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"Red Light, Green Light" (무궁화 꽃이 피던 날 Mugunghwa Kkoch-i Pideon Nal?) is the pilot and first episode of the television series Squid Game. The writer and director of this scene (and subsequently, the rest of the series) was Hwang Dong-hyuk.

This episode features Red Light, Green Light (game).

Official summary

Hoping to win easy money, a broke and desperate Gi-hun agrees to take part in an enigmatic game. Not long into the first round, unforeseen horrors unfold.

—Official Netflix synopsis


The series starts with a flashback of Seong Gi-hun's childhood, when he would play a game called "Squid Game". He fondly remembers playing games like this as a child alongside his friend Cho Sang-woo. It was a time of happiness and innocence, with no worries.

In the present, Gi-hun is an impoverished divorcee who is working as a chauffeur. He's knee deep in debt due to a combination of losing his once stable career at a car manufacturing plant, a failed business venture, and a gambling addiction. He lives with his elderly mother, who gives him some money to get his daughter, Seong Ga-yeong, dinner and a present for her birthday. After she leaves to go to her own job, he looks for her credit card, which she has hidden. He then steals her funds and gambles multiple times on horse races with a friend. After winning ₩4,500,000 won, he elatedly calls his daughter asking what she wants for her birthday. Unfortunately, he is spotted and chased by a group of Loan Sharks and is robbed of his newfound money by a pickpocket. The loan sharks threaten to take his organs if they are not paid by the next month and make him sign a contract with his own blood. Gi-hun then takes his daughter out for food with what little money he has left. He treats Ga-yeong to a basic birthday dinner of street food and a useless gift from a claw machine (a toy gun). Gi-hun feels disappointed that he can't give her as much as her stepfather despite her reassurance that she prefers the street food over the fancy steak dinner her stepfather treated her to.

The salesman giving Gi-hun the card.

At the train station, Gi-hun is approached by a salesman to play a game of ddakji. Each round, whoever loses would give the other ₩100,000. However, since Gi-hun doesn't have that money, the salesman instead slaps him when he loses. Determined to win, Gi-hun tries and is slapped many times until he finally wins. The salesman gives him the money along with a strange business card with a phone number on it and tells him to call it if he wants to play other games for bigger prizes.

Gi-hun returns home ecstatic with the money and shows it to his mother. She asks how he got the money, and Gi-hun is vague with his answer. His mother warns him that unless he shows that he is financially able to support his daughter, her stepfather will move her to the United States and she worries that Ga-yeong might lose her connection to her Korean roots if she moves. Desperate to keep his daughter, he calls the number on the business card. He is told to go to a secret address and to give a password to a person in the car. He enters the car and is knocked out by sleeping gas.

Gi-hun is driven to the games arena and wakes up in a room with 455 other people. Gi-hun then meets Oh Il-nam (Player 001), an old man, who tells Gi-hun that he has dementia and a growing brain tumor. Gi-hun recognizes Kang Sae-byeok (Player 067) as the pickpocket who stole his money. She is being attacked by Jang Deok-su (Player 101) a vicious gangster, until Gi-hun steps in to stop the fight.

A guard explaining the games to 456 confused players.

The guards enter the room and welcome the players, explaining that they will play six games over six days, and that whoever wins all six games will win a lot of money. Some players express disbelief of the games, to which the guard says that they know the players are in large debts and that they need the money the games offer them to have a better life. They lead all the players through multiple staircases to the room for the first game, Red Light, Green Light. The game starts off in a room resembling a field with trees with a large doll and a finish line. At the starting line, a voice announces the rules of the game: they can move when the doll sings "무궁화 꽃이 피었습니다 (the hibiscus flower is blooming)", but must stop when it finishes singing. Moving when it's not singing or not making it to the end in five minutes will result in being eliminated.

In the game, players must stand still when the doll says "red light", even when the deaths of the players around them unnerve them.

Once the game begins, players 324 and 250 run quickly, determined to win first. Player 324 accidentally moves when the doll is quiet, causing him to be eliminated as a bang is heard when he falls to the floor. Player 250 checks on him and sees 324 dying and coughing up blood, making 250 run away and get shot as well. When his blood lands on Player 306's face, she screams in horror and is then killed for moving. This leads to a bunch of players trying to run away in panic as they see what "elimination" truly means, with only some surviving due to them staying in place. Eventually, everyone is either still or dead, with the voice once again reminding of the rules of the game.

The game resumes, but every player is too afraid to move forward, with the exception of Il-nam, Player 001, who is enjoying himself despite the carnage. Eventually, other players start to follow his lead, with those who are careless getting eliminated. Meanwhile, Gi-hun is still lying on the ground frozen in fear, with a dead body lying on top of him. Player 218, Cho Sang-woo, Gi-hun's childhood best friend, catches up to him and warns him of the timer and that he cannot stay on the ground for much longer. He also advises Gi-hun to hide behind other players, as the doll is a motion sensor and won't detect him if he is behind someone else. After Sang-woo's advice, Gi-hun finally gets up and resumes the game.

Sae-byeok creeps up behind Deok-su and threatens to kill him in revenge by pushing him to make the doll catch him. He begs for mercy as she taunts him, but she pulls him to the ground while the doll is looking the other way and overtakes him.

Gi-hun takes Sang-woo's advice to hide behind another player, but his quarry is shot. An injured player then grabs his leg and begs him for help, preventing him from making any progress on the next two "green lights". Running out of time, Gi-hun pulls himself free and the other player is shot, this time fatally.

Throughout the game, a man with a black mask is watching the game unfold on TV screens in a room. In fact, he was the one who ordered when the timer started. Now, he listens to the song "Fly Me to the Moon" while drinking fine liquor as he observes the remaining players try to win the game.

Eventually, some players reach the finish line, including Sae-byeok, Deok-su, Sang-woo and Il-nam. Gi-hun almost makes it to the finish line when he trips over the corpse of another player and is nearly seen by the doll, but he is saved when Ali Abdul, Player 199 catches him before he falls and lands on the ground. The two make it to the end just as the timer ends, and the rest of the players who did not finish the game within the time limit (including Player 309) are eliminated. The roof of the game room closes as it is revealed that they are on a secluded island.


Main actors

Recurring actors


  • Hwang Jun-ho is credited, despite not appearing in this episode. This is most likely a producer oversight.
  • There were two scenes that were outtakes but were added in to show Gi-hun's caring personality.[1]
    • The scene where Gi-hun gives Sae-byeok's coffee back after bumping into her is an outtake. Jung Ho-yeon was hiding her laughter behind her hair.
    • The scene where Gi-hun feeds a stray cat was added by Lee Jung-jae.
  • During the game, player 001 isn't scanned hinting to his place as the founder of the games.