Hello and welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.
Now I’ve talked about this franchise before, with how it scares us and why it’s so popular. But I’ve yet to talk about the lore of it because, well, MatPat’s Game Theory show (seriously, go watch it, it’s a great show) seemed to answer all the questions… or did it? Because while I agree with some of his conclusions, I think he’s still not painting the whole picture. So join me as I come up with a definitive, all-encompassing theory that will be invalidated when the fourth game comes out.
Note: You really need to go watch all of MatPat’s videos about this first, because I’m not gonna waste time explaining stuff he already covered. So while I’m going to elaborate on personal theories, I will make leaps in logic that require a knowledge of what the game series is actually about in order to follow. Go read up on the background first, or watch his videos, then come here. Because this blog is going to be long enough as it is without me explaining the ‘common knowledge’ on this lore.
Now since I’m splitting these blogs into multiple parts (since the overall blog is over ten thousand words long, making it a mammoth even by my standards), I’m going to examine it piece by piece in order to build up a comprehensive picture of all the lore in the series. So the second thing we have to ask ourselves is: What caused this to happen in the first place? What set all this off? What exactly happened with the five children and the animatronics? Well, lets find out.
Lets start by coming up with a timeline for when these murders happened. The first is theorized to happen in 1972. The next five are theorized to happen in 1982. Six deaths in total. As MatPat points out, the first dead kid most likely turns into the Puppet and starts to stalk the franchise. But that’s odd, isn’t it? I’ve heard of ghosts haunting specific places, but not an entire franchise. That just seems… odd. But it must be the Puppet, mustn’t it? The Puppet appears at the end of this mini-game when the kid is murdered, the Puppet looks like a crying kid, and it seems to haunt the entire game series. So let us presume that the Puppet is this dead kid. How? Well, what if the Puppet was part of the Fredbear’s Family Diner? We know that the murder didn’t happen in the property, but it must have happened near enough to cause some questions to be raised. What if the original Diner had some sort of puppet character? It’d fit in with the theme of the restaurant. I mean since Freddy is just a man in a suit, you’d probably expect the Puppet to be nothing more than just that: A puppet, sometimes used to entertain the kids at birthday parties. When this first kid dies, it goes to the only place it can go: into the Puppet. If we presume that hauntings in this game series come from inanimate objects being inhabited by the souls of the dead (which would make the most sense when you think about it), this is where the Puppet comes from. Some little puppet doll that existed in the original Diner, one that got brought into the company when Big Business brought it. Okay, so that explains where the Puppet comes from and why it exists. It haunts the area, but can’t really do much and doesn’t really do much. It just… exists. And for ten years it sits there dormant, forgotten. It probably doesn’t even know why it’s there… until something else happens.
Now, to go off on a tangent a bit, lets examine these spring locked suits. They’re a fantastic idea because you get a two-for-one deal with them. You can use them as suits and have the character walk around interacting with guests, and you can have just a standard everyday animatronic doing its own thing. Now we know that a Golden Freddy and a Golden Bonnie costume exist, that much is made clear. But what of Freddy, Bonnie, Chica and Foxy? Where do they come from? Well imagine this: Golden Freddy and Golden Bonnie were specifically designed robots with suits put over the top. They were designed a certain way in order to make it easier to get people in and out, even if they weren’t very safe. But if you had two, why would you not make more? Likewise you already have a Freddy costume, since it was that costume that was used during the Diner days. Now I said there was some time between 1972 (when Big Business brought the intellectual property to Freddy) and 1977 (when Location A opened) that they had to do something with the characters. My guess is this: The characters, that is to say Freddy, Bonnie, Chica and Foxy, were originally just costumes worn by employees to go around simple restaurants and entertain kids. They were no more than the Ronald McDonald, Grimace, Hamburgular and Birdie costumes of the McDonalds age. Come 1977 and the ground-breaking revolution of easy to make animatronics, and no doubt these costumes were just thrown over robot skeletons to make it easy. But, when Golden Freddy and Golden Bonnie, no doubt the ‘birthday characters’ of the Freddy Fazbear’s Entertainment line-up, proved to be a hit, you bet the company got to work making these new suit animatronics. So the four main characters, Freddy, Bonnie, Chica and Foxy were, much like Golden Freddy and Golden Bonnie, animatronics that could be turned into suit mode and something you could climb inside. As I speculated, there was a gap between the suits first being made, and the first major malfunction. But the employees would know better, and it’s unlikely they would be killed by the suits. No, what could have happened is something far, far worse.
Isn’t it odd that, in the very first game, Phone Guy warns you that if the animatronics see you they’ll stuff you into a suit, even if the suit is already filled with robotic parts? Why would the robots think you’re a naked endoskeleton, and likewise ignore the one that’s setting in the store room? Why would they come up with the incredibly specific â€œYou will be stuffed into one of the suitsâ€? Well… because it’s happened before. Five times, in fact.
Picture this: Purple guy lures a kid to the back and shows them one of the animatronics. Lets say Foxy. He then goes to show the kids that they can get into Foxy and can control him. The kid, excited, leaps into the robot… at which point the spring lock fails and the kid is crushed to death inside the robot. It’d be the only logical way that the body could be put into the suit now, isn’t it? I mean even if you stuffed the bodies in there, you’d have to do it in a way that doesn’t make the body looked misshapen. But, if a kid got into it and fitted themselves into it properly, and it was slammed shut on them, then there’d be no immediate sign that they’re in there. It’d be the perfect hiding place, after all. No one would look for the body there. So that’s how the four kids ended up inside the four main characters: A simple matter of turning the animatronic into suit mode, having the kid get in, then having it go back to animatronic mode to kill the kid. Simple as pie really. So four kids end up going missing within that week.
So we know what happens next. The killer gets caught on Sunday the 27th of June, the restaurant is forced to shut down, the animatronics (with the bodies inside) get moved to Location B while Location A is quietly forgotten about. But then, how does nobody not notice a dead body inside the costume? By all rights it should be obvious within 48 hours, when the suit starts to smell really bad. I mean if the health inspection came in to examine it, as well as the police, surely they’d have discovered the bodies. And yes, they would have… if the bodies hadn’t already been removed.
Notice what Phone Guy says on the First Night in the first game:
â€œUpon discovering that damage or death has occurred, a missing person report will be filed within 90 days, or as soon property and premises have been thoroughly cleaned and bleached, and the carpets have been replaced.â€
My, what an oddly specific thing to say, wouldn’t you agree? If someone is discovered dead, the company thinks it’s best to wait 90 days before notifying the police. Or, if you go missing, the company will wait three months. That’s an awfully long time to wait. But what’s more damning is the second half: or as soon as everything has been thoroughly cleaned and bleached. Now, when is the only time you’d do something like that after discovering a dead body? Why, when you don’t want it found, of course. Why would the company feel the need to include this titbit in 1992, ten years after the murders took place? Well, the idea of them not finding the bodies is just plain absurd. The animatronics had to go through routine repair, they just had to. Hell, even the employees would check and find it out. So management did what they do best: They covered it up. They took out the bodies, hid them away somewhere else and tried to clean the suits the best they could. However, even though the bodies were gone, the souls of the children still remained. Some part of them stayed trapped to those suits long after they should have left. After all, the Puppet could only come about if the kid’s spirit was detached from its body, otherwise it’d still be with its body in its body’s final resting place. The same must be true here. The spirits must still be with the animatronic bodies, even if their real bodies aren’t. As for the smell? Well there’s two ways of looking at it: One, they couldn’t clean the suits enough, having missed bits here or there or the like. Or, two, the spirits of the children were foul enough that they caused the suits to stink. After all, these are spirits we’re dealing with. Maybe the blood and mucus people reported seeing around the eyes and mouth were the ectoplasm tears created by these spirits. The smell wasn’t a physical smell, but a metaphysical one. Nevertheless after a few years, Location B was shut down and the old animatronics (as little used as they were) were eventually left to rot altogether. Clearly if they were in this badly a state of repair, they must have had the bodies found in them sooner or later.
So it’s 1987, five years after the kids have been murdered in Location A, a few years after Location B closed due to the strange smelling suits. Location B reopens again, still using the toy animatronics from before. But why would these toy animatronics exist in the first place? Well, it’s safe to presume that these animatronics have the built-in ability to walk, whereas the other, older animatronics could only walk in ‘suit’ mode when someone was inside them. Likewise, these toy animatronics are capable of tapping into a criminal database and seeing whose good and whose bad. Our player character, Jeremy Fitzgerald, is probably an ex-con himself. It wouldn’t be surprising that management has lax hiring procedures, and it’d explain why the toy animatronics keep going after him. Otherwise we’d have to accept that the toy animatronics have just gone wrong for some undisclosed reason, and target anyone that appears at night. But that doesn’t explain the ‘toy’ part of the animatronics.
Well, as established earlier, Location B was opened five years after Location A and, probably in light of customer feedback, decided to make happier, more friendly looking versions, so not to scare so many people. Whether you can make a friendlier looking animatronic, I don’t know, but they tried nonetheless. But it’s one of these toy animatronics that ends up causing the Bite of ’87. Now the best guess about who it could be is probably Mangle, judging by the size of the jaw and the sharpness of the teeth. It would likewise explain why the toy animatronics went away out of fear of them being dangerous. If Foxy or Freddy had caused the bite, then the original four would have probably been scrapped. The question is why Mangle bit someone. Well there are a few way of answering this. One, the player character who comes in on the Seventh Night is the victim of it, since it’s possible that they were killed (although the termination slip at the end makes this unlikely). Two, Jeremy Fitzgerald was the one bitten after moving to day shift. This is likewise a possible theory. But if the restaurant was forced to close, then it’s more likely it was just some random patron. Now it’s ruled out as unlikely that a child was bitten, due to the animatronics hatred of adults over children. However, it’s not likely that the frontal lobe was removed or torn out. That would be impossible to survive. No, it’s more likely that the Bite damaged it severely, to the point where it might as well be destroyed, but the body being in a survivable enough state that it doesn’t automatically die right then and there. So Mangle bit someone, probably during the day in front of a large crowd, which forced the restaurant to close. The management blames it on the faulty software to avoid any legal hassles, and reopens the much smaller Location A to try and survive. Of course, since that Location is barely being managed properly, it starts to fall into disrepair.
So now comes 1992, and you’re doing your job. You survive the Five Nights against the four animatronics and Golden Freddy. So that must mean the fifth dead child is Golden Freddy, right? Well… no. Because when we get to FNAF 3, something very unusual happens. We get phantom hallucinations of the four original characters, Freddy, Bonnie, Chica and Foxy. Well this makes a lot of sense, considering that these four were inhabited by the children’s spirits. It’s not a surprise that they’d be the ones that come back. But what about the other three Phantom Hallucinations that occur in this game? Mangle, The Puppet and Balloon Boy. Well Mangle’s makes sense if we presume that he is the one who was responsible for the Bite, but likewise he’s one of the few that don’t jump out at the player. So it’s possible that this being is nothing more than a hallucination, but since it caused the Bite it’s probably why it sticks in the protagonists mind so much. The Puppet, as we discussed before, is just the first victim of the Purple Guy coming back to haunt us. But that leaves us with an interesting dilemma: Who, exactly, is Balloon Boy? Because Balloon Boy only appears in two games and doesn’t seem to follow the normal rules, nor does he seem to immediately fit into the lore presented. What other character only appears in two games and doesn’t seem to fit the lore presented? Golden Freddy. Now for the longest time people have worked on the theory that Golden Freddy is the fifth child, but I’d argue that’s wrong. Oh sure, the argument that the fifth dead child appears before the Golden Freddy jump scare is a convincing one, but somehow, I don’t think this is entirely true. What if Balloon Boy is the fifth child all along? Confused. Well let me break it down.
First off, what do we really know about Balloon Boy? Well, he won’t try to kill you, just mess around with all of your stuff. This is in stark contrast with the other four animatronics, who seem to go out of their way to make sure that you end up dead. So how do we explain away this fifth animatronic that doesn’t follow the patterns of all the rest? Well lets look at what the newspaper clipping from FNAF 1 says: Five children are missing. Missing, yes, but that’s not the same as dead. Could this fifth child be dead, or is it still alive in some form? Well we presume that the first four children died when the suits slammed shut on them, killing them that way. What if this fifth child died some other way, a more innocent way. Maybe this child was killed in a different manner. Maybe Balloon Boy was the second victim, the first of the five children that went missing? Instead of being in a suit that kills him, he’s killed by some other means. Hence when his soul dies, he inhabits something else instead. Not a suit animatronic, but a statue one. One that can’t seemingly move except by his willpower. Balloon Boy is the fifth child in this, one unconnected to the other four. One that may have gone missing before the police came to investigate, one maybe not even killed by Purple Guy. Balloon Boy could be an accident, with his spirit haunting this doll. But why Balloon Boy? Well it’s possible that Balloon Boy was at the first location, whether it be due to being kept in storage or being planned to integrate to Location A at some point. When this kid dies, his body latches onto that. Then, when Location A closes down and everything moves to Location B, Balloon Boy goes with them. Since he was created to be a toy animatronic, one created to make Location A look better but never used, he gets scrapped when Location B gets closed down. This would explain his anger in the third FNAF game, since he was the first child spirit to be abandoned. Hell, maybe he appears because he was one of the animatronics found for the haunted tour walk. He inhabits the body of the Balloon Boy, and he’s pissed off when he got thrown out. That would explain the change from his mischievous behaviour to his more aggressive kind. So if Balloon Boy is the fifth missing child… just what is Golden Freddy?
Well, considering that Balloon Boy only appears in FNAF 2 and 3, Golden Freddy only appears in FNAF 1 and 2. And both times he looks radically different. In FNAF 1 he looks like an old yellow suit. In FNAF 2 he looks like a walking suit that had its endoskeleton ripped out. But both times he seems to move in a way that’s counter-intuitive to the other animatronics. Phone Guy never mentions him, presumably because to see him means to die. How can you talk about something that kills you straight afterwards. But what if it’s not a Golden Freddy but Golden Freddies? After all, the two suits look incredibly different, how is it possible that these two are the same character. In short: They’re not. For the simple reason that Location A and Location B are not the same location. Golden Freddy isn’t inhabited with a dead child’s soul… it’s inhabited with the soul of the building.
Now some believe that ghosts are created when a traumatic event scars a location, leaving a sort of residual trauma behind. If ghosts exist, this would make sense. The place itself is so negatively impacted by this energy that it essentially keeps the trauma alive, the same way a deep enough cut can leave a scar. So the murders taking place at Location A would certain leave a scar big enough to create a being who can use that power to exist, even if not in the way that a regular animatronic can exist. So Location A gives us Golden Freddy A, which I’ll come back to in a moment. Location B also gets shut down and undergoes a traumatic event. Not the Bite, but the general restlessness of having five antagonistic spirits exist in the same area. This is Golden Freddy B, who is noticeably different. This Golden Freddy seems more like a spring lock suit that had its insides ripped out, leaving some of the wires and whatnot intact. The building, Location B, traumatized by the anger in it gave life to this old, discarded suit. A suit that use to be a walking suit animatronic but, with its wiring ripped out in order to make sure nothing bad happens with it ever again, it becomes nothing more than an empty suit. Still, it is this suit that the building uses to haunt the player. Dazed and confused, the building sees Jeremy as a threat and tries to take him out because it doesn’t know what else to do. But no one in the series must encounter Golden Freddy, because no one would live to tell the tale. So Golden Freddy both exists and doesn’t exist. The player knows he exist because when he kills us, we can just restart the game. But since the player character would be killed and never come back, he can’t tell others that it exists. So no one can know that Golden Freddy B is haunting Location B, and that Golden Freddy B is the location itself trying to cope with this trauma. But what about Golden Freddy A? Well, lets look at this character. It’s nothing more than a suit. No wiring, no electronics, just a normal everyday suit. If I had to pinpoint a time for when this suit was last used I’d say, ooh, late 60s to early 70s. And that’s where the beauty of this comes in. This Golden Freddy, this suit, is the same suit used in the Diner all those years ago. When Mister Fred Bear sold the rights to Big Business it included the original Freddy suit. This suit, used for a few years before Location A opened and animatronics became the next big thing, was thrown into the back to be forgotten about. A relic of another age. And when five murders happen right next to it, the trauma scars the entire building. And the building, struggle to cope, inhabits this old Freddy suit, one so worn with age that it ended up becoming Golden. So what about the fifth kid we see before the Golden Freddy jump-scare? That fifth kid is Balloon Boy, with the jump-scare symbolizing how the building itself created Golden Freddy. Out of these five deaths Golden Freddy was created. It’ll also explain why Golden Freddy doesn’t exist in FNAF 3: Since the building you’re in isn’t really haunted, there’s no reason for a Golden Freddy to exist. This building doesn’t have a scar on it like all the rest. Nothing traumatic happened here, no there’s no reason for Golden Freddy to exist. There’s nothing linking it to this place, unlike the animatronic parts that exist around Fazbear’s Frights. Golden Freddy is the location haunting itself.
So there you have it. Five dead children haunting five animatronics, a sixth dead child haunting a puppet, and the building haunting itself by creating an identity for itself. If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Till next time.