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Death Stranding

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#1 Risk



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Posted 02 December 2016 - 11:06 PM


While this game is cryptic as all hell and we still haven't gleaned that much information on it, I'm ready to jump down this surreal and creepy rabbit hole to try and decipher what kind of journey we'll be going on in the near future. We need to get the detective board going, lads. Throw out your theories and speculations and be prepared for them to get crushed underneath Kojima's craziness.


I'm not gonna go in depth at the moment with screenshot analysis and examinations, but I do have a few things to point out. Though the game seems to be heavily themed around death, one could suspect that the setting is some weird purgatory sort of afterlife, but I don't think this is the case, thanks to good old Del Toro here:


I don't think somebody after death would be wearing a pin with some United States (or Cities, in this case) organization on his jacket. This has to be set in "our" world, it could be in the past or future in some alternate universe, much like MGS. Also, the center of that spiderweb is D.C, so we could be looking at the ruins of that area in the trailer, but we can extrapolate that the source of this weird undead sort of society is centered there.


Pretty much EVERYTHING has some form of umbilical cord on it, from Norman Reedus and the Funky Fetus, to Del Toro and his babby, even the skeleton soldiers are hooked up to them. I can only wonder if this is going to play some part in the gameplay; Mads seems to have a cluster of cords that is hooked to his entire squad of WW2 skellies, but can disconnect them at will. I'm also wondering if he's actually a playable character, or if he's gonna be a straight up villain as he appears with that sinister smirk on his face. If he is playable, there could be some strange form of squad based gameplay where you input orders to your skeletons and then let them run free after you disconnect them.


A lot of clear metaphors to Silent Hills/PT have been made. The baby definitely represents the game that never was, and in both trailers, Reedus and Del Toro carry these babies, with varying levels of distress on their faces, and scars from some unknown wound. What's interesting to me is that Kojima is definitely saying something about how it was really messed up to totally destroy all the hard work he and Del Toro did on Silent Hills, but also the fact that these metaphors seem to be forming up the story too.


Oh yeah, something else that's semi related - just a few hours before this new trailer dropped, I beat MGSV and finally played through the truth ending for it, definitively finishing it before this trailer showed up. I kind of knew about the VGAs, but I wasn't really paying attention to them. I feel almost like I was rewarded for my efforts. But I digress, let me know what you come up with, I'm excited to see all the different theories and how it all actually plays out, because if you don't think that's part of the game too, you're dead wrong.


#2 Ocelot


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Posted 03 December 2016 - 12:37 AM

This game looks flat out amazing, and I love every bit of it. Playing the hype game is almost as fun as getting your hands on the final product with a Kojima game, so yes yes yes I am all about this thread. Even though the game probably won't actually be out until like 2020 :P


One thing I noticed while watching the trailer is that the babies, both the real one in Del Toro's portable techno-womb thing, and the doll that floats in the black oil stuff, are only able to open one eye all the way. The first thing that leaps to mind is, of course, Big Boss, it's the wrong eye with the Death Stranding babies; BB lost his right eye, and these ones can't open their left. The plastic doll also has a mark on its forehead above its missing eye, just like Venom, but, again, it's the wrong side.


Mads Mikkelson's character seems to continue the left eye motif. It's his left eye that bleeds the black goop:




However, when he sees the baby doll float up to him and open its eye, all of a sudden all the black goo disappears from Mads' face:




Right now I don't know what to make of any of this, and I almost don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole because I feel like a lot of this probably isn't really representative of the final game yet. Like, there's no way what we're seeing here is going to be an actual cutscene in the final game; we know that Kojima hadn't even decided on an engine back at E3, so the game is still veeery early in development (by the way, it's rumoured that he's using either Guerrilla Games' or Sucker Punch's engine for Death Stranding). But I feel like the one eye stuff has to be some kind of vague reference to his time at Konami; some sort of statement about how he felt like they'd thrown him away just like this tattered old doll. Same as the original trailer has Norman Reedus distraught about *losing his baby*, while at the same time the lyrics of the music say "but I'll keep coming".


The umbilical cord and caesarian scar stuff is nuts, though. I have no idea there. The doll in this trailer has the same plus-sign scar on its stomach as Norman Reedus did, and basically everything seems to have those black tubes/umbilical cords coming off them. The crabs have them, the broken doll has one wrapped around its leg, even the fighter planes have them trailing from their wings! There's one coming off the tank that goes over the bridge, and Mads is connected to his soldiers by a few of them, like you mentioned. Interestingly, though, Guillermo Del Toro doesn't seem to have one, and the cable he plugs into his womb thing seems man-made (there's a "CAUTION" message on it). 


The best theory I can come up with right now is that the umbilical cord stuff is some kind of infection. It's some kind of alien thing that attaches itself to people's belly buttons and turns them evil, and causes whales to beach themselves and crabs to... just die, I suppose. Perhaps Norman Reedus was infected, and the huge scar he has was from when his own belly button cord was cut out, freeing him. I'm thinking the black ooze infects people, and the infection manifests as a belly button cord. In the new trailer, when Guillermo Del Toro realises the black ooze is on him, he quickly plugs his own artificial umbilical cord thing into his robo-womb thing with the baby inside; you can see that his cord comes out from under his shirt, so presumably the other end of it is plugged into his belly button. Perhaps this is a way of warding off the black ooze infection? You prohibit the black ooze from getting inside your belly button by already having your belly button plugged into a robo-womb with a one-eyed baby inside.




Other things of note:


- There's a big old scar around Guillermo Del Toro's forehead, as if someone opened up his head like a sardine can and then sewed the lid back on.


- They're in a bombed out WW2 European city, but the soldiers' gear is a mishmash of WW2 and modern day stuff. The planes are WW2 era P-47s, but the tank seems more modern. The soldiers have what I think are M1 Garands, but their armour seems more modern, and Mads has an M4 with all the rail stuff and a set of modern NVGs.


- Ludvig Forssel, composer from MGSV, is back, and still making that beautiful, moody, Vangelis-esque music.


- There's an upside down rainbow in the sky when the tank crosses the bridge, but it isn't just flipped upside down. It still has red on the top and violet on the bottom, but it curves the other way. This obviously isn't possible in real life, but who knows what the rules are in Kojima Land?


- There's a pair of holographic handcuffs hanging off Guillermo Del Toro's belt. The same kind that were attached to Norman Reedus' wrist in the first trailer. It might not be as simple as Reedus and Del Toro being good guys while Mikkelson is the bad guy.


Long story short, this game looks incredible and I can't wait.



#3 Randomman96


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Posted 03 December 2016 - 01:34 AM

As for some of the points you guys are coming up with, I'm just going to throw my few cents in.


  • The Goo itself may not be a parasite, but more of a part of a byproduct of the. After all, when the tank passes buy, you see some weird large worm things all over it (and even coming out of it), even with one falling off.
  • The tank itself looks WWII/Korean War, namely a US heavy tank.  The gears and suspension matches US tanks of that time
  • The skeleton soldiers are WWII/Korean War, namely more US Army troops based off of the uniforms, and the reason why it looks more like armor with some parts is because their gear seems to be that of Airborne troops (paratroopers)  As for the rifles, yeah I'm more stumped.  They could be M14s with small mags judging by the skeleton soldier front right in the sewer squad (M14's basically took the M1 Garand as a base for almost every thing), but they never had (at least that I know of when they were first adopted, as they did have an automatic mode) mags that small and the skeletal (pun not intended) stock that it has is more of a modern kind (Granted M1 Carbines had a skeletal stock for Paratroopers, but it had more to it and folded, not telescopic like those)
  • Mikkelson's gear is looking more Gulf War-esque, namely from the uniform, the vest, and uniform's camo pattern, but that's still close to modern so I'll let it slide
  • The Umbilical cords that seem to be heavily used might be someing else and not be a result of the parasite, but instead the parasite was from it, or the parasite was used for it.  I highly doubt Del Toro's character's name is Bridges, but instead that, combined with the web across the US and the "United Cities of America", is the name of a program that he, Reedus, and possibly Mikkelson, what involved in that went really, really wrong (and given Kojima and some of the things in MGS, that might not be far fetched)


#4 Ocelot


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Posted 03 December 2016 - 01:49 AM

Potential megaton from someone on Twitter:




If you synchronise the two trailers, these scenes occur at exactly the same moment. You can try it for yourself: open these two links in different windows and watch until about 1:29. As soon as GDT plugs his cable in, the baby disappears from Norman Reedus' world and appears inside his robo-womb thing.


Holy crap you guys, I think Kojima just played us like a damn fiddle again.


EDIT - Or maybe not? If you use the two official trailers on the Kojima Productions Youtube channel it doesn't work; I guess one of those copies I linked above had the intro cut and it was just a coincidence. Oh well, that was fun while it lasted :P

#5 Herbert


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Posted 03 December 2016 - 03:32 AM

The guns of the Soldiers and Mads are MGSV style frankenguns, which on the one hand means that we get all sorts of cool-yet-plausible firearm designs, but on the other hand, we won't get 5 minutes of Snake Naked Reedus losing his mind over how great his 1911 is. Your Mileage May Vary on whether or not that's truly a loss (it is).

I'm rather interested to hear about what kind of gameplay gimmicks Kojima has up his sleeve, with all this talk of umbilicals and connections, I have to wonder if some twisted take on Dark Souls' multiplayer system is in order, verrrrrry interesting.

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#6 Risk



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Posted 03 December 2016 - 09:57 AM

About the rainbow, I'm not certain that it's an upside down one, but it could be one of those things that happens when there's ice crystals in the air and the sunlight reflects off of them, creating a halo.



I think that combined with the black goo everywhere, which just screams out "oil" to me, seems to point towards a world where the environment is utterly and totally wrecked. Mad's character looking like he's from the Gulf War doesn't seem to be a coincidence either, with all that "oil" on him. This would make sense, in MGSV the entire SANR oil plant mission was one big environmental message - Venom Snake even reacts to stepping in oil in a similar manner to Del Toro in that black goo.


This might be a bit of a reach, but knowing how Kojima really likes weird sort of organisms in his games, like nanomachines, metallic archaea and vocal cord parasites, I wouldn't be surprised if that oil was something like that. Even looking back to Metal Gear 2, there's this microorganism that generates oil that they never mentioned again.



If you look at oil itself, it's a long dead form of life, comprised of plankton and possibly larger specimens that slowly dissolved into it. If everything else is being resurrected in Death Stranding, why couldn't oil be as well? Or could it have just "evolved" and started resurrecting the dead on its own? My speculation is running wild, someone stop me!



#7 Ocelot


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Posted 03 December 2016 - 09:49 PM

About the rainbow, I'm not certain that it's an upside down one, but it could be one of those things that happens when there's ice crystals in the air and the sunlight reflects off of them, creating a halo.


Huh, I had no idea that was a thing. Not many ice crystals in the air in my neck of the woods, I suppose :P


So it's official: Death Stranding is using Guerrilla Games' engine, which is now called the Decima Engine. Same engine that Killzone Shadowfall and Horizon: Zero Dawn use. It's a shame he can't use the Fox Engine, but Guerrilla's doesn't seem to be any slouch in the looks department either. I wonder if this means the game is going to be 100% PS4 exclusive, though. Kojima mentioned a PC version right at the start of the project, but that was before they'd even decided on an engine, but now that he's making the game on Sony's dime with a Sony proprietary engine, I wouldn't count on a PC port.

#8 Risk



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Posted 13 December 2016 - 01:50 AM


Some screenshots of the Decima Engine with Death Stranding assets, pretty similar to the early screenshots of the Fox Engine where they recreated the Konami offices. There's a few good looks at Mad's weapons, along with the fleshy intestine tank.


#9 Ocelot


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Posted 23 January 2017 - 07:03 PM

IGN has an interview with Guillermo del Toro where he talks about his role in Death Stranding. Long story short, he's just playing a character, he doesn't have any creative input whatsoever:


"I’m involved as a character. Kojima-san called me and said, 'I want you to be a character in the game,' and I said, 'Gladly.' He’s discussed his ideas so I could understand the character, but other than that I’m not involved, creatively, at all."
Del Toro continued, "This is entirely Kojima-san’s game. I think it’s gonna be a fantastic game, 100%. But this is him and his ideas. I’m just a puppet in his hands. My contribution is limited to being a cheerleader for his ideas and being scanned for long hours at a time. That’s about it."




#10 Ocelot


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Posted 16 March 2017 - 11:49 PM

Alright, you guys, are you ready for the next stage of the 'Hideo Kojima is making a new video game' rumour/hype cycle? Because this is a big one. The latest well-known actor rumoured to be involved in Death Stranding is...




All we have to go on here is some cryptic Tweets from Kojima and an intentionally-non-committal tease from Mads Mikkelsen, but since when have we needed more than that to freak out about a Kojima game? Hopefully we'll find out when Kojima walks out on stage at Sony's E3 show this year and sandblasts all our faces clean off with the next inscrutable Death Stranding trailer.


I will now end this post with the greatest image the internet has ever created:



#11 Risk



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Posted 20 March 2017 - 07:04 AM

If she ends up being 90% naked in the game, I'm just gonna say right now that I will NOT be ashamed of my words and deeds.


#12 Xero


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Posted 20 March 2017 - 03:48 PM

I wonder how much of the budget is going to go towards Norman Reedus, Emma Stone, and Mads. I'm beginning to get a little worried about Kojima's Hollywood idol worship, hopefully it doesn't get too egregious.

#13 Ocelot


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Posted 22 February 2018 - 06:11 AM

Hey, remember this thread? Emily O'Brien just confirmed via Instagram that she and Troy Baker will be appearing in Death Stranding:




I'm not familiar with Emily O'Brien, but her IMDb says she's been in a couple of Telltale games and one of those Shadow of Wardors. Hopefully Troy Baker has more to work with than he did as Revolver "Boss get down! The enemy sniper..." Ocelot.

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