Alan Wake is a third-person action-adventure psychological horror game developed by Remedy and published by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 on May 18, 2010 (May 14 in Europe, May 20 in Australia, and May 27 in Japan). It was later ported (with help from Nitro) for the PC as both a self-published downloadable title (released via Steam in North America and Australia on February 16, 2012) and a retail title (in Europe by Nordic on March 2, 2012 and in Japan by E-Frontier on March 30, 2012).
Stylized as a thriller TV series (with an "episodic" format, complete with plot twists and cliffhangers) in similar vein to the 1990 drama Twin Peaks, the game follows Alan Wake, a best-selling author of thriller novels who is suffering from severe writer's block. Hoping that a vacation will calm his mind, he travels with his beloved wife Alice to the small town of Bright Falls in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. When a series of events causes Alice to mysteriously disappear into the depths of Cauldron Lake, Alan's supposed writing begins to take a deadly life of its own. Using any source of light he can find, Alan must fight those "taken" by the darkness and discover the true nature of the dark presence to save his wife (and the entire town).
The game later received two downloadable "special features", which serve as epilogue episodes tying the game's ending with a possible sequel. These episodes ("The Signal", released on July 27, 2010, and "The Writer", released on October 10, 2010) were released for $6.99 each, and were later included in the PC version free-of-charge. The game later received a downloadable spin-off title, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, for the Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade on February 22, 2012) and PC (via Steam on May 22, 2012 in North America and on June 29, 2012 in Europe).
Originally a multiplatform title, the game took over five years (since its public announcement in E3 2005) to develop. During that time, the game received a new custom game engine and a Microsoft-partnered exclusivity.
The game has a large emphasis on combat, where Alan will have to use a combination of light and guns to fend off animated objects and the Taken, who are invincible while covered in darkness. Alan can use his flashlight to burn the darkness off of enemies and then finish them off with bullets, or use a flare gun like a rocket launcher to vaporize any enemies in the vicinity. Turning on generators will cause nearby lights to activate, creating safe pockets for Alan to stand in. These safe pockets of light also save in a checkpoint style. There will also be cars Alan can use to drive around in, to escape from his assailants.
Alan with his standard flashlight and revolver.
Flashlights are more important than firearms in Alan Wake, as flocks of Taken birds and possessed objects can only be harmed by light. Alan has the supernatural ability, never explained, to "focus" light through a flashlight, making the beam narrower and much more powerful, at the cost of seriously draining the flashlight's power supply; There are a variety of different flashlights Alan can acquire throughout the course of the game. You start out with a normal flashlight, but later on you can get your hands on a 'Heavy Duty Flashlight', which has a considerable durability upgrade compared to the old one. Later on you can get two different variants on flashlights; lanterns. These drain significantly slower and do more damage to the shadows surrounding your enemies. The 'Heavy Duty Lantern' is the upgraded version of the lantern, and same as the flashlight upgrade, increases durability and is easily the best portable light source in the game.
Light sources aside, there's also a few conventional weapons you can get your hands on. Apart from the standard revolver that you'll be carrying around most of the time, there are two kinds of shotguns (break action, which holds 2 rounds and a pump action which holds 8 but shoots slower and is less powerful). In addition, there is a hunting rifle, which is more powerful than either shotgun and holds 6 rounds at once, but is limited by having the slowest rate of fire.
Besides conventional weapons, there are also a few light based weapons in the game. The most basic and common one is flares, which burn for 5 seconds and repel all nearby enemies, giving you a brief reprieve from enemy attacks. Flares can be used in a number of tactical ways, such as dropping them near a generator to give you the time you need to start it up while keeping your enemies from interrupting you, or dropping one in a narrow passages to to seal a chokepoint. Flash-bangs are the other grenade-like item you can use, and they have a much more direct approach to using them. You throw them and enemies instantly disintegrate, provided they are close enough to the explosion. Invaluable when it comes to clearing large groups of enemies that are swarming you.
Flare guns can take out a group of Taken at once.
Lastly, there is the flare gun, which as has been noted before can clear a large number of enemies on your screen. The advantage it brings is that it can also be used on enemies that are far away from you, most notably, flocks of birds. To deal with enemies you also have the added option to defeat them by using your surroundings. Standalone searchlights can be controlled by you to take out large amounts of enemies at a very rapid pace. The headlights of your car also apply, but you'll have to use the car itself to finish them off. You can also knock them into power cables, or simply into any light source by either shining your light on them, which makes them stumble backwards, or shooting at them.
Prior to the games official street date 6 live action prequels were released and made available to XBOX Live Gold Members through the Zune Marketplace, as well as official website. The first episode ("Oh Deer") debuted April 25th 2010 though a preview of the first 2 episodes was posted to the NY Times website on April 23rd 2010.
The episodes follow journalist Jake Fisher as he visits Bright Falls during the annual Deerfest however his true motivation is unclear at this point.
A website was also created for the fictional band, Old Gods of Asgard, at www.oldgodsofasgard.com, that features two songs from the game, one of which is not featured on the soundtrack that is in the Limited Edition of the game.
Alan Wake released with a special $79.99 USD Limited Collector's Edition. Included in the limited edition are the following items:
The Limited Edition
|Track Number||Song Artist||Song Title|
|01||Petri Alanko||A Writer's Dream|
|02||Black Angels||Young Men Dead|
|03||Petri Alanko||Welcome to Bright Falls|
|04||Petri Alanko||The Clicker|
|05||Anomie Belle||How Can I Be Sure|
|06||Petri Alanko||Tom the Driver (Piano Cello)|
|07||Barry Adamson||The Beaten Side of Town|
|08||Poets of the Fall (as Old Gods of Asgard)||The Poet and the Muse|
|09||Dead Combo||Electrica Cadente|
|10||Petri Alanko||Tom the Driver (Orchestral)|
The Limited Edition also includes a bonus disc with special content:
The game makes careful and deliberate use of music throughout. Every chapter closes with a different song, many coming from real-world artists. Poets Of The Fall, a Finnish band, is particularly featured in the game, including having one of their songs played on the in-game radio and being featured as guest performers on a live-action in-game television talk show. The game closes with David Bowie's "Space Oddity".
All songs are available for playback under the 'extras' section of the main menu, after the respective songs have been encountered in the game proper. Apart from the licensed music included in the game, Alan Wake features an original score composed by Petri Alanko.
The songs used for each episode ending are as follows:
|Episode Number||Song Artist||Song Title|
|Episode One: Nightmare||Roy Orbison||In Dreams|
|Episode Two: Taken||Poe||Haunted|
|Episode Three: Ransom||Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds||Up Jumped the Devil|
|Episode Four: The Truth||Poets of the Fall (as the Old Gods of Asgard)||The Poet and the Muse|
|Episode Five: The Clicker||Poets of the Fall||War|
|Episode Six: Departure||David Bowie||Space Oddity|
For reference, here is a complete list of all songs used in the game:
|Song Artist||Song Title|
|Roy Orbison||In Dreams|
|Violet Indiana||Air Kissing|
|Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds||Up Jumped the Devil|
|Among the Oak and Ash||Shady Grove|
|Barry Adamson||The Beaten Side of Town|
|Anomie Belle||How Can I Be Sure|
|Dead Combo||Electrica Cadente|
|Charles Brown||Black Night|
|The Rumble Strips||Back Bone|
|Poets of the Fall (as Old Gods of Asgard)||Children of the Elder God|
|Black Angels||Young Men Dead|
|Poets of the Fall (as Old Gods of Asgard)||The Poet and the Muse|
|Poets of the Fall||War|
|David Bowie||Space Oddity|
The original score by Petri Alanko was released as follows:
|Track Number||Track Name||Track Length|
|2||A Writer's Dream||1:55|
|3||Welcome to Bright Falls||4:26|
|5||Cross That River||5:38|
|6||Waking Up to a Nightmare||2:18|
|9||Taken by the Night||10:48|
|10||On the Run||6:09|
|12||Tom the Diver||2:51|
|13||The Night It All Began||2:02|
|14||Bright Falls Light & Power||3:17|
|16||The Well-Lit Room||1:42|
Alan Wake makes a new friend.
The game opens with novel-writer Alan Wake describing a dream he had. In this dream, he is fleeing a vaguely-defined darkness towards "the last safe place on Earth", a lighthouse, while being pursued by a hitchhiker, an agent of the darkness. The dream is interrupted by a bright light that speaks to him and teaches him 'the most important' thing: those who have been touched by evil, like the hitchhiker, are covered in darkness which renders them invincible until it is burned away by exposure to light, at which point they become vulnerable. Using the light's advice, and a conveniently provided flashlight and revolver, Alan defeats the hitchhiker and finishes the dream, reaching the lighthouse before being attacked by an unseen force, whereupon he wakes up.
Alan's wife, Alice.
In the real world, Alan is a best-selling author who, thanks to an extended case of writer's block, hasn't successfully written anything in two years, since he finished his previous novel, "The Sudden Stop", the final book in the 'Alex Casey' series of detective novels. Alan and his wife, Alice, go to the small town of Bright Falls, Washington, for what he thinks is a vacation. After meeting some of the townspeople and enthusiastic fans, they are lead to their cabin on Cauldron Lake, where Alice admits to Alan that she brought him to Bright Falls to recover his creative flow, revealing that she brought his typewriter, and mentions a psychiatrist in the area, Dr. Emil Hartman, who specializes in helping creative minds. Alan becomes greatly upset at what he sees as Alice pressuring him to write, and storms out into the night, knowing Alice will not follow him, as she has a severe phobia of the dark. Suddenly, the lights in the cabin go out, and Alice screams. Alan runs back to the cabin only to find that a balcony railing has broken, and Alice has fallen into the lake. Alan dives in after her... and wakes up in the aftermath of a car accident, with no memory as to what happened after he had jumped into the lake.
Injured and deeply confused, Alan proceeds to traverse the forest in order to find help, determined to save Alice. Along the way he encounters the Taken; human beings who have been consumed by the darkness, real-world versions of the hitchhiker from his dream. Fighting off the murderous Taken with a gun and a flashlight he finds along the way, Alan makes his way through the woods, and along the way, he discovers scattered pages of a manuscript of a novel called "Departure"... by Alan Wake. Not only does Alan have no memory at all of writing a new book, the pages describe events that are actually happening, such as Alan fighting the Taken, and Carl Stucky, a gas station attendant, being possessed by the darkness. Eventually, after defeating the Taken Stucky, Alan gets to the gas station, where he finds a television that displays an image of Alan himself talking like a lunatic. Almost as worrying, Alan discovers that it has been a full week since his argument with Alice. He then calls the police, and meets the town's Sheriff, Sarah Breaker, who informs him that there is no cabin on Cauldron Lake, as the island there was destroyed during a volcanic eruption in the 70's.
After Alan is briefly questioned by the police, he gets a phone call from a kidnapper who claims to have Alice, and has her speak into the phone to prove it. The kidnapper then tells him to meet him at Lover's Peak that night. Alan is picked up from the police station by Barry Wheeler, his agent, who flew down to Bright Falls after he was unable to contact Alan or Alice for a full week. Barry gives him the keys to a cabin in the national park that the peak is located in. Barry doesn't believe Alan's story of supernatural evil, but he does believe that Alice has been kidnapped, and doesn't stop Alan from leaving for the peak. On the way, he meets Rusty, a helpful forest ranger, who had been just attacked by the Taken. He gives Alan a piece of the manuscript that describes the attack that just took place. Rusty is then Taken, forcing Alan to kill him. Continuing down the peak, Alan finds the kidnapper, who helps him fight off the Taken. Afterwards, they get into a fight and they both fall off the peak, though neither are severely injured. The kidnapper flees, saying that the ransom for Alice is the new manuscript in its entirety. Alan then receives a call from Barry, who tells him that the lights just went out in the cabin, and that he has seen enough out the windows to believe Alan's story. On his way back, Wake receives another call from the kidnapper, telling him that he will kill Alice if Alan doesn't bring the manuscript to him at the town coal mine in two days.
Alan goes to Barry and saves him from a flock of Taken birds, and the next morning, Barry gets a phone call from Rose, a waitress who is self-proclaimed to be one of Alan's biggest fans. She tells him that she has the rest of the manuscript, so, desperate for leads, Alan and Barry go to see her. However, after arriving at Rose's trailer to pick up the manuscript, she incapacitates them with drugged coffee. Alan wakes up that night, but Barry is still unconscious, and the police are waiting for them, as the park owner thought that they did something to Rose, who appears to have been partially possessed by the old woman who seems to embody the Dark Presence that controls the Taken. An FBI agent named Nightingale aggressively confronts Alan. With the kidnapper's deadline now looming, Alan takes off into the woods rather than submit to the delays of dealing with the police. Nightingale pursues Alan with a sweeping manhunt, and it isn't long before the Taken begin indiscriminately attacking both Alan and the police. Along the way, Alan stops by the radio station for help, but the DJ inadvertently blows Alan's cover by announcing his arrival on the air, and Nightingale immediately shows up and recklessly opens fire. Alan escapes, finding a car, and heads to the coal mine as the sun comes up. The kidnapper never shows up, and after a full day spent waiting, The kidnapper finally calls to tell Alan that he is now in the woods. When Alan goes to find him, he overhears the kidnapper in the distance telling the old woman that he doesn't have Alice, and that he never did--he just wanted to get his hands on the manuscript. The darkness then engulfs the screaming "kidnapper" before turning its attention to Alan. Just before he meets the same fate, Alan grabs and ignites a flare, causing the Dark Presence to release him as he falls over a cliff into Cauldron Lake. From across the lake, Dr. Hartman happens to be watching from his clinic, the Cauldron Lake Lodge, and witnesses the flare and the fall. Hartman sends someone out in a boat who retrieves Alan, bringing him back to the lodge, where Alan awakes.
Barry with a standee of Alan.
Hartman tells Alan that he has been a patient of his and that Alice died in a drowning for which Alan is suffering terrible emotional trauma, and that everything Alan has experienced since then have been figments of his out-of-control imagination. Alan refuses to believe any of this, but is unable to rebel as Hartman has sedated Alan and controls the lodge like a disguised prison. Alan's suspicions are further confirmed during a meeting with Odin and Tor Anderson, elderly (and slightly senile) former rock stars from the 70's, the leads of a band called the Old Gods of Asgard, who have also encountered the old woman and the Dark Presence, mentioning that they left a message at their home, the Anderson Farm, to remind themselves of what the woman took from them. When night comes, the Andersons create chaos throughout the Lodge, and Alan steals the Staff Keys. Searching the Lodge, Alan discovers that the so-called kidnapper was a man named Mott, who was working for Hartman all along in a scheme to try to control his writing, which Hartman knew had the power to shape reality. Alan also discovers a taped conversation between Hartman and Alice, who admits that she is genuinely afraid for her husband's mental condition. It was from this tape that Hartman took samples of Alice's voice, to make it seem like they had her held hostage.
Alan then finds Barry locked up in a closet, stashed there by Hartman's goons after he came to rescue Alan, and together they recover all of the manuscript pages Hartman had taken. Dr. Hartman then finds them, and tells Alan if they work together, they can make something beautiful. The darkness then engulfs the lodge, and Alan lets the Doctor die, fleeing the Lodge and the Taken who swarm its grounds... but not before idly standing around long enough to watch a couple of commercials on TV thanks to some profoundly poorly thought-out in-game advertising. Alan and Barry fight their way to the Anderson Farm, defending themselves from the Taken using the lighting system from one of the Old Gods of Asgard's old stages. Inside the farmhouse, Alan realizes that one of the Old Gods' songs is the message, as it tells them to "Find the Lady of the Light". They then remember Cynthia Weaver, a seemingly deranged woman who carries around a lantern at all times and is obsessive about changing light bulbs. Alan and Barry agree to seek her out the next morning, but for now, they do a bit of drinking to while away the hours of the night. Under the influence of the Andersons' moonshine, which contains water from Cauldron Lake, Alan remembers the week between diving in after Alice and waking up in the car. as well as understanding the truth of his situation.
Cauldron Lake has a magical effect on works of fiction written there, causing them to come true, owing to the malevolent force somehow sealed beneath it, the Dark Presence. In 2010, the Presence takes the form of Barbara Jagger, the girlfriend of Thomas Zane, a poet from the 60's who is now the embodiment of the Light, the voice that spoke to Alan in his dream. In a previous attempt to free itself from whatever force keeps it sealed under Cauldron Lake, the Presence kidnapped Barbara, to encourage him to write a story in which he rescued her. The Presence twisted his words, tried to change his writing to a story that would free the Presence once and for all, allowing it to consume the entire world in darkness. It almost succeeded, but Zane re-wrote the story to seal the creature back in its prison and return Barbara. Unfortunately, when Barbara returned, her mind had been consumed, her body used as an avatar for the Presence, and Zane was forced to seal both himself and the Presence back under the lake. Then, in the 70's, when the Old Gods of Asgard wrote their music on the Anderson Farm, on the edge of the lake, it broke the seal and awakened the Dark Presence, which slowly gained strength until the present day, when it set its sights on Alan Wake.
After Alice fell into the lake, Alan dived in to save her, but could not find her, and began to weep on the dock, assuming she had drowned. The Dark Presence met him on the dock and touched his mind, leading him to believe that he could save Alice by writing a story to change things, just as she had for Zane. Over the course of the week, Alan wrote the manuscript for Departure, which was being corrupted by the Darkness in order to free it. However, Alan had enough presence of mind, even under her evil influence, to write his escape from captivity into the story: Thomas Zane appears in the cabin and ushers Alan out, taking the pages of the manuscript and scattering them throughout time and space to be found and collected by Alan later. Alan drove away in his car, but, still groggy from his ordeal, drives off a cliff, the shock of the crash erasing the traumatic memories from his mind. Now understanding the true depth of his dilemma, Alan then wakes up the next day, being held at gunpoint by Nightingale.
Alan and Barry are taken to their prison cell, but there is a power-outage, and the Sheriff and Nightingale keep watch over them. Alan argues that they need to get out, that the Dark Presence is coming, but of course Nightingale doesn't believe him... until he realizes his disbelief was on one of the manuscript pages he'd found, a page which also described his death. No sooner has this begun to dawn on Nightingale than he is suddenly dragged screaming out into the night by the Dark Presence. Alan and Barry are set free by the Sheriff, who has now seen enough to fully believe and trust them. They then fight their way through the streets of Bright Falls to reach a helicopter, as they need to find Cynthia (who lives in a power station), but the chopper is attacked by Taken birds, and Alan falls out. He finds a page that describes how he left the final page of the manuscript incomplete, and that the only way to defeat the Darkness once and for all is for him to reach the typewriter in the cabin, wherever it is, and finish the story the right way.
Alan fights his way through the Taken, with the helicopter lights helping him on the ground, and they get to Cynthia, who tells him they need to get to the "Well-Lit Room" through a lit passageway. However, the helicopter crashes, and Alan abandons the safety of the passage to find out if Barry and Sarah are alright. They're just fine, and the three of them fight their way to the Well-Lit Room, which contains a page from Zane telling Alan to use "the Clicker", a light switch that Alan received from his mother as a child, which was used as a talisman to overcome his fear of the dark. Alan then knows that he has to go to the lake, and use the Clicker to destroy the Dark Presence, which will save everyone in town, including Alice. Alan tells everyone that this is something he must do himself, and fights his way through the Taken to get to the lake, which he dives into and activates the Clicker.
He then "wakes up" in his apartment in New York and sees Alice, who is obviously just Barbara in disguise. Ignoring her, he grabs the Clicker and presses it. He appears in "the Dark Place" where the evil is sealed, and giant pieces of illuminating text form the path to reach the missing cabin, as well as various other items. Entering the cabin, Alan jams the Clicker into Barbara's dark heart, which is accessible from a wound she received from Zane. Light pours out of her mouth and eyes, and the cabin is lit. Barbara Jagger disintegrates, but it is unclear whether the Darkness is defeated along with her. Alan then goes to the typewriter and gives his story a fitting conclusion: Everything needs to be balanced. Alan is then seen jumping into the lake for Alice, and a time lapse begins, skipping the two weeks that neither Alan nor Alice experienced. Then, Alice emerges from the depths of the lake, and swims to the shore, confused and calling out for Alan. Bright Falls is shown during its annual "Deerfest" celebration, and Rose is shown holding a lamp like Cynthia as a Taken version of Nightingale forms behind her. Alan then finishes typing and, with a look of shock on his face, remarks "It's not a lake... it's an ocean." It is theorized by fans that, now, in the heart of the Dark Presence, he senses it as an entity far greater than he had thought before. Alice is then heard saying "Alan, wake up." while a "..." symbol appears, implying continuation.
After the credits roll, the words "Alan Wake's journey through the night will continue." are displayed.
The confused and paranoid "TV Alan" plays a large role in The Signal.
Picking up right where the main game left off, Alan finds himself outside of the Bright Falls Diner, from the the beginning of his adventure. Night quickly turns to day around Wake--the first implication that all is not as it appears. Alan enters the diner, where events replay themselves in a surreal and ominous manner--the inhabitants of the diner are ghostly apparitions, and small details in his surroundings are different. Alan can't remember how he arrived at the diner, but is compelled to enter the men's room just beside where he was first approached by the Dark Presence. In the bathroom, Thomas Zane contacts Alan through the mirror, warning him that he is lost and must go no further. Zane tells Alan that things are not as they appear, and presents him with a flashlight which he says is not a physical flashlight, but the idea of a flashlight, that will light the dark places in his mind. Zane then presents video footage of Alan in the cabin, struggling with reality and making confused and foreboding predictions of the future (much like the manuscript pages from the main game, yet with scattered and rambling thoughts). Alan finally realizes that he is in The Dark Place, and sets out to find a way to escape.
As he leaves the bathroom, the diner is shaken by its foundation, and day turns to night. As Alan looks around the diner, he finds himself surrounded by televisions playing a warning message delivered by Alan himself. He leaves the diner and strangely finds himself in the forest. Alan asserts that he must have made some kind of mistake when he wrote the ending to "Departure". Alan flees from The Taken, and finds shelter in a house where he finds a jumbled and confusing manuscript page, eerily similar to the scatter-shot nature of a dream. The words from the manuscript page physically manifest in front of Alan, and he finds that when he shines his flashlight on the floating text, objects fitting that description appear before him. Alan shines his light on "phone" and receives a cell phone for his trouble, along with a message from Zane, who tells Alan that he most follow the cell phone's "signal" to avoid from slipping deeper into The Dark Place. If he can successfully do so, Zane may be able to help him.
The path ahead is a little... rougher in The Signal.
Alan follows the signal through mixed memories of Bright Falls and the areas he traversed during the main game, as well as encountering more insane ramblings from "TV Alan" and attacks by The Taken. He comes across another manuscript page which reveals the word "friend", and, upon shining his light on it, is confronted by a translucent apparition of Barry Wheeler, his friend and manager who helps guide him to the sawmill, where the signal is taking him. Along the way, Barry reveals that he is merely a creation of Wake's subconscious.
Once he reaches the sawmill, Alan replays memories of Alice in his head. Alan then finds himself in his own apartment in New York, and confronts Thomas Zane in his living room. Zane tells him that he is not being attacked by the Dark Presence, but that the situations around him are his own creations and that he is trapped in his own mind. Alan refuses to believe what he is told, and Zane is forcefully expelled from the room, replaced by televisions depicting an insanely rambling Wake which start to attack him. After surviving the battle, Alan approaches the remaining TV, depicting himself saying "Why...why...why couldn't I make him stop?" Suddenly, a smile appears on the television, an ear-splitting scream is heard, and Alan collapses in pain. Alan wakes to find himself in the care of Dr. Hartman at Cauldron Lake Lodge, but is also shown (in "reality") to be on the floor of the cabin, surrounded by manuscript pages.
Alan comes to realize that the pen is mightier than the sword.
The ghostly image of Dr. Hartman revealed at the end of The Signal begins to chastise Alan, before changing into Barry Wheeler. Barry and Alan are suddenly outside of the Cauldron Lake Lodge. Without warning, Alan and Barry find themselves at an amalgamation of the Old Gods of Asgard stage show and the front of the Lodge. After using his surroundings to fight off waves of Taken, Alan heads to the back of the lodge and finds Thomas Zane. Zane explains that Alan must make his way to the cabin at Cauldron Lake to "find himself", or else he will be consumed by The Dark Presence. A manuscript page is provided to make a path to Alan's next way-point, the Lighthouse.
The environment becomes increasingly bizarre and disjointed as Alan progresses. He eventually finds himself inside a giant "Hamster wheel" composed of locations from the main game. He navigates this dangerously rotating wheel and finds himself in an elevator. Here Zane explains that Alan is in a dream. He also reveals that he is unsure of what happened to the Dark Presence after Alan's victory, but that he has yet to find a way to escape from The Dark Place. He, like Alan, is only capable of sending transmissions from their world to ours. As Alan progresses through the locations in his memories, Zane says that the world Alan is navigating is being created by a part of Alan himself, suffering from a state of insane delusion on the floor of the cabin at Cauldron Lake, who has resigned himself to fate and is ready to give up and die. The Alan Wake being controlled by the player is the other part of Alan, capable of rational thought and planning. He must make his way to the cabin to reunite with himself, and hopefully regain control of his sanity before his delusional self gives in to the darkness. After questioning by Zane, it is revealed that Mr. Scratch is not a representation of Alan, but something else entirely, and although Zane created the page for Alan involving The Clicker, there is more to the situation than Alan realizes.
Things become much more surreal as Wake travels deeper into his own mind.
As Alan continues forward, he finds himself in Dr. Hartman's office, where Hartman is conducting a therapy session for Alan's delusional side, represented by Alan's body with a television for a head. Hartman convinces Alan's delusional counterpart that all he has done has hurt Alice, and it would be better for all involved to remain trapped in The Dark Place. He then plays an audio recording of Alan's wife, who rants about Alan's selfish nature and narcissism. Wake dismisses the scene as a fantasy meant to dishearten him and stop him from continuing, and Zane confirms this fact.
Alan finally reaches the lighthouse, and upon climbing to the top, finds himself back at Cauldron Lake, across the bridge from the cabin. He replays a memory of Alice in his mind, and starts making his way to the cabin, which is surrounded by darkness. As he proceeds, the apparition of Barry begins to explain that if Alan reconnects with himself, everything around them disappears, including figment-Barry himself. Alan is resolute in his decision, which causes Barry to attempt to stop Alan, along with apparitions representing Dr. Hartman and the Anderson brothers. As Alan defeats each of these four memories, the darkness around the cabin weakens, and Alan is finally able to go inside. Upstairs, Alan finds his delusional self on the floor, gibbering madly. He places his hand on the other's shoulder, and the two merge into one whole Alan once more. With a new-found grip on his own sanity, Alan realizes that if he becomes unhinged again, he might never escape, let alone survive. With determination, Alan sets up a chair at his typewriter and inserts a piece of paper. He comments that it might be impossible to escape The Dark Place, but that doesn't mean he won't try. Alan begins to write a sequel to "Departure" which he entitles "Return". The game closes with Alan reiterating, "My name is Alan Wake, and I'm a writer."
Alan Wake requires 6.2 GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.