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Alan Wake 2 needs the talking flower from Super Mario Bros. Wonder

A little levity would be nice

A photo composition of the talking flower from Super Mario Bros. Wonder imposed on a screenshot from Alan Wake 2. Image composition: Cameron Faulkner/Polygon | Source images: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
Cameron Faulkner (he/him) is Polygon’s commerce editor. He began writing about tech and gaming in 2013, and migrated from The Verge in 2023.

Alan Wake 2 is bleak stuff. Sure, your flashlight makes the darkness a little less scary, and the full-motion video commercials are a lighthearted wink to players who seek them out. But for some, the game could benefit from a constant positive presence to raise the mood while you traverse the Overlap and beyond.

Of course, this thought comes after playing Super Mario Bros. Wonder, where each level features a goofy talking flower character who remarks on the player’s actions, or on what’s happening in the game world. After going back and forth between the two games, it’s hard not to imagine what the talking flower would be like in Alan Wake 2.

A photo composition of the talking flower from Super Mario Bros. Wonder imposed on a screenshot from Alan Wake 2. Image composition: Cameron Faulkner/Polygon | Source images: Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

Beyond blurting out quips to take your mind off the dread of walking through forests at night with scarily few bullets, or when running from the Dark Presence, the talking flower could be a useful tool for marking objectives, or helping you figure out combinations to safes.

Inevitably, I think the game would take a dark turn with this, turning the talking flower into a deceptive plot device. Eventually you wouldn’t know if you could trust what the talking flower is telling you, adding to Alan Wake 2’s deft skill of extending its dark fiction over the game’s reality. Are the Taken a threat, or are you the threat? Maybe, just maybe, it’s the talking flower.


It’s putting thoughts into my mind, ones that I’d rather not be having.

The chaos is reminding me of how simple things were, back when Alice and I first arrived in Bright Falls. Now, I’m stuck in the Dark Place.

T̶̘͉̯̀̾̑̈́̈́͑̏̚̕͝h̸̝͔̭̹͎̲̦̖͉͓̊͊̒̓̎͒̑̚͜e̶̢̛̦̠̤̳͍̭̠̠͊̄̑̓̌̂̍̐̍͝ ̵͈͚̞̑͛̀̈́̅ţ̶̧̭̜̙̥̀̐̔͜ă̶̲̬̞͔̠͚̪̣̤̎̀̂̈́̕ḽ̸̬̬͎͙̥̘̈͐͗͋͋͋̍̌̀͛̕̕͠k̸̖͎̙̭̖̝̎̽̃̀͊̃̏̑̾̃͒ḭ̶̧̠͙͕̺͎͊̄̈́̾̇̈̐͋̏͘͝ń̸̢̮̩̰͙͌̆͛g̴̞͖͖͉̭͚̞͋́̒̈̃̄̾͗͂̈̎͘̚ ̵̢͎̺͎̙̭͕̹̞̑̆̈́̿f̴̨̨̧̱͖̫̱̥̖̩̝̯͇̪̀͋̒͐͗̓̎͗̂͐͜͠ĺ̸̡̦̼̖̦͔̗̳̭̫̼̳̘̱̝̎̂͛́̀̓̇̈̎͝o̷̡͓̭̞̲̯̞̘͊̈́̉͋̾̿̓̔̈̅͌͜͝ͅw̴̘͖̉̈́̽͗̏̈́̄̈́̓̈́̓̕͠ȩ̸̡̞̱̟̺̹̲͍͖̹̹̀̈́͒̆̀̊̾̉̑̽̑̕͠ͅŗ̷͉̝̘͚͉̱̫̰̈́ ̸̺̥̤̞̭͙̗͚͍̗̺͈͔̣̃͜͠ḩ̴̡̧̰͕͈̩̱̲̯͚̥͚̦́̇͜a̶̜̰̝̼̬̦̼͓͊̉̈́ṡ̸̡̟̩͎̗̘̭͕͕͍͍͖̠͜ ̵̗̬͉̜̩̂t̵̹͓͍̯̤̭͍̻̹̟͚̎͐͛͠ą̵̟̠̬̮̌̊̍̿̒̂̊͌͋̐̚͝k̶̨̛̝̻̫͕͇̙̼͎̞͕͓̥͒͂̔̽̀̑͒̏̚͜͝ȩ̴̝͓̬̝̘̘̙̤̰̫̞̤̈̎̏̐̒̋̏͋͊͝n̸̢̛̠̖͚̠͎͆̂͛̑́͠ͅ ̵̢̘̹͓͖̘̽͛̀͋̐̚m̵̛͚̊̃͂̃̆̋̓̂͛͆̋̎̃͌y̴̙͖͔̳͍͍̟̫̩͎̙̟̔͛̔̏̓̇̀̈́͆̀ͅͅͅ ̶̠͓̝͉̬̤̟̼̞͉͚͋̇̂͗́ͅp̴̨̞̲̹̩̙̫̖͉̩̠̗̜̀͜l̷̲͚̱͉͓̥̪͑̓̔͛̿̐͋͑͂̈́͘͜ã̸̢͚͓͚͔͊̓̒̈̎̆̾̎̚ç̶̟̤̟̯̘̖̝̫͎̣̹̚e̸̜͓̯͐̑̾̈́̂̉̓̆̐͝ ̶̙̖̲̮̏͌͜ͅí̸̯̇̇̇̆̄̔͋͊̾̋͠n̵̨̠̙̟͎̏́̄̓̔͗̀̚͝͝ ̶̜̞̥̭̰̼̖̞̖̭̈̂͒͒̓͑͛̾̐̽̿̕̕͝͝ŗ̴̮̜̼̔͗͋̉ͅę̷͍̥͖̞̻̗͓͓̥̎̅͑̅̾̓̾̃̿̄̕͠ä̸̛̻̎̅̔̈̈́̅̀̎̂̈́̚͝͝ļ̷͕̫̫̜̄̉́̎̐͝į̷͎͇̖̖͚̍̓̀̉̂́̏͂͑̂͌̕ͅt̷̡͉͎͓̻͙̩͍̙͈͋̏̈̏̎̉̀̕y̵͙͉̩̘̐̈́̃̄́̉̓̍̀̂̅̔͝.̵̢̡̢̭̻̝̭͎͔͖̻͔̓̀͜͜͠ͅ

The next level of puzzles.

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