Sky's creator, told gamers to expect Easter eggs across the title's macrocosm. He tweeted his team's plans following the game's North American PS4 release date.
Sure enough, No Man's Sky's first legitimate Easter egg was uncovered just two days after the game's initial launch. Reddit user fprusch discovered a cryptic message buried within the text of an alien monolith. Take a look for yourself and try to decipher the language:
If you simply read each line backwards, it translates to this:
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, we, The Kovax, sought to boldly go where no one had gone before. And so we each took up our towels, held our thumbs aloft and hitchhiked our way across the universe to carve a monolith.
Fans of science fiction will immediately recognize the pop culture references displayed. In order from first to last, the text refers to Star Wars, Star Trek, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
It's worth pointing out that "Korvax," a sentient alien species of machines, appears to be misspelled. Is that the algorithm or the developer's fault? Perhaps that's the biggest mystery of all.