Little Nightmares Wiki

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The Maw arrives every year. Always at the same time, but never in the same place, it creeps and crawls and buries its claws deep beneath the glistening water. And there it sits in vast silence. Waiting.
Soon after, they start to arrive. The guests. The monstrous, sweating, hungry guests. All seams bursting, bodies bulging, eyes dead with boredom. They shuffle up the gangway and into the mouth of The Maw. And then they are no more.
For none of those that enter have ever returned to tell the tale. At least, not yet...
— Official Little Nightmare website


The Maw is the main location in Little Nightmares where all gameplay takes place. It is described as a kind of underwater resort that caters to the extremely wealthy and powerful elite. It is never explained how or when the Maw was built or who built it.

Construction

The Maw is divided into seven main areas:

The Maw functions just like a metal-plated ocean liner but is designed vertically like a skyscraper. Due to this design, it floats like an iceberg where only its funnel breaks the ocean surface while the greater bulk lies underwater. However, when passengers need to climb aboard, it can raise itself out of the water further to expose its shell-like entrance. That being said, the Maw is partially submersible, and it can also anchor itself. When the Maw is submerged, its appearance is a small rock formation with a door, and at the top is a chimney that bellows black smoke.

Like an actual ship, the Maw tends to heel gently in the waves, enough to cause some objects to roll across rooms. It also has watertight doors in the lower areas to prevent its compartments from flooding in the event of a breach. In the trailer, there are also portholes that allow that on-board to see outside. As seen in The Hideaway DLC, the Maw is steam-powered and has great engines that burn coal to provide power. It does not seem to propel itself with propellers but by the propulsion of black smoke as seen in its concept art. Any smoke not used for propulsion escapes the Maw through the single funnel located at its peak. Trailing behind the Maw are giant fishing nets used to catch the large aquatic creatures seen in the Kitchen. The Maw also has electric generators to power the various light sources and elevators found throughout the areas.

It is interesting to note that despite its primary inhabitants being giant compared to Six, there are many areas throughout the Maw that are built or easily accessible to small creatures. This includes padlocks installed on doors close to the floor and miniature ladders.

The first four areas are separated by vast chasms, giving the illusion that there is a large city within the Maw, and are connected by rails with traveling hooks that carry bags between areas. An elevator directly connects the Guest Area and the Lady's Quarters, the latter of which is directly above the other and is overlooked with a balcony.

Theories

  • All the clocks seen throughout the Maw depict different times and run at different speeds. Some clocks have no time depicted, they are only shown with numbers and no hands to tell the time. It's speculated time within the Maw runs differently in order to maintain the large number of guests with only a small number of staffs.
  • It is speculated that the Maw is not just an underwater resort, but a living entity of its own similar to the Signal Tower, this is supported by the fact that the Maw is described as a creature which is creeping, crawling and burying around the ocean waiting for the next group of Guests to arrive. It's also speculated that the Lady's power was never intended to be used in draining the lives of the Guests' to sustain her beauty but instead was always meant to feed and sustain the Maw as her power is only ever described as being used for the sole purpose of keeping the engine running and maintaining a hypnotic spell to keep the flow of Guests who are described as being an essential part of the Maw's life cycle.

Trivia

  • The presence of a book with the cover of the Maw in Very Little Nightmares and the poster of the Maw in Little Nightmares II, could suggest that in the world of Little Nightmares the Maw is a fairly famous place since its name has managed to reach even in the Pale City and at the Nest.
  • The Maw is the first place that has ever been shown in the entire Little Nightmares universe.
  • Old Maw concept art showed that it was once meant to have a more surreal structure similar to the Transmission in Little Nightmares II.
    • In fact, in an old concept the lighthouse had to have a giant eye. While another showed Six being chased by the Janitor into a giant room full of stairs.
  • In the Maw we see many paintings and drawings showing the various enemies that would appear in the next games: Like the Teacher's painting in the Residence and the Thin Man on the TV in the post-credits in Secrets of the Maw.

Gallery

In-game

Little Nightmares

Very Little Nightmares

Little Nightmares II

Advertising posters, drawings, paintings, and photos

Concept art and trailers

Locations
Places

The MawThe NestThe Pale City

Chapters

The PrisonThe LairThe KitchenThe Guest AreaThe Lady's Quarters
The DepthsThe HideawayThe Residence
The WildernessThe SchoolThe HospitalThe Pale CityThe Transmission

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