Alan Wake/YMMV

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  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The final boss of the main game only has a flock of crows to defend itself once you get within shooting range, and you get a chest with unlimited flare gun ammo.
    • The final boss of "The Signal" can be dispatched with a few flare gun shots and boosting the flashlight for about 15 seconds or so. There's a reason one of the achievements requires you to beat it in a minute and a half. The final boss of The Writer is legitimately difficult, though certainly not in That One Boss territory.
  • Badass Decay: When the kidnapper, Mott, is introduced, he kills multiple Taken in quick succession, and is quick to display that he knows how to effectively defeat them. Later, he's effectively killed offscreen. But then again, he was confronted by the main host of the Darkness, so he was rather outclassed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Alan defeats the Dark Presence and saves Alice, but at a price. He is stuck under the lake writing to appease the darkness... for now.
  • Breather Level: There are several places in the game, albeit brief ones, where Alan moves about during daylight. These sections are safe, allowing the player to relax a little while some exposition goes on, and occasionally enjoy some Scenery Porn of the local environment.
    • The very last level of the main game has no danger whatsoever, just various things to shine the flashlight on which causes objects to appear.
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: There are quite a few complaints about being in the forest for the entire game, but this is not the case; you're only in the forest for about three levels in the game. The rest of the game is spent in much more varietal environments after the three forest levels.
    • Plus those are really good forests, so the people making said complaints were missing the point even if they knew what they were talking about.
  • Complete Monster: The Dark Presence. Bonus Points for being a literal monster.
  • Crazy Awesome: Odin and Tor.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
  • Ear Worm:
    • "Put de lime in de coconut, you drink em both up..."
    • "Find the lady of the light, gone mad with the night..."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Barry, for his constant pop culture references from Zork to Mordor and for taking a couple of levels in badass from Episode 4 onwards. He's also liked because he gives Alan some Pet the Dog Moments. Once Alan starts snarking back and forth with Barry you realize, hey, Alan's not just a mopey Jerkass. He's got a sense of humor!
    • Remedy has stated that they like Agent Nightingale's character and would like to explore his mysterious backstory further.
  • Game-Breaker: The crossbow in American Nightmare is flat-out superior to every weapon in the game. The flare gun and flashbangs have been nerfed and have limited ammo, while the crossbow can be restocked at any ammo box. It ignores darkness shields, unlike anything that fires bullets. It can kill every normal Taken in one hit, and crowmen Taken in two. For the King Hillbilly Taken and Splitters, the flare gun and the magnum, respectively, will easily deal with them, and the crossbow will still nullify the former's darkness shield in one hit.
  • Goddamned Crows:
    • The Dark Crows, which are about as close to the trope namer as possible without actually being mammals. Also those damned Bear Traps in certain parts of the woods.
    • In "The Signal", it becomes Goddamned Books
    • In American Nightmare, the Goddamned Bats are literal Demonic Spiders.
  • Gorn: None in the gameplay, but near the end of the game, in his attempt to silence Barbara Jagger after she was Taken by the Dark Presence, Thomas Zane cut out her heart.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "Rusty used to be human, but now he's just black coffee wrapped in skin."
  • Hate Dumb:
    • There are people out there who dislike the game for some very odd reasons such as not enough gore, different weapons, or that there are lots of trees around. It becomes really bad, however, when a person buys the $80 limited edition and complains about the overall tone of the game. Apparently, they didn't even read the box before they bought it.
  • Hell Is That Noise: When the wind starts blowing hard, and the shadows start moving of their own accord, it's time to run like hell.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The episodes ending with a musical track just makes the game's Twin Peaks nods even stronger, seeing as how that's how every episode of The Return ends.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Hundreds of townsfolk from the surrounding landscape are Taken and gunned down over the course of the story. However, in "The Signal", Alan states that he wrote a "happy ending" for the town, and we know that the dead can be resurrected if you know what you're doing when writing a story; the ending implies that Alan brought everyone who was Taken in Bright Falls back to life.
    • Debunked in The Alan Wake Files. Clay Steward saw three funerals his first day in Bright Falls, and that he heard there were numerous deaths and disappearances leading up to Deerfest.
  • Internet Backdraft: PC gamers were bitter about Alan Wake being moved from a Direct X 10-only Windows title to the Xbox 360 console. Thankfully, Remedy would eventually release it on Windows.
  • Memetic Mutation: He's Alan Wake. He's written books, y'know.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Agent Nightingale, after capturing Alan, taunts him about putting him in jail for a long time.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Maine's late night radio broadcasts really help take the edge off of fighting shadow monsters alone in the woods.
  • Narm Charm: As strong an element of Lake's writing as ever. His occasionally stilted and unnatural dialogue(possibly deliberate, in this case), often propped up with gratuitous film references right in the fore-text, is still very sincere in its desire to entertain and has won him many new fans.
    • Judging by some interviews, Lake is a native Finnish speaker (as is the company) with a really heavy accent so English may not be his first language resulting in some translation issues.
    • Barry wrapped in Christmas lights. He looks utterly ridiculous (something Alan himself lampshades), but because it's also an effective defense against the Dark Presence, it comes across as rather badass.
    • The live action scenes in American Nightmare, especially Mr. Scratch's messages to Alan. It's got the usual dorkiness of low-budget video game live action, but he's just so over the top it's hard not enjoy it.
  • Nausea Fuel: In one of Mr. Scratch's recordings in American Nightmare, he slashes the throat of one of Alan's female fans while gently massaging her head. The gurgling noise she makes as she dies is very disturbing.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Having a deranged hybrid of the Heartless and the Ganados flail at you wildly with a rusty sickle is unnerving right up until he kindly informs you, "Omega-3 fatty acids are GOOD for your health!".
    • But then swings back to Nightmare Fuel when you realize that the random phrases are all that's left of the original person.
    • But then another shouts "It's rabbit season!" to which you reply, "No it's duck season!" and blow his beak off with a hunting rifle.
  • Non Sequitur Scene: In American Nightmare, during your final trip to the observatory, you fight a horde of Taken while "Balance Slays the Demon" plays seemingly from nowhere. Does Rachel play it for you over the intercom? Is Alan hearing it in his head because he enjoyed the Children of The Elder God fight more than he let on? Or perhaps it's part of the soundtrack to the episode of Night Springs he is living?
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Pulled straight from the pages of In the Mouth of Madness, anyone within Bright Falls might exist only as a character in Alan Wake's manuscript and can be killed off for the sake of its plot. Or worse, be touched by the Dark Presence and forced to do its bidding.
    • See that harmless tire right there? The Dark Presence might take it over and have it attack you. Oh, look, is that a bulldozer?...
    • At one point during Episode 2, if you go into a certain cabin, a Taken walks by one of the windows, before disappearing. Nothing happens, but it's still Paranoia Fuel to the max.
    • After finishing Episode 1, fighting off the Taken in the middle of the night, you're probably still tense and maybe a bit afraid of the dark. Episode 2 starts in a flashback at Alan's apartment. Alan's looking at cover mock-ups done by Alice - when the lights suddenly go out.
    • Near the entrance of a logging camp, there's a large machine with a claw for carrying logs. Stepping near it causes the claw to open and close menacingly while an Elite Taken starts yelling in his constantly shifting voice. While the machine doesn't do anything else, the Elite Taken is nowhere to be seen.
    • After Alan ends up in the Sheriff's Station, he walks out into the lobby, and the lights flicker. It's just Cynthia Wheeler, local Talkative Loon, checking the bulbs.
  • Scenery Porn: Some of the forested mountain vistas, particularly in the daytime, are quite pretty and accurate representations of rural areas of the Pacific Northwest.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Quite a few people dislike Barry for being annoying and trying to be plucky comic relief in what is otherwise a very dark game.
      • According to the manuscript, Barry thinks of himself in one scene as The Hero. Or at least a hero. Also, making jokes is and actually one of the healthier reactions to a crisis, as long as it's still being taken seriously.
    • Agent Nightingale is seen by quite a few for being an especially obnoxious and Trigger Happy Inspector Javert, though Remedy may have special plans for him in a possible sequel.
  • Special Effects Failure: There are a few points where you can see the taken spawn from the aether before they attack you. Might've been done intentionally though, to add to their otherworldliness.
  • That One Level: The battle after you find the radio that plays "War". It's a very cramped warehouse full of the large Taken that take forever to light up and have a tendency to bum rush you. It's also full of smaller, faster guys who can sneak up behind you very easily. Oh, and did I mention that you have recently lost all of your stuff and only get three flares to go along with your revolver? If you're lucky, you'll find a shotgun just before the radio, but it doesn't help that much.
    • That is, until you realize you can simply run past/dodge them all to the checkpoint outside, but you'd be forgoing the items inside. Although you can simply go back in, lure them outside, kill one, stand under the checkpoint to make them all despawn, then repeat until they're all dead, but that takes a while.
    • The Bear Traps are typically a minor annoyance. Getting caught in them doesn't do much damage, but you have to button mash your way out of them plus they spawn a Taken next to you that you have to deal with after. A No-Gear Level covered in bear traps, however? Brutal. Get caught in one, you have no way of fighting the Taken that spawns, so you run away, leading you to get caught in more bear traps since you aren't moving slowly and carefully, which summons more Taken.
  • Uncanny Valley: Multiple reviewers have made note of the somewhat "off" character models in the game, particularly Alice Wake. The poor lip-syncing, particularly in the first few cutscenes, doesn't help matters either.