Page 1: Alan Wake, the WriterEdit
My name is Alan Wake, and I'm a writer.
I didn't become one overnight. Like most writers, I struggled with it -- a short story here, an article there. Then I got lucky and spent a year as a staff writer on the Night Springs TV Show.
It wasn't the great American novel of my fantasies, but it taught me discipline and craft, and the difference between wanting to be a writer and actually writing.
Location: On your way to the motel, by the oil derrick.
Page 2: Hunting Mr. ScratchEdit
Mr. Scratch is a twisted copy of me, powerful and dangerous, but I know I can fight him. I don't think anybody else can. They don't understand what he represents, or that all the horrible things he does here are almost insignificant compared to what he will unleash on Earth, given the chance.
But I have survived the Dark Place, and it has taught me things -- how to cope, how to stay sane when the world goes crazy. He's two steps ahead of me, but I can find him. And I believe I can stop him.
Page 3: Rewriting RealityEdit
The reality we take for granted is softer, more adaptable than we think. Under correct conditions, you can reshape it, turn it into almost anything you want. When it happens, almost nobody notices. It's not that we forget; it's that after the change, there's nothing to remember.
Only those who have been directly touched by the powers that can shift reality are aware of the changes. Many are driven mad by it. Others can cope. I am one of those people, and I know to wield that power to rewrite reality.
Location: On a rock, outside the house you find the CD.
Page 4: The Devil is in the DetailsEdit
To change reality, you nudge it into the right direction. Your version of it is there, waiting; it wants to come true. All you need to do is to help it achieve its potential. The devil is in the details.
You change the details of the scene to match those on the page. If you get the details right, if you achieve that critical mass, the shift will come, and the rest of your new reality overrides the existing paradigm.
The lie -- no matter how outrageous -- is now the truth.
Location: On a wooden fence by the railroad crossing.
Page 5: The SplitterEdit
Some of the Taken aren't protected by the darkness like their comrades. Instead, their aversion to light is so extreme that they literally split into two when they encounter strong light. It leaves the two halves weaker, but of course there's strength in numbers.
It's a disturbing development; the Dark Presence I faced two years ago was powerful, but it didn't have much in the way of imagination. Clearly, the same cannot be said of Mr. Scratch.
Page 6: Too Many LegsEdit
The strands of webbing glistened in the beam of my flashlight, fine, almost ethereal. They were fresh, and right in my path.
I held my breath and waited, ears straining. Nothing. I moved on, concentrating on the task at hand. Just get what I was looking for, then leave, that's all, I kept telling myself.
For a moment, I actually thought it might be as simple that. Then I heard too many legs skittering across the ground.
Location: On a rock behind the diner.
Page 7: The Twisted MirrorEdit
My own face peered back at me from the TV screen. For a moment, I struggled with the sensation of deja vu -- how many times had I seen myself like this now?
And then there was that easy grin that never seemed quite as quick or natural on my own lips, the dark, malicious twinkle in the eyes, and I knew who I was looking at.
As he pulled back and revealed the room behind him, my throat went dry. There was nothing I could do but watch.
Page 8: New Reality: The SatelliteEdit
At the oil derrick, the wheel had been jammed in the place and turned until the oil gurgled and flowed, thick and flammable. The warning lights were blinking in a fast rhythm, bright and steady, powered by the battery. The Kasabian CD was playing in the boom box, all distorted guitars and intense beat.
High above, some piece of orbital junk or another collided with the satellite, knocking it radically off course. Trailing debris, it screamed down from the skies at an impossibly steep angle, all that high-tech-engineering reduced to nothing more than a bullet that would destroy whatever it hit.
Location: Given to you by Emma Sloan.
Page 9: The Appearance of Mr. ScratchEdit
I'm trapped in the darkness. HE has started appearing to me. Mr. Scratch.
He can travel back into the world effortlessly, and he loves to rub my face in it. At first, he was just an echo in the darkness, a flicker beyond the edge of my vision. Now he's started showing himself, getting bolder all the time. Telling me what a great time he's having in the world while I'm stuck here. And what he plans to do, especially to Alice.
All the moves I have left are dangerous and desperate. I have no choice. I have to hunt him.
Page 10: Pages and InstinctsEdit
I know that when I arrive, the clarity of vision I have now may disappear. I have made my plans. I have prepared for this. But I know the transition from the Dark Place will be hard on me -- and not just physically. It may affect my mind, my memory.
These pages should help me remember and focus. That's worked for me before. Even if that fails, I think I will be able to trust my instincts.
I'm navigating my own story. I'm hoping I'll know where to go and what to do, even if the details elude me.
Location: On a fence behind Emma's garage.
Page 11: My Best FriendEdit
I don't make friends easily -- I know plenty of people, but I don't let most of them close. I've known Barry wheeler ever since we were little boys. We had the time of our lives. I'd get us in trouble, and he'd talk us out of it.
Things haven't changed that much now that we're grown-ups. He's the most loyal and dependable person I've ever met -- in all the things that count, anyway.
You could call him a weasel, and you wouldn't be entirely wrong; you could call him a clown, and I would reluctantly agree. But he has never let me down.
Page 12: Wake's FriendsEdit
Alice and Barry -- my wife and my best friend -- are easily the two most important people in my life, and they've never really gotten along with each other. I suppose both of them resent the others intrusions into what they consider their domain.
After I was gone, they maintained an uneasy truce -- my books stayed in print, still selling, the licensing machine churned away. she was my wife and controlled the intellectual property: he was my agent and took care of the business.
I wish they'd found more common ground than that.
Page 13: Night Springs, the Cult TV ShowEdit
Night Springs doesn't exist. It's a fictional town from the TV show I used to work on. It was Anyplace, USA, a place we used as a backdrop for whatever strange story we had that week.
One of the stories I wrote for the show involved a man, "the champion of light," fighting his evil double, "the herald of darkness". It was something I'd written back in the real world -- something I had a link to, a framework I could build on.
I adapted it into a new story . This story.
Page 14: Night Springs, ArizonaEdit
Now Night Springs is in Arizona, although not for long. It's in Arizona because whatever the town that has become Night Springs is really called is located near one of the thin, worn places in the world -- where dreams and reality flow together and life is always a little strange. Aperfect analogy for Night Springs.
I can't return to the real world. I've tried. But I'm operating on dream logic, forcing the door open a crack so I can slip through. I can enter the strange little town of Night Springs.
All I did was put it in Arizona for one night.
Page 15: The SpectreEdit
In Bright Falls, I was constantly under attack by birds that were more shadow than flesh and feathers, but this is an evolution: some of the Taken are actually capable of turning into a flock of birds to escape my attacks... and turning back into human form to make surprise attacks.
Page 16: Emma SloanEdit
With all the herbs, crystals and the rest of her New Age paraphernalia, Emma Sloan had been called a hippie and a freak, and worse; it was that small town mentality. She was a female mechanic, and even in 2011, there were always going to be backwards shitkickers who thought that was a hoot.
She didn't mind. She could deal. She could take any engine apart, even the new ones with all the computers in them.
Turned out that these boys were awful polite while waiting for here to put them back together.
Page 17: Old Gods of AsgardEdit
Tor and Odin Anderson. Old Gods of Asgard. I still don't quite know what to make of them. I know they used to be rock stars who modeled their stage personas after Norse gods. I know they're old. I know that in their day, they fought the darkness as I do. I know they're demented and insane, ravaged by age and self-abuse.
But there's something in them, something powerful that took hold when they were touched by the powers beyond, a thing that goes far beyond just stage names. Something godlike.
Page 18: Barry and the Old GodsEdit
The Anderson brothers should probably have been in a facility somewhere, despite their tendency to escape from such places. It could be argued that they had no business being on tour, considering their condition. Their lives mostly revolved around a laundry list of ailments and their endless quest for liquor.
But Barry Wheeler managed them now. And whatever else they might say about Barry, he knew how to make things happen...
And honestly, it wasn't like the Andersons were the most difficult clients he ever had.
Page 19: Old Gods in the StudioEdit
Getting the Andersons into the recording studio was a struggle and a half, but once they actually picked up the instruments, something happened.
They were two old men, and they weren't; they were doddering bags of bone, and they were barely contained power... And there was music.
Barry rubbed his hands together; he knew how to pick a winner. Now all they needed was some direction on how to make things a little more modern.
Barry had never produced a thing in his life, but he knew what he liked. He knew "Balance Slays the Demon" was going to be a hit.
Page 20: The GiantEdit
I have seen the darkness twist flesh into new shapes before, but encountering these giants is an extremely disturbing experience.
It's as if the genre has been switched on me; they're something out of pulp fiction -- twice as tall as normal men and stronger than forklifts, their lumbering gait and slow-witted demeanor brings to mind some kind of a mean-spirited caricature of a febble-minded hillbilly.
Page 21: Emma and Mr. ScratchEdit
Emma wasn't sure exactly when the man arrived at the hotel, but from what she could tell, the party started almost immediately. It was infectious, spreading from one room to another. He was mercurial, almost as if he was flickering through the scene, telling a joke here, throwing an insult there, oozing sex and violence and excitement.
She had never seen someone like this before. He looked at here and smiled, and she felt her heart flutter a little.
She knew he was the kind of a man mothers warned their daughters about, but she told herself it didn't matter.
Page 1: SuccessEdit
As a storyteller, my first real love was crime, and it was in that genre that I finished my first novel, starring the perpetually miserable Alex Casey, whose entire life was a wound that never healed.
The books sold as fast as they hit the shelves. I wrote five more Alex Casey books, and they all were bestsellers. I became rich. I became famous. Success brought pressure, and I didn't handle it very well.
Location: On the fire truck by the gates.
Page 2: PressureEdit
The pressure of the success got to me. My wife, Alice, was the sole thing in my life that anchored me. Suddenly, it wasn't enough. I couldn't write anymore.
I distracted myself with wild parties and whatever trouble I could scare up. I wallowed in the drama of my life, sure that Alice would stick with me, even though she didn't sign up to be the lifeline of a tortured artist. It was dumb luck she's not the type to give up.
Location: Behind the observatory.
Page 3: The Genesis of Mr. ScratchEdit
I've seen the enemy, and it's me. I've faced dark horrors before, things that live in the unimaginable pressures of the world beyond our own. Sometimes they masquerade as humans
That's what ultimately lurks inside Mr. Scratch. He's every mean-spirited tabloid story about me, an evil caricature, a creature formed in that vague territory of misconceptions, half-truths and the dark imagination of people who "heard a story about me". An urban legend made flesh. A serial killer.
My dark half, brought to life by the power of Cauldron Lake.
Location: In front of the delivery storage, on the way up to the observatory.
Page 4: Fighting the TakenEdit
I've carried a flashlight and gun for so long that I feel naked without either. It's all too often that I need them.
The darkness protects the Taken. Shadows crawl over their forms like living things, protecting them from harm. Blows that would injure or kill an human outright mean nothing to them as long as the darkness persists. But light makes them vulnerable. Light burns the shadows away. The darkness that drives them is still in them, but now there vulnerable.
Flashlight and gun. Sometimes, it feels they're all I have left.
Location: To the right of the observatory, by the building with one of the three valves.
Page 5: The SpidersEdit
The spiders aren't really the work of the enemy. They're a side effect, a part of the Dark Place's less significant fauna that has managed to slip through the opening I made when I arrived; less an animal than an idea that has assumed the form of an animal.
It makes them no less dangerous, but at least there a little easier to deal with: the darkness doesn't protect them like the Taken, and thus they can be destroyed by either light or bullets right away.
Location: To the right of the white container by the observatory.
Page 6: New Reality: Fragment 1Edit
The atmosphere in the projection booth at the drive-in was charged, almost unreal. Despite that, the air felt cool and refreshing this late at night. It had been a hot day. The summer was nearing its end, but it wasn't over yet.
Page 7: The DarknessEdit
The darkness rose from the depths of Cauldron Lake and took Alice. It needed words. It needed me to write its way into our world. She was leverage, a hostage.
I complied, but with a twist -- I put in a loophole that gave me a chance to fight back. I was hunted by shadowy enemies, but I faced the darkness. I fought it with light. I drove it back. I saved Alice. But it came with a cost: I was trapped in the Dark Place below Cauldron Lake.
Page 8: Lost in the Dark PlaceEdit
After my disappearance, they thought I was dead. I might as well have been. I know it's been two years; I know Alice has moved on. I have tried to find a way back to her, back to my life, but escaping the Dark Place is almost impossible.
Time does strange things here. But dreams and radio signals can pierce the veil between the worlds.
I catch glimpses and echoes of the world. Sometimes I send messages out. I can only pray that they hear them.
Page 9: The Nature of StoriesEdit
Stories come naturally to us. We can't help it. There are many different worlds, many competing realities within our heads, fueled by books, television, even barely remembered childhood tales. There's an endless supply of fictional concepts more familiar to us than anything or anyone real. We have a far greater connection to the fictional characters we know and love than the random people we pass on the street. Our destinies and inspirations are shaped by lies, myths and fables.
Page 10: Cosmological TruthsEdit
There are places where our world is worn thin and another reality brushes against ours. One such site is Cauldron Lake near Bright Falls, Washington, but there are others.
That other reality is dark, vast and malleable, always in flux. In its depths dwell vast forces and alien energies. They are dangerous, but in one of these places, if you know how, you can channel the power of that place and use it to shape reality.
Page 11: The TakenEdit
The Taken may well be the tool the darkness favors over any other. At some point, they used to be human, but whatever humanity they once had is long gone. Now they're just shells covered and filled by darkness.
The Taken Mr. Scratch throws at me are more grotesque and varied than the ones I first encountered in Bright Falls, but I know how to deal with them. I'd be lying if I said they don't frighten me, but I have survived worse. I can't let them stop me.
Page 12: Dr. MeadowsEdit
When Dr. Rachel Meadows got the call from Michael telling her to hurry to the observatory, she didn't waste any time. It had been a nice party, and she'd had a good time, but her social life would always play second fiddle to the mysteries of space.
Michael never showed up, of course; he'd pulled over at the wrong rest stop. She never even thought about him at the time; the phenomenon in the sky above her was too fascinating.
Page 13: New Reality: Fragment 2Edit
The film noir poster reminded me of Alex Casey, the detective's cool exterior never cracking even with the gun pointed in his face. In the back room, all of the lights had been turned off, except for the lone spotlight, which illuminated the bright red fire extinguisher on the wall.
Page 14: Everything Is as Real as Everything ElseEdit
This act of creation is exhilarating and frightening. Subtext and symbols loom, eager to take effect. Causality and consequence become domino chains that stretch into infinity. The more fundamental the change, the more unpredictable the variables become; reality is too complex to control completely. Ordinary questions become meaningless.
"Who created who?"
"What is really real?"
Everything is as real as everything else. You learn to let go of the things you can't control and go with the flow, or go insane.
Page 15: Dr. Meadows and Mr. ScratchEdit
The man before Dr. Meadows was handsome and slick. He moved with lazy confidence and didn't bother to pretend that he wasn't staring at her. She didn't mind, at first.
Then the man flicked open the knife and shoved here out of the control room so she wouldn't hear the signal -- whatever it was. Outside, she pulled here lab coat closed and thought about running. She didn't. She didn't think she'd get very far, not from him.
She never was entirely sure why he spared her.
Page 16: New Reality: Fragment 3Edit
I'd found her film from the pile of containers is the back. I'd threaded it into the projector. I swallowed hard, staring at the screen hearing her voice, the sunrise I remembered so well only moments away.
And then Mr. Scratch was there, nailed by the projector's beam, caught in his own trap. He shouted at me, first in confusion, then rage. And then the sun came up, and things started to burn.
Page 1: Bright FallsEdit
My writer's block got worse. I didn't sleep much, anymore. My life with Alice seemed like a constant fight. I was a wreck.
Alice took steps: she booked a vacation in Bright Falls, a small town in Washington. It was supposed to be a chance to break out of the cycle I was in.
She didn't know about the darkness in Cauldron Lake.
Page 2: AliceEdit
Alice. My wife. The best thing that ever happened to me. She smiles, and the darkness lifts. For her, I have tried things I otherwise never would. I've never really minded if it's made me feel like a fool.
She's a photographer, and the world she sees through her lenses is unique and beautiful. She has the vision. She sees things others don't and knows how to make them visible to everybody.
She did it with me, too; she teased out things I was only vaguely aware of. She always saw me in the best possible light.
Page 3: What Really MattersEdit
It's been two years since I came here. Being that long without Alice breaks my heart, and I know it broke hers. I know she thinks I'm dead. How could I blame here for that?
It would be a crime to pretend that she owes me anything. She took all the stupid, self-indulgent bullshit I brought into her life and still stood by me, still loved me. It's no betrayal. But I'm a better person now than I used to be. I want to be that person with her.
Page 4: The GrenadierEdit
The taken were always single-minded. They had a certain animal cunning, but the weren't very intelligent. That's one of the reason why they prefer melee weapons; actual firearms are too complex for them to use.
That's why seeing the one who threw grenades at me surprised me -- but of course they aren't actually grenades. There's no pin to pull, no fuse to set off an explosive. Just concentrated darkness.
Location: Below the Drive-In sign by the main road.
Page 5: A Car in FlightEdit
The car seemed to sail through the crisp mountain air in slow motion, spinning around one axis almost lazily. The moment was hypnotic.
Then it struck the pipeline in a shower of sparks, the impact turning the windshield into a burst of safety glass. As it hit the ground, I snapped out of my reverie -- the car was rolling downhill, slowing down as every bump killed momentum, but still coming. The fence wouldn't be enough to stop it.
Page 6: Survival in the Dark PlaceEdit
The Dark Place is utterly hostile to human life. It eats at your mind, wants you to succumb to madness. Your own thoughts can turn against you. Every shadow conceals a threat that attacks at the slightest sign of weakness. You're under endless assault; every "day" is a struggle for survival.
But I have learned to take care of myself. I focus on Alice, our life together, my need to be with her. That takes me a long way in the Dark Place... as long as I have my gun and the flashlight.
Page 7: EquilibriumEdit
I have changed. I know who I am now. I know that I can write my own fate; Bright Falls taught me that. I know that indulging my weaknesses, giving in to fear and complacency will only drag me down; the Dark Place taught me that.
I'm no zen master. I have not attained enlightenment. But I have learned to let go of the things that I don't need. I know that without that balance within, I become my own worst enemy. Now I strive for equilibrium, and with that, I'm strong enough to get where I want.
Page 8: The DoppelgangerEdit
It's obvious that for all his power, Mr. Scratch is an agent of another, greater being. The Dark Place he came from is full of terrible alien intelligences, dark presences, and none of them should be let loose in our world. He serves one of them. He'll open the way for them if I don't stop him.
But he'll do more: he'll take over my life. He already has my face; he already uses my name. He'll become Alan Wake in every way imaginable and corrupt everything... unless I can stop him.
Page 9: Mr Scratch's TrapEdit
The trap Mr. Scratch has set for me is as simple as it is impossible: whenever I reach him, he sends me back to the beginning of the maze. It's a loop in time; I go through it only to end up where I started. There's a brutal genius to it. If I die, it's over for me; if I survive, I end up where I started. Sooner or later, the odds will catch up with me, and in the meantime, he gets to toy with me...
But that's why I have a chance. He's caught in this pattern just as much as I am. I know where he'll be, and I'm prepared.
Page 10: The PlanEdit
I have created the weapon that can put an end to this, a blueprint to a new reality. All I have to do is survive long enough to use it.
My arrival from the Dark Place will be painful and difficult. These pages may be lost, but one way or another, I'll send the parts I really need to myself. If I make it outside, I have a chance.
Mr. Scratch is more powerful than I am, but he can't change the rules in the middle of the game. He's not a creator. I am.
Page 11: The Dangers of CreationEdit
To change the world, you must craft a blueprint for the new reality. Any work of art will do, as long as it's a genuine act of creation; that's what the energies of the Dark Place respond to. The results may be subtle and perplexing, or far-ranging and momentous.
My area of expertise -- the written word -- gives much more precise results than music or interpretive dance would, for instance.
But words can be extremely dangerous. What you define may become reality, but so can that which you imply... Even if you don't realize you're doing so.
Page 12: Serena ValdiviaEdit
For Serena Valdivia, burning the midnight oil was more of an exception than a rule. A procrastinator and a perfectionist, she often worked when she wouldn't be disturbed.
Tonight was especially important: the film festival would open tomorrow, and there was still so much to sort out. It wasn't that the work hadn't been done; she just didn't feel like she had completely mastered everything yet.
Page 13: Focusing the BeamEdit
There's more to fighting the Taken than just burning away the darkness that protects them. When I'm fighting for my life, I find myself slipping into a state of intense concentration that makes the beam of my flashlight seem more powerful and focused. I used to think it was just my imagination, something brought on by the adrenaline and fear of death, but now I'm not so sure. I have been touched by powers that I can't begin to truly comprehend, and they've left a mark. I'm starting to think this might be a part of it.
Page 14: Serena and Mr. ScratchEdit
When the dark man's eyes suddenly locked into Serena's, she flushed hot. They ignited a black fire in her.
He was talking: he wanted the power turned off. He said something about the projector booth. She hooked a finger under his belt buckle. He grabbed a hold of her throat and twisted until it hurt. Somewhere deep inside, a part of her screamed in paralyzed horror, but the moan that escaped from her throat had no panic in it.
"Pay attention," he said. "Business first." His eyes glittered shamelessly. Hers did, too.
Page 15: The ClothesEdit
The clothes I wear now I shaped from dreams and memories. It's an old outfit, originally from the 90s; the last time I wore it was when I was still writing, and Alice and I took a vacation in the desert, before our troubles began.
The night before, we'd been at a party, and I'd dressed to the nines. On that lazy day, I put on these old clothes, worn and comfortable. Alice made a joke about grunge. I felt a little embarrassed, but stuck with them.
We were very happy. I'm sheathed in good memories, to remind myself of what is at stake.
Page 16: Alice's FilmEdit
I held the film canister in my hands. I saw her name written across it in big letters, followed by the title.
It was a time capsule, moments snatched from times gone by, from a past that I hoped could also be our future. It was my salvation -- our salvation, our chance to be together. A tin can with a bit of magic in it that she didn't even know about, something I could put to good use.
There were only moments left before I had to face him.
- Alan Wake states that in order to try and find a way out of the Dark Place, he needed to write a sequel, called "Return".
- At the end of American Nightmare, we see Alice's film which shows Alan meeting with Alice, this then fades to reveal it is part of the Night Springs story stating that it is an insight of what is to come, showing him what he is fighting for.
- The credits at the end explain that this 'episode' of Night Springs was titled "Return", the same sequel manuscript that Alan began writing in The Writer.
- Did Thomas Zane help Alan as he wrote "Return", to steer it in the right direction?
- Apart from the same "Tom the Poet" poster seen in the introduction of Alan Wake, Thomas Zane did not directly appear in "Return" and was not referenced, even indirectly. Why?