Alan Wake 2 Guide: “Return 1: Invitation” Walkthrough

Alan Wake 2 Guide: The Cult/ Invitation

Area List (Tap to jump down the page!)

The Cult

Return 1: Invitation

Meet Deputy Thornton

Investigate the Crime Scene

Search Cauldron Lake

Return To The Car

Bright Falls

Go To The Morgue

Examine Nightingale’s Body


The Cult

Welcome to Alan Wake 2! Remedy’s long-awaited sequel to Alan Wake is finally here and boy does it start things off in impressive form. Strap yourselves in because this opening chapter is pretty darn long, especially if you count The Cult as a little prologue too.

After a slightly uneasy cutscene, you’ll gain control of a strange naked man staggering through the woods. No it’s not a crazy drunk who’s lost his way, but a middle-aged guy who has very clearly been displaced.

From your starting position, stagger over to the right and under the logs. Keep following the linear path along through the woods, moving to the left after witnessing a couple of people shining flashlights from a cliff ledge.

A little jump scare is coming up, before you pass under a tree and to the other side. Feel free to start sprinting by holding L3 and continue on the linear path. 

The voices in the woods will start picking up and floating al round you, but don’t worry, nothing will attack you… not yet anyway. Move round the dumpsters and car flashlights will turn on. You’ll notice a couple of shadowy figures in front and unfortunately, they’re not here to give you some clothes or a hot coffee. 

Instead, they’ve only got bloodlust on their mind. Skip away to the right, toward the campfire light to escape them.

As you do, take a hard right and head toward the next campfire. You may get a little further than this but regardless of where you end up, you’ll be captured and thrown on a table, where a nasty ritual ensues.


Return 1: Invitation

When you begin the next chapter, you’ll be in control of FBI agent Saga Anderson. After a lengthy opening, head forward and interact with the map to gain 1x Map of Cauldron Lake.

These maps are incredibly useful and help to catch your bearings and work out exactly where you are. This first chapter throws you straight in the deep-end in that respect, with a good chunk of the map below available to explore right from the off.

There are collectibles littered all over the place and in this guide, we’ll make sure to point out all of them to collect as soon as it becomes available so you won’t miss anything. There is a point of no return late in the game, but all areas can be re-explored so there’s no danger of missing anything.

With all that in mind, follow Agent Casey along the path until you meet up with Deputy Mulligan.


Meet Deputy Thornton

Speak to Mulligan and exhaust the dialogue options. After, proceed through the hole in the fence. 

Approach the beautiful view and we’ll have our first interaction with the Case Board and Casey’s Mind Palace. This is a useful tool that helps Casey mentally arrange all the different cases, clues and investigative titbits into one place. Walk forward and press X (A) to interact with the board.

Once here, follow the tutorial and make note of which case we’re dealing with here. Specifically, this is a case linking to the Cauldron Lake Murders. All three victims are up on the board, and these guys were reported missing in 2010 and found dead over the years with a strange state of bloating.

Saga has also noted post-mortem tattooing, as well as each victims having had their heart removed. 

Once you’re done, exit out the Mind Palace and make note of the final tutorial point. The Mind Palace activates in real time, so do not try to access this during combat, because you will get hit.

Follow Casey along the path, turning the camera to the left until you notice the remains of tent tarps. When you do, stop on the path and turn right. At this point,  follow the path up and you’ll find an area similar to this:

Turn right at the grey stone and head up the pathway that slopes up and to the left. You’ll come to a padlocked door. However, there is a clue we can interact with here, just to the top right of the gate (pictured below).

Go ahead and do this to receive 1x Picture. Turn back around and follow the path back whence you came. This time, go into the wooden structure to find some newspaper clippings. 

When you’re done, continue on the main path, following Casey to the end, down the stairs and along the linear pathway. There’s a sign for Mirror Peak here you can interact with, along with a long pathway that Agent Casey will head down. Don’t follow Casey and instead, continue along the muddy road to the right. 

Just past the sign, you’ll find a path heading deeper into the woods on the left (area pictured above). Follow this path along (you’ll notice a flicker of sunlight that helps to guide the way if you’re stuck).

At the end of the path you’ll come to a look-out area and a sign for Mortar Falls. Just beyond this to the left, you’ll notice an icon pop up behind the bushes (pictured above). This is an Alex Casey lunchbox, and they’re dotted all over the landscape. Open this one and grab 2x Manuscript Fragments. 

Swing round to the right in a big semi-circle and head down the path to the left of the brown hiking sign. This meets back up with Agent Casey on the main road.

Follow Casey all the way down and you’ll meet Thornton. Before following him though, swing the camera around to the left (so the open doorway is to the right of your screen) and follow the pathway marked below.

At the end of this long passage is another lunchbox, this one holding 1x Manuscript Fragment. Circle back around and head to the General Store. Instead of following Thornton round the back, go inside that open doorway we previously mentioned. On the desk is a pad you can read. In the next room, approach the table with the Cooler and interact with the poker chips and the cards to gain 1x Picture. 

Head out the door and follow Thornton and Casey to the body.


Investigate the Crime Scene

Interact with the body to gain 1x Key Image. Open up Casey’s Mind place and tap up on the directional pad and X (A) to place the new picture on the board. You now have a new line of enquiry so exit out, and investigate the body again.

Interact with all three magnifying glass symbols to gain 3x Pictures. Now, open the Mind Palace again and tap up once more on the case files.

Now, in order to place these on the board you need to tap X (A) when the picture is hovered over the post-it note question. Don’t try to place them next to it as it won’t work. 

Once you’ve done this, two new questions will branch out. Exit away from the Mind Palace and investigate with the table once more just in case you’ve missed anything. After, search the two nearby areas for new clues:

The prints on the ground by the numbers 2 and 3.

The cool-box just to the right of this (behind Casey) 2x Pictures can be gained here.

Return to Thornton and exhaust all dialogue options. He’ll reveal that the deceased is Agent Nightingale, an FBI agent who came to Bright Falls in 2010. This will add a new clue, and a second if you speak with Casey about Nightingale.

Return to the Mind Palace, and place both these clues against the “Victim” question. A new question will open, allowing us to place those clues from the cool box here. 

We’ll now be introduced to Profiling, which essentially work as in-game flashback sequences where Casey gets inside the mind of the various people she’s investigating. Exhaust both options for Nightingale.

Return to the Case Board, place the new clues in, and you’ll be prompted to search Cauldron Lake.


Search Cauldron Lake


At this point, it’s a good idea to search around and grab some collectibles. We’ve marked the location of the three big ones here on the map.

From the dumpster (the path just behind where the 1 and 2 are on the ground), head along the path and turn right. You’ll immediately be faced with a cabin.

Now, opposite the door you’ll find a Cult Lockbox on the ground. These little goodies are littered all over the game and hold some very useful gear. However, we need a code to open it, which can be found inside the cabin.

The clue at the top should help fill in the blanks:

-Wash Your Hands (Sink in the bathroom)

-Take the chicken out the fridge (Side of the fridge)

-Take a nap (Bed)

Inside, you’ll find some Revolver Bullets and 1x Trauma Pack.



Turn left at the cabin and follow the path back out of camp. You’ll find a fallen log to your left, so follow this along until you come to a fork in the road.

Turn left here and follow the path all the way to the end. Once there, you’ll find yourself in another campsite. To the left of the tents, you’ll find a book on UFOs, and just beyond that another Casey Lunchbox holding 3x Manuscript Fragments.

Head all the way back to the crime scene and exhaust your dialogue options if you haven’t already. Now we can follow Casey down to the lake.


THREE (Can also be obtained in Return 2)

Instead of following Casey to the left, keep an eye out for a ledge you can climb up to the right, which will lead you to the witch’s hut (3 on the map above).

If you move too far, you’ll come to a body of water you can’t cross. At the Witch’s Hut, follow the bridge to the left across to where you’ll find a solitary chair. Open the cooler to reveal 1x Battery Pack. There’s also a journal here.

Just beyond that to the right is another lunchbox holding 1x Manuscript Fragments (location pictured above).


Return to the main path and now we can catch up with Casey. Make note of the strange sign called Witch’s Ladle, well be coming back here later on. For now, approach the tree and interact with the magnifying glass to gain 1x Picture. Next, pick up 1x Manuscript Page. 


Return To The Car

After this crucial clue, it’ll be time to return to the car. First, follow Casey back to the Deputy and after speaking to him, he’ll hand over 1x Shortcut Key.

Beyond the Deputy, you’ll find a metal door that can be opened (pictured above). Interact with the door, unlock it, and follow the linear path up.

On the way, stop at the comms tower and circle around to the left. There will be a ledge you can climb up. Another Casey Lunchbox will be here, holding 2x Manuscript Fragments. 

Return to the main path, following Casey to the top and keep moving forward. We’ll now be back at our car again. Interact with it, to be taken over to Bright Falls.


Bright Falls

We’ll now be in Bright Falls, with another large area to explore. Thankfully, there’s not too many collectibles to grab. First up, head all the way forward along the road.

On the left, be sure to pick up 1x Map of Bright Falls (pictured above). Instead of heading into the diner though, keep going until you reach the park. You’ll notice the orange trees on the left, just beyond a sign for Deerfest. 

Once inside, feel free to be an absolute chaos agent and disturb the birds by running through them. A man on a bench will not be happy at you and start complaining. Ignore him and instead, focus on the tree to the right of the gazebo. Just behind it is another Lunchbox, this one holding 5x Manuscript Fragments.

Head back to the diner and speak to Sherriff Breaker. After some small talk, head inside and speak to the Bookers. You’ll find them on the right hand booth. Speak to them and exhaust your dialogue options, where you’ll gain a crucial clue about deer masks.

They’ll let slip about finding something, so head into your Mind Palace and do some profiling on the Bookers. Exhaust both options and then speak to them again. They’ll reluctantly head over 1x Cultist Necklace. 

As you look set to leave, a waitress called Rose will show up and seemingly know exactly who you are. It’s a strange conversation, and one that eventually ends with the spine-chilling reveal that she’s sorry about what happened to your daughter. 

If you return to your Case Study at this point, you can open a new investigation into the Cult itself, using the Necklace and various other titbits to open a new line of enquiry.

For now, head outside report to Casey and Breaker.


Go To The Morgue

Follow the pair around to the police station and head in through the front door. Immediately in front of you, behind the plated glass, you’ll find 1x Map of Sheriff’s Station (pictured below)

Turn left from the front door and toward where Casey and Breaker are standing. Don’t follow them down just yet. Instead, go into the open doorway on the left. Here, you’ll gain 1x Adventure Tours videotape, which is actually a missable collectible, so bear this in mind!

Open the door to your left (if you’ve just walked in the room). There’s a meeting going on here but on the left, inside a filing cabinet you’ll find 1x Battery Pack (pictured below).

There’s nothing else to see here so when you’re ready, go down to the morgue. When you reach a dark hallway with a couple of brick pillars to the right, investigate the lockers to find 1x Trauma Pack.

Finally, head into the dimly lit room and we’ll get our next task.


Examine Nightingale’s Body

Just before you interact with the body, head into the back-room on the right of Nightingale’s body. Interact with the first-aid box in here to grab 1x Trauma Pack. 

Interact with Nightingale on the five spots, collecting 5x Pictures in the process. 

Go into Saga’s Mind Palace next, and this time place the new picture down after selecting “Murder At Cauldron Lake”. Exit out, and return to Nightingale again.

Saga will pull out a Manuscript Page from Nightingale’s chest, which will change reality around you. Breaker will disappear and Nightingale will just up and wander about, throwing you on the floor.

The Manuscript Page hints that the light will make you invisible, so hurry and hide in the spotlight above. Wait for Nightingale to wander around the room, into the area we gained the Trauma Pack, and bolt the opposite way, into the hallway he originally came from.

All the way at the end, pick up 1x Handgun.

A couple of *ahem* well placed shots should do the trick when you turn round and aim, but similarly, headshots work just as well. 


Figure Out Where Nightingale Went

When you gain control of Saga again after another cutscene, approach Casey and check up on him. Next, just left of Casey’s position, you’ll be able to grab 1x Manuscript Page. At this point, you won’t be able to proceed until you head back to the Mind Palace again.

If you’re stuck, make sure you’re hovering Over Murder At Cauldron Lake to place your new clue about Nightingale attacking you.

Afterwards, place your new pictures down and the subsequent clues too. This will now allow us to continue.

Head out the front of the police station, follow Casey all the way back to the car and return to Cauldron Lake. This will bring this very long opening chapter to a close.


Return 2: The Heart >>

You can check out our full walkthrough and game guide here!

2 thoughts on “Alan Wake 2 Guide: “Return 1: Invitation” Walkthrough”

  1. Hey, thanks for commenting! The guide includes all Casey Lunchbox and Cult Supply stash locations, along with every weapon, every nursery rhyme and every doll location too. We’ve also got almost every Word of Power (for Alan’s side of things) too. However, the only thing this guide doesn’t include are the deer-head locations, but we do note the Point of No Return later on in this guide so at that point, it’ll be a case of just mopping these up before finishing the game. Hope that helps!

    -Greg W

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