Story Time: The Lore of Bendy and the Ink Machine

Story Time: The Lore of Bendy and the Ink Machine

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Combining classic horror tropes with a unique art style and intriguing plot, Bendy and the Ink Machine has a plot that will keep you coming back for me.

SPOILER WARNING: This series takes an overview of the lore of our favourite game series, and spoilers might be lurking around every corner; so if you don’t want to ruin your appetite, we recommend you finish this game before reading on.

What is Bendy and the Ink Machine?

A Steam indie phenomenon, Bendy and the Ink Machine is a highly successful game in the first person survival horror genre with a little bit of adventure and exploration elements thrown in for good measure. You play Henry, the former employee of Joey Drew Studios, who has returned to his workplace after 30 years on the request of the owner, and Henry’s friend, Joey Drew.

From here on, this where things get a little more dark and murky; as instead of finding yourself stepping into a standard animation studio office, you’re soon plunged into a world in which the creations of Joey Drew’s studio have sprung to life thanks to the invention of the horrific Ink Machine. As Henry, it’s your job to discover the extent of Drew’s appalling crimes against nature, all the while roaming deeper into the inky depths of the studio.

An Inky Mystery

One of the most hotly debated and analysed parts of Bendy and the Ink Machine is who, exactly, these creatures are, and what they want. In the world of Bendy, you come across various creations, who have sprung from Drew’s Ink Machine, as corrupted often half-formed beings dripping in ink.

So what, exactly, are these ink creatures? Over time, the horrific truth of the monsters is revealed to you; each main character is created from a combination of paper and ink animation and an unfortunate member of Joey Drew’s staff through the Ink Machine, mutilating and transforming them from regular voice actors, animators or projectionists into twisted creatures.

The core of Bendy’s lore, and the reasons that Henry is there to witness the terrible events that have unfolded is Joey Drew’s pursuit for perfection, and his creation of the Ink Machine as part of that need. This clear drive for perfection carries over into storylines for the corrupted Alice Angel, driving her mad in her need to be perfect and whole.

The imagery of wheelchairs and ‘weakness’ can be found within Bendy’s storytelling, suggesting Drew’s own need for perfection might have something to do with wanting to live longer or prevent a disease from progressing.

Not only is the Ink capable of bringing life to these characters, but it also corrupts real beings and ‘toons’ in a variety of different ways – examples of this being a “Boris” boss battle in later chapters as well as Sammy, a mutilated and cult-like being who worships Bendy. As you progress further and further into the depths of Joey Drew’s studio, you can witness the level of this corruption.

 Who is Bendy?

We know that the two Alice Angels (or Alice and Allison) are created from Alice’s two voice actors, one which is driven mad with their need for perfection – and lack of it – while the other becomes a fellow protagonist of sorts. Other characters like terrifying-looking Norman Polk, known as the Projectionist, is warped beyond all measure by the corrupting ink, but references can be found to them within the game that identifies them.

What we don’t know, however, is who some of the main stars of the game are. Or at least not officially. The slightly loveable and unfortunate Boris, for example, could be several different characters, and Bendy himself is in the same boat. There are a lot of hints around the idea of sacrifices, through audio logs and gameplay, but overall it seems we won’t discover the true identities of these characters for a while yet.

Fighting against demonic entities or creatures might be terrifying, but the fact that what you’re struggling to survive against was once human adds that extra layer of goosebumps. So, who is Bendy? What is the purpose of the Ink Machine, and why exactly did Joey Drew want to create these terrifying beings?

There’s much more to come in the next chapter, but if you have any theories about the identity of the mysterious Bendy, the inner workings of the Ink Machine or the motives of Joey Drew, comment below – we’d love to hear them.

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Harriet

Harriet Swartout-Phipson

Creative Digital Copywriter by day, Indie game fan by night. Give me a rogue-like, simulator or RPG to play and I'm happy.

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