He is a writer and paranaturally altered individual identified by the Federal Bureau of Control during the Bright Falls AWE in 2010. Alan Wake is the main protagonist of the eponymous video game by Remedy Entertainment, the developers of Control, where a sequel to Alan Wake is coming in 2023.
Alan Wake and Control take place in a shared universe, the Remedy Connected Universe.
Events of Alan Wake
Alan Wake was a popular fiction writer from New York City known for his crime fiction series Alex Casey. Following his most recent publication, The Sudden Stop, Wake experienced a two-year stretch of intense writer's block. In September 2010, his wife Alice took him on vacation to the town of Bright Falls, hoping for him to meet Dr. Emil Hartman, a psychiatrist with whom she had been in correspondence. Unbeknownst to the Wakes, Bright Falls was the location of Cauldron Lake, a paranatural location connected to another dimension known as the Dark Place. The Dark Place's power enabled artists' work to affect reality, but also acted as a prison to the Dark Presence, a hostile force seeking to control artists and write its escape from the Dark Place.
Hartman had studied the Dark Place ever since Thomas Zane, a poet whom he had assisted, disappeared in the lake in 1970. He eventually established the Cauldron Lake Lodge, a clinic ostensibly for the treatment of troubled artists; in reality, these artists were used by Hartman in his attempts to study and possibly control the paranatural forces of Cauldron Lake. When Wake arrived at Bright Falls, the Dark Presence immediately responded to his presence, capturing Alice in the Dark Place and forcing Wake to write a horror manuscript, Departure, which rewrote reality to ensure the Dark Presence's power. Wake managed to escape the Dark Presence, but was captured by Hartman, who hoped to use Wake in his experiments. However, Wake was able to escape from Hartman, and the Dark Presence subsumed Cauldron Lake Lodge.
Wake, guided by the ethereal presence of Thomas Zane, eventually discovered a page written by Zane which had seemingly written for Alan to come to Bright Falls. With the page was a light switch, the Clicker, which Zane had given the narrative power to destroy the Dark Presence. Alan jumped into Cauldron Lake and confronted the Dark Presence, dispersing it. He managed to finish Departure by freeing Alice, but was subsequently trapped in the Dark Place. For the next ten years, Wake made several attempts to escape from the Dark Place, including an incident in which he was confronted by a doppelganger of his, Mr. Scratch. However, Wake was never fully successful in writing his escape.
Events of Control
Following Alan Wake's disappearance, Emil Hartman's paranatural research was confiscated by the Federal Bureau of Control. In desperation to understand the Dark Place, Hartman dove into Cauldron Lake, and was Taken by the Dark Presence. The FBC captured Hartman and brought him to the Investigations Sector for study. Meanwhile, Alice Wake began experiencing frightening visitations from a doppelganger of Alan in her apartment. In 2017, she was brought to the Oldest House to be interviewed about these events. When Hartman sensed her nearby, he broke out of containment, forcing the FBC to evacuate the Investigations Sector; Alice was already long gone by then. Two years later, during the Hiss invasion, Hartman was corrupted and twisted by the Hiss into a new entity, the Third Thing. These events were all relayed by Alan through prosaic Hotline messages, and he stated that he had played a role in them through his ability to rewrite reality.
Jesse Faden heard Alan on the Hotline during the Hiss invasion, with him describing her actions and thoughts in the third-person, as with his manuscript pages. Following Alan's words, Jesse entered the Investigations Sector and confronted Hartman, also discovering information about Alan and Bright Falls in the process. While visiting the Oceanview Motel & Casino, Jesse saw Alan through a spiral doorway, conversing with a doppelganger of himself. The doppelganger claimed to be Thomas Zane, despite his different appearance and voice, and stated that the Zane whom Alan had met was a "character" Zane had played in a previous "film," calling himself a "filmmaker." Zane told a confused and delirious Alan that he had found a way to write his escape from the Dark Place. When Alan mentioned "his double," Zane dismissed his worries and said that he was dealing with him, to Alan's agitation.
Jesse continued to receive Hotline messages from Alan, also showing Alan writing prose on his typewriter. Alan mentioned needing a "hero" and that a hero needed "a crisis," and that he had written the Hiss incantation by cutting up and rearranging random words and sentences. The story that Alan was writing needed "many springs," and he had used the connections he had, including his wife and his city, to make the story real. Jesse also discovered some of Alan's other writings, including an old Night Springs episode mirroring the events of Trench and Darling's discovery of Hedron. Alan intended to finally write his escape from the Dark Place, but was lost in confusion and uncertainty, following only what he had written on his manuscript pages to remain sane and execute his plan.
- The protagonist, Jesse Faden mentions that Alan disappeared years ago, and Control takes place in 2019 and 2020, this makes Alan trapped in the Dark Place for 10 years.