General info and how to get to the bottom of the mystery; not a step-by-step walkthrough of the whole game.
Level 1 (The Bare Bones)
– 2 of these can be encountered regardless of the routes
– 1 is exclusive to one route
– the other route contains the remaining 2
All of these can be reached by progressing through the game, and as far as we tested, there’s no bug that could hinder that, but since there are 2 endings that could be encountered on both routes, things can look like you are stuck within a loop, so take care, and take heart!
As for what determines your route and what is crucial for getting to the bottom of this mystery, we have listed them at the end of this article, but, just in case you would like to try finding them yourself a bit more after all, or perhaps you just clicked this guide out of curiosity and didn’t really want to be spoiled, we strongly recommend saving your first save at the bench only after you have gained a ‘party member’; this will save you a lot of time if your progress locked you out of a route.
What you will need: the hammer (deceptively straightforward; be wary of the ‘timing’), and the newspaper no. 3, 6, 9 and 12 (two of these will require some experimentation, but there are hints in-game.)
Level 2 (The Liberator)
The hammer must be obtained by examining the tools, when Leesel is accompanying Tom, within the storage room (the one with two separate toilets); you must not examine them while Leesel is in the toilet.
(Once it is entrusted to Leesel, you won’t miss picking the hammer up again later on since it will block the way to one of the spots you need to investigate.)
The ability to freely choose between routes comes in the form of the decision whether to return the hammer to Leesel or not, but even if you accidentally give it back to her, you can go to the ‘no hammer’ route by not using it when Leesel is trapped.
Now, if you wish to get to the bottom of this crime, you need to have Leesel use the hammer in her inventory when she is trapped while exploring the Factory Building.
P.S. Although the ‘no hammer’ route is unarguably shorter than the other one, it does feature a unique ending and is by no means a dull experience.
Level 3 (The Revelators)
(This also means that these crucial 4 newspaper clippings serve no purpose on the ‘no hammer’ route; some are even outright unobtainable on said route.)
Located in a searchable trash bag within F1-002, the password-protected room with a TV.
One of the tricky two.
You must first read its content while Tom is trapped within the burning room.
If successful, load your save and proceed to help Tom avoid the trap room.
Keep on playing until Tom has visibly calmed down, return to the president’s office, and examine the top left table (where you recently got the key to F2-003) once more. Tom will feel an urge to copy Newspaper-6’s content down and thus have Newspaper-6 within her inventory.
The other tricky one.
During the time where Tom needs to find herself a ladder, once you have retrieved the stepladder from the dormant fire trap room (F2-007), do not hurry back to Leesel just yet.
Instead, haul the stepladder over to the president’s office, and examine the pillar in the middle. Tom will then, with a heavy heart but a curious mind, climb up and acquire Newspaper-9 as the fruit of her labor.
Reveals itself within F1-005 (the CCTV control room; also has a gun) after Tom has trashed the place-BUT!
Well, not ‘BUT!’ exactly, but in order for Tom to make sense of these 4 clippings, there is one thing left to be done.
Before exiting the room, read the newspaper in this order: 6, 9, 3 then 12.
Now you will be on your way toward the ‘beyond’ section, with one last challenge ahead of you; there will be some stuff inside both of the storage room’s toilets that are meant to help you overcome it…
We’re just going to spoil that part here since you might have been through a lot already before resorting to use this guide.
Your final challenge is escaping a maze-like room, within a time limit, with the screen in pitch black and flashing red, while poisonous gas is being released quite loudly and threatening Tom’s life.
The bag found within the women’s toilet inside the storage room is meant to help you carry the bottles found in the men’s toilet.
The bottles are meant to be placed around the maze to provide you with a slight audio clue as to where you are.
You can also opt to practice/map down/count the steps required travelling from the innermost door to the entrance before confronting the culprit inside. (be wary of the tricky staircase leading up to the entrance.)
I personally recommend the latter, though I know for sure there’s one member of our team who cleared it with the bottles.
*Special thanks, from all of us, to Sergio for taking the initiative to share the mapping and step-counting!
Here’s the exact directions:
1 down, 1 right, 8 down, 6 left, 3 down, 1 left,
8 up, 10 right, 1 down, 2 right, 7 down,
1 left, 8 up, 2 left, 4 up, 12 right, 3 down,
2 left, 3 down, 4 right, 2 up, 3 right, 12 down,
5 left, 8 down, 8 left, 3 down, 9 right, 1 up, 2 right, 2 up, 4 right
Oh, and the combination for the padlock is 735337 just in case you lost all the energy to flip the letters around like I did when I tried to type in the whole thing…
Please don’t unlock it before escaping the maze and hearing what Tom has to say.
This is not some kind of reverse psychology; the game will just close itself.