The Tartarus Key: How To Find And Rescue Charles

After completing the introductory chapter of retro-inspired horror puzzle game The Tartarus Key, protagonist Alex and Detective Torres decide to investigate the seemingly empty mansion for any other kidnapped victims. Well, Alex decides to investigate, while Torres takes a rest in the Great Room. Going through one of the open doors will start Alex on a path of puzzles to rescue another survivor named Charles. However, as with the Intro, there are several puzzle-filled rooms Alex must complete in order to rescue Charles. Luckily, this guide will help Alex – and you! – accomplish her goal and get a little bit closer to learning the secrets of this creepy mansion.

All Library Puzzle Solutions

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To begin rescuing Charles, head out of the Great Room (leaving Torres behind), go left, and find a hallway with many lion-patterned doors. Unfortunately, none of the lion doors are unlocked, but there is one open unmarked door you can head through into the Library.

Examine all five bookshelves along the walls of the room to read the stories of many deadly killers. Starting near the door and moving further into the room, the killers are:

  • The London Butcher, selling dodgy meat in 1727
  • The Arsonist, setting fires in 1964
  • Cain, the Original Murderer, whose story is told in the Bible
  • The Clock Killer, released from prison in 1988
  • The Death Rider, a highwayman who killed in the 1500s
  • The Ferryman, a myth-shrouded killer operating in the 11th century BC
  • The Dream Doctor, who operated a few years before the Arsonist (presumably the 1950s)
  • The Crimson Artist, who killed between 1290 and 1312
  • The Lumberjack, who chopped up victims in the 1970s

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Next, head over to the weapons display to find five weapons related to the killers you just read about. Match each weapon to a killer and then press the buttons in front of them in the following order:

  • The Crimson Artist’s paintbrush (4)
  • The Death Rider’s flail (2)
  • The London Butcher’s knife (1)
  • The Dream Doctor’s hammer and needle (3)
  • The Clock Killer’s pocket watch (5)

This will cause the display to open and the statues to be added to your inventory. In addition, an empty bookshelf and a new painting will be revealed.

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In your inventory, examine the statues and find a number written on the back of each one. These numbers are: 4 on the knife, 2 on the flail, 1 on the hammer, 3 on the paintbrushes, and 5 on the watch. Next, examine the new painting on the wall, which shows – from top to bottom – the hammer/needle, the watch, and finally the paintbrushes.

On the newly revealed shelf are several books that you can slide. Slide one book on the top shelf (hammer), five on the middle shelf (watch), and three on the bottom (paintbrushes.) This will cause the shelf to retract and open up another room, the Gallery.

All Gallery Puzzle Solutions

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Upon entering the Gallery, Alex will note that it is pretty empty. However, once you walk around the room a little bit, a mural will suddenly appear on the previously empty wall. In front of the mural is five buttons. Instead of fidgeting with them to discover any sort of pattern, simply press them once each moving from left to right. Once all five buttons have lit up green, several large statues will appear. In front of the statues is a lectern with five planetary symbols.

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Observe each monster’s position on the mural, and match it to a symbol on the lectern. The dials on the statues can be rotated to produce the correct symbol. From left to right, the correct symbols are:

  • Angel – stick figure with horns
  • Minotaur – a triangle with two lines beneath it
  • Lamia (snake-bodied person) – double Z
  • Knight – moon
  • Demon – stick figure with circle over head

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Once all the statues are paired with the correct symbol, a door in the Main Hall will open. Return to the Main Hall and proceed through this door to find yet another puzzle room.

All Lounge Puzzle Solutions

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Enter the newly opened door to find Charles in the Lounge – but, unfortunately, he’s gotten himself a bit stuck and still needs your help to escape. Follow his suggestion and pick up the book in the center of the symbol drawn on the floor.

Next, examine the walls, floor, and ceiling of the room to find five Unknown Sigils. Each sigil will be added to your inventory. Next, talk to Charles once more, and he will decipher the sigils for you, explaining that each one corresponds to a demon with an animal aspect.

In your inventory, read through the book – don’t forget to use the Flip button to read both sides of the page. The author of the journal describes what he saw in each of the four cardinal directions:

  • A Crow in the South
  • A Serpent in the North
  • A great white City in the West
  • A glowing gate in the East

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Finally, match the sigils to the demon descriptions Charles gave you and place the correct sigils in the directional slots on the banishing circle. (There are five sigils, so there is one you will not use.) The correct pairings are:

  • Raum takes the form of a crow, so his sigil goes in the South
  • Malthus is associated with building/construction, so his sigil goes in the West
  • Andromalius takes the form of a serpent, so his sigil goes in the North
  • Bifrons is the keeper of gates, so his sigil goes in the East

The sigil that is not used is Furfur/the Deer.

Once all sigils are placed, it is time for the ritual. If you placed them correctly, he will be freed from his confinement and join you. Saving Charles is key to unlocking both the Good and True Endings of this game, so make sure to check the banishing circle CAREFULLY before performing the ritual!

Charles is now free, but he is far from the only person held captive in the mansion. Make sure to check out GameLuster’s other guides to The Tartarus Key to learn how solve the other puzzles and save the other captives in this intriguing horror game!

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