How to Beat Mulligan & Thornton (Boss Fight)

Deputies Thornton and Mulligan become corrupted by the forces of shadow haunting Alan Wake 2 and emerge as two bosses you must beat in a grueling fight. These people have been empowered by supernatural forces and are a massive challenge for Saga to overcome. Bringing some light into the dark forest where these two are is the only way to take down these former officers turned cult members.

The fight against Mulligan and Thornton is the final section in the game’s third section, titled “Return: Chapter 3. This portion of the story sees you give chase against the cult fanatics into Watery, one of the three maps you can explore for items and collectibles in Alan Wake 2. Once you pursue them deep into the woods, you will find both bosses guarding a collection of dark bulbs causing corruption.

Related: Alan Wake 2 Ending Explained (In Detail)

How To Defeat Thornton in Phase 1

Alan Wake 2 Fighting Thorton Cult Member in Phase 1 of Boss Fight

This boss fight has three phases, with the first taking place against Thornton, the officer wielding a sniper rifle on a ledge tinted with red lights. Thornton’s long-range weapon wielded can devastate Saga’s health, killing you in three hits or fewer. The additional small Darkness enemies created by the dark bulbs make it hard to stay alive long enough to figure out what you should be doing at first in Alan Wake 2.

Related: All Alan Wake 2 Weapons, Ranked Least To Most Useful

Your objective is to destroy every dark bulb granting Thornton their powers in Alan Wake 2 while trying to avoid shots from the sniper. You will know when Thornton is about to fire by the sound of him cocking the rifle before aiming toward Saga. The cult member disguised as a police deputy will fire twice in quick succession before having to reload, so make sure to dodge both shots by hiding behind the large rocks in the area.

Saga can stagger Thornton by aiming her flashlight toward the corrupted cop, but since this causes the fake officer to climb further up to another area, you can only do this once during the first phase.

One of the best ways to deal with this phase is to use a weapon like the Crossbow in Alan Wake 2 to strike back at Thornton when you have an opening. This will cause the boss to be stunned for a short time, letting you aim your flashlight at the dark bulbs to destroy them through concentrated light. There are six dark bulbs to destroy, but you will encounter a wrinkle to your plans after you take out about half of them.

How To Defeat Mulligan in Phase 2

Alan Wake 2 Defeating Mulligan in Second Phase of Chapter 3 Boss Fight

Once three or more bulbs are destroyed, Mulligan emerges from the well in the center of this area and chases Saga on the ground. In contrast to Thornton, Mulligan uses a Shotgun with highly damaging firepower at close range as he slowly walks toward you. You can no longer stay in one place while trying to break the remaining dark bulbs, but there are still weaknesses of the new boss you can take advantage of in Alan Wake 2.

For starters, you have a better way to fight back against Mulligan by using your own weapon to shoot and stagger the boss. Enough hits will stop Mulligan’s pursuit for a short time in Alan Wake 2 as you attempt to reach the last couple of dark bulbs. Keep in mind that Thornton continues to fire shots at Saga, continuing to be a thorn in your side even if you manage to stop Mulligan for a little bit.

One of the best weapons against Mulligan is the Shotgun in Alan Wake 2, which can stagger the boss in one or two hits. Make sure to conserve your limited ammo as you use this weapon.

During phases 1 and 2, both Mulligan and Thornton cannot be killed, no matter how many times you stun them with light or bullets. The only way to reach the final phase of the boss fight in Alan Wake 2 involves breaking the few dark bulbs still scattered around the forest. When you destroy the last sources of darkness, face the well again for one final effort.

How To Defeat Mulligan & Thornton in Phase 3

Alan Wake 2 Defeating Mulligan & Thorton in Phase 3 of Chapter 3 Boss Fight

The final phase begins when Mulligan and Thornton arise from the well, now vulnerable and mortal, without the help of the dark bulbs. All Saga must do here is shoot both enemies until they are beaten, which is a bit easier said than done. Ensure you haven’t spent the ammo from all your weapons; otherwise, you will have no real way of taking down either cult member without Saga losing all her health in Alan Wake 2.

Thornton tries to get higher ground again, making him the prime target to go after first, while Mulligan approaches slowly. The threat of Thornton’s rifle makes them arguably a bigger threat, too, so chase him down and shoot the boss until he goes down in Alan Wake 2. Explosives are incredibly useful during this phase since you can use the blast from propane tanks to injure both Mulligan and Thornton at the same time.

When Thornton fights on the ground, he can quickly dodge away from Saga to get into a position where he can fire his sniper. The boss will usually duck behind Mulligan to create an obstacle you must overcome.

The best way to deal with Mulligan is to simply have more health than the boss or use a longer-range weapon to keep you out of range from his shotgun. Without Thornton, Mulligan poses far less of a threat in Alan Wake 2 as long as you stay back. Be careful not to run forward to deal extra damage with a close-range weapon whenever Mulligan is stunned since the boss can recover quickly to shoot his weapon.

Learning how to beat Mulligan and Thornton in Alan Wake 2 will let you eventually succeed in the boss fight and reveal the next chapter of the engaging story.

  • Alan Wake 2 Game Poster

    Alan Wake 2

    Alan Wake

    PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox Series X/S


    Remedy Entertainment

    Epic Games

    Survival Horror


    Alan Wake, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare

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