Alan Wake is an action-adventure video game developed by Remedy Entertainment, the Finnish company behind the Max Payne games. Since its release, it has spawned several different collector's editions and a mildly successful franchise, such as two DLC's expansion, a spin off game and a sequel, due in 2023.
A Remastered version of Alan Wake released on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC through the Epic Games Store and, for the first time, on PlayStation consoles with the PlayStation 4 and 5 on the 5th October 2021.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Release
- 4 Reception
- 5 Soundtrack
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Gallery
- 8 Video
- 9 External Links
- See also: Backstory
Alan Wake is a bestselling crime fiction author who has suffered from writers block for over two years. He has a dream about knocking down a hitchhiker with his car, only for the hitchhiker to disappear before his eyes. With his car wrecked, he makes his way to the nearby lighthouse, only to be attacked by the hitchhiker. Alan encounters the Hitchhiker, only more shadowy. He manages to escape him, only for him to reappear as a tornado. Alan runs across a bridge and runs into Clay Steward who tells him to run into the house. The door closes behind Alan and the tornado turns back into the hitchhiker in front of Clay. He kills Clay with the axe he wields and turns into a Tornado again to try and kill Alan. As Alan gets hurt, a bright light burns the door away and saves him. He helps train Alan for a battle that he is about to face by handing him a gun and a flashlight. He explains that people like the hitchhiker are protected by darkness, which needs to be burned away with light before you can hurt them. The light flies away and Alan fights his way to the lighthouse, only for another tornado to appear. Alan runs to the lighthouse and shuts the door behind him. He walks to the stairs of the lighthouse and looks up at the light, only for it to suddenly switch off. Something then makes it's way down the stairs to attack Alan before he is woken up by his wife Alice
Alan and Alice arrive at the idyllic small town of Bright Falls to recover Alan's creative flow. The couple is greeted by the friendly townsfolk, namely Pat Maine, the local radio night host, before heading to the Oh Deer Diner goes to pick up their cabin key from Carl Stucky. At the diner, Alan is greeted by the waitress, Rose Marigold, who claims to be Alan’s biggest fan, as well as Rusty, the local Elderwood National Park Ranger, and the Anderson Brothers, members of the band, Old Gods of Asgard, and current escapees from the Cauldron Lake Lodge mental institution for artists.
Alan is directed towards the back of the diner where the restrooms are in the hunt for Carl Stucky, who is to provide him with the key to where he and Alice are staying. The hallway leading to the bathrooms is dark and as Alan begins to walk back there, he is cautioned by Cynthia Weaver, an old woman clutching onto a lantern. Alan continues down the hallway anyway and knocks on the male bathroom door, and after no answer he is confronted by a woman wearing a black dress and veil. She informs him that Carl couldn't make it and gave Alan the keys to the cabin located on Diver's Isle on Cauldron Lake. Alan goes out back to Alice, who is waiting in the car. Right after their car leaves, Carl Stucky comes out screaming that they forgot their key.
Alan and Alice make their way up to the cabin and get the house ready for their stay. Later on that evening, the couple has an altercation over Alice buying Alan a typewriter to write while at Bright Falls. Alan storms out of the house, knowing that his wife will not follow him as she has a fear of the dark. While standing on the bridge that leads to the cabin, the power in the cabin goes out and Alan hears Alice scream his name. Upon hearing the screaming, Alan runs back into the house only to find that Alice has fallen into the lake and dives in after her. Suddenly, Alan wakes up in his car with his head bleeding due to a car accident. Alan is confused as to how he got there, but decides that he needs to head towards the nearest gas station to phone for help. Unfortunately the gas station isn't on a straight path from his accident site, so he begins to make his way through the woods. During his journey, Alan comes across some manuscript pages. The first page reads “Departure”, which was a book that Alan was going to write but never could. The next page describes the protagonist of the story being attacked by an axe murderer in the woods at night.
Shortly after finding the manuscript pages, Alan comes to a lumber yard and encounters Carl Stucky. Alan tries to speak to him for help, but realizes when Stucky turns to face him, that he is surrounded by swirling shadows, indicating a Dark Presence. People who are taken over by the Dark Presence are referred to as the Taken. After being attacked by several Taken and eventually having to kill Carl Stucky, Alan arrives at the gas station. On his way in he notices a Deerfest sign that has the date on it and realizes it's been a week since he jumped in the lake after Alice. Inside, Alan calls for the police and waits for their arrival. Sheriff Sarah Breaker is the officer to report to the gas station and Alan tells her that his wife has gone missing at the cabin on Cauldron Lake. She looks at Alan puzzled and informs him that there is no cabin on Cauldron Lake, not since it and Diver’s Isle sank during a volcanic eruption in the 1970s. The Sheriff then asks if Alan has seen Carl Stucky, the owner of the gas station, but Alan lies to her in order to keep the focus on his missing wife. Breaker then drives Alan to the lake to show him that there is no cabin or island, and much to Alan's horror, she's right.
In a flashback sequence set three years ago, Alan enters the apartment and is greeted by his wife. She shows him some mock ups of the current book he is writting, The Sudden Stop. Not long after, there is a power outage, of which Alice is afraid due to her fear of the dark. Alan and Alice set up some candles, and Alan tells her the story of "The Clicker", an old light switch his mother gave him to help scare away the monsters in the dark. He gives the light switch to her to try and comfort her.
In the present day, Alan has his head wound bandaged up by the local doctor. He is then requested to speak to the Sheriff about what happened to him and about his missing wife. After being interrogated by the Sheriff, Alan receives a call where at first he hears his wife, but is then spoken to by a man telling him that he has kidnapped his wife, Alice, and to meet him at Lover's Peak in Elderwood National Park. Alan then meets Emil Hartman who invites him to stay at Cauldron Lake Lodge. Alan, angered by his visit, punches Emil in the nose. Soon his agent Barry Wheeler, who arrived after not receiving any response from Alan’s phone, shows up at the police station. Alan and Barry leave the station and head towards Elderwood National Park to rent a cabin, where on the way Alan explains to Barry what happened, though Barry just thinks he's crazy. The two arrive at Elderwood and are greeted by Rose who came to bring coffee to Rusty, who owns the rented cabins. Alan then meets Rusty, the kind Ranger whom he met earlier at the diner and obtains the keys to the cabin they'll be staying in.
Later that night Alan tells Barry he is going to meet the kidnapper in the woods, though Barry tells him it's not a good idea. Barry stays behind while Alan sets out to Lover's peak. Upon reaching the reception area of Elderwood, he encounters strange noises, including screaming and gunshots from what sounds like Rusty. He soon finds Rusty up against the wall with his leg broken up. Rusty explains how the events he just experience were just like on the page he recently found and read. He tells Alan to go to the fuse box to help turn on the lights, though upon Alan reaching the fuse box, he finds the fuse box damaged with an axe. Alan soon hears screaming from Rusty, and upon returning to him find his body gone, where moments later he finds Rusty has turned into a Taken.
After being forced to kill a possessed Rusty after he becomes a Taken, he continues down to Lover's Peak, only to be thrown off a ropeway trolley. Alan then meets the kidnapper. The kidnapper gives Alan some flares and tells him to hold off the Taken, whilst the kidnapper shoots at them. After holding off the Taken at Lover's Peak, the kidnapper demands the entire manuscript, or else he will hurt Alice. The two get into a scuffle and end up falling off the edge of a cliff, though neither are critically harmed. Alan then picks up the gun that the kidnapper had dropped whilst falling and the kidnapper flees the scene. Alan later receives a call from Barry, who says all the lights have gone out in the house and that birds are going crazy outside.
Upon arriving back at the reception of the Elderwood National Forest, the kidnapper calls Alan and says he has two days to give him the entirety of the manuscript at the old Bright Falls Coal Mine, or his wife dies. Alan arrives back at the cabin and finds birds all over it, which he manages to fight off. After saving Barry from the birds, Alan sends him into town to see if anyone knows a man by the kidnapper's description. Meanwhile Alan himself sits at a desk and tries to write the rest of the manuscript, but his writers block continues to prevent him and he gets frustrated. Later Barry receives a call from Rose, the waitress and die-hard fan of Alan's books. Rose tells Barry that she has the rest of the manuscript pages; as the call ends, the camera cuts to Rose standing zombie-like in the dark and reveals the woman in black (the same woman who gave Alan the key to the cabin) behind her, who says "Good girl."
Alan and Barry head to the trailer park Rose is staying in, where they are met by a man named Paul Randolph. Along the walk to Rose's trailer, Alan get's a call from Sheriff Breaker that an FBI agent would like to ask him some questions, which Alan state's he'll be right over. Barry then explains how he recently learned there are some folk tales in Bright Falls surrounding a man named Thomas Zane and Barbara Jagger, both who seemingly died back in the 1970's under weird circumstances. They arrive at Rose's trailer to get their hands on the manuscript, but when they arrive, they both fall unconscious after drinking Rose's coffee.
While asleep, Alan has visions of a man in a diving suit, telling him to turn the lights on. When Alan wakes, he briefly has an encounter with the woman in black, but upon turning the lights on, he realises he has only twelve hours left to deliver the manuscript. Barry is still knocked out and Alan decides to go get their car. Outside, Wake is confronted by FBI agent Nightingale, who is armed and very much suspicious of Alan; Paul Randolf, the of the trailer park had called the police when he noticed Alan and Barry hadn't left from their visit, beyond the time which Rose would normally had gone to bed. Alan tries to escape the police, so Agent Nightingale opens fire on Alan. Alan is forced to flee into the woods and leave Barry, still asleep, behind.
Alan is then chased into the woods by multiple other agents and deputies. It's not long before they too are hunted by the Dark Presence. Soon a Helicopter flies overhead and tries to shoot at Alan, but birds filled with darkness causes the helicopter to crash into the forest. In the distance he spots the location of the local radio station, and remembers meeting a local radio host Pat Maine, so begins to head there in the hopes he can help Alan reach the coal mine. Upon arriving, Pat exclaims live on the radio that Alan Wake has arrived at the station, and hopes to get an interview from him. From this however it reveals his location, causing the local police and FBI to show up, including Nightingale, who opens fire yet again almost hitting Alan and Pat, so Alan flees once again.
As he is trekking through the woods and making his way to an old train yard, he receives a call from Alice, telling him how alone she feels, how she's being kept in the dark and for Alan to come help her. At the same time, Alan notices there's something wrong about the way she sounded, but realises he can't do anything about it for the moment. After a brief encounter with a tractor that have been taken over by the Dark Presence, he finds a car just as the sun begins to rise and he soon heads to the coal mine. He arrives on time but has to wait late into the evening as the the kidnapper never shows.
He later gets a call from the kidnapper telling him to find him at Mirror Peak or he will kill Alice. Realising he has no choice, Alan agrees and sets out. As he makes his way through old buildings, he notices a tornado making its way the same direction he was heading, and wonders if it was going for Alice. After making his way through an old mine, Alan hears the kidnapper calling out to him; suddenly he hears the kidnapper crying where he reveals that he never had his wife. Alan finally meets the kidnapper again before he is engulfed by a tornado of the Dark Presence and killed. Grabbing a flare the kidnapper previously dropped before the Dark Presence can finish him off, Alan is thrown off the cliff and into the water below. As he is having visions of Alice, he is saved by an unknown figure.
Alan begins to have weird visions about Dr. Hartman telling him to stay calm and that he has been making up delusions, though these visions blur between Hartman and Alice. Alan soon wakes up in the Cauldron Lake Lodge, which was once a hotel that now runs as a mental institute for 'artists', lead by Hartman himself. Hartman gives Alan a tour of the lodge, and tells him that his wife died and all of the events that have transpired were figments of his imagination. Along his tour, he meets with two patients he first met when he arrived in Bright Falls, the Anderson Brothers, two band members of the Old Gods of Asgard who both seemingly have dementia. While Hartman goes to see about the power seemingly flickering, the brothers tell Alan to go to their farm to find a song they wrote and performed about the "Lady of the Light". Alan is then encouraged back to his room and asked by the staff to try and write something.
As night begins to fall, one of the staff, Birch hears some noises downstairs and goes to investigate. When Alan follows, he finds the Andersons have begun to cause havoc, knocking out another staff member, Nurse Sinclair with a hammer and forcing Burch to lock himself into hiding from them. Alan begins to find his way out of the lodge, and in one room he finds a tape recorder of a call Hartman and Alice once had over the phone. He realises this is the same recording that was edited to sound like Alice on the phone calls he previously received from the kidnapper. In another room, he encounters Barry, who was locked up by Hartman. They break into Hartman's office to collect all the manuscript pages that Alan previously collected, though Hartman enters and tries to ask Alan to join him in creating "something absolutely wonderful" with the power of the lake. Alan holds Emil at gunpoint, but the Dark Presence begins to creep in. Alan escapes the office, locking Emil in with the darkness.
In all the chaos Alan manages to escape and soon reunites with Barry on the other side of a gate, though Alan has to take the long way around to reach him. Alan makes his way through a maze, and not long encounters Birch, who has turned into a Taken. After defeating him, he meets with Barry again. After fighting off a wave of Taken, the two manage to escape the lodge. While Barry wants to hightail it out of Bright Falls, Alan tells Barry that they have to reach the Anderson farm as there's something there that can help with finding Alice. Whilst near a cliff edge, a tonne of rocks are suddenly pushed down a hill by the dark presence, causing the car to fall off the edge, though Alan and Barry manage to escape unharmed, though they are both separated but both agree to meet at the farm.
As Alan makes his way to the farm, he spots a pick up truck in the distance making its way to a house. Alan arrives there, and hears screaming upstairs. Here he finds Walter Snyder, who Alan previously encountered briefly at the police station locked up. Walter mentions how his best friend named Danny attacked and also mentions how he came looking for the Anderson's moonshine as it makes you have visions. It's not long before Walter dies from his injuries, though soon after Danny, who has become a Taken, attacks Alan, though Alan makes quick work of him. It's not long before Alan finally meets with Barry at the farm, but suddenly a swarm of Taken attack. Fortunately something on the stage Barry is standing on triggers, and Alan and Barry use the stage lights to fight off the taken while "Children of the Elder God" plays in the background.
Alan and Barry arrive at the Anderson house, and when they turn the power on they hear a record stuck on a loop regarding the "Lady of the Light". They listen to the record fully, and it tells them: "And now to see your love set free, you will need the witch's cabin key, find the lady of the light gone mad with the night, that's how you'll reshape destiny". Alan realises the Lady of the Light is actually Cynthia Weaver. Alan and Barry decide to wait until morning to find Cynthia, but in the meantime get drunk off the moonshine. Due to the moonshine containing unfiltered water from Cauldron Lake (where the Dark Presence lives), Alan has a vision on the week he missed. In that week he was forced to write a manuscript if he wanted to save Alice. Some part of his mind managed to write Thomas Zane into the story to save Alan, who then managed to escape one week later in the same car he crashed in. Alan then wakes up to Agent Nightingale standing over him to arrest him.
As Alan begins to wake up in a jail cell, he has weird visions regarding the Lady of the Light, Cynthia Weaver. He and Barry find themselves in a jail cell, and moments later Agent Nightingale and Sarah Breaker walk through the door, though Sarah is seemingly annoyed at Nightingale over his recent actions. Nightingale explains how he has all the evidence he needs to lock Alan up for good over the manuscript, which includes details on "murdering a federal agent". As the lights flicker, Alan starts to have weird vision and curls over in pain on the floor. While Sarah tries to comfort him, Nightingale believes he's faking it and points a gun at him. However Nightingale recognises these events, as he's read them in the page. As he reaches for the pages he has, he is sucked out of the prison cell room by a tornado outside and the lights in the station go out.
Alan tells Sarah it can only be fought with light and tells her that he needs to see Cynthia Weaver. After turning on the backup generator at the station, Sarah has the idea that they can use the helicopter at the fire department to help reach her. Sarah requests Barry to stay behind at the police station with an important job of calling a list of numbers and giving them a code word "Night Springs". Sarah states that before they can use the helicopter, they need to get the key from the Town Hall. Alan and Sarah begin to make their way to the Town Hall, though they have to fight through hordes of Taken while making their way through the town.
Eventually they reach the hall and grab the key. Once they exit the building, they spot Barry running down the street running from poltergeist items being thrown at him. Suddenly a car is thrown in his direction, but he just manages to enter one of the buildings before being crushed. Alan and Sarah realise in order to get to him they have go to around, but it's in the direction of the helicopter anyway. Along the way they briefly encounter Dr. Nelson who has been woken up by all the noise, though Sarah tells him to just go to bed. After making their way through the church, they are stopped in their tracks by a large Taken, but suddenly a flare takes it out, where they are saved by Barry who is wearing a headlight and Christmas lights for protection.
The group eventually make their way to the helicopter, though Alan has to fight off the Taken while Sarah gets the helicopter ready. After fighting off the Taken, the group eventually fly away in the helicopter and reach the Power Station where Cynthia lives, though Sarah needs to find somewhere else to land. They are suddenly attacked by Taken Birds, and Alan falls out of the helicopter. Alan makes his way across a transformer yard and a large stretch of land, thanks to Sarah using the helicopter's light as protection for him. Eventually Alan arrives at the Power Plant, where the door opens to Cynthia Weaver shining large bright lights at him. She mentions the Well Lit Room which has what Alan needs to fight the darkness. Cynthia states they can use an old pipe to reach the room safely, which is at the Bright Falls Dam, but needs the power in the yard to be cut first as something is draining the power. Alan succeeds in turning the power off, and Cynthia and Alan make their way through the pipe.
Along the way Alan gets a call from Barry, but suddenly hears him scream as birds are attacking the helicopter again. Alan and Cynthia then hear a huge crash; Alan decides to leave the pipe in order to try and help them while Cynthia continues her way through the pipe. He arrives at the crash site but see's no bodies. In the distance he hears and spots shooting of flare guns, and eventually meets up with Barry and Sarah. They make their way to the damn, but Alan is separated from Barry and Sarah and have to take the long way round. After reaching the top of the dam, a tornado chases him, and just barely makes it to safety with the rest of the group. The group then enter the Well-Lit room, where Alan finds both a page written by Thomas Zane and the Clicker, which he originally gave to Alice. The page explains how Alan received the Clicker as a child as well as events on what Alan must do to defeat the darkness; Alan realises he must make these events come true as they are written.
In a flashback scene set two years earlier, Alan wakes up in his New York apartment incredibly groggy after a heavy night of drinking. After putting on his sunglasses and taking painkillers, he notices a message from Barry on the answering machine, telling him to watch his interview on the Harry Garrett Show; his interview is him promoting his new book The Sudden Stop. Eventually Alice walks into the apartment, but Alan is quite abrupt and snappy at her. Alice tells him to just go to bed, but Alan realises his behaviour and apologizes, claiming the book tour has stressed him out.
In the present day, Alan, Barry, Sarah and Cynthia are standing in the Well-Lit Room. Alan presses the button on the Clicker, wondering if it has affected anything, though seemingly nothing happened. Alan tells the group he needs to make his way to Cauldron Lake as he needs to read the page left in the typewriter to finish the story. He tells the group he needs to go alone, so wishes goodbye to Barry, who is crying. As Alan reaches the top of the dam again, he finds it has suddenly turned to day, believing the Clicker has done this somehow. He finds a car and begins to drive towards Cauldron Lake; eventually the tunnel he needs to go through is blocked off, so needs to go on foot. As he progresses through the tunnel, he has more visions, and suddenly the day turns right back into night when the Taken are able to attack again.
Alan has a long journey ahead of him, as he is attacked by Taken, inanimate objects, possessed cars and birds. He is even almost crushed to death by the dark presence throwing large debris in his way. Finally he makes it to Cauldron Lake, where waiting for him is Barbara Jagger standing in the middle of a large tornado. Alan finds a flare gun and a tonne of flares, and shoots the tornado until it is weakened. As the Tornado and Barbara fades away for the moment, Alan stands at the edge of a cliff above Cauldron Lake. He jumps, just as the page requested he do, and before he hits the water, he blacks out.
Suddenly Alan wakes up in his New York apartment, with Alice laying next to him. Everything feels wrong to him, as Alice claims Alan has a fear of the dark, which is a fear she has. As he walks through the apartment, Alice teleports in front of him; when he reaches the living room, he see's the typewritten word: "Clicker". He burns the word away, which causes the Clicker to materialise. Clicking it causes the apparition of the apartment to fade away, where Thomas Zane can be seen floating in the distance. Zane tells Alan he needs to reach the cabin in order to defeat Barbara. Suddenly, standing next to him, a copy of Alan appears, who Zane calls Mr. Scratch. Zane tells Alan that Scratch will return to the real world and meet his friends while the real Alan stays behind.
Alan then finds himself in the Dark Place where type written words can be found sprawled across the environment. Burning them away causes the cabin to materialize. Alan walks in and finds Barbara standing there with a hole in her chest. She claims she'll find a new body to possess, and Alan places his hand inside the hole, clicker in hand. Pressing it, Barbara is filled with light and burns away. Alan heads upstairs to the typewriter room, and finishes the story. The ending is ambiguous and is left to interpretation. A flashback of Alan jumping in the lake to save Alice, after which a time lapse occurs that seems to be going backwards happens over Bright Falls. Alice is then shown swimming out of Cauldron Lake and sitting on the dock, calling out "Alan?", with the house still gone and Alan nowhere in sight. Bright Falls is shown prospering in the middle of it's yearly celebration—Deerfest (which was 2 weeks away when Alan and Alice arrived), with Rose now clutching the same lantern as Cynthia, the Lady of the Light. Agent Nightingale is seen behind Rose, looking much the same as the possessed Barbara Jagger had in the past. Alan is then seen at his typewriter again, the shadows still at his study's windows. He then says "It's not a lake... it's an ocean."
Alice is heard saying "Alan, wake up" before the game ends. The game ends with three white dots on a black screen.
Continuing on from the ending of Departure, Alan finds himself outside the diner in a night time Bright Falls which quickly changes to daytime. Entering the diner, a surreal déjà-vu dream of the events play out similar to when Alan first arrived, with everything eerily familiar but out of place. Alan is unable to remember where he was prior to this moment but knows he must go to the back of the diner which he forcibly enters. Through a mirror in the men's bathroom, Zane talks to Alan and warns him that he should go no further and that Alan must focus. Zane plays a video of Alan struggling with reality and even telling of events playing out at the moment. Suddenly Alan becomes self aware and realizes where he is; The Dark Place. Zane provides him with a flashlight and a gun, stating they are just imitations of the physical world.
Leaving the bathroom, a powerful disturbance causes Alan to lose his balance and focus for a brief second. Night time has now fallen Bright Falls and the main area of the diner the area is littered with televisions playing a warning message from Alan himself which later happens precisely as the message described. Going out the back of the diner, Alan finds himself in the forest surrounding Bright Falls and believes that something went wrong with Departure's ending. Seeking safety from the Taken inside a lone house, Alan finds a manuscript page with which Alan realizes it to be his work but the words are "jumbled to dream-like fragments". Many of the words from the manuscript appear in front of Alan but he focuses on one word in particular, "phone". Shining his light on it, a phone appears and Zane tells Alan he can help him, but he has to stop slipping deeper, and follow the signal.
From there on; Alan follows the signal through Bright Falls streets which makes him encounter multiple disturbance shifts, television warnings and many Taken. After escaping the Church's mutated Taken infested basement, Alan sees a manuscript page floating from the sky, multiple words again appear including one called friend. Shining his light on it, Barry Wheeler, Alan Wake's friend and manager appears in a see-through form, also bringing his personality along with him. Alan realizes the signal is pointing to a structure in the distance which Barry points out the sawmill. Alan questions how Barry knew that with Barry responding with a confusing answer.
Going deeper into the woods, a warning message plays out, a new type of invisible Taken appears and hound Alan throughout the forest. Everything begins to get, in Barry's own words, weird. He says that Alan's disregarded thoughts are coming together to create strange places that Alan will have to traverse through to get to his goal. Words begin to change into 'bad' words forcing Alan to be careful around them. Entering and going through the Sawmill, Alan begins to remember Alice and wonders about her. Alan eventually reaches Zane in Alan's own home. Zane appears and tells him its not the darkness that's causing this but himself- he is trapped in his own mind. After Alan angrily refuses to believe he is creating this, Zane is forcibly pushed away and televisions start to attack Alan.
After the battle Alan approaches the main television with him agonizing over "Why...why..why couldn't I make him stop'!!" Alan approaches the television, but it suddenly turns back on and starts screaming. Alan suddenly collapses as the television starts screaming "It was my brain...my brain!!" Alan then starts spiralling out of the dream, and he echoes a previous scene with Emil Hartman back at Cauldron Lake Lodge. But he soon snaps out of this, and then wakes up on the floor of the study in Bird Leg Cabin with manuscript pages scattered all around him. Alan screams out "There's no way out, no way out...I've got to get out of here!!"
Directly after The Signal, Alan wakes to his current state of reality to Hartman giving him the same speech from the beginning of Episode 4: The Truth, only this time Hartman's face appears to merge with Barry Wheeler's. Soon he find's himself standing in the garden of Hartman’s lodge on one side of a gate opposite Barry. After Alan finds his way to Barry, his thoughts and memories begin to combine and form a twisted version of the Old Gods of Asgard rock stage merged with the lodge’s front exterior. Alan fights off a number of Taken and then proceeds through to the rear of the building to meet Thomas Zane.
Zane then explains to Alan that he must reach the cabin at Cauldron Lake to either find himself or be lost to the Dark Presence permanently. A manuscript page is provided, giving Alan the ability to clear a path to his next objective, the lighthouse. Using words such as clear, rock and boat, Wake begins to make his way from the lodge’s mountain overlook to the lighthouse. After speaking with Zane, Alan believes he has a better understanding of what he now faces. The environment continues to evolve around Alan, becoming bizarre and progressively unstable as Taken begin to appear more frequently. Eventually Alan finds himself traversing a Ferris wheel composed of mixed imagery based on memories of his encounters from the not-so-distant past. This ultimately leads Wake to an elevator and another conversation with Zane where it is explained that everything is a dream, and though Zane is not sure what happened to the Dark Presence after Alan’s final encounter, he still hasn't found a way to leave the Dark Place.
Upon exiting the elevator, Wake finds himself in Stucky’s gas station. He leaves the building and continues through the forest, making his way toward a high bridge. As Alan continues forward, Zane once again speaks to him. He explains that the part of Alan that is in control of the current Alan’s surroundings is in the cabin, suffering from a state of insane delusion. The current Alan represents the rational part, capable of thought and planning. It is Zane’s hope for the sane Alan to regain control before his insane side gives in to the darkness. It is further revealed that Mr. Scratch does not represent any part of the actual Alan; though Zane controlled Cynthia Weaver and had written a page about Alan's clicker in the first part of the game, Mr. Scratch was nothing more than a creation of Alan’s to include in his own story. Zane then uses the power of dreams to uproot a large tree in order to bridge a ravine for Alan to cross.
As Wake continues, he notices that the insane Alan has switched off the lighthouse, creating an ideal environment for the Taken. Eventually Alan finds himself in a fragment of Hartman’s lodge witnessing a psychoanalytical conversation between Dr. Hartman and his delusional side. The insane part of Wake wholeheartedly agrees with Hartman’s diagnosis and concludes the session by listening to a recording of his wife, Alice, hatefully ranting about Alan’s incessant needs and arrogance. Wake's rational side dismisses the scene as an attempt to bring him down; Zane later confirms that everything is a twisted fantasy of Alan’s imagination, designed to prevent Wake from regaining control of his mind. Another manuscript page allows Alan to ignite the lighthouse’s light, whereupon large groups of Taken manifest in an attempt to prevent his reaching the lighthouse. Beams of light emitted from the beacon cross the landscape and eliminate Taken, allowing Alan to reach his goal. As Alan reaches the top of the lighthouse, he opens a hatch that brings him to the rim of Cauldron Lake.
After a brief memory of Alice, a bridge begins to form from Alan’s spot to the cabin. Barry appears at different points along the bridge to explain to Alan that abandoning his illusions will eliminate everything, including Barry. When Wake shows little sympathy for his imaginary friend’s dilemma, Barry decides to stop Alan. Alan finally arrives at the cabin which is now engulfed by the darkness; a possessed Hartman, Anderson Brothers and Barry attempt to stop Alan from reaching the inside of the cabin. Upon destroying all four Taken memories, Wake enters the cabin and goes upstairs to find his delusional self lying on the floor speaking random nonsense. As the rational Alan places his hand on the other Alan’s shoulder, the two merge, making him whole again. Possessing a new sense of clarity, Wake knows that he might not survive, or find his way back to reality if he slips a second time. Understanding that it could be impossible to leave the Dark Place, Alan approaches his typewriter and begins to write. As the type on the screen comes into clear view, the words, "Return” by Alan Wake" become visible.
"My name is Alan Wake, and I'm a writer”.
In Alan Wake there is a somewhat small and simple variety of weapons to use, comprising revolvers, shotguns, flare guns, and hunting rifles. Ammo will be scarce at times, with the player having to make each shot count and conserve ammo wisely. Ammo will be scattered throughout the map, and supplies will be stashed in First Aid Kits throughout Bright Falls for Wake to use. Should the player take damage, standing in a pool of light will heal him. Wake, a thriller writer with a good knowledge of guns, will usually be outnumbered, so conservation of ammo plays a big part in gameplay.
Light plays a very large role in the gameplay also. Alan Wake is armed with a flashlight that will help him defeat his enemies, The Taken, who are affected and weakened by light and strengthened by darkness. Players can burn away enemies, set traps, and buy time using the flashlight. Throughout levels, there will be more powerful forms of flashlights that the player can pick up. However, the flashlight will run out of batteries over time, and the player will have to scavenge for them or else the flashlight will go dead. Overall, the flashlight is more important than the guns. Another tactic with light is to use a flare gun, which will instantly kill all Taken it was pointed at, or severely damage them. And also, small emergency flares can be picked up and used to give players a momentary safe-haven.
Vehicles are also used in some levels where Wake has to cover lots of distance in a short time. However, Taken will do all they can to damage the car and stop Wake. Luckily, Wake can use the car headlights to weaken and crush his foes under the tires.
- See also: Taken
The main enemies are known as The Taken, once normal people who have now been transformed into dark, shadowy, puppets for the Dark Presence to use. They are protected by a Shroud of Darkness, a shield that prevents bullets and objects from hitting them. To get past this shield, Wake must fight darkness with light. By shining the flashlight on the Taken, the Shroud burns away, allowing Wake to gun them down. However, the Taken do not go down easily. Wake's enemies substitute tactics such as flanking, rushing, setting bear traps, and throwing knives and axes from far off distances. They also run quite a bit faster than Wake, making retreating a difficult task. Luckily, the Taken are incapable of using guns, and instead use knives, axes, shovels, and sometimes sticks of wood to bludgeon with.
A secondary enemy in the game are Taken Birds. While the player is fighting throughout the game, Wake will encounter flocks of bloodthirsty ravens that will swoop down from the sky and damage Wake. Seeing that they travel in packs and large flocks, they can distract the player and severely damage the player. To get rid of them, the player will have to shine his flashlight onto them and burn away the flock. Flares and flare guns can be used carefully against them.
And the final enemy of the game are the Poltergeists, objects that have been possessed by the Dark Presence. These objects levitate in mid-air and then fling themselves at the player, causing massive damage to Wake. No object is safe from being possessed unless under a pool of light, which burns away the darkness. There are possessed vehicles as well, such as jeeps and trucks that will try crushing Wake or wrecking the vehicle Wake is in. In a few levels, there are even possessed harvesters, tractors, and bulldozers that Wake will have to use all the light he can get to defeat. Poltergeist enemies ensure that no area is safe, and not even a harmless microwave can be trusted.
Throughout the world of Alan Wake, there are various collectibles that the player can scavenge for achievements and unlockables. There are coffee thermoses that the player can collect, which are a homage to Twin Peaks, a TV show that Alan Wake is partly inspired from, seeing that the characters in that show drink ridiculous amounts of coffee. And also, there are manuscript pages; papers that are scattered around levels with writing on them that foreshadow events.
Several Collectibles are only available in DLC extra downloadable content. This includes alarm clocks and Night Springs Xbox 360 video games (when you're close to this type of collectible, the boot sound of the Xbox console can be heard many times).
Alan Wake was released in stores on May 14th, 2010 for Europe and May 18th, 2010 for North America. There were cases in Portugal and Spain of people receiving their copy of Alan Wake one to two weeks early than the planned released date. This seems to have only happened with those who pre-ordered their copy from GAME.
In the UK game charts, in its first week, with the charts ending 15 May, Alan Wake shot up to number 2 in the "All Platforms" chart, being beaten by FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010, but beating Lost Planet 2. However, the game got to number 1 in the "Xbox 360 chart".
On 17 July 2010, Alan Wake re-entered the UK charts, reaching number 11 in the "All Platforms" charts.
As of 25 July 2010, the game has sold more than 592,878 units worldwide, which due to being released just on the Xbox 360 at the time, was known as a huge success.
Remedy announced in 2012 that the franchise as a whole had topped 2 million sales thanks to the help of the PC release of Alan Wake, the sales from the Xbox 360 bundle and the stand alone game sales.
Sam Lake officially announced a Remastered version of Alan Wake on the 7th September 2021, which was released October 2021 on Xbox One, Xbox Series S & X, PC through the Epic Games Store and, for the first time, on PlayStation consoles with the PlayStation 4 and 5.
Alan Wake has received positive critical acclaim from critics and fans. Many have praised it for having an amazingly written story, intense gameplay, beautiful environments, soundtrack, and chilling atmosphere. However, some have cited the game for having poor facial animation and lip-syncing, advertising within the game, and some narrative-breaking gameplay mechanics.
Michael Plant from The Independent gave the game a perfect score of 5/5. He praised Alan Wake for its "flawless pacing", which "ensures a compulsive experience". Editing and plot were also received very positively, making the game "the kind of experience the current console generation was made for."
The Daily Telegraph rated the game 9/10 with editor Nick Cowen being impressed by the game's "stunning" look, stating the town of Bright Falls and its surrounding environment to be "authentic" in terms of architecture, vegetation, weather and lighting. He described the atmosphere as being able to "...turn on a dime from feeling safe and serene to one of choking menace and foreboding...". Combat mechanics and plot were also praised with the first making "the player feel constantly under threat." and the latter being "...one of its [the game's] strongest assets." Criticism included facial animation and shortness in length.
Winda Benedetti lauded the maturity of Alan Wake as well as Quantic Dream's interactive drama Heavy Rain in an article for MSNBC.com. She described both games as "emotionally powerful" as well as having "... said goodbye to the tired alien invasions and over-the-top fantasy stories so often found in video games. Instead, they peer into the dark reaches of the very real human heart to deliver stories that are thrilling, chilling and utterly absorbing."
William Vitka from The New York Post graded it B+, praising the game for its "scary atmosphere", music, graphics and "surprising level of complexity" in combat, but commented negatively on the game's animation and storyline.
Brian Crecente, editor-in-chief of Kotaku.com praised the general use of light as a gameplay-mechanic. He commented on the episodic structure, saying it made the player feel satisfied even after short gameplay-sessions. He also praised the overall storyline, having played the final episode thrice in a row, saying:"For the first time in my life, I have experienced something that plays like a game but has the impact of a movie...Alan Wake is a powerful ride, an experience bound to leave you thinking about it and wanting more for days after its completion." He however criticized the game for not providing enough information about Wake and his wife, despite being "packed with memorable people". In conclusion he stated:"I am open to the potential of the year's games, but I still can't imagine that Alan Wake will be topped in 2010. It tells a story that is engaging, and yes, emotional. It makes you care, it delivers scares. But most importantly it redefines interactive storytelling. More aptly put, Alan Wake finally delivers on a phrase so overused that it has become a joke."
Tom Mc Shea criticized the game for lacking "surprising, memorable gameplay moments" in his review for Gamespot.com, but hailed it for its "fresh" story-telling, great original as well as licensed music, "subtle" lighting effects which, along with the soundtrack, "create a disturbing atmosphere", "satisfying" combat system and clever inclusion of collectibles, giving a final score of 8.5/10.
IGN's Charles Onyett scored the game 9/10, providing it with the "Editors' Choice Award". He described it as "...hard to put down once you have started." and appreciated the game for its episodic structure, "interesting" story-telling mechanic, lighting effects, soundtrack and combat system which he described as "fast and responsive", but criticized the writing as "uneven".
Tom Orry from VideoGamer.com also awarded a score of 9/10, praising the game for its "clever narrative", "incredible atmosphere" and great soundtrack which he described as "...being one of the best and most memorable I've ever heard in a video game.", concluding Alan Wake to be "...an escapade I'm going to remember for a very long time. It's a stunning action game, a superbly scripted adventure and a technical showcase for the now-aging Xbox 360 hardware."
Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson awarded a score of 7 / 10, stating, "All the same, there's a weekend's worth of fun here for action-adventure fans who aren't too bothered about innovative concepts and varied gameplay, and don't mind a lot of repetition. Alan Wake is an accessible, undemanding game with a neat combat mechanic and decent visuals. It's just not a very original game, it's certainly not an exceptional one, and it's a shame it wasn't ready a few years ago."
In the core game:
- "Coconut" by Harry Nilsson
- "In Dreams" by Roy Orbison
- "Air Kissing" by Violet Indiana
- "Up Jumped the Devil" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
- "Shady Grove" by Among the Oak & Ash
- "The Beaten Side of Town" by Barry Adamson
- "Haunted" by Poe
- "How Can I Be Sure" by Anomie Belle
- "Electrica Cadente" by Dead Combo
- "Black Night" by Charles Brown
- "Back Bone" by The Rumble Strips
- "Children of the Elder God" by Old Gods of Asgard
- "Young Men Dead" by Black Angels
- "The Poet and the Muse" by Old Gods of Asgard
- "War" by Poets of the Fall
- "Space Oddity" by David Bowie
In the first DLC chapter The Signal:
- "No, I Don't Remember" by Anna Ternheim
In the second DLC chapter The Writer:
- "The Darkest Star" by Depeche Mode
- The events of the first six episodes take place between 1 September 2009 - 15 September 2009.
- The manuscripts The Sudden Stop 1 and 2 are read by the same voice actor that played Max Payne: James McCaffrey.
- Many characters in the game are modeled after real people, such as Alan Wake's appearance, who is modeled after Ilkka Villi, a Finnish professional actor and writer, who also portrays Alan in Bright Falls and the live action sequences in-game.
- Jack taking most of the patients out on a fishing trip may be a reference to the 1975 drama film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
- Alan Wake was originally going to be a free-roaming/sandbox environment game but this was changed. The idea was later reused to an extent in Alan Wake's American Nightmare as the player is free to roam the areas in the game at their own pace.
- Many references exist in game to popular books and movies by various mystery and horror authors.