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The GTA Easter Egg Only True Fans Noticed

There's no franchise in the world of gaming quite like "Grand Theft Auto." Since the first title in the series hit the market in 1997, these edgy, high-octane games have captured the interest of players who live for extralegal thrills both on and off the road.

Looking at the lifetime sales stats for "GTA 5" cinches the IP's predominance. On top of those impressive numbers, the 2013 title was named "the most financially successful media title of all time" by MarketWatch and even claimed the top spot on Twitch eight years after it released. Naturally, this level of popularity has helped "GTA" develop a dedicated fandom.

Players who already know many of the details on "GTA" may be quick to think there's nothing left to uncover, but one Easter egg might change their minds. Of course, the secret isn't the first of its kind in the franchise. In fact, "GTA" Easter eggs have extended beyond the series into other games. On top of all those hidden gems, "GTA" entries also contain a host of hidden areas. This particular Easter egg requires knowledge of multiple "GTA" games, giving it that true fan only status.

The sneaky signature GTA cover helicopter

As spotted by fans on Reddit and Kotaku, nearly every "Grand Theft Auto" cover since "GTA 3" features a helicopter on the upper left-hand corner of the box. The trend also coincides with the development of the enduring grid-style cover design that makes "GTA" box art so recognizable at a quick glance. There are a few exceptions, like "GTA Advance," "GTA Chinatown Wars," and some international covers, but other than those, the helicopter stands as a consistent feature.

That's not the only "GTA" cover Easter egg. Though less consistent than the enduring helicopter placement, Kotaku also pointed out the often-recurrent motorcycle present on the upper right-hand corner of "GTA" covers. This art seems true to the game, since motorcycles are part of nearly every title in the series.

Though helicopters are also a big part of "GTA" and have appeared in the games since day one, it's interesting that they didn't become flyable by players until "GTA: Vice City," which came out after the helicopter cover trend kicked off with prior title "GTA 3." Whatever the rhyme or reason for the consistent helicopter cover placement, this detail adds a layer of confusion to logistically understanding the significance of the Easter egg. Then again, that's part of what makes it so sneaky.

Fans who are both eagerly waiting a "GTA 6" announcement and keen to find "GTA" Easter eggs old and new will be pleased to learn about a weird riddle that dropped in a September next-gen "GTA 5" trailer.