Let's Discuss The Ending Of Alan Wake - Now

Illustration for article titled Lets Discuss The Ending Of Alan Wake - Now

Our latest Game Club ends today, as we've reached the final episode of Alan Wake. Let's talk about it.

But first!

A couple of thank-yous are in order, to all of you who have contributed to the discussion for the past week and to Mikko Rautalahti, one of Remedy's two writers of the game. As most of you have already noticed, I hope, Mikko's joined the Game Club conversation, with gusto, under the username MikkiRMD.


Some discussion points for the finale:

-I want to know what you all think of the ending lines, Alan Wake saying the lake is an ocean and Alice whispering for Alan to wake up. What do you think happened?

-I'm wondering if anyone shares my mixed feelings about the playable/non-playable elements of this final chapter. Most of the playable bits felt like standard game-climaxing action... a fight through more and more enemies until I had to shoot the core of a big boss. Not my favorite gameplay section, for sure. It felt as if the cliches of video game action-pacing were tugging the plot of Alan Wake off course. This isn't a game that needed a finale boss battle. And note that the non-interactive parts of this chapter kept clear of anything like that. The triumph of gameplay and story integration in this final chapter finally occurs when Alan is using his flashlight to turns words into objects. Here we have interactivity being used to explore Alan's confused state, to examine his relationship with words and the acts of creation and destruction. There is no failure state in this scene, which makes it a little more of a gimmick than a game. But it at least lets us participate in a final exploration of Wake's odd psychological state.

-I did love the New York bit that opened the chapter, by the way. Great use of some uncommon elements, including the lighting change with the sunglasses, the intentionally annoying sound prior to taking the painkillers and the live-action talk show segment.


-Finally, a small thing, but credit to Remedy for making the scrolling speed and direction of the game's credits interactive. It helped me make sure I didn't miss Mikko's name.

Good game.

What did you all think?

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OK, I've been waiting for this all week.

The ending is TERRIBLE. Just that. A magnificent storyline ended aberrate and abruptly.

I can conceive that Alan Wake was a tool, a tool created by thomas zane to destroy the evil bitch that took the form of Barbara Jagger. And that action, would probably cost him his life, or at least his sanity. It was a mostly inevitable step into the end of the game.

However, what I can't believe is the way they transmitted all of that heavy burden to us, players. It's a known fact that survival horrors, and more generally, horror genre, will avoid exact explanations to the viewer/user/player in order to mantain the suspense over the story, but the way it just finished, without a line or two about "Hey, I saved my wife I hope the guys I left up at the well lit room take care of her" or "wow..... that thomas zane, what a BITCH"(figurative quotes) also, a further explanatory cutscene would have helped... If not Barry and the Sherif, at least a patrol picking up Alice as she awoke by the broken bridge.

I know... The game was a novel, and novelists always look for the unexpected and twisted ending to their books, but it just felt awkward.

The bright part, (get the reference? ... light? Alan wake?... No?..... awwwww) however, is the narration we get from the very own Alan Wake, that clears the path towards, if not a sequel, extra DLC chapters that will add further details to the story.

For the most part of the story I feel like it was a good run. No serious plot holes, loose ends, or unexplained scenes given the kind of storytelling. But there's something I think they hid from us, in order to bring it back later in form of prequel chapters... I've got the feeling that (besides zane) a darkness outbreak had already happened at Bright Falls in the past. That, or the "night springs" calls commanded to Barry by the sheriff were just a bluff.

Oh, BTW, I've told it in my comment on chapter five discussion, but I'll do it again:

"the impression I got from playing it. "What the hell? this is not complete!" It was anticlimatic. I know it's kinda a requirement for the genre, but WE needed, we DESERVED an explanation. I would have settled for some dialogue like this at the beginning of chapter 6:




-I'm gonna bring Alice back, But I won't be coming with her

-What? Don't talk nonsens—

-Listen to me! I need you to be strong, because somebody will have to take care of her, and you're my brother. Tell her it was the easiest decision in my whole life. That.... that it was my fault, and this was my punishment.

-Come on Alan, you'll be returning, don't be ridiculous!


-Yes, friend?

-Will you do that for me?

- (after a few seconds of silence) Count on me, Alan.


With just that, and Barry picking up Alice at the bridge in the final cutscene, I'd be a bit more satisfied."

Enough rant for this useless comment. I tend to extend myself to no end.

Oh, and allow me to publicly apologize for the english butchering occured in this comment. It's not my native language.