The verdict is in and Marvel’s Spider-Man is another big win for Sony and the PlayStation 4. Developed by Insomniac Games, Spider-Man deviates from a long line of crummy games featuring the wall-crawler by delivering polished web-slinging and intuitive combat in a breathtaking recreation of New York City for players to explore. In the game, city of New York is practically a character in its own right and one you’ll become intimately familiar with as you rack up hours in Spider-Man’s virtual playground. Much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this new Spider-Man game contains a ton of references to all sorts of other Marvel properties, as well as a few Easter eggs that expand to the larger pop culture landscape. We’ll keep updating this page as we find more secrets but for now, here are 27 of the best Easter eggs we’ve come across in Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4.
Oh and don’t worry: we’re not spoiling any major story details here!
28. Green Goblin Easter Egg
Hats off to the folks at ComicBook.com for discovering this one! This is pretty much the definition of an Easter egg you have to dig deep for, as it’s so difficult to spot — not to mention obscure — that we’re kind of amazed it was found this quickly. In the mission where you find yourself inside Norman Osborn’s penthouse, you can look around and explore if you don’t trigger the next event. One item in the room is a doctor’s note for Norman’s son Harry, who remotely tasks Peter with completing research tasks throughout the game. The note itself looks completely unremarkable, but the letters and numbers on it tell a different story.
Under Harry’s name, there’s a regular ID and a Lab ID, both with “TAS-M” at the top. This is code for The Amazing Spider-Man, with the corresponding numbers representing specific issues of the Spider-Man comics! The first set of numbers – 121965 – are the release date for Harry Osborn’s first appearance in the comics (Dec. 19, 1965) , while the second set – 011974 – references the first appearance of Harry as the Green Goblin (Jan. 19, 1974). Great work, Insomniac!
27. Black and White Suit Joke
During the early mission “Keeping the Peace,” NYPD Captain Yuri Watanabe asks Spider-Man if he has a black-and-white suit he can wear to take her to the police ball. Peter’s hesitant reaction is a clear indicator that this is a joke about Spider-Man’s symbiote costume, also known as the black suit. Sadly, it’s not one of the suits Spidey gets access to in the game (we’re assuming Insomniac is saving it for the all-but-guaranteed sequel).
26. Fallout 3 Easter Egg
Spider-Man contains a subtle, but no less loving nod to Bethesda’s 2008 RPG hit Fallout 3 that is actually quite easy to miss. Early in the game when Peter first goes to Octavius Labs, you’re able to explore the area before leaving. Most of the items you can interact with in the lab are voice memos left by Peter’s boss, Dr. Otto Octavius, but if you turn on boombox sitting on a shelf off to the side, you’ll be treated to some familiar music.
There are a few tracks to cycle through by turning the stereo on and off, including the song “Let’s Go Sunning,” a 1950s recording that was featured on Fallout 3’s Galaxy News Radio. Yes, it could just be the case that Octavius is a fan of this musical era, but we can’t think of a better reason why Insomniac would include this obscure track popularized by its inclusion in Fallout 3.
25. Grand Theft Auto Easter Egg
Games such as Marvel’s Spider-Man owe a great debt to the Grand Theft Auto franchise for helping to push the 3D open-world genre and fittingly, Insomniac’s title contains a nod to Rockstar’s crime series. During the side mission “Spider-Man P.I.”, Peter helps out a woman named Carmen, whose husband is meeting up with some criminal types. Eventually, Spidey tails them back to their hideout, which includes a map that has names such as Niko, Evan, Donnie, and Ryan, written on it. You’ll also hear that “Roman” is running late.
Anyone who’s played GTA IV will immediately recognize these names, particularly Niko Belic, who is the game’s protagonist, and his cousin Roman. Carmen is also a potential love interest in the game, while Evan Moss is a supporting character.
24. Fisk’s Obliterator Cane
The first mission where you take control of Mary-Jane Watson sees the Daily Bugle reporter nosing around an auction featuring a number of items belonging to Wilson Fisk. The most prominent item on display is arguably the Obliterator Cane, a weapon used by the massive villain that can fire lasers and sleeping gas (and is pretty good for hitting people too). Fisk also has a cello in the auction named after his wife Vanessa Fisk, who has made appearances in the comics, the 90s Spider-Man animated series, and the first season of Netflix’s Daredevil.
23. Steve Ditko Nod
Much like in the 2017 film Spider-Man: Homecoming, the PS4 Spider-Man game features a sequence that was clearly inspired by one of Steve Ditko’s most popular Spider-Man stories. During the opening mission, which finds Spider-Man and the NYPD raiding Wilson Fisk’s headquarters, Spidey finds himself trapped under a pile of debris. The wall-crawler escapes by harnessing all of his superhuman strength, leading to a visual that is pulled directly from The Amazing Spider-Man #33 (1966). The situation is much different, however, as Spider-Man is trying to save civilians in the game, versus in the comic where he finds himself trapped under rubble after aggressively attacking Doctor Octopus.
22. Stan Lee Cameo
Alright, this one’s pretty much impossible to miss but it’s one that needs mentioning all the same. Borrowing a page from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Insomniac got Stan Lee to cameo as the owner of Mick’s a restaurant frequented by Peter and Mary Jane. Fittingly, Lee’s character comments to MJ that it pleases him to see her and Peter “back together.” If that doesn’t bring a smile to your face, nothing will.
21. Shirtless Spider-Man
In the mission “Back to School,” Spider-Man finds himself attending a costume party at Empire State University. Among the rowdy undergrads is a shirtless man wearing a Spider-Man mask. This is a funny nod to gaming personality Greg Miller, co-founder of Kinda Funny Games and former IGN editor. Miller, who has formed a close relationship with many developers over the years, including Insomniac, has a running gag where he puts on a Spider-Man hood and takes his shirt off at various industry events. Clearly, the Insomniac team are fans of Miller’s antics and decided to give his alter-ego an in-game shout-out. The Kinda Funny team also had voice cameos in last year’s Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.
20. Spider-Man 2 Balloon
Insomniac’s game builds upon the legacy of Neversoft’s beloved Spider-Man 2 (2004), the first open-world Spider-Man adventure. Anyone who played that older title knows how annoying the “My balloon!” kids were and Insomniac honors those annoying side missions with a clever collectible. In one of the dozens of backpacks Spider-Man can find scattered around Manhattan, there’s a child’s drawing that Peter says was given to him by a kid after he saved their balloon. Fortunately, you don’t come across any actual balloon rescue quests in the new game!
19. Spider-Man 2 Train Sequence Nod
In addition to the video game adaptation, Marvel’s Spider-Man also pays tribute to Sam Raimi’s film Spider-Man 2. Specifically, there’s a mission involving a runaway subway car that is a clear homage to the film’s climactic train sequence. Much like in the film, Spidey attempts to stop the train by throwing out a bunch of webs in order to slow it down. Unfortunately, the maneuver doesn’t work this time around, with Spidey quipping, “That totally worked last time!”
To be fair, Spider-Man almost died when he tried that trick in Raimi’s film, but it looks like ol’ webhead may have lost a step since (yes, we realize Raimi’s universe and Insomniac’s aren’t actually linked together). That being said, we won’t spoil how the game’s sequence ends but you can watch a clip of Spidey’s failure to make the train stop here.
18. Wakandan Embassy
While he doesn’t make an in-game appearance, a clever Easter egg does point to Black Panther existing in the world of Marvel’s Spider-Man. One of the many landmarks Peter Parker has to photograph as part of a collectibles side objective is the Wakandan Embassy, which of course is the home nation of T’Challa the Black Panther. Here’s hoping we’ll get a proper Black Panther video game down the road!
17. Symkarian Embassy
In addition to Wakanda, there’s another embassy found in the game that references another (albeit a bit lesser known) Marvel character. Keep an eye out for the Symkarian Embassy as you’re photographing landmarks. Symkaria is a fictional Eastern European country that also happens to be the homeland of Silver Sable, a mercenary who hunts war criminals who has allied herself with Spider-Man on a number of occasions.
16. Sanctum Santorum
Another big Avenger name who gets referenced by a familiar landmark in Spider-Man is Doctor Strange. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, which you’ll recognize from its inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, can be found near the intersection of 1st Street and Broadway in the game. Unfortunately, all you can really do is take a photo of it or swing/crawl around on it, but it’s a cool inclusion nonetheless!
15. Lots of Daredevil
Spider-Man isn’t the only superhero operating in New York City, so it’s hardly surprising that there are several references to the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen scattered throughout Insomniac’s game. A couple are landmarks that you need to photograph: Fogwell’s Gym, the boxing gym where Matt Murdock’s father Battlin’ Jack Murdock trained and the Nelson and Murdock law office, which is pretty self-explanatory.
Speaking of Daredevil’s day job practicing law, one of Spider-Man’s backpacks contains a one of Matt Murdock’s business cards (ads for Nelson and Murdock can also be spotted in various newspapers in the game). Let’s hope Daredevil has a role in one of Spider-Man’s upcoming DLC chapters.
14. Avengers Tower
Spider-Man is an on-and-off member of the Avengers but unfortunately, the superhero team doesn’t make an appearance in the new game. However, there is at least one big shout out to the squad in the form of Avengers Tower, which is one of the landmarks Peter has to take a photo of. Upon completing this activity, Spider-Man will remark: “Avengers Tower, so cool! Too bad they’re never around to use it. They’re on the west coast or something. Probably surfing.” This little detail is important, as it could be read as a nod to the upcoming Avengers video game from Square Enix, which is being developed by California-based studio Crystal Dynamics.
Or maybe Cap and Iron Man just like catching those big waves, bruh!
13. Alias Investigations
Matt Murdock isn’t the only Defender who gets a small shout-out in Spider-Man. Superpowered private investigator Jessica Jones’ Alias Investigations can be found in Hell’s Kitchen quite easily since it’s a landmark that needs to be photographed. If it wasn’t marked on your map though, this building would be difficult to spot given how unremarkable it is.
12. Josie’s Bar
Not too far from Alias Investigations you’ll find Josie’s Bar, a favorite establishment of Matt Murdock’s since it’s a cheap place to get a drink and also happens to be frequented by a variety of criminals. Sadly, the game doesn’t let you walk in, order too many drinks, and swing around drunk as Spider-Man.
You don’t get to fight Sandman in the game, but Flint Marko is still there in spirit. In one of the game’s more clever Easter eggs, JJ Jameson makes a reference to Sandman during his radio show that Peter listens to occasionally while swinging around New York. He also goes into more detail about another villain, Scorpion, at one point, scoffing at the notion that he’s to blame for the villain’s crimes just because he hired him to try an untested formula that would turn him into the “anti Spider-Man.”
10. Lockjaw Statue
If you’re familiar with New York’s famous Charging Bull statue, you may want to find it in Spider-Man’s version of Manhattan and take a close look. That’s because Insomniac has “Marvelified” the statue and replaced with the Inhuman’s alien dog, Lockjaw, who was pretty much the only good thing about the horrible short-lived 2017 TV series.
9. Uncle Ben Photo
Since Marvel’s Spider-Man is set 8 years into Peter Parker’s crime-fighting career, we don’t see the usual origin story involving the death of Uncle Ben play out. However, Peter’s uncle can still be found in the game, but he’s easy to miss. If you walk around the interior of the F.E.A.S.T. Shelter where Aunt May works, you can interact with a few different things in her office. One of them is a picture of a young Peter with his late uncle. That isn’t the only reference to Ben Parker though …
8. Pay Your Respects to Uncle Ben
Swing to the top of the map and you’ll find a graveyard. It takes some looking around, but you can find a tombstone with Ben Parker’s name on it. Much like in Arkham City where Batman can pay his respects to his deceased parents in the Crime Alley location, interacting with the tombstone will result in Peter saying his to his uncle and unlock the “With Great Power” trophy in the process.
7. Upside-Down Kiss Tease
Following the opening mission, which sees Spider-Man take down the Kingpin or more accurately, string him up — with webbing, don’t worry! — he asks his webbed-up adversary “shall we kiss now?” We’d like to think this is a funny callback to the famous upside-down kiss between Peter and MJ in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002).
Empire State University may not be a real school, but it’s an important one in the Marvel Universe and is featured as a landmark of note in Spider-Man. Not only did Peter Parker attend ESU, but so did Eddie Brock, Harry Osborn, Gwen Stacy, Emma Frost, and even Doctor Doom! Empire State University is located in the Washington Square Park area.
5. John Jameson, American Hero
You probably haven’t paid much attention to Spider-Man’s social feed system but it has some pretty neat messages, including one from a certain American hero. J. Jonah Jameson, of course, now has a popular radio show in the game’s universe and his astronaut son wants his dad to know that he can hear his rants from space. Under the username JJinSpace, John posts a message to his dad that reads, “Love that I still get to hear my dad’s show from the space station. Miss you, JJJatHome!” It would almost be adorable if Jonah wasn’t such a pompous blowhard!
4. Ghostbusters Fire Station
While the logo doesn’t appear (most likely due to licensing purposes), there’s no mistaking the classic fire station from Ghostbusters. The Ghostbusters’ base of operations can be found in the southern region of the map just to the east of a research station there and features the familiar red door and gold plating. Oh and if there were any doubt, there’s also a spray-painted image of a ghost on the wall behind the station.
3. Goblin Grenades
While you don’t actually get to fight the Green Goblin in Spider-Man — probably because Norman Osborn is too busy being mayor — the classic Spidey villain does get a cameo of sorts. You can find prototype Goblin Grenades on a desk inside Oscorp Headquarters.
2. Insomniac Dev Photos
In the same F.E.A.S.T. Shelter where you can find Uncle Ben’s photo, you’ll spot a wall featuring photos of all the shelter’s volunteers. These photos are actually members of the Insomniac team that made the game! This may not be on par with the developer’s captivating museum areas from the Ratchet & Clank series, but it’s still cool that they were able to toss in a subtle Easter egg referencing themselves.
1. “The Best Saddest Easter Egg Ever”
This is one Easter egg in Spider-Man that is just way too real. In May of this year, Tyler Schultz tweeted at Insomniac Games asking if the developer could help him with a marriage proposal to his girlfriend of five years, Madison. Insomniac agreed, asking only that he wait until the game’s Sept. 7th release date to see what they had cooked up. Schultz agreed, confident that he’d still want to propose by then. This is where the story just gets downright depressing.
Spider-Man did indeed ship with an Easter egg marriage proposal in the form of a movie theatre marquee reading, “Maddie, will you marry me?” Unfortunately, Schultz had broken up with his girlfriend before the game was released and what’s worse, she left him for his brother! As Schultz explained in a video (that has since been taken down from YouTube), “This might go down in history as the saddest Easter egg.” Insomniac has since reached out to Schultz and offered to take the proposal out of the game.
It should be noted that we only have one side of the story here and there could be more to the whole situation than Schultz is letting on. However, if true, this truly might be the saddest Easter egg we’ve ever come across!