- Plausible? Might be, let's just say not all Bright Falls natives are really reacting to Barry (see the whole walk in the trailer park). Could be that Wake himself is just gibbering and he projects it on his imaginary friend.
- This Troper considered this as well during the lodge scene, but latched onto one subtle piece of evidence that disproves anything Hartman tells you about being insane, and had him going, "No, this is a lie, you're a lie, and it's all real." throughout Hartman's diatribe: the scene where you wake up in the clinic? It's in the pages that supposedly don't exist, before you ever wake up there.
- Also, the only solid evidence that it's all in Alan's mind comes from Hartman, and he is the least trustworthy character in the entire game. Aside from him (and the Dark Presence when it's very obviously grasping at straws), the game never really plays with the idea that it might all be a hallucination.
- The big piece of evidence that disproved it to me is that the island is missing.
- Partially confirmed Alan is indeed still trapped in the Dark Place, but the events of The Signal actually seem to take place in his head, with him apparently undergoing some sort of self-loathing-powered psychotic episode.
- And considering the only thing we know about Our Friend Tom other than that he is a poet who dives is that he stabbed his girlfriend in the heart, uh, I'm not full of confidence in our friendship.
- Also considering that the Alan you see via TV states that the story has to be internally consistent or it loses believability (and by extension, the Dark Presence uses plot holes in the story for its own ends - Zane's writing back of Barbara Jagger with no real plot reason to do so allowed it to possess her and she came back "wrong") leads me to believe that Zane isn't what he appears to be. TV-Alan says he wrote Zane into the story to help him, but gives no real reason or any sense to why he's even there or how he came back. The Dark Presence has to work within the confines of the story, but if something is not stated plainly or is a gaping plot hole it has free reign to do what it desires as long as this does not contradict the rest of the story. Zane is the perfect puppet for the darkness - he can appear anywhere, is ostensibly the darkness's enemy, and appears friendly to Alan as he went through the same years ago - but it is my belief that the darkness doesn't necessarily control him; he figured out how to exploit the plot holes for his own ends and is working to free himself by using Alan as a pawn in his chess match versus the darkness. Zane supposedly died or at least disappeared in the lake, and the lake's water seems to have powers that are not connected to the Dark Presence itself.
- There's also the whole Mr. Scratch thing. Zane just mentions it offhand and tells Alan to not be alarmed, but Mr. Scratch is another name for the Devil.
- And considering Scratch's actions in American Nightmare, alarmed is what Alan should be.
- This Alan Wake 2 concept video explains that Mr. Scratch's mind used to mirror Alan's own, but it changed for the worse when people started making up rumors about what happened at the lake (Alan Wake supposedly being a serial killer who chopped his wife to pieces and murdered campers), because Mr. Scratch is a fictional character come to life. Also, the Dark Presence tok over him like it had taken over Barbara, because Alan Wake acquiring those traits would be a plot hole like Barbara returning.
- And considering Scratch's actions in American Nightmare, alarmed is what Alan should be.
- Consider Mr. Scratch. Zane brings him to life and says "He'll meet up with your friends" or something like that, but at the END Alice finds no trace of Alan at all! Not even a doppleganger! What does this mean? From after the dive into the lake, you play as Mr. Scratch, who for all intents and purposes, was Alan and Zane's avatar within the story. Since you can't be both places at once, Alan typed that Zane made Scratchy here, who went through the course of the game, weakening the Dark Presence so Alan could win his mental battle against it. When you REALLY control Alan, you know it, because you can see the words of his story floating around, ready to become reality. All the other times? You're Mr. Scratchy.
- Watch the scene when Alan meets Mr. Scratch. Who has the bandage on his head, like the one we've had since waking up in the car? It's Mr. Scratch.
- It's more like that Thomas Zane wrote a story about himself and a future writer named Alan Wake (and gave him a lame pun for a name) and in that story the writer Alan Wake wrote a story about himself and Thomas Zane. So Thomas Zane is writing Alan's story while also allowing Alan to write a story within that story. A kind of meta-collaborative effort in which both are writing the game's events. Zane is the more powerful because he wrote the story, while Alan is still capable because he's writing the story within the story. In other words, there are three levels: Zane's story, Alan's story, and what we play in Alan Wake. Likely, Zane's story was called "Alan Wake."
- It might be a family heirloom.
- They may have had a child, but does it really make any impact on the story if they did?
- Ah, but where did the kid go? The couple was too young to have a kid grow up and move away, so the death of his mother (and subsequent murder/suicide of both parents) would leave him a very young orphan. It also might give validity to a "Zane is Wake's father" WMG.
- Or that they started out as regular people, and their music (fueled by the power of Cauldron Lake) gave them the powers and personalities of Odin and Thor. It was also stated that they changed their names for a Norse theme with their band, so they didn't start out as the Old Gods we know today. Zane's incident was around 1970. Odin didn't lose his eye (by his own hand) until at least 1976, but their band had been around since 1971. If he truly had gained the mythological aspect of Odin at that time, his casting out of his eye may have granted him the wisdom to realize the situation for what it was, and allowed them to fight back. Odin said that they had only "opened the door a crack" in reference to letting the darkness loose, unlike what Zane and Alan did which was to "open it all the way". Their other two band members were likely affected by the lake as well, as Bob Balder died in 1980 while they were still a band (like his namesake, who also died in mythology) and Loki Darkens had a personality much like his namesake. Some of this detail is in supplementary info and not in the game proper.
- But perhaps the Andersons being ordinary people was written into the story by the Dark Presence to remove their power and shrivel them from gods into relatively harmless old men. It makes sense that Thomas Zane would assume there was a mundane explanation to the Andersons' resemblance to the gods and write it in without a thought for the greater implications, not knowing he was an Unwitting Pawn.
- The dark ravens could be a result of Odin's meddling with powers he didn't understand, as he states that "she took my ravens, Memory and Thought" (as such it is implied that the darkness made his mythological pets "wrong"). The Alan Wake Files hints that the ravens existed prior to Alan's coming to Bright Falls (referring to them only as "a ravenous local species of bird"), so they're not necessarily his creation. Their powers may have been usurped by the darkness, as Tor also states "she took my thunder, the hag". If they had any actual powers, they appear to have lost it with their fight against the darkness or the dissolution of their band as they ceased to create art that could be manipulated.
- As Thor is the god of thunder, and more broadly, storms, the strong wind effect when Taken are nearby and the tornado aspect of the darkness could be a direct result of it using Tor's former powers granted by his band's music's interaction with the powers of the lake. Music tends to be much more open to interpretation and less concrete than storywriting so the Dark Presence could use its own interpretation but overall be less effective as there was no real story to follow.
- Barbara Jagger's modern appearance could be influenced by them as well as they refer to the Dark Presence in "Children of the Elder God" as a "scratching hag" with claws and crooked teeth, as well as just generally calling her "Baba Yaga" when talking to Alan. (Incidentally, the Baba Yaga of folklore was said to reside in a moving hut with bird legs - note the similarity to Bird Leg Cabin.) Zane even comments on how she looks so old now, but if she was Taken (and effectively dead) she shouldn't age.
- Zane took his last dive 40 years ago, and Alan is only 32.
- Alan thinks he's only 32. Remember Lindsay from Arrested Development? It's possible he's older than that.
- Unless Zane is Alan's father in the metaphorical sense, meaning Zane wrote Alan into existence and vice-versa, all leading back to the previous WMG.
- Doesn't really work; Zane lost his wife, but it's Alan's father who was gone. That would mean that Alan's mother would have to be Barbara after becoming the Dark Presence's avatar, which clearly doesn't work (she's obviously not normal, and besides, why would she give him the Clicker?).
- Alternatively, Tom isn't Alan's father. Alan is actually Tom's Mr. Scratch. This is entirely based on the Andersons continuing to call him Tom - gave the impression that they look quite similar, if not identical.
Think about it: the Dark Presence's strategy is horrifically costly to the extreme, and the actions Alan and his allies take in self-defense is often highly destructive in and of itself. The Dark Presence's very strategy by its very nature takes a prodigious toll on human life and a slightly lesser one of machinery over the course of the game. In the parts of the game we can consider authentic (IE not the Prequel nightmare or the Signal DLC, you encounter and/or kill well over a hundred human Taken, the VAST majority of whom are probably residents of Bright Falls and nearly all of whom are certainly from the surrounding areas, which are certainly fairly small towns where losses of this magnitude will be noticed and felt, even outside of the area itself (as people start to notice those going there for vacation start going missing and a string of small time murders also happen). Comparatively, the economic damage would be far less severe but still VERY noticeable (considering that several bulldozers amongst other things go missing in the middle of the Night). And since the series shows no signs of moving elsewhere or lessening the damage, that situation is only going to get worse. And since Remedy love Deconstructing things very much, they will run with it.
By the time of the second game or some of the later DLC, Bright Falls and the neighboring areas will wake up to the fact that about 200 or so of their number plus several dozen tourists have gone missing without a trace and very, VERY disturbing rumors about what happened, with some people even packing up and fleeing elsewhere with no corresponding inflow back in because Bright Falls and the general countryside gains the reputation of a Doom Magnet, making it even HARDER to repair the damage incurred by the next bouts while the toll on manpower likely means that more and more people run headfirst into the Dark Presence and its minions and either die or Go Mad from the Revelation, further screwing things up for the town as urban legends become widespread rumors become well-known knowledge. And since a modern town depends on connection with the rest of the world to obtain goods and other services and the surrounding area becomes more and more taboo and isolated, the plight of the locals grows even more as the area faces first economic collapse and then simple demographic extinction. By the end of the games, the region around Bright Falls will effectively be a giant wasteland populated by a few hardy and lucky survivors scared of their own shadows and afraid of so much as walking in the Dark or getting near the surrounding woods with a fifty foot pole and who are effectively trapped amongst the hordes of the Darkness and are slowly picked off, which will double as a wonderful warning about exactly what would befall the world if the Dark Presence managed to actually escape.
One theory is that Alan was a struggling writer, with a girlfriend named Alice, who decided to go to a small town in the middle of the nowhere. They stay at cauldron lake, and trigger the dark spirit who was killed Alice. (Or he could've been alone, and just made contact with the Dark Presence) And sensing Alan's writing ability the presence it used Alan to write a story that it would use to gain power, or acted like a Djinni and promised Alan it would grant a wish (that Alan could create a story that would come to life) but would use it for it's own ends. Alan decides to write a wish-fulfillment story, where he is a successful writer with lots of fans, and revives his girlfriend who becomes his wife (or created her whole cloth), and has a good friend who would risk his life for him. But realizes that the dark presence would use his story for it's own ends, and creates a horror story so that it can turn the dark presence into a physical being that he can defeat. The creation of Thomas Zane is used to help make the story more compelling, creating a history for the dark presence and also creating several twists throughout the story, and to help fill some plot-holes (i.e. manuscript pages). Thus it wasn't Thomas who created Alan, but rather Thomas was created to help Alan. He also wrote in his Dream so that he could give himself the knowledge that could help him defeat the Darkness (and to fill a plot hole).
- After Ormazd's forces gain enough power, they manage to push him away from the old world and in desperation he withdraws to unknown lands where no one knows of him. Dark stories, which happens to be his true source of power, are not shared in these lands; thus, he grows weak and goes into a deep sleep. The people of the old world reach these lands thousands of years later, and without knowing, a gifted poet among them, a powerful story teller and an -unintentional-follower of darkness like all of his colleagues, tells a story on Ahriman's nest, finally waking him up.
- For he did not know, that beyond the lake he called home,
- There lies a deeper, darker ocean green,
- Where waves are both wilder and more serene.
- To its ports I've been.
- To its ports I've been.
The lyrics in "Children of the Elder God" point to the "ocean" being the slaves Taken by the Dark Presence. Unlike Thomas Zane, Alan escaped, became the Spanner in the Works to all the Dark Presence's plans, and is thereby making it "feel the ocean seethe". In Zane's poem, the "he" refers to the Dark Presence, of all things; the lake is where it calls "home". The "deeper, darker ocean" is the state of mind artists can find themselves in while in the Dark Place; this is where Alan is in "The Signal" and "The Writer". Waves are both "wilder" because, with enough determination, artists can break free of it, and "more serene" because they're easier for the Dark Presence to manipulate, being almost completely insane. Thomas Zane, in spite of being trapped in the Dark Place, is able to help Alan even outside of Cauldron Lake; he's been to its "ports". In the ending, Alan's quote means he can feel what's coming, and possibly knows of other artists trapped by the Dark Presence.
- Maybe... But after Tom tells Alan his poem, he asks Alan in the most meaningful way possible, "Do you understand?" (To which Alan plainly has no clue what Tom's talking about, much less what's going on.) I think the poem is really Tom trying to lay the foreshadowing on Alan, here, hoping he has enough talent to pick up on it, and telling him that Alan is going to end up trapped at the bottom of the lake...long enough to call it "home," but not to lose hope or despair because that's not the end of it—there IS a way out; Tom's been there and back.
- In the Alan Wake files, Clay Steward goes to Bright Falls to dig around a little deeper, supposedly after Alan was there, and people are rather cagey, and just generally miserable. When Clay tries to ask around about what happened, he doesn't get a lot of cooperation, he says almost as though they were threatened to stay quiet. What bugs me about all that, though, is that totally contradicts the supposed happy ending that Alan wrote for the town at the end of the main game.
"I'm progressing through the game, just hit the fourth chapter. And it seems as though the darkness could be a metaphor for his homosexuality creeping up on him. He tries to fight it off while trying to rescue his wife, which accomplishing would retain the image of a straight man that society expects him to be, being a famous author and all. But as the game progresses, the "darkness" becomes stronger and stronger, harder to fight off. Perhaps the more Alan realizes that saving his wife (and his heterosexuality) is becoming more and more improbable, the "darkness" becomes more and more powerful, because it would just be easier to fall into the darkness (homosexuality) than to struggle for his wife (heterosexuality).I mean, the guy does seem to really enjoy that Barry fellow's company, even though he seems like a total douche. And in the beginning when that waitress was flirting with him, he didn't even give her a second look. I mean, I get that he's married, but he wasn't even flattered. Even the guys who have girlfriends, wives, or whatever, know that they check out other girls. Especially when they get hit on. But with him... nothing.
My friends said that the ending was a shocker... So that's my guess at the ending; that Alan Wake comes out of the closet. Please, no spoilers. I want to see if my guess is correct."
- Um...not likely. Can't a guy just be straight and not react to every "biggest fan" nut-job that throws themselves at him?
Let's assume that she is becoming a Taken, and therefore is very sensitive to the light. The fact that she was out at midday, holding a lantern, no less, and was only looking a bit uneasy casts doubt onto whether the scene actually occurred. It would also explain why the scene is so unusually upbeat when compared to rest of the game. It could be a delusion of refuge, much like Wake's lighthouse.
The entire scene could represent her battle against the Presence. She's trying to avoid becoming a taken, one that was started when Jagger possessed her to trick Wake. The upbeat scene is a defense mechanism, she's fighting back by staying in an area that is absolutely bathed in light. This explains why she's so nervous when she senses Nightingale, assumed to be the new face of the Presence. The fact that he is there means that she is losing the battle and the darkness is encroaching on her mind.
The speaker in this case is Thomas Zane, talking about his long struggle with the Dark Presence and being lost in the Dark Place beyond reality. The person he's speaking to is Alan Wake, whose arrival and subsequent battle against the Dark Presence both gave Thomas Zane a reason to help him and an ally to work with in containing the presence. This may tie in with the WMG mentioned up above about Zane possibly being Alan's father, with the line about "destinies intertwined." it also gives Zane extra reason to believe that Alan gives him a reason to fight.
The song is also a reassurance to Alan Wake that he doesn't fight alone and that Zane is beside him as well through all of his struggles.
- War wasn't written for the game, though, from what I can gather (though the video clearly was created to tie in to the game). It's a real song, by the real band who played the O Go A.
The Dark Presence is some form of Nevernever entity trapped within Cauldron Lake, which is probably a confluence of ley lines like Demonreach and Chicago in general.
- Yeah, no. Electricity works perfectly fine around him, or else he'd never survive the showdown at the Old Gods of Asgard stage. Alice brings a typewriter because (I think) then they don't need to plug in a computer or laptop, and, gameplay-wise, the developers have the pages right there and don't need to worry about printers before Alan starts finding them. He's sensitive to the Dark Presence because he was trapped inside it for a week. His flashlight only needs new batteries when he focuses it on Taken; otherwise, it'll work forever. His cell phone rarely goes dead. None of this fits.
- Alternately, it dresses them the same to save RAM, so to speak. No point in generating unique clothing; just overwrite their old appearance and shove 'em out the door.
Alan Wake pulled a Thomas Zane when he swapped himself for Alice by erasing his entire life off the face of the Earth, apart from one thing: His entire experience with the Dark Presence is a videogame in the world he created. This is to help other people fighting the Dark Presence and a back-up plan if he can't escape from the Dark Place.
- Confirmed. Max Payne is Alan Wake's story. In the beginning of Episode 2 of Alan Wake, the player can find the manuscripts of Max's final moments.
- Actually, only half-true. Wake didn't write Max Payne as far as we know, but he DID write a near-exact knockoff called Alex Casey, which is what you can find and read excerpts of.
- this troper would say that you can still say Alan wrote Max Payne, even if the names are changed, I would say that the "The Sudden Stop" is what Remedy's "real" Max Payne 3 would be as opposed to the apparently canceled Rocktar developed Max Payne 3.
- Himself = Self/Ego.
- Agent Nightingale = his Id
- Sarah Breaker = his Super Ego
- Cynthia Weaver = his Anima
- The Dark Presence/Barbara Jagger = his Shadow Archetype
Zane has become obsessed with bring Barbara Jagger, prompted by the Dark Presence. To prove if he's worthy, he begins a murderous spree of having people possessed by the entity and kill them after using a light on them.
At this point, much of Zane's writing has become the work of a deranged mind. He's unaware of what he does when he's the entity itself, only seeing the aftermath, just as Alan would. Finally, he takes his own life by having the Dark Presence possess Jagger to kill him, ending the killings.
Then Alan moves into the same cabin Zane has stayed before. Here's where things get complicated. It is possible that he learns of Zane's dark secret and found his corpse BEFORE his wife Alice brings him into that cabin.
It is implied that he went to Bright Falls before. He thinks a vacation there is uneventful but I believe his memories of going there is false to keep him from remembering of what happened there. While there, he was touched by the darkness of the town and learned of Thomas Zane, the previous comer in the place.
According to Sheriff Breaker, the cabin in Cauldron Lake doesn't exist. Alan is not locked in, he locked the rest of the world out. He clearly doesn't get along with people well, evidence by his short-temper and so has sealed himself in a cabin with Zane's writing. The pages of the writing are in fact left by his own hand. He rediscovers them because his subconscious is trying to force him toward a revelation and show him he's not in control.
Then the victims of the Dark Presence. Alice's disappearance is the most shocking, but it's heavily suggested that Alan has marital problems with her. When Alice tries to get him to write again while on vacation, it causes causes some kind of break in his mind and the Dark Presence appearing means that it tries to possess him into murdering her for making such move. When it appeared that Alan left, it turns out he begins the attack on Alice. His assault on her is motivated by sexual frustration. Therefore, she's been dead all this time.
Ben Mott knows too much and is the only survivor of the Dark Presence so it tries to get Alan to kill him but doesn't until the time is right. He lures him into writing down the whole manuscript. Alan has began to see him as a sociopath, so he orchestrated the Dark Presence into possessing Mott and kill him.
Agent Nightingale is another one of the survivors of the entity. The Dark Presence has pleasure of taking his life, but has to wait at that time. The moment he locked him away was planned by Alan himself. Alan, directed by the Dark Presence, drags him outside the police station and murders him.
The climax of the game, on my opinion, is Alan confronting himself. We get to see Alice, or rather a vision of Alice. The Dark Presence is really Alan himself trying to tell himself what he cannot bear to know.
- Jossed, though Club Foot can be heard playing as Alan flees from the burning oil field.
- He finally accepts the imaginary version of himself into dying.
- The Dark Presence knew that Alice would be destined to save Alan so it would try to possess him once Nightingale is out.
- He has plans to use the Dark Presence's power into becoming a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
- The Light in the form of the Lake it's self where it holds the The Power of Creation and the Dark in the form of the underworld and the Taken who want the power to create and destroy at it's leisure.
- This made evident that the light is a healing, guiding, and powerful force and it exists in the world that Alan wrote into existence other wise the whole world would never see the sun, light, or have the power to beat back the darkness.
- The dark entity has the power to escape the dream-realm conjured up by the light but only in short bursts, it requires the full power of creation to become immune to it's foe long enough to take over a world. There is evidence in this with both Alan Wake: Bright Falls & Alan Wake it's self that the darkness is able to walk amongst the mortal realm with ease but only in very short bursts and only during twilight.
- The light creates whatever someone envisions and saves (writing being the most obvious way to save something) so that it, as a sort of wish-granter, is driven to make this world creation in order to make others happy. By that notion the dark wants to tear that world down and bring misery however it also wants power and to walk amongst men and be their master.
- Cauldron Lake is a protrusion of the Dark Place - the actual real world - into the universe. The universe is like a self-sufficient underwater cavern. For he did not know that beyond the lake he called home...
- The reason it is so difficult to return from the Dark Place is that it requires an unnatural step backward. It much much harder to unlearn than it is to learn.
- This is all pretty much confirmed by the Alan Wake 2 teaser blog. "The lake was an opening to dark place that was much bigger than the lake itself, in fact, much bigger than the whole universe we live in." "The nature of the dark place was such that anything dreamed up there, any dream or a work of art, would come true, just as true as anything in our world can be."
- This means that he used the exact same trick the Dark Presence pulled on Thomas - taking the form of and pretending to be someone trustworthy.
- This also explains why he was acting slightly sketchy in The Wrtier. When accused of manipulating Wake by writing the page about the Clicker, the stumbles as he tries to claim that he didn't and then changes the subject. That's because he doesn't know.
Alan's journey won't come to a happy ending if he tries to purge himself of all of his darkness. He has to accept the shadows that his light casts. While Mr. Sc***ch is his inner darkness given form, what's to say that a "light" counterpart wouldn't be just as damaging to his reputation or the lives of others?
You can even add another layer at the bottom, with the Alan Wake book being an adaption of Thomas Zane's poems into a more coherent narrative.
Cars choking the roads could have been accumulated at many points in time, and 'saved' by the Dark Persence. It only needed to start with one car which veered offroad or crashed due to normal circumstances at night, when and where nobody would see it; thereafter, it could simply materialize them when someone else was driving at night and crash them, then Take them and their car quickly. In this manner, it could accumulate many cars/buses/trucks.
Likewise, the majority of the obvious WIZARDRY happens far away from civilization, with the mess at the campground (the wall torn out of a solid log building,) being some of the only obvious supernatural craziness in places which are on the beaten path. The DP didn't go demolishing the buildings in Bright Falls itself, mostly the buildings it smashed were in the ghost towns and out-of-the-way areas. So the folks of Bright Falls would have had enough information to know that something WEIRD was going on, but they wouldn't have to be obviously ignoring blatantly supernatural events. This likely also contributes to the fact that as Deerfest approaches, there were more and more incidents.
First, we know that he caused everything about himself to disappear, except whatever was kept in a shoebox. In a shoebox, we find a story about Alan, as well as a broken switch, identified as the Clicker by Alan himself. The story proves that Alan Wake was a character created by Thomas Zane, come to life. The Clicker in the shoebox was the original broken switch, owned by Thomas Zane, and it had alwas been there. The Clicker that Alan remembers was a perfect duplicate, which the story caused to exist. Presumably, even Alan himself was a perfect duplicate of Thomas Zane, created as a Self-Insert Fic.
The Anderson brothers used excerpts from Thomas Zane's poems in their songs, which is impossible (as those poems have ceased to exist) unless the brothers themselves are characters invented by Thomas Zane, and the lyrics of their songs are self-quotations. The Anderson brothers calling Alan "Tom" is a way for Thomas Zane to say "See this Alan Wake character? This is who he's really supposed to be."
Alan's literary style is full of Purple Prose, almost as if he was a poet attempting to write prose. "Departure" is written in exactly the same style, but then, why doesn't Alan remember writing it? The answer is that he didn't write it. Thomas Zane did. At the beginning of the game, we explicitly see Thomas Zane giving Alan a page: that's because it was Thomas Zane who originally had it... just like every other page Alan finds.
We can assume that Cauldron Lake is where the Lock to the heart of the world is located and this why the darkness come from here. Why is it trapped here is left to interpretation.