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Stephen King once wrote that "Nightmares exist outside of logic, and there's little fun to be had in explanations; they're antithetical to the poetry of fear." In a horror story, the victim keeps asking "Why?" But there can be no explanation, and there shouldn't be one. The unanswered mystery is what stays with us the longest, and it's what we'll remember in the end. My name is Alan Wake. I'm a writer.
~ Alan Wake's opening narration.
The poet came down to the lake to call out to his dear
When there was no answer he was overcome with fear
He searched in vain for his treasure lost and too soon the night would fall
Only his own echo would wail back at his call
And when he swore to bring back his love by stories he'd create
Nightmares shifted in their sleep in the darkness of the lake

And now to see your love set free
You will need the witch's cabin key
Find the lady of the light, still raving in the night
That's how you reshape destiny
~ Lyrics of "The Poet And The Muse".

Alan Wake (born 1978) is the main protagonist in the Alan Wake franchise, appearing as the protagonist of the 2010 game Alan Wake, the DLC's, a minor character in the Bright Falls mini-series, the stand-alone title, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, and the upcoming sequel Alan Wake II, and also appears as an easter-egg in Remedy's 2016 Quantum Break, and a supporting character in the 2019 video game Control - Bright Falls AWE.

He was a bestselling author who had been struggling to write anything for two years due to a case of writer's block. His wife, Alice Wake, brought him to Bright Falls to try and recover his creative/writing flow, which leads to him being manipulated by the Dark Presence so it can become free from Cauldron Lake.

He is voiced by Matthew Porretta, and modeled by Ilkka Villi.

Personality

Alan Wake is a tired writer in search of a vacation, a place where he could forget everything. Whilst he was once much happier in his life and marriage, his rise to fame coupled with a developing writer's block has made him rather short tempered. At times he can still be caring and sympathetic, but this is rare as he is becomes more frustrated with his life and work. Sadly, the continuous pursuit by fans and paparazzi have made him somewhat cynical to people, which is why he usually spends most of his time with his wife, Alice. Emil Hartman says that Alan's history of substance abuse combined with his insomnia makes him especially prone to anger.

He is also very strong-willed and brave, although at times blurs the lines between courage and stubbornness. This is in part fueled by his intense love for Alice, making him willing to take on the seemingly invincible Dark Presence in the hope of saving her. Though it is unknown how he met Alice, it is quickly established that he cares for her deeply, and often refers to her as his 'muse'. During the first Alan Wake DLC, The Signal, Alan has memories of Alice which seem to make him happy, most of which are sexual and intimate. Their marriage has recently become turbulent in some ways, due to Alan's insomnia and alcohol fueled behavioral issues, but overall the two love each other very deeply.

Alan also practices at a shooting range, and has a good knowledge of hunting rifles, shotguns, and pistols. In the novel, it is explained that he spent time at the shooting range to get research done for his Alex Casey crime series.Sarah Breaker comments that even though he is a good shot, he needs to get his knowledge of how guns function down. It should also be noted that he is a quick-thinker, using his knowledge to get past environmental puzzles and to evade numerous Taken at once. He can adapt to a wide array of weaponry quickly and with good result.

Remedy Games has called Alan "kind of a dick". They note that, as before stated, he hates most people, and has many problems with his marriage. But they say that this is good because it separates him from most golden-hearted characters and "space marine" G.I. Joes. This adds a layer of realism and depth to him, making him a more relate-able character.

Biography

Background

As a child, Alan had a fear of darkness. Alan was afraid of monsters in the dark, and would fight sleep to the bitter end out of fear. His mother gave him an old, used broken-off light-switch dubbed The Clicker. Every time he would flip the switch on it, a supposed magical light would turn on and the supposed monsters would vanish. Over time, he conquered his fear of darkness.

He never really knew his father and he would sit alone at playgrounds as a child, and pretend he didn't miss him. His mother had to raise him almost all of his life. At some point he met Barry Wheeler and they became close and true friends.

Soon after, Alan became interested in writing. He became an avid reader of Stephen King and other horror writers, and then started writing his own stories using vivid imagination. Alan's first story, The Errand Boy, was published at a young age and he became famous after writing his next series of novels; a set of crime and suspense novels focused on a cynical Max Payne-like cop named "Alex Casey". With his lifelong friend Barry as his agent, Alan rose to becoming famous. But as he wrote more and more books, he gained a constant following of annoying fans and interfering paparazzi. He grew a temper and then came under significant heat after he punched a journalist who wouldn't leave him alone.

Later, Alan married a photographer named Alice. They lived together in a New York City apartment together at least as far back as three years prior to the Bright Falls incident. But as he finished his Alex Casey series, he began to suffer once more from writer's block and insomnia. There was trouble in their marriage, and Alan kept on coming home drunk from parties. The two got into many fights, with Alan constantly frustrated at his inability to write anything at all.

In The Writer, Emil Hartman mentions that Alan has had a history of substance abuse, although this fact is open to speculation, as some dialogue in The Writer may be distorted lies created by the insane Alan Wake.

Alan Wake

While traveling to Bright Falls, Alan has a nightmare where he is pursued by shadowy figures attempting to kill him, but is able to fight them off after being taught how to use light by an unseen figure. Alan awakes from his nightmare by Alice, and the two head to the Oh Deer Diner to meet Carl Stucky to obtain the keys to their cabin. Entering the diner, Wake is unable to find Stucky, but is instead greeted by a mysterious woman, whom hands him keys to the cabin near Cauldron Lake. That night, Alan learns that Alice has brought a typewriter to help with his writer's block, and intends to have him see Dr. Emil Hartman for therapy. Angered by her intentions, Alan storms off until Alice is kidnapped by an unseen entity into the lake. Wake attempts to save his wife by jumping into the lake, but is unable to find her and returns to shore.

The Dark Presence emerged due to Alan entering the lake, and enticed him to write a story titled Depature tricking Wake by telling him by writing the manscript he could save his wife. By writing the manuscript, the Dark Presence gained more control over reality in Bright Falls, but Wake managed to realize the presence's deception and wrote Thomas Zane to help him escape. Alan drove away from the cabin but due to a lack of sleep, he drove off the side and suffered from amnesia, making him forget about the recent events. Awaking in the wreck, Alan walks through the woods and encounters the Taken, citizens of Bright Falls who have been possessed by the Dark Presence to kill Wake. Additionally, Wake discovers pages of Depature and foreshadow events that will happen, and defeats a possessed Stucky.

He manages to reach Stucky's gas station where he calls Sheriff Sarah Breaker, telling her of his wife's disappearance and of the cabin at Cauldron Lake. The sheriff informed him that the cabin sunk back in the seventies due to a volcano, and Wake has her drive him to the lake to find no cabin there. Taken to the police station, Wake receives a call from a unnamed man who claims to have kidnapped Alice, and tells him to meet him at Lover's Peak that night. Alan is then reunited with Barry, whom arrived to Bright Falls after Wake didn't answer his phone for days. Going to Lover's Peak, Alan fights against the Taken and is saved by the alleged kidnapper (who's name is revealed to be Mott), who tells Wake to give him all pages of the manuscript at Mirror Peak if he wanted to see Alice again. Wake proceeded to attack Mott, causing the two to separate from the pear, allowing him to escape. Afterward, Wake returns to Barry and saves him from the Taken and their new minions, possessed birds.

The following morning, Barry is contacted by Rose Marigold, a waitress at the Oh Deer Diner and fan of Alan's, who tells Wheeler that she has pages of the manuscript. Unbenownst to Barry or Alan, Rose has been touched by the Dark Presence, who influences Marigold to bring them to her trailer and drug them. Alan recovered hours later and was confronted by the FBI, specifially agent Robert Nightingale, forcing Wake to run through the woods while being indirectly assisted by the Dark Presence to evade the law. Going to Mirror Peak to meet Mott, Alan audibly heard him admit that his boss wanted the manuscript and feigned kidnapping Alice. Seeing a broken Mott, the man is killed by the Dark Presence while Wake barely survives by using a flare and landing into the water below. He was saved by Dr. Hartman, who took him to the Cauldron Lake Lodge and attempted to manipulate Wake that he was suffering from a breakdown.

Though Alan didn't believe what Hartman was saying, he decided to play along to prevent an accident from happening. Wake encountered the Andersons brothers again, who instructed him to travel to their farm to find a hidden clue to stop the Dark Presence. The lodge was soon attacked by the Taken, giving Alan and Barry a chance to escape while the Anderson brothers helped the other patients escape. Before leaving the lodge, Alan confronted Hartman after learning that he was Mott's boss, and the doctor was attacked by the Dark Presence. Reaching the farm while battling the Taken, Alan discovered the Anderson's song "The Poet and the Muse", which hinted that Bright Falls recluse Cynthia Weaver was connected in stopping the Dark Presence. Alan also consumed the Anderson's moonshine, which allowed him to relieve the events that led to Alice's kidnapping and the Dark Presence enticing him to write the manuscript.

The next day, Alan and Barry are arrested by Nightingale and taken to the police station, but the Dark Presence attacks, forcing Alan, Barry and Sheriff Breaker to escape. The trio travel through Bright Falls and meet Weaver, who gives Alan the clicker, which was written into reality by Zane so he could defeat the darkness. Leaving his friends behind, Alan traveled to Cauldron Lake and entered the Dark Place, a dimension that could manipulate art and put it into reality. During his travel, Wake encountered a doppleganger named "Mr. Scratch", but Zane told him not to worry about him. Alan then defeated the Dark Presence (in the guise of Barbara Jagger) by using the clicker, which freed the town and Alice at the cost of him being trapped in the Dark Place. While the town celebrates, Alan is last seen writing at the typewriter, stating that "it's not a lake... it's an ocean".

The Signal

Alan remained trapped in the Dark Place, attempting to write a manuscript so he could escape but his sanity would break, causing him to suffer a breakdown in the cabin. Alan's sane side would be placed into a dreamlike version of Bright Falls, where he was attacked by Taken controlled by his insane self. Zane guisdes Alan to not go deeper, and to follow the singal so Wake could attempt to restore his sanity. During his travel, Wake battles Taken across the town and encounters manuscripts, with him being able to change reality by shining his flash light. Alan is assisted by imaginary version of Barry, who guides him to the sawmill that goes to his old home to meet with Zane. Alan learns from Zane that he is causing of all of this, and after refusing to believe so, is attacked by his insane side.

The Writer

Alan is assisted once again by Imaginary Barry, who tells him to get a grip since reality can be easily manipulated within the Dark Place. Meeting with Zane, Alan is informed that he is not the real Alan, but the side of him that refuses to give up while the real him is in the cabin suffering a breakdown. Reaching to Diver's Isle, Alan is confronted by Imaginary Barry, who feels that he is being replaced by Zane as his best friend. Wake is then forced to defeat Imaginary Barry and several other forms of people he has encountered, such as Dr. Hartman and the Anderson brothers. Afterward, Alan restores his sanity and starts to write another manuscript, entitled Return, a story that would allow him to escape the Dark Place for good.

American Nightmare

Alan continues to write Return so he could escape the Dark Place, but he stops his writing in an attempt to stop Mr. Scratch, his doppleganger who has personified rumors of Wake being an insane murderer. Alan then writes a reality from Night Springs episodes so he could stop Mr. Scratch, and find a way to escape the Dark Place with his manuscripts. Though Wake does make it to the end of his story, he is stopped by his doppleganger, who has put this reality into a time loop to prevent Alan from stopping him. Forced to go through three loops, Alan makes allies with the citizens in Arizona and manages to finally defeat Mr. Scratch at the movie theater. The ending shows Alan reuniting with Alice, but this is only in story, as Wake is still trapped within the Dark Place.

Quantum Break

Alan Wake. Love this guy's stuff.
~ Jack Joyce.

Alan is mentioned in Quantum Break, as his novels of his protagonist Alex Casey can be found, and there is a video called "Alan Wake's Return" appears in Act 1.

Control

Alan appears as a supporting character in the DLC "Bright Falls AWE", as it's revealed that both the Alan Wake and Control share a universe together. In the DLC, Alan appears through hotline messages that Jesse Faden can acquire, which reveals that Alan wrote the Hiss incantation since a "hero" needs a "crisis" in their story. Though Wake attempted to write his escape from the Dark Place, he was unable to due to feeling lost since he was relying on his manuscripts.

Quotes

I’ve always had a vivid imagination, but this dream unsettled me. It was wild and dark and weird, even by my standards. So yes - it began with a dream. Following a typical nightmare pattern, I was late, desperately trying to reach my destination – a lighthouse – for some urgent reason I couldn’t remember. I’d been driving too fast down a coastal road to get there. ... I’d seen the hitchhiker too late. ... He was dead. I was convinced they’d put me in jail, and I would never see Alice again. ... Suddenly, his body was gone.
~ Alan Wake in the opening, telling of his nightmare.
And I thought New Yorkers were rude.
~ Alan after being ambushed by the Taken.
Tell me one more lie and I'll shoot you in the face.
~ Alan to Hartman.
It's not a lake... It's an ocean.
~ Alan's last words in the main game.
I could feel Alice's presence close by... I understood what I had to do now. I knew how to write the ending to Departure. There's light, and there's darkness. Cause and effect. There's guilt and there's atonement. But the scales always need to balance. Everything has a price. That's where Zane had gone wrong. There's a long journey through the night back into the light.
~ Alan Wake.
You're fired!
~ Alan to Imaginary Barry in "The Signal".

Gallery

Images

Videos

Trivia

  • His signature weapon is the revolver.
  • Like Max Payne and Jack Joyce, Alan's name is a clue, as his first initial coupled with his last name spells "A. Wake". This symbolizes his battle with the night, and him not knowing of the truth until later in the story.
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