Game Theory: Hello Neighbor’s SATANIC Plot!


Well hidly-ho neighborinos! Welcome to GAME THEORY. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s the holiday season. A time of love and togetherness. A time for family and brotherhood. A time when we’re called to serve as a neighbor to one another in this great big brotherhood of man. And when I say acting as a neighbor to one another I mean breaking into each other’s houses to unlock one another’s murder basements. Screw you, Wilson! The 90’s are over. Neighbors don’t dole out sage advice whilst hiding behind chin-high fences anymore, buckaroo. Nowadays if you’re moving into a new house, at least one of those homes in your neighborhood is hiding a meat hook with your name on it. Case in point: Hello Neighbor. An indie horror game set for release next summer, but whose alpha builds have already caught the internet by storm. In a 2016 that was light on big releases, the indie scene stepped up in a big way, with everything from Welcome to the Game to Layers of Fear, Sister Location to Sarah is Missing. Unique, thought-provoking, and most importantly scarily fun games. If you missed any of the playthroughs check them out by clicking the GIF of me freaking out in the corner. You can also click the JIF of me freaking out in the corner, but I’ll leave that choice up to you. And, uh, watching those animations play back, if you can’t tell, I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to these sorts of things, so expect all sorts of girlish screams in your future. (Oh, fart nuggets!) But across all of them, Hello Neighbor is the one leaving people with the most questions, myself included. If you’re unfamiliar with the game, let me quickly recap: you play as a new addition to community, just moving in. But shortly after you move, you start to notice some strange behavior from your jazzercise-prone neighbor. Screams coming from the house, erratic behavior, paranoid looks. Peering in through his windows reveals a heavily-guarded door leading into his basement. But seriously, what is down there that he doesn’t want the world to see? That is the mystery you’re looking to solve in the game. Break in, find the tools necessary to undo his security measures, and unearth your neighbor’s dark secret before it’s too late. But you know what, Why go through all the wait and all the hassle? Today we put the clues together to solve this mystery half a year before the game’s release. Partly because I like the challenge of doing it, but also partly because if i wait too long to do a theory on it they release a Ditto the same day I release a video using Ditto’s absence as a critical piece of my argument, and then the comments section blows up about it, and you know, it’s a purely hypothetical situation but it’s something I’m trying to avoid moving forward, all right? Let’s get neighborly. So the first major question people are left with is, is this guy actually a bad guy? Sure, he acts kinda creepy and is REALLY serious about his privacy, using everything from bear traps to a security shark. (Beware his jaws of justice. Security shark!) But we don’t actually see him commit any crime. And the game seems intent on misleading us, in fact in the latest update one of the opening cut scenes show what appears to be someone running away from him, but slow down the footage and look closer, and you see that his supposed “victim” is just one of the many mannequins he has positioned throughout his house. Notice the shiny brown head, white body, and lack of arms. So, are we just paranoid? Jumping to conclusions prematurely? Is this guy actually going to be revealed as dangerous in the final game, or is this all just one big misunderstanding? Well, the answer to that is he is 100% dangerous. Our first clue comes from an early Reddit IAmA with the developers Dynamic Pixels. During it, they received a question from a concerned Redditor. Someone who felt uncomfortable playing a game where they were going to be the criminal breaking and entering into an innocent person’s home. Dynamic Pixels’ response is TELLING. “What if the neighbor is a psycho! And is holding someone prisoner. Who knows? ;)” Smells like a hint. A pretty specific hint at that. At what the game designers have actually been planning for the final plot of this game all along. That someone is being held prisoner in this house. As if the words weren’t enough, the winky face seals the deal. Why? Well, it’s simple Emoji etiquette. A winky face at the end of a sentence is coy, flirty. Implying more than just the words said. For instance, if I were to text you, “Why don’t you come over tonight ;)” That winky face implies you ain’t just coming over for Overwatch and chill. And in Hello Neighbor’s case, the wink on the part of the developers means, “We’re pretending like we’re not giving it all away, but you know better.” Coy, knowing, “it’ll be our little secret”. But if you don’t believe interpreting emoji like modern day hieroglyphics is a valid piece of evidence, well then just look at this: it’s a detail every playthrough of this game has overlooked thus far. Including my own over on GTLive. But it begs the question, why would a mailbox in front of a house have not an address, but two numbers separated by a colon? Of course, the first thing we all think of is time but that doesn’t make any sort of sense here. Why put a military-style time reading on a mailbox? There’s also no way that this was an accident. It’s too specific of a detail for Dynamic Pixels to include in there. So let me tell you I looked. I looked a LOT. I was getting scientific coding sequences, NASA coordinates, all kinds of stuff that seems to have no possible connection to a game about trolling your creepy neighbor. So where else do you have two numbers separated by a colon? Ratios, citations, Bible verses… Bible verses. Chapter number, colon, verse number. After striking out so many times that seemed like the most likely. So I dug through the entire Bible to find every instance of Chapter 14 Verse 14. What I came up with was the following list. A lot of the quotes were purely random. False leads, non-sequiturs, things without context. Unless of course we’re supposed to leave Joshua and the neighbor is secretly Caleb, son of Jephunneh the Kenezite. I’m gonna say a tentative no to that one. But one quote in particular stood out. From Kings 2, Chapter 14 Verse 14. Specifically related to someone breaking into a palace, where “He took away all the gold and silver, all the items found in the treasuries of the royal palace, and some hostages.” So it seems to me that we have printed on the mailbox in front of the neighbors house a Bible verse specifically telling the story of someone breaking into a palace and stealing not just the valuables, but also rescuing some hostages in the process. Now, granted we’re still VERY early in the game development process, but I like our odds. So the neighbor has been keeping people in his basement against their will, and it’s our job to Robin Hood the heck out of things and steal everything back. Freeing the hostages, and then making our escape. And the evidence in Alpha 2 already points to this. If you successfully make it to the basement we get soft confirmation, with a mattress on the ground and a crib, as if someone is being kept there against their will. In fact, whoever’s down there may seem like they’re trying to escape. For all the hooplah made around getting into the basement in the big Alpha 2 release last week, those who actually bothered to research the game knew what it looked like back from Trailer #2, where we actually get a thorough look at the basement. Running through long stretches of corridor to escape the neighbor as he approaches. But what’s most interesting here is what happens as you head your way down into the basement. You actually hear a child coughing, a baby whining, a female crying, shadows moving frantically along the floor, and finally someone shouting something that sounds a lot like “RUN.” At the end of the trailer, we’re presented with a door labelled “Hide here” that happens to be locked. We as the player have to resort to hiding under the bed, and right before the neighbor catches us, we hear a female scream. That scream leads the neighbor to unlock and check the hiding room. Seems to me like the mother and her children tried to escape, fell for hiding in the obviously- a-trap hiding room, with the big arrows attached to it, and got busted by the neighbor, who has a key to that door. He captures the family that was already his prisoners, but we as the player escape because he didn’t know WE also happen to be down there. So already we can see how huge chunks of this story start to fit together. But that leaves us with a big, big question: Who, or what, is this guy? Who is the neighbor? Well, the simple and really creepy answer is that he works for the circus. The guy is a clown. Literally a clown. I know, I know, it sounds stupid, and like the biggest leap in logic that I could possibly ever make but the evidence is there. On the game’s website there’s a bunch of promotional material ranging from trailers, pre-made animated GIFs or JIFS if you prefer, and of course, our assets. And hidden among the promotional pictures showing locations and imagery we’re already really familiar with at this point, there’s hidden one real oddball in the group. No, it’s not the one where the neighbor’s dressed like the devil showing us that crack is whack like some sort of middle-aged Coppertone suntan girl, but that one is admittedly pretty weird too. Nope, it’s not that one, it’s this one, where our favorite curly chin is covered in white cake makeup, summoning us down into the basement. Weird, right? And this is like the only picture where anything remotely like this occurs. So I would’ve written this off as just an early game design decision that eventually gone scrapped if it wasn’t for the pervasive
use of carnival style imagery throughout this game during the Alpha1 minigame
teaching you how to hide, you’re in a queue with a height limit just like you would
find while waiting for an amusement park ride. The second floor of his house has a
shooting gallery just like those rigged carny games that are legitimately
impossible to win, unless of course you’re Stephanie who wins on her first
throw. The mysterious third-floor train seems
like a monorail system you could find in a theme park, even the music reinforces a
funhouse vibe. Funhouse, not Funhaus. it was present in the trailer for the game
released on the website and I thought maybe this carousel style music was just
temporary, but nope there it is again in Alpha 2, ominously playing a
happy-go-lucky tune while you descend into that creepy candlelit basement and
a mother and her child cry. Apparently we just live in a day and age where all
horror games revolve around the developer’s childhood traumas of stranger
danger as men in furry suits or clown attire steal them away into the secret
hideouts. Speaking of animatronics, he’s even got one of those too, on the second
floor one of his defensive mechanisms is security shark.
(Prepare to be fin-ished. Security shark!) But glitch around a bit
and look under the water level and you see it’s not a real shark, but a robotic
one. Kind of like something you would see again at a universal studio style
attraction, or I guess a haunted pizzeria. Freddy, Foxy, Bonnie, Chica, and introducing
Sharkey! So we have a creepy clown carnival worker kidnapping mothers and
their children and keeping them in his basement. So let’s take a moment to look
through a bit more of the concept art and get even more ideas about what’s
going on in this game. This picture, for instance. See anything that’s say, um, a bit
off? Right there, hanging on the right balcony’s clothesline is a female skin
suit, or perhaps more accurately a blow-up doll? Man I hate it when the
neighbors leave their sex toys on the clothesline to dry! Really leaves us with
some awkward conversations for the kids. Now, I’m not sure that this tells us a
whole lot other than he’s a man with personal needs okay, so leave him alone!
And in these mock-ups of the gameplay area we see where our player eventually
gets buried in the event he gets caught by the neighbor one too many times- in
your very own backyard. But there’s one other essential detail in these pictures
we haven’t covered yet. As we see in this image from their site, there’s a
mysterious shadowy figure in the background behind all of this. “Well, could
this be the player?” I hear you saying, and while that’s a good guess, look closely at
the hands. You’ll notice the outline of gloves extending
wrists. That’s an important detail because at no point in the imagery
around this game, both in gameplay and in the promotional materials, is the
player’s character ever shown to be wearing gloves. Which leads us to perhaps
the biggest twist of all- he has a partner. But then who is it? Well, we don’t
have much information about the other characters appearing in this game, but I
did take it upon myself to take the neighbors model and scale it to the
relative size he would be if you were that far away from the camera in this
picture, and I discovered that the neighbour is actually slightly shorter
than the shadowy figure. Why does that matter? Two reasons, actually.
First it confirms that that’s not the player character. Anytime the neighbor
catches us in game he’s always looking at eye level or slightly downward. We are
shorter than the neighbor. So the heights just don’t add up. But that leads
us to point number two. We only ever get to see one other person in the game: this
man in the pictures. And look at their relative heights. The neighbor is
slightly shorter than his male counterpart. They also clearly have a
long history together as this portrait was taken years prior. Notice that the
neighbor has more hair in this picture as well as a beard. So it would seem we
have two kidnappers working out of a carnival or circus and stashing victims
both living and dead in the basement. According to Kings 14:14, it’s gonna be
our job to get in there and rescue them and stop these two murderers. So it seems
clear enough, but something kept nagging me as I wrote this theory. Why? What is
the motive? Are we just supposed to believe that they’re doing it for the
funsies? Hey, they’re just two wild and crazy guys! No, it’s too simple, too easy,
and quite honestly too boring for a game who has developed its plot like this. And
that’s when I saw it last week as I was exploring these images. Look closely at
the image with the shadowy figure. Closer. Closer. Do you see it? The book. In this
concept image, when the shadowy figure lurks near the neighbor, the neighbor is
reading Faust. Faust! Fast recap for those of you who don’t know, Faust is a German
legend about a brilliant scholar, named Faust appropriately, who in the search
for ultimate knowledge and power strikes a deal where he sells his soul to the
devil. Yes! The devil. That is who the shadowy
figure is, that’s who’s been helping the neighbor from the beginning, and that is
the motive to these murders. Need more proof? Well, I could start with the
candles filling the basement- certainly reminiscent of satanic
channeling circles- but maybe that’s not enough for you. Maybe you need more. Well,
look here. In the latest alpha build of the game you can find a house on a
darkened street. Inside you’ll find a frozen version of the neighbor, suspended
in midair along with his bed is it just a glitch?
Developer error? Exorcist reference? It doesn’t matter. What’s important here is
that for the first time ever it gave us access to a full 360-degree view of the
neighbor’s character model. And look at the bottom of his shoes. There’s a
sticker. Some might say a seal that reads 6 6 6, the sign of the beast, the number
most associated with Satan. The neighbor is literally being outfitted by the
devil. And that got me rethinking this whole theory. Maybe Kings 14:14 isn’t
the passage that I was looking for. Maybe there was something else.
So I scrolled back through my notes and found this. Isaiah 14:14
“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the most High.”
Who’s talking here? The answer is a few lines back at Isaiah 14:12 “How art
thou fallen from heaven, o day-star, son of the morning!” The day-star son of the
morning is another way of referring to the morning star, which is another name
for Lucifer, AKA the devil. Isaiah 14:14 is the last thing the devil said before
he was struck down into hell forever. It’s a cry of pride, that he will rise
above everything and claim ultimate knowledge and power over the universe-
the same thing Faust bargains for in his story. So that is the real message the
mailbox is trying to deliver, that this will be a story of an unholy alliance
between man and ultimate evil to claim power over everything. Or at the very
least of one man’s quest to ascend to the level of God. And that’s what all the
pieces fit together. The strange candles the victims, the neighbor’s access to all
kinds of security devices, the glowing doors that seem like portal
other realms. Not only is the neighbor not working alone, he’s working with the
devil himself and performing horrific acts on his unsuspecting victims to
fulfill his end of a terrifying contract. Which makes the idea of entering the
house all the creepier and getting caught all the more horrifying. Before I wrap
things up here, if you’re interested in more Hello Neighbor theorizing push on
that creepily swinging door with a no trespassing sign to subscribe to the
Game Theorists because you can bet this is a game I’m gonna be revisiting again
as more details come out. I can see these theories becoming just as fun as FNAF so
if you’re a fan of that series click on this and if you’re not a fan of that
series, well, it’s not FNAF, it’s actually completely different. it’s a murderer
dressed as a clown instead of a murderer dressed as an animatronic. So either way
subscribe and I know I mentioned it before but if you are interested in
watching my first playthrough of hello neighbor where the neighbor severely
glitches out and gives me free rein of the house then click that welcome mat
right there we do a bit of freaking out we do a bit of theorizing all in all
it’s a good time with a good game and hey it gives us more time to hang out
together I love doing the live streams the GT live community is one of the most
positive on YouTube everyone is super supportive of each other so if you want
to join that community click right there check out hello neighbor and make sure
that you subscribe but now if you’ll excuse me I need to go because Christmas
is right around the corner and I’ve got to write a bunch more theories if I hope
to get ahead enough so I can take a holiday so with that in mind guys just
remember that’s just a theory a game theory thanks for watching

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