The whole lot Management’s AWE DLC Tells Us About Alan Wake’s Story

Word: This put up comprises a ton of spoilers for story and lore present in Management’s AWE DLC, in addition to the Alan Wake video games and a few of Management’s base recreation. Learn on at your personal threat!

Alan Wake lives. The destiny of the titular well-known author has been unknown for the reason that launch of Treatment Leisure’s cult traditional 2010 psychological thriller title and its 2012 spin-off, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, however Easter egg tidbits have popped up right here and there ever since. In Management, Treatment goes all-in on reviving Alan Wake (maybe as a result of it lastly obtained the rights to the sport again in 2019)–Wake’s story is violently colliding with that of Management protagonist Jesse Faden in that recreation’s last DLC enlargement, AWE.

AWE is not solely about Alan Wake and its characters, however a lot of the DLC gives context and clues about what occurred to numerous individuals within the 10 years since Wake’s disappearance on the finish of his recreation. We get updates on what’s taking place in Shiny Falls, what is going on on with Wake’s spouse, Alice, and what occurred to Dr. Emil Hartman, one of many individuals who knew essentially the most concerning the evil supernatural Darkish Presence in Alan Wake. The DLC additionally does loads to arrange the place the Alan Wake story will likely be going next–it positive feels like Treatment’s subsequent recreation is a few type of Alan Wake 2.

This is all the things the AWE DLC reveals concerning the characters of Alan Wake and what we are able to anticipate subsequent from that story.

Alan Wake Takes Management

Again in the principle story of Management, gamers had been capable of finding an Easter egg within the Panopticon that first tied Alan Wake’s story to Management’s. That Easter egg was one of many reality-bending Manuscript Pages gamers discover all through the 2010 recreation. The Federal Bureau of Management was conscious of the occasions in Shiny Falls in Alan Wake, however arrived effectively after all the things between Wake and the Darkish Presence had performed out. They found the web page (in addition to one of many many Oh Deer Diner thermoses you’ll find within the recreation) and investigated the paranatural “Altered World Occasion” that happened there–but by no means discovered Wake himself or absolutely understood all the things that occurred.

The Manuscript Web page comes with a Hotline message from Wake himself, updating us on what’s been happening with him for the final 10 years. He is nonetheless trapped within the Darkish Place on the backside of Shiny Falls, and due to the character of the Darkish Place’s actuality bending energy, his ideas, plans, goals, and fantasies about escaping regularly manifest themselves and appear real–so that he is by no means positive if he is really getting out, or simply thinks he’s.

AWE kicks off when Jesse receives one other Hotline message from Wake, directing her to the sealed Investigations Sector of the Bureau. Over the course of the DLC, we be taught Wake’s intentions: Since he cannot free himself from the Darkish Place, he is making an attempt to set issues up in order that Jesse can save him. There appears to be extra happening there, although.

Thomas Zane, Or Is It Mr. Scratch?

At just a few factors in the course of the DLC, Jesse is aware of cutscenes that really characteristic Wake and provides a way of what appears to be taking place with him proper now. As we noticed in the course of the Alan Wake DLC choices, The Sign and The Author, Wake typically has a tough time preserving straight what’s taking place and what’s actual. The affect of the Darkish Place causes him to lose his reminiscence, inflicting him to wrestle to recollect what he is been doing and what his plans are. He makes use of the manuscript he is writing to maintain monitor of what he is doing–which is perhaps a flawed plan, since Wake places all his belief in what he (believes he) has written.

Jesse sees Wake within the Oceanview Motel, a wierd, otherworldly location that is linked to the Oldest Home, speaking with one other man who appears identical to him and who identifies himself as Thomas Zane. It appears that evidently this particular person’s identification is an open query, nonetheless.

In Alan Wake, the Darkish Presence targets artists, hoping to make use of their energy, seemingly coupled with the paranaturally highly effective Darkish Place, to change actuality and launch its malevolence on the entire world. Zane was a poet who was one of many first attacked (as had been the Anderson brothers of the Previous Gods of Asgard; extra on them in a bit) again within the 1970s, however Zane fastidiously used his writing to entice the Darkish Presence within the Darkish Place. To cease the Darkish Presence from ever escaping, he used his energy to principally erase himself from existence. However Zane left himself some contingencies in case the Darkish Presence ever escaped, writing in key objects and components that Wake would in the future use in his personal battle with the entity. Something Zane left in a shoebox escaped being erased, as an illustration, and there is some implication that Wake’s absentee father may need been Zane himself.

Zane appeared in Alan Wake as a diver who was capable of drive again the Darkish Presence with an awesome mild, aiding Wake at key moments. In AWE, Zane is out of his diving go well with, nonetheless, and wears the identical garments as Wake. He says that he and Wake had been collaborating on a brand new mission, and calls himself a filmmaking auteur, versus a poet. He additionally likens the diving go well with model of himself to a movie character he was enjoying. This Zane is vaguely manipulative, and it appears very, very doubtless that he is not Zane at all–he may, the truth is, be Wake’s murderous double, Mr. Scratch, from the 2012 spin-off recreation, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare.

Mr. Scratch is one other paranatural entity created by the Darkish Place. He appears identical to Wake, however with a psychotic bent. He makes use of TVs and movies he is made all through American Nightmare to torment Wake, which present Scratch committing murders. Wake defeats and seemingly destroys Mr. Scratch on the finish of American Nightmare by blasting him with the highly effective mild and emotion of a house film, one which Wake made with Alice.

In AWE, nonetheless, Wake remembers the double and says “he is on the market.” It looks as if AWE is organising that Mr. Scratch survived and has been capable of manipulate Wake to do his bidding, even perhaps by posing as Zane. However Wake seemingly has a plan of his personal, as effectively.

Jesse Faden Goes To Shiny Falls

In his last Hotline message, we get the sense of what Wake’s after as he influences Jesse’s story in AWE.

“Wake wanted a hero,” Wake says. “The hero wanted a disaster. For the half within the story concerning the authorities company, Wake wanted one thing particular. One thing to convey an alien power mimicking human intelligence.”

That sounds loads like Wake may need created all of the occasions of Management, in addition to the monstrous Hiss that possesses the individuals of the Bureau and turns them into enemies all through the sport. Maybe Wake willed everybody concerned in Management into existence by his writing, together with the FBC itself. That may monitor with another Easter eggs as they exist in Management, together with Jesse having heard of and browse the works of Thomas Zane–which is unattainable for anybody else, since Zane used his energy to erase himself and his reminiscence from the world. There’s much more proof pointing to this concept, which we’ll compile afterward.

The top of AWE teases the place issues are headed subsequent for Management and Alan Wake. Jesse’s last message from Wake means that AWE was grooming her to assist Wake escape the Darkish Place. Getting Jesse into the Investigations Sector is step one. On the finish of the DLC, the FBC receives a sign from Shiny Falls indicating a brand new AWE is happening there. However as Langston notes within the cutscene, the date is wrong–it says the occasion is “a pair years sooner or later.” That sounds prefer it’s hinting on the subsequent recreation after Management, which additionally means that Jesse will head to Shiny Falls to take care of this new AWE.

The Bureau In Shiny Falls

The FBC really has a protracted historical past with Shiny Falls, Washington. It has been conscious of the city and the weirdness surrounding Cauldron Lake–although not the precise particulars, it seems–ever for the reason that 1970s when Thomas Zane fought and defeated the Darkish Presence. Partially, that is as a result of a former FBC agent, Frank Breaker, moved to Shiny Falls and have become sheriff (his daughter Sarah would later be sheriff in the course of the occasions of Alan Wake). After investigating what occurred, the FBC left a monitoring station in Shiny Falls to maintain a watch out for any extra bizarre exercise.

There’s an FBC agent, Estevez, who’s on-sight in Shiny Falls, so the Bureau has a everlasting presence there. Throughout the occasions of Alan Wake, Sheriff Sarah Breaker tells Wake’s agent, Barry Wheeler, to inform her father and several other others of what is taking place, which suggests there are different individuals there who work for or with the Bureau as effectively, or not less than learn about it.

Because of the oldsters it had in Shiny Falls, the FBC was capable of reply when some very dangerous factor began taking place with Dr. Emil Hartman and the Cauldron Lake Lodge. And the FBC’s continued presence there’s more likely to play into future occasions.

The Aftermath For Dr. Emil Hartman

The instant story of AWE is about Emil Hartman, one other Alan Wake character. Within the 2010 recreation, Hartman, a psychiatrist who makes a speciality of treating artists with inventive blocks, is the particular person in Shiny Falls most clued in to what’s really happening with the Darkish Place, though he would not know sufficient to guard himself from it. Again within the ’70s, Hartman labored as Thomas Zane’s assistant, and thru that, found the facility in Cauldron Lake and Zane’s means to change actuality by his paintings. Later, Zane’s girlfriend, Barbara Jagger, mysteriously drowned within the lake; Hartman satisfied Zane to attempt to deliver her again to life utilizing his energy.

That occasion kicked off all the things else that might occur in Alan Wake, with Zane unintentionally permitting the Darkish Presence to own Barbara. Zane managed to lock the Darkish Presence away (together with himself) and to erase himself and Barbara from existence to maintain it there, however Hartman knew what occurred and went on making an attempt to take the facility Zane had wielded for himself.

When Wake, a well-known novelist, arrives in Shiny Falls, Hartman sees one other alternative like he had with Zane. Wake’s spouse Alice is kidnapped by the Darkish Presence in an try and power Wake to free it, and the remainder of the sport is the story Wake has written in an try and battle again and defeat the entity. Throughout the course of the sport, Wake results in Hartman’s lodge, the place the psychiatrist treats artists–an try to search out somebody who may entry Cauldron Lake’s energy. Wake escapes when the Darkish Presence assaults, and it appears like Hartman will get nabbed and perhaps killed by the entity. As we be taught in Management, nonetheless, he survived and went on making an attempt to uncover Cauldron Lake’s energy.

The FBC later arrives in Shiny Falls to analyze the Altered World Occasion that was the Alan Wake story, encountering and questioning Hartman. As soon as they discover out what he is aware of, Hartman suggests he work with the FBC, “sharing notes” on Cauldron Lake. As an alternative, the FBC arrests Hartman as a “paracriminal,” somebody who makes use of Altered Objects and Objects of Energy with out Bureau authorization. The FBC additionally units up surveillance on Hartman’s sufferers on the lodge, which suggests all of them survived the occasions of Alan Wake when the Darkish Presence attacked.

Hartman is launched some months later after the FBC evaluates him, however as soon as he is out, he goes proper again to his work in Shiny Falls. With no FBC assist, Hartman decides to dive into Cauldron Lake and determine issues out for himself. This proves to be an enormous miscalculation–in his try and unlock the facility of the Darkish Place, Hartman is possessed by the Darkish Presence, turning into a murderous Taken creature that Wake calls The-Factor-That-Had-Been-Hartman. The FBC is tipped off to the creature’s presence when it finds that one thing is damaging the cameras at its Shiny Falls monitoring station. The Bureau manages to seize the creature and takes it again to Investigations to check it.

It isn’t completely clear how lengthy the possessed Hartman is saved within the Oldest Home, but it surely appears to be some time. There, Investigations brokers be taught all they’ll concerning the Darkness-infused creature, which is similar type of creature Wake fought all through the occasions of Alan Wake. The FBC additionally builds a duplicate of Hartman’s Cauldron Lake Lodge to be able to see if the acquainted locale may change the creature’s conduct.

Escape, Homicide, And AWE

Round two years earlier than the occasions of Management, the Hartman creature escapes his confinement within the Investigations sector and goes on a full-on homicide rampage. He kills a variety of brokers within the sector earlier than the survivors handle to flee. Fairly than attempt to save anybody who’s nonetheless left, Director Zachariah Trench orders the sector sealed–even although there are nonetheless survivors inside. That is the place issues are left till the beginning of AWE: Hartman has been wandering round Investigations, alone, sealed off from the remainder of the Oldest Home. However when the Hiss get away and assault firstly of Management, they possess Hartman, in addition to everybody else.

The interplay between the Darkness and the Hiss turns Hartman into one thing new. Wake describes him as “stretched,” with the resonant noise of the Hiss rising darker, and the Darkness rising louder. Wake calls this new Hartman monster “The Third Factor,” and it is principally invincible by a lot of the AWE story.

Jesse ultimately hunts down the Third Factor and kills it earlier than it could possibly escape into the remainder of the FBC and wreak extra havoc. This nearly looks as if an audition for her, arrange by Wake, to see if she can be able to taking up the Darkish Presence. It appears Jesse passes the check by the tip of the DLC.

Alice Wake’s American Nightmare

There are just a few different characters talked about in AWE, giving different clues as to what is going on on within the aftermath of Alan Wake. An enormous one is Alice Wake, who had direct contact with the FBC, in keeping with information you’ll find within the DLC. The FBC first discovered Alice within the aftermath of the Shiny Falls AWE in 2010, and after interviewing her concerning the occasion, left a cellphone quantity together with her so she may contact them if something unusual occurred. Because it seems, one thing did.

Alice contacts the FBC in 2017 to inform them about one thing horrible she’s experiencing. Each night time, she says, she’s visited by a shrieking imaginative and prescient of her husband Alan of their New York condominium. Alice says that she would not suppose that is Wake himself, however some type of “monster” in his physique that she says has violent intent towards her. She lastly catches it on movie with a motion-activated digicam.

With that proof in-hand, Alice involves the FBC for an interview and exhibits them the picture, which exhibits somebody who appears like Alan screaming at her within the darkness. In response to Wake’s Hotline message to Jesse, which appears to be the manuscript he is writing, it is Alice’s presence within the FBC and her connection to Wake that causes Hartman to go berserk. He senses her and that causes him to interrupt out, ensuing within the occasion that seals the Investigations Sector. As Wake explains within the Hotline message, nonetheless, Alice is already gone by the point Hartman will get free.

We do not know what else occurred to Alice after that. The Hotline messages Wake sends to Jesse come off just like the manuscript pages he writes to regulate actuality; one is stuffed with the main points about how Hartman turned possessed by the Darkish Presence, one other particulars how he’s corrupted additional by the Hiss, and a 3rd talks about how Alice’s go to to the FBC induced Hartman to get free. The complete story of the AWE DLC, then, appears to be Wake making modifications from the Darkish Place to create a story that may deliver Jesse to the place he wants her.

Casey Makes A Name

Alice Wake and Emil Hartman aren’t the one individuals within the Shiny Falls AWE. A correspondence file present in Investigations states that an FBI agent inquires about all info the FBC has on the Wake scenario someday earlier than the sector is sealed. What’s attention-grabbing is who makes the request: an Agent Alex Casey.

Casey is a personality within the Alan Wake universe, however he is one among Wake’s personal creations. The novels that made Wake well-known all star Casey as a hardboiled detective (he really sounds loads like one other Treatment character, Max Payne). The brokers on the FBC comment on this of their file and notice that they did not give Casey any materials that may tip him off concerning the paranatural occasions in Shiny Falls, however the look of somebody claiming to be Casey is worthy of notice to them nonetheless.

We’re unsure who’s utilizing Casey’s title, however there are a few potentialities. If Mr. Scratch remains to be working round, as appears doubtless, then he may very well be utilizing Casey’s title to attempt to get info from the FBC, whereas additionally mocking Wake just like the spooky psychopath that he’s. There’s additionally Robert Nightingale, an FBI agent who tried to arrest Wake in the course of the Shiny Falls AWE however was taken by the Darkish Presence. Alan Wake ends with a shot of Nightingale wanting notably creepy and seemingly trapped in Shiny Falls, nonetheless below the Darkish Presence’s affect. Utilizing the Casey title additionally suits Nightingale’s character, particularly if he hoped to cover his identification.

There’s additionally the chance that that was, the truth is, Alex Casey. The principle story of Management contains traversal into different dimensions, and Dylan Faden talks about dreaming about what sound like parallel realities. He even hints at seeing a world through which a fictional character is an actual particular person, and that character sounds loads like Alex Casey. It may very well be that, as a part of the brand new Shiny Falls AWE, realities are mixing together–or, consistent with different components in AWE, this name from Casey may very well be the work of Wake himself as he writes occasions into existence as a part of his overarching story.

The Gods Versus The Darkness

The Previous Gods of Asgard is a band made up of two previous rockers, Tor and Odin Anderson, who reside in Shiny Falls. They seem a bunch in Alan Wake–in the 1970s, the 2 musicians gained the facility of the Darkish Place by ingesting moonshine they created utilizing the water from Cauldron Lake. Hartman acknowledged their means and compelled them to his lodge, the place he studied them, and the Andersons’ songs are important to serving to Wake defeat the Darkish Presence by the course of the Shiny Falls AWE. That means the Andersons’ position within the story may need been devised by Thomas Zane sooner or later up to now, or that they had been written in by Wake himself when he created his personal manuscript.

A brand new file in AWE offers extra context concerning the Andersons and their previous with Cauldron Lake. It particulars one other Altered World Occasion in Shiny Falls that happened after the primary one which pertained to Zane. The primary Shiny Falls AWE happened in 1970; this one occurred in 1976.

Alan Wake and American Nightmare focus on how the Andersons fought the Darkish Presence sooner or later up to now, however the information concerning the 1976 Shiny Falls AWE fills in additional info. It says the Darkish Presence got here for the Andersons throughout a competition in Shiny Falls, attacking their farm. It created storms and flooding that induced the Shiny Falls townspeople to flee the competition grounds, led by then-Sheriff Frank Breaker. Because of Breaker, no one was harm; afterward, Breaker and the FBC came across the aftermath of the Andersons’ battle with the Darkish Presence.

The Andersons received the standoff, and it appears they most likely did so by utilizing their music to invoke the powers of the Norse gods they modeled themselves after on-stage. Tor Anderson had been struck by lightning, whereas Odin Anderson had apparently gouged out his personal eye. In any occasion, they received the battle and the Darkish Presence receded, as did the flood waters and the storms. The FBC interviewed everybody and took the townspeople’s accounts, however did not discover a lot else in the way in which of proof about what precisely occurred, or the AWE’s lasting results. Nothing as huge would occur in Shiny Falls till 2010 and Wake’s arrival on the town.

Barry Wheeler And The Andersons

The Andersons’ music exhibits up in Management, too. Their music “Take Management” is what permits Jesse to navigate by the Ashtray Maze throughout that recreation. In case you hear fastidiously to the music, you’ll be able to hear somebody talking between verses–but the sound of the phrases has been performed backwards, obscuring what’s being stated.

The backwards message within the music is an enormous secret that Management gamers have been making an attempt to determine for the reason that recreation was launched, and in AWE, the answer is lastly revealed. In case you uncover a specific hidden room and comply with the clues from the message, you discover out what turned of the Andersons, in addition to Wake’s agent and a personality in Alan Wake, Barry Wheeler.

Seems, regardless of being fairly rattling previous, the Previous Gods nonetheless knew methods to rock lengthy into their previous age. Within the aftermath of Alan Wake, Barry took the Andersons on as purchasers and helped them land some hits–among them “Stability Slays The Demon,” one of many tracks that seems in American Nightmare and helps Wake to defeat Mr. Scratch. We obtained just a few tidbits of this a part of the story again in American Nightmare, however Management explains the way it ends.

The Previous Gods put out a biggest hits album known as “Rebirth” and went on tour. They did three main, stadium-filling exhibits, however would all the time lose themselves in post-show events for days afterward. Barry would ultimately chase them down, and it might take the Andersons weeks to recuperate from their drug and alcohol benders.

In the long run, Barry quits because the Andersons’ agent, fearing they may die in the event that they preserve going as laborious as they are–and after the trauma of dropping his buddy and shopper Wake, Barry cannot bear that. He cancels the tour and as a substitute funnels the cash from the gigs and the album into the founding of the Valhalla Nursing Dwelling. It is there that the Andersons are comfortably dwelling out (or perhaps have lived out) their twilight years.

Is This All Alan Wake’s Doing?

There are a whole lot of bizarre particulars that counsel perhaps Wake, writing from the Darkish Place, has been accountable for all the things taking place in Management. That extends past simply the occasions of the AWE DLC, that are the results of Wake’s influence–all of Management, together with all of the backstory within the recreation, is perhaps a part of Wake’s manuscript.

We all know that Wake is writing manuscript pages which can be creating Jesse’s story in AWE, and from the Hotline messages, it looks as if he additionally created the conditions that led to it, like Hartman’s possession and Alice’s go to to the FBC, in the identical method.

Concentrate and you may also discover a number of pages of a script Wake wrote for “Evening Springs,” the Twilight Zone-like TV present he wrote on earlier than turning into a well-known novelist. The “spec script” he wrote to attempt to get a job on the present, known as, “Over the Threshold, Darkly,” is a truncated model of the precise situation that kicked off the occasions of Management, through which a authorities company scientist (loads like Dr. Darling) and the company’s director (loads like Zachariah Trench) open a portal to a different dimension and get attacked by what they discover there. It even ends with the director taking pictures himself within the head, which is among the opening scenes of Management.

In one other file, we be taught that Alice Wake’s interview on the FBC corresponded with modifications noticed contained in the Oceanview Motel. All through Management, we enterprise to the Oceanview and discover a number of doorways there, and we do not know the importance of most of them (the one with the inverted black triangle, the image of the Board, is the one we all the time use to exit the motel). The file says that the door sporting a spiral form, which is current all through the sport, appeared within the motel on the identical day as Alice’s go to. That is the identical door behind which Jesse spots Wake throughout AWE, and evidently Wake’s affect from the Darkish Place created it.

Different circumstantial proof attracts extra parallels between Management and Alan Wake. We have already talked about that Jesse is one among solely a handful of individuals on this planet who can keep in mind Thomas Zane regardless of his efforts to clean himself from actuality. The city of Peculiar, the place Jesse and her brother, Dylan, skilled an AWE, can also be tied to Zane by means of the Alan Wake “This Home of Goals” alternate actuality recreation on-line, and was talked about in an Previous Gods of Asgard music in Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. And an Previous Gods’ music guides Jesse by the Ashtray Maze–which is one thing that Wake has written into his personal story on a couple of event to assist himself out.

We do not know for positive how deep this rabbit gap goes, but it surely’s not insignificant that Management retains hinting at Wake’s affect. It appears very doable that he is perhaps the one pulling the strings behind all of the occasions in Management, writing a prolonged and concerned story to create the characters–and hero–he must lastly rescue himself from the evil on the backside of Cauldron Lake.

Subsequent Time, On Alan Wake

The AWE DLC paints a reasonably clear image: The tales of Jesse Faden and Alan Wake are intertwined and so they’re on a collision course. AWE all however says {that a} full continuation of Wake’s story is within the pipe from Treatment Leisure and even places a relative date on it, suggesting it will be out round 2022.

What we do not know is strictly what that story will entail. It looks as if a good guess that Wake’s double, Mr. Scratch, may have an essential position. Alan Wake has just a few different antagonists, however with AWE tying up Hartman as a free finish, we’re actually solely left with Nightingale.

We may additionally see some hanging threads from Management combined in, like the continued battle between the unusual Astral Aircraft entities often known as the Board and the Former, and the newly launched thought of “paracriminals,” who use Altered Objects for their very own nefarious ends or attempt to create their very own AWEs. There is no strategy to know for positive, but it surely appears fairly definitive that we’re due for a return to Shiny Falls and Cauldron Lake with Treatment’s subsequent outing.

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