Little Nightmares 2 does a very good job of keeping players guessing throughout the entirety of the game. When players take Six and Mono through one puzzle after another, they eventually start to unravel the mystery of what’s going on in this truly creepy world. Despite there being no real dialogue between the two main characters, the game still manages to put together a rather rich story that audiences and critics enjoyed in Little Nightmares 2. However, because the game doesn’t have any real dialogue, there can be moments that are a bit confusing. This is especially the case when players reach the end of the story. MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD.
Like Little Nightmares before it, this game comes with a special little twist right at the very end. After spending most of the game believing that Six and Mono are nigh inseparable, the game finds a way to stick a dagger into the gut of the player when Six seems to turn in Mono in the most eye-popping way possible. While there’s been some talk online that the game’s developers added the twist only as a way to get a rise out of the game’s community, it turns out there’s a very good reason why Six allows Mono to seemingly fall to his death.
As the penultimate scene in Little Nightmares 2 unfolds, it seems as if players are going to get to see both characters run off into the sunset, or in this case, the sunrise. Mono saves Six from the clutches of the game’s Big Bad, the mushy blob of eyeballs. Six is transformed by Mono into her regular form, and this allows the pair to stay just ahead of the disgusting villain. Eventually, the two need to make a rather big jump over a deep crevasse. Six lands safely and successfully, and is able to turn around and catch Mono just as he’s about to miss and fall.
The moment in Little Nightmares 2 mirrors several other scenes throughout the game where Six has saved her companion from falling and dying. That makes this particular twist that much more painful. This time, after catching Mono, Six lets him go and the blob of eyeballs ends up catching him. The heroine seems to take a rather dark turn; it even looks like perhaps she’s turned bad. However, it turns out Mono has a very good reason for seemingly killing her new friend.
It appears that, since Six is no longer wearing any of her many hats in Little Nightmares 2, she can see Mono for who he truly is, or rather, she might finally be able to see him for what he eventually becomes. The final reveal, after Mono is caught by the blob of eyeballs, is hinted at throughout the game. It turns out it appears this was the reason for introducing a second character into Little Nightmares 2 all along.
Once Mono meets his fate, players realize it appears it truly is a fate worse than death. When the blob dissipates and moves on, where Mono once stood is now the Thin Man. The man, or perhaps the creature, is the main antagonist of Little Nightmares 2. Considering that Six is able to see her friend better and that she seems to stare hard right at Mono before dropping him, it appears as though she notices the similarities in her companion and the evil presence. It’s possible that once she sees who Mono really is, or is going to become at some point, she realizes that she might be able to kill the villain before he becomes a threat. Six thought she could drop Mono to his death and, essentially, end the nightmare before it begins.
Of course, as the scene continues to unfold, it becomes rather obvious that the dark turn of Six ends up coming back to bite her. Rather than defeating the villain before he can come after her, she creates him. By including this particular twist, it seems to fit into the rather creepy feel of the game overall. A character players spend two games rooting for and hoping to save eventually puts herself into danger. It also, by the way, seems to set up a continuation of Little Nightmares 2 in another chapter of the story.
One of the reasons that Little Nightmares 2 has been so popular is because the game manages to keep a creep factor throughout the story. While the ending twist might elicit an audible gasp from players, it turns out it was hinted at, both inside the game and through developer interviews. It’s just a matter of keeping a player’s eyes and ears open. Inside the game, there are similarities in the abilities of Mono and the Thin Man, as both characters seem to have the ability to manipulate TV signals. Inside the game, this is hidden well enough simply by Mono being a young boy on the run from the very thing he ends up becoming.
Outside the game, one particular interview with senior narrative designer Dave Marvik included several hints in hindsight. When Marvik was explaining why there isn’t a co-op feature in Little Nightmares 2, he talked about how they decided to make the second character AI controlled. He mentioned that the developer thought handing over control to one of the characters wouldn’t allow the story to unfold like it wanted. Marvik even talked about how he thought players controlling both characters would “ruin” the story. It stands to reason that if someone was controlling Mono and another player was controlling Six, the big payoff would have been harder to produce.
It seems extremely unlikely a player would want to have Six drop Mono to his death, especially if they were a co-op partner. Granted, there are ways the team could have gotten around that, even switching over to a cut scene would have worked just fine, but keeping total control over the second character allowed Little Nightmares 2 to deliver the big Thin Man payoff with maximum dramatic effect.
Little Nightmares 2 is available now for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One, with PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions also in development.