SPOILERS ALERT if you hadn’t already finished playing the game and don’t want to be spoiled, then do not continue reading! With that being said, let’s get right into it!
Finally after four long years, the sequel to the first Little Nightmares game has finally been released on February 10. With many fans excited for the return of Six, and anticipating for the new main protagonist Mono, along with the many new bosses.
This series does an amazing job of “showing and not telling” for it allows the viewers to piece the story together for themselves through the fantastic visuals of the game. Using only music and background tracks to subtly develop the mood and tone of each setting. With that in mind, what is the actual story?
Well, in the final scene (the first ending) we see Mono start to grow older sitting in the same chair in isolation. Only for him to grow a top hat out of nowhere, becoming the infamous Thin Man, who has been chasing us the entire fourth and final arc. So this can mean many things:
1. That Mono wanted to get his revenge on Six for betraying him in the final chase scene
2. Older Mono wanted to save Younger Mono from having the same fate he did (living in isolation and constantly being watched by the “eyes” )
To me this scene perfectly embodies the quote, “Die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”. Because ultimately, Mono becomes the “Final Boss/Villain” of this game.
Now, Mono wasn’t always this cruel, for in the first arc, The Hunter, Mono finds his shack and with it, a young girl who also seems to be isolated alone. Seeing that he isn’t the only tiny human in this world, he offers to save her, which she agrees.
Together the two attempt to escape his bullets and within the final moments, Six grabs the rifle, encouraging Mono to shoot the Hunter. Watching this scene and knowing Six’s true self from the first game, when it comes to killing something or someone, she doesn’t seem to hesitate. It was only because of Six’s encouragement that Mono actually shoots the Hunter in the first place. Unfortunately, this won’t be the last time Six encourages this action either.
In fact, throughout each boss (where Six doesn’t get kidnapped) she seems to be the one to be okay with the murders. For example, in the Hospital Prison, when they finally escape the Doctor by trapping him in the cremator, Six actually sits down, warming her hands with his burning body… kind of sickening behavior if you ask me.
Also, during the school arc, after saving her from the ceramic puppet kids, Six didn’t hesitate to kill one of the kids with her own bare hands. We don’t really get to see what they did to Six when they kidnapped her, but most likely it wasn’t anything kind, making her even more blood thirsty…
Seeing Six grow more and more savage, with more hatred in her heart, it’s no wonder why she ends up becoming Monster Six within the final act in the game. Meanwhile, Mono has been the only character throughout the entire game to be kind to her, always saving her from harm’s way, often risking his own life to do so.
But this negativity built inside Six is starting to affect Mono as well. You know how the quote goes, “One bad apple can spoil the bunch”. It only takes one bad person to negatively influence the whole group.
The True Meaning of Six’s Betrayal
Throughout the game we see many shadows, which Mono seems to be influenced by. Now if players collected all of the shadows, you would actually get the “secret ending” instead. So after Six gets kidnapped by the Thin Man, we see Six teleport out of a TV, only to meet a shadow version of herself. Only to be followed by a sound of hunger (a sound we all recognize well from the first game) and can only mean one thing.
So there are two ideas that could explain what happened right before Mono’s inevitable fall:
1. That Shadow Six is actually Six’s soul, so the Six who drops Mono, is just the soulless body of her previous self. Explaining why she let go of Mono, because she has no previous memories of everything they’ve been through, only recognizes him as the boy who destroyed her music box. (This also explains why Shadow Six was trying to guide Mono to escape when the Thin Man was chasing him).
2. Six is well aware of her hunger and her fate that lies ahead of her, so by saving Mono, she would actually end up killing him, by eating him. (This isn’t too far fetched as we already saw her eat the Gnome from the DLC and the Lady Geisha from the first game). Meaning that Six really did care about Mono in the end, trying to stop him from being killed, she tries to alter his fate by letting him go. Which is why she hesitated for a few seconds before deciding to let him go, for she doesn’t know what is the right choice, but tries her best to save him just as he had always saved her all this time.
Unfortunately, regardless of which case is the true version, Mono still feels betrayed by Six in the end. Causing his hatred and negativity to grow inside of him, despite Six having good intentions or not. Living in constant isolation, surrounded by eyes literally watching you your whole life.
Plus, we already recognize that Mono has great powers in this world, literally moving and shaping multiple buildings at a time, whenever he wants. He also has a great connection with TVs being able to teleport through them, so maybe his negativity also spread through the city from whatever they were seeing on the TV.
So it’s possible that his anger and depression most likely corrupted the world and society they live in, which is why the majority of the people try to leave the city (going to the Maw from the first game) in order to escape this depressing state.
The Endless Loop
From the beginning of the game, we see that Mono has this goal to “free” the Thin Man and get to the Signal Tower, whether it is subconsciously or not. We already know that the Thin Man has power over the Signal Tower and controls the TVs, so it’s possible he is the reason why Younger Mono is always drawn to the frequency of the TV, he wants his younger self to know the truth.
Notice how each time Mono gets close to finding out the truth, about to reach that door, Six drags him out. At first I thought she did this to save him from being devoured whole, but what if she’s actually pulling Mono out because she’s trying to prevent him from learning about his true self and what he becomes…Six even seems disinterested in Mono’s goals throughout the game, often found just standing around or playing with nearby objects.
Having watched both endings (real and the secret one), we can see that there is a loop that involves both games. But where does the loop begin, that I’m still unsure of (but for simplicity, I will start the loop where Little Nightmares 2 begins:
*start of Little Nightmares 2*
First, Mono rescues Six from the Hunter (by killing him) *Six slowly fills Mono with hatred and negativity
2. Mono “opens” the door, so the Thin Man kidnaps Six and steals her soul
3. Mono meets the Thin Man (himself) destroys him
4. Mono discovers the secret, meets Monster Six (destroying her music box to save her soul)
5. Six is angry and betrays Mono*
6. Mono becomes the Thin Man, wants revenge on Six and to save his younger self from reliving the same fate, so he *repeats* the events from scenario #2
He also ends up taking control over the Signal Tower and already has control over TV frequencies, so most likely he used his power in order to call out to Younger Mono and reveal the truth about his fate.
7. Mono’s anger and hatred built inside of him over the years ultimately ends up destroying the world
*end of Little Nightmares 2*
NOW, let’s say actually Six saves Mono instead, at scenario #5
6. Six is still “missing her soul” and not being able to control her hunger, she eats Mono… gaining his powers to become the Lady Geisha.
7. Lady Geisha (version of Six) designs the Maw to resemble her destroyed music box
*start of Little Nightmares 1*
8. Younger Six wakes up on the Maw (escaping the corrupted city with the Thin Man behind)
9. Six searches for a “replacement” soul to fill the void left by the Thin Man, and for some reason she is drawn towards the Lady Geisha
10. Six defeats Lady Geisha (a previous version of herself) by eating her and gaining her soul + powers
11. Now completing her missing void, she seeks to escape the Maw and gets washed off shore before being kidnapped by a Hunter…
And thus the cycle begins again!
According to many theories, the cycle has occurred five times already, as seen in Lady Geisha’s picture (there are five Lady’s in the picture), so our Six is indeed the “sixth one” and is on her way to eat the current Lady Geisha.
The sad and overall theme of both games is that both Six and Mono will always become the final bosses in each game: Six being the Lady Geisha in the Little Nightmares 1 and Mono becoming the Thin Man in Little Nightmares 2.
Other Hidden Messages
Aside from the main story and the lore behind it, Little NIghtmares 2 also had many underlying messages about our current society. With each setting representing a different aspect of his corrupted world. Another thing to point out, is that this game tried to take some of the places that kids, themselves, feared the most, such as having a horrible teacher (The School) or going to the Doctors (The Hospital).
The Hunter seems to be the only character in the game who actually hides and shields himself from watching TV, which seems to be the only reason why he could escape being mind controlled by the Thin Man.
In the School arc, it seemed like the only living person was the teacher herself. All of her students were mere puppets, with empty ceramic heads (which could demonstrate how students today “have no brain” due to our modern education system).
For example, once the teacher is gone, you see the kids going absolutely crazy and reckless with their actions, bullying each other, fighting, throwing food across the room, they’ve become savages without her “control”.
In the hospital, we don’t really see any actual “real” bodies, if anything, most bodies we see in the game are actually mannequins, made from spare doll parts, which seem to have a life of their own. Only stopping their path when light is shone directly at them. We also find various empty, and some used hospital beds just hanging from the ceiling, with no other reason or cause for it.
Similar to the school, the only “real” person is the doctor, who may be the one trying to bring all of these “people” back to life. This might represent how some patients actually feel being inside these hospital beds. Alone, isolated, feeling like the lost a part of themselves and needs to be replaced with “plastic”.
All the citizens are very deformed, rummaging their faces onto TV screens, sometimes even risking their lives for a glimpse of the “light” whenever possible. Everyone is just so obsessed with whatever is being displayed on these static screens.
Much like our society today, where many kids can’t even go a day without using their cellphones, it’s become a part of our daily lives.
Overall, The Little Nightmares series might be done for good, ending the final loop in the story, unless Tarsier Studios decides to add another DLC to the game, which I know many fans would be more than happy to play.
Thank you so much for reading! Comment down below your thoughts about this theory or which boss you found the scariest!