|“||You’ve always been the new you. You want this to be true. We stand around while you dream. You can almost hear our words but you forget. This happens more and more now. You gave us the permission in your regulations. We wait in the stains. The word that describes this is redacted.||”|
–A portion of the Hiss incantation
The Hiss, as it is named by Jesse Faden, is a hostile paranatural force of resonance that invaded the Oldest House on October 29, 2019, resulting in the near-destruction of the Federal Bureau of Control.
Nature[edit | edit source]
The Hiss, like Polaris, is a self-propagating force of interdimensional resonance. The Hiss is aggressive and virulent, described by Jesse as 'an earworm that you can't get out of your head'. It is unknown if the Hiss has a central point of transmission or amplification like the Hedron entity, or if the Hiss are a pervasive element throughout their home dimension. Only Polaris, a resonance-based intelligence from Slidescape-36, is capable of protecting living things from Hiss infection and driving off Hiss contamination in paranatural objects; by extension, the Hedron and Jesse Faden also possess this capability. It is unclear whether the Hiss is an intelligent being, or merely a viral signal, a compulsion to spread which uses those it infects to provide strategic actions to aid the propagation of the signal.
Most people when possessed by the Hiss signal float in the air, endlessly repeating the Hiss incantation, a mysterious poem of ambiguous meaning. It is unclear if this form of Hiss agent is otherwise harmless or if they are direct vectors for the signal's spread. Individuals with combat capacity whom the Hiss overtakes often remain mobile, and are able to attack the uninfected with the same skill they had as normal people. These possessed combatants lose their hair and experience violent physical deformation, leading Pope to theorize that the Hiss resonance can rearrange and modify the genetic and cellular structures of the body at the molecular scale. Despite often fatal physical distortion, these agents survive and are capable of using powerful paranatural abilities comparable to those of Jesse. The resonance of the Hiss can also manifest as physical phenomena, forming strong barriers that can even stop bullets; concentrated Hiss resonance can become Hiss clusters, which heal other Hiss agents.
The motivations or ultimate goals of the Hiss are wholly unclear; however, Jesse and Pope theorize it may have been after the Board for unknown reasons. It exhibits a pervasive hostility toward nearly all life, particularly the agents of the FBC, and by its nature corrupts all things that it encounters, including paranatural objects, the Oldest House, and the natural laws of reality. According to Pope, the Hiss being unleashed on the larger world would result in a global doomsday scenario. However, Dylan Faden and Zachariah Trench - the only known individuals to be influenced by the Hiss and retain their individual sentience - viewed the Hiss as positive, and regarded the Hedron and Polaris as greater threats. Dylan implied that speaking the words of the Hiss' incantation is a pleasurable experience, and stated that the Hiss liberated him and showed him the true nature of reality "behind the poster." Trench, meanwhile, viewed the Hiss as a necessary solution to what he perceived to be an enormous threat posed by the Hedron.
History[edit | edit source]
Expansion 2: AWE implies that the Hiss's metaphysical/metafictional origins were scripted by Alan Wake, who rewrote reality from the Dark Place in order to create a "crisis" for Jesse Faden and the Federal Bureau of Control. Among other things, Wake wrote the Hiss incantation poem through Dadaist methods to convey "an alien force mimicking human intelligence."
In the story itself, the Hiss originated from an alternate dimension which could be reached via one of the slides connected to the Slide Projector Object of Power from Ordinary. During the Ordinary AWE, Jesse Faden burned all but one of the slides (Slidescape-36), and the Projector was contained by the FBC. Zachariah Trench kept one of the burned slides. As exploration of Slidescape-36 was carried out under the supervision of Casper Darling, Trench, attending one of the expeditions, fell under the influence of the Hiss. When Darling returned the Hedron from Slidescape-36 and began to produce HRAs, Trench, fearing Hedron would take over the entire Bureau, unleashed the Hiss upon the Oldest House on October 29, 2019. The Hiss nearly destroyed the entire Bureau, possessing its agents, the topography of the Oldest House, and numerous Altered Items and Objects of Power. An internal lockdown was placed in effect, cutting off the building's sectors from one another.
The Hedron, sensing the danger, telepathically called out to Jesse Faden and summoned her to the Oldest House to defeat the Hiss. Trench committed suicide shortly after Jesse's arrival, and, interacting with the Service Weapon, she was made the new Director by the Board. Binding with several Objects of Power and communicating with the Board through the Hotline OOP, Jesse was able to reconnect the sectors and defeat most of the Hiss, freeing the Altered Items and Objects of Power under its influence through Polaris. Dylan Faden fell under the Hiss's influence as well and became an agent of it, entering the Astral Plane and attempting to take over the Board. The Hiss also destroyed the Hedron, nearly resulting in the destruction of the Bureau as Polaris's resonance faltered; however, Jesse was able to become the new source of Polaris resonance and saved the Bureau, cleansing the Board and Dylan of the Hiss. The Hiss remained in the Oldest House, but Jesse and the other agents resolved to defeat it in order to remove the lockdown.
Hiss Entities[edit | edit source]
- Hiss Clusters
- Hiss Corrupted
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The Hiss has numerous similarities to the Dark Presence, the antagonist of Control developer Remedy Entertainment's previous title Alan Wake. Both are unseen, bodiless, otherworldly supernatural forces capable of possessing objects and living things, turning them into their slaves.
- During Expansion 2: AWE, Alan Wake mentions this similarity, and implies that he may have created the Hiss to be similar to the Dark Presence: "If there's one, why not another?"
Related achievements/trophies[edit | edit source]
|Interdimensional Defender||Killed 1000 Hiss||30||Silver|