Geek Trivia

What Was The Easter Egg Inside Microsoft Excel 95?

Excel Race
The Hall of Tortured Souls
Bill Gates Laughing
Flight Sim 95
Which Popular 1980s Children's Toy Started Off As A Greeting Card Character?

Answer: The Hall of Tortured Souls

Microsoft developers have a long history of tucking Easter Eggs–little bits of bonus code hidden inside larger software applications intended to surprise and/or amuse the user that discovers them–into their Office applications. Over the years, Excel, for example, has had all manner of novel Easter Eggs, including a flight simulator and a racing game.

Not all the Easter Eggs tucked into Excel have been so light hearted, however. In Excel 95, there was a strange Easter Egg where in entering the proper commands into Excel would open up a tiny window with a Doom-like 3D game in it. The entirety of the little mini game, labeled “Hall of Tortured Souls”, was a series of unsettlingly empty rooms including a secret room with photos of the developers on the walls.

While we can’t be certain about what the developers were going for with their little Easter Egg, we’re confident the title of the game, combined with the photos hidden in a secret room, is the software developer equivalent of slipping a note inside a fortune cookie inscribed with “Help me! I’m trapped inside the factory!”