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YMMV: Alan Wake
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • 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 That One Boss territory.
  • Badass Decay: When the kidnapper, Mott, is introduced, he kills multiple Taken in quick succession, and is quick to display that he knows how to effectively defeat them. Later, he's effectively killed offscreen. But then again, he was confronted by the main host of the Darkness, so he was rather outclassed.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: 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 play it for you over the intercom? Is Alan hearing it in his head because he enjoyed the Children of The Elder God fight more than he let on? Or perhaps it's part of the soundtrack to the episode of Night Springs he is living?
  • Breather Level: 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 Scenery Porn 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.
  • Crazy Awesome: Odin and Tor.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
  • Cult Classic: According to Sam Lake himself.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "Put de lime in de coconut, you drink em both up..."
    • "Find the lady of the light, gone mad with the night..."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Barry, for his constant pop culture references from Zork to Mordor and for taking a couple of levels in badass from Episode 4 onwards. He's also liked because he gives Alan some Pet the Dog 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!
    • Remedy has stated that they like Agent Nightingale's character and would like to explore his mysterious backstory further.
  • Game Breaker: 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.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • The Dark Crows, which are about as close to the trope namer as possible without actually being mammals. Also those damned Bear Traps in certain parts of the woods.
    • The Super Speed Taken and the lesser Fragile Speedster Taken. Neither are terribly threatening as long as you're attentive, but their speed means you can lose track of them in the Multi-Mook Melee, and that tends to be a deadly mistake.
    • In "The Signal" it becomes Goddamned Books.
    • In American Nightmare, the Goddamned Bats are literal Demonic Spiders.
      • Although you no longer have to fight crows, which is nice. They do appear in the game, but they 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "Rusty used to be human, but now he's just black coffee wrapped in skin."
    • For a combination of hilarity and 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.
  • Internet Backdraft: PC gamers are bitter about Alan Wake being moved from a Direct X 10-only Windows title to the Xbox 360 console.
  • Jerkass Woobie: 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 Cops, until the latter's death at the hands of the Dark Presence
  • Memetic Mutation: He's Alan Wake. 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".
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Maine's late night radio broadcasts really help take the edge off of fighting shadow monsters alone in the woods.
  • Narm Charm: As strong an element of Lake's writing as ever. His occasionally stilted and unnatural dialogue(possibly deliberate, 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.
    • Barry wrapped in Christmas lights. He looks utterly ridiculous (something Alan himself lampshades), but because it's also an effective defense against the Dark Presence, it comes across as rather badass.
  • Nausea Fuel: 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.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Having a deranged hybrid of the Heartless and 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 Nightmare Fuel 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.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Pulled straight from the pages of In the Mouth of Madness, anyone within Bright Falls might exist only as a character in Alan Wake's manuscript and can be 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? 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 Paranoia Fuel 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 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. It's just Cynthia Weaver, local Talkative Loon, checking the bulbs.
  • The Scrappy:
  • Spiritual Licensee: Remedy could not have made a better adaptation of In the Mouth of Madness if they'd tried.
  • That One Level: 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 Bear Traps 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.
  • Uncanny Valley: 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.
  • Villain Decay: 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 the game isn't going to explain it.
      • It's just a part of Alan's nightmare. "The Writer" ends with a Boss Rush of 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 Not Brainwashed. The guy was pretty upset about Alan killing him off in his book.

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