Alan Wake EP12: Murder and Coffee Thermoses

By Josh Posted Saturday May 12, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 178 comments

Link (YouTube)

And the (very late) final episode of the week. Fortunately, it’s completely topical and we don’t spend fifteen minutes driving cars into trees.


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178 thoughts on “Alan Wake EP12: Murder and Coffee Thermoses

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I just want to say that Ive decided to finally start playing the game,and advise anyone not to play it immediately after playing l.a. noire.Its just so jarring.

    Also,damn you Rutskarn!Whenever I see a thermos,I hear your voice saying “Coffee!I love coffee!”

    1. Thomas says:

      Out of interest why? I thought the games seemed quite similar, I’ve said before they have exactly the same style problem that I can’t quite pin down

      1. anaphysik says:

        I think Daemian specifically had the facial animations in mind.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yes.Especially alans open mouth.

          1. ps238principal says:

            It distracts one from trying to figure out why someone would wear a tweed jacket over a hoodie. This then leads one to think that if his torso is covered by a jacket and a hoodie, then his ribcage must compact enough to fit through most pet doors.

            1. X2Eliah says:

              Well, he is a writer, so probably he would be on the skinny side.

              1. ps238principal says:

                Are you saying George R.R. Martin is an optical illusion with a beard and a hat?

                1. X2Eliah says:

                  Yeah, but it is established that A.Wake is a bad writer.

                  1. Vic 2.0 says:

                    Not at all. There’s more evidence to the contrary, in fact. His short story and excerpt from one of his novels in The Alan Wake Files and his popularity as a professional writer to name a couple (name me one who’s that popular but generally regarded as a bad writer?)

                    All I’ve heard to suggest he’s a bad writer is the claim the manuscript’s no good. But this was written by a hurried, frightened, confused… employee of the dark presence. It is by no means a representative sample of what Alan can write, sorry.

  2. el_b says:

    ruts Already is a male stripper, or do you not remember the no pants underpants dance?

    you want to shadow bears? you know what you’ve done right? I think it might be pun Time again.

    1. some random dood says:

      Think the only one on the team manly enough to be a male stripper would be Mumbles (though Josh could tryout as a troll-stripper [or is that one of the classes released in the AD&D expansion *cough*ripoff*cough* books?])

      1. Amnestic says:

        I’ve read the Book of Erotic Fantasy for d20.

        It’s about as terrible and weird as you might think.

        1. Dasick says:

          Didn’t Ruts livestream playing FATAL once? Y’know, for charity. How did that turn out?

          1. X2Eliah says:

            Very badly. That’s as much as I’ll say.

          2. Doctor Broccoli says:

            Everyone got physically sick after 3 hours of character creation and they erased the footage.
            I wish I was kidding right now.

            1. Raygereio says:

              I once overheard a RPG group using that book. Honestly, the book itself is just one big joke. Unlike something like FATAL, it doesn’t take itself seriously. When combined with a group that does take it seriously though, the thing does really get bad fast.

              Huh, I missed that. All I got out of the livestream chat at the time when I asked about how FATAL went was a “Don’t bring it up again. Please.”
              Depending on your particular humor preferences, FATAL can be amusing. Though (and this is comming from someone who can some humor in such things as having cancer) unless there’s something wrong with you on a psychological level, the blatant misogyny especially will get to you after a while.
              I’m genuinly impressed that Ruts&co lasted 3 hours. When I made FATAL characters with some friends we went “Okay, this is starting to be not funny anymore” after just one hour.

              1. krellen says:

                The central issue is how FATAL deals with women, and the fact that Rutskarn actually has friends who are women that play RPGs. I suppose it could be “funny” if you don’t know any women personally, maybe.

                1. Raygereio says:

                  Two points for you to consider:
                  1: Read posts in total before replying with… what was that anyway? An attempt at the worlds most ineffectual insult?
                  2: Everyone’s sense of humor is different. When confronted with something like FATAL one person will laugh and ridicule the thing, while another will be horrified at it’s existance. Both are valid responses.

                  1. krellen says:

                    It was describing why Rutskarn doesn’t speak of it, from someone that actually witnessed it. I don’t insult people on Shamus’s blog.

                    1. Raygereio says:

                      Then I apologize for misunderstanding your post’s instent. Though I’ll have to confess to still raising my right eyebrow at your post’s second sentence.

                    2. krellen says:

                      You should probably try to stop reading more into my words than what I say. I’m not trying to say anything else.

            2. ps238principal says:

              From the 1d4Chan site on the subject of a link to a PDF of FATAL:


              1. el_b says:

                I tried to summon bear puns and somehow failed So hard that now I’m having fatal flashbacks. I don’t have any eyes now, where I’m going I won’t need them.

      2. Dasick says:

        Chris, Shamus and Ruts I can see not qualifying… but Josh? Isn’t he like a paragon of manlines or have you not been watching this show/reading Josh Plays?

  3. SougoXIII says:

    The moment Josh drifted off the cliff is the moment I say ‘Best. Spoiler Warning. Ever.’

  4. I agree that the kidnapper just not showing up seemed really contrived. You could have easily changed that around a little bit and made it make sense while still going through the level.

    Also, to your comment about the Dark Presence trying to kill Wake, it actually isn’t. It’s just going through the script because doing so makes it stronger. Furthermore, it is trying to capture Wake so that he finishes his work. A manuscript page says that even the Presence is bound by the manuscript, and it is growing annoyed by being allowed to constantly get close to Wake without being able to capture him.

    Also, DAMMIT! You guys preempted me by writing the manuscript pages depicting Alan doing all the bullshit you did this episode. I was going to do that!

  5. McNutcase says:

    Josh drifts off the cliff, and the loading screen tip? “Remember to look beyond the obvious paths for hidden items!”

    I don’t think they meant quite that far beyond.

    Also, the “Crappy Jeep!” is a Series II Land Rover. Kinda rare this side of the Atlantic.

    1. KremlinLaptop says:

      We can tell that Alan’s writing was responsible for the Land Rover being there because in reality if he’d come across a Series II it’d be 70% rust and it sure as hell wouldn’t start that easily.

      /Owned a Series III Land Rover with the 3.5l V8.
      //Oh god.
      ///It was fun when it wasn’t busy breaking or rusting.

      1. McNutcase says:

        That one’s definitely not the V8, the recessed grille doesn’t leave enough space for it.

        Steel chassis and aluminium body is going to be a corrosion nightmare no matter how you slice it.

        And frankly, I’d be happy never having to own a vehicle for off-road driving. Grew up with off-road, consider it a necessary evil, emphasis on the evil. It still boggles my mind that there are people who consider it fun.

        1. KremlinLaptop says:

          I grew up with off-roading and somehow I’ve gone down a different path because getting a four-by-four stuck axle deep in some mud and spending an hour with some friends and some trucks trying to get it loose is firmly in the “Having a good time” category.

          I’m not sure how the Land Rover did it, but despite rusting out from underneath me, leaking out or burning up all the oil put into it, and having a transmission which slowly lost all idea of synchronization… it was still the more reliable vehicle I’ve ever owned.

          It broke down a lot, but it broke down in the sort of ways that I could fix with whatever I happened to have along (eventually I was hauling a shop’s worth of spare parts along, so maybe that’s why).

  6. The manuscript page/Mobius chair Chris was talking about, just because.

    1. Ranneko says:

      So it was a thermos not a page anyway?

      1. el_b says:

        Coffee!I love coffee!

    2. Amnestic says:

      Hmm. Well you do have video evidence, but I prefer the theory that this is all a VERY elaborate troll by Chris.

      When the coffee thermos popped up I had automatically slotted Rutskarn saying “Coffee? I love Coffee!” even though he didn’t say it that time. I felt rather silly afterwards.

      Disappointed it was a bulldozer and not a forklift.

      Think Chris is right about reducing number of Taken to small numbers. Would make the light mechanics more important and would allow them to make ammo a bit more scarce. Having you need to run away from them at bits gives you a viable ‘last ditch’ strategy when you run out of ammo. Would likely have a net plus effect on encouraging exploration since you no longer have to be worried about being ambushed by three taken when you step off the path.

      Think Mumbles is right that they should really do something with the references.

      Totally off-topic: Anyone got any thoughts on the Dragon Age direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray animated movie that’s coming out at the end of this month? The FUNimation youtube channel is beating me over the head with teasers and trailers and the like, but I’ve seen very little in the way of discussion about it from people.

      1. X2Eliah says:

        Thoughts on the animated DA thingie:
        Huh, that’s a real thing? Wow. Why? DA is hardly big enough of a name to warrant a cartoon – especially after DA2 ruined the name’s rep.

        Anyway.. Yeah, it’s going to suck, and I bet its yet another felicia-day fanwank thing.

        1. Amnestic says:

          This is the latest video I got from FUNimation. Been out in Japan for about 3 months now, I guess the English release is the one at the end of this month.

          Also I don’t speak the language, but the Japanese title seems to be something like “Crusade of the Blood Mage(s)”, while the English title is “Dawn of the Seeker”. Interesting how those are different.

        2. Raygereio says:

          The Felicia Day nerd bait crap was that craptastic Redemption webseries thingey and the DA2 DLC that somehow managed to be even worse then DA2 itself.
          She doesn’t have anything to do with this anime.

          DA is hardly big enough of a name to warrant a cartoon
          Honestly, it probably was right after DA:O. That game was huge. Then DA2 happened…
          Whelp, we’re also getting a Mass Effect cartoon, so I guess this is EA trying to expand their business, or something? Cartoons based a games is something EA has done before. I recall Dead Space having a crappy animated movie

      2. silver Harloe says:

        “Disappointed it was a bulldozer and not a forklift.”

        He triiiiiiiied to kill me with a fork lift!

    3. RTBones says:

      That was very chairitable of you….

      1. That’s so conseated of you! You should be ashamed of yourself.

        1. ps238principal says:

          This thread has gone into quite a recline, sort of like the TV shows produced by Aeron Spelling.

          1. It’s getting so bad, it should be benched.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Chris gets to troll this episode,and he is finally completely integrated.Drinks all around!

    Now that Ive started the game,a few other questions pop into mind(aside from the “What is the point of this tutorial?” and “Dear god why is this combat so boring?”):
    Why are certain pages locked in the nightmare mode?I read them on the wiki,and only one of the 3 hidden pages hinted something thats revealed later(the darkness thing).

    Also,a more of a general question about modern games:When will this stupidity of locking difficulties end?If I want to play it on hard,dont force me to play it on an easier difficulty.It doesnt add replayability,it only diminishes my opinion of the game.

    Ugh!Im off to play one of the less frustrating games.Luckily,I got my hands on crusader(s) from gog.

    1. Vic 2.0 says:

      “What is the point of this tutorial?”

      To explain how to play the game, as is usually the point of video game tutorials.

      “why is this combat so boring?”

      Because it’s in a game being played by someone who doesn’t like it.

      All else are fair points, I concur.

  8. GiantRaven says:

    The car driving mechanics aren’t bad. Alan Wake is just a poor driver.

    1. Dasick says:

      I see what you did there.

    2. PurePareidolia says:

      He’s a great driver, but he specifically wrote himself as a poor driver to be more true to the quality of the story.

    3. Eric says:

      Actually I don’t think the cars are all that bad. They do handle a little weirdly (mostly the collisions), but I think the problem is that they obey some semblance of real-world physics instead of videogame physics. You start flooring it along a rocky, bumpy, dirty trail, it’s not surprising that your wheels are going to start spinning etc. Those aren’t exactly sports cars that Alan’s driving, they’re just normal old SUVs and station wagons. Learn to use the brakes!

      Then again, I guess outside of racing games, everyone expects cars in videogames to just handle like Mario Kart.

  9. CalDazar says:

    Poor Rutskarn, he’s not commenting on the coffee anymore.

    I loved the “Coffee!I love coffee!” comments.

    1. ps238principal says:

      If only he were older and armed with a boatload of coffee commercial jingles/slogans to throw out there.

      We’d be up to our armpits in Mrs. Olsen references alone.

    2. Destrustor says:

      “Coffee! I love coffee!” comments! I love “Coffee! I love coffee!” comments!

      1. “I love ‘Coffee! I love coffee!’ comments!”!, I LOVE “I love ‘Coffee! I love coffee!’ comments!”!

  10. Dante says:

    Another favorite episode, right along with the beginning of Honest Hearts and when they finally break Mumbles during Bioshock.

  11. Fang says:

    The whole Night Spring episode you guys made up(maybe): So basically that episode is Silent Hill 1 but with a dude instead of a chick?

  12. ps238principal says:

    So this is a Killdozer reference? Or is it more Maximum Overdrive?

    Either way, I’d rather be rooting for “Megaweapon” from Warrior of the Lost World (the MST3K version, of course).

    Edit: And that’s got to be Ash’s car from Evil Dead later on.

    1. LunaticFringe says:

      Probably Killdozer, goes with the whole ‘silly thriller’ concept. Though it could’ve been vastly improved if they had copied the book and had an epic duel between man and machine instead of a ‘point bright light at it’ moment.

    2. Sagretti says:

      Well, Maximum Overdrive was the only movie Stephen King wrote and directed, so that one is more likely. Fun fact, King chocks up the movie being so awful to being “coked up out of his mind” while making it.

      1. ps238principal says:

        Wow, I didn’t know he directed it. And yeah, his drug/alcohol use is pretty well-known (which has, of course, made it into his fiction a lot of the time).

        His other two written-for-TV ideas that I actually liked were “Rose Red” (though that suffered from some really stereotypical and dated horror-movie casting decisions) and “Storm of the Century.” I’m pretty sure others directed, but they started out as original screenplays.

  13. ps238principal says:

    Dear Rutskarn,

    May you not receive 1/10th the hate I did for being an early adopter of the “Borderlands isn’t really that great a game, even with multiplayer” opinion. I also tended to list its obvious cut corners (half the NPCs not having animated mouths) and the craptacular “shoot the glowy” ending that also made all of the campaign that preceded it worthless, but I’m just glad I’m not alone.

    Well met, good sir!

    1. PurePareidolia says:

      I’ve been saying that since like halfway through playing it. It’s just so tedious after a while when you realise all the weapons are roughly the same so it doesn’t matter if you get a new one, and all the enemies scale so levelling up is pointless.

      1. Newbie says:

        Not to 1up you but I thought that after that first little fight bit off the bus…

        Actually those things… I literally said: “Well this is going to get boring quick.” and I was right. And I still play L4D2 without the dlc.

        1. PurePareidolia says:

          yeah, I admit I was pretty forgiving for a while just for the novelty of it, but by that point I was absolutely positive I wouldn’t be seeing any new enemies ever and that really killed what enthusiasm remained.

          1. ps238principal says:

            I was really disappointed to discover that I couldn’t kill the Claptraps unless I downloaded some DLC at some point and that I’d have to actually save dying ones to get bonus stuff.

            1. Sumanai says:

              Saving Claptraps is pretty high on my list of grievances regarding Borderlands. Maybe I should actually write down all of them and then check out the “Love Letter” to see if it actually covers all of them.

              Just for one, really, since I don’t believe they’ll fix half of them even if they’re saying otherwise.

            2. PurePareidolia says:

              Oh god, don’t remind me. I started emptying clips of ammo into them in the hopes one would glitch out and die, because I didn’t want to pay for it.

      2. That basically why I stopped playing Borderlands after 1 playthrough. Well, that and the fact that I don’t have any other friends who own it for the PS3, so I have to rely on the denizens of the internet.

        You know how it goes with denizens of the internet.

    2. Amnestic says:

      A friend of mine recently offered me Borderlands on Steam as a birthday gift, but after playing it for a few hours on the 360, I opted for Dear Esther and Super Meat Boy instead.

      Maybe it was because I was playing on my own, but I can’t imagine how people got through it. I think I got to the first hockey-mask wearing guy before I grew bored and put in something else to play.

  14. Even says:



    God I can’t believe I missed that one on my playthrough. Too bad you non-Finnish people are not really gonna get the reference.


    That page really puts the whole universe of Alan Wake in to question. The game never makes a proper distinction between the altered manuscript reality and the supposed original reality. If it means that Alan can alter even history, then everything in the story is ultimately made up by him. And that would make most of the story make no sense whatsoever. The balance of the story would be just some arbitrary rule Alan came up with for the sake of, I don’t even know. What would be the point with any of it?

    One theory could be the whole story of the game is just us living through a work of fiction and Alan is just the protagonist. So in essence they wrote story about being within a story, where you are living a story written by yourself.


    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Oh you don’t know the half of it…

      This is a major spoiler for a major plot point in the lategame so this time I’m serious with the tags, you have been warned.

      Oh this thing gets better/worse when Alan actually finds a page written by Zane and is given an item to fight the dark presence itself and it’s the clicker (the old light switch we’ve seen Alan give Alice in the cutscene). Supposedly Zane left the page and the item as “failsafes” in case the Dark Presence got out. Like he wrote a page according to witch the person fighting the Presence finds the page and the clicker. But this is also part of Alan’s manuscript, so did Zane really leave this thing, consequently causing the current crisis (since it was written and infused with the power of the lake some guy named Alan just has to fight the DP at some point) and shaping Alan’s past so that the clicker strengthens his resolve and can be used properly, or did Alan write it “first” retroactively causing Zane to leave the page, and causing the “lamp lady” to spend 40 or so years in living hell, for those who think Alan is kinda of a dick, and he just used the clicker as the mcguffin because he was in a rush?

      1. Even says:

        Well yeah, I’ve played the game, so no worries about that. Guess I jumped ahead a bit too much, but you can’t escape the fact that the reality of things is just plain messed up at the end of the day. The whole Zane angle is just twisting the knife in the proverbial wound. The problem for me is the game just half-expects you take the story for granted anyway.

        More I think about it, it would all make sense in a very convoluted way if Zane was the actual writer of everything. The plot of the game is all about Zane fixing his mistake. He would know the history of things at the very least and so it would fix that problem. The DLC would make a lot more sense in that context as well. It’s just Zane trying to fix his final mistake and rescue Alan from the place he had to trap him in for the sake of the story. Mr. Scratch would definitely make a lot more sense.

        1. Even says:

          To dive a little deeper:

          The chronology wouldn’t be really be a problem given he would have written the story sometime back in 1970. Becoming aware of the nature and limits of the power of the lake and realizing what he’d created by trying to bring Barbara Jagger back, he came up with a plan to fix it by altering the future with a story. Realizing it wouldn’t be possible to do right without correct balancing, he came up with the whole light vs. dark theme (he was a poet after all) and opted to write himself into the story to be this envoy of light of limited power to hinder the Dark Presence, while at the same finalizing his own fate, to be stuck in the role possibly for eternity or until the last mistake is corrected. But it needed to be done.

          That would only leave the mystery that how did Zane incorporate Alan into the story. There's multiple ways this could play out. Maybe he just made him up or he knew him and his parents. For that Alan would have to been very young, possibly just a baby.

          I guess it all really depends how Zane would have written it. It could be a very verbose text with him coming up with all the characters and happenings in a very specific way, or then it was more like a prophecy, with only the plot elements set in stone, and the story with the power of the lake would find the characters to fit it automatically when the time was right.

          1. I thought that the way they leave that ambiguous was pretty interesting. I like that the rules of Cauldron Lake are not completely explained, but explained enough that the plot makes sense.

            Not everything needed to be explicitly stated. In this case, the mystery was a pretty big part of the story, no matter if the game is supposed to be a horror or a thriller.

            1. Even says:

              I could roll with that if the game didn’t so blatantly throw it all in your face. It’s like they’re begging for all of it to be analyzed.

              1. I think that a major theme of the game is to just shrug your shoulders and go with the flow despite not quite understanding what is going on. Almost every character who tries to make sense of it decides that it doesn’t really matter. The ones that don’t bother with it (like Sheriff Breaker and the old rockers among others) tend to come out better for it.

                1. Even says:

                  Perhaps. That’s what I do with most games as it happens. I find a lot of games to be more enjoyable that way. With all the lampshading going on it’s just hard to avoid the feeling that the game is trying to tell me something. The more attention they draw to the issue, the more I get the feeling that this is something the game wants me to figure out.

                  1. And the more you try to figure it out, the worse off you are. The theme even extends to the player.

                    You could even say that it applies to how nobody seems to be able to figure out what genre this game is. It doesn’t matter, just go with it.

                    Or it could be that I’m over-analyzing this. It might even be better to just go with it and not worry too much.

          2. Even says:

            The plot with Alan trying to rescue his wife through writing could be explained away with Zane just copying his own story with Barbara for his lack of ability as a fiction writer. The themes are an almost perfect match in that regard.

            It’s crazy how well the theory seems to fit. Or is it just me?

            1. It fits. Especially with the rules that we do know.

            2. Jonn says:

              His ability as a horror writer, yes. Of course, the DP takes Alice before Alan starts writing, then it Gets him when he dives into the lake. Alan loses a few days writing the manuscript, then he manages to escape. Naturally, he’d write a plot about getting his wife back.

          3. Sleeping Dragon says:

            While the first sentence (well, one of the first sentences and I’m too lazy to actually go check) of the game, the one about an author not explaining everything about the story, raised a few warning flags in my head, in the end, like newdarkcloud above, I also think maybe the game is better off not explaining everything. I mean following with the whole lovecraftian theme using the power of the lake is obviously a serious case of “dabbling in things man was not meant to know”, our mundane understanding of cause and effect may simply not apply.

            There are some interesting theories out there, some people think Zane might have been Alan’s absent father (according to the wiki Wake was born in 1978 and while I can’t find the exact date of Zane’s “death” it says that Barbara drowned in 1970, I somehow don’t think the whole business of bringing her back then recognizing the Dark Presence took as many as 8+ years) or that Alan is a sort of reincarnation, or I suppose “author projection” of Zane (mostly based on the rocker brothers referring to Alan as “Tom” at one point). Personally I think it’s perfectly possible the moment Zane wrote down that thing about Alan confronting the DP the universe shifted to provide an appropriate character.

            On a separate note, it’s interesting how many people think that Zane has some, possibly sinister, agenda of his own. Even if we scratch (no Wake related pun intended) the sinister part for all we know at present he is trapped in the Dark Place unable to either return or move on, so it is perfectly possible he didn’t say the last word yet. I think it would be pretty wicked if it was revealed (in a sequel I imagine) that the Dark Presence, Zane’s imprisonment, Alan and Alice’s ordeal and basically all the related stuff was part of Zane “balancing” his own eventual happy ending with Barbara…

      2. Eric says:

        I think it’s also fair to say one interpretation is that Alan is a character in Zane’s story and is not actually real; a second is that Alan actually made Zane up in the first place. Again, the ambiguity is what makes things interesting and really gives the story that mind-screw quality that I think was the real goal behind it.

  15. X2Eliah says:

    … Waitwaitwait, Mumbles didn’t know Krang’s name? But he is the BEST VILLAIN EVER of all cartoons. EVER. It’s a freaking alien brain in an artifical body’s abdomen bent on fighting against mutant animal ninjas, how can you forget the name of something like that? Wow. Just wow. Mumbles just blew her street cred. Completely.

    1. Mumbles says:

      I actually hated him as a kid so I think I’ve been purposely forgetting his name since then.

      1. Dasick says:

        So you tried to block out the memory of a terrible character by suplanting it with an even more horrifying character conept?

        Because a guy being impregnated and mind controlled by a brain is pretty damn up there…

        Nice move mumbles.

    2. Nick says:

      Pretty sure she was trolling dude

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Mutant animal ninjas?What are you talking about?They are alien animal ninjas.

      1. Newbie says:

        Alien Mutant Animal Ninjas. Michael Bay will take his check now, make it out to cash.

        I spelt ninjas wrong twice and I panicked at how racist it looked… also I’m an idiot for spelling ninjas wrong.

        1. Dasick says:

          No the ooze is of alien origins, therefore the turtles are alien from a Certain Perspective(tm).

          People criticice Michael Bay, but after seeing the third tranfsomers I don’t really see why.

          Sure it’s a dumb action movie, but the action sequences are pretty nice and the they actually use tactics and strategy.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Watch the avengers,then youll get why people criticize michael bay.Its not that he is making action movies,its that he is making bad action movies.

          2. Sumanai says:

            Your defence of the third Transformers movie sounds like the defence I’ve heard for the second and first. I haven’t watched the second, but the first was crap. I don’t care how “good the action scenes were” if I’ve had to get to them by watching 40+ minutes of the shittiest teenage drama-comedy I can remember. And the action scenes weren’t even that good, it’s just that by contrast they were decent.

            Arguing that something is a good, or even decent, “dumb action” film tends to ignore the fact that there are many better action movies already in existence and there’s no reason to not just buy those on a DVD for less than 10 bucks or something. And there are even more good “dumb action” films.

            Also: one out of three is pretty bad for someone who is supposed to be high calibre.

            They’re not alien, since they’re just affected by an alien product. If I eat a space rock, does that make me an extra-terrestrial? The reason for Bay’s comment was most likely that he didn’t pay any real attention to details so he mixed it up. This isn’t a big deal since he is not directing it.

            1. Thomas says:

              I enjoyed Transformer 1 and 2 (except for 2 horrible jokes in 2 which were pretty darn cringey)

              Comparison to the Avengers is wrong because the Avengers was largely character focused (to be honest there wasn’t really not that much character based action and what there was wasn’t mindblowing because the enemy was so non-existent and samey, by contrast the jokes and the interplay were completely mindblowing)

              I guess better comparisons would be Raid or Equilbrium? But they’re a very different type of action film. I can’t think of what counts as Transformers style action at the moment that wasn’t based off Transformers, maybe stuff like Ghost Rider a little bit? CGI spectacles… hmmm

              Anywhere I enjoyed the heck out of those two films, I’m not saying I hard turn my brain off because I didn’t feel that way, I wasn’t seeing gaping flaws that I was deliberately ignoring, I went into the cinema and saw something that was more interesting than most other films that were coming out at the same time

              1. Bubble181 says:

                Why only look at “now”?
                Terminator II, Die Hard,… they’re action movies, with a decent plot, decent charactirisation, and good (arguably better than Transformers I, II and III) action sequences.

                1. Sumanai says:

                  If only because the action sequences don’t total to a few minutes in a full length movie.

              2. Sumanai says:

                Haven’t all of the Transformers movies been “character focused”? If they’re not, why are the films following Witwicky?

                Anyway, I don’t see why “it’s the least worst coming out right now” is a good reason to go and see something. Maybe it’s because I don’t watch a lot of films?

                1. Thomas says:

                  Was this a reply to me? If so that wasn’t an argument I was saying. Sorry I was trying to think of an adequate film to compare with, because Daemian had compared it to the Avengers which isn’t an adequate comparison at all, but I couldn’t think of one, that didn’t really have to do with arguments as to why you should see it.

                  I was basically saying, I enjoyed it completely in almost everything it tried to do and watching it didn’t involve any switching off of my brain or ignoring-the-awfulness

        2. X2Eliah says:

          Hm. Iirc Bay’s not actually the director/producer, it’s just that his company has the contract and he’s on in a non-lead involvement with that movie.

    4. Thomas says:

      I was always a little uncomfortable at a baddy who thrusted his brain at me with basically his crotch. Can’t say it ever jibed well with me :D

  16. Johan says:

    So yeah, why did this ENTIRE SEQUENCE need to be here?

    1. Because Alan Wake really loves coffee.

  17. Ateius says:

    I wouldn’t say “interested in” the plot so much as “deeply confused by”, but yes, Chris is right, I do want to get to the next story section and the long, repetitive combat they put in is starting to drag.

    Or it would, if not for the cast entertaining us instead :D

    1. Vic 2.0 says:

      Yes, watching someone else play a video game isn’t usually that much fun…

  18. Sleeping Dragon says:

    RE: taken animals. I have this thing where “evil animals” in game creep me out. At the point when Alan and Barry are renting a cottage Alan steps outside and sees Rusty bandaging his dog. At this point I was sure there would be possessed dogs in the game, as it turned out it was only an introduction to and an attempt to lampahsde the presence of beatraps in the forest.

    On that note the number of enemy models in this game is just lazy. There are some very slight variations but the basic models are the generic guys, the big guys and birds (and a number of props that come to life and fling themselves at Alan, but that’s just what they are: moving props) and that’s pretty much it. I think at around act 2 I started to wonder about there being no women but I was thinking they would be a separate “class” of enemy and that these were early game “mundane” enemies and we were in for some crazy shadowstuff later… shows what I know.

    1. Yeah. How dare you make perfectly logical conclusions based on experience from other games you play!?

      This game never gets more diverse enemies, but American Nightmare does. Apparently Remedy listened to the critique.

      1. Sagretti says:

        I thought it was quite funny that one of the enemies the cast was brainstorming, the 2 little guys that form into one big one, is actually an enemy in American Nightmare. Not exactly an extremely rare enemy type to find in games, but still quite amusing.

    2. Vic 2.0 says:

      “This game never gets more diverse enemies, but American Nightmare does. Apparently Remedy listened to the critique.”

      And the result was a disaster.

      “On that note the number of enemy models in this game is just lazy. There are some very slight variations but the basic models are the generic guys, the big guys and birds”

      If you’re talking anything along the lines of monsters, I think the lack of this was intentional as a means of keeping it established that the Dark Presence was not creating monsters but possessing people who were already there. Now, this could’ve easily included some other animals besides birds, I’ll give you that. But one possible explanation for it not doing so could be that animals sometimes sense danger much earlier than people, and perhaps the animals (including the birds; the fact that light is all that’s needed to kill the birds suggests they aren’t real birds at all.) either split long before they could fall prey to it, or alternatively, the Dark Presence simply felt no need to use them, assuming the human Taken and poltergeists would be sufficient.

      The “birds” were there because of their superior mobility compared to the Taken and poltergeists. And if the question “Why not use just birds then?” pops into mind, perhaps the Dark Presence had hoped Wake would not want to shoot the Taken… you know, their resembling people and all. And the poltergeists are actually signs of the Dark Presence getting directly involved when it sees an opportunity to stop Wake itself.

      Now, why aren’t there more models of human Taken? You are probably right that it’s “laziness” (although you’d be wrong to say/imply that this sort of repetition in models isn’t very common in games in general). But I tend to think it makes sense that there wouldn’t be, say, a guy wearing a business suit or that many women being taken by the darkness, as they’re not as likely to be outside at night as joggers, campers, hunters, fishermen, and lumberjacks.

      “I think at around act 2 I started to wonder about there being no women but I was thinking they would be a separate “class” of enemy and that these were early game “mundane” enemies and we were in for some crazy shadowstuff later… shows what I know.”

      I really don’t see how anyone could find them “mundane”, and I especially disagree with you that things didn’t get crazier and crazier, if not in the way you had predicted (I thought predictability was a bad thing anyway?)

  19. Packie says:

    Okay seriously, that was one of the best episodes of the season so far.

  20. James says:

    An extreme Alan Wake perhaps should have gone for is something like Siren:Blood Curse.

    In that game you've got the similar theme of normal people becoming wrong, they both say normal things but out of context and in a warped voice. Except in Siren all the people are Japanese, so you already have a very foreign language that's then warped- and it sounds freaky as hell.

    Plus Siren mixes up the looks of the enemies a lot more, starting out with zombie like creatures and then going onto insect mixes that just look f'ed up. I believe it's only a PS3 game, but anyone interested there's a very good Lets Play of it on the Lets Play archive. Watching it dampers the horror a bit, but it's still disturbing even if you're just watching it.

    Alan Wake's never struck me as disturbing. It doesn't really pull off taking something normal and twisting it. You could take the shadows off the Taken and they would have the same impact (I.E. None). If you're really gonna twist the normal you have to go a step further, getting comfortable with the enemies is a cardinal sin of horror games.

    1. Packie says:

      As much as I adore the art style and atmosphere in Siren: Blood Curse, it’s unfortunate that the gameplay, story, characters and writing sucks big time. :(

  21. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I remembered to add something:
    You think that driving during the day with your headlights on is stupid.Well,let me tell you that it really is.See,recently my country passed a law stating that you have to always have your headlights on,be it day or night,summer or winter.And it is really,REALLY idiotic to have to turn them on during a bright summer day.

    1. Nataline says:

      In what way exactly is it really, REALLY idiotic? Be the day bright or not, the lights are meant for the benefit of others. They really, REALLY help the brain take notice of vehicles hidden among all the visual noise the world throws at you. This is a very good thing when everything including you is in motion, often involving considerable speeds.

      1. It’s a waste of electricity. In broad daylight, there is no need for lights to be on. We’re already running out of viable means of getting power. We don’t need to add to that.

        There’s also the light pollution (which is a real thing, to my surprise) caused by leaving lights on. It’s already bad enough. That would make it worse.

        1. James Pony says:

          The running engine constantly recharges the vehicle’s battery (otherwise the wipers, radio, AC and such would only work for a limited time) and a slow-moving lightless car is difficult to tell apart from a whole bunch of cars parked parallel with the road.

          Also light pollution only applies to the dark hours. You know, when you actually NEED the vehicle’s lights when driving.

          1. Then we get into the problem of that accelerating the rate of fuel consumption.

            1. James Pony says:

              AC and other gadgets add way more to the fuel consumption than the lights. Also, currently a lot of the fuel saved with more efficient engines and aerodynamics is lost because all the electronics in a car weight so damn much. The weight added by over-enthusiastic safety requirements in the frame probably affects that too.

              And really, a big accelerator of fuel consumption is CONSUMER SELFISHNESS. Everybody’s eager to vote all kinds of restrictions on their neighbors, but will lose their shit if anything negatively affects their ability to drive 25 meters to the store to buy all kinds of generally pointless electronics. Also SUVs ALWAYS and pickups when you don’t regularly need the transport capacity and off-road capability.
              The biggest is, as far as I know, industry.

              1. This. We agree on.

                If the store’s that damn close, just walk.

              2. KremlinLaptop says:

                Finland: AC is listed off as a ‘gadget’.


        2. Dasick says:

          Well, we’re gonna run out of viable means to get power anyways. The way I reckon, it would take massive life-style changes by the majority of the (western) population in order to prevent complete depletion (within our lifetimes).

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        On a bright day,you barely notice that the headlights are on,even at speeds when the car is coming from the opposite direction.It does make sense when visibility is lowered,like in winter,or in northern countries.But in the balkans,during summer,you can spot a pitch black car way sooner than its headlights.

        1. James Pony says:

          The main purpose isn’t to make a car more visible during daylight hours, but to indicate that the car is running (in motion or about to move). Quite necessary in towns and cities where there’s lots of noise and lots of parked vehicles.

        2. Nataline says:

          Drive towards the sun (don’t leave ground though) with light falling from certain angle and you get a nice image for your brain to decipher: very bright band of sky at the top, bright band of shining asphalt at the bottom and a pitch black band of retinal contrast overload in the middle. I tried that fifteen minutes ago and all those barely noticeable glints of unnatural light in the black band really helped.

          Even in the Balkans, during summer, a pitch black car just might have momentarily camouflaged itself against a bit of dark background. In traffic I gladly take every little bit that helps, so I don’t understand why you say this is “really, REALLY idiotic.”

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I am yet to experience such a very specific set of circumstances,and Ive driven in a plethora of conditions.And its not like in the video you see here,where you can distinctly see the beams of the headlights.When the sun is blinding,you dont see the headlights at all,not as beams,not as specks,be it in the city,be it in the country.

            1. X2Eliah says:

              “Because *I* never saw/had it, it must not be real at all” – is basically what you just said.

              1. Raygereio says:

                Can having your lights on during the day be usefull at certain specific situations? Sure. There’s such wonderous phenomena like fog, or heavy rain.
                But is there justification for having them on all the time? No, I’ve certainly never have seen a convincing argument for it. Let’s take Nataline’s example, in my experience the lights there would have little to no effect on the visibility of the car comming towards me.

                And even if they did have an effect in Nataline’s example, then the simply argument can be made that the situations in which your lights do not have any usefull effect whatsoever far outnumber the sitations in which they do. That makes it a waste of energy to have them on all the time.

                Worse; there are studies that show that having your lights on all the time carries the risk of drivers subconciously being trained not to pay attention to cars and other things on the road, but to lights. That’s potentially a very bad thing, especially in contries where cars are packed closely together with pedestrians and cyclists.

                1. Nataline says:

                  It takes one (1) case of lights being useful in averting an accident to make it not a waste of energy. And it doesn’t have to be a potentially fatal accident either, mere forceful reshaping of vehicles with other vehicles will usually waste a lot more than can theoretically be saved by not using lights.

            2. Nataline says:

              The blinding sun example is not the only thing that can hide a car from your perception. Note: not view, but perception. Ridiculously large things can be hidden in plain view, and traffic offers overwhelming sensory information.

              I’m ignoring the video, what caught my attention was you stating that having to turn on headlights at daytime is idiotic. Why? Most cars here have lights on automatically, my own doesn’t but that’s just a matter of flicking a switch, which is already an automated procedure in my brain. If it feels like a chore elsewhere then maybe we have unusually light switches here.

              Also, I just described what happened to me while driving and you tell me that doesn’t happen. What?

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                No,Im not saying that it doesnt happen,Im saying that it doesnt happen where I live.It does make sense for countries where visibility is an issue.Where I live,visibility is not an issue for quite a big chunk of the year.

                1. James Pony says:

                  It’s not the visibility that’s the problem in the summer here in Finland. It’s the (relatively) slow-moving cars amongst numerous parked vehicles in a noisy environment (and most modern cars are really quiet to begin with). A car with lights on is clearly in use, while a car without lights can be confused for a parked vehicle. Or you stop and observe every single parked vehicle to separately confirm it’s not moving.

                  Here in Pori it’s pretty important because the local driving culture is not too bright. Here’s a few lovely examples:

                  Q: How can you tell if a car is going to stop and let you cross or if it intends to keep going?
                  A: A car that is going to stop accelerates some 25-50 meters before the crossing so that you get to wait for the car to come to a complete halt before crossing, a car that slows down 25-50 meters before the crossing is going to panic-slam the breaks if you start crossing.

                  Q: What’s a turn signal?
                  A: The what now?

                  Q: What’s the safety interval in meters?
                  A: WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU, LET ME COME CLOSER.

                  1. Thomas says:

                    Okay lets stop being anecdotal here.

                    3 reports all concluding that lights on in the daylight reduce car crashses. Since none of us have done any research into the matter lets leave it to the people who have and agree that leaving lights on is effective until we see a report to the contrary

                    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      This part however is very important:

                      “In particular, the poorest performing options, such as low beam headlights, are probably
                      ineffective on bright days. This hinders the application of overseas effectiveness studies to

                      It goes on to say that lights should be modified for these conditions,which our law says nothing about.We are simply obligated to turn on our regular lights,which in most cases do nothing.Ive seen a few cars with dedicated DRL,and those are visible during summer days,but those are a small minority here.

                  2. Thanatos of Crows says:

                    Oh Finland has traffic laws? TRIANGLE WHATS THAT11!11!1

                    1. Sumanai says:

                      That’s nothing. Wait until the traffic lights break down and all hell breaks loose.

                2. Nataline says:

                  It makes sense when you are not alone on the road. Visibility might not, in your opinion, be an issue to you, but it may be for others. Your lit headlights are for their benefit, and by extension, yours.

                  We seem to be focusing on different things here. What I get from your arguments is along the lines of “if it is well lit (by e.g. sunlight), it is highly visible to the eye”, but what I am trying to say is “if it is highlighted (by a visual cue, e.g. headlights), it is more perceivable to the brain”.

                  I drive for a living, I have perfect vision, both regular and stereoscopic, I concentrate on my driving. The road is straight, no-one else in sight, there are open fields on both sides and forest edge beyond that. I am awake and attentive. I plow a moose off the road.

                  This actually happened, and the well lit huge animal in plain view was somehow invisible until it.. uh.. decloaked or something right in front of me. I probably would have noticed it sooner if wild animals had mandatory headlights lit at all times, but that is beside the point. I’m not saying that you personally would be exactly like this blind jackass of a driver, I’m trying to say that with headlights always on you diminish the risk of becoming the moose.

                  1. Sumanai says:

                    I think he’s saying that if it’s a really bright weather then it’s impossible to tell if the lights are on or not. I don’t have that problem usually (the exception are the cars with shitty lenses so even the turn signals are near impossible to see), but I don’t know if that’s because of different weathers where I am.

    2. James Pony says:

      It’s law here in Finland. The logic likely is that you don’t have to wonder if a car is moving or not, which is pretty important under certain conditions, especially in towns and cities (and doubly especially here, because dfasghkja hsgk “traffic rules” seems to be a foreign concept to these morons). Also probably to make checking the condition of the lights easier, because when the lights become strictly necessary, a large portion of the day is dark so lacking lighting gets actually dangerous.

      1. Even says:

        I’ve grown to appreciate it. It makes spotting cars in a far distance a lot of easier which in turn makes passes a lot safer. In areas where there’s a lot of curves, foliage and/or hills it also gives you a lot better forewarning. We don’t really have the luxury of having thousands of kilometers of flat straight road where visibility is mostly a non-issue. Is there really a good reason not to use them?

        1. X2Eliah says:

          Laziness. That’s the very best reason you should ever need, as it is the driving reason behind all of technology.

      2. Sumanai says:

        I consider the “you can tell if a light has gone out” as pretty important, since some don’t do routine maintenance like checking out if all the lights are still working before it’s too late. So the police telling them they need to change during the summer can be helpful.

        It’s also possible that when it gets darker you’d end up turning the lights on later than you should be. Don’t know if that’s as big of a problem in middle or southern Europe since it gets darker slower near the poles.

        And the only real negative effect I can think of is that the lamps wear out faster, but they seem to last pretty damn long as it is, so I’m not certain how much of a problem that is.

        1. James Pony says:

          Option A: Turn the lights on every time, turn the lights off every time, it becomes automatic. Muscle memory. It’ll just feel wrong to not do it.
          Option B: Pick and choose when you use the lights and you’ll eventually end up forgetting one way or another, and then you cause danger situations or even a downright accident (OR hopefully you merely get to talk to the nice man in the blue uniform) or you drain your battery overnight.

          Again, redundancy. The odds may be low, but the chance still exists. Luck is a skill.

          1. Sumanai says:

            Yeah, that too. A surprising amount of laws don’t exist because of their direct effect but because they get people to act certain ways which results in higher safety.

    3. Having vehicle lights on during the day greatly reduces crashes. The number here in Denmark was around 10% fewer crashes during the day after it was made mandatory to have lights always on. Google finds a quote of “help prevent anywhere between 7 and 25 per cent of all fatal daytime crashes.”

    4. Warstrike says:

      The other issue to consider is that if you just need lights on when conditions require it, you get lots of situations where conditions are moving from “fine” to “need headlights” (i.e. every evening at twilight). In my experience there is always someone (occasionallly me) who doesn’t get around to turning their lights on until long after their car is a nearly invisible menace in these situations. I actually love that my car automatically runs the headlights when I’m driving 100% of the time, because then I don’t have to remember to switch it when the lighting conditions change.

      In short, the law isn’t necessarily for the good that is accomplished in perfect brightness, but for the safety gains of making cars more visible in all the border cases compared to leaving it in peoples’ judgements.

  22. Dasick says:

    Am I the only one noticing how the show has taken a wrong turn in the abscence of Shamus? I mean seriously, Rutskarn as a male stripper? Wow nice mental image. And don’t you actually have to be male and of certain age to do that?

    -Nuclear Vvessels.

  23. Mr Jack says:

    I don’t think it’s that unlikely to find a bunch of cars that are unlocked, with keys in them. This summer, I’m working in a remote community in Scotland. There is no road access (though there are roads), you can only get here via boat. If you want a car over, you have to arrange to have it brought over by landing craft. There are roughly one hundred permanent residents. No cars or houses are ever locked.

    Bright Falls may not be quite so isolated, or small but it makes sense that locals wouldn’t bother locking up, especially if that ferry you came in on is the only way out.

    1. ps238principal says:

      “Oi! Oo be th’ pillock wha’ sank me Volkswag’n Galf in th’ Loch?!”

      1. Mr Jack says:

        No Golfs while I’ve been here, only Landrovers. Perhaps they have all already been sunk?

        1. ps238principal says:

          Man. The video game you live in has some lazy model designers.

    2. Amnestic says:

      The ‘isolated’ thing is sort of ruined when you consider the amount of cops (including a bloody helicopter!) that Alan just ran away from.

      And maybe it’s just me, but the time it takes to lock a car (few seconds if keys, not even noticeable if using a clicky device) is worth it on the off chance some idiot writer decides to nick it and go for a joyride on the way to the local abandoned coal mine during the evening.

      1. James Pony says:

        Redundancy is safety. People even die all the time just because they’re too “cool” or “busy” for a simple safety measure. And if locking your car or house is too much effort, what else are you cutting corners on?

        Also, the joke? If you do it every time, it becomes muscle memory. It basically becomes entirely automatic.

        1. Mr Jack says:

          In this instance though (where I am, rather than the game) it is a safety measure against something that never happens. Why waste time protecting against threats that do not exist? And if someone wants to do you in, I doubt something as trivial as a locked door is going to stop them.

          Edit: Someone died last month for the first time in over ten years, of a heart attack.

          1. James Pony says:

            A lot of things “never” happen.

            That is, until they actually do.

            It’s your choice, but that also means it’s your responsibility. Some insurance policies are voided if you don’t have basic safety measures in effect and as I understand even a few laws take that into consideration.

            Also it’s better to have a safety measure and never need it than need it and not have it.

            1. Mr Jack says:

              “It's your choice, but that also means it's your responsibility.”

              That’s basically the attitude here. They generate their own electricity, the community owns the land, and they look after their own stuff as far as possible. Very few of the cars have insurance. The vehicles are largely working vehicles, trucks and four by fours, that can be serviced on site by a person you know personally. Why bother paying some faceless corporation to do it instead?

              That’s the kind of attitude you can expect to find in small, isolated communities. I’m not arguing that it is wise, although it makes sense to me, just that it does not feel so out of place in the game.

              1. James Pony says:

                My “problem”, if it can even be called that, is that a lot of people leave basic safety measures off just because “it doesn’t matter”, “it’s so unlikely” or “nobody’s going to X”, and then they’re totally surprised and overawed when it bites them back. And yet they always have time to tell me how it’s my fault that a truck drove over me after crashing into my house through the wall at 5 AM, because I should’ve heard it and I can only blame myself for my lack of magical ninja reflexes because I don’t spend 48 hours a day at the gym (well, not really that, but basically a similar deal with numerous small things).

                And then they demand all kinds of government/etc support, insurances and whatnot.

                And then they also demand/vote for multiple, highly overkill safety measures way out of proportion while displaying clear and exhaustive lack of knowledge on the subject.

                Obviously this is almost entirely hyperbole, but people do seem to have a lot of problems with responsibility.

                1. Bubble181 says:

                  People expect the great ébig nameless “government” to take care of everything, handle everything, and make everything required by law the way they do it. Any measure they don’t like the government tries to enforce is “draconian”, “unnecessary”, “overbearing”, “belittling”,… Anything goes wrong, “the government” should have stopped it. God forbid people might have to take some responsibility for their own actions.
                  I’ve ACTUALLY heard someone complain after they got their car broken into, that “the government” should force car makers to have automatically locking doors after X seconds when the keys are out of the ignition. That they got their car broken into because *they* didn’t lock their own car didn’t seem to enter their mind.

                  1. Shamus says:

                    It is amazing to me how we’re never more than a few comments away from the deep end of political philosophy. How did we get here? Headlights in Alan Wake? And now we’re talking about public risk mitigation versus personal freedom.

                    1. X2Eliah says:

                      Indeed. Where is the government looking? It should prevent these sorts of things on the Internet!

                    2. I had similar thoughts as I was reading this.
                      It’s amazing how two, seemingly unrelated, topics can transition so well into each other.

                    3. Sumanai says:

                      I think it was unlocked cars with keys inside them in Alan Wake that started this.

                2. Sumanai says:

                  I think you just described three different groups. Usually it’s the first group who ignore a safety measure resulting in something bad and the third group then insists on a policy change in car manufacturing or something.

                  The people in the second group are just dicks. Also know as “insurance people”.

      2. Mr Jack says:

        I have not played the game, so I don’t know how big the place is, but the guys have made it clear that it makes no sense for so many police officers to come after Alan, so it sounds like standard Gameplay & Story Segregation (TV Tropes link expunged for everybody’s sanity). Video games run on different rules, in real life, mad writers running around the back woods stealing cars for joy rides is a slightly rarer occurrence.

      3. krellen says:

        With so many cops, it’s no wonder people don’t think they need to lock up.

      4. Jonn says:

        “The “˜isolated' thing is sort of ruined when you consider the amount of cops (including a bloody helicopter!) that Alan just ran away from. ”

        Plot. Realistically, the Sheriff would’ve called Nightingale’s boss when he took potshots at Wake with a civilian nearby, and gotten him in big trouble. But Alan needed someone to drive the plot along in a dramatic fashion, hence the massive manhunt out of nowhere that’s never explained. Or course, it makes sense that the Park Rangers might have a chopper, but I’m not sure they could legally assist in a chase.

        I don’t think the game ever actually establishes whether Alan’s world-changing works retroactively; if he writes that Joe Smith was a widower for five years, when Joe Smith had been single when Wake met him, is he suddenly a widower? Or can Wake only alter things he doesn’t know about or aren’t specifically contradicted by earlier sources of “canon”?

        I’m pretty sure Remedy introduced plot elements that make no sense specifically so the only possible explanation was “Alan wrote it that way”.

        1. Vic 2.0 says:

          “(quoting another)The “˜isolated' thing is sort of ruined when you consider the amount of cops (including a bloody helicopter!) that Alan just ran away from.(end of quote)


          Fewer than ten cops at the site is not that hard to believe. It’s a small town with presumably little else going on. I once had a cop call for backup in dealing with me for walking in the median (didn’t know it was illegal). I wasn’t intoxicated and had no weapon. Yet it took 3 police cars and 4 cops to get the situation under control. But back to the game, lol. It tells you that the cops were assigned to Nightingale by Sheriff Breaker. This was probably so they could keep an eye on him for her. So there would be witnesses to whatever transpired between him and Wake.

          Now, the manhunt is not all that difficult to explain either. First, right off the bat, if you hear a gunshot and you’re not sure who fired first, you immediately pursue the guy you came to interrogate (and yes, open fire if your commanding officer gives the order, which we can safely assume he did). No questions asked. But let’s put that to the side and assume all the cops did know it was Nightingale who fired the shots. It’s also, unfortunately, Nightingale who calls the shots. That might not have meant much if their very own trusted Sheriff hadn’t have sent them along knowing by default they’d be under his command (could be that she didn’t tell them why).

          But now, suppose none of this convinces you. Here is where you must give the banality of evil its credit. Far worse atrocities have taken place because people were “just doing their job” or “just following orders” in our real world’s history. And these were even acts being committed in broad daylight, with everyone knowing exactly who did what. Now, add to this the sense of urgency and adrenaline rush of the chase (it’s not unheard of for police to get this carried away!) and the heightened possibility that no one will witness whatever you end up doing. Yes, it’s wrong. Yes, it’s crazy. But unrealistic? Hard to believe? Not by a long shot.

          “Realistically, the Sheriff would've called Nightingale's boss when he took potshots at Wake with a civilian nearby, and gotten him in big trouble.”

          Well first off, Nightingale is not with the FBI. According to The Alan Wake Files, he was discharged from the Bureau and immediately came to Bright Falls for reasons that yet remain unclear. Second, yes, that’s what she should’ve done (It would’ve had to be after the second time, the one she witnessed at the radio station, as there was no time in between the two to make the call). But I think this may be a case of a small-town, small-TIME sheriff being more or less intimidated by the big bad FBI agent. It doesn’t say whether she had ever really been in any real difficult or dangerous situations before. Wrong as it may have been of her to cut him so much slack, I think it could definitely happen.

          “Or course, it makes sense that the Park Rangers might have a chopper, but I'm not sure they could legally assist in a chase.”

          Was it the Park Ranger’s chopper? Well, no matter. I don’t see why they wouldn’t be permitted to help, especially in a small town that is ruled by a uniformly lenient hand.

    3. Even says:

      But who really leaves their car unlocked in the middle of nowhere? They’re not exactly parked in places most people would call home. What happened to the owners? I thought it was kinda creepy that the cars just are there with nobody in sight.

      1. Mr Jack says:

        Maybe they have been snatched by the Dark Presence?

      2. Jonn says:

        Actually, Jack is probably exactly right. There’s even an empty school bus late in the game.

    4. Vic 2.0 says:

      Good points. I’d also like to add that people in small towns tend to feel (whether correctly or incorrectly) at less risk of having their car stolen or house broken into. It’s very obvious Bright Falls is an isolated town with that small town attitude. Alan even describes it a town “where everybody knew everybody”. More sense of trust that way, even if it is arguably “too much”.

      And of course, many of the vehicles that seem flat-out abandoned may have been abandoned in a hurry, especially if they had seen the tornado at any point. You’re usually advised to get out of your vehicle and find shelter from one rather than try to outrun it.

  24. Sleeping Dragon says:

    Oh yeah, since I’ve noticed somebody mentioning that the game was on Steam sale a few days back I thought I’d mention GOG also has it on sale at 50% at the moment. Sorry if this was already brought up before but I only just realized.

    Also, two big distribution platforms put the game on sale while there is a Spoiler Warning season about it. Coincidence? I think not!

    1. ps238principal says:

      It’s a lot like selling tickets to a movie before Rifftrax gets a hold of it.

  25. Eric says:

    I just have to comment that I love some of that 90s-era videogame logic that finds its way in Alan Wake. Little things like a panel on the wall controlling a floor hatch (when just lifting it up by hand would suffice), strange elevator platforming segments etc. get me all nostalgic.

    More seriously, regarding Chris’ comment about “a few tough enemies you mostly have to run from” – I actually wouldn’t be surprised if that was intended all along, given the Safe Haven mechanic. However, Alan Wake would also become a hard game to market, and survival horror has been falling out of fashion the last several years. Microsoft is publishing. We already know they made major changes to the game primarily because of Microsoft’s involvement (including the switch from PC to Xbox exclusive).

    See where I’m going with that? Alan Wake probably started out as something closer to a genuine horror game, but was most likely made more into a straight-up shooter given Remedy’s pedigree and the current market conditions. Mass audiences are accustomed to mowing through dozens of enemies, and quick, cyclical gameplay systems (“30 seconds of fun”) are both fun for players and easy to design, because rather than long-term play, you only have to have mechanics that work in the short term and copy-paste as need be. It doesn’t really excuse the lack of variety in the enemies, but I think it’s clear that marketing Alan Wake as an action title was a big priority (it even says so on the box in big letters, because it’s not obvious to the statistically significant drooling masses the focus testing says is the target audience).

    Of course, I don’t want to say “it was all Microsoft’s fault!” but I have a lot of respect for Remedy compared to some other developers out there, and Alan Wake had a very tumultuous development cycle. It certainly would not surprise me if at least some of the problems with the game were beyond their control due to executive meddling.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yup,the game does feel disjointed because of this.You have all this characterization for everyone in the town,and foreshadowing to them becoming taken,and then you have a bunch of mooks to slaughter before you reach these mini-bosses(if they can be called that).You have all these times that wake laments killing one person,while merrily destroying a dozen more.Or that part where the sheriff says how ridiculous it would be for one writer to dispatch of her deputies,when you can kill several of them without breaking a sweat.

      Its a shame really,because the game does have lots of potential,and a solid(if not exactly brilliant)story to drive it.With a better(less boring)combat system,this really couldve been an outstanding game.

      1. Thomas says:

        That seems like a likely sequence of events.

        I tried digging up some interviews and seeing if they provided any evidence for it either way but I didn’t find much, for or against.

        The guy who did the miniseries clearly thought he was doing a horror thing, bu he was only contacted through marketing, which presumably Microsoft control (so maybe unlikely if they wanted to de-emphasise horror?)

        Then there’s a dev interview where they always refer to it as a thriller but that was just before release, so they could have been told by MS to go down that route. They say they own the IP and that ‘they’ve been supportive of [long development cycle] that, and we’ve been very clear to say that we’re not releasing it until it’s done’ and ‘The basic vision has stayed the same’
        – Which doesn’t suggest Publisher orders, but then they would say that

        And finally another dev interview they mention ‘, we wanted to do stylistic action and kind of stylistic scare’ which is horror again. Although they did call it blockbuster too.

        I’m not sure, maybe we’ll never know :(

      2. Vic 2.0 says:

        “You have all these times that wake laments killing one person,while merrily destroying a dozen more.”

        When does he lament killing anyone? He mentions it the first time he kills a Taken outside of the dream world in Episode 1, but even then he doesn’t lament it? Well, no matter. But I should think the disappearing act they pull after being “killed” would help to ease his conscience. Especially since the same models keep reappearing. This could easily mean no one’s being killed, only sent to another dimension, recycled, something of that nature. That would be my assumption if I were in his shoes.

        “Or that part where the sheriff says how ridiculous it would be for one writer to dispatch of her deputies,when you can kill several of them without breaking a sweat.”

        Several… Taken? Well she doesn’t know that! This is not a flaw of any sort. It makes perfect sense to me.

  26. Jonn says:

    Though it’s never explained in the game, I eventually figured out that the Taken were harming Alan’s mind, not his body. Which is why his clothes aren’t damaged, why they can keep pulling axes out of nowhere, and why he “heals” when he’s safe under a light. When he falls to the ground, that’s him going catatonic and getting dragged off to finish the book. Except those are the endings he throws away.

    And they have plenty more bad guys in American Nightmare. Alan even mocks the lack of variety in the first game. Chris forgot to mention that you also fight birds.

    1. Vic 2.0 says:

      Well they have a few more types of enemies in American Nightmare. But they’re all chickens, really. Gets pretty dull hunting them down.

    2. Vic 2.0 says:

      “Though it's never explained in the game, I eventually figured out that the Taken were harming Alan's mind, not his body. Which is why his clothes aren't damaged, why they can keep pulling axes out of nowhere, and why he “heals” when he's safe under a light.”

      Or, the health meter is not representing blood loss (or whatever mostgames means for it to represent) but Alan’s grip on his own humanity; that is, his resistance to being taken. Maybe he has to give up before he can be taken over? The pain of getting hit, the feeling that he’s about to die that each hit comes with, these things chip away at his spirit. Light is the best way to make him feel hopeful and have a little faith, although simply going without getting hit for a while will do the trick, just more gradually.

      Practically no game out there shows damage being taken by the protagonist by altering their appearance, so we can’t fault Remedy for that one. And I’d say the axes are respawning just as the Taken themselves do. Doesn’t make either of them any less real or physically dangerous.

  27. Vic 2.0 says:

    Okay, first lemme just say that whole adventure you guys made out of looking for that fricking chair was ridiculously entertaining! Lol, thanks for that.

    And rest assured, Alan Wake (probably) did not write every little thing you guys just did into his manuscript. This video is the #1 reason to insist that plenty of blanks were left for us (the players) to fill in as we saw fit ;)

    14:20 – I don’t think it was a “lame excuse for switching to night”. He was supposed to meet the kidnapper there, but the kidnapper never showed. I’d say it’s believable if only because the kidnapper might’ve discovered the police were looking for Wake and wanted to move the meeting place to a more private area.

    Good call, on the tweed jacket, though.

    15:50 – “I think if the dark presence wanted Alan Wake back so he could finish the story, it wouldn’t be trying to murder him”

    The following is totally made up on my part, not even going to deny it.

    The dark presence knows that Alan cannot die in any of these locations, because it isn’t in the manuscript. When you die, playing Alan, you have to start over not because you ran out of HP, but because you are not following the manuscript (clever, eh?) Think Assassin’s Creed and synchronization, if that helps.

    So why the attacks? See my post just above this one.

    18:00 – Likely no shadow women because the darkness just started taking people from the woods at night and stopped when it thought it had enough. Could be that it didn’t want too many people to go missing at once to keep the town nice and ignorant that something was seriously wrong in Bright Falls. So it only took a handful of people (model repetition can be explained by the “recycling” Taken theory, which also explains why they disappear when “killed” instead of just falling down) and though some women do like to camp out at night, there are a lot more men into this hobby and so that’s who ended up being possessed.

    As for your other ideas, my take on it is that they wanted to remain true to the idea that the Taken were merely shells of real people, not monsters. The dark presence is not into creating monsters (perhaps its lack of creativity is exactly why it needs an artist at the helm creating? But of course Alan is not a horror writer; he writes mystery novels. So whether you attribute the Taken to the dark presence, to Alan, or to a combination of both, I’d say it makes sense that the Taken are pretty much humans with certain natural abilities enhanced.

    In American Nightmare, they break away from this, however. And it shows just how far more variety in weapons and enemies can carry a game…

    Nowhere. The game was a disaster, especially compared to this one!

    And again, no, the game developers were in no way obligated to make their opinions of what they referenced in the game clear. That is an entirely made-up rule on your part out of nowhere. They don’t have to love or hate Stephen King, Twin Peaks, the Twilight Zone, etc. to make a reference to them in their video games. Period.

  28. guy says:

    On rewatching this episode just now, I noticed that a subtitle apparently from the Night Springs episode popped up saying “Oh, Mr. Derleth. You have well pleased Nik’Si-Pr’Kah, The Dweller In Flesh. Your body shall host his thousand young, and all shall be glory.”

    So apparently the actual episode was pretty good, too.

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