“Beyond the shadow you are content with, there is an illuminated miracle.” These words of Thomas Zane spoken in Remedy’s Alan wake aren’t as often cited by fans as other must-see lines – something like âIt’s not a lake, it’s an oceanâ comes to mind as a fan favorite. But I still had Zane’s line in mind last week when I dove into Alan Wake remastered. In many ways, the warm welcome to the game in 2021 is something I didn’t see coming.
Every year that has passed since Alan wake launched (fatally) alongside Red Dead Redemption in May 2010, it became less likely that we would get the appropriate sequel to Wake. But whatever the perpetually cryptic Zane meant when he said this line to Alan, I watched Alan Wake remastered– and the obvious sequel we’re now going to get – as one of the game’s great miracles. Before diving head first with more fan theories, note that this article will include several SPOILERS for Alan wake and Control, so proceed at your own risk (and don’t mind my insanity).
Alan Wake remastered is a special type of reissue. It is the one who changes the original not only visually, but with important new content. While playing the game for review over the past few days, I’ve come across a few subtle nods that Remedy has left for players, that you either can’t play the game yourself or you have and have them. missed, I wanted to break them down here so the theory-obsessed fan community could take a close look at these new “visions” of Alan Wake.
By my calculations, three times throughout the remastered version of the game, players can find new QR codes that were never in the game before. Scan them and each will take you to new footage of Alan – the official whereabouts unknown, but we can assume the dark place. Sporting her longer hair and filmed in the same style we saw in Control’s second episode of Wake-heavy DLC, these so-called visions deliver more of Remedy’s favorite brand of confusing language that nonetheless leaves traces behind. Breadcrumbs for players to follow.
The first sight appears in the first moments of the game. As Alan is taunted and pursued by his first Taken, he retreats down a staircase and walks past an exterior panel of leaflets, signs, and a curious QR code. Vision 1 features Alan recapping, albeit loosely, what looks like the DLC episodes now packed with the main game. Alan was trapped in the Dark Place, too deep to emerge from this seemingly physical realm (or maybe not).
So he learned to pull through, turning his own words into weapons to fend off The Dark Presence who sought to use his own mind against him. This is exactly the plot of the second DLC episode, The Writer, so its placement in the first scene may seem odd, but it’s so enigmatic that I think it works. If you’ve played before you might understand what Alan is talking about. And if not, it will quickly fly over your head as you continue through the tutorial.
The part of that first sight that I can’t seem to understand is Wake’s mention of a detective. He rose to fame thanks to his novels by Alex Casey, himself replacing Max Payne, but Wake seems to suggest that he needs a new sleuth to help him out of The Dark Place. Who is this detective? We don’t seem to have seen them yet, but we may have heard of them. Nightingale is an FBI Special Agent and Sarah Breaker is the Sheriff of Bright Falls. But her father, Frank Breaker, was a New York City police officer years ago.
We learn this in Control, where we also learned that he was somewhat of a liaison for the Federal Bureau of Control when they appeared at the scene after Alan’s incident, declaring Cauldron Lake a place of power or a geographic location. sensitive to paranatural events. Frank himself was an FBC agent according to information uncovered in Control, and in Wake is one of the many people Sheriff Breaker tells Alan’s agent Barry to call and issue the direct message: “Night Springs”.
We never learn why Breaker meant with her post, but we can infer that she kept a list of pending townspeople who would need to be alerted in the event of contact with The Dark Presence. Put it all together and we have Frank Breaker, possibly a former detective and certainly familiar with the weirdness of Cauldron Lake. Could he be the one Alan invokes in his latest manuscript, as seen in Vision 1? I believe him.
Vision 2 feels even more cryptic than the first one, but maybe that’s because I’m trying to squeeze too much of a simple mood trailer for what is actually Alan wake 2. In this vision, Alan talks about inspiration, how he takes it from reality and twists it to fit his story, thus realizing his “lies”. While this might at first glance be read as just a meditative reflection on the writing process, I feel that Alan is referring to Control in this second clip as well.
In the AWE DLC, it is implied that all events of Control are in fact the result of Alan Wake’s handwriting and therefore are not real. Some fans seemed disappointed with this, perhaps especially those who came to Control without having played Wake and then may have felt like their beloved Jesse Faden was relegated to imaginary status. But I think this second vision actually proves it isn’t. Alan says he shoots from reality, adds in fiction, and the end result is an amalgamation that makes the latter exist like the former.
It seems clear to me that Alan Wake and Jesse Faden both exist in the same universe and, most importantly, neither are imaginations of the other. Alan bends reality to free himself after years in The Dark Place, but the core of the truth remains: Jesse is real too. This should be good news for fans hoping to see both stories continue, as they no doubt will, given Remedy’s official announcements regarding Control and suddenly frequent teasing about Alan wake.
In the final vision, Alan appears to be writing his escape from The Dark Place. He describes approaching the waterline of Lake Cauldron, naked and suffering from amnesia. Nearby, a dead deer rests near the quay. With no idea why, he runs through the forest “to a fate worse than death”, and the vision ends. While I find this all to be pretty clear and consistent with what we’ve seen of his story before, with his amnesia perhaps explained by the way he says horror stories require sacrifice, the part that tripped is fate worse than death. In other words, I have no idea what that could mean.
While I enjoy talking about Remedy Connected Universe theories, I am puzzled by this sentence and would love to hear your thoughts. What is Alan’s fate worse than death? Is Alice dead? Will Alan’s mind ever recover? Is he now also âtakenâ? It’s clearer than ever that we’ll have Alan Wake 2 in the next few years, but that just means we have a few years to come up with our best theories. These are some of mine following new content in Alan Wake remastered. I would love to hear yours.