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Old 04-24-2012, 08:17 AM   #1
johnphenomenon
I've got some questions about the story

First off, I'd just like to acknowledge that I know that it has been said that American Nightmare (AN) is a stand-alone game that has no connection to the previous events of Alan Wake (AL). But after playing through AN, I beg to differ. I simply cannot accept this "fact" because there are too many loose ends that tie the two games together. I'm not exactly sure how the two are connected, but most of it seems to be, aside from the beginning of AN, which brings me to my first thought.

From the events of The Writer, we last saw Alan Wake managing to fight back the insanity of the Dark Place and write a sequel to Departure, entitled Return. Next, American Nightmare starts out with Alan waking up in Night Springs

1. Allow me to sort of recap the events in the game, so correct me if I'm wrong. AN starts with a shot of Barry sleeping in a motel room with the television on. The TV turns to Night Springs and we are suddenly taken into the episode which is then revealed to be written by Alan Wake. My first thought was that AN is actually one of the episodes that Alan had written when he worked for Night Springs long ago. However, later on, it is revealed in a manuscript page that Alan had written a new Night Springs episode based on his old episode and was using this episode to either get him out of the Dark Place or at least contact someone who could do so. Alan soon finds that the former is practically impossible so it seems that he is attempting the latter. And he does so by contacting Barry through his dreams. After the credits roll, we see Barry suddenly awaken, and murmuring, "Alan?" to himself. We know that the Dark Place and the Dark Presence can travel, touch, and/or affect people through their dreams. (some pages from AN and AL confirm this) So, it could be that Alan wrote AN to get to Barry. Later in the credits, it is revealed that the name of the Night Springs episode is "Return," confirming that AN is in fact part of or the entire new story that Alan had began writing at the end of The Writer. That's how I understood everything. Is all of this correct?

2. How did Alan get to Night Springs? What happened in between the two games (The Writer and AN)? Was Alan transported there because of his manuscript? Or was he still in the Dark Place the entire time, and the Dark Place just transformed because of his manuscript? I understand that the Dark Place is a fluctuating ever-changing environment, but judging from The Signal and The Writer, it is chaotic and terrifying. AN seemed much more coherent. Was this because Alan conquered his demons in The Writer?


3. I'm kinda confused about what exactly is the place "Night Springs." There is a page that says something along the lines of "Night Springs is a place where reality can be altered, just like Cauldron Lake." Is the fact that he is in Night Springs is what allowed him to rewrite reality, and thus reunite him with Alice? I also remember reading that Night Springs is not an actual place, or is not a physical town that actually exists and in fact, Night Springs can be any given place in the USA. I don't really understand that either.

4. Another question I have is about the ending. After playing Alice's film, Alan seems to replace Mr. Scratch and is transported into the film with Alice, and the two are happy to be back together. However, the narrator states that the events of AN could very well be just a hallucination or dream that Alan is experiencing in the Dark Place. I don't understand what happened. Did Alan get teleported to the real world? Was that actually Alice? Or did Alan simply physically enter the film and rejoin with a copy of Alice that is only present in the film? Or was it actually just a figment of his imagination?

EDIT: 5. Not really related to the story that much, but did anyone else notice that all of the characters in AN (aside from the old characters and the radio show host) are women? (not to mention, attractive women). Could this be some sort of subconcious way of Alan feeling lonely or missing Alice? Maybe I'm just looking too much into it, but I found it interesting. Any thoughts?

I know that most of these questions are sort of purposely unanswered cliffhangers but I'd also just like to get your feedback and/or theories about them as well. Anyway, I loved AN and I love the Alan Wake series so much. It's ridiculous how much I love it. I love it so much, I want to make a film adaptation of it, just so other people (non-gamers) can witness its brilliance. It's a dream of mine, that I hope to achieve one day as an aspiring filmmaker. That's how much I love this series. Seriously. Thanks so much Remedy, you guys are the best. PHYSICALLY CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT!!! I NEED IT NOW!!!!
Last edited by johnphenomenon; 04-24-2012 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:30 PM   #2
Jill
Re: I've got some questions about the story

Wow, you are in quite a bit of a dilemma right there JohnPhenomenon. I would like to take a bite at it but it seems like you already have a pretty good grasp of things in the Alan Wake Franchise. You sound like a smart Dude! So, I’m going to give you a suggestion. I think you don’t need to hear other people’s theories for you to understand the games and the entire franchise. What you need right now is to formulate your own theories first, and then compare them to other theories here or out there. You can do it, you sound like an intelligent Dude with a very good grasp and understanding of the game.

Now, you’ve asked for feedback or theories here. Are these for your own understanding or will you use it for your proposed movie? Because Dude, if you are looking for answers to your proposed movie, then you have to go straight to the “Source.” That’s right my friend, go talk to Remedy directly about it. Maybe, they will give you the scoop about what’s going on with these mysteries. And then maybe they will bind you to an agreement or contract not to reveal any scoop to the outside world once they agree about you making a movie of their franchise. But remember this; even though if you would find out the answers from Remedy, you still need to keep the genre of the movie as a mystery. Just like the game, the screenplay for the movie should be the same and should not reveal anything. So, if you are looking for some answers for your proposed movie, a forum is not the right place to get some inspiration. Go straight to the “Source!”

Now if you want some feedback or theories just for your own personal understanding and gratification, then I would suggest that you should search in this forum as it holds hundreds, maybe thousands of theories and opinions. Or you could formulate your own from what you’ve already said above! That’s right Dude, what you’ve said above are already good theories. I’ll give you an example:


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnphenomenon View Post
I know that it has been said that American Nightmare (AN) is a stand-alone game that has no connection to the previous events of Alan Wake (AL). But after playing through AN, I beg to differ. I simply cannot accept this "fact" because there are too many loose ends that tie the two games together.

American Nightmare has been designed as an XBOX Live Arcade game. The game has two components, a “Story Mode” and an “Arcade Mode.” In the Story Mode, the Developer has clearly stated that it is not a direct sequel to the first game but it takes Alan Wake’s story forward. In the AWAN website, it also states that after the events of Alan Wake, our eponymous hero finds himself in the middle of a new adventure in Arizona, where his own words again hold the key to defeating his evil twin, the malevolent Mr. Scratch, who spreads darkness where he goes. Now more experienced at dealing with the weird and horrific, Wake is determined to turn the tide.

Now, that sounds like a continuation of Alan’s story from the first game even though we know it is not a sequel. Even “side two,” the Community Manager of this forum opened up an AWAN “FAQ” page in this very forum. Here is one of the “faq” pertaining to the Story Mode and the Link to this “FAQ” below it:


Is this a sequel to Alan Wake or DLC?

No, Alan Wake's American Nightmare is a standalone title that will expand on the story found in the first game, yet still provide first time players the ability to jump in and play.


http://forum.alanwake.com/showthread.php?t=7702


You see JohnPhenomenon; your “gut” feeling is spot on about the AWAN story being tied to the first Alan Wake story! But it doesn’t mean you are right all the time. A theory is still a theory! And as such, it could be correct for you because of how you understand and interpret things. It could also be false to some people depending on how they understand and see things. Like this one:


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnphenomenon View Post
The TV turns to Night Springs and we are suddenly taken into the episode which is then revealed to be written by Alan Wake. My first thought was that AN is actually one of the episodes that Alan had written when he worked for Night Springs long ago. However, later on, it is revealed in a manuscript page that Alan had written a new Night Springs episode based on his old episode and was using this episode to either get him out of the Dark Place or at least contact someone who could do so.

You have a good grasp and a good interpretation of the AWAN game. All of this is spot on except for one thing. For me, the way I see it, Alan did not write a “NEW” Night Springs episode based on his “OLD” episode. Alan Wake just simply re-wrote his existing “OLD” episode and used this “OLD” episode for the “NEW” story that he was currently writing while Alan was in the Dark Place. This re-written “OLD” episode with a “NEW” story is now the one being broadcasted in Barry’s TV and at the same time this episode is the one that we are also playing. Here, Alan actually wrote a manuscript page about it:


Night Springs, the Cult TV Show

Night springs doesn’t exist. It’s a fictional town from the TV show I used to work on. It was Anyplace, USA, a place we used as a backdrop for whatever strange story we had that week.

One of the stories I wrote for the show involved a man, “the champion of light,” fighting his evil double, “the herald of darkness.” It was something I’d written back in the real world – something I had a link to, a framework I could build on.

I adapted it into a new story. This story.


You see Dude, Alan Wake wrote it before back in the real world in his “OLD” Night Springs episode, a story about a man, “the champion of light,” fighting his evil double, “the herald of darkness.” This was already the original story of his “OLD” episode. Alan just adapted it into a “NEW” story, just like what Alan said above in the manuscript page. That’s how I see it. But then again, that’s just me!

And then there is this:


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnphenomenon View Post
Later in the credits, it is revealed that the name of the Night Springs episode is "Return," confirming that AN is in fact part of or the entire new story that Alan had began writing at the end of The Writer. That's how I understood everything. Is all of this correct?

This revelation of “Return” in the end credits doesn’t confirm anything. It only reveals that the title of the Night Springs episode that is being broadcasted in Barry’s TV is called “Return.” It doesn’t say anything in the credits or anywhere in the AWAN game that this is part of the “Return” manuscript that Alan is writing at the end of “The Writer” DLC. Although there is a possibility that it could be part of it, but for now, this remains a mystery. And this possibility is just speculation, for now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnphenomenon View Post
How did Alan get to Night Springs? What happened in between the two games (The Writer and AN)? Was Alan transported there because of his manuscript? Or was he still in the Dark Place the entire time, and the Dark Place just transformed because of his manuscript? I understand that the Dark Place is a fluctuating ever-changing environment, but judging from The Signal and The Writer, it is chaotic and terrifying. AN seemed much more coherent. Was this because Alan conquered his demons in The Writer?

Honestly Dude, nobody could answer this correctly! But this is my own humble opinion about this matter. We all know that Alan’s written words could become reality. We don’t really know what Alan’s intentions are when he re-wrote his “Old” Night Springs episode. Did he plan to be transported to Arizona for one night or did he just plan to communicate with Barry through the TV using his Night Springs episode. All I could “theoretically” confirm right now is that Alan’s “Old” episode of Night Springs now called “Return” has a “New” story. And this “New” story of Alan’s “Old” episode will stay this way forever, until Alan re-writes it again. This “Old” episode with a “New” story is the one that everybody will now see on TV. Because whatever Alan writes or re-writes in the “Lake” comes true and becomes real! That’s how powerful the “Lake” is! – “Silent but Deadly!”


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnphenomenon View Post
I'm kinda confused about what exactly is the place "Night Springs." There is a page that says something along the lines of "Night Springs is a place where reality can be altered, just like Cauldron Lake." Is the fact that he is in Night Springs is what allowed him to rewrite reality, and thus reunite him with Alice? I also remember reading that Night Springs is not an actual place, or is not a physical town that actually exists and in fact, Night Springs can be any given place in the USA. I don't really understand that either.

First of all, in the Alan Wake world, Night Springs is just a TV show. You should know this if you’ve played the first Alan Wake game. Alan Wake used to write for the show, you should also know this if you’ve played the first Alan Wake game. In the AWAN Game, Alan just used his memory of his “Old” Night Springs episode and re-wrote it with a new story. “Theoretically” speaking, the town of “Night Springs” doesn’t exist in the real Alan Wake world. It’s just a TV show. If it existed in Arizona in the AWAN game, it probably existed only for one night! Just like Alan Wake said in one of his manuscript pages. But this is just speculation. Again, we don’t really know yet if this happened in reality or just happened on TV. After all, this is really just an “Old” Night Springs episode that Alan Wake has re-written!


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnphenomenon View Post
Is the fact that he is in Night Springs is what allowed him to rewrite reality, and thus reunite him with Alice?

Alan was never seen writing while in Night Springs. So how can he rewrite reality while in Night Springs? Alan was in the Dark Place at the bottom of the Lake. The “Lake” made Alan’s writings come to life and become reality. It’s the power of the “Lake” that made all of this come true and become reality! Not the town of Night Springs. That’s my take on this matter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnphenomenon View Post
Another question I have is about the ending. After playing Alice's film, Alan seems to replace Mr. Scratch and is transported into the film with Alice, and the two are happy to be back together. However, the narrator states that the events of AN could very well be just a hallucination or dream that Alan is experiencing in the Dark Place. I don't understand what happened. Did Alan get teleported to the real world? Was that actually Alice? Or did Alan simply physically enter the film and rejoin with a copy of Alice that is only present in the film? Or was it actually just a figment of his imagination?

Dude, these are really good questions! Again, these are also mysteries to all of us! I believe people have different interpretations of the ending. You could search some theories on this very forum. There are tons of discussions about this in some other threads. After what I have said above, I will leave these questions for you. What do you think, Dude? What do you really believe inside your thoughts?! Search for it within your deep, dark ocean green!


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnphenomenon View Post
Not really related to the story that much, but did anyone else notice that all of the characters in AN (aside from the old characters and the radio show host) are women? (not to mention, attractive women). Could this be some sort of subconcious way of Alan feeling lonely or missing Alice? Maybe I'm just looking too much into it, but I found it interesting. Any thoughts?

Oh yeah! They are noticeable alright! I also noticed Mr. Scratch’s pelvic thrusting
skills...................Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrah!!!.... .............“She’s giving me the eye!”.....................Why, why, why, why, why, why, why!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnphenomenon View Post
PHYSICALLY CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT!!! I NEED IT NOW!!!!

Who doesn’t? Everybody needs some form of “Remedy” for this madness! But guess what, Dude? In the next game, you won’t get any answers. All you will ever get are more mysteries! And then more mysteries! And then more mysteries..............Because the unanswered mystery is what stays with us the longest, and it’s what we’ll remember in the end. His name is Alan Wake. He’s a writer…

And no form of REMEDY for all of this madness…………………..I’m a Psycho, Psycho, PSYCHO!!!


Now, going back to your questions and your dilemmas, I would like to tell you that what you’ve mentioned above are really, really good points! All of them! It would only take a matter of choosing what you really believe happened! When you have that set in your mind, then you could post it back here and maybe we could talk about it again. If you need some more insights from different theories or different interpretations, just feel free to search here on this very forum. There are tons of them here!

Good luck in your long journey through the night back into the light! And good luck as well in your movie making career! Please let me know of your progress, especially if it is a movie about Alan Wake!


Cheers, Dude!


(Please pardon my wall of text. Thank you.)
Last edited by Jill; 04-24-2012 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:27 AM   #3
johnphenomenon
Re: I've got some questions about the story

Wow, thanks for the awesomely long post. Hm, that sounded sarcastic. Haha, but its not.

Anyway, I'd just like to mention that I didn't create this thread to get specific answers to my questions for my movie. I just mentioned the whole movie thing as a side note, it's just a dream of mine that I hope to accomplish one day in the future when I've actually started my career and I actually have some money. I hope no one beats me to it though. That would crush my very soul. Haha. Anyway, I just created this thread to discuss the story, I love discussing Alan Wake. Also, I'm not really looking for specific answers, I'm just opening some topics for discussion. I realize that they are no real answers to any of these questions, I'd just like to talk about them.


"You have a good grasp and a good interpretation of the AWAN game. All of this is spot on except for one thing. For me, the way I see it, Alan did not write a “NEW” Night Springs episode based on his “OLD” episode. Alan Wake just simply re-wrote his existing “OLD” episode and used this “OLD” episode for the “NEW” story that he was currently writing while Alan was in the Dark Place. This re-written “OLD” episode with a “NEW” story is now the one being broadcasted in Barry’s TV and at the same time this episode is the one that we are also playing. Here, Alan actually wrote a manuscript page about it:


Night Springs, the Cult TV Show

Night springs doesn’t exist. It’s a fictional town from the TV show I used to work on. It was Anyplace, USA, a place we used as a backdrop for whatever strange story we had that week.

One of the stories I wrote for the show involved a man, “the champion of light,” fighting his evil double, “the herald of darkness.” It was something I’d written back in the real world – something I had a link to, a framework I could build on.

I adapted it into a new story. This story.


You see Dude, Alan Wake wrote it before back in the real world in his “OLD” Night Springs episode, a story about a man, “the champion of light,” fighting his evil double, “the herald of darkness.” This was already the original story of his “OLD” episode. Alan just adapted it into a “NEW” story, just like what Alan said above in the manuscript page. That’s how I see it. But then again, that’s just me!"


Hm, interesting take. Are you saying that Alan did not actually write this episode in the Dark Place? I don't really understand the difference between what I said and what you said, honestly hahaha. I mean, what's the difference between rewriting the story and writing a new story based on an old story?




"This revelation of “Return” in the end credits doesn’t confirm anything. It only reveals that the title of the Night Springs episode that is being broadcasted in Barry’s TV is called “Return.” It doesn’t say anything in the credits or anywhere in the AWAN game that this is part of the “Return” manuscript that Alan is writing at the end of “The Writer” DLC. Although there is a possibility that it could be part of it, but for now, this remains a mystery. And this possibility is just speculation, for now."

I believe it is his new manuscript or at least part of it. At the end of The Writer, Alan says he's writing "Return" to help him get out of the Dark Place, which is what he seems to be trying to do in AWAN.



"Honestly Dude, nobody could answer this correctly! But this is my own humble opinion about this matter. We all know that Alan’s written words could become reality. We don’t really know what Alan’s intentions are when he re-wrote his “Old” Night Springs episode. Did he plan to be transported to Arizona for one night or did he just plan to communicate with Barry through the TV using his Night Springs episode. All I could “theoretically” confirm right now is that Alan’s “Old” episode of Night Springs now called “Return” has a “New” story. And this “New” story of Alan’s “Old” episode will stay this way forever, until Alan re-writes it again. This “Old” episode with a “New” story is the one that everybody will now see on TV. Because whatever Alan writes or re-writes in the “Lake” comes true and becomes real! That’s how powerful the “Lake” is! – “Silent but Deadly!”


I just remembered something. I think its a manuscript page in AWAN that says something like "The Dark Presence/Place can communicate with the real world through TV's, radios, and dreams." Perhaps the episode was actually playing on TV. I thought that it wasn't at first, and it was more of just a metaphor. But I think AWAN was actually showing in the TV (maybe only on Barry's TV?), and perhaps simultaneously, in Barry's dream.


"First of all, in the Alan Wake world, Night Springs is just a TV show. You should know this if you’ve played the first Alan Wake game. Alan Wake used to write for the show, you should also know this if you’ve played the first Alan Wake game. In the AWAN Game, Alan just used his memory of his “Old” Night Springs episode and re-wrote it with a new story. “Theoretically” speaking, the town of “Night Springs” doesn’t exist in the real Alan Wake world. It’s just a TV show. If it existed in Arizona in the AWAN game, it probably existed only for one night! Just like Alan Wake said in one of his manuscript pages. But this is just speculation. Again, we don’t really know yet if this happened in reality or just happened on TV. After all, this is really just an “Old” Night Springs episode that Alan Wake has re-written!"


Haha, I kinda forgot that Night Springs is just a TV show. That manuscript page you mentioned kinda threw me off a little. Anyway, my main point about that question is more of understanding what Alan meant when he said. "Night Springs is a place where reality can be altered, just like Cauldron Lake." I don't remember which page that is, but it made me think a little. It made it sound like Night Springs isn't in the Dark Place. Or was Alan just comparing Night Springs to Cauldron Lake? Now that I think about it, that sounds more likely. Maybe I was just looking too much into it. Or maybe not? Because it seems that Alan is always stressing in the AWAN pages about changing reality, cosmological truths, etc, and also that Night Springs is a special place. As if he's saying, it's different if a person writes a story (while in the Dark Place) that's set in Night Springs, compared to if they wrote it set in another place.

"Alan was never seen writing while in Night Springs. So how can he rewrite reality while in Night Springs? Alan was in the Dark Place at the bottom of the Lake. The “Lake” made Alan’s writings come to life and become reality. It’s the power of the “Lake” that made all of this come true and become reality! Not the town of Night Springs. That’s my take on this matter."

When I say "rewriting reality," I mean whenever Alan would match the events of a page to make things happen (like the oil derrick and the projection booth). He was never able to do this previously. I thought that maybe it had something to do with Night Springs. Or perhaps, as I mentioned, it could simply be because Alan has a better command of his abilities in the Dark Place as a creator/writer (after battling his inner demons in The Signal and The Writer).

"Dude, these are really good questions! Again, these are also mysteries to all of us! I believe people have different interpretations of the ending. You could search some theories on this very forum. There are tons of discussions about this in some other threads. After what I have said above, I will leave these questions for you. What do you think, Dude? What do you really believe inside your thoughts?! Search for it within your deep, dark ocean green!"

Honestly, I don't think what we saw in the end really happened. I'd like to wish it really happened, but I believe it was either some sort of hallucination or simply reliving a memory. I don't think Alan could leave the Dark Place so easily.

I've had a couple more questions that have come up since initially posting this thread.

6. On a side note, I just realized something I'd like to ask about. Do you think Mr. Scratch is really gone? I also don't think Alan could have gotten rid of him so easily. Well, it wasn't that easy but it seemed too simple. A typical mystery thriller would usually have some sort of teaser indicating that the main villain wasn't actually dead, but I didn't see one, unless I missed it. I was totally expecting it too.

If he is gone, what do you think this means for Alan? Is he no longer incumbered by the darkness inside him? I always thought Mr. Scratch was his connection to the Dark Presence. I believe he was more than just his doppelganger, he was actually a physical part of him, the part of him that has been touched by the Dark Presence. Or perhaps, he is simply Alan's evil side. I remember hearing something, either from a TV in AWAN or manuscript page, that said that Mr. Scratch is simply the way the media in the real world had portrayed him. He is simply the anti-Alan. But I'd like to think he's much more than that.

When I started playing, I knew that the game would end with you defeating Mr. Scratch. But then I started theorizing about how the end would tie you to the next installment in the series (possibly Alan Wake 2). One thing I thought of is that Mr. Scratch could be Alan's bridge back into the real world. Somehow, Scratch can freely move between the Dark Place and the real world. I was expecting that Alan was going to find out how he did this, or perhaps grab onto him as he "teleported" so that Alan would go with him and that would be how he returned to the real world. If Scratch really isn't gone, then maybe this could still happen.

7. OH MY GOD. I just realized something. At the very end, you can hear the narrator saying something like (paraphrasing) "All we know is that this took place in another place, another time, far far away FROM Night Springs." WHAAAAAAAT!?!?? What does that mean? WHAT DOES IT MEAN!!!?? Does it mean that the entire episode wasn't actually in Night Springs? Maybe Alan wrote a story set in Night Springs, but it's actually in, but not on... with... I DON'T KNOW!! Am I looking too much into it? I just saw the ending again, and it didn't really register into my mind until now. I don't even know what to say about it. What do you guys think?


"Everybody needs some form of “Remedy” for this madness!"

Brilliant, love this.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:42 AM   #4
johnphenomenon
Re: I've got some questions about the story

I've just realized something else. Night Springs is NOT in the Dark Place. I've replayed the game and studied the pages, TV and radio shows, and everything else. I seem to have found some evidence of this.

I'm just going to list two details in the form of questions that I will answer, that make this possible.

1. Why doesn't Alan remember writing Return (AWAN), just like how he doesn't remember writing Departure? If he did remember, he would already know what to do and what would happen.

2. How did the pages get scattered, like Departure? Zane scattered Departure in AL, to help him. Could he be helping Alan again?

The answer to both is questions can be found in the following Return pages that provide more evidence towards this idea:

"Pages and Instincts"

I know that when I arrive, the clarity of vision I have now may disappear. I have made my plans. I have prepared for this. But I know the transition from the Dark Place will be hard on me -- and not just physically. It may affect my mind, my memory.

These pages should help me remember and focus. That's worked for me before. Even if that fails, I think I will be able to trust my instincts.

I'm navigating my own story. I'm hoping I'll know where to go and what to do, even if the details elude me.


This page practically states every thing I've speculated in this post. Alan writes "transition from Dark Place" indicating that he is leaving the Dark Place. And when he mentions affecting his mind and memory, this is the answer for the two questions. It was the transition between worlds that messed up Alan's memory and scattered his pages, this is evidenced in:

"The Plan"

Ihave created the weapon that can put an end to this, a blueprint to a new reality. All I have to do is survive long enough to use it.

My arrival from the Dark Place will be painful and difficult. These pages may be lost, but one way or another, I'll send the parts I really need to myself. If I make it outside, I have a chance.

Mr. Scratch is more powerful than I am, but he can't change the rules in the middle of the game. He's not a creator. I am.


It was this transition that did all these things. Alan even says to Emma (when she asks why his memory is "hazy"), "I was caught in a tsunami" or something like that. That's because leaving the Dark Place caused the tsunami that warped his memory and scattered his pages.

But how did Alan leave the Dark Place? This is somewhat explained here:


"Night Springs, Arizona"

Now Night Springs is in Arizona, although not for long. It's in Arizona because whatever the town that has become Night Springs is really called is located near one of the thin, worn places in the world -- where dreams and reality flow together and life is always a little strange. A perfect analogy for Night Springs.

I can't return to the real world. I've tried. But I'm operating on dream logic, forcing the door open a crack so I can slip through. I can enter the strange little town of Night Springs.

All I did was put it in Arizona for one night.


You see, Alan knew that he could not return home. But he could go to Night Springs, which could be placed in any given town/state in USA. He chose Arizona because that's where Barry (and possibly Alice) were. The thing is, Night Springs is a place that exists "near one of the thin, worn places in the world -- where dreams and reality flow together and life is always a little strange." This is how Alan was able to communicate to Barry and why AWAN is set in Night Springs.

Another piece of evidence is (going back to the same conversation with Emma) Alan says something like, "I went through a portal, a hole that leads to a nasty place." Without question, he is talking about a portal to the Dark Place, again, almost proving that he has left the Dark Place.

The thing is, how is this possible? There are still Taken in Night Springs and if it's not the Dark Place, how can this be? Does the Dark Presence still exist in Night Springs? Or did Alan simply include it in its story? But why would he do that? He could have easily changed his story to something completely different. Perhaps it has something to do with balance. I don't think the Dark Presence would allow Alan to write about anything else except about well, The Dark Presence. Alan had to do it in Night Springs, so that perhaps, the Dark Presence would not... be aware of it? I'm not sure if this part makes any sense.

Supposing that Alan really is out of the Dark Place, what does this mean? Is returning to the real world a possibility again? Or did Alan already do it, as shown in the ending in Alice's film?

But then again, this entire theory could be shot down simply by that goddamned "from Night Springs" line. If my theory is correct and Night Springs is not in the Dark Place, and if that line means that Alan really isn't in Night Springs, then does that mean that Alan is still actually in the Dark Place? What about all the evidence I presented? I don't really know where to go from here, any thoughts?

This also kinda messes my previous theory about AWAN. I posted it in another thread, I'll repost it here:

One thing just occurred to me though. Based from what you said (about Alan being the puppeteer and all the characters are his puppets etc), I don't think that's how it works exactly. One idea I have is that, AWAN is indeed a stand-alone installment of Alan Wake. Not just as a game, but as a story as well. When Remedy mentioned this before, this could actually be a sort of tongue-in-cheek joke. Because AWAN is indeed stand-alone. It stands outside of reality. You get what I mean? There are numerous pages that are constantly reiterating about the fluidity of reality, lines between dimensions being blurred, and other things about the Dark Place. Things like time and space work differently in the Dark Place. It could be that the events of AWAN are happening on a different plane of existence, indicating that everything in it is indeed of Alan's creation, but it does not necessarily reflect the real world. That is, Alice is not really friends with Serena, nobody actually dies, and possibly, Mr. Scratch isn't actually gone. AWAN could simply be just as the narrator described, a dream, hallucination or figment of his imagination. But I don't think so.

I think AWAN was a way for Alan to sort of experiment with his abilities in the Dark Place as a writer. In a way, AWAN does not actually contribute to the story. Everything, in AWAN could easily be disregarded as never happening. I don't really like this interpretation to be honest, not because I don't think its possible, actually it's because I do think it's possible. I hope it's not true. I desperately want AWAN to be some sort of indication of what is to come, or perhaps a peek into the future. But it could very well be just a stand-alone happening that is almost completely irrelevant to the overall story.

But then again, it could not. A different side of me believes that AWAN is simply Alan trying to escape the Dark Place, which is what his intention was for writing Return (as revealed in The Writer).

On a side note, my theory about AWAN being literally a stand-alone event, may explain the last line of the game. The narrator says that AWAN takes place in a "different time, different place, far far away FROM Night Springs." Nobody seems to notice the "From", at least I haven't found any threads that discuss it. Usually, in a Night Springs episode (as well as a Twilight Zone episode), the narrator ends the story by asking questions about what happened and then ends with something like, "that's just how it goes, IN Night Springs." The "From" seems to indicate that AWAN is NOT set in Night Springs, reinforcing the idea that AWAN indeed takes place in separate reality that's a "different time, different place." It's different because there is no time or space in the Dark Place, or at least it doesn't behave in the same way as in the real world. I'm not too sure about this though (the whole time and space thing), but I seem to remember reading about it somewhere.

But how can AWAN not be set in Night Springs? If it isn't, then where is it set? I don't know, to be honest. Perhaps it is simply set in a Dark Place version of Night Springs, or maybe some sort of fictionalized version of it. I don't know really know. Any ideas?


I'm so confused about how this all works out, can someone shed some light and give some feedback to all of this?
Last edited by johnphenomenon; 04-25-2012 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:44 PM   #5
johnphenomenon
Re: I've got some questions about the story

There a few other things that have come across my mind since replaying that I'd like to discuss. I hope you'll bear with my long post.

Another thing I've realized is that it is possible that Mr. Scratch existed before all of this happened, before Alan even came to Bright Falls in the first place. It's just he never manifested himself into an actual being until Alan arrived at Cauldron Lake.

Alice mentions about "something dark behind his eyes" in one of Hartman's recordings in AL, and she also talks about him being two people etc etc. Another piece of evidence is this page:

"The Appearance of Mr. Scratch"

I'm trapped in the darkness. HE has started appearing to me. Mr. Scratch.

He can travel back into the world effortlessly, and he loves to rub my face in it. At first, he was just an echo in the darkness, a flicker beyond the edge of my vision. Now he's started showing himself, getting bolder all the time. Telling me what a great time he's having in the world while I'm stuck here. And what he plans to do, especially to Alice.

All the moves I have left are dangerous and desperate. I have no choice. I have to hunt him.


This shows that Alan had always felt Scratch inside him, but he wasn't released until the Dark Presence released him. Something else that makes me think this way is the very end. When Scratch is "dying" you can see him in the Alice's film that's being projected in the background. He is laughing, dancing, and taunting the camera. Then, he turns around, and Alan replaces him. This is somewhat connected to the next point that I was going to make. I said this in one of Jill's threads or someplace but I think that Alice's film is simply the capturing of a memory. In the last radio show, Alice and Serena are talking about what Alice's film is all about and they say something like "it's an echo, a fantasy." There's more to this in this manuscript page:

"Alice's Film"

I held the film canister in my hands. I saw her name written across it in big letters, followed by the title.

It was a time capsule, moments snatched from times gone by, from a past that I hoped could also be our future. It was my salvation -- our salvation, our chance to be together. A tin can with a bit of magic in it that she didn't even know about, something I could put to good use.

There were only moments left before I had to face him.


Alan says it's a "time capsule." If this is true, if the film is just a memory, then the fact that Scratch is in it, may prove that he's always been a part of Alan, as he is the one in the film. That is, unless it's just another hallucination. Although, you can say that about almost anything else in the Alan Wake universe.

But what I don't understand is, what did Alan mean in the page when he said it had "a bit of magic in it, that Alice didn't know about but that I could use." Was the film more than just a time capsule or a fantasy? Could it actually have been a window of sorts? I don't really know.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:30 PM   #6
Jill
Re: I've got some questions about the story

Dude, take it easy! Hold your horses! Avoid posting 3 or 4 times in a row. They will shut your thread down and you won’t get any responses. You’ll be in oblivion for a very long time.

I’ll get back at you right away! Just keep it cool. Alright Dude?!
Last edited by Jill; 04-25-2012 at 01:58 PM.
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