A Riddle in an Unlikely Game
July 4, 2011 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Trials HD is a game on Xbox Live Arcade that has been compared to a modern day excite bike. The game requires the player to ride a motorcyle through a number of physics based obstacles to progress through the game. Apparently, there is also a fairly elaborate riddle buried witin the game, revealed through a number of clues.
posted by SpacemanStix (27 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Is there an oriental version where you ride from right to left?
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 9:15 AM on July 4, 2011

This game is so addictive. Be careful. It does have a pretty good difficulty ramp though, so that's nice. However, unless you're hardcore, you'll probably never be able to play the full game. The hardest maps are pretty much only for those people who sink hours and hours of practice in.

Upside though, there's tons of user content online. Due to Xbox's weird system, you have to friend people to get to their tracks, but other than that it's pretty easy.
posted by toekneebullard at 9:21 AM on July 4, 2011

Trials HD is a game designed by XBox controller manufacturers to generate more business.
posted by kmz at 9:47 AM on July 4, 2011

Oh my god, that is amazing. At first I thought they were all just nods to the level name, until I got to the interview at the end where they say, "Yes, this is a riddle." I may have to spend some time on this.

Trials HD is one of the best games I have ever played, and if you're looking for the best kind of challenge, you should at least check out the demo. Trials is a test of absolute skill. If you fail, it isn't because you weren't fast enough, or because the AI was cheap, or because you didn't understand the goal. If you fail, it's because you haven't mastered the level yet. When you start, it seems absolutely impossible, and when you beat it, especially if you earn a gold, oh man, does it feel great. (Forget about the platinum medals, though, those are just ridiculous.) I love love love Trials.
posted by Sibrax at 9:55 AM on July 4, 2011

Is it better than Motocross Maniacs for the Gameboy? I've always wanted more games like that one.
posted by Theta States at 9:59 AM on July 4, 2011

One of the best XBLA games ever just got more awesome.

(iPhone folks might like MotoTrialz, which, while it isn't as good as Trials HD, is about as close as you can get on a phone.)
posted by box at 10:04 AM on July 4, 2011

Goddam, this game. I spent another couple hours banging my head against it just last night. It's one of those things where I get a mind to play it every few months because I've once again forgotten the sore thumbs and deep hatred I always end up feeling by the end of a play session.

It's the best kind of stupid hard; you'll fly through the early levels, learning basic bike skills and beginning to think, okay, this isn't that hard, but when they up the difficulty they really up the goddam difficulty. There are some maps in the Extreme category that I have not yet managed to pass the first checkpoint on, and we're talking maybe twenty horizontal feet of track for these; my thumbs are too slow or my mind to dull to navigate the short burst of technique required to e.g. make a bike climb a 60 degree angle up a four yard incline with a wheel-stopping lump in the middle without flipping over backward or losing contact with the rear drive wheel or just cursing and punching the bailout button to send my driver dude on a spite flight into some nearby explosives.

It's really fantastic to play with a friend, handing the controller off now and then and laughing like idiots at all the things that go wrong.

(Forget about the platinum medals, though, those are just ridiculous.)

posted by cortex at 11:02 AM on July 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

(Hey, people reading this! My Xbox username is dzho. Add me, so that I can look at your Trials HD scores and despair.)
posted by box at 11:15 AM on July 4, 2011

Wow. A few times, I've gotten a glimpse of these secret rooms, but never even noticed the clues. I'm just like, "FUCK THIS DEADEND BULLSHIT I AM .03 SECONDS BEHIND MY BEST TIME," and I mash the X button to restart. I love this game.
posted by jstef at 12:41 PM on July 4, 2011

For the cheap and poor. Some Canvas Rider level-building sadist-geniuses are outclassed only by the virtuosos whose ghost-runs make completing those levels look easy.
posted by speedo at 2:11 PM on July 4, 2011

God Tier
posted by Arch_Stanton at 3:00 PM on July 4, 2011

I bought an Xbox 360 specifically to play Trials HD, and 6 months later I had to sell it. I got sick of the bleary eyed 3am, what-the-fuck-am-I-still-doing-up-playing-Trials feeling.
posted by roofus at 6:21 PM on July 4, 2011

Just a little while ago I was completely unaware of this game. Now I'm working out amino acid sequences.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:03 PM on July 4, 2011

I was recently reminded of this game, and was wondering if I should get it. The consensus seems to be 'yes'?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:13 PM on July 4, 2011

That wiki's giving me flashbacks to the absolute batshit theories people were cooking up during the Portal 2 ARG. :[
posted by flatluigi at 7:35 PM on July 4, 2011

If a PR guy can keep it a secret, it can't be that profound. My guess, "BE SURE TO DRINK YOUR OVALTINE".
posted by _aa_ at 7:48 PM on July 4, 2011

If you like difficult old-school arcade games, or playing levels/stages for time, or puzzle/strategy games, or bike/motorcycle games, LiB (and whoever), give Trials HD a try. It's cheap, and I think there might be a trial version.

Man, I'm such a shill.
posted by box at 8:29 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

So I should trial the Trials HD trial, despite it sounding like a very tough trial?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:37 PM on July 4, 2011

I would like to warn those that play the demo, the game itself is kinda different. Watch some YouTube videos. It's a lot more slow, with bursts of speed than it is in the demo, which has a lot of ramps and flipping and more of what most people think of when they think extreme motorcycles. The game itself is a lot more about climbing.
posted by toekneebullard at 8:56 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

This puzzle looks awesome at first glance, but the interview with the developer makes it fairly clear that he's an neophyte puzzle designer and that the solution will involve arbitrary Riddler-from-Superfriends reasoning. The big giveaway is that he is proud that no one has solved the puzzle yet. No. A puzzle designer should never be proud of this. Unsolvabke puzzles are easy to make; good puzzles are meant to be solved. If you need to send out a hint in a cardboard box, that means that you made an incomplete puzzle.
posted by painquale at 9:21 PM on July 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Maybe it's taken so long to be solved because this is the sort of game you play to get away from secret puzzles, codes, hints, and meaningful graffiti scrawled on a wall? If this was in Deus Ex or Halo or Half-Life or Bioshock or Silent Hill there'd be a wiki, a SelectButton thread, and a team of the finest overthinkers from MeFi, Gamefilter, and RockPaperShotgun deciphering the clues.

Now that the 'net has been alerted to it I suspect it'll be solved.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:26 PM on July 4, 2011

Actually this game is a lot like an old PC game elastomania. You should try it out. Totally fun.
posted by delmoi at 3:42 AM on July 5, 2011

The number 42 is thought to be a reference to the movie ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’

YARGH PUNCH you mean a reference to the RADIO SHOW 'Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy' you CRETINS sheeeeesh
posted by FatherDagon at 8:39 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

no i think it was a book first
posted by Eideteker at 10:22 AM on July 5, 2011

the radio show was about the book, that's why it was named after it

it even had a dude as "the voice of the book"
posted by Eideteker at 10:23 AM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heh. If you beat an Extreme track, it unlocks an extra tier of medal times. I'm pretty sure they require time travel.

The final tracks take a lot of practice, but I swear that you can pass them without godlike reflexes. When I beat my first Extreme track, I think I had 998 faults or so (it was two shy of whatever the "mercy rule" is). Eventually I ended up with a gold medal.

If you look at the in-game leaderboards, you can watch replays of the top times, which shows you the button presses in real time. You won't be able to mimic them exactly, but it's great for learning general tips, like how to cross gaps from a dead stop.
posted by Sibrax at 2:12 PM on July 5, 2011

Like Elastomania, you say, delmoi?


That's pretty much all I needed to hear.
posted by Jonathan Harford at 4:35 AM on July 6, 2011

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