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By now, you’ll surely be familiar with the Netflix title “Squid Game” and all that it entails. But if you’re not, well here’s a rough synopsis:

A motley bunch of fishmonger aunties engage in a fearsome war, as they throw squids at each other in a 6-man deathmatch.

Or at least, that was what I surmised from the title until I read the actual synopsis:

“Hundreds of cash-strapped players accept a strange invitation to compete in children’s games. Inside, a tempting prize awaits with deadly high stakes. A survival game that has a whopping 40-million-dollar prize at stake.”

Suffice to say; it wasn’t what I was expecting.

But here’s the thing. Is that the only aspect that’s confusing about the show?

Without further ado, we explore all the mysteries and intricacies revolving around it in the latest rendition of our 10 Facts series.

10 Facts about Squid Game That You Didn’t Know

1. Multi-Genres

Marvel has a multiverse. Squid Game has multi-genres.

Indeed, at first glance, Squid Game is portrayed as a mere survival game drama. But as time goes by, you’ll realise that it’s much more than a simple game of death.

Apart from thriller, horror and drama, the nine-episode series even contains dark comedy.

It should also be noted that Squid Game wasn’t initially called Squid Game.

Instead, it was announced as “Round Six” back in September 2019.

2. 456 

In the show, it’s stated that 456 people, who hail from all walks of life, have been invited to participate in the “Squid Game.”

As it turns out, the number 456 is not just for show.

Incredible as it sounds, they really got 456 people to participate.

Alas, if you’ve watched the show, you would know that numbers dwindle rather rapidly. As actor Park Hae Soo said:

“I see them going home after the elimination, and I can feel the room is emptier. It also makes me feel emptier.”

3. Break

Did you know that “Squid Game” could have actually premiered earlier?

Indeed, the casting was actually determined as early as 17 June 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea, the production crew had to halt filming in August 2020.

Apparently, filming only resumed one month later, in September 2020.

4. Children’s Games

By now, you may have seen viral videos of a giant doll, with perhaps even the caption “Red Light, Green Light.”

Well here’s the thing. “Squid Game” actually features games that were played by children in South Korea.

Yes, folks. Ironic, and as controversial as it sounds, children’s games are used to depict cold-blooded murder and violence. The “Mugunghwa has bloomed” game, for instance, is similar to “What’s the time, Mr Wolf.”

So the next time you indulge in your area’s child-friendly games, beware.

That game of flag erasers may not be as innocent as you thought.

5. Inspiration

Always wondered how the plotline of “Squid Game” seems eerily reminiscent of a webtoon/manhwa you’ve read before?

Well, they were actually the inspiration behind it.

In an interview, screenwriter and director Hwang Dong-hyuk revealed that the drama was inspired by manhwa, otherwise known as Korean comics, that he had read before.

“At that time, I went to bookstores often,” he said.

“And when I read many manhwa, I want to make a story similar to the ones in manhwa that I read.”

6. Chart-Topping

Apparently, the drama is so popular with the crowd that it actually took the number 1 spot in the U.S. Netflix “Top 10 in U.S. today” list!

The accolade was achieved on 21 September 2021. In doing so, “Squid Game” actually edged out other high-flying contenders such as “Sex Education” and “Click Bait.”

7. 2009

During the Netflix press conference, Hwang also revealed that he had actually finished the script for “Squid Game” in 2009.

However, he said that the idea wasn’t exactly welcome at the time, and as a result abstained from creating it at that time.

“I finished the script in 2009,” he said. “At that time, people felt that the script was too unfamiliar, brutal, and the plot would be too complex.”

This notion would, however, conflict with certain speculations about the plot.

8. Plagiarism

Despite the drama’s success, it should be noted that the drama is not without its own controversies.

Apparently, viewers have noticed similarities between “Squid Game” and Japanese productions such as “As The Gods Will” and “Liar Game.” In particular, the scene with the giant doll in “Squid Game” shares almost identical similarities with this scene from “As The Gods Will”:

YouTube video

However, “As The Gods Will” was released in 2014, five whole years after Hwang allegedly wrote his script.

It should be noted, however, that “Squid Game” also shares a certain similarity with the horror film series, Saw.

9. Minimal CGI

Nevertheless, in spite of its controversies, one can’t help but applaud Hwang’s dedication to his work.

Apparently, minimal CGI was used during the production process, in a bid to make the series more authentic.

And in order to achieve the effect, the set design was tweaked to be as realistic as possible. In fact, it was so realistic that the cast members themselves were surprised.

“The set and the giant doll are exactly what we see on screen,” said Park Hae Soo. “Everything amazes me.”

10. Playground

And it seems that Netflix has not spared any expense in the advertising sector as well.

Since a while back, a pop-up playground has opened daily at Itaewon station from 12:00pm to 9:00pm.

To emulate the drama experience, life-sized installations have been set-up, including the ever-chilling girl with the pigtails.

You can even stand a chance to win a special merchandise set if you get the right answer!

You can view a video of the playground here:

YouTube video

Do take note, however, that it’s only open until 26 September 2021.

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Featured Image: Youtube (Netflix)

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