Once you’ve survived the first major boss fight in Alan Wake 2, the northern part of the woods around Cauldron Lake becomes available to explore. Here, you’ll discover one of the many side quests in the game; puzzles themed around Nursery Rhymes, drawn on the ground in chalk and manipulated via handmade dolls.
Even if you search Cauldron Lake high and low, there will always be one Nursery Rhyme missing here. Once you’ve found and solved every puzzle in all three of the main locations around Bright Falls, though, you can return to Cauldron Lake for a special reward.
The first Nursery Rhyme can be found after the flooding recedes at Cauldron Lake. Travel west along the path to the lake, then take the newly-revealed northern route to Streamside.
Shortly, you’ll see a picnic area on your left. Read the note on the ground, then collect the Crow Doll from the picnic table.
Return to the chalk drawings where you found the note and place the Crow doll on the sun. A crow will land on the picnic table, leaving the Hammer Charm for you to collect. This increases your stagger rate against enemies!
Take the Crow Doll back before leaving – you’ll need it again. You can also stop by the Case Board to start investigating the Nursery Rhymes with the info you’ve collected so far.
At the Witchfinder’s Station, read the Nursery Rhyme in the front yard, then go inside. You’ll need to use your flashlight to see anything.
Go upstairs and read the document in the office to the left, then go to the playroom on the right. Collect the Hero and Wolf Dolls from the floor, and read the file on the desk. Put everything onto your Case Board, then go back outside.
Go to the chalk drawings; place the Hero Doll on the boat and the Wolf Doll on the tree. Wolf tracks will appear, leading back into the house. Follow them up to the playroom, where you’ll be able to collect the Coffee Mug Charm. This gives you a second chance if your health drops to zero, then breaks.
Once again, be sure to take the Hero and Wolf Dolls back before you leave.
The Private Cabin contains a Break Room that you can use to save once you turn on the generator. On the opposite side of the yard from the generator is another Nursery Rhyme.
This puzzle requires the dolls from the previous two. Place the Crow Doll on the egg, the Wolf Doll on the house, and the Hero Doll on the heart.
You’ll start to hear a crow in the distance; leave the cabin and take the trail to the left. In the small pond nearby, a birdhouse will have fallen, revealing the Kalevala Knights Charm, which enhances Hand Flares.
Have your shotgun at the ready – a wolf is now prowling the area as well. If you’re careful, you can evade it without a fight.
The Rental Cabins in Cauldron Lake have a Nursery Rhyme hidden in Cabin Four, to the left of the entrance. Go through the cabin directly in front of you and duck under the log to the left to reach it. You’ll hear the telltale signal noise as you approach.
The puzzle is just inside the front door; to complete it, you’ll need the Monster Doll on the shelf next to the TV.
Place the Hero Doll on the Jewelry, the Monster Doll on the Egg, and the Crow Doll on the Eye. You can also find a clue about the nature of the Nursery Rhymes by checking the writing desk on the right.
When you leave the cabin after solving the puzzle, a Hammer Taken will emerge from the cabin across the way. Defeat him, then go inside the building that he came from to find a Coffee Charm.
Final Nursery Rhyme
The final Nursery Rhyme appears at Witchfinder Station after you’ve found all the others in each location. When you complete the last of the normal puzzles, an FBC briefcase will appear along with the usual reward Charm.
Take the Father Doll from the briefcase and return to Witchfinder Station at Cauldron Lake. As you approach, you’ll hear the final Rhyme broadcast on a loop from the nearby radio.
The usual Rhyme drawings are scattered throughout the building, so you’ll need to find the correct ones and place the appropriate dolls:
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.
The Eye is to the right of the entrance on the first floor, near the fireplace. Place the Father Doll there.
The Heart is in the kitchen, near the rear entrance to the building. Place the Mother Doll there.
The Hatchling is in the playpen upstairs and to the right. Place the Child Doll there.
The Water is in the second floor bathroom, to the right of the stairs. Place the Trickster Doll there.
The Sun is in the first floor bedroom, across from the fireplace and to the left. Place the Hero Doll there.
When all the Dolls are in place, the transmission on the radio will change. Answer it and listen to the person on the other end. When he’s finished, use the flashlight to destroy the Darkness Barrier that appears around the radio.
You’ll receive an upgrade to Saga’s Charm Bracelet, which lets her equip a fourth Charm. Use it to get another passive bonus, or equip a Coffee Mug Charm to get an extra life without losing any of your existing powers!
Next: Alan Wake 2: What Is The Cult Of The Tree?