5 Crazy Difficult and Intricate Video Game Puzzles

The Big…Unit
Game: Baldur’s Gate series
Insanity Level: Nuts

This one isn’t quite so clearly a puzzle, but it certainly is incredibly intricate. It’s so ridiculous, it spans three games: Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. In each game, you were required to find one of three items — Golden Pantaloons in Baldur’s Gate, Silver Pantaloons in Amn and Bronze Pantalettes in Bhaal. Once you had all those and got them together in the third game, you could take them to be assembled into the Big Metal Unit, a powerful armor set and some accessories to go with it.

Even better than a cool in-game item to use for your diligence is a long and thoughtful description of the Big Metal Unit, turning it into an amazing Easter egg. Because, as you might have guessed, the Big Metal Unit is actually a Big Giant D–k Joke. Yup. The entire description of the armor is member-reference, and it’s patently ridiculous. You can read over the full description here, and get a whole rundown of how to assemble the Big Metal Unit here.

The Hidden Ending
Game: Braid
Insanity Level: Ri-goddamn-diculous

Jonathan Blow‘s Braid includes a hidden ending. If this is news to you, you’re not alone — a lot of players will never see all that Braid has to offer because the hidden ending is incredibly well-hidden. It requires finding and collecting eight stars hidden throughout the game, often in off-screen locations. Two of them have to be collected in order. And you can only achieve the hidden ending in a single playthrough — botch it, and you’re forced to start over.

Finding all the hidden stars unlocks an epilogue that can completely recast the story. It’ll also take a while to achieve: one star requires you to sit and wait for more than an hour while you wait for a cloud to creep across the screen to open a path. Check out this guide for details on how to unlock Braid’s greatest, most ridiculous secrets.

The Black Monolith
Game: Fez
Insanity Level: Enigma Machine

Somewhere, hidden in Polytron’s vast compendium of perspective-shifting puzzles that is Fez, is a giant black monolith. Figuring out how to open it isn’t just a monumental task — it’s one that confounded the entire Fez-playing community for days. Like many other puzzles in Fez, the monolith is one that can be solved with a button code, and that code can be deciphered…somehow. That’s a huge brain trust working just to crack the puzzles in a video game, and here’s the interesting part: it has them stumped.

As detailed in a feature from Ars Technica, the Fez community has put forth a tremendous effort to bust open the monolith, and in doing so translated vast amounts of text and information found within the game. But even though players eventually forced open the monolith by brute-forcing the code, they’re still not sure exactly what the logic of the monolith puzzle was. They solved it, but they’re not sure what the solution actually is, or why it’s the solution.

Such is the total mindf–k that is Fez. Hit this link to shortcut the heartache and open the monolith.

Surely there are plenty more awesome (and horrifying) puzzle-solving moments to be had through decades of games. Drop your favorite, or most-hated, entries in the comments.

Follow Hornshaw and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

1 Comment on 5 Crazy Difficult and Intricate Video Game Puzzles


On April 28, 2012 at 6:40 am

About puzzles… I’ve ever wonder what happened to them in modern survival-horrors. Why were them there in the first place?