Author Topic: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever  (Read 2707 times)

Monsieur OUXX

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This is meant to be an extensive list of every possible type of adventure games puzzles ever used in any type of videogames.
You're invited to complete it.

If you read carefully, you'll see that some puzzles are very generic and don't need to be repeated in the list. They can be summarized in an asbtract description, as it's meant here. don't focus on the situations, focus on the mechanism.

Put thing in hole, aka key
There's a hole with a specific shape, and you must find an object tat fits in it.
Seen in : the dig, where you don't really know what you're doing but every hole seems to have a crystal with the same shape meant to fit in it.

Tool
There's a contraption that can work only with a specific tool, that you're expected to identify. You're supposed to understand that it's irreplaceable because of its shape and size.
Seen in: any game with a screwdriver. the tool can have an approximate subsitute, like the spear head in Fate of atlantis or the Monkey wrench in MI2.

Alternate reality
You can visit the same room either in another dimension or in a different time period, and whatever you do here will affect the state of the room in the other "reality".
Seen in : Day of the tentacle (future/past rooms), Unavowed (when you're a ghost nobody sees you while you visit the room)

Remote trigger, aka magnet
The lever in the room is blocked by something that you are never meant to overcome, but you can remotely trigger the object with some other device.
Seen in : Monkey Island, when you steal the key using the magnet. Nelly cootalot, when you work out the lift controls to drop a crate onto the villain.

I can't walk there
There's a part of the room where you can't go but there's counterintuitive way to go there.
Seen in : Fate of Atlantis, when you crawl down the ventialtion shaft to spawn in a different room behind the robot statue. Flight of the amazon queen, when you're in the amazon city and must take the proper corridors to wlak on the other side of a channel.

Trap
There's a critter in a room that walks around seemingly randomly and you must wait for the right time or push it to catch it.
seen in Fate of Atlantis, when you put the ribcage in a pond and wait for a crab to get caught. Also seen in Fate of Atlantis when you wait for the jungle rodent to move in front of the right jungle path.

Hidden dialog
There's a dialog option that will appear only if you follow a specific dialog options sequence and/or exhaust all dialog options. If you choose the wrong option then the dialog "reboots" and the hidden option goes unnoticed.
Seen in : Fate of Atlantis, when you try to convince the bouncer to let you in. Any dialog line where you criticize Madame Sophia brings you back to dialog start. The final winning option is a compliment.

Insults fight
Any sentence said by the other characer must be answered by you with the corresponding line of dialog until you win.
Seen in : Monkey island (swordfight)

Have someone else do it
You cannot perform the action yourself but you can ask your sidekick to do it.
Seen in : fate of Atlantis (ask Sophia to do it)

Wait for the right time
The action that you perform will succeed only if you click at the right time / if it matches some not-too-obvious ingame timer.
Seen in : Monkey Island 2 when you must spit precisely when the wind is blowing.

The parrot knows
A dialog option in suggested to you by a character that seems to talk unrelated nonsense.
Seen in : Fate of Atlantis, when the parrot says "hermocrates", which is actually the answer to Sternhardt's riddle. Until then the player character is offered a seemingly infinite number of wrong answers.

Follow the navigator's head
In every room the player must consult a tracking device that tells him to go North, South, East or West.
Seen in : Fate f Atlantis, when you check the orichalcum fish on a string. Monkey Island, when you ceck the navigator's head.
See also : Listen to the noises

Listen to the noises

In every room the player must listen to a sound that tells him/her to go North, South, East or West.
Seen in : Telltale Monkey Island.
See also : Follow the navigator's head

Trigger something in a different room
You activate something in the current room, expecting it to have a consequence in another room, off-screen.
Seen in : last Crusade, in the catacombs, when you unplug the plug on the ceiling and it emptues the pond the room above.
See also : Pull something from a different room

Pull something from a different room
In the passageway leading to the previous room where you left an object, you can still (barely) see that object. You find a way to pull it into the current room.
Seen in : Fate of Atlantis, when you whip in a statue head into the current room, in the Crete labyrinth.
see also : Trigger something in a different room
Empty pond/fill pond

Approximate recipe
You must follow a recipe but you use substitue ingredients, based on puns or resemblance.
Seen in : Monkey Island (use black powder instead of pepper). Kyrandia 2 : all the magic spells.

Disguise
You are forbidden to walk past a certain area unless your character is wearing some outfit
Seen in : Last crusade, where you have to dress as a nazi or as a waiter.

Coordinates
Your guide asks you "where do you want to go?" and you must answer with a set of coordinates that were provided to you separately. Only the proper combination of coordinates works (e.g. "12 degrees South, 6 degrees North")
Seen in : Monkey Island 2 (to find the wreckage of the ship) , Fate of Atlantis (when you go down the entrance of Atlantis in a scaphander)

Repeat until it works
Trigger a room element until it does something. The first attempt doesn't work. You're being given a hint that, even though unsuccessful, every attempt is not the same as the previous one.
Seen in : (I can't remember, but basically the character says something different every time he fails, and eventually succeeds)
See also : Exhaust neverending dialog

Exhaust neverending dialog
Say the same line of dialog repeatedly to a character. He will refuse to do what you ask every time, but finally accepts afyer many attemps.
You're usually given a different answer at every attemp, to give you a hint that each attempt is different.
Seen in : Monkey Island, when you ask the navigator head to give you his magic necklace, and he'll refuse numerous times. All you have to do is to insist.
See also : Repeat until it works

did you listen to what I said?
A character asks you a question about something he said earlier in the game. You need to give the right answer.
Seen in : Fate of Atlantis, when Trottier asks you what his favorite passtime is.
See also : Did you read the book?

Did you read the book?
A character asks you a question about something you're supposed to have read. It's a game designer trick to make sure you're ready to go on with the adventure.
Seen in : Fate of Atlantis, when Trottier asks you questions about the contents of the Lost Dialog to prove to him that you have read it.
See also : Did you listen to what I said?


What would you add to this list?


« Last Edit: 13 Nov 2018, 23:23 by Monsieur OUXX »
 

Joseph DiPerla

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #1 on: 13 Nov 2018, 00:15 »
Wow! Very nice. Thank you for this!
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Danvzare

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #2 on: 13 Nov 2018, 13:29 »
Long hooked thing
There's something that's too far to grab, so you need to pick up something long, and something hooked, to combine them and reach the distant thing.
Seen in : Curse of Monkey Island, Zak McKracken Between Time and Space, most Maniac Mansion Mania episodes, and many many other games.

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #3 on: 13 Nov 2018, 14:52 »
I would add:

Mazes - unfortunately.

Code Breaking - of course.

Ludicrous Lock - whereby a puzzle or minigame kind prevents progress, usually quite unreasonably.

And I'm not sure how to define this one, but something to do with Cultural Understanding? Like learning the numbering system in Riven or Fez? Or working out the purpose for which a machine was designed and taking action accordingly.

tzachs

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #4 on: 13 Nov 2018, 17:28 »
LostTrainDude did a very nice lecture on this:

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #5 on: 13 Nov 2018, 17:43 »
Nice thread!

Trading
A character has an item you need and is willing to trade it for another item.

selmiak

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #6 on: 13 Nov 2018, 19:45 »
replace something
To get that item you need, you replace it with something similar.
Seen in: Monkey Island 2 - get the book on Phatt's belly, replace it with another book or he wakes up, this is imho the best animation for this puzzle. another example might be indy in raider of the lost ark, the movie, with the idol in the beginning, but that's a movie, but you get the idea...

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #7 on: 13 Nov 2018, 20:18 »


Mazes

Code Breaking


You need to define them. That's too vague as it is.

Tell me if this is what you had on mind :
Maze
You must walk from room to room and find the exit through trial and error.
Seen in : King's Quest VI (minotaur), Kyrandia 1 (dragon cave)

Code breaking
You must decipher or encode a word or sentence, by finding the meaning of each letter or word.
Seen in : Indy & the fountain of youth (demo), when you have to type in a sentence where all the words are pictograms and you get the definition of each pictogram from translated sentences written somewhere else.

I'm adding these new ones :

Burning candle
You're in possession of an object that consumes itself and you must use it before it's entirely gone (timer). There are two variations (seen below). Variation #1 requires you to use the object (the object is useful at the end), while variation #2 doesn't require you to use the object (it's useful for as long as it hasn't run out)
Seen in : Variation #1 = Monkey Island when you must use the grog onto the cell before the grog melts the mug.
Variation #2 = Kyrandia 1 when you must pick up fire berries and exit the maze before they run cold (and stop making light)


Walk at the same pace
Walk at the right speed and stop when you're being told to stop, until you win the puzzle
Seen in : Inside, when you have to walk in line, walk forward and stop a the same pace as every zombie in the queue, so that the video camera does not detect you amongst them.

and those from the video

Distract-and-grab
A variation of the timed puzzle where you perform an action that will distract an NPC (he will look away or move away teporarily) and you must perform your winning action while he does so.
Seen in : Maniac Mansion, when you ring the doorbell and you can steal stuff from Weird Ed while he goes to answer the door.

Tracking
An NPC leaves the room and you must follow him/her from room to room until he/she unwillingly leads you somewhere.
Seen in : Monkey Island, when you follow the shop owner into the forrest.

Memory-based
you see a sequence that you must repeat.
Seen in : monkey island when you must open the safe by repeating the combination that you've sen before. Monkey Island 3 when you must repeat the right banjo notes sequence during the duel.

Staircase to nowhere
None of the dialog options that you're being offered are interesting, but it's only after exhausting them all that you will be offred a new, hidden option.
Seen in : Monkey island 2, when you have to exhaust the absurdly long list of colors offered to the player as dialog options in response to Herman Toothrot teaching you philosophy.

Search engine
you can virtually type anything into a search box but you have to be clever with your choices to get interesting information
Seen in : her story. Primitive version of this puzzle seen in : Monkey island 2, when you have to find the wreckage coordinates in the giant book index of the library.

The password is on a sticker
You must fond a password and it's written somehwere around
Seen in : an advanced version of this puzzle is found in unavowed: There's a sticker that says "old man, man, horse" and another sticker that says "leg". The code is "3, 2, 4", the number of legs of each of those.

« Last Edit: 16 Nov 2018, 13:01 by Monsieur OUXX »
 

Danvzare

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #8 on: 14 Nov 2018, 13:14 »
Liquid in a container
There's some sort of liquid, usually water, and you need to pick it up by putting it in something, like a bucket.
Seen in : Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Deponia, and many many others.

Yeah, I know that might seem a bit too generic. But it is usually a genuine attempt at a puzzle in adventure games. Simply figuring out that the container can be used as a container is usually part of the puzzle.

Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #9 on: 14 Nov 2018, 14:26 »
Liquid in a container
There's some sort of liquid, usually water, and you need to pick it up by putting it in something, like a bucket.
Seen in : Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Deponia, and many many others.

Yeah, I know that might seem a bit too generic. But it is usually a genuine attempt at a puzzle in adventure games. Simply figuring out that the container can be used as a container is usually part of the puzzle.
One puzzle with liquid I've seen used in numerous games is the puzzle where you have a 5 unit jug and a 3 unit jug, and need to use both in order to fill the 5 unit jug with 4 units.
I've seen this in at least three different adventure games and even one Bruce Willis movie. I've no idea why everyone recycles this puzzle but I've seen it a lot.

Joseph DiPerla

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #10 on: 14 Nov 2018, 16:19 »
Last crusade had a jar you had to put in liquid to get a key from Indys office.
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Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #11 on: 14 Nov 2018, 22:50 »
Liquid in a container
There's some sort of liquid, usually water, and you need to pick it up by putting it in something, like a bucket.
Seen in : Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Deponia, and many many others.

Yeah, I know that might seem a bit too generic. But it is usually a genuine attempt at a puzzle in adventure games. Simply figuring out that the container can be used as a container is usually part of the puzzle.

I would rephrase it like this :
Liquid in a container
Somehow there is only one container in the world to carry this liquid.
Seen in : Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Deponia, and many many others.
Variation: You need to take an object immerged inside a container. Somehow you can't just drop the liquid on the ground, you have to find another container to swap.
Seen in : Last Crusade
« Last Edit: 15 Nov 2018, 15:07 by Monsieur OUXX »
 

Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #12 on: 15 Nov 2018, 08:13 »

Use only the horse on chessboard
seen in 7th guest and Gabriel Knight 3.

_

Danvzare

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #13 on: 15 Nov 2018, 13:06 »
I would rephrase it like this :
Liquid in a container
Somehow there is only one container in the world fit to store this liquid.
Seen in : Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Deponia, and many many others.
Variation: If you're trying to empty the liquid from a container to take an object that's immerged inside of it, then you can't just drop the liquid on the ground, you have to find another container to swap.
Seen in : Last Crusade

That is much better than what I wrote. I love it! :-D

Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #14 on: 15 Nov 2018, 22:28 »
good summarizing categorization.

Sadly many of these can be condensed to "fetch quest", asserting that even a meme like "open sesame" is a spell-entity that can be found and transported.

Fetch quests are not what makes fetch quests a bad trope. the general badness of puzzles comes from out-of-context diegesis (when the UI is separated too far from the story/gameplay in utility/theme/space )
, when puzzle and solution are removed too far from each other, and require too many assumptions to jump to one true conclusion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_separation

A good puzzle exists in harmony with its environment/theme, with a close and personal correlation, and not in an antagonistic obscured contrast against it.

Lateral thinking, permuting (combining puzzles), or serendipity (unusual novel utility that still makes sense) are useful, but puns/DoublkeEntendres/Albures/Ambiguities localize poorly!

beware tvtropes.com where some puzzles come with attatched strings of being overused or used in unfit contexts, or ad-absurdum in any way.

Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #15 on: 15 Nov 2018, 22:36 »
I think an extreme example of "Staircase to nowhere" is one [hinting system in monkey island 2] that is hidden behind an absurdly long dialog tree of color names.

Spoiler: ShowHide
Spoiler: ShowHide


is clearly satire against:


guybrush "could you teach me some philosophy"
herman toothrot "okay here is a zen-koan for you"
guybrush "what?"
herman toothrot "a philosophical puzzle, if a tree falls in a forest an no ones is around to hear it, what color is the tree."

guybrush has a very long dialog tree of color names, a lot of them are X11-CSS-color labels of
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X11_color_names
(thouch "rebecca purple" is left out, and likely replaced by "Deep purple")

(listed below are only (the slightly more creative/unique) and not (common) x11-colors that guybruah can guess):
 ForestGreen
 Lavender
 Puse
 Taupe
 BurntSienna
 RawUmber
 Sepia
 Mulberry
 Perriwinkle
 Orchid
 Plum 
 peach
 Aubergine
 Teal
 Mustard
 Cabernet
 Slate
 Smoke
 Brick
 Chartreuse
 Cherry
 Wisteria
 Raspberry
 Vanilla
 Asparagus
 Cranberry
 Sangria
 Eggshell
 Driftwood
 Sumac
 Alpaca
 StormGrey
 EveningHaze
 Tarragon
 Sachet
 Venetian
 Juniper
 Drizzle
 SweetPotato
 Bayou
 Manilla (not a typo)
 Mackintosh Red (is a monkey island color)
 Mange
 Sharkbite
 SashimiGreen
 Ebony
 Ivory
 Menthol
 Sahara
 Salmon
 Oxblood
 Robin'sEgg
 Ash
 Spice
 Copper
 WeatheredPewter
 Vernillion
 MetallicBurgundy
 Russet
 CadmiumWhite
 Cerulean
 TealocyanideGreen
 ochre
 Deep purple
 beryl
 OatmealHeather
 AllColors


you have to collect 3 crackers, but most of the locale is a noneuclidean-teleporting maze?
you likely are missing the last 1/3 crackers.
Herman Toothrot is a philosopher and the only other human in your locale, mostly appears to be a waste of time and red herring
, and all you can talk to him for a while is a guessing game about a color name, from a list of almost 100 color names, on philosophy.
Each color name can only be guessed once, they are all false.
after exhausting trough the long list of responses, the NPC-is-out-of-dialog-options is actually an almost useful hint on how to progress.
« Last Edit: 15 Nov 2018, 22:53 by ollj »

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #16 on: 16 Nov 2018, 13:00 »
An extreme example of "Staircase to nowhere" is in monkey island 2, where a hint is hidden after an absurdly long dialog tree of color names.
Each color name can only be guessed once, they are all false. After exhausting trough the long list of responses, [the rest of the adventure gets unlocked].

Great example
 

Danvzare

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #17 on: 16 Nov 2018, 13:11 »
A good puzzle exists in harmony with its environment/theme, with a close and personal correlation, and not in an antagonistic obscured contrast against it.
I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately most people see the puzzles in adventure games, to be a completely separate entity from the story. And as such prefer to have the story blocked off by segments of puzzles.
While what they should be doing, is making the puzzles an integral part of the story. So that if all of the puzzles were removed, the game would make no sense, since you'd be losing a huge chunk of the story.

But this is off topic. So... sorry. :-[
« Last Edit: 16 Nov 2018, 13:14 by Danvzare »

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #18 on: 17 Nov 2018, 22:19 »
Anyone has more ideas? That can't be all puzzle models (by the way, every "logic" puzzle need not be included. It's just a logic puzzle)
 

Re: Encyclopedia of every adventure games puzzles ever
« Reply #19 on: 17 Nov 2018, 22:35 »
The "Approximate recipe" in a broader sense may be called something like "Improvise with the pattern" (forgive me for possibly awkward wording). Then, another example of this would be the second part of the Insult sword fighting, where you need to use the retorts that you've learnt in the first part against the previously unknown insults.
But then, the original examples of "approximate recipe" require to fit new items in known slots, while the example above require to fit known items into new slots. Does that count as same kind of puzzle or different one?


Also, how distinct these puzzle types are supposed to be? I think if we've tried to get to the barebones of the puzzle mechanic, some of the listed above are practically subset of others.
Guess the puzzles may be categorized by some internal mechanic, and - separately - by its representation.

Let's take same Insult swordfighting as an example again. Is not it the case of finding a matching key to the lock? Only the key and lock are defined not by the geometric shape, but by the phrase semantics.
« Last Edit: 17 Nov 2018, 22:45 by Crimson Wizard »