Nursery Rhymes are one of Saga’s side quest opportunities in Alan Wake 2, and it’s how you’ll collect charms for her charm bracelet. Like Cult Stashes, these puzzles are scattered around Cauldron Lake, Bright Falls, and Watery, and it’s up to you to find the dolls associated with the rhymes so you can solve the puzzle.
In this Alan Wake 2 guide, we’ll tell you how Nursery Rhymes work, where you can find all Nursery Rhymes, and how to solve the Nursery Rhymes you find.
How to solve Nursery Rhymes in Alan Wake 2
You’ll first come across Nursery Rhymes in Alan Wake 2’s second chapter, after removing the flooding from Cauldron Lake and adventuring into Streamside.
The Nursery Rhymes appear as chalk drawings on the ground, which surround a piece of paper that has a rhyme on it. To solve the puzzle, you’ll need to find dolls that represent the central characters of the rhyme and place them in locations based on what happens in the story.
When you do this correctly, something in the world changes, and a charm (passive skill) for Saga’s charm bracelet appears nearby. Sometimes these rewards appear right next to the Nursery Rhyme location and sometimes you’ll need to follow a trail of darkness to a different area of the map. Some of these Nursery Rhymes also spawn enemies once you solve them, so be careful.
Cauldron Lake Nursery Rhymes
There are five Nursery Rhymes in Cauldron Lake, but you can only get three on your first adventure through the area. You’ll need to return to find the other two later in the game.
Private Cabin Nursery Rhyme solution
The first nursery rhyme is the most complex — at least of the initial three in this flooded area. You can find it just outside the Private Cabin, which becomes a safe area once you turn the nearby generator on.
To solve the rhyme, you’ll need three dolls: Crow, Wolf, and Hero. You can pick up Crow next to the Private Cabin nearby, on a bench. Both Wolf and Hero are upstairs in the Witchfinder's Station, so head there first and grab them. (You can also skip to the Witchfinder’s Station rhyme first and complete it, as there’s no reason to do them in the order you find them).
Once you have the correct dolls, it’s time to solve the rhyme:
A mother-Crow sits in her nest
Guarding her babies, doing her best
To protect her home from the Beast coming to feast
But only a Hero brave of heart can keep the two apart
Place the Crow doll on the baby chick in its egg, place the Hero doll on the big heart, and place the Wolf doll on the house.
When you solve the rhyme, the bird house by the lake just down the ramp from the private cabin will fall down. Walk up to it and grab the Kalevala Knights Charm, which improves hand flares. But be prepared, as solving this riddle spawns a wolf to fight in the area.
Witchfinder’s Station Nursery Rhyme solution
This rhyme is just outside the door to Witchfinder’s Station, which you’ll find on your map in the northern part of the flooded area.
To solve this riddle, you’ll need the Wolf doll and the Hero doll, both of which are upstairs in the nearby house. Grab them and then study this riddle:
The Hero brave and strong left home to right a wrong
From the woods came the Wolf so greedy and hungry
That he ate what he found in the house without a host
The Hero returned to find she’d lost the thing she loved most
To solve the riddle, place the Wolf on the tree and the Hero on the boat. This spawns wolf tracks leading into the house. Follow them but don’t stress, as this rhyme doesn’t spawn a wolf for you to fight like the first one does (or like you might imagine it might). Follow the tracks to the playpen upstairs and pick up the Coffee Mug Charm, which will save your life if you die, but shatters the charm in the process.
Streamside Picnic Area Nursery Rhyme solution
This rhyme is west of the Private Cabin and southwest of Witchfinder’s Station. You’ll find it in the picnic table section on the map. Make sure you have the Crow doll with you, which you can pick up from the Private Cabin.
Here’s the rhyme you need to solve:
One bird for light
Two for darkness
Three birds for a fight
Four for a struggle
Five birds for injury
Six for misery
Seven for the ending, whatever it may be
Take the Crow doll and just drop it on the sun. This will instantly solve the rhyme and spawn the Hammer Charm on a nearby picnic table — which improves your ability to stun Taken.
Be warned: when we finished this rhyme, it spawned three Taken enemies in the area, two by the streetlamp leading to the private cabin, and one by the bridge.
Rental Cabins Nursery Rhyme solution
Once you have the bolt cutters, you’ll be able to return to Cauldron Lake and snip your way into the Rental Cabins area to the east. To find the Nursery Rhyme, you’ll need to snake through the first cabin on the right side of the map until you reach the second. Then, when you come through the back of one side of the second cabin, you’ll need to go through the front door on the other side — think of them like cabin duplexes.
When you enter the second door, you’ll find this Nursery Rhyme to solve:
Our Hero courageous and true
Stalked by the Monster hatching through
The clever Crows caw their warning
And keep an eye on the battle forming
When the fight is done and over
The Hero and the Crows Reap the rewards left for her
Place the Hero Doll on the jewelry, the Crow Doll on the eye, and the Monster Doll on the egg. This will solve the rhyme but not spawn a Charm box. Steel yourself for a small fight and walk out the front door. A big Taken will burst through the door across the street. Kill him and walk inside to pick up yet another Coffee Mug Charm, which saves you from death but breaks in the process.
Watery Nursery Rhymes
There are eight Nursery Rhymes in Watery, and you can get all but one on your first adventure through the area. You need to come back for the final Nursery Rhyme (in the trailer park) once you get the bolt cutters in chapter five.
North of Downtown Nursery Rhyme solution
This Nursery Rhyme is just north of downtown Watery, once you’re set on your path toward Coffee World. After you fight the Taken Thrower, head into the open area and take your first right. Follow the path back toward downtown, this time on an elevated ridge, and you’ll find a small clearing with the Nursery Rhyme. Before you do anything else, grab the Moose Doll and the Deer Doll nearby. Once you have them, approach the chalk circle.
Here’s the rhyme you’ll need to solve:
The Gentle Beast with a beautiful crown
Runs through the woods with a worried frown
From the Hunter he flees between the mighty trees
To make it out alive
All you need to do here is place the Moose Doll on the tree. As soon as you do that, you’ll solve the Rhyme and notice a giant carved moose statue back along the way you came. Head up to the moose and grab another Coffee Mug Charm (saves you from one death) off the ground.
Radio Tower Nursery Rhyme solution
Head to the area marked “Radio Tower” on your map, right beyond the Watery safehouse north of downtown and the Crossbow Cult Stash. Once you reach the radio tower, head to the southernmost ridge that overlooks the safe room and you’ll find another Nursery Rhyme. To solve this one, you’ll need the Deer Doll, which is back at the first Watery rhyme.
Here is the rhyme you’ll need to solve:
Three little Deers ventured to roam
And found a nice place to eat and play
One little Deer never came home
And two of the deers cried all day
Place the Deer Doll on the house and you complete the rhyme. However, this will spawn two Taken Wolves in the area. You need to be very careful around these guys, as they’re fast, hard to track, and hit hard. Take them down and then make for the street lamp further into the radio tower area. Take out the other Taken here and then look east of the radio tower for a deer carcass. Walk up to the dead deer and grab the Deer Charm, which increases your resilience against being staggered or interrupted.
Lighthouse Nursery Rhyme solution
Head to the Watery Lighthouse area on your map, which is south of Coffee World. Take out the Taken swarming the area when you arrive, and head to the Lighthouse itself before heading over to the peak (which is where the Nursery Rhyme is waiting). The Lighthouse door is locked, but you need to grab the Trickster, Mother, and Wise Elder Dolls off the stoop before moving on.
With your new dolls in hand, walk up to the rhyme. Here’s what you’ll need to solve:
An old Watcher of the Sea before his demise
Cursed the waters that ruined his eyes
So he played a trick on the Ocean deep
The waves to fight and havoc to wreak
And in doing that wrong lost his soul’s song
This one is a little tricky based on the clue alone. Place the Wise Elder on the eye and the Trickster on the waves/ocean. This will solve the riddle and send you on a long trek for the charm.
For this charm, you need to head all the way back down toward downtown, back to the road. Solving the riddle will spawn at least one Taken on the road, so be careful. Head down to the street and hang a right toward the water just before the bridge. Some debris that was blocking the area is no longer there, allowing you to get into the waves. Head inside and grab the Lighthouse Charm off the rock, which increases the amount of health you get back while in a Safe Haven.
Trailer park dock Nursery Rhyme solution
Once you’ve conquered the Overlap in Watery and the flooding has gone down, head back to the trailer park and keep going toward the water. You’ll see a shack/station for cleaning fish off to the left and a dock straight ahead. Head to the fish station first to collect the Bear Doll. Then walk onto the dock and grab the Child Doll sitting on the bench. With both dolls in hand, walk forward along the dock and hang left.
Once you reach the Nursery Rhyme, you’ll need to solve this riddle:
The Old Fisherman had great luck
His catch at Sea was beyond belief
But the Hungry Guest found relief
In the Fisherman’s bountiful truck
Place the Wise Elder Doll on the waves and place the Bear Doll on the candy. This will solve the riddle and spawn some Taken in the trailer park. Head back to the fish station to grab the Coffee World charm, which increases the quantity and quality of any resources you find.
Latte Lagoon dock Nursery Rhyme solution
Once the flooding has gone down in Watery, head back into Coffee World to the Latte Lagoon dock on the map — just north of the Fair Trade Fun Zone. You’ll need the Deer, Moose, and Trickster Dolls, which you can get from the Nursery Rhyme north of downtown and the Lighthouse rhyme.
Head out onto the dock by the bumper boats and you’ll find this riddle:
A Devil with a prize, lured the animals two
To his boat all shiny and new
Who would float and who would sink?
Asked the Devil with a wink
The Moose went splash, the Deer sailed on
But which one of them was therefore gone?
Place the Deer Doll on the boat, the Moose Doll in the water/waves, and the Trickster Doll on the prize/jewels.
This will cause one of the bumper boats to capsize, allowing the one with the charm on it to float to the nearby dock. Grab it to acquire the Mr. Drippy charm, which increases your damage when you also have low health.
Ranger Cabin Nursery Rhyme solution
Head to the Ranger Cabin area on the western part of the map once you’ve lowered the flooding in Watery. First you’ll need to take down the Taken Wolves in the area. Then go inside from the back and head upstairs into the bedroom. Grab the Maiden Doll and the Monster Doll on the dresser, then head back to the backyard of the cabin.
You’ll see the Nursery Rhyme sitting on the ground. Here’s the riddle you’ll need to solve:
A young Woman eager and smart
Ventured into the woods, the beasts’ lair
The King of the Forest stole her heart
And together they now live, without a care
Place the Maiden Doll on the tree and the Bear Doll on the heart.
This will solve the riddle and spawn a trail of ooze leading back up to the bedroom. Follow it to get the FBC charm, which increases your damage when enemies don’t know where you are.
Downtown Watery Nursery Rhyme solution
You can get to this Nursery Rhyme as soon as you’ve collected the screwdriver from Coffee World, but it makes more sense to wait until you’re on your way out of town. Head into the area marked “Downtown Watery” on your map and go to the trailer north of the Suomi Hall. Use your screwdriver to pop the lock off and head inside. Make sure to read all the documents from the FBC in here, as they’re both very interesting and will give you more items to place on your case board.
You need the Trickster and Maiden Dolls here, which you can collect from the Lighthouse and Ranger Cabin.
Head to the room on the left side of the trailer once you walk in the door. Here’s the rhyme you’ll need to solve:
There once was a faithful Girl
At home she stayed and there she prayed
For her Lover to return
But he collected fair maidens just as he did
Their stolen riches and broken hearts
Place the Maiden Doll on the house and the Trickster Doll on the jewelry.
This will solve the riddle and create a trail leading back outside. Grab another Coffee Mug (saves you from a death) charm out of the mailbox.
This rhyme is one of the few that doesn’t spawn any Taken for you to fight, as the town isn’t a combat zone.
Lighthouse Trailer Park Nursery Rhyme solution
Once you have the bolt cutters, you can return to the Lighthouse Trailer Park and open the gate with a lock on it — just across the way and slightly south from Saga’s trailer. Once inside, you’ll find a Nursery Rhyme setup in the room to your left.
Here’s the rhyme:
The Old Man who could not see
Had no children of his own
So he cared for a Fawn not yet grown
For the Deer for him was dear
And filled his life with love
Place the Wise Elder Doll on the eye and the Deer Doll on the heart. Solving this rhyme will spawn a cultist down the hall. Kill it and then walk down to where it was to find the Deerfest Charm, which significantly increases the time it takes for enemy Darkness Shields to regenerate.
Bright Falls Nursery Rhymes
There are only four Nursery Rhymes to solve in Bright Falls, and all of them are west of the town itself, in the Bunker Woods area. You’ll need to complete the Valhalla Nursing Home section of the game and get the bolt cutters in order to reduce the flooding and reveal three of the Nursery Rhymes in Bright Falls.
Northern Bunker Woods Nursery Rhyme solution
Before you reach the Valhalla Nursing Home, north of the safe zone in Bunker Woods, you’ll find a Nursery Rhyme up on a rather busy bluff — it also houses a Cult Stash.
Here’s the rhyme it wants you to solve:
Mother, may I go outside, may I run and play?
I say to you my Daughter dear, go outside and play
But only in the light of day and only ‘round the trees so grown
Never near the lake, my child, and never may you drown
Place the Mother Doll on the house and the Child Doll on the tree. This will solve the riddle and knock some toys over. Follow the path back toward the safe house and you’ll run into the Lantern Charm, which increases your flashlight charges.
Ranger Station Nursery Rhyme solution
Once you finish the Valhalla Nursing Home section, make your way west and then south, toward the Bright Falls Ranger Station. Inside the station itself, in the first floor bedroom, you’ll find a Nursery Rhyme.
Here’s the puzzle you’ll need to solve:
A child needs their Mother to keep them safe
And a home as their hiding place
Because outside the Monsters roam and chase
When they ring your doorbell, don’t yell
Don’t tell them to go away
Give them treats and pray
They won’t rock your house down to the ground
Place the Monster Doll on the candy and the Child Doll on the house. This will solve the rhyme, but you’ll need to do a little extra work to spawn the Charm. Open the front door to the Ranger Station, then go upstairs and open the bathroom door. This will spawn a Coffee Mug Charm (gives you second life if you die, but breaks when used) on the bed.
Beach Nursery Rhyme solution
East of the Ranger Station, you’ll find a beach once the flooding goes down. It’s a pretty small area, and the Nursery Rhyme takes up a good chunk of it, so it’s tough to miss.
Here’s the Nursery Rhyme it wants you to solve:
To the beach a Child went wandering
Pretty, shiny rocks she’s gathering
But from the water a Monster rose
A horrible beast with a pointy nose
A flapping wing and dragging toes!
But the Child was wrong, it was her Mother all along
On a boat grabbing a towel that’s already gone
Place the Monster Doll on the waves, the Child Doll on the jewelry, and the Mother Doll on the boat. This will spawn some footsteps on the beach that lead you to the Valhalla Nursing Home Charm, which increases the effectiveness of painkillers and trauma pads. However, it also spawns two of those horrible, twisty Taken monsters, so take care as you collect your prize.
Dock Nursery Rhyme solution
Once the flooding is down and you have the bolt cutters, head to Billie’s Boat Yard near the edge of Bunker Woods and Bright Falls itself. On the dock just by the gate that leads into town, you’ll find this area’s final Nursery Rhyme.
Here’s the puzzle it asks you to solve:
Five little Monsters out on the sea
Competing to see who the winner will be
They rocked their boats to find out who floats
Until one little monster did fall
Mama called out to the Sea and cried
And the Sea she replied
“On the bottom they will rot if they will not stop rocking their boats.”
Place the Monster Doll on the boat and the Mother Doll on the water. Solving this Nursery Rhyme spawns a lot of Taken in the boat yard area — which, of course, is where you’ll need to go to pick up the Anchor Charm, which gives your flashlight boost a chance to stun enemies. Head into the boatyard and look for the area where people push boats into the water. Clear out the Taken and then grab your Charm off the ground.
Father doll and final Nursery Rhyme solution at Witchfinder’s Station
Once you solve your final rhyme, you’ll find a FBC case near where you find the Charm. If you open the case you’ll find the Father Doll, which is essential for solving the final Nursery Rhyme. With the Father Doll in hand, return to Witchfinder’s Station in northern Cauldron Lake.
When you arrive, you’ll hear Dr. Campbell reading a rhyme out loud. If you’re a visual learner, this can make this rhyme very difficult to solve, so we’ve written out a transcription for you:
On our Hero, the faraway Father still kept an eye,
And told her not to stand out in the light too bright
While the loving Mother and her Hatchling only tried to survive
When a tricky Witch opened a way into the dark lake,
Our Hero, against all caution, did a bold step take,
Away from the Sun which would make, her Blind to all that she could see.
Unlike previous Nursery Rhymes, the place mats for your dolls are scattered around the house, and there are way more signs than you’ll end up using. To solve this riddle, you need to place five dolls in five locations:
- Father Doll on the eye, which is in the living room next to the desks
- Hero Doll on the sun, which is in the first floor bedroom
- Mother Doll on the heart, which is in the kitchen
- Child on the egg, which is in the upstairs playpen
- Trickster on the waves, which is in the upstairs bathroom
Once you’ve placed all five dolls, Dr. Campbell’s message will stop repeating and he’ll start talking to you through the radio. After a short chat, you’ll need to use your flashlight to break some darkness orbs that appear around the desk. Pick up the final Charm on the table to expand your bracelet to be able to hold a fourth charm — very useful!
With this final Nursery Rhyme solved, you can add your evidence to the wall and put this side quest to bed. Case closed.