Using a smart device with a built-in voice assistant, for everything from setting timers to getting the day’s weather, can be a great way of freeing up your hands for other tasks.
But while 157 million US homes owned one of the best smart speakers or smart display by the end of 2019, according to Statista, not enough people know how to have fun with them.
In the case of Amazon’s voice assistant, you may have heard about Super Alexa Mode, which is one of several ‘easter eggs’, fun little quirks built into Alexa that can provide some much-needed entertainment from just setting timers and asking whether you’re going to get wet in the rain today.
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What is Super Alexa Mode?
Super Alexa Mode is an easter egg built-in to Amazon’s voice assistant and it basically provokes a fun response from Alexa, accompanied by a jolly tune… and not much more. So if you had ideas about the LED light ring pulsing different colors or new power being unleashed, we’re sorry to disappoint you.
So, how is it activated? Unlike most other Alexa features that can be switched on using your voice or the Alexa app, there’s only one way to activate Super Alexa mode, and it’s with your voice. You’ll need to repeat a specific phrase to an Amazon Echo smart speaker or Amazon Echo Show smart display - although you need to brace yourself, as it’s not simple.
It’s not only Alexa smart speakers and smart displays that offer a range of Easter eggs that result in fun and quirky responses. Check out our best Siri Easter eggs feature, while Google Assistant Easter eggs offers plenty of amusing suggestions of things to say to a Google smart speaker.
You’ll need to say “Alexa, up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start” to activate Super Alexa Mode. If you don’t use the precise phrase or stumble over the words Alexa will respond with “Code incorrect, try again”.
Some of you may already know what the command and response are references to (if so, skip the next part) but others may be left wondering, what if anything, it all means.
The phrase you say to Alexa is a reference to Konami Code - a popular cheat that was entered at the start menu when playing a number of games, such as Castlevania and Mortal Kombat III, on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console from the 1980s, to access secret menus.
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So, how does Alexa respond?
When Alexa is asked to activate Super Alexa Mode, Amazon’s voice assistant responds with “Super Alexa mode activated. Starting reactors … online. Enabling advanced systems … online. Raising dongers. Error. Dongers missing. Aborting.”
If you’re using Alexa on an Echo Show, the screen will also display an image reminiscent of that seen in Star Trek when the Starship Enterprise is traveling at warp speed.
Alexa’s response is a nod to a catchphrase coined by Imaqtipie, a League of Legends player that has a large following on Twitch, the gaming streaming platform that has made his phrasing famous - and it’s interesting Amazon is trying to get in on the act.
It’s not the easiest phrase to repeat unless of course, you’re familiar with the Konami Code already, but once you get it right, it will certainly bring a wry smile to your face. Although we’d love it if Super Alexa Mode one day included the option to see a light ring pulsing, too. Amazon, it’s over to you.
What other Alexa Easter eggs are there
There are hundreds of Easter eggs baked into Alexa, and half the fun is discovering them. However, if you want a few hints, these are some of our favorite Alexa easter eggs.
The easiest way is to start by saying “Alexa, give me an Easter egg”. However if you’re looking for more computing-related fun try the following commands and enjoy Alexa’s responses.
“Alexa, can you pass the Turing test?”
“Alexa, what are the laws of robotics?”
“Alexa, does this unit have a soul?"
Alexa, what’s your favorite video game”
And for those of you that have regular contact with small people, asking “Alexa, sing Baby Shark” will at least result in a different-to-usual rendition of the track that is loved by little ones so much.
Less of an Easter egg, but more something those with a naughty sense of humour may enjoy is trying to make Amazon's voice assistant swear. It’s not particularly easy - if you ask it outright, you’ll get the response of ‘Knickers’, which for most of us doesn’t qualify as a swear word.
You can of course set a timer and use a curse as its name, however when the timer sounds Alexa will bleep out the swear word, which is pretty amusing.
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