In Return 2: The Heart, the second part of the first chapter, Saga Anderson returns to Cauldron Lake looking for trouble. The supernatural has suddenly become real, and she needs to investigate to bring down a dangerous enemy. Here’s how to find Nightingale’s Heart in Alan Wake 2.
How to Get Nightingale’s Heart in Alan Wake 2
This guide involves significant spoilers for the first chapter of Alan Wake 2.
Return 2 is the point I was talking about in my review, where Alan Wake 2 goes from a story about eccentric detectives to full-fledged survival horror. Now you’re back in Cauldron Lake in pursuit of Nightingale, who’s not as dead as he looked despite the cardioectomy, and the woods are intermittently crawling with Taken hunters.
Nightingale’s heart, which disappeared from the Bright Falls morgue, turns out to be the key to your success, but it’s not remotely obvious where to find it. Once you’ve exhausted the handful of clues you’ve gotten through your in-game Goals menu, you may be left at a loss as to how to proceed.
How to Make the Heart Appear
What AW2 doesn’t tell you is that this part of the mission is effectively an unlabeled tutorial. You can simply wander around the woods for hours without finding the Heart, but you can trigger its appearance by using the case board in Saga’s Mind Place.
Specifically, if you use the Cases command while looking at Saga’s case board, you can start a new file about the Cult of the Deer. This allows you to place a number of previously-unavailable pieces of evidence into the Cult’s case file, including Saga’s thoughts on Nightingale’s heart.
If you visit the abandoned general store near the Cauldron Lake murder site, you can inspect the table full of supplies to gain a new piece of evidence that fits into the Cult file.
Saga’s conclusion is that if a large group waited in ambush to kill Nightingale in particular, and she found signs of long-time habitation inside the old general store, then it’s entirely likely that the Cult of the Deer was using it as a hideout. If the missing Heart’s anywhere around here, it’s there. Put enough of the evidence together, and Saga will have a breakthrough: she needs to go back to the general store.
Related: How to Open the Safe in Coffee World
Returning to the General Store for the Heart
At this point, if you do so, Saga will get bushwhacked by a giant Cultist the next time you go back to the store. If you go in there and get jump-scared by a deer, then the Cultist will burst through the wall as you approach the back room.
Once he’s dealt with, this has the useful side effect of letting you reach the locked back room through the hole in the wall, where you can use your flashlight to reveal the Heart in the ice cream cooler. While you’re here, you can also grab the sawed-off shotgun.
To continue with the game, return to the Witch’s Ladle guideboard and use the Heart on its hole, as indicated by the manuscript page Saga found in the morgue.
That’s all you need to know about where to find Nightingale’s Heart in Alan Wake 2. For more details, tips, and tricks, such as how to find the crossbow or where to find the Lighthouse key, click those links or check out our dedicated guides hub.