Design Dilemma Spoilers

by Ron Gilbert
Jun 10, 2015

If you've found this page without coming from HERE, I highly suggest you first read THAT before continuing. This page contains SPOILERS and I will not be responsible.

Again, this page contains SPOILERS, so venture forth with extreme caution.

That said, the puzzle I'm going to talk about is a fairly minor one and happens in the first 30 minutes of the game, so really, what do you have to lose.










OK, now that we got rid of all the wimps and prudes, let's get into some actual puzzle designing.

This puzzle isn't too far from the ax example in the parent post. As you've seen in several screen shots from this blog and from the Kickstarter, there is a chainsaw in Thimbleweed Park that looks suspiciously like the one in Maniac Mansion, the one you couldn't find any gas for.

Well, that's about to change.

You will also be able to find some gas and use the chainsaw to solve a puzzle, which bring us to the "ax dilemma" but 10x. There really aren't many puzzles that can't be solved with a fully fueled chainsaw, everything from cutting through a locked door to prying information from a nasty post office worker (scarface style).

The puzzle setup is as follows:

There is a large tree that's fallen and blocking the entrance to the sewer system along a lonely stretch of highway and the characters can't squeeze by it. You find a chainsaw in the hardware store. We're not sure how you get the chainsaw yet (buying stuff and having an economy in adventure games gets tedious), but that's not the issue, so lets just skip that for now. You find gas in some location we haven't figured out yet.

So, the problem becomes, how can we limit the player's ability to use the fully fueled chainsaw to cut the fallen tree and not let them use the chainsaw to break down doors, threaten other characters or cut a piece of twine.

There could be a limited supply of fuel, but that doesn't really solve the issue and might create a horrible dead end.

The chainsaw could be electric, but what the hell is an power outlet doing out in the middle of the woods and why is it in the only power outlet in the Tri-Thimbleweed Area.

Can the whole problem be solved with a witty substitution (à la rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle)?

Maybe it's solvable with some funny dialog?

And most important, the using of said chainsaw needs to feel fulfilling in the way that finally releasing 25 year of pent-up frustration only can.

Feel free to change any of our assumptions as long as the chainsaw/gas is used to gain access to the sewer system.

If this proves to be a successful experiment, we'll just turn over the rest of the design to all of you. It will save us a lot of work.

- Ron

Mike Conley - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:37
Can there be some fabric of something on or near the cutting point that gets caught in the chainsaw just as the cut is finished that wrecks the motor?

Can the chainsaw hit some point at the end of cutting where the teeth of the chainsaw are hitting something so hard that the teeth get worn down very quickly, making the chainsaw useless, so the character throws it away?

Can we somehow get tree sap or sugar into the gas-tank of the chainsaw? That'll wreck it pretty fast, but not before it's had a while to cut.

Ron Gilbert - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:39
The issue becomes using the chainsaw before you've cut the tree.

IceDBear - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:18
What if, by the time you can get the chainsaw and/or the gas for it, the fallen tree is the only puzzle left? An then it breaks, in an epic way.

IceDBear - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:21
And if the player want's to destroy a few other things, let them!

Cheeseness - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:22
Is the chainsaw located at the tree to begin with? An option that could work with Mike's suggestion would be to have the character(s) leave it there with some vague handwaving about not wanting to lug an empty chainsaw around and have the tree cutting event triggered by fueling up the chainsaw.

Pietz - Jun 11, 2015 at 13:52
How about something like the grog-loosing mugs in monkey island? If you fill the chainsaw you only have the fuel for a few screens - otherwise the chainsaw gets more and more empty. So you cannot reach some other buildings from the gas station. You have to go directly from the gas station to the tree to have enough fuel left.

Just an idea...

Soong - Jun 12, 2015 at 02:59
I really like that idea. The chainsaw could have a leak in the fuel tank.  Maybe there's no store that sells fuel for it, but only a gas station.  So you need to fill up the chainsaw at the pump and then it starts losing fuel.  That way, you can only get to the tree and nowhere else.  As long as there are no containers that can hold fuel, you should be ok.  And since fuel is poisonous, the character probably will not want to fill it into random containers anyway.

dominic - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:39
Replace the chainsaw and gas with an angry beaver. You could find a happy beaver and need to make them angry. I have no idea how to make a beaver angry.

I'd actually be worried about using a gas-powered chainsaw anywhere near a sewer system due to .. you know.. gasses.

pikomi - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:01
Your last sentence might be a good point. Don't let the player find portable gas for the chainsaw. Let the chainsaw be powered by gas from that and only that location: the sewer entrance. There might be a hole in the ground or in the sewer wall that is smelling gassy. Then you might use a hose to connect it with the chainsaw.

Christopher Griffin - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:35
Genius!  A methane-powered chain saw!

Ian Stanway - Jun 11, 2015 at 09:19
Maybe, but given that a chainsaw can't actually be powered by sewer gas, and it's only the American audience who use the term gas for petrol/gasoline, most of the audience will struggle to make the connection. I know I would be disappointed with this (being a Brit) and would feel cheated that it's the play on words that's making the connection. Furthermore that leads me to say it's a MI2 monkey wrench-type puzzle that only means something in English (and only a subset of English speakers at that).

pikomi - Jun 12, 2015 at 02:06
Maybe my thinking was too comic-like. You know like in the "Tintin-Sectret of the Unicorn" movie where Captain Haddock powered the airplane with his alcoholic breath. Well it's kind of strange i have to admit :)

longuist - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:29
I like that idea. The other solutions are too logical, thus boring. But the chainsaw should stay in the game, maybe when trying to fuel it you realize it is a very well crafted 1:1 wax replica

Michael Davis - Jun 15, 2015 at 10:52
Ha! I love that, when you go to fill the tank the gasoline dissolves the wax and it ends up as a sticky wax puddle (which could be used for a different puzzle!)

Unfortunately, I don't know if that's a workable answer since it sounds like getting the tree cut down is an important part of the situation

Red Mercer - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:39
Don't let the player use the chainsaw. It belongs to someone who actually knows how to use it.

What's the player character like? Has he ever used a chainsaw before? Does he even have the upper-body strength to do so? Some weakling using a chainsaw for the first time has so many ways to die or be horribly injured. Having it be someone else takes that out of consideration and also lets you not put the chainsaw in their inventory so you don't have that "universal key" hanging out in the player's inventory.

Sincerely, Red

Vegetaman - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:15
Actually, not having the main character use the chainsaw seems genius. Take the chainsaw and gas that the player found to a person that knows how to use it, and let them cut the branch then "run out of gas" or "break the chain" or somesuch so it can't be used again, but also can't be used in another situation. Perhaps this person has safety gear or something....

Figuring out how to start a chainsaw, if you've never done it before, can be very confusing -- and even dangerous. I don't think it is out of the question for someone to say "I'm not going to use that -- I don't know how it works!".

Johnny 7 - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:14
You are all thinking about Guybrush Threepwood. Maybe the character who has to use the chainsaw in the game is not incompetent and stupid. From what I've seen this game is not Monkey Island in tone.

Johnny 7 - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:18
The best idea I've heard here is restricting the use to the sewer and fuelling it with its gasses, which is also funny in a childish fart joke sort of way.

Vegetaman - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:56
Doesn't have to be incompetent and stupid. Get inside a truck made in the 1920s and see if you can figure out how to start it. How about a tractor from the 1940s? It's a familiarity thing. If you're a city person, you may have never had reason to run a chainsaw nor even know how it works. *shrug*

JAVE - Jun 16, 2015 at 07:33
You probably haven't spent years running around with a chainsaw in your inventory, looking for fuel...
IF there is another chainsaw in this adventure, then we BETTER BE ABLE TO USE IT. (frustration speaking here).

And no, a following adventure where you can find chainsaw fuel will not heal the wounds this time.

dave - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:55
I agree with this. Have the puzzle be a person who will not let go of the chainsaw because ironically they want to cut everything in the game for themselves. You have to trick them into helping you and have the chainsaw break on them. It can get graphic and he dies using it or he goes crazy cutting other trees but the player doesnt care because they want to advance

RappScallion - Jun 11, 2015 at 14:48
Yeah I too like the 'give the chainsaw to a npc to cut the tree. Until the player does so, if he tries to ise the chinsaw the response could be, 'no thanks, I don't like the Meathook look'...
As suggested, to tie up the chainsaw puzzle with aplomb; as the npc cuts through the log it could strike a piece of metal, igniting sewer gases and killing or maiming the npc in comic cartoon fashion, rendering the chainsaw useless in the process.

Soong - Jun 12, 2015 at 03:03
Oh, I also like this idea. The chainsaw could actually be dangerous. It could even become an inventory item, but the character tries to use it once, struggles, and then doesn't want to try again.  If you click on the same command too often, the character does it anyway and dies a gruesome, but funnily animated death. Of course, there's an auto-save right before the character dies.

Mark Shallow - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:40
Call it a "Safety Chainsaw" with a long, funny description of the safety features including a large list of items you aren't supposed to use it on?

Or maybe make a note that there's not much gas and that they "don't think they should waste the chainsaw's gas on that!" and if they use it on the tree "now THIS is what the chainsaw was born for!"

What if the chainsaw is stuck in a rock like excalibur and it's forseen to cut down the 'legendary tree', after which the ghost of the chainsaw ascends to chainsaw heaven?

Ian Stanway - Jun 11, 2015 at 09:20
I like your first two suggestions.

Sewa-o-matic - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:40
It could be that you cant (somehow) take the chainsaw to other places... because it has a hole in the tank so you can refill it any number of times you want but only use it there. Forgot to mention that the fuel has to be near the tree... perhaps an old automobile...

Or maybe that the chain saw is chained to a metal post for some strange reason...

Drax - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:15
I think the chained chainsaw could be the answer.
Let's say the character finds the blocking log, then you get to explore a bit around, eventually you find a sign "Due to recent chainsaw thefts, I have decided to chain ours, please do not attempt to remove the chain OR the chainsaw, Ron" following the chain you find the chainsaw. By "chance" the length of the chain is just enough to allow you to reach the blocking log.
It makes sense to hint "Ok, I'll use the chainsaw to remove the log", but if the player attempts to leave the chainsaw and not use, no problema. If he player picks it and attempts to leave with the "chained chainsaw" then you can use jokes about failing to remove the chain from the chainsaw or the chain from the post it is chained to.
After using the chainsaw for its intended use, it can be damaged or the fuel could be exhausted (and somehow there is a shortage of chainsaw fuel so you can't get more till "next month")

Sewa-o-matic - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:45
Yes.. you could use a words game here..! like:
So its chained on the tank so if you remove it you wont be able to use it anywhere else!

Chris Armstrong - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:55
Yeah I like the idea of the chainsaw somehow being restricted to the area, so it's really obvious that it's the solution to the puzzle, but then have a more complicated/less-obvious approach to fueling it (rather than 'just find gas somewhere').

Sewa-o-matic - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:52
Thinking it better that "tongue twister" game wont work in other languages...

So, maybe you might need something else than just finding the gas and the chainsaw... So it could be that you could attempt to use it anywhere else but due to a hole un the tank (covered with some old, aged and dry 25 years old ducktape with the inscription "Porperty of Dr. Edison" which now fails its purpose of covering the hole...), the chainsaw starts and runs out fuel because it leaks through this hole. So you have both things but you cant use it... you have to find other way to "feed the machine". So perhaps near the tree there is an old empty water tank with a hose, so you must drop the fuel inside the tank and connect the hose to the chainsaw and get some sort of thetered chainsaw in order to cut that tree. when finish the chain gets stuck and you cant use it anymore.

Mario - Jun 11, 2015 at 03:32
thats realy funny. chain at chainsaw. including the sewer gas filling with hose. it is very very funny. and after cutting the tree the chainsaw is out of use.

DZ-Jay - Jun 11, 2015 at 05:46
Why not go all the way and make it a "chained saw"?  Geddit?  Not really a chainsaw, but an old fashioned saw, that's chained... Har! Har! ... OK, I'll shut up.


Cookie - Jun 25, 2015 at 21:50
Funny, but might loose all meaning/funnyness in other languages.

Ian Stanway - Jun 11, 2015 at 09:21
I like this idea.

peterszky - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:40
I would make a plus "timbersports" - - character, who could use the chainsaw and the gas we found, the tree at the sewer is a great opportunity for world championship training.

Andrew Herron - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:34
Or maybe an artist? You could find a chainsaw artist and they turn the fallen log into a sculpture!

Javier Berezovsky - Jun 15, 2015 at 11:43
This could also be a callback to day of the tentacle! They had the guy chiseling a sculpture

Brandon Perdue - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:42
Along the lines of having limited fuel, perhaps some fuel is needed for an earlier puzzle (rendering the chainsaw never really fully fueled), or perhaps fuel needs to be extracted from the chainsaw later for a different purpose.  The chainsaw becomes part of solving a puzzle, but in an unexpected way.

nikola - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:42
The character does not know how to operate a chainsaw or is scared to do so. The character trades the chainsaw for someone to cut the path through instead of the character.

Will - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:42
How about making the brand of the chainsaw a parody of one of those super cheap products that say "As Seen on TV!", and then literally falls apart in your hands after the first use?  You could follow it up with some funny line about it being a useless piece of junk, but at least it held out to get through the log.

David Fox - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:17
Problem is we don't know if the "first use" will be on the tree. So it would fall apart before you use it on what you need to.

Will - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:59
Hrm, what about making the product description something like: "Zonko Gas-Powered Large Log Cutting Saw! It cuts through large logs like butter! WARNING: This device is only designed to cut through large logs. Any attempt to cut through substances other than large logs may result in permanent damage to the product."  Then, after using on the appropriate puzzle and it falling apart, have the character say "Wait, there's even smaller print on the label... "Warning: Fallen trees may not qualify as large logs for usage and warranty purposes." What a cheap hunk of junk!".

Nathan - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:59
I think haven the fuel source at the sewer solves this problem and the earlier suggestion about using the gas from the sewer to power the chainsaw is a good one using a hose.  Plus it adds a bit of humour and would allow for some interesting coloured exhaust coming from the chainsaw.

Then you could apply any of the other humorous theories (wax chainsaw, late-night shopping fall apart) or come up with another humorous demise for the chainsaw.  

Maybe the chainsaw is the catalyst for a sewer gas explosion (christmas vacation style) whereby it doesn't have any fuel and therefore can't be used elsewhere in the game.  The spark plugs are still working therefore starting it up around the sewer gas causes an explosion which removes the tree.  The player can attempt to start it anywhere in the game but its not going to run.  Maybe you could show sparks coming from the chainsaw as they try to start it or a line from the character saying that it is producing sparks:

- Come on sparky (unintended christmas vacation pun!), you can do it!
- Run sparky, run!
- Zap, its got no fuel, but there is no problem with the spark plugs! (maybe a bit obvious)
- ?

Everyone loves explosions!

Nathan - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:07
Oh, just remembered what else I was going to say:

By allowing the user to attempt to start it anywhere in the game also lets you have some nice animation and feeling of control over the character.  One thing I enjoyed about monkey island as a child was being able to get the character to do things, even if they didn't have a direct impact on the game.  

One thing that springs to mind is the large objects that Guybrush was able to stuff down his trousers. I am sure someone will correct me as it has been a while, but from memory couldn't you pull that big cotton bud out of your pants to look at it?  I always thought that was funny.   Ergh, I maybe stretching my memory of the game here, but hopefully you get my point.  

So maybe when they go to start the chainsaw in other areas of the game it gives the opportunity to have some fun with the animation..

Over and out.

Andrew Langley - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:42
An idea: The chainsaw is damaged in some significant way that the player can't repair. It leaks when you fill it with gasoline, which gives you a very limited amount of time to use it.

The trick then is that the source of gas would have to be confined to somewhere near the tree. The player can endlessly refill the chainsaw, but can't wander very far before it drains out. Similar to filling mugs of Grog to dissolve a lock.

Preston Moore - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:48
You beat me to my suggestion! But yes, this seems like the most logical explanation to me as well. Since the entire point of having the chainsaw is to appeal to the Maniac Mansion crowd, it doesn't make sense to get rid of it. But if you had a fuel source relatively nearby the tree, and the fuel runs out after a period of time, then you can prevent the player from ever getting to a position where they have both fuel and chainsaw together.

ellen - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:44
What if it's like a trial-use chainsaw that can only be used once? Could be "For Demo Purposes Only" and after you use it once you then have to pay some exorbitant fee to keep using it. You know, some sort of Pay-to-Saw subscription model.

Roshirai - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:57
"You can't afford the Logslayer 3000? Well, I *do* happen to have this nice shareware chainsaw you could have..."

Johnny 7 - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:21
Oh hi Stan!

David Fox - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:22
What if the one time they use it is on a locked door somewhere else in the game? Then they'd not be able to use it on the tree.

Mark Pollock - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:44
A chainsaw needs a chain as well. Just a thought.
Anyhow, perhaps the chainsaw has a leaky gas tank (is it called a tank) and you have limited fuel. You might have to put the fuel in and then immediately use the chainsaw.
Also, chainsaws are very noisy. You might only use them where the noise won't be a problem, like in a forest. If you use it in town, you might have several very angry mothers confronting you about how you woke their babies.
Chainsaws have centrifugal clutches, which means that they only spin the chain when revved up. When idling, they don't spin. This is why people can juggle chainsaws without cutting their hands off. A chainsaw with a busted clutch that spins the chain all the time would be terribly dangerous, as you would have to start it and use it and shut if off without doing anything else. This would be very limiting in usefulness, you wouldn't want to run it unless you were really sure you could do it correctly.
Chainsaws need a pull cord. A chainsaw without a pull cord could not be started. Perhaps a handy rope hanging from a nearby tree in the forest could be used to start the chainsaw. A rope hanging from a tree with a nasty knot in it that cannot be untied, and which cannot be cut down because it would then be too short, so you have to put the rope in the chainsaw while the rope is attached to the tree, and run away from the tree holding the chainsaw to start it, now there is a crazy idea.

Christian - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:09
Somebody before you left a chain stuck in the started cut in the tree. The chain cannot be removed from the tree. The chainsaw has no chain. You can insert the chainsaw in the cut area and complete the chain to a circle around the balde and use it to finish the cut. Afterwards of course the chainsaw crumbles to dust and cannot be used again

Christian K. - Jun 12, 2015 at 11:20
Ingenious! No wonder with that name. ;)

Jon - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:44
How about this:

There is a broken-down car next to where the tree is blocking the entrance to the sewer. There is gas in the gas tank of the car that you can use to power the chainsaw, but enough for one run. However, you need to find a piece of tubing to get the gas from the car to the chainsaw, after which the tubing gets stuck in both the gas tank of the car and the chainsaw, thus only allowing the player to turn on the chainsaw in the vicinity of the tree. Maybe the heat from the chainsaw melts the tubing or something.

Or maybe a group of industrious sewer rats crawls out of the sewer after you successfully use the chainsaw and together they carry it away to parts unknown, presumably to worship as a god.

Uli Kusterer - Jun 15, 2015 at 21:47
To get the tube stuck, you could just take advantage of the fact that gasoline is kind of a solvent. It might just be dissolving the hose's rubber at the ends.

Simon - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:45

First, sorry for my poor English, I'm french :)

As for an idea : the chainsaw has a broken blade. That's why the shop's owner give it awat.  A "good" blade is stuck in the fallen tree. So you had to combine the two to saw the tree. Afterward, the blade broke again and therefore cannot be used again.

Tim - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:45
Make it a solar powered chainsaw, and the only place with a large and obvious sunny beam of light is next to the tree?
I feel like I've seen that used in another adventure game actually...

Chol - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:21
I had a similar idea. You could place a solar charging station in the forest which is normally meant to be used by the forest ranger to recharge his Jeep.

Justin Graham - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:45
I think the chainsaw needs to be captive, and disabled after use. I.e. perhaps it's stuck in the tree where someone left it cause it jammed when it ran out of gas. So you need to fill it, and get it started while it's stuck, and then you can cut, but not remove it, and when you get through the tree, the chain could break and it becomes useless.

Justin Graham - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:49
Or perhaps the chainsaw is tethered to the tree or some other object with a bicycle lock, so you cannot take it anywhere. I suppose that wouldn't prevent using it with objects already in your inventory though.

Justin Graham - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:52
Or perhaps you can entice a pack of beavers to go to town on the tree and haul it off to their dam, taking care of the problem for you. Who doesn't like beavers?

Justin Graham - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:56
or how about you have to find a rope, tie around a tree, and attach it to a tractor that needs gas, put a brick or some object on the gas and start it. It takes off, and pulls the tree away, breaking the rope, and the tractor crashes in the process.

Jim Wells - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:45
If you only need to use the chainsaw once, here's what you do:

Have the character(s) using the chainsaw cut through the tree. Then, just as the tree breaks in half allowing access to the destination, *CHLINK-RRRRRRrrr... putter*, the chainsaw blade gets snagged, caught, and otherwise stuck and permanently lodged into the tree, due to coming into contact with a previously-invisible bicycle the tree had grown to encompass, similar to the famous myth about the "soldier who left his bike chained to a tree and never came back."  (see for more context)

This leaves the chainsaw unusable in the traditional sense (if you wanted to keep it in the player's inventory), or permanently lodged into the environment where it cannot be retrieved, eliminating the "ax problem" altogether.

Could that work? I'd be stoked if I was able to contribute something to a game like this. :)

Jim Wells - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:48
Aw, just saw Ron's comment above. Dang. I do like the idea that another poster said about the limited-length fuel tube, though. That would at least limit the vicinity it can be used in?

ken - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:45
Can the Chainsaw be 'stuck' in the tree already (like someone had tried and failed because it ran out of gas - also very sword in the stone-esque), so the player needs to bring gas back to chainsaw, fill it up, complete tree cutting action. If it's a one off, you could have the chain break after completion as well and possibly use chainless chainsaw (for noise, or for the remaining gas) in a later puzzle.

Ian Stanway - Jun 11, 2015 at 09:22
I like this.

Patrik - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:45
This is stupid, but I'll write it anyway...

Instead of a tree, can't it be some kind of machine (gas powered) blocking the way (not really sure about what) that requires the chain from the chain saw (and the gas) to work?

Maybe it can be some kind of mechanic gate/door that blocks the entrance to the sewer?

Ok, I'll be quiet now.

JiFish - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:46
If both the chainsaw AND the gas are going to be from other locations, the only option is to add a THIRD component needed to make it operate. Perhaps the battery for starter motor? They could use some handy electronics near the swear entrance.

Jens Restemeier - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:46
Destroy the chainsaw when done:
- you require the spark plug from the motor for another puzzle
- you hit metal/concrete after cutting down the tree which breaks the chain

- you require a supervisor/training to make sure you use the chainsaw correctly
- using it at any other time means the characters refuse to do it on health+safety grounds

Extra item:
- player may want to use protective glasses/helmets/apron, which can only be borrowed from a character, who doesn't allow the player to leave the area without returning them

Oh, and try to start a chainsaw yourself in real life. Borrow one if necessary.  There is a slight knack to getting it running, especially if it is old and badly maintained.

Alex Jaffe - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:46
How about a screaming chainsaw? Offered at a huge discount because the whirring of the blades sounds distinctly like the screaming of a large animal being attacked by a chainsaw. Not good for business. If you try to use it anywhere but the woods, you'll freak people out! And draw too much attention to yourself, if that's a thing. But once you're out in the middle of nowhere, you're free to go nuts. (If a lot of the prior segments take place in the middle of nowhere, this obviously won't work.)

Juan - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:51
I like that idea! It would be hilarious to watch the NPCs run away in panic every time you turn the chainsaw on.

Andrew Herron - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:41
ooh and then if you try to use the chainsaw on anything but the tree the character says "what? I can't hear you over the screaming!"

thevanofoz - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:49
The chainsaw is an old, dull, and smoky floor model from twenty years ago that the workers had been using...sporadically (not something you'd want to use inside due to the smoke) and breaks spectacularly after cutting down the tree.

If used outside but not on the tree, characters laugh it off, it catches on twine and wire, and it barely makes a scratch on a steel door (it could perhaps hilariously cause permanent damage to a wood door without even opening it).

The tree could be wet and extremely decayed (but still too large to be movable) which makes it more plausible to be able to cut through it with a chainsaw of poor quality.

Snapman - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:51
1) The chainsaw has an embarrassingly childish design (hello kitty, whatever).  You don't want to be seen with it in public, or risk being seen with it, so you can only use it in that very remote location where nobody's around.

2) The chainsaw's tank leaks, and you can only used it a few screens away from where you fill it. (like grog cups melting)

3) The chainsaw has no teeth, but there's a chain wedged into the log already (looks like it grew around this chain when it was just a sapling).  It breaks after you finish cutting the tree, from rust.

4) The chainsaw tank empties immediately if you hold it horizontally (preventing any normal usage), but you can run it if you keep it pointed down, and you have a way to cut the fallen tree from above, by lowering it by a rope or pulley, or from some place you can get to from above.

5) Skip the chainsaw entirely and use something exotic like termites or wood solvent (Birch wood only.  This door is made of oak.).

Brian S - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:58
A hello kitty chainsaw.  I love that.

DZ-Jay - Jun 11, 2015 at 06:00
My wife also suggested some special, fast-acting exotic termites, but I like your idea of wood solvent better.

The problem is that Ron seems to want to use a chainsaw to make up for the old Maniac Mansion gag.  Of course, if that can't work, then I think the wood solvent that only works on the type of tree growing in the woods is a brilliant idea -- as long as no other wood article in town is made out of that type of wood.  (Thimbleweed Park is known to import its wood from nearby states.)

As for the chainsaw, the best idea I've seen so far (and I'm half-way through the thread) has been something similar to your wood solvent idea:  a
"safety" chainsaw that only works on tree wood.  It includes a label with all the things that it doesn't do, and gives examples of the things it does do, such as cut down fallen trees.  It's cheesy, but works.


beck - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:52
The first thing that I thought of was to have the chainsaw leaking fuel so that it runs out either after time or screen changes, similar to the mug o' grog on the jail cell from MI1.  Your fuel would almost have to be by the tree, or within a frame or two or else it would feel just as cheap as being told "I don't want to do that."  Maybe put it in the trunk of a broken-down car on the highway?

Anthony - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:52
Well, chainsaws are hard to handle. How about every time you use it there is an animation of the character swinging it wildly about the place, much to the consternation of any other characters in the vicinity. It's like trying to wield a bucking bronco. This makes it completely useless for doing anything - the animation plays, and the character says something like "I just can't control it!".

Of course, this wild swinging is just perfect for cutting through the tree...

Eric - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:54
I was thinking along the same lines, as someone else mentioned, with the beaver.  However, I was thinking of it being more of a toy or a tool than a real beaver.  Because with live animals, you could have the whole Maniac Mansion hamster dilemma with microwaves.  Maybe this toy/tool could be obtained through a mock Boy Scout Troop that's represented in the game and can only be used for what it was intended for, cutting through wood..

Eric - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:56
Further that thought, it could be a Wood Chuck, and we all know what a wood chuck can do. :)

longuist - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:41
How much chains could a chainsaw saw if a chainsaw could saw chains .. no, not funny :(

Roshirai - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:54
I've got two for you.

1) The chainsaw is old. Maybe the proprietor is particular about it. "They only ever made 14 of these babies! They're extremely unsafe!" Thus, replacement parts are hard to come by, so when your character takes the chainsaw, he/she is told to be careful with the blade because replacement parts are basically non-existent. The character will then say something to the effect of "I need to be real careful with this thing" any time you try to cut anything but the objective.

2) Similar to 1), only the chainsaw is a collector's item. It sits in a place of honor in the store, and the owner only lends it to you for one particular purpose and you have to promise not to use it for anything else. "Don't you dare start cuttin' just anything with that, 'cause I'll know, and so help me..." Your character mentions this any time you try to use the chainsaw anywhere else.

For both of these, you could also add a small comedic branch involving an obvious second bonus area you could use the chainsaw to access, but if you cut into both that area and the main objective, the chainsaw breaks and you have to return it to the now devastated owner. Maybe there is a side puzzle to get replacement parts before he finds out. :)

Pato - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:56
Forget the chainsaw,  is too creepy. Use a jar fulled of starving termites instead! Or termite eggs to grow inside the three.! Once the little creatures are done with the wood they'll just run away into the background...

Harrison Pink - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:56
How dead-set on the specificity of the chainsaw as the puzzle solution? I can envision several other more "Gilbert-esque" items or solutions that would be somewhat wackier and solve this problem, from hiring a martial arts expert to chop the log with his hand, to a stick of TNT to blow it to bits which would be unsafe to use in any other location. I feel like any limitation you place on the player is going to feel really trite. A chainsaw is just such a cool and powerful item, you're just naturally going to want to chainsaw everything in sight, and any excuse for why you can't will wear thin very quickly.

If you're locked into the chainsaw for other reasons, a solution might be to declare the power tool too dangerous to use in public spaces. OR perhaps the chain is dangerously rusty and damaged and anything too hard (like a lock) will wreck it before it has a chance to grind through it.

Arto - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:56
If it was an electric chainsaw, we could have an European plug on it. Maybe it was left behind by a Finnish lumberjack. There could be a broken car next to the tree. It's battery could be working though. Maybe it's a European car with European electric outlet.

Arto - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:05
...and if you need replacement for the fuel, you should find an extension cord to reach the tree. With european plugs of course ;)

Lennart - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:57
There are some good ideas in the previous comments, but ulitmately the problem isn't solveable unless you only get the final ingredient (chain, fuel) to the chainsaw in a locked situation where the tree is the only thing you can access next.
I don't want to criticize you prematurely, but I don't like the chainsaw puzzle idea. There surely other ways of getting the tree out of the way.  You can tie a rope to a car, the angry beaver from one of the previous posts, or you can use a pocket knive and an excessive long time. A blocked entrance with a unique way ob accessing it sound like a "we need to make sure you got the item at this point" situation. I wonder what else the chainsaw will be used for.
But be careful, you are ending a very very long running joke that will no longer be funny afterwards... It's like the broken staircase, one of the definite Maniac Mansion mysteries.

Adam - Jun 10, 2015 at 14:57
How about (in a nod to monkey island). The blade is a special Rubber plant tree blade that only cuts through rubber plant trees. Therefore when used on anything else it just bounces like rubber off of it?  So the first time the player uses it, on for example a door. It bounces of the door and the character says something along the lines of "it seems to have some sort of custom blade on it". Then I will leave it to you guys to work out the witty dialogue once it's used to cut through the rubber plant tree.

Jon - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:21
Yes, this! Friggin' rubber trees are always ruining things.

Adam - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:34
Thinking about it. The tree could have come from anywhere. Perhaps the game could refer to a recent hurricane and that's how the tree got there allowing other items to be lying nearby that also came from the same place. So perhaps little totem poles, bananas, and a giant cotton(ear) bud?

Dennis - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:01
The player character refuses to use the chainsaw saying he has not received the proper training to handle it and does not have the required protective clothing either.

Somewhere in the game, preferably on some worn down wooden fence with a peephole in it (an eye staring out of it randomly towards the advertisement column near it) , there is an advertisement poster offering "Chainsaw Courses with Bob".

When the player reads the poster, Bob reveals himself and walks out from behind the wooden fence. He offers to train the player in Chainsaw handling and says he can provide protective clothing for the course but due to certain "problems"(add some funny explanation referring to all kinds of retarded laws and regulations) he is not exactly licensed to train people anymore and also does not have a place or a chainsaw or fuel to conduct the course.

So the player has to provide and bring the chainsaw, the fuel and the place (requires knowledge about the blocked entrance location) to Bob and then they'll will together proceed to the dead tree where Bob will teach handling the chainsaw (telling funny chainsaw business anecdotes during the whole process) and then just "a few hours and a certification ceremony later" the path is unblocked.

The player will notice a fine (but useless) Chainsaw Handling certificate in his inventory but Bob has mysteriously vanished... along with the chainsaw.

sTim - Jun 11, 2015 at 15:04
I love this idea! Seems in perfect keeping with Maniac Mansion/Monkey Island way of doing thing (kinda like gopher repellant in Monkey Island)

Soong - Jun 12, 2015 at 03:09
This is really great, too!

Dan - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:01
Probably a boring solution but the chainsaw has trouble starting and only starts occasionally. The player can attempt to start it to use on anything but it will only start when it's meant to solve a puzzle. Even when it doesn't start the player will be rewarded with the animation of  pulling the starter handle and the chainsaw sound.

That is boring I guess. I'll think of another one.

Caspar - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:03
I would say it is generally not possible to use a chainsaw in a forest, when you don’t have electricity. One funny thing would be: I helped my mother, cutting the grass with a stupid lawn mower. The problems are two things: It’s always full with gras after two seconds and the cable is to short, because the garden is quite big. So we switch multiple cables with each other and take the electricity from the kitchen. Then I ran behind my mother and taking the old cables when she is walking in the garden with the lawn mower and i take care that she is not walking with the lawn mower over the cable. So my solution would be: We have in Berlin (Germany) a lot of so called stupid „Obi“ shops, where you can buy things like „chainsaws“ and a terrible "lawn mower“. If you want to take a chainsaw in the wood you need a terrible long cable and a person running and selecting the cable behind you. You have to take the electricity from the obi market (or a pendant) in thimbleweed park. therefore you have to find a way to come into the obi market (by night and it is closed), so you have to climb on the roof and climb through a window to get the electricity for the chainsaws from the obi market. The german symbol for the Obi Shops is a hamster. Therefore you have to find a hamster costume in the obi market (by night) that the watchmen couldn’t catch you. You pull the electricity in the Obi Market in the socket for Electricity, climb out of the obi Market window with the hamster costume and try to have so much cables as possible for the chainsaw. Finally the connection is broken and you have to use a solar cell (you have to steal it from the obi market). But the Problem is: You have to upload the solar cell in the obi market. Therefore you have to put on a searchlight in the obi market and pull the solar cell in the searchlight. When the battery are full you can use the solar cell to plug with the chainsaw. You cut the tree and you can enter the sewerage...

More at:

PS: I'm not crazy, I'm German and had a nice Hefeweizen! ;)

Caspar - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:05
PS2: I know, it has nothing to do with the question... It was just my imagination, running away with me (*)

(*) Motown

Caspar - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:08
You have to connect the Chainsaw several times with this, that would be awesome funny:

Caspar - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:26
PS3: One funny thing would also be: You have a chainsaw, but you need gas. Therefore you see a light in the sky. You think first it is something unbelievebale (like a UFO). You walk in the forest to discover the light coming down (with the chainsaw, without gas), but it is a hot air balloon driver who wants to fly around the world, but he has to do a security landing in the forest (by night). He needs something to repair his nacelle. Therefore you go to the Obi Market, climb through the window, take the searchlight (with the Hamstercostume to confuse the security) and Power adhesives. Then you climb out of the window of the Obi Market and you want to use the tree to climb out but there is a cat: She doesn’t allow you to go out, so you have to steal from the watchman in the obi market (who is sleeping) his fish sandwich. You give the fish sandwich to the cat and she is running away. You can go to the Balloon driver, give him the Power adhesives and the searchlight and he can fly away, but he gives you some gas from the Balloon for you’re chainsaw.

Caspar - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:51
PS4: If the Tree falls, you just need thunder & Lightning (that means bad weather) that the tree can burn. You have to climb on a roof and use the chainsaw as lightning rod. Then the bad weather comes, thunder and lighting fire up the chainsaw on the roof. You have to go to the Obi Market climb through a wind with the hamster costume, take Plastic gloves and take the chainsaw from the roof… Then: Use the Plastic Gloves with the electrified chainsaw in connection with the tree and the tree starts to burn. You have to go back to the Obi Market take a shovel and put away the dust from the burned that burned. You can go to  the sewerage.

(do everything with the hamster costume)

Caspar - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:13

Try to use the chainsaw with the tree.
The chainsaw is out of gas
Then: Use chainsaw with Mobil Phone
Result: You are doing a chainsaw Selfie and you post it on Facebook
Result 2: The police officer came and is doing a control with you. They take away you’re chainsaw
You are in Prison for one night
Somebody in Prison gives you a cake
Inside the cake is a file
You can use the file with the prison door
You bring back the file to the Obi Market
Therefore you get a tightrope
Do a selfie with the tightrope around you’re head and post it on Facebook
The police comes again
Tell them you don’t have the tightrope anymore, and it is a fake. The officer believes that, because he is compassionate with you
Pull the tightrope at the police car
Pull the tightrope also at the tree
The police car is leaving and pulling the tree away
You can enter the sewerage

stderr - Jun 12, 2015 at 07:22
You're forgetting that the game takes place in the late 1980's.

Facebook didn't exist back then. Mobile phones did, but they weren't very handy and none of them had a camera, so you couldn't use one to take a selfie.

Alex - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:04
Can the fallen tree be blocked by a weepy Hippie type character, crying at natures loss of a fallen tree. The hippie blocks any ability to cut the tree (and as fun as chainsawing a hippie might be -well, this isnt that type of game).  So, you need to provide the hippie some incentive to get the hippie to move.  You happened to notice a tipsy tree in a previous area that is threatening to topple over - so you suggest the hippie abandon the lost cause that is the fallen tree and instead go hold the tipsy tree up indefinitely.  Might make for some funny dialog down the road as you pass the hippie holding a tipsy tree.  At that point, chainsaw away the fallen tree!

YAYitsAndrew - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:05
There's just enough gasoline to use the chainsaw once, so other unintended uses can say "There's only enough gas to use this once, I should save it for something more satisfying."

Name the gas item "Just enough gas to use a chainsaw one satisfying time".

Finally, I don't know what the player hates at this point in the plot (clowns?) but if someone painted a clown face on the fallen log it would be a lot of fun to shred right through the log and the face at the same time

Lennart - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:06
How about: The chainsaw has no handle on the ignition rope (what's the word for that) But you can tie it to the tree and pull the chainsaw to start the motor. Nowhere else is anything to pull the rope, thus, no working chainsaw.

Sean - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:07
1) Make the chainsaw electric, put a (not so) portable generator next to the tree (or in a neighboring room that an extension cord can just barely reach), use the gas to power the generator.

2) Keep the chainsaw for the entire game, let the players use it on everything, but the dulcet tones of the chainsaw give the player instant narcolepsy. They can use it in the forest because they've fashioned a rudimentary pair of noise cancelling headphones out of some twigs and a couple chipmunks.

3) You get the chainsaw, you get the gas, you put the gas in the chainsaw, an army of beavers destroy the tree before you get a chance to use the chainsaw. Chainsaw runs out of gas. Players seethe in impotent rage for another 25 years. Wooden sign "This Way to Answers About Monkey Island 2's Ending" also eaten by beavers.

4) Player character finds chainsaw, but chain is broken. Replaces chain with a necklace made from human teeth. Carves ornate statue out of tree using the chainsaw. Putting down the chainsaw for a moment to admire his handiwork, it is stolen by the tooth fairy. Then the statue is eaten by an army of beavers.

5) Chainsaw is powered by static electricity. Can only be used in rooms featuring shag carpeting. Since there is no shag carpeting in the forest, player must find a hibernating bear and rub against it while wearing an ironic sweater.

6) Chainsaw doesn't actually work. Pour gas on tree. Hit chainsaw against a rock to create sparks, igniting the gas and burning down the tree.

7) Use chainsaw to carve an axe handle out of a different tree. Use axe handle with axe blade to create an axe. Use axe to break window at hardware store to steal a hand saw. Use hand saw to destroy beaver dam. Angry beavers destroy tree blocking sewer out of spite.

sushi - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:38
I like 6) especially! That also  keeps the longing for a working combination of gas AND chainsaw that started more than 25 years ago.

ashley b - Jun 12, 2015 at 04:35
I like 6 as well but suggest that there are electric wires ala maniac mansion.  He must find rubber gloves so he can protect himself, and then will chainsaw the wires.

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 12, 2015 at 05:05
I really like your fifth solution! :-)

Joseph - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:08
Rather than a chainsaw how about use the money to call a lumberjack to come and cut the tree down for you.

Alternatively give the chain of the chainsaw to a stranded cyclist by the tree whose bike chain has broken. You the player not having money to buy the fuel make a deal with the cyclist so that he buys the fuel in exchange for the chain part once your done. This way all you need is a chain should use of the chainsaw be needed at a later stage.

Stupidly give it to a passing space marine ala Gears of War. What about that pesky chainsaw toll booth at the end of the tunnel or normal toll both that the player must submit his weaponry too in order to pass through.

arensb - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:08
<blockquote>You find gas in some location we haven't figured out yet.</blockquote>
How about: the gas tank on the chainsaw is leaky, so you can't carry it away and have it work down the street.
The fallen tree knocked a hole in a gas tank, and now gas is seeping out someplace where you can let it drip into the chainsaw.
In other words, you can only use the chainsaw when you're close to the fallen tree.

Norman - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:11
You could have the chain on the saw break after cutting through the log. Sadly, there is no replacement to be found. You'd obviously have to ensure they can't use the saw before that point, but if it's early enough that may be OK.

Another idea is that you need to start a chain saw. Typically done by pulling a cord. Perhaps the cord is missing a handle, but you can use part of the tree to loop the cord through and then pull the saw to start it? There wouldn't be any more places in the game with a notch where you could insert a cord to start the saw.

Once you cut the tree, the saw stops but the notch is now underneath the tree, and thus inaccessible.

You could go sort of lame and say the chain is only made for a specific kind of wood, perhaps only green wood (i.e. not a door which has been dried.) That feels sort of lame to me, but I've seen worse in games.

You could also need a funnel to pour gas into the saw (no spout!), and that could only be at the tree. Maybe it has a funnel shaped hole or something. Sadly the saw only holds enough for a single cut, and the saw is started automatically when you fill it (so users don't take it elsewhere.)

Saws need a spark plug, so maybe something along those lines. Maybe the tree is oily (eucalyptus) and the chain is old and rusty and needs the oil to work properly?

Perhaps when you start it else where, it scares people and they make you turn it off except in the forest? Potential for a "chain saw starting in the forrest with no one to hear it joke."

Vic - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:14
You find alcohol. You try alcohol in the chainsaw. It sputters and such. Damn, that should've worked. You meet a former hockey star living in a lit up shack, sitting on a toilet.. There are cut up logs all around. He's unhappy because he's been accused of being a violet brute and he wishes he could find his old trophy to remember the good ol' days. You find a bed pan and attach it to a wooden leg. You happen to have a wooden leg. You paint it all gold. You give the woodshop trophy to hockey dude. He wishes he could drink booze out of it, like in his glory days. You pour the alcohol in the trophy and give it to him. He's happy! He's so happy that he's overwhelmed with a sudden murderous glee and takes your chainsaw. You can't allow him to murder people (I guess), but there's a tree he can hack to bits! Aw damn, no gas. Wait, there's gas in the toilet! He was going to end it all, but now he doesn't need gas in the toilet. He rips the toilet out and pours the gas in. He fills 'er up before a cutscene with extreme tree cutting ensues.

Vegetaman - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:18
Kind of grasping at straws after reading through the other answers, but.... You can always make it an unwieldy two person chainsaw which would make it hard to cut down doors or solve various other puzzles with... Or, if you went the electric chainsaw route, you could always throw a generator out by the downed tree that they could tap into but not move around to use elsewhere. And then the chainsaw cord is too short to just use it willy nilly elsewhere.

Mike - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:19
So, running off of the joke in Maniac Mansion, what if attaining the chainsaw fuel was a big deal, but when you go to use it, you suddenly realize that fuel was *never* the problem with the tool. Even if we'd had the fuel in MM, that dumb chainsaw was busted anyway. It needs ______. Maybe a motor, maybe new teeth, maybe a pull cord---something you'll never find in this game. You end up with a recreation of the joke from MM, but with a new twist, leaving the chainsaw as the frustrating bastard it always was (and was always meant to be).

As for the tree? Perhaps you end up using the chainsaw in a way completely unintended. So, you can't get the blade running, but you can use it as a blunt object to drive a wedge into a crack in the log, or similar. Therefore it avoids the "axe" problem by becoming an arbitrary blunt item. And come on ... anything could be used as a blunt object.

This way, we continue to expand upon the original joke, while adding to its longevity. We also get that special moment of using the chainsaw to solve the problem, even if it's not how we'd originally intended. As the player swings it at the tree, it's us expressing our frustration at the useless device as well while still having accomplished something.

Klaus - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:19
Make a direct reference to Maniac Mansion:

Before the tree the chainsaw is unusable because the character has this idea of a fuelled chainsaw is the holy grail of adventuring and he/she only want save it for the right moment.

Right after chopping the tree Zak McKracken appears from the future and steels the working chainsaw.

khvn - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:20
You know these warning inscriptions they put on dangerous tools? Like "Don't try to stop the blade with your hands", etcetera. This particular chainsaw could have an instruction so enormous the PC couldn't possibly read it from beginning to the end, and he/she would have to check with them every time he wants to use it. And by chance it forbids to use it with every damn object and character in the game... Except that particular tree.

As a final gag, you could script an "A few hours later..." scene when the PC decides finally to read the whole instruction just before cutting the right tree.

sDebke - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:21
I think Mark Pollock is on to something with the chord which hangs from the same tree, or a nearby tree, and the busted clutch. I'll brainstom a bit taking his post as a starting point...

Maybe the tree can be a rubber tree. After falling over, it leaked a trickle of sap which solidified into a very elastic rubber 'chord'. This rubber cord can be attached to the chainsaw. After that, first, the saw has to be started by quickly running away from the tree. The character then finds out what the seller meant by "it sort of, kinda, still works, but it's a bit unsafe", as it starts spinning immediately (busted clutch). As this is unexpected, the character lets go as a reflex, the (spinning) saw catapults back to the tree and neatly cuts it in bits.

The chainsaw can either break after its work is done or the character has had such a freight it will never, ever touch a chainsaw again.

Andreas Hyldgaard - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:21
Does it have to be regular gas. I'm thinking that some more exotic fuel (rocket fuel, nitroglycerin, the wilder the better ) that will ultimately destroy the chainsaw after use - hopefully in a spectacular way (fire, explosion) - could be useful.

Yanko - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:21
The question is: WHY did the tree fall?

The sewer system actually oozes this weird chemical that leaked into a lemon tree trunk. The lemon tree grew oddly and produced, in turn, a lemon so gigantic it made the trunk collapse. The lemon is too big to be picked up, and the (electric) chainsaw power cable is ridiculously short, so it can be plugged to any (red herring) outlet, but it gets disconnected at every meaningful attempt to use it.

Fortunately, the player has in his inventory a couple of metal pieces and kindergarten level physics knowledge, so they can create a lemon battery that is close enough just to cut the tree trunk even with the tiny cable.

And if the player tries to use the chainsaw after the trunk is cut, too bad: it ran out of juice.

jfrisby - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:22
Make the tree a metal lamppost, and have the chain break/fall off?   Or just a metal padlock?
Then the player can carry around a threatening, but non-functional chainsaw, the rest of the game.    
Also like the timed gas idea, but it's the tree that isn't funny enough.

jfrisby - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:31
Or leave the chainsaw in the game, never with any gas, and make the puzzle about ignoring the tree (and chainsaw)?    Maybe you just USE the tree to go under/over it?

jfrisby - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:44
Or, carrying a fueled, old chainsaw causes the player to pass out due to the gas fumes after a set number of rooms.    Using the chainsaw doesn't actually work, but starts a fire that burns down the tree and destroys the chainsaw..

jfrisby - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:05
Maybe once the chainsaw is fueled, the player begins experiencing slight hallucinations, from the gas fumes...  these get worse each screen the player moves, until full-on-craziness, wild creatures attack, the player fights them off...   screams, cut to black..   the player wakes up next to the tree, already removed, gas used up.

Oscar Zettervall - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:23
Too make the gasoline-part of this puzzle a bit more exiting you could make the chainsaw a kind that goes on diesel because when the diesel-engine was engineerd too be driven on peanut-oil and it can run on any vegetable-oil = it can run on used frying oil from say the dinner.

The other problems i don´t have any good answer too.

Arto - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:23
When you first find the chainsaw, it's already have way in the tree. And stuck there tight. Someone has already tried to cut through, but ran out of gas. You need gas to finish the job someone started. If there is a need for another puzzle to complete this, you should find a spark plug too. Maybe the original woodcutter tried to salvage what he could once noticed he couldn't get the chainsaw out, and took the spark plug with him.

Arto - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:28
...and naturally you can only find enough fuel to finish this one job, and that's it. Chainsaw is useless after the tree is out of the way.

Oscar - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:26
Maybe somebody already suggested this in  the 1000+ comments above, but: what if the chainsaw is stuck to the tree already? It's imposible to take it out, and the only posible solution is to find some fuel and start it: the chainsaw cuts the tree and gets released (insert Excalibur OST here for Comical Effect ™), but there in no more fuel so it becomes useless.

Alex - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:27
Let's limit the use of the chainsaw to the place where the tree has fallen. The gas tank is stuck in the tree and only has a limited amount of fuel left. Perhaps opening/reaching the canister is a challenge. As a hint you let the tank leak so it's clear that you can put the chainsaw underneath. so in order to fuel up the chainsaw you have to create a contraption that will hold the chainsaw in position and creates a fixture with the tree. the only way to retrieve the chainsaw again is by enabling it and therefore unblocking the way.

Dan - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:29
the chainsaw gas tank has a leak in it that you can only walk 3 screens with before it runs out of gas.  make sure there is nothing to be solved with the chainsaw within 3 screens away from where you get the gas. The gas could be a fill up station out in the countryside (not a full gas station, but you know, in the country sometimes there’s a single gas tank with a pump (sort of a mini emergency or camping station) on the side of a road. And the player fills directly from that instead of a gas TANK the player has to add to his inventory.

Maybe an additional puzzle would be how to get to the sewer station in only 3 screens by finding another shortcut or opening another shortcut to the location via an access door or something. So now you get another free puzzle included!

Huxi - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:30
Well... the chainsaw could hit the road after cutting the tree, destroying the chain in the process. You could still keep the broken chainsaw in the inventory instead of removing it as usual when an item has no use anymore.
"This chainsaw is broken. I need a new chain to fix it."
... but a new chainsaw chain can't be found in the game.

Preventing abuse of the chainsaw is a bit harder and might require a bit of absurdity.
The chainsaw could have a patent-pending tree-detection security feature (obviously with a catchy CamelCase™ name, like SecuriTree™).

A person using the chainsaw on anything else than our special tree would be able to turn it on (chainsaw sound) but the chainsaw would detect that the target isn't treeish enough and disable itself just before any damage is done - followed by some swearing of the using person about that faulty, over-sensitive security nanny technology.

Huxi - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:52
Hm. My idea sounded a lot more creative in my head before I saw that you all had quite similar ideas. :p

Ignacio - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:31

How about ...the chainsaw is electrical but the battery is death  (I'm not a 'green' person...but I like electronics) this is my solution...

You have to use some alternative energy, in this case solar panel  +battery + cables + lemons ..why ?? because it add a new group of element to use and you can argue that it can only be use in the forest because it is sunny day. So you need the solar panel and a battery to charge, and adapt the chainsaw to use a battery, the lemons is just because with the solar panel you can't get the enough energy...adding the lemon energy you can get it (lemon energy from wikipedia

When you use a the chainsaw on the tree a catastrophic cut is made destroying the battery, the solar panel, and the tree...the lemons survives ... So you can not use the chainsaw again.

Why you can use the 'system' inside a build or other places ?? because the 'system' just doesn't fit or there is not enough space to build the system and if there are people around they complaint about the lemon juice in his eyes and run.

Robin Ward - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:32
What if the tree is already mostly cut down? In other words, someone already came by and did most of the cutting, so it is being held together by an hourglass shaped piece of wood, and then you only have to cut the middle?

Instead of a full chainsaw, it could be a miniature chainsaw shaped file. And you use that to file the small piece of wood and cut down the tree.

Moritz W - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:33
This could be easily solved by using a NPC:
The player finds the chainsaw and gas, but he is unable to open the tank of the chainsaw. However, there is a person next to the tree that looks very strong and can open it for you ("...There ya go! You know that you need to turn the thing clockwise, right?" could be a solution with humour). Now he could use the chainsaw or he gives it to you but hinders you from leaving the area ("Ya know the thing is dangerous?") which created the problem that you could attack him with that. However this is something that can be fixes very easily (or he just uses it).

Randy - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:35
How about having the fuel delivered (by either a backer likeness or a cameo from a Maniac Mansion character) under the stipulation that the saw is returned as a trade?  It would have to be locked to the particular location (no delivery elsewhere, cut scene perhaps for the cutting and handing over of the saw).

Jeremy G - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:36
How about a scenario like this. The Tree, has at some point fallen on top of an old rusted manhole. Some how in the process when the tree fell it damaged the manhole with one of it's massive branches resulting in an opening jammed up with tree and mangled steel. After you acquire your brand new bright and shiny Red Chainsaw and gas it up you start tearing into the branch. Suddenly there's a problem, it jams and wont shut off! It starts making all sorts of horrible sounds, a cacophony of chicken sounds and arcade noises! You back away as it begins to shake around writhing in the side of the tree. In a moments notice a spark flickers and the engine ignites! The flames grow and lick the tree eventually spreading to it. You put it together as the flames burn closer and closer to the damaged sewer hole. At the last second you dive behind an old abandoned car broken down a safe enough distance away as the gases emitting from the sewer ignite. The epic explosion clears the way!

Jeremy G - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:04
Maybe instead of a tree that fell it could be an old fallen weathered billboard. Could feature be a clue for another puzzle or just something amusing.

Ralph Upton - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:37
Can the chainsaw be enchanted a la the "orichalcum detector" item in Fate of Atlantis? Pulling it out makes it wiggle a bit and then points erect into the required direction.

Niek de Moor - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:37
Every time you use the chainsaw some random part  pops out of it because it is a rusty pain in the ass type of chainsaw. But it nevers stops functioning. (you can use the same animation and sound every time,  but a different comment, like “oops... i'm sure that if a run it another time it will explode!”   or “Damn... nearly lost a finger”.....  

In the end, by the tree... It does indeed explode! Just when you need it.  But the fire burns the tree, tree to ashes... and …. voila...

Brian Ruff - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:41
This is pretty funny thinking that the chainsaw would cause a fire that burns the tree down instead of cutting it. Nice work.

Brian Ruff - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:39
Can the chainsaw just be in the tree already left over by some lazy worker who ran out of gas and left it there? Then you just need to put gas in it and the chainsaw sputters to life.... and then breaks of course.

MarkE - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:40
I'd say have a disinterested beaver hanging around the tree and have the player need to track down some beaver luring catnip style item (or gopher attractant, reversing the Monkey Island puzzle) and thus use that on the tree. Bonus because saying 'disinterested beaver' is fun.

Alternatively, rather than having the player find a chainsaw, have it already imbedded in the tree. Like stuck right in the middle as if it had been shot in like an arrow.

Player just needs to find gas, fuel on saw, chainsaw cuts itself loose, destroys tree and then becomes useless or scurries into the underbrush and is seen running past in the background through the game at various points.

Arne W - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:41
Summary of premises/problems (as far as i understood them):
(1) The chainsaw/gas combo should feel like the universal tool we waited for for 25 years.
(2) Universal tools solve too many problems.
(3) A character denying a solution is a nuisance.
(4) Transforming the combo to local only (electric+outlet, leaky tank, car+hose, supervision, additional item) prevents the 25 years of build up pressure for a working chainsaw....

I think these premises are contradictory and therefore propose a radical solution:
Just let the player have the universal tool to solve stuff, and let them cut their way through the puzzle jungle.
But, think of a way of gamification to prevent them from using it too often:
(A) Savegames only save state to the last real solution.
(B) Have an eco-index to track gas spend per solution.

Thank you for sharing your design issue :)
I'm looking forward to using Martian Fuel for my Kitchen Chainsaw.

sushi - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:49
I've read lots of comments above-some more funny than others- but they almost all seem to miss one of the constraints you list so very nicely! All the suggestions for electrical powered chainsaws for example completely miss the laughs I had when seeing the kickstarter video showing an inventory with both the chainsaw and the can of gas!

Lennart - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:42
Maybe the chainsaw can be be given to you by a priest of the church of holy adventure game items and you have to promise him to only ever use it for cutting trees.

Lennart - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:46
And the priest could then name all the other things you might have used the chainsaw for in Maniac and Zak as examples for when you mustn't use it.
Never use it to hurt Meteors. Never use it to harm unattached limbs of sea animals....

Brian Ruff - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:49
Yeah, or make the character sign a waiver at the hardware store promising "not to use the chainsaw in any clever way whatsoever that makes the game designers job harder", and it can just be used in boring old way of cutting wood. But once you try to cut the wood it explodes and burns the tree down.

Lennart - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:50
Good idea, then you wouldn't have actually "used" the chainsaw... I'm still against solving the MM Mystery at all...

Arto - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:44
There could be a lumberjack with the chainsaw hanging around next to the tree.
- 'Could you cut down this tree for me?'
- 'Is it yours?'
- 'Um... yes of course it is!'
- 'I need to see a proof of ownership before any cutting can happen'
- 'I left it in my other pants... Hold on, I'll fetch it'

And then you run around trying to find a proof of ownership. Once you get it, the lumberjack says he doesn't have gas. You need to find that too. Once you have both, the tree will be gone.

Arto - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:51
This could also be simplified not to require the proof of ownership of the tree. But the lumberjack, who has the chainsaw without gas, should look like Weird Ed. Loop closed.

Brian Ruff - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:45
Any time you use the chainsaw it simply cuts a rift into the 8-bit reality revealing the real world (Ron's office desk). Unless you're at the sewer entrance screen, then it just cuts the tree and sputters out.

jochem ijzermans - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:48
Maybe some beavers did't like that "your F#*king around with their tree" and the come and take the chainsaw from you, scareface-style.

Doug - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:51
What if the chainsaw ran on Leaded Gasoline?  Both an 80s reference and impossible to find now.  Put some leaded gasoline to find, but make it only a tiny bit, so the character can "not want to waste the gas doing non-chainsaw tasks" with the chainsaw.

The fuel tank could also leak, so you can only use it within X range of the leaded gas source.  As well, a Conservation Officer could show up and take your chainsaw.  Or the kids from Maniac could show up and as "Could we borrow that?".  Or it could slip the chain and break; maybe allowing it to be returned and exchanged for another tool in the shop.

Tomimt - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:58
What if the chainsaw was already stuck on the tree? A lumberjack has left it there, as he's ran out of gas, so you just need to fuel the chainsaw again. But after you've managed to cut the tree, the clumsy sawer either hits the ground, breaking the chain or the saw just overheats and breaks down as the tree is so wet.

Nata - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:59
Put a red x on the tree... and when a person uses a chainsaw on the door, the character says: "That would be stupid" or somenthing like that

Funktimus - Jun 10, 2015 at 15:59
I'd give the PC a garage door opener / remote control somewhere earlier on, one that doesn't seem to do anything till he gets to the fallen tree. Have the tree surrounded by potentially useful items (ax, chainsaw, beaver etc) but the actual solution is just to click the garage door opener, have a door in the tree swing open and onwards you go...

Estranged2 - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:01
You can limit the player in carrying the chainsaw. It may be too heavy or it may be taken away by somebody, so that you cannot leave a small area without it.

jochem ijzermans - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:10
Maybe one of the Texas Chainsaw massacre is still attached to the chainsaw, making it hard to carry it around.

Funkay - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:09
Have the player find the chainsaw and the gas then the in game character will pickup the log and use it like a hammer to flatten the chainsaw.

Insert a witty comment at that point, something like "I wouldn't have thought it'd work like that"

Then pickup the flattened chainsaw and use it as a crowbar to ironically move the log the character picked up earlier.

To solve the issue of the chainsaw being used elsewhere the chainsaw could be blunt therefore unable to be used to cut things.

Makes perfect sense!

Rodrifra - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:10
I came up with a couple of ideas:

Maybe the chainsaw gas tank could have a crack so that the fuel slowly drains (so slow you have time to cut the tree and so fast it only lasts till you get to the next room. There colud be a filling tank in the middle of nowhere near the tree so that you can use it to fill the chainsaw.

I don't know if there are electrically powered chainsaws, if there are this could be one of those and a magicall electric plug coming from nowere that is near or around the tree.

If something else comes to my mind I'll let you know :P

Rodrifra - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:06
Oh, here comes another one. Maybe you don't have to use the chainsaw, and what you need is a tool to open it and get the chain, use the chain as if you where going to light a fire (yes, the way you do friction fire, see using some fun method you can come up with and cut the tree that way.
Or maybe you can't find gas to start the chainsaw, and just end up using it with your supper strength as if it were a simple saw.... OK forget this last two ideas :D

johnnyfreak - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:12
What if the chainsaw is already stuck in the tree (someone already tried to cut down but the chainsaw run out of gas). So the puzzle will be shifted to the gas. Two possible outcomes could be:
1) there is no gas, you have to "make" it. For example like the fuel of the Delorean in back to the future ( )
2) it is a hamster powered chainsaw ( )

Erik - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:12
I think the character should be able to start the chaindaw anywhere (or maybe just outside). When the chainsaw is started the character would go into some kind of chainsaw frenzy, cutting up things all over the place. Some old lumberjack would recognize that the character had "chainsaw fever" and direct the character to something more appropriate to cut in. The tree. Afterwards the chainsaw would be out of gas or broken.

Erik - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:17
Or the character could be afraid of what it becomes when using the chainsaw, so it doesn't dare start it again...

Torbjörn Andersson - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:13
There probably isn't any one silver bullet solution that will fix all chainsaw-related problems, but it may be possible to come up with sensible reasons why you can't bring a chainsaw everywhere, or why using it doesn't do as much good as you might hope.

* Any armed security guard or policeman could sensibly stop you from entering a building or carrying around chainsaws in public places without an open carry permit. A chainsaw isn't going to help you against a gun.

* Perhaps a recent crime spree involving <insert chainsaw-carrying criminal gang here> have caused most people to get steel reinforced doors for their houses. (Though then you'd probably need a sensible reason why you can't just break a window, with or without the chainsaw.)

* Threatening people with a chainsaw? That'd pretty much have to be handled on a case-by-case basis. The first one that comes to mind is the Crocodile Dundee solution: "That's not a chainsaw. THAT'S a chainsaw."

* There are whole books about chainsaws. Perhaps there are amusing ways in which they can malfunction?

* Solar-powered chainsaw. Only works outdoors. (Ok, that's just silly.)

Torbjörn Andersson - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:15
Ew, I didn't realize trying to make a bulleted list would turn on boldface between the asterisks. Sorry about that.

Martin - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:16
What about a 3rd item? Maybe a rope or chain to kickstart the chainsaw that is attached to the tree and cannot be carried to another place?
Boring but practical.

Martin (again) - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:31
Or to make it less boring use a snake that lives in the tree hole. Including - "no animals are hurt in this game, trust us" - messages

Eduardo Jencarelli - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:19
This sorta reminds me of the ship rib item on Fate of Atlantis. You used it once on the dig site and then never again. However, if you chose the Fists path, you could find yourself losing the item thanks to the boulder puzzle next to Arnold's room, since the boulder broke the rib, and forcing Indy to confront Arnold through conversation and a potentially hazardous fistfight.

I'd look for some way to get rid of the item after using it.

What if after using the chainsaw on the tree, a PETA member swoops by and forcibly confiscates the item? The PETA guy could make an argument that you're forbidden from damaging living things using cruel and unusual means, and they'd have precedence to enforce this rule, following angry complaints from Hamster lovers. Trees aren't animals, but they qualify as living things.

Dan Sorensen - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:23
I like Sean's solutions 1 (electric + generator + gas for generator) and 3 (only because it's so zany).

I also liked the extension cord idea mentioned above, but the extension cord becomes another Ax, too many uses in the game and should be avoided.

You setup the following conditions: 1) real chainsaw with gas; 2) need to gain access to the chainsaw; 3) don't use it elsewhere; and 4) lose it after you use it to prevent it being used as an Ax for the remainder of the game.

Issue 1 -- Use a legit chainsaw with gas. Make it a big professional model that is heavy and hard for inexperienced to start and use.

Issue 2 -- Gain Access to the Chainsaw: With a crazy story you talk the store owner into borrowing the chainsaw for an emergency. BUT, since he is skeptical, the owner requires that you leave an item of value so you'll be sure to return it. This item in trade could be important enough that you DO make a point to return it.

Once you make your trade, he says, "This old beast is hard to start, most people return them and buy an electric one. Here's how to start it." The owner starts it for you, stops it, then hands it to you.

Issue 3 & 4 -- Don't allow it to be used elsewhere, lose it after use.

Once you acquire the chainsaw, you find that you are one of those many people who cannot start it. You pull the cord and it makes noise, but then dies. You can choke it, but then you flood it and it dies. No matter what, you can only get it going partly. It sounds promising, but you cannot keep it running.

You COULD use it elsewhere to comic effect (loud scary noise in wrong situations), but not enough to do any damage. It dies quickly so nothing is busted and nobody is too scared. You look like an idiot using a chainsaw in the wrong place. You may even get some 80's commentary like, "Put the chainsaw away Jason".

Possible solutions:

a) You have to return to the store owner and ask him to follow you out there and start it for you. He does, because this time you told the truth. He starts it, hands it to you to cut down the tree. Then you hand it back in return for your item. He leaves with the chainsaw, you continue to the sewer.

b) Turns out that ANYONE in the game but you can start the chainsaw. You get anyone out there to start it up for you. For some reason we are just not mechanically inclined like the people from this town.

c) Or the foreshadowed solution: You return and ask him about it, and he takes it back and gives you a small store brand electric chainsaw. (Did they have battery powered ones in the 80s?) Most likely it would require the heavy generator in the vicinity of the tree for use with your gas. It looks like someone was working near the tree and left the generator until they returned. (It would also require that the electric chainsaw cord was not long enough to plug in anywhere else of genuine use) It does the job, but the small electric motor burns out upon completion and is rendered useless. Us fans continue being frustrated that the chainsaw didn't work right.

d) Upon first use, the plastic handle breaks off the cord, which winds up into the body. You can't start it. You return to the store and the owner gets fed up with you and gives you an electric model. Or mends it and follows you out there because he doesn't trust you with his borrowed stuff. Fans get to be frustrated by the chainsaw yet again.

Juan - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:23
I agree with other comments that after 25 years of waiting, using the chainsaw should be really climatic.
I was thinking  you could go on a little longer with the joke of never having both objects together by getting the chainsaw in act 1, then loosing it and getting the gas can in act 2, and finally in act 3 you get both objects and use the fueled chainsaw to solve one of the last puzzles.

Guilherme Mogames - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:26
I'm assuming, based on your description, that the chainsaw and fuel can be found but the player can go somewhere else instead of using it on the tree.

What if, in order to fill the gas in the chainsaw you require a special piece, like a funnel, that the user can make from the fallen tree, like those sticks with a hole in the middle, that way he can only poor the gas in the chainsaw by getting the piece or tree part, making sure he will use it on the tree challenge.

That way the chainsaw can only be filled in this specific scenario. If the user after filling up gas tries to leave the screen into the city or somewhere else, you may just put a dialog with something like "I can't walk around with a gas filled chainsaw, I think I'll leave it hidden here", and have the player drop the chainsaw somewhere on the screen and he can only pick it up when he's back on it.

Hope that helps!

Guilherme Mogames - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:29
Another weird option is that the chainsaw is a magic/voodo/spell chainsaw that only works nears the voodo totem, and the totem is actually near or mud covered in the sewer surrounding.

You can make the player find the totem and he will match it with the logo/mark found on the chainsaw.

So, even if he has the chainsaw filled up, it won't work if not near the spell totem.


Jeremy G - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:34
Just to pile on, what if the tree was a giant ancient Totem pole and once you cut it you essentially kill the chain saw

Geoff Paulsen - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:33
Wow!  So many good answers!  Now, I hope that many of these different ways to solve this problem go into the game, and that somehow you're able to make this a dream sequence or a time travelling loop or something, so that we have to solve this same problem in the multitude of ways recommended here.

Perhaps the chain saw doesn't have a starter, so you have to pour the gas onto the tree roots, and use the chain with a pickup truck to haul the root ball away to get access to the sewer.

Dan Sorensen - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:36
Regarding the 'sewer gas' idea that keeps coming up, it seems to me that if the sewer gas was that strong, it would be fatal to enter the sewer. Not to throw water on that idea, but I am seeing now that these puzzle pieces are so interconnected that it makes various solutions crazy hard to develop.

Christopher Griffin - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:37
How about the chainsaw is currently stuck partway through cutting the tree, and the original user has abandoned it because it ran out of fuel?  Then the user must return with fuel to finish the job -- upon finishing the stump cutting -- the chainsaw immediately breaks.

Christopher Griffin - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:39
And if that makes the chainsaw too obvious, you could conceal it with shrubbery and have the player find a way to reveal it.

Arto - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:39
That's actually a good idea not to walk around with the chainsaw. But a chainsaw is a chainsaw, filled or not.

But. If you can't get to a point where you purchase the chainsaw before you have already visited the tree, you could say in store, that "I can't walk around with a chainsaw", where the seller could reply "No problem, I can deliver it for you. Can you give me an address". And then you tell the seller to deliver it to the tree. When you are in a room with the tree, and try to leave the room with the chainsaw, the character will just say the same thing "I can't walk around with a chainsaw". This way the chainsaw is tied to these two rooms alone.

Luis J. P. - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:43
Right, let’s see.

After 25 years of utter frustration you finally get the chance to use the chainsaw, or... will you?

You need to see the tree first. At that moment you won’t have anything to cut through it, making it REALLY obvious when you come across the chainsaw that you will use it with the tree.

You get the gas too.

These can be obtained by solving puzzles (which would work better cos you build up to the big twist when attempting to solve the tree puzzle).

Now, I recommend that, as a present with the chainsaw you get... wait for it... THE RUBBER CHICKEN!

You go back to the tree. Fill up the chainsaw with the gas. You’re about to destroy the tree. You get a rush of adrenaline. You shout something like “Hello, Thimbleweed Park!” (like Taylor Swift at Wembley Stadium, England) whilst you rise the chainsaw or like Leatherface in The Chainsaw Massacre. You start cutting through it for 30 seconds and then run out of gas. You’ve barely scratched the thing. HUGE disappointment.

Now, the solution.

You stick the rubber chicken underneath the tree and blow on it (inflate it somehow) to use it like the jack of a car to lift the tree and squeeze into the sawer system.

Ridiculous, far fetched, yet makes “sense” and those who have played both MI and Manic Mansion will appreciate it.

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:46
Maybe the chainsaw is only compatible with ents (Lord of the rings) and we hear the fallen three weakly whisper "Kill me!"?

Maybe you could just let the crazy guy from the movie "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" cut the tree and afterwards say: "Oops, I thought it was a human, can't see anything with this mask!"

Maybe the chainsaw is just a box looking like a chainsaw and it contains a whistle to summon termites? The melody could be hidden in the forest? If you use the whistle elsewhere the termites won't hear it.

Fred - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:47
How about not letting the player use it anywhere because "But it's a chain saw." Then put a chain in front of the entrance (forget the tree) et voila.

Nathan Rose - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:50
Why does it need to be a tree blocking your entrance to the sewer system? Why not replace it with another barrier that's less troublesome?

For instance:
* A locked grill. (find key/crowbar/hyperacidic can of Coke™)
* A massive hairball clogging the drain. (find drain cleaner/break lion out of circus to play with what it thinks is a giant pompom)
* Rabid ferrets. (find a cat to chase away the ferrets, find a dog to chase away the cats, find a lion to chase away the dog, find an elephant to chase away the lion, find a mouse to scare the elephant, pick up mouse and put in microwave)
* Family of inbred, hillbilly mutants living in sewer system. (provide healthy genetic material for them to continue their line with fewer birth defects, get worshipped as a god)
* And so on...

Nathan Rose - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:51
Bolding unintentional in that post. I was using asterisks for bullet points.

Justin Graham - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:56
So much for markup not allowed :)

David - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:51
Maybe the chainsaw is stuck part-way in the tree already. You have to find the fuel and bring it to the chainsaw, and upon using it it saws the tree in half and promptly breaks or is flung into the woods or something. I think it has to be stuck there - if it's in the players inventory they'll have to use it. Maybe the player could pick up the chainsaws keys (do they have keys?) which has a chainsaw shaped key ring as a reminder?

Jammet - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:51
The chainsaw is leaking fuel. The chainsaw overheats when you maw down the tree, a spark lights it on fire, and instead of sawing the tree down, you BURN it down. ;)

Hodge - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:52
OK, apologies for the long-ish setup with this one.

When the player first walks into the hardware store they see a display of ALCOHOL POWERED CHAINSAWS. If you look at them or try to take one, the player character says things like "No way! I'm terrified of those things."

Then, when the player tries to leave the store, an alarm goes off and the shopkeeper says "Congratulations, you're our 572nd customer! You've won this prize!" and produces a chainsaw which looks just like the ones in the display. The player character will decline, but according to an old Thimbleweed statute it's illegal to refuse in-store giveaways so they're forced to take it before they leave (this also gets around the in-game economy thing).

Whenever you try to USE it (even on a garbage bin to throw it away), the character panics and says that they're terrified to even look at it.

On the screen with the blocked sewer gate, there's a bottle of alcohol tied to a rope hanging on a tree. When the player USEs the chainsaw on the bottle their character says "Sigh.... this is the only way I'm getting through here, isn't it?" They get the chainsaw out and walk over to the bottle, grab the bottle... and take a big, long swig. "Ahh... THAT's given me the courage I need to work this thing!" The character then walks over to the fallen tree and delicately inserts the end of the chainsaw near one of the branches, rotating it a couple of times. We hear a 'click', and a door pops open in what is now revealed to be a theater-style flat with the fallen tree painted on.

The player character turns to face the screen and says "See, this is what happens when you crowdsource your adventure puzzle designs" before walking through the door and onto the next screen.

The chainsaw remains in the inventory, but is now referred to as "chainsaw-shaped key to the city" and is useless anywhere else. If you try to use it to cut or bash something open, the character says "actually, it's made out of styrofoam. I'd only break it."

Hey, it's an idea :).

Daniel - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:53
Here is a solution that is either hilarious or incredibly stupid.

The player finds somewhere:

1. Gasoline

2. An Electric Chainsaw

Electric Chainsaw + Gasoline = Why would you do that?

There are power outlets EVERYWHERE.

But they are all American plug power outlets. Those won't work with the chainsaw because it has a European Schuko plug (or something similar).

Now, in the woods, next to your fallen down tree, there is a rusty old "Kaiser & Kleinschmitt" (or something like that) electrical generator.

Combine gasoline with Generator: Sputter, ROAR!

Combine electrical chainsaw (with European plug and only a few feet of cord) with running rusty European Generator and voila, you are free to cut the tree!

Best regards,

Ron Gilbert - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:55
When brainstorming there no line between hilarious and stupid.

P.S. I like this idea.

Derrick Reisdorf - Jun 10, 2015 at 21:38
I think this idea is a good one, too.  You could even make it a little more complex...What if the chainsaw doesn't reach?  Do you need an extension cord of some kind?  Do you need to find a way to move the generator- perhaps it's too heavy or bolted down?  Maybe you need someone strong to help you move the generator?

The problem is that you want to keep the player from being able to move from the location with both the gas and the chainsaw.

The only other option is to prevent the player from leaving the area with both items.  Maybe there is a character (a redneck guy named Billy-Ray) whose foot is pinned under the tree and has a chainsaw you can borrow.  He tells you to get him some gas and he'll let you borrow his chainsaw.  You bring him the gas and he lets you know where the chainsaw is- at his dilapidated shack of a home in the woods.  With his instruction (or other items you were given), you find the chainsaw, but his hulking redneck cousin (or brother...or both?), Billy-Bob, just doesn't trust you.  Maybe he follows you everywhere you go and doesn't let you use the chainsaw on anything, or maybe you're simply directed back to the fallen log.  In any case, you use the chainsaw on the log, and can finally make your way past.

Derrick Reisdorf - Jun 10, 2015 at 23:55
For you to be allowed to wander around with a gas chainsaw and gas, there HAS to be a third piece missing- the chain, a spark plug, etc.  You would then find a character that says to meet him at the log.  Then...cut scene, so you're not allowed to walk around with a working chainsaw.
Otherwise, you'd have to put things in there like:
"I don't think that pretty flower pot deserves mauling.", or
"I'm sure there's a key for that lock." or "The noise would draw too much attention." or "I'm pretty sure that without a warrant, that would be considered B & E."....

Derrick Reisdorf - Jun 10, 2015 at 23:32
If you do end up doing the Euro-electric chainsaw, you could even add some dialogue that pays homage to Maniac Mansion.
"An electric chainsaw.  I can't help feeling an odd sense of disappointment that this thing doesn't run on gas."

Nathan - Jun 11, 2015 at 16:12
I like the solution, but I thought you wanted people to have a MM in joke where the player finally finds gas for the chainsaw.

What if this sewer system that is blocked by a tree happens to be in the remnants of the estate of an unnamed mad scientists. On those grounds you find a very familiar looking chainsaw. If you try to take the chainsaw outside a certain range you are immibolized due to a still functioning technology the mad scientist put in place to prevent some kids from looting his estate....   The puzzle then becomes focused on obtaining the gas for the saw and the player is prevented from carrying it to an area where it could be used for other purposes.

Nathan - Jun 11, 2015 at 16:22
The grounds of the mad scientist's estate actually would provide multiple in references because in day of the tentacle there was a sewage system flowing through the estate.

Also I noticed a bug in the site. When you reply to a message it lists the date and time of the original message as December 31. 16:00 hours.

DZ-Jay - Jun 14, 2015 at 08:44
If you're going to allow the use of gasoline, you better prevent the player from finding any sources of fire, like matches or a cigarette lighter.


Roland - Jul 03, 2015 at 20:18
By the way, electrical chainsaw's normally has a really short cable. So short, you can't cut the powercable of the saw by itself. You need an extensioncord. Alternative the Extension cord already plugged in the Generator an secured by something...
Possibly funny dialogs could be the use of saw in some other plug. For example: Plugs in (with the short cable ;) ) the actor tries walk to the door for cut it but instead pulls out the power plug... and/or with some glorious comment by the actor.
Maybe the Player going crazy to get the C.saw work for the door or etc.. Some Dead-End-Puzzles, like the Player wondering where to get an Extension cord etc. pp.


The Riddler - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:51
What about having to refuel the generator with gasoline which is labeled "gasoline for chainsaws" to draw a bow to Zak then?

PS: The only blemish would be that it wouldn't be a gas powered chainsaw unlike the chainsaw in Maniac Mansion.

Jammet - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:19
I'm thinking of a top-down view puzzle that has you try to find the ideal (shortest) for the cable. All other solutions and you have to put the power connector back into the socket. Think "Back to the Future" (Lightning hitting the clock), trying to combine several cables and picking out the right lengths and paths around the bushes and trees in your way.

Jammet - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:21
Oh, and if you want to, you could have a rat gnawing the cable and pulling it taut every time until you figure out a deterrent.

Jammet - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:26
If there are generators involved, have the mechanism to power them up be something ludicrous like someone having to pedal at all times. It should be possible to have a second character giving you power while you use the chainsaw. Maybe that character will have to do something to feel strong enough first. Character one could eat something ...

Jammet - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:28
Sorry about the many messages here...

I think it would be so hilarious if you could put in a Back to the Future reference with lighting to power the chainsaw, and a cable ... but I don't think these references can still be made, right? Indy fanfare. Back to the future fanfare. Items from other games. That sort of thing.

michel - Jun 11, 2015 at 11:18
I vote for this guy.

Synne and Jonas - Jun 10, 2015 at 16:58
Here are some ideas:

The chainsaw could create a wormhole if you use it in the wrong place, bringing you back to the shop where you got it. The shopkeeper could have some witty comment about how he's used to seeing this.

The chainsaw could be missing the starter rope. Instead, it has a fancy mechanism allowing you to use almost any type of rope you want. When you find the tree you see that there's a bungee chord hanging from it. You can't take this with you, but you can use it to start the saw.

The chainsaw could be cannibalistic. The blade and chain is made from wood, and it will only cut fresh wood.

The saw could be powered by solar panels. Since the tree has fallen down, this is the only place in town where you get enough light for the saw to work.

The saw could be a bio-saw. In order to make it work, you need to add some fresh leaves to the gas tank. You can get these from the tree itself. If the leaves are taken off-screen, they wither and become unusable.

The saw is so loud that if you try using it anywhere where there are other people around, some angry person appears and stops you. This requires the screen with the fallen tree to be the only deserted area.

This was fun, good luck!

Neil - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:02
MY SUGGESTION!! is to ditch this idea. Think of a different puzzle and solution to the sewer. You shouldn't make the chainsaw's operation any more complicated than chainsaw + gas, anything else is getting contrived.
This tree location is something that the player can leave and visit freely-- no good. If you *really* want the chainsaw to be used in the game, you need to make the gas unavailable until the character's stuck in a space/bottleneck that can only be left via chainsaw. In fact, it'd be more satisfying to draw out the frustration of having a chainsaw and no gas, right up until a crucial moment when it's finally allowed.

As for the tree, some sort of winch thing? Or just think of something other than a tree. Free your thinking from the chainsaw.

Chris T. - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:06
Boring option:
This has already been said, but tree fell due to incompetent logger and chainsaw is stuck in tree.  Small amount of fuel found somewhere could get it running just long enough to cut a path.
Fun option:
Forget the chainsaw! Climb a nearby tree with a conspicuous vine that stretches over the log.  Use the Rubber Chicken & pulley found somewhere else (oh nostalgia) to slide your way across ala Monkey Island.  The irony will not be lost on the bulk of your audience and pays tribute to your previous works.
PS.  Keep up the great work guys, can't wait to see the final product!

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:10
Maybe the chainsaw is a transformer that only like a certain type of trees? He can eat the tree and then he "shits" a dollar bill so you can buy stuff in the store?

sushi - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:16
what if the chainsaw is the murder weapon - well, there is a corpse- and should not leave the crime scene before the evidence photographer has arrived?
It all depends on which characters can or should pick up the chainsaw, but assuming it is one of the detectives, this might make sense. Perhaps one of them is less strict in following the rules and is willing to pick it up, but "better put it back before the other detective notices it is gone" when trying to leave the room towards town. Then assuming that on the other side of the crime scene,the path is blocked by this tree/ sewer entrance, you can limit the range in which the player can and should be allowed to have some chainsaw fun. Then the chain breaks on that tree or something, rendering it totally useless for the remainder of the game. But hey, you still get to carry both items at once! And you can spend the rest of the game in a fruitless search for another part replacement to get it working again for a bunch of chainsaw solvable puzzles ("that chainsaw sure could come in handy here! Too bad I first need to get part X fixed"). Which keeps the useless chainsaw/gas joke alive...

Andreas Nordvall - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:17

When observing the tree, the character actually never touches the tree, but it is merely observing it stating that "That looks heavy, I couldn't budge that" or "I couldn't possibly squeeze past that"

so THEN...

The chainsaw is a new super hyped up new model, like one sold by a door-to-door salesman or a bad TV shopping channel. So when you get it, it is built up to be this amazing thing, but when you use it it is actually just shit. Like, you can use it on EVERY SINGLE OBJECT and it doesn't work. It builds up frustration. It builds up disappointment. It becomes a running gag that this amazing thing that should be able to solve everything can't solve ANYTHING. It couldn't even cut butter.


When you get to the tree and you use the chainsaw on it, it's actually revealed that the tree was made out of papier maché from a nearby art school, or maybe it was a used prop in a play, and it's gone wet and moist from laying in front of the sewer pipe, so really you could've just poked it and it would've fallen apart, but the character was jumping to conclusions by just looking at it. BUT HUZZAH, the chainsaw could actually cut through that soggy lump of paper. It was finally good for something, that shitty chainsaw.

The character makes some remark about not judging things by their appearance and never trusting TV salesmen again, (the funny dialogue bit is up to you) then she/he curses the chainsaw and throws it away.

Matt - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:17
How about the player be allowed to use the chainsaw on any item? And for instances when the chainsaw seems like a good solution, but not the one you planned, the character comically misses the target and destroys some background art. For example, if the character tries to chainsaw open a door that needs a key, have him/her miss the door and maul a nearby milk carton filled with the character's favorite vinyls. When the player tries to get the character to use the chainsaw on the door again, the character can reply with something like, "Did you see what I just did?? I missed and destroyed those records! I really wanted those!! Clearly, it's a sign that this chainsaw wasn't designed for me to cut thru doors!"
It could be funny if the item that gets destroyed accidentally by the chainsaw, meets its maker without the chainsaw's help once the problem in the room is solved correctly. Just to mess with those of us who open a previously saved game after accidentally destroying the character's beloved item with the chainsaw.

TJG - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:20
There are too many posts here for me to read them all, so I apologize if this has been suggested before.

1) When you try to get the chainsaw from the store, the clerk asks you whether you have used a chainsaw before, which you haven't. You might attempt lying, but he'll not fall for it.
2) The clerk explains that chainsaws are really dangerous, and should only be used on solid wood. But he also tells you to be really careful not to hit nails or oiled, flammable wood, electric wires, etc.
3) The clerk finally decides that you are not skilled enough to buy the chainsaw, and decides to start the chainsaw to show just how dangerous it is. But after starting it, the chainsaw slips, falls, and spectacularly demolishes the counter while the clerk yells something like "THE HUMANITY!"
4) The chainsaw stops when there is no more gas, and the store owner is more than happy to get rid of it. (Similarly to Stan and the ship that falls apart in Monkey Island.)
5) The actor now is thoroughly afraid of the chainsaw and has terribly pessimistic reasons for not using it on anything that seems remotely unsafe.
5b) The actor might have to be convinced that the fallen tree is actually safe to cut, maybe just through a dialogue puzzle.
6) When the tree is cut, the actor is even more terrified of the chainsaw, and refuses to pick it up again.

Valdir - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:26
You could chain the chainsaw on a pickup truck that is parked near the fallen three. The driver or the chainsaw operator is eating somewhere else and refuses to stop eating just for you. He even mock you because he left the chainsaw fuel less.
So you find a spark plug and gas and use the chained chainsaw. Ups, I think I spread saw this puzzle on Fate of Atlantis tm. Sorry.

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:26
I was thinking of how Guybrush Threepwood could hold his breath for 10 minutes, maybe a player can lift the three? The ghost character could have some sort of ghostly superpower. The chainsaw could be used for cutting bread or something.

Damian - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:35
The answer is Grog!

Ok. You can't find gas actually, so you need something to power it...

So, there's an old sailor in Thimbleweed, who the people say used to be a pirate.

You ask him if he's got something you can use to power the chainsaw ("lighter fluid or something?")

He says: maybe I can do some Grog, but I can't guarantee it'll work! Besides, I can't remember the formula very well...

So, if you use the chainsaw on anything else, it turns out the Grog wasn't strong enough, and you can't really open anything, or kill anybody...

But when you use it on the tree, it works too well actually, ruining the chainsaw motor.

Well, I don't know if it's a good idea actually, but would be great to include Grog somewhere in a puzzle...

Snarky - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:37
Variation on what others have already suggested, but what if you don't actually buy the chainsaw, but some other (useless) tool with a motor instead? (Which you can use and refill with gas to your heart's content.) Then at the tree itself, there's a broken chainsaw stuck in the trunk, and you have to switch out the motor with the one for that tool. Once you've sawed through the tree, the chainsaw breaks.

Safety Guy - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:39
Caution! Safety instructions! Read carefully for your own safety!

1) Don't use this chainsaw without protection goggles!

2) This chainsaw is suitable for sawing wood only! Don't try to apply it to any other material (glass, metal, cement, rocks etc.)!

3) Don't work in the vicinity of other persons, animals or electrical current!

4) Only for outdoor use due to the fact that the engine produces harmful exhaust fumes!

5) Before actuating the engine make sure that you have enough room for a safe handling over the complete period of operation!

6) Don't use this device if you are tired, intoxicated or diseased!

7) Ensure an unobstructed visibility of your complete working field! Interrupt your operation immediately, if the visibility is reduced by smoke!

Philipp Nägelsbach - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:45
The main problem is that you don't want players running around with a functioning chainsaw.
So you have to restrict the area where you can use it.
What about this:
The problem is not to get into the sewers but to get out them. Maybe the player fell through a hole in the woods (maybe while trying to pick up something, could even be the chainsaw itself - players will instantly want to pick it up - the perfect trap!). The hole connects to the sewers but you can't climb up again. Either chainsaw or chainsaw fuel can be found in the sewers (the other thing has to be found before or dropped down the hole by another character). The player has to use the chainsaw to cut the log from within the sewers (maybe the entrance is no massive door but has bars where a chainsaw can cut through). The chainsaw might break in the process or run out of fuel, so you can't use it anymore after that.
The main problem with this idea is that the sewers could be a pretty large restricted area, I don't know what you have planned for it. If this is the case, maybe you can only enter a small area of the sewers and the rest is blocked until you get out and do something with something you found in the small sewers part.

Paulie Skylo Wilkinson - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:46
The chainsaw is tempermental. It very nearly never works, but there is perhsps a simple reason for this to be discovered later in the game (something wedged inside, messing up the motors from time to time. Something the player might also find useful).

Augusto - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:54
One character should not have the strength to properly start the chainsaw the other one is terrified by them as she heard some cousin of hers tried to stop one of those things with his own leg. And there's a frustrated lumberjack near the tree. The lumberjack is the one who gets to use the chainsaw, entering a frenzy state in which she starts chopping all trees in that scenario, revealing something useful for the player (that might be hanging from a tree branch but is not accessible?). Oh, and the chainsaw breaks after that, possibly not hurting anyone but being really close to. (PHEW!  That was CLOSE! ).

Vasco C. - Jun 10, 2015 at 17:54
Since the origin of this puzzle is a 25 year old joke, the solution has to be funny. Here's my suggestion, assuming there are 2 detectives who can talk to each other (if we have only one detective some self-conflict would be needed...):

As soon as the chainsaw is picked up, one of the detectives points out there is no gas, and becomes somewhat agitated about it. The other detective says something like "Take it easy, where would we need a chainsaw anyway? Why are you so upset?". The first detective answers "I'm not sure...".

The gas is not available to be picked up anywhere on the game (more on this later).

Every time you try using the chainsaw on other objects (doors, etc.), the upset detective gets more and more frustrated about not having gas, and more and more obsessed about the chainsaw. He goes "Look, if we had the gas we could break down this door", etc. The other detective is the voice of reason, and always answers "That would be insane, surely we can get in some other way".

You could even have the first detective wanting to use the chainsaw on ridiculous situations...

Once you find the tree and you try using it the first detective goes "Look, it's a tree, we need to cut it, how do you CUT a TREE?"
Detective 2 - "Well, we could perhaps--"
Detective 1 - "With a CHAINSAW!!"
Detective 2 - "OK, but we have no gas, so we should think of some other--"
Detective 1 - (getting very nervous) "The gas... the freaking gas... all these years..."
Detective 2 - "All these years? What are you talking about?"
Detective 1 - "I'm not sure. But this is IT! This ends today!"

In a cutscene, he leaves the place, shows up at the mall, buys a can of gas and comes back with it. In dramatic style he USES FULLY FUELED CHAINSAW ON TREE (still cutscene), cuts it, and throws the chainsaw into the bushes.

The potential problem I see here is how to force the player to try the chainsaw on other objects before the tree (important for building up the joke).

Onno Scheffers - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:08
After filling up the chainsaw with fuel, you can turn it on. All exited: "Alright let's get this thing going!"

...  and then all you see is a tiny flame getting out on top.

"Crap! Must have been lighter fluid then"

So now you got the world most unusable lighter. Too big and clunky to move close to anything you might want to set on fire.

Now when you are around the sewer area, flamable gasses are coming out and an explosion will blow the tree to bits as soon as you 'fire up' the  chainsaw.

If you used the chainsaw-lighter in other areas before, then in the sewer area you can still make the character say something like: "I'm gonna cut you to bits now tree, even if I have to do it by hand" and then the explosion still happens.

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:08
What if the chainsaw can only saw through metal chains? Maybe the ghost character is chained or has a chain? Cut his chain so he can use it to tow away the tree with his ghostly superpower?

Nacho Fernandez - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:11
Well, in the far-fetched case that someone gets to read this comment (I promise I DID read all previous one), here is my idea (there are a couple of guys who said things somewhat similar to what I had in mind, but this has some strong differences):

1) Somewhere you found a chainsaw (plain old gas powered style)
2) Somewhere you found gas, enough to power a chainsaw.
3) Great, you could turn the thing on and do millions of unintended things, EXCEPT when you try to start it pulling the cord, it doesn't start. The character could say to himself something like "I can't believe I waited 25 years for this. I guess only a REAL lumberjack is strong enough to start this thing. Where could I find one?"
4) Blocking the sewer entrance, you find a huge fallen tree. How did it fall? The guy lying under the tree was cutting it when the tree fell on him. "Gruesome, there's a lumberjack under the tree". But the guy is alive, only he can't go anywhere. He can ask for help, for the sake of humour using an unusually ellaborate and polite language and saying things like: "if only I had a bunch of termites or a lot of angry beavers I could get out of this uncomfortable situation". Our hero can give him the loaded chainsaw saying, "It may sound a bit weird to you, but, could this thing do? I can't start it myself anyway"
5) The lumberjack, or the part of him we see, possibly feet and hands, starts the chainsaw, cuts the tree, and when he is free he sees the chainsaw he's been using and says "Hey, this IS my chainsaw, no wonder it purred familiar. Someone must have stolen it from me while I was unconscious. I'm sure you won't mind if I keep it". So, you lose the chainsaw for the rest of the game.

Maybe a bit too direct, but it may have humorous potential in your hands. Greetings.

Malc - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:15
You use the chainsaw, A masked* man comes running out of the woods, grabs your chainsaw off you and runs off with it.

* For some reason my fingers typed "naked" after that - but i have no idea why.

Nicholas Higitus Figitus - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:17
Hi Ron! Long time fan, first time commenter. I think I have a solution. You've referenced the existence of ghosts in your game with the existence of Franklin, perhaps the chainsaw is haunted. That's right, it's haunted by a ghost, and not just any ghost but a ghost with a severe hatred of trees. In fact, it especially hates trees that have (include incriminating feature on tree in front of sewer) because that tree killed his father in a horrible accident involving a marshmallow bunny, a golf cart, and 20lbs of bacon fat. From that moment on the ghost has sworn to get revenge on the tree that killed his father (for 25 years actually =D) and now finally can! However, once he cuts down the tree, he finds out that the tree secretly WAS his father (or some rediculous conclusion along those lines) and leaves the chainsaw rendering it useless.

This solves the issue of needing to buy the chainsaw (no one else wants it because it's haunted so the storekeeper just gives it to you), why it won't work anywhere else (it only wants to kill the one tree), it adds laughs. and it could possibly be referenced in Franklin's sub-story. Hope this helps and LONG LIVE THE CAVE!!!!!! =D

Nicholas Higitus Figitus - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:25
Also, if you need to use gas. The ghost, being inside a chainsaw, won't work until you buy him a drink.

Detective:  But why gasoline?

Ghost: Have YOU tried living in a chainsaw for 25 years? It... does things to you. Like make you want to drink gasoline, and oogle through the windows of hardware stores to catch a glimpse of the latest model, or randomly go BWRMMMMMMMM for no reason other than it gives you a feeling of satisfaction and purpose!

tcmsurfer - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:17

Even if I am repeating anybody else (there are too many comments to read), you dont buy the chainsaw in the shop but only the motor. The actual blade is stuck in the tree already. Somebody offical might've tried to cut through but busted the thing (possible cutscene). You need to get the correct motor (maybe from a different device than a chainsaw like a diy pimped up bobby car) or you bought a chainsaw with a broken blade and just use its engine. The gas you get just lets you cut through the rest of the tree.


tcmsurfer (Andreas Stahl, Germany)

Puzzle Solver - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:23
You refuel the chainsaw with gas which is seeping down from a big immobile gas can. The chainsaw is not working anyway. At the end of the day you simply dump the gas onto the fallen tree and burn it all off. But since you don't want to get grimy-faced you have to ignite it from a distance. So you lay the chainsaw besides the puddle of gas on the tree, unscrew the sparking plug and deposit it on the puddle, hide behind the chainsaw, scream "Ignition!" as loudly as you can and pull the starter cable. Even though it doesn't bang, the tree burns down slowly at least.

Michael Hoffmann - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:33
Unfortunately the chainsaw can't be started because it's pull cord is missing. Next to the fallen tree there is a young hippie living in a barrel (since it was the hippie's favorite tree he refuses to leave it). While mourning for his dead tree friend, the only thing for the hippie to do is busying himself with his other most favorite item in the world: his chest expander (it is a rather brawny hippie).

After some convincing, the hippie consents to lending you his expander to do some workout, but refuses to let you leave with it. You distract the hippie (for example by pointing at a three headed monkey behind him), cut the expander in half and use one half as a pull cord for the chainsaw. When the hippie sees what you have done, the pain of having lost his other favorite thing in the world overwhelms him and he faints, blocking the screen exit. You now cut the tree and enter the sewer system.

Sean McKenzie - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:48
Put the gas behind the tree. If you leave a gap big enough to drop a chainsaw through, perhaps you have to barter with a homeless person who happens to be living inside the pipe you want access to (clearly he enters from somewhere else and won't divulge). In conversation with him, you discover he has some fuel for lighting a small stove, but he has no food. So ultimately you have to bring him some food to cook on his little stove, in exchange he allows you to pass him the chainsaw... then he cuts down the tree down for you from inside using some of his fuel.

So when you first encounter the tree, perhaps through the gap you see can then engage in conversation where you learn of the stove/fuel and that the man is hungry. If the chainsaw can only be used from the other side of the tree (ie that's the only fuel available to you) the player can't use is anywhere else. So your puzzle remains chainsaw/tree/fuel... except the food is proxy for the fuel.

If the food is a can of beans (classic drifter food) there's a good opportunity for jokes about farting in enclosed spaces.... so removing the tree is a win win.

Sean McKenzie - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:52
And of course the sequence would be you give him chainsaw, he cuts down tree, once you have access you give him beans. The chainsaw is of little use to him and the beans are of no use to you... so there's no chance of someone not upholding their end of the bargain.

I also see some great opportunity here for introspective comments about handing a chainsaw in the middle of the night to a man living in a pipe - I've seen movies that begin and end that way... never goes well for the sane person. etc.

Jaap Blom - Jun 10, 2015 at 18:50
Alright these constraints are REALLY challenging and therefore all the more fun to think about.

I haven't figured out what to do to avoid using the chainsaw anywhere else, but what about:

You can actually use the chainsaw with gasoline on the tree. In fact, you have to use it several times since the player cuts of one piece at a time, each time getting closer to uncover the part of the stem that blocks the entrance. However after having uncovered it, it turns out the grate is locked!

The fun bit is that you can finally use the chainsaw MULTIPLE times after 25 years, but again it turns out it is quite useless as you still cannot enter the sewers.

It would be great if the working chainsaw could be used in different situations, occasionally triggering a dialogue or cutscene, but never actually solving anything. The chainsaw however does run out of gas after cutting the tree. This way the chainsaw can be used only for a limited time in the game.

(How to open the grate is a different puzzle all together)

Hmm I'll probably think about this problem all night now.

longuist - Jun 11, 2015 at 03:50
i must admit trying to use the chainsaw on different things could be a great opportunity for a running gag

Dan Sorensen - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:13
Having played the referenced games a long time ago, I'm not positive I would remember the chainsaw reference unless I played Maniac Mansion again, which isn't easy to find. (I think there is a free one on Internet Archive now...)

I know you were trying to avoid the agents talking you out of it, but you could do it in a way that provided some humor, "I'll have to wait until I'm off duty. Rule 2104 states, 'Agents cannot use a chainsaw, microwave, or rubber chickens in an unusual manner.' Hmm... I'll bet some maniac is behind this rule.'"

But if you try anyway, go the chainsaw could sputter and die as suggested above. "After all this time, I thought it would work better than that..."

Squallido - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:17
What if after fueling the chainsaw, the player realise that it is broken but it ends up being a termite nest and the termites eat up the tree when using the chainsaw with it? :P

juli - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:19
I imagine you should have little fuel for it (because you stole some from a car with a hose maybe?), so the character gets to drop a line like "I really feel I should save it for something special" before using it, that way it also generates anxiety on the player's side, because he wants to know when he can get to finally USE it (after 25 years of waiting!!). Then when the moment comes the character can use the chainsaw in the forest, and then it would run out of gas so it will be of no use anymore.

Puzzle Solver - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:20
Two possible solutions:

1) Your character doesn't want to stash the chainsaw in her/his inventory (bag) because it's heavy, it's dirty and it stinks. You are only able to hold it in the hands. So your character doesn't want to carry it too far away from the location in the forest where you found it, because that would be too exhausting of course. Therefore you will never be able to reach any door with the chainsaw.

2) You have borrowed or stolen the chainsaw and you would have to get over the chainsaw's owner, if you really wanted to use the chainsaw somewhere else, which is impossible for this reason.

Henning Idsøe - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:20
The character had a childhood dream of becoming a lumberjack. Finding the chainsaw causes a flashback of fond memories where he plays with a toy-chainsaw. The charactet now has the possibility to fulfill his childhood dream by cutting a big old tree, and refuses to use the chainsaw until a fitting tree is found.
Maybe influenced by monty python...

julian - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:21
Add a mini puzzle to create some highly explosive unsafe gas. Use the gas with the chainsaw to fill it. Use the chainsaw with the tree. The chainsaw malfunctions due to the gas home-made nature when cutting the tree and it gets stuck. You can't pull the chainsaw out and the tree isn't fully cut. The only way out, clearly, is to blow up the chainsaw with the gas left in the tank thus cracking the tree open and getting rid of the chainsaw forever

malamoffo - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:21
Chainsaw's brand is Treecutter. Obviously you can't use it on anything but tree. It could be there a glued tag with this warning as well

Jens - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:24
My first thought was: Don't use a chainsaw. That would end the joke forever. There are millions of other possibilities for blocked passage puzzles.  
But I somehow get the feeling that the chainsaw is essential for the story (perhaps the corpus delicti).

So if we have to stick with the chainsaw, here are my thoughts:

If I have a chainsaw with gas, I want to use it on everything within reach. But the results may be unexpected.
a) I cannot handle it correctly, therefore chaos or malfunction.
b) The saw is old and rusty and barely leaves a scratch.
c) Restrict reach (e.g. using the leaking tank trick or a short chord).
d) Nevertheless I hope that I can do a lot of damage with it, like scratching cars, scaring people or getting arrested :-) (see Edna & Harvey, where you can pour the ketchup everywhere, scribble on the desk and scratch the car with the fork etc.)

Burning the tree using the gas and a spark is probably the best idea so far.

entropy - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:25
Make it a left-handed chainsaw while no protagonist is left handed.
Then, where the tree is blocking the entrance, some guy around is left handed.
After helping you out he steals the chainsaw.

Gorilla - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:40
Your character is not strong enough to pull the starter string hard enough to get the engine running. So you need to have someone in the surrounding who is strong enough to help you... Maybe a gorilla behind a neighboring fence, after you have painted the curved handle at the end of the starter string yellow like a banana!

Peter Campbell - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:49
LOL I didn't see this comment as I began typing my suggestion but we both have a very similar idea!  Except I suggested a huge muscular masked slasher villain movie looking guy who you have to get help from instead of a gorilla lol.

Peter Campbell - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:44
Quick thought: Maybe the pull cord on the chainsaw is really tough to yank hard enough to get the chainsaw revved, and the playable characters are too weak to pull on it sufficiently, so they need to encounter a big, burly mask-wearing psychopath (who may or may not be the killer, maybe he's just one of the eccentric locals who likes to dress up as a horror movie slasher villain for ThimbleCon) by the tree who will do it for them.  It opens up future possibilities as to who the heck was that guy and was he just a ThimbleCon attendee or an actual Jason Voorhees/Leatherface type of guy.

RCM - Jun 10, 2015 at 19:54
Or instead of a big burly guy, there just so happens to be an abandoned Hunk-O-Matic Machine™ in the woods that one of the detectives uses to become strong enough to pull the cord!

Peter Campbell - Jun 10, 2015 at 21:09
One thing about the scenario though is that the chainsaw needs to be lost after being used, so that players don't think it's to be used on future puzzles and things, the chainsaw has to disappear from the player's inventory after this puzzle is solved.  So I'm thinking...

1)  Pull cord on chainsaw is too tough to pull for the detectives, they are too weak to use it.

2)  They meet a big, hulking hockey-mask wearing crazy looking serial killer Jason Voorhees type of guy somewhere along the lonely stretch of highway who claims that he's in town for the ThimbleCon convention.

3)  The detectives tell the crazy hockey mask guy that they need help using the chainsaw.  He agrees, cuts the tree in half, then says "Hey this would be a great prop for my costume at ThimbleCon, heheheheh..." and then runs off into the night with a real live chainsaw stealing it from the detectives.  So the puzzle is solved, the chainsaw is no longer part of the player's inventory, and now you have future possibilities with meeting this crazy guy later, not knowing if he's a real slasher villain or just an overly-enthusiastic horror movie fan for ThimbleCon and it adds to the town's creepy mythos.

That's what I'm thinking, I like this but that's just me =)

Shawn Swift - Jun 10, 2015 at 20:05
Chainsaws require  chains.

Acquire chainsaw from Jason/Freddy (the combo would be funny and not step on copyright -a hockey mask AND a fedora!) cosplayer.  Chain has been removed and replaced with a useless bicycle chain, and it's out of gas.  (And maybe it's missing a spark plug as well.)

Player removes chain from Chainsaw anticipating they'll get a real chain.  Chainsaw without a real chain isn't intimidating to people and can't cut down doors but could lead to good dialogue.  

Removed bike chain + chainsaw motor are used in a puzzle to allow player to LIFT tree out of their way (chainsaw removes tree but not in the way you expected!), by making some contraption involving a chicken with a pulley in the middle.

Joe - Jun 10, 2015 at 20:23
You use all your fuel to fill up the chainsaw (fuel is gone), the chainsaw gets stuck in the tree and the character can't get it out.  

Now you need a rag and matches/a lighter, open the chainsaws tank and blow the whole thing up.

Add some witty comment (maybe also by people in the town or the sewers later on), comedy gold.

Chainsaw gone, tree gone, sewers open, problem solved.

Joe - Jun 10, 2015 at 20:29
Unless it's about the time before between the player finding the chainsaw and finding the tree.

Then you can let the hero find protective gear by the tree (workers are about to remove the tree but are on break) and he won't use it without the protective gear.

JP - Jun 10, 2015 at 20:29
The chainsaw will only cut what it is taught to cut.  And the only way to teach it is to insert a miniature oil painting in a scopelike device (think old school stereogram).  But guess what???  The only oil paintings in TP are produced by an annoying automaton that only knows how to paint ----- TREES!

Björn - Jun 10, 2015 at 20:37
Hey guys,

I have a couple ideas how you could make it work.

There are four different angles you could use. Limitations on the chainsaw, limitations on other puzzles (that logically could be solved by the chainsaw), incorporating jokes to mask the problem or just allow sequence breaking and total carnage.

1.) As for limiting the chainsaw

You could the item more fitting for just the one puzzle the player has to use it on. Maybe it's an old, broken down chainsaw that probably doesn't survive more than one final and so the characters or the owner of the shop or the description or whaterever talks about it in a way that clues the player in on how and when to use it. Making it obvious could be the entire joke and when the player tries to use it on other things, the character just responds with somethin like "Wouldn't want to waste it on something I know could be solved another way" (not so boring, but hey, you are the witty genuises). This crosses over in the third category, but I still see it as limiting the chainsaw first.

Also, if you could find a nice, not too pandering way, maybe that chainsaw is so old, because it is the famous chainsaw from Maniac Mansion (and thus, giving the player an even greater accomplishment by finally finding gas somewhere else and using it). As for obtaining (like why would they choose an old chainsaw when they could get a newer one from the same shop), either have it be the only one left (could get a joke out of that) or have the characters try to barter with the owner in funny ways until he just gives up and decides to give the characters that old chainsaw just to make them shut up.

There are probably other limitation factors, but I can't think of anything that would also give the player the incredible joy of finally using the damn thing. If nothing else, it will annoy them to no end and the moment of relief will result in something more in the lines of "Oh, fucking finally." Defenitly not the way I'd like to feel in that situation. But hey, maybe there is a way I just didn't think about.

2.) Limiting the other puzzle

Okay, I find this method very interesting but since I don't know the rest of the game, I'm not sure that could work. So here goes nothing:

So the chainsaw puzzle happens pretty early in the game and opens up another part of the map that you ibviously need to enter in order to finish the game. So how many other puzzle could the player possibly solve in a logical way with the chainsaw before he absolutely has to go to that other zone? Take every single one of those and find a logical way to restrict the chainsaw. Nothing like "Whoops, guess I can't use that".

For example. Somewhere is a locked door. The player would not be wrong to assume he could use the chainsaw to open it. But what if he can't use it because he isn't allowed to make loud noises. Like a guard is nearby and would hear you. Or the player has to open an item. Maybe it's too small or fragile to open with a chainsaw and it would damage the item. Logical limitation would not only make more sense from a gameplay perspective, but it also let's the player know that the developer really thought of any possible outcome and not just restrict out of lazyness/frustration.

As for using the chainsaw on random objects or people, it wouldn't really be a problem for the character to just say no. Only a psychopath would actually attack people with a freakin' chainsaw. So respdoning to such an action with something like "Only a sick person would do that" (again, I'm not good at actual dialogue) would make sense in the game's world.

3.) Using jokes

Okay, this is the only part where I don't have any concrete suggestions. (because again, I'm terrible at coming up with jokes) but something in the line of "This feels like cheating." could be a nice excuse for the characters to not use the chainsaw.

Maybe the joke angle would seem like copout but in all honesty, it beats an obstruse puzzle like the Monkey Island example. Because that way, the player at least doesn't get stuck and maybe even chuckles a bit. But haulting player progression is the worst thing you could achieve, so anything else already is a better idea.

4.) Letting the crazy be okay

Maybe it could be an interesting idea to just let people solve puzzles that a chainsaw logically could help with. This could be a great idea for something like a New Game+. After beating the game the intended way with restrictions this would open up new possibilities for the players and have them experience the joy of sequence breaking and what this ultimate freedom feels like in an adventure.

Would be the first time I can think of that an adventure game had a real new game + in such a way.


If you made it this far, I thank you for reading my ideas and I hope they at least helped with brainstorming new approaches.

Good luck and I can't wait to play Timbleweed Park

Love from Germany

Björn - Jun 10, 2015 at 20:38
Hey guys,

I have a couple ideas how you could make it work.

There are four different angles you could use. Limitations on the chainsaw, limitations on other puzzles (that logically could be solved by the chainsaw), incorporating jokes to mask the problem or just allow sequence breaking and total carnage.

1.) As for limiting the chainsaw

You could the item more fitting for just the one puzzle the player has to use it on. Maybe it's an old, broken down chainsaw that probably doesn't survive more than one final and so the characters or the owner of the shop or the description or whaterever talks about it in a way that clues the player in on how and when to use it. Making it obvious could be the entire joke and when the player tries to use it on other things, the character just responds with somethin like "Wouldn't want to waste it on something I know could be solved another way" (not so boring, but hey, you are the witty genuises). This crosses over in the third category, but I still see it as limiting the chainsaw first.

Also, if you could find a nice, not too pandering way, maybe that chainsaw is so old, because it is the famous chainsaw from Maniac Mansion (and thus, giving the player an even greater accomplishment by finally finding gas somewhere else and using it). As for obtaining (like why would they choose an old chainsaw when they could get a newer one from the same shop), either have it be the only one left (could get a joke out of that) or have the characters try to barter with the owner in funny ways until he just gives up and decides to give the characters that old chainsaw just to make them shut up.

There are probably other limitation factors, but I can't think of anything that would also give the player the incredible joy of finally using the damn thing. If nothing else, it will annoy them to no end and the moment of relief will result in something more in the lines of "Oh, fucking finally." Defenitly not the way I'd like to feel in that situation. But hey, maybe there is a way I just didn't think about.

2.) Limiting the other puzzle

Okay, I find this method very interesting but since I don't know the rest of the game, I'm not sure that could work. So here goes nothing:

So the chainsaw puzzle happens pretty early in the game and opens up another part of the map that you ibviously need to enter in order to finish the game. So how many other puzzle could the player possibly solve in a logical way with the chainsaw before he absolutely has to go to that other zone? Take every single one of those and find a logical way to restrict the chainsaw. Nothing like "Whoops, guess I can't use that".

For example. Somewhere is a locked door. The player would not be wrong to assume he could use the chainsaw to open it. But what if he can't use it because he isn't allowed to make loud noises. Like a guard is nearby and would hear you. Or the player has to open an item. Maybe it's too small or fragile to open with a chainsaw and it would damage the item. Logical limitation would not only make more sense from a gameplay perspective, but it also let's the player know that the developer really thought of any possible outcome and not just restrict out of lazyness/frustration.

As for using the chainsaw on random objects or people, it wouldn't really be a problem for the character to just say no. Only a psychopath would actually attack people with a freakin' chainsaw. So respdoning to such an action with something like "Only a sick person would do that" (again, I'm not good at actual dialogue) would make sense in the game's world.

3.) Using jokes

Okay, this is the only part where I don't have any concrete suggestions. (because again, I'm terrible at coming up with jokes) but something in the line of "This feels like cheating." could be a nice excuse for the characters to not use the chainsaw.

Maybe the joke angle would seem like copout but in all honesty, it beats an obstruse puzzle like the Monkey Island example. Because that way, the player at least doesn't get stuck and maybe even chuckles a bit. But haulting player progression is the worst thing you could achieve, so anything else already is a better idea.

4.) Letting the crazy be okay

Maybe it could be an interesting idea to just let people solve puzzles that a chainsaw logically could help with. This could be a great idea for something like a New Game+. After beating the game the intended way with restrictions this would open up new possibilities for the players and have them experience the joy of sequence breaking and what this ultimate freedom feels like in an adventure.

Would be the first time I can think of that an adventure game had a real new game + in such a way.


If you made it this far, I thank you for reading my ideas and I hope they at least helped with brainstorming new approaches.

Good luck and I can't wait to play Timbleweed Park

Love from Germany

stderr - Jun 10, 2015 at 20:58
"You find gas in some location we haven't figured out yet."

Does the adventures in Thimbleweed Park take place after Melissa and Leslie left Mars in Zak McKracken?

If so, M&L lands their van near the tree shortly after you get there. When you talk to them, you find out that they have a can of the finest martian gasoline. Unfortunately they won't give you the can cause "it's a very rare extraterrestrial artifact and you would probably just use the whole thing!"...

After talking to them some more, you suggest that you could give them the chainsaw and let them cut down the tree without using more gas than the absolute minimum required.

They agree on one condition: They get to keep the chainsaw cause "it reminds them of that weird chainsaw in that game they used to play..."

Michael Stum - Jun 10, 2015 at 20:58
The chainsaw is cheap. Because it's a second hand chainsaw, and missing the chain. Good for you that there is a worker near the tree who has a broken chainsaw - but with a chain. If you can get him a working chainsaw, he'll happily put his good chain onto your good chainsaw and cut down the tree. And break the chain in the process, because the reason your chainsaw didn't have a chain is because it's misaligned and breaks chains. Oops. (Bonus joke about "breaking chains")

Dan - Jun 10, 2015 at 21:18
It's a lot of work, but if you came up with a unique reason for why you didn't want to use the chainsaw on every object you can interact with at that point in the game (the more contrived the better), then trying it out unsuccessfully on everything becomes more of a game and less of a frustration. That way, the illogic of not wanting to use the chainsaw is a joke, not an annoyance.
If you wanted to, you could probably farm out gathering the reasons to the people who posted in this thread.

Andy - Jun 10, 2015 at 21:29
"And most important, the using of said chainsaw needs to feel fulfilling in the way that finally releasing 25 year of pent-up frustration only can."

I want to express my skepticism about whether it's even possible for there to be anything truly fulfilling — I mean, 25-years fulfilling — about finally getting to use the chainsaw with the gas... to do a standard chainsaw thing like cut a big log... to solve a standard adventure puzzle like clearing a blocked door.

The original gags with the chainsaw and the chainsaw gas are still thought of fondly decades later because they had the nerve to deliberately taunt the player, not because there's anything SO inherently great or appealing or interesting about chainsaws. Especially not when used properly.

So, my two cents: if you're going to do a callback to ye olde jokes, keep extending the jokes, don't wrap them up and give the audience "what they've been waiting for." They haven't actually been waiting for it. Even if fans THINK they want to get to use the chainsaw, they really don't. Whether or not they know it, people actually much prefer being teased and messed with — it gives them something to talk about and gripe about and fantasize about.

No matter how cleverly you do the setup, it'll still be anticlimax when it pans out. So we end up getting to watch an animated chainsawing of a tree: so what? Who cares? You're just killing everyone's crazy dreams of how impossibly amazing the chainsaw would one day be!

I guess you could make that a kind of sour joke in itself — just lay both the chainsaw and the gas conveniently next to the tree, let the player use them, then have them self-destruct. "There, are you happy now?" Or you could play the joke the other way and have an over-the-top full-screen blinking lights and music YOU FINALLY DID IT! sarcastic celebration.

But I think much more entertaining (and secretly gratifying) than either of those would be for the chainsaw and the gas to be in the game, have it be possible to fuel and ready the chainsaw and eagerly carry it around... and then give different stupid technicality reasons why EVERY SINGLE POSSIBLE USE is impossible. Up to and including the dead tree. You can still let it be the solution to the puzzle — have the ATTEMPT to use the chainsaw on the tree somehow unlock another silly way of getting rid of the tree (the noise of it starting up attracts the attention of a ravenous horde of beavers, or whatever)  but under no circumstances let the player have the supposed "satisfaction" of using the chainsaw. The real satisfaction is the good warm feeling of being taunted yet again by an old friend.

Did Charlie Brown ever get to kick that football? I think in fact he might have a couple times, but everybody blocks that stuff out. It didn't really happen, because it didn't actually need to.

Boomer - Jun 11, 2015 at 00:02
I agree. The player should NOT get to use the chainsaw on anything, but should instead be handed over to an NPC that will cut the tree for you (LOL, sweet irony). You may pick up the chainsaw and gas can at any time (and you should even be able to combine these to objects in your inventory), but trying to use it on any object would be futile as the chainsaw won't start (after all these years).

Chainsaw + Gas can = "Tanked up chainsaw" object in your inventory, but trying to use this combined item on any object will make it a "Non-working chainsaw" that can only be repaired (new sparkplug + drop of oil?) by the aforementioned NPC. This NPC could be a lumberjack or maybe some workers that have already arrived at the fallen tree. Their chainsaw has broken down and they are waiting (indefinitely) for spare parts to arrive. They will gladly accept your "Non-working chainsaw", repair it and then remove the tree. Afterwards, you won't get the chainsaw back (or at least not in working order)..

Andy - Jun 11, 2015 at 16:40
Having thought about it some more, here's what I've got:

When you get the chainsaw and the gas, they combine to make an object called "chainsaw AND chainsaw gas!!!," and the character says "I can't believe it! I  have a chainsaw AND chainsaw gas! Now, finally, I can just chainsaw anything I want, at any time! I have waited so long for this kind of power! This is gonna be so awesome! Thank you, Kickstarter!"

Then whenever you try to use it on anything, the character says "I only have a small amount of gas; I want to save it for JUST THE RIGHT PLACE. I don't wanna mess this up!"

Then later in the game (maybe MUCH later in the game, after the anticipation has really built up) there's some lame generator or something (or, say, a backhoe that's in position to move a huge pile of dirt that's blocking the sewer entrance) that needs gas to start. It has a sign on it that says "accepts chainsaw gas!" The player is forced to sigh and deliberately waste the gas, giving up the opportunity to use the chainsaw. Now the object is just "chainsaw" again. When looked at, the character says "Well, maybe there'll be more gas somewhere..." Then you carry it around uselessly for the rest of the game.

(Maybe in an epilogue we see it being used as a lamp, or to prop up an endtable.)

Matt Rini III - Jun 10, 2015 at 21:46
I read through maybe half of the responses before getting a headache (apparently, chainsaw philosophy isn't a favorite subject of mine) so forgive me if this sounds too similar to another post.

I was thinking this- it is an electric chainsaw, but you have to find a separate power source (bear with me here, as so far this is identical to the problem as presented).  

You meet a guy/gal who has a one-use (as in, rusted and near-useless) hand crank that can be fitted to the chainsaw.  You can convince the guy/gal that, if they loan you the hand crank (and helps you by using the chainsaw themselves- frankly, they don't think you should be handling a fine tool like a Duskvarna chainsaw without a permit!)  then he/she gets to keep the chainsaw afterward.  A bit of old fashioned bartering for services rendered?  

Just don't feel sorry for them that the hand crank broke.  A deal is still a deal.

Yannick - Jun 10, 2015 at 22:45
The chainsaw that you got doesn't come with a chain. When you're at the "branch scene", there's a "mountain chain" in background. Then you can "use" the "mountain chain" with the "chainsaw" !

dollarone - Jun 10, 2015 at 22:59
When you combine the chainsaw with the gas - wherever you are - you get an awesome animation where the chainsaw ROARs to life and the character looks most satisfied. However, his smile is quickly vaped off as the chainsaw runs out of gas and dies.

If you try again, there's an animation of the character trying to start it again, but no dice.

If you use the chainsaw on the tree, there's a quick dialog ("oh why why why did I use up all the gas") before he tries again, in vain, - only this time he throws the chainsaw at the trunk in anger. Turns out the massive trunk is as rotten as a used-car-salesman - it disintegrates into dust due to the impact of the heavy chainsaw. Voila!

The chainsaw could break or survive - doesn't matter as you're still out of gas.

Steve Massicotte - Jun 10, 2015 at 23:00
If you are willing to stretch it a little...

The Meteor Police flies back to earth to get back the chainsaw. It is a secondhand chainsaw that have been once owned by some evil dude called Dr. Fred. This Dr. Fred actually used this chainsaw to cut through a meteor (or at least tried to), and the meteor police needs to get this specific chainsaw as a collection piece to complete the brand new "Stupid humanity museum" on their planet.

What if the chainsaw use would remain a frustration forever ? Instead, one could use an utterly aggressive two-headed squirrel to cut through this wood piece using some peanuts fuel...

Kirk - Jun 10, 2015 at 23:11
Well why can't the chainsaw be stuck in the tree already? It ran out of gas, and it's stuck there. Now you just need to get gas and run it.

Even better, use some sort of alcohol as a gas. Make the chainsaw ONLY work as long as the tree cutting and then the motor seizes.

Orcan Ogetbil - Jun 10, 2015 at 23:34
I was thinking in the same lines. Maybe you first use the empty chainsaw on the tree and it gets stuck. But fortunately something else comes loose (what?) during the process which allows you to get the gas later. Hmmm.... I have to think more.

Michael - Jun 10, 2015 at 23:25
Some good ideas hidden above (I liked Jon's from Jun 10 at 11:44).  I was thinking, change it to a weed wacker, and change the tree to jungle-like overgrown foliage (a la Zak McKracken).  Make the chainsaw another non-use item just like in MM, with humor around it, of course.  (Warning label: not for use on or with small rodents).

OR... maybe make the chainsaw rodent-powered instead of gasoline... and use a hamster you find in the woods as the energy source.  A la DOTT, maybe it's too much of a copy tho...

Mitchell R - Jun 10, 2015 at 23:26
Okay, so admittedly I don't know what you're going for here, but as a rubber chicken solution...

Why can't you have an outlet in the middle of the forest? Like, an outlet on a post. But make it a British (or other non-US plug style) one and make the chainsaw match. It's strange, but (in my mind at least) in the same way as the rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle.

Christian - Jun 11, 2015 at 02:41
The generator with that plug style could be sitting in the forrest, onmoveable. Then chainsaw and gas is needed, but can't be used. Like a new play on the classic Maniac/Zak problem: This time it's electric.
The gas goes into the generator next to the tree

Steve Robotnik - Jun 11, 2015 at 01:31
Two suggestions:

1) In variation of what has been said: Let the player use the chainsaw anywhere, but stop him from really doing anything by: first, power up the chainsaw, nice sound vroom vroom;suddenly, a whistle is blown; a monty enters the frame and aks whether you have the license to use a chainsaw on anything other than a tree. So you get a nice satisfactory sound, but no harm done.

2)The chainsaw needs to be pulled to be activated, but the motor is kind of old. It only runs when you keep pulling at it, which you cannot do as you need to keep both hands on the chainsaw. Let a certain two-headed squirrel sit on the log, playing with a yoyo. Tie the yoyo to the chainsaw rope. If that's too whacky, let some human in the vicinity help with it, I don't know. I just think maybe the solution to the dilemma could be the chainsaw rope (or what you call it;-).

Roberto Cano - Jun 11, 2015 at 02:45
I actually like the idea of stopping the player from using the chainsaw by somebody entering the frame......Gary!! And he could educate the characters on how difficult and time-consuming is to create 8-bit background graphics and objects, and how much love you put in them for a wannabe half-rendered government agent to spoil it by applying chainsaw to it!! :)

Maybe this can go along the idea of the electrical+gasoline chainsaw.

Mathias - Jun 11, 2015 at 01:44
Chain the chainsaw to the fallen tree / ... by means of a "chep looking" nonetheless sturdy bicycle lock.
Like someone else tried to remove the tree in the first place but ran out of gas.
Don't have me to "buy" the chainsaw in some store; solves monetary system question as well.

Lasse Rasinen - Jun 11, 2015 at 02:08
Some ideas:

1) Embrace the chainsaw. Let the player use it where-ever they want, but always thwart it somehow. Use it on a door => make a small scratch and then the chain breaks. Use it on people and the starter cable snaps. And so on.

Or then an old lady from City Ordinance Council arrives: "No loud sounds within city limits on even days from 10am to 11pm, excepting Sundays 4pm to 5 pm." She could even get even more cross every time you do it.  As a final payoff, you could have the lady walk in. Beat. "What are you waiting for, young man? I need to get to my hairdresser." Just make sure the tree is just beyond the city limits :)

2) Chainsaw only works near the tree.  Perhaps there's a leak in the gas tank.

Or perhaps the chainsaw has a heat problem. You start it, and two seconds later it gets too hot to hold. So you need to cool it. Luckily the tree has crashed on an ice-cream truck or a fishmonger's van. Whatever the source, you get ice to use with the chainsaw but as soon as you leave the frame the ice melts.

T. Benamin Larsen - Jun 11, 2015 at 02:47
1. It's a specialized Apple-Tree chainsaw, only compatible with Apple-Trees.

2. The chainsaw is leaking gas, meaning the only destination you can reach before it empties is the one with the tree.

I also love the beaver ideas mentioned elsewhere.

Chris Arlt - Jun 11, 2015 at 03:34
Maaaany ideas up there... but they could be summarized in different categories:
(1) Some of them are about binding the chainsaw or fuel (or something in between like the European electricity generator) to a place near the tree, like only a NPC may use the chainsaw, holes in the chainsaw's tank or the character not wanting to carry around an obvious chainsaw. I like best the idea of Derrick Reisdorf where the owner's foot is stuck under the tree.
(2) Some of them are about denying the use of the chainsaw at other places, like logical restrictions ("it's too loud to use here"), the chainsaw can only be used once (by promise or just because it's old or damaged; "I won't waste it on this one") or you need to solve all the other puzzles before you may combine chainsaw and fuel. I like best the idea of Mark Shallow which pulls out the chainsaw of a rock Excalibur-like and makes it feel very heroic...
(3) Some ideas are about just letting the player solve other puzzles with the chainsaw and having a kind of counter "x puzzles solved by just using the chainsaw"
(4) Some of them are about not having a chainsaw at all. I best like the "angry beaver" one by dominic.
(5) And finally, some ideas are about using the chainsaw in a different way, like we're not having a tree here but a chain and it's a CHAINsaw (which would work in most translations, but not all). I best like the idea 6 of Sean about pouring gas on the tree and using the not-working chainsaw to create a spark and burn down the tree.

The more I think about it, the better I like a solution like (4) or (5). As some people mentioned, the running gag of not being able to combine fuel and a chainsaw only is one, if it's still not possible. The gag was, that there were so many puzzles that could be solved if only the chainsaw was working. If you now create the chainsaw only to solve a single puzzle, there's no satisfaction and no joke either.
So, if the aim is to have this running gag in the game, I feel that the chainsaw must not work (in its intended way). To have something on top of the previous adventures, it could be a possibility to have fuel as well as the chainsaw but it isn't working (perhaps the hole in the tank, a missing chain or being just a toy using the fuel to make a chainsaw-like sound only).
You then need to find a solution to remove the tree by using the chainsaw and the fuel but not in a usual way. This could be by threatening someone with that chainsaw (the other one won't know that the chainsaw doesn't work - it looks so real and you have even fuel!), being assisted by a bunch of termites who want to cut trees environment-friendly when they see the chainsaw, or...?

I'm looking forward to the final solution in the game :-)

Derrick Reisdorf - Jun 12, 2015 at 18:55
I actually think it would be kind of funny that when you saw the tree, you actually don't end up freeing the guy- the other side of the log rolls away...or something like that.  You're all out of gas, too, so..."Sayonara! Good luck with that foot thing."

wedge - Jun 11, 2015 at 03:54
That is a tough one, well obviously, you seem to need to prevent it from being used before and after this puzzle.

Of course the after part is easy, you can simply make it fuel depleted after being used for the actual puzzle, or it broke or anything.

But it is true that before solving the puzzle it should be in working order.

My main idea would be maybe complicated that you would need osomeother stuffs that linked with the chain saw you could use to gain access. Like the chain saw is "feeding" some device with the rotation of the chain maybe, so in the end the chainsaw cannot cut anything, but could provide the solution to that specific place.

That's probably not very helpful as it is not a complete solution, but maybe other can fill in. Also that is about the only solution I can think of that would render the chainsaw eventually not usable to break things and stuff before, and after it can still be depleted of gas anyway.

Sander - Jun 11, 2015 at 04:00
Make the chainsaw a rentable. Only to be rented with a hired woodcutter. A sign in the shop next to the chainsaw: rent a woodcutter. You have to get gas for the chainsaw since the shopowner hasn't any left and the shopowner lets you rent the woodcutter (the shopowner himself) for free (money problem solved!). The shopowner/woodcutter says he meets you at the fallen tree. When you arrive the woodcutter is already there and has chopped the tree.

NylonGamer - Jun 11, 2015 at 04:03
so many people are not understanding the problem and think of ways how to destroy the chainsaw after usage.

poweredbygamespy - Jun 11, 2015 at 04:04
you spoiled me without warning. now i hate you.

Leem - Jun 11, 2015 at 04:35
Maybe before the tree scene he doesn't use the chainsaw because "I really shouldn't use a chainsaw without the appropriate protection". At the tree/sewer there is an overspill of garbage leaking out which contains mostly junk but also some protective gear - a hockey mask to be funny?. It's covered in sewage so the character doesn't want to pick it up for no good reason, but when the player puts the pieces together it could be a funny horror movie parody dramatic chainsaw scene (to keep it satisfying after 25 years of pent up frustration).

I guess the chainsaw can also break after cutting the tree, but the character also doesn't want to put the mask back on again because it's gross, so it wouldn't really matter.

MarcusG - Jun 11, 2015 at 04:36
1) Drop the chainsaw altogether and let the tree be removed by a beaver family or termites. Additional hilarity ensues when you try to put either one in your inventory.

2) You could try to create a "sandbox" situation where the chainsaw itself OR the oil OR another vital component of the chainsaw is found only near the tree. It could be a replacement pull starter, because the original starter breaks the first time he tries to use the chainsaw. Once the player enters the sandbox area, he has no means of leaving the area except by cutting through the tree, thus keeping other applications for the chainsaw to a minimum.

3) After a long and ardous quest for the chainsaw and the oil, make it go bust the first time the player tries to use it (talk about fulfiilling allt that pent-up frustration). Then goto 1).

I haven't read through all the postings above. Sorry, if some of these suggenstions were already made.

Chris - Jun 11, 2015 at 04:41
How about some sort of safety device that is either already set up by the log or something you find and constuct, but you only have room to do it near the sewer. Like a bit tent or some sort of plastic/metal barrier.

Ivan - Jun 11, 2015 at 05:19
How about finding some kind of manual next to the chainsaw? It would contain an honour code that the character would swear to abide to ("I pledge never to use this on people, etc.").
Every time the player would try to break another puzzle with the chainsaw could lead to funny dialogue where the protagonist battles with his conscience.

Daniel - Jun 11, 2015 at 05:23
Personally, I am quite in love with the idea of finally getting a chainsaw with gas. I would try to avoid a one-time-use for this item where it gets wasted or just dropped or whatever. Let the player keep it and possible also use it one or two times later again. I hate it if you get a tool like a knife, a sword or an axe an than you cannot use it for anything. Some ideas:
Prevent killing people with moral reasoning (if the character has moral reasoning). Or: Let the player indeed thread people with the chainsaw and create different reactions from pulling a gun to start crying.
Let the player indeed open some doors with the chainsaw - may be, there are some doors you can add just for this reason and make others metallic or let the gas getting empty after all possible chainsaw actions.
Also: You could do something like with the rubber tree in MI or getting killed by water or acid (MI II) - like "Hm, in retrospective that wasn't clever" and rewinding the past seconds...
My Claim: Let's have fun with the chainsaw. We waited 20 years for it. Let us the opportunity to destroy more than a tree with it. :-)

Niko - Jun 11, 2015 at 05:38
Ok, this is a little mix-up of many things that have already been said, but my suggestion is the following:

1) Only one of the characters knows how to operate the chainsaw and he refuses to operate the chainsaw without wearing protective clothing.

2) To operate the chainsaw you need three items: The chainsaw, the fuel, and the protective clothing.

3) Make the protective clothing look utterly ridiculous, like a giant bunny suit or the like, so that the caracter can convincingly complain "I'm not putting this one here where anyone can see me".

3a) In some other areas, where the excuse is not valid, have some optional uses for the chainsaw, like breaking an unlocked door of a shed, or cutting a tree which reveals an easter egg or nothing at all.

4) The chainsaw breaks after cutting the sewer entry blocking, sparing the excuse on later act puzzles

5) Create a puzzle later on, where the bunny suit is re-used as a masquerade

Jonathan - Jun 11, 2015 at 05:39
Perhaps the character should refuse to use the chainsaw by alluding vaguely to some traumatic chainsaw-related event from their childhood that occurred "while playing an adventure game" (referencing MM and Zak obviously). Then the problem is just getting the character to change their mind in the situation where they are supposed to use it.

The gas leak in the sewer is an interesting idea; perhaps the character gets loopy from the fumes and looses their inhibition? I suppose this could also be accomplished with some kind of alcohol item.

"Use Jack Daniels with chainsaw" or some such would make for a fun command.

Marco Lizza - Jun 11, 2015 at 05:41
Maybe the chaisaw is a *toy* chainsaw, fueled with *toy* fuel and the tree in (in fact) a huge *toy* tree?

There's no use in chainsawing anything else in the game...

... beu, well, perhaps, it's *too* *nonsensical*. :)

Matthias B - Jun 11, 2015 at 05:45
Cameo by someone from Maniac Mansion who has the chainsaw but no gas and doesn't want to part with it for sentimental reasons (and because why would you just give FBI agents your chainsaw). You make a deal with the character that if you give him gas he'll cut the tree for you. When you give him the gas he's overjoyed and cuts the tree for you and then runs off to finally solve all the puzzles he has accumulated in his life that are easy to solve with a chainsaw. That way you can acknowledge how a chainsaw is a great puzzle solver. You may even put occasional reminders into the game like coming across a shed that is unrelated to TP puzzles but that has obviously been brutally cut open with a chainsaw. When the characters look at the devastated shed the comment could be "Looks like a solved puzzle." You can have even more ridiculous instances like a loaf of bread (or what remains of it): "Looks like someone tried to cut a slice with a chainsaw". Make it a running gag.

tante - Jun 11, 2015 at 05:59
Idea: Player has chainsaw and fuel but turning on a chainsaw isn't all that easy either. Place a funny NPC near the tree who can turn on the chaninsaw (like a woodchucker, but a hipster retro dude who just uses axes because they feel more real but who has the "education").. When the player leaves the room with a running chainsaw it gets turned off "to save fuel".

Shortest Circuit - Jun 11, 2015 at 06:02
1. lame idea: anytime not in the forest, block using the chainsaw with a line like "I haven't used a weapon in public and I'm not about to start"
2. Electric chainsaw, have a simple outlet on the tree that is hidden behind a small panel... foreshadow it early with another tree that has the outlet busted "Who would do something like this to a beautiful tree?" something like this.
3. after the character has both chainsaw and fuel in the inventory, automatically jump to the forest, cut the beavers out of the cage, beavers chew the tree, tree falls on the chainsaw, presto.

Matt Lacey - Jun 11, 2015 at 06:03
What about naming it after the tree and making it painfull obivious that it will only work there?

"The Pin-o-sawrus — Garuanteed to cut pines and nothing else or your left arm back."

Colin - Jun 11, 2015 at 06:10
Oh boy, am I ever late to this party.

Well, my initial thought was that the chain broke after using it, but then I saw your point about using it on something before the tree.

My best guess is not to use the chainsaw yourself. Have an official trained in The Art of the Chainsaw there who is ready and raring to chainsaw that tree, except... Unfortunately, he's forgotten/lost/broken his chainsaw. If only someone could find a chainsaw, he'll be happy to do some chainsawing with it.
And you wouldn't dream of using a chainsaw without full safety equipment and a license, would you? (N.B. I've a friend who has a chainsaw license; I think you require them for cutting trees over a certain size or something)

Jammet - Jun 11, 2015 at 06:17
The chainsaw was stolen from a police warehouse, and was actually a murder case weapon. After you finish sawing down the tree, the person you got it from, and a police officer show up to confiscate it.

Christian - Jun 11, 2015 at 06:43
Without reading all the other ideas - maybe my thoughts are new. :-)

I could only think of two options here.

- Restrict the possibility to use the chainsaw by introducing an environmental issue. The inner "city" of Thimbleweed Park having introduced the first 'green zone' (anti-emissions zone/whatever) in the world. Or the character having moral issues with wasting gas and creating emissions > while it's ok with a tree (responsible use) and in a forest (emissions are off-set). I know, that's ahead of history, but at least the green movement got stronger in the 80s (> "Waldsterben" - the dying-off of forests).

- Manipulate & trick the player. ;) Put the gas somewhere, where they find it immediately after stumbling across the tree problem. After the player has solved the puzzle, the gas is used up, while it will never be used up if the player tries to use the chainsaw with other stuff/puzzles.

Sorry, I didn't have any better ideas. Other alternative: Put the chainsaw-reminiscing puzzle somewhere completely different and create a new puzzle for the sewer-problem.

Good luck! :)

kon - Jun 11, 2015 at 06:50
OK, here's my solution:

The gas-tank of the chainsaw is leaking and it won't be possible to fix it.
The only way to get the chainsaw running is by attaching some kind of hose (found anywhere else in the game) to the chainsaw and connecting the other end of the hose to some kind of gas source....the tree is blocking an entrance to the sewer system, right? So there might be some tubes or pipelines nearby. Just put a gas-pipeline or container next to the tree and the sewer entrance. So you have a stationary gas source that can only be used within a limited range...and to cut the this process the chainsaw might break (to prevent further use) or the still leaking gas tank is preventing this. ..thinking of might even forget the hose...put a stationary gas source NEAR the tree...the leaking gas will permit use only in a limited range...

Damian - Jun 11, 2015 at 06:54
So, you have a chainsaw!

And you found gas!

You use gas on chainsaw, you have a fully loaded chainsaw!

You start the chainsaw.

It makes a few funny noises... and dies.

Oh, man! :(

So, you talk to Jimmy, the tow truck driver.
-Can you remove the tree with your truck?
-Sure! If you pay me... I've been jobless for the past four months, you know?
Oh! And get me some gas for the truck. Haven't been able to fill the tank either...

You give the fully loaded chainsaw to Jimmy

-Ok, this'll do. I can repair this later and sell it. And it's got gas too!

Jimmy removes the tree with his truck. Puzzle solved!

Ian Stanway - Jun 11, 2015 at 09:28
This is one of the best I've read. You think it's an obvious solution, but it turns out that it's used in a curveball solution. Provided people realised that they can't fix the chainsaw, and that they meet Jimmy after they have managed to get the chainsaw and the fuel, this could work.

Damian - Jun 11, 2015 at 14:38
I also thought about this:

If you already know that you have to move the tree and you ask Jimmy, he'll tell you the same "pay me and bring me some gas".
If you have have the chainsaw but no gas, the answer will be "Oh, you can give me that chainsaw as a payment if you want... looks like a fine chainsaw... And bring me some gas".
If you have the gas but not chainsaw "Hey, I can now use the truck again, thanks. But unless you find something to pay me, the tree stays there"
If you don't know that you have to move the tree, the chat could be something like:
-What are you doing?
-Not much...
-Are you a tow truck driver?
-That's what it says on the sign...
-Have you been towing cars lately?
-Not much. To be honest, haven't towed a car in the past 4 months. So I'm job-less...
-Can you move other things with your truck?
-Like what?
-Well, maybe a boat... or a tree that's in the middle of the road, if it's blocking it, you know? Trees fall a lot 'round here...

Another twist could be that, since he's jobless, he had to pawn his chainsaw (the one he used to cut trees that falls on the road) to pay the bills, so he asks you to get his chainsaw from the pawnshop back...

And, technically, the fully loaded chainsaw solved the puzzle... XDDDD

Natalija - Jun 11, 2015 at 06:57
The chainsaw should work for only several minutes enough to get to the tree  and cut it....  maybe there should be a sunbeam next to the tree and the chainsaw can only work when you put it there ( for several seconds) .... the chainsaw can work on solar pannel and on fuel.

Natalija - Jun 11, 2015 at 06:57
The chainsaw should work for only several minutes enough to get to the tree  and cut it....  maybe there should be a sunbeam next to the tree and the chainsaw can only work when you put it there ( for several seconds) .... the chainsaw can work on solar pannel and on fuel.

Rane - Jun 11, 2015 at 07:14
How about having the fuel become available somehow in that tree/sewer room only? The chainsaw is useless in all other rooms because it doesnt have gas. But if the gas can only be found/claimed/stolen in that particular tree/sewer could be a good solution. Perhaps there could be a car crash at the scene (perhaps caused by a small puzzle you complete there?) leaving a car there with a perfectly good gas can in the trunk...for you to steal/grab?

Kon - Jun 11, 2015 at 07:20
Solve it DOTT-Style!

Travel to the past (like the 1920ies), get the chainsaw and the gas there, cut down the tree (which is but a small seedling back then), gas is used up, travel back to present...tree is gone! ;-)

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 11, 2015 at 07:44
Maybe the character is a dendrophile who tries to hug the tree
but the tree roll away? Maybe you could have dynamic verbs so
you get a special verb in a special situation unless that would be
too much of a clue to the player? The verb "USE" becomes "HUG".

The character maybe cries when using the chainsaw and afterwards
there are two pieces and the character says "My beloved Treestache,
I'm gonna take good care of our babies!"? Maybe too twisted?

Dersony - Jun 11, 2015 at 07:51
I dont know it someone have said something like this:
When the character finally put the gas on the chainsaw, begins a madness on the character, that feels raising urge to kill, also the verbs can change showing all the action "KILL". So the character drops off the chainsaw, but the verbs remain on killer mode. So every action tryed results on absurd, that finally ends with the character on asylum. Then some therapy cures that. So next time it takes the chainsaw, the character is like hipnotized or something like that.

miko - Jun 11, 2015 at 07:58
Ditch the chainsaw, use an industrial woodcutter (google "tigercat woodcutter" for images). Make it unmovable for whatever reasons (broken wheels?) and without fuel or whatever puzzles you want. Make it a huge machine wielding the chainsaw, if you want to keep the MM reference.

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 11, 2015 at 08:32
Maybe the FBI agent says it would be illegal to use the chainsaw anywhere else, but then cut the tree that is actually a fallen totem pole?

CornyLies - Jun 11, 2015 at 08:36
No idea how unreal and/or bizarre the setting actually is, but how about a sentient chainsaw? Or one with some intelligent system which prevents it from being used a) on people, b) on other people's property, because it's illegal? What if you had to actually convince it to work in order for you to cut the tree (TALK TO>CHAINSAW)? It could have a quirky personality and make bad jokes about wood, etc.

longuist - Jun 11, 2015 at 09:01
Please do not let the blade stuck in the tree so therefore it can only be used there nor limit the range with a hole in the tank (you dont have to be McGyver to fix that with almost everything) This seems to be the most logical solution to the problem (as every second comment suggest it) -> too easy.
I have a solution. Present a custom dialog whenever you try to use the chainsaw where not wanted. This may apply for just 2000 or so situations :)

SIADmander - Jun 11, 2015 at 09:13
Make the chainsaw a beaver! That way it would only want to eat a tree!

Arto - Jun 11, 2015 at 09:37
Maybe our character could have a fully functioning chainsaw and gas with him all the time, and when he tries to use it on something, he would say "I can't use this, it's evidence from the Edison case". Same reply also when player tries to use it on the tree. But at that moment another character would enter the scene, say "For crying out loud, gimme that thing!", cut down the tree, and exit the scene with the chainsaw.

Dirk - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:54
I like this one!

Kye - Jun 11, 2015 at 09:39
Perhaps you stole the chainsaw and don't want to let anyone in town see you can only use it away from people

Or maybe every time you fire it up in town there is someone who comes and yells at you about noise pollution (an angry neighbor)

Or the chainsaw could be a model that is specially designed to only cut a certain type of wood and nothing else (which is why the store owner couldn't sell it to anyone else)

You could also have a childhood fear of chainsaws because of THE INCIDENT... and you have to get someone else to come and chop the tree for you

Dirk - Jun 11, 2015 at 09:54
The dilemma might be solved by a reference to Maniac Mansion. The character with the chainsaw could be too hesitant to use it, because he never heard of anyone so lucky finding a chainsaw AND fuel at the same time. "I want to save the opportunity to use the chainsaw for a special moment! It must be PERFECT!".

Steffen - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:46
This is a real problem. You cannot real prevent the saw to be used at another location than the tree first without limit the player too strong. I guess the saw should not be used by the character but by another NPC - maybe a woodworker or so. It should be someone who would not brake a door. Of course the woodworker should be motivated to remove the tree.

enthusi - Jun 11, 2015 at 10:57
Hm, the electric chainsaw Idea is nice indeed.
What you could get away with also is a simple label:
"It strictly says ONLY FOR WOOD here on the sticker!" whenever you try to do something else with it.
You COULD thus add a Sierra-like ending when i.e. using it on a wooden leg of something large that then crushes on you.
That being said, there was gas for the chainsaw in the Mars hotel and it was referred to as well. So it would be super cool to somehow add this piece of background, too.

TVB - Jun 11, 2015 at 11:27
I would change the teeth on the chainsaw, like a different object so the player knows it can't be used as a traditional chainsaw.
Maybe beaver teeth or termite teeth (if isn't too far left or right of the realism).
TLDR; Change the teeth.

MarauderDeuce - Jun 11, 2015 at 11:31
My immediate response on reading the problem is to make the chainsaw old or faulty or something. They try and use it to cut the tree but it malfunctions and catches fire, setting the tree on fire also.
At this point you can go in numerous directions, you could have the fire department turn up, put out the fire and chop us the tree.
I have this thought that you could end up with the pull cord from the chainsaw as an inventory item and use it later in the game.

I'm sure that this has been suggested but it feels like there are hundreds of posts on this page.

On a slightly more silly front you could have them tie a chain around the tree then wander off looking for something to pull the tree away with (eg car). Have a cutscene (perhaps) where someone connects the chain to what turns out to be some strange flying vehicle and flies off taking the tree with it.
Main chars return do whatever they do/say at this point and then go on. (They didn't see the tree being taken or the vehicle.)
Turns out the vehicle was meant to be on display at ThimbleCon but it's been nicked (?) and you've got an ongoing background thing of characters talking about where the vehicle might have gone. Solve that mystery in the background or don't but it need not involve the players directly at all.

Adam G - Jun 11, 2015 at 11:36
PLEASE, do not just have the chainsaw break after its use this is a bad adventure game cliché.  I know that this would be way too much to program, but why not allow the chainsaw to be game breaking.  Its almost like a hint system where the solution can always be chainsaw so literally the player if they choose can chainsaw their way through the game.  I wonder if seasoned adventure gamers would take the easy chainsaw path or look for the intended solution to the puzzle?

Yonatan Spira - Jun 11, 2015 at 11:41
The chainsaw's fuel tank is bust, and the fuel will leak out fast, so the character has a reason to only put the fuel near the tree where it's needed.

Zak Phoenix McKracken - Jun 11, 2015 at 11:55
WOW!! How many comments!!! I couldn't read all of them, but I'll try to have an idea for this puzzle.

The chainsaw has holes. Not one, but many tiny holes.

When you use the gas with the chainsaw, you have enough time only to turn it on and to saw the tree.
Of course, if you leave the room, the chainsaw will run out of gas.

This solution is applicable only if you find the gas in the same room the tree to saw is.
The holes are too many to be duct taped (for example), or to cork with anything.

Truls Osmundsen - Jun 11, 2015 at 12:32
I am always up for a gang of helping squirrels...
My solution: The chainsaw never starts, it just always makes an horrible sound. When trying to start it at the location a gang of squirrels that in their fear chops the tree into smaller parts that can be moved :)

Dada - Jun 11, 2015 at 12:41
The chain saw is too old and rusty to saw through anything but the hollow tree. It won’t be able to saw through anything when the player tries to use it, but when it touches the termite ridden hollow tree it just falls apart and disintegrates.(the tree and the chain saw (not really a fulfilling release of frustration but hey that’s life!))
In the tree room are specific conditions that allow the saw to work- like its warm enough for the engine to start or cold and windy enough for it not to overheat and stop. Or there is some spring that provides artificial cooling for the overheating chainsaw. Or there is some scum blocking the chain and the sever water dissolves it but then it accumulates again.
The engine doesn’t start and the player gets too exhausted pulling the starter handle but next to the tree is some extreme gmo blueberry guarana crossed bush with fruits that give you short power kick to pull it well. And yeah each time you pick the fruit you instantly eat it, you don’t wanna carry it, would get squashed and stain your pockets or something.
The chainsaw lacks engine and you have to use a rubber chicken with a pulley with the chain and an external engine that belongs to a rusty circular saw stuck to a table to make it work.
That’s the only place where some jerk wouldn’t stop you from pulling out a chainsaw.
It is an IKEA chainsaw and its missing a screw but there is a tree branch that fits into the screw hole but then suddenly the chainsaw with the branch is too big to fit in your pants so u have to use it there and leave it there.
At some point when you get to the tree you get stuck there and the only way to get out is to use the chainsaw with something local to make it work and cut the tree.
Every time player tries to use it on something else some sort of scumm engine cyclic fatal error warning pops up.
or all of the above together..

Coleman - Jun 11, 2015 at 13:12
Does the chainsaw need to be bought at the shop? Does it need to be the same one from Maniac Mansion, or can it just look suspiciously similar? Here's what I picture. Player comes onto the scene with the tree trunk, and there is a MASSIVE, heavy chainsaw on the ground next to it - the mother of all chainsaws. There's a groove beside the chainsaw. "Clearly someone dragged it here and wasn't able to lift it to cut the tree." Player cannot lift it. To get it into place you need to rig up a hoist with a pulley, rope, and a counterweight. To get enough fuel, you need to back in an eighteen-wheeler and siphon off an entire tank of fuel. To pull the start cord you need to harness a team of rabid llamas (or hungry piranha poodles?). When you do get it started, the thing ROARS - the whole screen shakes. You grab it, touch it to the tree, and the tree literally explodes into a billion tiny splinters. The character looks at the camera, flashes a maniacal grin, and says, "Oh, THAT was satisfying."

Meanwhile, llamas / poodles have ripped out the starter cable, and the chainsaw has burned through all its gas, and it hangs there impotent for the rest of the game.

And, of course, if you REALLY want to go for the inside jokes, the pulley on the hoist could look suspiciously chicken-shaped...

Wilbert - Jun 11, 2015 at 13:17
You don't want to get the chainsaw when you haven't found the gas yet.

"Another gasless chainsaw. Not gonna fall for that one."

But after you find the gas, you want to get the chainsaw from the shopkeeper. He will ask:

"Do you have gas?"


"Then you can't get the chainsaw. That's the rule. Everybody knows."

It's not possible to dispose the gas from your inventory. It will only give you a warning that it is very hard to find gas, so you don't want to lose it. But after visiting the tree, you know that you really need the chainsaw and have to get rid of the gas. You find a good spot to hide the gas a little bit back from the tree. The tree itself isn't visible on that spot. You go back to get the chainsaw. You return and search the secret spot for the gas, but it's gone. You totally flip out and run towards the tree. There you notice calmly:

"O look, the tree is gone too."

Or there you see another person (preferably a character from Maniac Mansion) who finally found the gas for his chainsaw and is now completely enjoying himself destroying the tree.

Wilbert - Jun 11, 2015 at 13:21
A problem with previous solution might be that there are two detectives, so one could carry the chainsaw the other the gas. But maybe the female detective refuses to carry either of them.

"No way i'm going to put a chainsaw in my pants. Sounds more like a man's thing."
"I don't put any gas in my pants either. That's a man's thing too."

Or instead she might be really into chainsaws. Then we can go in a different direction, where you are able to use the chainsaw. But the first time the male detective tries to use it, the female detective tells him:

"In my first year as a detective I was chasing a psychopath who also wanted to use his chainsaw on everything."

  "Did you catch him?"

"O yeah. And we had a lot of fun the first months. But I left him after he put a hamster in the microwave. He apologized. But a real man would have found some gas. No need to kill a rodent the girly way."

Then she gives him some funny looks.

"Do you know you really look like him with your chainsaw out?"

After that the male detective isn't too enthusiastic about using his chainsaw anymore.

"Oh no, not the funny looks again."

When he finally gets some courage and takes his chance on the tree, not only he but also she will get a very fulfilling experience.

"Oh yeah, baby. Harder. Did I see a rodent over there?"

Although this solution might introduce some little changes to the characters you had in mind.

Wilbert - Jun 11, 2015 at 13:24
And of course the most fulfilling experience when using the chainsaw will be, that it will finally reveal the secret of Monkey Island. But I guess that after being revealed the secret will immediately be destroyed by the chainsaw. That's what you get when you break the rule.

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 11, 2015 at 13:54
That would be nice! :-)

Simon Simon - Jun 11, 2015 at 14:12
A chainsaw puzzle inside an adventure game is not just a random puzzle - it has LOTS of history and is a really unique hommage. It's like a hamster and a microwave. Therefore, IMO, a special treatment of this puzzle is justified, and back-referring to the previous games would be really fun - the chainsaw and the gas CANNOT be found in the same game. ("You have gas? Then you can't get the chainsaw. That's the rule. Everybody knows.") You could implement it in a very mild way ("It's too dangerous" / [insert any excuse here]) or even make the whole scene really weird, breaking the wall between the gaming world and the player, like the detective talking to the player (sometimes this happens in Simon the Sorcerer; or even like in spaceballs, when "Dark Helmet" is watching spaceballs himself and fast-forwards to find out what do do next). But a really weird scene would be kind of ambivalent, some players enjoy them and others may think that the scene is really of-place, lacks logic and screws up the whole atmosphere. I am really curious how far you will go with this kind of humour in TP. (On the one hand, you could have hidden back-references all over the place, but on the other hand you bring the whole adventure genre back to life, set a new benchmark, and you have the god-like position to introduce new running gangs for future games.)

You could also make it super-easy to get the chainsaw and the gas, to break with the players expectations... then, as soon as you "use" the gas with the saw, the character immediately starts running the saw, ROAR, wielding it around in the air, making some comment like "Yeehaa, this was easy to get. Why is everybody making fuzz about finding gas is difficult?" And whoops, you've spent all your gas besides one single drop that you really should keep for cutting trees

aristides castiglioni - Jun 11, 2015 at 13:56
The chain of the chainsaw it´s damaged, so it won´t last for more than a couple of seconds, so the character needs to wait until a right moement to use it as it´s very clear that the chain it´s going to break, when he/she uses it the chainsaw will cut thru the log and then the chain will break and the chainsaw it´s useless, but the chain falls on the floor and you can pick it up to add it to your inventory to use it on something else. I always find very fullfilling when an object gives me something else once i use it. Don´t know if it´s just me but i don´t feel angry when an object breaks in a puzzle but i can use the pieces in something else.

Dersony - Jun 11, 2015 at 14:04
Another option, again i dont know if anyone have said something like this before:
When the character turns on the chainsaw, the chainsaw drops off its handle and run away out of screen, to later have to search it again through the whole game map. Or, were the run away option seem not possible, then the chainsaw just run wildly in circles, several minutes, until running out of gas.
The idea is that every time the character try to use the chainsaw with anything but the tree, the chainsaw do something like that, so the player have to work hard to re-find, repair, re-fill the item.
Or, on a most basic approach, i find more interesting increasing and unleasing the crazyness of using the chainsaw in the first try, in a way out-of-control and with huge consecuences, so to give that fun to the player and so the next try of misuse, the denying given by the character sounds ok.

Frank - Jun 11, 2015 at 14:22
When you choose "Use chainsaw", it's start an melody, everybody starts to sing "night and day" by Ray Charles, in a Motown "Temptations" kind of style, every character from the game comes and sing and dances and when the tune is over you final cut with the chainsaw the tree in two parts and everybodys going away...

You see the guy with the chainsaw sweating... saying "I had a nightmare", recognizing the tree is cut into two parts and the chainsaw is away...

Christopher Griffin - Jun 11, 2015 at 14:27
Another possibility is making the chainsaw electric (rendering it useless where the player would expect to use it), but then using it in another location to cut through a crate (YES, Crates!) to obtain an axe that has a wobbly handle which wouldn't be safe to use indoors or in places where people are around...

Seriously, my vote is for the suggestion by Daniel of using a rusty old "Kaiser & Kleinschmitt" generator.

Jeremy G - Jun 11, 2015 at 14:37
* I GOT IT!!!!!!!!*
What if you have the chainsaw with no chain and you find gas for it. Now it works but you can't find a chain (meaning you can't use it on people or anything else). At some point you find a pile of industrial strength bike chains from the 1984 summer Olympics. Somewhere else you find a tow truck hook. When you get to the tree there could be another tree near the fallen tree with a baseball size hole all the way through it. You combine the bike chains and then combine the hook to the bike chains. You throw the now hooked chain over the near by tree's sturdy branch above the fallen tree. You connect the hook side to the fallen tree. Next you thread the other side of the chain through the hole in the tree. Lastly you connect the tree hole threaded side of the hooked chain to the chainsaw. Turn on the chainsaw and the fallen tree is ratcheted up! This also means you have to leave the chainsaw in place to keep the entrance open, thus relieving you of the chainsaw!

Zombocast - Jun 11, 2015 at 14:40
How about every time you try to use the chainsaw a random tree Activist comes out of nowhere and yells at you for having a chainsaw.
But now the Activists are crushed under the fallen tree you want to cut.
In the end you save them or they're dead, depending how nice Ron is!

Alessandro - Jun 11, 2015 at 14:46
This comment section is so big it's asking for donations... btw have you been considering a rubber chicken with a chainsaw in the middle?

Michael H - Jun 11, 2015 at 14:47
Make the chainsaw unusable, You have to take the chain off the chainsaw and attach it to the wheel of a rusty bicycle to make it pedal powered. Or if you want to keep the gas element attach it to a broken moped.

Sushi - Jun 11, 2015 at 14:49
So. Many. Comments!
I will stop reading ( perhaps just searching for a Ron/Gary/David comment).
Come to think of it, I never really had a specific use for the chainsaw in mind when playing MM. I was just looking for a can of gas or something as a replacement, just because it was out of gas. Jar with Radioactive water? Yes, that might work... Oh darn!
Sponge with developer chemicals? Who knows... Rats!!
Paint remover? Hell yeah...hell no!
For me the closure came as "I don't need it. It's for a different game. :)"  Then I knew I shouldn't bother any longer. That was fun!

mr. T - Jun 11, 2015 at 15:04
Wow, so many responses. Wish I could have had stamina for reading all of 'em. Some pretty cool stuff! My two ideas:

1) You don't get to carry the chainsaw around. Instead, the the shopkeeper demoes the chainsaw for you at the place.

Details: You need to get the fuel and arrive to the shop & buy the chainsaw. But because you either can't use it/fear it/have terrible traumatizing memories of working chainsaws or the chainsaw was shopkeeper's grandad's precious old saw, he will demo it for you at the log place (perhaps even giving you a three part quiz test before allowing you to buy it, for added difficulty). After a cutscene, they arrive at the log place. Character watches the demonstration and gets his/her try afterwards. Character breaks the saw at halfway. Awkward silence and perhaps some arguing, but then a sudden lightning strike or appearing UFO with a gravity smashatron cracks the log in pieces while they argue (the character was fiddling with the broken chainsaw and pushed a fancy button which triggered an eerie beeping/transmitting sound). Puzzle solved and chainsaw has vanished too. Yowza! Shopkeeper's hair (or the character's) also turned white (Twin Peaks reference, works better with the UFO) or just plainly got frizzled (lightning option) with the event.

2) You don't get to carry the chainsaw. The shopkeeper just sold the last chainsaw in stock but orders you a new one, eventually leading the character & saw to the log place.

Details: You buy the chainsaw from the shop and the shopkeeper tells his stock has run out, but orders one chainsaw for the character. Chainsaw will be shipped the next day to his motel room (or to the store if he has no motel room). This option allows the character to come/leave the shop with or without the gas and continue doing other things, slightly distributing the puzzle experience. Cutscene: The character is dreaming or having a vision of his chainsaw being delivered. The delivery man is drivin' to Thimbleweed Park but suddenly the engine stops, radio goes out and the also the lights and electricity. The car stops. Delivery guy is a bit confused for a while and then a blinding light is cast from the skies...end cutscene. Later during the gameplay (at next morning in this idea, after showing the cutscene) the character waking up, gets a call from the shopkeeper telling his order has arrived, with odd circumstances. The delivery car was found empty, with the door open at or near the log site. Only other thing left was the chainsaw, which has been obtained by detective Butters at the site. Character can arrive at his/her leisure to the log site with or without the gas. If you try to leave the log site with the chainsaw, detective Butters stops you, citing the character some strange state law or telling the chainsaw might be important evidence. To use the saw the character has to divert the detective in some way but scene is still being setup in a way that you can't leave the area with the saw without alerting Butters, but can use it with the log (if carrying fuel). Same kind of log sawing event as in option 1: saw gets broken at halfway -> lightning / UFO -> hair turns white/frizzled.

mr. T - Jun 12, 2015 at 04:16
Additional cutscene option to idea 2)

"Meanwhile at the log site..."

Detective Butters shows up and starts investigating the area. He finds a hockey mask (the delivery guy was a local celebrity goalie in Thimbleweed Wildhawks) along with the chainsaw. Because Butters is a nutty hockey fan he puts the mask on and starts playing around. Then he sees the chainsaw... It's of course the Wildman 5000 model, with the latest and finest blade. He looks around to see if he could try it out, just for a little while. Enter chainsaw massacre montage/moment as Butters becomes an unstoppable celebrity goalie. The fuel runs out (or Butters could also slip and the chainsaw gets stuck to the log). Optionally also detective Butters could be abducted here, making events even more alarming. In this case the chainsaw should get stuck to the log perhaps to prevent the character becoming the next chainsaw killer.

Notes: Ok got a bit carried away. But couldn't resist myself.

Philipp - Jun 11, 2015 at 15:20
I have not read every response to the letter, so I apologize if I repeat someone else's idea. I can see the point that breaking the chain saw after use only solves half the problem. I also like the idea of limiting the starting mechanism of the chain saw,  the little pull rope that starts the engine, put in gas, pull it and nothing happens. So how to get it started at the tree only? How about the tree from Monkey Island with the payphone on it where you could call Lucasarts tech support. Maybe tech support can help you start the chainsaw, you cut the tree and then tech support takes the chainsaw away before you hurt yourself with it?

EvilTroopa - Jun 11, 2015 at 15:22
Here's a my solution:
There's a cabin in the woods near the road, where lives a lumberjack. First you ask to borrow his axe but he won't lend it to you.
When you get the chainsaw, you come back and he feels sad because he broke his axe and can't cut wood anymore.
As he has a tank full of gas, you propose to give him the chainsaw in exchange for cutting down the tree blocking the road.
Cutscene: all caracters are on the road in front of the tree, the lumberjack is ready to cut it down. Suddenly, one of the main caracters hits him hard on the head, "I wanted to have a chainsaw for years" and cuts down the tree. Then they leave the chainsaw to the still unconscious lumberjack and press forward to the sewers.

Walfisch - Jun 11, 2015 at 15:30
Due to a chainsaw massacre, the chainsaw is not allowed in town. And someone points that out every time the player tries to use it. When you use it on the tree, it'll work but break in the process.

Winslow - Jun 11, 2015 at 15:48
What if the characters get the fuel, add it to the chainsaw, but the fuel is actually the wrong kind and they end up having to use the chainsaw as an actual saw? (I've never personally used a chainsaw, so I'm unfamiliar with how they work in real-life).

I liked the idea someone had earlier in the conversation (Mike Conley) with solving the issue with a piece of cloth or something getting blown into the cutting process, thus breaking the chainsaw after it's use (maybe some wild animal hair, because you didn't see that creature there).

I think this might have been suggested before in previous posts above, but what about the chainsaw being stuck in a tree stump by the blocking tree (all Sword in the Stone-style)? Then go and get the fuel, fuel up the chainsaw by the tree, cut up the tree in the pathway.
Something else that might be good: the two main characters come across the chainsaw in the path, one of them takes it for a test drive (not realizing it was almost out of fuel), tests the chainsaw on a nearby stump and the chainsaw dies while also getting stuck. THEN you have to go find more fuel. After getting the only fuel can (or whatever) in the area, one of the main characters fuels the chainsaw, starts it while destroying the stump in the process and wields it over their head in triumph (Thundarr the Barbarian-style). After the burst of satisfaction (and revving), they realize they have just enough fuel to cut through the tree in their way.

I hope that helped in some way.

Dirk - Jun 11, 2015 at 16:24
Let it be an electric chainsaw. The power source is a hamster wheel that is only available next to the tree that must be chopped.

Ricardo - Jun 11, 2015 at 16:28
So, you want ideas to prevent players to cut through everything using the chainsaw... Did you think that there also might be some players that would try to actually *BURN* everything down with the gas? They would just need a flame or a spark. Just forget about any matches, lighters, electric devices or cables, etc.

Wouldn't it be easier if the player had just to cut through the tree using the chainsaw as if it was a normal saw, sawing back and forward for a gooood while :-D

Alternatively, the chainsaw might have a "safety" device that prevented it from cutting anything but a tree. Or maybe a sticker like "use only on oaks", and then every other piece of wood in the game might be just pinewood, or whatever.

Anthony - Jun 11, 2015 at 16:46
Too many submissions to read, so hopefully I'm not too repetitive, but...maybe the problem can be solved by the description and character dialog when they choose to "Look At".

Item name : "Tree Chainsaw for Chainsawing Trees"
Character description:  "I guess it's used on something...I just can't figure out what?"

Not quite rubber chicken quality, but f&@# it, you've hit that frustration point.

Adrian - Jun 11, 2015 at 16:49
Wait, I've got it... there's this hipster lumberjack character, and... wait! What?! Come back! ;-)

Adrian - Jun 11, 2015 at 16:54
P.S. I actually quite liked the lumberjack guy, even if the puzzles around him were rubbish.

P.P.S. Yikes, so many suggestions! I've always wish you adventure game kickstarters would do more of this, spoilers be damned, so it's really great to see!

P.P.P.S. The idea about the electric chainsaw (though do you even get those for chopping trees?) with a european plug and a nearby european generator is very good! A  it cleverer than the obvious choice of needing a NPC to start it up for you or something.

Ron Gilbert - Jun 11, 2015 at 16:52
The response to this article has been both overwhelming and fascinating. I've read every comment, all 290+ of them and there are some real gems in here. Also some crazy, funny, silly and stupid ideas, which is exactly what brainstorm is and why I love it so much. Sometimes the stupid ideas are the most important. Someone says something stupid and it triggers an idea in someone else that becomes something silly that then sparks another idea that becomes something good. The good idea would not have happened if the stupid idea hadn't been voiced.

You're all amazing and this has been a lot of fun to read!

Jeremy G - Jun 11, 2015 at 17:30
"I've read every comment, all 290+ of them and there are some real gems in here." Just knowing you took the time to acknowledged everyone's input is, i gotta tell ya, EXTREMELY satisfying. Thanks for making us such apart of this experience Ron, It's been a joy to get to keep up with this fun and passion driven project!

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 12, 2015 at 19:52
Thank you, Ron! :-) You are amazing! <3

Jaap Blom - Jun 11, 2015 at 17:24
Just to have dumped it on the plate:

I was thinking about some scene where the chainsaw WITH gas fails to work. Even after pulling that cord a million times, the damn thing won't start.

So just to share the idea: it might be fun that the sounds of attempting to start the chainsaw at the sewer entrance location might attract some wild animal who will make the situation worse by falling asleep against the tree. So the chainsaw even makes the puzzle harder!

This event however gives you the extra option to e.g. use your phone and call the local park ranger / sheriff to get rid of the animal AND at the same time acknowledges the tree blocking the sewer entrance, making him call the proper authorities to get rid of the tree.

Some of this could be part of a fun solution to this.


Miro - Jun 11, 2015 at 18:10
I couldn’t fall asleep as I was also thinking how to figure this out without having too much mess about it and not to change the original point.
Here is what I would accept as logically possible:
Let’s say the chain is stump.. very stump. So once the player will use it with some door so it would exhaust the whole fuel but it wouldn’t make any noticeable hole in the door (or whatever) so it will end up with saying something like "I would spent ages here to get through"..
Now back to the tree.. How to let it now to cut it into a half without having the chainsaw sharpening before.. I though how about the tree was old, very very old so it was already rotten before it felt down.. You could punch it or kick it, this would make a hole in it but also let release the bugs livin in there on you.. I hate bug so I would do it once again anymore.. It would be too big to smash it somehow and the flying pieces with bugs won't be good approach.. but the stump chainsaw would still be a possibility. Sure, it will take longer but after some fuel refills and hours you can make it happen...

Chris Pepin - Jun 11, 2015 at 18:29
A couple of possible solutions.

1) The chainsaw is too heavy to use by the player(s). The player(s) have to hire a recovering lumberjack to cut up the tree. After vowing to never cut another tree again, the recovering lumberjack is conned/tricked/coerced into picking up the chainsaw and cutting the tree as part of his civic duty. However, once he picks up the chainsaw he goes nuts and cuts up the tree but, just like gollum, he can't give up his precious and takes the chainsaw and runs off with it. Later you see some of the mayhem he gets into with the chainsaw (ie his initials carved into a fence, mailboxes lopped off, a mobile home cut in half, etc.)

2) The chainsaw needs gas. When the player goes to the area with the downed tree, if the player has the chainsaw, he gets trapped there (maybe anothr tree falls down blocking the path behind them) and can't leave until he solves another puzzle to get the can of gas. Once he has the gas, he cuts up the tree to escape and then the chainsaw seizes up because it ran out of oil.

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 11, 2015 at 19:22
When the character use the gas can with the chainsaw, the character just starts to juggle with the two items. On the tree there's a sign saying "If mighty I have fallen on the path to glory, here's how you use a chainsaw...".

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 11, 2015 at 19:24
Maybe how you "abuse" a chainsaw instead of "use"...?

Daniel B - Jun 11, 2015 at 19:30
So many submissions, hopefully I'm not repeating,

This is kind of stupid but what if the the chainsaw required a solid cell phone signal to operate (I did say it was stupid) and that is the only location that has a decent signal so it can only be operated there and nowhere else,

Or on a less crazy note to avoid the "I can't do that" or "I don't want to do that" for things that the chainsaw shouldn't be used on, maybe have the characters saying "It's against the terms and conditions of the chainsaw and that don't want to void their warranty" or something silly like that to give a better reason to not be using in other situations.

Wilbert - Jun 11, 2015 at 19:51
The creators of this game might have left some hair, broken nails and/or body fluids on the tree while putting it on the road. So a voodoo spell might create a very satisfying chainsaw experience. Finally revenge for all the bad puzzles we've had to go through. This way puzzles that could be solved with a chainsaw can have some funny dialog that builds up the frustration against the game creators who won't let you use the chainsaw. This will make the revenge only sweeter. The chainsawing of the tree will then turn into a tribute to all the frustrating moments in adventure gaming history. Here, that's for the monkey wrench.

Dan Edmonds - Jun 11, 2015 at 19:58
Sorry, just had a look and haven't had a chance to read all the comments so sorry if this is a repeat.

I realise you guys have the whole puzzle about getting the chainsaw in the first place. But could the chainsaw be stuck in the fallen tree. Just beckoning you to add the gas to free it and in turn cut the tree? Only to discover at the end of the action that you have used up all the gas

Good luck on this one. I am really looking forward to the game.

Was there 'the' puzzle in Monkey Island 2 and if so, do you feel like sharing.

Monky - Jun 11, 2015 at 20:41
Apologies as I haven't read all 300 comments above and this has probably already been brought up (in which case I agree). The chainsaw can never possibly be used as it wasn't real in the first place - just a prop from MM! They originate from those crazy circuses where you enter the haunted house and folks dressed up like Jason chase you down with them. Although they create insane racket and are scary as shit you won't be able to chop a tree with them within one lifetime - surely? With gas they'll probably just explode alongside the sewer.

The real problem is the tree - they are a severe case of reverse ex machina, just like the axe. I will also go out of my way to step on a crunchy leaf.

13thGeneral - Jun 11, 2015 at 23:51
I was going to say that out too. It's just a prop/mock chainsaw; it makes a lot of noise, sparks, and smokes, but the chain is stationary, there's no driving mechanism. It probably belonged to a circus juggler or a horror funhouse, something silly like that.

Now, you probably don't realize that when you try to use it on the log and the fake label falls off, revealing the original label, "Novelty Item; Blade Does Not Rotate." but not until you finally manage to repair the pull cord (with a yo-yo string and a corkscrew, perhaps?), replace the spark plug, and of course add the small amount of gas you we able to find. All of which culminates in the woods by the log, so that way you had no means to use it prior. But, then you can have something silly happen from here. Maybe the sparks from the chainsaw catch the log on fire, firemen show up and chop up the tree (with axes... lol) to put it out. I dunno.

I like the idea of needing a mask to protect your face, but all you find is a hockey mask.

Also, you could have a two-headed squirrel living inside the log that keeps you from getting too close to the log of sewer at first, if you find the area before you have the right tools to clear the log. So perhaps you have to also get rid of the squirrel in some comical way, as well.

Just trying yo work in the nostalgia here.
Lots of great creative ideas to feed off of here, this is a great community. :)

Charles - Jun 11, 2015 at 22:46
"I see you're admiring my "Chateau Loco" MK 2000 Chainsaw. They sure don't make 'em like that anymore... Why, when it's fully gassed up, I reckon it could vaporize a redwood!
"Aw shoot, you might as well just take the blasted thing ... Its far too dangerous to be used within  town limits! I never shoulda bought it at that garage sale, anyway."

Joel Dorsey - Jun 11, 2015 at 23:06
Make the chainsaw unusable with the playable characters. You have to find someone or something to cut it down for you after you do a puzzle for them.Maybe they are the only one with the gas and they won't lend it to you.

Runar - Jun 12, 2015 at 04:07
Go with a Back to the Future/DOTT Thunderstorm solution.
The chainsaw is electric, and you somehow manage to get hold of a a battery. There is also a convenient thunderstorm (BttF) which should allow the battery to be charged (DOTT-style). This will give the 1.21 GigaWatts needed to use the saw. Unfortunately melting the saw in the process. This will also add some new references that we all love.

13thGeneral - Jun 12, 2015 at 12:09
I was thinking along the lines of the solution turning out that after finally getting the chainsaw pull-cord rigged, a makeshift spark plug inserted, and full of gas, you discover it is actually just a prop -  e.g. The chain doesn't even rotate - so now a novel way to solve this dilemma needs remedying.
One idea is, perhaps out of frustration you jam it into a hole in the log, only to have lighting strike it, cracking the log in half.

Is it possible to have different solutions depending on which character you control or chose at the time/place (if that is in fact an option).

ashley b - Jun 12, 2015 at 04:30
How about the chainsaw just will NOT turn on, but everyone else that tries it turns it on straight away, to the sheer frustration of Guy.Brush. The puzzle then becomes about conversationally luring someone to the tree, and when they finally get there, give them the chainsaw and they do it.  Then they give it back for another puzzle later.  Once you know why you need the chainsaw a new convo element is added to most other characters to get them to join you at the tree.

ashley b - Jun 12, 2015 at 04:50
Everytime the chainsaw is turned on, it catches fire and the player throws it to the ground.  He can either leave the scene and return to collect it, or it burns out totally and he has to go get another one.  Or least more gas.  At the tree however, he will catch the tree on fire.  It reminds me setting fire to stuff in Zak too

Wilbert - Jun 12, 2015 at 04:53
Thimbleweed Park seems to have a very efficient chainsaw damage repair team. Every time you fix a puzzle with your chainsaw the chainsaw damage repair team comes around and fixes the damage which reverts your solution. They even revert the solution to get past the tree. But when you cut the tree you might be able to trap them. Then give them the chainsaw. They will get in an infinate loop of freeing themselves and fixing the damage by locking themselves up again.

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 12, 2015 at 05:06
That's a fun idea! :-)

ashley b - Jun 12, 2015 at 04:55
I really love the european plug vs american plug idea btw

ashley b - Jun 12, 2015 at 05:22
The chainsaw is already stuck in the tree from the outset. Once you have fuel in it, you have to figure out how to unwedge it.  Try as hard as you might, its a red herring, and what you do is refuel it three times until its dripping with oil.  Setting it on fire will then solve it.  And as a result you also get a burnt out chainsaw for later.  Its only once the thing is overfilled that you can burn it.  Giving players time to try find false leads on unwedging

Eric - Jun 12, 2015 at 05:43
Don't use a chainsaw. Instead, apply physics: Have the characters steal a see-saw from a playground. Finding the appropriate log, etc. to make it work can be another quest. Then, have one of the characters (or both) jump on said teether-totter to move the tree. Bringing back the see-saw can make for a nice scene. Oh, and you can't threaten someone with it.

Jacek Prucia - Jun 12, 2015 at 06:29
My idea would be, to require chainsaw to be used somewhere in the sewers (ie. to repair some defunct machinery). The usage scenario could require decomposition of the chainsaw. Also, it could be that chainsaw usage could trigger an one-time oportunity to leave sewers (the entrance could be blocked just when player gets in). One way or another the item would be gone for good without any way to get it back. The only problem that is left is arranging the game puzzles, so that you can get both chainsaw and gas tank after you know you *must* go to sewers. Even then, I guess you can't stop people from going around, trying stuff.

cornholio1980 - Jun 12, 2015 at 06:41
First of all, I didn't read through all of the comments posted here yet, it's just too many. So sorry if someone should have already suggested something similar.

Here's my suggestion, using humor to solve this dilemma:
You get the chainsaw, but there's no gas anywhere. When you try to use the chainsaw on anything, the character says "First, I need gas." When you try to use it on the tree, though, there's a different message, something like "Great, now I REALLY need a working chainsaw, and I haven't got any gas. Boy, I HATE it when that happens." Then, suddenly, a character who looks suspiciously like one of the playable characters from Maniac Mansion pops in, says "here, take that", hands you some fuel, and the chainsaw's working. However, as soon as the tree's cut, fuel's out.

Jeffry Houser - Jun 12, 2015 at 07:06
Instead of a gas powered chainsaw; make it a rechargable battery.  Put the (Solar Powered?) battery recharger somewhere near the tree; which gets destroyed after the tree is cut.  

And the battery can't hold a charge, so it loses power once you leave the area.

ElTopolino - Jun 12, 2015 at 07:42
Make it an electric chainsaw (makes sense as we all know there's no fuel for the classic ones), but with European power chord, limited length. So mysteriously there's only one socket where it fits - maybe in the hut of that old German Holzfäller from Schwarzwald that is just close enough to the tree. :)

mat - Jun 12, 2015 at 08:12
Speaking off Stupid Ideas:

Why should you put the Gasoline in the Chainsaw at all?
Just pour it over the tree and use the Chainsaw somehow to set the tree on fire.

Maybe putting a Hamster on the Chainsaw so it can reach matchsticks that are on the roof of the house?
(You could even do some kind of "Crazy Machines" style minigame how to get the matchsticks)

And Yes, thats why i dont design Adventure games, only boring business-software; I'll lead myself out ;-)

Paul Jacobson - Jun 12, 2015 at 08:59
Essentially the cop out is not the character saying [insert random reason] for not using it. But more inventing funny ways to scare the player off or to stop them from using it.
(i loved the suggestions about using sewer gas above that is funny and a novel way of only letting them use the chainsaw in specific places).

You can have the player chased off by a swarm of angry bees (ala Dale and Tucker vs evil) or other wild creature when they power the baby up.

Or the noise police / health and safety ("WOAH BUDDY you can't use this here at this time", or "you don't have the required safety gear to use this").

Could we also have as many people have suggested the chainsaw breaks after the first use (before the tree cutting) and a sub puzzle is getting the chainsaw fixed up that only concludes at the time when cutting the tree is an available puzzle.

There could be two chainsaws in the game first one is an easy get but it breaks and then you need to somehow swap it out for the second one later in the game.

Gross but: maybe some crazy local ate the chainsaw blade in a circus trick and you need to *ahem* wait for it to make it's way to the sewer outlet before you can fit it to the chainsaw to use on the tree?
That way they have a non working chainsaw.

Some people have suggested above that the player's character is possibly not trained to use one so howabout in the places they can use it, i.e. the tree it is a bit of a lucky mishap that the tree gets cut at all and elsewhere they can fall over and be dragged off screen by the chain saw or pull it back and get it stuck in something.

Sorry for rambling I'll be quiet now =)

Mikael Karlsson - Jun 12, 2015 at 09:48
What if the gas tank on the chainsaw is broken?

Let's say that you find a chainsaw, where the gas tank has a small hole in it (or maybe the hose is slightly broken). Then You have to go to a gas station and refuel. After that you have a limited time to run to the tree or W/E needs to be cut or else the gas would be depleted. If you are there in time, you have just the amount of gas to chop the tree.

Vecnam - Jun 12, 2015 at 09:51
That guy claims to have the best chainsaw in the whole world to everybody. But first he cant use it as he is out of fuel but after he gathers a great amount of oil, everytime he prodly tries to use the chainsaw; something odd is happeing.  He cant get it working and gets angrier every time this happens.
Approaching the tree and using it with the tree it really starts now shortly waiting that nothing happans,  the character is exploding for joy and proud and starting a monologe about him cutting through the wood. As soon as the chainsaw reaches the log, it breakes and goes out and he fails again getting really mad this time, yelling something stupid and starts hitting the tree with the chainsaw (" take that you stupid tree! Look who s the boss now") and cuts it down with several hittings screaming crazily...After the tree is done, the chainsaw is broken and a big mess; he looks aroung calmly and happily.

The Riddler - Jun 12, 2015 at 10:33
The chainsaw could require three-phase current, which is standard in many factories - in contrast to alternating current, which is mainstream in usual buildings. That would restrict the possible field of application when you have this chainsaw.

taumel - Jun 12, 2015 at 10:54
I haven't read all the text just enough (hopefully) to got an idea.

When i read the text i was thinking...

What if the chainsaw was (slightly) broken already (like the blade), you fixed it or it got barely fixed already, so, it just works for one last splash, then after serving its purpose it's finally broken (which means it needs a real new blade which you don't have, are sold out, they don't produce these old ones anymore [they got broken too often], ...). It would allow you to a) use a riddle how to fix the blade, b) offer you the satisfaction for finally using the chainsaw and c) allow you to let her(?) go with a good feeling (you even could do some research to get to this point, or maybe you gain this wisdom when trying to fix it on your own before using it already).

Sounds nice to me.

taumel - Jun 12, 2015 at 12:37
Trying to use the chainsaw on a "wrong" objects before gets you a) arrested (collecting all your stuff from the sheriff's office on your own again), b) breaks the blade (it's not strong enough for stuff being stronger than this special tree [like steel, stones, that really hard paper, ... you can apply your fix again {automagically?}]), c) your character disagreeing with an appropriate comment, d) some wicked robot thief stealing your chainsaw just before you use it [he/she/it is hiding it at ...], ... such things.

taumel - Jun 12, 2015 at 13:10
And two more lazy solutions:

Having a perforated petrol source in the scene (a leaking pipe?, hidden at first, you need to make it leak?) with the chainsaw's tank also being perforated (too many holes to cover with your fingers, no wax jobs, ...) and no other option to put gas into (the character isn't willing to put it into the mouth, ...) so once you step out of the scene, the gas will be gone.

A "power camper" finally borrowing you letting you admire you his chainsaw but only as long as you're in sight (that scene, the woods [you can cut stuff in different wood scenes but it doesn't really matter, he'll take it away from you once you try to cut some of his stuff]).

Dunno this is addicting, i'll try to stop now, back to normal life.

Andrew - Jun 12, 2015 at 11:01
Have the tree fallen on top of a car. You have access to the gas tank which you use with a rubber tube to fill the chainsaw up. Unfortunately the chainsaw has a leak so if you leave the screen or wait for a minute it empties

Demetris Thoupis - Jun 12, 2015 at 16:05
Instead of chainsaw replace it with Termites in a glass jar and have the tree sugar coated for some reason. Termites will eat the wood and cut it for you. Licking not allowed. Keep the chainsaw broken throughout if you want so it will never work on anything but just carry around with no real use until Thimbleweed Park 2.

My 2 cents

Geoff Paulsen - Jun 12, 2015 at 16:10
Instead of a chainsaw, you could use a Ditch Witch (basically giant chainsaws on the front of a fork lift).  Not terribly portable.  This would be more if you're looking for something big and DRAMATIC rather than humorous.

Hoerspiegel - Jun 12, 2015 at 16:28
Hi there,

hope it's not too late to reply.

My idea to get this done is: The chainsaw itself does not want to do anything else but cutting wood "in meaningful settings", because cutting wood is its main appointment! This is the only motive for a chainsaw. And a proud, dutiful chainsaw does know that!

I remember the Broom Alien from Zak McKracken, or Marvin, the depressive robot from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. These "things" had a personality. So, why not invent a chainsaw with an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and a voice interface that you can talk to.

And this A.I. is of course some sort of pissed, every singe time you try to use it for things which do not match with its appointment. So, try to cut the door. The "Sawbot" will anser: "Yeah, sure, and when the door is broken it will be my fault! Forget it, pal!" or if you try to cut something made of steel: "I once tried to bite steel. Me teeth became so blunt, I needed a completey new chain. And you, pal, don't seem to afford a new chain. So better forget about that and please stop bothering me!"You could also put relations to Maniac Mansion into the answers, like 'I once had to do something similar for a mad scientist ... bla bla". This will be so much fun!

By the way, the chainsaw A.I. would not only help you with that one wood puzzle to access the sewers. Imagine there is another puzzle that only can be solved by talking to the Sawbot. The A.I. knows one major hint! (For example as a joker on "Who wants to be a millionaire?" when it comes up to a pretty challangeing wood question?) :D

Anyway, I think the Chainsaw A.I. will solve the problem: The player loves to use his "grumpy friend" the chainsaw on simply anything he can find, just to hear the pissed-off answer of the "Sawbot". And, remembering the sawbot dialogues when you are walking through the Edisons' kitchen in Maniac Mansion some day in the future again, will put a little smile on your face.

Good luck


Ashley B - Jun 12, 2015 at 17:23
The chainsaw is actually golden and attached to a board.  When Looked At, it turns out to be first prize for a Woodcutting competition won by Jeff From Mm. It wont turn on, because its a trophy.  You can put gas in it, but it still wont turn on.  Apply paint stripper (maniac mansion esque) to remove the gold paint, and add gas.  Find termites elsewhere.  If you use the termites on the fallen tree they will start eating but get nowhere. Add more and the character says they are eating at a faster rate. This is a red herring. They simply will never eat through a tree no matter how many you add. Add the termites to the trophy and they will eat the backboard.  With all things done, the player can fire up the chainsaw and use it on the tree.  The termites can simply be in the same scene as the fallen tree, perhaps on a stump. Leaving the scene with termites in your pocket makes your character laugh because they tickle, and fall down his trouser legs.  Then he will need to get more.

Ashley B - Jun 12, 2015 at 17:28
Leaving the scene with an active chainsaw can be a violation of town laws.  You can walk round with the golden chainsaw and be allowed. Someone can even do a police check to make sure you arent carrying weapons specifically chainsaws. This character will show up if you try to leave and just trigger a small dialogue to ensure you dont go off retrospectively damaging everything.

Ashley B - Jun 12, 2015 at 18:07
The trophy shouldnt be woodcutting, its for the only person to date who ever managed to turn the chainsaw on in Maniac Mansion.

Look at chainsaw:  result is randomly picked from:
* hmm its a prize for the world's only person to have turned on the Maniac chainsaw.
   ( I wonder how he did that)
* Hey, its engraved with the name Jeff
* I'm getting saw thinkin' about this
* This thing really could use a pulley

Look at chainsaw after gold paint is stripped.  Added to list of descriptions
* It's no longer Golden. I'm guiltier than it is...
(Bad pun, sorry)

Look at chainsaw after adding fuel. Added to list of random descriptions.
* A fully gassed up Chainsaw.
* As gassy as a beaneater.

After getting rid of the board
* The only time a chainsaw is appropriate with a board is Scrabble. And maybe Monopoly.
* The termites got board.

After adding termites to the tree,
* that is a big tree, it could take months.
After adding more termites to the tree
* more termites equals faster digestion
* add more termites? Thats the drill.
* this is getting boring

ashley b - Jun 12, 2015 at 18:09
Sorry about the bold... That will teach me to use bullet points/asterixes

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 14, 2015 at 09:21
Good thinking, Ashley! :-)

Keith Irvine - Jun 12, 2015 at 18:18
What if the chainsaw leaked fuel, so there was a limited radius in which it could be used? Similar to the grog puzzle in Monkey Island, the player has to run to the tree in order to use it. Or have a leaky jerry can that is the only way to fill the chainsaw.

Kevin Wallace - Jun 12, 2015 at 19:22
Too many other comments to wade through them all.
Suggestions: Character is unwilling to carry the chainsaw around, and will either lug it out to the tree (assuming you cannot buy it until you have found the tree) automatically and leave it there ("Alright. Now we just need to... this thing has no gas. Well damn, guess I'll go get some. I'll just leave this here and hope nobody steals it"), or won't move it from the shop (after purchase) until they need it (or won't purchase it until they need it).

That being said, disabling it after it's use could be fun. Or you could throw in a character who wants the chainsaw (bored Lumberjack who broke his last saw) and thus it's gated to their usage (chainsaw by proxy).

...or you could have Dr. Fred show up and buy it off of you immediately on usage. But again, solving for how to disable it is sadly the easy part.

If you want the characters to be able to buy and carry around the chainsaw, you're really going to have to gate the gasoline somehow. Although I bet a lot of folks could still be intimidated by a chainsaw that's not on...

Howler Monkey - Jun 13, 2015 at 05:20
Well obviously I haven´t read all the 1,3 million posts above completely (only ~ 1 million...) so maybe somebody already came up with a similar idea...
My initial proposal was to hide the gas not too far away from the chainsaw in some kind of vessel that - by accident - in THAT VERY DAMN MOMENT our main character picks it up or takes it out of SOMETHING  breaks sightly (small hole or so...) and the gas slowly leaves the vessel.
A message pops up saying that in a very few moments it would be empty so USE IT NOW!!!
So the character has only very limited time to act - i.e. put it right now in the chainsaw and use it one the trunk.
But this leaves obviously some disadvantages like player ignorant enough to miss the point and leaving anyway making them end up WITHOUT and gas ...(in that case you´d have to install a rodent anywhere as backup solution that the player can find which helps him biting through the trunk e.g. by offering it some nuts to do it?!)
Having then been hit by the sudden inspiration that this whole idea probably wasn´t that good after all (also due to the fact that it´s somehow boring to find the gas closeby to the chainsaw), I came up with another one - beating the first one easily in terms of craziness:
As we´re writing the year 2015, it´s obvious that chainsaws these days are not being fueled by gas or electrictiy anymore but by fuel cells or -- tataaaa -- SOLAR Cells!
And Solar Cells work with what? right - sun.  So the only thing your need to ensure is, that there is no Sun in your game - EXCEPT of course at the trunk-setting! :D
(or at least ENOUGH sun to fully operate the chainsaw) !
At other places Guybrush (ahem - or what was the name of our protagonist ?;) ) will say: there´s not enough light here to operate the chainsaw...
apart from that I can think about as much as I like but I don´t find any plausible way to prevent a player from potentially using a chainsaw at any other place than the anticipated one without restricting it with "I don´t want to destroy this and that" messages...:(
looking forward to the final product!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
cheers to my favourite game designers ;)

Howler Monkey - Jun 13, 2015 at 05:35
Ha! I´d just had an additional idea to make that puzzle even crazier (trying to beat the rubber chicken one here...):
let´s assume even the sun at the trunk setting won´t provide enough light to operate the Solar-Cell chainsaw - but I have another idea how to make it work anyhow ONLY at the trunk setting with the solar cells! (I don´t  want to place that idea here since I don´t want to spoil a fully constructed puzzle idea :D) so in case you´re crazy enough to follow that idea, send me a note and I´ll privide you additional ideas :)
(it all depends on the overall riddle absurdity of the complete game of course...;)

stderr - Jun 13, 2015 at 08:55
"As we´re writing the year 2015..."

You might be, but AFAIK the game takes place in the late 1980's.

MB Senne - Jun 13, 2015 at 10:38
I suggest locking them in the location with the gas and the puzzle and breaking the chain after they saw the log.

Wherever it is that they find the gas, the process of finding the gas should prevent them from going back (to any place where the chainsaw could be a super-solution) so that the only escape is through the tree/log.  Then when they've cut through the log, the chain snaps (it happens!), ruining the chainsaw for future generations of retro adventure gamers.

Till - Jun 13, 2015 at 13:02
Admittedly I haven't read all comments above, so please excuse me of this was brought up before: The chainsaw could be deformed or bent or have some other special property which actually makes it impossible to use it elsewhere. Alternatively, it could be completely broken , someone fixes it for you, but only in the condition you then use it for the tree - where after the use it breaks again.

Grabber9 - Jun 13, 2015 at 15:13
I like the volatile fuel idea. Have it be Nitromethane, the kind Top-Fuel dragsters use. The chainsaw engine would run really fast and powerfully, just long enough to do the job, and then explode in flames (as Top_Fuel dragster engines sometimes do).

Davide Barbieri - Jun 13, 2015 at 15:25
Sorry if I didn't read the other comments. It is for creative purposes.

The following are my possible solutions:
- Everytime I use the chainsaw, the character say "Weird, it doesn't work; a red light is blinking near the handle",
and by looking at it: "Warning: this chainsaw can only be used on dead trees".

- You find it in a shop, sold at 1 $.
You ask: "Why 1$?" the shop guy will reply "yep, we sell it at that price because it is faulty,
the producer found a bug just after 10000 pieces which makes it works only on dead trees.
So yes, you should kill the tree BEFORE cutting it using this chainsaw."
"Ok, mr Babe Gawell.. I'll wait for sales and I'll buy it at 0.50$..."
"mmh.. today's wood-cutters are incredibly penny-pinching.."
(you quit and re-enter shop and the price is now at 0.50$).

- Like previous, but Chainsaw could be used just 1 time, so it should be a very special occasion.

- ask the hardware dealer to do it for you because you do not believe in money

- you could make it electric, and put one of these information kiosk with a solar panel on them
that you could find in some parks. I don't know, maybe you break the kiosk, connect the wires from
the solar panel to the chainsaw and put a magnifying glass on top of the panel to maximize the effect.
(ok this one is a bit confused as idea)

- you create a trap using the chainsaw as bait to capture a beaver (which is notoriously an animal interested
in wood-cutting);  then, use the beaver on the dead tree.
(you'll never find gas in the game)

- chain the chainsaw to a near tree (like a bicycle) for antitheft purposes.
(ok, probably you would try to break the chains using the chainsaw).

- screw the chainsaw, use a jar of africanized moths

Please, Ron, at least say if you like my ideas or not, I need to be in the spotlight :'
yeah, and I love you (and one day I'll kill you).

Wilbert - Jun 13, 2015 at 18:50
Do you still read these comments Ron? Creating adventure games is very addictive. But this will be my last post. I promise.

You will have to steal the chainsaw from the shop. And when you use it, the angry shopkeeper will turn up and take his chainsaw back. At the tree you will beg the shopkeeper if you can use the chainsaw just for once. It has been your dream for more than twenty-five years. Pretty please with sugar on top?

For an easy puzzle you could automatically start talking to the shopkeeper, when he arrives at the tree. For a more difficult puzzle he just gets angry and leaves with the chainsaw, like he does in all the other puzzles. To be able to beg, you will have to talk to him before he's gone. But I guess few players will think of that. They will think it's just another puzzle that can't be solved with the chainsaw. So there should be a hint at the tree: 'This would be really easy with a chainsaw'. Which is funny, because for most players it will probably turn out to be not easy at all. And when they finally figure it out, it will be way easier than they thought. And a hint at the shop: 'Maybe if I just ask nicely'. This will of course make the player just ask nicely for the chainsaw inside the shop, which won't work. But he or she might get it eventually.

Ron Gilbert - Jun 13, 2015 at 19:22
I read all the comments. When someone posts, I get an email with the comment and read it right there..

Wilbert - Jun 13, 2015 at 18:52
And this will be my final post.

The chainsaw is a sacred chainsaw. It needs the blessing of a priest to make it work. (I can also imagine how the priest could deliver some holy gas. But don't tell anybody you got that idea from me). The priest will perform a sacred ritual in front of the fallen tree (probably late at night under a full moon before a nice atmospheric and little creepy background, Mark). The ritual consists of the usual prayers and serene humming, occasionally interrupted by a loud and extremely non-spiritual roar of the chainsaw. This will make the participants of the ritual undergo some severe mood swings. Quiet and concentrated during the humming and prayers. Suddenly very excited and a little out of control when they hear the chainsaw. And when the chainsaw stops, just as suddenly quiet again, although a little confused. After the ritual the priest might have become so excited about the chainsaw that he's not willing to give it back.

Ashley B - Jun 14, 2015 at 19:04
I need to stop posting, and thereby mail bombing poor Ron...

But that said, I really do like this idea.  It has potential for both humour and a possible puzzle later in the game that you have to wander back through the sewers for!  Setting up potential reuse is a great thing for these games, and something I really really liked in the shop in Monkey Island.  I'd love to see you expand on this idea, in the hopes that Ron likes it!

Nat Almirall - Jun 14, 2015 at 07:37
It's an organic chainsaw from a holistic hardware store; it only works on natural, unfashioned wood.

Mark McCrum - Jun 14, 2015 at 09:51
Two options:
1. When selecting 'use chainsaw on' all of the object names change to  'something other than a tree' (except, of course, for the tree itself) so you then have 'use chainsaw on something other than a tree', which causes the player character to say something like 'I'm pretty sure this is meant for trees'.

2. The chainsaw is an object that gets 'used' without another object so when 'use fuelled chainsaw' is selected there is an animation of the player starting up the chainsaw (perhaps with a big grin?) then they put it away again with some comment like 'Now all I need is a tree'.

John Ingmar - Jun 14, 2015 at 14:42
I feel a little  ashamed that this was the idea that came to me (as after reading the other suggestions, it seems much more psychotic) but this is my humor and to hell with it:

What if the chainsaw is fine, even perferct, event toooo much perfect... So perfect that the first time you tell him to use it it makes the protagonist give a long monulog about his kindergarden days, with all the kids bulleying him, calling him "sad albert", about uncle jim and the cage, and mostly about the girl in the frozen wiener schnitzel ad - the one who had a perfect life... About how he gonna make them all pay... He starts up the chinsaw oblivious to the target set for it, and than catches himself.  He would not allow himself to start the chainsaw again.

You then need to find a old empty frozen wiener schnitzel bag, a blond wig and a peace of chalk and apply them to the tree (there is a blonde girl on the bag icon, and a face might allready be painted on the tree), making it look like the girl. applying the chainsaw to it will then cause the protagonist to use it... Psychotically.... Saying "pretend you didn't see this" when he finishes. the chainsaw remains broken and stuck in the remains of the tree.

Mattias Cedervall - Jun 14, 2015 at 15:24
A variant of earlier suggestions: When you try use the chainsaw (in town, for example) angry beavers come and take it away. Then it's found close to the fallen three or something. It could be that you have a character (the gipsy) that can talk to animals. You can have a dialog with the beavers about removing the fallen three. Funny dialog trying to understand/guess what the beavers are saying. Maybe one of the beavers is called Justin...

salty ride - Jun 14, 2015 at 17:35
how about a rabid beaver that you find in a river nearby, or maybe a pet store.

It is anxious to bite through trees, but not doors or other wooden stuff, because beavers dont recognize those things...

Ashley B - Jun 14, 2015 at 18:06
I just want to rephrase my idea a bit, because it came out funny when I elaborated on it a bit.  Conversation/Descriptions are examples only, and will need to be rephrased to keep inline with the desired personality traits of the 'wielder'.  

- Get Gas from wherever.
- Get paint stripper from wherever.
- Get a Chainsaw Plaque from wherever.

- The chainsaw is painted Gold, and attached to a board.
  "Look at" chainsaw tells you one of the following:
  - "Awarded to World's only Chainsaw Activater in a point-n-click".  
    "I wonder how they did that?
  - "It's a golden chainsaw, on a board."
  - "I think this was won by someone named JeffInBoots_1089. With a name like that he must be the son of a celebrity."
  - "Hmmm, it's not in a working state right now"

  "Use" Chainsaw anywhere:
  - "No chance.  It needs to be: "
    "Ungolded.  Ungilded.  Whatever, just get this toxic paint off ok!"
    "Unplaqued. Seriously, this board is stuck on tight!"
    "Gassed. I'm not sawing anything with this the old fashioned way"

- Head to the Tree Scene.  There is a stump with Termites.  
- Take Termites. (Perpetual supply, charcter won't take extra, saying "I already have some")
Note:  You cannot leave the scene, they will tickle, and eat through pockets and wriggle back to the tree.   Without this, termites can equally be used to eat doors elsewhere.  Otherwise if you allow them to leave regardless, the termites wont eat doors because they take too long, but really, this sets the original problem back one level.

- Use Termites on Tree
This will do nothing, but cycle through conversation about how they will take several months to eat a tree this big.  (Eg: "This is a big tree, and there are only a few termites.". "Add more termites?  How boring", "Can termites have a chip on their shoulder", "How much wood could a termite upchuck?  Not this much I think..." etc)

The following actions can be done in any order.
- Add Gas to the chainsaw.
- Use Paint Stripper on Chainsaw.
- Use Termites on the board.

The termites, once they start eating the board won't finish eating it, until the chainsaw is Gassy, Stripped, and at the tree scene itself.  In the interim it can be a "Half eaten Chainsaw plaque".  This will prevent someone finishing 2 of the 3 things elsewhere and getting a free chainsaw through illicit paths.

Once all three are done, an animation starts - with the tree being chopped - and the chainsaw getting stuck in the tree.  (Alternatively you can keep the chainsaw, but there will be no more gas for it).  

Once gas is added - a new description for the look at is added to the loop:  "It's ready to go!  But not quite"
Once the gold is stripped: "It's no longer golden.  I'm guiltier than it is.  Get it?  Gilt...  Never mind".
Once termites are added:  "The termites are getting board!"
Once at the tree, with the three above things done:  Hey, the termites have finished!  I'm ready to use the chainsaw!.... animation cut scene or similar starts.

The puzzle isn't overly hard for early on, and some red herrings can exist, such as some graffiti on the tree that you can paint-strip off if you want.

Ashley B - Jun 14, 2015 at 21:49
Completely left field - But ... anytime "Guy.Brush" fires up the chainsaw, it goes horribly wrong and cuts both his arms off - and disables the USE command from his inventory, along with anything else useful.  OPEN is replaced by KICK.  He has to walk to a Second Hand store to get his arms replaced, KICKING open any doors along the way.  If he uses the Chainsaw in the correct location, the same thing happens but the chainsaw bounces onto the tree as well...  doing enough damage to open the path.  He will still need to return to the second hand store to get his arms reinstated, but he can KICK around the sewers for a while if he wants.  On returning the second hand store, the owner will confiscate the unusable chainsaw as he doesn't make much profit from reattaching arms, and he only has so many anyway.   It also enables the deliberate use of KICK elsewhere for fun.  Eg KICK Person Dressed as Pizza Slice is funny, whereas "OPEN Person Dressed as Pizza Slice" wouldn't make any sense.

Would need to make sure you don't have a situation where having no arms would cause the game to be unsolvable.

But it sure would be a funny backfire on anyone who tries to use the chainsaw to solve a puzzle!

Tim - Jun 15, 2015 at 05:32
To start off, I have to say I found Ron's suggestion on the very obvious electric power source nearby the tree a pretty funny solution.

My solution that came to mind is a more practical one. Maybe there's a puddle of oil next to an exposed part of the sewer system. The chainsaw could have a leak in the tank, thus being called 'heavily damaged chainsaw'. That leak could result in the chainsaw's gas tank getting drenched easily, making it impossible to take the fueled chainsaw anywhere but the area with the sewer entrance/ fallen tree. If the player would try to use the drenched chainsaw anywhere else, a message could pop up saying: "This chainsaw can only be used when filled with gas".

A group of hippies surrounding the oil spillage - singing some horrible sixties environmental song and holding signs with witty  statements - could add some fun to the scene and make the puzzle a little heavier. There could be a MI 'look, there's a three-headed monkey' kind of solution to get them detracted, in order to get the opportunity to fill the tank with the spilled oil. If the player tries to do so without distracting them first, they could verbally attack him, saying he supports capitalism as long as he continues to use the limited sources of mother nature.

Julian - Jun 15, 2015 at 09:11
The Chain breaks when the player almost finished cutting the tree and there is no place where you can buy another chain or repair it, so always when you want to cut something with the chainsaw without chain, you get the answer that it would not work. As the cutting of the tree is almost finished, you can do the "final step" by just pushing the tree

JanW - Jun 15, 2015 at 09:43
The chainsaw stuck in the treetrunk seems funny to me too - there could be some kind of "The Sword in the Stone" comment (King Arthur's Sword Excalibur etc.) and the solution could be that you take somebody to the tree to get the chainsaw out. All muscled guys failing, finally it would be a very meak person (or a hamster?) getting the chainsaw out and cutting the tree for the player (once it's been filled with gas). He'd keep the saw afterwards (it would be fun seeing some consequences of what that person is doing with that chainsaw later on if puzzle design needs that things get broken some place...)
Alternatively, you'd have to catch a beaver who will cut the tree and take the chainsaw with him (lure beaver with gassy breath to chainsaw puzzle...) Beavers are almost as cute as hamsters. Almost.

Howler Monkey - Jun 15, 2015 at 09:51
Hell on earth - I love that holy (blessed) gas idea with the insane priest and the sacred chainsaw and ritual :D  
(you don´t happen to have some of the stuff left you must have been taking to come up with such a brilliant idea !? :D:D )
BTW: The other idea of that electric power source closeby the tree is great -  as long as it makes any sense for it to be there ... but this can be arranged of course...
Oh I´m sorry for useless comments like this one but I´m sure you saw them coming when asking the community for advise :(

Javier Berezovsky - Jun 15, 2015 at 11:45
From all the suggestions the best I could come up with is that the chainsaw should have a leak in the tank and the fuel has to be syphoned from a nearby car so the player can't get away from the area with gas in the chainsaw

Mr. Microscope - Jun 15, 2015 at 11:50
I know the concept of the chainsaw breaking after cutting the tree has already been explored, but how about the blade end falls off completely (conveniently right after you finish using it) and you're left with the motor.  The motor could be hooked up to something later in the game to solve another puzzle.  Perhaps, some mode of transportation (motorcycle) or some obscure machine that needs to be rapidly turned like an extreme vegetable peeler or a child's sit-and-spin toy (to make it extra extra fun). ;)

Arto - Jun 15, 2015 at 13:16
Would be fun to unite the Martian gas and the chainsaw from Mansion. When you get to the tree, there is a van-like vehicle hanging on top of the tree, and two girls, let's call them... um... Melissa and, say, Leslie, on the ground. They ask if you have a chainsaw to cut down the tree and get the van down. If you have the chainsaw, the girls have the gas for the chainsaw. They'll give it to you only if you promise to cut down the tree. As you promise, you will not use the chainsaw on anything else.

The only problem is, as far we know girls never took the gas from Mars... But we weren't with them all the time...

Guillaume - Jun 15, 2015 at 19:23
Can we imagine a very old chainsaw? Kind of Chucksaw with a blade made with a voodoo root from the pirates era that you will have to find. Why? Because for now, the chainsaw blade is imperceptible and so, useless. According to a local legend: By mixing Grog Lite can with this voodoo root, you can use the Chucksaw for a short lapse of time. By the way, did you know that pirates used grog like gas? We heard about a fallen tree near the highway with 3 headed monkey carved on it, my friend Guybrush calls it "The Voodoo Grog Smelling Tree"!

Ashley B - Jun 15, 2015 at 20:40
The chainsaw is a Tofu chainsaw, designed for sawing tofu only.  The tree is replaced by a crashed truck, carrying tonnes of, you guessed it, Tofu!    Cut the tofu away with the chainsaw (once it has gas of course).  Then, open the chainsaw to get a CHAIN.  Attach the CHAIN to the truck and the ENTRANCE to the sewer.  Drive the truck to open the way into the sewer.

Ashley B - Jun 15, 2015 at 21:26
LOOK AT CHAINSAW:  Hmmm, it has a locked panel on the back
USE CHAINSAW ON ...: (Attempts to us) It sounds like something is blocking the engine
USE GAS WITH CHAINSAW:  Adding more fuel to it won't fix the blockage.

There is a tiny key on a chain staked to the ground.  
USE CHAINSAW ON TINY KEY: The chainsaw is now unlocked.   Hmmm, the key broke.
TRY TO LEAVE SCENE:  No thanks, I think I can fix the chainsaw now.
OPEN CHAINSAW:  Hmmm, it was blocked with
- Some chewed gum
- Yuk
- A dime
- A grenade
- A pin from the gren...
   Uh Oh.

Player starts saying things like "I need to get rid of this grenade", "I can't have much time left",  "This could really hurt", "This is how Uncle Jake died"  at random.  Ie he is worrying.

TRY TO LEAVE SCENE:  Let me get this straight, I am holding an armed grenade, and you want me to put it in my pockets and go for a stroll through the forest?
(ie Player wont leave scene, "Worrying" restarts)

USE GRENADE ON TREE: I'm already destroying the home of many birds.  I don't need to kill them as well
USE GRENADE ON CHAINSAW:  I put the grenade back in the chainsaw.  But the latch wont shut properly...
USE GUM ON CHAINSAW:  (Chews it up) There, the chainsaw is shut more firmly now.

The grenade explodes but the chainsaw absorbs the explosion and sparks to life.  Chainsaw sparks to life.

TRY TO LEAVE SCENE:  The petrol won't last much longer.  I need to do something with this.

USE CHAINSAW ON TREE:  The gas won't last long enough to do anything useful.
OPEN CHAINSAW:  This seems risky, but I need to do it.
USE GAS ON CHAINSAW:  It's fully fuelled now.

TRY TO LEAVE SCENE:  The petrol will last much longer, but walking down a path with a running chainsaw at NIGHT is not good.  I need to do something with this.

USE CHAINSAW on TREE:  Huzzah.... etc.... Celebrations.  le Chucks Head exploding against a night sky.  Etc.

Uli Kusterer - Jun 15, 2015 at 21:43
Coming late here, but is there room for a car next to the broken-down tree? Did our heroes maybe even drive in the car when the tree came down and blocked the road, smashing in the car's bonnet? In that case, the car could be the source of the gasoline in a fixed spot, and the only way to power the chainsaw would be to hook up a hose to the gas tank of the car. The problem then would be not how one finds the gas, but how to get it into the chainsaw. You have to find a hose, and the hose could get stuck to the saw (maybe the gasoline dissolves the rubber at the ends a bit?), thus fixing the chainsaw to the location with the car and the tree.

Uli Kusterer - Jun 15, 2015 at 21:46
Oh, just saw that Jon effectively made the same suggestion as I did. Though given gasoline is an aggressive solvent, I like my approach to getting the hose & chainsaw stuck in place much better :-)

Ethan - Jun 16, 2015 at 09:36
Use chainsaw on random unrelated object. Oops, the chainsaw police just showed up! They're not going to let you do that. Of course, the player then might ask themselves what would happen if they used the chainsaw on the fourth wall...

Chainless chainsaw. With a chainsaw chain conveniently wedged solid in a tree that's barricading your way. A bit of whacky engineering later and the chainless chainsaw turns in to a chained-up chainless chainsaw hanging from the tree. Using the chained-up chainless chainsaw cuts through the tree but results in the chain flying off afterwards, thus illustrating why it was chainless in the first place. I bet you're sick of reading the word "chain" by now...

Remove the chainsaw from the puzzle. If the sole purpose of the chainsaw is to get through the tree, then the problem isn't the tree but the chainsaw. There's more than one way to move a tree. Have you called the local emergency services? We know there's a phone book in the game because I pledged enough to get a voice recording. That has a danger of lacking humour though, and there is the MM and ZM chainsaw crossover that you're trying to pay off...

These aren't really suggestions, just lateral thinking that might trigger some other ideas.

Ethan - Jun 16, 2015 at 09:37
(Small correction, I only pledged enough to get my name in the phone book. No edit button. Eh.)

arvenius - Jun 16, 2015 at 11:42
Theres a lot of theoretically working but silly solutions here already (sorry I stopped reading after like half of them ;) but I dont think putting the chainsaw in your inventory is worth all the logic-breakers and cheap excuses that come with it.
So yeah, instead of making the chainsaw available in shop id suggest putting it in the hands of a NPC, maybe a forest-worker who is trying to get rid of the tree but fails (due to a missing item, gasoline seems obvious). If you do it clever the reference to MM aint lost if you find the gas, it would just be the other way around this time.
You could even expand it by having gas in the inventory for a longer period of time but not be able to find a chainsaw anywhere (ask the shop owner: "sorry, sold my last working one yesterday, this is just a plastic dummy for", etc).

JanW - Jun 16, 2015 at 15:11
Well, still developping on that idea that a very meak person should get the Excalibur chainsaw out of the petrified tree...
Before, to fuel it up, there could be another character walking around whom we met randomly; he is carrying a gas can around, has carried it around all his life. He might be a delivery man who never found Dr. Fred's house... arr.. mansion or was frightened out of his wits by some tentacles (anyway, his wits are gone). So he is carrying this can around and wants to get rid of it quite desperately... on the other hand he vaguely remembers he shouldn't give it away just like that... he has kept it all the time like the Log Lady in Twin Peaks keeps her log... now you find him a real purpose like a rusty chainsaw out in the woods waiting to be woken from her slumber like the sleeping beauty. The chainsaw has been waiting for gas as long as the man has tried to get rid of that gasoline... He's touched by the story about the chainsaw being stuck, useless and rusty under the rain, and he follows you to fill up the chainsaw...
Now find the one to get it out of the tree...

Liam - Jun 16, 2015 at 23:56
What if trying to use it on anything but the tree leads to a response like "I want my first time to be special." I think that'd be funny enough to justify what is essentially an "I don't want to do that" response.

Robert Crossfield - Jun 17, 2015 at 01:28
What about making the chainsaw useless until required, then taking the user directly to the location once its obtained

1. Pickup Chainsaw  (actor: that's for a different game...)
2. Some other stuff.. finds the tree
3. Look at tree (actor: hmm a chainsaw would be handy here)
4. Back to hardware store
5. Pickup Chainsaw (actor: maybe it is for this game after all....)
6. Auto move actor back to tree room
7. Actor leaves room... (actor: hmm, lets just leave this here for now..... puts chainsaw on ground)

Jamie - Jun 17, 2015 at 10:41
There are a million comments here, and I'm pretty late to the game, but it seems the majority of these deal with what to do AFTER the gas and chainsaw have the possibility of being combined. As most of these puzzle games are non-linear (why I love 'em so much), the play could be carrying around a fully fueled chainsaw forever wondering why they can't use that to solve every single problem (this simply restates what Ron has stated above).

A suggestion, more serious than comical, is volume? Chainsaws are freakin' LOUD. What would your reaction be if someone in town simply fired up a chainsaw on mainstreet. Methinks some funny game dialog on that subject could be written that would then also clue in the player that they can use this thing in a less crowded location (such as an old sewer entrance).

Shrug, then once the player DOES get to use it, they then notice it was equipped with that new WHISPER-TRON(TM) technology that makes no noise in the first place. Huh, who knew? I COULD have used the fully-gassed chainsaw back in puzzle #2 where I had to open out how to open the locked wooden door with a hungry badger.

Someone may have mentioned this already, but I stopped reading around comment #412.

Nico Steverlynck - Jun 17, 2015 at 23:23
Here is my idea (sorry if my english isnt that good, im from Argentina).

1. Get the chainsaw from somewhere.
2. Get gas from somewhere.
3. When you try to turn on the chainsaw by pulling the chord, it doesnt work. Theres something wrong with the pulley.
4. In the tree lives a fat bird wich has, and is in love with, a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle.
5. You give the bird some food (the way you get the food is another puzzle), and it would leave the rubber chicken for a small while.
6. You use the pulley from the rubber chicken on the chiansaw to start it.
7. If you try to leave the scene with the chainsaw, the bird will come and steal it from you, because the chainsaw has the rubber chicken attached to it, and the bird is in love with her.
8. If you didnt cut the tree before the bird steals the chainsaw, you can trick the bird again with some food to get the chainsaw. But once you leave, the bird will still it from you again.
Hope it helps!

Ps: it could some other animal than a bird, maybe a beaver as it was mentioned above, so you think you have to trick the beaver to eat the tree. But the animal HAS to be in love with the rubber chicken.

Nico Steverlynck - Jun 17, 2015 at 23:33
Or a monkey, a monkey would be more likely to steal a chainsaw.

Laoena - Jun 18, 2015 at 09:44
A different method of limiting the chainsaw rather than it being electric would be to have it only use two-stroke fuel (special blend of oil/petrol mix designed specifically for that chainsaw). Player can happily wander around the game with a chainsaw, with normal petrol, but cannot mix the petrol and oil to the right blend unless s/he is outdoors (to prevent spillage), and in a peaceful / quiet area else s/he shakes and spills the mix (i.e only the room with the fallen tree).

To be really evil, have a npc working in a garden somewhere who will happily swap a fuel-tin of two-stroke fuel in exchange only for your chainsaw, which he will then use in the garden himself. He will also happily swap the chainsaw back (the fuel tank is now empty) only for the can of two-stroke fuel, since he needs it for his whipper-snipper or whatever. Or a pawn shop owner, or whatever. Player can either have empty chainsaw, or fuel but no chainsaw.

Joonas Joensuu - Jun 18, 2015 at 10:44
One idea that just came up to me was to have found the chainsaw with a full tank of gas, ready to operate, but when you start to operate, the chainsaw-police (or chainsaw inspection squad or any other improbable law enforcement agency) in an omnipotent way intervene and prevent the use of chainsaws within city limits without proper training and permits (for some obscure legal reason) - think unhelpful bureaucrat, most likely a puzzle to fill out a form properly in triplicate and getting proper stamps. The player will eventually get a permit for a single use of chainsaw to cut a fallen tree, but the process is so exhausting that the pc refuses to go through with it again. If the player tries to start the chainsaw without a permit and has listened the first lecture about the history of perilous chainsaw use in Thimbleweed, it should be sufficient to have a small *Ahem!* to be heard off-screen. The chainsaw inspection squad should be omnipotent and omniscient for maximum fun. Yes, even in an elevator (opening a hatch in the ceiling or whatnot).

Joonas Joensuu - Jun 18, 2015 at 10:46
Meant to write omnipresent instead of omnipotent, sorry.

Charlotte Gore - Jun 22, 2015 at 07:48
Apologies if someone else has already suggested this:

What if the chainsaw is comically huge and powerful? When the character first fills it up with fuel, it is automatically powered on to test it. It turns out it's like trying to hang onto a rodeo bull, if the bull was flying around in the air being <em>really angry</em>. From that point on the character absolutely refuses to use the chainsaw for obvious reasons.

The problem then becomes how to make sure you can stay on the ground while cutting away the fallen tree. Strapping the character to the back of a truck or something. You also said it should be some sort of release of pent up frustration. Maybe something can happen to make the character... I don't know... hulk out in some way?  :)

Joost - Jun 23, 2015 at 10:07
the chainsaw breaks upon first use, leaving only a chain. which can be used to pull open the manhole cover.

Man in diner reading newspaper shows headline "Man shot waving Chainsaw"

During cut scene agents pass a white car while chatting
agent 1: "that car reminds me of something".
agent 2: "ooh, I know. Remember that time we arrested that nutcase with the chainsaw?"
agent 1: "Yeah. Who in their right mind paints their chansaw white, anyway?"

player subsequently finds a white chainsaw.

Benoit Fouletier - Jun 25, 2015 at 09:34
Funnily enough I just used a gas-powered chainsaw this week-end, borrowed from my neighbor. I couldn't get it to start. That was a great letdown after the anticipation of getting to show my kids what a manly man I was in a fury of noise, mechanical violence and destruction of trees.

Anyway, I had to walk the walk of shame, go across the street and watch while my neighbor a) disabled the circuit breaker (I had figured that one) b) engaged the starter (figured too, even though I wasn't sure which way was on and which was off), c) disabled the security (that's the one I couldn't find), and d) proceeded to pump the cord furiously a dozen time before he finally got it started: ah, not so manly either Mr Neighbor! He had to actually put it on the ground and block it with his foot then pull up, instead of letting his arm drop down while keeping the cord up like I remember my father doing, which looks a lot more badass if you ask me.

So my point is, starting a chainsaw is a lot harder than a wimp like me had thought (try "start a chainsaw" on Youtube!). So maybe the character would admit on the first try that he's just unable to use it, so the puzzle would become "find someone to use it for me": instead of using the chainsaw on the tree, you could use it on Manly Fireman that hangs around the fallen tree. Plus "use chainsaw on some guy" would be a great phrase to try around to check out the witty comments.

dos - Jun 25, 2015 at 19:28
Add a couple of bogus puzzles before the real ones, very easily solvable after solving the proper chainsaw puzzle, but *also* solvable with the chainsaw itself - but with some unpleasant consequences that leave the character not wanting to hack his way out of puzzles with a chainsaw.

So when you want to use chainsaw on stuff you shouldn't, then, you know, you don't get that "I don't want to do that"/"not what designers wanted" feeling, while you don't really proceed in the game either.

tjpvanrijswijk - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:25
I Couldn't get it out of my head so jI'll just put it here anyway. The hamsterdriven chainsaw running on energydrink and popcorn!

at some point you get a chainsaw, and the gas. Finally they’re united! You can fill up the chainsaw. “this is going to be fun”.  When you try to use (you can use it anywhere outside)  (I hear the maniac mansion tune starting to play)  tension builds up.  Only after starting it the engine gets stuk making it a worthless peace of junk.

On the Thimbleweed Comic Con there’s a booth with Ron and Gary presenting the just released Maniac Mansion.
The booth has the game title in big cardboard letters. Attached is a decorative chainsaw dummy.

Your goal is to exchange the broken chainsaw with the dummy.

At the booth:

You: “Can I take a look at that chainsaw?"
Gary: “Sure,  its a dummy”.
Ron “..An empty one"
Gary: “har har”.
Ron: “har har"
Gary: “har har har"

When you try to walk away with it you have to put it back.

You can also not exchange it with the broken one because Ron and Gary are watching.

You: “look behind you!"
Ron: “...Why?"
You: "ehh… I’ll put it back"

You have to distract Ron and Gary in order to exchange the chainsaw

Another booth is filled with science fiction and fantasy comicbooks.
You can flip through the collection. Each time you flip a comicbook you read the title out loud.
If you go on long enough a title  “Revenge of the three headed monkey”.

Next time when holding the dummy chainsaw:
You: "look behind you, a three headed monkey!"
Ron: “A what?"
Gary: “Say what now?"

They both turn around and you swap the two chainsaws.
Ron and Gary both look back.
Gary: “..A three headed monkey.."
Ron: “hmmm"
Gary:” har har"
Ron: “har har"
Gary: “har har har"
Ron: “thats funny, I like it"

When you come back at the booth later, Ron and Gary are still in thought about the three headed monkey. Fragmented thoughts are audible, like  “…Caribbean”, “Ghost Pirate…”. An idea for a new game is rising.

Somehow you have got to get this chainsaw to work.

In one of the hotel rooms an exhibitor is staying in his room. His name is Stan, and he is a previously posted comic book postal stamps collector. He's staying in his room because nobody’s interested in his stamps. And he’s depressed about that. He also keeps his hamster in his room. It’s in a cage with a running wheel.  

You want to get the hamster and running wheel

You have to get a very rare unused postal stamp in order to get the visitors interested and his booth crowded.
Outside Thimbleweed town a very famous and populair comic artist, on his way to Thimblecon, hit his car against( or got distracted by) a big billboard along the highway. He lost control and drove down the hill against the tree which is now blocking the sewer entrance. He got distracted by the billboard because he was so hungry. (the billboard is a popcorn add)
He broke his leg and can’t get out of the kind of wrecked car. He’s got a very rare postal stamp  with him from his newest comicbook release. signed by him. Get him to give you the stamp.

The only way to get the stamp to Stan is by posting it to him. Because you don’t have any other stamps your only option is to use that same stamp.

The  problem is it has to stay unmarked.
Swapping the ink in the postal office with disappearing ink will solve this problem.

Once Stan receives his stamp, he appears at his booth which is crowded in no time.
His room is locked. When talking to him he is concerned about his hamster. You can get the key so you can take care of the hamster.

Combine the chainsaw with the hamsterweel.

When using the chainsaw, the hamster in his wheel drives the engine.
It doesn’t go fast enough in order for the chainsaw to have any effect on something.
he also gets hungry and thirsty after it so you have to feed him popcorn and give him water in order to use the chainsaw again.

In front of the tree at the sewer entrance you can also use the chainsaw. Again with not enough power in order to cut the tree.
The highway and  billboard with the broken light can be seen from the sewer entrance.

Fix the flickering light of the big billboard on the highway.

When using the chainsaw the hamster goes frenzy about the popcorn add. The chainsaw goes faster than before, but not fast enough.
He gets thirsty again. “”Now he really looks thirsty” You can give him water but he also takes energy drink.
With the energy drink and big popcorn billboard add in sight the chainsaw has enough power to cut the tree!

Mattias Cedervall - Jul 04, 2015 at 15:30
I'm very impressed by your complicated thinking/ideas, but it could be a bit too complicated for me.

longuist - Jul 13, 2015 at 13:39
What a bunch of stupid ideas in a sequence. I like it!

amit - Jun 27, 2015 at 16:29
my proposed solution:
Have the chainsaw electric, but no power cord is available.
Near where you want to use it place a broken down car, with the wires from the battary sticking out (or just the battary and the cables are something you find).
So the character is limit in using the chainsaw to where the cables reach, and obviously after using it the chainsaw breaks/shorts/evaporates .

You can use the car for why the tree fell: car smashes into tree, tree falls, car breaks, viola.
You can have the character to have to pop the hood, or have it already open. Finding a broken car adds some color to the scenario i think.
I like it :)

Hugh - Jun 28, 2015 at 02:30
Building upon some of the ideas above, I have a costly but potentially amusing solution. Apologies if this is too close to anyone else's idea; I have not invested the time to read all of them.

1) Nothing actually stops you from using the chainsaw on any other object, however, when you do, the chainsaw activates in such a chaotic and dangerous way that the player is unable to make contact with the specified object and is instead flung helplessly around the scene until it can be switched off. To explain this, the chainsaw could be branded as something along the lines of 'Stumpy Stew's Discount Chainsaws', only funnier. This animation could occur each time it is attempted (somewhat unbelievably) or otherwise the player could refuse to try it again unless circumstances prevent the same issue occuring. At any rate, it would allow for an amusing one-time animation.

2) The reason the chainsaw can only be used on the log is that there is an ideal crack on the log that the chainsaw can be wedged into before it is activated. If the player uses it on the crack instead of on the rest of the log, they will wedge the chainsaw blade into the crack, activate the motor and dive out of the way. The chainsaw will then make short work of the stump, deconstructing itself in the process, in another amusing one-time animation. To complicate the puzzle, you could potentially add another element by having the player have to create the crack first, but this might make it a little bit too obscure.

There are a few issues and potential problems to iron out here, but I hope that helped in some way.

Ashley B - Jun 29, 2015 at 00:42
A simple solution.

When turned on, the Chainsaw is too powerful, and the character can't control it.  He shudders like crazy.
At the tree, there is a round, open, manhole in front of the tree.
Get a Swiss Ball from in town.
Place the swiss ball in the manhole, and stand on it. (USE swissball on HOLE, WALK TO SWISSBALL)
Use the chainsaw on Tree while balanced on the swiss ball.  

The chainsaw will shudder, but the ball will absorb the impact.

As an added bonus, you add a puzzle getting a puncture repaired in the Swiss Ball, that you have to do first.
When done, the swissball bursts and falls through the man hole into the sewers.  It can appear as a background item in the sewers later.  The chainsaw will remain unusable without the swissball, or can also fall into the sewers with a funny animation.

Ashley B - Jun 29, 2015 at 00:51
By the way, there is lots of material here now?  Have you gotten to a point where you might know what might happen?

Wawa - Jul 01, 2015 at 16:34
There are a lot great ideas here and I need to admit that I didn't read through all of them.

Nevertheless I didn't come across a completely different suggestion yet. Maybe it's too extensive and complicated, but maybe more creative folks can greenhouse it and make it more realistic:

A lot of games came and still come with cheats. Sometimes it's fun to use them, but usually they also take something from the overall experience. Why can't the chainsaw be such a cheat/experience?

It might be a lot of work to provide an alternative for all feasible situations, but it could become quite funny to do so (in whatever absurd way you could imagine).

Of course it needs to be indicated somehow that using the saw is cheating/leading you down the chainsaw path. Could be the saw's brand, circumstantial, instructions like described multiple times before or similar. Ideally the first use of the saw will create a clean auto save at that point and flags then the game as "chainsawed" - no matter how "clean" the player continues (maybe visible for the player?).

At the end this could lead to an alternative ending.

Depending on "resource availability" this could even lead to more than one alternative ending, depending on "chain saw utilization". An extreme would be story branches at certain key moments or a chain saw way with different riddles or more action/arcade skills required by the player.

Could be something for hardcore gamers to get through all the possible alternatives... Maybe this could be somehow incentivized if the "real" end AND an/all alternative end/s was/were reached.

Track42 - Jul 03, 2015 at 09:23
Chainsaws need oil to keep the chain running. Make a joke of having to have oil that only suits to the wood of the tree (maple oild, oak oil, you name it). It can come along with a sarcastic coment on having to much choise when purchasing simple chainsaw oils or something like that..

Mattias Cedervall - Jul 04, 2015 at 15:32
Ron, I guess there could be a guy dressed as MacGyver at ThimbleCon and he could have something to do with fixing/using the chainsaw.

DesertPenguin - Jul 07, 2015 at 22:37
1.  He can't find gas, but there's a wood chipper near the fallen tree trunk.  In a fit of rage at the useless chainsaw, our hero turns on the chipper and throws the chainsaw in. A magnificent spray of pixels blasts the trunk in two.

2. Driven a little insane, our hero believes the chainsaw does actually work.  He involuntarily makes chainsaw noises with his mouth whenever he uses it, and is perplexed at its in effectiveness.   Upon reaching the fallen tree and using the chainsaw, he snaps and continues to hack away at the wood for five days and nights, until the trunk gives way and our hero sports a modest beard (if he doesn't have one already)

3. The chainsaws safety mechanism is broken, requiring something to be jammed into a slender hole in the back to keep it running. Nothing he has found will work. When he reaches the fallen tree he is desperate, so in the relative privacy of the forest, he yanks down his pants and literally f&$%$ the tree to pieces.

JanW - Sep 08, 2015 at 09:45
Ok, I know the dilemma has probably been resolved a long time ago, but I just stumbled over a product note (in German) for a chainsaw-like device and a rough translation of it says: "This device is conceived exclusively for the mulching of stumps. Any other use is strictly prohibited."

Hero finds chainsaw "WOW" - hero resolves puzzle to get gaz "Yeah - use gaz on chainsaw" - hero reads note on chainsaw This device is conceived exclusively for the mulching of stumps. Any other use is strictly prohibited." - "sigh" Guess I need to find a stump now" - hero is reluctant to use it on tree - finally cuts tree - device breaks (Uh-oh, no warranty...)- tree is already half sawed through - can be split by now with another method.

Cormac - Sep 28, 2015 at 04:59
So late to this, but;
(Based on the premise that there more than one character is attempting to gain access to the sewer)
They get fuel for the chainsaw. Subsequently argue about who is going to actually use the chainsaw (who wouldn't right, it's a freak'in chainsaw). A helpful stranger approaches (another resident of the town, I imagine there are any number of them who you perhaps wouldn't want to give a chainsaw to) and offers to solve the dilemma by doing it for them. Tree gets cut then helpful character legs it with the chainsaw, possibly allowing them to return later in game with it for saw related fun/destruction.

Tao - Apr 05, 2016 at 03:20
Green Tentacle & the Sushi Platters emerge, massively impressed with the sound of your chainsaw. They grab it and  run off to make music with drills, sledgehammers, and maybe a piano, like Einstürzende Neubauten.

Sig Hewett - Jul 12, 2016 at 17:24
Ditch the chainsaw.. get a beaver to gnaw the log in half....

Sure.. I'm a year late - but better late than never.

A. - Aug 24, 2016 at 18:54
The character has a chainsaw phobia and can't actually ever use it, because he has a chainsaw trauma from his childhood.
The sap on the tree makes him hallucinate and revisit the childhood trauma - he has to use the chainsaw  in order to break free from his phobia.


The chainsaw is a magical chainsaw that only works under certain moonlight conditions.

Andres - Apr 11, 2017 at 17:11
How did you end up solving this? When I got the chainsaw working in the game I just ran to open the sewer, I didn't try to use it on anything else and now I'm curious to see what would have happened if I tried.

Aidan - Apr 17, 2017 at 07:34
+1  I'm reading this now and I did the exact same thing. Thinking back, there wasn't really anything else I wanted to use it on.

Nor Treblig - Apr 19, 2017 at 14:00