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Champaign Central Chronicle

What To Know: Five Nights At Freddy’s


In 2014, game developer Scott Cawthon was at a crossroads. He wanted to create fun, entertaining games that adhered to his religion and were fun for children. But the games he made were scary. Terrifying, even. The characters looked like animatronics, with unblinking eyes and an ever-present smile. The reception to his games was terrible. So Scott had an idea; he would use the terrifying characters to create a scary game, a game that would appeal to the masses. 

Five Nights at Freddy’s was born. 

Immediately, the game shot to the top of the charts with recognizable YouTubers playing the game as some sort of challenge. Even today, I connect the games to the YouTuber Markiplier, whose symbiotic relationship with the games simultaneously gave him popularity as the games grew. 

With its popularity, a growing demand for a movie was prevalent. The concept of a FNaF movie was first mentioned in 2015. In 2022, however, Josh Hutcherson of The Hunger Games and Matthew Lillard of Scooby-Doo were cast. These well-known and well-loved actors gave an incredible amount of hype to the movie. 

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Here is everything you need to know (and more) before you see the movie!

The story is convoluted, I will say that, but it has a sense of fear and gore that is little seen in media so popular. Get ready.

The plot of the games revolves around a family, the Aftons, who are sometimes British and sometimes not. The patriarch of the family, William, is a man who is obsessed with the animatronics he creates, to the point where he would kill for them, even die for them. William created the Freddy Fasbear’s Pizzeria franchise with his business partner, Henry Emily, who is not important now but will be very soon. 

At the beginning of the business which was known as Fredbear’s Diner, there were two animatronics, not the Bonnie, Chica, Freddy, and Foxy we all know and ‘love’. There were just two, the golden Bunny and the golden Bear, nicknamed ‘Fredbear’. William has three children, Michael, and a daughter and son whose names are disputed. For clarity, I will be referring to the two younger children by their most commonly known names, Elizabeth and Evan. Evan is also referred to as the ‘crying child’. 

At some event, possibly a birthday party, Michael decided to play a prank on Evan by putting his head in the mouth of Fredbear, who is both a suit and an animatronic, using the ‘spring lock’ technology created by Henry. Due to Evan’s protests and tears, the lock fails, crushing Evan’s head. Evan dies, and William is consumed by his grief. If he can make characters who can talk and move on their own, why can’t he make a replica, and try to bring Evan back? This is the concept of the first game in the timeline, FnaF 4, which takes place in the nightmares of either Evan or Michael as Evan dies in the hospital. 

But first, William must avenge his son’s death. The spring-lock system killed him, so he must first look to the creator of the contraption. Henry Emily, his business partner, must be the culprit. He decides to make Henry feel as bad as he feels, by killing his only child Charlotte Emily behind the building one night. Henry created an animatronic to protect Charlotte, known as the puppet. Charlotte’s soul possesses this puppet, making her the first to possess animatronics. 

William continues his killing spree with five more victims, putting their bodies inside the suits of the new animatronics at the pizzeria he created. These victims inhabited the bodies of Freddy, Chica, Foxy, and Bonnie. 

After this, or possibly simultaneously, William creates the ‘sister location’. Using the Circus Baby animatronic, William’s second child, Elizabeth is killed by Circus Baby’s scooping mechanism. This sister location is shut down, and the animatronics are placed in a basement of the Afton household, being shut away for years. 

This backstory concluded, the first four games of the series follow, with FNaF 2 being the first. This game is the typical FNAF concept, with a single screen and security guard at the helm. It is implied that this security guard, for the first four nights, is Michael Afton himself, with a character named ‘Jeremy’ being the guard for the final night, suffering frontal lobe trauma in an incident which is known as the ‘Bite of ‘87’. The animatronics in this game are not possessed as in FNaF 1, but they are built to harm criminals by using a criminal database. Because Michael resembles his father, these animatronics go after him as well. 

Michael then goes to the original FNaF location in FNaF 1. Michael works for the five nights, then returns to his home for the next game in the timeline. 

At the end of Sister Location, there is a massive lore drop. This game ends with the ‘Funtime animatronics’, who are possessed by the ‘remnant’ of the melted down metal of the original four animatronics, convincing Michael to follow his ‘sister’ Circus Baby into the ‘scooping room’. This room’s purpose is to scoop the endoskeletons of the animatronics out of their bodies. But when used against a human man, this contraption has fatal effects.

With this machine, Michael is essentially dead, but the endoskeletons of the Funtime animatronics enter through his abdomen, keeping him alive for enough for this endoskeleton called ‘Ennard’ to escape. 

Here is where my timeline gets wonky. Either the events at the end of Sister Location are before FNaF 2, or after FNaF 1. This is based on whether you believe Michael would act on his own will, or be influenced by the ‘Ennard’ inside him. Also, at the end of both games, the security guard is fired because of odor, which is something a rotting metal corpse could have. 

For a while after this, there was a lull in the timeline for about 10 years. In FNaF 3, the former location of a Fazbear’s Pizzeria is converted into a haunted house with a haunted animatronic theme called ‘Fazbear’s Fright’. This is interesting because it confirms that the murders of Fazbear’s Pizzeria were known to the public, and were also dramatized in the same way the Zodiac Killer or other true crime cases are now. In this game, the only real animatronic against the player (who may be Michael or maybe someone completely different) is known as Springtrap. 

Springtrap himself is the killer William Afton. After his murder spree in the 80s, William hid from the police in the store room of Fazbear’s Pizzeria and was soon taunted by the spirits of his victims. To hide from them, he got into the spring-locked suit of the Golden Bunny, the costume he used to wear in the original Fredbear’s Family Diner. Suffering the same fate that fell upon his son, the locks fail around him, crushing his body in one painful blow. Now possessing this suit, he travels through the vents and hallways of Fazbear’s Fright to harm the security guard. 

The next game in the timeline is Pizzeria Simulator. This game, in itself, is a ploy to get all of the animatronics to return to one area, one Pizzeria. You play as an unnamed character (later revealed to be Michael) who opens his own Fazbear’s location, bringing the animatronics, including the Puppet (remember her?) and Springtrap. In the final scene of the game, it is revealed that Henry, William’s former partner, had brought all of the animatronics and Michael to one building, which before a lengthy and truly incredible monologue, he burns the Pizzeria to the ground, destroying the evil forever. 

The final game of this saga is Ultimate Custom Night, in which William is tortured by the spirits of the people he harmed forever and ever in his personal hell. 

Of course, to continue the series, these characters come back for the next series, which is more tech-based. These are not completely necessary to the plot of the movie, in my opinion, but maybe I will write a second part of this article in the coming weeks.

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Bess Chamley, Arts & Entertainment Editor
witch and sorceress of words she/her

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