"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.

Not the article you were looking for? Maybe you were searching for the Old Archives, the Cellar Archives or the Archive Tunnels.

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.

Collectibles Edit

Tinderboxes Edit

  • 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)

Oil Canisters and Barrels Edit

  • 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.

Notes, Diary Entries, and Memory Capsules Edit

  • 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.

Finding the keyEdit

The key can be found in a hidden room behind a bookshelf in The Archives' Local history room, but since the door is locked another way of entering the room must be found. Entering the furthermost doorway in the window gallery, a fragile wall can be found, that can be smashed by throwing various objects at it or rapidly clicking the damaged area, creating an alternate entryway to the room. Although, the way back into the grand hall will also be blocked by a sudden cave-in resulting in Daniel losing some sanity.

In here, three large books must be pulled out within seconds of each other from where they stand in the various bookshelves in the room. Once this has been accomplished, a bookshelf will move out of its way, exposing a small study room with a desk, on top of which the Wine Cellar key can be found. Once it is picked up, the door to the local history room will be demolished by a Servant Grunt, exposing a way back to the Entrance Hall.

The encounter with the gatherer is not a dangerous one, as while it can be spotted for a second in the gallery, it will never actually attack you. If one were to go back to the furthermost doorway in the gallery to explore the cave-in, another grunt will spawn behind the player, but will disappear before attacking. It is most likely a hallucination brought upon Daniel by his panicked state of mind.


  • Amnesia Archives

    The hidden room in Archives where the Wine Cellar key can be found

    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.[1]
  • 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 HallOld ArchivesEntrance HallArchivesWine CellarLaboratoryRefineryCellar ArchivesArchive TunnelsBack HallStorageGuest RoomStudyMachine RoomElevatorPrison: Southern BlockPrison: Northern BlockCistern EntranceControl RoomCisternMorgueSewerNaveChancelTranseptChoir EntranceChoir - Main HallCellsInner SanctumOrb Chamber
Other locations: LondonAlgeriaAltstadtTomb of Tin HinanZimmermann Farm