I just played the Alan Wake game (more correctly, for the fourth time) and begin to question whether the town of Bright Falls, around which most of the game is set, and all its mystery is based on anything real? Any good information?

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    Is Bright Fall the video game's name ? Can you give some details about the game's world ?
    – Kalissar
    May 22 '13 at 12:26
  • No, the game's name is Alan Wake, the overall detail is rather complicated, it'a town with many mystery which I find more amusing than other mysterious world (ex: Silent Hill) May 23 '13 at 2:10

I know this post is old, but I'd figure I'd add to it. I've heard some people say it looked a lot like some of the nothern parts of Washington, specifically the areas heading toward the North Cascades National Park. There's a small town/village/living area called Newhalem, Wa, which is only used by people who work for Seattle Light, but this is one of the pictures of the town I found: 1
(source: panoramio.com)

and the Bright Falls Light & Power Company:



Wiki says:

The story follows bestselling thriller novelist Alan Wake, as he tries to uncover the mystery behind his wife's disappearance during a vacation in the small fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington

and more specifically about what it's based on:

The game's setting, Bright Falls, draws inspiration from the early 1990s TV show Twin Peaks, which was set in the titular town; both fictional small towns in the state of Washington. Alfred Hitchcock is also cited as an inspiration, with the flocks of birds that often attack the protagonist being influenced by his classic horror film The Birds.

So, the mysteries etc... are NOT based on anything real but have some inspirations in existing popular culture properties.


The accepted answer seems authoritative to me. The only thing I'd add is that one of the other locales in the game, Cauldron Lake, certainly seems inspired by the real Crater Lake in Oregon:

Cauldron Lake: enter image description here

Crater Lake: enter image description here


the game was actually built around a town that does exist in Detroit Oregon. to be specific, the game was based directly on Detroit lake. If you research it further or read interviews with the developers of the game you will find them refrencing this town multiple times along with pictures of existing places like the diner, power dam, gas station that end up appearing in the game looking almost exactly as they look in the actual pictures from the destination. Best bet for you is to use google maps on this location, look around for a good 20 minutes and you will see multiple reference points that they put into the game. really cool stuff if you ask me.

how do i know this?!? I'm a huge alan wake fan, travelled to Detroit 2 times just to explore based on the game. good luck!


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    wow! really? can you point out some of the details, maybe the similarity of the game and the real place? i would love to research it further Jan 13 '14 at 3:22
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    2020 Update: Detroit, OR was destroyed by fire in real life in the western states 2020 wildfires, circa September 2020. It was widely reported the town of Detroit and surrounding area was “burned to the ground,” and all but unrecognizable. One resident’s account unfortunately looks like it could be a scene of horror from a horror video game: youtu.be/on9D5r719gM Detroit Lake State Recreation Area only reopened to full services earlier this year in 2021. Dec 3 '21 at 15:41

Though not directly affecting the game, there are also a lot of towns in Maine (Stephen King's backyard, and the location for most of his works) that, though not what Bright Falls is modeled after, definitely have the same atmosphere, with the bars, diner, trailer parks, and logging mills. King's work is a major influence in the game's lore. Wake says as much at the start. As previously stated by other users, Oregon (where Life is Strange is based) is full of similar town types, as well as Washington state. Inland California also have some towns with the Bright Falls/Twin Peaks/Haven/Secret Circle/Ozark/Silent Hill/Hawkins vibe. Their pretty much littered all across the US, and Canada (specifically Ontario), as a lot of Supernatural episodes are also filmed in the Land of the Mounties.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. This would be a better answer if you could point to specific elements or individual places in the story and their real-world counterparts. As it is, this is too general actually answer the question.
    – DavidW
    Feb 1 '20 at 19:05

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