During the Game Awards 2016, a World Premiere trailer of Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding title was shown.
The Game Awards is an event that celebrates the best games the year has seen. While some votes are decided by specialists, other go through fans. This year, Overwatch was declared the recipient of the Best Game of The Year award.
Early on when the show started, Game Award host Geoff Keighley gave Hideo Kojima the spotlight he was “robbed of”. Kojima also received the Industry Icon award. Right before leaving the stage, a brand-new trailer for Death Stranding was shown worldwide. In total, there are two trailers to the game and as mysterious as it is, I might have some ideas about the elements that were shown.
Above are the two trailers we have of the game so far. While one features Norman Reedus, the other features Guillermo Del Torro and Mads Mikkelsen. Here are some of the elements that stand out the most and what they could mean. Hideo Kojima stated that although the game is “still far from being released”, it turns out that the “’game’ has already begun”. He later encourages us to figure it out on our own.
In both trailers, the concept of connection or connectivity is quite evident. Norman Reedus and Guillermo Del Torro both have handcuffs on, the baby on the shore has an umbilical cord-like black wiring coming out from the stomach, the baby in the capsule is also connected in a similar way, and the soldiers are connected to Mads Mikkelsen’s character via a special wiring. Additionally, everything that appears dead, or was once alive is also connected to something that has yet to be defined.
The black strands seem to suck out the life energy out of the being it is connected to. On the shore, we see whales, dolphins and crabs lying there in a state that appears as dead. Could it be a mean to fuel a certain lifeform? Similar ones appear to come out from the skeleton army and even the airborne planes.
The handcuff on both character’s wrist symbolize that they were once prisoners but have escaped. Something must have happened for one half to be free. Interestingly enough, Norman Reedus has the cuff on his left wrist while Guillermo has it on the right one.
The badge worn by Guillermo says “BRIDGES” and shows a logo with what looks like the United States of America connected by something that resembles a spider web.
In the clips, there are two liquids that we see, oil – the Earth’s Blood – and water. For example, what reaches Del Torro’s feet isn’t oil, but water. It has transparency; it is way too clear to be oil. Water in many cultures, symbolizes life and the root of creation. It is the principle element that connects humans and living being together. Basically, without water, there would be no possibility for life.
Death is a leading theme in Death Stranding. Not only is it literally in the title’s name, but almost every living creature appears to be dead. I use the term appears because they are still connected. Using The Matrix as a reference, when the machines had no more use for the humans in capsules, they would simply disconnect them and get rid of them. In Kojima’s game, they are probably still connected because they are continuously producing fuel of some sort to whatever they are connected to.
The second trailer also features an undead army. While some might claim them to be robots (to explain their connection to a “power source”), there are major signs indicating that they are simply living skeletons. How are they alive? Could they have been brought back to life? The weird thing about the environment where they all find themselves is the upside-down rainbow. The setting could take place in a sort of purgatory or limbo location. What is definite is that the world isn’t a normal one.
“To See A World In A Grain of Sand…”
The first trailer showcased during E3 starts with the following quote from William Blake:
“TO SEE A WORLD IN A GRAIN OF SAND,
AND A HEAVEN IN A WILD FLOWER,
HOLD INFINITY IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND,
AND ETERNITY IN AN HOUR.”
This famous ‘passage’ from William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence work hold one of the keys to understanding what is Death Stranding. The important parts are the first and third lines. In the second trailer, Del Torro notices that he doesn’t have a choice and ends up connecting the capsuled baby. For a second, they appear to connect with one another and the baby opens a single eye while looking forward. At that moment, Del Torro steps in under the bridge and stands tall.
“To see a world in a grain of sand” could symbolize the action of literally seeing through the baby’s eye. It could be possible that the baby is special and can see the ‘real’ world not everyone can perceive. It’s like being somewhere and somewhere else at the same time, but only through the eye of the baby can you see the truth. The grain of sand can mean two things. It can either directly refer to the eye, or the actual baby. (He could be one in a million)
“Hold infinity in the palm of your hand” can refer to Del Torro holding the capsule with the young one inside. Childs’ are the promise of a new future and while Norman Reedus was stripped from one, Del Torro uses another as a way to wide from the threat. Kojima stated that the game would give us a brand new take on death. I just hope we won’t have to use babies as a disposable mean for survival.
The Keys Of Life
In the first trailer, Norman Reedus is seen wearing what was described as “dog tags”. However, someone online shared a picture showing the “keys” in high resolutions. Two of them have very important mathematical equations: The Schwartzchild-Radius and the Dirac-Equation.
The Schwartzchild-Radius formula represents the ability of mass to cause curvature in space and time. To put it in simpler terms, what radius does an object need to be compressed to before it becomes a black hole.
The Dirac-Equation is responsible of describing the symmetry of quarks and electrons, as well as the electromagnetic interactions. The interesting thing about this equation is that it implies and confirms the existence of antimatter.
In a world where you would control matter and space-time, you can pretty much have access to a lot of resources. How you use them is a different story. In my opinion, Reedus was a prisoner and was able to escape. He understand the natural value of the baby on the shore, hence why he was so happy to see one. He has those keys around his neck, which I believe is the reason why he needed to escape. Since he finds himself unshakles
Death Stranding still has tons of secret just aching to be discovered. In the meantime, Hideo Kojima is behind his desk working on the game. We will continue to analyze the trailers and see what else we might have missed. If you see something, feel free to comment in the section below.