In my review of Little Nightmares II, I praised the follow-up ability to maintain its incredible and grotesque art dash, sense of narrative tension, and absolute creepy vibes. Sure, some of the clunky mechanics that plagued the previous game even exist in the raw release, and surely, the thematic throughline of the newfangled crippled is n’t quite equally impregnable as the insatiate crave that pervaded the original, but overall, short Nightmares II is a must-play game in a must-play franchise. And now I get to talk approximately why as we discuss that actual cliffhanger of an ending and whether or not little Nightmares II is a sequel, a prequel, or something else wholly. Again, spoilers follow .
COLLIDER VIDEO OF THE DAY The begin of Little Nightmares II introduces you to Mono, the player character who has a preference for wearing outsize hats on his pass and boasts the ability to wield heavy objects like hammers, axes, and pipes. But another ability is present from the begin, the player precisely does n’t know about it. We meet Mono in the center of a forest authorize on the outskirts of the Pale City, an area inhabited by a deadly Hunter and separated from the perils of that urban decay by a waterway. And we find mono sitting beside a powered-down television receiver hardening. Odd aesthetic ? attention-getting art ? Important narrative clue ? It ‘s all of the above, and it ‘s something that you appreciate more after finishing the bet on. At least I did.
It turns out that Mono can actually travel through television receiver screens like portals. This is used to great effect later in the game when you solve a series of puzzles that transport Mono into and out of danger through television screens suspended throughout the Pale City. however, that might besides hints at a larger connection to the ultimate Big Bad behind the scenes of Little Nightmares II, a thing that lurks in the depths of a loom infection loom in the distance, a matter that feeds on the energy of those watching said Transmission ( to the point that they ‘d rather commit suicide than be without the glow screen and its soothing sounds ), a thing that uses its confederate known as the Tall Man to harvest souls ( leaving glitches behind ) and keep the transmittance going .
Image via Tarsier Studios, Bandai Namco
The fact that the Tall Man is n’t the chief antagonist himself is one of the big revelations in the late game of Little Nightmares II, one which comes after the uncover of Mono ‘s ability to travel through television receiver screens and even keep the Tall Man at bay, but it ‘s not the biggest. For that, we have to focus on the kinship between Mono and Six, the ever-hungry protagonist from the original game. Mono happens upon Six in the Hunter ‘s cabin and frees her from a prison where she endlessly plays a music box rather than try to escape her restriction. together, the two little beans face the horrors of the cabin, the school, the hospital, and the Pale City itself, often saving each early along the way and trusting each other enough, despite being proportional strangers, to literall hold each other ‘s lives in their hands. This newfangled relationship is often tested — the educate bullies kidnap Six, late levels much force them to become distinguish — and always resolved with the two coming together again as they survive against all odds. When the Tall Man manages to apprehend Six, leaving her bug behind, Mono does everything he can to rescue her, including subduing the Tall Man himself and storming the maze-like signal tower. Mono is evening forced to save Six from herself as she ‘s been transformed into a giant, long-armed monstrosity obsessed with a giant star music box. In the end, the two make a heroic run for safety, with Six catching Mono as the tower crumbles behind them. And then, Six lets Mono drop …
It ‘s a heartwrenching moment. After all they ‘ve been through, after all the times they came through for each other, why does Six choose this moment to apparently betray Mono ? On the cynical so far practical side, Mono was n’t in the original Little Nightmares, as that was a solo Six venture. And since Little Nightmares II is actually a prequel to that style, it makes some hardheaded feel that Mono was left behind. But on the more lore-driven narrative english, Six could likely see something that Mono and the players alone guessed at, that Mono and the Tall Man were the same, or at least that Mono was ultimately fated to inhabit the Tall Man ‘s place as the signal-protecting handmaid of the many-eyed subterranean freak that lurked in the depths of the column. Or did Six ‘s betrayal, out of fear or selfish survival or something else wholly, actually cause Mono ‘s transformation into the Tall Man ? That ‘s up for argue. But the timeline of these tales is a little more solid .
Folks who were paying close attention during “ Secrets of the Maw, ” the DLC for the original Little Nightmares, noticed a brief glimpse of what we ‘ve come to know as the Tall Man. That means the Tall Man exists in both games, overall at least. We besides see six-spot find her iconic jaundiced raincoat in Little Nightmares II, which she dons for reasonably much all of Little Nightmares. And while we see mono transform into the Tall Man during the standard ending of Little Nightmares II, the secret ending ( revealed if you interacted with all of the glitched remains ) shows Six emerging through a television blind, only to be confronted by her glitched shadow, who points to a post horse advertising The Maw .
The Maw is the specify of the first Little Nightmares where Six attempts to escape the insatiably athirst and grotesque tourists, entirely to ultimately give in to her supernatural hunger herself. It seems that Six ‘s transformation led to her incredible hunger, a desire she seeks to satisfy by heading to the Maw. That subject was surely stronger in Little Nightmares, but the relatively more insidious coming-of-age history told in Little Nightmares II is growing on me now in review .
We first meet Mono sitting next to a television, having ( unwittingly to us at inaugural ) fair traveled through the screen from places strange. Pulled inexorably toward that dark tower, Mono rescues whoever he can along the means, occasionally doing odd jobs ( if you want those accomplishment trophies, that is ). The most fatal rescue is Six, of course. And that ‘s important gradation on Mono ‘s travel of self-discovery and maturation. The two of them kill the Hunter together, for crying out loudly ; a sin of a coming-of-age bonding experience …
The subject strengthens as the duet travels through the school, an sphere where airheaded bullies run rampant and bring havoc, a domain where a snake-necked teacher wields a rule like a sword and will snatch your life away if you make besides much noise. I do n’t know about you, but that ‘s pretty much how I remember grade school. From there, Mono and Six travel to the hospital, which is a chilling adequate place IRL without a cobbled-together mannequins that chase after you in the iniquity and an corpulent surgery-obsessed sophisticate who crawls along the ceiling like some Lovecraftian larva. ( honestly, this is the weakest metaphor for a coming-of-age fib, but I appreciate its inclusion body due to sheer creepienss. ) And last, when Six is abducted, Mono is lost in the universe of asinine adults who become fabulously violent when their sole source of comfort — The Transmission — is interrupted or taken from them. Mono ‘s been forced to grow up besides cursorily in this barbarous world and now clashes with this community of overgrow infants. ultimately, Mono defeats a translation of his future self and rises to heroic heights to rescue his closest ally, alone to suffer the hardest possible fall by a suppression betrayal at the very moment that safety was in spy.
Heartbreaking stuff. The fiddling Nightmares camp will likely be split between pulling for Mono or making excuses for Six. No matter where you land along that spectrum, it feels like there ‘s more little Nightmares history to tell. Will Six and Mono face each other in the ultimate confrontation ? Will they use their combine powers to restore the blighted populace ? Or will a newly bomber advance through the ranks of this ghastly and charming universe ? Stay tuned !
Image via Tarsier Studios, Bandai Namco
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About The Author
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Senior Editor – Games | Former Editor of Animation, Streaming Content |Author of “ The Science of Breaking Bad ” from MIT Press | Twitch Affiliate : twitch.tv/drclawmd | Co-host of the Saturday Mourning Cartoons podcast | Community coach for Ironface Studios | Former skill freelance writer for Nerdist.com |
From Dave Trumbore