Last year I took a detailed look at the second Death Stranding trailer shown at TGS 2016, so I am going to continue the tradition this year.
(This article has been updated on 09/12/2017)
Today we saw the first more robust trailer for the game focusing on Norman Reedus’ character, who seems to be called Sam.
While this trailer might seem as cryptic and confusing as the ones before it, we are finally starting to see the different elements from the previous trailers coming together. This is something I am really appreciating about Death Stranding so far – every time a new trailer is pushed out, it gently encourages you to rewatch the previous trailers and connect the dots. It is slowly painting a bigger picture for you, and I for one am finally starting to feel like I am very close to grasping something concrete about what’s going on in this new mysterious world from Hideo Kojima.
So let’s see what new snippets of information the new trailer has given us.
THE BABY. Sam and his crew seem to now have the baby we saw with Guillermo del Toro’s character last year, or at least they have a baby in a similar tube – be it the same one or not. I get the feeling that it is THE baby, however, and it is the key to fighting the beings and preserving humanity with “The Bridge” being the organization that is trying to do just that.
Also, we can assume that what we saw now happens earlier than the first teaser, because here we are introduced to the idea of Sam still having a baby inside him, maybe the same one who was in the tube before (or not) and who seems to be a sort of hybrid between a human and one of the strange beings. We’ve seen him inhibit the same powers in regards to leaving hand prints and hiding his physical form in the first teaser and even here we can see hand prints inside of Sam.
Presumably later Sam’ll have a cesarean performed on him to bring the baby out (forcibly or voluntarily, remains to be seen), as we saw him in the first teaser with surgery scars on his abdomen and the baby was outside on the beach with him, connected to him with a…. wait, actually that’s my next point.
STRANDING. Here we see Sam lying on the bottom of the ocean, connected to the mysterious beings.
This makes me wonder if Death Stranding is actually a play on words and instead of literally just meaning the phenomenon of countless whales coming ashore to die, it should be taken as referring to a strand as in
one of a number of fibers, threads, or yarns that are plaited or twisted together to form a rope, cord, or the like. (Thanks dictionary.com)
And refers to how Kojima has been saying this is a game about “ropes” (aka connections ) not “sticks” (combat). Actually, I am pretty sure this is the case. We have witnessed many things connected to the strange beings in all the trailers we’ve seen so far. In the first one, we saw the dead whales on the beach with strands coming from them. We also saw them underneath the water/oil in the second trailer and also an interesting version of this related to Mads Mikkelsen – we’ll get back to that one later.
THE BEINGS. We now know that being approached by hand prints means trouble. In this trailer we see Sam and his crew terrified when they appear, holding their breaths to make the least amount of sound possible while one of their crew is “taken”. The other crew member, who’s still left, later decides to stab himself rather than be taken. In the very first Death Stranding teaser, however, Sam did not seem to care about the hand prints anymore, perhaps because he has the power of the baby hybrid on his side? Or maybe he was just too devastated by the disappearance of the baby to be scared of the beings…
Also, when the beings are in the vicinity, the oily substance seems to rise, which we see in this trailer and the previous one with del Toro.Sam and his crew seem to be equipped to anticipate these creatures as well, and the strange apparatus first seen on his crew mate and later on him himself seems to spring into life when a person is holding the baby. Perhaps it amplifies the baby’s power and helps them not be spotted by the beings and also warns them of the beings approach? This kind of preparation and countermeasures makes me assume this “situation” has been going on for quite some time already.
We are also treated to a closer look of these beings, who we only saw floating very far away in the first teaser. They are HUGE.
We see a different variation of them in this trailer too, which begs the question if any species is actually able to become a sort of hybrid with them – maybe it is more in the sense of a worthy “host”? Are these beings perhaps parasitic and just took over whoever they could, with most life on our planet being unsuitable for the purpose?
MADS MIKKELSEN. He might not have been present in this trailer, but let’s talk about him and his role. In the previous trailer we saw that his troops were connected to him and not the strange beings. I am going to hypothesize here that he has somehow managed to reach an agreement with the beings and is actually working for them (or, maybe they are just controlling him) as we can see him being one with the oil like ooze…
In any case, he seems to be looking for the baby and Sam, and has human puppets under his control. I am wondering if that’s what normal humans become after being “taken” by the beings and not surviving the process, like we saw happen to Sam’s crew member in the new trailer. The skull imprints on their faces might be a clue.
We are also given a contrasting close up of Sam to the one of Mads Mikkelsen in the previous trailer – Sam is grim, even shedding a tear, while Mads is smiling. This nicely underlines their personal stances in the situation the world has found itself in.
Update 09/12/2017: I have started to believe that Mads was in the new trailer after all, as the hooded figure who descends on top of the vehicle in the first half of the trailer has very similar posture and movements to Mads in the previous trailer. Also, his apparatus is working even without a baby so it would support the hypothesis that he also has the same powers.
EXPLOSION. This is the first and only concrete exposition we get. Norman Reedus narrates to us that there was a second explosion (in addition to the Big Bang that started everything) that ended everything. I suppose that’s what brought these beings to Earth.
That’s all I got for now. I’ll leave you with one other fun thing to note is that Nendoroid Ludens makes a cameo in the trailer as a keychain attached to the little baby tube container thing.
If you noticed any more things or have theories of your own, do share them with me in the comments below!