I might have skipped a few trailers on my series of detailed looks into Death Stranding, but now in celebration of the announcement of the release date (November 8th) I will be returning to this tradition, perhaps, for the last time. We have a lot to cover with this new 9 minute long trailer, so let’s get started!
Firstly, if you happen to go watch all the old trailers now after watching this newest one, you can actually see that most of the things that were fully shown in it were teased earlier already such as:
- Lea Seydoux’s character being called Fragile (her suit has it written all over it).
- Mama’s character seemed to be the “package” Sam was delivering in the TGS 2018 trailer.
- The photo of Sam, Bridget and the pregnant lady also made an appearance before, only folded in half so you did not see the lady’s pregnancy clearly before in the E3 2018 trailer.
- A Voidout is mentioned by Sam’s associate.
Where….. or When?
- With this new trailer I have come to think that “when?” is as important a question as “where?“. There is a lot of talk regarding time in most of the trailers, from talking about the past to fast-forwarding its flow.
- It looks like the game mainly takes place in the aftermath of some catastrophic event in America (Now United Cities of America, UCA) and also a battle-torn land that smells strongly of WWI. So it looks like there are two time continuums that exist in parallel with a bit of a similar vibe as the Upside Down in Stranger Things.
- There seems to also be a dream or death related place, where we usually see Sam naked and/or meet Amelie. I am kinda thinking dream, because Sam’s dreamcatcher has featured in trailers prominently as well.
- Continuing on the topic of time, Fragile mentions this in the first trailer she appears in and how being touched by the BTs (Beached Things) causes Timefall and fastforwards time. In this new trailer we see that happen to a crow that falls from the sky and whose feather’s then turn grey.
- When someone lets themselves be pulled under, into the black ooze, it seems to cause a thing the characters refer to as “Voidout”. Getting sucked into a Voidout also is implied to cause a crater where you get sucked from.
- The Voidout seems to transport you to a separate space and time – the place that resembles WWI. “Connected to the past” as the trailer hints us.
- This also ties nicely into the meaning of “stranding”. You could say that for whales, it means going somewhere they should not be and then dying there, so in the case of the game, it could imply the same thing: going somewhere you should not (the other world) and then dying there in a world not your own.
The Bridge Baby
- The Bridge Baby is said to be a connection to the “other side”, so I am curious if this means the place you get transported to in a Voidout or the dream/death like place. Are they cursed to forever live in the WWI space and time?
- Where do Bridge Babies come from, or more specifically, how do they come to be? There seem to be multiple of them. Considering we already have a time fastforwarding element, I wouldn’t be surprised if we had the opposite too – a time rewind that might take some unlucky soul back to babyhood. We’ve seen Sam cradling a Bridge Baby while seemingly devastated in the very first reveal trailer of the game, so perhaps it used to be someone he knew?
- This group of extremists seems to be triggering Voidouts on purpose, which leads me to believe they are perhaps addicted to getting pulled into the other world.
- Considering how sometimes we see the handcuff “not turned on” hanging from Sam’s wrist with one cuff dangling around sometimes, and then other times we see it lit up without the other cuff, I am wondering if its purpose is to connect you with someone (perhaps even another player), in the other time continuum, while you are out and about.
- It was mentioned in an earlier trailer that Sam suffers from Chiral Allergy, which makes him cry and get rashes when the BTs are near. Well, judging by this new trailer, pretty much everyone seems to be allergic!
- The Bridges staff and Fragile have normal tears, while the extremists and Cliff have theirs tainted by the black ooze and Amelie is crying blood. I would imagine the ooze tears result from doing Voidouts too many times and hell, maybe the blood tears are because well, sucks to be dead!
- In addition to being the surefire sign of a BT, hands in general seem to play quite an important role.
- There’s mention of how it is hard to form connections when you can’t shake hands, not to mention the catchphrase “Tomorrow is in your hands”. So offering your hand (I expect quite literally), instead of clenching it into a fist will be a major theme or even plot point in the story.
- Amelie could be the pregnant lady and following that logic, Sam’s wife. I feel like she is gone and really dead already though and Sam kinda gets stuck with whatever it was she was trying to do.
- Sam doesn’t seem to remember who she is, even though he clearly means something to her.
- We still don’t know if he can be considered a good guy or a villain. We haven’t actually seen him attack anyone so far and he seems to have his own agenda.
- Cliff seems to have a very close connection to a particular Bridge Baby. I wouldn’t even be surprised if BB turns out to be Sam, there have been some parallels hinting at this starting with his scar and the scar on the doll baby that keeps making an appearance whenever Mads is involved.
- Cliff also gives off the vibe that he is somehow existing in the two time continuums at the same time granting him special powers compared to the others (It is during his appearance that we get the line “those who cannot break the connection”). In the end of the new trailer it looks like he is in the abandoned new UCA while lighting his cigarette on some flames originating from the WWI time.
- Honestly, could even be that Cliff set in motion this whole thing with “the explosion” and the arrival of the BTs through his desire to grant his BB the power to go anywhere.
- Maybe there are even two Mads? Because a different version of him is shown for the “those who cannot break the connection” and the “those who struggle to stay connected”. Maybe a YOU exists in both worlds? Or maybe just he does because he is a bit special (especially to Kojima himself)?
- I’m happy to see most of the gameplay does indeed steer away from combat and the gun that Sam does have in his inventory seems to be just for when you absolutely need it.
- All this mention of walls and breaking them to extend your hand to other people does kind of feel like a direct eye poke at the current political climate, especially in the States. Not a lot of subtlety there, but maybe you don’t even need it.. I mean, didn’t someone recently say that Metal Gear was not at all a political game?
I’ll leave it at this for now. If any of you have any further observations or theories, leave a comment and let us know!