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Hero Overview

Ali Abdul (Korean: 알리 압둘) is a main character in the first season of the South Korean Netflix drama TV series Squid Game. Ali is an illegal immigrant from Pakistan that came to South Korea with his wife and child, and later joined the Squid Game to win the prize money for his family.

He was portrayed by Anupam Tripathi, and voiced by Rama Vallury in the English dub.

Personality

Ali is the naive, kind-hearted, selfless, caring, and trusting player of the Squid Game. He does not hesitate to help others as seen when he saved Gi-hun during the first game.

Unlike most contestants in the game, Ali didn't enter the games because of a debt that was resulted by his own actions. He has no money because his boss does not pay him for months, and he entered the games to give the money to his family. This is also the sole reason he emigrated to Korea, and Ali never demonstrates having self-serving reasons.

Biography

Background

Ali is an immigrant worker from Pakistan. He works as a metal worker for a greedy employer who does not pay him for months, claiming that he doesn't have the money to pay his workers. Needing the money to sustain his wife and one-year-old child, Ali joined the Squid Game along with other 455 players.

Squid Game

After being taken to the island where the games take place, Ali is first seen with other players in the dormitory, before the first game. Ali questions the masked men which kind of games they will be playing, but the manager replies that they cannot disclose any information prior to the games to keep the fairness in the competition.

During the first game (Red Light, Green Light), Ali is among the players that survives after they found out that whoever loses is killed. Near the end of the game, Seong Gi-hun trips on a corpse and is almost caught by the giant doll's motor sensor, when Ali grabs him and they both manage to stay still to prevent their movements from being detected. Just before the time to complete the game is over, Ali and Gi-hun run and jump, crossing the finish line together.

Later, Gi-hun thanks both Ali and his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo for helping him survive the first game. Ali says he is happy that Gi-hun survived. After witnessing half of the players die in the Red Light, Green Light, most players are terrified and Sang-wo reminds that according to third clause of the Squid Game, the competition will be terminated if the majority agrees. Before the players cast their votes, the staff announces that 25.5 billion of prize money was accumulated from the first game, revealing that the final prize will be ₩45.6. billion. However, if they quit the games, all the money will go to the families of the deceased players, and living players will be left with nothing. Even after seeing all the money accumulated in the piggy bank, Ali firmly votes in favor of the termination of the games. Along with Ali, the majority votes to stop the games and they are terminated, unless the majority later decides to play again.

With the games terminated, the staff drops Ali with Sang-woo on the street, with both only wearing their underclothes. While they are dressing themselves, Ali wonders where they are, and Sang-woo replies that they are in Yeouido, which is located in the center of Seoul. Ali asks Sang-woo to borrow his phone to make a call. Stopping by a store to recharge the phone, Sang-woo buys ramyeon for himself and Ali. After checking the phone, Sang-woo lends it to Ali. As Ali leaves the store and says goodbye to him, Sang-woo recalls that Ali couldn't even pay for his own food, noticing that he has no money to go home. Ali says he will walk, but Sang-woo offers Ali some money for him to take a bus. Ali is hesitant to accept because he has no money to pay Sang-woo back. Sang-woo insists, saying that Ali doesn't need to pay him back. Ali then accepts the money and becomes grateful to Sang-woo for it. Sang-woo accepts the gratitude but asks Ali to stop calling him "sir" ("sajangnim").

Returning to the factory he works, Ali goes to his boss' office and demands his salary. Ali complains that he could not treat his injured fingers because he had no money for a hospital as the employer has not been paying for six months. Ali tells him that he needs the money to leave the country and go home. The boss says that business is going bad and he has no money to pay any of the workers. As the boss tries to dismiss him, Ali sees him grabbing an envelope with money. Ali follows him and they struggle for the envelope. The fight results in the employer accidentally having his right fingers crushed by a rolling machine, then Ali takes the chance to grab the envelope and run away.

Ali later reunites with his young wife and son. After receiving the envelope from Ali, his wife questions where he got the money. Ali tells her to use the money to buy tickets for a flight to return to Pakistan with their baby right away. When questioned if he is not coming home with her, Ali says he will go after finishing his job in Korea. Ali's wife notices something is wrong, but Ali asks her to trust him and not ask questions for now. Afterwards, Ali waits for the Squid Game staff to take him away to rejoin the games.

Reencountering the other players, Ali greets Gi-hun and Sang-woo, and they are now accompanied by the elder, Oh Il-nam. Gi-hun immediately recognizes Ali as his savior from the first game, and Ali once again thanks Sang-woo for paying his bus in Seoul. Gi-hun proposes they all should form a team for the next games and Sang-woo agrees, so Gi-hun asks Ali to join them. Gi-hun states he is impressed by Ali's strength because he was able to lift him up with only one hand during Red Light, Green Light. Ali happily accepts and thanks them both, but Sang-woo again asks him to stop referring to them as "sir". Il-nam asks to join them too.

While eating, the team tries to guess what games they will be playing next, and Il-nam says that it might be another children's game like Red Light, Green Light. When Gi-hun mentions various games that could be next, Ali says that he does not know any of them. Ali tells Gi-hun that children don't play these games in his country. Sang-woo assures Ali that the rules of these games are simple, and they will help him if he doesn't know. After receiving their breakfast in the following morning, Sang-woo gives his food to Ali saying he doesn't eat breakfast and Gi-hun also gives his drink to Ali because he cannot consume regular milk, when they hear the announcer say that the second game will start soon.

In the next game, the players enter a playground and the announcer says that they should choose one of the shapes on the doors. After Sang-woo says that their team should split and pick different shapes, Ali chooses the circle. The game is revealed to be Sugar Honeycombs, which Ali passes happily showing the circle he managed to cut out from his honeycomb to a masked soldier. After the game, Ali is seen with Sang-woo in the dormitory while they wait for the Il-nam and Gi-hun return from the second game. As Il-nam and Gi-hun enter the dormitory, Ali says he was worried and is happy that they both survived. Following this, they all hear the announcer say that 79 players were eliminated in this round, and witness ₩7.9 billion being added to the piggy bank.

During lunch time, a few players don't receive any food because the gangster Jang Deok-su and his team get in line twice to eat more. Ali and the others witness when a player confronts Deok-su, but ends up being beaten to death by him. This causes everyone to find out that there is no punishment for contestants killing each other in between games. Fearing what Deok-su and his team will do after lights out, Sang-woo advises the others of their team that they should not sleep tonight, they should be together and prepare for an attack from the gang. Sang-woo tells Ali to stay with them if something happens.

After lights out, Deok-su and his team start to murder players to eliminate the competition in the games, causing a situation where no player is safe. When Gi-hun is attacked, Ali and Sang-woo appear and fight off the attackers and save him. The trio notices that Il-nam is missing and start to call for him. Then, as Kang Sae-byeok who is being pursued by the gangster Deok-su seeks Gi-hun and Sang-woo's team for protection, Ali appears holding a big part of a bed and uses it as a weapon to keep Deok-su's group away from their team. Their team spots Il-nam pleading the players to stop killing each other from the top of a bed, before the masked staff appears to end the riot.

Right after, while the team sits together, Ali tells Il-nam that they became worried when they couldn't find him during the slaughter. Gi-hun reminds that their team still don't know each other's names and asks for them to introduce themselves. Ali mistakes Gi-hun's name for "Ssangmun-dong", which is what Deok-su calls him. Gi-hun tells Ali his name and explains that "Ssangmun-dong" is actually his neighborhood. Sang-woo asks Ali for his name, so he also introduces himself and says he is from Pakistan. Sang-woo retributes by introducing himself to Ali. After Sae-byeok said her name, Ali asks for Il-nam's, but he seemly forgot, so he is unable to reply.

Before the third game, the announcer says that the players should form teams of ten. Sang-woo tells the team to split to look for new players to their group. Before Ali leaves to search for players, Sang-woo tells him to hide his hand with injured fingers to prevent him from looking weak. While Ali is looking for new members, Ali spots Player 276 who is also from Pakistan. Ali decides to invite him to the team, so he approaches him and they greet each other with a gesture from their country. Along with Player 276, Ji-yeong, Player 196, Player 244 and Han Mi-nyeo join to complete the ten members they need for the next game.

The next game is revealed to be Tug-of-War, and two teams, including Deok's group, are sorted to play first. Ali and others of his team become horrified as they watch Deok-su's team pulling their adversaries to fall to their deaths. Their team is sorted next to play against a group with only men. Because their team is weaker, Il-nam proposes a strategy that will allow them to win with team work. Ali is put at the end of the rope to be the anchor, because of his strength and also for being a trustworthy member. The strategy temporally works well, but the other team eventually manages to pull back the rope, dragging them very close to the edge. The team about to fall to their deaths when they are saved by Sang-woo who comes up with a plan to knock down their adversaries, which allows them pull back the rope and win.

Following the game, while eating corn for dinner, Mi-nyeo talks to the team about their miraculous win in the Tug-of-War and praised Il-nam and Sang-woo for their strategy. Ali reminds her how she screamed and cried during the game, and that she didn't believe Sang-woo's plan would work. Mi-nyeo is offended by Ali mocking her and tells the group that Ali is an illegal immigrant, so they should restructure the team. She eventually lets it go when Sang-woo tells her their team has no captain when she addresses him as such to solve her complaint. Remembering the massacre in the previous night, Sang-woo and Gi-hun suggest the team to set up a barricade and also take turns sleeping, keeping a watch to protect the team from another possible attack of Deok's group. Sang-woo suggest them to watch in pairs and Ali offers to accompany him in the first guard duty, saying he is not sleepy.

During the guard duty, Ali offers a corn to Sang-woo, telling him he saved it from the dinner to thank him for saving his life in the Tug-of-War. Sang-woo is hesitant to accept, saying Ali doesn't need to thank him because he did it to save his own life during the game. Ali insists, reminding again that he also paid his bus in Seoul. Sang-woo takes the corn and gives half of it back to Ali. When Sang-woo asks his age, Ali says he is 33 years old. Sang-woo tells Ali that he can call him "older brother" ("hyung") instead of keep calling him "sir" ("sajangnim"), which Ali happily accepts. The two of them talk about their stories. Ali says he came to Korea and to the Squid Game because he had no money. Ali reveals that his younger siblings and parents stayed in Pakistan, but his wife and one-year-old baby came to Korea with him. Sang-woo tells Ali that he also joined the Squid Game because he had no money.

In the following day, the announcer says that the next game will be played in pairs. Sang-woo asks Ali to play with him, saying that all the games until that point required strength or intelligence, so if the two of them team up, they will be able to beat most of the other players. Ali is hesitant to accept as he notices Gi-hun who is watching them and was about to ask Sang-woo to be his partner. But Gi-hun says that it is okay, that the two of them will be great together and he will find another partner, so Ali accepts. As they walk into the location of the next game, Sang-woo tries to reassure Ali that with them working together, they will certainly win. Ali is also confident because he is playing with him. Sang-woo assures that they will win, get out of the Squid Game, and return to their families with the money.

The fourth game is revealed to be Marbles, however, the announcer says the pairs won't be playing together, they will play against each other to win all the marbles of their partner. Ali and Sang-woo are both in shock as they hear this. They both stay a few minutes in front of each other, not knowing what to do, when Sang-woo says that they should play. Ali is sad as he now knows that one of them is going to die. Sang-woo reminds him that they both will be killed if they don't play, and asks if Ali would refuse to play and die for him. Sang-woo asks if Ali has ever played marbles, and he replies he hasn't. So, as they are allowed to make up the rules, they try a simple game. Sang-woo teaches the game to Ali, saying he just has to guess if the number of marbles he is holding is odd or even. Sang-woo also explains about even and odd numbers when Ali says he doesn't know what they are.

Playing the guessing game, Ali is luckier and keeps correctly guessing the number of marbles, so Sang-woo repeatedly gives him the marbles from his pouch. Realizing he will cause Sang-woo's death, Ali asks the masked soldier who is watching them to change his partner, saying he does not want to do this with his friend. Sang-woo insists that they should keep playing. When Sang-woo only has one marble left, he realizes he is close to die. Sang-woo accuses Ali of cheating because he guessed correctly so many times after saying he didn't even know how to play this game. Ali is confused and says he didn't do anything. Sang-woo yells for Ali to confess what he did while grabbing him by the collar but is stopped by the soldier who is watching the pair.

After calming down, Sang-woo gets on his knees and apologizes for accusing Ali. Sang-woo cries and tells Ali that he can't die because this will cause the death of his family. Ali also cries and apologizes, responding that he also has a family waiting for him. However, Sang-woo then tells him that there is a way for them both to survive this game and asks for his help. To convince Ali, Sang-woo recalls everything they did together to get to this point: he paid his bus in Seoul, saved him in the Tug-of-War, they kept a watch together at night, and before the Marbles game, they promised to leave together. Ali accepts and decides to hear Sang-woo's plan.

Sang-woo explains to Ali that he thinks some pairs won't have a winner before the 30 minutes to play the game is over, because neither player might win all marbles in time. So, they will make the remaining players compete in teams, allowing the two of them to play together as they planned before the game. Ali is uncertain of this, but Sang-woo tells him to trust him and if Ali don’t like the plan, he promises to give him his last marble for him not feel guilty about his death. Sang-woo says they should split up to find out how the other teams are doing, to see who will be remaining after the time is over. Before Ali leaves, Sang-woo says that it is dangerous for him to just hold his marble pouch while walking around because the other players might try to take it. Sang-woo asks for his marble pouch, claiming he will make it safe for him to carry it. Sang-woo takes off his shirt and tears a piece of it to make a strap for Ali to carry the pouch around the neck. Sang-woo says they will meet in the same place they left three minutes before the game is over, before sending Ali to check the other pairs.

Ali verifies the rival pairs as Sang-woo instructed him and returns to their meeting place when the announcer says that the players have only three minutes before the game is over. However, upon arriving at the meeting place, he finds himself alone and starts to call for Sang-woo, saying he checked all the teams. Ali then decides to look inside his marble pouch, but finds out that they were replaced by rocks. Looking around, Ali sees Sang-woo's discarded shirt beside plants growing on rocks. He realizes too late that Sang-woo tricked him, swapping his marbles for rocks when he handed him his pouch. Betrayed by his friend, Ali cries as a soldier shots him in the head, eliminating him from the game.

Ali's body is later seen inside a coffin as the soldiers are carrying the dead players from the location of the Marbles game to be cremated in the furnace.

Trivia

  • Ali and Player 276 are the only players who aren't Korean and they are both from Pakistan.[1]

References

External Links

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Seong Gi-hun | Cho Sang-woo | Kang Sae-byeok | Hwang Jun-ho | Ali Abdul | Han Mi-nyeo | Ji-yeong

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