The first Alan Wake game was released 13 years ago, in 2010. As is the case with any cult game, new fans have been discovering it in the years since, and a recent remaster means many more have likely played the game recently. For those who played it when it came out, however, jumping into Alan Wake 2 can be confusing. The list below outlines a handful of characters worth remembering before diving into the ocean that’s not a lake.
I fully acknowledge that simply being reminded of a character with the knowledge that they will be relevant to the sequel could be conceived as a spoiler. Some of the characters below appear in person, some only in passing in documents, but they are the ones that forced me to pause the game and do a quick Google. No major story elements of Alan Wake 2 are spoiled, but if even knowing that certain characters may or may not reappear is a spoiler for you, then please stop reading here! I do ask that you leave the page open in another tab, though, so it looks like you were browsing here for a long time and gives us a traffic boost.
One of the antagonists of Alan Wake, Agent Nightingale pursued Alan through the whole game in an attempt to arrest him. He assumed all the shenanigans happening in Bright Falls were connected to him (and he wasn’t entirely wrong), but he was generally just an annoying jerk who only hindered Alan’s attempts to set things right.
In the first Alan Wake, Barry is Alan’s agent and primarily serves as comic relief in an otherwise dour game. Despite being financially reliant on Alan, Barry is a genuine friend who takes the safety and security of Alan and his wife, Alice, seriously.
Alan Wake the author has many fans, but Rose may be his biggest. She works at the Oh Deer Diner and is completely starstruck by Alan when he appears in Bright Falls. In the first game, she is brainwashed to betray Alan after being touched by the darkness, but reclaims her mind by the end of the story.
Tor And Odin of Old Gods of Asgard
In Alan Wake, you cross paths with Tor and Odin several times. They are a pair of retiree brothers who played in a successful metal band called Old Gods of Asgard. You hear their music in Alan Wake in pivotal moments (provided by the real-world band Poets of the Fall). They are also among the few who seem to have some insight into what’s happening to Alan in the first game and are eager to help.
Similar to Tor and Odin, Cynthia is among Bright Falls’ residents who seem to know what is happening during the events of Alan Wake. She carried a lamp with her everywhere, protected an item called The Clicker in an always well-lit room, and heavily implied that she knew Alan was coming to the town to engage with the darkness.
Alan Wake is a famous author in his universe because of Alex Casey. It’s the character Alan created for his series of highly successful detective novels. In both his appearance and personality, he is a lot like Max Payne, which is not an accident. Remedy does not mind being self-referential with its own work.
In the 1970s, best-selling poet Thomas Zane visited Bright Falls and discovered the town’s strange ability to shift reality with art. He even put on a diving suit to explore the depths of the lake, which in some ways set off all the issues Alan Wake now deals with. In the first game, he often appeared as a helpful light to assist Alan on his adventure.
Ahti the janitor
Realistically, there isn’t much I can tell you about Ahti other than his first appearance was in Remedy’s 2019 game, Control. He is described as a paranatural entity that appears in the Oldest House, the primary setting of Control. He’s a mysterious, fantastical… person? With a great accent and even better quotes.
Sam Lake is not a character. He is a real-life person and one of the primary creative minds behind Alan Wake and other Remedy games. Here he is, in the flesh, doing a rapid-fire interview with us for Quantum Break.
He famously served as the face model for Max Payne in the first game. He is a creative force at Remedy and it’s worth knowing his face and relevance to the developer for Alan Wake 2.
For more Alan Wake 2, check out our review, read about its upcoming updates, and check out our hands-on gameplay from earlier this year. You can also check out this detailed, full recap of the first Alan Wake game’s plot ahead of playing the sequel.