- Try the coffee. Just don't blame me when you fall in love, 'cause it'll break your heart when you have to leave.
- ― Rusty
Rusty usually spent his time renting out cabins, taking care of wildlife, and helping tourists. Rusty also spends a lot of time at the Oh Deer Diner drinking coffee.
Rusty used to be married, but it ended shortly for unknown reasons. He now has a love for Rose Marigold, who is a waitress at the Oh Deer Diner, even though she is a bit under his age. Rose knows this, and likes him a lot, but knows that he isn't quite what she's looking for. At one point, Rusty taught Rose how to dance.
Events of Alan Wake
Rusty is first seen in Episode 1 by Alan Wake in the Oh Deer Diner. He is sitting at the counter with a newspaper, drinking coffee and keeping an eye on the Anderson Brothers, who have wandered off from the Cauldron Lake Lodge and are having an outing at the diner. Rusty says hi to Wake and tells him about the Anderson Brothers. He also tells Alan how good the coffee is but jokingly advises him not to fall in love with it, as it would break his heart.
Rusty lets Alan rent a cabin after Alice Wake goes missing. At some point, Rusty finds a manuscript page and keeps it to himself. That night though, tragedy strikes: Rusty is working late at the Elderwood Visitor Center when the Dark Presence attacks the center. The first time the ranger noticed what was wrong was when his car started up with no one in it. The Dark Presence then smashed directly into the front of the center, hurling Rusty into a back wall and severely injuring him. Already incapacitated by a broken rib and a twisted leg, Rusty was only further wounded when he was confronted by a Taken logger with an axe. Although Rusty, in spite of his injuries, managed to fire off his pistol (It is noted in the novel that this is the first time he used his gun in the line of duty), the Taken brought the axe down into his midsection. Shortly after the attack, Alan Wake comes into the center and finds a bleeding Rusty, who informs Wake that he has to turn on the lights. By the time Alan gets to the circuit breaker though, somebody has put an axe through the breaker, destroying it. The Dark Presence reasserts itself and numerous Taken flood the Visitors Center and possess Rusty, turning him into a Tele-flanker wielding an axe.
After fighting off a few Taken hunters, Wake is attacked by a fully possessed Rusty who screams out insane banter at Alan about park regulations. The two battle, and Wake eventually guns down Rusty with a revolver.
After the fight, Wake may find a manuscript page that talks about Rusty and his last thoughts. The park ranger's last thoughts were about Rose Marigold and his previous disastrous marriage, and how now, Rusty would never get a second chance at love.
Despite being dead, Rusty appears again in The Signal special, when Alan finds himself trapped in the Dark Place and re-experiences a distorted version of the events when he first arrived at the Oh Deer Diner.
After Wake was forced to kill the Taken Rusty, Sheriff Sarah Breaker was called in to investigate the ranger's death. The next morning, Wake took Barry Wheeler to the ruined Visitor's Center to see the scene of his battle with Rusty. They informed the sheriff, and she arrived on the scene with Deputy Mulligan.
The two had stared at the wreckage and decided to catalogue it as a crime scene, since the sheriff reasoned that so much blood could only point to a murder. The shock of such a brutal incident soon attracted many curious townsfolk. The other park workers, who lived nearby and had felt the Dark Presence shaking the area the previous night, suggested that the earthquake had brought down a wall on top of Rusty, and that the trail of blood evidenced that a bear had dragged away the corpse. Another proposed theory was that a drunk logger had accidentally crashed his truck into the Visitor's Center, struck Rusty, and had hidden the body to cover up the crime.
Possibly the closest theory to the truth was suggested by an unidentified old man. He voiced his opinion that an evil spirit had killed and taken Rusty away, speaking of dark things from the woods which snatched the unwary. The sheriff's deputies took this as a joke, Mulligan even joked that perhaps it was the woolly mammoth skeleton previously on display at the Center, come to life. As part of the investigation, Sheriff Breaker had asked Wake if he had seen or heard anything the previous night. Alan lied, and hastily made up a story about turning to bed early. Although he was not sure that Sarah believed him, he decided it was better than telling her the truth about Rusty, and causing her and the other citizens to severely doubt Wake's sanity, perhaps even accusing him of the voluntary murder of the deceased ranger.
In his Taken form, Rusty moves erratically and quickly. Keep a cool head and only shoot when he stops teleporting and his shield of darkness is down. Also, when you shine your light on him, he may retreat back to the Visitors Center lobby. Do not follow him in. The center is way too tight to fight him in. Instead, wait for him to come out, seeing you have more open space.
Another similar tactic, if rusty retreats back in to the visitors center, wait right outside to from to the hole that he went in, don't go in just stay there, whilst boosting your flash light at him when ever you get a clean focus, he may try to back out, though it would usually to hard for him to do so, since you're blocking his path, with the flashlight, once his darkness is drained, and he can no longer teleport, open fire at him from a fair distance, as he's stronger than regular tele-flankers, and it should take 8 shots from your revolver to kill him (only on normal difficulty, for "Nightmare" difficulty, it takes 15 shots), so once you've fired six rounds directly at him, reload only 2 rounds, since it may waste time, as he only requires 2 extra shots to take him down, but be advised that 2 common taken will appear a few seconds after you have took out Rusty. So as soon as he has been killed, reload, a full 6 rounds into your gun, if you are on normal difficulty, then you will only need 4 rounds (2 for each) to take out the following 2 taken.
- If Alan's manuscript for "Departure" speaks truly, Rusty once had a marriage but is no longer married (it is unclear why). He had romantic feelings for Rose Marigold.
- Rusty was one of the few people other than Alan Wake to discover a Departure Manuscript page; whether or not this has any lasting significance is unknown. The page is found directly in front of the visitors center when Alan arrives there that night, apparently having been dropped by Rusty. It details the Dark Presence attacking the visitors center, and Rusty being injured.
- Originally as seen in the E3 2009 presentation, Rusty knew something Alan needed to know about the town and the manuscript, but his role was rewritten to be less important for some reason.
- Originally, Rusty was going to be a Sheriff but it was changed so that he is now a Park Ranger.
- It's implied that the coffee thermoses throughout the game are possibly his.
- "No! Aaaagh! No! No!"
- "Oh, God! Please! Help me!"
- "Anybody? Help me!"
- "Can you hear me? Anyone? Please! help!"
- "Help! Help me! Somebody?"
- "Back here, I'm back here! Hey, please help me!"
- "I'm here! I..I'm hurt...can't...move.."
- "It knew...so dark..."
- "Mr. Wake, it happened just the way it was on that page I found...came true."
- "It'll come back for me....you must...the lights in the office. I..I have the key."
- "The whole place started shaking...I thought it was an earthquake, but then...then my car started up with no one in it. What's going on, Mr. Wake?"
- "Urggghhh...Urgh. A presence...so dark..like the forest at night...woke up."
- "It'll be back, I know it will. It hasn't finished with me yet."
- "Put on the lights, Mr. Wake. Please?"
- Have you seen Max? Is he ok? Here boy... Max.
- "I wish Rose were here. I should have told her...told her sooner how I feel about her."
- "Please don't feed the animals!"
- "Obey...the park ranger's instructions...at all times!"
- "Fishing is only permitted for those visitors who purchase...a park fishing license!"
- "Never approach closer than one hundred yards to bears and wolves. Never approach any other wildlife closer than twenty-five yards."
- "Pets...must...be leashed at all times. Never leave your pet unattended!"
- "It is against...the law to remove any natural objects or historical artifacts from the park grounds. This includes even rocks you may find along the river or even simple berries, sir...!"