And during this week we had the release of one of the most anticipated games from 2021 – on my opinion, at least – bringing back the terrifying and melancholic world of Little Nightmares!
With a sequel that is, in fact, a prequel, Six is back on her yellow raincoat, but now with Mono, the real main character on this edition.
Today I decided to bring a little of the game and what I thought of the story! Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to play it yet – my budget for gaming is pretty low, sorry – but I obviously watched full gameplays because I couldn’t hold my curiosity. Want to know if it’s worth it?
Then hold my hand, because today our lunar train will follow Mono and six silently through Pale City, trying to survive on this bleak and unforgiving world.
About Little Nightmares
Released on February 11 (12 in some places), Little Nightmares II is a game from Tarsier Studios, published by Bandai Namco, on the horror genre and platform/puzzles – that looks 2D, but it’s actually 3D. And you should remember that while playing.
Released on April 2017, the first Little Nightmares game tells the story of Six, on board of a ship called The Maw, where horrible things happen to children, mainly to serve a feast to the guests who are invited for it. The game has also three DLCs: The Depths, The Hideaway and The Residence – with another main character instead of Six, but that connects with her story.
In May 2019, ALIKE Studios and Bandai Namco released Very Little Nightmares: a mobile game, for Android and IOS, with a story that connects to Six’s. This time, on a mansion called The Nest, we follow a girl who wears the same coat as Six on the first game, trying to escape the mansion in which children also meet terrorizing fates on the hands of bizarre characters that – as everything points to – like to transform them into dolls.
Besides that, there’s a series of comics on the same universe, published by Titan Comics in 2017. On them, we see other children sharing horrible stories with each other – showing that the horrors of Little Nightmares’ world doesn’t limit to Six’s experiences. The series has two volumes, being that the volumes 3 and 4 were cancelled, leaving, then, some stories open and loose ends.
In 2021, apart from the release of the second game, it was also released an app called Little Nightmares Comics by Plast!ek, with 6 episodes, that tells more about the stories of Mono and Six, released right before the game to complement the story.
Therefore, Little Nightmares II follows Mono on his adventure through the woods, in which he finds Six locked on a room and sets her free, forming, then, a bond tested by the terrible Pale City. The city finds itself apparently abandoned, influenced by the transmissions of the Signal Tower of a TV broadcast – same transmissions that haunt Mono, who can control and dive on them.
Little Nightmares II
Here I’ll talk a little about the main sets of the game’s chapters – The Forest, The School, The Hospital, The City and The Signal Tower – apart from the gameplay and what I thought of it. Don’t worry! Any spoilers, I’ll warn you in HUGE letters so I don’t spoil your gaming experience!
I intend to leave spoilers at the end of the post, so don’t worry too much about that!
First thing: Mono and Six can walk holding hands, it’s the cutest thing in the world, please be a decent human and hold your little friend’s hand whenever you can, because it’s one of the very few things that makes your heart warm on this game that is only melancholy and desolation.
About the game itself, the developers really went beyond the first game, bringing more puzzles, apart from some moments that will leave you breathless and horror scenes that really could’ve come out of the worst nightmares. What I think it’s one of the most interesting things, however, is the “co-op” gameplay between Mono and Six!
What do I mean by that, then? The player controls Mono, while Six follows him – apart from a few moments in which you have to play alone – but some things you can only do in a team. And not necessarily everything in a team: Six has her own mind, to follow through the paths without making us worry, apart from helping many times holding enemies, opening places for escaping or holding things without the player having to “ask” her to do it.
Amen Artificial Intelligence on this game which is really good. How many times have I suffered with NPCs that theoretically have to remain by your side, but ends up being a carrot that only stands there while everything burns around them?
(Yes, Ashley, me and Leon in RE4 are looking at you. Also, the woman on The Witcher 1 that asked me to get her back to the village on safety with a swarm of hell dogs running after us spitting fire and only Geralt to deal with all that and the creature just stands there like a PASTRY until she dies. I was never so SAD with a mission. RUN, MY DEAR, GERALT IS DOING HIS PART, YOU SHOULD DO YOURS!)
Ok, I needed to get that out of my system. Let’s continue.
As I’ve said before, it’s important to remember that, although it looks 2D, the game has depth. Meaning: always explore back and forth, not only running from side to side. Little Nightmares is filled with secret spaces and easter eggs. It’s by exploring you can find every one of them!
Besides, you can find so many hats around the game and change the one Mono’s wearing, which I think is so cute.
On the Forest, Mono and Six have to run away and face The Hunter – which probably kidnapped/locked Six, once the player finds her on his house. That’s when we first get the stealth gameplays that we already saw on previous games to avoid enemies to find us, something that keeps on until the very end and contributes to that sensation of my dear redeeming Christ, this thing will see me, will catch me and tear me apart.
Following to Pale City, the first chapter we have is The School. I have to admit it gave me a little bit of desperation to watch – all those who have social anxiety and difficul times at school will be empathetic with this feeling – because the place is swarming with devilish children, apart from the main enemy: The Teacher (yes, the neck lady. for those who were already following and saw some things on the game, you know what I’m talking about. Those who haven’t seen it yet, good luck and don’t die of a heart attack the first time she appears).
That’s when the combat mechanics we saw on the trailer arises: Mono manages to carry heavier objects – like axes, pipes, hammers and etc. – to fight against children, made of porcelain, to avoid him and Six of getting hurt. All that while running from the Teacher.
The next are is The Hospital, in which the players eventually meet The Doctor and his horrible creations. If you’re like me and has an irrational fear of the dark, get ready because this place is your worst nightmare. Yes, with a gameplay that has light and dark games, you need to watch out for the things created by the Doctor, who particularly like the dark. The flashlight is your best friend.
If I was playing, I’d probably give up midway and call someone to play with me – even if it was just for moral support. But that’s when you can connect it a little bit with the first game – although: Little Nightmares isn’t an obvious game. There are no lines nor explanations: you need to pay attention to everything around you to understand more of this world.
Escaping the Hospital – I repeat: worst level on my humble afraid-of-the-dark opinion – the characters go through the center of Pale City, where it’s possible to see the last citizens. Hypnotized by TVs, don’t dare turning them off, unless you have a very good strategy.
That’s when we meet the main antagonist of the game, known as Thin Man. Out of the TV, he follows Mono and Six through the city, teleporting in some situations. But it gets more complicated when something unexpected happens and Mono’s only choice is to follow to The Signal Tower, facing Thin Man and maybe things even more terrible he had imagined before.
The Signal Tower kind of looks like the Labyrinth – for those who watched it, that scene in which David Bowie sings Within You in a room filled wil stairs and no sense/gravity, based on the incredible arts of Escher – full of stars, loops, teleportations, echoes, little gravity… My tip is: sounds are important on this part, so pay attention.
Is It Worth It? I think it’s a lot. The style of the game makes it sensational: the art is marvellous, the setting is definitely tense, the characters are cute and charismatic, the story is complex and mysterious, leaving it open to theories and discussions.
And, most importantly, during all the time, the player will have fun. If horror games are your type, with a melancholic take that cares a lot for storytelling – like Ori and the Blind Forest, you know? Not the Outlast franctic realistic style, something more… Artistic – give all the chances of the world to Little Nightmares II!
Important to remember, though, it’s a horror game. So it talks about complicated themes, such as suicide and violence, apart from graphic images typical from the genre, such as experimentation on living subjects and etc.
ATENTION: Important Spoilers Below! Go Further Only If You Know the Game!
We all know the stories of Little Nightmares are tragic and generally leaves us with the heart broken or a bad taste in the mouth.
Little Nightmares II isn’t different.
Thin Man kidnaps Six and takes her to the Signal Tower, being that, when the player manages to find their way through all that labyrinth, they find Six completely deformed and monstruous – she is the last boss Mono has to face. In spite of that, everything he is doing is to save his new friend.
But, what breaks everyone’s hearts, is that at the end, Mono jumps on a broken bridge, holding Six’s hand so they can finally escape – as it happens many times during the game, and she always pulls Mono up – but she lets go of Mono’s hand, abandoning him on the terrible world inside the Signal Tower.
So, the game shows us that Mono is Thin Man, growing old on his chair at the Tower until becoming the horrible creature that drags Six there. In an Alternate Ending, which is possible only by collecting all Glitch Children through the game (that’s why I said to explore EVERYTHING you can), Six comes out of a TV, meeting Shadow Six – created after being taken to the Tower – who looks at a drawing of The Maw, the ship from the first game. That’s how the stories connect to each other.
From here, it’s only theory. But I’ll get into it, because I have many opinions and wanted to hear yours too!
From what I’ve read around, Mono is trapped on a temporal loop – once Thin Man lives in a Broadcast, going through Past, Present and Future – and whenever he appears, he follows Six, because she is the one to blame for his abandonement on the Signal Tower and becoming Thin Man, trying to spare Mono from that terrible future, getting rid of Six who doomed him to that destiny.
I think it’s pretty reasonable. But I thought a little bit more about the reason why Six let go of Mono’s hand – after all, during the WHOLE game, both helped each other and she never seemed to wanting to hurt him; au contraire: they seem like they are friends.
So, why did Six let go of Mono?
Personal opinion here after thinking about it. As Time seems to be relative on the Signal Tower, we don’t know how long Six remained there to become what she did. We also don’t know what she went through to be deformed and apparently traumatized. Eventually, she’d know Thin Man is Mono. And, when they were escaping, Six knew Thin Man was Mono and he was to blame for everything she went through on the Signal Tower – although she doesn’t know the reason, because to her, up until then, they were friends – so she let him go in revenge. After all, we do know six can be very cruel and remorseless – specially with those who did bad things to her.
Meaningh: it’s all just a tragic misunderstanding in which two friends were affected by temporal loops. That’s my theory of what I understood after watching the game – what is yours?