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Alan Wake's References, Easter Eggs and Interesting Tidbits

Episode One:

"Stephen King once wrote..."
In the introduction, Alan quotes Stephen King; "Nightmares exist outside of logic, and there is little fun to be had in explanations, they're antithetical to the poetry of fear."  The quotation comes from an article he wrote for Entertainment Weekly, click HERE for the article.

James McCaffrey Returns

Fans of Remedy's previous games may have recognise the mysterious voice of the light guiding Alan through his dream as the voice of Max Payne. MP being created by Remedy who made the first two games in the series.

L. Jenkins
While on the ferry heading to Bright Falls, the player may notice a large wooden building with a rather interesting sign on the left. Painted in white is the name "L.Jenkins" referring to the World of Warcraft video in which someone, after missing the battle plan, runs into an ambush screaming the name.

The Wakes' Car

The car in which Alan and Alice drives through Bright Falls in is a red Lincoln MKT. It's a luxury SUV manufactured by Ford, which was released in 2010, the same year as Alan Wake. While it looks sturdy, this vehicle meets an untimely end when it falls head first off a cliff later in the episode, so don't get too attached.
 
Dashboard in the Car

Before Alan enters the Oh Deer Diner, there is a quick shot inside the car when Alice is talking to Alan. On the dashboard is a screen with a logo reading "Microsoft Sync". This feature does actually come with the car itself.
 
Rose's Outfit

Early in the chapter, the player visits Oh Deer Diner. The waitress, Rose Marigold, is wearing a outfit that is similar to the waitress in Twin Peaks. In an early trailer for Alan Wake, the waitress outfit is blue which is the same colour as the uniform in the television series, however this was later changed to red for the final version of the game.

 
Twin Peaks Town

While researching possible locations for the game, Remedy took great inspiration from Twin Peaks. The photographic team also visited filming locations to capture the look and essence of the town. Both Bright Falls and Twin Peaks share similar attributes including the feeling that the setting is slightly not what it seems.

The Birds
As Alan attempts to return to the cabin after hearing Alice scream, there is a flock of birds that dive to attack him. While Remedy originally planned to include a wide range of animals in the game, they later had to remove them, however they did keep the ravens as a homage to Alfred Hitchcock's film, The Birds.
 
Alan's Phone (Verizon)
After the car crash in Episode One, there is a quick close up of Alan's phone. At the top it clearly says the word; Verizon, a mobile phone company which is mentioned often in the game.

Engerizer Batteries
The brand of batteries that Alan uses in the game to power the torch are Energizer batteries. Their logo can be seen at the top of the packets. Of course they don't include the scenes in which Alan runs out of batteries and then tries to open the packets during a gunfight; crying, swearing and finally giving up and using scissors while the Taken goes for a quick coffee break.

The Shining
When Alan rushes into the log cabin chased by Stucky who was determined to kill him, the wooden door is hit with an axe. The shot is similar to when Jack is chopping down the bathroom door to get to Wendy in The Shining. Alan comments after the door is hit: "Any moment and Stucky will chop down the door like Jack Nickleson in The Shining."

Energizer Torch
When Alan takes refuge inside a cabin after being chased by Stucky, he walks over to a nearby desk and arms himself with a revolver and a torch with the Energizer brand logo on the side.


Episode Two:
Worst Storm in New York
Alan arrives home after travelling through, what he calls, the "worst storm". This is similar to the snowstorm in the first Max Payne game which brought the city to the stop.

Radio Weather Report

If the player turns on the radio located in Alan's bedroom, they will hear details about the blizzard outside. The reporter informs listeners that snow and freezing rain have been falling heavily for the past three days across the entire Tri-State area with snow crews unable to keep up, and no end in sight for the storm. This mirrors the weather report from the original Max Payne game.
 
"Return To Sender" by Elvis Presley

At the start of the level, the player has the opportunity to explore the protagonist's house. On the bookshelf in his office there are five books from the Alex Casey series. The last book on the right is named "Return To Sender". Fans of the Max Payne games may remember the television show "Address Unknown" which were shown as part of the "Return to Sender" marathon. Both titles are a reference to lyrics in the Elvis Presley's song, Return To Sender.
 
The Things That I Want

Another Alex Casey book is called "The Things That I Want" which shares it's title with a chapter name from Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. The phrase is also a section of dialogue from the game; "The things I want, by Max Payne. A smoke. A whiskey. For the sun to shine. I want to sleep, want to forget. To change the past. My wife and baby girl back. Right then, more than anything I wanted her." .

Duel Beretta
On the shelf next to the Alex Casey books is an award which encases two golden guns in a glass block. This is a nice reference to the Max Payne series whose protagonist carries two duel berrettas.

Manuscript Pages by James McCaffrey
There are two manuscript pages on the desk from Alan's latest book, The Sudden Stop. The pages are not read by Mathew Porretta (voice of Alan) but rather James McCaffrey (voice of Max Payne), and pays homage to Remedy's previous work. There are several connections between Alex Casey and Max Payne: their love for metaphors, their dependency on painkillers, and their locations.

"This was a Late Goodbye"

The first sentence of The Sudden Stop (Page 2) is a reference to Poets of the Fall's song in Max Payne 2. Poets of the Fall created their first song "Late Goodbye" for the game, based on a poem by Sam Lake.
 
"Honey, I'm Home"

The Sudden Stop manuscript pages concludes with Alex saying "I can see them now, my wife and my baby. Honey, I'm home". This mirrors one of the first lines in the original Max Payne title, as the protagonist returns home. The game starts with Max discovering that his wife and child have been murdered by killers hooked on the Valkyr drug.
 
Ford Mondeo

 In the Sherrif Station parking lot at Bright Falls, is a black Ford Mondeo.
 
"Who's Max?"

While travelling to Elderwood Visitor Center, Barry and Alan will encounter Rose who mentions that Rusty (the Park Ranger) is currently attending to Max. After Rose departs, Barry turns to Alan to ask "Whose Max" This is another nice reference to Remedy's previous protagonist, Max Payne.

Mott's Car Rental

In an early version of the game, Mott was not the kidnapper, instead he was a mechanic and the owner of a car rental firm. At Elderwood Visitor Centre, one of the brochures on display still promotes "Mott's Car Rental".
 
Park Ranger Ford F-350

After meeting the kidnapper at Lover's Peak, Alan drive back up to Barry in a Ford F-350.


Episode Three

An FBI Agent
Twin Peaks documents the journey of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper as he uncovers the town's secrets. Similarly in the game, FBI Agent Robert Nightingale travels to the Bright Falls to unearth secrets about Alan Wake. The personality of both agents are contrasting; Cooper constantly tries to engage with the community, whereas Nightengale's acts are generally antagonistic.

H.P Lovecraft
After avoiding Agent Nightingale at the radio station, the officer calls Wake, H.P Lovecraft. Throughout the game there is also other mentions of the author and his work.

Helicopter (UH-60 Blackhawk)

The helicopter which crashes as Alan tries to avoid the police after his encounter at the radio station, is a UH-60 Blackhawk model.

Mirror Peak
The ingame location Mirror Peak is a reference to the name Twin Peaks.



Episode Four
Death Rally Poster
In the room opposite Alan's in Cauldron Lake Lodge, there is a poster promoting the original Death Rally on the wall. Death Rally was Remedy's first game.
 
Night Springs Video Game + XBOX360

Underneath the Death Rally Poster is an XBOX360 with a copy Night Springs the video game for the console beside it. There is also a Night Springs poster on the wall by the bed.
 
Mullet-Time

At Cauldron Lake Lodge, the player can overhear Emerson talking about his experience as a video game developer. He states that "mullet time" is the element that producers are looking for in titles. This is another link to Max Payne which brought the bullet-time element to video games.

Odin and Tor
During the 1970s, the Old Gods of Asgard acquired nicknamed inspired by norse mythology. When Alan enters Bright Falls, he meets two band members, the Anderson Brothers, who still refer to themselves using those names. In the myth, Odin rules over Valhalla, and  Tor (or Thor) is the God of Thunder.
 
The Shining's Maze

After escaping from Cauldron Lake Lodge at night, Alan is forced to enter a maze in the hopes of meeting up with Barry. The section is filled with challenges with Taken emerging from the shadows and flanking Wake at every opportunity. This section of the level is similar to the ending of The Shining when Danny enters a maze to escape his father who is carrying an axe and chasing him.

Rambo
After being separated following a car crash, Alan and Barry arrange to meet at the Anderson farm. Wake is reluctant to have Barry walk though the forest alone after experiencing first-hand the dangers that lurk in the shadows. Barry is less concerned and begins his journey towards the farm shouting "I'm on the case!" Muttering to himself, Alan comments "Now he's Rambo." Rambo is a ficitional character known for his surivial skills, combat tactics, weaponry and wearing really tight vests.

DANNY!
On the way to the Anderson farm, Alan enters a log cabin, thinking that Barry has taken refuge there. Upon entering, there are several gunshots followed by a loud scream which calls out the name, Danny. Danny was also the name of the young boy in The Shining. Possibly a coincidence, even if it is, it's a nice one! [See the section above "Rambo" for more references to The Shining.]
 
Old Gods of Asgard

The Old Gods of Asgard's songs are created by real-life Finnish rock band, Poets of the Fall. Fans of the Max Payne series may recognise their music as they previously created, Late Goodbye, for Max Payne 2. For Alan Wake, the group created two original songs. The first, Children of the Elder God, plays during the on-stage battle. The second, Poet and the Muse, can be heard playing at the Anderson Farm.
 
Lady of the Light

Cythina Weaver is frequently mentioned as "the lady of the light" by the Old Gods of Asgard. The title may have connections to Arthurian Myth and the Lady of the Lake who gave King Arthur the key to defeat his enemies. In the myth this "key" was Excalibur (hidden under the waves) which. The key in the game is the Clicker which Cynthia Weaver keeps hidden underground.

Valhalla

The Anderson house has a wooden sign above the entrance reading Valhalla. In Max Payne, the storyline also connected to Norse mythology, the project involving the Valkyrie drug was called Project Valhalla. In the myths, Valhalla was a hall located in Asgard and ruled by Odin.

The Lamp Lady

Cynthia Weaver is frequently referred to as "the Lamp Lady" as she carries a lantern around with her for protection. Simiarly, in Twin Peaks there was an old woman who was known as "the Log Lady" who always carried a log, although the symbolism of the object is never really fully explained.


Episode Five
War by Poets of the Fall
 In Episode Five, the player is once again treated to Poets of the Fall's music on the radio. Pat Maine introduces the song commenting, "and here’s a new song from a band that -- they always remind me of our local rock legends, the Old Gods. I couldn’t tell you why, I guess it’s just -- you know, one of those things. Anyway, here’s Poets of the Fall and their latest single, War."

Sam Lake as Max Payne (Harry Garrett Show)

In the original Max Payne game, Sam Lake was not only the lead writer but also the actor portraying the protagonist in the graphic novels. In the Harry Garrett Show, the presenter asks Sam to "do the face for us" referring to the Max's expression.

The Musical Guests (Harry Garrett Show)
At the end of the Harry Garrett Show, the guests featured on the show take to the stage for their final bow. Poets of the Fall are the show's "musical guests" who enter as the closing music plays.
   
Lord of the Rings

After reuniting with Barry who saves both Alan and Sarah Breaker from a Taken, he tells them that with his new headlamp he can look at enemies and they dissolve, describing it as his "flaming eye of Mordor."  
 
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
After believing his friends were dead, Alan goes in search for Sarah and Barry, following the wreck of the helicopter. Moments later he discovers his friends, very much alive but struggling with the constant onslaught of Taken approaching on their positions. After Alan helps them defeat the Taken, Sarah comments "You know when to make an entrance, Wake. We were ready to make like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."
 

Episode Six
Painkillers
Alan uses painkillers, located in the bathroom, to stop his headache after drinking too much the previous night. Remedy's previous protagonist, Max Payne, also frequently used painkillers although his use developed into an addicition to nub his emotional pain. The painkillers in both series are similar in design; an orange bottle with a white cap.
 
Verizon and Energizer Billboards

There are several large billboards on the drive to Cauldron Lake which feature advertising for Verizon phone service and Energizer batteries. Both brands make appearences throughout the game.

Mr Scratch

After jumping into Cauldron Lake, Alan envisions several scenarios, in one, Alan is introduced to his doppelganger, Mr Scratch. Zane explains that Scratch "will replace" Alan in the real world when he is gone. Similar events also take place in the final episode of Twin Peaks: Cooper's double is created while he was trapped in Black Lodge to replace him.

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