Like many mystery and puzzle games, retro horror title The Tartarus Key features multiple endings that players can unlock. If protagonist Alex managed to save all of her fellow captives – Kai, Ruth, Detective Torres, William, and Charles – the group will have several more puzzles to solve in order to escape the mansion. If even one character died, you will unlock the Bad Ending and the game will end. However, if all are alive, you can attempt to reach either the Good Ending or the True Ending. This guide will cover how to solve the game’s final puzzles and reach both of The Tartarus Key’s main endings.
All Research And Development Room Puzzle Solutions
After all survivors are gathered in the great room, head towards the front door to trigger a cutscene. Alex will once again set off on her own and head down to the Sub-Basement, where she will encounter the Research and Development Room. Pick up the note pinned to the door, then pick up the toy swords on the desk.
Your goal is to place the four toy swords in the correct slots on the toybox sitting on the table in the center of the room. The clues to which sword goes in which slot are hidden around the room. They are as follows:
- There is a green circuit board on the floor, matching the green side of the toybox. The lower slot is lit up green, so put a sword in the lowest slot on the green side of the toybox (the side showing a wolf)
- On the wall is a blue poster showing three clouds. There is a bird on the lower left cloud, so put a sword in the lower left slot on the blue side of the toybox (the side showing a bird)
- On the blackboard is a drawing of a unicorn and a diagram drawn in red with the top-right slot circled, so put a sword in the upper right slot on the red side of the toybox (the side showing a unicorn)
- On the far side of the room is a three-drawer cabinet with a yellow whale on top of it. Open all three drawers to find that the top and middle drawers both contain bombs, while the lowest is empty. Put a sword in the lowest slot on the yellow side of the toybox (the side showing a whale)
This will cause a clown to pop out of the toybox (potential jump scare warning!). Take the note out of the clown’s hand and examine it in your inventory to see a diagram with books labeled in blue and yellow. Find the blue book on the shelf next to the locked door and pull it to unlock the door. After a cutscene, talk to every character and then head into the Control Room.
All Control Room Puzzle Solutions
Pick up the cables sitting on the floor. Next, look at the writing on the one whiteboard that is not blank to see check marks on three monitors. Turn around to see a bank of monitors behind you. Note the colors of the three monitors that correspond to the check marks on the whiteboard – from left to right they are pink, orange, and green.
There are a series of colored servers attached to the shelves around the room. Using the cables, connect them as follows:
- Connect the left-most white server to the red and blue servers to turn it pink
- Connect the central white server to the red and yellow servers to turn it orange
- Connect the right-most white server to the blue and yellow servers to turn it green
This will turn on the lights in the room and allow Alex to access the central computer. However, when she interacts with the computer, she will learn that there is one more room she must visit to unlock the exit – the Director’s Office.
The Tartarus Key Good Ending
Leave the Control Room and head through the Meeting Room to the now-unlocked Director’s Office. Once there, pick up the remote control on the bookshelf. Use the remote to turn on the TV behind the desk.
Cycle through the slides on the TV until you find one that shows a glowing yellow brick. Alex will note that the arrangement of bricks matches the paintings on the walls of the room. Find the three small paintings over the couch and interact with the left-most one, labeled the Director Painting. This will reveal a hidden control panel and unlock the main gate.
Alex will decide to check back with Torres. Make sure to SAVE here BEFORE returning to reception if you want to see both endings.
Return to Reception and Torres will ask if you are ready to leave the building. Choose “Yes” to view the GOOD ENDING of The Tartarus Key.
Viewing the Good Ending will cause the credits to roll and end the game. However, if you aren’t quite satisfied, you can instead answer “No” to Torres’ question and continue investigating – in which case, there are just a few more puzzles to solve before you find out the truth.
The Tartarus Key True Ending
Return to the sub-basement and ride the elevator up to the Cellar. You will see that the barrels along the wall are arranged in the same pattern as shown on one of the slides in the Director’s Office. Examine the second barrel from the left on the bottom row to discover a secret passage. Follow the passage to the Hidden Crypt.
Once in the Hidden Crypt, pick up three statues in the room. They can be found in the following locations:
- Angel Statue – On a statue pedestal on the floor
- Gargoyle Statue – Hidden in the corner behind the angel statue
- Death Statue – On a statue pedestal on the floor
Find a small pedestal located at the base of the coffin in the center of the room. Place the angel statue on the pedestal to reveal a series of three symbols on the side of the coffin: double Z, triangle with lines beneath it, and tic-tac-toe board. Because the angel started out on the right pedestal, input those symbols top to bottom on the rightmost of the three stone dials in the room.
Next, place the death statue on the pedestal at the base of the coffin. The following symbols appear: stick figure with horns, stick figure with small circular head, and moon. Input those onto the left-most stone dial, top to bottom.
Unfortunately, the gargoyle statue does not yield an inscription when placed on the pedestal. However, there are only three symbols on each dial, so move the middle dial to the three symbols not already used on the left or the right. This will cause a staircase to appear where the coffin used to be.
Walk down the stairs into the Sealed Crypt. Head to the back left corner of the room and pick up a Handle. Then, insert the handle into the mechanism on the wall to reveal the Well. Head down the very long set of stairs until you reach the Cave Lake and encounter a set of sigils carved onto tablets creating glowing magic rings.
Swap the sigils around and rotate the rings until you make the arrow shape you have seen in previous puzzles. The correct solution as follows.
When facing the lake:
- Left row – ring with two diagonal notches, ring with three notches, ring with two diagonal noches
- Center row – ring with three notches, ring with two notches at 90-degree angle
- Right row –ring with two diagonal notches, ring with two notches across from each other, ring with two diagonal notches
Once the rings are placed, rotate each one until three lines of light – one from each row – are hitting the pedestal in the middle. This will reveal a path across the lake.
Cross the lake and talk to the person who appears. You will find yourself in a replica of the Bathroom from earlier in the game. Examine the mirror, then the painting, then the mirror once more. Next, you will be in the Exam Room. Pick up the bone saw from the shelf and use it to break down the wall. Finally, you’ll find yourself in the room where you met Kai. Walk down the hall and attempt to open the door to see a cutscene.
Finally, simply walk forward when prompted until the game’s final cutscene triggers. That’s it – you’ve reached the true ending of The Tartarus Key and solved every mystery and puzzle the trap-filled mansion had to offer!