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Eight Years of Freddy: Revisiting FNAF

As we get near almost a year since Security Breach, it may seem like there isn’t much to talk about, but with new DLC and another wave of books coming out, there certainly is. Anyone on social media this year likely has seen a rise in Five Nights at Freddy’s content, particularly the first three. With that in mind, it’s time to glance back eight years ago.

Many people likely hadn’t heard much about the first FNAF, released in August of 2014. If you’re anything like me, your first exposure to it was probably on YouTube. Personally, I first saw Markiplier play it, but I didn’t watch more than the first video before I had to have it myself. I’m no stranger to horror. I enjoy watching scary movies, and I’m the one who doesn’t find them scary. I play horror games and most of the time it’s just fine. Good game, suspenseful but not scary.

I admit, something about not being able to move from your seat, with only a limited amount of power and some doors and cameras to keep you safe along with the ambient sounds and quiet tension added up to an already creepy experience (especially if you happen to have headphones on.) The breathing and wheezing, distorted laughing, and the sound of Chica in the kitchen are all still very vivid in my mind. I admit it. I jumped. When I played on mobile, I threw my phone across the room once.

Face value, it wraps up nicely. Nothing is really added to the story by doing night 6 or custom night on 4/20 mode (or 20/20/20/20, as in setting the AI for all the animatronics to the highest difficulty). There’s a bare amount of lore, namely, a former employee murdering some children, the animatronics come to life at night, and the pizza place gets shut down.

FNAF 2 explored a different part of the timeline and gave you more to manage. Winding a music

box to keep a puppet sleeping, balloon boy, Mangle, two vents, a flashlight, and a Freddy Fazbear head. You still can’t move. There’s still creepy sounds, only there’s more animatronics, and the extra things you have to manage easily gets overwhelming. Add to this mini-games that can unlock more story. Expanded lore. Not to mention said mini games occur at random, when you die.

FNAF 3 changed the formula a bit with only one animatronic, Springtrap. There are others, called phantom animatronics, which, as that implies, aren't really there, but they can make it difficult to manage things. The events here are at a horror attraction, set many years after the first and second games. You still have a vent and a hall, you still couldn’t move (that came in the 4th game) but you had to manage your audio, camera and ventilation systems.

In short, the first three set the stage, each adding to the lore it was establishing, changing the game literally and figuratively. With Tales From the Pizzaplex out, and Security Breach DLC coming soon, it’s no wonder people are excitedly going back to where it all began, back in August of 2014. Long Live FNAF.

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