Retro horror-puzzler The Tartarus Key begins with protagonist Alex locked in a bizarre mansion with no memories of how she got there. Before she can start gathering information about where she is, who else is trapped, and why they found themselves in such a situation, Alex must first escape a series of rooms in the game’s introductory chapter. Puzzles in this chapter are reminiscent of both classic adventure games and modern escape rooms and feature point-and-click gameplay. This guide will cover how to solve every puzzle in the first chapter of The Tartarus Key as you help Alex progress towards finding out why she was trapped.
All Office Puzzle Solutions
The first room Alex finds herself in is an office or study, presumably belonging to her unidentified captor. First things first, interact with the walkie talkie….sorry, “short-range radio” on the desk to learn that an investigator, Torres, has also been captured. Torres encourages Alex to explore her surroundings in detail, so you should do just that!
First, look on the floor next to the desk. Pick up the Japan postcard. Next, examine the couch to find the Alaska postcard.
Then, head over to the desk. The left drawer is locked, but the right drawer contains the Hawaii postcard. Finally, open both sides of the large cabinet on the far side of the room. On the left side is a drawer key hanging on a hook and the England postcard sticking out of a briefcase. On the right side is a safe, but you aren’t quite ready to unlock it.
In your inventory, flip all four postcards and read the numbers written on the back – one, three, four, and seven. Head back to the desk and use the drawer key to open the locked left drawer. Inside is a journal page detailing the order in which the postcards were sent. Put the numbers on the cards in order to get 7341. Enter that into the safe to find the door key, which unlocks the door and lets Alex out of the office into the next room!
All Bedroom Puzzle Solutions
Upon entering the Bedroom, Torres will once again contact Alex. Once their conversation is finished, begin examining the room. You are looking for five different colored bottles – according to the notebook on the nightstand, the person who once slept here was very interested in bottling and studying the body’s humors.
- The red bottle is on the dresser next to the box of documents
- The green bottle is on the desk on one of the five bottle stands
- The black bottle is in the middle drawer on the left side of the desk
- The yellow bottle is on the nightstand next to the notebook
- The white bottle is hidden among the scattered paintings on the room’s floor
To find the order in which the bottles must be placed on the five bottle stands, examine the paintings found around the room. Three of the paintings can be examined – one has red and green pots, one has a white vase, and one has black and yellow liquid. The red/green painting has a tear on the left side of the canvas, and the black/yellow painting has a tear on the right. So, from right to left, the order is black, yellow, white, red, and finally green.
Once the bottles are in order, the stuck desk drawer will open, revealing a door key. Unlock the door and happily leave the Bedroom behind.
All Bathroom Puzzle Solutions
Proceed down the hallway, following the sound of Torres’ knocking, and examine Torres’ door. Unfortunately, it’s still locked, so Alex will need to find one more key. Head to the end of the hallway and through the open door to make a rather gory discovery: a blood-stained bathroom.
Examine the bloody footprints on the floor to notice that two of them are directly facing the mirror. Position Alex on top of these footprints and look in the mirror to see a bloody message: “It Reveals.” This will trigger a cutscene.
After the cutscene, examine the painting shown in the mirror to find a cracked section of wall. After more dialogue with Torres, Alex will find herself in possession of a hatchet, which you can use to break down the cracked wall.
Finally, meet up with Torres and walk down the hallway to the open door with light coming through. This will conclude the first chapter of The Tartarus Key. But Alex and Torres are still a long way from freedom, so make sure to check out GameLuster’s other guides for The Tartarus Key for more helpful puzzle solutions!