|“||I'm Doctor Emil Hartman. I would like to invite you to stay at the Cauldron Lake Lodge, Mr. Wake||„|
|~ Emil Hartman|
During the latter half of the video game Alan Wake, the writer appears under the unwanted "care" of Emil Hartman who runs the Cauldron Lake Lodge for aiding mentally-troubled artists. True to Alan's suspicions, Hartman has ulterior motives connected to the powers of the Dark Presence residing in the lake itself.
Prior to Alan's arrival in Bright Falls, Hartman had discovered a power residing in Cauldron Lake that responded to the creative output of the artists within range. After Thomas Zane's failed attempt at reviving his lover Barbara Jagger and her transformation as the Dark Presence's avatar, Hartman set up the Lodge, hoping to perhaps create a kind of utopia with the potential creative energy. However, as several manuscript pages point out in the game, Hartman began to take advantage of his patients' mental instability to garner profit and fame from their work.
Not long before Alan's arrival, Hartman speaks with Alan's wife Alice to convince her to bring Alan to Bright Falls to enroll him in the Lodge. Immediately distrusting Hartman, Alan punches him in the nose hard enough to break it. (For the remainder of his appearances, Hartman sports bandages over his nose.) Oddly, Hartman is calm about it.
In Episode 4, "The Truth", Alan comes to in a drug-induced state to be "informed" by Hartman that Alice drowned in Cauldron Lake and that he is having psychotic episodes, creating a story about "false" supernatural entities to cope with her death. Playing along for the time due to the drugs, Alan follows Hartman throughout the Lodge, meeting other patients being "treated" with creative outlets although Alan suspects that they too are just being manipulated by Hartman and his male nurse/enforcer Birch. As the day goes on, Alan is pressed to type more manuscript pages at a typewriter in his room.
During a ruckus downstairs, Alan finds and releases Barry who has been locked in a storage room by Hartman and Birch. Getting access to Hartman's office, Alan retrieves the manuscript pages and his revolver. Hartman appears and attempts to continue the lies until threatened with the gun. Telling Barry to get to a car, Alan holds Hartman at gunpoint until the Dark Presence surges into the room. Alan gets ahead and entraps Hartman in his office, leaving him to be attacked by the Dark Presence.
It is speculated that Hartman is transformed into a Taken at some point though it is noted that the Taken that attacks Alan in the hedge maze outside the Lodge is actually Birch.
In The Signal DLC, Hartman briefly appears as a hallucination, telling Alan that everything was a lie and that Alice is dead, similar to his actions in the main game. In The Writer DLC, one of the Taken entities assumes Hartman's form to attack Alan.