The Tarot Card Puzzle is the last puzzle in Silent Hill 3. The puzzle involves a set of tarot cards that must be arranged in a specific order. Within Alessa Gillespie's room in the cult chapel is a door with nine spaces where the cards can be placed. The tarot cards can be found throughout the chapel, and are required to pass through the door and continue to the final area of the game.
The puzzle involves the tarot cards and a clue contained in the sketchbook on Alessa's bed. Depending on the puzzle difficulty chosen, the clue and correct arrangement of cards differ.
There are three solutions to the puzzle based on the three difficulty levels; easy, normal and hard. The same five tarot cards are used for all levels, however, and they can be found in the following locations:
- Eye of Night tarot card found behind the 1F church podium
- Fool tarot card found within a book in Alessa's room in the church's basement floor
- Hanged Man tarot card in the morgue of the church's basement floor
- High Priestess tarot card found in church 1F in Claudia Wolf's room.
- Moon tarot card found on a table within the church library
The door where the cards must be placed contains nine indentations arranged in three columns and three rows.
On the Easy riddle level, the final arrangement of the cards is drawn as a diagram in the sketchbook. Simply place the cards as they are shown in the diagram:
|Eye of Night|
|Hanged Man||High Priestess|
On Normal riddle level, the sketchbook contains a poem that indicates the locations of the five cards:
- "The door sure does rattle,
- but it's stuck tight.
- A secret is hidden out
- of your sight!
- You may be thinking,
- 'What could it be?'
- You'll need five magical cards
- if you want to see.
- What do you do, then,
- with all these?
- I'll tell you straight
- and I won't tease —
- Just as long as
- you say 'please'.
- Now the first thing you must know
- Is that there's something
- in each row.
- But that is not the half of it:
- Three would be too hard to fit.
- The upside-down man
- under the ground:
- To his right, to his left,
- there's no one around.
- Leave him alone, though
- his tears are profound.
- The moon is up above the sky,
- full or crescent, floating high.
- Twinkling light sits like a crown
- in the head of a crazy clown.
- Your Excellency,
- Praying to God most high,
- do you think you
- can tell my why
- you always look up
- at the night sky?
- Do you have it now?
- You didn't forget?
- One major point you
- must not omit.
- And now, at last,
- before you tack a whack,
- here's one more hint
- to keep you on track.
- Scary and hateful, that
- thing in the night.
- Better be careful —
- it's not on your right!
- Turn to the left and
- you'll keep it in sight.
- So you'll open the door?
- I'm sure that there'll
- be nothing beyond it but
- frightening peril.
- Forget about that!
- Just stay and play!
- Or else I'll be left
- here alone all day."
The third verse says that there is something in each row, so at least one card must be in each row and no row has all three positions filled.
The fourth verse says that the "upside-down man" or Hanged Man, is underground with no one on either side; meaning he is in the middle of the bottom row.
The next verse states that the moon is "above the sky", which means to say it is on the top row. It also states that the moon twinkles above a "crazy clown", which means the Fool card sits directly below the moon card.
The poem addresses the High Priestess card in the next verse as "Your Excellency" and states that she is "praying to God most high". The "God" in the poem is symbolized by the "Eye of Night", which means that the High Priestess looks up to, or is directly below, the Eye of Night.
The eighth verse states that the "hateful...thing in the night" is to the left, which places the Eye of Night in the left column of the top row, with the High Priestess below it. The moon and fool can only be on the middle or right columns.
The final solution in Normal riddle difficulty is:
|Eye of Night||Moon|
On Hard riddle level, a clue is also written in the sketchbook:
"I had a dream.
In my dream, I opened a door.
But was that really me?
I had a different name.
ING WXX NXA
OEI IFI VII
MOX NOT XV4
XON HNG III
XAA CXX CCX
JII IEI IHT
5 are true and 4 are lies —
and there are some fibs mixed
in with the truth.
That's 'cause it's scary to write only the truth.
But dreams... dreams are like lies, after all."
The key to the riddle are the letters in the middle of the clue. When arranged like the spaces provided on the door they fall thusly:
Among the gibberish are Roman numerals. When only the Roman numerals (I, V, X, L, C, D, M) are isolated, the diagram becomes:
The clues states that "5 are true and 4 are lies", which means that four of the above numerals aren't used. The zero at the center indicates that there is no Roman numeral. Each of the major arcana in a deck of tarot cards are denoted by a Roman numeral, starting with 0 and usually ending with 21 (XXI). The tarot cards Heather collects all bear a Roman numeral which can be found in the diagram created by the clue. The final solution in Hard riddle difficulty is:
Eye of Night
- The "Eye of Night" arcana is a fictional card created for the game. The other cards (high priestess, hanged man, etc.) are included in a standard set of tarot cards.
- The Book of Lost Memories has a section that compares the characters, themes and various aspects of the Silent Hill games to the arcana of tarot cards.
- The pattern on the door is similar to the diagram called the tree of life in the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah.