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Red Queen outlineThis article is about the location. For the music piece, see "Vale of Tears (instrumental)".Red Queen outline
Vale of Tears
Vale of Tears
Location Western hemisphere
First appearance * Pool of Tears [AMA]
  • Chapter 1 [AMR]
Dress gained Classic
Series * American McGee's Alice
  • Alice: Madness Returns
Location on map
Vale of Tears map
A new law reigns in this Wonderland, Alice. It's very rough justice all round. We're at risk here. You... be on your guard.
Cheshire Cat to Alice[1]

The Vale of Tears was an area of Wonderland that Alice Liddell visited. It was a floating valley with a river running through it, which may have been the remnants of the tears Alice shed during her first adventure in Wonderland. After the Dollmaker's arrival and the creation of the Infernal Train, the valley had been corrupted and destroyed.


American McGee's Alice[]

During her quest to find the White Rabbit, Alice had to make[3] and drink a shrinking potion at the Skool, and jumped into a portal which led her to the Vale of Tears.[4]

Pool of Tears - Mock Turtle

Mock Turtle crying about his lost shell.

While traveling through the valley, she found the Mock Turtle crying and shell-less. Turtle did not know where Rabbit was, but said that the Caterpillar would know. In return for Caterpillar's whereabouts, Alice had to retrieve Turtle's shell, which he lost to the Duchess while he was running away from her and her soup pot.[5]

After fighting through the insects and sailing down the river, Alice found Bill McGill outside his former home. He told Alice that the Duchess had taken over his house in order to hide from the Queen of Hearts, who wanted her dead. As the two of them were going to storm into the house, something inside the house scared Bill off, and Alice was sucked in.[2]

Inside the house, Alice came face-to-face with the Duchess, who had become mad from inhaling too much pepper and had turned into a murderous glutton, as she had expressed an interest in making Alice into a "light snack". Since the Duchess was not willing to part with the shell, Alice faced her in combat. After the fight, the pepper became too much for The Duchess and she sneezed so hard her head exploded, killing her.

With the Duchess dead, Bill and Turtle entered the house, and Turtle got his shell back. Keeping his promise, Turtle led Alice down a tunnel into an underwater cavern, which led them to the Wonderland Woods. Bill stayed behind, saying he would get some leeches to get rid of the corpse.[6]

Alice: Madness Returns[]

Alice's return in Vale of Tears

Alice arriving in the valley.

One year later, Alice was released from Rutledge Asylum with a mentally unstable mind. After she had a terrifying hallucination of Pris Witless turning into the Jabberwock, she had a relapse and returned to Wonderland,[7] landing in the Vale of Tears. Although the valley looked peaceful enough, Alice was greeted by the Cheshire Cat, who told her that a new evil reigns in Wonderland.[1]

vale of tears drink me potion area

The Drink Me potion area.

Wandering through the valley, Alice gained her bearings again and learned to jump and float. After bathing in a pool of Drink Me potion, she also learned how to shrink and use Shrink Sense. She also acquired the Vorpal Blade again, after finding it in the corpse of the Jabberwock. Alice met with the Duchess, who had become more pleasant and lost her cannibalistic desires. The Duchess gave Alice her Pepper Grinder to help the latter gather Pig Snouts for her.

Black tears

A statue of Alice crying Ruin.

Further exploration of the area led Alice to see the obvious signs of corruption around the valley. As she left to go to Hatter's Domain, it started to fall apart around her.[8]

When Alice returned to the valley, it had already became the Vale of Doom, a burned, hellish incarnation of itself.[9]


American McGee's Alice[]

The Vale of Tears appeared to be in a continuous morning fog with a gray sky above. The ground was hard and barren, and almost all of the plant life seemed to be dead. It was a very bland and dark-colored place, and ironically the only relatively vibrant color present was in the form of creatures and plants that tried to harm Alice. There was a river that flowed through the valley, and although clean enough for fish, appeared to be cloudy. By the side of the river, there was a crying statue of Alice, a symbolism of Alice's inner anguish.

The only other deliberate construct was Bill's house, which looked like a shack made out of various bits of junk. After the Queen of Hearts was defeated, Wonderland was restored to its former self, life returns to the valley, and the crying statue became a more cheerful and confident-looking Alice.

Alice: Madness Returns[]

An area in Vale of Tears

An area in the Vale of Tears.

A large, vibrant, and lush forest had grown around the river, with tall trees, colorful mushrooms, and lots of flowers. A new statue of a crying Alice provided the tears that make up the rivers and streams. The river formed into various waterfalls, and there were other large crying statues along the path that secrete blood and Ruin substance, indicative of the worsening situation in Wonderland.

AMR - Vale of Tears Environment

Various items floating around the Vale.

There were also large game pieces around the place, including marbles, jacks, dominoes, and dice. The Duchess' home was located here, although it was just three walls forming one room, as well as a giant snow-globe monument to the Mock Turtle, who had become lost at sea. There was also a platform for the Looking Glass Railway, with the ruined remains of what was the train running through the lines, though, later, the remains slid down the cliff onto the void below.


American McGee's Alice[]

The Vale of Tears had four different sections:

Alice: Madness Returns[]

  • Duchess' home

Residents and creatures[]

American McGee's Alice[]

Alice: Madness Returns[]


American McGee's Alice[]

Alice: Madness Returns[]

  • Vorpal Blade
  • Pepper Grinder


  • A "vale of tears" (or valle lacrimarum) is a traditionally Christian phrase which refers to the causes of suffering in life that are left behind on one's journey from life to Heaven. In English, "valley of tears" may also be used.
    • Pertaining to this, the Vale of Tears could possibly represent Alice leaving her tribulations from her life in London (in the real world) behind when starting her journey into Wonderland, as Wonderland is her "Heaven" while London (and the Asylum) is where she suffers.
  • The Vale of Tears' name may be a reference to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. After eating the "Eat Me" cake, Alice grows so much that she is stuck inside a hallway. She begins to cry in despair, and since she is giant, her tears are large, flooding the entire room. After drinking the "Drink Me" potion, she shrinks and find herself in a river made of her own tears, managing to advance further through Wonderland by swimming.
  • The Cat's Radula Room resembles the Vale of Tears.
  • A enemy called Dark Snail was scrapped from the Vale of Tears and can only be seen in the Extra Content.
  • In Madness Returns before Alice bathes from the Drink Me potion, she remarks she had been there before. While this is true, it is worth to mention that in her first visit to the Vale of Tears, she had shrunk from the potion she made in the Fortress of Doors, instead of being her usual size.
  • If the player has played Madness Returns before, all of Alice's abilities will stay as they were from when the player completed it, giving Alice Shrink Sense in the scene just before she received Shrink Sense. Before the Shrink Sense scene, there is a small door Alice can only go through with Shrink Sense. If the player goes through it while on a second playthrough, she'll enter the Drink Me bottle section from a different angle resulting in a glitch where Alice does not make it over to the pool, but shrinks in an area of land as if she is in the pool.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Spicy Horse (2011-06-14). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: The Vale of Tears. Level: Chapter 1: Hatter's Domain.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rogue Entertainment (2000-10-06). American McGee's Alice. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Hollow Hideaway. Level: Vale of Tears.
  3. Rogue Entertainment (2000-10-06). American McGee's Alice. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Skool's Out. Level: Fortress of Doors.
  4. Rogue Entertainment (2000-10-06). American McGee's Alice. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Skool Daze. Level: Fortress of Doors.
  5. Rogue Entertainment (2000-10-06). American McGee's Alice. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Pool of Tears. Level: Vale of Tears.
  6. Rogue Entertainment (2000-10-06). American McGee's Alice. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Just Desserts. Level: Vale of Tears.
  7. Spicy Horse (2011-06-14). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Houndsditch Home. Level: Chapter 1: Hatter's Domain.
  8. Spicy Horse (2011-06-14). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Slug with a Shell. Level: Chapter 1: Hatter's Domain.
  9. Spicy Horse (2011-06-14). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Vale of Doom. Level: Chapter 3: Oriental Grove.