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Old 06-08-2007, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default Silly/Stupid puzzles (Spoilers)

I just started playing Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express and I actually can't believe how silly the first "puzzle/task" is. There are always two people standing in a wide road, in one section there is even a large sidewalk to the right of the road but the main character must perform tasks for the people standing in the road to get by- even though there is more then enough space to just walk around.

I have really never had a task in a game with such a stupid premise. Do any of you have some other good examples of puzzles where you really wondered how they made it in the game? That just don't make any sense in the game they are in?

Another classic example for me would be in Syberia when Kate made the mentally disabled boy do all the work. Although that was plausible for Kate I guess, since she seemed like a very unfriendly, lazy person
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:55 PM   #2
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Goat on a rope in BS1 has always been a thorn in my side. I hate most timing puzzles.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:55 PM   #3
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GK3 cat-moustache puzzle FTW!!!


lol
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostPirateLechuck View Post
Goat on a rope in BS1 has always been a thorn in my side. I hate most timing puzzles.
I second that. Lol, at least it was funny.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:42 PM   #5
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That damned cookie-making puzzle in Still Life. The game ground to a standstill, it was completely irrelevant, went completely against the mood and grain of the game, and was vague and stupidly designed to boot.
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:13 PM   #6
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I can think of at least 3 in MI4.
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Old 06-09-2007, 03:57 AM   #7
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Tunguska secret files, taping your cell phone to the back of a cat so you can record what is being said in someones house.
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Old 06-09-2007, 07:56 AM   #8
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I loathe so many kinds of puzzles.

Items that you know fine well you'll need later on - Cameras, rope, poles, you know, the adventure game basics - that you can't pick up, or sometimes even interact with, until you have a particular conversation. See also places a character will refuse to enter/investigate/open.

"I have no reason to open that cupboard"

What?! You'll pick up bloody rags from a dustbin to fashion a rudimentary rope, but you won't open Doctor Thevillain's cupboard of secret plans and exposition, because you currently don't see the point?!*


I'm also not a fan of timing puzzles. Particularly ones where your actions have to coincide with, say, the direction that another character is facing, as they're seldom clear and, if your timing is coincidentally wrong, it's easy to think that a phrase such as "But they'll see me" means that you're barking up the wrong tree entirely.


Another hated - and for this example, theoretical - scenario. Despite being surrounded by the bountious wealth of mother nature herself, your character has their heart set on eating a coconut: Find an outrageously illogical way of opening it, all the while, ignoring the bananas, apples, roast suckling pigs, supermarket chains and 'free all day' five star restaurants that seem a much more feasible option to the player.

Not a puzzle as such, but that horrible feeling you get when you've completed all the objectives you can currently think of, and yet no new leads are presented to you. How are you meant to know that, to continue the game, you have to return and sit in your room?!

What else... it's fun, this... oh, characters who refuse to pick up things that are dirty/wet, when it's obvious they need to.

Those literal puzzle puzzles - sliders, chess set ups and the like - that offer no clue as to their solution. It's grim arriving at a point where a dull, static screen is all that awaits you, flatly refusing to offer up the slightest hint of what it is you have to do. The cookie puzzle in Still Life is a good example of this. If they'd had another clue somewhere in the kitchen it would have helped, but as it was you just had to mindlessly plough on, knowing that you'd probably have made a mistake, but never knowing until the whole damn procedure had been run through.

Click on the same hotspot 357 times to discover something, is another pet hate. In fact, I don't think I actually like adventure games at all! What have I been doing with my life?!


*This is a hypothetical game, fact fans. Don't start rushing out trying to find it. It's in my head.

Last edited by noknowncure; 06-09-2007 at 08:04 AM. Reason: Grumpiness and more ideas
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Old 06-09-2007, 09:51 AM   #9
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That puzzle in Runaway where you had to get that thing out of the mud and Brian wouldn't put his hand in there? Oh yeah, it makes make much more sense to drop a pot on it from high up instead of just reaching into it... (excuse me if that isn't how it goes I played it a while ago and can't remember the puzzles)

And this isn't specific, but I hate it when you have no clue as to what to do and just roam around. Like you finish a puzzle.... and then what? Much like in BS1, when you give the priest the chalice to clean and George says he wants to look around the church. Ok. How the hell are you supposed to know to put the lens in the scroll?
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Items that you know fine well you'll need later on ... that you can't pick up, or sometimes even interact with, until you have a particular conversation.
Yes, like the bloody hat in GK3. "No point in getting it", says Gab, but later on he (perhaps not the player) does see a reason to grab it . But the opposite: in Paradise you suddenly need some water. Presto! A jar appears somewhere else with the water needed, if you happen to notice it.

In general: there are some points in which the character you control seems to know more than you do. Other, it's the opposite - I guess that's better. April Ryan even jokes in TLJ: "Got it! And this is good... why?".
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Old 06-10-2007, 12:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sand maester View Post
That puzzle in Runaway where you had to get that thing out of the mud and Brian wouldn't put his hand in there? Oh yeah, it makes make much more sense to drop a pot on it from high up instead of just reaching into it... (excuse me if that isn't how it goes I played it a while ago and can't remember the puzzles)
Ding ding ding!! My winner Also, the final puzzle of Phantasmagoria 2 - primarily because it doesn't fit in with any other aspect of the game.
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noknowncure View Post
I loathe so many kinds of puzzles.

Items that you know fine well you'll need later on - Cameras, rope, poles, you know, the adventure game basics - that you can't pick up, or sometimes even interact with, until you have a particular conversation. See also places a character will refuse to enter/investigate/open.

"I have no reason to open that cupboard"

What?! You'll pick up bloody rags from a dustbin to fashion a rudimentary rope, but you won't open Doctor Thevillain's cupboard of secret plans and exposition, because you currently don't see the point?!*

What else... it's fun, this... oh, characters who refuse to pick up things that are dirty/wet, when it's obvious they need to.
Two great points! I hate it when characters who will otherwise look in the garbage, sewers, etc suddenly have some strange aversion to shallow water or don't want to open or touch something even though they have done it with similar items thousands of times before.

I think if it is the type of game where the gamer has a huge inventory then you should be able to collect everything right away. In real life you can pick up the coffee cup at any time- not just when your boss mentions she'd like a cup of coffee.

I know we talk about things adventure games could do better a lot on this board, and this would be one of the main things I would change. The puzzles and tasks should make sense for the character and their "world".
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:22 AM   #13
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I think if it is the type of game where the gamer has a huge inventory then you should be able to collect everything right away. In real life you can pick up the coffee cup at any time- not just when your boss mentions she'd like a cup of coffee.
That describes it perfectly!
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Old 06-10-2007, 07:30 AM   #14
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I can't stand illogical puzzles or unexplainable actions. The truck/lemon puzzle from Tunguska reigns supreme. Hell, the entire game deserves a mention for daft puzzle design and unnatural character behavior.

I am also finding that Sherlock Holmes; The Awakened is presenting exactly the kind of restrictive, linear, and wholly illogical types of puzzles I have come to dread in adventure games. In fact, I find that I'm enjoying Heroes of Might and Magic, Knights of The Old Republic, and Oblivion more than I enjoy most adventure games. My daft puzzle tolerance seems to have plummeted over the last year

...however we just started Dark Fall and so far I'm enjoying it.
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:22 AM   #15
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...however we just started Dark Fall and so far I'm enjoying it.
I LOVED the first Dark Fall!!! Especially the dialogue, and the way you could come up with conversations. Reminded me of the strange stuff that would come up in Starship Titanic, when you talked to different 'bots.
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:48 AM   #16
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The first Dark Fall: masterpiece of atmosphere. I also loved that game!
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:11 AM   #17
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I thought
Spoiler:
using sunlight and a magnifying glass to solder something
in Runaway 2 was pretty stupid.

But the one that's still my personal favorite was in Fifth Disciple
Spoiler:
where your character had to chop off his own head to solve the puzzle
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:56 AM   #18
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Firefly puzzle in Uru.

I hate puzzles like that, where I'm forced to create a bridge over something that I could easily just... step over.
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Old 06-10-2007, 11:43 AM   #19
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For me, and this has been articulated very well by others, the original attraction of adventure games was the feeling of freedom that you could do (or at least try) anything you wanted to. Unlike other games, where your options are limited to "go left, go right, go forward, shoot," adventure games allowed you to tackle problems using a much broader range of actions and objects. The really good games actually made you feel like you could do literally anything (even though this was obviously an illusion).

The beginning of the end of freedom in adventure games started when the genre went graphical, and every new generation of adventure seems to offer the player fewer and fewer opportunities to attempt ideas that occur during the game. Everything we're talking about here applies.

Designer: "No, you can't reach into that puddle of mud, because I have decided that the only way you can extract the key is to disperse the mud with a heavy pot dropped from thirty feet above."
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Designer: "No, you can't reach into that puddle of mud, because I have decided that the only way you can extract the key is to disperse the mud with a heavy pot dropped from thirty feet above."
Haha. You just reminded me of another dumb puzzle from Tunguska.
Spoiler:
The one where Max (was it Max or Nina? I can't even recall) needs to get the chimney hat off the chimney pipe. Instead of crawling out a window onto the roof, or even throwing a rock up to knock it off, a ridiculous catapult device is fabricated using a plank, a rock, the fireplace, and a chandelier.


Mind bogglingly stupid.
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