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Trick Shot Puzzle

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The Trick Shot Puzzle is a puzzle where the player has to shoot a projectile from an exactingly specific position and angle to detonate or trip something that is well out of manual reach. This kind of puzzle often involves ricochet physics, such as a Reflecting Laser.

Also see Pinball Projectile.


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    Action Adventure 

    First Person Shooter 
  • A minor version of this appears in Half-Life. To avoid being turned into swiss cheese by a tripod turret placed around a corner, bounce a grenade or two off the wall to knock it down. Tripmines are often set off from a safe distance in a similar manner.
    • The Half-Life 2 series has you doing this with the Gravity Gun and Energy Orbs.
  • Duke Nukem 3D has puzzles that are not quite so tricky, but they do involve bullet-sensitive switches across chasms and such.

  • The Spyro the Dragon franchise loves this trope. In several of the games, you cannot kill certain enemies, solve certain puzzles or obtain certain collectibles such as gems without climbing onto an oddly designed cannon and shooting at something that is sometimes not even visible from where the cannon is. In A Hero's Tail, an entire set of minigames revolves around Spyro shooting enemies from a cannon while they spread out all over the place - so you might be doing great shooting them on the left, but you lose because others snuck in from the right.
  • La-Mulana has two puzzles involving tossing bombs through tiny openings: a thankfully optional secret shop in the Temple of Moonlight, and an infuriatingly complicated one in Hell Temple. To add injury to insult, most of your attempts will literally blow up in your face.
  • You have to do this with yourself several times in Super Mario 64, using the cannons. In the Rainbow Cruise level, aiming at the middle of a rainbow will get you to a floating island with a Star.
  • The Portal games do lots of these, though they mainly involve redirecting projectiles or objects (or yourself) onto trick-shot trajectories rather than firing them directly, since the player doesn't have any actual weapons.
  • A few Kirby games have a few of these that require projectile-firing abilities. Kirby's Adventure, for example, has a few secret areas that open up by using the Laser ability to reflect lasers off of several diagonal walls to destroy an otherwise tricky-to-reach bomb block.
  • In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, some clever planning and carefully timed steel-keg throws will be needed to separate Koin from a DK Coin. note ; Koindozer, by contrast, is not so shy. Sometimes it's necessary to throw the keg and then sucker Koin into facing away from the advancing weapon. Barrel Cannons and walls will occasionally play parts in the solutions to these puzzles. (Bananas will mark a few of the correct positions.)

  • All the Wild ARMs games do this a lot, with using various of your tools with terrain features to trip switches or move things.
  • There's one in Fable I where you have to shoot an arrow through a hole to activate a secret.
  • Part of the final Thieves' Guild quest in Oblivion is to shoot an arrow at a switch. You have to unlock the keyhole first, though, and fire through a statue.


    Third Person Shooter 
  • One area in MDK2 can be crossed only by shooting two blue orbs that lift the drawbridge when activated, except these orbs are not visible from places where you can stand to activate Scope Perspective. The trick is to shoot at purple targets painted on the opposite wall with your pinball projectiles, which should ricochet toward the orbs and hit them (at least with their explosions).

    Non-Game Examples 
  • Parodied in Red Dwarf, where in order to save the ship, Holly sets up a trick shot involving several planets, a tactical nuclear warhead, and a black hole. The warhead has to be detonated just so, to drive a planetoid out of its orbit, which then hits a larger planet, which in turn is knocked out of its orbit and seals the black hole. Dave Lister looks at the computer simulation and insists Holly's strategy is all wrong and, based on experience playing pool at the Aigburth Arms in Liverpool, he can do it better.


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