The first episodes of "Bright Falls," a series of short films that prequel the long-awaited Xbox 360 game Alan Wake, are full to the brim with Twin Peaks references as the first two of six debut at BrightFalls.com on Tuesday, May 4.

In a 32-second trailer for the series a reporter named Jake arrives in the lakeside town Bright Falls, and is met by the curious stares of local residents in the logging community's social hub, a diner, just as in Twin Peaks.

A prominent guitar line reverberates throughout the sequence, recalling Angelo Badalamenti's theme from Twin Peaks and David Lynch's soundtrack choices in Wild at Heart, framing the clip's atmosphere as much as character or environment are permitted to.

Shots of the town and its remote surrounds are jigsawed into a collage of characters reacting to peculiar situations, and there's certainly something shifting below the surface of Bright Falls - but whether the townspeople themselves know what that is remains unclear.

The first two episodes reveal a logging town whose idiosyncratic populace leaves Jake feeling unsettled, especially after a meeting with a particularly enigmatic inhabitant.

Like the video game's main character, Jake finds himself disoriented and confused by a sudden onset of amnesia, leafing through interview notes that are tantalizingly dangled before viewers' eyes, inviting them to pause the video and delve further into Bright Falls' dark mystery.

The team behind Alan Wake, a game that's been five years in the making, are known to have mined an extensive media library crammed with TV series, films, and novels during the development period.

They have not been shy about the influence of Lynch's TV series - the Bright Falls series even starts with the image of a body bag being placed on a lakeside beach - nor have they failed to mention Lost or Stephen King's books when asked about other inspirations.

Brightfalls.com is the central site hosting the first two episodes, as well as new entries on May 8 and 14, and finishing with a double-header on May 18, the day of Alan Wake's North American release. The game comes out in Europe four days earlier, on May 14.

The videos are also being hosted on the Xbox 360's online service, and though a staggered global reveal over the course of a week and a half had been anticipated, the episodes are now available to Xbox Live members in most regions.

Useful links: Brightfalls.com; Machinima's YouTube channel hosting Episodes 1 & 2 in HD; the Bright Falls trailer on YouTube.

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