Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained

A guide explaining the ending of Alan Wake 2 and how its story sets up a possible trilogy.

Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained cover

Alan Wake 2 is a sequel that follows Alan Wake’s escape from the Dark Place 13 years after the events of the first game. The game also has a deuteragonist named Saga Anderson who is an FBI agent trying to solve the case of murders reported around Cauldron Lake – the same lake where Alan drowned. If Alan Wake 2’s ending has you confused, we’ve got the answers with Alan Wake 2’s ending explained.

Alan and Saga’s stories intertwine in a very convoluting way that involves jumping from reality to the Dark Place, time loops, predestination, and reality-bending; all of these in order for Alan to escape his nightmare while keeping the Dark Presence from escaping into the real world and taking over it.

Alan Wake 2’s story so far

Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained - Alan realized he was Mr. Scratch all along.

During the second act of the game where Alan and Saga take on their own campaigns, with Alan slowly piecing out the truth about what happened in the Dark Place, while Saga is solving cases in the real world that were directly tied or heavily referenced by the works of Alan, a lot of revelations were brought into light.

From Alan’s side of things, his major revelation was that he was Mr. Scratch all along. Scratch, who has been known as his dark clone that has been terrorizing people in the real world by using his reality-bending powers through the books he wrote, was actually just Alan all along. But because of how Alan’s mind slowly descended into madness for being stuck in the Dark Place for too long, the Dark Presence gained influence over him which manifested the Scratch persona.

The Dark Presence’s goal was to stop Alan from finishing his work that would allow him to escape the Dark Place so that this entity could continuously feed off of Alan’s literary work. Even just the knowledge that Scratch exists allowed the Dark Presence to play with Alan’s mind, as seen in the scenes where Alan shoots who he thought was Scratch doing revisions to mess up his story, but it was later revealed that it was actually Alan revising the story to help Saga, who also thought that the one who shot him was “Scratch”.

Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained - Alan revising the story to help Saga.

From Saga’s side, we get to see how the Dark Presence has slowly managed to make its way back into reality throughout the years, even to the point that it has started to affect her life and her own reality. One of the biggest revelations was that Saga was especially gifted all along and that her mind place was more than just her way of making use of her great organizational skills and incredibly accurate “intuition”.

Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained - Saga finds out that she is related to Tor and Odin Anderson

As she uncovers more about the history of Bright Falls, Watery, the Cauldron Lake, and the people that inhabit these places, she finds out that she is actually related to Tor and Odin Anderson, with Tor being Saga’s grandfather. Tor also has the ability to “see into the future”, the same ability that Saga has, and passes off as her intuition whenever she does her profiling.

This ability, however, does not prevent Saga’s reality from being rewritten into what Scratch has revised it to be. She has to figure out how to help Alan and figure it out fast, or else the story where she loses her daughter will become her reality.

Through Saga’s investigation, she also finds out that The Cult of the Tree was operating not under the influence of the Dark Presence, but the townsfolk established the cult as a way to prevent the evil that was banished in the lake from ever stepping back into the real world. Hence, they hunted down everyone who resurfaced from the lake, the same as what they did to Nightingale, which is why they are also after Alan.

Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained - Tom Zane

Throughout the campaigns, we’re also reintroduced to Tom Zane, the same character who got trapped in the Dark Place decades before Alan Wake’s incident, and Alice Wake, Alan’s wife and the one he saved from being trapped in the Dark Place.

It is revealed that Tom, who is now been under the influence of the Dark Presence for all those years, has been working with Scratch, or with the Dark Presence, to keep Alan from escaping. His instances of offering help towards Alan being his light from the darkness were all just part of the ploy so that it would keep Alan writing more works, which the Dark Presence can feed off of.

Alice’s character is not physically present in the game, but she is seen helping both protagonists through recorded messages or phone calls, albeit with different goals for each of the two.

Through Alan’s eyes, Alice also gave him hope to escape just by knowing that she is alright, but then this changed when she revealed that because she could not handle Scratch’s constant hauntings anymore, she already took her own life. This devastated Alan and made him refocus on stopping Scratch once and for all.

Through Saga’s eyes, Alice offered her help by guiding Saga in recovering the Clicker and obtaining the Bullet of Light; two items that would help stop the Dark Presence from tormenting Alan. As to how Alice manages to do these to the two is further revealed in the post-credits scene.

Alan Wake 2’s finale and ending explained

As the final act comes in, the two Alan and Saga figure out that they have to work together to finish the ending of the story. But because of the genre of Alan’s work being horror, they would have to follow a horror story’s convention where there are only victims and monsters, and if there ever is a hero, that hero must make the ultimate sacrifice.

After getting what they need to stop the Dark Presence, Alan and Saga devise a plan where Alan writes the ending in which both of them become the heroes, while Saga, having the Clicker and the bullet, helps him execute it.

Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained - Alan and Saga devise a plan where Alan writes the ending in which both of them become the heroes.

The two meet up in Alan’s writer’s room where they are met with Alex Casey who has been under the influence of the Dark Presence. With the Clicker, Saga managed to make the Dark Presence leave Casey’s body, and as Alan wrote it, he allowed the entity to inhabit his body. As part of his ultimate sacrifice, Alan made Saga shoot him in the head using the Bullet of Light, which kills him and “seals” the Dark Presence in his body.

The scene ends with Casey waking up back to normal while Saga immediately dials her daughter’s number to check on her. However, we’re left with a cliffhanger as the scene cuts to black before the call gets answered.

Alan Wake 2’s post-credits scene explained

Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained - Alice is still alive.

After the credits roll, a post-credits scene then plays, showing Alice in another recording. In this recording, she reveals that she is still alive and that she had to make Alan believe that she already died in order to “get Alan where she wanted him to be”, in this case, she wanted Alan to realize that he’s not stuck in a constant loop, and despite looking like he’s in one, that he’s actually making progress towards ascension.

In this recording, Alice also reveals that she has asked for the help of an organization, implying that she reached out to the FBC after she had been getting hauntings from Scratch. She later realized that it wasn’t Scratch, but rather it was Alan himself who was trying to make his escape, and with this hope, she got the FBC to help her.

Another thing that Alice revealed was that she made the willing decision to go back into the Dark Place so that she could help Alan, which explains why she could get in contact and help Saga through the pictures she took.

It wasn’t mentioned explicitly, but it could be implied that Alice is better prepared now to make her way through the Dark Place as she may have FBC supporting her in her dive. It’s also worth mentioning that she managed to remember every event of her time in the Dark Place before she visited the bureau, which also implies that the bureau might have done something to help her do so directly or indirectly.

Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained - it's not a loop, it's a spiral.

Alice ends the recording by reassuring Alan that she will help him see the light and get out of the loop eventually. The scene then changes back to Alan who wakes up and realizes that “it’s not a loop, it’s a spiral”, alluding to what Alice just mentioned in her recording.

Alan Wake 2 future expansions or sequel

With how Alan Wake 2 ended with a bunch of cliffhangers, there will certainly be more stories to be told either through DLC expansions or through another sequel. As far as we know from the final act, Alan and Alice, as well as Saga and Casey, are all in the Dark Place

It’s possible that Saga will get her own DLC expansion exploring her side of the story whether or not she gets reunited with her daughter. As talked about between her and Alan, they would need to pay the ultimate sacrifice since they have decided to become heroes of the story to save their loved ones.

Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained - Mr. Door is Saga's missing father.

The DLC could also explore more about the backgrounds of the other characters such as Mr. Door, who turned out to be Saga’s missing father, as he now has a grudge towards Alan for dragging his daughter into Alan’s mess, and the Anderson brothers who have been linked to the Dark Presence’s awakening before and Tor being revealed to actually have clairvoyance and possibly other godly powers.

Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained - Agent Estevez.

There’s also the FBC who is now more involved in the situation in Bright Falls, so we could also possibly see a game where we take the perspective of Agent Estevez as the lead investigator solving more connected cases in lieu of the two FBI agents.

In any case, this puts the Alan Wake franchise in a good position to cap off the entire story with a good trilogy. Because of how Alan’s story has been established to be of the horror genre and the protagonists’ decision to make it into a story of a hero’s journey, they have the option to stick with the common conventions or defy them just as how the Dark Presence has defied the natural order. We just hope that we don’t have to wait for another decade just to see the conclusion to this story.

A Possible Connection to “Control 2”

Although Alan Wake and Control are two different stories crafted by Remedy Entertainment, they are intertwined by supernatural phenomena and shadowy agencies. With the Alan Wake 2 ending, several breadcrumbs suggest how the Alan Wake saga might bleed into the upcoming “Control 2.”

One prevailing theory is that Alan Wake, through his ability to alter reality with his writing, has inadvertently (or perhaps deliberately) influenced the very events that Jesse Faden encounters in Control. The Hiss, a mysterious and malevolent force within Control, could be a creation of Wake’s dark imagination or even an offshoot of the Dark Presence he’s been fighting against.

In Control’s AWE expansion, the presence of manuscript pages written by Alan indicates that he’s aware of the FBC and its role in countering paranormal threats. It’s possible that Alan, seeking to escape the Dark Place and defeat the Dark Presence once and for all, orchestrates events to bring the FBC to Bright Falls, setting the stage for the agency’s deeper involvement in the supernatural occurrences there.

Control 2 could pick up with the FBC, now armed with the knowledge and experience from their encounters with the Hiss, delving deeper into the mysteries of Cauldron Lake and the Dark Place. They might realize that Alan Wake’s struggle is part of a larger cosmic war against these reality-warping forces. This could lead to Jesse Faden and the FBC actively seeking to free Alan from the Dark Place, understanding that his liberation might be key to their own survival against otherworldly threats.

Furthermore, Alice Wake’s partnership with the FBC suggests that she could play a significant role in Control 2, potentially serving as a bridge between Alan’s narrative-driven powers and the FBC’s technological prowess. Her insight into the Dark Place could provide the FBC with the knowledge necessary to fight back against these supernatural forces on a larger scale, perhaps even using the Oldest House as a battleground.

In essence, Alan Wake 2 and Control 2 might converge into a single, grand tapestry of a story where the boundaries between author, creation, and reality are not just blurred but actively manipulated. The fates of both worlds could hinge on the actions of a writer desperate to rewrite his own ending and a director of an agency that stands as humanity’s last line of defense against the inexplicable.

Only time will tell how these stories will intertwine further, but for fans of both games, the potential for a crossover is not just a theory, it’s an exciting prospect for the evolution of Remedy’s shared universe.