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 Stephen King once wrote that nightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations. They’re antithetical to the poetry of fear. In a horror story, the victim keeps asking why, but there can be no explanation, and there shouldn't be one. The unanswered mystery is what stays with us the longest, and it’s what we’ll remember in the end. My name is Alan Wake. I’m a writer. Quote2
― Alan's opening monologue

Nightmare is the first episode of Alan Wake. This episode explores the events when Alan and his wife Alice Wake arrived in Bright Falls.


A Writer's Dream[]

Alan kills the hitchhiker

Alan realizes he has killed the Hitchhiker

In a nightmare he is having, writer Alan Wake finds himself driving towards a lighthouse in Rain Cove Point for reasons he cannot remember other than there being something important waiting for him there. On the way, he hits a hitchhiker that appears in the middle of the road with his car, killing him. After Alan exits to check the body, the headlights of the car go out and the hitchhiker's corpse disappears. With his car disabled, Alan continues his journey on foot. As the bridge on the highway is unavailable, he is forced to take a detour through the hiking trail. Suddenly, the hitchhiker, now covered in darkness and carrying an axe, appears on the same spot where he died before reappearing in front of Alan. He then begins to attack the writer and taunt him about his writing skills, with Alan realizing that the hitchhiker is a character from a story he had been working on.

The hitchhiker kills Steward

The Hitchhiker kills Steward.

After chasing Alan through the hiking trail, the hitchhiker transforms into a black tornado. Alan escapes from it towards a nearby cabin, where a man named Clay Steward, who claims to know him, is waiting for him outside and urges him to enter. Once Alan enters, the door closes behind him, locking Clay outside. The tornado re-forms into the hitchhiker and goes directly for Clay, who tries, in vain, to defend himself with his gun before being brutally killed. Trapped inside the cabin, Alan hears the hitchhiker’s voice taunting him from a set of televisions before the cabin begins to shudder as if slammed by an earthquake. Then, one of the cabin walls is disintegrated by a mysterious light, which then tells an injured Alan to follow it.

The light guides Alan to a ‘safe haven’ which, despite looking like nothing more than a simple light pole casting a circle of light, manages to heal the writer. The light then says it has something important for Alan:

For he did not know

That beyond the lake he called home

Lies a deeper, darker ocean green

Where waves are both wilder and more serene

To its ports I've been

To its ports I've been

Guiding the writer to a nearby clearing, the light explains to Alan that it has entered his dream to teach him about the Dark Presence and how to combat those under its influence, the Taken. After the hitchhiker reapers, the light gives Alan a flashlight to burn away the protective darkness of the Taken and a pistol to kill him. After this, the light tells Alan it is returning control of his dream to him before departing. Alan then resumes his journey to the lighthouse, which, in the nightmare, it was the last safe place on Earth.

Alan's nightmare

Alan screams in terror as an unknown entity approaches him.

After facing several copies of the Hitchhiker on the hiking path, Alan reaches the road leading to the lighthouse, when suddenly the dark tornado appears behind him and chases him, while tossing heavy objects into his path to try to kill him. Once inside the building, after the commotion caused by the tornado ceases, Alan enters a room with a staircase leading to the lantern room on the top of the tower, but suddenly the light goes out and an unseen entity comes from above towards the writer. A woman’s voice then whispers, “He’s here.”

Welcome to Bright Falls[]

Alan and Alice

Alan wakes up next to his wife.

Alan is startled awake from the nightmare by his wife, Alice, who calms him and informs him that they have reached their vacation destination, Bright Falls. After the two exit their car, which is being transported in a ferry, Alice asks her husband to stand next to the old man leaning on the railing so she can take a picture of him with the town in the background. The old man, Pat Maine, the night host of the local radio station, greets Alan and informs him of the upcoming Deerfest. Knowing well who he is, Maine asks the writer if he would be interested in doing an interview for his radio show, but Alan declines, asking Maine to keep his presence in the town a secret. As the ferry approaches the dock, Alan receives a call from his friend and literary agent, Barry Wheeler, who inquires if the new setting has begun to help him with his writer’s block.

Alan in Oh Deer Diner

Alan at the Oh Deer Diner

After the ferry reaches the dock, the couple drives to the Oh Deer Diner to meet with Carl Stucky who has the key to their cabin. Alice sends her husband to retrieve the key while she goes to fill up the car. Alan enters the diner and is greeted by the waitress, Rose Marigold, who immediately tells him that she is his biggest fan, much to writer’s annoyance. Alan asks her where he can find Stucky, to which she explains he is probably in the restroom. The writer also meets Rusty, a local park ranger, brothers Odin and Tor Anderson, two seemingly senile old men who used to have a rock band and that routinely escape from the Cauldron Lake Lodge clinic, and an old woman named Cynthia Weaver, who warns Alan to be careful of the darkness as he heads into the black hallway leading to the restrooms.

Jagger note

Jagger giving the key to Alan

Once there, Alan calls out for Stucky with no answer. An old woman dressed in black, with a veil covering her face, appears next to him and explains that Stucky has taken ill and that she will give him the key instead alongside directions to the cabin. She then tells him that once he has settled in, she plans to visit him to meet his wife. Although suspicious, Alan takes the old woman’s key and the directions and proceeds to leave the diner, with his wife waiting for him outside. As the couple drives away, Carl Stucky exits the diner and attempts to tell them that they have forgotten their key.

The couple arrives at Cauldron Lake and discovers that their cabin is actually situated on a small island called Diver's Isle. While his wife waits outside the cabin due to her fear of darkness, Alan inspect area in search of a way to turn the power on. In a shed outside the cabin he finds an old generator which he actives, restoring the power. With lights on, Alice enters the cabin, while Alan decides to look around the island a bit more.

Alan sees Alice drowning

Alan sees Alice drowning.

As the sun sets, Alice calls Alan back to the cabin and tells him she has a surprise for him in his study. There, he finds a typewriter on the desk. Alice explains that she hoped he could see Doctor Emil Hartman, a local psychiatrist who might be able to help him with his writer's block, but her husband furiously accuses her of trying to have him committed. The lights briefly go out and a dark figure briefly appears next to them. Alan storms out of the house to try and gather his thoughts. As he crosses the bridge, the lights in the cabin go out and Alice begins screaming in terror. Alan rushes back to the cabin and is attacked by a flock of crows that seem to dissolve in the beam of his flashlight. Once inside, Alice screams stop and a splash sound is heard. Alan runs to the porch and, peering into the dark water below, glimpses Alice sinking into its depths. Without thinking, he dives in after her.

Waking up to a Nightmare[]

Alan finds a manuscript page

Alan finds a manuscript page.

When Alan regains consciousness, he is seated at the wheel of his wrecked car, which is perched on the edge of a cliff, and has no memory of how he got there. He does know, however, that something terrible has happened to Alice. With his cell phone dead, he has no choice but to look for help on foot. He notices a gas station in the distance, across the cliff, and decides to head there with the hope of finding someone that could help him. As he makes his way through the forest, he sees a blinding light up ahead, and a pair of paper sheets appears before him. Picking one of them, he discovers that the pages are from a manuscript titled Departure, which he recognizes as the name of novel he was planning to write, and that they were apparently written by him. The scene on one of the pages describes the hero being attacked by an axe murderer in the woods at night.

Alan dodges an axe

Alan is attack by the Taken Carl Stucky.

Alan eventually arrives at a logging camp, noticing a light coming from one its offices, and enters, hoping to find help. However, to his horror, he sees a man being murder by an individual covered in shadows, which, he realizes, is Carl Stucky. Alan makes his way through the lumber yard to the floodlit office, with Stucky chasing him with an axe, and manages to get in just in time. Searching the office, Alan finds a gun and flashlight. He also finds a phone and uses it to call the sheriff station, but before he has time to inform them of his situation, Stucky cuts the phone lines outside. A bulldozer in the yard comes to life and sweeps the office down the mountainside, with Alan barely escaping in time.

Shortly after this, Alan is attacked by a group of taken lumberjacks, whom he manages to dispatch with his gun and flashlight. After cutting the power of an electrified fence, Alan, with no other way to reach the gas station, ventures into the dark forest. He briefly experiences a vision of the old woman he met on the Oh Deer Diner and Alice drowning. As he continues to make his way forward through the forest and the second logging camp, Alan is repeatedly attacked by the Taken, discovers secret stashes marked with light-sensitive painting, and finds more manuscript pages. The possessed Cark Stucky continues to stalk the writer before finally confronting him at the third logging camp. After Alan manages to kill Stucky, his body disappears without a trace.

When he finally reaches the gas station, Alan discovers that he has lost a week since he and Alice first arrived in Bright Falls. Upon entering through the open garage door, he finds that the place has been left in complete disarray, with signs of a scuffle. Suddenly a television in the garage turns on by itself and shows footage of Alan in his study, rambling that he must finish writing a story in order to save Alice. Confused by what he just saw, Alan proceeds to gas station’s store and calls the sheriff’s station.

No island in Cauldron Lake

There is no island in Cauldron Lake.

Soon afterwards, Sheriff Sarah Breaker arrives at the scene. Alan begins recounting the events he has been through, including that his wife was taken from their cabin on Diver’s Isle, but the Sheriff tells him that the island and the cabin atop it sank into the lake during a violent volcanic eruption in the 1970s. She then asks him if he has seen Carl Stucky, who has apparently gone missing, with Alan opting not to tell her about the encounter with the Taken as she would believe him to be insane. The Sheriff takes Alan to Cauldron Lake, but, to his surprise, there is no island or cabin to be found.



Main Article: Episode 1: Nightmare/Walkthrough


  • The sign on the broken bridge during the Nightmare sequence reads "Welcome to Night Springs"
  • On the signpost where you first encounter the hitchhiker and on a small building near the lighthouse, there is a poster advertising one of Alan Wake's Alex Casey novels.
  • Throughout the dream sequence, there are numerous "Missing" posters of Alan Wake.
  • Thomas Zane makes a few appearances as well. A few posters show his signature diving suit; one bearing the title "Tom the Poet".
  • After Alan first open the front door of the cabin on Diver's Isle, footsteps can hear, followed by the writer asking if there is anyone inside.
  • By entering the cabin office before restoring the power, Alan will remember the events from his nightmare and see flashes of Barbara Jagger. An old photograph of Thomas Zane in his diving suit can also be found in the room.

Behind Scenes[]

  • A nightmare manuscript page from episode 6 recalls the events from the nightmare sequence and describes Zane's light as a 'UFO'. This might be a call back to an early mission where Alan encounters a UFO and follows its beam of light in the dark. The developers noted that the early mission helped them in figuring out how to guide the player in dark areas, potentially inspiring Zane's way of guiding the player in the episode.