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Wasteland 2’s Mysterious Red Button Turned Out to be an Elaborate, Year-Long Dad Joke

Wasteland 2’s Mysterious Red Button Turned Out to be an Elaborate, Year-Long Dad Joke:

For the last year, players of the post-apocalyptic game Wasteland 2 have been trying to figure out what a weird, shiny red button found in the game actually does. It seems ominous, but for a long time it wasn’t clear whether anything ominous actually happens upon pressing it.

Kotaku finally got to the bottom of it, basically by cordially demanding an answer of developer inXile Entertainment. Turns out what the button activates is an involved pun.

The button is found attached to a dilapidated computer deep in Wasteland 2’s version of the Hollywood sewers. When you find it, the game goads you a little with a text description, reading, “You see a very old computer with a big ominous red button. What could possibly go wrong?” Push it, and the ground shakes—but nothing else seems to happen.

Players have been trying to track down just what that button does, if anything, since Wasteland 2 launched, even asking the developers about it. Turns out, it opens up Irvine, another location in the game that you can’t visit without hitting the button. There, you’ll find a guy called Aaron Chwatt. There’s also another button at his location, which also makes the ground shake, and which makes Aaron shout, “You’ve now doomed everyone,” and take off.

That’s it. Well, except for one other little bit of rib-nudging punny goodness: Aaron Chwatt is the real name of actor and comedian Red Buttons, a nationally known American comedian in the 1950s and ’60s. Pull up Red’s Wikipedia page and you discover he got the name thanks to a bellhop job he held in his youth, where people combined calling him “Red,” thanks to his red hair, and “Buttons,” thanks to the shiny buttons on his uniform.

“Red Buttons,” discovered by pressing red buttons. Get it? Gotta love inXile’s dedication to letting people obsess over an in-game dad joke for an entire year.

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