As you work your way through The Medium, you’ll eventually reach the office of Thomas Rekowicz. The office has one intricate puzzle that’s been tripping up a number of gamers.
With this puzzle, you’ll need to move the hands of a clock back and forth through different segments of time in order to access a secret room behind an office cabinet.
Meanwhile, you’ll also need to solve a photo development puzzle in that secret room before you can encounter The Maw for the first time.
Whether you’re stumped at one puzzle, or simply want to prepare yourself for all of them, we’ve got you covered with another one of our Medium walkthrough guides!
The Medium | Thomas Office Walkthrough, How to Solve Clock Puzzle
After Sadness leaves, you’re free to make your way inside the office of Thomas Rekowicz. At the center of the room is a broken desk. Approach the broken desk, then make your way around to the other side.
Press X to inspect the desk, then start from the items at the bottom and work your way up the desk to interact with everything.
At the very bottom, you’ll find a flashlight that still works. Behind the flashlight, you’ll find a small key.
At the top left corner of the desk, you’ll see a phone receiver. When Marianne interacts with it, she’ll remark that it’s been used recently to call her (referencing the call at the beginning of the game).
When inspecting the white powder on the desk, Marianne will note seeing burn marks, broken glass, and salt. Beneath the powder in a drawer, you'll find another one of the Troubled Man's Notes.
The note reads:
03:00 - get up - DON'T TURN OFF THAT ALARM CLOCK!
03:15 - medication
03:30 - double check the forest path
04:00 - get to the hotel, clear out the old papers
05:00 - get on with the research (develop photos if there's time)
07:00 - double check the office (books?)
09:00 - check up on L"
Behind the desk, you'll see a floor plan poster on the wall and will be able to inspect the signature at the bottom left corner, confirming that the signature you saw on notes earlier indeed belongs to Thomas Rekowicz.
When you're done inspecting the office for clues, and you have the Small Key tucked away in your inventory, head over to the large clock.
Inspecting the clock, you'll see that you can insert the Small Key and access the clock face, allowing you to move the hands around. This is where the Clock Puzzle comes into play...
How To Solve Thomas Office Clock Puzzle
Using your left thumbstick, you can move the stick to the left and turn the clock hands backward. The farther back you go, the more "restored" the spirit world version of the office will become.
The purpose of the clock puzzle is to gain access to the secret room in the spirit world order to turn on the power from within, allowing Marianne to access it in the material world.
To do this, you'll need to do the following steps:
- Roll the clock all the way back to 04:00 and collect energy from the Spirit Well next to Thomas by his desk.
- Roll the clock to one of the points where the secret room door is shown as open, like around 06:43.
- Move Marianne over to the entrance of the secret room during one of the times it's shown as open in the spirit world.
- Press and hold "B" For an Out of Body Experience.
- Walk over to the power box on the wall, hold RT and release the energy you collected from the Spirit Well to restore power to move the cabinet in the material world.
- Return Marianne to her body and interact with the cabinet (hold LB for Insight) to find the power button that moves it over to the side, allowing you to walk inside.
Before you enter the secret room, be sure to collect each "echo" attached to each unique silhouette of Thomas!
To do this, move the clock hands, then press "B" to back away from the clock and inspect the room as it was during the time you set the clock to.
When you approach a silhouette, press "A" to listen to what Thomas was saying in that moment.
Here are the times that mark each event point:
04:00 - Thomas silhouette at his desk by glowing Spirit Well (clock hands rolled back as far as they'll go).
05:00 - Thomas at the entry to the secret room, hand outstretched, secret room door open.
06:43 - Secret room door open, but no sign of a Thomas silhouette in the office itself.
07:00 - Thomas walking away from the secret room towards desk, secret room closed.
08:45 - The approximate time showing Thomas facing away from the desk, appearing deep in thought.
09:30 - The "first" silhouette of Thomas that appears as you start to move the clock hands back, Thomas appears at the right side of his desk.
When you've checked in with Thomas at each unique event point on the clock, you're ready to head into the secret room.
Note that once you head into the secret room in the material world, the door will shut and lock behind you.
Make sure you collect everything you want to collect, including all of the Thomas echoes, before you head inside!
To enter the secret room after solving the clock puzzle and restoring power to the cabinet, walk over and inspect the cabinet.
Inside you'll spot a photo taken at the Grand Opening, Marianne will remark about the First Secretary being in the photo.
Press and hold LB to activate insight and reveal the power switch hidden behind the Grand Opening photo. Press the green button, and the cabinet will move.
With the entrance open, Marianne can begin to explore the secret room attached to the office. Again, when Marianne steps inside the door will close and lock behind her.
In the center of the secret room you'll find a projector that Marianne says doesn't work. At the left wall, you'll find a photo development station.
Walk over and inspect it, including looking at the instructions on the wall, and turning the red light on using the switch to the right of these instructions.
To progress past the secret room, you'll need to develop a photo.
It may not make sense right away in terms of getting out of the secret room, but trust us, this is what you need to do.
As you're inspecting the photo development area, you'll notice that a tray is missing along with the three liquids needed to develop a photo.
All of these are "hidden" around the room. You'll need to collect these items first before you can actually develop a photo.
The first missing liquid can be found directly to the right of the photo development station on a chair.
The second missing liquid can be found directly to the left of the photo development station inside the sink.
Turning around from the sink and walking towards the back of the room, you'll find several interesting items you can inspect (red circles in photo above).
The third missing liquid is on a bookshelf where the red arrow is pointed, the missing tray is right next to it on the left.
We recommend looking at everything else before collecting these items and developing a photo.
Once you develop a photo, you'll transition to a cutscene and won't be able to double back and do things like collect another "Troubled Man's Notes" collectible that's found on the secret room floor.
The first item can be found in a box on the floor, it's a book and the text reads:
Next to the box of books, you'll find a mysterious symbol on the floor. In the center of the symbol, you'll find one of the Troubled Man's Notes.
The text reads:
"It's getting stronger.
I can feel it seeping through.
Creeping into my mind.
It wants out.
It CANNOT get out.
I WON'T let it.
Even if it means
No. I'll find another way.
At the base of the bookshelf is another box of books, this one with a book that reads:
Hammer of Witches"
On the bookshelf itself, you'll find the third and final photo development liquid.
To the left of the third missing liquid on the floor, you'll find the missing photo development tray inside a crate on the floor.
Once you've collected the tray, you'll have all of the missing items needed to develop a photo.
As mentioned above, before you develop a photo, make sure you've explored the room as successfully developing a photo will transition into a cutscene.
You won't be able to get back to this room after that cutscene.
How To Develop Photo In Thomas Office Secret Room
The first step to developing a photo in the secret room is to put the missing tray down. Next, fill each of the three trays with the missing liquids you've collected.
It doesn't matter which tray you put these liquids in, just keep in mind you'll need to dip the photo in the liquids in the "1-2-3" order. Each liquid has a number attached.
The liquids in order are:
- Multigrade - Liquid #1
- Stop - Liquid #2
- Fixer - Liquid #3
As you're selecting liquids from your inventory when interacting with the trays, you'll be able to see what the name of each liquid is.
Either start with the tray on the end to your left, or the tray on your end to your right to start with Multigrade (Liquid #1) before puttuing Stop (Liquid #2) beside it, and Fixer (Liquid #3) at the other end.
This will make it easier to follow the "1-2-3" order without getting confused.
The next step is to pick up a piece of photo paper, then put it underneath the red light for a total of 5 seconds.
In the image above, you'll see where the photo paper is, and where the red light is.
The red light will begin counting down the moment you put the photo paper underneath it. You'll hear a clicking sound, each click marks one second.
Cound 5 clicks, then pick up the photo paper. If you can't hear the clicks, you can keep count in your head... "One and two and three and four and five."
Next is the trickier part, dipping the photo in each liquid for 3 seconds. You'll need to dip the photo in the proper order of: Multigrade, Stop, Fixer.
In the image above, we put the first liquid in the tray to the left, then the second in the middle, and the third at the other end.
Starting with the first liquid, put the photo paper in for 3 seconds and count: "One and two and three."
If you rush and take the photo out too soon, you'll be forced to dip it again. If you dip the photo for too long, it'll be ruined.
Should you ruin a photo by dipping it for longer than 3 seconds, you'll need to start over by picking up a new photo paper and putting it under the light for 5 seconds again, before returning to the dipping process.
You'll know you've developed the photo correctly when it reveals itself to be a photo of Marianne.
The game will then transition into a cutscene where the projector comes to life.
After the projector scene, you'll get to meet The Maw for the first time.
The Maw will chase you, and you'll need to make specific turns in order to escape. Then, you'll need to creep past The Maw in a stealth sequence.
Because of how difficult these sections are, we've separated The Maw chase and stealth portions into a separate walkthrough which we've linked below.