Top 10 Most Difficult Video Game Puzzles

Most video games has puzzles that can and will have us stuck for days or months trying to figure it out. Today, I will count down the top 10 most difficult video game puzzles. For this list, only puzzles within the game are allowed and not an entire level/stage of an game (for example, the water temple in The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time).

10. Hatching the Owl (Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake) 

Late in the game, you find yourself blocked by a laser fence. You can’t pull off sweet acrobatic moves to get through it because there’s a guard waiting on the other side, and also this is a game from 1990. So you consider your options.

There’s got to be another, less obvious way inside. A hole in the wall you can sneak through, or a key card you can steal. Skulking around is Snake’s bread and butter, so that would make sense. But no, you search and search and come up empty.The only hint you can find is a kid who tells you that the gate shuts off at night. A prison that turns off its security features when it gets dark makes the designer of the Death Star look like a genius, but whatever, that’s just video game logic. Maybe they’re trying to save on their electric bills or something.

So you need to wait for night, but at no point in the game have you seen the time of day change. Maybe you have to find a location where you can sleep in safety? You’ve got no better ideas, so you start wandering aimlessly. Eventually, well away from the gate, you stumble across a lab that’s housing a giant, inexplicably well-guarded egg. Uh, OK. You’re not sure what that’s about, but you grab it, because the first life lesson gamers learn as children is to steal everything they see. Unfortunately it’s still daytime, so you keep wandering until the egg hatches into a full-grown owl that doesn’t object to being stuffed in your trousers.

Oh, well now it’s obvious. You take the owl out of your pants at the laser gate, because its gentle hoots will convince the guard that it’s nighttime. Wait, what? Shockingly, these sorts of puzzles didn’t make it into later Metal Gear games, because few gamers would think to resort to Doctor Dolittle antics in the middle of a war zone. Especially in the year 1999 (the year this game takes place in).

9. Temporal Rift Clocks (Final Fantasy XII-2)

This one is self explanatory. there are a number of these puzzles in the game and they are all randomized. this video should explain it because i cannot. 


 8. Rubber Duck (The Longest Journey)

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?

7. Pharmacy Keys (The Walking Dead- Episode 1)

The Walking Dead requires  you to explore and click on any environment you see and try to interact with it. You need to explore your surroundings each time to figure out clues to progress throughout the game. Perhaps the “hardest” puzzle in Episode 1 is to locate the keys to the locked door to the pharmacy to retrieve the pills for Frank. I would rather explain how to do this incase if you are playing this game right now.
To find the pharmacy keys:

*Talk to Doug who is guarding the front door. Take his offer to go outside and look around.
You need to scan around to find your dead brother (pharmacist). He has turned into a zombie but is trapped behind debris and can’t move.  He has the keys in his possession.

*You now need to distract the zombies. Give the remote control to Doug who will figure out how to program it to turn on all the televisions at the electronic store across the street. The glow and noise from the TVs will distract some of the zombies but not all.

*Break the combination lock with the ax (Note you must complete the mission to save Glen at the motel first to get the ax you use to break the lock to the gate.)

*Grab the brick and throw it at the window of the electronic store to break the glass so that the sound from the TVs will be louder. This will bring all the zombies towards it giving you a chance to go to your brother to collect the pharmacy keys.

Yes. Pretty tough.
6. Sealed Chamber’s Braille Puzzles (Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire)


Pokemon Masters who manage to find the obscure Sealed Chamber are greeted by wall after wall of messages written in Braille. The first room “helpfully” provides a cipher, except without making it clear what sections represent what letters.

To further confuse matters, the Braille marks for commas and periods are placed on the side without context, throwing off anyone who manages to realize what the room is all about in the first place.

Moving to the next room gives you messages to translate letter by letter with the Braille alphabet you were forced to write down, which you may recognize as defeating the entire purpose of a language designed to be quickly processed through touch. Not since perfume commercials have people so misunderstood how the senses work.


The messages provide some backstory and also give you instructions to include two somewhat rare Pokemon in specific slots of your team. Assuming you understood the message, you track them down and then haul ass back to the cave. Well, that was tedious, but now you get to battle some legendary Pokemon, right?

No. Now you have to scour the world to find three random doors that have suddenly appeared on rocks that you previously ignored because they looked like unimportant pieces of set dressing. Stumble across these totally arbitrary locations and you’ll discover more Braille, which give you instructions like “Stop and wait. Wait for time to pass twice.” So naturally you put the game down and don’t touch it at all for two minutes. Not because you understood the puzzle — you’re just sick of this bullshit.

Complete these silly little tasks and you can finally catch the game’s legendary Pokemon. After jumping through all these hoops, they must be pretty rad, right?

5. Shakespeare’s Stanzas (Silent Hills 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?

4. The Babel Fish (The Hitchhikers 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.
3. Water Sample Puzzle ( Resident Evil 3)


After placing the Water Sample into the machine, you are shown the panel. It displays five view-screens:

  • Screen 1 – The desired combination of blocks.
  • Screen 2 – The ‘A’ blocks, red.
  • Screen 3 – The ‘B’ blocks, yellow.
  • Screen 4 – The ‘C’ blocks, blue.
  • Screen 5 – The recreation of Screen 1,

In order to recreate the combination showed in the top screen, the ‘A’; ‘B’ and ‘C’ blocks must be shifted – each of the three can be moved to the left or right to change the order. It should be noted that if ‘B’ has a block where ‘C’ does not, the ‘B’ block will fall to the bottom when displayed in the recreation; it will not simply float. I have spent hours trying to solve this one and it was rewarding when it happened. Also, there is 4 ways to solve it a d each time you fail, you have to attempt it another way.

2. The goat puzzle (Broken Sword) 

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. 
1. Name that Gnome (King’s Quest) 

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? 

Julian Cannon

Writer and Media Journalist for Alternativemindz since 2012. I Cover the latest in Pop Culture, Video Games, Comics, Pro Wrestling and much more.