* AntiClimaxBoss:
** The final boss of the main game only has a flock of crows to defend itself once you get within shooting range, and you get a chest with unlimited flare gun ammo.
** The final boss of The Signal can be dispatched with a few flare gun shots and boosting the flashlight for about 15 seconds or so. There's a reason one of the achievements requires you to beat it in a minute and a half. The final boss of The Writer is legitimately difficult, though certainly not in ThatOneBoss territory.
* BadassDecay: When the kidnapper, Mott, is introduced, he kills multiple Taken in quick succession, and is quick to display that [[GenreSavvy he knows how to effectively defeat them]]. Later, he's [[spoiler: effectively killed offscreen. But then again, he was confronted by the [[EldritchAbomination main host of the Darkness]], so he was rather outclassed.]]
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: In ''American Nightmare'', during your final trip to the observatory, you fight a horde of Taken while "Balance Slays the Demon" plays seemingly from nowhere. Does Rachel [[SourceMusic play it for you over the intercom]]? Is Alan hearing it in his head because [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome he enjoyed the Children of The Elder God fight more than he let on]]? Or perhaps it's [[FridgeBrilliance part of the soundtrack to the episode of Night Springs he is living]]?
* BreatherLevel: There are several places in the game, albeit brief ones, where Alan moves about during daylight. These sections are safe, allowing the player to relax a little while some exposition goes on, and occasionally enjoy some SceneryPorn of the local environment.
** The very last level of the main game has no danger whatsoever, just various things to shine the flashlight on which causes objects to appear.
* ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch: There are quite a few complaints about being in the forest for the entire game, but this is ''not'' the case; You're only in the forest for about three levels in the game. The rest of the game is spent in much more varietal environments after the three forest levels.
** Plus those are [[NothingIsScarier really]] [[MalevolentArchitecture good]] [[TheLostWoods forests]], so the people making said complaints were missing the point even if they knew what they were talking about.
%%Do not add Mr. Scratch to Complete Monster without getting the cleanup thread's permission first.
* CrazyAwesome: Odin and Tor.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome:
** A lot of it, especially songs - such as "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwV0jMmvtt0 Children of the Elder God]]" by a [[FakeBand fictional band]] named "The Old Gods of Asgard".
** Especially "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOxSqSxRy-4 The Poet and The Muse]]".
** It ends on [[DavidBowie Space Oddity]].
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tA2d4DWdGw "War"]], which plays in the fifth episode's ending, and also can be played during what is likely one of the most difficult fights in the entire game.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3lBF2h-Pl0 Haunted]] by {{Music/Poe}}. The fact that it's closely tied to [[Literature/HouseOfLeaves another very meta piece of literature]] featuring sentient antagonistic darkness [[ShoutOut is probably not a coincidence]].
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJvgbNPhASo Balance Slays The Demon]] from American Nightmare.
** Roy Orbison's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCKY25ulOe8 In Dreams]] which plays at the end of Episode 1. Doubles as a ShoutOut to BlueVelvet.
* CultClassic: According to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5CRjoQKyY8 Sam Lake himself]].
* EarWorm:
** "Put de lime in de coconut, you drink em both up..."
** [[spoiler:"Find the lady of the light, gone mad with the night..."]]
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Barry, for his constant pop culture references from ''VideoGame/{{Zork}}'' to [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Mordor]] and for [[TookALevelInBadass taking a couple of levels in badass]] from Episode 4 onwards. He's also liked because he gives Alan some PetTheDog Moments. Once Alan starts snarking back and forth with Barry you realize, hey, Alan's not just a mopey {{jerkass}}. He's got a sense of humour!
** [[WordOfGod Remedy]] has stated that they like Agent Nightingale's character and would like to explore his mysterious backstory further.
* GameBreaker: The crossbow in ''American Nightmare'' is flat-out superior to every weapon in the game. The flare gun and flashbangs have been nerfed and have limited ammo, while the crossbow can be restocked at any ammo box. It ignores darkness shields, unlike anything that fires bullets. It can kill every normal Taken in one hit, and crowmen Taken in two. For the King Hillbilly Taken and Splitters, the flare gun and the magnum, respectively, will easily deal with them, and the crossbow will still nullify the former's darkness shield in one hit.
* GoddamnedBats:
** The Dark Crows, which are about as close to the trope namer as possible without actually being mammals. Also those damned {{Bear Trap}}s in certain parts of the woods.
** The SuperSpeed Taken and the lesser FragileSpeedster Taken. Neither are terribly threatening as long as you're attentive, but their speed means you can lose track of them in the MultiMookMelee, and that tends to be a deadly mistake.
** In "The Signal" it becomes [[{{GoddamnedBats}} Goddamned Books]].
** In ''American Nightmare'', the GoddamnedBats are literal DemonicSpiders.
*** Although you no longer have to fight crows, which is nice. They do appear in the game, but they [[TheWormThatWalks take a human form]] to fight you, and only turn into a flock of crows as an evasive manoeuvre.
** Grenadiers constantly heft grenades at you to slowly wear you down and keep as much distance between you and them as they can. It's not too bad during the story mode, but they ''will'' screw up you scoring streak during the arcade mode.
* HarsherInHindsight: "Rusty used to be human, but now he's just black coffee wrapped in skin."
** For a combination of [[HilariousInHindsight hilarity]] and [[HarsherInHindsight harshness]] bestowed by hindsight, the recent revelation that Verizon routinely turns over all of its records to the National Security Agency makes it an ironically fitting sponsor for a game in which paranoia and everyone knowing everyone else's business are major themes.
* InternetBackdraft: PC gamers are bitter about Alan Wake being moved from a DirectX 10-only Windows title to the Xbox 360 console.
* JerkassWoobie: Alan Wake himself. Considering the situation he was in.
** Agent Nightingale Can be seen as this if you've read his backstory in The Alan Wake Files bundled with the limited edition of the game.
*** And carried on with the Novel which goes into even more detail; He and his partner were two {{By The Book Cop}}s, until the latter's death at the hands of the Dark Presence
* MemeticMutation: He's Alan Wake. [[{{VideoGame/DeadRising}} He's written books, y'know.]]
* {{Mondegreen}}: In the very first line of "Children of the Elder God" - "Warriors, torchbearers, come redeem our dreams." - the first two words can easily be misheard as "Warriors touch their ass".
* MostWonderfulSound: Maine's late night radio broadcasts really help take the edge off of fighting shadow monsters alone in the woods.
* NarmCharm: As strong an element of Lake's writing as ever. His occasionally stilted and unnatural dialogue(possibly deliberate, [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall in this case]]), often propped up with gratuitous film references right in the fore-text, is still very sincere in its desire to entertain and has won him many new fans.
** Judging by some interviews, Lake is a native Finnish speaker (as is the company) with a really heavy accent so English may not be his first language resulting in some translation issues.
* NauseaFuel: In one of Mr. Scratch's recordings in ''American Nightmare'', he slashes the throat of one of Alan's female fans while gently massaging her head. The gurgling noise she makes as she dies is ''very'' disturbing.
* NightmareRetardant: Having a deranged hybrid of [[KingdomHearts the Heartless]] and [[VideoGame/ResidentEvil4 the Ganados]] flail at you wildly with a rusty sickle is unnerving right up until he kindly informs you, "Omega-3 fatty acids are GOOD for your health!".\\
\\
But then swings back to NightmareFuel when you realize that the random phrases are ''all that's left of the original person.''
** But then another shouts "It's rabbit season!" to which you reply, "No it's duck season!" and blow his beak off with a hunting rifle.
* ParanoiaFuel:
** Pulled straight from the pages of ''Film/InTheMouthOfMadness'', anyone within Bright Falls might exist only as a character in Alan Wake's manuscript and can be [[AnyoneCanDie killed off for the sake of its plot]]. Or worse, be touched by the Dark Presence and forced to do its bidding.
** See that harmless tire right there? [[EverythingTryingToKillYou The Dark Presence might take it over and have it attack you]]. Oh, look, is that a bulldozer?...
** At one point during Episode 2, if you go into a certain cabin, a Taken walks by one of the windows, before disappearing. Nothing happens, but it's still ParanoiaFuel ''[[NothingIsScarier to the max]]''.
** After finishing Episode 1, fighting off the Taken in the middle of the night, you're probably still tense and maybe a bit afraid of the dark. Episode 2 starts in a flashback at Alan's apartment. Alan's looking at cover mock-ups done by Alice - when the lights suddenly go out.
** Near the entrance of a logging camp, there's a large machine with a claw for carrying logs. Stepping near it causes the claw to open and close menacingly while an Elite Taken starts yelling in his constantly shifting voice. While the machine [[NothingIsScarier doesn't do anything else]], the Elite Taken is nowhere to be seen.
** After Alan ends up in the Sheriff's Station, he walks out into the lobby, and the lights flicker. [[spoiler: It's just Cynthia Weaver, local TalkativeLoon, checking the bulbs.]]
* TheScrappy:
** Agent Nightingale, though Remedy may have special plans for him [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap in a possible sequel]].
* SpiritualLicensee: Remedy could not have made a better adaptation of ''Film/InTheMouthOfMadness'' if they'd ''tried''.
* ThatOneLevel: The battle after you find the radio that plays "War". It's a very cramped warehouse full of the large Taken that take forever to light up and have a tendency to bum rush you. It's also full of smaller, faster guys who can sneak up behind you very easily. Oh, and did I mention that you have recently lost all of your stuff and only get three flares to go along with your revolver? If you're lucky, you'll find a shotgun just before the radio, but it doesn't help that much.
** That is, until you realize you can simply run past/dodge them all to the checkpoint outside, but you'd be forgoing the items inside.
** Getting caught by the BearTraps is annoying, since it spawns a Taken each time it happens. However, in one part of the game with bear traps, you also have no weapons, and they still spawn Taken when you get caught by them.
* UncannyValley: Multiple reviewers have made note of the somewhat "off" character models in the game, particularly Alice Wake. The poor lip-syncing, particularly in the first few cutscenes, doesn't help matters either.
* VillainDecay: A minor example. The Taken who has a specific grievance against Wake in the beginning of the game, during the nightmare, and who speaks lucidly, is more intimidating than the ones who randomly shout gibberish based off of their lives.
** It's never quite clear if this is actually a Taken or just a part of Alan's nightmare. It could be intentional decay on Alan's part, remembering the nightmare and making that into what the Taken are, or it could be that this is what the Taken really are but he toned them down in his book. Suffice it to say [[MindScrew the game isn't going to explain it]].
*** It's just a part of Alan's nightmare. "The Writer" ends with a BossRush of [[spoiler: Dr. Hartman, the Anderson Brothers (both at once), and then Barry three times in a row; all of whom are lucid Taken, and the DLC takes place in Alan's nightmares.]]
** Might also be a case of NotBrainwashed. The guy was pretty upset about Alan killing him off in his book.
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