The Top 7... Stupidest Puzzles

The Game: Gabriel Knight 3

The Problem: First, he exposed a voodoo cult in New Orleans. Next, he took on werewolves in Germany. Now, supernatural investigator Gabriel Knight must save a French prince’s infant son from vampires. To do so, though, he needs transportation... and the local motorcycle merchant is refusing to rent him one.

Not much of a problem, you say? The man hunts monsters for a living, you point out? Did you not read the rest of this article, we ask?

The Logical Solutions:

• You could probably bribe the guy or bully him or ask him nicely or find some other mode of transp-...
Oh, who are we kidding? Let’s just get straight to the silly.

The Stupid Solution: All snark and sarcasm aside, we love or admire most of the games on this list. The Gabriel Knight series, in particular, is a bit of an office favorite. For this final entry, then, we’ll simply present the facts and let the utter ridiculousness speak for itself.

Gabriel’s solution is to cobble together a costume. The motorcycle merchant is reserving a bike for another character, Detective Moseley, so Gabriel decides to play a little dress up. Here are the two men, side by side:

Below are your available tools and ingredients. As a logical and rational human being, what would you do?

Well, as an illogical and irrational game protagonist, here is what Gabriel Knight does.

• Sticks the tape on a fence and sprays the cat with the water. The frightened feline runs under the fence, leaving a patch of fur behind.
• Adds maple syrup to the cat fur to make a fake mustache. Seriously.
• Rings the detective with the hotel call button and distracts him with the piece of candy. Steals the jacket from his room and the passport directly from his back pocket during this time. Again, seriously.
• Draws a mustache on the passport with the black marker.
• Takes the hat from a church lost-and-found box and combines it with the pilfered jacket, vandalized passport and, of course, cat mustache.

Does this elaborate scheme involving no less than 11 unrelated and unbelievable steps work? You be the judge...

Sigh. And we wonder why these sorts of games never get made anymore...

Hear more about this article in TalkRadar.

Sep 29, 2008

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Top 7


  • D0CCON - October 23, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    Wow with the last one, he makes a fake mustache to impersonate somebody who doesn't have a mustache.
  • Draijan - August 9, 2011 11:40 p.m.

    It took me forever to figure out the guybrush one, had that game for soo long, im surprised you didn't add just about every puzzle in that game to this list.
  • Gkicker2 - October 21, 2010 6:28 p.m.

    My only issue with this list is I couldn't relate to any of the games... because I played none of them.
  • FanofSaiyan - January 30, 2010 1:56 a.m.

    When it comes to tricky puzzles, Wild Arms can't be beat. The game had at least 5 different moments where I was completely dumbfounded, and I'm pretty good at solving puzzles. I literally just beat the 1st game last year. I GOT THE GAME IN 2003!!!
  • noofer7 - October 19, 2008 2:03 a.m.

  • dweller - October 5, 2008 4:25 a.m.

    Yeah! I remember playing all those games except Gabriel Knight 3. I played the first two but just never got around to the third one. It's too bad though, I missed out on cat mustache. As for Space Quest IV, CD-ROM version, I thought the code was the symbols right on the outside of the time machine. Man, I still hate that puzzle in The Longest Journey!
  • lovinmyps3 - October 4, 2008 3:27 a.m.

    re4 was the only one of those i played, and that puzzle was easy y dont they put the puzzle u gotta solve as ashley? that was fukn hard!
  • katwood92 - October 3, 2008 12:14 a.m.

    I should be used to convoluted thought processes (mine can be very so, making things I say seem very random, even though it's not), but those are way out there.
  • soren7550 - October 1, 2008 6:38 p.m.

    That last pic made me laugh. How about the puzzle in Half Life 2:Episode 2 where you have to go through an entire network of a giant bug infested mine (by yourself) so that you can get some bug juice to save Alyx. Oh, you can't kill the giant ass bug that's guarding the stuff, otherwise it won't work. But it can kill you all it wants. Good luck getting that bug juice!
  • gulfcoastfella - September 30, 2008 9:46 p.m.

    Oh SH!T... puzzles in a puzzle game.
  • Scott1121 - September 30, 2008 8:25 p.m.

    OMG! those are terrible puzzles
  • Iffo - September 30, 2008 7:51 a.m.

    You want hard, illogical and often time sensitive puzzles, involving multiple seemingly unrelated actions by several characters? Go get the Gobliins series!! These are just a few extreme examples but the whole genre was based around wacky illogical puzzles. The frustrating thing about many of these games was you had to ask yourself "What did the game designer want me to do here?" instead of "What do I do here?" ... and Sierra is the worst offender. Maybe it had something to do with their help line? Anyway I really loved Lucas Arts and Legend quests back then!
  • gilligan2021 - September 30, 2008 6:39 a.m.

    the largest WTF in the entire article is that little penis that follows you around in Touch Detective. As if that game title didn't arouse enough naughty thoughts...
  • Ravenbom - September 30, 2008 5:37 a.m.

    OMFG! It's been so long that I forgot how bad some point and click games were! @drprofessor, good call! That was one of the most BS puzzles ever! But like many games back then, Nintendo Power ftw. 747 Like StarTropics, I hated the Carmen Sandiego because after me and my parents moved, I had lost the Almanac that came with the game, and even if you knew all the clues and everything, then to advance, the stupid game would ask you to turn to a page in the almanac and type in the first entry or something arbitrary... No problem if you have the Almanac, but it really crushed my young spirit back in the day. I was being punished for actually knowing (having a 30 volume encyclopedia that the family wasn't otherwise using) the answers. Stuff like that was basically a midgame DRM.
  • blankpixelsCG - September 30, 2008 4:09 a.m.

    Man, the weekend drought was killing me! Good too see another Top Seven. Also, thanks for helping me realize that I need to play the last Monkey Island again - I wonder how much that runs for on eBay? Anyway, the skin part was nowhere near as awesome as the insult wrestling (but I suppose that wasn't a stupid puzzle, thus warranting no mention).
  • 1NVAD3R - September 30, 2008 12:19 a.m.

    Another great one Charlie, fantastic article.
  • sourpunch - September 30, 2008 12:05 a.m.

    That was amazing article I was laughing almost the whole time.
  • CandiedJester - September 29, 2008 11:53 p.m.

    LOL you have to put on a fake mustache when the guy your dressing up as doesnt even HAVE a mustache..and then draw one on the passport. That's priceless.
  • Blinder - September 29, 2008 11:20 p.m.

    Hmm... I seem to remember some of the puzzles from Discworld bringing about quite a few WTF, moments. Did you get the number of that donkey cart?
  • gilligan2021 - September 29, 2008 11:15 p.m.

    i don't exactly understand the point of making a fake mustache if the person you are posing as doesn't even have one, and you're just gonna draw one on his passport after the fact... that's not to say that I object..

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