Take the lift down to see your old friend, but beware! Therefore this article may contain spoilers remain unmarked! Do not go any further if you choose not to read or view spoilers before playing the game first.
"Shhh... there he is. The Projectionist. Skulking in the darkness. You be sure to stay out of his light, if you don't want trouble."
The Projectionist is an antagonist that appears in Chapter 3 and 4 of Bendy and the Ink Machine. Judging by his human-shaped appearance with a projector as a head, he is an ink incarnation of Norman Polk.
The Projectionist is a tall humanoid creature that is nearly covered in ink and has a projector for a head. Several long, hanging black wires are attached to the back and under his head, with the longer wire attaching to his right ankle. He has a film reel stuck in his left shoulder. The Projectionist seems to wear clothing if one look real carefully, with rolled-up sleeves for his shirt, and pants with a rolled-up left pant leg and a pair of large boots. He has a speaker sticking out from the middle of his chest. On the top of both hands and his knuckles, there are white stripes and circle markings.
The Projectionist makes noises that sound like rattling chains whenever he moves or walks.
Norman Polk, one of the many victims of Joey Drew Studios, is corrupted by ink for unknown reasons and has been transformed into a projector-headed creature prior to Henry coming back to the studio 30 years later. Unlike the rest of the victims, however, Norman's human intelligence is entirely gone, turning him into a completely feral and violent monster but is usually calm as long as no one is in his sight.
The Projectionist has the ability to project light from the projector where his head should be, similar in use of an actual flashlight helmet/headwear. Henry can avoid being seen by the Projectionist by hiding in one of the Little Miracle Stations.
If Henry is caught by the Projectionist's light or getting provoked by Henry's weapon while not noticing, the Projectionist soon becomes aggressive, emitting a high-pitched roar-like screech and then proceeds to chase after Henry. When close enough, the Projectionist does a physical attack by hitting Henry with his snatching hands. The Projectionist will stop running after Henry once fleeing far away from him or safely hides inside one of the Little Miracle Stations.
It should be noteworthy that when the Projectionist dies after enough hits, the light from his projector head flickers off and letting out an inhuman, high-pitched wail while falling forward to the ground.
The ink hearts are the Projectionist's favorite collection. Whoever touches the Projectionist's ink heart collection or taking them away will anger him while drawing his attention real easily and attempt to kill the intruder.
Henry can attack and kill the Projectionist with the Gent pipe, the axe found in the blocked room, or the Tommy Gun if equipped. This may be difficult as the Projectionist is very tough, fast and the ink-flooded rooms may limit Henry's mobility. Hitting him with the axe or the Tommy Gun stunlocks him for a second, and hitting him with the Gent pipe makes the stun animation play, but does not actually hinder his attack.
Using the Gent pipe, it takes more or less 72 hits to kill the Projectionist. Using the Tommy Gun will take 16 hits and using the axe will take 8 hits. Following the Chapter 4 update, killing the Projectionist is much easier. As hitting the Projectionist will hinder his attack.
On Level 11, while doing errands for "Alice", Henry first sees the Projectionist wandering slowly in the small room, not noticing that Henry was there from the outside. Upon entering the room after the Projectionist went completely away, it appears that he walks to the closed gate off-screen. Even when getting into the room while the Projectionist is still in there, he strangely vanished.
Later, "Alice" sends Henry to the lowest level at Level 14 to collect the five ink hearts. Obtaining the very first ink heart which was found close to the elevator will make the Projectionist screech. "Alice" warns Henry to stay out of the Projectionist's light, as he wanders along the corridors. The Projectionist wanders through the maze-like area of the Inky Abyss, usually in a linear path.
Henry needs to stay cautious about locating the ink hearts around the maze. When taking one, Henry may hear the loud sound of the Projectionist rushing and must quickly hide inside one of the Little Miracle Stations to prevent from getting caught.
Henry will have a choice of either running and/or hiding from the Projectionist or killing him with the Gent pipe, axe, or the Tommy Gun.
The Projectionist reappears in the fourth chapter regardless of whether or not he was killed in the third chapter, revealing that he was not killed, merely knocked out. Henry encounters the Projectionist in the flooded Maintenance department of Storage 9. Henry must avoid him while trying to get to the lift control lever to unblock the stairs to the landing above. While avoiding the Projectionist, Henry will not dare to interact the ink hearts seen piling on top of the wooden crate, or else it can directly draw the Projectionist's attention and start chasing Henry upon getting caught doing so.
Upon pulling the lift lever, the Projectionist becomes aware that Henry is here, then emits a shriek and begins to chase Henry no matter where in the room he is. Once Henry gets upstairs and pulls the switch there, the room goes dark and the Projectionist vanishes.
As Henry climbs the stairs out of the Maintenance department, the Projectionist reappears and chases Henry once more. When Henry hides in the Little Miracle Station at the top of the stairs, the Projectionist looks into the station and seems to notice that Henry is inside, and moves to open it before being interrupted by a bright flash of light heralding the arrival of "Bendy". The Projectionist lets out a loud, defiant, and furious roar, before a brief skirmish ensues, as the projector-headed beast exchanges several blows with "Bendy" before he lifts the Projectionist off his feet, and in another flash of light "Bendy" tears off the Projectionist's projector head, killing him for real this time. "Bendy" throws the Projectionist's severed head at the Little Miracle Station. After acknowledging Henry's presence but not having time to eliminate him, "Bendy" drags the Projectionist's now headless body away and disappears with it. Once Henry gets out of the Little Miracle Station, he can see the Projectionist’s head lying on the ground, spraying ink from his neck like blood.
- Due to the fact that there is no actual visible head under the Projectionist's projector, the projector is the Projectionist's real head. This was proven when using the modeling program and then removing the projector with an edit.
- The Projectionist seems to be deaf as he is not able to hear the splashes of ink Henry causes. This further supports the need of the projector on his head. Even though he cannot hear splashes or other sounds, taking or touching the ink hearts will draw his attention.
- It is ironic how "Alice" tries to quiet down Henry even though the Projectionist cannot hear.
- The Projectionist's chase theme is "Reel Fear". This is a self-explanatory pun.
- Originally, the Projectionist was going to be discarded during the production of the game, but was put back in again.
- The current quality of the Projectionist's official rigged model is unofficially released onto Steam's Source Filmmaker Workshop and included in the second SFM pack along with "Alice", Striker, Piper, Fisher, the Searcher, and the Swollen Searcher's model.
- In the middle of Chapter 3's release date trailer, the Projectionist's footsteps are heard from the halfway.
- Defeating the Projectionist will unlock the "Norman's Fate" achievement. The achievement's title reveals the evidence that the creature is indeed Norman himself.
- There are several early differences before the release of Chapter 4:
- In the first release of Chapter 3, while his full model appearance for his beta version was not much drastically different, his textures are rather slightly different; his projector head has different textures and the ink covering for his body was partly, exposing more of his clothing.
- Obtaining the ink hearts on Level 14 does not directly draw the Projectionist's attention.
- Prior to update patch 1.3.1, the Projectionist was able to walk the stairs of the Inky Abyss.
- If looked real closely while first encountering the Projectionist inside the waiting room, he is holding the ink heart with his right hand.
- Located in the game files, there is an animation of the Projectionist hitting with an ink heart as an alternate attack. It was never displayed anywhere in the game, however.
- Sometimes, there is a lifesaving bug that causes the Projectionist to get stuck in one corner of the maze while his walking animation keeps going. In this state, he never goes to chase after Henry upon getting caught, thus giving Henry a safe opportunity to defeat him. It is unknown if this bug was fixed upon Chapter 4's release.
- Strangely if "Bendy" is near the Projectionist, he will become covered in "Bendy's" ink-web. This can be only seen visibly if Henry manages to bring "Bendy" down to Level 14 with the elevator while doing this bug, as "Bendy" cannot spawn there.
- Even though that the Projectionist is "Bendy's" another victim he will later get murdered in the next chapter, "Bendy" does not bother to kill the Projectionist so as he instead just mainly focusing on going after Henry.
- When using hacks by teleporting to the waiting room where the Projectionist's walking by, the Projectionist will just simply vanish as soon as he reaches the blocked door.
- The Projectionist can still be killed when using hacks. By hacking, equip the axe while battling Bertrum, then teleport to the Maintenance area to fight the Projectionist. However later on while walking the stairs out of the location after pulling the power switch up from the balcony, the Projectionist seems to come back and still going after Henry, regardless getting kill from early.