- "Much of the castle is old and hasn't been tended to for centuries. When the shadow arrives, it won't take long until things start falling apart."
- ―Alexander speaking with Daniel about reinforcing the castle.
The Archives is a section of Brennenburg Castle accessed from the Entrance Hall. Daniel's main objective in the Archives is to find the key to the Wine Cellar.
The Archives is the area of Brennenburg Castle used to store books and writings of all sorts. Because of the supposedly rare and fragile nature of the works stored here, there are very few light sources around. This is to keep the books from taking damage. As such, this area is a very dark and gloomy part of the castle. Other than the few windows in the area's gallery which let in the dim moonlight, the Archives are almost completely shrouded in darkness. On the other hand, a large amount of tinderboxes can be found in the various rooms in the Archives, as well as the first three entries of Daniel's diary; that when found, will cause Daniel to black out and experience a very vivid flashback about his first encounter with the Orb.
The rooms in the Archives are labelled with large wooden signs, spelling out the purpose of each room in Latin. The areas include one room for the storage of rare books, one room for catalogues, a study, a room for ancient tomes, a room for storing maps, a large window gallery, the local history room, a "layout room", and the hidden small study room where the key to the Wine Cellar can be found. While exploring the rooms, unsettling noises can be heard, such as a piano playing and the whimpering of a Brute (although none will be encountered in this area). If the player were to hurry to the piano to investigate the music coming from it, it would cease making noise.
Immediatelly after entering the Archives, there will be a corridor with 2 rooms, with one having a bashed down door. In the room to the right (Rare Books), there will be a table with a Diary page (usually the first page collected in the archives by the player). One the room to the left (Catalogues), there will be a couple of shelves, some tables and a work desk with one Tinderbox. One one of the shelves also is Wilhelm's Contract note.
Going to the end of the hallway and going left or entering the second door in the catalogues will lead to another room (Study). Upon entering this room, Something can be heard whimpering. In this room is a dresser with clothes, some shelves and a work desk. On this desk is another Page of the diary and a Tinderbox.
After leaving the study room, the player will be met with another corridor. The player will find a table and a vase in this room and touching the vase will break it and make the player lose Sanity. Close to the table is the old tomes room. Upon entering, a book will suddenly fall and and make the player lose some more sanity. There are 2 tinderboxes and an Oil canister in this room. Continuing down the corridor, there will be a locked door the player must gain access to. If the player goes to the end of the corridor, they will be met with a very long hallway. O the right is a corridor leading to the starting area and on the left is another area. There is a table with an Oil canister in this room. Soon after entering the area, the entrance to it will be caved in and Daniel must find another way through. There are 2 rooms in here. The one of the left (maps) has a diary page, and the other (floor plans) triggers a flashback and has another Oil canister and three tinderboxes. Going back to the previous area, there will be a cracked wall. If the player hits it with something sturdy or clicks fast, the wall will shatter.
This is the room that was previously locked. In here is one Oil canister and a note about Local Folklore . After entering, a flashback about the shelf puzzle will start. The player has to pull 3 books here in a certain time limit. Upon doing so, a shelf will reveal a secret room with a desk. On the desk is a note Regarding closing of the Wine Cellar and the key to the Wine Cellar. Upon picking up the key, something (A gatherer ) will unlock the door. Leading back to the corridor from the study. The player must go through the long hallway, in which a Gatherer will walk down the corridor leading to the entrance. If the player goes back to the caved in area, a hallucination of a Gatherer will appear behind the player, but will disappear once it gets close enough to the player. The player can now go back to the Entrance Hall with the wine cellar key.
- In the "Catalogues" room to your immediate left, a tinderbox can be found in a desk.(15)
- In the study, where a part of Daniel's diary can be found, a tinderbox can be found in the desk.(16)
- Two tinderboxes can be found in the "Old Tomes" section of the library. One is in a chest with an oil container, and another is in a small fireplace.(17 & 18)
- On top of the fireplace at the far end of the window gallery.(19)
- Three tinderboxes can be found in the "Floor Plans" room. One on a shelf, and two in a chest at the far end of the room.(20, 21 & 22)
- In the "Maps" section of library, where another part of Daniel's library lies.(23)
- An oil can be found in the "Old Tomes" section of the Archives.
- Another oil container can be found on a table at the part of the Archives furthest away from the entrance. It's close to a piano.
- One oil container can be found in the "Floor Plans" section of the Archives.
- One final oil container can be found in a corner of the room where you have to pull the books to open the door to the room where you get the Wine Cellar key.
- Daniel's Diary - Algeria - One part is found on the table in the "Rare Books" section of the Archives, another is found on the desk in the "Study" room, and a third is found in the "Maps" section. Gathering all three will trigger a cutscene.
- Wilhelm's Contract - Found in a bookshelf in the Catalogues room in the Archives.
- Local Folklore - Found on display in the Archives' Local History room. You'll have to break the display to get it.
- Regarding Closing of the Wine Cellar - Can be found in the desk of the hidden room in the Local History section of the Archives.
- Early in the game's development the Archives were originally planned to be much larger featuring two wings that would force Daniel to deal with hallucinating a historian dying and passageways infested by Spiders. After going through the spider's lair, Daniel would find the essential hollow needle used to open the locked door in the cellar archives. This was scrapped in the final game. The unused parts from the early Archives map appear to instead have been used for the Old Archives; and the Archive Tunnels, which is where you find the Hollow Needle in the final version of the game.
- In the level there is actually another spawn point for a Gatherer that is supposed to appear outside of the middle doorway leading to the gallery, as evidenced by the Level Editor. It's impossible to spawn it, though, as it has to be triggered in the doorway of the opposite corridor: the only way to reach the other corridor without passing through the gallery would be to get through the study which gets suddenly locked for unknown reasons after picking up the key for the Wine Cellar.
- At certain times in the area, a piano will play an eerie tune. If the player has closed the lid on the piano before it started to play, it will be open again when revisiting after the music has stopped. This might be reference to the film The Others.
- The hallucination of the Grunt that appears when Daniel goes back to the cave-in is perhaps put in as some sort of "punishment" for not going straight in the same direction the first Grunt went and instead going the complete opposite way.
- Even though the hole in the wall states that it is "fragile, but not breakable by hand," it can still be broken by rapidly clicking the weakened area. Whether this is a glitch or intended is unknown.
|Locations of The Dark Descent:|
|Brennenburg Castle locations:||Rainy Hall • Old Archives • Entrance Hall • Archives • Wine Cellar • Laboratory • Refinery • Cellar Archives • Archive Tunnels • Back Hall • Storage • Guest Room • Study • Machine Room • Elevator • Prison: Southern Block • Prison: Northern Block • Cistern Entrance • Control Room • Cistern • Morgue • Sewer • Nave • Chancel • Transept • Choir Entrance • Choir - Main Hall • Cells • Inner Sanctum • Orb Chamber|
|Other locations:||London • Algeria • Altstadt • Tomb of Tin Hinan • Zimmermann Farm|