Barry Wheeler is Alan Wake’s friend and also his literary agent. He is a very typical New Yorker, high-strung and high-powered. Barry suffers from allergies, including dust, grass, pollen, and small towns. Barry is a good friend, and despite his allergies and his protests, he travels to Bright Falls when he senses that Alan Wake needs him. He is the first person Alan relates the strange events to, and initially, Barry doesn’t believe him. However, Barry soon witnesses the Darkness ripping through the forest, and Taken Birds attacked him. He survives this encounter. He also appears in the DLC’s in the form of Imaginary Barry.
See this headlamp?! It’s like a superpower! I can just look at one of those things and they die! It’s my flaming eye of Mordor.Barry Wheeler
Barry Wheeler was born in New York and has been Alan’s best friend since childhood, and as Alan wrote as a teenager, Barry became his literary agent. For years, Barry has helped Alan write, and even though Alan suffers from his writer’s block, Barry still tries to poke ideas out of him. Alan looks at Barry as a true friend as he has been there for him from an early age. Also, Alan has said that Barry has never let him down in the Manuscript page called “My Best Friend” from the story, “Return.”
Barry is a good friend, and despite his allergies and his protests, he travels to Bright Falls when he senses that Alan Wake needs him. He is the first person Alan relates the strange events to, and initially, Barry doesn’t believe him. However, he soon witnesses The Darkness ripping through the forest and sending possessed Ravens to attack him.
Events of Alan Wake
When Alan and Alice are on the boat to Bright Falls, Barry calls Alan to check up on him, to ask if he’s settled in yet. He smells money and asks if the town has got his “creative juices flowing.” He also cares about Alan’s privacy and offers to intervene if the locals are hassling him too much. After a small conversation, they both hang up.
Barry’s first bodily appearance is at the police station, having come to Bright Falls to help Alan after a week of not answering his messages and to see what is going on. After threatening to “sic his lawyers” on Dr. Emil Hartman and Sheriff Sarah Breaker, he leaves the station with Alan. After hearing Alan Wake’s story of what has happened in Bright Falls, he thinks Alan has gone crazy. He decides to let Alan follow through with his plans after hearing Alice’s kidnapping.
Later on, he believes in Alan’s story when a large flock of Taken birds attacks him. Alan manages to save him, and he apologizes to Alan for “thinking he had a psychotic episode.” Deciding to help his friend, he finds all the information about Cauldron Lake and all the strange happenings in the town. As the threat of the Dark Presence becomes more and more present, he arms himself with Christmas lights, a headlamp, and a flare gun.
We last see Barry with Sheriff Breaker and Cynthia Weaver in “The Well-Lit Room.” He sheds some tears when Alan leaves to fight The Dark Presence and save Alice Wake. Barry wishes Alan good luck and stays in the room. After Episode 6, Barry’s whereabouts are still unknown.
Barry does not appear in either of the “special” chapters, The Signal and The Writer, which occur entirely in the Dark Place. Still, Alan is accompanied at times by “Imaginary Barry,” a figment of his imagination in the form and personality of Barry Wheeler.
Events of Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
The game doesn’t give many details about Barry’s role. All that is known is that he is now the manager to the Old Gods of Asgard. We first see him sleeping in a motel room somewhere in Arizona before the camera switches to the TV for an episode of Night Springs. In Episode 4 of Alan Wake, Barry had said (sarcastically) that once everything was over, he was thinking of taking on the Old Gods, maybe by selling some merchandise and releasing a new single. After the credits, the TV turns static, and Barry wakes up saying, “Al?”
- Barry is voiced by Fred Berman, who also voiced Vinnie Gognitti in Max Payne 2: Fall of Max Payne, which is another Remedy Entertainment game.
- He keeps himself well informed and regularly researches on the internet, a habit he had formed while preparing for interviews.
- In Episode 5, Barry acquires a headlamp and Christmas lights (this maybe a reference to the movie Pitch Black where characters also protect them selfs with lights against the photosensitive creatures) from the local Bright Falls general store. He refers to the former as his “Flaming Eye of Mordor”.
- In Episode 2, when Alan leaves Barry inside the cabin, the player can choose to turn off the lights inside before leaving. Barry takes it as a sarcastic joke, saying “Real funny, Al! Real funny! Ha ha! Thank you! I’ll just sit here in the dark until you come back. Or until I get eaten by a grue.” This is a reference to the text adventure game entitled ‘Zork’. In the game, a grue was a foreboding creature that always lurked in dark environments.
- Barry has gained a following of fans who worship him in a silly manner. These include Barry Wheeler Facts (homage to Chuck Norris jokes), a new religion known as “Wheelerism”, poetry of Barry, and “Questions of the Day” (questions that ask people what Barry would do in certain situations).
- Barry appears to have a thing for Rose Marigold. He calls her many “pet names” in the first few episodes. He also states he “loves” her because she is giving Alan some manuscript pages.
- Barry may be inspired by Eddie Kaspbrack and Ben Hascom, two of the main characters of Stephen King’s novel It. In the novel, Kaspbrack suffered from health problems and sneezing (something Barry does often), while Hascom suffered from a weight problem (like Barry).
- Barry’s favorite weapon is the flare gun.
- Barry makes an appearance in Remedy’s 2011 iOS game Death Rally as well as in the PC remake of the same name.
- Barry shares a few similarities with Emil Hartman — they both assist a writer and both feel that the writers partners are negatively influencing them (in this case Alice and Barbara).
- There is an Avatar item of his jacket.