Hideo Kojima is notorious for announcing and releasing his games in the most obscure ways, when Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Pain was originally shown at E3 in 2013, no one knew what it was or that it was a Kojima product, though a few sharp-eyed fans guessed. Now, with an official release date and a new trailer, Kojima is back with his first game since parting ways with Konami, entitled Death Stranding.
Like all Kojima games, no one has any idea what this game is about but there are hundreds of fan theories swirling the internet, some are probably pretty close while others are just out there, here are a few of those theories to agonize over until November.
10 Best: Parallel Universe
This is probably one of the most common theories out there, the idea is that the world has come into contact with a parallel universe and has stranded us between life and death, in a sort of purgatory if you will. Reddit user Itsyaboisj’s theory follows this theme and asserts that the people in the sky, the creatures we cannot see, and the souls of the dead all live within that universe.
They go on to further and explain the roles of certain characters like Mads Mikkelsen, Guillermo Del Toro, and Norman Reedus aka Sam. This theory states that purgatory has begun to ‘leak’ into our world and varying forces are vying to control it.
9 Craziest: A Digital World
This is a pretty interesting take on the game based on the ‘Ludens’ logo, posted by Reddit user Light01C. The theory is that we, the Ludens, are exploring a digital space playing as characters who never die. The other dimension intruding is actually the real world.
It goes on to speculate that the baby is actually Sam’s child and Mads Mikkelsen is perhaps trying to tell Sam of our world. Think of it kind of like a rebellion of really violent NPC’s trying to break out of the game and live in our world.
8 Best: Rapture
This is an early theory that popped up not long after 2016's first trailer showing the five floating figures in the sky. The idea is that Rapture has come and the floating figures represent a ‘horseman’ so to speak. Reddit user clay_kunta’s theory follows this idea and suggests the babies featured prominently in every trailer are being preserved in artificial wombs so as to ensure the survival of humanity after Rapture.
The theory is that Sam, the character you play, is one of the people attempting to transport the babies to a safe location while other characters like Mads and Del Toro are both fighting to gain control of the babies and therefore the future.
7 Craziest: Humans Achieve Immortality
This is a fairly wild one, Reddit user Ouroboros612 speculates that in this world humans have achieved immortality and the game itself is set in the ‘spirit realm’. The character that you play as, Sam, is one of the wandering souls of someone who was supposed to die but remains living thanks to this achievement.
The creatures, or Chirals, that we see in the game are a type of cosmic balance, sort of like a less horrifying version of H.P Lovecraft and Bloodborne. The worlds have begun to merge and Mads Mikkelsen has somehow become stranded by either accident or on purpose is this spiritual realm. The theory has more of a focus on Mikkelsen’s character than Reedus’ so it seems slightly unlikely.
6 Best: Death Does Not Exist
This theory was posted by Reddit user CptCojonu and states that the game is set in a world where death simply does not exist, instead, it is inhabited by people and creatures that they call Time Champs.
The theory is the creatures live in a dimension above ours, which is why we cannot see them but they can interact with us. The ‘TCs’ feed on all life forms and are attracted to sound waves, lights waves, etc. This idea states that people can only be resurrected and that is what the many NPCs and your character are transporting across the map.
5 Craziest: Egyptian Gods
Posted by Reddit user DanPachi, this theory is somewhat along the lines of the Immortals movie. Basically, the idea is that all of the main NPC characters are actually based on the Ancient Egyptian Gods and that Sam, the playable protagonist, is a human trapped between them all. It states that Sam is either a God himself suffering from amnesia or a half human/half god stranded in the realm of the powerful.
It seems unlikely given the previous style of Kojima to base his games around political themes and original ideas, but it is still an interesting take.
4 Best: Clones
This theory is based mostly of many interviews of Kojima stating that ‘death is not the end’ in this game. The theory doesn’t really go into how the world ended up like this or what the creatures actually are but it doesn’t have an interesting theory about the babies.
Basically, in a world where death is imminent at the hands of invisible creatures, the babies act as a sort of insurance policy. They are actually clones of the people who are carrying them and once that person is about to die, they can activate it so that they will ‘live on’ in another version of themselves.
3 Craziest: Actually The Rest Of P.T.
Ah yes, the infamous P.T. demo that scared the wits out of everyone but sadly never saw the light of day. The playable “silent hill” inspired trailer featured Norman Reedus trapped in a seemingly endless loop wandering through a terrifying and obviously haunted house. The trailer ended when the player was able to break free of the house and go off somewhere the world never found out.
This theory posted by Reddit user sweetrosepetal claims that Death Stranding is the rest of the game or at least the demo. They back it up with somewhat compelling evidence linking parts of the P.T. to various shots and quotes from the D.S stranding. It may seem far fetched but it wouldn’t be the first time Kojima has revealed a game under the guise of something different.
2 Best: Black Holes
This theory seems to be the closest to being true. Posted by Reddit user uranicsilver, the theory claims the game's world is a result of the US government experimenting with black holes, possibly due to the lack of habitable planets and the immense destruction of our own. It goes on to state that they actually did create a ‘bridge’ between our world and another on the other side of a black hole. Unfortunately, the ‘others’ weren’t exactly friendly. The game is set in a world were two exist in one space, ours and the Chiral world which is fundamentally opposite our own.
The constant rising and falling of water, and it’s a seemingly important part of this world, acts as the gateway between both worlds which is why touching it causes one to age and die. The theory goes on to explain that the game's premise sees Sam searching for a way to enter Purgatory without dying and reclaim the world for humanity.
1 Craziest: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Part 2)
Posted by Reddit user memelord666, this theory takes us all the way back to 2001's Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. This installment of the franchise saw the introduction of the playable character Raiden, who is on a base named Big Shell which is intended to hide a Metal Gear.
The theory is formed around the idea that the base was destroyed and caused an ecological fallout leading into the events of Death Stranding. While the rig did blow up, there was no oil production going on as it was a guise to hide the giant aircraft carrier version of a Metal Gear. The MG itself was underwater, and like all MG’s was made of nuclear power so if it was damaged itself, it could lead a catastrophe, though probably one that looks more like Fallout.