This isn’t going to be some shining profile on Ahti. It’s more like an appreciation of how Remedy Entertainment has made him a connection between the games in their universe. A friendly face with a mop and a bucket who succeeds in being the thread of the Remedy Connected Universe. A recurring character can feel out of place, or they can become a baked-in part of the experience of a franchise like Cid. Remedy’s Ahti is always the seemingly benevolent supernatural Finnish janitor, and by always, I mean between Control and Alan Wake II. However, take this piece as a call for more Ahti in every Remedy game going forward.
First appearing in Control, Ahti is the janitor of the Oldest House, a Place of Power in the game. Ahti looks like a janitor, sure, but his identity is confounding, with his own number of powers including telepathy and the fact that he can appear anywhere. While we knew that Alan Wake II would be tied to Control, the use of Ahti as a core piece of the game’s story and a game mechanic offers up a path forward for connected universes in gaming and starts worldbuilding for a wider world that Remedy games are situated in.
Our friendly janitor is one way and continued through the inclusion of Mr. Door (referenced in Control), Shawn Ashmore’s inclusion in the game (the lead in Quantum Break), and the wider Federal Burea of Control (FBC) operation in Bright Falls tasked with combating the and containing paranormal threats (another Control link). While many of the items on this list can become easter eggs, Ahti is more than that.
In Alan Wake II, you play a narrative with dual protagonists. Saga and Alan balance the story across Bright Falls and the Dark Place, working together to solve the mystery of the Cult of the Tree, the ritual murders in the town, and Alan’s connection to it all. While playing as Alan for the first time, you meet Ahti, singing in a janitorial closet. Calling you Tom, he speaks with dialogue that doesn’t exactly make sense just yet. Much like in Control, your first meeting with Ahti sends you toward the pathway out of the studio. Pointing you to the basement, you follow, hoping to break the loop.
Ahti is definitely featured less in Alan Wake II than in Control, but his mop bucket becomes the way you switch between Alan in The Dark Place and Saga in Bright Falls, making Ahti’s role in the game key to how it functions. Outside of his supernatural mop bucket, Ahti also makes an appearance to Saga, first as he sings karaoke to “It’s Nightless Night” on a stage in a bar in Watery, once a singer in the band Ahti and the Janitors. Then, Saga gets the chance to talk with Ahti, a resident of the Valhalla nursing home, during The Old Gods chapter of the game.
While Ahti is sparse in Alan Wake II, he is vital to setting the foundation for the Remedy Connected Universe of games. He isn’t just there to be an Easter Egg. Ahti is in Alan Wake II to be the bridge between Saga and Alan, even if we don’t see him much of the time. But we need more of Ahti, all of the time, or at the very least a narrative driving or game mechanic connection between games to add more than Leonardo DiCaprio meme reaction to the screen. Is Ahti the connective tissue for the future of the Remedy Connected Universe? Maybe, and man, I hope he is.