Control Guide: How To Solve The Mirror Puzzle And Defeat Essej

During the side mission ‘Self-Reflection’ in Control, you are tasked with solving a quick mirror puzzle and defeating a [spoiler] evil doppelganger version of yourself, also known as esseJ. If you’ve been struggling to solve the puzzle or defeat the boss in this mission, we’ve got a useful guide here to help you through it.

First of all, before starting, you’ll need a Level 6 Clearance pass to get through specific doors. You can get this after completing Mission 6 and speaking to Dylan for the first time in the Executive Sector.


You can begin the Self-Reflection side mission by heading to the Containment Sector in the Oldest House. It’s found in a room with metal detectors and a Hiss Guard waiting to ambush you. Enter the small office next to the metal detector and you can find a Mirror Supplement collectible which will trigger the side mission.

You then need to head to the Research Sector, more specifically to the Ritual Division control point. From there, search for a door that says Synchronicity Lab, which is right near the control point. Head into the lab, down the stairs and find the Level 6 Clearance door. Head through it into the Mirror Testing Lab and you’ll find the mirror puzzle.

control mirror puzzle
Credit: Remedy Entertainment


Inside the Mirror Testing Lab, you’ll find a console in the centre of the room as well as two staircases leading up. Take a look at the two monitors on the console and see how the camera shows which shutters inside the mirror are closed and which are open. 

Next, go up the stairs and take note of the shutters that are closed up here. Your goal is to match the shutters here with the ones shown in the mirror. Be sure to also pick up the cube symbol on one of the computer monitors, which will come in handy later. It’s an optional part of this puzzle, but worth picking up.

Below are images of each side of the shutters we’ve captured, to show you how the final result should look. You can open and close the shutters yourself by interacting with them. Simply match them up with the image through the mirror.

Once you’ve done that, the shutter in the centre of the room will open, leading to a hallway with the mirror. Interact with it to enter the mirror world.

control mirror puzzle
Left-hand side: open, open, closed
control mirror puzzle
Right-hand side: open, closed, closed


You are now tasked with exploring the mirror world. You’ll notice everything here is in reverse to the regular world, including the tape recorded message that allows you to hear the second half of the conversation. 

The central console in this room now has another puzzle for you to solve. Remember the symbol you picked up earlier? It’s time to solve it. This puzzle works exactly like the one in the Hypnosis Lab, so be sure to check out our guide on that here. It’s different here, however, due to being located in the mirror world. To solve it, make sure the solution is a reflection of the symbol you picked up earlier. Once you’ve solved this puzzle, you’ll be able to open up a nearby chest for some good rewards.

Next, head through the door back into the Synchronicity Lab, and find the room flashing with a red light full of mannequins. There’s a person in there, and when you interact with it that person will disappear. 

Next, head upstairs and to the right to find another flashing red room. Who’s that in there? Is it Jesse? Interacting with this window will also cause her to disappear again. Finally, head back down the stairs and across to the other side upstairs again. The final window will be here, and will trigger your boss fight with esseJ.

control mirror puzzle
Credit: Remedy Entertainment


Head back downstairs and begin fighting esseJ. Her fight has three phases, in which she’ll get tougher and tougher each time. As a mirror image of yourself, she’ll also use your own powers against you. For the first phase, she’ll mostly be shooting you and evading away when she’s had enough resistance. For her second phase, she’ll start launching objects at you. For the final phase, she’ll also include levitation and shields as part of her attacks. Between each phase, esseJ will temporarily disappear from the room.

Be sure to keep your distance and use Shield when esseJ attacks with her launch abilities. We recommend using the Spin service weapon form here, as it deals effective damage with a decent cooldown rate while under pressure. Launch is your best friend here, as it’s capable of dealing moderate damage from a great distance. 

As the room can get quite messy with all the different options, you also don’t want to be caught in a corner. If esseJ gets close to you, put up a shield and levitate or evade away to the other side of the room.

Once you’ve defeated her, you’ll be able to leave the mirror world and cleanse the mirror. Don’t forget to pick up the Asynchronous Suit from the mannequin inside the Synchronicity Lab before you leave the mirror dimension. However, if you miss it you can always return to the room later.

Was this guide helpful for you? Be sure to check out our other Control guides here. We’ve got details on how to collect every outfit in the game, as well as solutions to the HRA Lab puzzle and the Hypnosis Lab puzzle.


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Featured Image Credit: Remedy Entertainment