This page contains all of the parts you will see and manipulate in The Talos Principle. Although there aren't many, you'll find that each time they're used it's to serve a different purpose, to combine the elements in a different way.
Jammers can be used to prevent the operation of one energy wall, turret, fan base, bomb, or buzzer. They can operate from any distance and can track a moving object, but they need line of sight, or they'll stop operating. However, if they regain line of sight, they will operate again.
- [Spoiler] Getting jammers through gates:
- [Spoiler] Jamming what should not be jammed:
Connectors can be attached to any number of other connectors, coloured light generators, and coloured light receivers. When you then place them on the ground or on a hexahedron, the connector will send beams towards all of these objects (and generators send beams of light towards the connector) until it's picked up again. If the beam of a connector strikes another connector's beam, the two will cancel out. In some cases, this can be used to create a cycle of connectors causing walls to open and close in sequence.
- [Spoiler] Not all walls are impenetrable to beams:
The hexahedron is a strange shape that may appear to be a cube, if you don't look too closely at it. If you do, you will realise that it is actually a hexahedron, which is a polyhedron with six faces. Totally different.
Hexahedrons may be jumped upon and stacked. You can jump onto one hexahedron, but jumping onto a stack of two requires more elevation, such as a third hexahedron to get a step up.
Fans are not operable without their bases, which is on the right, and their bases must be powered, such as by a receiver or a wall switch, or sometimes automatically. Some fans cannot be removed from their bases. However, fans themselves are weighty enough to push down a pressure plate.
The amount that fans push depends upon their base; some will push just a bit, some will push far. If a fan pushes upwards, you can ride on top of it. Hexahedrons may also ride a fan, and multiple hexahedrons may be stacked. However, other tools will fall off the air stream. To ride a connector or jammer on a fan, you need to put them on a hexahedron first.
The playback tool allows you to record up to five minutes of movement (but not through an exclusion field) when you use the tool. When you use it again, a simulation of you will do whatever you did while recording, until the recording ends, until you die, until the recording dies, or until you walk through an exclusion field. During playback, all tools have doubles, that you can't initially see until you move your copy of the tool. This allows you to double the number of tools you have available, with one major limitation - you cannot ride a playback hexahedron.
Platforms are used with the playback tool during recording to provide for your future self a place to stand on. During playback you'll need to be high enough to be able to jump on the platform, or put tools on top of it.
There are some things in the environment you will need to manipulate with your tools.
Pressure plates can be stood upon to cause them to activate something, such as to turn off an energy wall. You can also weigh them down with connectors, hexahedrons, jammers, fans, or platforms. Anything else you can carry is not heavy enough, and bombs and buzzers float, so they don't activate pressure plates.
Receivers take light from a generator that has been bounced off a connector. When they have power, they perform different actions - primarily, they turn off energy walls and activate fan bases. They need to be matched to the correct colour to operate.
Tools of Opportunity
You may find some other objects of use in your environment.
You can often find buckets of paint in your environment. If you bring it to a wall, you can use the paint to write a message on it.
You can sometimes find this rad axe laying around. If you pick it up, you will look really cool. And if you can get to a playback tool with it, you can pretend to have an axe fight with your former self! Or you can drop it, too. [Spoiler] Or if you want to use it for something...: [Spoiler] And if you can't go around it...:
There are a certain number of enemies you will need to use your tools to circumvent or deal with, or parts in your environment that can be used to accomplish your goals. While they can kill you, understand that that is only their programming, and they do not bear you any ill will.
Bombs are floating black spheres that generally move around in a set pattern, although some are still. If they get close enough to you, they will suddenly fly towards you and explode, killing you. You will be killed regardless of your radius, so if you were to drop down a hole right before the explosion, you'll still die.
Bombs can be temporarily disabled with a jammer. There are some more tricks you'll learn as you play the game:
- [Spoiler] Misfire:
- [Spoiler] Stacking:
- [Spoiler] Blocking their movement:
- [Spoiler] In range and out of danger:
Buzzers, like bombs, are floating spheres that generally move around in a set pattern. However, they will not attack you, although you can die if you run into them often enough. Most of the time, they are there to interrupt connector beams.
- [Spoiler] Stacking:
- [Spoiler] Blocking their movement:
Turrets are weapons that, if active, will scan a conic region in front of them. If they spot you, they will start beeping, and if you are close enough they will fire and kill you unless you manage to get out of their sight. There is a blind area beneath them, and the angle for the cone of their view is not very wide, meaning they can only see mostly what's in front of them.
Turrets can be temporarily disabled with a jammer, or they may be connected to a wall switch.
Exclusion fields are purple regions that you can pass, but if you have a tool in hand, it will be dropped. They are the boundary into all tests, and are sometimes used within tests as well. The field also stops recording or playback. You will not only drop keys, but they will be returned to where you got them if you try to carry them through an exclusion field. Only paint may be carried through the walls.
Locked gates may be opened with keys.
Wooden barriers sometimes block your way. If only there were some way to remove them, such as with a flamethrower! [Spoiler] An axe can make short work of a wooden barrier. Most will stay dead, some will come back.:
Sigil locks are puzzles that require the correct number of sigils of the correct colour. They must be organised on the grid so that none overlap and all spaces are filled. Most of the puzzles have multiple solutions beyond simple symmetry and rotation.
Only an obstruction in a few puzzles, trees can be avoided by going around them. [Spoiler] Or if you can't go around it...:
If you manage to complete a test or puzzle, you may be rewarded.
Sigils are rewards for completing a test. Elohim will tell you sigils are the letters of his name. Perhaps that is true. They are also, completely coincidentally, tetrominoes. Sigils can be green, yellow, red, or gray. Green sigils allow you to progress to new lands and areas. Yellow sigils unlock tools. Red sigils are used in the Tower in defiance of Elohim. Gray sigils are a mystery to be solved.
Stars are an additional reward that you can find in some areas, or perhaps in the Nexus or the Tower itself. When they are within an area, you may know how many stars are present by the sign at the start of the area or before its teleporter. Stars may be found in a test or outside of them. They always require imaginative use of the tools you have available to you.
Some objects in your environment are there for you to learn more about other characters in the story, or to interact with some of them.
Standing in these will transport you between different locations.
There are signs all over the place. They tell you what sigils you can be rewarded with, what stars are available, what tools you must have access to for each test beneath the sigils, and when you complete a test that sigil will be crossed out.
If you assist a messenger of Elohim (which shows up as a question mark icon on the bottom of your screen), you can get help from them for solving a test by painting a plea on the wall here. You can still paint on the wall if you have already completed the test, or you haven't helped any messengers; just don't expect a useful response.
There are messages scattered about in your environment, written by the other testers. If you come close to them, you can read their text. Some, however, are not valid encodings and you will get the sound prompt that indicates you've read it, but you will not see any text.
Every area has a primary terminal you can use to get records giving background to the game, and possibly to interact with the MLA.
Sometimes you may come across a more basic terminal in the environment. Those are only for reading files, but some of them give the most direct information about the story of the game. The Terminal Messages vary in subject.
Ladders can be climbed to get to the other side of some walls. You cannot carry anything while climbing a ladder, and you cannot stop on top of the wall. Some walls have ladders on both sides. It is often fruitful to look at the tops of walls to see any ladders poking out, to give a clue about where you might want to go.
Elevators allow you to move up and down floors in an expedient fashion. Being a polite robot, you may not jump while riding an elevator. However, they can be used to transport any objects you may find. The elevator in the Tower only allows you to select the ground or first floors, in order to ensure you do not defy Elohim.
Croteam's games have always been full of secrets and easter eggs, but The Talos Principle is absolutely lousy with the things. No area is devoid of something stupid or funny (and also stupid) to discover, if you look hard enough. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for them!