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Alan Wake's Return theories (light QB spoilers)

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  • Alan Wake's Return theories (light QB spoilers)


    So, there is a trailer for Alan Wake's Return in Quantum Break. You can watch it here:

    ​Alan Wake Wikia tells us that:

    Return is the sequel to the manuscript Departure. This is the last thing seen at the end of The Writer episode. The manuscript tells the story of an episode of Night Springs, which is the story of Alan Wake's American Nightmare where the pages are found
    Now to the trailer.

    We see two FBI agents investigating Alan Wake's disappearance (he has been gone for five years): Click image for larger version

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    The male agent has the clicker: Click image for larger version

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    Male agent goes missing and is revealed to be Alex Casey: Click image for larger version

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    Female agent goes after Casey. More people have gone missing during the investigation (black faces): Click image for larger version

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    Alan Wake wearing American Nightmare clothes reads the manuscript at agent's place. "Wake has a bloodied knife". "All of us have two faces". Click image for larger version

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    There is also the statue from Quantum Break in the evidence box.

    In the end female agent finds Alan Wake looking fellow holding knife and Alex Casey dead on the floor.


    So... It's kind of like American Nightmare with Alan Wake and what seems to be Mr. Scratch or some other evil Alan Wake. "All of us have two faces". But how does this otherwise fits into cannon? How does Alex Casey have the clicker and what it does? It seems to get him killed. Is this a new manuscript or the same we played through in American Nightmare?
    Last edited by Stammy; 04-18-2016, 06:09 AM.
    My Alan Wake Collection

  • #2
    Since there are a lot of new members on this forum recently, (most of which are just complaining about the PC-Version) i'm gonna start with a massive Alan Wake Spoiler Warning!

    So, we already knew that Alan was gone missing for several years from Clay Stewards Book. Alan Wake's Return (I will refer to it as AW:R) confirms that. But what is AW:R?

    I think, what we saw in Quantum Break, is the *real* part 2 to American Nightmare. Seeing Alan in "American Nightmare Clothing" confirms that. But just as the American Nightmare Night Springs Episode, AW:R is another step for the real Alan to escape the dark place. Remember, part of his plan to escape involved being in a real episode of Night Springs (AWAN), and now this. So the real Alan already appeared in 2 different works of fiction, that can be seen in the real world and actually exist. So whatever the real Alan was shown doing in AW:R; it's still fiction (Alex Casey is his very own fiction, come on. I even believe Alan is getting more control).

    I don't think that this is Mr Scratch, because he didn't act like him, and we did see Mr Scratch die at the end of AWAN.

    Alan Wake's Return is what i believe to be the consequentual sequel to AWAN, yet still a part of the "Return-Script".

    I've put the Imagination in its Place.


    • #3
      Hey.. there's a few profiles on Linkedin that show a project starting at Remedy as of January 2016-Present as "Unannounced Title". Now we wait.


      • #4
        I have to replay AWAN with this trailer in mind. Sequel to AWAN's story seems plausible. It's confusing since we were told that manuscript of AWAn was "Return" and now there's more to it.
        My Alan Wake Collection


        • #5
          Was there any proof that AWAN's manuscript were part of "Return"? I checked AWAN quickly and found no proof there. I think people just assumed so because Alan was set to write Return after Departure. But Return was suppose to be the sequel but Alan Wake 2 didn't also happen.

          ​Instead, on This House of Dreams blog (, there were this picture of Return's title page with Initiation underlined: Click image for larger version

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          My theory is that Alan Wake (as did Sam Lake/Remedy) realized that it's not yet a time do a full sequel so he made Initiation which is American Nightmare or there may be more manuscripts that are part of Initiation as it's "road of trials". (

          But the trailer is for Return which is true sequel to Departure (Alan Wake 1).

          This is also supported By that according to manuscript in AWAN, By the time of its writing, Alan Wake has been gone for two years: Click image for larger version

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          Interesting is that AWAN was about two years after Alan Wake and Return-trailer was shot probably about after five years of Alan Wake so time of the game goes kind of hand in hand with our time.

          It also caught my eye that Mr Scratch's boss is hinted in AWAN. Maybe we see him in the trailer? Click image for larger version

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          And finally, in the blog Samantha says that:

          Soon after my last update, someone contacted me. They had found me through this blog. They said that they know a lot about what’s been going on, about the origin of the shoebox’s contents, and that this kind of a thing had happened before, elsewhere. They promised to tell me more, on the condition that I’d stop updating the blog. They said that this whole thing should be kept secret and hinted that it could be dangerous, that there are people out there who think that the contents of the shoebox can be very valuable and would be willing to commit crimes to get hold of them. In a way it felt a lot like my nightmare about the agent who came asking about the shoebox. Of course this was totally different in many ways, but still, it reminded me of that, like the dream had come true somehow.
          So someone is investigating this and knows about shoeboxes and stuff. And it reminded Samantha of a dream were FBI (AWE) agent visited her. Could it be that these were FBI agents who contacted Samantha? Same ones who are investigating Wake's and probably Nightingale's disappearance.

          Male agent is revealed to be Alex Casey. Casey is Wake's fictional character. So it is safe to say that Wake is orchestrating this. He has written the agents who are suppose to find him. "Every story finds its writer". But something goes wrong or is meant to go wrong (story needs balance and trials) and Alex Casey is killed. Maybe this is nod to "kill your darlings" theme that writers love.

          It seems to me that Return has some same story elements that AWAN did with the Doppelganger Wake (Scratch). That seems kind of out of place (why use the same idea twice?)


          Well, I replayed AWAN and it was mentioned in the credits that Alan Wake wrote Night Springs episode "Return". I did not remember that. Now I see why it was thought that AWAN was the Return that we see Alan Wake writing at the end of The Writer DLC. But now this new trailer made it seems so that there is more to Return than AWAN's Night Springs episode. Now knowing that Alan Wake 2 was not happening at the time of making AWAN, I think Remedy made it so the story could end with AWAN (thus it being "the" Return). The end of AWAN kind of plays with the idea of Alan getting out of the Dark Place but leaves it open to interpretation. If Alan Wake 2 happens, AWAN may be part of the Return or part of Initiation phase. If Alan Wake 2 does not happen, AWAN may be regarded as the Return. I think it was meant like that.

          Last edited by Stammy; 04-19-2016, 02:25 PM.
          My Alan Wake Collection


          • #6
            So I replayed The Signal and there was some interesting stuff that I had forgotten. There's this happy memory of Alice and Alan having a photo shoot for the upcoming novel Sudden Stop in which "Alan kills Casey". Alice comments that Alan has to have that dangerous bad boy look that people love and that the beard suits him.

            It's obvious that the Return trailer got inspiration from this. Alan Wake in the trailer notably has a great looking beard and he kills Casey. But he kills Casey literally, not in literature, like the memory suggests. It seems that Alan is using his old technique and is turning his memories into new twisted story (like AWAN was reimaginated from old Night Springs episode).

            So a possible setting for the Return is that couple of agents are looking for a missing writer (Wake). They found him (every story finds its writer) but bearded Alan kills Casey and is probably going for a killing spree if real Alan does not stop him. This is in line with the original setting from the AW 2 prototype where Alan is believed to be an urban legend serial killer.

            This is similar situation that it was in AWAN but in much larger scale. The whole balance thing requires that Alan must unleash the darkness in form of Alan himself to escape. If things are too "fine", he can't espace because it's not balanced. But it's tough to argument why whole a lot of people need to die so Alan can escape. Maybe Alan is trying to circumvent this by making people who Bearded Alan kills his own characters. This way he's not killing "real" people with his story. But there's still enough horror and twist so the escape story is balanced.
            My Alan Wake Collection


            • #7
              Wow Stammy, that is indeed some actual legit 'deep shit' right there. Your theory sounds very plausible to me, while also negating part of my own theroy.

              Please help me understand (There might have been a little bit of tl:dr involved, sry..)

              1) AWAN is not part of Return, it is (part of) Initiation. But on the other side, it could be Return part 1.
              2) Alan's Script is basically a part from The Sudden Stop, with him written into it (maybe) (?)
              I've put the Imagination in its Place.


              • #8
                1. Yep, AWAN could (and title of the episode heavily suggests) be Return Part 1. That would explain things. Initiation is also possible because it's popped up in few places but so far there's no evidence what's Initiation in Alan's journey. AWAN would fit chronologically but the title confuses this.

                2. There could be parts of Sudden Stop there for sure. Seems like Alan is mixing his memories and former stories into Return.
                My Alan Wake Collection