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
Initiation cover

The cover of Initiation as seen on the talk show In Between with Mr. Door

Initiation is a manuscript written by novelist Alan Wake while he was trapped in the Dark Place. It plays a major role in the storyline of Alan Wake 2.


Upon Alan waking up in a television studio for a talk show named In Between With Mr. Door, Mr. Door talks to Alan about writing Initiation, though Alan claims to have never written it. Mr. Door clues Alan in that what he has written is part of the Hero's Journey, with there being a Departure, Initiation and finally a Return. Hearing this, Alan realizes that he has to write Initiation before he can attempt to write Return as a means of escape. Alan then begins writing drafts of the book.

The overall setup of Initiation, hinted at by Mr. Door, is autofictional; it depicts Alan Wake trapped in his Writer's Room, using his writing to "project" himself into a dark, nightmarish version of New York City in search of a missing manuscript he'd written, using visions of his fictional detective Alex Casey to guide him, as if Alan is taking the role of detective in an Alex Casey novel. Alan's goal was to find a way to travel deeper into the Dark Place so as to reach a point deep enough for him to successfully write his way home. Knowing the Dark Place would only preserve the "darkest" elements of fiction, Alan opts to write Initiation as an Alex Casey detective novel, depicting Casey in New York City investigating murders committed by the Cult of the Word.

As Alan gets closer to home, he realizes he has somehow reached Parliament Tower, where he used to live with Alice. He comes to believe that Alice is in danger from his doppelganger Scratch. Alan ends up writing multiple drafts of Initiation, each of which serves as a different "ritual" for him to try to reach Parliament Tower and contact Alice. Each draft of Initiation we see is split into parts, with each part corresponding to a chapter of Initiation which is played in-game. While we only see three drafts, it is likely that Alan had written many other failed ones based on his memory loss as shown through the Writer's Journey videos, as well as Alice's numerous photos of "Scratch" from before the in-game events.

Draft 1[]

Part One: Late Night[]

Waking up to a nightmare Looking for a way out The Angel Lamp The Dark Place New York
At the talk show I had thought I was home in New York. But none of it had felt right. I was trapped in the Dark Place. A nightmare beyond our world. The Dark Presence was out there, hunting me. When it caught me, it killed me. I’d wake up here. I refused to give up. I’d start again. The janitor seemed to know me. But he got the name wrong. Had I written him into existence? He said I had left something in the basement. A tool to get out. The Dark Place has taken the shape of New York City. I was from New York. I wrote crime books set there for years. I was affecting my surroundings.
The Writer’s Room was my safe haven. My writing affected what was outside. I was trying to write a story to escape this place. The story was called “Initiation”. The talk show felt real and not real. Alex Casey was my creation, but now it seemed he had a life of his own. He mentioned a lamp shaped like an angel. I found the lamp in a showbox in the basement. A tool to push the darkness away. In the light, a new reality emerged, carved out from the dark. A mysterious caller on the payphone. I knew him from somewhere. Couldn’t remember from where. He told me I should go to Caldera Street Station.
With the story I wrote, I projected myself out to look for a way to escape. I had tried many times. Failed. This place made me forget This time, I was determined to get out of the talk show building alive. To escape. To find a way back home to my wife. Alice. On the security screens I saw myself in the Writer’s Room, writing. Mad. But it was not what I was writing now. A vision from the past I had forgotten?
Everything Door had said had felt true. Was that part of my writing, or coming from somewhere else?
The Dark Place! Trapped You must write to escape! Alice Dark Presence The Lamp in the Shoebox Opens up the way Writer's Journey He will call again Subway Station I have a ticket

Part Two: Casey[]

Navigating New York The Dark Caldera Casey’s Case
I had to find my way to the subway station. The lamp would make it emerge. Some of the places felt significant here. Had I written them into being? I’d use them as scenes in my story. The station platform was a threshold to be crossed. The narrative I wrote to find my way: Casey looking for a missing FBI Agent. The agent on the trail of a murder cult: The Cult of the Word.
I met Casey. He was in this story. This was his city. He talked about a manuscript. It had to be my writing. I saw a vision. An echo of a forgotten idea about a Casey story. A glimpse into another reality. A plot element for this story, to travel deeper. A place of power revered by the Torchbearers, a group of mystic outsiders in the tunnels. The cultists killed them to invade their holy place.
Casey was killed by the Dark Presence. I had assumed his role. Every writer is a detective, finding the story. The Dark Place responded to the darkest story threads. All else faded away. A cruel murder site in the depths. Reaching it, I'd be able to travel further. The cult caught the FBI Agent. Sacrificed him in a murder ritual in the place of power to summon the Dark Presence.
I found the murder site. I was close to home. Reaching out from the Dark Place. A vision of Saga Anderson, another FBI Agent. She knows I’m trapped here.
Manuscript? Find a light for the Lamp A Liminal Place Inspiration for the Story Murder site a way deeper Find the right Story Shape the Dark Place

Part Three: Haunting[]

The Art of Alice Wake
Parliament Tower had manifested itself here. My home in New York. Full of trepidation, I went there.
I was close to home but in the Dark Place still. Reaching, not quite touching. The apartment a perfect echo of the real thing. I could sense Alice there
She was working on an exhibition titled “The Dark Place”. The name was not a coincidence. She was in trouble. Mired in darkness.
There were photos of Scratch. Haunting her. Trying to get to her. He was ahead of me. I had to find a way to get home before he got to Alice.
Home not Home Alice in danger! Beware Scratch!

Draft 2[]

Part One: We sing[]

The slaughter The lay of the Dark Land Alan Wake, the musical
The last draft of “Initiation” had brought me to my Writer’s Room, but not the one where I was writing now. A different reality? A different time? I would write a new draft of “Initiation”. I knew more now. I would use what I remembered. I had to find my way back to Parliament Tower. I had fooled myself into thinking I could control the story. I had not planned this to be a part of “Initiation”. Who did? Door? Old Gods of Asgard?
I had died in the end. Again. The Dark Presence had killed me. But something had changed now. My memories of what had happened were not eaten away. I had to find another murder site. A place so dark it remained fixed in this shifting darkness. I would find inspiration and I would write myself there. Was someone trying to confuse me? Or help me? Remind me of who I was and where I came from? Because I kept forgetting?
There’d been another manuscript there. The title page read “Return”. Had I written it? But then forgotten about it? It felt important. It was important. I had to find a way to get ahead of the Dark Presence. Get ahead of Scratch. I knew how this worked now. I was in control now. My life's story as a song. As a child, I saw nightmares of dark shadows. Was that because I was trapped in the Dark Place now? Dreams as visions through time.
I remember! Return! A loop? 2nd Draft Fix the Story Find another Murder Site Not in Control Nightmares as a kid They leaked from here?

Part Two: Room 665[]

Room with an oceanview Play of shadows
The mystery caller was back. He knew things. Wanted to meet me. The Oceanview Hotel. I would find a way there. Zane said there was another murder site hidden in the hotel. I would write my way there. A new Casey story. A sequel to the previous one. The return of the murder cult.
Thomas Zane. Not a poet or a diver. Or so he claimed now. A film maker. He said we’d been trying to escape together. My manuscript “Return” was the key. I had to keep it interesting. Find a twist. A meta layer. A theater play about the cult. A play with a supernatural reputation. The play infiltrated by the real cult.
If Scratch got his hands on “Return”, he’d be the one to get out. The devil was summoned. The murderer. Scratch lurking behind the cult. An echo of what I was going through. To make my narrative ring true.
The murder site in the hotel. I felt closer to home. Saga Anderson had helped me. From the other side. She needed the Clicker. She wanted me to write more.
Can I trust Zane? Get Return before Scratch Return is the key Hotel Murder Site Saga Anderson helps

Part Three: Return[]

Things were getting worse at home. Alice’s art project had consumed the apartment. She was obsessed with darkness, with finding the truth.
All she would find was Scratch. I had to get to the Writer’s Room behind my study door. I needed the truth too. I needed “Return”.
Closer and closer Scratch is also closer!

Herald of Darkness[]

This can be found on a writer's board in a replica version of the Writer's Room at the end of Initiation 4: We Sing.

The Song[]

Childhood Rise to fame Bright Falls Light vs. Darkness
I was trapped in an Old Gods of Asgard musical, reliving the trauma of my nightmare-filled childhood. I was trapped in the musical, forced to face my issues and failings, unable to cope with my seemingly perfect success story. Trapped in the musical, I returned to the events that had led me here, facing the Dark Presence in Bright Falls in 2010 with Alice. I struggled to find a way out of the musical, to continue my journey through the Dark Place.

Draft 3[]

Part One: Masks[]

Running out of time Through the door
Scratch wrote “Return”. He stopped me before I could reach the end with my edits. He had it now. The horror story would still come true. I did not know who or what Door was. Not a talk show host. But I did not create him. An entity affecting the story from outside. Affecting me. Not the only one.
I had to stop Scratch before he escaped. One last chance. One last draft of “Initiation” to get me there. My stories had not created anyone. The power of the Dark Place changed lives, messed up lives. Real lives. But I could not stop now. Or else darkness would win.
I found Alice’s photos in the basement. A caustic effect on a hand, a spark of light shaped like a bullet. And the Clicker. The pictures had power, like words had power.
Scratch wrote Return!!! He has It!!! Stop Him Door to where?

Part Two: Zane’s film[]

Labyrinth of me Nightless night
Zane had lied to me. Scratch wrote “Return”. Zane was a liar. He had secrets. He knew where the murder sites were. I’d make him tell the truth. Casey would lead me to the murder site. I found more visions of inspiration to write a new Casey story. It needed to be darker to get me there.
Zane had worked with Scratch. But Scratch had left him behind. The cult, Zane’s film, Zane himself, Scratch, and Casey were all connected. Pulled by dark gravity. All this madness. Part of the same horror story.
There is a murder site at the cinema. Where Zane’s film was playing. “Nightless Night”, the companion piece to “Return”. Saga Anderson was helping me. I still had a chance to catch Scratch. I had to.
Zane lied! Murder Site at the Cinema Dark Film Can it change Reality? Affect Return?

Part Three: Gone[]

Outside of time
My statue in the plaza had changed to Alice’s. Parliament Tower was condemned.
The apartment was empty. No one lived there anymore. Was I too late?
I could hear someone inside my study. The sound of typing. Scratch was there, undoing my edits to “Return”. I would stop him. Even if it was the last thing I’d do.
Too late?



  • One definition of the word "initiation" is "the action of admitting someone into a secret or obscure society or group, typically with a ritual". The presence of the Cult of the Tree and Cult of the Word, cults that play a major role in the storyline of Alan Wake 2, may play on this definition.
  • The title "Initiation" fits in between Alan Wake's other manuscripts "Departure" and "Return". Joseph Campbell laid out the structure of the archetypal hero's journey consisting of a departure, initiation and return in his 1948 Book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces".