Alan Wake Wiki

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Alan Wake Wiki
Alan Wake Wiki

Quote1 Try the coffee. Just don't blame me when you fall in love, 'cause it'll break your heart when you have to leave. Quote2
― Rusty[2]

Russell Johnston,[3] better known by his nickname Rusty, is a character in Alan Wake. Rusty was a resident of Bright Falls, Washington and a ranger for Elderwood National Park. Following his divorce, he was in a relationship with Rose Marigold, a waitress from the Oh Deer Diner. He was also the owner of a Labrador retriever named Max.[4] When writer Alan Wake came to Bright Falls in 2010, Rusty initially helped Alan with the search of his missing wife, Alice. Rusty later found pages of a manuscript detailing the events of his death. He was then attacked and possessed by the Dark Presence. After becoming a Taken, he was killed by Alan.


Rusty was a Caucasian man with black hair. He wore a park ranger uniform, which consisted of a white shirt, dark green jacket, pants and tie, and black shoes. His jacket had patches with the logo of the Elderwood National Park on both arms. After being taken by the Dark Presence, his skin turned pale and his body became covered with darkness. He also wields an axe.


As park ranger, it was Rusty's duty to know and enforce the rules and instructions of the Elderwood National Park. He was a friendly with his fellow Bright Falls citizens and cared for the wildlife of the area, as seen when he treated an injured Max. He proved to be a selfless individual, as he, after being attacked and greatly injured by the Dark Presence, still cared for safety of Max.

Rusty frequently visited the Oh Deer Diner to drink coffee, which he seemed to greatly enjoy. Despite the age gap between the two, the ranger had romantic feelings for Rose Marigold, who made him feel young and forget about his previous failed marriage, of which Rusty still wore the engagement ring, which he hoped for Rose to ask him to take it out.[5] During his last moments of life, Rusty thought of the young waitress and regretted not having confessed his feelings to her.[6]

After becoming a taken, all traces of Rusty's humanity and his former self disappear, leaving only an empty shell at the disposal of the Dark Presence. In this state, like all other taken, Rusty is incapable of proper communication, only repeating random sentences that he had already said when he was alive.


Early life[]

Rusty was married to his wife and had divorced from "long dead" marriage as of September 2010. He later started dating Rose Marigold, a waitress of the local Oh Deer Diner, despite him being older than her; he enjoyed how she made him feel youthful and forget his loveless marriage.[6] While Rose loved Rusty, she could not see past the lack of glamor that she desired in a man like her favorite writer, Alan Wake.[5] At one point, Rusty also taught Rose how to dance.[5]

Bright Falls AWE[]

108710 screenshots 2015-09-18 00006

Rusty at the Oh Deer Diner.

After writer Alan Wake arrived at Bright Falls alongside his wife, Alice, he was sent by her to the Oh Deer Diner to meet Carl Stucky and retrieve the key to their cabin. When Wake entered the diner, Rusty was sitting at the counter with a newspaper, drinking coffee while keeping an eye on the Anderson Brothers, who had wandered-off from the Cauldron Lake Lodge and were having an outing at the diner. Rusty greeted the writer and jokingly advised him not to fall in love with the coffee.[7]

A week later, after Alice went missing, Alan and his agent Barry Wheeler went the Elderwood Visitor Center to met with Rusty, who at the time was bandaging an injured Max, to rent a cabin from him. Before the two men arrived, the park ranger was also visited by Rose, who had come bring him some coffee. After giving the cabin keys to Wake, he also informed him how to reach Lovers' Peak. Sometime later that day, Rusty found a manuscript page, which described the Visitor Center being attacked and Rusty himself being injured in the process.[8]

At night, Rusty was working late at the Visitor Center when suddenly the area began to shake. At first, the ranger believed it was an earthquake but then noticed that something was wrong 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.[8] 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, the Taken brought the axe down into his midsection.[9]

Alan finds Rusty

Alan finds an injured Rusty at the destroyed Visitor Center.

Shortly after the attack, Alan Wake, on his way to Lovers' Peak, arrived at the destroyed Visitor Center and found a bleeding Rusty, alongside Max, who was in his kennel unharmed. The ranger told Wake that the events described in the page he had found earlier had come true and urged him to go to the nearby office turn on the lights before the Dark Presence returned. However, by the time Alan reached the circuit breaker, it had already been destroyed with an ax. The Dark Presence reasserted itself and numerous Taken flooded the Visitor Center. While Max was killed, Rusty was taken by the presence and turned him into a Tele-flanker. He subsequently ambushed Wake, but the writer managed to gun him down with a revolver after a short battle, killing him. Alan would later find a manuscript page detailing the ranger's final moments.[8]

The following morning, Wake took Barry Wheeler to the ruined Visitor Center to see the scene of his battle with Rusty. Sheriff Sarah Breaker was called to Visitor Center to investigate the ranger's death alongside Deputy Mulligan. The two cataloged it as a crime scene, with the sheriff reasoning that so much blood could only point to a murder.[9]

The shock of such a brutal incident soon attracted many curious townsfolk. Other park workers, who lived nearby and had felt the Dark Presence shaking the area the previous night, suggested that the earthquake might had brought down a wall on top of Rusty, and that the trail of blood evidenced that a bear had dragged away the corpse, while another proposed theory was that a drunk logger had accidentally crashed his truck into the Visitor Center, strucking Rusty, and hid the ranger's body to cover up the crime. Possibly the closest theory to the truth was suggested by an unidentified old man, who voiced his opinion that an evil spirit had killed and taken Rusty away. The sheriff's deputies, however, dismissed this as a joke. As part of the investigation, Sheriff Breaker asked Wake if he had seen or heard anything the previous night. The writer decided it was better to hid the truth about the incident to prevent her and the other citizens of severely doubting of his sanity or even accusing him of murder.[9]

During his time trapped in the Dark Place, Alan re-experienced a distorted version of the events when he first arrived at the Oh Deer Diner, where he came across illusions of several Bright Falls residents including Rusty.[10]


In his Taken form, Rusty moves erratically and quickly. It is advisable to shoot only when he stops teleporting and his shield of darkness is down. Also, when the light is shined on him, he may retreat back to the Visitor Center lobby. Do not follow him in as the Visitor center is too tight to fight him in. Instead, wait for him to come out.   

Another similar tactic would be, when he retreats back in to the Visitors Center, to wait right outside to from to the hole that he went in. Whilst boosting the flash light at him whenever you get a clean focus, he may try to back out, though it would usually to hard for him to do so, since his path is blocked with the flashlight. Once his darkness is drained, and he can no longer teleport, open fire at him from a fair distance. Being stronger than regular tele-flankers, it should take 8 shots to kill him (only on normal difficulty, for "Nightmare" difficulty, it takes 15 shots). Once you have fired six rounds directly at him, reload only 2 rounds, as it may waste time, since he only requires 2 extra shots to be taken down, but be advised that 2 common taken will appear a few seconds after Rusty is taken out. As soon as he is killed, reload a full 6 rounds into your gun. On normal difficulty, only 4 rounds (2 for each) will be needed to take out the following 2 taken.


Human Form[]

  • "No! Aaaagh! No! No!"
  • "Oh, God! Please! Help me!"
  • "Anybody? Help me!"
  • "H-Help...!"
  • "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 dark..."
  • "Mr. Wake, it happened just the way it was on that page I found...came true."
  • "It'll come back for 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 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."

Taken Form[]

  • "Please don't feed the animals!"
  • "Obey...the park ranger's 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."
  • " 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...!"


  • Rusty was one of the only people other than Alan Wake to discover a Departure manuscript page. The page is found directly in front of the Visitor Center when Alan arrives there that night, apparently having been dropped by Rusty.
  • It's implied that the Coffee Thermoses throughout Alan Wake possibly belong to him.[citation needed]
  • It is noted in the novelization that the attack of the Elderwood Visitor Center was the first time Rusty had used his gun in the line of duty.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Originally, Rusty was going to occupy the role of Sheriff of Bright Falls before the role was ultimately given to Sarah Breaker.
  • As seen in the E3 2009 presentation, before his role was reduced, Rusty was going to meet with Alan at a local diner to inform the writer that he had found many of his manuscript pages and that he should later meet him in a more private location. Later at night, Alan would make his way to the Elderwood National Park to meet Rusty. Much like in the final game, Wake finds a page describing the ranger's demise and the Visitor Center is subsequently attacked by the Dark Presence and Rusty is severely injured. Unlike the final game, however, Rusty would have been dragged away, either by the Dark Presence or the Taken, to Stucky's Gas Station. Before dying from his injuries, the park ranger would have told Alan that he had hidden the manuscript pages on a nearby lighthouse.[11][12]


See also[]

Manuscript pages