This game took place in a massive indoor botanic garden. It was completed by Ryouhei Arisu only on his 4th day of sojourn.
The venue is one of the largest venues for a Hearts game seen in the series: a massive indoor botanical garden, filled with insects, birds, plants, and even lakes. In the entrance hallway are two tables, one with a wide variety of weapons. The other displaying 4 collars. Once inside the garden, there is a pathway that leads to the central plaza, shrouded with greenery with a large TV that explains the rules and displays the current status of the game. Outside the plaza is a network of concrete paths, dirt trails, and bridges; many of which intertwine creating a garden that is very easy to get lost in. With hundreds of bushes and trees, there are hiding places around every corner.
Player Limit: 4
Time Limit: 10 minutes
Before proceeding, all players must equip a headset. This includes an eyepiece and microphone connected to an explosive collar. In addition, there is a large array of gardening tools and weapons, any of which may be used.
- One player becomes the wolf at random, and the remaining three become sheep.
- The sheep shall try to avoid the gaze of the wolf.
- If the wolf has eye contact with a sheep, the sensor reacts and the sheep becomes the wolf.
- After a new wolf is created, the sheep cannot become a wolf for the next 3 seconds.
- Once the time limit is reached, the collar around all the sheeps will explode.
- In this extremely morally taxing Seven of Hearts game, it needs to be understood only one may survive.
Game Clear: Be the wolf when 10 minutes have passed. Game Over: Be a sheep when 10 minutes have passed, or attempt to remove the collar.
The eyepieces have an advanced eye-tracking system, which allows for the game to function precisely. To add more psychological brutality, the headsets have microphones and transmits what someone says to everyone else.
In the series and the manga, Arisu theorises that there is a solution in every Hearts game that involves no deaths. Unfortunately, there is no confirmation for this theory, and there is no concrete answer to the Seven of Hearts due to it not being found, but fans have made a few theories.
This theory goes that participants should all look at each-over at the same time in some reflective material, in order to trick the headsets into thinking there are multiple wolves. Since the rules specifically state that you need to lock eye contact, this would not work.
In the beginning, there were a pair of hedge clippers on the table. Hypothetically, a player could use them to cut the wire of the collar, rendering them unable to explode and able to be taken off.
In this theory, the sheep should cut off their collars with the tools provided. But this action is risky, considering the fact that this could be considered trying to remove ones collar, which’ll make it explode as a result.
Sheep-Wolf Cutting Solution
A highly popular theory, this solution revolves around the fact that if a sheep were to cut the wolf’s wire, then it wouldn’t explode, since the wolf’s collar is the one with no risk of explosion. Therefore cutting the wolves wire connected to the collar is the safest method of disabling the risk of the collar itself. After having it wire cut, the wolf should transfer their role to a sheep, where they will do the same. Once 3 players have had their wires cut, it will be complete (The final person will have the wolf role so theirs doesn’t need to be cut). This solution may also be hinted towards, as during the rule demonstration, all the sheep were drawn ‘hiding’ behind the wolf, which suggests the sheep behind the wolf to dismantle its collar, not to hide.
Taking the game at face value, players must trick the current wolf into looking at them somehow. This is easier to do during the very start of the game while the other players are still absorbing the contradictory rules. Once the wolf status is obtained, the best thing to do is do the complete opposite of what the rules claim which is to run and hide as best as you can from the other sheep. Bringing a weapon would be recommended to use to attack the sheep, but fighting should only be a last resort as one false look into a sheep's eyes could cost the entire game.
Due to the game taking place in a giant green house, there are plenty of hiding places among the plants. Hiding in the water is not recommended as the only way to be invisible is by being underwater, but that comes at the cost of having limited access to air and not knowing when it is safe to resurface. The slightest movement may also give away the position. Most people would probably not think to search in the water, but if they did there would only be of couple seconds to react and get out, and the slipperiness of the water may be a slow-down. If a sheep has caught the wolf with nowhere to run and nothing to fight with, the be thing they can do is keep their eyes shut, take whatever beating comes, and wait for the timer to finally hit zero.
From a selfless perspective, using the above potential solution provided is recommended, although it is risky as it is unknown if it would actually Work.
Otherwise, the best thing to do is do as the game says; hide away from the wolf in the hopes that someone with a kind soul and a lot to bring to future games is the one to live on. If one believes other participants shouldn’t be the only survivor, they could catch them while they're a sheep, cover their mouth and force them to hide, like how Chōta Segawa subdued Saori Shibuki in the Netflix adaptation.
- This is essentially a reverse game of hide and seek; instead of 1 person seeking and the rest hiding, 1 person hides and the rest seeks.
- The game was designed by Mira Kanō, specifically intending for the game to be played by Arisu and his friends, after seeing how close the 4 of them were.
- Contrary to popular belief, when asked about it on Twitter, Haro Aso actually never confirmed nor denied Hide and Seek having a no death solution.
- The true no-death solution--and if there even is one--is one of the most hotly debated topics within community, with many thinking there isn't a solution in the first place.
- On one hand, if Hide and Seek really did have a no-death solution, Mira would've told Arisu during the Queen of Hearts to further draw him into despair. In addition, there hasn't been a single fool-proof theory.
- On the other hand, if every other Hearts game has had a no-death solution, including both the Nine and Ten of Hearts which were more difficult than Hide and Seek, then it would only make sense that this game had a solution too.
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- Twitter response