|“||There is a curious correlation with the yet unknowable forces intruding upon our world in the form of Altered World Events. These forces gravitate toward archetypal objects: a gun, a television, a supposedly haunted house. So clearly, humanity affects this process. Our collective unconscious is a map of sorts. We hold the key but we don't know how to use it.||”|
Altered World Events (AWEs) are events in which paranatural forces intrude upon perceived reality, resulting in reality being altered. AWEs are responsible for the existence of Altered Items and Objects of Power. The term is also used to broadly refer to other paranatural occurences investigated by the Federal Bureau of Control. The Investigations Sector in the Oldest House is dedicated to the study of AWEs. Other areas devoted to AWE research include portions of the Research and Containment Sectors.
The term "Altered World Event" is modern FBC terminology. Prior to the death of Director Theodore Ash, Sr. in 1964, the FBC employed the term "Paradimensional Occurrence" instead, which reflected the organization's origins in occultism.
Altered World Events occur when paranatural forces intrude upon perceived reality. When this occurs, reality is altered, often in unpredictable and dangerous ways. These forces originate from other dimensions or planes of existence, and often manifest in the form of unknown energies and resonance. The Federal Bureau of Control is responsible for investigating and containing AWE instances on a national and global scale, and devotes significant research to understanding their nature.
AWEs appear to be affected by the human collective unconscious; paranatural forces often gravitate to archetypes created by human culture and psychology. This results in the creation of Altered Items or Objects of Power, ordinary objects infused with paranatural energies, which gives them special properties and abilities. The nature of this connection between the collective unconscious and paranatural forces is not fully understood, and has been described on multiple occasions as "unknowable."
While AWEs often result in the creation or discovery of Altered Items or Objects of Power, the FBC also classifies other types of paranatural events as AWEs, such as the "planar friction" sound observed in AWE-37. Because of the vagueness of the term and the unpredictability of paranatural forces, AWEs are very diverse in nature. Known AWEs vary significantly in the severity of their alteration to perceived reality, ranging from the appearance of an unknown yet wholly inert object (AWE-46) to reality being completely rewritten to make fictional stories come true (AWE-35). There are no known limits on what AWEs may manifest as, or what impact they may have on reality.
List of known AWEs
The following tables list all paranatural occurrences officially identified by the FBC as AWEs. Many other events involving Objects of Power, Places of Power, or Altered Items (for example the X-Ray Light Box incident, the Burrough Tractor incident, or the Hiss invasion) may loosely qualify as AWEs under the current vague definition, but for the sake of accuracy, they are excluded here if they are not specifically labeled AWEs in-universe.
|Name or ID||Event Location||Event Date|
|AWE-3||Sawyer County, Wisconsin||06/23/1958|
|Rosewood Diner AWE||Wisconsin||1966|
|AWE-(REDACTED)||Bright Falls, Washington||1970|
|AWE-7||Fra Mauro Formation, Luna||01/31/1971 - 02/09/1971|
|AWE-10||Bright Falls, Washington||09/17/1976|
|AWE-(REDACTED)||Bright Falls, Washington||1978|
|AWE-24||Ordinary, Maine||08/30/2002 - 09/14/2002|
|AWE-29||Albany, New York||02/08/2006|
|AWE-35||Bright Falls, Washington||09/01/2010 - 09/14/2010 (recurring)|
|Future Bright Falls AWE||Bright Falls, Washington||202X|
|Ballard AWE||Ballard, Utah|
|Bergen Peak AWE||Bergen Peak, Colorado|
|Cincinnati AWE||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Keystone AWE||Keystone, USA|
|Lansing AWE||Lansing, Michigan|
|Pemberton AWE||Pemberton, New Jersey|
|Rocky Mount AWE||Rocky Mount, Virginia|
|Willow AWE||Willow, Alaska|
Mentions in other media
Remedy Entertainment, the developer of Control, has alluded to Altered World Events on multiple occasions in previous games.
- In the Alan Wake blog "This House of Dreams" (2012), there is a scene in which a federal agent appears wearing a badge that reads "AWE."
- In Quantum Break (2016), one Quantum Ripple event will cause numerous conspiracies to arise on the Internet regarding a "Bureau of Altered World Events," affiliated with the organization Monarch Solutions.
- Additionally, a chalkboard in Quantum Break mentions the acronym AWE as standing for either "Altered World Event" or "Alan Wake Experience." Graffiti reading "AWE" can be found throughout Quantum Break.
- Case Files: Meteor Hill Summary
- Labels on tape reels found around the Oldest House also imply the existence of an AWE associated with the Rosewood Diner, a location within Wisconsin, which occurred in 1966. The name "Mulder" is also given alongside this description. However, no other name or information is given to this event.
- At the conclusion of Expansion 2: AWE, Frederick Langston informs Jesse Faden that an alert was triggered in the Investigations Sector indicating that an AWE will occur "a couple years" in the future at Bright Falls. This is likely foreshadowing for an unannounced sequel to Alan Wake.
- The Operations Center in the Investigations Sector contains nine monitoring stations linked to FBC outposts at locations where AWEs previously occurred. Four of these locations are not mentioned anywhere else in Control. The nine locations are: Ballard, UT; Bright Falls, WA; Keystone; Lansing, MI; New York, NY; Ordinary, ME; Pemberton, NJ; Rocky Mount, VA; and Sterling, CO.