Coming from Remedy, Control is a game that appears to share similarities with its other titles; notably Alan Wake and Quantum Break. Remedy is also known for inserting Easter Eggs for its other games into its releases. Quantum Break famously included an entire breakdown of Alan Wake in a classroom early in the game.
However, Control is different in that it and Alan Wake take place within the same universe. From the collectibles found throughout Control and some other moments in the game, it’s clear that Control is happening within the same universe that Alan Wake took place.
We’ve scoured every corner and every last inch of Control looking for collectibles in general, but also looking for any reference to Alan Wake.
Let me tell you, there are plenty.
There will be some spoilers from here on. You have been warned.
Control, Alan Wake
As you play Control, you learn that the Federal Bureau of Control works to deal with, control and cover-up Altered World Events or AWEs. These are events that gravitate towards archetypal objects.
In Control, these are objects like the Service Weapon, a Rubber Duck, refrigerator, a television and more. Control’s Jesse Faden was at the epicentre of an AWE in her home town of Ordinary. The archetypal object, in that case, was a slide projector.
Exploring the Oldest House and finding case files, notes and other items, we learn that the events of Alan Wake were also an AWE. We learn this through a case file on Bright Falls.
These documents make it clear that both Control and Alan Wake take place in the same universe. They also reframe the events of Alan Wake and bring them into the broader ideas established in Control.
The Bright Falls Summary document also references events in Bright Falls taking place in 1970, 1976 and 1978.
The Bright Falls Supplement also makes mention of Alice Wake being found alive and well but notes that FBI Agent Nightingale, Dr Hartman and Wake are missing. This document also makes note of Clay Steward who appears at the very beginning of Alan Wake and is the author of The Alan Wake Files which was included with the collector’s edition of the game.
Another thing noted in these documents is that Frank Breaker (an ex-FBC agent and Sherrif Sarah Breaker’s father) had been contacted by Barry Wheeler during the Bright Falls AWE.
Finally, the Bright Falls documents reference Wake’s ‘Clicker’ and note that it may be an Object of Power.
Other notes in Control make reference to Night Springs. Night Springs is a Twilight Zone-style show featured in Alan Wake and was the first writing job Wake ever had. The FBC notes state that it could co-opt Night Springs and use it to present paranatural facts to the public as fiction and see how they respond.
In a document titled ‘America Overnight Results,’ it’s clear that the FBC has resurrected Night Springs and has used it as it intended. When it started doing so is unclear.
In a letter received by the Dead Letters department, a man named Richard Bowker implores the American Psychiatric Council to look into his case. He claims that ever since he was a child he has suffered vivid dreams that seem real.
His letter also states that his most recent dream was about;
a small, empty town, It was utterly dark. There was a Lake at its center. Shadows of people moved around me, muttering odd things. A bright light woke me up. I was screaming in my sleep.
This is another clear reference to Alan Wake and Bright Falls.
Also found within the Oldest House are notes relating to two Altered Items that are related to the Bright Falls AWE (Alan Wake).
The first is an Oh Deer Diner Thermos that was found on the shore of Cauldron Lake by the FBC. According to the document the thermos keeps liquids warm for far longer than it should and the coffee from the thermos is always fresh and strong, no matter the condition it was when poured in.
The file also notes that Alan Wake had been seen collecting these thermoses for an unknown reason.
Here’s where things start to get very, very cool.
While playing Control, you will be periodically taken to a location known as the Oceanview Motel & Casino. It seems to be a central location that links parallel universes, the Oldest House and other parts of the world.
As you play, you’ll notice that you’re only ever able to enter the same three motel rooms as well as the room with an upside pyramid, when you find the key. If you study the other doors, you’ll notice other patterns with no discernable importance.
However, an Altered Item kept in the Oldest House’s Panopticon comes directly from within the Oceanview Motel and not from any door the FBC has been able to access.
This item is a Typewritten Page, confirmed to be written by Alan Wake. It was discovered pushed under the door with the spiral symbol on it in the Oceanview Motel.
For ten years I’ve tried to write my escape, only sinking deeper. I used to know where fiction ends and reality begins. Here, they are all the same. It’s a hideous trap, my every thought made real. Fear. Desire. How can I ever know for sure I’ve escaped and not just lost lost in my own fantasy of it. That thought alone can drive you mad.
The notes on the Typewritten Page list it as being stored in the Panopticon on Floor 5, Unit 6. If you go to that location, this is what happens.
Is that not incredible?
The last two references to Alan Wake are both audio recordings. One, you get simply by playing the game. It’s a song by the Old Gods of Asgard called Take Control.
For those who don’t remember, the Old Gods of Asgard are Odin and Tor Anderson — the old metalheads — in Alan Wake.
The other is a therapy session between Jesse and her psychiatrist. The psychiatrist notes that in their last session Jesse mentioned a poem she liked by Thomas Zane.
Beyond the shadow you settle for, there’s a miracle illuminated.
The psychiatrist mentions to Jesse that she was unable to find any evidence of anyone named Thomas Zane ever-existing and suggests that perhaps Jesse wrote the poem herself. Jesse is confused and doesn’t understand as she knows she didn’t write the poem and she knows that Thomas Zane was a famous writer.
In Alan Wake, Thomas Zane wrote himself from existence in 1970, so how Jesse knows about him and his poetry remains a mystery. However, the sundial at Cauldron Lake Lodge is inscribed with the very same poem.
From these items and references, it’s clear that Control is set in the same universe as Alan Wake. What that means for the future of both IPs remains to be seen but we are hopeful of seeing Remedy bring Wake back in Control DLC.
What do you think of these Alan Wake references in Control?
Control is available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.