Created By: Prfnoff on August 6, 2010

Waiting Puzzle

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The waiting puzzle is a Stock Videogame Puzzle which is solved by having the player simply remain in a certain area for probably at least 15 seconds. This often turns into a serious Guide Dang It! if no hints are given that the room is special and it's not obvious what impasse would be removed.

Some versions of this puzzle involve an NPC inching slowly across the screen, whose actions will set the Event Flag, while the player stands by.

Closely related is the balancing act puzzle, in which the player must remain within a demarcated but unstable area for a certain time period while struggling to counteract gravity or other forces.

The inverse of Timed Mission, and a form of Fake Longevity.

  • La-Mulana has a bunch of these:
    • Unlocking Baphomet's ankh requires waiting around in the Twin Labyrinths room diametrically opposite (and not directly connected) to the Boss Room.
    • The most annoying part of a multi-part puzzle in the Confusion Gate requires waiting for a Mook to random-walk into a conspicuous piece of scenery.
    • Getting the Ocarina requires pausing the game in a certain spot while holding the pregnant statue and waiting for Lemeza to go to sleep.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • August 6, 2010
    Monty Pythons The Meaning Of Life (the game): in the Japanese Rock Garden you have to not do ANYTHING, not even move the cursor, for like a minute. Then a hand appears from the sand to give you an item. YOU MUST NOT TAKE IT. The hand goes away. You have to CONTINUE TO DO NOTHING for another minute, then the hand reappars and you can then take the item. If you continue to do nothing after that the game will complain at you for not doing anything.
  • August 6, 2010
    • The flash game Don't Shoot the Puppy.
  • August 7, 2010
    The Puzzle Boss fight against the mime (forgot his name) in Final Fantasy V. He is, well, a MIME - if you attack him physically, he'll counter with an overwhelming physical attack. If you attack with magic, he'll counter with an overwhelming magical attack. The only way to beat him is to do absolutely nothing for nearly a minute... made all the harder from the fact that you're fighting UNDERWATER and have a timer counting down to when you drown.
  • August 7, 2010
    • Braid has a hidden secret that involves at least an hour of standing still doing nothing, waiting for a cloud to come across the level. Then waiting another hour whilst it goes back the other way. I'm not 100% on this, but it might be the secret that if you miss it first time around, you can't ever get it again.
  • August 7, 2010
    • In Earth Bound you have to wait by a waterfall for three (real time) minutes to get it to open up.
  • August 7, 2010
    • One of the branching pathways in Warioland II is unlocked by, rather than hitting a button to wake up in the first level, staying asleep for ten seconds and having the villains carry you out of your house.
  • August 7, 2010
    This is the climactic puzzle in the single-player version of [[{Myst} Uru: the Path of the Shell]]. The multiplayer version has a different path to this ending which doesn't involve waiting.
  • August 7, 2010
    There's a level in Monster Party with two dancing zombies that don't attack and can't be killed, but if you wait long enough, they'll disappear and then you can move on.
  • August 8, 2010
    Also, this is related to Sheathe Your Sword.
  • August 8, 2010
    The Guardian Legend - One of the doors is opened this way.
  • August 8, 2010
    Real Life: From an infamous Ditch Day Stack. Participants were told only that the computer can open the door. Answer was "Wait five minutes and it'll open."
  • August 9, 2010
    • In Chrono Trigger, Crono gets arrested fairly early in the game. You can either wait three days until your execution or you can attempt to escape by ticking off the guards. It is considerably easier to wait three days due to some well-timed intervention.
      • An earlier example: While Marle is getting candy at the Millennial Fair, don't move. Specifically, don't move away from her, but it's way easier just to wait fifteen seconds.
    • Almost any time you're captured and imprisoned in a Metal Gear game, one of the options to escaping is to wait for someone to bust you out.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2, the first Dead Cell member that you fight has a magnetic barrier preventing bullets and such from hurting her. The only way to complete the battle is to wait and avoid her rail gun shots.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3, one boss can be defeated just by waiting out the battle due to the boss being so damn old. Alternatively, just save, change your PS 2's internal clock to a week in the future, load your save, and pat yourself on the back.
      • Similarly, a later boss can be "defeated" by just waiting while underwater, thus drowning yourself. It's a Mind Screw boss, but it's expected given the series title.
    • One of the microgames in the WarioWare Inc. stage of Super Smash Bros Brawl requires you to stand completely still to receive a bonus.