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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse features an incredible video game Easter egg

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is out now and it contains a wealth of Easter eggs for video fans to obsess over. It’s full of references to Spidey’s history, from his comic books to cartoons and beyond. The animated sequel even includes some nods to the franchise’s video game history, leading to one of its best (and most obscure) references: Spider-Man for the Atari 2600.

(A quick heads up if you’re afraid of spoilers: This article contains some very light story details for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.)

In Across the Spider-Verse‘s second act, Miles Morales is introduced to the Spider Society, an elite team of Spider-Man pulled in from around the multiverse. The long sequence is a gold mine of references, as Miles meets various Spider-Men and villains from different worlds. At one point, he’s even introduced to a few villains from video game realms. That’s where we get the film’s most hilariously obscure references: One of the villains shown is simply a collection of green pixels floating in a tube.

Spider-Man scales a building in 1982's Spider-Man video game.
Parker Brothers

It’s not just an abstract joke; that’s Green Goblin as he appears in 1982’s Spider-Man game. Published by Parker Brothers, the Atari 2600 adaptation is essentially a reskinned variant of Crazy Climber. It has players slinging their way up a building as Spider-Man, diffusing bombs and avoiding bad guys along the way. Green Goblin sits at the top of the tower, and is depicted as a loose collection of green and purple squares standing on a moving glider. To vanquish him, players simply need to diffuse a big bomb.

As someone who grew up playing that game on my mother’s hand-me-down Atari 2600, it’s a delightful reference that honors the character’s long history of video game appearances. I can’t say it’s a very good game (I could never figure out how to beat Green Goblin), but it deserves the 15 seconds of fame it gets here.

That isn’t the only video game reference featured in Across the Spider-Verse, though. The film contains multiple teases of what’s to come in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, which is set to launch on PlayStation 5 this fall. Early in the film, we actually see one of Miles’ friends playing what appears to be a stylized version of the game. We also see Spider-Man fighting enemies on a New York rooftop while walking on mechanical spider legs. Considering that the game’s name appears in the end credits, it’s safe to assume that might be an actual gameplay clip hidden in the background.

Keep an eye out for those Easter eggs, and a lot more, when you catch Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which is in theaters now.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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