- "Something large brushed against his leg and he felt himself being dragged along by the current of the beast. He pushed himself above the surface. ‘Help!’, he cried as the ocean swallowed him again."
- ―Daniel, being pulled under the water by a beast after falling off the ship on his way home from Algeria.
As the player enters the Cellar Archives, the Shadow's cry is heard while the vision blacks out. When Daniel reopens his eyes, the entire area has become partially flooded. Just like the Refinery, the Shadow has started to completely consume this area. After a few steps the first Kaernk will appear, splashing towards Daniel. There are two gates in the Cellar Archives: the first is a timed one, opened by a lever in the room near the entrance and the second one has a rotation mechanism to raise it.
There are lots of severed body parts to distract the Kaernks and many crates to jump on to avoid them. At the end of this area a door is found leading to the Archive Tunnels but it is locked. Fortunately, a hollow needle is nearby on one of the shelves and with it Daniel may pick the lock to escape.
Upon entering the area, the Shadow will roar rather loudly. After the player walks a few steps, the screen will fade to black and upon gaining vision, the whole place becomes flooded and The Shadow overtakes the area. If the player waits some time or walks a few steps, The Kaernk is revealed for the first time and starts to hunt down Daniel.
Tips for the kaernk: because the kaernk is a water dwelling creature, it can only hunt the player while you're in the water. This means that while standing over a box, crate or anything that floats and is heavy enough, the water dwelling horror cannot reach you.
In the first room on the right side of the first corridor, there is a single lever. If the player wants an extra Laudanum, the player can ignore this lever for now.
Continuing down the corridors, there will be another room with one Laudanum on a shelf. This room contains nothing else and is only there for the extra laudanum. Continuing to the end of the corridors, there is a gate which cannot be opened. Go back to the room with the lever and pull it. There will be a countdown in which the player must reach the now opened gate to proceed to the next area.
Upon arriving, the player is met with a gargantuan room with boxes everywhere. Another Kaernk will spawn further away and the gate will close upon entering this area. On most boxes, there are ripped off body parts (legs, arms and torsos).
If the player throws a meat piece in the water, the Kaernk will approach the meat piece and chow down on it, buying precious time to open another gate with a wheel to open it. Be quick, as the gate opens very slowly and requires the player to rotate it. By the time you open the gate, the Kaernk will already be on your tail, so run as fast as you can and try to shut the door behind you. Doing this will buy you more precious time to find the hollow needle, which is located on a shelf near the next level door.
After the player unlocks the Archive Tunnels, the player can proceed to the next area.
- The one oil container in this area is located on a box next to a hunch of meat in the largest room.
- In the back of the small room filled with bookshelves right ahead.
- There are two Kaernks in the area. The first is in the flooded tunnel that makes up the first section of the level, and the second is in the larger flooded room beyond the timed gate. Should Daniel get through the timed gate before it closes, it will shut behind him and keep the first Kaernk out, but the second one will come across the larger room to investigate Daniel.
- Light sources are not necessary in this level, because the ambient light, while dim, is still sufficient to keep Daniel's sanity from dropping (ironically, the Shadow itself provides some light in the first flooded tunnel by infesting one corner, shining red phosphorescence down the corridor in both directions). Daniel instead needs to beware watching the Kaernk too much, because that will still frighten him.
- In the second, larger open room with the second Kaernk, Daniel can use the flesh to draw the Kaernk closer to him, then using one of the small boxes, hit it over the head, actually killing the Kaernk in this area. While the former human monsters cannot be killed, the Kaernks can be.
- Judging from an old concept map, the Cellar Archives appear to originally have been a part of the Archives level.
- It is unknown how the cellar archives got flooded almost instantly. It can be either a hallucination or Daniel passed out for a long time as the area is being flooded.
|The Dark Descent locations|
|Main campaign||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|
|Justine campaign||Cabinet of Perturbation||Cells • Library • Dungeon • Crypt|
|Other locations||Florbelle Estate|