When players descend into the madness of Alan Wake 2 this fall, they won’t just be playing as the game’s titular grumpy novelist again. They’ll also step into the shoes of a new co-protagonist, Saga Anderson. This surprise was teased in the recent story trailer we saw for Alan Wake 2, but even the most diehard Wake fans won’t recognize Anderson–she didn’t exist in the original game.

Why, then, is she playing such a prominent role in the long-awaited sequel, and who exactly is she? GameSpot sat down with creative director Sam Lake, performance director Hannah Price, and actress Melanie Liburd, whose likeness and voice give the character life, to get to know Saga, where she’s come from, and why her place in the story is more important than even she realizes when she arrives in Bright Falls.

“We don’t have that many playable characters through almost 30 years of Remedy history,” Lake said. “[Creating a new protagonist] is a big event and we take that very seriously.” The idea of Alan Wake 2, Lake told me, has changed several times over the last 13 years, and the team started to think about a sequel with multiple playable characters “a few versions ago.”

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