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Light and Mirrors Puzzle

Simply put, this puzzle involves a room that contains a light source and a number of mirrors, and requires the player to position the mirrors in a way so that the light will bounce off them in succession and hit a target. May also happen with a laser or magic beam, or something else entirely. (Additional complications can include the beam killing the player if they touch it, so the player may also need to ensure that they have safe passage through it.)

This is cousin to the Block Puzzle, and may sometimes be That One Puzzle.


Examples

Games Consisting Entirely of this Puzzle

  • Deflektor on the Commodore 64
  • Prism for the Nintendo DS.
  • Laser Light, a DOS game
  • Lightspeed
  • Lumen, an iOS game
  • Mirror Magic, an open source clone of Deflektor and Mindbender
  • The Flash game Fire Boy and Water Girl 2: The Light Temple.
  • Chromatron and Chromatron 2
    • These games up the ante by adding elements such as color filters, prisms and quantum entanglement.
  • Khet, also known as Laser Chess, a board game
  • Prisms of Light, a Windows game made in Game Maker

Other Games

  • This is the recurring thematic puzzle in the Spirit Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (but only for Adult Link, since Child Link is unable to use the Mirror Shield), the Earth Temple in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (with mirrors that always reflect "forward", and notably both you and your Escort Mission have reflective items. At times, you must use your shield to bounce light onto her mirror, to illuminate a third mirror, which reflects light onto a series of other mirrors), and the Stone Tower Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (where you have to use the Mirror Shield to store light in special mirrors and eventually direct them onto a sun target. For added difficulty, the light is only stored in the mirror for a limited time, so if you are too slow, you have to go back and start over again).
  • The Hall of Learning area in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Another, smaller one occurs at the bottom of the Tower of Dawn.
  • Demitel's castle in Tales of Phantasia has a variant with prisms.
  • Shows up in the Tower of Mana in Tales of Symphonia.
  • This occurs throughout Woohoo Hooniversity in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. The player never gets to directly manipulate the mirrors. Instead, they align themselves as you complete the Solve the Soup Cans puzzles.
  • It appears twice in Dungeon Siege II: The first one is for the main quest, and the other is for a side quest (albeit an important one).
  • There are a couple of these in Devil May Cry 3. In a mild twist, you manipulate the light by smashing unnecessary mirrors with your sword.
  • A version of this appears in Uncharted 2 of the Uncharted series. Of course, like many aspects of that particular game, while mirrors are re focused, there is also an emphasis on platforming within the puzzle.
  • The Luminous Labyrinth in SaGa Frontier which characters must solve to obtain the gift of light magic. Uniquely, it also adds color filters into the mix. You have to hit the exit portal with a certain color of light to escape; hitting it with another color will either give you an item or start a random battle. Simply finding the right color for a single laser beam will open a safe in Safecracker.
  • RuneScape has a very large and very difficult 3D one. It's difficult partly because of its construction (even including multiple colors) and partly because the "Temple of Light" is full of monsters.
    • Specifically, monsters that have low hp, high attack, and a high spawn rate, making there no good way to deal with them. If you ignore them they keep hurting you; if you fight them they keep coming back. And even if you're immune to damage with prayer, their attacks still automatically close all menus, meaning you have to click through the menus to rotate the mirror in the second or two between each attack. On the positive side, if you enter the mirror rotation menu before you draw aggro from a Shadow, it will be unable to attack you until you exit the window. This can be utilized to allow your life points and run energy to restore.
  • Light and mirror puzzles appear many times in the Neverwinter Nights RPG series.
  • Icewind Dale II has one in the Ice Temple.
  • In the DS version of The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night, you often come across puzzles like this which you must olve in order to unlock a new part of the level.
  • Digital Devil Saga had a few of these in one dungeon. Somewhat justified in this case, as they occur in an amusement park and they're implied to be part of the attraction. They're also much less annoying than most, since enemies don't appear in the rooms they're in.
  • One of the Boss Battles in Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure. You sometimes need to place a mirror in the hands of the frozen rival captain as part of the sequence, so she can fill in for a broken pedestal.
  • MediEvil 2 features a vampire boss who must be defeated with mirrors, both by directing sunlight at and by reflecting his attacks back at him.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network 5, you are in a room on a ship when the lights go out and a valuable program gets stolen. No one in the room has it. The open door, the mirrors and the fact that navis can travel on infrared beams are all important to solving the mystery. Answer: It's Napalm Man or Tomahawk Man and their operators, depending on the version.
  • Mega Man X: Command Mission, on the other hand, had a more traditional puzzle version, with a bizarrely long series of rooms where you just redirected lasers all over the place. Just to make it more annoying, there was often an extra target that would trigger a battle every time you moved a mirror while the laser was pointed towards it. Furthermore, you also need to reflect each beam to a matching-colored object in each room to unlock the item crystals in the floor above, but there's no hint whatsoever you need to do this and once you do the above, there's isn't any kind of notification that you actually accomplished anything.
  • Mega Man X6 has one of these. About half of Shield Sheldon's stage is a Light and Mirrors Puzzle. Hilariously enough, over half of it is entirely unnecessary to traverse: the boss is located one-third of the way through the level. The only reason for going through the entire level is to reach the extra "bonus" stage, and get some additional equipment for X.
  • Tomb Raider Anniversary has one of these, set in an Egyptian tomb.
  • The game (loosely) based off Disney's The Haunted Mansion has one of these in the Moon Room. The goal is to bounce a beam of light into a "moonstone" by rotating a set of mirrors. Once the light hits the stone, it lights the entire room.
  • Beyond Zork had one of these in the endgame, making this ... Older Than Graphics. Fortunately (and atypically for text adventures), there's an onscreen map, which makes working out the correct angles and orientations for mirrors a lot less painful.
  • Beyond Good & Evil has one of these it its final dungeon. The design of the room gives it a few shades of Womb Level, as well.
  • The Dig has one of these.
  • In King's Quest VII, Valanice must complete such a puzzle in the temple to get an important item: half of the "key" that opens the door to the next section.
  • The Fan Remake of King's Quest II has a minor one of these where you have to reflect sunlight through an anti-magic gemstone.
  • Portal has a variation on this in that you must direct energy orbs into receptors that in turn open doors or power lifts etc. The orbs can be bounced off various surfaces, or teleported from one surface to another by the use of portals. The orbs can also be utilised to vaporise oneself if in an Unwinnable position, and push friendly turrets off platforms. Note that, unlike traditional beams of light, the orbs don't need a complete line-of-sight between emitter and receiver, making it a lot easier to get stuff done. They explode harmlessly after a while, though, and a new one is supplied from the emitter again.
  • Portal 2 replaces them with Thermal Discouragement Beams and Discouragement Redirection Cubes.
  • Some landscapes in the Oxyd series have these. The light however is a laser and can open passages by destroying walls. It can also destroy your marble and lose you a life if you're not careful.
  • Eternal Darkness has one of such puzzles twice: one with a diorama of a city that unlocks a door, and another with a telescope and mirrors that unlocks the path to the final boss.
  • Sonic Adventure used a variant on this in Lost World, where the object was simply to light your path, rather than hitting a target. In the Updated Re-release Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, this area is a little lighter. You can get through without doing the puzzle, though you can still do it anyway. Good thing too, because it's possible to get hit while you're turning the mirrors.
  • Half-Life: Opposing Force had a variant early on where rather than moving the mirrors you had to break one of them.
    • Half-Life Decay included a laser and mirror puzzle.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: The Shivering Isles includes a variation with rotating statues that shoot lightning. Angle the statues properly, and the last lightning bolt will blast down a wall, revealing a secret area. It's entirely optional, however.
  • Three of these can be found in Vesplume Tower in Infinite Undiscovery.
  • Resident Evil games tend to prefer the Laser Hallway, but Resident Evil 4 did have one instance of this on the island. Resident Evil 5 does it again, this time several times in succession. And if you touch the beams, they KILL you.
  • Silent Hill 4: The Room features the infamous water prison puzzle, which requires rotating the circular floors of a tower on their axis so as to align four specific holes out of several possible, thus channeling the light from the roof all the way into the basement. After you do this once, you must repeat the whole procedure, this time aligning four different holes over another part of the basement. While not terribly difficult to perform, the fact that it requires improbable logic to figure it out usually leaves players stuck at this point.
  • Jade Empire features an insultingly easy light puzzle in the Great Southern Forest, involving focusing different colours of light through a lens in order to open a portal to another dimension.
  • Similar to the Jade Empire example, Mass Effect 2 also has one of these in a side quest that's almost harder to find than the puzzle is to solve.
  • Torin's Passage has one of these at the end of Aesthenia, though it is presented as a Light And Prisms Puzzle.
  • Some of the recent Spyro the Dragon games use these as a Solve the Soup Cans puzzle - you're even forced to collect the mirrors from around the area before starting the puzzle.
  • A minor computer game called Hyperman had one of these puzzles needed to melt a block of ice and get a key item.
  • Used a couple of times in Nancy Drew games to activate mechanisms or open doors.
  • The Robinson Crusoe segment of Azada 2 requires you to connect several spots to one another with a single laser beam.
  • Opening one of the tusks in Myst III: Exile requires you to bounce a beam of light all over the island, and also provides the combination for the door.
  • A few of the puzzles in Soul Reaver involve using mirrors to redirect beams of light, when they don't involve blocks.
  • DuckTales 2 has an extremely simple one where a mirror only needs to be dragged to the left so it reflects the beam of sunlight which breaks the floor.
  • The first dungeon in Golden Sun has a puzzle in which beams of light must be cast onto certain tiles to unlock a portal. The second game has another similar one in which you must open up holes in the ground so that beams of sunlight can hit mirrors that aim it at an extremely photosensitive boss, weakening it.
  • Avernum III has several of the laser variety in the Golem Factory and the Concealed Passage. The puzzle is generally to put the mirrors in such an alignment that the lasers won't block your path, but you can also turn the lasers back on the laser generators and destroy them all to express your true feelings for these kind of puzzles. As an aside, this is one of the few places where the game was changed significantly from the earlier Exile series, which used conveyor belts in the equivalent dungeons — these were deemed incompatible with the new engine.
  • The final puzzle of Shivers 2 involves opening up the MacGuffin talisman, an ancient Native American artifact, to find... a laser-and-mirror puzzle inside. The player can choose to avoid this puzzle, getting the second-best ending instead.
  • The final puzzle of the IF game The Erudition Chamber involves this.
  • The platform game Challenge of the Ancient Empires!, with the added twist that the light source is the bulb on your character's helmet, so the light beam must be shot from an appropriate location.
  • Oddly subverted in Dragon Quest IX, where the mirrors were already in the correct positions and the player needed only to turn on the lights (as simple as walking up to them and pressing "on", no less).
  • The Reflector in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is normally used for these. Different from most other examples in that it incorporates a field that absorbs the beam, and an emitter that can be pointed anywhere.
  • Darkest Fear, a mobile phone game set in a hospital infested with light-fearing monsters, consists almost entirely of this.
  • Assault On Vampire Island has a variation where you need to rotate the lamp of a lighthouse.
  • Escape From St Marys does it, where the goal is to send the beam into a basketball player's eye.
  • Feature in the Rube Goldberg Machines you're required to build in the flash game "Electric Box". Some levels even require you to use a mirror to reflect a laser to activate a device that will destroy the mirror so the laser can activate a second device. Only laser beams can be reflected, mirrors have no effect on the light from ordinary light bulbs.
  • There's a series of these in Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask's daily downloadable puzzles where you have to position mirrors so colored rays of light will be reflected a certain number of times before they hit same-colored ghosts.
  • One dungeon in Tales of the Abyss has a couple of oddly half-hearted light and mirror puzzles, as if the designers of the game felt obligated to include every possible type of block puzzle but couldn't be bothered to actually make it require effort. A straighter example can be found in the use of Mieu's fireballs, which have to be reflected off things in the final dungeon and several sidequests as well.
  • The remake of Quest for Glory II has a minigame called "Force Bolt Flurry," which can be played by anybody with magical skill and knowledge of the appropriate spells. It's pretty much a Light and Mirrors Puzzle with Force Bolts instead of light, and with the added challenge of preventing your opponent from reflecting his Force Bolts into your territory.
  • In Strange Cases The Tarot Card Mystery, the Attic level is one of these puzzles.
  • Laser beams and mirror figure into many puzzles in Dweep.
  • One such puzzle appears at the beginning of The Bizarre Adventures Of Woodruff And The Schnibble, in the shop. You must position two mirrors so that they're able to correctly deflect a light beam and hit a nose, making it visible.
  • Shows up a number of times in the Skylanders series. Sometimes you have to move other blocks out of the way, and sometimes, you need the laser to melt a block of ice so that it reveals yet another mirror.

Film
  • In the film Legend, the heroes must reflect a beam of sunshine all the way down to the bottom of hell.
  • Batman & Robin had one of these, essentially. Using orbiting mirrors to thaw a frozen Gotham city. A scene very early in the movie had the Bat-signal reflected by several mirrors until it was visible in Bruce's study. That movie might have been ridiculous overall, but in this one case, Chekhov's Gun was clearly visible on the mantlepiece.
  • While not a puzzle, The Mummy had the group enter a large, dim tomb. Evie angles a mirror on a stand to direct the sunlight above into several other mirrors positioned around the room, illuminating the room. The MythBusters tested this. While you can light a room this way, the constantly moving sun means it won't last long, and it is nowhere near the movie's level of light.
  • A scene from Brick has Brendan using a piece of a broken mirror to reflect a beam of sunlight into a basement.

Live Action Television
  • An episode of The Magic School Bus revolves around this, a game of 'Light Pinball'. The objective is using mirrors and prisms to split a beam of light into the colours of the rainbow and redirect them into like-coloured eyes.
  • Doctor Who, "The Five Doctors": The First Doctor and his granddaughter Susan are in a building with reflective walls and a Dalek. They do something that includes sneaking up behind it, dropping to the floor, and by so doing maneuvering it to fire its death beam so the beam bounces off the mirrors and hits the Dalek. Something similar was used in the 2006 episode "Tooth and Claw," where a badly made telescope turns out to be designed to focus moonlight in some special way and then shine it through the Koh-i-Noor, which apparently Prince Albert had cut specifically for this purpose, to zap a werewolf-alien before it kills Queen Victoria.

Manga and Anime
  • In Case Closed, such a puzzle is the key to unlocking a mechanism that reveals a hidden treasure in the house of an ex-robber gone legit.

Toys
  • The Toa Inika in BIONICLE were able to deflect Umbra's light form using shields of ice.

Webcomics
  • Gabe from Penny Arcade did this in a tabletop game of Dungeons and Dragons, using a laser pointer and some 1'x1' art mirrors.
  • In Homestuck, there is a point-and-click Flash where Jane has to solve one by rotating a set of lanterns to reflect light off the mirrors on ancient obelisks to shine light into several deep pits.

Real Life


House of Broken MirrorsPlease Reflect On This IndexMagic Mirror
Enter Solution HereStock Video Game PuzzleLock and Key Puzzle
Leap and FireJustForFun/Tropes Examined by the Myth BustersOil Slick
Minus WorldImageSource/Video GamesStratego

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