(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Monday, November 2, 2015

FNAF4 - I Finally Figured Something Out

Another post where gaming nerd and writing nerd intertwine!

I have previously written about how impressed I was by Five Nights At Freddy's 2, and the story it revealed, and how that story was developed and displayed.

Five Nights At Freddy's 4, though, is a bit of a puzzle, to me and to the fandom in general.  Today I saw someone replaying it, and now that I've seen the rest of the game I put things together.  My own personal life experiences gave me insight into it.  It's been a bit of a revelation, and I have to share it somewhere, so I'm throwing it at you people.

The little boy who is the protagonist of FNAF4 is physically and emotionally abused by someone who lives in his home, presumably an older brother.  This becomes very clear towards the end of the game, especially when said brother and friends stuff the kid into an animatronic's mouth and it kills/maims the poor boy.

But at the beginning of the game, this wasn't clear yet.  I didn't have the perspective to know what I was seeing.  Now I understand that the cutscenes are all about abuse.  The first day just seemed weird.  There's talk about him locking himself in his room, but he tries to get out and can't, and cries.

What happened is, his older brother locked him in, and told his parents that he's throwing a tantrum.  On two of the days, his brother jumps out at him wearing a Foxy animatronic head.  The child is terrified of big, clunky animatronics, and people in suits that can pass for them.  His older brother uses this to terrorize him, including abandoning him at Freddy Fazbear's so the child can stew in terror.  The child isn't afraid of the characters.  He has Freddy toys and loves them.  He's afraid of animatronics, and if you think about it, that's not a very surprising or unreasonable fear for a small child!

So, putting all that together was nice, but it wasn't the big thing.  Once I knew all that, it let me answer one of the biggest questions in the Five Nights At Freddy's series:

What the Hell is going on in the FNAF4 gameplay?  What is this supposed to represent?  It's not believable that horrible nightmare versions of the animatronics are attacking the kid at night.  Are these nightmares?  Visions from the afterlife?

Nope.  FNAF4 is a physically abused child simulator.  I have been there.  I try to talk around the abuse issues of my childhood, because people would get the wrong impression and think my parents (good, loving people, who I like and am grateful to) abused me.  I certainly don't feel like dragging out all the details to the public.

But suffice it to say, I spent the years of the boy in this game in a household with a physical abuser, as the primary victim.  I can tell you that the game perfectly, beautifully represents what this feels like.  Your parents are gone, and you know, you KNOW, he's coming to get you.  If you can see it coming, you can hold it off for a little while.  Nothing is safe, the abuser is a giant monster, and you can be attacked from any direction at any time.  In this child's case, the abuser is a distorted vaguely cartoony death robot, who prefers to leap out at him from surprise rather than attacking directly.  He's, like, five.  That's what this looks like to him.

(I have no proof, but it would fit a lot of things together if the older brother worked at Fazbear's.)

This is grim stuff, but they're grim games and the final cutscene of FNAF4 is one of the most grim things in any game.  I'm incredibly relieved to have solved a mystery and that I now understand the last, weirdest entry.  With any luck, at least someone who reads my blog will also understand and be satisfied.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Undertale Discussion - Asgore Dreemurr




Monday, October 19, 2015

Quick Question For My Blog Readers

Do you guys want me to post brief passages now and then from book three, if I think they contain no important spoilers?  There aren't a lot of bits like that, but I stumbled across one and thought I'd ask.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Have Some Progress

I have carefully analyzed the last two days' progress.  I see no spoilers I consider meaningful, nothing that would give away the rest of the book's secrets.  Mostly it concerns world building, one of the few expository sections I ever write.  My blog goers seem to like that stuff, so here it is.

The First Scene Of What Is Currently Chapter Eight

Also, here is a photo of a bush shaped like a ham.

Monday, September 14, 2015


No, don't stop.  But that comments section was getting kinda full.

You guys have had some really good guesses on some things, but not so much with Penny's powers.

Here.  Have some fan art.  This is a character from the third book, drawn by one of my alpha readers who totally adores her.

The third book is finally coming along okay.  I wrote the big Bull Reunion scene that I've been looking forward to for a long time!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Teasing Teaser

Chapter three of the third Inscrutable Machine book.  This is all you're getting until it's finished and published, so make this last!  I'm hoping that rather than satisfying you, it will make you crave the rest of the story.  I chose these three chapters because they're sort of the book's 'part one', setting up what the book will be about - as much as that ever works with my books.

The Very Long Third Chapter

Enjoy.  You do enjoy reading these, right?  I'm enjoying writing them.  I'll admit it - this whole chapter was a hoot to write.

The Pictures I've Been Too Lazy To Post

Uh... moving is hard?

I've been collecting photos for awhile, mostly from my wildly failed trip to UtopYA, and never got around to posting them.  So here they are, and any other photos I had in that collection!

Here's the Curiosity Quills table in the dealer's room at UtopYA.  I spent most of Thursday and Friday there.  What do you not see in this picture?  CUSTOMERS.  The con was practically deserted.

This was directly across from me.  Every time I looked up, it was SIX PACK ABS.  That was entertainingly ironic, because these photos don't convey just how incredibly few men there were at the convention.  It took divine grace to position the one straight male author right across from the one steamy women's romance novelist.

The convention was a total loss from a business perspective, but I met a lot of other CQ authors, and they were the most wonderful women.  They had a room party Thursday night, and while I did not get a photo of them shouting profanities at the top of their lungs while laughing, I do have these:  The SO of one of the authors attempting a thing he heard about where you can open a wine bottle by putting it in a shoe and thumping it against the wall.  It did not work, so he went and got the downstairs bar to open the bottle, which none of us had thought of.  I think that means he wins!

So, there was no business Thursday, and a few people Friday who told us what everyone says at cons - that they would be back to buy on Saturday.  That's how it always works at conventions.  Well... UtopYA, in its infinite wisdom, closed the dealer's room on Saturday.  That left us CQ authors up a creek, and I went sightseeing with Vicki Leigh and Gail Strickland (the two most awesome women in the universe, by the way*) in Nashville.  This is them, posing beneath a gigantic gold-leaf statue of Athena.

Not kidding about the statue.  Nashville has a life size replica of the Parthenon, including a reproduction of the lost statue of Athena.  The gold leaf is real.  The ivory is not.

Photo with humans in it, so you can see that it really is quite a large statue.

Interior detail on the shield.

Ducks.  Always hiding.  Watching me.

But vastly better than all of that, I offer you this:  A birthday present drawn for me by one of my friends.  I'm trying to figure out if I can size it to be a banner here, or something.  Hopefully, at least some of you have read enough of my books to know what you're seeing!

*Okay, maybe not, but only because I know some truly spectacularly awesome women.  Vicki and Gail were pretty badass, trust me.