Anyone who has played a Remedy title knows that the developers like to include little references to their previous work. From the Death Rally arcade machine in Alan Wake's American Nightmare to the appearance of the Deliverator in Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. And it looking like Quantum Break won't be the exception.
A few days ago, Sam Lake (Creative Director at Remedy) posted a teaser for one of QB's Easter Eggs on Twitter. The photo was tagged with "#AlanWake" and featured what looked to be the character washed ashore.
Something's washed ashore. We're shooting material for an Easter egg for you to find in #QuantumBreak. #AlanWake pic.twitter.com/lh7708s8dk— Sam Lake (@SamLakeRMD) December 3, 2015
There's been a lot of interesting speculation about what this could mean for the character and the future of the series. (Alan Wake spoilers coming up!) A lot of fans believe that the Easter Egg is a sign that Remedy has written the final page of Wake's journey, but I don't believe that is the case, I think it's the opposite. But I understand where that fear of the character's death came from; in Alan Wake there's two manuscript pages that the player collects called The Sudden Stop. The Sudden Stop is the final book in the Alex Casey series, and is a reference to Remedy's previous series, Max Payne. In the pages, they depart with Payne in a bittersweet way. The character dies. The story is very much in the traditional MP style and while the events which led him to that moment have been torturous, it's in that very moment of death where he finds acceptance with the situation and at peace with the idea of being reunited with his family. For Remedy it was their way of saying goodbye to their Max, even though the character may live on in Rockstar's titles. I understand why there's that level of fear that the same could be felt with Alan Wake.
To know for certain, we would need to know how the Alan Wake universe interacts with Quantum Break but, for me, the image didn't give the impression that Wake was dead. While the series was inspired by Twin Peaks, I don't think they're doing a Laura Palmer here. Instead it comes across as hopeful. Excluding American Nightmare, the last time we saw our protagonist he was writing in Bird Leg Cabin and trapped in The Dark Place. You could see Wake being washed ashore as an indication that the character is dead, but you can also see it as him escaping the prison. In Quantum Break time is breaking down, like Twitter time is no longer linear and things jump. We might actually be seeing a hint of what's in Wake's future, that he does manage to escape.