The Five Nights at Freddy's series is infamous for its almost overnight success. Originally stemming from a children's game that wasn't even meant to be scary in the first place, FNAF now has a large cult following on the Internet.
Creator Scott Cawthon has also teased his upcoming title, Sister Location to be released sometime this Fall season. In celebration of his work, let's take a look at some of the scariest moments in the Five Nights at Freddy's universe.
Be warned that some video clips in this article have adult language. It's only natural to want to curse loudly when you're being jumped by robo-nightmares, after all.
A lot of what makes the horror in Five Nights at Freddy's so good is the atmosphere and sense of absolute dread. Nothing really encapsulates that feeling quite like the mini-game in the fourth installment of the series.
The mini-game has you sitting in a hallway looking at a plush toy of the third game's antagonist Springtrap. Affectionately referred to as Plushtrap, this little beast spends his time staring you down from across the hall while sitting in a chair. The goal is to catch him on an X that's on the floor before he manages to creep up on you. Doing so reduces the difficulty of the next night by cutting hours off the clock.
Part of the fear comes from how strong the desire to win the mini game is, given how beneficial the reward is, the other part comes from having to sit in a dark room with a creature you know is slinking toward you. You can't be too hasty or too negligent, or he'll be all over you.
Here's a video from IULITM that fully encapsulates the silence and dread of the event.
If you went into the second Five Nights at Freddy's game without any forward knowledge, this is probably how you first saw the puppet. Keeping a music box wound to distract the animatronics is one of the keys to survival in game two, and failing to do so results in a lunging hug from this sailing sock puppet.
Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of this scare is that once you've failed to prevent the puppet from coming for you, nothing can stop it. You can only close your eyes and pray for the new morning to save you from your inevitable kill screen.
Markiplier has a good example of the tension build up in his video below, showing the feeling of helplessness new players experienced when cornered and faced with this inevitable fate.
In terms of smart scares, the first game has one of my favorite horror moments. While scanning the restaurant for threats, you may occasionally find a poster that has a picture of the game's namesake Freddy Fazbear. The picture will swap between a few different options, all of which are modestly creepy.
One, however, portrays a golden eyeless version of the mascot, and lowering your monitor reveals that the same one has somehow made it into the room with you, ignoring closed doors and all forms of protection. If you stare too long, you hallucinate until your screen is filled with his face. At this point, the game closes completely, booting you back to your desktop to wonder what in the hell just happened.
I remember the first time I played Metal Gear Solid and completely lot my mind when Psycho Mantis read my memory card and made fun of me for having Barbie's Gotta Have Games on there. This type of fourth-wall-breaking interaction will never go unappreciated in my book.
If you want to try finding him yourself, Andrew Rafael has provided a great video showing how to hunt down this awesome moment.
First of all, the entire atmosphere of Five Nights at Freddy's 4 is so much more dark then the rest of the series. You feel helpless as you crawl around your room, holding doors shut as monsters knock on them from the other side. Perhaps one of the worst feelings is when you catch from the corner of your eye your closet door moving. You move over to check it out and this greets you.
"Haha! What a great time I'm having! Video games are fun!" You think as you hastily smash your computer into a thousand pieces with a hammer and never look back.
Check out this video by AlleyoBells to get a true feeling for Foxy's mind games.
Five Nights at Freddy's 3 was perhaps one of the most poorly received of the series. It did however, provide one of the most chilling characters in the franchise. Springtrap has a sense of reality about him that none of the other characters were ever able to capture for me.
He's an ever present threat, always lurking and wandering the halls. Aside from hallucinations, he's the only thing keeping you company in the horror house you find yourself guarding at night. He moves slowly, until provoked, and then he comes at you hard. When he reaches you, you find yourself being stared down by him before he makes his attack.
There's something wicked, and sickening about him, which is exactly the type of emotion good horror antagonist should invoke. You don't want him around. If you saw this figure in an alley you would run.
The character lacks the sharp teeth the nightmare versions have, and doesn't clack his teeth or widen his eyes when he attacks, he simply gets to you, and your imagination does the rest. Perhaps it's his implied morose backstory that adds an extra feel of homicide to the character, but nothing has ever filled me with more unease than seeing Springtrap simply watch.
YouTuber Markiplier's video shows exactly why Springtrap's mind games make him the most psychologically terrifying character in the series.
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