Minecraft & The Monty Python Easter Egg (Off the Record)
Easter eggs in video games are quickly becoming commonplace in modern titles. What were once little call-outs to pop culture, folk lore, or other video game series are now standard practice within the industry. However, some references are a little more nuanced and thus remain cloaked in mystery. Perhaps none has puzzled modern games more than the killer rabbits in Minecraft. Upon being attacked by one of these demon bunnies, the game rewards players with a game over screen followed by the nemesis’s name: The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. Unknown to many fans of the series, this little rabbit is actually a terrorizer of kings and knights. Let’s dive in.
Off the Record is a series that dives into the cultural and symbolic references hidden in many of our favorite video games. We explore how development secrets, story arcs, and gameplay aesthetics connect to ancient traditions and mythology.
Exercising the Excalibur Demons
There is no other way to describe it. British humor is often misunderstood. Viewed as needlessly violent and curiously dry, our friends from the UK enjoy oddly timed puns. Perhaps no other series embodies this form of comedy quite like the Monty Python franchise.
But is this column not about Minecraft? So what does a popular British comedy series have to do with Microsoft’s best-selling video game? We are so glad that you asked.
Minecraft players know that much of the game’s wildlife is harmless. From cute little herds of sheep to gentle gatherings of cows, the game is filled with tranquility and wonder. But on occasion, players encounter a little terror that can quickly result in a game over screen. In fact, the odds are about one in every 2,500 that players will come into contact with a killer Peter Cottontail. The official name of the monstrosity in question? The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.
The in-game reference is a callback to the Monty Python series. In the Holy Grail film, King Arthur and his loyal band of knights approach the Cave of Caerbannog. Their tour guide, Tim the Enchanter, warns the noble gang of a monster so terrible that it will kill each of them with “nasty, big, pointy teeth.” Unfazed, King Arthur ventures into the cave only to confront a demon in the shape of a cute little bunny rabbit. But this is no ordinary rabbit. As King Arthur orders the rabbit’s demise, the hopping nightmare proceeds to kill several knights and noblemen. Succumbing to the beast’s power, King Arthur’s has no choice but to retreat.
Which leads us back to Minecraft. Just as King Arthur underestimated the strength of a motivated rabbit, so too have many a player. But make no mistake. The danger is real. A game over is in store for all players who come within four squares of this atrocity. Even when the settings are placed on “peaceful,” these killer bunnies will still attack Minecraft players; however, they will do no damage.
We may never look at fluffy bunnies the same. But we want to know what you think. Did you know that the Minecraft killer rabbits were a reference to Monty Python? Did you also know that the names of these monsters is “The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog”? Let us know in the comments below or the social media links on the right.
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