Home Guide The Stanley Parable The Stanley Parable – Unachievable Achievement

The Stanley Parable – Unachievable Achievement

The Stanley Parable has a few odd achievements. There’s the “Go outside” achievement which expects you to not play the game for five years (you can easily get this one by changing your system clock), the commitment achievement for which you need to play the game a whole tuesday long and there is the “unachievable” achievement which is not really that unachievable.

Story time

It didn’t take long after it’s release on steam until the first threads in the steam forum appeared asking how to get this particular achievement. Sooner or later a few people said that they got the achievement, but had no idea how they actually got it.

It took a few days more until people started reverse engineering the game and found out that there is a special command hidden inside the game files, which awards the unachievable achievement. Here is that code:

if ( !sub_104B22A0(v26, "map1", 4)
&& RandomInt(1, 15) == 8
&& v46
&& *LODWORD(dword_107E1B28) > (float)(*(float *)&dword_107E1898 + 20.0) )
{
v27 = *(_DWORD *)(sub_1027BBA0() + 28);
v28 = *(_DWORD *)dword_107E1B30;
v41 = (int)"_u\n";
v40 = v27;
v39 = dword_107E1B30;
(*(void (__cdecl **)(int, int, char[4]))(v28 + 156))(dword_107E1B30, v27, "_u\n");
}

Ok you probably have no idea what all that stuff means. But don’t worry, I can explain parts of it:

  • You have to meet a few criterias, I have no idea what those criterias are but they changed over time anyway… I’ll tell you more about this later
  • There is a random factor which decides if you get this achievement or not  ( only 1 out of 15 will get the achievement, even though they meet all the additional criterias)
  • The MAGIC command which gives you the achievement is this one: “_u” (probably the u stands for unachievable ;))

Ok so after finding this code, the users tried entering the command “_u” into the game’s console. But all they got was a strange error: “Hey, don’t you even try”. As you can see, this is no ordinary error warning and this meant that the users were on the right track.

From here on things got rather easy, it seems there is a special character in the source console which allows you to execute the command even though the developer of The Stanley Parable tried to block it, this character is the tilde (~).

But yet again the developer seemed to be one step ahead, as the tilde character has been blocked from the source console ( even though it normally isn’t ).

After that users tried binding the command “~_u” in the configuration file. But somehow that wouldn’t work. The reason why this wouldn’t work either was that the game overwrites all of it’s configuration files upon starting. To circumvent this behaviour users started protecting the file from further edits by setting the configuration file to Read-Only.

After this was done, upon pressing the keybind for the “~_u” command  the users finally got their precious and how I think, well earned, unachievable achievement.

The developer’s reaction

The Developer of the Stanley Parable “Gran PC” participated a lot in the steam forums and seemed to enjoy following the users and their futile attempts to unlock this achievement. He was disappointed though when he found out that his source code had been reverse engineered and that the unachievable achievement was no longer unachievable for anyone:

I don’t really approve of reverse engineering the game and then divulging the way :/

- Gran PC

No hard feelings, but he kinda had to expect that this would happen after releasing  a game with a “unachievable” achievement if you ask me.

Anyway, after this he admitted that he would alter the game’s code whenever someone found out how to get the achievement ( or at least get the chance to get the achievement ):

It’s no fun if everyone knows it’s *almost* random!
In one patch I made it so quicksave & quickload would grant it, and in the next patch I made it so it was impossible to get through quickload. It was hilarious to watch people like the original poster raging :P

Gran PC

Ha! Joke’s on you Gran, who is raging now?

The actual guide

Long story short, here is a step by step explanation on how to get the achievement:

  1. Make sure the game is closed.
  2. Edit your config file, it is located in your Steam folder. For example: D:\Steam\SteamApps\common\The Stanley Parable\thestanleyparable\cfg\config.cfg just open it with any text editor
  3. Add this line to the file (in a new row): bind “x” “~;_u”
  4. Save the file then right-click it and chose properties. (at least in windows…)
  5. Check the attribute “Read-only” and save this change.
  6. Open the game
  7. Hit the “x” key
  8. Wait a few seconds
  9. Achievement Unlocked!
  10. Dance

Anyway folks, this is the story behind the unachievable achievement. I personally loved every minute of the game and I really enjoyed reading the forums while figuring out how to get the achievement. But I’m also happy that I’ve got it now and can finally sleep in peace again.

  • Unachievableless

    No longer works, it was most likely patched.

    • ezeke

      It was still working yesterday, are you sure that you’ve done it correctly?

      • Yecti

        Still working as of now. Verified.

        • ThatGuy

          This could be Gran trying to troll us. Nice try Gran.

    • imjustheretosaythis

      mine neither

      • imjustheretosaythis

        oh i think i found my mistake i put it in the config default one well i think i fixed it now

    • Pollenus

      I think you must of maid an error. I just did it and got the achievement. Search me on Steam if you like and see the date and time when I was awarded it. My user name is Pollenus there as well.

      • Pollenus

        Wow… made* /facepalm

    • strem

      Well, I got it. It just didn’t say that I got it until I went into my ‘cheev list.

    • Sven

      Works for me.

  • Not Possbile

    Tested just now, and yes made sure I did everything has descripted – Checked several times.

    • Achived

      Checked the achives, and it was there heh – Just did nto get any msg that I got it – So please check if you have it if you dotn seem to get it during playtime.

      • ezeke

        Glad it worked :)

        • FUCKERS!

          MOTHER FUCKERS!

  • Radny

    I can’t seem to open up any of the .cfg files at all! I double-click them and all, but none of them respond to it. Assistance?

    • ezeke

      Right-click the .cfg file and chose “Open with”. Now select a Text editor such as “WordPad”!

      • Radny

        I don’t seem to have an “Open With” option. Here’s my options that I see http://prntscr.com/29h79r

        • ezeke

          Just click “Open” then and after that select the second radio button to choose a program.

  • Alex

    I added the bind, started the game and instantly got the achievement without further ado.
    When i went back into the file the line was gone. Very weird.

    • ezeke

      You probably forgot to set the file to “Read-Only” ?

  • YEROCnamrus

    Aint workin for me tried it twice

  • Spelarens

    I have problems with getting this achievement. Nothing happens if I hit x.

    Can you tell me, what I exactly have to do at the ” Check the attribute “Read-only” and save this change.” – part?
    My problem: My computer isn’t in english language, so I can’t find a “Read-only” option.

    • ezeke

      Well, what options do you have then? (and in what language?)

  • troooooooooo

    Is there any code to get the commitment achievement ? I seen some ppl say that changing the system time setting does not work.

  • KT

    Just tested it – got it! Thanks :)

  • Crimson

    Got it to work just now and thought I’d share. I tried following the guide but adding the “x” “~;_u” command anywhere in the jumbled mess that is config.cfg didn’t work (whether on a new line or not) so finally out of frustration I just deleted everything in the config.cfg file and just left “x” “~;_u”, started a new game and got the achievement right away without pressing anything (typing this I finally noticed I missed the “bind” in bind “x” “~;_u” so that might be why I was failing FML).

  • Sam Cernik

    Fanastic :D

  • Harry Hurtig

    Thank you, still working!

  • mattwo

    Gran PC is Davey Wreden?

    • ezeke

      I seriously have no idea. As far as I know the Stanley Parable on Steam was developed by two guys so it could be either one…

      • mattwo

        I have reason to suspect he is actually neither.

        • ezeke

          There must be a reason why he is listed as developer on Steam though. What’s your reason?

  • Zedh

    Still working, thanks a lot!

  • Grantcfo

    I’m Grantcfo and I just made a video on how to do this here is a link! IT REALLY WORKS! NO JOKE! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g93fPQ_nvRE&feature=youtu.be

  • chetmanly

    “Ha! Joke’s on you Gran, who is raging now?”

    Wow, dickish much?

  • Shawn L Hubbard

    Still works, Thanks!

  • spiff

    Thanks, still works :)

  • DeutscheCarsFTW

    It worked, well done you! I reinstalled the game just to do that achievement believe it or not. My life is now complete.

  • Arowhite

    It worked for me (Feb 21st 2014)

    I changed the “ (quotation marks) to match the ones used in the cfg file, i don’t know if it’s necessary but try this if it failed.

    Plus i had to wait 10s to get the achievement so dont exit too hastily

  • dasdasdasdasdad

    cheaters

  • James

    i was playing the game the other day and decided to shift tab out of the game. in the steam overlay it shows the last achievement i got which was speed run and beside it showed unachievable and where the description would normally be it said soo close… wtf? does that mean i was on the edge of getting it legit and missed out? damn you Gran PC!! lol

    • DJ Schway

      I know this is a 4 months old comment, but unfortunately no.

      The overlay simply shows the next achievement that you’re closest to getting, regardless of whether or not said achievement would actually take more time than others and/or is “impossible” to get.

  • Dom Pitts

    tnks it works but i feely dirty now

  • jonesbatspider

    thanks still working

  • Adam Baker-Ellwood

    Still working.

  • deepabysm

    it is not working any more, is it?
    doesn’t work for me :/

  • Oodlemeister

    Still working on 25th June 2014. Just completed it. Thanks heaps!

  • Blue

    Does this work for Mac? I can’t seem to find the correct files :(

  • InZaNe MoNsTaR

    Still works :)

  • Sam

    Thank you !! :D

  • Working. Yeah!

    July 8th, 2014. Still Working. Thanks a lot!

  • Hssanya

    Still working 20/07/2014 although I actually feel guilty for ruining the developers fun haha

  • DJ Schway

    This isn’t considered “cheating” and therefore gonna get anyone in trouble, right?

  • Ian Munsie

    While searching for the non-cheating method (the conditions have changed since the code was posted in this article) I found an easier cheating method for all you cheaters out there: ent_fire cmd Command _u