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Video Game / Little Nightmares II

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Spoilers for Little Nightmares will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned.
We'll meet again...

Little Nightmares II is the suspense adventure follow-up to Little Nightmares developed by Tarsier Studios and published by Bandai Namco. It released for PC, PS, Xbox, Switch, and Stadia on February 11th, 2021.

The game takes you outside the horrors of the Maw and into the horrors of what's beyond it. You play as Mono, a young barefoot boy wearing a brown paper bag over his head, joined by Six as an AI-controlled companion. Together you must traverse the Pale City, a vast, monstrous, and incomprehensible metropolis distorted by the humming transmission of a distant signal tower, and confront what lurks within it. On your way, you will battle new villains such as the Hunter, a madman in the woods who hunts children and adults alike; the Teacher, who runs her class like a dictatorship; the Doctor, who performs twisted plastic surgeries on his patients; and the Thin Man, who broadcasts the Transmission that has turned Pale City into a little nightmare.

Little Nightmares II will haunt your dreams again with the following tropes:

  • Actionized Sequel: Downplayed. While Mono is just as helpless as Six against the larger foes, he has the ability to wield Improvised Weapons against some of the smaller ones.
  • The Adjectival Man: The tall, creepy fedora-bearing fellow who controls — or possibly is controlled by — the Signal Tower is known as the Thin Man.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom:
    • During chase sequences, the Hunter will kill Mono if he hesitates in the open too long or lets himself be caught up to.
    • At the climax of the School chapter, the Teacher forces her head into an air vent after the children and they have to run (and jump) for it until they escape the building.
    • Near the end of the Hospital, Six and Mono again are forced to make a noise, alerting the Doctor to their presence. He chases them (and will kill Mono if he catches them) until they trap him in an incinerator.
    • The second time the Thin Man emerges from a television, he gives chase to Mono, advancing slowly toward him while the player performs platforming maneuvers as quickly as possible to evade him. If he gets close enough he will snatch Mono like he did Six.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: After Mono destroys the music box, the Signal Tower's interior begins sprouting eye-covered Meat Moss which chases Six and Mono as they run for their lives and crushes Mono if he falls too far behind.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Like in the first game, one of the player's primary means of moving between locations is by making use of convenient air ducts — normal sized by the villains' standards, but just right for a tiny human child to crawl through.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Even compared to the first game, which at least had a clear container and structure, Little Nightmares II is vague, confusing, and, well, nightmarish.
    • Who is Mono? Why does he wake up alone in a forest? Is he trying to reach the Signal Tower, or is the Pale City simply an obstacle on the way to some other goal?
    • The end of the game. Why does Six betray Mono and let go of his hand? Does Mono turn into the next Thin Man, or is he stuck in a Stable Time Loop making him the Thin Man's younger self?
    • The entire universe as well. From the moment Mono is first introduced to the player teleporting through a TV in the middle of the Wilderness (from who-knows-where, mind you), it is evident that something really terrible happened to the world. There are gigantic cracks and crevices in the ground, as if restructured from a cataclysmic event, and it appears very little life remains in the forests, all of which are dying and shedding leaves. After crossing over a toppled bridge, Mono comes across what appears to be a net overhanging with the limbs of corpses belonging to dead people that were no doubt captured and left to die by the local Hunter. After Mono and Six escape the Hunter and travel into the Pale City, the ambiguity of whatever happened to the world become much, much worse, and much more frightening. The city appears to be completely abandoned, and rooms and windows have even been boarded up, suggesting that whoever used to live here tried to keep something out. The buildings are collapsing in on themselves and falling apart, and much of the original infrastructure has become lopsided and irregular from something a long time ago - very likely the Black Tower at the heart of it all. In the School, Mono and Six see an abandoned playground where no children roam and a lone see-saw sits vacant and untouched, with the front door having been locked a long time ago. Only a bunch of tied-together bedsheets allow the duo to climb into one of the school windows, but upon finding that all of the "children" inside are hollow porcelain constructs devoid of empathy, what remaining human had been forced to escape this place, and what happened to them? In the Hospital, there are schedules that appear dusty and fading with age, and many of the prior patients have been abandoned to rooms which were similarly boarded-up or concealed with metal bars, suggesting that The Doctor may have not always been the only staff member of this place. Whoever else worked here, they must have known what he was doing to his patients (replacing their limbs with mannequin parts that are still alive), or even worse, that The Doctor himself was frightened by what he created and had to lock them away. Upon getting to the rooftops, the post-apocalyptic nature of the Pale City becomes all-too real, and the few remaining inhabitants of the City have lost their faces from staring endlessly into the televisions scattered everywhere, including irregularly hanging from telephone pole cables outside. Despite having no autonomy or desire other than watching TV, the Viewers are wearing normal clothes and female Viewers can even be seen wearing eerrings, suggesting these used to be people prior to whatever corrupted them. When Mono is being chased by the Thin Man, he even passes through the ruins of a subway station where it appears as though those who were traveling for work left their clothing and briefcases behind, as if they had just inexplicably disappeared. Similarly abandoned clothing and items can be found on benches and even inside of a bar Mono and Six enter where everyone who was having a drink vanished without a trace.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: One of the game's sets of collectible achievements takes the form of "hats" Mono can pick up in hidden locations and immediately wear. For completing the game, the player receives a fedora like the one the Thin Man wears.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • While Six will most of the time follow Mono's lead until she is needed, in certain sequences she will run ahead of him to demonstrate how to complete a series of jumps or an escape sequence. This first appears when the children are being sought by the Hunter: Six will duck under the muddy water, showing Mono how to avoid the Hunter's lantern. Similarly, in the School Six will never trigger the hidden floorboard traps set by the Bullies, always stopping just before or jumping over them with you.
    • Normally it takes three blows with an axe to break through a rotting door. For the sake of the player's sanity, this rule is suspended in the dreamlike sequences between rounds of the final boss battle: a single blow to one of the free-standing doors will return the player to Nightmare Six's lair.
    • While the core gameplay remains the same as the first game, several improvements and streamlines were made to the old mechanics to make players' lives easier, and some glaring problems rectified (which were even advertised in the marketing).
      • Mono can stow away keys he finds in his jacket and move around with them normally and hands-free, removing the first game's often cumbersome need to manually carry and throw them like other objects.
      • When walking along thin bridges such as wooden beams and pipes, the player no longer has the ability to accidentally walk off the side and die, an issue which could result in several annoying resets in the first game.
      • If a puzzle requires multiple key objects to be carried around (e.g. a box that requires two fuses) and you pick one up, Six will go out of her way to take the other for you and independently bring it where it needs to be, saving you walking time.
      • Throwing objects at buttons is much easier than in the first game, with pretty generous aim assistance provided like spots marked on the ground or a noticable change in pose for Mono when he's in the right place to throw.
      • The game has more frequent checkpoints than the first game that align with its more involved level sequences, and frequently even set segments are broken into multiple checkpoints (like a fight against Bullies being broken into turns of the corridor) to make the player have to repeat less when they die. This extends to some puzzles involving stealth and carrying objects—for example, in the Hospital, you end up in a room full of beds with the Doctor and a button to go to the next room. You need to sneak to the back of the room to grab a throwable object and sneak back. However, if you fail between rooms after getting an object to the button, you'll respawn by the button with the object next to you.
  • Arc Symbol: The eyes, televisions, and music boxes of the first game are all back, adorning every setting. Only now they are revealed to all have some mysterious association with whatever evil operates from the Signal Tower.
  • Arc Villain: Each chapters has its own main villain, respectively, the Hunter, the Teacher, the Doctor, the Thin Man and finally Monster Six.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Six's AI is quite well fleshed-out for an NPC partner, with many subtle behaviours and unprompted actions to aid Mono to the point she almost feels like a second player, if not a real kid just doing kid things.
    • In general, Six is pretty good at navigating stealth sections convincingly as a player would (though she won't ever be detected if she has to run in the open). Rather than blindly following the player, she will dart from hiding place to hiding place during openings on her own. When crossing a muddy lake to evade the Hunter, she will duck underwater on her own if she sees the Hunter's lantern coming. Watching Six can thus be instructive and reduce the feeling of trial-and-error.
    • She will take many actions unprompted by the player, even helping finish puzzles if you let her. Toss her a crank, and she will take it to its pulley and wind it for you. If a box requires fuses and you have one, but the other is already plugged in a different outlet, she will unplug it for you and take the second cell to the outlet on her own. She will also run difficult platforming sections on her own without Mono's guidance (which can help the player avoid the trial-and-error of a difficult chase sequence).
    • In addition, she has several idle character actions and adorable quirks that help flesh her out, helping remind the player that, even under all the survival instinct and unnerving behaviours, she's still a kid in a raincoat: Pass by a dead body, and she might stop to just give it a little casual kick. Find an X-ray machine and turn it on; Six will immediately drop everything and run over to just play with the screen. If you don't turn it on first, she'll even get curious and turn it on herself to play (which also serves to direct the player's attention to it). Pick up a kid's toy, and she'll pick up one for herself just because, and even bring it to the aforementioned X-ray machine to see what's inside. Loiter in the School's playground, and she'll find a way to occupy herself, whether tiptoeing along a raised tile or even trying to shoot a goal.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The combined strength of Mono and Six is enough to move objects that are otherwise completely unaffected by the efforts of Mono alone, even though many of these objects (a big dumpster, a considerably tall tree trunk) are big enough that it seems unlikely that just adding Six to the mixture could possibly make any difference. Bonus points for the fact that, overall, Mono feels somewhat bulkier than Six, given that in the game he will many times prove himself capable of grabbing and swinging quite heavy tools like a hammer and a hatchet, either to smash things or to fight, while Six never even tries to.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • One of the first collectible hats is a yellow rainhat... atop a child's skeleton in a cage. If the player doesn't already know that Mono's companion is Six (or that the game is a prequel), it can look like Six might be dead, in which case the switch comes when she later finds her real raincoat in the city.
    • When Mono first meets Six in the Hunter's basement, he breaks into the room she's kept prisoner in and offers her a hand. Six comes out from her hiding spot and slowly reaches out as if to take it — then roughly shoves Mono aside and books it out the door. Not surprising, given how Mono entered the room she was in.
    • In the Hospital, Six and Mono board an elevator which briefly starts to rise, before unexpectedly going down instead, along with the player's stomach.
    • At the very end of the game, Six and Mono are about to reach the exit of the Signal Tower when a portion of the thin bridge they are on collapses, forcing them to do the Take My Hand! maneuver they have performed countless times. Mono jumps, and Six catches his hand. The player fully expects her to pull him up to safety — but instead, after a long, protracted beat, she lets go, dropping him into the depths of the tower and escaping through the television by herself.
  • Bear Trap: The forest is littered with bear traps, with one section requiring the player to cross a floor covered completely in them. Mono can avoid them by either throwing stuff at them or setting them off with a stick.
  • Berserk Button: Turning off a TV that is being watched by a Viewer will cause them to scream in fury and start chasing Mono until they either kill him or become distracted by another screen.
    • When he first meets her in the signal tower, Monster-Six is not immediately hostile to Mono. If he gets too close to the music box, Six just shoves him away without hurting him. It's only after Mono takes the first hit at the music box that Six will go in full rage mode and will kill Mono if she catches him.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: The Thin Man. While almost every boss so far in the franchise has a penchant to scream, flail and rush at the protagonists, the Thin Man won't even go as far as to run to get them, even though he will still take advantage of his capacity to teleport for short distances. Even his "capture" animation is one of the overall less violent ones and leaves many doubts on whatever he really wants to kill Mono or not, given that he very obviously didn't kill Six after having captured her.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Nowhere is an example of this in general, but the Signal Tower is an especially clear example.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • The Hunter is shot and falls backwards and out of sight behind a closed door, obscuring his body from view.
    • The Bullies are all made of porcelain, while the Hands are made of plastic, meaning there is no blood when killing them.
    • While the Doctor can be cremated inside his own incinerator, but the door is closed during the process so that you don't actually see him being burned to death. (But you hear it. Very clearly.)
    • After Mono defeats the Thin Man, he simply disintegrates into particles.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: The School in the second chapter has a bedroom for its students. The students are nasty creatures, but they evidently live in fear of their strict Teacher.
  • Body Horror: Abounds throughout the game, from the crunch when Mono dies by falling to the disembodied mannequin parts that litter the hospital (and sometimes attack you) to the meat-like substance that erupts from the Signal Tower's walls in the final scenes.
  • Brown Bag Mask: Mono wears a paper bag over his head but can wear other collectible objects, including a coonskin cap, a nome's hat, a football, and a teddy bear's head.
  • Call-Back:
    • After Little Nightmares, Secrets of the Maw, and Very Little Nightmares, the player should know immediately that when a piano appears they ought to run back and forth on its keyboard. Sure enough, like in the first game, doing so unlocks a hidden achievement, this time called "Mono Tones."
    • The game arguably borrows more puzzles and mechanics from the Secrets of the Maw DLC than from Little Nightmares itself:
      • Much as the Runaway Kid does at the beginning of the DLC, in the Hospital chapter Six and Mono come across an activated flashlight someone apparently dropped on the floor, to make up for the lack of Six's lighter. Mono goes on to use it against enemies in a way that recalls the combat with the shadow children in the DLC's Residence chapter — the difference being that while the shadow children can be disintegrated by the flashlight's beam, the mannequins can only be temporarily frozen in place.
      • Glowing fuses and their use as glorified keys to activate electronics first appeared in the DLC.
      • The phenomenon of loose wires turning standing water into a deadly electrical hazard (and a useful Improvised Weapon) is a call-back to the Depths chapter of the DLC.
      • In the School, solving the chessboard puzzle activates a lamp which can be pulled like a lever to open a secret door, a mechanism which can also be found in the Lady's quarters in the DLC.
      • Even the collaborative mechanics — such as boosting and needing the weight of two to pull a lever — were first explored with the Nomes in the Hideaway chapter.
  • The Cameo:
    • A single Nome (one of the strange little creatures from the first game) appears as the main focus of the "Nome's Attic" DLC inside the Hunter's house early in the game.
    • Once of the Glitching Remains locations in the fourth chapter contains a portrait of the Lady (Big Bad of the first game) and one of her statues.
  • Canon Character All Along: It is not clear until she puts on her raincoat in Chapter 3 that Mono's kid companion has been Six all along.
  • Caught in a Snare: Mono can get caught in one of the Hunter's nets if he isn't careful while traversing the Wilderness.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Every time Mono is killed, he'll be set back to a safe location a few moments before it happened, sitting motionless in a Troubled Fetal Position. When the player sends a command he will gasp and start as though awaking from a nightmare.
  • Children Are Innocent:
    • As in the first game, there are several achievements which reward the player for exploring, screwing around, and generally behaving like the young child Mono is, despite his surroundings. One can be unlocked by putting on the football hat and running through one of the goals in the schoolyard, another by throwing a paper airplane out of a window, and another by carrying a random ear of corn in the Hospital all the way down to the incinerator and throwing it in to make popcorn.
    • Averted with the Bullies, childlike creatures who are portrayed as consistently cruel and never sympathetic. Their official description insists that they have no tragic backstory or Freudian Excuse for behaving the way they do; they really are just evil, rotten kids.
  • Climbing Climax:
    • Mono's apparently climactic fight with the Thin Man is immediately preceded by a long, long ladder climb up from the subway station where the train crashed. Subverted when that turns out not to have been the climax at all.
    • Played straight: In order to reach Six for the real Final Boss battle, Mono must make his way all the way up the massive Signal Tower's many flights of stairs, solving teleportation puzzles on the way.
  • Collection Sidequest: Finding and absorbing all the Glitching Remains (hidden similarly to the statues in the first game) unlocks a secret ending showing what happens to Six and indicates that the game is a prequel.
  • Completion Mockery: If you unlock all the game's achievements, it will sarcastically inform you that "your life is now free of challenges."
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Near the beginning of the first game, Six has to open a refrigerator to climb up its shelves. Mono, too, comes across a fridge early on in his quest; opening it won't help you progress, but you will earn an achievement for it.
    • In one room Six and Mono encounter an empty suit hanging by its neck from a broken television, visually recalling the mysterious hanged figures that can be found throughout the Maw. Six will pause and look up at it significantly.
    • The grating, juvenile song that plays on the TV in Roger's lair in the first game reappears in this one: first in the School, where a group of Bullies can be heard using it as a rope-skipping tune, and later as one of the broadcasts the Pale City's televisions cycle through.
  • Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: Unlike Six, Mono is capable of wielding mallets, axes, sticks, and similar Improvised Weapons, giving him a way to defend himself against smaller enemies. He's also much more vocal than Six — yelling when falling to his death and being heard to breathe and gasp — and is dressed in a dull, camouflaging color to contrast her bright yellow raincoat.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: This game strongly implies that the world is experiencing one. The Signal Tower in the center of the Pale City has a constant malicious broadcast, hides a giant mass of flesh and eyes and is able to transform Six, suggesting that it is an Eldritch Abomination whose Transmission has warped the buildings toward it, twisted the world's order, and made all of the monsters into what they are, causing them to worship its eyes as a symbol. The people who don't adapt are gradually distorted and driven to death by their televisions, and it seems many of the monsters in the games are wearing skin masks made by the Doctor after being disfigured by the Transmission, with the isolated Hunter resorting to a bag instead. Thus far, the only beings to be seen relatively unscathed in this world are powerless children. When and how it started is left unanswered, but it's suggested that there was once a "before" where things were normal.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: How you can kill the Doctor is quite horrific: Toward the end of the chapter he appears in, he begins to chase you after you turn off the life support of one of his patients. Mono and Six then lure him into an incinerator used to dispose of corpses and lock him inside. If you choose to pull the switch and turn it on, you're treated to his cries of agonising pain as he's slowly roasted alive.
  • Darker and Edgier: Several factors makes this game way more depressing than the first. The lack of precise direction, the bleakness and vagueness of the setting, the feeling that you are running head on into danger rather then escape from it, and or course the fact that Mono gets an incredibly harsher ending when compared to Six's in the first game, even though he is an unquestionably more heroic character than her.
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: The Hospital is so dark that Six is forced to shield her eyes if Mono shines his flashlight in her direction.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying at any given time results in nothing more than being set back to one of the frequent checkpoints (which come with a very short load time and are more plentiful than in the first game). This is fortunate, because deaths can be frequent and repeated.
  • Death World: Nope, it wasn't just the Maw! Everything in the Pale City and its surrounding territory poses a hazard, from deadly pits to collapsing buildings to their various malicious inhabitants.
  • The Determinator:
    • Despite all the horrors they face, Mono and Six never give up on their quest through the Pale City unless the player does. Even after Six is captured by the Bullies and later by the Thin Man, absolutely nothing will stop Mono from reaching her — even Six herself.
    • This also applies to some of the monsters you encounter, who do not relent in their pursuit of you once they have you pegged. Special mention going to the Hunter and the Thin Man, who spend almost the entirety of their screen time relentlessly chasing down Mono and Six until you are forced to kill both of them. Fittingly averted by the only main antagonist who will always survive, the Teacher, as she stops following you around after you manage to leave the school.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • In the Hunter's shack, you have to find something to break the door down to reach Six. If you try the nearby meat cleaver first instead of the axe, the handle will snap off.
    • In the science lab of the school, you have to sneak past the Teacher placing a heart in an anatomical model. If you manage to grab it and get out of sight while she's turned around, she will go through a unique animation briefly looking for it.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The player would be forgiven for assuming Mono's dramatic confrontation with the Thin Man (the apparent Big Bad) was the Final Boss battle, but in fact, it is only the end of the fourth chapter. The real final boss turns out to be Six herself.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Similar to the shoes storage scene in the first game, the incinerator scene that ends the hospital chapter will easily give players a very distinct eerie feeling, expecially for those who will decide to switch it on.
  • Door-Closes Ending: The (non-secret) ending concludes with the door from the intro swinging shut on Mono/the Thin Man.
  • Downer Ending: Six betrays Mono and lets him fall into the belly of the tower, where he is trapped in a cell for years, eventually becoming either the new or the old Thin Man. Meanwhile, while Six has escaped, she immediately begins experiencing her debilitating hunger pains and is implied to be about to head towards the Maw.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Mono wears the head of a Bully to get past the cafeteria that's filled with them.
  • Easy Level Trick: Speedrunners stumbled upon a glitch whereby the player can cause a fuse to spawn in one of the hospital hub levels and then use it not only in the fuse box but to smash the door of the east wing section in order to retrieve the second fuse, thus bypassing the dreaded sequences with both the disembodied hands and the Patients.
  • Eldritch Location: The inside of the Signal Tower has random objects floating around, stairs leading every which way, and doors warping to different places. To say nothing of the end of the game, where it transforms into an Eldritch Abomination made of flesh and numerous eyes.
  • Elevator Failure: In one sequence Six and Mono emerge from an air vent and find themselves atop an elevator, which (being derelict and falling apart like the rest of the Pale City) immediately begins to break loose from its cable. They have a few moments to pry off the cover of a vent on the other side and climb in before the lift goes crashing down into the depths.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: Before encountering any of the Pale City's living residents, Mono and Six find countless ominous empty suits and sets of clothing sitting around, as though the bodies had just evaporated out of them.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Aside from a couple crows, Six herself, and a pail of dead rats down a secret sewer, every creature in and around the Pale City wants very much to murder Mono — even a disembodied mannequin hand!
  • Evil Is Bigger: With the exception of the Bullies, who are only slightly larger than Mono and Six, and the disembodied hands in the hospital, every enemy in the game is monstrously huge compared to the protagonists.
    • The corrupted nightmare version of Six encountered in the final chapter is several times the size of her normal form.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • After he's betrayed by Six and left behind in the tower, Mono spends his entire life trapped inside as he slowly ages into a new Thin Man (or worse, the very same one that was chasing you throughout the game).
    • Despite the fact that many of the hospital patients are missing their limbs (even the head in some cases), they clearly aren't dead, but can only move freely when they are shrouded in total darkness.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • A link between Mono and the Thin Man is implied or foreshadowed throughout the game, much like Six's connection to the Lady. Most obviously, there's Mono's ability to interact with the Signal and travel through television sets, something only the Thin Man is also seen doing. His first ventures through the televisions take him to a hallway with a prominent door which eventually turns out to be the door to the Thin Man's cell. Whether Mono is fated by his powers to become the next Thin Man or is the original Thin Man himself, it's easy to infer in retrospect that Mono, the Thin Man, or a combination of both their powers has been drawing the two together.
    • There are several moments that seem to be hinting that Six is not the sweet, innocent child she appears to be:
      • While in the School, a beat occurs where Six and Mono are sneaking up on a lone Bully. While the player can have Mono kill the Bully with a nearby weapon as normal, if you let Six sneak up first, she will jump on the Bully and rip it apart with her bare hands. It's a moment that's played not as awesome but as unnerving, complete with an eerie musical cue.
      • In the Hospital, Mono has to leave Six behind in a room filled with spare mannequin limbs in order to find a fuse. When he returns, Six is amusing herself by snapping the fingers off a mannequin hand with her back to the camera. She doesn't immediately notice Mono, but requires some nudging just to get her to stop. Once she does, she slowly turns to face Mono, with a pause before getting up, as if she already forgot he existed. Stand at the right angle, and the way she turns eerily resembles the way the Lady and powered-up Six do in the first game.
      • In the final chase scene of the Hospital, Mono and Six lure the Doctor into an incinerator. Should you choose to turn it on to roast him alive, Six will casually sit down and warm her hands at the incinerator's vent — character beat that would potentially be quite adorable if not for Six paying no heed to the muffled screams of the Doctor burning inside.
    • Even before its apparent confirmation in the secret ending, there are various clues throughout that the game is not in fact a sequel, but a prequel — including Six appearing without any hint of the mysterious dark powers she absorbs in the end of the first game or her iconic raincoat, which she finds seemingly for the first time in the Pale City.
  • Freaky Electronic Music: The soundtrack gets noticeably less orchestral and more electronic-sounding during certain tense encounters against television-centric monsters like the Viewers or the Thin Man.
  • Flies Equals Evil: The Hunter has flies all around his house due to the sheer amount of animal corpses and skinned creatures. It must stink to high heaven.
  • A Friend in Need: Both times Six is captured by an enemy, Mono immediately sets out to find her and never gives up until he has. In turn, Six always assists him when he needs help getting over or across something due to his slightly shorter jump range... Until the end, at least.
  • Futile Hand Reach: As Six is being snatched by the Thin Man, she and Mono reach out desperately for each other's hands but are unable to overcome their adversary's glitchy influence.
  • Future Self Reveal: The Thin Man is Mono's future self.
  • Futureshadowing: In addition to its Glitching Remains, one of the hidden rooms contains portraits of the Lady and a statue like the ones Six will have to smash once she reaches the Maw. Throwing and breaking it will unlock a secret achievement.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Played with. While Mono can die many, many times over, Six, who accompanies him on his journey, (generally) does not, as the enemies of the game will never explicitly target her aside from scripted beats. She’s even shown continuing on without him after his death in some animations, though she will always respawn in the same place as him when he’s revived. Should she somehow get left behind in a chase sequence, she will simply respawn ahead, and the monster doing the chasing will completely ignore her. One (and perhaps the only) exception is if Six is standing too close to Mono if he gets shot by the Hunter, in which case she will be killed too.
  • Go On Without Me: When Mono dies during a chase sequence, Six will pause but quickly turn and run away, saving herself rather than dying with him.
  • Helping Hands: Twice in the Hospital Mono encounters disembodied hands that scuttle across the floor on their fingers like spiders and will attack and strangle him if he doesn't smash them to death with something lying around.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • The Hunter is eventually shot to death with one of his own shotguns.
    • The Doctor is burned alive in the very incinerator he uses to dispose of his failed experiments.
  • Holding Hands: While it is never essential to gameplay, the player has the ability to make Mono hold hands with Six at any time and is even given an onscreen prompt for the command. There is an achievement for holding hands for a total of six minutes throughout the game.
  • Hope Spot: In one scene of Chapter Four, Mono spots the kidnapped Six in a TV screen. He reaches in for her hands and pulls, and she is almost out when the Thin Man grabs her and whisks her back in before emerging to give chase to Mono.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Continuing with the traditions set by the first game, most of the monsters resemble humans, but their monstrous size and other unsettling attributes suggest that they are not.
    • The Hunter is perhaps the most normal-looking, apart from his size and the fact that his face is hidden by a bag sack, with one eyehole to enable him to see.
    • The Teacher looks relatively human in appearance... until it is shown that she has the ability to extend her neck to great length and twist it around.
    • The Doctor crawls along the hospital's ceiling like an enormously fat caterpillar with a human man's upper body.
    • The Viewers are mostly human-looking except for their abnormally large heads. And lack of faces.
    • The Thin Man, as his name suggests, is an unnervingly thin, human-looking thing that seems to float over the ground rather than walk.
  • Iconic Attribute Adoption Moment: The girl accompanying Mono is confirmed beyond all question to be Six when she finds and dons her signature yellow raincoat.
  • Idiot Ball: In order to be caught by the Thin Man and trigger the next stage of the plot, the normally stealth-savvy Six attempts to hide beneath a high round table clearly identifiable as an unsafe location, rather than join Mono under a nearby bed.
  • Karmic Death: Both the Hunter and the Doctor die by being shot and cremated respectively, the same fate they gave to many people.
  • Karma Houdini: The Teacher, unlike others arc villains is not killed at the end of her chapter. Instead she is simply fled from, and since she has no interest in leaving her school, she just stops her chase.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: For the final boss, Mono goes up against Six, who has been transformed by the Signal Tower into a massive, monstrous version of herself. Mercifully, the player is spared from having to hurt Six herself: To bring her back to normal, Mono must instead repeatedly smash the large music box that seems to be controlling her.
  • Leitmotif: The three-note melody which forms the basis of the game's main theme and serves as Six's motif appears throughout the game in situations associated with Six. Most notably, it is the tune played by the music box she is playing with when Mono first meets her and later by the one in the Signal Tower, indicating to Mono which way to go to reach her.
  • Literal Cliffhanger:
    • In the Hospital, Mono and Six push through a door to emerge into a vast, empty shaft with hospital beds inexplicably hanging from the ceiling. Mono stumbles and nearly falls off the ledge, but fortunately Six catches his hand and pulls him to safety.
    • Twice during the Television Portal part of the game, Mono is spat out by a TV a bit too far from a ledge and just barely manages to catch himself and climb back up.
  • The Lonely Door: Each time you land a blow to the music box in the final boss battle you are transported to some kind of empty dream in-between. No matter which direction you walk, you will eventually come across a free-standing door in a frame with an axe stuck in it. Striking the door with the axe will return you to Nightmare Six's lair.
  • Long Neck: The Teacher can stretch her neck to grotesque lengths in order to track down wayward children. During one chase sequence she shoves her head into the air vent after Six and Mono and winds her neck through the ductwork in pursuit of them.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Thin Man himself is implied to be a puppet under the control of the Signal Tower itself — or whatever eldritch force lurks within it. After the Thin Man's defeat, Mono still must do battle with the tower and the monster it has turned Six into.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Like in the first game, the player can be killed in a wide variety of gruesome ways, including being shot, eaten, bludgeoned, trampled, crushed, electrocuted, strangled, trapped, and disintegrated. And that's just assuming you don't fall off a ledge and die!
  • Medical Horror: The creep factor of the Hospital chapter derives from this aesthetic. Even before you meet any of its inhabitants, the place is made terrifying by bloody bandages, IV bags, corpses, and medical paraphernalia. It eventually becomes clear that the "mannequin" creatures who live there are the unfortunate result of experimentation by the Doctor, who can be seen working on some of them. At least he washes his hands...
  • Mercy Rewarded: There are two achievements for sparing the scribbling Bully with the dunce cap and the Doctor, respectively.
  • Missing Secret: Downplayed. There are twelve collectible hats Mono can wear. After a 100% Completion run the player might be perplexed to find two of them missing. Thing is, only ten can be collected in the main game; one was a reward for preordering and one is gained by completing the "Nome's Attic" DLC.
  • Motif:
    • Televisions are the primary one, being the obsession of the twisted Viewers and even Mono, who has some degree of control over them and can later use them as portals. They're also useful to the Thin Man, and are controlled by the mysterious Signal Tower.
    • Compared to the previous game, there is also a recurring theme of artificial creatures, like the porcelain Bullies in the School and the Patients in the Hospital who are mostly mannequin parts and some of which appear to be assembled from scratch by the Doctor.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: The Hunter has several stuffed corpses propped up in chairs. One room in his house especially fits this trope to a T, with an entire taxidermied family positioned around a dinner table.
  • Murder by Cremation: You can burn the doctor inside the crematorium.
  • Murderous Mannequin: The monsters in the hospital (constructed from a combination of mannequin limbs and human body parts) are perfectly docile when the lights are on but will start to chase Mono down if they're not. The only way to (briefly) stop them is to shine Mono's flashlight on them or turn on a light if there's one inside the room.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Mono goes out of his way to rescue Six from the Signal Tower after she's captured by the Thin Man, but at the last second she seems to choose to betray him, dropping his hand and escaping by herself, leaving him to the mercy of the tower.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • During Chapter Four, Mono teleports through a TV screen that is being watched by a large crowd of monstrous viewers and accidentally smashes it. He pauses for a moment and you can feel him realise through the bag exactly what's about to happen; then you're given control back and can only run for your life as the horde of monsters begin chasing you down to kill you.
    • After Mono unleashes the Thin Man from the TV, Six recoils in fear from Mono for a moment. She does recover quickly and tries to urge him to leave as the Thin Man slowly manifests. Eventually, her fear overtakes her and Mono finally snaps out of it to follow her.
    • When you first encounter Six at the end of the game, Mono is visibly startled for a moment after he walks into the room, shocked at what has happened to her.
  • Ominous Television: Televisions are used as a recurring theme in the game. The game's world is full of old televisions littering the landscape, the Player Character Mono is first found sleeping next to one and can use them to teleport to different locations, the Big Bad The Thin Man using it to hunt down the good guys, most of the people in the City have a homicidal/suicidal need to stare at their televisions and it is implied to all be because of an ominous Signal Tower using the TVs for some nefarious agenda.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Mono kills the Hunter, the Doctor (unless he decides to let him live), and the Thin Man, who have all been trying to kill him. Lampshaded by the flavor text of one achievement:
    It's not murder if they're bad people... Right?
  • Promoted to Playable: Inverted. Six, the Player Character of the first game, is here demoted to an AI-controlled NPC accompanying the new protagonist, Mono.
  • Portal Door: The Signal Tower is filled with doors that don't lead where they might be expected to go and switch destinations every time you pass through one. Often the only way to find your way through the maze is by listening for the sound of Six's music box emanating from one in particular.
  • The Power of Friendship: A major theme of the game. Despite their initial wariness, once they are forced to work together Mono and Six begin to develop a bond and are able to accomplish much more than they could individually. Cruelly subverted in the end, when Six lets Mono fall in the Signal Tower, calling into question whether she was ever truly his friend.
  • Old Media Are Evil: Television, specifically. Broken TVs litter the game's landscape, and once in the Pale City it becomes apparent that they are under the command of the mysterious Signal Tower and literally suck the life out of their Viewers, whose faces and minds have dissolved leaving them mindlessly glued to their screens.
  • Riddle for the Ages: This game reveals how Six acquired her signature yellow raincoat and leitmotif, as well as her Horror Hunger and interest in the Maw. How and when she acquired her lighter, however, is left a mystery.
  • Rule of Three:
    • It takes three blows with an axe to break through any rotten door in the game, and three hits with a pipe to kill one of the Helping Hands.
    • In the Hospital, there are three stuffed animals that have to be checked for the key. The one that contains it is the one farthest from the door, and thus likely to be the one the player checks third after two unsuccessful attempts.
    • Mono must "tune" the Thin Man's signal three times to defeat him.
  • Run or Die: Once they catch sight of you, most of the game's enemies cannot be fought, only fled.
    • During the Hunter's chase, the only option is to book it fast (while ducking behind strategic crates) lest he shoot you dead. Subverted when the pursuit culminates with Mono and Six trapped in a shed and they are forced to shoot him with one of his own guns.
    • During one sequence Mono and Six are pursued through an air duct by the Teacher's head and must run for their lives.
    • Several times in the Hospital Mono has to run for his life (while aiming the flashlight) to escape rooms full of Murderous Mannequins.
    • After Mono smashes through the television in the department store window he is forced to sprint as fast as he can as the hordes of enraged Viewers give chase.
    • Until their final confrontation, Mono has no way to fight back against the Thin Man, instead having to — you guessed it — run for his life as he is pursued through the city.
  • Sackhead Slasher: The Hunter wears a sack with a single eyehole over his face and will kill Mono if he spots him.
  • Serial Killer: The Hunter again, who apparently doesn't just kill children, but also members of his own kind, many of whom he has stuffed and propped up around his house in positions that imitate life. He also fits many of the common serial killer tropes, such as living in a cabin in the woods and littering the forest floor with traps.
  • Shell-Shock Silence: The blast when Mono pulls the trigger on the Hunter's shotgun and shoots him is so loud that it temporarily stuns both children; the soundtrack is replaced by a thin ringing noise for several moments.
  • Shopping Cart Antics: One puzzle requires you to push an unwieldy shopping cart down a ramp and use it to jump between platforms over dangerous electrified water.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spiritual Antithesis: Of ICO: It focuses on two children, a boy and a girl, having to go through a hellacious world with a focus of them holding hands. But in the end, both Ico and Yorda survive thanks to their teamwork, while Six betrays Mono and leaves him to his fate.
  • Stable Time Loop: One interpretation of the game's ending is that Mono and the Thin Man are the same person, with Mono being the latter's younger self. The Thin Man's attempts to capture Six are likely to break the loop, though his attempts ultimately fail and Mono ends up trapped in the same room the Thin Man was in previously, eventually turning into him. This could also explain Six's betrayal, as she possibly realized during her capture that it was Mono who was torturing her.
  • Stealth Sequel: The secret ending seems to confirm what numerous details throughout the game imply: that the events of Little Nightmares II actually take place before those of the first game, contrary to its advertisement as a sequel. Six escapes the Signal Tower and emerges from a benign television only to be confronted by her mysterious shadow self from the first game, which now clearly resembles the Glitching Remains created when souls are snatched through the TVs. The shadow indicates a flyer in the foreground advertising the Maw before disappearing, and Six's stomach begins to rumble.
  • Take My Hand!: While escaping from the Hunter, Six and Mono come upon a broken bridge over a chasm. Six is able to jump across while Mono holds part of it up, and after that he jumps and she catches him by the hand, letting him dangle for a moment before pulling him up to safety. This becomes a recurring beat (and a symbol for their relationship and trust in each other), with several other occasions arising for Six to pull Mono up over a ledge. At the end of the game, Six invokes the darker version of the trope: as she and Mono are about to escape the Signal Tower, he jumps across a gap in the bridge and she catches his hand a final time, holds him there for a long beat — and then lets go, dropping him into the abyss before leaving by herself.
  • Tally Marks on the Prison Wall: When Mono first finds Six, she is trapped in a room in the Hunter's basement — and seemingly has been for quite some time judging by the number of white tally marks on the walls. Similar marks can be seen on the walls of the first empty room with a chair in the School and the hidden room with the hole in the Hospital.
  • Television Portal: Mono has the ability to teleport between TVs so long as both of them are on and in relatively close proximity.
  • The Tower: At the center of the Pale City stands an incomprehensively tall tower that seems to be beaming out the evil signal to all the televisions, turning the population into mindless, consumeristic zombies. The final chapter takes place inside the tower, with Mono searching for Six inside its eldritch heights.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Mono "wakes up" huddled with his knees hugged to his chest after each death.
  • The Window or the Stairs: At the end of the hospital chapter, the option of not turning the incinerator on while the doctor is trapped in it may be really this, because, arguably, a slow death by starvation may be even worse than being roasted alive. It's still possible that the doctor would eventually be able to burst the door open though.
  • Vader Breath: The Doctor sounds like he is constantly out of breath, meaning heavy creepy breathing from him.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: An achievement is unlocked for holding Six's hand for six minutes, which, despite its prompt in Chapter One, is never actually required to move on. Another can be unlocked by "speaking" to her twenty-six times.
  • Visual Pun: There's a toy duck in one part of the School. You have to duck in that spot to avoid a trap. A larger version of the duck appears later in the room where you'll have to duck under the bed to escape the Thin Man.
  • Voice Grunting: Since there is no spoken dialogues, Mono and Six communicate this way.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 4: The Tall Man was the subject of Mono's recurring visions; Six is abducted by the Tall Man; and Mono gains frightening reality warping abilities (presumably from his exposure to the otherworldly television sets) which he uses to vanquish the Tall Man.
    • Chapter 5: The Signal Tower is a gargantuan combination of an Eldritch Location and Eldritch Abomination; whose true form is that of an endless mass of flesh-like goop and giant eyes. Six backstabs Mono by letting him drop to the tower's bottom - dooming him to imprisonment… and growing up to be the Tall Man. Heavily implying that time and space have no anchoring in the world of Little Nightmares.
  • Womb Level: The final scene of the game takes place somewhere in the depths of the eldritch Signal Tower, which resembles the interior of an organ with undulating meat-like floors and walls.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Little Nightmares 2


The Thin Man

Televisions are used as a recurring theme in the game. The game's world is full of old televisions littering the landscape, the Player Character Mono is first found sleeping next to one and can use them to teleport to different locations, the Big Bad The Thin Man using it to hunt down the good guys, most of the people in the City have a homicidal/suicidal need to stare at their televisions and it is implied to all be because of an ominous Signal Tower using the TVs for some nefarious agenda.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / OminousTelevision

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