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...

This article is about cultural references in Alan Wake 2. For the references in previous Alan Wake titles, see Cultural References in Alan Wake and Cultural References in Alan Wake's American Nightmare.

There are many cultural references of other media in Alan Wake 2. Beneath are all known references sorted by subject.



  • Saga Anderson's profession as an FBI profiler and her abilities to inhabit people's minds and motivations is similar to William Graham.
  • Similar to the game, Hannibal heavily features deer imagery.


  • The final room Alan Wake has to enter in the Oceanview Hotel is Room 108, a number which is the sum of the numbers often mentioned in the show. This is also the numbered room Saga can enter in the Elderwood Palace Lodge after finding all the deer heads, in which she spots a deer walking into it.
  • The Man in Black's human form is similar to Scratch, and his Smoke Monster form resembles the violent black cloud of the Dark Presence.

Stranger Things[]

  • The Anderson Brothers of Old Gods of Asgard playing "Dark Ocean Summoning" atop a bus while helping the protagonists fight the Taken is similar to Eddie Munson playing Metallica's "Master of Puppets" atop his mobile home in order to distract the monsters of the Upside Down from the main characters.
  • The show shares a similar setting in which the government monitors the extra-dimensional occurrences and supernatural power-wielding individuals in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana.
  • The Dark Place is an alternate, nightmarish mirror world of reality connected by a portal in various locations of Bright Falls. This is similar to the dark, mirror dimension of the "Upside Down" in Stranger Things. Alan also describes the Dark Place as "upside down".

True Detective[]

  • Saga has a case board in her Mind Place reminiscent to that found in the show's first season.
  • The first and fourth season frequently displays the symbol of a crooked spiral as that both represents the secret pedophile ring antagonist group and the themes of time as a "flat circle". In the game, the spiral featured numerous times is a symbol of the Dark Place's time-loop nature.

The Twilight Zone[]

  • The in-game television show, Night Springs, is in the same style as The Twilight Zone, such as the narration, title card, and bizarre events that take place within the show.
  • Like the 2019 revival, Night Springs was rebooted for modern audiences.

Twin Peaks[]

  • Much like the previous game, Alan Wake 2 is heavily inspired by the overall aesthetics and story elements of the show. However, the game is primarily inspired from the third season revival, Twin Peaks: The Return, which involves protagonist Dale Cooper trying to escape the Black Lodge and return to reality in order to stop his evil doppelgänger who took his place twenty-five years prior.
  • The setting of Twin Peaks is extremely similar to Bright Falls as a fictional, seemingly small and harmless logging town in Washington. In both towns, strange events occur involving the supernatural and parallel dimensions.
  • The Oh Deer Diner is a reference to the Double R Diner in Twin Peaks. The layout is identical to Twede's Diner in North Bend, WA; where Twin Peaks was filmed.
  • The appearance of Rose Marigold is almost identical to waitress Shelly Johnson.
  • Like the game, the show features a substantial time-jump between installments (thirteen years in the game, twenty-five years in the show) in which the original characters have aged considerably.
  • Scratch's appearance, especially after he kills Jaakko Koskela, is similar to Dale Cooper's evil doppelgänger with his leather jacket and slicked back, long hair.
  • On the Sheriff Station's computer, a character named Lucy is one of the staff that has been replying to e-mails, a potential reference to Lucy Moran, who also works at the Police Station. Another character replying to e-mails there is a police officer named Cooper, as a reference to Dale Cooper.
  • Sam Lake portrays Alex Casey (and himself) in a similar manner to Twin Peaks creator and writer David Lynch, who portrays Gordon Cole. Furthermore, both characters happen to work at the FBI.
  • When driving to Bright Falls or Watery, Saga's car will drive pass a welcoming sign in a very similar manner to Twin Peaks.


The Blair Witch Project[]

  • The various triangle symbols in the forest belonging to the Cult of the Tree are similar to the Twanas - hanging stick men that act as both a symbol and presence of the Blair Witch.

Blue Velvet[]

  • Thomas Zane using a lamp as a microphone during his meeting with Alan in the Oceanview Hotel is similar to Dean Stockwell's character using a lamp as a microphone while he lip-syncs to Roy Orbison's "In Dreams".

Dark City[]

  • The movie takes place in an anachronistic city engulfed in darkness, seemingly stuck in an ethereal nighttime. Later the city turns out to be artificial, made by otherworldly forces.
  • The protagonist, John Murdoch, wakes up with amnesia and tries to piece together what happened while trying to get out of the city. He also receives a phone call from a "familiar person" that he himself cannot remember.
  • Murdoch has a power that lets him bend reality around him, and gradually learns to influence and shift the city at will.
  • Spirals are also a significant reaccuring symbol in the movie, particularly to Murdoch's condition.

Doctor Sleep[]

  • Psychics Danny Torrance, Abra Stone, and Rose the Hat create individual realms within their own minds shaped by their personal experiences. Danny's mind realm is the Overlook Hotel's hedge maze, Abra's is her bedroom, and Rose's is a cathedral. This is similar to Saga's Mind Place and Alan's Writer's Room.
  • Danny's attic room apartment, which contains a chalkboard wall, is similar in appearance to Alan's Writer's Room in the attic of the Valhalla Nursing Home.
  • Abra Stone, like Saga Anderson, uses her clairvoyant powers to solve the murder of a boy by the True Knot, who is responsible for the murders of other children.
  • The ritualistic murders by the Cult of the Tree, which involves strapping their victims down in the woods, at night, and stabbing them to death; is similar to the True Knot's ritualistic murders of psychic children.

The Exorcist[]

  • The sporadic flashes of Scratch and other various Taken is similar to the flashes of the demon Pazuzu throughout The Exorcist.
  • Alan expelling Scratch from Alex Casey and allowing the Dark Presence to possess himself for Saga to kill them both is similar to how Father Damien Karras saved Regan MacNeil by allowing Pazazu to possess him and then jump to his death in order to take the demon with him.


  • The film was cited as a reference for the Northwestern sections of the game.

Fight Club[]

  • Alan's battle with his alter ego and having to shoot himself in order to kill Scratch is similar to The Narrator having to shoot himself to kill his alter ego, Tyler Durden.

Harry Potter[]

It Chapter Two[]

  • Cynthia Weaver being initially pleasant and then transforming into a monstrous Taken that charges Saga is similar to the elderly woman form of Mrs. Kersh that IT uses to attack Beverly Marsh in the film. The boss fight in the bunker's cistern also resembles when Mrs. Kersh reappears in the sewers and drags Beverly underwater.

The Matrix[]

  • The film is mentioned by Warlin Door in In Between With Mr. Door during the interview of Alan Wake and is similar in theme with Alan projecting his consciousness from the Writer's Room and into a dream-like world.

John Wick[]


  • The talk show segments of In Between with Mr. Door are similar to Live! With Murray Franklin.
  • The overall aesthetic of New York City in the Dark Place is similar to how Gotham is portrayed in the film.


  • The protagonist, Leonard, suffers from anterograde amnesia and uses notes, Polaroid photos, and tattoos to keep track of the information he discovers. This is similar to Alan's memory loss after each loop in the Dark Place and keeping notes on the board in the Writer's Room.
    • Furthermore, the movie was mentioned by Sam Lake as an inspiration to Alan's sections.


  • Aspects of the Cult of the Tree, specifically its neo-Paganism rituals, were inspired by the cult in the film.


  • Rose Marigold closely resembles the character Annie Wilkes in the film. Like Rose, Annie is a caregiver with an exuberant, child-like personality who is obsessed with her favorite author, proclaiming to be his "Number One Fan".


  • The overall aesthetic of New York City is similar to the unnamed city featured in the movie. They both feature endless rain in a seedy metropolis.

The Shining[]

  • Within the Oceanview Hotel, Alan comes across rooms that have a bathtub lit up green. Inside one of the tubs is the decrepit body of Cynthia Weaver, similar to the decaying old woman in the tub that seduces Jack Torrance.

The Silence of the Lambs[]

  • Saga's character and story is similar to the film's protagonist, Clarice Starling. Clarice is an FBI trainee facing adversity as a woman in law enforcement while also trying to catch a serial killer that forces her to confront her past.
  • The scene where Saga notices an item in Robert Nightingale's chest and pulls out a manuscript page is similar to Clarice noticing and pulling out a moth cocoon from the throat of a victim killed by Buffalo Bill.

Taxi Driver[]

  • The film's setting of New York City serves as inspiration for the Dark Place.


  • The movie features spirals prominently.
  • The main character Scotty falls in love with Madeleine, but the woman he interacted with turned out to be a doppelgänger, which is slightly similar to Scratch's role in Saga's sections.

The Village[]

  • The Cult of the Tree and their motives of spreading fear in order to keep the people of Bright Falls out of the woods is similar to the village elders in the film who wear costumes of monsters to keep the other villagers from straying beyond the borders of the town.

Video Games[]


Deadly Premonition[]

  • The Deadly Premonition games are also greatly inspired by Twin Peaks, which led to them sharing many similarities with the Alan Wake games.
  • Deadly Premonition was revived a decade later like Twin Peaks and Alan Wake. Similarly, there were also special rerelease of the both games featuring new teasers for a sequel (Deadly Premonition Director's Cut and Alan Wake Remastered)
  • The sequel itself, Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise, has similarities to Alan Wake 2 as a sequel. It took place more than a decade after the events of the first game, with the main character being an FBI agent who came with a partner to the same town as the previous game to investigate a murder mystery which connected to the events from the first game.

Death Rally[]

Max Payne[]

  • The fictional protagonist of Alan Wake's Alex Casey books, the eponymous Alex Casey, is a reference to the character Max Payne, the protagonist of Remedy's previous franchise Max Payne.
  • Room 665 is a reference from Max Payne 2 where Max needed a code for a room and the code is 665.
  • In Coffee World, there are cardboard cutouts of pink flamingos, which resemble the pink flamingo from "Address Unknown" - a fictional TV show in the Max Payne games.
  • The extras in the ballroom scene in the film Nightless Night are played by various people who provided the likeness for characters in the first Max Payne, and was described behind the scenes as a "Max Payne reunion" by Sam Lake.

Quantum Break[]

  • Quantum Break is a separate IP made by Remedy under Microsoft, and therefore is not a part of the Remedy Connected Universe. There are several references to the game.
  • Shawn Ashmore plays Tim Breaker, who previously portrayed the protagonist Jack Joyce. Tim mentions that he has a dream that he's someone else in another universe, likely hinting about this character.
  • The name "Tim Breaker" is a play on words of "Time breaker", in which Jack Joyce partakes in a time-machine experiment that fractures time and grants him abilities to manipulate time.
  • Tim mentions numerous times that he sees people that he has seen in different forms in different worlds. This is likely a reference to Jesse Faden and Warlin Door of the Remedy Connected Universe resembling Beth Wilder and Martin Hatch of Quantum Break.
  • Tim specifically mentions seeing a familiar red-headed woman. Jesse Faden and Beth Wilder, both red-headed women, are played by Courtney Hope.
  • During Initiation 4: We Sing the words "Shifter" can be found on the floor, who prominently featured within the game.


  • The game was mentioned by as inspiration, and influenced the Mind Place portion of Return 9: Come Home

Board Games[]

Dungeons & Dragons[]

  • Tim Breaker stated he played D&D when he was younger.


  • David Woods, when talking to Saga about her investigations, joking tells her "Colonel Mustard did it", which is one of the playable characters from the board game.

Literary Works[]

Various Authors[]

  • Rose makes a reference to William Shakespeare.
  • As Nightingale is being sacrificed, he utters the name "Hemingway", referring to Ernest Hemingway, which was one of the author names he would call Alan Wake in the first game. He uses the same name over a radio in Initiation 2: Casey.
  • Lost at Sea has the line "Lynch catching fish is a recurring theme", which is a reference to David Lynch's Catching the Big Fish.
  • In the Yötön Yö short film, Ahti remarks, "Maa on syklinen laulu" ("Earth is a cyclical song"), which is a reference to either Maa on syntinen laulu (The Earth is a Sinful Song), a 1964 book by Finnish author Timo K. Mukka, or its 1973 movie adaptation by the same name.
  • When Alan first meets Ahti in the Dark Place, one of the things Ahti says is, "Water is the memory of the world." This is a reference to a poem, as well as a book by the same name, by Finnish poet Mirkka Rekola.



  • During an echo on a billboard in the Dark Place, Casey mentions a "Mr. Jack Daniels", referring to the whiskey brand.