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Is the Five Nights at Freddy's Series Really Done?

It's a series about zombified animatronics. Draw your own conclusions.

Article by Nadia Oxford, .

Five Nights at Freddy's 6 (FNAF 6) is here. It's disguised as a harmless pizza-throwing arcade game, but it doesn't wait long before it unveils its true colors (like, for example, the mysterious pink-and-grey of the grime that builds up in the corner of pizzerias and other restaurants).

Aw, what a cute game! What couldl go wrong -- oh my God

FNAF 6 is free to download on Steam, and there are no microtransactions. You literally have nothing to lose by giving it a try (we even have a guide to help you!), though the game is clearly engineered for fans of the series' twisted lore (which I untangle over here). FNAF 6 appears to un-pretzel quite a few story points and close the book on some unanswered questions. In fact, finding the game's best ending nets you a definitive "The End" screen along with a "Thank You" message from series creator Scott Cawthon. Most fans are convinced this is the last FNAF game; that definitely seems to be the opinion of the FNAF subreddit.

I'm a little more skeptical, though. While we've assuredly come to the end of a three-game story arc, there are still plenty of loose ends Scott can tie up with another game. Or three.

(Series spoilers follow from here on out!)

In my FNAF lore guide, I explain the games link together to tell an overarching story about the Aftons, a troubled family whose patriarch, William, is a serial child killer. FNAF 6 continues to explore that angle, and builds on the suggestion that William was especially abusive towards his youngest son.

William seems to get his comeuppance at the end of FNAF 6. He appears to burn alongside the animatronics hosting the souls of the children he murdered, and whereas the children will be allowed to move on to someplace better, he will go directly to "the darkest pit of Hell." The punishment is orchestrated by the father of one of the murdered children and Michael, William's oldest son.

That's it, correct? The bad guy gets what's coming to him, the children and family members he tortured move on, and, to quote the game's ending, "the memory of everything that started this can finally begin to fade away, as the agony of every tragedy should." Right?

Problem is, we've been here before. Five Nights at Freddy's 3 focused around bringing peace to the souls of the children who were murdered, and helping them move on (hilariously, the linked YouTube videos even have comments bidding farewell to FNAF). Springtrap (that is, the zombified William Afton tangled up in the beams and wires of a rabbit animatronic) even seemed to burn at the end of FNAF 3. But he carried on, and the game's lore has suggested more than once that he can't die. The bonfire at the end of FNAF 6 probably won't stop him, either.

"OK I'm totally dead, guys. See? Blood and everything. Go away."

FNAF 1 through 3 focuses more on the children's deaths, whereas FNAF 4 through 6 focuses more on the man who killed them. Not to say there isn't overlap between the themes; FNAF 6 gives us a brief profile about the girl haunting the Marionette animatronic, and how her soul came to rest in it.

I don't know what the next game (or games) will be about, but I'm confident in saying just because it seems like we've hit an ending, you can be darned sure Freddy Fazbear will be back to bite your face off sooner than later. There's a movie coming, as well as more books. Even though Scott's doesn't seem to be developing FNAF games for the money (FNAF 6 being free is a good indication of such), I doubt he wants the property to lie fallow and let bad imitators and bootlegs overtake it like weeds.

"Stay tuned for Forty Fortnights at Fauntleroy's!"

Now to mop up a "But—!" or two:

  • "The ending screen says 'The End' and has a picture of the kids' graves!" — Indeed it does. So does the ending screen for FNAF 3, which also shows us the animatronics have gone dark. If you get the game's bad ending and fail to put the kids' souls to rest, the animatronics' eyes remain lit, indicating the souls are still present. The darkened eyes in the good ending (and the melancholy music) suggest the kids' souls have moved on.
  • "Scott Cawthon says 'Thank you' at the end of the credits scroll!" — Again, when Scott finished FNAF 3, he posted a large 'Thank you!' image on his site, which also suggested he was done with FNAF. Then the animatronics in that picture began to decay one by one…

Like the animatronics haunting it halls, Five Nights at Freddy's is not a series that will die easily. I can't say I'm too upset about that, though. Having outed myself as a filthy fan several times over (and probably one of the few who are over the age of, like, 15), I no longer try to justify why I've enjoyed following the series from day one. I like following its story, and seeing Scott's modelling skills improve from game to game.

I also like trying to pick out references to retro games. The FNAF series is lousy with them, and I feel smugly satisfied that few members of the punk kid fanbase will pick up the games' call-outs to Final Fantasy IV and other old-timey titles.

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Comments 4

  • Avatar for UnskippableCutscene #1 UnskippableCutscene 10 days ago
    I think Scott's personally done with this story. The plot of this one involves getting every single surviving figure from the previous five games: the "Freddy" in this one involves every single figure from #5 minus Baby, Baby herself is here, Springtrap is here, and Lefty has been discovered to be the Puppet from #2 in a bear-suit, as well as the likely cause of Nightmare in #4.
    Not directly stated but implied: The protagonist here is the same as 5, William's son Michael who is likewise immortal as his father is for the reverse reasons as his father (a robot tried to wear him as a costume instead). He's following through on the Custom Night ending to put the family together and end everything. Given clues in 6's ending dialogue, the narrator is likely "Henry", who was Afton's business partner. So Henry sets up a pizza parlor just to intentionally draw in the Aftons (Springtrap/Baby/Michael) and incidentally also drew in the Puppet in the Lefty outfit, trapped them in an inescapable maze of vents and tunnels where they can hear the kids in the parlor but can't reach them, and then eventually burns everyone down. Could Zombie-William survive? Yeah, but so would Zombie-Michael.

    It's just unlikely Scott goes down that road. He probably ends it here.

    Could he do other stuff along these lines? Surely. There's a lot of Lovecraftian nonsense going on with Shadow Bonnie, that Fredbear doll, etc. However, there's only so many ways to build a timer simulator. 6 is a combination of 1's two doorways with 3's distractions and 4's audio queues. While it's neat that he was able to integrate a difficulty setting through in-game mechanics (it gets harder the more sponsorships you take, and ill-advised purchases you make) I think he really wants to move onto something other than timers that present you with a screaming face when you fail, which is part of his motive for making this one free. There's a whole cluster of games he's inspired who are already doing that.
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #2 nadiaoxford 10 days ago
    @UnskippableCutscene I have to say I wasn't expecting Charlie / Henry from the books to show up in the games (in their own separate canon, of course), but I suppose if that's where William Afton came from, Charlie and Henry are fair game, too.

    I laughed at the ad idea. "Oh, free money? Cool! What could go wrong--" [pop up ads everywhere]
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  • Avatar for SpoonyBardOL #3 SpoonyBardOL 9 days ago
    I, too, wouldn't be surprised if a FNAF7 jumpscares us someday, but we probably won't see it until the FNAF movie is completed. Or, is canned. Whichever actually happens.

    But hey, who knows? I'm another one of those adult fans of the series that is endeared to it in spite of everything, I'll certainly be on board for more in the future. But if there isn't any more that's fine too, it's been a heck of a ride, both the franchise itself and everything surrounding it.Edited 2 weeks ago by SpoonyBardOL
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  • Avatar for PandaPowur #4 PandaPowur 7 days ago
    https://www.reddit.com/r/fivenightsatfreddys/comments/7htwop/spoilers_when_ends_meet/?st=jav9yn28&sh=edebe345 whe all now that in fnaf purple guy has killed 4 children but in fnaf 6's grave ending each of the graves resemble the animatronics.but the grave in the back is a mystery maybe its golden freddys grave who knows
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