The Let's Play Archive

Alan Wake

by perochialjoe

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Original Thread: Stephen King once wrote, "Let's Play Alan Wake"



The Game

Developed by Remedy Entertainment, a Finnish company best known for the Max Payne series, Alan Wake is a 3rd person shooter that follows the complex story behind the struggling writer it is named after. The writers have reported to have drawn inspiration from Lost, Twin Peaks, and Stephen King. The game features a combat system of using light sources to overpower the darkness that plagues the small town of Bright Falls.

Released on the XBox 360 on May 18th 2010 in North America, Alan Wake received a strong reception from both critics and players. Many praised it for the unique and complex story, smooth combat controls, beautiful landscapes, and its exceptional music. Some complaints stemmed from poor facial animations and lip-syncing. It was later released on February 16, 2012 for the PC with both DLCs included, which is the version I will be playing.

The Mini-Series

Before Alan Wake was released, a mini-series called Bright Falls was produced and posted online. It is considered the prequel to Alan Wake and ends just as the game begins. Bright Falls does not star Alan Wake and he only has a very small cameo in the series. It does not give much information and if anything raises more questions than it answers. It is not necessary to watch this before, during, or after the game.

Note: Machinima for some reason put spoilers in their annotations, so I strongly recommend that you watch with annotations turned off

Episode 1: Oh DeerYouTube
Episode 2: Time FliesYouTube
Episode 3: Lights OutYouTube
Episode 4: Local FlavorYouTube
Episode 5: Off the RecordYouTube
Episode 6: ClearcutYouTube

Illka Villi

All live action work and motion capture for Alan Wake's character is done by Finnish actor Illka Villi. He is present in the television and in the War music video. He does do more live action work in the sequel American Nightmare, however. An interview with him about his work in Alan Wake can be found here:

Alan Wake Finnish TV Interview

The video is in Finnish, but you can turn on closed captioning (the big CC button between annotations and quality) for accurate subtitles.

The LP

I first played Alan Wake on the XBox 360 and beat it in 2 days. Not because it was short, but because I was incredibly immersed in the story. I will be doing vocal commentary as there are large sections without meaningful dialogue, but I will be mindful to keep the talking to a minimum when there is important dialogue (and there is a lot of it).

I will be including the two additional DLC stories as well after the main story is over with. This will not be a 100% run, which means I will attempt to grab all the manuscript pages and thermoses I can, but will not go too out of my way to get them as there is not much payoff for doing so. The manuscripts mainly point out things that will happen in the near future, so missing out on a few will not lose any plot points. However, I will show off the TV shows and radios.

Because American Nightmare is more of a DLC than a standalone game as well, I will be posting that here once the DLC stories have been completed as well.

The LP will be updated once every two days or so, possibly a little longer to give more time for discussion.


Alan Wake Part 1YouTube
Alan Wake Part 2YouTube
Alan Wake Part 3YouTube
Alan Wake Part 4YouTube
Alan Wake Part 5YouTube
Alan Wake Part 6YouTube
Alan Wake Part 7YouTube
Alan Wake Part 8YouTube
Alan Wake Part 9YouTube
Alan Wake Part 10YouTube
Alan Wake Part 11 & War Music VideoYouTube
Alan Wake Part 12YouTube
Alan Wake Part 13YouTube
The Signal DLCYouTube
The Writer DLCYouTube


Alan Wake: A famous writer who is well known for his Alex Casey series of crime novels. Has been struggling with a case of writer's block for over two years and been brought to Bright Falls by his wife Alice to help cure it. Suffering from insomnia and with a past history of substance abuse, Alan struggles with a short temper and fits of anger, making him a difficult person to confront. Because of his fame, he has a dislike for paparazzi and overeager fans which has given him a cynical outlook on people in general and turned him into somewhat of an isolationist.

Alice Wake: The wife of Alan Wake. She is a well-known photographer who does the artwork for the covers of Alan's books as well as his promotional work. She has a strong fear of the darkness to the point that she refuses to go into dark areas, believing that the darkness is something more tangible. After a heated argument with Alan, the two decided to go on a vacation together and wound up choosing the town of Bright Falls. Alice has a strained relationship with Alan's agent, Barry, and believes him to be a bad influence.

Rose Marigold: An obsessed fan of Alan Wake's. She works at the Oh Deer Diner where she keeps a life-sized cardboard cutout of Alan Wake. Avid reader of the Alex Casey series and owner of a large Alan Wake fansite.

Pat Maine: The night radio host for Bright Falls KBF Radio. Can be heard multiple times throughout the game as the voice on the radio.

Sarah Breaker: Local sheriff of Bright Falls. She is mainly sympathetic towards Alan Wake for having lost his wife, even if she does not understand his actions or though she may think he is unstable. Sarah seems to give Alan slightly more of an understanding due to her own experience with some odd cases in Bright Falls.

Emil Hartman: Well-known psychiatrist who specializes in helping struggling artists, though he also looks after some normal patients as well in his office in Cauldron Lake Lodge. Has spoken with Alice about Alan Wake's writer's block and invited her to Bright Falls. Uses very unorthodox methods that result in great success with some artists but utter failure with others. Alan severely distrusts him and made him the first citizen of Bright Falls to experience his bad temper first hand when he became his personal punching bag.

Barry Wheeler: Alan's agent and best friend. Slightly obsessive about Alan and his writing and does not get along very well with Alice. Comes to Bright Falls after discovering that Alan has been missing for a week and assists him in trying to find Alice again. Despite seeming to only care about the money generated from Alan Wake's books, he remains loyal and stays with Alan whenever possible throughout the happenings in Bright Falls despite initially not believing him.

Robert Nightingale: An FBI agent called into Bright Falls. His reasons for being there are not entirely clear, though he does seem to have a particular hatred for Alan Wake. His alcoholic tendencies are mentioned in an early manuscript page and are quickly discovered by the Bright Falls Police who comment on it regularly. His trigger-happy nature has gained much criticism from the citizens of Bright Falls who think he does much more harm than good.

The Game

Alan Wake's American Nightmare is the sequel for the original Alan Wake, taking place shortly after the Writer DLC. In this game Alan manages to somewhat escape the dark place and enters a battle with his evil doppelganger, Mr. Scratch. Though the game is fairly short, the combat system has been greatly improved along with the addition of new enemy types, new weapons, and an arcade mode with its own unique levels.

American Nightmare was released on the XBox 360 on February 22 2012 as an Arcade title and was then ported to the PC on May 22 2012. Much like the original Alan Wake, the console to pc port is well done and so I will be playing this on the PC.

Live Action

Finnish actor, Illka Villi, returns as the live-action Alan Wake, but spends most of his time as his nemesis, Mr. Scratch. The game features far more live-action than the previous game and is done well. In addition to the live-action parts of the game played, he is also present as Mr. Scratch in an advertisement for the game which can be seen here:

Alan Wake's American Nightmare - "Super Effective Sales" Message w/ Mr. Scratch

The LP

As with my Alan Wake LP, I will be doing vocal commentary while being mindful of important dialogue. Much like the original Alan Wake, I really did enjoy this game and beat it in one sitting, so I will do my best to give you the best experience possible. The game is a bit shorter than Alan Wake, and so I am expecting this to be about 6 parts or so.

I will update every two or three days depending on how the discussion goes on the video.


American Nightmare Part 1Youtube
American Nightmare Part 2Youtube
American Nightmare Part 3Youtube
American Nightmare Part 4Youtube
American Nightmare Part 5Youtube
American Nightmare Part 6Youtube
American Nightmare Part 7Youtube
American Nightmare Part 8Youtube
American Nightmare Part 9Youtube


Alan Wake: Has been missing for two years in the Dark Place since the end of the original game. Alan has learned much more about the darkness in that time and how he can shift reality with his writing. He has somehow managed to find a way to escape from the Dark Place and is now in the town of Night Springs, which was pointed out to be a fictional place in the original game.

Mr. Scratch: The evil doppleganger of Alan Wake, created by Thomas Zane to take the place of Alan while he was in the Dark Place. Mr. Scratch has since decided to begin living out Alan's life in secret while using his own methods to work the darkness into the world.

Emma Sloan: Hotel owner, mechanic, and possibly restaurant owner as well. She is the first person Alan Wake meets on the outside of the Dark Place and seems almost as strange as him.

Dr. Rachel Meadows: Works at the Mount Redtooth observatory and satisfies Alan's need for excuses to almost get killed by the Taken.

Serena Valdivia: Drive-in theater attendant by day, insatiable slut by night. Lost a game of tonsil hockey to Mr. Scratch and now suffers from the rare disorder, "darkness on the brain." Has recently met with Alice Wake and is one of the few people Alan has met who actually recognizes him.


By vyelkin

By vyelkin
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