The caves are unsettling, littered with the remains of ships that couldn't possibly have ended this far inland. This is a strange country, riddled with mystery and death.
Caves is a Fight 'Till Dawn map in Alan Wake's American Nightmare. Like the other maps, it features a Nightmare version in addition to the regular difficulty. Caves is a rather large map that centers around large, land locked boat named the Desdemona; this is despite the fact that there is no water nearby. The boat occupies the center of the map, leaving the player the edges of the map to deal with the Taken. The edges of the map consist of several caves, as well as excavation equipment, that make for resupply areas. The steps of the severed stern (back) of the ship lead up to a flare gun. Under the bow (front) of the ship is a weapon chest that can be unlocked to access an submachine gun; to the north-east of the players starting position is a long cave that stores a weapon chest for an assault rifle; a cave west of the Desdemona's detached stern holds a weapon chest for a combat shotgun. To the south-west of the player's starting position is a Safe Haven closely accompanied by an ammo box, whereas the two other Safe Havens, one to west and the other to the north of this here, are without close proximity to an ammo box.
- The Nightmare arcade mode of The Caves alternatively has the player begin opposite to the regular arcade mode's beginning position. Nightmare mode also adjusts where regular supplies and ammo boxes are positioned, and also introduces three additional weapon chests to various locations: A weapon chest for a hunting rifle to the north-east of the player's starting position; a weapon chest for a Magnum located in a cave to the south of the same player starting position; and a weapon chest for a sawed-off shotgun rested at the highest point on the stern of the Desdemona. The ammo box is now located to the north of the player's starting position and attached a large excavator, as opposed to it's position in regular difficulty. Additionally, the position of the flare gun has now been repositioned slightly to be sitting on the wreckage at the rear of the Desdemona's hull (middle) rather than the stern.
- On regular difficulty, each beginning of a round/wave of Taken is signaled by what can appear a flare springing from the agrounded Desdemona at the center of the map; accompanying this on ground level is a red beaming light from the vertex of nearby buoy. These two aesthetics are one of the 3 unique indicators of a new wave of enemies featured in some of the levels in arcade mode.
- It is likely these events do not appear in nightmare difficulty because the Taken do not arrive in waves but a continuous reinforcement, so it was thought irrational by Remedy's developers to have it remain, (because of this variation in enemy spawning).