Alan Wake 2 – All Nursery Rhymes And Dolls Guide

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Among the secrets that you’ll discover in Alan Wake 2, none are as creepy as Nursery Rhymes and dolls. Each passage is akin to a puzzle and, upon solving it, you’ll notice some spooky and surprising things that happen around you. Our guide discusses all the Nursery Rhymes in Alan Wake 2, as well as the dolls that you can acquire along the way.

All Nursery Rhymes and dolls in Alan Wake 2

The Alan Wake 2 Nursery Rhymes and dolls are first encountered once you’re done with the Return 2 – The Heart chapter. Specifically, after clearing the Overlap encounter, the flood waters in Cauldron Lake will recede. This allows you to venture to the northwestern part of the zone. You’ll then spot something odd: drawings on the ground, a note left behind, a couple of cameras, and several containers. It seems someone is conducting an experiment of sorts.

The Nursery Rhyme passages refer to dolls that are found near the puzzles that mention them. The passages in each rhyme refer to the dolls that you need to place on the correct positions/drawings. The first letter of the required dolls are often capitalized to give you a hint.

If you make a mistake, Saga will remark that something’s wrong. Do it right, however, and the screen will flicker. You’ll likely notice shadowy footsteps and markings on the ground, which then lead to special items. Oftentimes, you’ll acquire a charm, which grants passive boons to Saga. Just watch out because there are cases when additional enemies will also spawn.

Dolls are often found near puzzle areas (left), and you then need to place them on the correct spots based on the lines from the rhyme (right).

How to reveal all Nursery Rhyme locations and the final puzzle

Likewise, the Witchfinder’s Station and Ranger Stations scattered in various zones tend to have documents that refer to the “test sites.” Upon reading these, the locations of the Nursery Rhymes in that zone will be marked on your map. Last but not least, once you’ve solved all the Nursery Rhymes in Alan Wake 2, there’s one more puzzle that awaits. We discuss this further in our Witchfinder’s Station Nursery Rhyme guide.

The Ranger Stations in each zone have documents that mark the Nursery Rhyme locations on your map.

Cauldron Lake Nursery Rhymes and Dolls

There are a few Alan Wake 2 Nursery Rhymes and dolls in Cauldron Lake. You can tackle a lot of these early on, though there’s one that requires a bit of progression.

A map showing the locations of the Nursery Rhymes in Cauldron Lake

Nursery Rhyme #1

  • Chapter: Return 2 – The Heart
  • Nursery Rhyme location: Just across the bridge that leads to the northwestern portion of the zone.
  • Dolls: Crow Doll – Found near the puzzle.
  • Solution: Crow Doll – Sun.
  • Reward: Hammer Charm – Attacks stagger enemies more often.
  • Reward location: Pick it up from the nearby table.

Nursery Rhyme #2

  • Chapter: Return 2 – The Heart
  • Nursery Rhyme location: Right next to the Private Cabin save point.
  • Solution: Crow Doll – Egg; Hero Doll – Heart; Wolf Doll – House.
  • Reward: Kalevala Knights Charm – Increases the Hand Flare’s duration and area-of-effect.
  • Reward location: Follow the shadow footsteps leading to the pond.

Nursery Rhyme #3

  • Chapter: Return 2 – The Heart
  • Nursery Rhyme location: Just outside Witchfinder’s Station. Remember this location since you’ll return here much later once you’ve completed all the Nursery Rhyme puzzles.
  • Dolls: Wolf Doll and Hero Doll – Found in a play pen on the second floor.
  • Solution: Wolf Doll – Tree; Hero Doll – Boat.
  • Reward: Coffee Mug Charm – Saves you from death, but shatters in the process.
  • Reward location: Found on the second-floor play area where you picked up the dolls.

Nursery Rhyme #4

  • Chapter: After Return 5 – Old Gods
  • Nursery Rhyme location: Inside one of the buildings in the Rental Cabins area. You need to obtain the Bolt Cutters first, which means completing the Return 5 – Old Gods chapter.
  • Dolls: Father Doll (reward)
  • Solution: Monster Doll – Egg; Crow Doll – Eye; Hero Doll – Jewelry.
  • Reward: Coffee Mug Charm and Father Doll
  • Reward location: A sledgehammer-wielding brute appears. After eliminating this hostile, you’ll notice that the wall leading to the cabin just across from you has been destroyed. Check the shelf to grab the charm. As for the Father Doll, it’s inside a very special container on the floor.

The picnic area (left) is where you’ll likely stumble upon your first Nursery Rhyme puzzle, whereas the Rental Cabins (right) has the penultimate one in Cauldron Lake.

Watery Nursery Rhymes and Dolls

The village of Watery has the most number of Alan Wake 2 Nursery Rhyme puzzles. We’ve split them up into sets. Those in the first set can be completed earlier in the chapter, whereas the others require you to either clear the Overlap encounter just to make the flood waters recede or have the necessary tools.

A map showing the locations of the Nursery Rhymes in Watery

Nursery Rhyme #1A

  • Chapter: Return 3 – Local Girl
  • Nursery Rhyme location: In the clearing seen as you follow the dirt path to the forest.
  • Dolls: Moose Doll and Deer Doll – Found near the puzzle area.
  • Solution: Moose Doll – Tree
  • Reward: Coffee Mug Charm
  • Reward location: At the foot of the large moose statue.

Nursery Rhyme #1B

  • Chapter: Return 3 – Local Girl
  • Nursery Rhyme location: Next to the Radio Tower in the northeastern portion of the map.
  • Solution: Deer Doll – House
  • Reward: Deer Charm – Increases your resistance against being staggered or interrupted.
  • Reward location: Follow the smoke trail and check the deer’s carcass. Watch out because several wolves will spawn.

Nursery Rhyme #1C

  • Chapter: Return 3 – Local Girl
  • Nursery Rhyme location: At the cliffside edge next to Watery’s Lighthouse.
  • Dolls: Wise Elder Doll, Trickster Doll, and Mother Doll – Found at the porch in front of the Lighthouse door.
  • Solution: Wise Elder Doll – Eye; Trickster Doll – Waves
  • Reward: Lighthouse Charm – Increases the maximum amount of health stored in Safe Havens.
  • Reward location: You have to follow the shadowy trail from the Lighthouse all the way back down to the roadside area. There, you’ll see a fallen tree trunk. Crouch past it and pick up this charm on the sandy shore.

The reward for the Lighthouse Nursery Rhyme requires you to head back down the mountain path. However, you might need to wait until the flood waters recede just to traverse the area.

Nursery Rhyme #2A

  • Chapter: Return 3 – Local Girl
  • Nursery Rhyme location: Once you’ve beaten the Overlap encounter in Coffee World and the flood waters have receded, return to Lighthouse Trailer Park and go to the edge of the pier.
  • Dolls: Bear Doll and Child Doll – The Bear Doll is next to a sink, and the Child Doll is on a bench at the pier.
  • Solution: Bear Doll – Candy; Wise Elder Doll – Waves
  • Reward: Coffee World Token Charm – Increases the quantity and quality of resources found.
  • Reward location: Take out the Taken that appears and pick up the item from the sink.

Nursery Rhyme #2B

  • Chapter: Return 3 – Local Girl
  • Nursery Rhyme location: Once the flood waters have receded, check out the pier in Coffee World’s Latte Lagoon area.
  • Solution: Deer Doll – Boat; Moose Doll – Waves; Trickster Doll – Jewelry
  • Reward: Mr. Drippy Charm – Increases damage dealt when you’re low on health.
  • Reward location: One of the flotation devices will move closer to the dock. It has the charm that you can grab.

Nursery Rhyme #2C

  • Chapter: Return 3 – Local Girl
  • Nursery Rhyme location: Once the flood waters have receded, make your way to the Ranger Station to the north of Coffee World.
  • Dolls: Maiden Doll and Monster Doll – Found on a shelf in the second-floor living quarters.
  • Solution: Bear Doll – Heart; Maiden Doll – Tree.
  • Reward: FBC Charm – Increases damage dealt against enemies that haven’t detected you yet.
  • Reward location: Check the bed in the second-floor quarters.

Several areas of the map become accessible once the flood waters have receded, such as the Latte Lagoon ride in Coffee World.

Nursery Rhyme #3A

  • Chapter: After Return 5 – Old Gods
  • Nursery Rhyme location: In Lighthouse Trailer Park, there’s one house that you can’t enter due to the locked gate. However, once you’ve found the Bolt Cutters at the end of Return 5 – Old Gods, you should be able to use it to pry open the gate.
  • Solution: Wise Elder Doll – Eye; Deer Doll – Heart
  • Reward: Deerfest Charm – Significantly increases the time before an enemy’s Darkness Shield regenerates.
  • Reward location: Eliminate the hostile taken that appears and pick up the charm on the dresser.

Nursery Rhyme #3B

  • Chapter: Return 3 – Local Girl or after Return 5 – Old Gods
  • Nursery Rhyme location: In the building with the “Saimi’s Catch of the Day” sign. It’s at the back of the bar in Downtown Watery. The door can be unlocked using the Screwdriver. To be clear, though, we only discovered this Alan Wake 2 Nursery Rhyme location a bit later in the campaign. As such, it might be possible to solve the puzzle as early as Return 3 – Local Girl.
  • Solution: Maiden Doll – House; Trickster Doll – Jewelry.
  • Reward: Coffee Mug Charm
  • Reward location: Found in the mailbox outside the building.

We only realized that there was a Nursery Rhyme in this building in Downtown Watery a bit later in the campaign.

Bright Falls Nursery Rhymes and Dolls

The town of Bright Falls only has a select few Nursery Rhymes and in Alan Wake 2. You can tackle all of them as you’re going through Saga’s No Chance and Old Gods chapters.

A map showing the locations of the Nursery Rhymes in Bright Falls

Nursery Rhyme #1

  • Chapter: Return 4 – No Chance
  • Nursery Rhyme location: On a ridge due north of the hut/save point.
  • Solution: Mother Doll – House; Child Doll – Tree
  • Reward: Lantern Charm – Adds one charge to Saga’s flashlight.
  • Reward location: Follow the shadowy footsteps and watch out for the Taken Wolf that appears.

Nursery Rhyme #2

  • Chapter: Return 5 – Old Gods
  • Nursery Rhyme location: After completing the Overlap encounter in Valhalla Nursing Home, you can travel along the hilly woods to the south. The path will then lead you to the Ranger’s Station, and you can pry the door open using the Screwdriver.
  • Solution: Child Doll – House; Monster Doll – Candy
  • Reward: Coffee Mug Charm
  • Reward location: You’ll notice the shadow markings on the floor. Head outside the door and you’ll see that footsteps lead back inside the house. Go to the bedroom on the second floor to find this charm.

You have to go outside the Ranger Station just to make the shadow footsteps walk back to the second-floor bedroom. Now that’s just spooky!

Nursery Rhyme #3

  • Chapter: Return 5 – Old Gods
  • Nursery Rhyme location: From the Ranger Station, follow the coastline until you see this Alan Wake 2 Nursery Rhyme.
  • Solution: Mother Doll – Boat; Child Doll – Jewelry; Monster Doll – Waves
  • Reward: Valhalla Nursing Home Charm – Increases the effectiveness of Painkillers and Trauma Pads.
  • Reward location: Several Taken creatures will emerge from the shore. Take them out so you can loot the charm safely.

Nursery Rhyme #4

  • Chapter: Return 5 – Old Gods
  • Nursery Rhyme location: Billie’s Boat Yard can only be accessed after the flood waters have receded. You’ll see this Nursery Rhyme on the pier.
  • Solution: Mother Doll – Waves; Monster Doll – Boat
  • Reward: Anchor Charm – Chance to stun an enemy when you activate your flashlight’s boost.
  • Reward location: The shadowy footsteps will lead back to the yard. Watch out because roughly five Taken enemies will appear. You can then pick this up from one of the dilapidated boats nearby.

Beware of Taken creatures that spawn when you’re trying to get the rewards for Nursery Rhymes #3 (left) and #4 (right).

That does it for our Alan Wake 2 Nursery Rhymes and dolls guide. Don’t forget that solving all of these puzzles leads to one final secret, which we discuss in our Witchfinder’s Station guide. Lastly, since you’re roaming around looking for collectibles, you might as well check out our guides on the Alex Casey Lunchboxes and Cult Stashes.

From Bright Falls to the Dark Place, danger lurks in every corner in Alan Wake 2. Don’t worry because we’ve got everything covered in our guides hub.