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Madison Portrait Puzzle Guide

You probably shouldn’t go into the attic in a horror game like Madison, but video game protagonists rarely get that choice. Lucky for Luca, the only horrors waiting for him up in the attic of his grandparents’ house is one of the game’s most difficult puzzles. It’s a head-scratcher, but we’ll try to guide you through it. Here’s how to solve the Madison portrait puzzle.

Gather the Portraits

Before you can even figure out the puzzle, you’re going to need the four portraits that hang in the attic. Two of them are already in the attic, though the portrait of Giovinna Maxwell is lying on the floor in one of the corners

For the portrait of Pascual Maxwell, you’ll need to look to the wall of your grandfather’s office. This is past the front door of the house, which you can access after you’ve first entered your grandparents’ old room. He’s in a rather conspicuous spot on the wall in the round frame.

Creepy.

The final portrait is in your grandfather’s closet, which is opened by solving a simple puzzle involving the eight planets (Pluto is excluded) in their en suite bathroom (which mysteriously only has a sink). Once the closet opens and you remove the boards with your hammer, you’ll find Filomena Maxwell staring back at you from her hexagonal frame.

Putting the Clues Together

The biggest clue to take note of is the 43 written past a hole in a brick wall at the far end of the attic. That’s how old Madison was when she was killed by police, but that’s not important to the puzzle. What also isn’t important is the shapes on the wall. There are bright spots in the paint that match the shape of the various portraits you have, but it’s not as easy as matching them up. There is also an age written on the back of each of them that says how old each family member was when the picture was taken. Finally, there’s a photograph beneath the round spot on the wall that tells you, “Age is just a number you can add and subtract.”

While those are the most readily accessible clues, there’s one more you need to make sense of the puzzle. Take the square-framed picture of Albert off the wall and snap a photograph of the question mark painted behind it. Develop the photo and you’ll see a number. Each of the portrait spots has a different number when you snap them. These are the last clues you’ll need to solve the puzzle.

How to Interpret the Puzzle

Still stumped? The way the puzzle is supposed to be interpreted is like this: You need the age on the portrait and the invisible number on the wall to reach a sum of 43. This can be done by either adding or subtracting the two numbers together.

If you’re playing on normal, the blank Polaroids hint that you should snap some pictures.

For example, the diamond spot on the wall conceals the number 10. To reach the required sum, you need to either add or subtract up to it. In this case, you’d use Pascual’s picture, as he was 33 when it was taken. 33+10=43.

Meanwhile, a 13 appears if you take a picture of the round spot on the wall. This one goes the opposite way; the only way to reach a sum of 43 is to subtract the number 13 from the age on Giovinna’s portrait. 56-13=43. Math is terrifying, isn’t it?

The solution

If you still can’t wrap your noodle around this one, here’s how all the pictures should be configured.

If we say that the room is a square and the number 43 is at the top of the square, you’ll put the following portraits clockwise from there: Albert, Giovinna, Pascual, Filomena. Once the portraits are in place, the lights will flicker, indicating that you got it right. After the haunting has stopped, check the hole in the brick wall once more. The 43 will be replaced by a red door that will then taunt you. Afterward, the wall will crumble and you can proceed… if you dare.

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