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Headscratchers / Bendy and the Ink Machine

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As a Headscratchers subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Some Missing Info

  • What happened in between Chapters 1 and 2? At the end of Chapter 1, Henry walks into a room containing a pentagram drawn on the floor. At the beginning of Chapter 2, he's suddenly lying in the middle of the pentagram, apparently having just waken up from something. What happened?
    • Chapter 1 was recently revised, with the ending changed to make this more clear. Instead of the chapter ending just as Henry walks in on the pentagram, the new version has him walk up to the pentagram and suddenly have flashes of various images before blacking out and collapsing on the pentagram. That's why he wakes up there at the beginning of the second chapter.

How did Sammy catch Harry?

  • In Chapter 2, Sammy apparently bound Henry when he captured him. But how exactly did he do it? What did he use? And how did Henry escape so easily?
    • All you have to do to find out is literally turn around after you break free. There's a large wooden pole in the middle of the room, with some rope next to it. Also, I'm pretty sure a 30+ year old abandoned workshop wouldn't have fresh rope that wasn't somehow decayed to the point you could just push on it and break free. Really, the only thing that kept Henry from breaking free the second he got his bearings was the deranged man with an axe in front of him.

Why Leave the axe?

  • Why does Sammy leave Henry's axe so close to him? Sure, he wasn't counting on Henry to escape, but it seems foolish nonetheless. He would have been better off holding on to it, just in case.
    • When Sanity Slippage occurs, reasoning follows it.
    • More bluntly, he thinks he's about to get exactly what he wants — and who brings weaponry to accept the grand prize? He has no real need of it, so he simply leaves it alongside the "sheep" as he summons Bendy.
      • Furthermore, the final shot shows an intact axe next to his fallen mask, implying Sammy had his own axe, which would explain why he didn't need Henry's.

Feed the Machine

  • In Chapter Three, Alice Angel says that her machine is hungry. What machine could she be referring to? the Ink Machine? but if so, why does she address it as her machine?
    • It's more likely she was referring to whatever machine she used to get the "insides" of the Butcher Gang and the Borises.
      • That makes it even more disturbing... but plausible. The Ink Machine is way up on the first floor after all. But it's obviously extended throughout the entirety of the studio.. hmm...
    • There are several machines in chapter 4 and 5 that produce things if you put ink in them. She could be referring to those, which she might use for supplies, or possibly she's referring to the machines that allow her control over the elevators and doors

Who's moving the cutouts?

  • In Chapter 3, there's a moment where a Bendy cutout pokes around the corner like in Chapter 1. However, when Henry goes around the corner, he finds Boris. Does that mean that Boris was the one moving the cutouts in the first two chapters? If so, why? Was he just being mischievous?
    • Or maybe the Bendy cutout moved on its own to tell you Boris was there.

Perfect Boris

  • Why is Boris the only perfect cartoon character to come to life? I mean, he literally looks like the cartoon character jumped out of the screen. Despite Alice calling him 'perfect', all the other dead Borises look just as flawless. Sammy and Inked Bendy are humans covered in ink with Bendy faces on. Alice is a human woman covered in ink with a face that is a mix between Alice and whatever is left of the poor human underneath. The Butcher Gang come as close as possible to be real cartoon characters but they look like twisted nightmare versions of themselves. Boris, however, looks like Boris. Not some weird twisted human with a Boris mask on, but the actual cartoon character, with cartoonish body proportions to boot. I wouldn't be surprised if the reveal is that Boris really is a cartoon character and not a possessed human, but what made him so different from the rest?
    • As of Chapter 4, we see that Boris isn’t alone as a “perfect” cartoon character. Given where we find the other Boris and the second “Alice”, it’s possible that only the more deformed and insane characters venture out in the open on the upper floors while the ones retaining sanity and intelligence hide to keep “Bendy” from finding them. Like Alice said, the one rule that everyone follows down here is “Beware the Ink Demon.”
    • True but even then Allison Angel doesn't look like the real cartoon Alice Angel brought to life in the way Boris does. She still looks like a regular woman cosplaying as Alice with her arms drenched in ink.
    • Susie said that she was "born" twice from the ink: once as a shapeless slug, then as a flawed Alice Angel. That indicates that there's something that "prints" the characters from the ink and recycles those that are too off-model until it eventually comes up with something right. It's likely that Inked Bendy hunts down these flawed creations and kills them to return them to the raw supernatural ink necessary to keep trying, which is why they all fear him. Boris is likely the result of who knows how many attempts finally working out.

Humans fused with toons

  • Where was it confirmed that some humans fused with toons to create the "living" cartoons we've seen? There's a lot of talk here about Susie-Alice and Allison-Alice. Was it ever confirmed? I haven't heard anything about it.
    • It wasn’t, at least not any sort fusion. That said, “Alice” refers to herself as Susie and her behavior seems to match. As for Allison, she just seems to be the most likely identity for the second “Alice” as she’s the other actress for the character. Personally, I think the Susie-Alice is the result of her mind breaking into herself (the angry, vengeful voice) and what she considers to be Alice Angel’s character (the softer, scared voice). We haven’t seen any proof that there’s anything forcing the ink creatures to act “in-character” but know that Susie was already identifying with the character and wasn’t exactly stable. After being tossed into a chaotic mass of minds in the ink, it would make sense that she would cling to her two strongest desires to keep from losing herself completely.
    • It was actually confirmed by the events of Dreams Come to Life; the protagonist fuses with Boris to become a living toon.

Some Meta

  • Why do so many entries under this game talk like the cartoon characters themselves have personalities? Like, in the tearjerker section, it mentions that while it's a good thing Susie is dead, we should feel sad that the "Alice" trapped in her is dead. Even though we don't for for certain if the character Alice was even a consciousness within Susie. It could just be all Susie.
    • A few too many people making assumptions. In truth, we haven't seen any evidence that the actual personalities of the various in-universe cartoons are at all preserved in their "real world" counterparts. We've met only one cartoon capable of speaking and she was known for being unstable and identifying with her character even as a human. It's entirely possible that whatever Joey Drew's plans for the Ink Machine failed specifically because it couldn't create the imaginary personalities of the characters in its creations. Only implanting the minds of those it absorbed into its ink who were, understandably, broken by the experience.
      • I'd say the Boris in Chapters 2-3 is a pretty good evidence for that. He's shown to be quite simple-minded and likes food, which matches cartoon Boris' personality in the animated shorts and his description in Bendy in Nightmare Run.
    • In Chapter 3 "Alice" says "I had to do it, she made me" which could imply that there's two separate consciousness within her, with the "evil" side forcing the "good" side to kill the other Toons. Some people believe the evil side is Susie and the good side is Alice Angel.
    • DCTL confirms that at least some toons have an artifical 'toon personality', like the one Buddy describes gradually taking over his mind. In Dark Revival, Twisted Alice's dialoge seems to reflect a sort of conversation between two minds. Allison and Tom, however, don't show any signs of having an 'Alice' and 'Boris' mind obstructing their own, but this might be a result of having been intentionally designed by Joey to reflect the Allison and Thomas from the real world.

What would we need a plunger for?

  • I understand that each of the tools that Susie!Alice gives to Henry throughout Chapter 3 are appropriate tools for helping him to complete the errands she has him running around and doing for her (the syringe to collect the extra ink from the Swollen Searchers and the wrench to take the cogs), but…. why does she give Henry a PLUNGER of all things to help with gathering the power cores? All Henry has to do is simply turn a few valves and the doors open right up and he can just pop them right out! It’s not like they’re all stuffed into hard-to-reach places or anything (let alone in more, “messier,” spots either), and some of the ink monster versions of the Butcher Gang even drop them when defeated.

Ambiguous Syntax?

  • ""Bendy and the Ink Machine™" is a first person puzzle action horror game that begins in the far days past of animation and ends in a very dark future." ...What does the very dark future part mean?
    • I'm pretty sure we're about to find out in the final chapter.
      • Aaaaaand I guess we didn't.
      • Actually, the fact that the ending shows that Joey has gone essentially bankrupt and has nothing really left besides his former legacy of creating such well-known cartoons could very well be considered a dark future, ignoring the countless ink demons.
    • It's a dark future if you consider the lack of light and the inky-black void to be dark.

The Ending

  • If Joey "escaped" the studio before everything went to Hell (assuming the "cartooned" studio exists at all), when you play the cassette on Bendy's throne, why do Joey's words come out as dialogue (similar to when we found out Bertram was in the carnival ride)? The only thing that comes to mind (other than error), is that the studio was really like that and Henry wakes up after setting everyone free and allows them to walk away in human bodies and continue life as normal.
    • With the release of Dark Revival, we know now. It's likely this was recorded by Memory Joey as a sort of Author Avator within the cycle.

Sammy's voice change

  • Why does Sammy speak with a Voice of the Legion when you fight him in Chapter 5, when he sounded relatively normal in Chapter 2? Does insanity and spending more time as an ink creature slowly cause your voice to distort over time? Is it because he was nearly killed by the Ink Demon, and therefore being touched by it affected him even worse than previously? Or is it just from pure unadulterated rage?

The Throne Room

  • Joey put The End on the throne, right next to the reel where it could kill Bendy if played. Why did he record a message and just leave it on the throne next to it instead of playing it right then and there?
    • Joey didn't put the reel there, Bendy did. Henry went to check the vault where the mirror indicated something important was (the reel) and it was gone with the words "The Demon Has Taken It" written on the wall.

Gainax Ending?

  • How does Bendy, an essentially Invincible Villain, get straight-up disintegrated by The End playing on the screens? It's just a film reel! Did it shoot some kind of destabilizing light at him which forced his body to dissolve? Or was his existence somehow connected to the reels, so that once every last one of them had been played from beginning to end, he'd disappear with it?
    • It's possibly meant to simply taken metaphorically, but besides that, it's possible that Bendy knowing that his story/legacy has ended weakens its power.
    • BATDR reveals this is not actually him dying so to speak, but moreso forcing him to reset the time loop.

No "Ink Demon"?

  • Why in chapter 4 does Alice say, "This time there's no Ink Demon."? Is she referring to Bendy saving Henry from the Projectionist and how would she know about that? And why did Bendy not kill Henry in the vent earlier and seem to warn about the Butcher Gang.

Unexpected Shout-Out

  • Among the various posters for Bendy cartoons scattered throughout the studio (many of them the winning entries in fanart contests) is one for "Rosemary's Babysitter", an obvious nod to the horror novel Rosemary's Baby. However, the cartoons themselves were produced during the 1920's and 1930's, Henry's letter mentions that 30 years have passed, which would put the game's events somewhere in the 1950's, and Rosemary's Baby wasn't published until 1967, which makes that title an anachronism.
  • There's a lot of anachronisms in the series; Tape recorders wouldn't have been invented during the time the Ink Machine was created for the characters complain about it's introduction, and Allison and Thomas (the latter of whom is implied to be African-American and the former of whom is described in detail as blonde and white) got married over a decade before interracial marriage would have been legal. They can probably be chalked up to suspension of disbelief.
  • According to the calendar in Joey Drew's apartment, the game takes place on August 31, 1963. That would just barely be after cassette tape were invented. Some of the anachronisms , such as this one, could be justified by Dark Revival's reveal that the setting is an Alternate Tooniverse created by Joey, and he's likely invoking the Retro Universe trope judging from the art style. However this still wouldn't explain all of them.
  • We could also Fan Wank that Gent's influence allowed technology to progress faster in the Bendy universe than our own. Chapter 4 of Dark Revival especially supports this interpretation.