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Five Nights at Freddy's

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Five Nights at Freddy's
Five Nights at Freddy's logo.png
The logo of Five Nights at Freddy's utilized in merchandising.
Genres Point-and-click
Survival horror
Role-playing
Business simulation
Developer(s) Scott Cawthon
Publisher(s) Scott Cawthon
Creator(s) Scott Cawthon
Composer(s) Leon Riskin
Platforms
Platform of origin Microsoft Windows
Year of inception 2014
First release Five Nights at Freddy's
August 8, 2014
Latest release Ultimate Custom Night
June 27, 2018
Spin-offs FNaF World

Five Nights at Freddy's (often abbreviated to FNaF) is a media franchise based around an indie video game series created, designed, developed, and published by Scott Cawthon for Microsoft Windows, iOS, and Android.

The series is centered on the story of a fictional restaurant named Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, a pastiche of restaurants such as Chuck E. Cheese's and ShowBiz Pizza Place. The first three games involve the player working as a nighttime security guard, in which they must utilize several tools, most notably checking security cameras, to survive against animatronic characters, which become mobile and homicidal after-hours. The fourth game, which uses different gameplay mechanics from its predecessors, takes place in the house of a child who must defend against nightmarish versions of the animatronics by closing doors and fleeing on foot. The fifth game takes place in a maintenance facility owned by a sister company of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. The player character is a technician instead of a night guard, who must do different tasks each night as told by an AI voice heard in the game. In the sixth game, the player acts as the owner of a pizzeria which they must decorate with payable items, and must also work the night shift for their pizzeria, which plays similarly to previous games.

The series has gained widespread popularity since its release. Three novel adaptations, Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes, Five Nights at Freddy's: The Twisted Ones, and Five Nights at Freddy's: The Fourth Closet, were released in 2015, 2017, and 2018, respectively. A guidebook for the series, Five Nights at Freddy's: The Freddy Files, was released on August 29, 2017, with an activity book titled Five Nights at Freddy's: Survival Logbook being released on December 26, 2017. A film adaptation is currently in the works, and a third novel will be published in June 2018.

A horror attraction based on the series was featured in the Adventuredome in Halloween of 2016. Additionally, the series appeared in the Guinness Book of Records: Gamer's Edition, breaking the record for the largest number of sequels released in a year.[1]

History and development

The idea for Five Nights at Freddy's stems from negative reception towards Scott Cawthon's previous game, the family friendly Chipper & Sons Lumber Co., as players commented that the main character (a young beaver) looked like "a scary animatronic animal", with reviewer Jim Sterling calling the game unintentionally "terrifying".[2][3] Although initially discouraged by the comments, Cawthon, who had previously mainly developed Christian-oriented games, eventually used it to inspire himself to make something intentionally scarier.[2]

The first Five Nights at Freddy's game was released via Desura on August 8, 2014. On August 20, 2014, after it was approved by the service's crowdsourcing platform GreenlightFive Nights at Freddy's was also released via Steam.[4] The games that followed were released on November 10, 2014; March 2, 2015; July 23, 2015; October 7, 2016; and December 4, 2017, respectively. A spin-off of the series, FNaF World was announced on a Steam post by Cawthon in September 2015,[5] and was released in January 2017. Cawthon releases most pictorial teasers of his games to his website, "Scott Games",[6][7] and releases teaser trailers on his YouTube channel.[8]

Cawthon uses Clickteam Fusion 2.5 to create the Five Nights at Freddy's games and Autodesk 3ds Max to model and render the 3D graphics of the games.[9] For the enhancement of FNaF World and Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, Cawthon hired professional voice actors.[10] Cawthon has announced that all titles will be remade by third-party companies for release on consoles.[11]

Cawthon posted a teaser on his official website in 2015 that announced he had plans to release his first novel called Five Nights at Freddy's: The Untold Story (that would later be renamed to Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes) sometime in the near future, and that it was to be written separate-canon to the games.[12] On June 20, 2016, Scholastic announced that it would be collaborating with Scott Cawthon on a multi-book deal.[13] Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes, was to be re-printed in paperback on October that year.[needs update] It was then rescheduled for release on September in the same year. The next two novels were scheduled for release in 2017 and 2018 respectively.[needs update][13] A guidebook based on the series was also scheduled for release in 2017.[14][needs update]

Gameplay

The main Five Nights at Freddy's series consists of horror-themed video games, in which the player usually takes on the role of a night-time employee at a location canonically connected to Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, a fictional children's-oriented restaurant similar to Chuck E. Cheese's and ShowBiz Pizza.[15] The restaurant uses life-size animatronic characters that perform for children's parties. These animatronics wander in the restaurant at night, and the guard is instructed to keep watch on them, as the restaurant has had incidents of previous guards being attacked and killed by the characters. To progress through the games, the player must guard themself from the animatronics by using various tools to their advantage.[16] For the most part, however, the player must remain stationary in their defence. In the first game, the player can control the two security doors that connect their office to the adjacent hallways, and may close them to provide a barricade against any animatronics in the vicinity. Each night, the player has a limited power supply that depletes quicker when a tool is used; if the player exhausts the power supply, the doors permanently open, allowing any animatronic to breach the office.

The player's office from Five Nights at Freddy's 2

Five Nights at Freddy's 2 provides different tools to work with. Protective doors are not present in the office, and the player must instead defend themselves with an empty Freddy Fazbear head, which fools most animatronics. The power usage is also removed, instead being replaced with a limited flashlight, which is used to ward off one animatronic. Lights may also be used to brighten darker areas of the pizzeria. The game introduces the music box, which must be kept wound to prevent an attack from a certain animatronic. 8-bit minigames make their inauguration, which the player can interact with randomly after death.[17]

Five Nights at Freddy's 3 replaces these tools with a monitor panel, where the player must keep certain systems from malfunctioning, so as not to hinder the player's ability to successfully complete the night. These malfunctions can be triggered randomly, or by hallucinations of past iterations of the animatronics. The ability to seal vents is also added, and must be used to prevent the sole tangible animatronic from entering the office. The player can also use an audio-based function as a means of defense, which triggers a childlike voice to play, luring the animatronic away from the player's office.[18] The 8-bit minigames return, and are activated via completing certain side-tasks, such as clicking on a poster or inputting a code into the wall. If the player fully completes all minigames, they unlock a secret ending.

Five Nights at Freddy's 4 reintroduces removed tools, specifically the doors and flashlight, albeit with slightly altered usage.[19] The doors can only be closed when the player is next to them, and will re-open if the player moves away. However, if the player shuts the doors too early, the animatronics will jump scare the player when the door is opened. The flashlight can no longer run out, but only alerts player to the presence of animatronics as opposed to warding them away, excluding the miniature Freddies that appear on the bed. If the player flashes the flashlight while an animatronic is in the doorway, the player will be jumpscared. There is one new mechanic, where the player must listen for breathing audio. This can determine whether to use the flashlight or close the door.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location once again keeps the doors, albeit for the secret ending.[20][21] The flashlight returns, but now loses all functionality, only being stuck permanently on when in certain rooms, and permanently off in others. An elevated control pad is introduced in the game, with the ability to light up rooms and/or shock the animatronics. Other mechanics include another control pad inside the "breaker room", controlling the power to the whole facility, and a flash beacon, which allows the player to see in the darkened "Funtime Auditorium" and avoid the sole animatronic in that room. Sister Location is also the only game where the player is able to move between rooms.[22]

Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator provides a very different gameplay style, where the player must spend in-game money to buy features for their pizzeria in a tycoon-style gameplay. A series of minigames can be played by testing attractions used in the establishment. Once a player has completed this portion of the game, they must sit in a room and complete tasks while fending off hostile animatronics they have "salvaged" previously. The gameplay of this portion shares many elements with Five Nights at Freddy's 3, such as the importance of ventilation and the ability to distract the animatronics using audio.

Each game requires the player to survive five nights, with each night increasing the difficulty.[23][24] There is an unlockable sixth night present in all games (excluding Sister Location), with further additional nights varying between games: the first two games feature a customizable seventh night which allows the player to customize the AI level of each animatronic.[25][26] A custom night DLC is also available for Sister Location.[27] The third game does not feature any night after the sixth, while the fourth game includes a seventh and eighth night, neither of which are customizable. The fifth game is currently the only game with only five nights, if the custom night DLC is not included.

The spin-off game, FNaF World, has the player explore a light-hearted RPG world battling for experience points. The player unlocks different areas as they continue on their adventure. Eventually, after completing certain tasks, the player wins one of eight different endings, all of which will unlock a trophy on the title screen once completed.[28] The game also received an update titled "Update 2" which introduced the animatronic characters in Five Nights at Freddy's 4's Halloween DLC and some characters from Cawthon's older games. The update also introduced another boss character which the player must defeat as well as minigames to unlock the aforementioned new characters.[29]

Common elements

Security cameras

The security camera mechanic, used to keep track of the animatronic characters.

The ability to use a security camera system is found in all of the main games except the fourth and the sixth, and is used to observe the positions of the animatronic characters through security cameras that are set throughout the location. However, only one location can be viewed at a time, and some areas are not visible on the aforementioned cameras.[15] Most camera feeds are dull, sometimes close to black and white in color, and covered in static. In the third game, cameras become dysfunctional if the associated system fails.[30] Security cameras are only used in Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location as a mechanic in the "Fake Ending" and custom night DLC, not in the main game.

Lights

The lights, and, by extension, the flashlight and flash beacon, are found in all main games, excluding the third. While use varies per game, lights are generally used to ward off animatronics, or warn the player of their presence. Lights in the first game and second games are activated via buttons mounted into the walls, and light up the player's 'blind spot', being the doorway or vent exit, respectively.[15] The fifth game has the lights work similarly, however, they are now mounted onto a control pad, and serve no purpose other than the ability to see the animatronics, due to the different gameplay style. The flashlight in the second and fourth game works in the same fashion as its real life counterpart, in the sense that it has a limited battery life, albeit only in the second game, and must be toggled on and off.[31] The flash beacon was introduced in Sister Location, and is used to quickly gather bearings in the pitch black room seen on the third and fifth nights.[23]

Jumpscares

Jumpscares are present in all of the series' main games, and occur when any animatronic manages to reach and attack the player-character.[32] Most jumpscares involve an animatronic character suddenly appearing in the player's view, followed by a loud, bellowing sound. Some jumpscares, including those of Golden Freddy (In the first installment), Nightmare, and Nightmarionne, consist of a single screen supplemented with shrill, distorted audio. These jumpscares usually crash or restart the game. The player can utilise the tools listed above to prevent attacks, thus preventing any jumpscares from occurring.[19]

Minigames

An example of a minigame from the series, usually portraying significant lore points as the player progresses.

In all games from the second onwards, the player will gain access to a series of (predominantly 8-bit) minigames, sometimes randomly after death, as in the second game, and sometimes once the player has completed a specific task.[33] These minigames usually tell a story or event relevant to the game's lore, although mostly presented in a cryptic way.[34] For example, minigames in Five Nights at Freddy's 2 are speculated to portray the homicidal incidents previously mentioned in the games.[17] Minigames in Five Nights at Freddy's 4 tell the story of a character, possibly the player character, who dies in a tragic accident.[34]

Phone calls

In all main games except for the fourth and fifth, the player receives a telephone voice message from a previous worker, or owner of the location. These "phone calls" act as a tutorial to the player, and usually go through several gameplay mechanics, and outline the backstory of the players' location.[35] In the first and second game, the voice heard in the messages remains the same, while in the third game, it holds a strong Californian accent. Sister Location uses something similar, an A.I. voice which acts as a tutor for the player, although it is not from a telephone. Phone calls from the first game can be heard in Five Nights at Freddy's 4, albeit only as an easter egg.[36]

Closing of location

In the first three main games, the location in which the player character is based in closes down shortly after the end of the game. In the first Five Nights at Freddy's, the location is said to close by the year's end, due to a "tragedy that took place there many years ago".[35] The location of Five Nights at Freddy's 2 closes down due to malfunctions of the animatronics.[35] Five Nights at Freddy's 3's location closed down after it was unexpectedly burnt down.[37] In Sister Location's case, the location in which the game's story is centered around, "Circus Baby's Pizza World", was closed down prior to the game, apparently due to gas leaks.[38] One possible ending of Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator involves the player's restaurant being burnt down to destroy the animatronics, leading the entire company to be put out of business.

Characters

Humans

The main characters in the Five Nights at Freddy's series are generally security guards working at a Freddy Fazbear's Pizza or related location. None of them have distinct personalities and most of the gameplay takes place from their point of view. In Five Nights at Freddy's, the guard's name is Mike Schmidt. In Five Nights at Freddy's 2, the guard is named Jeremy Fitzgerald for all of the main five nights and the bonus sixth night, though he is replaced in the custom seventh night by another guard, Fritz Smith. The security guard for Fazbear's Fright: The Horror Attraction in Five Nights at Freddy's 3, is unknown. The main character of Five Nights at Freddy's 4 is an unnamed boy, who experiences nightmares of the animatronics. The player in Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location is a technician who has their name jokingly autocorrected to Eggs Benedict. The technician's name is assumed, although not confirmed to be, Mike.

Apart from Mike Schmidt, Jeremy Fitzgerald, Fritz Smith, and Michael (a character whose voice is heard in Sister Location), none of the other human characters in the series have any real, or at least confirmed, names. In the first three games, a man simply identified as "Phone Guy" leaves a recording over the phone at the beginning of each night which serves as advice to the player on how to deal with the animatronics. Phone Guy is present through all five nights of Five Nights at Freddy's 2, four of the main nights in Five Nights at Freddy's, and four of the main nights in Five Nights at Freddy's 3 (as well as in Night 6 for the second and third games.) He is not present in the fourth and fifth games, though his first night recording from the original game is sometimes played backwards as ambiance in Five Nights at Freddy's 4.[39] His call at the start of Night 4 in Five Nights at Freddy's implies that he was killed by the animatronics. In the third game, he is heard over archival recordings discovered by the creators of Fazbear's Fright. Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location instead features a human A.I. named "HandUnit", who like Phone Guy, acts as a tutor to the player. The first two nights of the third game also feature "Phone Dude", one of the creators of Fazbear's Fright. The sixth game introduces "Cassette Man," a male voice heard giving instructions to the player on a series of cassette recordings.

The main antagonist of the series is "Purple Guy", a serial killer who murdered at least five children, whose spirits now inhabit the animatronics. In the third game, it is revealed that he returned to Freddy Fazbear's Pizza after it closed down to dismantle the animatronics. This released the spirits of the children he murdered, scaring him into hiding inside a spring lock suit, where he was crushed to death by the suit's springlock mechanisms. His body resides in Five Nights at Freddy's 3's main antagonist, Springtrap.[40] It is latter revealed that his real name is William Afton, who was the co-founder and co-owner of Fazbear Entertainment. He is first mentioned as "Mr. Afton" in Sister Location's prologue.[41]

Animatronics

There are four main animatronics in the first game: Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie the Bunny (referred to as "Bonnie the Rabbit" in copyright catalogs), Chica the Chicken, and Foxy the Pirate Fox. A fifth animatronic, Golden Freddy, occasionally appears, albeit in the form of a hallucination.[25] His jumpscare is capable of crashing the game. The animatronics return in various forms throughout the following games, except in the fifth installment, in which Chica is completely absent.

Despite being a prequel, the second game introduces upgraded versions of the original characters called Toy Freddy, Toy Bonnie, Toy Chica, and Mangle, along with old, ripped, and worn out versions of the original animatronics. Mangle is meant to be a "toy" version of Foxy, but was ripped apart so much by children that the staff got tired of reassembling it and left it as a "take apart, put back together" attraction, according to Phone Guy. He also mentions that the employees nicknamed it "the Mangle". Two new characters are also introduced: Balloon Boy (known as BB), who has no jumpscare but can disable the player's lights and generate distracting laughter if he enters the office, and the Puppet (also known as the Marionette), who must be quelled by constantly winding up a music box.

A jump scare from the first game. Most jumpscares involve an animatronic suddenly popping up in front of the protagonist's view.

The only true animatronic in the third game is Springtrap, who looks like a decayed golden version of Bonnie.[42] Additionally, Freddy, Chica, Foxy, Balloon Boy, Mangle, and the Puppet return as hallucinations (or "phantoms"),.[43] Although their jumpscares don't kill the player, they can disable certain features that are essential for the player to complete the night.

In the fourth game, nightmare versions of the original four animatronics- Nightmare Bonnie, Nightmare Chica, Nightmare Foxy, and Nightmare Freddy – appear, haunting a small boy. A nightmare version of Golden Freddy is also featured, identified as Nightmare Fredbear, who replaces all animatronics on the fifth night.[19] Two new animatronics also make their debut: Plushtrap, a finger trap toy version of Springtrap,[44] and Nightmare, a version of Nightmare Fredbear whose jumpscare causes the game to reset. The "Halloween Edition" of the game also features Nightmare Balloon Boy (who replaces Plushtrap), Nightmare Mangle (who replaces Nightmare Foxy), and Nightmarionne, a nightmare version of the Puppet, who replaces Nightmare. Nightmare Bonnie and Nightmare Chica also receive reskins in the Halloween Edition, giving them a resemblance to Jack-O'-Lanterns.[45]

In the fifth game, Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, Freddy and Foxy reappear with pink-and-white re-skins as the "Funtime" animatronics. Multiple new characters also appear in this game: Circus Baby, a female clown-like humanoid and the main animatronic of the establishment; Ballora, a tall, ballerina-style humanoid animatronic who specialises in dancing; a bear-like endoskeleton named Yenndo who appears very rarely in-game; Lolbit (an alternately coloured Funtime Foxy), and Ennard, who is a hybrid and a hive-mind of the endoskeletons of other animatronics from the game. Three of these animatronics are accompanied with smaller companion animatronics: Funtime Freddy, who is accompanied by "Bon-Bon", a hand-puppet version of Bonnie; Ballora, who is accompanied by the Minireenas (small, ballet-dancer like animatronics); and Baby, who is accompanied by multiple baby-like animatronics called Bidybabs. In the game's "custom night", a re-skin of Bidybab named Electrobab appears, as a small animatronic capable of draining power from the console.

The sixth game, Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator, reintroduces several animatronics from previous games that have suffered extensive damage and deterioration. The player discovers one animatronic at the end of each of the first four nights and must decide whether to salvage or discard it. These four are Springtrap, Molten Freddy (a ruined animatronic with a similar appearance to Funtime Freddy), Scrap Baby (similar to Circus Baby), and Lefty (what appears to be a recolored Toy Freddy). Any animatronics that the player attempts to salvage, or that have hidden themselves within other items purchased by the player, become a threat during all subsequent nights.

In the spin-off game, FNaF World, there are up to 30 characters the player can unlock, consisting of characters from the first four games, as well as Coffee from The Desolate Hope, Chipper from Chipper and Sons Lumber Co, Funtime Foxy from Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, and Animdude, the character in Scott Cawthon's logo. Lolbit (a character from Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location's custom night) is also featured in its debut appearance, but is only an NPC, and thus is not playable.[46] Enemies in FNaF World either resemble original characters in some way, for example "Ballboy" to Balloon Boy, and "White Rabbit" to Toy Bonnie, or are designed and named to match their home location, for example "Chop 'N Roll" in the wood predominated forest, and "Chillax" in the snowy fields.[47][48]

Games

Timeline of release years
2014Five Nights at Freddy's
Five Nights at Freddy's 2
2015Five Nights at Freddy's 3
Five Nights at Freddy's 4
2016FNaF World
Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location
2017Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator
2018Ultimate Custom Night

Main series

Three of the five animatronics appearing in the first Five Nights at Freddy's game: Freddy Fazbear (center), Bonnie (left) and Chica (right).

Five Nights at Freddy's (2014)

After Scott Cawthon's previous game (Chipper & Sons Lumber Co.) received bad reception for the unsettling appearance of the supposedly kid-friendly characters, Cawthon decided to use these ideas to create an intentionally scary game, Five Nights at Freddy's.[2]

The game involves a character, whose name is later revealed to be Mike Schmidt, who has started a job working as a night watch security guard at the restaurant Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, where the animatronics move at night and will kill anyone they see by stuffing them in a spare animatronic suit.[49][50] Apparently, this is due to their misinterpretation of the player character as a metal endoskeleton without their costume on.[51] Animatronic movement is explained to the player as a purposely programmed "free-roaming" mode, as to prevent animatronic servomotors from locking up. The player must survive from midnight to 6 AM.

The player is not able to leave the room, and must use a camera system and two doors with lights in order to defend themselves from the animatronics. The hostility of the animatronics appear to be the result of possession by the vengeful souls of children who were killed on the restaurant's site.[17] The player is guided by an unknown entity known as "Phone Guy", who assists them in their defense from the animatronics. Mike is fired from his job after the seventh night, due to tampering with the animatronics, odor and general unprofessionalism.

Five Nights at Freddy's was first released for Microsoft Windows on August 8, 2014, followed by ports for Android and iOS on August 27, 2014 and September 11, 2014, respectively. A version for the Windows Phone was also released,[52] but was taken down soon after due to the down-scaled graphics of the port.[53]

Five Nights at Freddy's 2 (2014)

Shortly after the release of the first game, developer Cawthon began to confirm rumors of a sequel.[54] Just one month after the original game's release, Cawthon posted a teaser of the sequel on his webpage, and continued to post teasers until the game's release.[55] A teaser trailer was released on October 21, 2014, introducing various new animatronic characters and the absence of doors.[56] Five Nights at Freddy's 2 was first released for Microsoft Windows on November 10, 2014, earlier of its planned release of December 25, 2014. Ports for Android and iOS were released on November 13 and 20 of the same year. A Windows Phone port was also released, but was taken down for the same reasons as the first game.[53]

Set some time before the events of the first game, the main character, whose name is later revealed to be Jeremy Fitzgerald, has started working as a night watch security guard at the "new and improved" Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. The "upgraded" versions of the animatronic characters, which have special facial recognition software to protect the children from potential harm, were not programmed with a proper night mode; when things go silent, their programming tells them that they are in the wrong room and they seek out the nearest source of noise to find people to entertain, which happens to be in the player's office. The player must again listen to the instructions of a "phone guy", and attempt to defend themselves from the animatronics using several mechanics. Like the previous game, the player must survive from midnight to 6 AM. Jeremy is apparently moved to day shift after Night 6 as the animatronics' hostility becomes too dangerous, with the restaurant closing down shortly after.

8-bit minigames are made available randomly after death, which are thought to portray the restaurants' past and the several murders that occurred on site. An entity portrayed as a purple sprite is also introduced, who is speculated to be the culpable murderer who murdered the children.

Five Nights at Freddy's 3 (2015)

In January 2015, a new image was uploaded to Cawthon's website, teasing a third entry in the series.[57] Various teaser images followed,[58] before a trailer was released on January 26, 2015. On February 15, 2015, Cawthon made a post on Steam stating that Five Nights at Freddy's 3 had been cancelled after a hacker supposedly leaked the game.[59] This was later discovered to be a joke, as the "leaked" download link lead to a humorous clone of Scott's previous game, There is No Pause Button!.[60] Five Nights at Freddy's 3 was legitimately released for Microsoft Windows on March 3, 2015, with Android and iOS ports following on March 7, 2015 and March 12, 2015.

Set thirty years after the events of the first game, the main character (who remains unnamed) works at "Fazbear's Fright", a horror attraction based off the long-gone Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.[61] The player must defend themselves from a deteriorated animatronic-costume hybrid known as "Springtrap", which was the sole animatronic the attraction workers were able to discover.[18] Burnt and tattered hallucinations of previous games' animatronics also appear, but can not directly kill the player, and instead hinder ventilation, sound, and camera systems, which may also fail by other means. Failure to maintain these systems can create many issues for the player, including dysfunctional cameras, and the inability to play audio in order to lure away the animatronic. The player receives guidance from a founder of the horror attraction for the first couple of nights, but also listens to old tape recordings discovered by the attraction workers related to the backstory of previous locations.[62]

The game has two endings, a good ending and a bad ending. The good ending can only be achieved by completing secret minigames, in which various animatronic characters bring a cake to what seems to be a sorrowful child's soul. This ending is thought to imply that the souls of the murdered children have been set free, although connoted meanings are disputed.[63]

Five Nights at Freddy's 4 (2015)

Beginning April 27, 2015, Cawthon posted images on his website teasing at another game in the series, originally known as Five Nights at Freddy's: The Final Chapter.[64] A trailer was released on July 13, 2015, hinting that the game took place in the main character's house.[65][66] Five Nights at Freddy's 4 was first announced with a release date of October 31, 2015, before being pushed forward to August 8, 2015, and again to July 23 of the same year, when the game was unexpectedly released on Microsoft Windows through Steam. Android and iOS ports were released on July 25, 2015 and August 3, 2015.

The player character is a young boy suffering from delusions of being attacked by nightmarish versions of the original animatronic characters.[34] The player must defend themselves using only a flashlight, doors, and their sense of hearing, to attempt to locate the animatronics. The story of possibly the same young boy is told through minigames, in which he is shown to be bullied due to his irrational fear of a restaurant featuring a yellow animatronic bear and rabbit. He is guided by an animatronic plush toy, whom speaks to the character in times when he is alone. The child is eventually killed by the bear animatronic, "Fredbear", in a freak accident.[36]

The game received a Halloween-style DLC, in which features "nightmare" versions of animatronics from the Five Nights at Freddy's 2. The DLC also gives halloween-themed reskins to Nightmare Bonnie and Nightmare Chica.[67]

Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location (2016)

In April 2016, Cawthon released a teaser image of an upcoming game on his website, entitled Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, featuring a clown-like animatronic, revealed to be named "Circus Baby".[68] Several teaser images followed, revealing different characters and hints at their origins.[69] The trailer for the game was released on Cawthon's official YouTube page featuring new animatronics and a new location. The release date was later confirmed to be October 7, 2016. Cawthon made a joke release of the game on October 5, apparently releasing a "mature" edition of the game after the decision to delay the game to make it more "kid friendly". The download link led to a clone of Cawthon's previous game, Sit 'N Survive.[70] Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location was first released for Microsoft Windows on October 7, 2016, followed by ports for Android and iOS on December 22, 2016 and January 3, 2017, respectively.

The player character, seemingly named Mike, and jokingly referred to as "Eggs Benedict",[71] is a new employee of the underground Circus Baby's Rentals and Entertainment, a sister company of Fazbear Entertainment featuring animatronics that are rented out to children's birthday parties; they were originally intended for use in a pizzeria called Circus Baby's Pizza World, but the pizzeria never officially opened due to gas leaks.[38] 'Mike' is guided by HandUnit, an AI character similar to the Phone 'Guy' from previous games. HandUnit instructs him about his job, often telling the player to disregard safety, however, an animatronic called Circus Baby often gives instructions that directly contradict that of HandUnit's, and are vital to survival.

The game also offers a "custom night" DLC,[72] in which the player is able to use mechanics reminiscing those of the first game (such as interactive doors and a camera system), which were absent from the main game. New minigames are also made available in this DLC, describing the fate of 'Mike' after the events of Sister Location.[73] A cutscene is also shown after the completion of the "Golden Freddy" custom night preset, in which a character named "Michael" speaks to his father in a foreboding manner.[41]

Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator (2017)

In June 2017, Cawthon hinted towards the development of a sixth main game in the series. On July 2, 2017, he announced his decision to cancel this game, stating that he had been "neglecting other things in [his] life for the sake of trying to keep up with mounting expectations".[74] Cawthon noted that he was not planning on abandoning the series, and may even return with a game of a different style, such as one similar to FNaF World.[75]

On December 4, 2017, after teasing the game several days earlier, Cawthon released Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator for free on Steam.[76] The game appears to play as a business simulation game where the player must plan and run one's own pizzeria, but frequently shifts into the same vein of survival horror as the other main games in the series. Elements of the restaurant simulation portion of the game affect the portions similar to the main series. For example, a player may accept a corporate sponsor for the restaurant to help with finances, but doing so causes loud video ads from the sponsor to play during the "night-shift" periods of the game, making it difficult for the player to hear approaching animatronics.[77] The player is also presented with the option to salvage heavily damaged animatronics from the previous games, increasing both revenue and the possibility of being attacked during the night-shift periods.

Spin-offs

FNaF World (2016)

FNaF World takes a turn from the usual Five Nights at Freddy's horror theme, instead featuring an RPG style gameplay and winsome animatronic redesign.

On September 15, 2015, Cawthon announced a spin-off of his series, entitled FNaF World.[78] Unlike the main series, the game is a RPG-based video game, using the various animatronic characters from the first four games. The game takes place in a fanciful world, where the characters must fight enemies and progress through the game by unlocking certain perks and items. Though originally planned for release on February 2, 2016, Cawthon rescheduled the release to January 22, 2016, but eventually launched yet another day earlier, on January 21, 2016, respectively.[79]

Post-release, community and critics criticized the game for missing key features, being unstable and unfinished, for which Cawthon later apologized, stating, "I got too eager to show the things that were finished, that I neglected to pay attention to the things that weren't." The game was subsequently removed by Steam per Cawthon's decision, and he stated that the game would be improved upon and re-released for no charge at a later date.[80] Cawthon also announced that he asked Valve to refund everyone's money who bought the game.

In February 2016, Cawthon released a free version of the game, which featured a 3D overworld and an updated character selection screen. In March 2016, Cawthon updated his website with a new teaser, which featured new characters, like the infamous "Purple Guy" from the main series, and most of the characters from the Halloween update for Five Nights at Freddy's 4. Cawthon also created minigames for the second update of the game, including Foxy Fighters, FOXY.exe, Chica's Magic Rainbow, and FNaF 57: Freddy In Space.[81]

Ultimate Custom Night (2018)

Ultimate Custom Night is the second spin-off and overall eighth game in the series. The gameplay deviates slightly from all previous games, in that it only consists of one night; a "custom night" in which the player can alter the difficulty settings of fifty antagonists from all previous main and spin-off games. Ultimate Custom Night was released on June 27, 2018.[82][83] The customisable night features a total of over fifty animatronics from all six main Five Nights at Freddy's games, as well as from the spin-off, FNaF World, most of which allow the player to set their difficulties to determine how aggressive they are during the night, much like the "custom nights" from the earlier games in the series. The player is also able to select the office they want to play in, and has 16 themed game modes available to them.[84][85]

Music

Ambient music for the first four Five Nights at Freddy's games consisted mostly of stock music, altered by Cawthon according to the game's needs.[9] Notable music found in the games include the "Toreador Song", which is played when the player runs out of power in the first game, and a music box rendition of "My Grandfather's Clock", played from The Puppet's music box as it winds down in Five Nights at Freddy's 2.

FNaF World, Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location and Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator instead receive their own OST, composed by Leon Riskin specifically for the games.[86] Music created for FNaF World varied from battle themes to general ambience for various locations, for example "Dungeon Theme", for when the player is in the Mysterious Mine, and "Water Theme", for when they are in Lilygear Lake. Music in Sister Location had a variety of uses: music such as "Turtle Crusher" and "MVP" are used for minigames, while ambiance such as "Crumbling Dreams" play during the main game. A musical piece titled "Dramatic Soap Opera" was created specifically for the between-night soap opera, The Immortal and The Restless. Additional numbers were added in the Custom Night DLC, notably "Watch Your 6", the main ambiance for Custom Night (although this music was also used for the main game's alternate ending), and "Demolition Inevitable", music played in the final cutscene of the game. The soundtrack in FFPS is the most diverse, spreading from cheerful, bouncy music like "Just Add Water," to chiptune/synth tracks such as "240 Bits Per Mile," to an orchestral bass-heavy track "Nowhere to Run," used in the game's normal route's final cutscene.

Other media

Books

Novels

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes (2015)

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes is the first novel written by Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley. The book was released earlier than planned on December 17, 2015 for the Amazon Kindle and with a printed paperback released on September 27, 2016. The story follows a group of childhood friends who meet in their hometown and discover unnerving secrets of the once-loved restaurant Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.[87] According to Cawthon, the novel "expands the mythos and reveals a human element never before seen in the games". However, he stated that, though the novel is technically canon to the Five Nights at Freddy's universe, the book and the game series may not be "intended to fit together like two puzzle pieces".[88][89]

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Twisted Ones (2017)

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Twisted Ones is the second novel written by Cawthon and Breed-Wrisley.[90] A sequel to Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes, the book was discovered on Amazon under Cawthon's name on January 8, 2017.[91] The discovery sparked controversy on the legitimacy of the product,[92] but Cawthon confirmed that it was official shortly after.[93][94] The novel was released in some bookstores earlier than planned, but released publicly on June 27, 2017. The plot involves Charlie, the main character from The Silver Eyes, who is "drawn back into the world of her father's frightening creations" trying to move on.

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Fourth Closet (2018)

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Fourth Closet is the third novel written by Cawthon and Breed-Wrisley, which was released on June 26, 2018.[95] The novel takes a focus on Charlie's friends, who inquire the truth behind what happened to Charlie in The Twisted Ones, while mysterious events unfold after the opening of a new restaurant.[95]

Guides

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Freddy Files (2017)

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Freddy Files is a guidebook,[96] containing character profiles, outlining several in-game mechanics, and expanding on fan theories sprouted from the games.[97][98] The book was released in some bookstores earlier than planned, but released publicly on August 29, 2017.[99]

Other

Five Nights at Freddy's: Survival Logbook (2017)

Five Nights at Freddy's: Survival Logbook is an activity book.[100] It first appeared on Amazon mid-2017. Unlike previous book releases, Survival Logbook has no listed Amazon Kindle editions, with pages designed for physical writing as opposed to simply reading from a device. The book was released on December 26, 2017.[101][102]

Film adaptation

Warner Bros. Pictures announced in April 2015 that it had acquired the rights to adapt the series to film. Roy Lee, David Katzenberg, and Seth Grahame-Smith were set to produce. Grahame-Smith stated that they would collaborate with Cawthon "to make an insane, terrifying and weirdly adorable movie".[103] In July 2015, Gil Kenan signed to direct the adaptation and co-write it with Tyler Burton Smith.[104]

In January 2017, Cawthon stated that partially due to "problems within the movie industry as a whole", the film "was met with several delays and roadblocks" and it was "back at square one", but he promised "to be involved with the movie from day one this time, and that's something extremely important to me. I want this movie to be something that I'm excited for the fanbase to see."[105][106]

In March 2017, Cawthon tweeted a picture at Blumhouse Productions, suggesting the film had a new production company.[107][108] In May 2017, producer Jason Blum confirmed the news, saying he was excited and working closely with Cawthon on the adaptation.[109] In June 2017, Kenan said he was no longer directing the film after Warner Bros. Pictures' turnaround.[110] In February 2018, it was announced that Chris Columbus would direct and write the film, besides producing it alongside Blum and Cawthon.[111]

Reception

Aggregate review scores
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Five Nights at Freddy's (PC) 85.00%[112]
(iOS) 80.00%[113]
(PC) 78[114]
Five Nights at Freddy's 2 (PC) 66.25%[115]
(iOS) 73.33%[116]
(PC) 62[117]
Five Nights at Freddy's 3 (PC) 73.60%[118]
(iOS) 80.00%[119]
(PC) 68[120]
Five Nights at Freddy's 4 (PC) 53.33%[121]
(iOS) 70.00%[122]
(PC) 51[123]
Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location (PC) 65.00%[124]
(iOS) 60.00%[125]
(PC) 62[126]

The first game has been praised by critics. Indie Game Magazine praised the first game's artistic design, commenting that "it's an incredibly terrifying experience to try to save yourself from the single jump scare that ends the game" and that it was a "fantastic example of how cleverness in design and subtlety can be used to make an experience terrifying".[127] PC Gamer, when reviewing the first game, commented on the fact that players will likely experience familiarity with the setting due to restaurants such as Chuck E. Cheese's. They also noted that while "the AI isn't some masterwork of procedural unpredictability, it would [still] head straight to you and eat your face off, or it'll play around like an innocent child before closing in for the kill. Your mind will fill in the rest."[128]

The second game received mixed to positive reviews, with a reviewer from PC Gamer commenting that what he had hoped for in the sequel "was more mind games and more uncertainty. I wanted the plodding animatronic suits to find me and rip my face off in new and interesting ways. I wanted working legs", and that "what I got was a horror game dipping heavily into deception and subtlety". However, he also noted that "enjoying the good parts, though, comes with a cost of a frustratingly steep difficulty".[31] Destructoid also gave the game a positive review, saying that "It's absolutely terrifying to know that you could be attacked at any moment from multiple avenues" and also praised the introduction of new animatronics and mechanics, but also criticizing the jumpscares and calling the game "too hard for its own good".[129]

The third game has, however, proven to be slightly less popular among critics, though it received similar reception to the first two games. Critics from PC Gamer stated that although they enjoyed the new reworked camera system, the jumpscares from the animatronics "felt a little stale by the third night", to the point of becoming a mere annoyance.[130] Destructoid commented that while Five Nights at Freddy's 3 is "by far the most technically proficient and mechanically satisfying installment yet", it was disappointing that Fazbear's Fright and Springtrap "[lacked the] charm of the original cast and locations".[131]

The fourth game received mixed reviews from critics. Destructoid criticized the game for its excessively-loud jumpscares and the breathing mechanic being too difficult and confusing for players. Despite this, it was praised by one reviewer at GameZebo for its intense environment and creepy sounds and graphics, as well as its jumpscares.[132] It was also given a mixed review by PC Gamer, who called it "another rivet in the series' steel-clad design which immortalized its Let's Play legacy in a few short months" and "certainly the scariest of the four [games]", but also criticized the gameplay, saying that "the humdrum repetition of the same sequence over and over ... is too much of a chore to fully pull me in", as well as criticizing the game's lack of the series's signature camera system.[133]

The fifth game has also received mixed reviews. Destructoid called it "slightly above average" and noted that "fans of the genre should enjoy this game, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled."[134] GameCrate summarized that "Sister Location is a fantastic horror game, even if it doesn't particularly feel like the rest of the FNaF series."[135]

The sixth game received mostly positive reviews, with GameCrate calling it a "must-play game for Five Nights at Freddy's fans" and the "best value in gaming right now".[136] Rock, Paper, Shotgun also gave a positive review, calling the game "spooky as hell".[137]

Cultural impact

In 2016, a horror attraction based on the series was featured in the Adventuredome during the Halloween season.[138][139]

Fandom

Cosplayers are a popular coterie among Five Nights at Freddy's fans.

From the first game's release, the Five Nights at Freddy's series has become increasingly popular among a large group of people, effectively creating a fan base for the game.[140] The series is discussed by fans on many platforms such as Reddit.[141]

The Five Nights at Freddy's games have proven popular to be played by video streamers to their audience, so as to capture the players' jump scares and other frightened reactions, becoming a common game for Let's Play videos. Popular video streamers such as PewDiePie, Markiplier, and Jacksepticeye helped the games to receive additional attention through their playthroughs.[3][142] In May 2015, YouTube reported that playthroughs of the Five Nights at Freddy's series were the eighth most-watched of all video game series on the service.[143] Channels such as Game Theory do occasionally feature Five Nights at Freddy's related videos, although they seldom provide gameplay footage, giving more attention to discussion of the game.[144]

There are a number of fan made games based on the series, inspired by Five Nights at Freddy's main game mechanics.[145]

The Five Nights at Freddy's fandom is often criticized, mostly due to negative generalization of the community, typically in reference to perceived immaturity and the mass phone calling incidents.[140] Scott Cawthon made a post on Steam regarding these claims, defending the fandom and criticizing the wider community for the unfair generalization.[146]

Mass phone calling incidents

In April 2015, fans mistook random numbers that were placed by Cawthon into the source code of the game's official website to be coordinates that pointed to a location significant to the games. Fans entered these numbers into Google Maps and consequently discovered a pizzeria in Virginia. Mass phone calls were made to the pizzeria by fans, attempting to discover if the company had a connection to the upcoming installment, Five Nights at Freddy's 4.[147] It was later confirmed by Cawthon that this pizzeria had no connection with the Five Nights at Freddy's series.[148]

In June 2016, fans discovered a pizzeria and restaurant in Long Branch, New Jersey called Freddie's, and again called the restaurant in mass numbers to determine affiliation to Five Nights at Freddy's.[149] The hundreds of phone calls received by the restaurant each day caused difficulty for legitimate customers to be able to place orders through the phone line.[150] A pizzeria called Freddie's Pizza & Pasta in Roseville, California also suffered from this.[151]

Cawthon has since asked fans to refrain from calling numbers that they believe are associated with the game, as seen in the footer of his webpage.

Merchandise

Five Nights at Freddy's merchandise is predominantly produced by two companies, Sanshee and Funko.[152] Products created through these companies include stuffed toys, action figures, posters, clothing, keychains, and even stationery.[153][154] McFarlane Toys also has a line of Five Nights at Freddy's merchandise, consisting mostly of construction sets.[155] Todd McFarlane said that the line was "the single largest selling product, bar none, by a lot that [he's] done in 20-plus years."[156] These merchandise items are available internationally, and have been a large factor for the franchise's commercial success.[157]

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