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Moon logic

Quick Definition

Generally speaking, puzzles in games make some degree of logical sense. For example, if you encounter a locked door, then you would expect to either find the key somewhere or use something like a hairpin to pick the lock.

However, sometimes the solutions to a puzzle makes no sense, or at the very least only makes sense to the person that coded the puzzle. This is said to be an instance of "moon logic"; a brand of logical deduction that had to have originated in the mind of an alien being.

Point and click adventure games are notorious for this, as they are almost entirely built around puzzles that can fall victim to this sort of design flaw.

For an example of moon logic, here's a puzzle and the solution from an old game I used to play. In the first chapter, there is a locked door you need to open. By this point, you'll be carrying several things, including a magical key and possibly a shotgun. Logically, a key would open a locked door, so you might expect to use the key here. However, this is not the door the key goes with, so it doesn't fit the lock. Another logical (if needlessly violent) option would be to use the shotgun and simply blow the doorknob and locking mechanism off the door. After all, they do that in some movies, so why not try it here? But again, this is not the correct solution to this locked door puzzle.

Instead, you're expected to know that you need to head to a local pier, find a dead fish, and then return to use the fish's corpse on the door. There are no in-game hints to let you know about this, yet it's the only correct way to proceed. How any of that works is understood only by the game's developer, who doesn't think like any Earthling I've ever met.