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Old 07-27-2011, 10:24 PM   #1
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What happened at the end?

I figure I have a pretty solid grasp on the story. Alan was possessed by the evil at the bottom of Cauldron Lake in order to write a story in which that evil would become stronger. He had begun to write the story but didn't finish the ending so you return at the end to finish writing 'Departure'.

I got all that but there is a few things I'm not sure about. Maybe I wasn't paying clear enough attention or didn't read a certain manuscript page or something but here are my questions:

1) Who is the person in the scuba diver suit that keeps showing up and what is his significance?

2) What is the purpose of the 'Clicker'? I understood it was something from Alan's childhood that his mother gave him but I don't understand how it had any relevance decades down the road and was somehow entwined in the story when it was just a phony thing to help him not be scared of the dark.

3) Who was this Zane character? What I was able to piece together was he was around like 30 years earlier and he also wrote a story that came to life or something.

4) What does the ending mean? Alan says, "It's not a lake. It's an ocean." or something along those lines. What happens when the lake becomes an ocean? Will it erase all the land around it and Bright Falls will cease to exist? or does it have something to do with the depth of the lake?
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:52 PM   #2
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As far as i can remember, zane is the man in the diving suit. He is helping alan fight the darkness because he himself has fought it before. The others im drawing a blank.
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by R4wD0g496 View Post
I figure I have a pretty solid grasp on the story. Alan was possessed by the evil at the bottom of Cauldron Lake in order to write a story in which that evil would become stronger. He had begun to write the story but didn't finish the ending so you return at the end to finish writing 'Departure'.

I got all that but there is a few things I'm not sure about. Maybe I wasn't paying clear enough attention or didn't read a certain manuscript page or something but here are my questions:

1) Who is the person in the scuba diver suit that keeps showing up and what is his significance?

2) What is the purpose of the 'Clicker'? I understood it was something from Alan's childhood that his mother gave him but I don't understand how it had any relevance decades down the road and was somehow entwined in the story when it was just a phony thing to help him not be scared of the dark.

3) Who was this Zane character? What I was able to piece together was he was around like 30 years earlier and he also wrote a story that came to life or something.

4) What does the ending mean? Alan says, "It's not a lake. It's an ocean." or something along those lines. What happens when the lake becomes an ocean? Will it erase all the land around it and Bright Falls will cease to exist? or does it have something to do with the depth of the lake?
1) and 3) Thomas Zane is the guy in the diver suit that comes to you in the form of an apparition surrounded by light. Around 30 years earlier, he was an immensely famous writer who lived in Bird Leg Cabin (the same one Alan stays in). He was in love with Barbara Jagger (the lady in black who represents the darkness under the lake) and they lived together. Zane was a huge fan of diving. If you look on the shelf in the study, you'll see a picture of Zane down at the dock in his diving suit. He had begun writing in his cabin, and it woke the evil in the lake. The evil took Barbara and "killed" her. Zane went crazy and tried to find a way to save her. He decided the only one to save her, himself, and make sure no one was at risk in the future, was to write himself out of existence, assuming this would mean the evil in the lake would also be gone. He no longer exists, because of the story he wrote, and he is now talked about as if he's a legend (being compared to bigfoot, etc.). Unfortunately, Barbara was taken by the evil and it uses her face to get artists to write works in Bright Falls, which it then manipulates to make it more powerful and release it. Zane represents the light, the opposite of Barbara, and has been trying to destroy the evil from 30 years ago.

2) At one point, I believe it's a manuscript page discovered by Alan, Zane wrote in his book 30 years ago about Alan's childhood. Alan was given the Clicker by his mother when he was a child because that's what Zane wrote in his story. He wrote that part of Alan's life with the intention that Alan would be able to destroy the darkness. The Clicker has power because it was written by Zane and Alan to have it.

4) The ending involves Alan diving into the lake to reach the cabin, which is "underwater" in the darkness. Alan goes there, destroys Barbara Jagger, which is the face of the darkness, and finishes his story, which entails Alice being released by the darkness and swimming to the surface. Here's where I don't really understand it either, because I don't see why he didn't just write in himself escaping as well, since he did it once before. Maybe the darkness wouldn't let him? Anyway, I believe the lake/ocean quote is meant to be a symbolic reference (keep in mind that I was awful at this subject in school, interpreting literature/poems, so take it with a grain of salt), where a lake has bounds and an ocean is limitless. Possibly that he can't hope to control an ocean, which extends far beyond his reach. Maybe that's why he couldn't write in his own escape at the end? The DLC helps to continue the story, showing that Alan is being driven mad by the darkness as he's held underwater in the cabin. But there is still a rational side to him trying to regain control from the irrational insane side. The DLC ends with him regaining control and beginning his attempt to save himself and everyone else from this darkness.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:30 PM   #4
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@ Necrophage... Great explanation! I had some questions too, you have answered them.. Thanks
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:01 AM   #5
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Here's where I don't really understand it either, because I don't see why he didn't just write in himself escaping as well, since he did it once before. Maybe the darkness wouldn't let him?

At the end of the game (when Alan defeats Barbara), Wake mentions that Zane had failed to bring any balance to his story's ending. This is believed to be why he could only slow and not stop the power of the darkness. Unlike Zane, Wake knew that he would have to make a sacrifice-to take Alice's place in the darkness-in order to bring balance to the story.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:16 PM   #6
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At the end of the game (when Alan defeats Barbara), Wake mentions that Zane had failed to bring any balance to his story's ending. This is believed to be why he could only slow and not stop the power of the darkness. Unlike Zane, Wake knew that he would have to make a sacrifice-to take Alice's place in the darkness-in order to bring balance to the story.
Oh good call. You're right. I missed that at the end. That makes sense now.

I still can't believe, after that ending and with the DLC ending, that the next Alan Wake game isn't going to be a sequel. It seems natural to want to continue the story and play through the story of "Return."
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:26 AM   #7
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its not a lake its a ocean fool
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:24 AM   #8
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This has been one of the best written games I have ever played, and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time waiting to see what happened next.

The ending was a bit confusing, but after reading this thread it makes a bit more sense to me. Just wow at this story....
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:52 AM   #9
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Been avoiding this thread until I had finished it. Came straight here because I was scratching my head over the ending. I understand it all now. Thank you so much!!
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:56 AM   #10
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Yeah, They made that very clear on the end.
Cant see how people would have missed that.

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Old 07-21-2012, 06:46 PM   #11
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Thanks for clearing that up. Most games i don't even pay attention to the story.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:12 PM   #12
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Read some Steven King books and you'll probably understand when I say it's an open ending, it's an ending that leaves an individual to ponder and come up with their own interpretation. It also leaves it open for more of this game hence the DLC.

I personally would like for this story to have a three sided twist, like Zane escapes but brings Alan into it. Alan escapes but brings Alice into it, Now Alice has escaped, it would be cool if she brought Zane back into it - lilke a viscous circle.


My point here is when ALice does escape, the same characters are different in some way whilst Alan is stuck with the darkness. If there is a sequal I'd like to think it be called 'Alice Wake' and would show her side of the story or basically you control her and she tries to find out who this Zane character was and why he has a link to Alan hoping he'd help her find Alan....


Anyways it's a great story based game but I can finally admit the gameplay could be less production-line based and more unique.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:30 AM   #13
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VEry great story driven game. NEED MORE ALAN WAKE
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:18 PM   #14
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I know this is like a year too late, but thanks for the explanation, Necrophage33!
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:23 PM   #15
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What has been said in previous posts is spot-on interpretations, and really thought through. But, like mentioned, this is an "open" ending, meaning that it can be different for each individual.

Something I still ponder about is the fact that Alice says "Alan, wake up" in the last phrase, total mindf***er, which initially means that none of this has happened, and it's just one hell of a bad dream. Even The Darkness is telling you in the end, while fighting the tornado, that "You're making this all up, it's not real", gives you goosebumps just by thinking of the possibilities...

G-R-E-A-T story, it's been a while since I was this intrigued this much by a game
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:36 AM   #16
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My guess, concerning "It's not a lake. It's an ocean." is that Cauldron Lake is as large as an ocean... just not horizontally sitting upon the Earth's surface. Instead, it's deep. So deep that it reaches as far down as an ocean would reach from one continent to another... maybe even as far as Hell? That is, if you ever thought Hell was in the center of the Earth, hehe.

This would be a great angle to incorporate into the sequel, but I don't think they will

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Something I still ponder about is the fact that Alice says "Alan, wake up" in the last phrase, total mindf***er, which initially means that none of this has happened, and it's just one hell of a bad dream. Even The Darkness is telling you in the end, while fighting the tornado, that "You're making this all up, it's not real", gives you goosebumps just by thinking of the possibilities...
Eh, just the start of all the mind games the dark place will be playing on Alan. Remember the mines? Alice's voice was in there too, but we can assume Alice... wasn't... right?
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:56 PM   #17
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A little late, but thanks for the explanations. I really need to replay this one. Such a good game.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:15 AM   #18
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