- Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted 2 reveals critical lore details through its unique mini-games and collectibles, shedding light on the earliest canonical event in the series.
- The carnival-themed mini-games in Help Wanted 2 hint at a shared tragedy and offer a glimpse into the series’ origins, particularly through the fire depicted in the games and its connection to FallFest events.
- Steel Wool Studios, the developer of Five Nights at Freddy’s, has been hinting at exploring the series’ earliest event for years, and Help Wanted 2 seems to be setting the stage for a deep dive into the origins of the franchise.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted 2 was released last month, and quickly sent shockwaves through the fandom. Not only was the title truly terrifying, following in the footsteps of RUIN’s return to survival horror, but it went above and beyond in revealing critical lore details. As fans have come to expect, finding this lore was no easy feat, requiring the completion of 40 unique survival mini-games, six secret challenges, and the collection of 80 different collectibles. While many of these games and collectibles added to or referenced previous events from the series, two mini-game types, and a single collectible, seemingly introduce the series’ earliest canonical event and original tragedy. Together, these elements see Help Wanted 2 pull back the curtain on the earliest events in FNAF’s re-established canon.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted 2 takes place between the events of Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach and FNAF: Security Breach RUIN, as it follows the final human employee of the Mega Pizza-Plex, Cassie’s Dad. It is concurrently hinted that he was also the author of various collectible employee logs found throughout the main story of Security Breach. In Help Wanted 2, Cassie’s Dad can choose to collect two groups of 6 items as players complete the title’s many mini-games, unlocking a pair of endings. However, Help Wanted 2’s biggest lore drop is seemingly hidden within two of its most random mini-games.
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A Group of Help Wanted 2’s Mini-Games Hint at a Shared Tragedy
The majority of Help Wanted 2 mini-games see fans trying to survive experiences within the Pizza Plex. However, a trio of carnival-themed games, Carousel, Fazerblast, and Captain Foxy’s Log Ride see fans dropped into brand-new environments. Captain Foxy’s Log Ride is a Wild West version of the original mini-game from Help Wanted‘s Curse of Dreadberar DLC, during which players must defend themselves from Jack-O-Moon. In Carousel, fans are placed at the center of a large carousel, and tasked with installing fuses, rewiring and replacing circuit boards, and re-routing energy, all while defending themselves from Moon.
Fazerblast, on the other hand, has various levels. The first two are simply target practice. However, Fazerblast features additional levels, in which fans must play recreations of FNAF 1 through 3 by throwing balls or shooting targets with a Fazerblaster and Dart Gun, while Plushbabies attack from every direction. Both Fazerblast and Carousel share a unique fate, and one can assume they offer a first glimpse at a hereto-unknown tragedy.
Upon unlocking “nightmare” mode, i.e. taking off their V.A.N.N.I. masks, players are introduced to a new Carousel mini-game – The Cinder Carousel. In this version, the carousel and its surrounding environment are engulfed in flames. In place of Moon is one of Help Wanted 2’s original animatronics, Jack-O-Moon. The overarching gameplay remains the same. However, Fazerblast’s final levels put this seemingly random fire into context.
Each of Fazerblast’s first 4 levels features a hidden Rocketship target, and, upon shooting it, a piece of the carnival game’s facade will fall. Among these items are a plank of wood, a hay bale, a leaky barrel, and a lantern. When done in order, with the lantern falling last, a chain reaction will occur, igniting the Fazerblast facade and its central animatronic, Carnie, who screams in pain. Following this fire, the final level of Fazerblast, called FNAF 3, is unlocked, during which fans must battle one-on-one with Springtrap, using all the weapons unlocked throughout the previous four levels. Success is rewarded with one of Help Wanted 2’s secret poppets, taking fans one step closer to the title’s secret ending.
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Help Wanted 2’s Carnival Games Seemingly Reveal the Series’ Earliest Tragedy
Help Wanted 2‘s Carnival-themed mini-games are given context, once fans begin to replay mini-games and earn additional prizes. At random, they will be rewarded with a strange promotional poster for an event called FallFest 1970. While this may seem like just another collectible, its appearance has sent longtime fans into a frenzy. The original FNAF Help Wanted released a DLC called The Curse of Dreadbear, which featured Halloween-themed mini-games, including the original Captain Foxy’s ride. However, its setting is the element that has long perplexed fans. Its main hub, prize screen, and mini-games are draped in long-abandoned decorations for a mysterious event – FallFest ’83.
For years, FallFest ’83 has been a point of debate in the FNAF community, with many shrugging off its unique aesthetic and animatronics as simple Halloween themes. However, the events of Help Wanted 2, and its reveal of another FallFest in 1970, give these elements context. In particular, the fire depicted in Help Wanted 2 creates a plausible origin for The Curse of Dreadbear‘s original animatronics, Jack-O-Chica, Jack-O-Bonnie, and Grimm Foxy, all of whom are engulfed in flames. While little else is known about the two FallFest events, the connection made between Help Wanted 2‘s fire, the FallFest 1970 poster, and the fiery animatronics of a FallFest in 1983 hints at a new series of tragedies that date back farther than any other depicted event FNAF‘s canonical timeline.
Five Nights at Freddy’s developer, Steel Wool Studios, has been voicing its dream of exploring the series’ earliest event for years, and with Help Wanted 2, it appears to be setting the pieces into place. FallFest undoubtedly holds the key to where the series is headed, as the developer even hid unique art for HW2‘s first demo at PAX 2023 within its prize machine, a real-world build of the same machine from which players receive the FallFest 1970 poster in-game.
Between that pre-release art, the fact that Help Wanted 2‘s original animatronics all stem from carnival games, and the fire that seemingly connects the two FallFests, Steel Wool appears ready to finally dive into the series’ origins. Despite Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted 2 having only been released last month, fans could see a return to FallFest quite soon, as Steel Wool has hinted at very big plans for FNAF in 2024.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
Five Nights at Freddy’s is a first-person survival horror and resource management game from Scott Cawthorn that raced to popularity thanks to its creepy animatronic enemies and its array of panic-inducing jumpscares. Bringing life to a cavalcade of well-known characters like Freddy Fazbear, Chica, Foxy, Bonnie, and more, Five Nights at Freddy’s has seen immense success, spinoffs, and fan games.