Yes, another Five Nights at Freddy's theory. I know, it's been done to death, but bear with me, because there are some things in my theory that I have not heard addressed by the plethora of other FNAF theorists out there. I will give you fair warning, though, this article is only for those who have at least a working knowledge of the series and some of the basic lore within it. If you are not all familiar with the series, you probably won't get much out of it, as I will be making references to specific phone calls in the games, cut-scenes, and already-established theories. Throughout the article, I will abbreviate Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location simply as Sister Location, Five Nights at Freddy's 1 as FNAF 1, Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 as FNAF 2, etc. So, without further delay, my ultimate FNAF theory!
So, let’s start at what can be presumed to be the beginning. We know from the intro to Sister Location that there is a guy named Mr. Afton who creates the animatronics featured in the game. We can infer from this that he also is responsible for creating other animatronics within the series, such as Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, and Freddy. We can infer this from the existence of Funtime Freddy, Funtime Foxy, and the Bonnie hand puppet. Due to trademark laws, I just don’t see one company being responsible for these Funtime animatronics and a competitor being responsible for the “original” versions. We know that Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza is not owned by the same guy due to the message we hear on night 1 of Sister Location, where the voice synthesizer refers to Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza being closed, and another “competitor” being opened, referring to the Sister Location. We can infer, however, that Afton made the animatronics for them, but did not have a pizzeria of his own until Freddy’s closed.
Now, let’s focus on how these animatronics are designed. We know from the schematics provided in the extras of Sister Location that they contain a compartment inside that is large enough to contain a small child. Combine this with the fact that circus baby killed and contained Afton’s daughter, who we will refer to as Afton Girl, and what we can safely say is that these animatronics were designed to kill and contain a small child.
Why would Afton design them this way? I believe that the answer is simple and is revealed in the opening cutscene of Sister Location. Here, we can hear Afton brag about the capabilities of Circus Baby. He claims that she can dance, sing, take song requests, and even serve ice cream. Even the person questioning his design choices in that cutscene cannot deny what he had achieved on a “technical level.” What I take from this is that somehow, Afton learned that animatronics can be possessed by children, which would make his animatronics more capable and more lifelike.
Let’s assume that’s true, and look at the events of the series from that perspective, starting with what is presumed to be his very first murder. We know from the phone calls from FNAF 2 that there was a predecessor to Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, called Fredbear’s Family Diner. It would seem that it is that restaurant that we see in the FNAF 2 minigame “Serve Cake to the Children.” I say this because we know what the Freddy’s locations look like. We hear in the FNAF 3 Night 3 training tape that every location was provided with a safe room, so we can assume that they were all similar in construction, and the location depicted in the “Serve Cake to the Children” minigame that this is certainly not one of them. This, combined with the small size of the location and Freddy being the only animatronic present, suggests that this is Fredbear’s.
As we all know, there is a child crying outside the restaurant who Afton, depicted as a mauve character, kills. The jump-scare at the end of the minigame strongly suggests that this child would go on to become the Puppet. Also, the Puppet has to come first in order to revive the children who would inhabit Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy in the FNAF 2 minigame, “Give Gifts, Give Life.”
I’m not sure exactly how he killed the child, or what he did to ensure that the child would be reborn with the ability to bring others back to life within his animatronics, but it seems that somehow, this was done intentionally. No other motive really makes sense, unless he is just a mindless psychopath. It would be very coincidental, though, if all the children he killed would just so happen to be revived in his animatronics and be made more lifelike, and he just so happened to build compartments within his animatronics that would be perfect to achieve that end.
At this point, I will address a rather controversial issue. Are there two purple guys? I say, absolutely. The way that he is drawn in the “Give Cake to the Children” and the “Go Foxy Go” minigames is noticeably different than the way he is drawn in the “Save Them” minigame and in the minigames from FNAF 3. Now, I wouldn’t think this anything more than just a refinement of the drawing of these characters over time. I mean, ALL of the 8-bit figures look better in FNAF 3 than they do in FNAF 2, except for one thing: they are drawn differently in the same game, FNAF 2. To further back this up, let’s go to the “Immortal and the Restless” soap opera shown in Sister Location. Now, this may seem like just a bit of comic relief in an otherwise dark game, but let’s see if there are any hints given here. What we see is a vampire dressed in PURPLE who is denying the legitimacy of his son, who is depicted with PURPLE wings, to the child’s mother. In defense, the mother brings up several acts that the baby does that mimic his father’s vampirical nature. Also, in the final hidden cutscene of Sister Location, we hear a man named Michael speaking a message to his father, and in it, he claims that at first, the animatronics in Sister Location thought that he was his father. It seems that one of the main points of Sister Location’s story is to establish the very fact that there are, in fact, two distinct purple guys, a father and a son.
So now, let’s back up a bit. We know that before the Freddy’s location in FNAF 2 there was a previous location, which we will call Location One. We know this from the posters found in FNAF 2, which say things that allude to a “reopening” of the restaurant. Also, in the Night 1 phone call, Phone Guy talks about an older location that was “left to rot.” We know that this can’t be the location from FNAF 1, because Phone Guy is still alive; and in FNAF 1, the Phone Guy talks about a past event, which he calls the “Bite of ’87,” and the paycheck that Jeremy Fitzgerald receives in FNAF 2 is dated for November of 1987.
We can learn about Location One from the training tapes heard in FNAF 3. We know that the tapes were from this location due to the mentioning of the Springlock suits. This is something that we know wasn’t present at the FNAF 1 or FNAF 2 locations, so it must be Location One. We also know that they were not from Fredbear’s, because at the beginning of the tapes, Phone Guy explicitly refers to it as “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza.” We can also learn that there was a “sister location” open at the same time as Location One from the same training tapes, in which he refers to an incident of “multiple springlock failures” as an “unfortunate accident at a sister location.” If we have established that Afton had no pizzeria at the same time that Location One was open, this “sister location” cannot be anything other than Fredbear’s Family Diner, meaning that Fredbear’s and Location One were open at the same time. It is implied, however, from the Night 5 phone call in FNAF 2, that Fredbear’s did close down eventually, while Freddy’s remained open. It is very probable that the murder of the child who would possess the Puppet by Afton was a major factor, if not the factor, in why this restaurant closed.
We see in the “Give Gifts, Give Life” minigame in FNAF 2 that four more children were murdered, presumably by Afton, and brought back to life by the Puppet in the form of Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy. We know from the FNAF 1 newspaper clippings and the training tape from FNAF 3 that refers to a springlock suit that had been “noticeably moved,” that Afton did this by wearing either the springlock Freddy suit or the springlock Bonnie suit to lure the children to a back room, then kill them. We also know that the child who inhabits Golden Freddy was not killed during that same event, because he does not appear until the last split second of that minigame, initiating his jumpscare, and he does not receive his “mask” during that minigame. More on that shortly.
Now, let’s look at FNAF 4. We play as a child, as revealed in the minigames. Little information is given in this game itself, but we find in Sister Location that the house shown belongs to Afton from the security monitors in the hidden room in Night 5. We can infer, then, that this child is Afton’s son, who we will call Afton Boy. We also learn from the minigames that he has an older brother, who torments him by playing on his fear of the animatronics by wearing a foxy mask and scaring him frequently. We also know that Afton Girl lives in this same house, because of the girl’s bedroom that is present. Due to the layout of the house, there doesn’t seem to be room for a fourth child, so we can assume that the older brother is Michael Afton. Combine this with the fact that we know we are playing as Michael Afton in Sister Location, and the house he goes back to after every night has the same lamp present as what we see in the FNAF 4 house.
We learn at the beginning of FNAF 4 that Afton Boy is frequently locked in his room. Soon after, we learn that he has a fear of the animatronics that are present at Freddy’s. Also, he is talked to frequently from his Fredbear Plushy, who tells him things like “You know what will happen if they catch you,” referring to the animatronics, and “you know what you saw.” It is my belief, given that information, that Afton Boy knew that his father had killed the children. Combine that with the fact that he refers to his Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy plushies as his friends. The only way this makes any sense is if the children who inhabit those animatronics actually were his friends. This would explain why Afton Boy was locked in his room, and why there was a surveillance camera in his bedroom that was monitored from the basement of Sister Location. We also see in that same room that there is another Fredbear plushy, presumably to listen to Afton Boy wherever he went. The voice talking to him from the plushy could very well have been one or more of the possessed animatronics inhabiting the Sister Location, talking to him from the hidden room.
So now, let’s look at what happened after Night 5 of FNAF 4. We see Michael and his friends carry a prank a little too far, and place Afton Boy inside the mouth of the Fredbear Animatronic, which closes, and severely injures him, and he dies a few days later, after experiencing the nightmares shown in FNAF 4. This begins to look very suspicious when you consider the audio cutscenes from Sister Location, where Afton Girl pleads with her father multiple times to let her play with Circus Baby. He must have refused, or else she wouldn’t keep asking, so not only does this reinforce the hypothesis that Afton designed his animatronics to kill, but it also raises the question, why would Afton keep his daughter away from the animatronics because he knew they were dangerous, but throw his son, Afton Boy, a party at Freddy’s where he would be surrounded by them? The answer is simple and deeply disturbing. Afton, to keep his son silent about his murders once and for all, arranged the party to kill him. He may have even played on Michael’s pranks and put him up to putting Afton Boy in Fredbear’s mouth as a “joke,” knowing that the animatronic would kill him, because that is what he designed them to do. We know that Michael didn’t mean for Afton Boy to die or even be hurt because in the FNAF 4 cutscene following Night 6, we see Michael’s grey letters appear, telling the unconscious Afton Boy that he was sorry.
In the same sequence, we see that whichever animatronic is talking to him through the Fredbear plushy promises to “put him back together.” This certainly implies that Afton Boy then became an animatronic himself, but which one? I believe that the evidence is in favor of Afton Boy becoming Golden Freddy; let me explain. First of all, there is the Fredbear plushy that follows him throughout the game; now, this is not evidence in and of itself, but it could be sort of a “hint.” A more substantial piece of evidence is the fact that he was killed by a Fredbear animatronic. I believe that the Golden Freddy suit that we see in FNAF 1 and FNAF 2 was most certainly, at one time, a Fredbear suit, because…well…what else could it have been? Also, unlike the children who inhabit the other animatronics, Afton Boy’s body was not put into a suit, so him being Golden Freddy would make the most sense, seeing as how Golden Freddy has no skeleton in FNAF 1 and FNAF 2, his spirit simply haunts the suit and it has no physical child inside, nor does it have an endoskeleton. My hypothesis on this, is that when that character was discontinued, presumably sometime between Location One and the FNAF 2 location, they removed the endoskeleton and used it for something else, leaving just the suit; or, after the “unfortunate accident” mentioned in FNAF 3 when the springlock suits failed, they were never used again in animatronic mode either, and decommissioned altogether.
At some point afterward, Location One closes, as we hear in the Night 1 message of Sister Location. We also learn throughout Sister Location that Afton’s daughter, Afton Girl, was killed by Circus Baby, and is inside of the animatronic, possessing it. In the final, hidden cutscene of the game, we find that we were playing as Michael, the son of Afton, who apparently sent him into Sister Location to find Afton Girl. We all know what happened once he did: Ennard, who was the collective spirits of all of the Funtime animatronics, had Michaels innards scooped out and basically hijacked his body to escape Sister Location, and go back out into the world. We also see in the hidden Purple Guy minigames in Sister Location, that Michael did not die from this, but his body did decay as if he did. Eventually, Ennard and the spirits left Michael, and he continued to live on as Purple Guy, and from the final cutscene, it seems that he is determined to find his father, presumably blaming him, and rightly so. If Afton is the kind of character that this theory of mine suggests, he would certainly be capable of sacrificing Michael for Afton Girl. Consider again the fact that in the soap opera sequences, which suggest the link between Afton and Michael, the vampire doesn’t think that the baby vampire is his, suggesting that Afton may have not even thought that Michael was his son to begin with.
At some point after the events of Sister Location, the FNAF 2 location opens, which we will refer to as Location Two. After hearing the Night 4 and Night 6 phone calls, we learn that the new toy animatronics have started acting much like the older ones, presumably, because as we saw in the “Save Them” minigame, it appears that Afton has killed even more children in Location Two. We also learn at the end of Night 5, that we have been playing as a man named Jeremy Fitzgerald, and it is November of 1987. At the end of Night 6, we also learn that there was some sort of incident which is forcing the restaurant to close, at least temporarily. This is probably due to the additional missing children at the hands of Afton. We also learn that Jeremy was moved to the day shift to monitor the final party at that location and to stay close to the animatronics, making him the most likely candidate for the victim of the Bite of ’87.
Let’s check out what we know about the Bite of ’87. From the FNAF 1 Night 1 phone call, we learn that the victim was bitten in the frontal lobe. That would seem to be oddly coincidental, since the Afton Boy was also bitten in the same fashion. This sounds almost vengeful to me, and makes me suspect that Jeremy was somehow involved in Afton Boy’s death, possibly one of Michael’s friends who helped put him in Fredbear’s mouth, but that is mostly speculation.
So, a new character shows up on Night 7, Fritz Smith, who only works the one night, and is then fired for “Tampering with the Animatronics and Odor.” Let’s examine that, because I believe that this is a very important detail when you consider that the reason Michael Afton is depicted as a purple man, is because his skin is rotten, as we saw in the Sister Location hidden minigames. Also consider that Ennard’s goal was to free the spirits of the children possessing the Funtime Animatronics by dismantling the animatronics themselves in the scooping room. Keep in mind that Ennard possessed Michael for a time, and it is very likely to me that Fritz Smith is none other than Michael, trying to continue the goal of Ennard by dismantling the animatronics and his own goal of finding his father, who we know was also at that location. Also consider that Michael’s 8-bit caricature appears occasionally in the “Save Them” minigame, holding what appears to be a crank or tool of some kind. Once again, this figure is different from the one that we see murdering the children in the “Take Cake” and “Go Foxy Go” minigames. It appears, however, that Michael was caught and fired before he could dismantle the animatronics, and Afton got away before Michael could catch him.
So, Location Two closed and a new location was opened on a “smaller budget.” The toy animatronics were scrapped, so their spirits, we can assume, are freed, unlike the older animatronics that we see are refurbished and used in the new location of FNAF 1, which we will call Location Three.
At location three, we play as Mike Schmidt, who works seven nights, then is fired for “Tampering with the animatronics” and “odor.” Now, this looks familiar, wasn’t that what Fritz Smith was fired for? So, if Fritz Smith was Michael Afton, we can also assume that Mike Schmidt was also Michael, trying and failing once again to finish his and Ennard’s work of dismantling the animatronics and freeing the children that possess them. We then see at the end of FNAF 1 that location three closes soon after, failing to overcome its history of tragedy.
Next in the timeline is FNAF 3, and the Fazbear Fright attraction, built sometime after FNAF 1 and based on the lore and tragic history of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. From the FNAF 3 minigames, we learn that Michael returns to location three and finally dismantles the animatronics and frees the spirits of the children. We can safely say that this is location three due to the layout of the restaurant shown in the minigames, and the fact that it is in such disrepair shows that it took place years after the location had closed.
So Michael dismantles Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, and Freddy, releasing their spirits, and finally, we take control of a fifth spirit, which was not contained within an animatronic that Michael dismantled. This spirit corners Michael in the safe room of the restaurant, as the other four block the way. A very important detail here is that Michael is terrified at this point, but how can that be, if his goal was to release the spirits? Well, keep in mind that he does not appear to be afraid of ALL of them, as he is only pointing at the one advancing toward him. Let’s take that into account as well as who this spirit almost has to be: Golden Freddy, Afton Boy, Michael’s long-dead brother that he accidentally killed so long ago. Who else could it be? Michael did not dismantle Golden Freddy, so he did not expect to see him; and we established earlier that Afton Boy did not physically possess Golden Freddy, but his spirit alone haunted it, so Golden Freddy did not have to be dismantled for him to be released.
This sheds a new light on FNAF 1. We see the words “It’s me” appear multiple times during the game, and ALWAYS when Golden Freddy appears. This was a personal message from him and the other animatronics to Michael Afton, posing as Mike Schmidt. We also see those words at other times, such as on the Pirate Cove sign when Foxy is heading toward the security office, as well as at random, with Freddy and Bonnie’s faces flashing on the screen. Well, at the end of FNAF 4, the animatronics affirm that they are Afton Boy’s friends, so it is reasonable to believe that the animatronics are simply helping Afton Boy get revenge on his brother in FNAF 1.
So, in the safe room, Michael Afton puts on the spring Bonnie suit to try to ward off his brother, but why? This seems to be an odd move, until you consider that throughout the minigames in FNAF 4, Michael put on a Foxy mask to scare Afton Boy, knowing that he was terrified of the animatronics. In his duress, Michael did the only thing that he thought would scare his brother away, and that was donning an animatronic mask (and in this case, the entire suit), just like he did when they were kids. We all know what happened next, the spring locks failed, and Michael, who cannot die, was contained inside and became Springtrap.
Springtrap remained in this safe room until he was recovered by the owner of Fazbear Fright, as we hear in the Night 2 phone call of FNAF 3 and he is brought to the attraction. Upon his arrival, he tries to kill the night guard, but why? Well, let’s consider what else begins on Night 2. Phone Dude reveals that he also found several training tapes at the Freddy’s location, containing messages from Phone Guy, and he says that he will play them over the intercom during the attraction’s tours. He also leaves them playing for the guard to hear. I believe it is possible that Springtrap is trying to reach the source of that voice. Think about it, during FNAF 3, the guard is able to distract Springtrap by playing Balloon Boy’s voice in various rooms, so clearly, the way that Michael’s brain works at this point is much more reliant on impulse and audio cues, so it is not a stretch to believe that the sound of Phone Guy’s voice is drawing him to the security office. Now, once he sees that the security guard is not phone guy, that should clear it up, right? Well, maybe not; according to canon, Fazbear Fright burns down after night 6, and that is after the guard survives to 6 AM, so, canonically, Springtrap never sees the guard, as he is successfully able to keep him out of the security office.
Now, why does Springtrap come after Phone Guy? Well, let’s consider Michael’s motives: free the spirits of the dead children (which is why he follows the sound of Balloon Boy), and find his father, as we heard at the end of Golden Freddy mode in Sister Location. Combine that with the fact that at every location that Michael worked at, posing as someone else, Phone Guy was there as well. So, could it be that Phone Guy is indeed Mr. Afton, and Springtrap has been chasing him across the Freddy’s locations? This would explain why he came after the guard in FNAF 3, thinking that he was Phone Guy. I know, Afton has a British accent, but people can disguise their accents. We hear it from actors all the time. Did you know that Liam Neeson is from Northern Ireland; or that Hugh Laurie is British? This isn’t a stretch.
So, Fazbear Fright burns down, and we know that Springtrap survives because of his hidden image in the newspaper at the end of the game, and the more blatant fact that we see him rise up out of a burnt down building at the end of Sister Location after stating that he is coming to find Mr. Afton.
So, that concludes my theory. In closing, I would like to give a big hat's off to Scott Cawthon for creating one of the most alluring series in video game history. Whether you like the games, or you hate them, you have to give them that: they certainly have captured the intrigue of the gaming world in a way that perhaps no other indie-game series ever has. You wouldn't have read this article if they didn't, right?