If you’re a gamer (which you probably are if you’re reading this), you know there can be times during a video game where you run into some really difficult puzzles. Possibly even one of the 10 Most Difficult Puzzles in Video Games entries. We’ve experienced this, too, and we think more players should be aware of these stinkers in the community. Some of them are easy to come by since they have to be solved in order to continue the game. Others, though, are so well hidden that you’d have to know what you’re looking for to find them. Take a look at some examples with the 10 Most Difficult Puzzles in Video Games.
The Piano Puzzle
Coming in as #10 in our 10 Most Difficult Puzzles in Video Games might not come as a shock to you. Whenever people think of difficult puzzles, they might remember this particular one - the piano puzzle in Silent Hill. This puzzle consists of an encrypted code that, when deciphered, shows the order of keys that need to be played on a broken piano to get the Silver Medallion. So where is this code at? Inside of a poem, of course. The poem speaks about birds where the colors of said birds are either black or white, much like the keys of the piano. The player has to determine what keys are associated with each bird and what order the keys need to be played in. After messing up the first few times, you might just want to consult the internet.
Imagine this: you’ve been your point-and-click adventure game for a while with the same level of pace and play throughout the whole thing. Analyzing and planning is the key component to getting past all the prior puzzles, so you think it’s just all brain power until the end. Wrong. A few hours into the game, you come across a goat that will kick your player away from entering the next area. By processing of elimination, you’d think that it’s a simple click away from getting past the damn thing. Unknowingly to a lot of players at the time, this puzzle required fast reflexes where you had to immediately click the farm machinery right after the goat attacks you. The difficulty was more into the switch of gears rather than brainpower.
Name that Gnome
If one of the most asked questions for your company's hotline is, "what's the answer to this puzzle?" then you know you have a difficult puzzle that needs solving. We're talking about the one found in King's Quest where Sir Graham is challenged by a gnome to guess his name. If you've paid attention while playing, you'd notice a lot of elements from Grimm's Fairy Tales. A lot of people guessed that "Rumplestiltskin" would be the match, but it was wrong. The way you need to figure this out is to find an irrelevant-looking note located in the witch's house that reads "sometimes it's wise to think backwards". Instead of using common sense and thinking it's "Rumplestiltskin" spelled backwards, you need to take it an extra step. Reversing the alphabet itself and matching the letters of the above name to the reverse order of letters (A is Z, B is Y, C is X, etc.) is the way to do it. In the end, your answer is "Ifnkovhgroghprm". Really? Ugh.
The Babel Fish
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
This puzzle can get really absurd when you know what it takes to actual beat it. The player comes across a vending machine that only has five fish in it, and to make the game beatable, you need one of these fish. Be careful, though – one wrong move and you'll have to start over again. When the player attempts to get the first fish, it shoots out of the machine and into a hole. To stop the next fish from doing the same, the player can place their dressing gown in front of the hole. This continues on with fish being shot out and being misplaced or swept away by inconveniences like cleaning robots and more unreachable areas. In order to actually get the fish in the end, you need to put some junk mail onto a satchel that you placed in front of a floor robot. This causes the junk mail to fly into the air for a flying robot to take care of instead of snatching away the fish, leaving you with the option to safely retrieve it.
Silent Hill 3
In order to solve this upcoming puzzle (which only appears to the hardest difficulty mode, respectively), you’re either going to need to know a lot about Shakespeare or have internet access. In Silent Hill 3, you come across a poem in a bookstore that looks like ordinary at first. If you’re a regular player of the psychological horror genre, you’d know that’s not the case. In this poem, each stanza is a representation of one of his plays. When you figure out exactly what you need this as a reference for, you’ll realize all you need is a four digit code whereas the stanzas are totaled to 5. You need analyze the fifth stanza to decipher the math needed to break into the other four stanzas and make the code. This just got really silly, didn't it?
The Rubber Duck
The Longest Journey
You know puzzles are just getting out of hand when you read #5 in our list of the 10 Most Difficult Puzzles in Video Games. In The Longest Journey, the player comes across a key that is lodged into a subway track. In order to retrieve this key, you need to go through what feels like the longest series of events. First, you need to go back to your apartment to get a clamp. This clamp can only be taken off a water pressure system if you use a gold ring to conduct electricity and get the system powered up, thus loosening the clamp. After that, you need to look outside your apartment's window and throw food crumbs at a rubber duck down below. This will make a seagull come down to feast on the crumbs, ultimately damaging the toy. Then, grab a clothesline, head out of the apartment, locate the duck, tie the line to the clamp, put it through the opening of the toy, and re-inflate the duck the make the clamp stay open. Lastly, as you position this contraption over the key, the duck will need to deflate in order for the clamp to shut on the key. Not so simple, is it?
The Water Temple
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
This isn't so much a puzzle as it is a level, but nonetheless it is a level that is full of said puzzles. When playing through the Water Temple in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, you don't just run into one tough spot. No, you're being fed by the spoonful. It seems like you're always raising or lowering the water levels. Plus, you're getting yourself caught in traps, walking around aimlessly in mazes, tricked by illusions, and getting yourself involved in a bucket full of puzzles. Almost every gamer who has gotten that far in the game can tell you it is a nightmare to go through. (Speaking from my own personal experience, it is the level that caused me to put the game down for many years. These attributes should quality it for our list.)
The Black Monolith
You should be prepared to experience a difficult puzzle if you've willingly decided to play a game that is known for them. Fez is one of those, giving players a taste of obscurity and, a lot of the time, frustration. If you've ever played this, you know what the Black Monolith is. This single puzzle has brought together the Fez community in ways other games have never done. Players have dedicated hours upon hours trying to figure this out with the help of fellow fans. To make it short and sweet (and skip the tons of theories already out there), the fans have agreed that there is a translation somewhere in the game that holds the answer. This answer will lead us to a combination of buttons that will open other areas of the room, ultimately leading up to the red cube we’re all searching for.
Gabriel Knight 3
This puzzle is not only difficult but absurd. If you want to solve something that lacks any common sense to begin with, this is your golden moment. In the game Gabriel Knight 3, the character comes across a point in time where he needs to impersonate someone to get a reserved motorcycle. Instead of just stealing the damn thing, he goes through the hassle of stealing other various things in order to look like the guy. One part of the process involves a mustache (which the other guy doesn’t even have). You’re then forced to find a hole in a door, get a piece of tape and attach it to the hole, and use a spray bottle to scare a cat who runs into it. Now that you got your fake “cat mustache” after a series of ridiculous events, it’s time to get that motorcycle.
The Hidden Ending
Finally, we come to the #1 entry on our 10 Most Difficult Puzzles in Video Games. Remember when we said some puzzles are just too well hidden? This is one of those gems. If you’re the average Braid player, you’d probably never know about this. (Good thing we’re letting you in on the good stuff, huh?) In order to see the hidden ending, you need to collect eight hidden stars that are scattered throughout the game. It doesn’t sound too hard until you get to the nitty, gritty details. Some of them are hidden off of the screen, two of them need to be collected in order of one another, and another requires patience – over an hour of it while waiting for a cloud to come into view to make a path. We should also mention this has to be done in one play through. If you screw up, you gotta start all over again.