Video games are difficult by nature. Fortunately, there are many levels of difficulty when it comes to one video game or another. For example, Tetris can be the easiest game you will ever play, that is, if you set it up to be like that. If you instead go for the super fast levels and no help, or no preview, you are in for one of the most challenging games you will ever play. And it’s Tetris.
If games weren’t difficult enough by nature, producers of this form of entertainment have come up with even greater challenges. Some of them are made into hard levels or missions. Others come in the shapes of bosses, or very powerful NPCs you have to take down. But there is a type of game difficulty that is so unique and hard, gamers literally get squeamish about it every time.
Video Game Puzzles
In its essence, a video game puzzle is anything that puzzles the gamer. It can be an object that acts weird, like a goat that lets you do some things or not. Or it can be a literal puzzle you have to find and solve before you can move to another mission. Or it can come in the form of an Easter Egg-type of situation, like a piano that keeps playing a song you have to decipher.
Regardless of the case, puzzles have been introduced into video games since their inception. Today, they are equally sought after as Easter Eggs or special missions are. A good puzzle is not a game killer, although many people are not enjoying them, especially after a hard mission in itself. Yet most gamers who encounter a puzzle, fortunately, have the option to play or not.
Ten Hardest Video Game Puzzles
Now that we know what a video game puzzle is (not an actual game, a part of a game, usually weird and having you do something strange in order to get past an awkward goat) it’s time to dive right into the matter. These are the ten hardest video game puzzles we could find on the internet. Some we even encountered during our own gameplay. Sit back, panic, and enjoy!
The goat from Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars - Broken Sword is one puzzle game in itself. Yet the most interesting thing in the game is a goat. The puzzles in the game are reasonable enough, although you need a bit of thinking done in order to move forward. When entering a castle though, a notorious goat welcomes you. And butts you when you get too close. The solution to getting past this unpassable goat, infamous as it is, is to let him goat-butt you. As you get up, click on the broken cart nearby and make sure the goat gets blocked in it the next time it tries to attack you. There, now you know how to pass the butting goat, your day is so much better now.
Resetting the computer from X-Men - Sega Genesis has had some incredible games coming up and X-Men was one of them. All you had to do was to pick one of the famous members of the team, and then beat up some enemies from the comics. And do it all over again until the end credits. 100s of games following the same pattern were released back in the 1990s. X-Men would be the same if not for one particular puzzle in the famous Mojo's Crunch level. After defeating the enemies and the boss, you need to reset a computer. That is your only instruction moving forward. This is required in order to restore order in the danger room. As simple as it sounds, the room contains no computer. Anywhere. What do you do? How do you reset the computer when there's no computer? Well, you need to reset the real-world one, as in, your console. Physically pushing the reset button on your controller will allow you to move forward from this stomp of a puzzle.
The Water Temple from The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time - The Water Temple from the Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time is one of those gaming places people still remember now, 30 years after its creation. The great thing about this place is that there is not just one puzzle you stumble upon but a plethora of confusing and ungodly mechanics. Besides the fact you have to put on and remove your iron boots if you want to walk underwater or not. And keep playing with the water level in order to move forward in the game. And you are getting back at the start if you do anything wrong. The Water Temple is undoubtedly one of the more serious exercises in patience ever produced.
The Piano Puzzle from Silent Hill - When people say the name of this game out loud, most of them think about horrors and undead terrors. But Silent Hill is far greater of a series than that. And when it comes to puzzles, it has raised the bar considerably among the genre. Two medals are asked from the protagonist at one point in the first game. You just need some shiny things, you know. One of the medallions, the silver one, requires you to play the piano, a song in a specific order. The only clue? A poem called “A Tale of Birds Without a Voice.” It has little to do with the music, this poem, but with the birds! It's a true pain this one.
Braille puzzle in Pokémon: Ruby and Sapphire - Pokemon games are among the easiest RPGs ever made. So when a third generation came along, gamers found it interesting that they had to face a series of unclear Braille puzzles. These puzzles were for three legendary beasts, and in order to solve them, you need a translation guide which can be found somewhere in a cave. Yet it cannot be saved to be used later. You simply have to write down the Braille alphabet and then go through the weird rules to solve the puzzles. Some rules include having certain pokemon in your party or using moves where you should not. You will eventually catch them all, even the three legendary, Braille-protected ones. Looking up the solutions online is also a possibility, or skipping this optional puzzle and moving on.
Deaf Prisoner from RuneScape - People on Earth know how to talk with deaf people. We have sign language, as well as written words in order to understand each other. Yet in the logic of old video games, things are not that simple. In RuneScape, your mission is to find a pirate at one time. The only one who has some information of this infamous character is a deaf prisoner. While he is in jail serving his sentence, that's the only real-life similarity between the two cases. Before you can write the prisoner a note you have to take a bath in fish stew. Nobody knows why. Then an accordion shows up and you have to stuff paper and ink into it. Again, no idea why. And then, you use a vacuum pump to take down a seagull. Although old, this is still one of the best video game puzzles ever made.
The Selenitic Age from Myst - If you are curious about why most of these games are from the pre-modern era, it is because developers back then had to put puzzles in their titles to make them more interesting. This is because graphics were not a thing back then, at least not so much of a thing as today. Myst was one of the first graphics-enhanced title out there but the puzzles were still in it, thanks to the heavens. Coming on the CD, it's also one of the most destroyed games, physically, in history thanks to its nonsensical puzzles. One of them is The Selenitic Agen, in which you need to find AND record sounds, play them back, and then go through a maze that is sound-navigated. Yeah…
The Babel Fish Vending Machine in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - If there's one game or book that most people with a modem know about, it's this one. And besides 42 and other revelations, the vending machine puzzle in this game is annoying and fun at the same time. In order to translate from Vogon into English, you need to buy a Babel fish from a vending machine. Sounds quite easy, right? No. There are STEPS you need to put into it before you can make the purchase. The steps are really impossibly annoying. And if you fail 5 times, the number of fish available in the vending machine, you have to restart the entire game.
The infamous Challenge from The Witness - This title from Jonathan Blow is filled with puzzles that pretty much work in the same way. You get a puzzle out of hundreds of them available, you draw paths, some difficult, and then you figure them out if you don't run out of time. And if you fail there's always the internet, right? Well, not if you're stuck on The Challenge puzzle, which breaks all of the rules. When the timer starts, you have to complete 14 puzzles generated at random. Pausing the game to look for solutions online will reset the mission. You cannot cheat. Very few The Witness players can complete this one and for very good reasons. It's impossible.
Name the gnome from King’s Quest - We saved the hardest for last. Viewed as the hardest puzzle in a video game ever made, by veteran gamers and many gaming communities out there, the King's Quest puzzle is hell. Although people figure it out eventually, the frustration behind-the-scenes of the solution is simply crazy. You come across a gnome at some point, who wants you to guess his name. A certain "R" name comes up in your mind but this is surely wrong. The only clue? "Think backwards". And if you do this, spelling the name backwards, you are still wrong. What's the solution? Spell the whole alphabet backwards, and then spell the name of the gnome, “Ifnkovhgroghprm.” Stupid? Yes. Brilliant? Also... almost.
How To Solve Game Puzzles
A video game puzzle is usually not harder than a very hard mission. It’s the weirdness of the task that stomps most gamers. Why? Because the idea of a puzzle within a game is more challenging than the actual game. So people usually go on the web to try and find out how to pass the puzzle. Not realising the whole fun of it is in actually putting in the effort to solve it.
How do you solve a video game puzzle? It’s all about trial and error, as well as marking your progress. First of all, see what the puzzle is all about when you get to it. Is it about discovering some hidden map, object, or other benefits? Is it a character that tries to tell you something? If doesn’t bring much value to the gameplay, and is not mandatory, you can pass by it easily.
If on the other hand the puzzle gets your attention and you want to solve it, start interacting with it. Mark your progress by seeing what happens when you do this and that. Do this on your phone or with a pen and paper. By noting down what you do and where you are, you can see your progress and therefore have a better understanding of where you’re going. You run it.
When the puzzle doesn’t run you, and you’re not going at it blindly, you have set up a system that will ultimately get you to its solution. And although the end credits rolling down your screen as you finish a video game is amazing, there’s nothing better than figuring out what a goat that keeps butting you wants from your hero. And when you do figure it out… really, that was it?!?