If you’re coming to The Talos Principle 2 having never played the original, things can feel pretty overwhelming in the beginning. This is especially the case considering there’s not much of a tutorial to speak of—only the initial segment constructed in the style of the original game, which seems to serve the purpose of a refresher for existing fans rather than a 101 for new players.
Having explored New Jerusalem a little and then set off on the helicopter, you’ll find yourself attempting to solve the first eight puzzles in an area called Grasslands Ring; many players without prior experience will find this a little too much, so in this article, I’ll be walking you through it and teaching you necessary skills for tackling the rest of the game.
Bottom Line Up Front
If you’re just after some rough hints and don’t want a walkthrough as such, here’s your main objective during the level in a nutshell:
- The Grasslands Ring area requires the player to complete eight puzzles to unlock a circular gate at the center of the level.
- The main aim of the level is to introduce the player to the RGB Converter — a piece of equipment enabling them to mix two colored lasers to create one of a separate color entirely.
- Having finished all eight puzzles, the player must make their way back to the circular gate and make a bridge to the central tower by connecting nine life-sized tetraminos.
- Check the ‘Lesson’ section at the end of each puzzle section for some pointers on what the game is trying to teach you.
The Grasslands Ring: Each Puzzle Explained
Puzzle 1: RGB Shifting
Your first puzzle is located dead ahead and to the left; you’ll see the signage for it and Puzzle 2 opposite as you exit the rail car.
Once inside, your objective is to enter the gate on the right and hit the button, which requires two simultaneously triggered Pressure Plates to unlock.
The two Hexahedrons required to apply the pressure to each plate are located behind the two gates opposite, requiring a blue laser and a red laser respectively.
You’ll locate an RGB splitter already hooked up to the red and blue lasers to make green, which is presently being used to unlock the gate containing both plates. This means that you’ll need to apply this combination again after collecting both necessary Hexahedrons, so take note!
First, pick up the RGB Converter and connect it to both the blue and green Laser Generators to charge it with a red beam, and then connect it to the red receiver on the left. Head into the newly unlocked gate, collect the cube, and set it aside in the play space for the time being.
Next, do the same but for the other gate, this time mixing red and green together for a blue beam to hook up to the blue receiver.
Lastly, you need to connect the laser back up to its red and blue mix to fire the green beam at the green receiver, thus unlocking access to the Pressure Plates again. Place the cubes on the plates and hit the button to complete the puzzle.
Lesson: This puzzle aims to introduce you to the widely used new piece of equipment, the RGB Converter.
Puzzle 2: Reconnection
Puzzle 2 is called Reconnection, and you’ll find it directly opposite to Puzzle 1.
Ramping up the complexity a little, this time you’ve got two RGB Converters at your disposal and the same red, blue, and green Laser Generators. As is usually good practice in The Talos Principle 2, your first port of call is to unlock any locked-off tools and equipment. The second converter you’ll need is located behind a gate directly opposite the puzzle entrance, so take the RGB converter in the middle of the room, hook it up to both the blue and green lasers, and fire the newly mixed red beam at the red receiver next to the gate. Then, collect the newly unlocked receiver and bring it into the play space.
Now to unlock the main gate to complete the puzzle. Once again, we need a red beam as dictated by the red receiver, but given the large area we need to spread the beam across, we can’t simply connect an RGB converter to the blue and green lasers again.
Instead, connect the converter you initially used to both the red and blue lasers to give it a green charge. Then, connect the other converter to the red receiver at the gate, and then to both the green-charged converter and the blue Laser Generator to open the main gate and complete the puzzle.
Lesson: This puzzle teaches you that you can use a converter as a Pseudo-Laser Generator; they’re not only used for casting beams.
Puzzle 3: Castling
To reach Puzzle 3, you’ll need to head through the central circular doorway positioned between two turquoise statues (straight ahead and right as you head out Puzzle 2’s door). Head through and left, down the long corridor, and then left again to reach the entrance.
Heading through, you’ll find a perfectly square room with three closed-off gates. Your ultimate goal is on the left, behind the one locked with a red receiver, while the gate dead ahead contains a second RGB Converter and the one to the right, a green Laser Generator.
Within the main room, you’ll currently have access to an RGB Converter and a Red Laser generator: hook up the laser to the converter and then, picking up the converter and ensuring to keep connections (right-click or right trigger), place it on top of the Pressure Plate in front of the gate on the right-hand side.
You now have access to the green laser, so hook the converter up here also and then fire the newly produced blue beam at the middle gate’s blue receiver, ensuring to also place the converter back down on the Pressure Plate so that your green connection isn’t severed.
Having collected the second RGB Converter, you’ll now need a red beam to open the last gate, and this is your trickiest combination so far: use one of the RGB Converters to link green and red to make a blue-charged converter. Then, hook up the second converter to the newly-blue-charged converter, the green beam generator, and finally, the red receiver at the last gate. Your laser network should look like the image below.
Lesson: This puzzle teaches you that not only are multiple beams from the same source possible, but they’re often necessary to reach your end goal.
Puzzle 4: Alternative Action
Head back out through the entrance of Puzzle 3, take a right, and keep going until you reach the top of the staircase ahead. Then, go right to take the path that leads you directly to the new puzzle.
This is one of the few puzzles in the early stages that require the use of Floor Fans. These electrical items are usually linked up to a switch you can turn on and off to trigger the machine: in this stage the fan is located at the center of the room, along with a Hexahedron and an RGB Converter.
You’ll find your main gate directly left, and opposite the entrance are two windows. Peering through the glass, you can see both blue and red Laser Generators, but you can’t pass a laser through the glass.
Instead, hit the switch in the middle of the two generators to power up the fan. Then, while holding the RGB Converter, jump into the updraft to float above the playing field and connect both the blue and red lasers to the converter from the air.
Jump back down and also connect the now-green-charged converter to the green receiver on the wall next to you.
Now you’ll need to create a permanent connection from above without having to float up there yourself. Power the fan back off and place the Hexahedron on top of it, and then the now-linked-up converter on top of the Hexahedron. Power the fan back up, and everything will connect.
Lesson: This puzzle teaches you that you’re not just a tanky vehicle shuffling about the playspace; remember to use the advantages of your own movement while holding objects to find unique solutions.
Puzzle 5: Through the Door
Having left Puzzle 4, head directly right and around a left bend that leads into a tunnel. Having made it to the center of this tunnel, Puzzle 5 will be directly on your right.
The playspace here is interestingly split into an inner and an outer area. As you enter, you’ll spot a Pressure Plate-locked gate on the right that gives you access to the perimeter, and across to the left we have a Connector, a red Laser Generator, and the final gate locked with a green Receiver.
Take the Connector and place it on the Pressure Pad to investigate beyond this initial room. Heading through and rounding the corner, there’s another blue Laser Generator and a second locked gate with an RGB Converter inside. There’s also an exclusion wall to your right.
Head through the exclusion wall and pick up the Disruptor contained there. It’s presently aimed at the gate you just passed through, but re-route it to the locked gate containing the RGB Converter on the wall opposite. Having grabbed the converter, this room is now useless.
Your ultimate goal is to connect both the red and blue lasers with the converter to make green, but the problem is range: neither the Connector nor the RGB Converter can pass their beams across the two rooms.
The first step is to negate the need for that Pressure Plate in the first room, as that’s the main bottleneck. Replace the Connector powering the plate with the RGB Converter, and bring the Connector into the room with the blue Laser Generator. You can now link the Connector to the blue laser and then to the blue Receiver on the wall, powering the gate into the room.
With the gate now open, the need for the Disrupter disabling it is negated, and we can pass this through the open gate to the one powered by the Pressure Pad, thus relinquishing the need for the Pressure Pad also.
This now means that we can bring the converter through the corridor and connect it to all three points with ease—link it to the blue Connector, the red Laser generator, and finally, the green Receiver.
Lesson: This is the first puzzle to get you to properly think outside the box. Items rarely serve only one purpose in any given puzzle, and your success is often mediated by your ability to consider how you might repurpose the tools the game gives you.
Exit Puzzle 5 and head to the center of the tunnel and right. Keep going forward until you’re back outside, and then follow the flagstones on the floor into another tunnel. Continue right the way around, and then once you reach the top of a flight of stairs, head right to find the path leading to the next puzzle.
Puzzle 6 is called Alternatives, and you’ll be immediately blocked off into a small room upon entering. Presently at your disposal are two RGB Converters and both red and blue Laser Generators.
The Receiver that unlocks the gate is red meaning you need to mix green and blue, but because converters can only produce their lasers when combining colors, we need to charge one with a green laser to make a pseudo-Laser Generator. Hook one of the converters up to both the blue and red generators to do so.
Next, connect the other RGB Converter to both the blue generator and green-charged converter, and then to the red receiver to unlock the gate.
Heading through into the other room, we’ll see a very similar situation, though this time we need to power both a red and a blue Receiver to unlock the final gate.
The solution is to use the lasers in the other room to mix the appropriate colors for the two Receivers ahead, but there are two fundamental problems: lasers can’t intercept the path of other lasers, or else the connection will be severed, and the connections in the other room have to remain intact or the gate will close.
The most important element to consider, then, is the placement of the converters in the first room. Our initial reflex is to try to connect the blue laser to one of the newly acquired converters, but this is always going to be impossible because the present combination blocks all possible paths. Instead, we need to connect both the green and red charged converters to a third one to make blue, and then connect the new blue-charged converter to the blue receiver.
Having now gained access to the color blue again, we can connect the other converter to both a blue and a green charged converter to make red and unlatch the red Receiver to solve the puzzle.
Lesson: This puzzle teaches the player how to manage many connections at once and to think in sequence: a crucial skill going forward.
Puzzle 7: Self-Sufficiency
We can reach Puzzle 7 by taking a left after exiting Puzzle 6 and following the path ahead without deviating.
Self-sufficiency places us in a large, circular puzzle arena that uniquely has the button for finishing the puzzle placed elevated in the center. Getting up there requires us to use a Floor Fan that is powered by a red Receiver, but to hook it up, we’ll first need to unlock a Connector and an RGB converter that are locked behind their respective gates in the center of the room.
Both gates are locked with Pressure Plates, but you can temporarily remove the fan to use in place of your body. First, place the fan on top of the plate directly in front of it and bring the Connector found within into the playspace. This now allows us to use the Connector to link the green Laser Generator inside with the green Receiver at the door, negating the need for the Pressure Plate. Link the Connector to both and place the charged Connector high up on the outer ring of the level, as shown in the image below.
By placing our equipment in this elevated outer area, we can pass lasers over the top of the central structure for a much-needed shortcut.
We can now remove the Floor Fan and use it once again to trigger the Pressure Plate at the gate on the other side to gain access to both the RGB Converter and the blue Laser Generator. Pick up the newly accessible RGB Converter, take it once again to the vantage point at the top of the stairs, and connect it to all visible points—first to the blue Laser Generator in front of you, then to the green-charged Connector in the distance, and finally, to both the red Receiver closest to you and the one in the far distance.
You can now take the fan off of the Pressure Plate and connect it back to its base on the other side of the room, and then use it to propel yourself to the button at the top that completes the puzzle.
Lesson: The game uses this puzzle to give you practice using elevation to your advantage. Criss-crossing lasers and inadequate range are going to be one of the most consistent challenges going forward, but sometimes the solution comes from circumventing it entirely as opposed to working through it.
Puzzle 8: Entanglement
Head out of Puzzle 7 and right, snaking up the gravel path before you. Go down the flight of stars at the end and take a right to be led down a path through the main lake to reach Puzzle 8: Entanglement.
Appropriately the most complex of all eight puzzles in the Grasslands Ring, this challenge will have you utilize every piece of equipment you’ve discovered so far except the Disruptor. We’re presented with four gates to unlock, with the final one located at the top left of the map. There are no presently accessible Laser Generators upon entering, so you first need to use the available Connector in front of you to trigger one of the Pressure Plates to progress. Choose the gate to the right of the entrance first.
Having opened it, you’ll gain access to an RGB converter (pick this up and drop it in the central play area for now), a blue Laser Generator and a switch-powered Floor Fan simultaneously hooked up to a green Receiver: the Receiver offers constant power to the fan, and you’ll be able to turn it on and off with the switch on the wall once it’s connected.
The first thing you need to do is link the Connector to the blue Laser Generator while keeping it on the Pressure Plate. You can then take the RGB Converter over to the other Pressure Plate-locked gate, use it to unlock it, and then connect it to both the red Laser Generator and the blue-charged Connector to make a green-charged Converter. You can then hook this up to the green receiver on the right to unlock a room with a Hexahedron inside.
With access to the new room, take out the Hexahedron and then sever the connection with the green Receiver (you won’t need access to this room anymore).
Your next objective is to make use of that fan. Take the RGB Converter into the other room and connect it to both blue and red Laser Generators, the green Receiver powering the fan, and the Connector presently powering the Pressure Plate outside. Place the Hexahedron on top of the fan and the converter on top of the Hexahedron, and then flip the power switch. This will mean that later, once the fan is active, you’ll have access to both the blue and red lasers without the need for access via the Pressure Plates: the converter will be elevated about ground level.
You can now take the Connector off the initial Pressure Plate and use it to power the one enclosing the red Laser Generator. Drop it on the plate and hook it up to both the red generator and the RGB Converter in the distance. Now, head over to the other Pressure Plate and stand on it. This will complete the circuit by charging the RGB Converter with a green laser, and you can now remove the red-charged Connector from the plate and have the fan remain operational.
Finally, hook up the Connector to both the floating RGB Converter and the green Receiver to your left connecting the final gate, thus completing the puzzle.
Lesson: Entanglement’s primary goal is to get you to multitask, bringing together everything you’ve learned so far and combining each element. Most puzzles going forward will be similar in scope to this last one.
Making a Bridge: Your Final Challenge
Now that you’ve made it through all eight puzzles, you have one thing left to do: reach the megastructure at the center of the level by making a bridge out of Tetraminos.
Upon exiting Puzzle 8, head forward, right, and then right again as directed by the signage below you. After this point, follow the golden gate marker on your compass to swiftly reach your destination.
Passing through the gate will cause the new puzzle to trigger. You’re required to maneuver nine Tetrominoes in the correct order to make a bridge to the other side. You can rotate each piece to its symmetrical opposite and also cycle between pieces by using your mouse buttons or controller triggers.
The main thing to make note of with these puzzles are the green and red squares denoting the start and end points of each shape, as you’ll need these to translate 2D shapes to 3D.
Unfortunately, the game doesn’t allow you to use Photo Mode for these sections, so I’m unable to show you a birds-eye view of the solution. Instead, see the three images below that denote the order of each piece.
There are another two bridges after this but they use the exact same pieces, so simply rotate them similarly as you have done here to make it all the way across.
After you’ve made it to the other side, enter the tower and head into the anti-gravity field. You’ll be met by a nebulous apparition of The Sphynx and will be presented with several cryptic, philosophical questions to answer pertaining to the story of Zeus and Pandora; just pick which answers make the most sense to you, as there’s no ‘wrong’ answer as such.
After The Sphynx disappears and after a quick call with your friends to discuss what happened, you’ll be able to descend back down the anti-gravity field and make your way back to the rail cart to reach the next level. Reaching the car is easy, as you only need to run in a straight line from the tower entrance to the station.
I hope this guide to the Grasslands Ring area of The Talos Principle 2 was helpful; you should now have the skills you need to tackle the mental gymnastics ahead! Be sure to check out our review of the game and the site’s news section for any future Talos Principle developments. We’ve also got a guide on general puzzle design and one on the story if you need some extra information. Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: These were pretty tough! How will I get through the rest?!
Answer: The game does throw you in at the deep end, but making it through these puzzles provides you with the core foundation you need to succeed in the others. Every other area builds upon the principles found here while adding a new tool or twist, so while the road ahead will be tough, simply understanding how the puzzles are constructed in Grasslands Ring will be a big help.
Question: I don’t understand what The Sphynx is asking me…
Answer: Don’t worry — it’s meant to be cryptic at this point! Keep going and you’ll make sense of it as you progress.
Question: Is there any extra stuff to do in the Grasslands Ring area?
Answer: Plenty! Simply take a look at your compass and head to each of the indicated ‘?‘ symbols (they’ll get larger as you approach each secret) for extra puzzles and lore.