Game Theory: Bendy 2, Return to the Ink Machine (Bendy and the Dark Revival)

Game Theory: Bendy 2, Return to the Ink Machine (Bendy and the Dark Revival)


MATPAT:
Bendy And The Dark Revival, huh? Sounds interesting. *BANG* (groans) That hurt! Man, it’s times like this that
I wish I have an attack plunger. You’re supposed to throw it in my hand! CHRIS:
Your head is a bigger target. MATPAT:
*mutters* Oh I will show you a bigger target ♫ Game Theory Intro ♫ MATPAT:
Hello Internet! Welcome to Game Theory! Okay, so I have a confession to make. I’ve underestimated the Bendy Series. I honestly think most of us have. So, what do I mean by that? Well, from a storytelling standpoint these games are a lot more sophisticated than you might first believe. Take, for instance, my last episode on the game, where we covered the design detail of characters who melt away being creatures who are made entirely of ink versus those whose bodies persist after being killed, those are the ones that are infused
with real human souls. I mean, it’s an extremely subtle detail
in the game design, and at no point does the game
actually spell it out for you, but it’s essential for understanding
basically the entire plot of this game. Everything from how the ink machine works
to the meaning of the ending, but for another great example,
let’s look at Sammy Lawrence, everyone’s favourite music director/cultist/… umm… part-time Hot Topic social media manager. He has this dramatic death at the end of Chapter 2, so when he reappears at the top of
Chapter 5, all of us where like “Uhh… what happened?”. Cue the montage. MARKIPLIER:
Ohh okay DAWKO:
NO! NO WAY! BIJUU MIKE:
Are you kidding me?! Sammy Lawrence?! MATPAT:
Wait, really?!
SCOTT:
It’s Sammy! MATPAT:
It’s Sammy Lawrence!
SCOTT:
I thought he died! JACKSEPTICEYE:
Oh BLEEP way to finally fight you! DX ARMY:
So… that’s not Sammy because Sammy died in Chapter 2, right? MATPAT:
Gamers across YouTube were shooketh by this revelation, but if we were really paying attention, and I mean REALLY paying attention to the details, we would have known that Sammy had actually been reborn one other time between those two chapters. Across Bendy’s five chapters there’s actually
only two sorts of candle assets that are used. One that are the candles inside of cans of bacon soup. And the other ones are tall white candles. Now, the bacon soup candles
are used practically everywhere, but these white ones only tend to be used
in places that are associated with music, remember Sammy Lawrence is the music director, or places where Sammy physically is. In Chapter 2, for instance, they are around
all the little prayer altars and sacrificial bowls that Sammy has set up for the Ink Demon. Again, in Chapter 5 there were Sammy and the Lost Ones who set up their little memorial wall. But they are concentrated in one other
random place throughout the game. Specifically, Chapter 4’s caves. At the top of Chapter 4, there is an ink pool
that we have to unlock that contains a respawning Swollen Searcher. You are supposed to rip off his little
ink wart on his shoulder, then we move on. We use it to create a gear, fix the… the little… hangy dangly bits and you move on to the rest of the game. It’s a very simple puzzle, the pieces are right next to each other, it’s not that complicated. But if we look closer at that moment, we’ll actually notice more of Sammy’s ritual candles
set up around that inky pool, with Sammy’s iconic mask
hidden on the ground just behind it. Sammy was here too, trying to summon… something. The Ink Demon? We can’t really know for sure. Maybe he was successful, which is why
his mask is the only thing left there. Now, I didn’t find this out myself. It was actually put together by Tumblr user Dreamfisher who, along with another Tumblr user Adobe-outdesign, are the two most prolific Bendy theorists on the Internet. As far as I know, at least. Their work has gotten me to start taking
a closer look at this game again. Which is perfect since there’s actually
a new game coming out later this year. More on that in a minute, but first,
I want to talk a little bit about game design. It’s… interesting, actually. As I’ve gone back through this game, I’ve really questioned why I missed some of these details the first time through, and the reason is that the game design
has a lot of noise. And I don’t mean noise like “Wow, I’m at a party and it’s so loud and I need to shout in order for anyone to hear anything that I’m saying!”. I mean that there’s just a lot of details in this world that feel extraneous, whether or not they actually are. Let’s take a look at it from a numbers perspective. Noisy data is basically a set of numbers with a large amount of additional meaningless information mixed in. So, *meme review*, hit me with the numbers. Perfect. So, like here, right. You look at these data points and you can tell
pretty quickly just by looking at it that it’s supposed to be in the shape of a line, right? This is what’s known as the clean data. But now (open this up here) (Haven’t used one of these since, like,
science fair in high school.) Now, if you look at this data it’s a lot less clear
what this shape is meant to be. What’s important in this data set? What isn’t? Is there supposed to be a shape
to define these data points at all? Probably not, quite honestly. All of this data is very noisy. Wow, the world of statistics is so exciting(!) So, now let’s translate it to something that is legitimately exciting – video games. And compare it to everyone’s
favourite franchise on this channel Five Nights at Freddyyyyyy’s Ugh, it invades even the episodes that aren’t about it! But there is a good reason in this case. FNAF is actually a great example of this concept. FNAF isn’t a noisy game series. The first game is so stripped down in fact, that meaningful data points just stand out right for ya. That’s it. That’s all you really need
to solve the plot of this thing. In FNAF 2, yeah, there’s a lot more going on: more rooms, more animatronics, more gameplay. But stuff like the mandatory death mini-games force the meaningful data points directly into your face. You know that they are important even if
you don’t quite understand what they mean. It’s up to you to figure out a line
that connects those pieces. But in general, you know what data points
you are working with. So, now let’s translate it over to Bendy. Now, I love Bendy as a game. I love its aesthetics, I love its characters,
but it’s a noisy game world. From a design standpoint alone:
the walls are covered in lots of different messages, the messages themselves repeat multiple times
across the five different chapters, they all tend to have the same handwriting, so, it’s unclear whether they are supposed to be tracked to different writers or the same writer, there’s mysterious footprints all over the floors, doors open and shut seemingly at random. There’s just a lot of stuff everywhere. It’s a messy, ruined world and that’s okay,
that’s part of the atmosphere, but it just makes it unclear what’s intentional world building and what’s just there to fill out the space. As a result, when I was crafting theories on Bendy I tried to stay away from a lot of that messy data and just focus on the things that are clearly important
in any game that you play, quite honestly. …and things like the ending or end chapter images. But even those a lot of times in Bendy
would get changed when a new chapter releases
or the new updates come out. And it does seem like as the game’s gone on,
more and more of it has gotten intentional, which is always a good thing. Anyway, the reason I bring this all up is because this game needs more theorists working on it. There’s still a lot to unpack here. There’s a lot of stuff to sift through. Which is especially important because
there’s going to be a new game Bendy and the Dark Revival Already there’s been a lot of talk about this game playing into this new idea of choice based on this one line in the teaser: FEMALE VOICE:
But one thing always remains… the choices you make. MATPAT:
And aside from that one line that’s really all that we have to go off of. You could say that what’s really going on here is
Bendy and the Shots in the Dark. Terrible joke. Anyway, all that being said, I actually think that we’ve been given more clues about this new game than we realise. So what is this new game about? And what is actually being revived here? That, my friends, is the question for today. First, it’s important to note that, according to one of the game’s creators Mike Mood on Twitter, Bendy and the Dark Revival is not a sequel. PSSH there’s the tweet right there. Looking at the evidence square in your face. And yes Internet I know that I put ‘Bendy 2’
in the title of this video, but guess what, sometimes you gotta introduce people to a new game based on, you know, traditional titling conventions. I’m trying to prevent another Kingdom Hearts
here friends. We are not going to have ourselves
Bendy’s Inkdrop Distance, okay. But Mike in that same tweet also makes it very clear that this new game isn’t a prequel either. So, if it’s not a sequel and it’s not a prequel,
well, that only leaves us with two other possibilities. Either it’s an alternate universe that’s using the same characters in a new way or it’s a side story. And based on the evidence that we have leading up to this new game’s reveal, I actually think it’s gonna be a bit of both. Let me explain here. As we all know at this point, once you beat Bendy |the first time through, you get yourself a chance to play
through the game again, only this time you are using your Lens of Truth
to see all the secret messages that are sprinkled across the walls and floors
of Joey Drew Studios across the entire game, not just in the last chapter. And from the opening hallway already
things start to get weird. It becomes immediately clear
that you are stuck in some sort of loop, as evidenced by the tally marks that you see along the right-hand wall. Add up those tally marks, though, and you get yourself 414. So, apparently we’ve already gone though
Joey Drew Studios 414 times. It seems like it’s an arbitrary number, right? No, it’s not. The teaser for the new game was officially uploaded onto the Joey Drew Studios YouTube channel on April 14th. 4/14. That’s not all. In the lead up to this big reveal of the new game, that same channel’s been uploading audio logs from various moments throughout this studio’s history. From those logs you can actually
construct a timeline of events: Bendy’s premiere back in 1929. The studio growing in 1931. Alice Angel’s premiere in 1932. The first appearance of the Butcher Gang in 1935. Troubles with Bendy land in 1940. And the ink machine going in
and really taking over the studio in 1943. But then there’s this one final audio recording. One that combines all the audio of everything that came before but then introduces us to a whole new voice. JOEY DREW:
So what can you expect in the coming months? SUSIE CAMPBELL:
You never know… SAMMY LAWRENCE:
He’s always watching me… [unsettling noise] MYSTERIOUS VOICE:
How very interesting, such… knowledge MATPAT:
The listed date of that recording? April 14, questionable year. 414 again. So, very clearly the game’s developers
are setting up a connection between the time loop that Harry finds himself
trapped in and this new character who is researching the ink machine
and the people who are connected to it to uncover the secrets behind the studio. This also isn’t the first time that we are hearing about whoever this mysterious observer is. Before Chapter 5 was released, a series of three audio recordings were uploaded onto that channel. Each one labelled “???”. Remember, at this point in the story
Henry has just met perfect Allison Angel and Tom and was being held their prisoner
which is where Chapter 5 begins. These audio recordings were made by Henry
during that imprisonment phase. And, while most of what he says across the other clips isn’t particularly interesting, no offence, Henry, I know you had nothing better to do you are stuck in an underground prison in an imaginary… ink world… maybe, who knows, he does make one odd comment
that bears repeating here. Demons and Angels are clearly references
to Bendy and Alice. So, what is this other thing? This thing that’s listening to him? How is he being watched? It seems very clear that his fears in this audio recording are actually setting up and connected to
this new observing character. So, who is this person? Well, in the aftermath of the teaser’s release
some people online have speculated that it might be Bendy himself
learning to talk or something like that. But uhhhhhhh… I would disagree with that conclusion. You see, on the official Bendy Twitter account for the last two months they’ve been tweeting out
a letter a day leading up to this reveal. If you put those letters together, like a grand old game of Wheel of Fortune we get ourselves this message. The fact that this phrase is being directed at Bendy and references someone else doing this reawakening indicates that Bendy probably
isn’t the one in question here. Taking it another step further, the phrase “benevolent demon” seems to be coming from Sammy Lawrence, he is the only one who not only
sees Bendy as the force for good, but also speaks in this sort of
Biblical heightened language. However, think back to the first game. Over the course of Henry’s story
we see Sammy go from the devotee of Bendy To being completely disillusioned with Bendy. Which, can you blame the guy? I mean, he just keeps getting killed at the hands of the God that he was just making the sacrifices to. So, the fact that he is back to calling Bendy the benevolent demon seems to indicate that this actually might be a Sammy from an earlier part of the timeline. Or, should I say, an earlier part of the storyloop. A time before he gets fed up with Lord Bendy ignoring his sacrifices of candles and bowls of soup. Also notice in this phrase that
he is using the word ‘reawakened the dark’ which would imply that the dark has been awake before. If the dark is, in fact, ink, then the ink machine is probably coming to life again after years of being turned off. Lastly, let’s talk about this final shot of the teaser, the one that bludging me to death
at the top of this episode. The jump scare here definitely goes quickly, but if you slow it down and you brighten it up a little bit, the figure actually takes the shape of the Piper,
one of the three members of the Butcher Gang. You’ll notice the ear, the hairline,
that elongated face right there. Now, the Butcher Gang, to me, might be one of the most interesting unsolved mysteries from the original game. I mean, they are treated just like a normal enemy spawn, but stop and actually look at these guys. These creatures have clearly been twisted and tortured, their bodies mutilated and dismembered
and then reassembled together. Every other character in this game is either, like, an ink blob or some version of an existing cartoon character. But these three have been remixed in mutilated ways, with body parts that have been removed and added, and heads and ears swapped positions, mouths sawn shut. And again, while this might just be noisy data, just some really cool creepy designs for these characters, I don’t think that’s the case. There is clearly a backstory to
these three particular characters, and that’s proven by looking at the design of the Fisher. You see that? It says right on his belt “Liar”. A sign that is written and branded in that he is a liar. That’s not a fashion accessory that you are walking around with there, friends. Clearly, this isn’t just an imperfection of the ink process, they are being punished for something that they did when they were human. And, let’s be clear, even though they do spawn a bunch of times throughout the game, they were human at one point
or at least a subset of them were. While, yes, many of them do melt back into the ink
when they are beaten, many of them don’t, as evidenced by Alice Angel’s little morgue here in Chapter 3. These guys are dead. But their bodies have remained intact, which means that, at one point in time, they did in fact possess a human soul. The other interesting thing about the Butcher Gang being the big climax of this teaser trailer is that they are on the side of Bendy. Think back to Chapter 3 one more time, one of the tasks that Alice Angel
gives us is defending her against an attacking onslaught
of Butcher Gang members. That battle of allegiances is further supported
by that chapter’s ending. Remember, this was the one and only part of the original game that had an actual decision point involved. You can either go the “demon route” or the “angel route”. It literally changed nothing about how the chapter played out, except for the final image that you were shown at the end of the chapter, with the “demon route” showing you a particularly interesting one. It showed you Bendy leading the charge of an army of Searchers and Butcher Gang members. They are allied. They are on the same team. And so now let’s look back at this new game’s teaser one more time and how it mentions choice. It specifically says that we can: FEMALE VOICE:
Walk with angels or cower before demons. MATPAT:
Cower before demons or walk with angels. Ladies and gentlemen, we are picking sides. So, putting all of this evidence together, here’s my prediction for this new game. Whoever this observer is,
he is reactivating the ink machine, probably the one that is currently lying dormant
in Joey Drew’s house. In doing so it has the potential to change
the course of Henry’s story. This isn’t a prequel or a sequel it’s yet another iteration of that gameplay loop, the 414th iteration of that loop, except this time things might change based on our decisions. Based on who we decide to align with. The path of the demon or the path of the angel, and that in turn will dictate how this whole loop plays out. And along the way, hopefully, we learn just a little bit more about these Butcher Gang members. Who knows, maybe we will learn who
that Tommy gun belonged to. And perhaps, in the end we will finally be able
to escape the inkreals once and for all. But hey, that’s just a theory! A Game Theory! Thanks for watching! Me disappearing into a puddle of ink. MAKE IT HAPPEN, EDITORS! [trash bin sound] Did I do it? Did I disappear into a puddle of ink? D-did you see me? It’s like the op.. It’s like the opposite of “Hey, VSause!”