The new season of “Alice in Borderland” just dropped, and like the previous season, it ensured never-seen-before madness in games that will decide whether the participants will live or not. People are forced to participate in these high stakes games in order to understand their ability to withstand pressure, wit, trust, and intelligence, among other things. These games are designed to determine the amount of mental and physical strength the people participating in them have.
Countless games were played in the first season at the cost of the lives of the participants, who were given no option but to participate without any end in sight. The participants were offered a visa in the land they were on, which they could renew by participating in every game, but the expiration of the same would lead to a violent death. The survivors from the previous season, along with Arisu, Usagi, Chishiya, Tatta, Niragi, Kuina, and Rizuna, were taken to the second stage of the game. This time, players must encounter face cards to get to the endpoint, which will decide their fate.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Survival: Running From The King of Spades
Season 2 of “Alice in Borderland” begins with the King of Spades taking over the Borderland and randomly shooting at all the participants without any concern for the game or the rules. The only rule was to run and avoid being hit by the madman. Arisu, Usagi, Chishiya, Tatta, Niragi, Kuina, and Rizuna meet up, and all know they must run as fast as they can, as far as they can. The only protection they have against the oncoming bullets is the cars parked on the road. Ann tries to rescue all of them, but Arisu, Usagi, and Kuina get into her car, while Chisiya is left behind by the rain of bullets and the bomb hurled at them. The whole idea of survival is in the name of the game. There are no set rules or regulations in this game set by the game master. All they had to do was save themselves from the oncoming onslaught.
Osmosis: A Fight Against the King of Clubs
Osmosis is set by Kyuma, a nudist by nature, who introduces the game to Arisu, Usagi, Kuina, Tatta, and Niragi. This is a game of points allotted from the beginning. Both teams are allotted 10,000 points at the start of the game, which must be split between five players on each team. The team would decide which player would receive what number of points. All the team members must do is keep adding points to their team for the next two hours. The team earning the most points at the end of two hours will be the winner, and the members of the losing team will die. Like the previous games of the show, life and death are the running themes of this game. The team players must use their wit to understand how to gather points per the regulations set in the beginning. Battle, item, and base are the foundation of the game. The bracelets allotted to them contain initial points distributed from 10000 initial points. ‘The battle’ includes touching anyone from the opposing team, which will give them extra points and cause the opposing team to lose points. ‘The item’ includes six hidden items placed inside shipping containers, which one of them must track. ‘The base’ includes an electric pole that will give either of the two teams 10,000 points for touching the opposing team’s electric pole.
As the game begins, both teams go through ups and downs, and it is hard to predict who will win this round of the game. The King of Spades has a solid team, while Arisu’s teammates are rookies. This is a game of utilities based on how useful each team member is for their team in every way possible to gain points. Halfway through the game, Arisu is declared inactive because of the exchange of points between players of the same team while the rest of his team is struggling to gain points. Incidentally, Tatta gains most of the points. To salvage his past of not being helpful as a mechanic, which led to a colleague of his losing his hands, Tatta decides to mutilate his wrist to the point of Arisu being able to remove his points bracelet and use it against Kyuma. When the King of Clubs is set to win the game, Arisu tricks him into shaking hands with him while keeping Tatta’s bracelet in his pocket. By finding a loophole in the rules, Tatta can get rid of the guilt he was ridden by, and he finally considers himself to be of use rather than what he was branded as when he worked as a mechanic. Arisu’s team scores the most points. Kyuma and his team lose Osmosis, and they are killed at the end of two hours. Arisu was upset with Kyuma’s death because, despite being an opponent, he was the one who respected the rules. The digital battle comes to an end, with all of them wondering what is in store for them.
Solitary Confinement: The Jack of Hearts And His Game Of Deception
The jack of hearts, which is based on trust amongst each other, as stated in the first season of “Alice in Borderland,” is all about the faith the group of players has in each other. It is a game where one must read people, their mannerisms, and body language to find out who is lying and win the game. This game was all about building trust. The audience finally sees Chishiya in this game, being a part of it and behaving like an outsider, who becomes the eye that notices all the participants, as he did in the first season of the show. The game is set inside a prison, where the participants are given a neck belt that showcases the card suit (heart, diamond, club, and spade), which will be visible only to the person standing behind the wearer. Wearers are informed of what suit appears on the neck belt by others, and they have to believe it and reveal the suit name while inside the prison cell. The participants are also informed that a traitor, or Jack of Hearts, is among them, who is the game master. The participants must find out who the game master is for the entire game to end, as this one does not have any time stipulations. The wrong guess would lead to the death of the participant wearing the said neck belt.
People start forming groups based on who they trust, to reveal the suit in their neck belt. The mind games begin, and one by one, participants are eliminated since they trusted the rest of them by telling them the right answer about the suit placed. The trust factor is what makes the game float and be interesting. Reading people and their intentions makes the game vicious, and a bloodbath ensues as the days go by. In the end, by sheer manipulation, the game master is found by the remaining three participants, and his tongue is cut off so he cannot reveal or guess the suit placed on his neck. The game masters’ death means the end of solitary confinement, and the remaining participants are cleared.
Boiling Death: The Seven of Spades Creates A Menace
This game describes the way Akane Heiya became one of the key players in the game as one of the revered participants. On the day of the fireworks, in which the entire city is wiped, only the chosen few are made participants in the Borderland game, where they are forced to gather at a stadium and given the rules of Boiling Death along with a phone with a fixed timer on it. As per the game, a massive geyser filled with hot water is placed beneath the grounds of the massive baseball stadium, which will explode once the game begins. The task of the participants is to survive the ground that will erupt once the hot water is blasted off into the air due to a forced geyser explosion. No one survives this game except Akane, a high school student who is also an archer. Akane survives by escaping through the air duct of the stadium. Akane feels elated about saving herself, but in that process, she ends up losing a portion of her left leg. Akane was the winner of the ghastly game, which was declared clear upon Akane showing up alive. There were no survivors from the game except for her.
Checkmate: Battling The Queen of Spades
The checkmate has the Queen of Spades as the game master who sets the rule. There are two teams in this game. The Queen’s team has four members, and the other is the challenger team, which has 16 members on it. The Queen is the King of the group, while a kid is picked as the leader of the challenger’s group. Both teams are provided costumes with a bulb on them and are given five minutes to chase each other in pursuit of pressing the bulb on the costume. If the Queen’s team presses the bulb of the challenger’s team, the bulb will go red, and they will become part of the Queen’s team. If vice versa happens, Queen’s team members will become a part of the challenger’s team. By the end of the game, the team with the maximum number of members will be declared the winner, and the losers, along with the leader, will be killed.
Checkmate is a game of bodily stealth, agility, and pace that will determine who runs faster than the others. This game is proof of how good the stamina of the participants is and how willing they are to test themselves physically to win and survive. Arisu and Usagi are the participants in the highly competitive athletic game that will determine their lives from then on. The Challenger team has a close brush with defeat when Arisu and Usagi make it a point to chase the Queen’s team members during their round and bring maximum members to their side. Usagi wanted to show people that sometimes one had to look beyond winning or losing. When everybody abandoned the boy, she didn’t leave him and in the end made sure that he too survives. Usagi told the people that maybe they would win the game by being on Queen’s side but the long term impact would not be in accordance with their liking. After listening to her the people united and the queen was defeated.
Balance Scale: A Game Of Wits Against The King of Diamonds
Balance Scale is the most logical and intelligent game of the entire lot, for it required the participants to be extremely bright to be able to survive the game. The game is run by a high-profile lawyer named Keiichi Kazuryu, who has had a history with the rich and powerful. A rich businessman wants to avoid paying compensation to people who died because of his negligence. He uses Keichii to avoid paying a huge penalty. The participants are shackled to the seat they are on, and Chishiya is also among them. Through Balance Scale, the audience is told about Chishiya’s past as a doctor and how he wanted to help a kid who was on the waiting list for a transplant. He is soon asked to bump up another patient over the little kid for the transplant as the new patient happens to be related to the director of the hospital/medical college he is working in. Chishiya is horrified to see the practices his hospital is indulging in to receive a handsome donation from the said man for treating his son.
The rules seem complicated, but it becomes simpler as the game progresses. Five players participating in the game are required to choose a number ranging from 0 to 100. The computer takes out an average of the chosen number and multiplies the same by 0.8. The participant who chose the number closest to the final answer of the multiplication is the winner of the round, and he/she receives a point, while losers will go into negative points and will be eliminated on reaching negative ten points. Elimination means being killed by having sulfuric acid poured on them. The player standing will become the winner of the game. As Chishiya won this game with simple calculations, unlike the others, he and Keiichi did not rely on Nash equilibrium and recursive selection. Meanwhile, Keiichi’s past gets to him, and he accepts death as something he has been waiting for. He felt that it was the only way through which he could get his salvation. He wanted to live for others, just once, and be on the right side of things.
Target: Facing The Queen of Clubs
As the city is ravaged by muck and corrupted buildings, more and more games are introduced for the people in Borderland to participate in and survive. One such game is Target, a deadly game of dodgeball in which Ann and Kuina must participate again to win and survive. Ann and Kuina are aware of their strengths and know that “Club” would mean a team match. Determined to win this one, they team up to show their stealth abilities as women. Target requires players to throw illuminated balls at opposing team players while standing on a variety of narrow concrete platforms built at a height with a bottomless pit beneath them. Hence, the players don’t just have to dodge the balls but also balance their bodies in order to survive the game. Ann and Kuina being themselves and the need to join Arisu and Usagi eventually helped them win the game. Being strong comes easily to both, as they have been regulars at handling the games with utmost ease. They are veterans at the games of Borderland, which makes it easy for them to attain victory without much hassle.
Croquet: The Last Battle Against The Queen of Hearts
The final face-off between the participants and the King of Spades takes place, and only Arisu and Usagi are in a condition to take part in the last face-card game by Mira, the beach executive from “Alice in Borderland” season 1, the one who introduced the second stage to all the participants. Mira is shrewd and cocky and introduces the game of croquet to Arisu and Usagi. They are unaware of how this old British game is played. Usagi is gravely injured, which Mira takes advantage of. The rule of the game is simple: Arisu and Usagi must play croquet for three rounds. The entire purpose of the game is to not win or lose but to not quit or forfeit the game at any point during the three rounds.
During these three rounds, Mira starts distracting both, making them believe this entire Borderland is an illusion in their minds that they created after facing a traumatic tragedy. Mira is their counselor and has been counseling Arisu at a mental institution. At the same institute, Usagi is another patient who grew close to Arisu because of their shared trauma. This was a tactic used by Mira to make Arisu and Usagi lose patience. But neither loses any resilience, and as soon as the third-round finishes, they are declared winners, and Mira falls dead. The whole agenda of this game is to test the patience of both after they faced horrendous games to reach where they are. Mira tried hard to break their patience and resilience, but she was unsuccessful. As they win, all of the remaining survivors, including Chishiya, Niragi, Kuina, and Ann, are asked if they chose to live in Borderland or opted out of it. They all chose to opt-out of it. All of them are more than elated for they have faced enough hardships trying to save themselves and others. They understand the freedom they will achieve by choosing to get out of Borderland, and they cannot wait to know what the world on the other side has in store for all of them.
See more: ‘Alice In Borderland’ Season 2, Episode 1: Recap & Ending, Explained: Did Arisu Survive The King Of Spades’ Game?