Don’t you love it when a game manages to tell a good story that is compelling while still staying vague and open-ended enough for players to form their own stories? Take a look at some Little Nightmares fan theories that try to explain the story behind the Game.
A Little Background
You play as a hungry nine-year-old girl named Six, trapped in The Maw, a mysterious vessel catering to the whims of sick and powerful creatures.
Theory 1: The Game Exists in a Dream
In the first chapter, Six wakes up in a small dark room which makes you think Six might have been kidnapped. Later on, you find another room with a bunch of children sleeping which gives you the inclination that your character might be in some sort of orphanage.
Almost immediately you encounter this caretaker like enemy with extremely long arms. If you pay attention to what he is doing you’ll notice that he’s checking if the kids are asleep. Any of this sound familiar? Kids all asleep in a dark room and a caretaker like character checking on whether they’re sleeping or not?
Sounds like how a caretaker at an orphanage checks in on the children in his charge. This has led fans of the game to think that maybe all of this is happening in real life. In this theory, everything that happens in the game is happening in a dream and has a real life counterpart. The caretaker might have long arms because your character never seems to be able to get away from him in real life. Even the way you defeat The Janitor is symbolic in the sense that you cut off his arms, taking away his ability to catch you.
This theory is interesting because it encourages players to try and imagine what horrors Six must be facing in real life. There are even some fans of this theory that state that Six might have been kidnapped and is now part of an illegal child trafficking ring. Sounds crazy? Take a closer look into the symbolism behind the “Guests” and “Lady” as well as “The Maw”. Doesn’t sound so crazy after all does it?
Theory 2: Six is a Tengu
For this, players delved deep into the official Little Nightmares website. In it, they found out that a special Tengu Mask would be available to players who finished the demo. The mask could be redeemed upon the official release of Little Nightmares.
The bird-like Tengu is a skilled warrior and mischief-maker in Japanese mythology that likes playing tricks and punishing arrogant and vainglorious Buddhist priests and samurai warriors. Tengu dislike braggarts, and those who corrupt the Dharma (Buddhist Law). They also like to disrupt order, and frequently set fires to temples to wreak havoc, have the ability to shapeshift into different forms like children or animals, and the ability to enter dreams uninvited.
Consider how simple would it be for a Tengu to take the form of a young defenseless young girl. A Tengu would presumably take that form and infiltrate the dream of a sleeping lady and punish her for her vanity. For example, the Lady in the game. After all, you see her constantly looking into broken mirrors as you progress through the game.
Six also carries around a golden lighter with her. How many nine-year-old girls do you know carry around a lighter with them? If you look at the description for the Tengu, you’ll notice they like setting fires to temples to cause chaos. The lighter seems a lot less like mere coincidence now.
Theory 2 Part 2: The Slayer of Vanity
Still not convinced? Let’s move on to the last part of this theory then. One of the most commonly known titles for the Tengu is The Slayer of Vanity. Listen to the whole theory summed up and see if it makes sense to you or not.
You take the form of a nine-year-old girl and invade the dream of The Lady to punish her for her vanity and slay her. Once the embodiment of Vanity is slain, the game ends. Six also no longer has to keep up the facade and avoid everyone on The Maw. She simply walks right out the door once her purpose has been fulfilled. As she walks out, she kills all the inhabitants of The Maw that stand in her way.
Theory 3: Six is The Lady’s Daughter
This theory is probably the most popular amongst players as well as the one with the most evidence. It is important to note that cannibalism seems to be a norm in the world of Little Nightmares.
It’s been commonly theorized that Six could be the daughter of The Lady. The reason she was found in the Prison of The Maw is possibly due to how Six is more beautiful than the Lady, who is obsessed with vanity. Many pictures around The Lady’s Quarters have portraits of what could be Six. During the final chase in The Guest’s Area, you can even see a picture of Six and the Lady together. Some people were able to see partially some of Six’s eyes, which were glowing, and were similar to the Lady’s.
In the stairway that leads to The Lady’s bedroom, there are a number of portraits lining the walls. A scrutiny of the painting in the top corner shows 5 figures in the portrait, 4 of whom are shrouded in darkness. Among these 4 figures, the youngest and smallest looking figure is wearing a mask. The Lady is also wearing a similar mask, which led players to believe The Lady is one of the figures in the portrait. It’s also interesting to note that the main character of the game is named Six, as in the sixth successor of The Maw.
Theory 3 part 2: The Lady
We can assume at one point in time, The Lady probably succeeded in killing her predecessor, making her the new leader of The Maw. So disgusted by her actions, The Lady broke every single mirror on The Maw but one. The last unbroken mirror was left waiting on a pillow, as if it was waiting patiently for the day it would be used to kill the owner of the mirror. We see that despite all of Six’s efforts to run away and reject becoming the next Lady we see that Six ultimately kills her mother and takes over leadership of The Maw. In the last scene, we see Six walking slowly towards the exit and waiting outside for the next ship to arrive as if she is The Lady welcoming a new wave of guests to The Maw
So, those were some of the more compelling fan theories we found. Do you have a favourite fan theory for the game? Comment down below and let us know what your favourite is!