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  • Writer's pictureIndy Goodwin

The Nightmare Begins Again... Indy Plays Little Nightmares II


I loved the first Little Nightmares. The story, the design, it was like nothing I had ever played before. I had eagerly awaited this second instalment, but how did it measure up? I dove right in.

You begin the game crawling out of an old TV in the middle of a forest clearing. Remarkably unphased by this, you adjust your rather fetching paper bag hat and set on your way. Unfortunately for you, you've landed smack bang in the middle of a hunter's patch, with bear traps, pitfalls and nets all waiting to take Mono out of the game. Still, you must press on, even if you're not sure why, until you rescue a little girl from the basement. Sure, she doesn't have her distinctive yellow raincoat yet, but Six is alive and well and in the Pale City.

You and Six fight your way through the city that seems to have enslaved half its citizens by use of televisions, and disappeared the rest. The difficult puzzles, disturbing enemies and delightfully dark design that made the first game such a success are even better here. I particularly hated the Patients in the hospital level. Motionless when a light was shone on them, but lurching towards poor Mono when the light goes out. These were some of the toughest sections in the game, but very satisfying to complete. The only thing I missed design-wise was the fact Six's raincoat made such a beautiful contrast when taking screenshots when compared with Mono's brown trench coat, but that is a fairly minor niggle.

There are collectibles to get as usual, in the form of hats for Mono to wear and 'glitching remains' - shadowy children in desperate situations which are then... reabsorbed... by Mono. If you collect all the remains you can unlock a secret ending that may change how you view the entire game. We'll discuss that in a second though. The collectibles were suitably challenging to find but not overwhelming and can all definitely be found in your first playthrough (but if you missed some and need to chapter select, no judgement here.)


**Spoilers ahead y'all been warned**

Like it's predecessor, Little Nightmares II is very much open to interpretation. At the end of the game, when Six lets go of your hand to cast you into the abyss, it is not exactly clear what happens next. Mono is cast into the sea of flesh and eyes, and becomes the Thin Man that chased you both throughout the game. What does this mean for this antagonist though? Is it a story about an abusive parent, who terrorised their child and in the end, because of the trauma and lack of support Mono became the thing they feared the most? Is it a story about the stifling environment created by authority figures in Mono's life? Is it all just a nightmare?

The developers aren't telling, and I'd be disappointed if they did if I'm honest. Part of the fun is coming up with theories about what the game could represent and everyone has a slightly different version. One thing the internet is mostly united on is what the secret ending could mean.

We see Six crawl out of a television and she is confronted with her glitched self. The glitch fades, and her stomach begins to rumble. Six is hungry again. The camera pans to a leaflet about The Maw, and the short video ends. The accepted interpretation for this scene actually reframes the game entirely. Rather than being a sequel, Little Nightmares II is a prequel, talking about how Six came to arrive at The Maw. This is corroborated by the fact Six only picks up her yellow raincoat after the School level, and the fact that Six is not murderously hungry during the game. I actually really like this, and hiding something like this behind a secret ending is a good way to get players to engage with the game a little more than they perhaps might have.

So what about the future of the series? Tarsier Studios have confirmed they are finished with the series, and I'm okay with that. I'm not sure how they would continue it, and the story is neatly capped off at the moment. I certainly wouldn't be keen on Bandai Namco using another studio to continue it. The developers created something unique and disturbingly beautiful, an imitator could not hope to compete. Let Six and Mono's world rest. Sometimes the best thing for a story is for it to end.

And what a story it is. Little Nightmares II was an unsettling, unnerving journey and I loved every second of it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to replay it just to take screenshots.


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