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Since its creation, Five Nights At Freddy’s has remained a Halloween classic. From Halloween costumes and merch, updates and timed events for games, and exclusive holiday skins in its AR app, FNAF and Halloween have gone together like William Afton and child murder.
One of the most iconic examples of this is FNAF 4’s Halloween update, which took an already atmospheric game and added spookier textures and a slightly darker tone. This set the stage for a larger, more expansive Halloween project. And in October 2019, we finally got it in the form of The Curse of Dreadbear DLC for Help Wanted VR.
Hand Unit states that “This DLC pack is nothing more than a festive holiday-themed add-on which has absolutely no hidden intent or purpose,” which is partially true. Like the base game Help Wanted, most of the game is based around different mini-games, with the lore being something you have to actively search to access.
In Help Wanted, you play as a game tester for Fazbear Entertainment, playing their new VR game. However, when scanning some old circuit boards, a digital copy of William Afton was created.
Tape Girl, a previous tester, was able to split him into pieces using tapes before succumbing to his control, and by assembling all of those tapes and hearing her story you set him free. It can be assumed that Dreadbear is a continuation of the same story as it includes a new ending that teased the (at the time upcoming) next game, Security Breach.
- Plushkins/Plush Babies: Plushie versions of Circus Baby initially found in the base game, they now wear different masks of animatronics and try to scare you in the Plushkin Patch mini-game
- Captain Foxy: Captain Foxy is a Foxy animatronic in full captain’s gear. He guides you through Captain Foxy’s Pirate Ride, a parody of typical theme park/Disney World rides
- Grimm Foxy: Grimm Foxy is the Jack-O-Lantern variant of Foxy, designed similarly to Jack-O-Chica and Jack-O-Bonnie. He stalks you in the corn maze and night 2 of the Danger Keep Out game mode. In the corn maze, he scrapes his hook against the wall, dashes after you, and hums the same tone as Foxy (in a deeper, more distorter voice). In his night of Danger Keep Out, he can insta-kill if he gets to your office.
- Nightmare Animatronics: Perhaps the goofiest version of William Afton to exist, Scraptrap is Springtrap after surviving the FNAF 3 fire. Despite being older and burned here, his design has more flesh than Springtrap and an equally jarring piece of bone sticking out.
- Mangle: Mangle was created as a less scary alternative to Foxy for the FNAF 2 location, but was torn up by kids, eventually being made into an animatronic building attraction. He returns in the Build A Mangle mini-game, where he’ll jump-scare if you get enough wrong pieces, and Trick or Treat, where he blocks the window from your view unless you wear the Mangle mask.
- HandUnit: HandUnit has appeared in a number of games since Sister Location, acting as a companion of sorts to walk you through levels. At the start of most of the mini-games, he gives a little speech.
The Curse of Dreadbear is based around multiple themed mini-game collections, some of which have story/lore significance and some which don’t. For example, Hallway Crawl taking place in the FNAF 4 house was the first big clue to a recent lore drop, whereas other mini-games such as Dreadbear are just fun to play and any lore is just a metaphor.
The mini-games are varied and all very enjoyable, being split off into three separate sections, which all also have blacklight/hard mode variants. Of these, I found the most interesting lore-wise to be Hallway Crawl and Corn Maze, with Hallway Crawl also joining Pirate Ride on my favorite mini-games to play.
Afraid of the Dark
Afraid of the Dark consists of three mini-games: Plushkin Patch, Pirate Ride, and Corn Maze. This game mode is mostly themed around classic Halloween attractions; a pumpkin patch, a theme park ride, and a corn maze. What makes them interesting is the way each one subverts expectations and adds a Five Nights At Freddy’s twist.
Afraid of the Dark is one of my favorite game modes- because of the way it’s built, most of the mini-games are pretty familiar experiences with horror added in.
The horror in these segments is able to build off of past nostalgia much in the same way as the original FNAF concept did- but instead of Chuck E. Cheese and Rockafire Explosion, now it’s pumpkin patches and corn mazes, far more universal memories.
Spooky Mansion is another beloved game mode, this one having a bit more varied mini-game themes. The mini-games included are Hallway Crawl, Build a Mangle, Trick or Treat, and Dreadbear. Most of these are themed together based on their location, however, there is some variance.
Hallway Crawl takes place in the FNAF 4 house, Trick or Treat takes place at a large mansion (which may also be the FNAF 4 house), Dreadbear takes place in a mansion basement/mad science lab reminiscent of classic monster movies, and the Build a Mangle station is shown to exist inside of the Security Breach Pizzaplex.
Danger! Keep Out
Danger Keep Out is definitely the game mode with the mode similar mini-games, with all of them being different nights on the same game. For the first night, only Jack-O-Chica and Jack-O-Bonnie appear, on the second night, Grimm Foxy starts rushing, and on the third night, Dreadbear is added into the mix.
These all play out as a variation on the first FNAF game, having no doors and instead relying mostly on lights to scare away animatronics. Where doors typically would be are wooden boards which can be broken by animatronics if you don’t’ ward them off in time, and Foxy insta-kills.
Lore (Contains Spoilers)
Whereas Help Wanted did have an ongoing story hidden beneath the mini-games, Dreadbear is a bit lacking in that department. The DLC is pretty much just mini-games, but some of these mini-games provide hints and clues about lore from past games.
Hallway Crawl finishes with you crawling into the bedroom from FNAF 4. Initially seeming like a weird detail or maybe meant to be seen as the child’s imagination, the excruciatingly long hallway always stood out.
There wasn’t really any way to tie this into lore (aside from seeing the long hallway and Nightmare Animatronics as hallucinations by the crying child) until recently when an upcoming book in the Tales From the Pizzaplex series was leaked.
The third story in the book, Dittophobia, revealed that Evan Afton was not the only person to have an experience like FNAF 4. Rather, William Afton had at some time been kidnapping kids, making them forget who they were, and using gas to create the hallucinations of the Nightmare Animatronics.
In addition, the hub for the DLC showed a sign reading “Fallfest ’83” and the FNAF 4 house was shown in the background, meaning we were always meant to tie this game back to FNAF 4. The Fallfest cutouts in the Corn Maze are also shown again in the museum area of Security Breach, again pointing to some form of Fall festival really happening.
Corn Maze additionally had a big lore reveal, but this lore reveal served as a teaser for the next game, Security Breach, which little was known about at the time. If you survive long enough to get all of the keys in Corn Maze, a new glitching key will spawn.
If you collect this, you can open the cellar doors at the start of the maze, leading you into the basement of the prize barn.
Here you’ll find the Vanny mask. Little happens with it, but from here on you’ll be able to get it at the prize counter. If you go to the prize counter and wear the mask while holding the Glitchtrap plushie, secret dialogue will play, showing Vanessa’s hesitation to follow Glitchtrap as well as her selecting a mask and costume.
This dialogue was further continued in the source code for Scott Cawthon’s website, showing the other side of the conversation with Glitchtrap’s questions.
Looking back, it’s not much, but at the time this was all we knew about Security Breach, and it got the fanbase super excited. Sadly, Vanny didn’t end up being nearly as important as she was teased to be, likely due to the massive crunch and amount of cuts that had to be made to the game.
Also in Corn Maze (and outside the Trick or Treat house) are plenty of graves, most of which bear the name Willie. This could just be filler text not meant to mean anything, as none of the other text on the grave lines up, but it could also be a reference to William Afton being dead and in the afterlife in Ultimate Custom Night.
In the game over screen, seven graves (those of the missing children’s incident + presumably Michael or Evan Afton) can be seen off to the side, with a purple glitch in the middle.
Hacking outside the bounds of the map reveals that in the circle of graves is an eighth grave, glitched purple and green. This is most likely to symbolize how Afton is dead, being tormented by his victims, but a digital copy of him lives on.
You start in a pumpkin patch with a digital Balloon Boy clock. Three plushies of Circus Baby are hiding throughout the patch, each wearing a different animatronic mask. You can shine your flashlight around to find them, but you have to make sure to conserve battery power.
The plushkins will slowly get closer unless you shine your light on them, and if you hear a voice line it means they’re about to jump-scare. The only way to win is to survive until 6 a.m.
Pirate Ride begins as a normal spoof on shooter-type amusement park rides, but there’s a little more underneath the surface. At each area is a cardboard cutout of Helpy, and shooting the cutout so that it flips directions changes the environment.
Instead of targets on harmless cardboard scenery, you’ll be faced with recreations of old pizzerias and Jack-O-animatronics that will try to get a little too close for comfort.
Corn Maze has you trying to live long enough to find a key and escape a maze haunted by Grimm Foxy. There are cardboard cutouts scattered throughout for you to hide in, and obnoxiously loud crows on the ground to avoid.
There are four gates to leave, and each can only be opened with the corresponding colored key. Getting all four keys causes a fifth to spawn which unlocks the basement at the start of the level.
In Hallway Crawl, you presumably play as the crying child or another child in William Afton’s experiments, tasked with making your way through a long hall of horrors to get to your bedroom. Nightmare Chica and Nightmare Bonnie will approach from doors on your left, and if you move where they can see you you’ll die.
Nightmare Foxy will also spawn in front of you, and when he spawns you can’t move when the light flashes. After a period of time, Nightmare Freddy will start following behind you, jump-scaring if you let him get too close. Making it to the end of the hallway reveals the FNAF 4 bedroom.
Build a Mangle
Build a Mangle has you building your own Mangle creation. Screens above you will display parts for you to grab off of the conveyor belts on your sides, and for every part you get wrong Mangle will lower from the ceiling.
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat deposits you outside of an animatronic-filled mansion. You have to ring the doorbell and watch through the windows to see which animatronic will answer the door. Wear the corresponding mask to avoid getting jump-scared, and if Mangle blocks the window, wear the Mangle mask to get it to leave.
In the Dreadbear level, you operate in a mad scientist lab/creepy ass basement and bring Dreadbear to life. Acting as a literary allusion to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus, Dreadbear is a representation of the acts of William Afton, in search of eternal life. It can be seen purely as a metaphor or a reference to his experiments with remnant.
HandUnit will walk you through the steps to bring Dreadbear to life, serving as a new version of the base game’s Parts and Service mini-games, with the added fun of creating an affront to both god and nature.
Danger! Keep Out Night 1-3
Danger! Keep Out has three levels of the same game which is a variation of the first few FNAF games. You have to survive until six, but now there are no doors, only lights. You use lights to stun and scare the animatronics away, and if you run out of power they can tear down the boards on the walls.
On night two, Grimm Foxy becomes active, and whereas other animatronics can be scared away from your door if Foxy makes it to the office he kills you instantly. Night three adds Dreadbear, and the light won’t reset his position like other animatronics, merely stunning him for a few seconds.
FNAF Curse of Dreadbear DLC Guide: FAQs
Question: How Many Endings does the Curse of Dreadbear DLC Have?
Answer: The Curse of Dreadbear DLC does not have a secret underlying story like its base game, and so there’s no real ending. However, by unlocking all of the keys in Foxy’s Corn Maze mini-game you can acquire the Vanny mask, and putting it on at the prize counter while holding the Glitchtrap plushie reveals a secret teaser for Vanny.
Question: Is Vanny in the Curse of Dreadbear DLC?
Answer: Vanny herself does not show up in the Curse of Dreadbear DLC, but she has secret dialogue with Glitchtrap that can be heard while wearing her mask and holding the Glitchtrap plushie. This is the first game her voice, mask, and character appear in however brief it may be.
Question: Where is Glitchtrap in the Curse of Dreadbear DLC?
Answer: Glitchtrap does not appear in the Curse of Dreadbear DLC, but he can be seen still doing his dance from the ending where the player becomes Freddy in the distance of the game over screen.