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Alan Wake

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Alan Wake Logo

The logo for the original Alan Wake release.

"Alan Wake. Love this guy's stuff."
Jack Joyce[1]

Alan Wake is an action-adventure survival horror video game developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by Microsoft Studios. Originally planned as a launch title for the Xbox 360[2], the game spent five years in development and was later released in May 2010. Alan Wake follows the story of Alan Wake, a novelist suffering from depression, insomnia, and writer’s block. When Alan and his wife, Alice, travel to Bright Falls – a picturesque town in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington – his wife is abducted by a primordial force of darkness that uses Alan’s talents as a writer to create a horror story to free itself from the depths of a volcanic lake, where it was trapped forty years ago by another writer who wrote himself out of existence to stop it.

Despite weak sales upon its initial release[3][4][5], Alan Wake was generally well received by critics for its television-like pacing, gameplay and environmental design. In 2011 Remedy Entertainment and Nordic Games announced a re-release for the Microsoft Windows and the PC. In 2012, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare was released in February 2012 for Xbox Live Arcade, followed by a special edition of the game for PC, released in April 2012 to greeter critical reception and sales.

Its sequel has been in pre-production since as early as 2012, and resulted in a second partnership with Microsoft Studios and the development of 2016’s Quantum Break, after Microsoft turned down the idea of developing a sequel for the game.

Connections to Max Payne and Quantum BreakEdit

Alan Wake makes several references to Max Payne through Alan Wake’s profession as a crime author. Because the rights to Max Payne were sold to Rockstar Games[6], the references to the character and his circumstances remained oblique instead of overt.

Similarly, Quantum Break features a various Alan Wake references, from the author himself, Alex Casey and obscure series elements, including references to the promotional Alternate reality game blog, This House of Dreams.[7]

When asked whether or not Quantum Break, Alan Wake and Max Payne were a part of a shared universe, Creative Director Sam Lake – a fan of postmodern literature – often answered that none of the games were in the same universe, and the references to other were often just ways for the development teams to reduce stress and show appreciation to their fanbase.[note 1][8][9]

A lot of it is a joke, and I kind of feel that to me, telling stories in games and creating immersive, believable worlds, there is room for all kinds of different things in there. And that to me is the richness for telling stories with games, that there can be optional content, exploration content, and different tones as well without breaking the overall style and theme. You can still enter all kinds of things in there. And in a way, also use them as commentary and echos and twisted mirrors to the primary story.

List of References in Quantum BreakEdit

Zane's PoemEdit

Beth Wilder Act 1-

Wilder as she appeared at the beginning of Act 1, Part 3.

QB-Game-Paul-Serene-2

Serene as he appeared at the end of Act 1, Part 3.

In the first episode of Alan Wake, the "dead" poet, Thomas Zane, enters Alan's dreams and recites a poem, warning Alan of the Dark Place and Presence: "For he did not know / That beyond the lake he called home / 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 last names of Beth Wilder and Paul Serene, are believed to be a reference to Thomas Zane's poem.

Old Gods of AsgardEdit

In Alan Wake, the Old Gods of Asgard are a pair of retired brothers, Tor and Odin Anderson, who were a popular local act in Bright Falls during the eighties. Moonshiners, the brothers used to drink moonshine that used unfiltered water from Cauldron Lake. They became targets of the Dark Presence as a result and eventually wrote songs about the Taken, Thomas Zane and the death of his lover, Barbra Jagger, whose body became possessed by the Dark Presence after she drowned.

Act 1Edit

Stonecrow Posters

Jack standing next to a wall plastered with Stonecrow posters.

Paul's Stonecrow Shirt

The back of Paul Serene's Stonecrow shirt.

Main article: Stonecrow

On the Riverport University campus, Jack Joyce happens across multiple posters promoting the group, Stonecrow, a tribute band to the Old Gods of Asgard.[10] Paul Serene, Jack's childhood friend, wears a t-shirt advertising their "2016 Balance Tour".[10]

Act 3Edit

Alan Wake - Children of the Elder God

A Monarch employee plays Alan Wake as she sings "Children of the Elder God" by Old Gods of Asgard.

During Jack's search for Sofia Amaral's office in the Monarch Research Facility on Gull Island, in the office adjacent to Sofia's (Room 205), a woman is sitting at her desk playing a the game, Alan Wake. Entering the room, he overhears the Monarch employee --- trapped in a stutter --- singing the chorus of the Old Gods of Asgard's "Children of the Elder God".[11]

Will Joyce Diary 1Edit

Old Gods of Asgard shirt (Will's Diary)

William wearing an Old Gods of Asgard t-shirt.

Main article: Will Joyce Diary 1

During one of the first diaries that chronicled his progress on the first time machine and Countermeasure (shortly after his meeting with Beth Wilder and Paul Serene), William Joyce is wearing a gray Old Gods of Asgard t-shirt as he reports the completion of the Countermeasure.

Alex Casey and Mr. ScratchEdit

Alan Wake's Return

Mr. Scratch as he appeared in Alan Wake's Return.

Main article: Alan Wake's Return

Just across from Amy Ferrero's stand and her anti-Monarch Timeline, is a tent with a HD television. Interacting with the television activates the seventh of sixteen Narrative Objects, called RETURN.[10] RETURN, one of the first Alan Wake Easter Eggs discovered in the game during its early previews, follows the story of Alex Casey's death and his investigation into the disappearance of Alan Wake. RETURN was trademarked as Alan Wake's Return, but is not a teaser for the Alan Wake sequel yet to enter production.

Alan Wake (Author)Edit

Riverport University-10

Jack stands before a lecture hall blackboard detailing the story of Alan Wake.

Following their escape from the Project Promenade Lab, Jack and William Joyce enter the Lecture Hall to evade Monarch Security. Approaching a blackboard, Jack reads the notes on Alan Wake's works, Departure, Initiation and Return, and how the theory of the Hero's Journey applies to the narrative structure, characters and themes. While not a narrative object, if players interact with the blackboard, Jack will say, "Alan Wake. Love this guy's work." The blackboard in the Lecture Hall is the second Alan Wake reference found by players during the early previews of the first and second act of Quantum Break.[1]

The Sudden StopEdit

In Alan Wake, Alan Wake was a best selling crime novelist known for the Alex Casey series. The series followed the angst ridden life of hard-boiled New York detective, Alex Casey --- a man who lost his family and led a terrible love-life afterward. In the sixth and final novel, The Sudden Stop, Alex Casey is killed, a controversial decision among his critics and fans.

"Monarch Solutions"Edit

The Sudden Stop (TV Series)

One of two copies of The Sudden Stop belonging to Emily Burke.

In the episode "Monarch Solutions", as Monarch Security officer, Liam Burke, departs from his home, the first copy of Alan Wake's final Alex Casey novel, The Sudden Stop, belonging to his wife, Emily, sits on the edge of the table where their HD television resides.

Act 2Edit

The Sudden Stop (Intel Object)

Jack finds Emily's second copy of The Sudden Stop.

During Jack's journey through the Monarch Security checkpoints in the Industrial Area, he finds the second copy of The Sudden Stop. The book is signed by Wake himself in dedication to Emily. The novel is one of two Intel Objects located in the second part of Act 2 and can be found inside one of medical labs.

Night SpringsEdit

In Alan Wake, the television series Night Springs is a Twilight Zone-esque series that follows a collection of disconnected short stories that range from horror, science fiction, and fantasy. One of Alan Wake's first jobs was a staff writer on the series, something he would later use to his advantage in Alan Wake's American Nightmare against Mr. Scratch.

Gamescom 2014Edit

Night Springs Shirt (Gamescom 2014)

Jack Joyce wearing a Night Springs t-shirt in the 2014 Gamescom demo.

In the August 2014 Gamescom demo of Quantum Break, the earlier iteration of Jack Joyce's character model (portrayed by Sean Durrie) is wearing an orange Night Springs t-shirt underneath his leather jacket. Before, in earlier versions of Jack Joyce's character model that were portrayed by Durrie, Jack was always wearing a white button down dress shirt with a much shorter leather jacket.

Act 2Edit

William Joyce (Act 4)-01

An echo of William Joyce wearing a Night Springs t-shirt.

When Jack enters Ground Zero, he glimpses moments of his brother William's life during the time he was building the very first time machine. When one memory demonstrated that the machine could be turned on, Jack followed the time echos up to a platform where the Countermeasure was built. An time echo of William walking around in circles is wearing a gray Night Springs t-shirt.[12]

Act 4Edit

Night Springs (Act 4)

Jack prepares to watch the Night Springs talent search.

In the first part of Act 4, Jack finds a television inside a building under construction. Interacting with the television triggers the first of two non-determinate Narrative Objects. In the Night Springs Easter Egg, the narrator of the series (voiced by Lloyd Floyd) cannot be located by the showrunners. A voice audition for a replacement is held, but with little success. The Easter egg features various Remedy Entertainment developers, including Mikko Rautalahti, one of the three writers for Quantum Break.

LocationsEdit

OrdinaryEdit

Ordinary is a town in the state of Maine that was originally mentioned in the ARG blog for Alan Wake, "This House of Dreams". The name of location of the ARG's protagonist, Samantha, "Ordinary, Maine" is later mentioned in a list of places and people that were effected by the quantum ripple caused by William Joyce's correction of the equation for the University time machine.[1]

Bright FallsEdit

In Alan Wake, Bright Falls is a small town where "everybody knows everybody", and is the epicenter of old evil that preys on the minds of creatives that live in and visit the town. Bright Falls is mentioned in passing as one of the locations where the tribute band Stonecrow performed their 2016 Balance Tour.[10]

Barry's Tanning BedEdit

In the episode 4 of Alan Wake, shortly after Alan and Barry Wheeler escape Emile Hartman's private clinic, Barry berates his friend for deciding to go the Anderson brothers' farm, instead of leaving Bright Falls altogether. Believing Alan owed him for the distress he was causing, Barry told him, "When this is through you're going to buy me a tanning bed as a gift and I'm gonna live in it!"

Alan Wake Reference (Act 4)

Jack listens in on the conversation between the two yard workers.

Act 4Edit

During Jack and Beth's journey to William's workshop, Jack overhears two yard workers complaining about working on the fourth of July. After the second yard worker reminds the first that he volunteered for the extra shifts, he asked him what he planned on doing with the money he would earn. The first yard worker told him, "I'm going to buy a tanning bed and live in it". When the second yard worker asked what he meant, the first dismissed him, explaining it was a reference he wouldn't understand.[13]

Sam Lake CameoEdit

Sam Lake Book

Sam Lake's "cameo" in Quantum Break.

In the first part of Act 3, further down the hall in the office level, sitting beside the desktop screen in, Room 102, is a book that was written by Remedy Creative Director, Sam Lake.[11]

VideosEdit

External LinksEdit

NotesEdit

  1. 33:56 – 36:01 (Entire Conversation)
    GameInformer (User Question): Do Alan Wake and Quantum Break, share the same universe? I remember the protagonist wearing a Night Springs T-Shirt in one of the 2014 gameplay videos.
    Sam Lake: Hmm-hmm, yeah. Well spotted. No, I wouldn’t say they share the same universe. But, that being said, you know, I don’t think that can create a game where we have some nods toward the other games, and worlds we have created. So, definitely for fans of Alan Wake there are things to discover.

ReferencesEdit

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