The Anno series has always had a number of easter eggs scattered throughout the game. Below is a list of many of them.
During the credits all the game characters are shown saying funny dialogue lines. After the credits roll, a video plays of footage of the Related Designs studio with all the developers shown and named.
If you play on 11/11 at 11:11am, 04/14, 01/17, 02/16, or 03/15, you get an accolade.
If you play around Easter, you'll get a quest from Lord Northburgh to find 6 small Easter baskets (called Easter nests) around your city.
If you play around Christmas, the marketplace will have a christmas tree in the middle.
(All the above date-related easter eggs can also be achieved by setting your system date accordingly in Windows.)
On the following holidays, Anno 1404 will provide the following in-game messages:
- 1st January: It's New Year's Day! Dawn of Discovery wishes you a very happy New Year!
- 14th February: Dawn of Discovery wishes you a happy Valentine's Day!
- Easter Sunday: Happy Easter with ANNO!
- 31st October: Dawn of Discovery wishes you a happy Halloween!
- 24th December: It's Christmas! Dawn of Discovery wishes you a happy holiday!
- 31st December: Tonight is New Year's Eve! Dawn of Discovery wishes you a happy New Year!
Chapter 3 Cathedral city shape
The third chapter of the campaign has Northburgh's Cathedral city shaped as a heart. If you open the trade route screen (F6), you can see this quite clearly. Coincidence? Who knows...
If you name one of your ship the following names, you'll get an accolade worth 10 gems each and an achievement.
- Ghost Ship
- Heart of Gold
- Red Five
- USS Enterprise
You also get three different achievements, each giving a new title after you used enough of the above names. The titles are:
- "The Man of Letters" for naming your ships all five famous literary names
- "Nerd" for naming your ships all five sci-fi names
- "The Madman" for naming your ships "U-96" and "Heart of Gold" and naming your cities "Gotham," "Innsmouth," and "Basin City."
If you name your city "Gotham," "Innsmouth," or "Basin City," you'll get an accolade worth 10 gems for each name and an achievement. These are references to Batman, HP Lovecraft novels, and Frank Miller's Sin City.
Naming your city "BonanzaCreek" also gets you an accolade and achievement. This is a reference to a cheat from an older game in the series. This also grants you the title, "Cheater."
One of the names of an Oriental settlement is Ku'Raast and is possibly derived from the name Kurast; a city in the third act of Diablo 2. There are several other more obscure German references in the game, like the quest, Istar’s Labyrinth.
Before settling the Southwestern island in the second last chapter in the campaign, the island is called 'Monkey Island' and its shape is akin to the shape of Monkey Island from The Secret of Monkey Island.
There are quite a few hidden achievements in Anno 1404. They aren't Easter eggs per se, but they are mostly things you probably won't find on your own. See each achievements page with the hidden achievements listed at the bottom of each page.