Squid Game: Korean series on Netflix (Spoilers)

Looking back, the first hint on #001 was at the beginning of Red Light Green Light. After everyone realized they were getting shot and panicked, resulting in dozens of deaths, 001 was the only person to move forward on the next round, with a big smile on his face. Because he hadn’t been surprised or frightened at all - even if he didn’t know what the game was going to be, he certainly knew that elimination=death.

I wondered all of this. I think that they missed some fun opportunities like the two of them hitting tempered glass. I think that if someone hung on the railing, they should be allowed to pull themselves back up as well.

I think if you can get to the other side by any means, it counts.

Yeah, #456 used an unusual tactic in honeycomb that even #001 thought was resourceful. And in Red light/Green Light, someone pointed out that you could try to hide behind someone as you advanced. But the woman and gangster who used the lighter in Honeycomb would probably be shot for cheating since no one else had a lighter.

i just watched the scene again and the rules voice says “only step on the glass tiles”. Probably should’ve shown someone try to go on the railing and then get shot for breaking the rules to make it clear.

I didn’t really like the bridge challenge as a “game,” since it was basically just pure luck if you went first. And then when one guy figured it out they changed it up so he couldn’t anymore.

It was similar to Sugar Honeycomb, in that you made a choice at the beginning with no information that hugely affected your chance of success. But yeah, player 1 had a 1 in 262,144 chance of crossing.

For kicks, I wrote a quick Monte Carlo simulation of the bridge game. I assumed each player had a 50% chance on each tile, and each player would perfectly remember the safe tiles previous players had uncovered. The results over a million trials were:

0 players remaining: 547 trials, 0.05%
1 players remaining: 3115 trials, 0.31%
2 players remaining: 11572 trials, 1.16%
3 players remaining: 32837 trials, 3.28%
4 players remaining: 70612 trials, 7.06%
5 players remaining: 121468 trials, 12.15%
6 players remaining: 166828 trials, 16.68%
7 players remaining: 185008 trials, 18.50%
8 players remaining: 167495 trials, 16.75%
9 players remaining: 121343 trials, 12.13%
10 players remaining: 70978 trials, 7.10%
11 players remaining: 32481 trials, 3.25%
12 players remaining: 11831 trials, 1.18%
13 players remaining: 3125 trials, 0.31%
14 players remaining: 563 trials, 0.06%
15 players remaining: 68 trials, 0.01%
16 players remaining: 3 trials, 0.00%

So they had a pretty good shot of having at least 2 players remaining, but the most likely result was 7 players remaining.

I know that isn’t quite what happened - at least one time someone forgot a previous tile, and there was the case of 2 players dying on the same tile. And the glass guy “cheated” on 2 tiles, so I’ll run the numbers again trying to account for those.

Another thing about translation/dubbing - in Red Light, Green Light, the original Korean the robot sang a phrase each time. It was always the same 9 or 10 syllable phrase, and she always turned around when it was over. But in English, she said “Green Light”, then was silent for a variable amount of time (because in the original Korean she sang the phrase at different speeds), then said “Red Light” as she turned around. That’s why the players seemed to stop before she started to turn back - in the Korean you could tell how much longer you had to run a lot more easily than guessing when she was about to say “Red Light”.

I’m going to have to go back and re-watch it! Why the heck didn’t they include that in English?

Because in Korean she’s singing “the rose of Sharon has blossomed”. Which makes sense in Korea, but not in English speaking countries.

Picking a shape out of a sponge toffee circle is not a familiar game in North America either, but I still got the gist of it. It ain’t rocket science.

There was a fair amount of cultural nuance that we missed with the North Korean defector too. One thing I read was that Korean audiences knew that she was from the North because she had a Northern accent when she talked to her brother. The rest of the game she affected a Southern accent which is apparently typical for defectors to try to do to avoid attention and some prejudice.

They actually had a flashback in that game to show them playing it as kids though.

I think they figured there would just be more questions than they wanted with the rose of Sharon, so they changed it to Red light, green light.

I agree, it’s clear they just wanted to avoid having awkward exposition about “it’s a game like Red Light, Green Light but different”.

But they could have used some other song, so the video didn’t look so odd. In Korean, everyone stops in unison as she reaches the penultimate syllable - you have some idea the safe time is about to end. But in English language, at least a few times, everyone stops before she says “Red Light” - the people who get shot are the ones who stumble a little as they stop.

When I was a kid we played it as “Red Light, Green Light, Dynamite, Blue!” You said the whole phrase and everyone had to stop on “blue”. The trick as the caller was to vary how quickly you would say “dynamite” and pause before saying blue.

An admittedly stupid question: what if a number of billionaires got together and decided to start something like Squid Game in real life? Could they plausibly get away with it in the United States? I think Jeffrey Epstein’s island shows that billionaires can abuse people with impunity for years. I would assume that if the ~450 players were all migrant workers or homeless people, it would go mostly unnoticed, but most of the players in the show have families. Would ~450 people being reported missing at approximately the same time from one area be unremarkable to the FBI?

I looked at the FBI statistics and it looks like around 17,000 non-juveniles go missing each month. Did everyone go missing from the same area? I assume they were from all across South Korea. 456 from across the USA would hardly be noticed. Especially since they were all poor/criminals/immigrants/etc.

I assumed they were all from the same metro area, because there were multiple players that knew other players from outside the game, and the recruiter was working the trains multiple times in the same city, but it is probably not a good assumption.

I am curious about the 17,000 missing number per month. I would guess (hope) that a lot of these turn out to be misunderstandings or resolved in some straightforward way, but yes, it seems like 450 extra missing would barely register.

A lot of games in shows like this seem simple on surface level, but there’s hidden depth for strategies if you think more about it. It seems they were required to enter the bridge in ranked order, but they were allowed to pass each other on the bridge.

People in the first 50% have very little chance of living if they play the game straight, so they have a lot of reason to make an alliance together against people in the lower ranked 50%. The first person can effectively keep the entire group hostage by refusing to go on the bridge at all. The lower ranked people could just throw the 1st person on the bridge, but ranks 2-8 have a lot of reason to ally with number 1, since they’ll be next and have little chance if they just go in ranked order. If it turns into a brawl, then everyone dies since they need bodies to test the tiles. So everyone has incentive to negotiate.

Effectively ranks 1-8 can negotiate for a better deal with ranks 9-16. One possible offer they could make would be for each person to agree to test one tile in ranked order. So rank 1 tests the first set of tiles, then rank 2 goes past rank 1 to test 2nd set of tiles, rank 3 goes past both to test the 3rd set of tiles. That opens up the possibility for betrayals and counter-offers too, and the 1st guy wasn’t completely doomed. It’s hard to come up with strategies like this in a stressful situation, though.

I will go to my grave not understanding how, in 2020-2021, two of the hottest properties in popular culture (American popular culture in particular) were dense allegories about income inequality in Korea. Like, what an extremely-specific topic, you know?