FNAF: It’s Just Too Scary

I am sure that at this point in time, almost everyone has heard about a pretty spooky series of games called Five Nights at Freddy’s.  In general, the premise of the games is to survive five nights (plus bonus nights, if you so choose, though bonus was a bad choice of words on my part), usually as a security guard, against the animatronics of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, the main ones being Freddy Fazbear himself, Bonnie the bunny, Chica the chicken, and the defunct Foxy the pirate.  For the duration of the games, you are stuck in a single room and must typically check security cameras to keep an eye on the animatronics, who wander about freely at night and, if they spot you, will mistake you for a metal endoskeleton without its suit on.  This wouldn’t be so bad if their response wasn’t to forcibly stuff you into an empty suit.  Which is fatal.  To put it lightly.  (Of course, each game has different variations of this core concept, with the third and fourth games differing the most.  But, that pretty much covers the basics.  So if you haven’t looked into the series yet, you are more or less caught up.)

I had been hearing about the series for quite a while, but I didn’t become interested in checking it out until the comicon masquerade I attended earlier this year, which included two people cosplaying as characters from the series, Toy Chica and Foxy.  After that, I was intrigued and looked the game up on the Internet, during which I was subject to all manner of terrifying videos of what has to be the scariest game in existence.  I watched the first game in utmost dread, with no idea of what to expect.  The longer I watched, the more uneasy I became, until the first animatronic disappeared from its spot on stage, only to be picked up on camera in an entirely different location.  And despite merely watching the happenings on my screen, without any involvement but that of a spectator, I became truly anxious.  And this anxiety only grew as the night crept towards 6:00 AM and the power slowly dwindled.  Never before has several hours (condensed into several minutes) felt so long.

Oh, but despite the horror of it all, I kept watching.  Yes, I had not yet had enough, so I decided next to check out the second game, which I found a bit too confusing.  So many strategies had to be employed to keep the animatronics away, many of which only affected a few, if not simply one.  And you’d have to find out for yourself which one that was.  God help you with the rest.  I cowered from the safety of my couch as the player would desperately try anything that came to mind to ward off whatever had wandered into their office.  But, if you think that was enough to make me run screaming, forever doomed to sleep with the lights on for the rest of my miserable life, you would be wrong.  I then began watching videos for the third game, though this one baffled me more than ever.  Frankly, I never figured out what was going on in that one.  All I knew was that Springtrap was the most frightening animatronic yet.  How I hated that thing.  Shudder.  I never did watch much of the third game….

And then the fourth and final game was released not too long ago, and I immediately rushed back to my friendly neighborhood Youtube to check it out.  This game is rather different from the others, and yet it has kind of a similar feel to that of the first game.  (If someone who has never played any of the games can really make such an assessment.)  This time, the playable character is a child, not a security guard, and the game takes place at night in the child’s bedroom.  The entire night, you must watch out for animatronics that appear in your closet, on the bed, or out in the two hallways on either side of your room.  I hear it is meant to be a nightmare, but I will not divulge any further details on the matter.  All I can say is that the game eventually reveals some very important information concerning a mystery that was mentioned in the first game.  I shall say no more.  Nope.  You can’t make me.

So, now that I’ve told you about my minimal experience with the series, I want to know, who here was brave enough to actually play the games?  While I have considered it from time to time, I still have been unable to bring myself to play it.  And I don’t know if I ever will.  It took all my willpower just to play Slender: The 9 Pages.  Seriously, the first time I tried, I became so terrified that I gave up upon locating the first page.  Slender Man doesn’t appear until you collect the first page, you see, and I just couldn’t bear (ha, pun not intended, wait, what?) the thought of that faceless monstrosity tracking me down.  Not long later, however, I was able to return to the game and played it many times over the course of several weeks, and I was eventually able to collect a maximum of 6 or 7 pages before I was caught.  (Honestly, though, what an unrealistic concept.  Why on earth would my character be wandering about some weird abandoned basement in the first place?)

Nevertheless, despite braving the horrors of Slender, Five Nights at Freddy’s (or FNAF, if you’d prefer to shorten it) seems so much more terrifying.  I mean, you’re stuck in this one room, just waiting for these mechanical monstrosities to come find you.  Not to mention the fact that there are four you must watch out for in the first game (maybe five, actually).  I can run from Slender Man.  I can’t run from these guys, nor would I ever choose to wander that place alone at night for fear of running into the other animatronics I wasn’t currently in the middle of running from.  Plus, Slender Man is not really that scary looking.  I mean, yeah, he’s tall and thin and has no face.  That’s scary and all, but if you squint, you could perhaps convince yourself that he’s just a tall guy in a suit.  Yeah, that’s it.  I’m merely being stalked by an unnaturally tall, faceless guy, well-dressed, mind you, that can teleport at will and strikes me blind if I look at him.

Okay, yes, I admit it.  Slender Man still gives me the chills.

The animatronics of FNAF are just scarier.  That’s it.  Looking into their lifeless eyes and catching the glint of a second set of teeth within their jaws is just frightening.  If you’re brave enough to play these games, I am impressed.  Because there’s a really good chance I never will.  Ever.  Unless I mute it and close my eyes.  And make someone else do it for me.  Watching the games was an experience I won’t soon forget.

(Edit: Clearly I spoke too soon.  As of writing this, I was too afraid to play this game.  As of publishing this article, however, I have overcome my crippling fear.  So you’ll be hearing more about this game in the future….)

Five Nights at Ducky’s

8 thoughts on “FNAF: It’s Just Too Scary”

  1. I played the 5 nights on the first game. It was scary at first because of the whole waiting part of it. In most other horror games I’m walking my way in, but in FNAF I’m waiting for them to come to me. It stopped being as scary once I adjusted to it and learnt what to expect from the system. I watched all of the other games; To be honest, I don’t really enjoy the gameplay and I find it far more entertaining to delve into the theories and watch people’s reactions. I feel like I want to be a fan though and so should buy all the games eventually. The animatronics are really creepy, yet fun at the same time. I’m really looking forward to the film that may arise from this too.

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    1. That’s one thing I found interesting about the game, how you have to wait for the animatronics to come to you rather than being able to actively avoid them. I have played another horror game, Slender: The 9 Pages, a few times in the past, and you can just avoid Slender Man, which is not an option in FNAF. It’s rather frightening being stuck in one place. It forces you to make decisions to keep the characters away as opposed to just running from them.

      I agree that the theories for the games and the reactions people have while playing is really the best part of FNAF. I love the interesting backstory, and I love simply watching people get terrified. And I do love the design of the animatronics. These kinds of details make the games more than just another horror series that’ll be replaced once the next scary thing comes out. I’m excited about the movie, too. I just hope it has an interesting story like the games and isn’t just about “jumpscares” and things like that.

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      1. If the movie is done right it could become a cult classic. I think the animatronic designs have really helped with the game’s success as you can easily put them on merchandise or people enjoy creating fan art of them and picking a favourite (Foxy is mine.) A lot of the other horror games I enjoy – such as Outlast and Amnesia – don’t contain any strong designs that can inspire people in that sort of way. The details also keep people coming back to look for more. It’s one of those games that people love to talk about as a result, and I guess that’s really worked in its favour. I never played Slender, but it’s on my to-do list.

        The mechanics in FNAF are quite clever and give it a unique type of scary, but unfortunately for me, it’s also why I don’t enjoy it very much. I found that there were times where I didn’t really know what to do and wanted them to come so that something exciting would happen. Of course, I also didn’t want them to come either because that’d be kind of scary :P. I hope that this does inspire designers however, as I think this could be the start that paves the way for new and interesting horror mechanics.

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      2. I completely agree, if they do a good job with the movie, I think FNAF could remain a classic for a very long time. My first true horror game was Slender: The 9 Pages, and while it’s scary, it’s also a very shallow experience. Slender Man is scary, but his design is not that interesting. There is no story. I don’t even have a clue why my character is doing what they’re doing or where they are. It’s scary and fun when it’s new, but it’s not an experience that really stuck with me.

        FNAF, on the other hand, has such an intriguing backstory people can’t stop thinking about, and the animatronics are able to be scary, yet at the same time, memorable characters. (Foxy is my favorite, too. In fact, it was an amazing Foxy cosplay at a comicon, with both moving ears and blinking eyes, that made me look into the series to begin with.) FNAF has something special that makes it more than just a horror series.

        FNAF is just such a unique series, it’ll be interesting to see what new horror gameplay it can inspire. I just really hope the movie does it justice, so that FNAF can become a horror classic. I personally want this movie to be a success. We’ll see what the future holds….

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  2. That is a game that sounds far too scary for me. I’d be sleeping with the lights on and every window locked and I might have to check the doors a few times and keep the TV on. Maybe every light would be on in the house……LOL No thank you!

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  3. The game is indeed pretty spooky. Just from watching gameplay videos for FNAF, I have experienced many sleepless nights…. It’s funny how this stuff can scare us at home, as I know that, logically, Chica is not going to be lurking around my kitchen at night, and yet I still can’t help but get in bed at night and squeeze my eyes shut for fear of seeing a shadow in my room if I dare open them. Shudder.

    What I find most interesting of all is the fact that the guy who created the game actually has had nightmares about it. Apparently Bonnie frightens him the most. I am more afraid of Freddy for some reason, and yet I did have a dream the other night where Chica came after me…. I was in the office in the game, and she just walked into the room, stared at me, then pounced. I’ve never been so afraid of chickens before.

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  4. When I heard about FNAF 1 I was dared to hear a Fanmade recording…for a whole year I was doomed to sleep with my closet light on,a bucket of water at my bed,my bible,and a knife to cut the wires of the deamonized animatronics. Now after one whole year I still have the nightmares of being chased by Bonnie foxy Freddy Cica. Now I can read the FanFictions but I think tonight I will stay up ALL NIGHT

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    1. I had a nightmare about Chica the other night. Shudder. It took me a while to recover from the games. I would stay still in my bed and keep my eyes closed tight, for fear of seeing something horrible in my room if I opened them. Visits to the bathroom are also a no-no on nights like that. Once I’m in my room with the door closed, I never come out again. I feel better once enough time has passed, but if I watch gameplay videos for the games again, I’m back to sleepless nights of terror again.

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