Alan Wake Wiki

As Alan Wake 2 has now launched, be wary of major spoilers of the game. It is recommended you play the game before browsing the wiki.


Alan Wake Wiki
Alan Wake Wiki
Sudden Stop
Why the hell did you kill Casey? What the hell were you thinking, man?
This article or a section of this article will contain full, or partial plot spoilers of an Alan Wake game or any other piece of media related to the franchise.
You have been warned...

Quote1 If I continue like the Dark Presence wants me to, the story I'm writing won't save Alice. It's a horror story and it's going to kill her, and me, and everybody in this town. No one will survive. Darkness will consume everything. This is what it's wanted all along. It will be free, unstoppable. It used Alice to get to me, dangled her in front of me to keep me going. It was never going to release her. I'm going to change this. I'll escape. I've written myself into the story. I'm now the protagonist. This feels like a terrible risk, but it's the only way to save Alice. I'll be bound by the events of the story just as much as anyone else who's been woven into it. The story must stay true for this to work. There have to be victims along the way, near escapes, cliffhangers. In a horror story it can't be certain that the hero will succeed or even survive. He almost has to die. Quote2
― Alan Wake

The 2010 Bright Falls AWE (as named by the Federal Bureau of Control) was an Altered World Event that took place in the town of Bright Falls, Washington between September 01 and September 14 of said year, with earlier incidents taking place in the leading months. It was the fourth in an series of recurring AWEs that occurred in the area of Bright Falls. It was caused when writer Alan Wake, after being captured by the Dark Presence, was forced to write a manuscript that altered reality to align with the story written in it.



Earlier Incidents[]

Quote1 As I was saying, Al, I found all sort of weird stuff from the local newspapers archives. This place is crazy! Disappearances, mysterious deaths, urban legends come true... and, get this, most of this stuff takes place around Cauldron Lake. Quote2
― Barry Wheeler to Alan Wake

Main articles: Bright Falls AWE (1970), Bright Falls AWE (1976), and Bright Falls AWE (1978)

The area of Bright Falls has had a long history of reports of paranormal phenoms and urban legends, some predating the official statehood of Washington. The Native American tribes that inhabited the area before the foundation of the town held the belief that the lake was a gateway to the underworld.[1] This was not far from the truth, as the lake was, in reality, a threshold leading to alternate dimension known as the Dark Place, inhabited by mysterious entities, most notably, the Dark Presence and its counterpart, the Bright Presence. In addition, the lake, being a place of power, also caused certain works of fiction and legends in its vicinity to shape reality.

108710 screenshots 2015-09-18 00009

Bird Leg Cabin in Diver's Isle

On July of 1970, after the drowning of his lover, Barbara Jagger, poet Thomas Zane was convinced by his assistant, Emil Hartman, to use the supernatural properties of Cauldron Lake to revive her.[2] He was partially successful; while he managed to bring Jagger back to life, the young woman's body was taken over by the Dark Presence. After many attempts to banish the entity from the young woman's body,[3] including tearing her heart out, Zane finally understood that he had to erase everything that had made this possible, including himself. He dived into the lake, taking the possessed Jagger with him, and used its power once again to erase himself out of existence.[4] This also resulted in a volcanic eruption that sank the small island in where he and Jagger lived, Diver's Isle. As he dived deeper, the poet's body was taken over by the Bright Presence before his and Jagger's "spirits" were transported to a "baby universe" created by him.[3]

While all traces of his existence were gone, Zane, knowing that the Dark Presence would one day return, wrote an exception: any of his belongings stored in a shoebox would remain, and entrusted Cynthia Weaver, who he knew had feelings for him, with the task of protecting one of these boxes, which contained a light switch known as "the Clicker".[5] Zane also wrote that Alan Wake would one day find the Clicker - which was also a object from his childhood that he his mother had given him at the age of seven - and use it to banish the Dark Presence.[6] Weaver would spent the next four decades gathering and spreading stashes of supplies through the area of Bright Falls for the imminent war between light and darkness,[7] gaining the nickname of "The Lady of the Light".

Six years later, in September of 1976, during the annual Deerfest, the Anderson Brothers, members of a local heavy metal band known as Old Gods of Asgard, seemingly caused the Dark Presence to reawaken while they were rehearsing on their farm after having spent "days" drinking their home-brewed moonshine.[8][9][10] While this was happening, the Deerfest festival grounds were destroyed by floods caused by violent storms that apparently originated from the Anderson Farm.[11] After evacuating the area, Sheriff Frank Breaker drove to the farm and found the two brothers alive but in need of medical attention. While the exact details of what occurred in the farm are not clear, it seems that the Andersons somehow manged to repel the Dark Presence, which still whore the guise of the late Jagger, and an "army" of Taken. The brothers were subsequently listed as persons of interests by the Federal Bureau of Control, a government agency tasked with monitoring and responding to supernatural incidents.[10] Frank Breaker would eventually be recruited by the FBC after moving to New York City.[11]

Barbara Jagger - The Dark Presence

The Scratching Hag of Bright Falls

After being "stirred" by the Andersons, the Dark Presence was able to return to the surface, albeit in a weakened state, described as being "not real enough to properly exist" but "too evocative to fade away completely".[12] Legends and stories about the "Scratching Hag" soon began to circulate through the area of Bright Falls, though not many residents believed in her existence and the story was mainly used by parent to persuade their children from venturing into the woods.[13] A third AWE took place two years later in 1978, however, not much is known about this incident in particular other than the fact that the Andersons were somehow involved. The brothers were subsequently interrogated by the FBC.[14]

Frank Breaker Bright Falls

Frank Breaker fight a creature.

Frank Breaker eventually returned to Bright Falls and began having his first encounters with the supernatural, including seeing "trees walking", and fighting and killing a "man with the head of a wolf" whose body "melted away into black goo that boiled away in sunlight." He would later gather a group of Bright Falls denizens who also had knowledge about the paranormal occurrences in the area to help in case of an emergency.[15] Meanwhile, Emil Hartman, who in the years after the first Altered World Event took place began a career in psychology, eventually becoming a psychiatrist, established a psychiatric institution near Cauldron Lake with the apparent purpose of treating tortured artists. However, the lodge's true purpose was to serve as a testing facility for Hartman's experiments to manipulate the power of the lake.

Alan Wake's writer's block[]

Quote1 He's more and more out of control all the time. The parties, he's so angry all the time, he's getting violent, he's-
Do you mean with you?
No, not with me. No, never. I -- sometimes I almost wish Alan would take a swing at me, because at least that'd lead to a conversation he couldn't just march out of. But no. He's just... Alan doesn't really sleep, and the work... well, he's not writing, at all. He sits there for hours and just gets more and more frustrated. And I can't talk to him. Quote2
― Alice Wake and Doctor Emil Hartman

Following the publication of the final novel of his highly acclaimed Alex Casey book series, The Sudden Stop, writer Alan Wake, who intended to begin working on his next project, titled "Departure", found himself unable to progress, having developed a case of writer's block. This inability to write led him to become increasingly frustrated as time passed, displaying violent outbursts, much to the concern of his wife Alice, whose attempts to help him proved fruitless. After reading his book, the Creator's Dilemma, Alice contacted Doctor Emil Hartman and discussed with him her husband's problems (behind his back) with the hope of finding a solution. The doctor invited Mrs. Wake to have her husband visit his clinic, the Cauldron Lake Lodge, to supposedly help him with his writer's block.[16] Around two years after Alan's writing problems began, Alice planned a vacation for them in Bright Falls, though, knowing that her husband's would oppose, she did not tell him the true reason behind their trip.


The Righteous Brothers[]
Quote1 A partner isn't like a co-worker, or a friend, or even a brother. He's your guardian, your keeper, your other wife. He keeps you on the dead straight, calls you on everything the others let slide, and he has your back when the shooting starts. That's where I failed Finn. I owe it to him to keep going even when everything's gone dark. When the craziness back east started, he couldn't explain it either. That's when he needed me most. But I blew it. Quote2
― Excerpt from Robert Nightingale's field notes

Around 2009, FBI agent Finn, one of the "righteous brothers", died under strange circumstances. Before his death, he tried to warm his partner, Robert Nightingale, about some type of treat, but the later was unable to understand what was happening to him.[17] While the details of what occurred are unclear, it has been stated that Finn was "killed in the line of duty". The trauma left Nightingale with an immense guilt, which soon led him to turn to alcoholism. He was eventually discharged from the FBI.[18] Somehow, Nightingale came to the conclusion that Alan Wake was somehow involved with the death of his partner.

Clay Steward[]
Quote1 Two years ago, if someone had asked me who Alan Wake was, or where the town of Bright Falls was located, I would have been stumped on both counts. My life had, up to that point, been untouched by either of these particulars, and perhaps for the better. Quote2
― Excerpt from The Alan Wake Files, by Clay Steward

Around 2010, Clay Steward, a resident of Madison, Wisconsin, began to similarly experience a series of strange nightmares in which he found himself in a cabin in the middle of a forest in Rain Cove Point at night. Chased by an unknown entity (most likely the Dark Presence), Steward ran towards the lighthouse, where Alan Wake was waiting for him, but he was killed before reaching the building. While the nightmare continued to repeat itself during the following nights, the events would vary: the two men would be attacked by either the entity or by "men consumed in shadows"; in some instances, Steward would save Wake or the latter would be the one saving him; regardless of that, the two would always be horribly killed. This resulted in Steward becoming afraid of sleeping and began postponing his bedtime. One night, while watching television, Steward was finally able to identify Wake as the man from his nightmares when he saw him on a late night show.


Rain Cove Point

After reading the author's bibliography and any piece of information he could find about him, Steward was able to confirm that it was indeed Wake who he had been seeing in his nightmares. Convinced that the dreams were some kind of warning and that the writer was somehow the reason behind them, Steward attempted to contact Wake by sending a letter to his publishers. However, his message was ignored. Steward's obsession with the nightmares also led him to neglect both his professional life and his marriage: he lost his job as a librarian, leaving him unable to support his family, while he and his wife, Anna, became estranged to the point they barely spoke. As the nightmares continued, Steward began having visions of an "underwater world" populated by "unknowable, dark forces", the town of Bright Falls being destroyed, and "a whole world consumed by darkness". He began taking notes of them in a dream journal.[18]

Late August: Jake Fischer's disappearance[]

Quote1 Since I got here, I've been blacking out and waking up in really strange places.
What kind of places?
The woods, the lake. Look I'm really worried when I leave here. It's not- It's not gonna stop.
Anything else?
Yeah, I-I think I killed... a deer, with my car. Quote2
― Jake Fischer and Emil Hartman
Jake at Oh Deer Diner

Jake Fischer in Bright Falls

On late August, 2010, reporter Jake Fischer traveled to Bright Falls in order to interview Doctor Emil Hartman about his book, The Creator's Dilemma. After having diner at the Oh Deer Diner, Fischer accidentally hit a deer with car. While he at first saw the injured animal when he exited his car, it soon disappeared when he was briefly distracted, leaving only a pool of blood behind.[19] Following this, Fischer arrived at the Mountain Air Motel and stayed in one of its rooms. The next day, after reuniting with his old friend, Ellen Adams, Fischer went to the Cauldron Lake Lodge to interview Doctor Hartman. While he was initially going to simply record the interview, Hartman insisted that he only take notes. During the interview, the reporter blacked out and experienced a series of visions before realizing that the interview was already over. Driving back to the motel, Fischer discovered that he had actually taken notes of the interview, alongside strange scribbling and drawings, before his car entered a dark tunnel.[20]

Jake in the forest

Fischer wakes up in the forest.

Fischer woke up the following day in the middle of the wood, not far from the Mountain Air Motel, unable to remember how he got there and with his hands covered with a red "mud". He drove to The Bright Falls Record to meet with Adams. After showing her his notes and telling her about his recent experience, she advised Fischer to leave the town as soon as possible. Later that day, while he was changing a broken light bulb, Sam Smith, owner of the Mountain Air Motel, heard noises coming from the nearby woods and decided to investigate, armed with his hunting rifle. After firing a warning shot, Smith slipped with the discarded shell and fell to ground before being dragged away by an unknown entity.[21] His young son, Daniel, would later attempt to look for him with no avail.[22] The next day, after trying to buy pills at the Bright Falls General Store, Fischer went to the Oh Deer Diner, where he saw local resident Shel Dyck trowing stones at a lamp post. Deputy Mulligan arrived at the scene and attempted to detain her, with Dyck displaying extreme resistance. After locking her in his car, Mulligan departed from place, but returned immediately afterwards to get assistance for the injures he sustained. Fischer, who witnessed the whole incident, blacked out once more after watching a Deerfest commercial.[23]

Diver at Cauldron Lake

Fischer is taken out of Cauldron Lake

Late at night, an unidentified individual retrieved Fischer from Cauldron Lake and put him inside a body bag. The reporter soon woke up and abandoned the place when he saw the man's boat approaching.[19][23] After reaching the highway and finding his abandoned car at one side of the road, Fischer received a call from, Hal, asking him how he was and reminding him to get an autographed copy of The Creator's Dilemma. Fischer used this as an opportunity to talk with Hartman and tell him about the strange visions and blackouts he had been experiencing since he arrived at Bright Falls. Hartman examined the reporter, but the latter abruptly exited the office in pain after the doctor pointed a light at him. Fischer returned to his motel room and restrained himself to a fridge with the intention of recording himself during the night. Shortly after falling asleep, he woke up and began destroying the room.[24]

Jake disappears

Fischer moments before disappearing.

The following morning, after watching in horror the recording of the previous night, Fischer started packing his suitcase before being interrupted by Deputy Mulligan, who went to the Mountain Air Motel to investigate the disappearance of Sam Smith. The reporter managed to convince the deputy that the damage to his room was caused by a wild animal. Fischer met once again with Adams and, without giving her many details, asked her to drive him out of the town. On the way, Fischer once again blacked out and found himself driving the car back to the town, with Adams gone before stopping the car. The trees around him began to unnatural shift and the reporter disappeared. The abandoned car was later found by locals authorities just as Alan and Alice Wake were arriving to Bright Falls.[22]

The Event[]

September 01: The Wakes arrive to Bright Falls[]

Quote1 Carl couldn't make it. Unfortunately, he was taken ill. But I have the key for you, and instructions on how to get to the lake.
I wish you have a good stay in my cabin. I'll come by later to check how you've settled in. And to meet your wife. Quote2
― "Barbara Jagger and Alan Wake
The Hitchhiker kills Clay.

Alan Wake is chased by the Hitchhiker.

Once they arrived to the area of Bright Falls, the Wakes took a ferry ride to the town. Unbeknownst to them, the couple was being closely followed by Doctor Hartman’s henchman, Ben Mott.[25] During the ride, Alan fell asleep on his car and experienced another shared nightmare with Clay Steward. On this occasion, while he was driving towards the Rain Cove Point Lighthouse, Wake accidentally hit a hitchhiker (who was actually a character from a story he had been working on) with his car, killing him. However, the Hitchhiker was possessed by the Dark Presence and attacked the writer. After the Hitchhiker murdered Steward, Wake was rescued by the Bright Presence. The luminous entity warned him of its dark counterpart and teached him how to combat those under its influence. Wake eventually managed to reach the lighthouse, but the lights went out and he was also killed. The Dark Presence, sensing that the writer had finally arrived, woke up.[26][9][27]

Alan meets Barbara Jagger

"Barbara Jagger" meets Wake.

After waking up, Alan met local radio host Pat Maine before the ferry reached its destination. Once in the town, he was sent by his wife to meet with Carl Stucky, who was having lunch at the Oh Deer Diner, and get their cabin key. By the time Alan entered the diner, Stucky had gone to the restroom at the unlit back of the building. This allowed the Dark Presence, still using the appearance of the late Barbara Jagger, to intercept the writer and give him the key to the Bird Leg Cabin and directions to Diver’s Isle instead. During his visit to diner, Alan also met some of the locals, including waitress and self-proclaimed number one fan Rose Marigold, park ranger Rusty Johnston, the now seemingly senile Anderson Brothers, and Cynthia Weaver, the latter of whom tried to warm him of the darkness. As the Wakes left for their cabin, Stucky exited the diner and tried to get their attention without success. He had also been touched by the Dark Presence and was already starting to feel its effects.[26][28]

Alice is taken away

Alice is dragged to the Dark Place.

The Wakes soon arrived to Diver’s Isle, which had been resurfaced by the Dark Presence from Cauldron Lake. After settling into the cabin, Alice revealed to her husband that the true reason behind their journey was to help him with writer's block. However, Alan, furious at this, stormed out of the house, not realizing that the Dark Presence was inside the cabin. He soon rushed back inside when he heard his wife screaming in terror as she was captured by the dark entity and dragged into the lake.[26] Alan immediately jumped after her, but was unable to find her in the dark waters of the lake and resurfaced shortly afterwards, believing she had drowned. With the writer now under its influence, the Dark Presence guided Alan back to the cabin study and, exploiting his guilt, convinced him that he could bring his wife back by writing a story.[29] By the time Ben Mott arrived to the lake shore after checking all of Stucky’s rental cabins in search of the couple, the cabin and the island had already returned to the bottom of the lake.[30]

September 02-08: The missing week[]

Quote1 I'm trapped in this cabin, have been for days, but it's always dark outside. My editor is real, I saw her again. She's not human. It's not human. A dark presence is wearing the old woman's face. She was covered in clinging shadows. There's a hole in her chest where her heart should be. I think I've made a horrible mistake. I don't think I'm any closer to saving Alice. It's been lying to me, using me to get the story it wants. And the story will come true. Quote2
― Alan Wake
Writer in the Cabin

The writer in the cabin.

Inside the Bird Leg Cabin, Wake, still under the influence of the Dark Presence, began writing a manuscript titled "Departure", with Jagger serving as his "imaginary editor". With her revisions, the genre and the direction of the story slowly began to shift to horror.[31] While the writer believed that he was saving his wife, in reality the story would free the Dark Presence from the lake. Despite how hard it was for him to do anything outside of writing, Wake managed to find one Thomas Zane's shoeboxes, which contained books and papers written by the poet describing the true nature of Cauldron Lake, the Dark Place, and his own history with the Dark Presence. While Wake was not lucid enough to realize that his editor was the entity described in the writings, he decided to incorporate details from them into the manuscript.[32]

Stucky Taken

The Taken Carl Stucky.

A week after capturing the writer, the Dark Presence began spreading through the area of Bright Falls, with one of its first victims being Carl Stucky. While he was working late at his gas station garage, Stucky was consumed by the Dark Presence and turned into a Taken, which later proceeded to attack the nearby Biltmore Logging Camps and kill its workers.[33] He also found and murdered a stray dog named Toby.[34] Another victim of the Dark Presence was a farmer named Danny, who, after becoming a Taken, attacked his friend Walter Snyder while he was working at the Anderson Farm. However, Snyder managed to temporarily incapacitate Danny by throwing him down a set of stairs before escaping in his car.[35] The experience left Snyder traumatized and he was subsequently detained by local authorities.[36]

Zane frees Alan

"Zane" frees Wake.

Wake soon became lucid enough to realize the Dark Presence's true nature and intentions.[37] After considering his options, he concluded that the only way to stop the dark entity from reaching its goal was to write himself into the story. By doing so, however, he would also be as bound by the events described in the manuscript as everyone else in it, including the Dark Presence.[38] Before finishing the manuscript, Wake freed himself from the lake by writing the Bright Presence, in the form of Thomas Zane, into the story. Despite being weak, it was able to use his light to return the cabin and the island back to the surface, giving Wake a chance to escape. As the writer struggled out of the island, the Dark Presence, feeling its counterpart, returned to the cabin and temporarily vanished it back to the Dark Place, but not before it managed to grab the manuscript pages. Driving away from the lake, Wake finally lost consciousness and crashed his car.[29]

Alan finds a manuscript page

Wake finds a manuscript page.

Wake soon woke up, disoriented and with his memories of the previous week trapped in the cabin gone, though he still remembered that his wife had disappeared. After seeing Stucky's Gas Station in the distance, he decided to head there with the hope of finding help. While he was walking through the forests, "Zane" began spreading the manuscript pages through the area of Bright Falls for the writer and others to find in what he believed to be "the right time and place". Wake soon arrived to one of the now abandoned Biltmore Logging Camps and watched in horror as the Taken Carl Stucky murdered a lost hunter before attacked him. Taking refuge in a well-lit office, Wake armed himself with a gun and a flashlight and attempted to call the Bright Falls Sheriff Station, but was prevented from doing so by Stucky. After a possessed bulldozer plowed the office off a cliff, the writer had no option but to resume his journey to the gas station, passing through the dark forests and the remaining logging camps, where he discovered the stashes of supplies left by Cynthia Weaver, found more manuscript pages, and was repeatedly attacked by the Taken loggers.[26]

September 09: Attack on the Elderwood National Park[]

Quote1 I knew you were gonna say that. I read it all before. You’re a hell of a writer. Congratulations. You’re gonna bring about something glorious and terrible, once we get you some… proper editorial controlQuote2
― Ben Mott to Alan Wake
Sarah arrives at the gas station

Sheriff Breaker arrives at Stucky's Gas Station.

After killing the possessed Stucky and reaching the gas station, Wake was finally able to call the sheriff station. Sheriff Sarah Breaker soon arrived at the area. Wake attempted to explain the situation her, including that he and his wife were staying in the cabin in Diver's Isle, but the sheriff assured him that the cabin and the island had sank decades ago. Breaker took Wake to the shore of the lake and showed him that there was no island there before taking him to the sheriff station. Realizing that the sheriff would not believe him, Wake also decide not to tell her about his encounter with the Taken.[26] Deputies Thornton and Mulligan were subsequently sent to the gas station and the logging camps to search for Stucky and the missing loggers. Meanwhile, Doc Nelson was called to the sheriff station to examine Wake.[36]

The kidnapper calls Alan

Mott calls Wake.

After hearing in the police radio that the writer had been found, Emil Hartman departed to the sheriff station to meet him.[39] Before Wake had a chance to talk with the sheriff, he received a call from Ben Mott, who had been instructed by Hartman to tell Wake that he was his wife's kidnapper, using old recordings of Alice to deceive him, and to leave Alice's driver licence in an old abandoned car behind the station for Wake to find. Mott told Wake to meet him at the Lovers' Peak lookout at the Elderwood National Park alone that night. Following the call, Hartman met Wake and invited him to stay at the Cauldron Lake Lodge. However, the writer responded by punching him in the face. Before the situation could escalate, Barry Wheeler, Wake's friend and literary agent, who had traveled to Bright Falls in search of him and his wife, intervened and left the sheriff station alongside his client. While the two drove to the Elderwood National Park to rent a cabin from Rusty Johnston, Wake told his friend everything that had happened up to that point. Aside from Alice's kidnapping and that Wake had written a manuscript, Wheeler was unable to believe anything the writer told him and thought he was delusional.

Rusty injured

Wake finds an injured Johnston.

After meeting with Wake and giving him the keys to his cabin, Johnston found a manuscript page which described the Elderwood Visitor Center being attacked by the Dark Presence. Later at night, Wake departed for Lovers' Peak to meet with the kidnapper despite Wheeler's objections. As he made his way on foot through the Elderwood trail, the ground began to tremble before the front door of the visitor center was destroyed by the Dark Presence, severely injuring Johnston, just as the page described. Wake entered the building and found the injured ranger, who pleaded him to turn the lights on before the Dark Presence returned. By the time he reached the fuse box inside the ranger office, however, it had already been destroyed with an axe. Johnston was then killed by the Dark Presence and turned into a Taken, which Wake was forced to fight and kill. After seeing the destruction of the visitor center from his cabin, Wheeler finally realized that his friend was telling him the truth.[36] Meanwhile, former FBI Agent Robert Nightingale arrived to Bright Falls in search of Wake, staying in room #2 of the Majestic Motel.[40][41]

Mott threatens Alan

Mott demands Wake the manuscript.

On his way to Lovers' Peak, Wake used a cable cart to reach the other side of a ravine. However, before arriving, the cart was attacked by Taken birds and crashed, leaving Wake at the mercy of a group of Taken, but before they were able to kill him, he was rescued by Mott. Although Wake realized almost immediately that the man was the alleged kidnapper, the circumstances forced the two of them to team up in order to reach the meeting point. Once there, Mott demanded Wake the completed manuscript, threatening him with his wife's life. Furious, Wake punched Mott in the face, causing them both to fall from the lookout into the ground below. Seeing that Wake grabbed his gun, Mott decided to escape. After loosing the kidnapper, Wake decided to return to his cabin and plan with Wheeler how to proceed from there. Before he arrived, Mott contacted Wake once more. The writer told him that he needed a week to finish the manuscript, but Mott, in an attempt to show that he was in control of the situation,[42] only gave him two days to complete it, with the Bright Falls Coal Mine Museum being their new meeting point. With no other option, Wake accepted. When he finally reached his cabin, Wake saved Wheeler from a flock of Taken birds.[36]

September 10: Trailer park incident[]

Quote1 Sheriff Breaker, this is Agent Nighingale. I’ve lost contact with most of the men you assigned to me. It’s Wake’s doing!
Wait, are you seriously telling me that geek writer just took out my deputies? Are you kidding? I mean, have you seen this guy? He wears a tweed jacket! Over.
He's the guy we're chasing! If it's not him, who's then? Bigfoot? Over.
I don't know yet, but I'm not in the habit of jumping to conclusions. That tends to come back and bite you in the ass. Out. Quote2
― Robert Nightingale and Sheriff Sarah Breaker
Rose and Jagger

Marigold touched by the Dark Presence.

The following morning, rumors soon began to circulate about what could have caused the destruction at the visitor center. Sheriff Breaker and Deputy Mulligan were soon called to the scene. Wake and Wheeler were among the ones interviewed by the sheriff, but the two denied having seen anything.[43] Later, while Wake attempted unsuccessfully to write a new manuscript to give Mott for their upcoming meeting, Wheeler was sent to the town to inquire about the kidnapper's identity. By going through the archives of The Bright Falls Record, he managed to find information about the earthquake of 1970 and the subsequent urban legends surrounding both Thomas Zane and Barbara Jagger. Meanwhile, Rose Marigold was visited by "Jagger" and put under her influence. The Dark Presence forced the young woman to contact Wheeler and tell him that she had found Wake's manuscript pages in order to lure them into a trap.[36]

Rose touched 2

Wake falls unconscious.

On his second day of investigation, Robert Nightingale went to the sheriff station, where he met Sheriff Breaker and asked her to contact Wake for him, hiding the fact that he was not on official FBI business.[44] Breaker informed the writer, who at the time was at the Sparkling River Estates trailer park alongside Wheeler to meet with Marigold, of the agent's presence and advice him to come as soon as possible, with Wake promising to do so. As the two men were guided by the trailer park owner, Paul Randolph, to the waitresses' home, Wheeler told Wake all the information he had managed to found during his visit to the town. Once in her trailer, the two men soon realized that Marigold did not have the pages, but before they were able to leave, the two passed out due to sleeping pills she had put on their coffee.[1] Some time later, after going to Wake's cabin at the Elderwood National Park in search of the writer with no avail, Nightingale ran into Ben Mott. The agent attempted to question him about Wake, but Mott resisted and escaped.[45]

The police at the trailer park

Nightingale arrives at the trailer park.

By nighttime, seeing that Wake and Wheeler had spent almost the entire day in Marigold's trailer and fearing for the young woman's well being, Randolph called the sheriff station and informed them of the situation.[46] With Wake at its mercy, Jagger attempted to put the writer under her influence again, but he was woken up just in time by Zane. Wake realized that he had lost a day. Meanwhile, Wheeler was still unconscious and Marigold was still under the effects of the Dark Presence's touch. After the writer exited the trailer, local authorities, led by Nightingale, soon arrived at the trailer park. The agent immediately held Wake at gunpoint. While at first he considered surrendering, Wake, feeling that the agent did not have good intentions,[47] decided to escape. Nightingale and the deputies opened fire at him, almost killing both Wake and Randolph. Exiting through a broken fence, Wake made his way westwards through the dry river, with the deputies giving chase and having orders to shoot on sight. The disturbance caused by the gun shooting woke up many of the residents who lived nearby. Sheriff Breaker was informed of the incident and Nightingale's use of extreme force and headed to the area. On her way there, she called Nightingale and confronted him about his actions but the agent merely ignored her.

The police at the radio station

Nightingale at the radio station.

The Dark Presence soon found the writer and began to attack the deputies sent after him. As he made his way through the cliff, Wake heard as Andy and a group of deputies in the forest below were brutally killed. While Nightingale assumed that this was the writer's doing, Breaker was skeptical. After seeing a helicopter being taken down by a flock of Taken birds, Wake noticed that he was not far from the KBF-FM Radio Station and concluded that he could ask Pat Maine for directions to the coal mine. Heading to the radio station, Wake saw opposition in the form of possessed objects and the now Taken deputies that were killed earlier. While he was having a conversation with a caller, Maine noticed that Wake had entered the building and inadvertently revealed his position to the authorities. Nightingale and Sheriff Breaker arrived at the radio station soon afterwards. Despite Breaker trying to calm him down, Nightingale shot at the writer once again, forcing him to escape without being able to ask Maine for directions.[1] After Maine berated the ex-FBI agent for his recklessness, he warned Breaker not to trust him.[48][49]

Nightingale later returned to the trailer park to conduct some interviews.[50] Among those interviewed was Randolph, who, although initially hesitant, was persuaded by the former agent to cooperate.[51] After being taken to the sheriff station by Deputies Thornton and Mulligan, Wheeler and Marigold were examined by Nelson. While the former was already recovering, the young waitress was still under the effects of the Dark Presence’s touch.[52] The two of them were also interview by Nightingale: Marigold showed great difficulty to concentrate and was barely able to answer the agent's questions before finally breaking down in tears, with Nightingale comforting her;[53] Wheeler, on the other hand, showed hostility towards the agent before leaving after confirming that he was not under arrests.[54] Maine was also convinced by Sheriff Breaker to be interviewed, however, due to Nightingale’s behavior and attitude, he was also reluctant to cooperate.[55]

September 11: Meeting at Mirror Peak[]

Quote1 Change of plans. You know where Mirror Peak is? It's the big mountain north of where you are. You follow the path from the mine, you can't miss it. There's a lookout point there. I'll be waiting. Quote2
― Ben Mott to Alan Wake
Alan drives away the train depot

Wake drives away from the Train Depot.

Following his escape from the radio station, Wake was forced to find his own way to the coal mine. As he continued through the forests below the radio tower, he was repeatedly attacked by more Taken. Not long afterwards, he received a call from “Alice” (in reality another audio made from an edited pre-recorded conversation) urging him to cooperate with the kidnapper. The writer continued to make his way through a railway bridge, where the Dark Presence attacked him with possessed objects, before reaching the Train Depot. There, he encountered more Taken and faced another possessed bulldozer. After this, he found a pickup truck of the Bright Falls Light & Power and used it to escape the depot as the sun was rising.

Alan waits for the kidnapper

Wake waits for the kidnapper.

Wake drove to the Bright Falls Coal Mine Museum for his meeting with Mott. As he had been unable to complete the manuscript on time, he planned instead to hand the him all the pages he had found up to that point in exchange for his wife, and torture him if that was not enough. However, Mott giving him only two days to finish the manuscript was not part of Doctor Hartman’s plan. The doctor concluded that the best course of action was to instead capture the writer,[56] and after finding one of his pages, he discovered how to proceed. After waiting for him on the main building of the coal mine for almost an entire day, Wake received a call from Mott telling him that there had been a change of plans and the new meeting place was the Mirror Peak lookout, much to his frustration. When Wake exited the building, he was soon attacked once again by Dark Presence's forces.

Alan falls into Cauldron Lake

Wake falls into the lake.

After exiting the coal mine, Wake began to make his way to Mirror Peak, passing through the Gray Gorge Peak Ghost Town, The Old Silver Mine and the Mountain Manor and having multiple encounters with the Taken and possessed objects in each one of these locations. Meanwhile, as Hartman and one of his employees, Jack, were on well-lit boat at Cauldron Lake, preapared for what would happen next, Mott was at the lookout waiting for the writer to appear, unaware of his impending fate. When Wake finally reached the Mirror Peak, Jagger appeared and began torturing Mott, with the writer hearing him confess that he never really had Alice. A dark tornado then began to form at the lookout. While Mott was killed, Wake managed to grab and light a flare in time, which saved him from meeting the same fate, and instead fell into the lake. After seeing the writer fall, Hartman and Jack approached their boat and rescued the writer, taking him to the Cauldron Lake Lodge.[57][1]

September 12: The Truth[]

Attack on the Cauldron Lake Lodge[]
Quote1 Alan, please. You're sliding back into the--
Tell me one more lie and I'll shoot you in the face.
Ah, well. It was worth a shot. Really, Wake, come on. Let's work together in this. You have no idea what-- Quote2
― Doctor Emil Hartman and Alan Wake
Doctor Hartman

Wake is greeted by Hartman.

After being taken to the lodge, Wake briefly woke up but was sedated by Hartman and rendered unconscious once again. Hartman then contacted Barry Wheeler and informed him that his client had been brought to the clinic, inviting him to come pick him up. This, in reality, was a trap to capture him. Once at the lodge, Hartman distracted Wheeler by showing him the building and his trophy collection before ordering his employees to restrain him and lock him in a closet.[58] Robert Nightingale, who had been following Wheeler, arrived at the place shortly afterwards and attempted to enter. However, after a long discussion and despite the threats from former FBI agent, he was ultimately denied access by Hartman.[59] Jack was ordered by his boss to take most, if not all, of the patients out for a fishing trip.

Alan and the Andersons

Wake talks with the Andersons.

When he woke up a second time, Wake, still under the effects of the sedative, was greeted by Hartman and nurse Birch. The doctor proceeded to give Wake a tour of the lodge and attempted to convince him that he was a patient at the clinic and that the recent events were the result of a psychotic episode caused by the death of his wife. While he did not believe any of this, Wake decided to play along. Meanwhile, a storm was beginning to form near the lodge. After introducing him to some of the patients, Hartman left the writer with Tor and Odin Anderson to check the power generator, knowing that this was not a normal storm.[60] The brothers told Wake that they had left a message at their farm that might help him.

Alan points a gun at Hartman

Wake confronts Hartman.

After Wake returned to his room, the Andersons Brothers began causing a commotion as a distraction for the writer to escape. Birch and nurse Sinclair attempted to restrain them, but the later was knocked unconscious when Tor’s plastic hammer mysteriously turned into a real one, leading Birch to hide in a closet. Wake took Sinclair’s keys and headed to Hartman’s office to recover the manuscript pages. On his way there, he also discovered Mott's had been working for the doctor all this time. Wake reunited with Wheeler and the two entered the office. Hartman soon returned and attempted to convince the writer to work alongside him with no avail. As he held the doctor at gun point, Wake ordered Wheeler to return a car and wait for him there. The Dark Presence appeared and began taking over the lodge. Wake escaped and locked Hartman in his office, leaving him at the mercy of the evil entity.

The Dark Presence takes over the lodge 2

The lodge is taken over by the Dark Presence.

Meanwhile, the Anderson Brothers lead the remaining patients out of the lodge to safety,[61] except for Rudolf Lane, who began to paint uncontrollably.[15] Birch also attempted to escape but was consumed by the Dark Presence and turned into a Taken.[43] Wake managed to make his way through the shadow-infested lodge before finally exiting. However, the gates of the driveway were locked by the darkness, forcing the writer to go through the hedge maze and the stone gardens, where he fought and killed many Taken, including the possessed Birch. After reuniting with Wheeler, the two escaped the lodge’s premises. Wake then told Wheeler that they needed to head to the Anderson Farm.

The Andersons’ Message[]
Quote1 Ha ha ha! Zane! You're all right, Tom. Hey, we like him, don't we bro? He's gotta go to the farm.
The Anderson Farm! Valhalla!
We wrote it all down lest we'd forget. A crash course. All you need to know to get your head right. You need to find the message. Quote2
― Tor and Odin Anderson to Alan Wake
The Anderson Farm

The Anderson Farm

On the way to the farm, Wake told Wheeler everything he had learned up to that point, including that Alice was trapped in the Dark Place, the lake’s supernatural reality-altering properties, and the supposed message the Andersons had left on their home. Their car was then knocked off the road by a collapse caused by the Dark Presence and fell off a cliff. The two of them survived the crash but became separated, with Wake landing on a higher level of the cliff while Wheeler and the car landed on the woods below, not far from the farm. After being attacked by a Taken, Wheeler proceeded to the farm on his own, despite his friend’s warnings, while Wake attempted to find his own way there around the cliff area.

Old Gods of Asgard Stage

Wake and Wheeler at the Old Gods of Asgard stage.

Meanwhile, Walter Snyder, still affected by the incident with Danny, also drove to the farm to drink some of the Anderson’s home-brewed moonshine. When he arrived at the house, he saw that the Taken Danny was waiting for him at the entrance and escaped in his car back to his house.[62] After passing through the abandoned mine yard, Wake saw the car driving away from the farm and, assuming that it might be Wheeler, followed it to Snyder’s house. On his way there, he saw Thomas Zane leaving another page for him. Danny followed Snyder to his house and attacked him, seriously injuring him. When Wake entered the house and found Snyder, the latter died from his injuries shortly after. The Taken Danny attacked the writer but was killed. Taking Snyder’s car, Wake drove to the farm. Once there, he saw Wheeler being chased by a group of Taken on the Old Gods of Asgard stage. Lightning struck the stage and ignited the lights and the pyrotechnics, killing the Taken. Wake and Wheeler then proceeded to use the stage equipment to combat the incoming hordes of enemies. The commotion caused by the fight was noticed by Nightingale, who decided to head to the farm to investigate.[63]

Nightingale arrest Alan

Nightingale arrests Wake.

After the battle ended, the duo made their way to the Anderson’s house, fighting off more Taken and a possessed harvester. Once inside, Wake turned the power on and discovered that the brother’s message was a song named “The Poet and the Muse”. The song indicated that they needed to find the “Lady of the Lamp”, which Wake correctly deduced it was Cynthia Weaver. Deciding to pass the night on the Anderson’s house, Wake and Wheeler drank the brothers’ moonshine and passed out not long afterwards. The drink’s caused Wake to relive the events of the night of September 1st and he was finally able to remember what had occurred during the missing week. Nightingale arrived at the farm and, although he considered shooting the unconscious Wake, ultimately decided against it and instead arrested both him and Wheeler.[29][64]

September 13: Night Springs[]

Quote1 I have it. "Someone will come for it when the time is right." Thomas said so. He wrote it. The key is insurance. It's my job to keep it safe, safe in the light. Always in the light. Quote2
― Cynthia Weaver
Nightingale is taken away

Nightingale is taken away by the Dark Presence.

With Wake and Wheeler detained and taken to the sheriff station, Nightingale confiscated and examined the manuscript pages. Although he did not understand their true meaning, he considered them as the proof of an assassination attempt against him that he needed.[65] By midnight, after having spent almost an entire day unconscious, Wake and Wheeler woke up and were soon confronted by the former agent. As the lights of the station turned off, Sheriff Breaker, feed up with Nightingale's reckless behavior and no longer believing that he was on official businesses, decided to the released the duo. Desperate, Nightingale pulled out his gun and threatened to shot the writer. However, he then realized that he was living the events described in one of the pages he had found earlier before being dragged away by the Dark Presence. After the sheriff restored the power of the station, Wake explained to her that they needed to find Cynthia Weaver, to which the sheriff told him that the old lady lived in the abandoned Bright Falls Light & Power facility and that she could take them there with the rescue helicopter.

Frank Breaker Night Springs

Frank Breaker receives the "Night Springs" message.

While Wake and the sheriff departed to the Town Hall to retrieve the helicopter keys, Wheeler was tasked with calling a list of contacts the sheriff had left for him - which included Pat Maine and her father, Frank Breaker, among others - and deliver the message “Night Springs”. After receiving the call from Wheeler, Breaker immediately departed from his farm to assist his daughter.[15] As the Dark Presence spread through the town, Wake and the sheriff made their way through the streets of Bright Falls and the docks, encountering and killing many groups of Taken, before they finally reached the Town Hall. Meanwhile, at the sheriff station, while he was still making phone calls, Wheeler heard one of the windows breaking before the lights went off again,[66] forcing him to leave the building. As he ran to the Town Hall to reunite with Wake and Sheriff Breaker, who had already collected the keys, Wheeler was almost killed by a school bus thrown at him by the Dark Presence. Entering the Bright Falls General Store, he found ammunition and luminous equipment.

Rescue Helicopter

The group departs on the helicopter.

After confirming that Wheeler was unhurt, Wake and the sheriff continued to make their way to the rescue helicopter through the Bright Falls Park and the local book store. Although some residents, such as Nelson, noticed the commotion caused by the gun shooting, they were mostly unaware of what was actually occurring at the town. Exiting the Bright Falls Church, Wake and the sheriff reunited with Wheeler and the three proceeded to the helicopter platform on the Bright Falls Fire Department station above the town. There, as he waited for the sheriff to start the rescue helicopter, Wake fended it from a large horde of Taken. Once the helicopter was ready the three of them departed for the power plant.

Night Springs Group

Breaker reunites with the "Night Springs" group.

Meanwhile, on his way to the town, Frank Breaker contacted FBC agent William Kirklund and informed him of a possible Altered World Event taking place in Bright Falls. However, Kirklund told him that FBC reinforcements would not be able to arrive on time. Once at the town, Breaker reunited with the Night Springs group and was informed of the situation, including that his daughter was currently heading to the power plant alongside Wake, before establishing a plan of action: Maine was sent to the KBF-FM Radio Station in case he was needed to coordinate an evacuation; Deputies Janes and Grant were instructed to stay in the town to maintain order among the citizens; Deputies Thornton and Mulligan were sent to the Cauldron Lake Lodge to check on Hartman, who Breaker suspected he was involved with was happening; lastly, the former sheriff departed to the Bright Falls Light & Power to help his daughter.[15]

Taken Mott attacks Hartman

The Taken Mott attacks Hartman.

At the Cauldron Lake Lodge, almost an entire day after the Dark Presence's attack, Doctor Emil Hartman woke up in his office, practically unscratched. After heading outside, he found Ben Mott, now a Taken, attacking Nurse Sinclair. Unlike other Taken, Mott still retained some of his former self traits, including his obsession with Hartman. Using his flashlight, the doctor managed to repel him before he and Sinclair returned inside to look for another exit. They soon arrived at the dining hall and found Rundolf Lane, still painting uncontrollably. Noticing that one of the pictures depicted him being killed by the Taken Mott, Hartman gave Lane his coat in order to have the painter take his place. While Mott killed Lane, mistaking him for his former boss, the doctor and the nursed escaped. The Taken found them shortly afterwards but was forced to retreat once again after Deputies Thornton and Mulligan arrived at the scene. Instead of escaping the lodge, Hartman opted to take care of Mott once and for all.[67]

Alan meets Cynthia

Wake meets Cynthia Weaver.

As Wake’s group approached the power plant, the helicopter was attacked by a flock of Taken birds, which caused Wake to fall, landing on a warehouse not far from his destination. As the writer continued his journey on foot, the sheriff and Wheeler flied away in an attempt to lose the birds. Wake crossed the transformer yard and the L.t Williams Memorial Bridge before reuniting with his friends, who used the helicopter to provide light support and allow him to reach the power plant. Once there, Wake met Weaver, who told him that Zane’s countermeasure was at the Bright Falls Dam, on a room she made to protect it called the “Well-lit Room”, which could be reached through a secret path in an old water pipe. However, in order to use it, Wake first had to find the kill switch of the transformer yard, which was draining the pipe’s power, and shut it down. Meanwhile, Frank Breaker arrived at the turning bridge and, after having an encounter with a Taken, crossed to the other side. By the time he reached the power plant, however, Wake and Weaver had already departed to the dam.[15]

Alan gets the Clicker

Wake obtains the Clicker.

As they made their way through the tunnel, Wake called Wheeler to inform him where he was heading moments before the helicopter was attacked once again and crashed. Despite Weaver’s warnings, the writer exited the tunnel to help his friends. Both Wheeler and Breaker managed to survive to crash and reunited with Wake not long afterwards. The three then proceeded to fight their way to the dam. After taking a car from the power plant, Frank Breaker also headed to there, seeing the crashed helicopter before a possessed truck took him out of the road, knocking him unconscious.[15] Wake and his group eventually managed to reach the Well-lit room and found Zane’s countermeasure, the Clicker, alongside a page written by Zane which described Wake's personal history with the item.[68]

September 14: Departure[]

Quote1 I understood what I had to do now. I knew how to write the ending to "Departure." There's light and there's darkness, cause and effect. There's guilt and there's atonement. But the scales always need to balance, everything has a price. That's where Zane had gone wrong. Quote2
― Alan Wake
Mott dies..

The Taken Ben Mott is killed by the deputies.

At the Cauldron Lake Lodge, Emil Hartman, using himself as bait, waited for the Taken Ben Mott to appear while Deputies Thornton and Mulligan awaited his signal to open fire. When the Taken finally showed up, the doctor, using his former employee’s need for his approval, told him that he was pleased with his actions and gave him one last task: to kneel for him. Mott complied and this allowed Hartman throw a flare at him. With his shield of darkness destroyed, the deputies were able opened fire and kill the Taken. With the crisis over, the deputies attempted to interrogate Hartman but the doctor refused, with Sinclair promising to answer their questions instead. As he reflected on recent events, Hartman called an unknown individual that was already aware of what was occurring in Bright Falls and, in light of his clinic no longer being operative, told them that he had reconsidered their offer.[67]

Alan and Barry say goodbye

Wake and Wheeler say goodbye to each other.

Meanwhile, near the Bright Falls Dam, Frank Breaker woke up following his crash and was confronted by Barbara Jagger, who threatened him with his daughter's life, before being overwhelmed by a group of Taken. In the Well-Lit room, Wake used the Clicker and caused the night to turn into day, barely saving Breaker.[15] With Zane's countermeasure now in his possession, Wake realized, by reading the page the poet had left for him, that the only way to stop the Dark Presence was to return to the Bird Leg Cabin and write the ending of his story. While Sheriff Breaker and Barry Wheeler were willing to go with him, the writer refused and decided to proceed on his own. After saying goodbye, Wake exited the Well-Lit room and began to make his journey back to Cauldron Lake.[69] Frank Breaker finally arrived at the dam and saw the writer leaving through the entrance. He attempted to call his attention but fell unconscious once again.[15]

Alan jumps into the lake

Wake jumps into Cauldron Lake.

Driving towards the lake, Wake initially tried to use the daylight brought by the Clicker to his favor and reach his destination without complications. However, the Dark Presence soon caused the darkness to return. By this point, the Dark Presence no longer had intention of capturing the writer and instead tried to do everything in its power to stop him.[70] As he made his way to the lake through the highway, Wake passed through the Majestic Motel, Larsen’s Auto Salvage and the Southeast Cliffs Ghost Town, where he was repeatedly attacked by groups of Taken and possessed objects, before finally arriving at the shores of Cauldron Lake, where a dark tornado blocked his path. After destroying it, Wake jumped into the lake and entered the Dark Place.[69] Meanwhile, Frank Breaker regained consciousness and entered the dam. Reaching the Well-lit room, he reunited with his daughter.[15]

Zane, Scratch and Alan

Wake meets Mr. Scratch.

Wake woke up in a dark version of his New York apartment next to his wife, but he immediately realized that they were not real and used the Clicker to destroy the illusion. Thomas Zane reappeared and told the writer that he needed to reach the cabin and use the Clicker to “fill [Barbara Jagger’s] heart with light”. Wake then saw a copy of himself, known as Mr. Scratch, appear next to him, but Zane told him to ignore him, claiming that his friends would "meet him when [Wake’s] gone”. The writer navigated through the surreal environment of Dark Place, where he was able to use his flashlight to manifest ideas into reality and soon reached the cabin.

Jagger is destroyed by the Clicker

The Dark Presence's body is destroyed.

Inside the cabin, Wake confronted Jagger and, following Zane’s instructions, put the Clicker in the hole in the old woman’s chest and activated it, destroying the Dark Presence’s physical body. However, before doing it, the dark entity warned the writer that it would find a new face to wear and that someone else may one day free it again. Although the Dark Presence was not completely destroyed, Wake was now free to go the cabin study and write the ending of “Departure”, which would allow him to finally free Alice from the Dark Place. However, understanding that there had to be a balance and there was a price to pay for using the power of the Dark Place, Wake was forced to take his wife’s place trapped in the darkness. The following day, as the residents of Bright Falls celebrated the 68th annual Deerfest, most of them unaware of what had taken place, Alice resurfaced from the lake and swam to the destroyed bridge that once lead to Diver’s Isle.[69] She was found shortly afterwards by Sheriff Breaker.[43]


Wake trapped in the Dark Place[]

Quote1 You represent the part of Alan Wake that is capable of rational thought and planning, which is why I'm talking to you. If that part can regain control, then you have a chance of making it. But a part of you wants to give in. There's... confort in the oblivion of dreams. You represent the part that isn't ready to quit and die. Quote2
― "Thomas Zane" to Alan Wake
Alan in the Dark Place

Wake in the Dark Place version of Bright Falls

After being trapped in the Dark Place for an undetermined amount of time (which is a relative concept in this dimension), Alan Wake’s mind split in two aspects: his “irrational” self who had succumbed to the fear of never being able to escape the Dark Place, and his “rational” self, the remaining part of himself that still clings to hope. After splitting, the latter aspect woke up outside the Oh Deer Diner, in a distorted and dream-like version of Bright Falls, where, after re-living the event of his arrival in town, he was able to briefly meet with “Thomas Zane”, who warned him that he was succumbing to his madness and urged him to find a better point of contact. The insane Alan Wake soon began to create obstacles for his counterpart in an attempt to stop him from finding him. Inside a cabin, Wake found a page with words that he was able to turn into a cell-phone. He received a call from Zane and was instructed to follow a signal in his phone’s GPS system in order to reach him.

Insane Alan 2

The insane Alan Wake

As he navigated through the distorted version of Bright Falls, which was further and violently reshaped by his insane counterpart, Wake was repeatedly attacked by groups of Taken. He subsequently encountered an imaginary version of Barry Wheeler, who helped him traverse a series of bizarre landscapes to where the signal guided him: the Biltmore sawmill. Inside one of the sawmill buildings, he found a replica of his apartment and reunited with Zane. The diver tried to explain him the nature of his current predicament but was interrupted by the insane Wake, who then materialized in the form of an entity made of televisions. Once it was destroyed, the rational Wake was sent to the Cauldron Lake Lodge, where he encountered an imaginary version of Emil Hartman.[71]

Departure by Alan Wake

Wake begins writing "Return"

After fighting a horde of Taken, Wake reunited with Zane. The diver, now able to accompany him on his journey, explained that in order to regain control he had to find his counterpart at the Bird Leg Cabin. With the Lighthouse serving as his destination, the rational Wake, with the help of Zane, made his way through increasingly surreal settings, with the insane Wake sending more Taken after him, reshaping the landscape and creating delusions of Alice. Eventually, Zane became unable to continue, leaving Wake to reach the lighthouse on his own. After reaching the top of the building, he was transported to Diver’s Isle, where, he was forced to face the imaginary versions of Wheeler, Hartman and the Andersons Brothers. Once inside the cabin, Wake found his irrational counterpart and the two were made whole again. With his mind clear again, Wake began writing what would be the first of several attempts to escape the Dark Place, a manuscript titled "Return".[72]

Bright Falls[]

Quote1 Something happened in Bright Falls in the weeks before the Deerfest of last year. Just look at the Elderwood Visitor Center, the strange number of disappearances, the walking wounded who speak in repeating sentences and can no longer venture into the light, their photosensitivity so acute as to render a simple noontime stroll excruciating. Quote2
― Extract from The Alan Wake Files, by Clay Steward

Although the Dark Presence was apparently banished by Wake, disappearances did not cease, as it was the case with Ted Lane, who went missing during the Deerfest. Other notable missing residents included tackle shop owner Percy Wolfe and teacher Wendy Davis.[73] While at first some Taken, like Robert Nightingale,[69] still lurked in the area of Bright Falls, following the defeat of the Dark Presence, they were dragged back to the Dark Place.[74] After the conclusion of Deerfest, funerals were held, in absentia, for some of the victims of the AWE. The reconstruction of the town also began. Many of the locals refused to talk with outsiders about what occurred in the town during the previous weeks, with some attributing the destruction caused by the Dark Presence to bad weather and a series of accidents. In addition, other residents still showed symptoms of the Dark Presence’s touch, such as an acute photosensitivity and speaking in repeating sentences.[18]

FBC Investigation[]

On September 15, a Federal Bureau of Control field team arrived at Bright Falls, only to confirm that the Altered World Event was already over. During the investigation, interviews were conducted and the bureau concluded that Alan Wake was responsible for the AWE and cataloged him as a potential parautilitarian and candidate for their Prime Candidate Program.[14][75] Alice Wake was also interviewed and evaluated, with her showing signs of severe mental trauma in the form of memory loss, before being directed to treatment.[75] She was also provided with a phone number to contact the bureau in accordance with their civilian outreach protocols.[76] On September 20, agents found an Oh Deer Diner coffee thermos on the shores of Cauldron Lake and cataloged it as an object of power.[77] Due to the long history of AWEs in the area, a monitoring and a research station were established near the lake to alert the bureau of future activity and study the lake and the Dark Presence respectively.[75] In addition, the area around Cauldron Lake was cordoned off. The closure of the lake negatively impacted the town's tourism industry.[78]

Among those listed as missing by the FBC were Robert Nightingale and Emil Hartman.[75] The latter was eventually located and approached by the bureau under the pretense of wanting to collaborate with him. After reviewing his research and conducting an interrogatory, in which he admitted having used his patients for his experiments, the bureau confirmed that Hartman was guilty of violating many codes of their criminal offense system and detained him for an unspecified number of months.[79] After being released, his medical license was permanently revoked and all his property, including the Cauldron Lake Lodge, was confiscated.[80][79][81] The surviving patients, with the exception of the Anderson Brothers due to their senility, were put under a bi-annual surveillance.[81] With his life's work gone, Hartman saw no other way to continue with his investigation but to enter the lake, believing himself to be more prepared and qualified than both Alan Wake or Thomas Zane.[82] Nonetheless, Hartman was consumed by the Dark Presence and turned into a Taken.[83] The Taken Hartman was later captured by Agent Kiran Estevez and transported to the FBC headquarters in New York City.[84]

The Alan Wake Files[]
Quote1 My dreams have stopped and I considered my part in this matte complete. Before leaving Bright Falls, I threw my dream journal into the lake and hopefully returned my visions to the source. I want no part of that life any more. By perhaps all measures, my search must be considered a failure. I've done my job and I consider this book my torch. I pass it on to one of you loyal readers, to continue the investigation and take it where I could not. Quote2
― Excerpt from The Alan Wake Files, by Clay Steward

Researching lighthouses at his local university library, Clay Steward was finally able to find the one he had seen on his nightmares and discovered that it was located near Bright Falls. After confirming that that was indeed the same town from his visions, he bought a bus ticket and departed from Madison despite his wife’s pleads and threats. Steward arrived to Bright Falls two days later. By that time both the AWE and Deerfest were over. The somber demeanor of the residents and the bullet holes on the buildings led Steward to conclude that something other that simply bad weather had taken place at the town. Staying in room number two of the Majestic Motel, Steward found Robert Nightingale's stash of case files on the air vent. The dossier, which contained Nightingale's field notes, the recordings of interviews conducted on the locals, and some manuscript pages of "Departure", among other papers, would serve as the basis for his investigation.[85]

The Alan Wake Files

The Alan Wake Files

For the following weeks, Steward would continue to gather information about what had taken place at Bright Falls and how it was connected with Alan Wake. During his investigation, he interviewed some of the residents with varying degrees of results; some of them, such as Sheriff Sarah Breaker, were willing to provide him with some information, albeit scarce,[86] while others, such as those mentioned in the manuscript pages found by Nightingale, refused to comment.[87] Barry Wheeler in particular, after many attempts by Steward to be interview, threatened to take legal actions.[88] Steward also solicited through a Freedom of Information Act request Robert Nightingale's records, but, due to an ongoing FBI investigation, his request was denied. The response, however, did provide him some clarity regarding the former agent’s presence in the town.[89]

Steward also helped in the reconstruction efforts of the Elderwood National Park Visitor Center. During one night in particular, while he was walking back to the Majestic Motel on the Elderwood trail, Steward saw an individual resembling Alan Wake, who disappeared after he attempted to follow him. Steward’s investigation eventually reached a dead end and, seeing that his visions had stopped, he threw his dream journey into the lake and returned to Madison. After he reunited with his family, all the information Steward had gathered was compiled in a book titled “The Alan Wake Files”, which was published in 2011 by Roundabout Press.[90] Some time after the book's publication, Steward was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Control, which suspected that he possessed “minor parautilitarian sensitivity”, and was placed under indefinite surveillance.[75]

The Cult of the Tree[]
Quote1 Call the gang, Jakko. We're going hunting. Cult of the Tree. Keeping the town safe since 2013. Quote2
― Ilmo Koskela

Around 2012, after being attacked and killing the Taken Ted Lane on the forest of Watery, brothers Ilmo and Jaakko Koskela began suspecting that the FBC was aware of what was actually occurring in the area of Bright Falls and decided to investigate. The brothers managed to easily enter the Lake House and stole a stack of FBC files detailing, among other things, the Dark Presence, the Clicker, and Alan Wake.[91] After reading the files, Ilmo, believing that the FBC was not apt to protect the towns, decided to form, alongside his brother and many other residents, their own group to combat the Taken. This group, whose name and logo were inspired by a distorted FBC logo that Ilmo saw on the stolen files while drunk, would be known as the “Cult of the Tree”.[92]

The Cult of the Tree

A member of the Cult of the Tree

By 2013, the group was already active.[93] As part of their modus operandi, legends soon began to circulate about the cult that described them as a group of feral maniacs who performed blood sacrifices in the forest.[94] These tales would ensure that the residents would not venture into the woods, thus keeping them away from danger.[92] The cult also sabotaged the FBC’s monitoring station to instead alert them of any incoming Taken that emerged from the lake. Months later, after responding to one of these alerts, the cult found the Clicker washed up on the shores of Cauldron Lake. Having read about it on the stolen files, the cult began using the light switch as part of their "ritual" to kill Taken, which mirrored the way that Wake used it to kill Jagger.[95]

Wake's friends[]

Quote1 He had his problems, but... it's really frustrating for me, because people like to talk, they love to these crazy stories, and they never really knew him at all. Quote2
― Alice Wake to Eddie Rodman.

Some time after Wake's disappearance, both Alice Wake and Barry Wheeler eventually came to the assumption that he was gone for good. The two refused to divulge any information regarding what had happened to him.[96] They also maintained an "uneasy truce" regarding the Alex Casey books, with the former maintaining control of the intellectual property while the later took care of the business.[97] By 2012, Wheeler became the manager of Old Gods of Asgard, with the band going on a comeback tour.[96] However, due to the brother's advanced age and their health problems caused by their lifestyle, the tour was canceled.[98][99] Meanwhile, Alice continued with her career as a photographer, also venturing into filmmaking, with some of her works revolving around her apparently late husband. Unbeknownst to her, she was being targeted by Alan's doppelganger, Mr. Scratch.[96]

Public perception[]

Quote1 The forums all call the unfinished book "Departure" because Wake kept saying it would be a departure from his previous work. I found some pages that are supposedly the real deal on the internet. It's pretty dark stuff. Quote2
― Frederick Langston

Rumors and stories soon began to circulate about Wake. Some of these painted him as a serial killer who murdered his wife (despite the obvious fact that she is alive and has appeared in the media) and the other victims of the Bright Falls AWE. This, however, did not affect the popularity of the Alex Casey book series, which expanded into other mediums such as movies.[96] Internet forums also debated about the "Departure" manuscript, with some believing it to be cursed. Some of its pages could also be found on the internet, though its unknown if these were real or not.[100] Around 2013, in New York City, a group of individuals known as the "Cult of the Word'' began committing a series of ritualistic murders, which were recreations of deaths featured in Wake's books as part of a ritual to bring the writer back. The cult considered Wake to be a messianic figure and his novels sacred texts. FBI Agent Alex Casey, due to his similarities with the book's titular character, also began receiving letters with fragments from the book describing the murders. Following the cult's arrest later that year, Casey began to investigate Wake's disappearance.[101][102]

Known victims[]

  • Carl Stucky: Taken by the Dark Presence; later killed by Alan Wake.
  • Toby: killed by the Taken Carl Stucky.
  • An unnamed hunter: killed by the Taken Carl Stucky.
  • Various Biltmore Logging Camp workers: killed by the Taken Carl Stucky and subsequently Taken by the Dark Presence; killed by Alan Wake
  • Rusty Johnston: Taken by the Dark Presence; later killed by Alan Wake.
  • Max: killed by the Dark Presence.
  • Various other hunters: Taken by the Dark Presence
  • Andy: Taken by the Dark Presence.
  • Various other members of the Bright Falls Police Department: Turned into Taken by the Dark Presence; later killed by Alan Wake and Sheriff Sarah Breaker.
  • Ben Mott: Taken by the Dark Presence; later killed by Deputies Thornton and Mulligan.
  • Birch: Taken by the Dark Presence; later killed by Alan Wake.
  • Walter Snyder: Killed by the Taken Danny.
  • Danny: Taken by the Dark Presence; later killed by Alan Wake.
  • Robert Nightingale: Taken by the Dark Presence.
  • Rudolf Lane: Killed by the Taken Ben Mott.
  • Various other Bright Falls residents: Taken by the Dark Presence
  • Ted Lane: Taken by the Dark Presence.
  • Wendy Davis: Taken by the Dark Presence.
  • Percy Wolffe: Taken by the Dark Presence.
  • Donny Ray: killed by the Dark Presence.
  • An unnamed woman: killed by the Dark Presence.


  • A letter from the Dead Letters archive of the Federal Bureau of Control written by a man named Richard Bowker reveals that him, similarly to Clay Steward or Finn, also experienced nightmares and visions of the Bright Falls AWE.[103]
  • Following this Altered World Event, the frequency of such events identified by the FBC experienced a significant increase, thought it is unconfirmed if this is a result of this particular one.[104]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Alan Wake: Episode 3: Ransom
  2. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, page "Thomas Zane's Writing and Assistant"
  3. 3.0 3.1 This House of Dreams, entry "Diving Deeper"
  4. Alan Wake: Episode 6: Departure, page "Thomas Zane's Last Dive"
  5. Alan Wake: Episode 5: The Clicker, page "Zane's Shoebox"
  6. Alan Wake: Episode 5: The Clicker
  7. Alan Wake: Episode 5: The Clicker, page "Cynthia's Work"
  8. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, page "The Anderson Brothers in the 70s"
  9. 9.0 9.1 Alan Wake: Episode 3: Ransom, page "The Dark Presence Sleeps"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Control: AWE, Altered World Event case file "Bright Falls (1976) Supplement"
  11. 11.0 11.1 Control: AWE, Altered World Event case file "Bright Falls (1976) Summary"
  12. Alan Wake: Episode 1: Nightmare, page "The Dark Presence Wakes Up"
  13. The Alan Wake Files, page 110-111
  14. 14.0 14.1 Control, Altered World Event case file "Bright Falls Summary"
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 15.8 Night Springs
  16. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, collectible "Alice's Call for Help"
  17. The Alan Wake Files, page 16
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 The Alan Wake Files
  19. 19.0 19.1 Bright Falls: Episode 1: Oh Deer
  20. Bright Falls: Episode 2: Time Flies
  21. Bright Falls: Episode 3: Lights Out
  22. 22.0 22.1 Bright Falls: Episode 6: Clearcut
  23. 23.0 23.1 Bright Falls: Episode 4: Local Flavor
  24. Bright Falls: Episode 5: Off the Record
  25. Alan Wake: Episode 3: Ransom, page "Mott at Cauldron Lake"
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 Alan Wake: Episode 1: Nightmare
  27. Alan Wake: Episode 1: Nightmare, page "The Dark Presence Wakes Up"
  28. Alan Wake: Episode 1: Nightmare, page "Stucky Taken"
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth
  30. Alan Wake: Episode 3: Ransom, page "Mott at Cauldron Lake"
  31. Alan Wake: Episode 3: Ransom, TV show, "Writer in the Cabin 4"
  32. Alan Wake: Episode 3: Ransom, TV show, "Writer in the Cabin 5"
  33. Alan Wake: Episode 1: Nightmare, page "Stucky Taken"
  34. Alan Wake: Episode 1: Nightmare, page "Toby the Dog"
  35. Alan Wake: Episode 1: Ransom, page "Walter Fights Danny"
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 Alan Wake: Episode 2: Taken
  37. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, TV show, "Writer in the Cabin 6"
  38. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, TV show, "Writer in the Cabin 7"
  39. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, page "Hartman During the Missing Week"
  40. Alan Wake: Episode 2: Taken, page "Nightingale's Arrival"
  41. The Alan Wake Files, page 2-3
  42. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, page "Mott Fails Hartman"
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 Alan Wake (Novel)
  44. The Alan Wake Files, page 4
  45. The Alan Wake Files, page 22-23
  46. Alan Wake: Episode 3: Ransom, page "Randolph Calls the Police"
  47. Alan Wake: Episode 2: Taken, page "Nightingale Fires at Wake"
  48. Alan Wake: Episode 3: Ransom, page "Nightingale in the Radio Station"
  49. Alan Wake: Episode 3: Ransom, page "Sarah in the Radio Station"
  50. The Alan Wake Files, page 6
  51. The Alan Wake Files, page 24-27
  52. Alan Wake: Episode 3: Ransom, page "Doc Examines Barry and Rose"
  53. The Alan Wake Files, page 28-31
  54. The Alan Wake Files, page 32-35
  55. The Alan Wake Files, page 36-39
  56. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, page "Hartman Considers Mott and Wake"
  57. Alan Wake: Episode 3: Ransom, page "Hartman Watches Wake Fall"
  58. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, page "Barry in the lodge"
  59. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, recording "Agent Nightingale's Mighty Authority"
  60. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, page "Hartman and the Power Failure"
  61. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, page "The Patients Escape the Lodge"
  62. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, page "Walter at the Anderson Farm"
  63. The Alan Wake Files, page 19
  64. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, page "Nightingale Arrests Wake"
  65. Alan Wake: Episode 4: The Truth, page "Nightingale Finds the Manuscript"
  66. Alan Wake: Episode 5: The Clicker, page "Barry in the Sheriff's Station"
  67. 67.0 67.1 Psycho Thriller
  68. Alan Wake: Episode 5: The Clicker
  69. 69.0 69.1 69.2 69.3 Alan Wake: Episode 6: Departure
  70. Alan Wake: Episode 6: Departure, page "The Dark Presence Wants to Stop Wake"
  71. Alan Wake: Special 1: The Signal
  72. Alan Wake: Special 2: The Writer
  73. Alan Wake 2: Return 1: Invitation
  74. Alan Wake 2: Return 2: The Heart, page "Nightingale Enters The Lake"
  75. 75.0 75.1 75.2 75.3 75.4 Control, Altered World Event case file "Bright Falls Supplement"
  76. Control: AWE, report "Door Appearance"
  77. Control, altered item case file "Thermos Procedures"
  78. Alan Wake 2
  79. 79.0 79.1 Control: AWE, interview "Dr. Hartman Interrogation"
  80. Control: AWE, report "Hartman Background"
  81. 81.0 81.1 Control: AWE, report "Hartman Arrest"
  82. Control: AWE, FBC Recording "Dr. Hartman's Notes: Next Steps"
  83. Control: AWE, hotline "Hartman's Final Act"
  84. Control: AWE, report "Shaded Specimen Captured"
  85. The Alan Wake Files, pages xii-xiii
  86. The Alan Wake Files, page 5
  87. The Alan Wake Files, page 45
  88. The Alan Wake Files, page 32
  89. The Alan Wake Files, page 123
  90. The Alan Wake Files, pages 128-129
  91. Alan Wake 2: Return 5: Old Gods, page "Koskelas Break Into The FBC Lab"
  92. 92.0 92.1 Alan Wake 2: Return 5: Old Gods, page "The Cult Of The Tree Is Born"
  93. Alan Wake 2: Return 6: Scratch, profiling "Killing Taken"
  94. Alan Wake 2: Return 2: The Heart, page "The Cult Of The Tree"
  95. Alan Wake 2: Return 6: Scratch, page "The Cult Finds The Clicker"
  96. 96.0 96.1 96.2 96.3 Alan Wake's American Nightmare
  97. Alan Wake's American Nightmare: Act II, page "Wake's Friends"
  98. Control: AWE, hotline "Valhalla Nursing Home"
  99. Alan Wake 2: Return 5: Old Gods, page "The History of the Valhalla Nursing Home"
  100. Control: AWE
  101. Alan Wake 2: Return 2: The Heart
  102. Alan Wake 2: Return 6: Scratch
  103. Control, dead letter "Vivid Dreams"
  104. Control, report "AWE Rising Frequency"