Alan Wake EP9: But You Can Hit People With Cars!

By Josh
on May 8, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

99 comments


Link (YouTube)

I’ve done it! I finally got rid of Shamus! Now I rule Twenty Sided! Mwahahahaha!

Good thing Rutskarn was able to hire those Algerian terrorists. Even though they might not have actually been terrorists. Or Algerians.

Or people.

Okay, so Shamus might have just gotten sick and didn’t make it to the recording session. Which means he could recover and be back to posting on this blog any day now. Cherish the Shamelessness while it lasts!

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Footnotes:


2020202019Ninety nine comments. Just... need... one... more!

From the Archives:

  1. Jeremiah says:

    I for one welcome our new Teddy Roosevelt overlord.

  2. Wandring says:

    “Shamelessness” is a shameless joke!

  3. Nyctef says:

    Newsflash: Alan Wake currently 50% off on Steam, just in case anybody still wants to play it :)

    Aside: Last time I saw Shamus, he was holding a strange jar and looking kinda worried.

    • Amnestic says:

      Huh. Thanks man, I wouldn’t have noticed without this. Wasn’t gonna pay £22 for it, but £11 is far more reasonable on my wallet. Kudos to you, good sir/madam/other.

      • Jan says:

        Depending on your location (due to the location based pricing of Steam), the version on GOG.com (the old Good Old Games) could be cheaper, and is of course DRM free.

    • LurkerAbove says:

      I saw that and got excited, but that’s still too much, especially since the story is getting somewhat spoiled for me already.

  4. Keredis says:

    So… who are we losing next week? Chris? Rutskarn? Or will we lose Josh, and it will just be everyone commenting on a flipbook of Reginald Cuftbert’s Happy Fun Time Adventures?

    • Zombie says:

      Id like to see a flip book like that. Three Dog with a grenade down his pants, Reginald yelling at the BoS about him being a mercenary, and them saying he’s not. Taking every drug imaginable, scarfing down crusty sea floor piece of food there is, ect., ect. Good times

    • MatthewH says:

      At the going rate, the 5 people talking over each other won’t be much of a problem -but I would like to get the whole band together. The first week really was a mission from god.

      Also, bets on what Josh does now that Shamus isn’t here to glare at him?

      I think at least one taken ends up with a traffic cone on his head.

  5. Gruhunchously says:

    By the way, Mr. Wake, do stay out of the ladies restroom. That kind of behavior embarrasses the game designers more than it does you.

  6. lurkey says:

    It’s also 15$ on GOG, DRM and discrimination against non-USians free. I bit, curious if it’s really that boring or it’s just Josh, but playing on 9 FPS is not fun. Should’ve checked them reqs, but who would expect that from a console port adventure game? And since it’s clearly one playthrough game, I locked myself out of watching current SP too. Derp. :[

  7. dovius says:

    I’d say that the light-focusing in the car is actually somewhat believable if you forget the whole ‘limited charge’ business, and just pretend he’s turning on the fog lights (As far as I know, most cars have these here in Europe, but I don’t know about America).
    Granted, still not very realistic, but it’s better than the magic fairy-crap-powered flashlight.

    • Johan says:

      I believe what you call fog lights we call high beams.

      Yeah, it does actually give a reason for why the light is suddenly “overcharged,” but still doesn’t make sense with the “limited overcharge and the battery recharges” mechanic

      • McNutcase says:

        Nope. There are typically three to four sources of whitish light from the front of a vehicle.

        Source the first: parking lamps. Weedy little things, legacy tech, should never be used alone.

        Source the second: low-beam headlamps. Cruddy unfocused blob of light (US) or focused pool of light designed to illuminate the road while not dazzling oncoming drivers (entire rest of world), what you should be using most of the time.

        Source the third: high-beam headlamps. BIG unfocused blob of light. Turn them off. Yes, you, in the truck. TURN THEM OFF. Unless there are no other cars visible, you shouldn’t be using these.

        Source the fourth: foglamps. Usually mounted under the bumper or in the grille. Cruddy unfocused blob of excessively bright light. Should not be used unless it’s extremely foggy or snowing, to the point that visibility without them is less than a hundred yards (or a hundred metrres; close enough). Not all vehicles have these.

        I’m choosing to believe that, this being a rural area, all the vehicles Alan *ahem* appropriates have the useful accessory of “a spotlight that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket”, and that this is what he’s using.

    • Jingleman says:

      If we’re doing the thing were we rationalize the magic lights of the cars with real-world car features, then we might as well note that a lot of flashlights have dual brightness modes, especially high end models. In fact, I’m pretty sure that there are flashlights with dual modes in every size Alan finds in the game. Maybe that’s what’s been going on the whole time. Maybe Alan thinks he has super powers, but he’s really just found the “high” button.

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      From the manuscript Focusing the Beam in Alan Wake’s American Nightmare,

      “There’s more to fighting the Taken than just burning away the darkness that protects them. When I’m fighting for my life, I find myself slipping into a state of intense concentration that makes the beam of my flashlight seem more powerful and focused. I used to think it was just my imagination, something brought on by the adrenaline and fear of death, but now I’m not so sure. I have been touched by powers that I can’t begin to truly comprehend, and they’ve left a mark. I’m starting to think this might be a part of it.”

      Translation: The genius of the story continues. Is it the light or “what it represents” (as is said by Zane in the first DLC) that actually drives the darkness back? If it’s the latter, heightened concentration on the enemy (whether it implies faith, rage, love for his wife, or just clearer thinking) could be the explanation for “boosting”. Or, is it one more reason to think all of this is in his head?

  8. Amnestic says:

    Mumbles’ almost childlike glee at getting to run Taken over with the truck made this entire episode worth it.

    And, wait, Agent Nightingale? We better not be seeing any Skyrim Thieves Guild crossovers in these here parts.

    • Destrustor says:

      With any luck, he’ll be just as unbelievably incompetent as them.

      • LunaticFringe says:

        Nightingale transcends incompetence and instead becomes a hilariously out of place character in the manuscript which helps to highlight the editing between the Presence and Wake. He completely hates Wake in the cliched ‘I’m going to get this sonofabitch’ fashion for no reason whatsoever. His death later is a great ‘and then rocks fell and everybody died’ moment.

        • Tam O'Connor says:

          And here I thought, for one glorious moment, that Leliana was going to make an appearance. Seekers = the FBI, right?

          • LunaticFringe says:

            Yes, the twist ending of Alan Wake is that it’s actually set in future Ferelden. I mean, it sounds stupid, but it could be way worse, like Alan ends up in the Dark dimension with his evil twin and mumbles “it’s not a lake…IT’S AN OCEAN” and the player wonders what the fuck he actually means until they buy the DLC which helps to clarify things. But that would be silly.

  9. tengokujin says:

    1:20 Yes. He’s such a hack, he can hack through anything. Including wooden doors.
    2:30 They probably assumed the player wouldn’t take their male protagonist into the women’s room. Which is stupid, but no one said the developers were working on full pistons while modeling that restroom.
    6:00ish 10 points! Remember, grannies are less points because they move slow.
    12:50 That wasn’t suspicious at all. Nope.
    16:00 If you could only limp at the same rate!

    • They really could’ve solved the women’s restroom problem by locking the stalls and having voice clips say “What are YOU doing here!?”

      On a side-note: I’d love to see the manuscript pages depicting that.
      “I quickly rushed into the bathroom, desperate to find the keys so that I could save Barry. One inside, I found that all the stalls were locked. Knowing that the keys were not in the stalls, but nonetheless curious, I proceed to try to open the door to one. When I did, the occupant, a female, shrieked. It was then that I realized that I was in the women’s restroom. For some strange reason, I began to try all the stall doors multiple times. The women were not amused. Remembering my objective, I eventually made my way to the men’s room.”

    • MatthewH says:

      Wait, wait… it’s the Farscape solution! Alan has never been in a women’s restroom, so how can he write what they look like!?

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      “1:20 Yes. He’s such a hack, he can hack through anything. Including wooden doors.”

      What are referring to? On both counts?

      “2:30 They probably assumed the player wouldn’t take their male protagonist into the women’s room. Which is stupid, but no one said the developers were working on full pistons while modeling that restroom.”

      I would argue that it’s you and the critics giving us their tour of Alan Wake who are not “working on full pistons”. You’d think someone quick enough to realize the women’s restroom doesn’t have toilets… would’ve seen the “Closed for Renovation” sign standing up and facing the player as they approach the building! :P

      No hack writers here, just hack readers/reviewers

  10. The flashlight focusing thing is briefly touched on in one of the manuscripts in American Nightmare. Alan talks about this intense, laser-like concentration he gets when fighting the Taken. He said that it sometimes the beam of his flashlight seems to take on this concentration. He muses that it might be because of what happened between him and the Dark Presence.

  11. Exasperation says:

    Did anyone else notice that the “last time on Alan Wake” summary felt the need to show a replay of you getting a Steam achievement?

  12. Alex says:

    This game confirms my suspicion that women don’t actually go to the bathroom. But rather, it’s where they go to compare… hunting rifle ammo.

    WE’RE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS HERE, PEOPLE

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      Or that’s actually where they stockpile guns and ammo, which also explains why they go there together. They leave whatever firearms they carried to a location this time in the stash, make inventory and decide if they have enough to start a revolution already or if they should stockpile some more equipment first…

      I may or may not be filtering my view of women of the opposite sex through my experiences listening to Mumbles.

  13. Johan says:

    Is it just me, or are these chapter-ending songs so dissonant with their actual chapter ending? See this one doesn’t really scream “girl is being mind-controlled, Wake has to write to save his wife” to me, it screams “we’re at a party, it’s pretty dead actually, but there’s this one girl over there I really want to talk to”

    Also, Agent Nightingale? Does the FBI allow you to take silly names? Or are we to believe there were actually a Mr. and Mrs. Nightingale?

    • LunaticFringe says:

      I’ll just state the obvious here (I assume she had a Mr. Nightingale for a father).

      • Johan says:

        That’s the point, “Nightingale” doesn’t scream “FBI” agent to me, it sounds awkward in a video game, it sounds like the Agent wanted to sound cool but didn’t know what cool sounded like

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      I thought the beginning of “Haunted” by Poe was very fitting indeed. Perfect creepy sound for a creepy cutscene.

      Agent Nightingale is not believable as an FBI agent, is that your statement? Well good for you, you’ve become suspicious about something… it is clear the developers wanted you to be suspicious about.

      Yeah, Remedy’s so incompetent *rolls eyes*

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Den brown is the main villain?It all makes sense now!

    Also,finally something interesting.

  15. Burek says:

    I have this suspicious feeling that each week one of the cast members will be missing. 5 people is too crowded anyway, this is perhaps the best solution. Rotating members (except Josh) seems like a good thing so far.

    • Amnestic says:

      I dunno, I thought they really got into the swing of things by the end of their first week with five hosts and was looking forward to see how it played out. I can see why they’d do it though if they felt like it was too much and people weren’t getting to make all their points.

  16. Jon Ericson says:

    The pointless wagon in the sandbox must be a metaphor.

    • Tse says:

      Maybe the wagon was outside the sandbox originally and then a play-tester discovered you can ride around in it and that’s why they put it inside.

    • Milos says:

      It’s a postmodernist take on GTA clones where you can dick around the sandbox environment but ultimately nothing you do leaves a permanent mark on the world.

      They pooled all of their resources from the discarded open world nature of Alan Wake to pimp out that 2x2m space. It’s practically a game within a game with no extra charge.

  17. McNutcase says:

    I wouldn’t expect park rangers to have a truck like that. That’s a truck for the urban type who fondly believes a truck that huge fits into a “compact” parking spot. I’d say it’s also for the working tradesman who has a genuine need to carry a whole lot of heavy tools, but the truck shown is not a work truck, it’s a dolled-up tonka toy. Frankly, I’m amazed Barry didn’t rent that exact truck.

  18. Methermeneus says:

    I’m haunted
    By the ammo in the rescue box,
    The doors too weak for their locks,
    The Taken swarming on the darkened docks!
    Badapapa!

  19. That point Chris made about Alan potentially willing the backstory into existence is one of the things I loved about the plot. It becomes even more ambiguous towards the end and I love that it gave the audience this food for thought and didn’t treat us like a bunch of idiots. Alan lampshades this in America Nightmare. He says that its ultimately pointless to try and figure who created what, because that could drive you insane and make you more susceptible to the darkness.

    And then comes Alan, the Captain Obvious narrator.

    • Alex says:

      EPILOGUE:

      After the Cauldron Lake incident, Alan Wake went on to write Metroid: Other M.

      • PurePareidolia says:

        I had no idea Alan was such a mysogynist.

      • LunaticFringe says:

        Amazingly I will give Alan Wake some credit and say that even he would think that the blatant motherhood symbolism of such genius ideas as ‘the bottle ship’ was too much.

        • Amnestic says:

          “I was in my starship when I suddenly caught a signal. Code name: Baby’s Cry. A common S.O.S. with the urgency of a baby crying. Nicknamed because its sole intent is to attract as much attention as possible. The signal was coming from a remote part of space. I altered the course of my ship as if the detour had already been part of my flight plan. Baby’s Cry – it was as though it was crying specifically for me.”

          Now imagine it delivered in Alan Wake’s voice, as if he were reading one of the manuscript pages.

      • anaphysik says:

        “And then Alice stopped being afraid of the dark, because I decided to unlock the nyctophobia switch on her power armour.”

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      Oh I’m holding back with this till we get to the relevant part of the game but I also kinda like the entire mindgame of which writer was the cause and which one the effect.

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      “And then comes Alan, the Captain Obvious narrator.”

      The narration of obvious tidbits in the game was likely a tactic for keeping people moving. Even without a rushed sound in your voice, there’s some “Get to it” feel behind being told to do something you were planning to get around to anyway.

      That, or in some scenes he’s merely describing his thoughts/feelings as a means of keeping you connected to his character while playing. Nicely done, IMO.

  20. RTBones says:

    What was Randolph doing there at the end – the Chappaquiddick Shuffle?

  21. Destrustor says:

    I feel obliged to let out a good old “Yay Mumbles!”, as is the custom here.

  22. Eleion says:

    Chris is suddenly much more talkative with Shamus gone. CURIOUS.

  23. Mr Guy says:

    Trading Shamus for Mumbles = trade of the week!

  24. Ocelorean says:

    Wait, are you sure Shamus hasn’t become one of the Taken? Maybe Mumbles should revise her impression with this in mind.

  25. Jingleman says:

    The worst part of the driving sequences really has nothing to do with the driving mechanics or level design. The worst part is that there are manuscript pages to collect. It’s one thing to have random collectibles in driving sections; we can pick those up on subsequent playthroughs if we want, but when your collectibles are relevant to the story, that’s something different entirely.

    As it is, I felt compelled to stop and get out of the truck to explore every landmark on foot, especially on the first time through, when I wasn’t sure how much exposition I’d miss by failing to pick up a page. Even in the few stretches where it’s possible to open up the speed a little and run down some dudes, the greater incentive is to take it slow and get out at every turn.

    Driving sections can be a great way to break up the grind of regular combat, but only if the other mechanics don’t intrude.

  26. ps238principal says:

    It’s odd how the game says “END OF EPISODE TWO” but subtitles “TWO” as “2.”

    I mean, talk about sloppy. It totally ruins the intent of the original text.

  27. ps238principal says:

    Re: “The Bioware Walk”

    Has any game like this ever had a “follow” mechanic, where you’ll auto-walk at the same speed as whoever is chatting with you? If they really wanted to get fancy, the player could choose a position relative to the person they’re following for the duration of the walk/chat.

    The only two I can think of are “City of Heroes” and “Wing Commander III” which let you hit a key and match the speed of whoever you were targeting.

    • Amnestic says:

      Pretty sure Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood had it when you blended. Ezio would auto-walk to keep pace with his blend group. Don’t think it worked with when you were just ambling around town with a named NPC on a mission though.

      I’m guessing there’s a lot of sim games (naval, air, space) which let you match speed with a target. WoW has a follow mechanic although it doesn’t let you match speed. If the follower is faster than the followed person, it looks pretty similar to Alan in this episode.

      I’m sure there’s more out there.

      • ehlijen says:

        Yep, it goes as far back as the original X-Wing, at least as far as space shooters go.

        • Josh says:

          Actually the original X-Wing didn’t have a match speed button, which meant you constantly had to be mashing the bracket keys (2/3rd and 1/3rd throttle) when you got behind a fighter because the AI really loved to dead stop in your face and let you run into your target. Especially the damned assault gunboats. And then you’d kill them and their fuselage would inexplicably shoot off straight backwards and slam into you anyway.

          TIE Fighter added a match speed button though, and everyone was happy.

    • Jingleman says:

      I think the Assassin’s Creed series has something like that, or at least the later ones do, where if you get close enough to the NPC then you just get drawn along, but it’s not toggled with a button, so it’s easy to fall out of it or miss it entirely.

      Fable 3 had a silly hand-holding mechanic, but I don’t remember if NPC’s could lead.

      The X-Wing series had a match-speed key, too. Handy in dogfights.

      EDIT: Ninja’d on the AC thing. Got to type these things faster. I tip my hat to you, sir.

    • Hale says:

      Red Dead Redemption had that except on horses rather than walking, being an open world game set in the Wild West after all.

    • Sumanai says:

      It shouldn’t be too difficult to make it so that when the PC is following an NPC if they within a certain range they match speed. Don’t know if it has been done elsewhere, but it sounds like it could work without a need for an explicit button.

    • Eric says:

      Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning does a better thing: if you start running, NPCs match your speed.

  28. Eärlindor says:

    This episode felt really weird. It felt like the narrative actually progressed here or something…

  29. X2Eliah says:

    The only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn, obviously, is that Mumbles actually is Shamus (and vice-versa). Seriously, have you heard them being on at the same time over the last 5 episodes? DIDN’T THINK SO. Bam, theory proven.

    In fact, there’s even more hints. Shamus has 2 s-es in his name, Mumbles has 2 m-s. Shamus has one m, and mumbles has one s. If that ain’t a conspiracy hint, I don’t know what is.

  30. George says:

    I just noticed, Mumbles sounds like Deb off Dexter.

    She’s almost like a Real Life version.

  31. Varriety says:

    I was wondering where all the fixtures in the womens’ restroom were too, but then I saw the wheelbarrow and bags of cement in that shower area in the mens’, and the ‘CLOSED FOR RECONSTRUCTION(?)’ warning sign in front.

    • Vic 2.0 says:

      “Closed for Renovation”, actually, but I’m very glad to see that at least one person can read signs consistently! I mean, our narrators in the video had no trouble seeing (and missing the purpose of) the “No Parking Any Time” sign just seconds before this one. But I guess when a sign is so in your way that you almost trip over it, that makes it harder to notice? ;)

      ETA: Heck, you see the same sign (“No Parking Any Time”) posted on the wall of the restrooms too! How come they didn’t say, “Erm, they’re telling us not to park in the parking garage and the restrooms too!?”

  32. Hitch says:

    Maybe later driving sections are more interesting, but I was thinking during that part that emulating Assassin’s Creed II’s carriage chase would have been the way to go. Just a high-speed, on rails, run down the street hitting as many taken as you could.

    On the other hand, Mumbles implied suggestion of giving Alan a Batmobile would also be good. But I think that’s a different game. I just realized, that’s what Squenix needs to do for Arkham County (or whatever they call the next one), Batmobile sections.

  33. Eric says:

    RE: the flashlight, military-grade spotlights, etc. sitting around – it’s more or less explained later that they’re around because of Zane’s influence on the story, and not for any logical reason. They’re written in because Wake needs them to survive, not because it makes sense for there to be barrels full of ammo everywhere.

  34. Vic 2.0 says:

    “this parking garage with a sign that says no parking at any time”

    …The sign’s for the paved area onto which the gates of the parking garage open up. It’s telling you not to park in front of it. That’s why the wall outside the restrooms has the exact same sign ;)

  35. Vic 2.0 says:

    1:00 – See above for the very simple explanation for the sign. But I know the sarcastic tone was also in reference to the vehicle’s type and size, so I just wanted to ask…

    Did you have a specific problem with that? Was it your intention to imply people from the city never go camping? I’m just curious.

    No evidence that Alan is a bad writer, as established in my earlier (and later) posts ;)

    2:00 – Did you seriously just trip out over the women’s restroom not having toilets? Even after going right past the sign that read “Closed for Renovation”? Wow. I submit that Alan is no hack writer, but I’d pin you for a bunch of hack readers any day.

    5:20ish – Explanation for boosting requested.

    Delivered:

    From the manuscript Focusing the Beam in Alan Wake’s American Nightmare,

    “There’s more to fighting the Taken than just burning away the darkness that protects them. When I’m fighting for my life, I find myself slipping into a state of intense concentration that makes the beam of my flashlight seem more powerful and focused. I used to think it was just my imagination, something brought on by the adrenaline and fear of death, but now I’m not so sure. I have been touched by powers that I can’t begin to truly comprehend, and they’ve left a mark. I’m starting to think this might be a part of it.”

    Translation: Much like the ability to see the paint used by Cynthia Weaver on various objects in the game, the ability to boost may be a characteristic bestowed upon Alan due to his close encounter with the darkness. Part of the “stain”, as Cynthia Weaver calls it, left by the darkness’ touch. In the first case, it is simply a matter of the brain suddenly picking up images that were invisible to it before. In this case, it is actually a matter of the brain interacting with a now familiar phenomenon: darkness.

    But there are other interpretations, made possible by the genius of the story as it unfolds. Is it the light or “what it represents” (as is said by Zane in the first DLC) that actually drives the darkness back? If it’s the latter, heightened concentration on the enemy (whether it implies faith, rage, love for his wife, or just clearer thinking) could be the explanation for “boosting”. Or, is it one more reason to think all of this is in his head? Take your pick.

    6:10 – You do not lose your weapons after the section featured here; that’s just plain untrue. First, you have to get past the visitor’s center. And then you have to go (on foot) up the path back to the cabin.

    6:40 – I notice you guys never elaborated on why you thought the driving section should’ve been cut… Too much variety in the game? Because that’s not all that consistent with the default complaint – that there’s not enough variety…

    And are you seriously complaining about the fact that if you wreck your vehicle too much, you have to go it on foot? Or, “You’re screwed”, as you say? Exploring this zone is perfectly doable. This is not an infinite enemy respawn area. You can kill all the Taken and then explore on foot til your heart’s content (which would’ve paid off, BTW. You missed four collectibles, including an ammo cache).

    I think what they were going for in the fight against the birds, was chaotic? Not scary, just crazy. Hence, I think it was a perfect time to have Barry freaking out inside the cabin!

    15:20 – Idk where you got that, about the dark presence writing the manuscript and then Alan (during a couple of the episodes you’re playing him in) starts writing on it, but that’s totally off. She used him to write it her way during the week he had missed, right after Alice was abducted. After that, Alan didn’t (because he literally couldn’t) write anything in association with it, until of course the very end of the game when he sits down at the desk, in the cabin once again.

    Okay, I feel I need to throw you guys a bone somewhere, so… Yes, the physics suck. Enjoy that, you’ve earned it :P :P

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