Franchise / Five Nights at Freddy's

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"As always, remember to smile; you are the face of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza."

"During the day, it's a place of joy. But you aren't here during the day. You have the night watch."

Five Nights at Freddy's is a series of Survival Horror indie games created by Scott Cawthon. The first game centers around the infamous Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria and its main attraction: The restaurant's four animatronic mascots: Freddy Fazbear and his friends Bonnie the Bunny, Chica the Chicken, and Foxy the Pirate Fox. Kid-friendly place during the day, its tone changes drastically whenever the restaurant is closed for the night... because this is when the animatronics start wandering around the whole place. You play the role of the night guard, who must sit in the security office and make sure the animatronics don't get in — or else they'll kill you. (The restaurant doesn't like that.)

The game's surprise success led to four sequels: Five Nights At Freddy's 2 (November 2014), Five Nights At Freddy's 3 (released in March 2015), Five Nights At Freddy's 4 (July 2015), and Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location (October 2016).

The first four games follows the same basic gameplay template, but each one has its own specific twist. In each game, you have to deal a number of animatronics that will kill you if they get their hands on you. You're given something to defend yourself (security doors; a mask and flashlight; a sound file and vent doors; and ordinary doors, respectively), you're handicapped by something that prevents you from abusing your defense (a power meter; animatronics too smart to fool and poor battery life; computer errors; and multiple areas of entrance, respectively), and you have to face a threat that doesn't appear in the trailer (Foxy; The Marionette; The Phantoms; Nightmare Fredbear and Nightmare; and Ennard and Minireena, respectively).

Sister Location, though, mixes things up a lot. Each night does different things for your shift. Night 2, for instance, needs you to hold a door shut as a Bidybab tries to pull it open, then play a sound-based game of Red Light Green Light with Ballora, and then you have to worry about Funtime Freddy, who is right beside you while balancing restarting systems (which pisses it off), and playing a sound file (which calms it down).

Warner Bros. picked up the rights to make a film based on the games in April 2015. Monster House director Gil Kenan will direct the film, and the animatronics will be built by the Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

Scott released a spin-off to the main series, Five Nights at Freddy's World, in January 2016. It is, on its face, a Lighter and Softer RPG where you can choose to play as any of the animatronics and go on a fun adventure through a fantasy world. It reveals a slightly less "lighter and softer" side as it goes on, and several updates have only helped in that regard.

Shortly after the Halloween update to Freddy's 4, Scott Cawthon vanished from the internet. He returned in December 2015 to announce Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes, a spinoff novel that expands upon the lore; the book was released on the 17th of December. In June 2016, Scott announced a book deal with Scholastic for three YA novels, the first of which came out in October 2016.

On the 9th of May, 2016, Scott Cawthon confirmed via the Steam forums that the original main series games will be remade for consoles.

There is an interactive Haunted House attraction by Fright Dome based on the games that first opened in Las Vegas in October 2016.
Games:

Entries in the Main Series:

Spin Offs:

Other media:


Examples found in the entire franchise of FNAF:

  • Adult Fear: Those slightly off-putting animatronics have been disturbing parents for years, but kids still come to the pizzeria and have parties. The fact that at least five were murdered - and seemingly stuffed into the animatronic suits - on restaurant grounds, and the animatronics subsequently developed a foul smell and became stained with "blood and mucus," doesn't help matters.
    • For that matter, the murders themselves. A psycho dressing up as a kid-friendly character, luring a child into a back room, and brutally murdering them is practically lifted from parents' nightmares.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: If something's mechanical and moving in this series, then there's a 9 out of 10 chance that it's out for your blood. Though when you bring ghosts into the equation, then there's a high chance that they aren't naturally psychopathic.
  • Alone with the Psycho: In every game, the player is essentially trapped in one place, unable to leave until 6:00 A.M. lest they be flanked and killed by the murderous animatronics. 3 plays it the most straight, as you're stuck alone with one animatronic, who most certainly is depraved.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: This franchise does not want to give out its time-period freely. However, with a bit of deduction, the player can usually figure out what year it might be in:
    • The first game has the date 19XX. However, seeing how it's set after 1987, and judging by the minimum wage, it most likely takes place in 1992/1993.
    • The second game subverts this: you get your paycheck on November 12th, 1987.
    • The third game's description says it takes place 30 years after the pizzeria shuts down, again leaving it in in either 2022 or 2023.
    • The fourth game gets a little complicated, since as a child, you're obviously not given a paycheck at the end of the week. However, judging by a screen found in the night between minigames and that entering this number in the Private Room in Sister Location brings up the Child's house, it might just be 1983.
    • Sister Location states that Circus Baby's Pizza World was set up after the "unfortunate" closing of Freddy Fazbear's pizzeria, presumably the one taking place after the first game. If so, then Sister Location could be between the 1992-2022 period, before the urban legends of the Fazbears pizzeria became widely known. And then the ending pops up, making it uncertain as to whether the game takes place during or in-between 1 and 2, immediately after 4, or before any of the other games at all.
  • Antagonist Title: Freddy's the default Big Bad of the first game. He's also in the title for all of the games, as well as most of their cover art.
  • Arc Words: "It's me." It shows up ludicrously often in the first two games - being a random hallucination in 1 and a recurring message from the Puppet in 2.note  It doesn't show up in 3 or 4, but makes one last appearance as a Wham Line at the end of Sister Location.
  • Artistic License Engineering: In reality, animatronics are very fragile pieces of machinery that will fairly easily break if even a small amount of force beyond their design specs is applied. In many cases, this is actually intentional to prevent injury. And no, you can't really chalk it up to them being possessed by the ghosts of the murdered children, because they're expected to move around at night.note  In The Silver Eyes, Freddy and Friends are described as smashing and tossing arcade machines around, and sound more like Terminators than actual animatronics, taking this Up to Eleven.
  • Artifact Title: The series hasn't really been "at Freddy's" since 2. Even more, Freddy himself has largely been pushed out of the spotlight by other characters, like the Marionette, Springtrap, and Circus Baby.
  • Bears are Bad News: Oh yes they are.
  • Big Bad: Though the animatronics themselves aren't usually too plot-important, the series does indeed have one: William Afton, a serial child murderer whose actions directly caused the animatronics to be haunted and whose children - all dead and having come back wrong, of course - may or may not be similarly important to the plot. He also may or may not be Springtrap, and thus might serve as the chronological Final Boss.
  • Big Good: A complicated example in the Puppet. It's the primary antagonist of one of the games, a recurring villain afterward, and the main force behind the Animatronics... but its actions are all towards the goal of stopping the series' Bigger Bad, its plan is ultimately successful, and it fixes its mess once its plan is finished by releasing the souls trapped in the animatronics.
  • Bittersweet Ending: How the games often end, with it leaning towards more to the "bitter" side most of the time. Whatever it is, the protagonist usually gets the short end of the stick. 4 and Sister Location are notable for taking this Up to Eleven; both of their protagonists die at the end, and "Eggs Benedict" is revealed to not only be William Afton's son, but to have also possessed his own rotten corpse, going on to become the Purple Man himself.
    • Despite all of that, 3 initially appears to avert this. Springtrap is locked into Fazbear's Fright as it's set ablaze, the souls of the Missing Children are set free, and the protagonist (whatever his name is) leaves none the worse for wear. Then comes Sister Location, which reveals that Springtrap survived the fire. Still, not as bad as usual.
  • Body Horror: The games are (in)famous for their portrayal of mechanical body horror, especially after the first one (though the original was no stranger to it, either; just ask Foxy).
    • There's also what they do to you in the first game if they catch you: stuff you inside a Freddy Fazbear suit. With all the wires still inside. Ouch.
  • Butt-Monkey: If you're a version of Foxy, then expect your animatronic life to suck even worse then that of your peers.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The "animatronics" that the series revolves around are really just robots. Real-life animatronics are far stiffer than them.
  • Color Motif: All of the games have their respective color motifs: The first game mostly uses dark grays and blues, the second game uses red, the third game uses yellow and green, and the fourth game uses blue and red. The fifth one seems to be using blue, yellow, and purple.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The pizzerias can be considered miniature versions of these. On the surface, they're meant to be places where children can eat pizza and have fun. Behind locked doors, however, lies a history of murder, cover ups, and unsafe working conditions.
  • Crapsack World: Fazbear's Fright completely drops all pretense and shows the former business for what it really was.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In regards to the first game, the lore of the franchise is almost nonexistent. The most you can get out of it are brief flashes of short newspaper articles talking about the murders and the soon closing of the pizzeria. The first game is also the only one not have the Atari-style 8-bit minigame, which has since become a staple of the series.
  • Exposition Fairy: Phone Guy and his successors, all of whom dispense valuable information on the gameplay and provide the first readily-available glimpse of the series' plot. Though they're all invariably unreliable narrators.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Due to being set exclusively in first-person view, no protagonist in the series can be identified in physical terms (though the first game's Mike Schmidt is implied to have blue eyes if the game over screen is anything to go by). Except for the kid from 4, as we do see how he looks like, but only in 8-bit.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: This franchise actually has a few of them, believe it or not. There's...
    • The Murderer, who murdered at least five children while wearing a company suit. He's also (probably) the Big Bad of the third game, Springtrap, but that's after he's been killed. He's also revealed the have built the animatronics of Sister Location, specifically to help murder/kidnap children.
    • Then there's the Puppet, who, while also trying to help avenge the children, is also targeting innocent night guards.
    • Finally, there's the management of Freddy Fazbear's themselves, whose disturbing lack of security, safety, or common sense causes all these accidents and murders to happen. Well, most of them. In Sister Location, the Murderer is the management.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • The first game has "4-20 Mode"/"20-20-20-20 Mode", the result of tinkering with the four animatronics' AI (which you can do at the start of the Custom Night) and setting it to the highest level possible.
    • The second game has "10-20 Mode", which is the equivalent of the above, but with 10 animatronics instead of 4.
    • The third game has the "Aggressive Nightmare Mode", the combination of Nightmare Mode (Night 6) and the Aggressive cheat (which makes Springtrap more, well, aggressive).
    • The fourth game has an additional Nightmare night unlocked after beating Night 6, and a hidden Night 8 that uses the "4-20" Mode by default (you have to type "20202020" on your keyboard to unlock it). And then you get the option to do it blind...
    • The fifth game had Night 4, in which you are trapped inside a springlock suit and have to keep the springlocks wound while avoiding death by Minireena. Wiggling to shake off the Minireenas undoes the winding on the springlocks, which led to Scott patching the game to make it easier after numerous complaints about its difficulty. Then there's the Night 5 alternate ending, where it's a combination of all the previous games mechanics: the first game's doors, the second game's three entryways, the third game's one animatronic who'll kill you, and the fourth game's sound detection system. Oh, and it's on the diffculty of 4/20 mode. Have fun!
  • Hate Sink: It's kind of hard to hate the animatronics. However, this series has a few humans who you can hate:
    • The management in the first two games, who allow the animatronics to remain in the restaurant instead of replacing them, give you a life threatening job without warning you of the danger, refuse to pay restitution if you are injured, hide your corpse and cover it up with a missing person report if you get killed, don't even pay you well, and eventually fire you while insulting your odor.
    • The series's actual antagonist, William Afton, is easily the easiest to hate out of the entire roster. The man murders children, for crying out loud.
    • The fourth game has the brother. The animatronics in that game are just figments of the child's imagination, so he is the only thing you truly have to hate in that game.
  • Haunted Technology: It's initially very heavily hinted - and then outright stated, later on - that the animatronics are being haunted by the ghosts of children that were murdered in the restaurant. Springtrap is also hinted to be possessed by the man who murdered them, or possibly his son. However, not every animatronic falls under this: the Nightmares are merely hallucinations, while the Circus Baby gang are acting out on their accord.
  • Hostile Animatronics: One of the most known modern examples.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Despite being centered around homicidal robots, this trope seems to be a major theme throughout the series:
    • The Murderer himself. He murdered anywhere from five to eleven innocent children with no remorse. He's the whole reason the animatronics are after you as they, being haunted by the aforementioned children, believe you to be him. Granted, he's no longer human by the time the third game happens, but unlike the other animatronics, who are more tragic than they are evil, he's more of a Chucky expy by this point.
    • The incident that happened at the end of the fourth game, which is hinted to be the Fazbear Incident mentioned in the second game. It was caused by a group of bullies as a prank, on the leader's younger brother. The worst part? There's a good chance that said younger brother died from the aforementioned incident!
  • Jump Scare: The first few games had these exclusively as the lose condition, with the animatronics shrieking in your face before cutting to the Game Over screen. FNAF 3 introduced hallucinatory jump scares which impede you but otherwise allow you to keep going.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Sister Location, excepting one level, moves away from the progression-based survival horror setup of previous games in favor of a series of minigames with differing objectives for each one. Meanwhile, World is a straight-up RPG.
  • Officially Shortened Title:
    • The third game's title is just put as "FNAF 3" on the main menu.
    • FNAF World was the name the game was advertised under.
  • Purple Is Powerful: If something has even a hint of purple on them, you can bet that they're extremely important and/or extremely deadly. Case in point: the Purple Man, whose actions drive the plot.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: The voice acting for the various phone people. It's full of "um's", repetitions, and various other mess-ups. Done intentionally, considering how in Five Nights at Freddy's 3 the Phone Guy's recordings about the hybrid suits are much more professionally done than the recordings of the previous games, probably since he was reading from a script.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: The titular Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria itself. We don't know much about their food and games, but they've got their creepy animatronics down to a tee. And then there's the matter of the Bite of '87 and the murders that happened in there...
  • Supporting Protagonist: The protagonists of the series can only be called as such because the player is playing as them, as they otherwise don't have anything to do with the lore of the series (though again, the kid from 4 is an exception). Instead, the animatronics are the real stars of the story.

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