Bendy and the Ink Machine

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Bendy and the Ink Machine
Bendy and the Ink Machine.png
Developer(s)Kindly Beast (Joey Drew Studios Inc.)
Publisher(s)Kindly Beast
Rooster Teeth Games (consoles)
Designer(s)theMeatly
Mike Mood
Matt Goles
Dan Tozer
Artist(s)Pascal Cleroux
Writer(s)theMeatly
Bookpast
EngineUnity
Platform(s)
Release
  • Chapter One: Moving Pictures
  • February 10, 2017
  • Chapter Two: The Old Song
  • April 18, 2017
  • Chapter Three: Rise and Fall
  • September 28, 2017
  • Chapter Four: Colossal Wonders
  • April 30, 2018
  • Chapter Five: The Last Reel
  • October 26, 2018
  • Chapter ?: Archives
  • October 26, 2018
  • Complete Edition (Steam)
  • October 27, 2018
  • Consoles (Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4)
  • November 20, 2018
  • Mobile (iOS and Android)
  • December 21, 2018
Genre(s)Survival horror
Mode(s)Single-player

Bendy and the Ink Machine (often abbreviated to BATIM or just simply Bendy) is an episodic first-person puzzle action survival horror video game developed and published by Kindly Beast under the name of the game's in-universe animation studio Joey Drew Studios Inc.[1][2] It was initially released to Game Jolt on February 10, 2017, as the first of five chapters, with a full release on October 27, 2018. A console port published by Rooster Teeth Games was released on November 20, 2018. On December 21, 2018, a mobile port was released for iOS and Android.

The game follows Henry Stein, a retired animator who returns to his old animation studio Joey Drew Studios from the 1930s after an invitation from his old employer Joey Drew, and discovers a nightmare of cartoon characters seemingly brought to life by the titular Ink Machine.

Bendy and the Ink Machine was well received upon its initial release, with praise centering on its vintage aesthetic and story. In the months following its release, it quickly gained a massive following from exposure on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, and eventually was approved through Steam Greenlight in mid-2017. Merchandise, as well as a mobile spin-off, was later introduced to further promote the game. Mike Mood, the game's programmer and co-creator, described the game as an "accidental success".[3] Currently, Bendy and the Dark Revival is in development with the first chapter releasing later in 2019.

Development[edit]

The idea for Bendy and the Ink Machine came from theMeatly pondering the idea of a world that resembled a cartoon sketch. As he started developing the idea, he realized that it felt "creepy" and needed a monster that inhabited it. Bendy was created to be that monster, but did not have a name. When the character finally received a 3D model, the name was chosen from a typo while saving it in a 3D modeling program, Blender. theMeatly was not a programmer and thus Mike Mood joined the production as he saw potential in the game.[4]

Gameplay[edit]

Bendy and the Ink Machine is a survival horror game that features a mixture of puzzle solving, environment exploration and combat to aid Henry on his journey through Joey Drew Studios. Players explore through a first-person view and have limited physical actions such as running and jumping. Different items can be collected, some of which are required to perform various tasks before proceeding. Cans of bacon soup, a reference to the game's creator theMeatly and his partner Mike Mood, can also be collected for achievements and to restore Henry's health if he is injured.

Combat is primarily focused around a variety of different melee-based weapons, such as an axe, pipe, plunger, or scythe. There are also long-range weapons such as a tommy gun or bacon soup cans. In-game enemies all have different strength levels and resilience to damage, forcing players to be tactical about keeping out of reach and striking when necessary. Henry can retreat inside Little Miracle Stations whenever enemies are nearby in order to recover or remain out of sight. If he takes too much damage, he can escape from the ink that consumes him and respawn at one of the numerous statues of Bendy that act as checkpoints.

In addition, players can find numerous audio logs throughout the studio that give more details about the game's story, particularly concerning about the fate of the studio and its employees, similar to the systems used in games such as BioShock. Some of these logs can be missed and require further exploration to uncover the secret areas they often reside in.

Plot[edit]

Chapter One: Moving Pictures[edit]

In 1966, retired animator Henry receives a letter from his former employer, Joey Drew, asking him to return to Drew's animation studio and see something important. Having not worked there for 30 years, Henry finds the place abandoned but discovers an "Ink Machine" in the basement, installed after Henry's departure. He finds a tape recording that suggests Joey engaged in bizarre occult practices while making the machine, as well as a mutilated real-life analogue of Boris the Wolf, one of the studio's cartoon characters. Once Henry fixes and starts the machine, he is attacked by a monster resembling the studio's mascot Bendy, as the studio begins to fill with ink. Henry flees toward an exit, only for the floor to collapse and drop him into the studio's lower levels. Draining the ink from several rooms, he finds a chamber whose floor is marked with strange diagrams. He hallucinates seeing the ink machine, a wheelchair and then the "Ink Demon" before passing out.

Chapter Two: The Old Song[edit]

Henry wakes up and begins to search for another way out, eventually reaching the studio's music department where he first encounters hostile ink monsters known as Searchers. A stairwell leading to the exit is overflowing with ink, which must be drained by flipping a switch in the office of musical director Sammy Lawrence. Henry learns that Sammy had begun to help Bendy to try to regain his normal body. Once the stairwell is clear, Henry tries to leave but is knocked unconscious by a now-insane Sammy, who plans to sacrifice him to Bendy in the hope of having his humanity restored. As Henry escapes, Sammy is seemingly killed by the Ink Demon, who then chases Henry through the studio until he flees through a door and barricades it behind himself. He is surprised to encounter Boris hiding in this area, alive and whole.

Chapter Three: Rise and Fall[edit]

Befriending Boris, Henry and Boris leave Boris' improvised safehouse to continue searching for an exit. In the studio's toy department, they find another ink creature who is a distorted version of the character Alice Angel. She leads them to her lair and reveals that she has been harvesting the ink of other characters in an effort to keep herself beautiful. Henry must perform several tasks for Alice in order for her to let him and Boris go free, learning from tape recordings that Alice's original voice actress became bitter when Joey suddenly hired a replacement for her - it's implied that Alice is her original actress transformed by the ink. As Henry carries out Alice's tasks, he must hide from both Ink Bendy and the Projectionist, an entity of projector operator Norman Polk. Henry completes the tasks and boards a lift to escape with Boris, but Alice forces it to crash to the bottom of its shaft and suddenly pulls Boris into the darkness, proclaiming that she wants to use him to fix herself.

Chapter Four: Colossal Wonders[edit]

Climbing out of the crashed lift, Henry ventures deeper into the studio in search of Boris and finds a lounge filled with the Lost Ones, ink creatures who show no hostility. He also discovers that Joey had been planning to open a Bendy-themed amusement park with the help of famed ride designer Bertrum Piedmont. Henry enters a large warehouse filled with rides, games, and props from the planned park. In order to reach Boris, Henry must restore power to the haunted house attraction by finding and flipping a series of switches, one of which is guarded by a ride merged with the remains of a revenge-driven Bertrum. After flipping the last switch, Henry is chased by the Projectionist, who is in turn ambushed by Ink Bendy and killed. Ink Bendy notices Henry but leaves him alone, and Henry enters the haunted house only to find that Alice has turned Boris into a hulking beast named Brute Boris. Henry is forced to kill him in self-defense; Alice then tries to kill Henry herself in a rage, but is killed with a sword from behind. The wielder is Allison Angel, a physically intact and sane duplicate of Alice. She is accompanied by Tom, a wolf character similar to Boris.

Chapter Five: The Last Reel[edit]

Allison and Tom hold Henry captive, but he eventually gains Allison's trust and she gives him a "seeing tool" that allows him to see hidden messages on the walls. After Tom inadvertently reveals the location of their hideout to Ink Bendy, he and Allison abandon Henry and flee. Henry escapes on his own and crosses a river of ink on a paddleboat, reaching a shantytown built by the Lost Ones. Sammy attacks Henry, having survived his encounter with Ink Bendy at the end of Chapter 2 and blaming Henry for Ink Bendy's decision to abandon him. Unmasked by Henry, Sammy gains the upper hand and tries to kill him, only to be killed by Tom instead. Tom and Allison aid Henry in fighting off the Searchers and Lost Ones, revealed to have been only kept in check by Sammy, and Henry falls into the administration offices. Tape recordings found there reveal the truth about the studio's downfall; after the Bendy cartoons declined in popularity, Joey began looking for a way to bring the characters fully to life and installed the Ink Machine as a means to this end. The first attempt resulted in the creation of Ink Bendy, who was rejected as a monster because he had no soul, and Joey tried to use his employees' souls to create better attractions. This attempt resulted in the creations of the other ink creatures and the studio's bankruptcy. Henry learns that Ink Bendy has stolen something important from the studio's film vault and enters his lair — a much vaster version of the Ink machine than the one Henry fixed in Chapter 1 — to retrieve it. The fear of being dragged again into the ink surrounding the machine prevents Allison and Tom from going with him. Inside, Henry finds one last tape recording by Joey, expressing his regret for everything that has happened and asking Henry to destroy Bendy. Henry finds the item Ink Bendy stole, a reel of film marked "The End." Ink Bendy chases him throughout the machine, changing his appearance into that of a beast which has been stated to be his true form. Henry eventually plays the reel, projecting a "The End" title card on every available screen and causing Beast Bendy to disintegrate when he sees it.

The game suddenly changes to a flashback in the inside of a home, covered in letters and sketches related to characters and events from earlier in the game. Entering the kitchen, Henry finds an elderly Joey waiting to talk to him about the paths they took in their lives. After Joey suggests that Henry should visit the old studio, Henry exits the house and finds himself immediately entering it, repeating his opening lines from Chapter 1. It is presumed that Henry, Joey, and all of the studio's employees are trapped in a time loop (how the loop was created is unknown).

In a post-credits scene, the camera focuses on a framed portrait of Bendy, Boris and Alice, which was a gift from Henry to congratulate Joey for the success of the characters (alongside a rusty Ink Machine sitting in one corner of the room). Just then, a little girl's voice asks "Uncle Joey" to tell her another story, implying that the entire game was merely a story Joey was telling his niece.

Characters[edit]

  • Henry the protagonist who is a former animator of Joey Drew Studios. He returns to the studio thirty years after resigning from the company. The game is played through a first-person narrative.
  • Joey Drew (David Eddings), the CEO and founder of the animation studio of the same name who invites Henry back to explore his own workplace. He introduced the Ink Machine to the studio, exhibiting peculiar behavior around it. Joey is described as a "man of ideas, and only ideas" by Henry. Other characters view him as an unethical employer and demanding perfectionist, uncaring towards the working conditions of his colleagues. Though acting like an eccentric dreamer, Chapter 4 proves this is just a ruse via a recording in which Joey is actually a cynical and greedy individual who is only concerned with his own success by drawing people in with his false promise of fulfilling their dreams. The Meatly described Joey's greatest and worst flaw as his "unending desire to make the impossible possible."[5]

Other members of the studio's staff are introduced via audio recordings. These include:

  • Wally Franks (theMeatly), the studio's janitor who's catchphrase is "I'm out of/outta here!" He is the only employer who doesn't complain about Joey's antics, (since he writes the checks) but sometimes questions the studio's behavior. It is believed he is the Boris clone that appeared in Chapter 2 and Chapter 3.
  • Thomas Connor (Mike Mood), a repairman who worked for the Gent company to repair the damages in the studio. It is believed that he is a different Boris clone that goes by Tom.
  • Sammy Lawrence (Aaron Landon), the musical director who later became a humanoid ink person who serves as an antagonist in Chapter 2 and Chapter 5, helps Bendy as a to try and regain his human body. He is capable of traveling through the studios walls or floorboards, including uses the ink puddles to sneak behind Henry. He is later turns into a secret Searcher boss after "Tom" kills him in Chapter 5, where he can be found in the Administration hall by activating various hidden mechanics throughout Chapters 2-5.
  • Susie Campbell (Alanna Linayre). the original voice actresses of the character Alice Angel. She was starting to love her character role until Joey unceremoniously replaces her with Allison Pendle, due to the character's plush toys not selling (which broke her heart). Susie plays a major antagonistic role in Chapters 3 and 4, when the ink corrupted her into a malevolent, deformed version of Alice Angel, Susie has killed numerous cartoon characters and harvests their ink to become a "perfect" incarnation of herself, specifically targeting Boris the Wolf.
  • Jack Fain (Bookpast), Sammy's assistant and lyricist who is now turned into a "swollen" Searcher in the remastered Chapter 2. He is known for wearing a bowler hat.
  • Norman Polk (theMeatly), the projector operator who transforms into a monster called the "Projectionist", a creature that has a projector for a head that dwells the darkness throughout the studio. It appears in Chapters 3 and 4,[6] but was almost left out of the final version of the third chapter due to time restraints.[7]
  • Shawn Flynn (Seán McLoughlin), an Irish toy designer who creates the Bendy merchandise, but was later turned into a giant Searcher as a secret boss in Chapter 3. He is known to wear a fedora.
  • Allison Pendle (Lauren Synger), the new voice for Alice Angel after Joey fired Susie Campbell. It is believed that she is a duplicate (and a much more perfect and kind-hearted) version of Alice Angel that goes by Allison Angel.
  • Grant Cohen (Will Ryan known as "DAGames"), the studio's accountant, who became insane when the ink corrupted him.
  • Bertrum Piedmont (Joe J. Thomas), a renowned theme park architect who became jealous of Joey taking all the credit. When he was working on a Octopus ride, which he believes will bring back his glory, the ink corrupted and fused him with his attraction, that appears as a boss in Chapter 4.[8] His voice is similar to Andrew Ryan from Bioshock.
  • Lacie Benton (Lani Minella), Bertram's assistant engineer who manufactures the animatronics for Bendy Land (which gives her anxiety). She was later turned into a Lost One, endlessly sobbing over her paranoia.

The studio has created several in-universe cartoon characters who starred in silent animated shorts.

  • Bendy, the main cartoon's star and the studio's mascot. Throughout the series, Bendy will create mischief towards others, but will later get punished for his deeds. Bendy also appears as the recurring and main antagonist, named the Ink Demon or "Beast Bendy", towards Henry throughout the game. Bendy's name was in fact a typo, created when the 3D modeling program, Blender, saved the character's model with the name. The fifth chapter revealed that Ink Bendy was a soulless, experimental creation of the Ink Machine to create real cartoon characters, and is the only incarnation of Bendy born from the machine.
  • Boris the Wolf, Bendy's hungry, one-off friend or foe who shows similarities to Disney's Goofy. He appears as several individual characters in the game. In Chapter 2, the player meets a benevolent version of Boris, who accompanies Henry throughout Chapter 3. Several other copies of Boris are found dead in the first and third chapters. he was later captured by "Alice" (Susie) and was transformed into "Brute Boris" to kill Henry in Chapter 4. Another mechanized Boris named "Tom" (Thomas) is introduced at the end of Chapter 4 and in Chapter 5, who accompanying Henry and "Allison" to escape the studio.
  • Alice Angel, the first female cartoon character who loves to dance and sing, debuting in Chapter 2. She is described to be part angel and demon but shows to have all heart. According to Shawn, the angelic character wasn't getting any popularity, which resulted Joey to recast her. Susie and Allison were reincarnated into her but with different traits. Susie is deformed and malevolent, while Allison is beautiful and kind-hearted. Susie captures "Boris" at the end of the third chapter to make her "perfect" while also turning him into a monster to kill Henry. "Allison" kills Susie when Henry was almost killed by her. She and "Tom" aided Henry throughout the studio to finally put the Ink Demon's reign to a stop. The games creator theMeatly describes her as "quite the gal".[9]
  • The Butcher Gang (Charley, Barley and Edgar), a trio of characters who act as antagonists to Bendy in his cartoon shorts - Charley, an unidentified (possibly simian) humanoid leader; Barley, a sailor; and Edgar, a spider. They appear as antagonists in Chapter 3 onwards as mutilated ink-corrupted versions of themselves, named "Piper" (a disfigured Charley), "Fisher" (Barley with his head connected to a fishing pole) and "Striker" (Edgar equipped with a extended mechanical arm), respectively.

Throughout the game, Henry encounters numerous staff members, transformed into monsters made from ink, or resembling the studio's animated characters:

  • The Searchers are corrupted workers who serve as enemies towards Henry. They appear as humanoid ink creatures who hide in ink puddles. There are many different variants of Searchers, such as "Miner" Searchers that wear mining helmets, and "Boss" Searchers that are much larger to the others, only appearing as secret bosses.
  • The Lost Ones are poor souls of workers transformed from the corrupting ink. They appear in Chapter 4 to be harmless and show sadness over their imprisonment in the studio, but during Chapter 5, those who followed Sammy became a threat towards Henry, "Allison", and "Tom" after the latter three defeated Sammy.

Other media[edit]

Animated shorts[edit]

Official videos for a series of animated shorts based on Bendy and the Ink Machine have been released from the Meatly's YouTube channel, with animation done by animator Timethehobo. The first animated short, Tombstone Picnic, was released as part of the Chapter Three reveal trailer on August 11, 2017.[10] The second short, Haunted Hijinx, was uploaded on October 31, 2017, to celebrate Halloween.[11] The third short, Snow Sillies, was uploaded on December 24, 2017, in celebration of the holiday season. A second Christmas short, Cookie Cookin, was uploaded on December 24, 2018, a year later after the release of Snow Sillies. A fifth short, Tasty Trio Troubles, was uploaded on February 10, 2019, in celebration of the game's second anniversary. Hellfire Fighters, a short from the game, was uploaded on March 5, 2019. These shorts largely feature Bendy and Boris, with the fifth short also featuring the Butcher Gang. No shorts so far have featured Alice Angel.

One of Rooster Teeth's channels, Screwattack, pitted Bendy against Cuphead, the titular protagonist of the run and gun platformer Cuphead in an animated fight on their web series, DBX.[12]

Music[edit]

The Game's soundtrack used a vary of string instruments in the majority of its songs, and the game have inspired several fanmade songs with some of them turned into instrumental variations in the game as an easter egg to the game's fans. These songs include DAGames' "Build our Machine", JT Music's "Can't be Erased", Kyle Allen's "Bendy and the Ink Machine", and more.[citation needed]

Books[edit]

Guides[edit]

Joey Drew Studios Employee Handbook (2019)[edit]

Joey Drew Studios Employee Handbook is a guide book written by Cala Spinner published by Scholastic on July 30, 2019.

Novels[edit]

Bendy and the Ink Machine: Dreams Come to Life (2019)[edit]

Bendy and the Ink Machine: Dreams Come to Life is an upcoming novel written by Adrienne Kress published by Scholastic on September 3, 2019.

Spin-off[edit]

Bendy in Nightmare Run (2018)[edit]

A mobile spin-off, titled Bendy in Nightmare Run, was announced on January 26, 2018 and was released on Android and iOS on August 15, 2018.[13][14] Developed by Karman Interactive and published by Kindly Beast as Joey Drew Studios Inc., the game introduces the cartoon versions of Bendy, Boris and Alice Angel in an endless running-style game, featuring four levels with a different "boss" cartoon monster, as well as collectible items and power-ups, including bacon soup cans that act as currency to buy abilities and upgrades, and possible future updates.

Next game[edit]

Bendy and the Dark Revival (2019)[edit]

On February 10, 2019, Kindly Beast announced another addition to Bendy and the Ink Machine through audio recordings from Joey Drew, Wally Franks, Thomas Connor, Susie Campbell, Sammy Lawrence, Jack Fain, and a mash-up being heard by a mysterious person. The official title, Bendy and the Dark Revival, was revealed on April 14, 2019, with major visual and graphic upgrades. It was also announced on April 14, 2019 that the first chapter would be released in Autum 2019. Mike Mood said on Twitter that the game would be neither a sequel nor a prequel to Bendy and the Ink Machine, but did not elaborate further. A gameplay trailer dropped on June 24th, 2019. The trailer confirmed a fall release for the game. The story will focus on an unknown female protagonist who is slowly turning into an ink creature.

Cultural impact[edit]

Crossover mods[edit]

A Halloween crossover mod, Hello Bendy, was released for the game on October 27, 2017, for a limited time, featuring the Hello Neighbor antagonist, who takes the role as Bendy in all previous three chapters and Sammy Lawrence for Chapter 2.[15] The mod's menu features the advertisement of pre-ordering the game Hello Neighbor. The mod expired by the end of October that year.

Co-creator Mike Mood has talked about wanting to do a crossover with Cuphead, which also was popular at around the same time and also uses rubber hose animation.[16]

Merchandise[edit]

Due to the success of Bendy and the Ink Machine, the Bendy merchandise are produced by two merchandising companies, PhatMojo and Funko. The products made by these companies include beanie plush toys, hang clips, T-shirts, action figures, pins, etc. All other products can be also purchased in Joey Drew Studio Inc.'s official Bendy online store.

References[edit]

  1. ^ theMeatly (15 September 2018). "What's happening to TheMeatly Games?! BIG NEWS... AGAIN! :D" – via YouTube.
  2. ^ "Bendy and the Ink Machine". Bendy and the Ink Machine.
  3. ^ "The Co-Creator of Bendy and the Ink Machine Talks Accidental Success".
  4. ^ Villasenor-Baca, Antonio (February 10, 2018). "Ink Demons & the Indie Canadian Game Scene: An Interview with 'Bendy and the Ink Machine' Programmer, Mike Mood". Con Safos Magazine. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  5. ^ "theMeatly on Twitter". Twitter. 2 July 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  6. ^ Asarch, Steven (30 September 2017). "Bendy And The Ink Machine Chapter 3 Review: Alice Is Here". Player.One. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  7. ^ Asarch, Steven (14 July 2017). "How Bendy And The Ink Machine Lived Up To The Hype". Player.One. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  8. ^ Asarch, Steven (30 April 2018). "'Bendy and the Ink Machine' Chapter 4 Almost Destroyed Its Creators". Newsweek. Player.One. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  9. ^ "theMeatly on Twitter". Twitter. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  10. ^ theMeatly (2017-08-11), "Bendy and the Ink Machine: Chapter Three" – Reveal Trailer 2017, retrieved 2018-01-05
  11. ^ theMeatly (2017-10-31), Bendy in "Haunted Hijinx" – A Joey Drew Short, retrieved 2018-01-05
  12. ^ "Bendy VS Cuphead". Roosterteeth.com. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  13. ^ @BendyRun (January 26, 2018). "SURPRISE! :) There's a new #Bendy game …FOR YOUR PHONE!! :) #BendyinNightmareRun #BINR bendy.run" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^ @BendyRun (January 27, 2018). "An Official Bendy Action Packed Boss Runner coming to your iOS and Android devices soon! #BINR #BendyInNightmareRun bendy.run" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ @batimgame (7 Oct 2017). "HELLO BENDY has arrived for Halloween! Play both games for some spooky surprises. ;) store.steampowered.com/app/521890/Hello_Neighbor/ … store.steampowered.com/app/622650/Bendy_and_the_Ink_Machine/ …" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  16. ^ "Bendy Co-Creator Talks Cuphead Crossover +MORE, Interview w/ BATIM's Mike Mood". YouTube. The Leaderboard. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.

External links[edit]