The following is a humorous essay of the franchise Five Nights at Freddy’s written by the author with help from her geek friend Hannah (not affiliated with FemHype). It should not be taken as serious critique of the game. In fact, we highly recommend it!
In August 2014, the indie horror hit Five Nights at Freddy’s was released, and the world has slept soundly since. The game is set in a fictional pizza restaurant called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza (similar to a Chuck E. Cheese), which features animatronic characters. Hold up: that’s not the scary part. The player is a night security guard who must defend himself from the animatronic animal characters by tracking their movements using security cameras. The animatronics roam freely so that they don’t lock up, however, the establishment cannot afford enough power for the security doors to stay locked all night. The player must rely on a finite energy source to shut the doors and fend off the animatronics. Failure to evade the animatronics leads to you being attacked, stuffed into an animatronic suit (killing you in the process), and the player lying in the fetal position in real life, crying.
Five Nights at Freddy’s has received high praise—and rightfully so. The imagery is on-point and its gameplay is simplistic (just shut the doors and evade the animatronics), which leaves players with a heightened sense of paranoia similar to the Slender Man series. It’s been so successful that it has spawned two more sequels with a fourth and final chapter to be released. The story weaved throughout the game is the stuff nightmares are made of, leaving me so freaked out that if Five Nights at Freddy’s pops into my head before bed, I actively attempt to think of something else just so I don’t dream about it.
However, in the very few times I have played the game and the many times I have read the story of Five Nights at Freddy’s, I cannot help but consider the major loopholes. Some of them have already been addressed, like the kitchen not existing in Five Nights at Freddy’s 2. However, there are still some unanswered questions that I must ask. In case you didn’t realize it? Spoilers ahead.
The argument that the animatronics are free to roam the facility is so that their motors don’t lock up. However, because the revenue is slow, the restaurant has to rely on a power budget. Since I am not an electrician or into mechanics, I don’t want to determine the fiscal benefits of letting animatronics run through the night versus using the money to keep your night guard safe (turning them off and on might cause spikes in stocks), but it seems as though the main argument behind the robots running free is so that they don’t lock up. I argue, however, that if this is such a problem, just get some WD-40, grease up their gears, and they should run okay.
Seriously, WD-40 is like the duct tape of mechanics. It fixes everything, and if it doesn’t work, you can just use more! I guess if the motors are completely electrical, it may not work, but if you absolutely have to let them run, why don’t you tie them to the floor? Or keep them locked in a really big padded room, which is probably better than letting them roam the facility banging pots and pans? (I am looking at you, Chica, you creepy looking mechanical chicken.)
I am not going to judge a person for sticking with a job despite problems, especially since I graduated college around the middle of the recession. But if I realized on the first night that was I was going to be working as a night guard with homicidal animatronics, I would probably prepare myself—especially since it’s clear that the establishment doesn’t care. Bring items like a lantern, plywood to block the doors, a sawed-off shotgun. Perhaps the last one would get you fired, but hey, desperate times do call for desperate measures.
Plus, in the first game, the restaurant is going to close anyway. How upset are people going to be that Bonnie the Bunny isn’t there? They don’t have to know it was because you blew up her entire head.
By the time you get to the third chapter of the franchise, it’s clear that people realized the restaurant was not exactly the safest for employees. In the first game, the facility does close because of health issues, but there were problems before that (Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 taking place in 1987). This makes me wonder: how delicious was the food at Freddy Fazebear’s? Were patrons like, “Employees disappear from here, and the animatronics smell gross, but oh my god that pepperoni pizza amazing.” It’s equivalent to you going to that one Italian restaurant to you know is run by the mafia, but turn a blind eye because all other pastas cannot compare.
By the way, if their pizza is so good … can I have some?
The guy on the phone at the beginning of these games makes it clear to you that previous night guards have been killed. In the first game, he states, “Upon discovering that damage or death has occurred, a missing persons report will be filed within 90 days or as soon as property and premises have been thoroughly cleaned and bleached, and the carpets have been replaced.” First off, I call bull on this “budget” you have here at Freddy’s, as you seem to be able to clean up extremely well after a crime scene, but you don’t have enough money to keep your employees safe at night. I sense embezzlement, which as we know in the business world, is worse than first-degree murder. Also, are you like Sweeney Todd and only hire employees with no family members? I mean, that has to be the reason why you have stayed in business for so long at this point.
But I cannot just blame Freddy’s, as the police chief must be incompetent. That many disappearances and you do not suspect a thing? Is this the English village in Hot Fuzz where no crimes occur, but there are lots of accidents? Budget cuts? Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 seems to suggest that at some point the police got involved, but by the time the haunted attraction arrives, the stories are just rumors. Regardless, I worry deeply for this town.
I am willing to let all other questions and loopholes go except for this one. Freddy’s is on a major budget (which I still question, but whatever). It’s clear that Freddy Fazbear’s does not care about its employees. It’s clear they will go to great lengths to cover up your death. And it’s clear that they know their animatronics are probably the reason why all this is happening. If I ran a restaurant with homicidal animatronics and had no regard for human life, I would use the animatronics as the security system.
Think about it. You save money by not hiring a night guard, you can turn off all the lights and power to the facility (saving the power budget), and if a robber comes in, Freddy Fazbear will stuff their body into an animatronic suit. Sure, you have to clean up the mess, but since you are doing it already, you can save time by not filing a missing person’s report. You don’t know that person. Who cares? Seriously, the owners of the restaurant obviously overthought this when the answer was staring them right at the face. Lock the doors at night, let them roam, and know that your assets are safe because of homicidal animatronics. Walt Disney would have probably killed to have the Pirates of the Caribbean robots roam around Magic Kingdom taking out robbers.
Well, Five Nights at Freddy’s, you have some explaining to do. But it’s okay, I’ll wait for The Final Chapter to be released in October 2015. Until then, I am going to play something else so I don’t dream of Freddy Fazbear stabbing me with a plastic fork.