Alan Wake Wiki

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Alan Wake Wiki
Alan Wake Wiki

Quote1 Scary, scary, scary... Quote2
― Emerson, Episode 4: The Truth

Thomas Emerson[1] is a minor character appearing in Alan Wake. He is one of Doctor Emil Hartman's patients at the Cauldron Lake Lodge. Before being admitted, he used to work on videogames.


Thomas Emerson is a caucasian man with brown eyes and brown hair, including a beard. He wears a white t-shirt with the image of an 8-bit style ninja underneath a blue, short sleeved shirt, alongside black pants and brown shoes. He also wears what seems to be an improvised black belt tied to his hip.


Emerson suffers from extreme delusions and is convinced that everything, including himself, is a dream. He can be vaguely malicious and paranoid, and does not act well in social situations, in which he displays an erratic and hostile behavior, insisting that he is a "nightmare" that everyone should be afraid of. However, this only serves as a cover to hide Emerson's fears and low self-esteem.[2]

This behavior seems to stem from Emerson’s negative experiences working on the video-game industry, which, based on his rants, involved the interference of publishers “who wanna make a contribution so they can say they made a contribution”, and writers who would “make everything from the characters to the toasters talk”.

Emerson still appears to display an interest in videogame, as seen by the posters of games, such as Death Rally, hanging on his room and the presence of a console plugged to his TV, with a copy of the Night Springs video game next to it. Due to the creative effort that videogame designing involves, he is receptive to Hartman's treatment.[3]


Early Life[]

Before being admitted on the Cauldron Lake Lodge, Thomas Emerson worked as a videogame designer. However, said career seems to have been negatively impacted by the constant interference of game publishers and writers, who would add features such as "Mullet time" based marketing decisions in the case of the former, or having characters constantly "express their feelings" in the case of the latter, with Emerson having no option but to comply to their demands. These experiences might have eventually led to his unstable behavior.[3]

Bright Falls AWE[]

Emerson was present when Alan Wake was given a tour of the lodge by Emil Hartman, where he attempted to scare the writer, only for him to be reprimanded by Hartman. He is later seen by Wake rambling about his experiences in the videogame industry. When the Dark Presence began taking over the lodge, the Anderson Brothers led all the remaining patients who were still in the building to safety, including Emerson.[3] After the Bright Falls AWE ended and Doctor Hartman's research was confiscated by the Federal Bureau of Control, he was placed on a bi-annual surveillance alongside Hartman's other surviving victims (with the exception of the Anderson Brothers on account of their age).[1]

Later life[]

A poster in the Suomi Hall in Watery reveals that Emerson has become the President of the Bright Falls Film Society and will be giving a guest lecture on November 24, 2023 about the filmmaker Thomas Zane.[4]


  • The way in which he climbs over the couch when you first meet him was inspired by an episode of Twin Peaks, where a demonic figure named "BOB" climbs over a couch almost the exact same way.
  • "Mullet time" is a reference to the "Bullet Time" feature in Remedy Entertainment's earlier games Max Payne 1 and 2, which consists of the game world slowing down, allowing Max Payne could shoot at enemies with greater precision.
  • Emerson makes a cameo in the Death Rally remake along with Barry Wheeler.
  • The image of a ninja in his shirt is probably a reference to an enemy that appeared in the 1984 game, Bruce Lee.