Night Three – Five Nights at Freddy’s Three: Springtrap haunts my nightmares

Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 – Springtrap is more than enough to kill you

Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 takes place thirty years after the original game, with Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza having become a distant memory surrounded by horrifying rumors and children disappearing, murders, and so on. Like any local legend, someone decided to cash in on this by turning one of the old buildings into Fazbear’s Fright, a horror attraction based on the murders and disappearances and less on the warm and fuzzies people might have felt surrounding good old Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza.

The attraction itself is full of artifacts from the old restaurants, and players get to act as the night guard (mostly to make sure no one steals anything, the new phone guy says, or makes out somewhere in the attraction). There’s some disappointment, however, because though the place has an authentic–and creepy–feel, it lacks one thing: animatronics. Night 1 goes smoothly, with no jumpscares or horror. The ambiance of the attraction is one thing, but having to check the cameras for both the attraction and the vents throughout the building, the doorway to the office, and maintain various systems (audio distractions, the ventilation system, and the video feeds for the cameras). Because the building is so old, if the vents stop working things get even more pants-shittingly terrifying.

Night 2, however, is where the real terror begins. Phone Dude informs players that some of the old training tapes were found from back when there were wearable suits that doubled as animatronics. Even better, however, is that they found one. A real one. They found a working animatronic from the old restaurants.

This is a moment I've gotten used to seeing. God damn it, Springtrap.

This is a moment I’ve gotten used to seeing. God damn it, Springtrap.

The Plot

This is by far one of the richest FNAF games in terms of storytelling. We finally get to explore the deaths of the five children, and how their murderer–Purple Guy–came back after the restaurant closed to dismantle the animatronics. When things backfire and he finds himself haunted by their spirits, he climbs into the Spring Bonnie suit and laughs at how he escaped his spectral assailants…only for the spring locks to fail, killing him in the process. And thus, Springtrap–the solitary real threat in FNAF 3–was born. The hallucinations caused by vents failing coupled with having to use audio cues to guide Springtrap around the facility and away from the office make for one remarkably tense situation.

The Mechanics

Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is a delicate balancing act of prioritizing what needs to be fixed over what else. Avoiding all of the hallucinations in addition to keeping an eye out for Springtrap. Having two sets of cameras–one for the vents and one for the actual rooms–adds to the tension, only made worse by how checking the cameras is only begging for the vents to fail and hallucinations to make the situation worse. Phantom Freddy, Phantom Foxy, Phantom Chica, Phantom Mangle, Phantom Balloon Boy, and Phantom Marionette (sensing a bit of a theme there) are all quite eager to ruin everything and make the player vulnerable for a Springtrap attack. Springtrap, fortunately or unfortunately, is the only way to get a Game Over screen.

However, there are hidden mini-games all through the game. Without completing these, mini-games it’s only possible to get the Bad Ending.

Once again, to best showcase how intense this game, here’s Markiplier’s video of him doing Nightmare Mode. Dreadful stuff.

The Rookie Killer & Misadventures In Failure

Finding balance in this game is crucial, and even then there will be mistakes. It’s so easy to slip-up. I made it to Night 3, but I can’t seem to make it further simply because I am so quick to get frazzled. Phantom Balloon Boy caused me a tremendous deal of frustration, and I would consistently run into a Phantom Balloon Boy-then-Springtrap combo. It’s easy to miss the sounds that indicate Springtrap has sneaked into the vents, and the hallucinations become far worse when you realize that they make Springtrap appear in more than one room.

Overall Rating – What do you think at this point?

Really, I would stand by buying all of the FNAF games simply because they combine cheap jumpscare horror with leftover fear of creepy goddamn animatronics at restaurants like Chuck E. Cheese. However, if I had to restrict myself to telling people to buy only one FNAF title–even with how amazing 4 turned out, though we’ll get to that tomorrow–I would say go with 3. Springtrap is supremely creepy, even without taking his backstory into account. The presence of the Phantom animatronics intensifies how anxiety-inducing this chapter in the Five Nights at Freddy’s series can be, and the fully-realized story is just exceptionally compelling. Springtrap is my favorite of all the animatronics, and I can honestly say he creeps me out more than even the Nightmare ones in FNAF 4 (though Nightmare Bonnie, Nightmare Fredbear, and Nightmare are damn close based on appearance alone). The noises that accompany the jumpscares in this game are the least painful, too, which makes playing a little less ear-destroying than the first one. That said: fear quickly gives way to frustration, but completing the final night (for the good ending or not) is all the sweeter because of it.

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