In many ways, Control is as much a follow-up to Remedy's Alan Wake as it is a totally new IP, but the latest "AWE" DLC has confirmed it outright. The base game contains oodles of Easter eggs hinting at a grander interconnected universe. The AWE DLC adds more Alan Wake content to the experience and even concludes an Easter egg that's been a year in the making.
Here's how you find the hidden Easter egg and earn the game's best gear in the process.
The origins of the Easter egg
During Control's base game, players must traverse the Ashtray Maze during a mission close to the game's climax, during which the song "Take Control" plays. In Control's canon, this song is by a band called Old Gods of Asgard, who also appeared in the Alan Wake. The band's two lead members, Odin and Tor Anderson, have supernatural abilities, believed to be gained from drinking moonshine made from the water in Cauldron Lake. (This is the location of the cabin at the focus of Alan Wake.) Their abilities let them bend reality using their songs, which they once used to defeat the Dark Presence that persists throughout Alan Wake.
While primarily a metal/rock-themed banger that was used to close out Control, a portion of "Take Control" featured three lyrical chunks in reverse. If restored to a discernable order, you get:
- "In their drunken feverish state, seemed to both profoundly, / the pyramid in the stolen file becomes a spruce tree"
- "A diamond will tell you where 1-19-7-1-18-4-9-19"
- "Landing on a polar star and rushing on to the red room, / find the cord to take you to a secret rendezvous"
If you place the numbers from number two into an A1Z26 cipher you get "Asgard is" ... but that's it. The remainder of this detail remained shrouded in mystery until players the "AWE" DLC.
How to decipher the Easter egg: Line 1
The "In their drunken feverish state" lyric likely refers to the Anderson brothers. The latter half — "the pyramid in the stolen file becomes a spruce tree" — possibly refers to the origins of the Oldest House. The ancient building's owners, the Board, are often represented by a black pyramid.
In "AWE" DLC, it refers to the Investigation Section, a once closed-off area now open due to the pyramid's wishes. After fending off Hartman at the Eagle Limited AWE, you'll be taken through an area called "Shifting Passage." Inside, there's a small office area where there will be a painting featuring multiple spruce trees, referencing the lyric's final part.
How to decipher the Easter egg: Line 2
"A diamond will tell you where" followed by a series of numbers makes sense with the proper context in "AWE." From the spruce tree painting, turn around. Now run forward until you reach a destructible wall with a staircase on your left. Destroy the wall and fly through an office space flipped on its side that's covered in spruce paintings. You'll find a radio playing "Take Control," reminding you of the numbers it mentioned. Destroy the wall ahead of the radio to find a diamond-shaped hole ahead.
As you can guess, this refers to the "A diamond will tell you where." lyric. After emerging from the diamond, you'll find a clock you can interact with.
You'll have input every single number from the song, but by converting military time to a.m. and p.m. time.
The digits given in the song are 1-19-7-1-18-4-9-19, so that becomes 1-7-7-1-6-4-9-7.
If you make any mistakes, the sequence will reset, but once you succeed, the floor will open up.
How to decipher the Easter egg: Line 3
The final lyric reads: "Landing on a polar star and rushing on to the red room, / find the cord to take you to a secret rendezvous."
After dropping through the hole, you'll land on the polar star referenced in the lyric. Continue through a red room where you'll have to fight some Hiss before proceeding.
Then you can pull a light switch cord three times to take a trip to the Oceanview Motel featured in the base game. You can find a set of keys on a desk in the final room next to a radio playing "Take Control." (When you pick up the keys, you'll get a new personal mod, allowing you to restore health upon evading.)
When you go to leave the hotel, you'll finally see an abbreviated version of the new Alan Wake cutscene which describes what the Anderson brothers did after the events of Alan Wake. To see the full thing, you'll have to check the cutscene in your records. There, it'll be a full two minutes of Alan Wake typing out the events while also providing the voiceover.
You can also watch it below, starting at 3:54.
What does the new scene mean?
In the new scene, we learn what happened to the Old Gods of Asgard and Alan's literary agent, Barry Wheeler. The Old Gods of Asgard continued to party hard throughout their twilight years before Wheeler forced them to stop, as their lives were starting to appear in jeopardy from all the partying.
Likely, this scene is more of a way to tie up a loose end, so the next Remedy game can deal with Alan Wake and Jesse directly. Who wants a story to be bogged down by prior narrative commitments?
Control and both expansions are available now.