Layers of Fear: Alternate Endings Guide

A guide for when you can’t seem to get the alternate endings: Self-portrait and Family Portrait


Spoilers (The Three Endings)

This guide obviously contains spoilers, so if you haven’t completed at least one run, please go do that first. You might not even need this guide.

The Three endings are as follows:

  • Loop-Ending: This is the ending you’re most likely getting stuck with. Your character (henceforth referred to as The Artist) finishes his painting, and it’s his wife in a black dress. He says it’s perfect, until the painting begins to distort, and he throws it away in a room full of identical paintings. You then returns to his studio, revealing another canvas, and the game begins again.
  • Self-portrait Ending: The Artist leans into his obsession with his work and chooses to create a self-portrait to immortalize himself. Satisfied with the result, the game comes to a conclusive ending and you get the “I know what I want” achievement if you haven’t already.
  • Family-portrait: Ridden with guilt for his family’s fate, The Artist paints his wife in a white dress along with their infant daughter. He realizes that his attempt to immortalize them will not bring them back, and destroys his work, and retiring.

If you’re reading this guide, it’s because you can only seem to get the Loop-ending. I had this problem for several runs despite following other guides to a T. Those guides may work for some, but they didn’t for me. Here’s what finally did.

Scoring system

As confirmed by a dev, the ending you get depends on two invisible variables that need to reach a certain threshold. If both (or neither) reach that threshold, you get the Loop-ending. To get either of the other endings, one variable must pass the threshold while the other doesn’t.

Things that effect the variables include:

  • Rat drawings (self-portrait)
  • Photographs and notes (family portrait)
  • Encounters (family portrait)
  • Mementos (mixed)
  • Miscellaneous actions (mixed)

If you already collected all the rat drawings and mementos (as I have), you can still get both endings, so don’t worry about starting a new save file. As such, I won’t focus on where to find those, as other guides do it better anyway.

What you do want to focus on are the encounters, which mementos to get (and importantly, which not to get), and what other actions to do.


Rat drawings aside, to get the self-portrait ending you must avoid all encounters with the Artist’s wife and daughter, interact with paintings whenever possible, and interact with all mementos in which the Artist speaks (as this ending is characterized by his narcissism and self-obsession) while avoiding all mementos in which his wife speaks.

Chapter 1

Collect the drawing of the Artist’s wife from behind the canvas.

Go towards the round painting until it melts before leaving that room.

Do NOT collect the comb.

Chapter 2

After collecting the key, interact with the burned music sheets in the room with the piano painting.

Ignore the chest with the baby inside.

Interact with the dog collar in the room with the burning painting.

After seeing the wheelchair, don’t turn around to look at it reappear behind you.

After opening the door to the giant painting and finding yourself back at the beginning of the corridor, follow the rat to the left door.

After being trapped in the bedroom with the key, go back to the painting and interact with the cane.

In the bedroom with the gramophone, interact with the violin in the closet.

Chapter 3

Interact with the bottle in the studio.

Interact with the broken glasses in the small room with the “ugly” painting.

Interact with the telephone that fell off the balcony.

In the corridor with the curtains, turn around and turn on the lights.

Do NOT go into the bathroom with the baby in the bathtub (door on the left).

Chapter 4

Wait until your wife disappears before progressing.

In the room with the burning fire drawings on the wall, interact with the horse drawing.

Interact with the birthday hat on the teddy bear.

Interact with the shoes on the little table, but don’t look out the window on the left.

Don’t open the drawers on the vanity mirror.

Collect the three checker pieces and interact with the final piece.

Avoid the room with the arch of chairs, turn right instead.

In the bright red hallway at the end of the baby event, avoid making eye contact with the big baby-doll that pulls you in.

At the end of that event, turn around and open the door to the toy soldier.

Do NOT interact with the perfume and do not open any other doors in that room. Get outta there.

Chapter 5

Ignore the Artist’s wife, turn around and head back through the door you came from.

After a beam collapses near a small fire, you turn around and a bright white light behind a door appears. Avoid that door and instead follow a rat throw a bunch of painting and into another door.

Interact with the dog muzzle in the chest, and walk up to the giant painting until you’re trapped on all four sides by paintings.

Interact with the whiskey bottle and collect the crank.

In the small corridor, heed the warning. Don’t look back, don’t walk back, just head straight to the door. This triggers another achievement if you haven’t already gotten it. If you fail to accomplish this, you will also lose the crank.

Use the crank to open the door.

Interact with the paint brushes in the hall.

In the room with the upside-down man painting, turn off the lights and open the new door that appears. After that, interact with the paint pallet that appears by the fireplace.

Interact with the clock in the chest.

Do NOT interact with the small mirror by the window and ignore the ajar door with the light shining through.

Chapter 6

After the event with the rats, interact with the dead rat on one of the overturned paintings. Afterwards, go into the corridor until the artists wife appears, immediately turn around and head back.

After falling into the door on the floor, head straight to the door. Do not walk around. She will get you.

In the room with the giant hole in the floor, crank up the paintings.

Interact with the bandages in the tiny room with the burning bed.

Ignore the Ouija board.

Do NOT interact with the necklace. Do NOT enter the room with the painting of the artist’s wife.

In the long hallway, ignore the wheelchair and instead stare at your paintings.

In the backroom, interact with the knife before the bathtub cutscenes.

In the giant checkers room, ignore the safe in the gramophone room.

That should do it. I missed the baby shoes (never worn?) memento and still got this ending. I think not interacting with his wife’s items is more important than interacting with your own, but do your best to follow this just in case.

Family portrait

Similarly, to get this ending, do the opposite of what’s mentioned above. Interact with the Artist’s wife and child whenever possible, while avoiding his own voice except when necessary to progress.

Chapter 1

In the room with the melting round painting, don’t go towards it. Instead, just turn around and head back.

Do interact with the comb.

Chapter 2

Do NOT interact with the burned music sheets.

Do open the chest with the baby inside.

After seeing the wheelchair in the hallway, do turn around and see it appear right behind you.

Go right at the fork – opposite direction as the rat. It’s the door with a melted wheelchair in front of it.

Do NOT interact with the violin.

Chapter 3

After the “creative block” scene, turn around and open the door to the hanging baby. The key on the baby is not needed.

Do NOT interact with the fallen telephone.

In the corridor with the blowing curtains, go to the Artist’s wife. Do not turn on the lights.

Go into the bathroom on the door on the left and look at the baby in the bath.

Chapter 4

Go to the Artist’s wife.

Do NOT interact with the horse drawing, nor the birthday hat.

Do NOT interact with the baby shoes, but do look at the painting on the wall, and then out the window opposite it. See the baby outside.

Open both drawers on the vanity mirror so that it breaks.

Do not collect the checker pieces.

Go into the dark room with the arch of chairs outside.

At the end of the baby event, make eye contact with the big baby-doll while walking toward it. Afterwards, do not interact with the toy soldier in the back room.

Do interact with the perfume bottle on the window sill and explore all the extra rooms.

Chapter 5

Go to the artist’s wife.

Walk through the door with the bright white light.

Don’t interact with the whiskey bottle and don’t bother collecting the crank.

In the “don’t look back” hallway, DO look back. (If you got the crank, you’ll lose it by doing this)

Use the chain to open the door. (You shouldn’t have a crank by now anyway).

Take the elevator up for a bonus encounter with the wife. (Turn the lever right).

Interact with the small mirror on the window sill and open the door on the right (twice).

Chapter 6

Do NOT interact with the rat. After entering the long green corridor, be not afraid of hugging the ghost. You should be used to this by now.

After falling into the door on the floor, walk away from the door – let her have you once again.

In the room with the hole in the floor, don’t pull the paintings up. Instead, jump into the hole.

Use the Ouija board and write the numbers from the end of the previous chapter (363 853 354 Yes)

Interact with the necklace, then go into the room with the wife’s painting and mementos. Stay until she finishes her speech with “we will not speak again.”

Push the wheelchair to the end of the hall.

In the bathroom, do NOT interact with the knife. Go straight to the bathtub for the cut-scenes, and then leave.

In the big checkers room, when the kitchen appears, try taking the checkers piece off the scale twice before collecting the weight. This will transform a bowl of fruit into a baby. This is not a sentence I ever thought I’d have to write.

Go back into the room with the gramophone, which has now been replaced with a painting. Behind the new painting is a safe on the wall. The code is 042. It starts on 0 so just turn to 4 and then back to 2. What’s inside cannot be collect, it’s just a little bonus.

Thanks to djae for his great guide, all credit to his effort. you can also read the original guide from Steam Community. enjoy the game.

Leave a Comment