Death Stranding is weird, beautiful and intriguing. At this point, Kojima productions have already shown 3 trailers and we still have no clue about the game plot or even characters. But The new gameplay trailer showed yesterday shows gameplay and some story elements which do make up for something.
But According to some users on Death Stranding Subreddit, they might possibly know what is going on in the bizarre world of DS.
Some users have been collecting data and cryptic hints from Kojima himself and they seem to align pretty well. I have gathered some of the most plausible theories and important bits and pieces I could find that makes sense in this absurd world.
1. In-Depth User Analysis
The Theory was written by Reddit user named Alfique
Someone on here posted a transcription that is pretty good, but the 4K trailer has actual CC.
The DOOMS woman, wearing a suit that says “FRAGILE EXPRESS (HANDLED WITH CARE)”, says “Tears. A chiral allergy…”
“Chirality /kaɪˈrælɪtiː/ is a property of asymmetry important in several branches of science. The word chirality is derived from the Greek χειρ (kheir), “hand,” a familiar chiral object. An object or a system is chiral if it is distinguishable from its mirror image; that is, it cannot be superposed onto it”
I have seen a couple mentions to the Greek “Hand”, no one is likely supposed by that. What I noticed with it is that they always only have a tear on one side, and it seems related to the rain/ timefall. Sam’s reaction to it also appears only on one side of his body. Towards the end of the trailer as the camera pans up his arm, shoulder, and neck, it all takes on a red coloration, like an allergic reaction he is having to the drop on his hand.
After being asked what his level is, Sam says “I’ve got the extinction factor”. It has been theorized a number of times and I think this confirms that the baby is related to extinction of the human race. It is possible that it also is supposed to imply something about it being a save point of some sort that you (the player) cannot become “extinct” by dying in game. I think this may also imply, along with what we saw in the thurd trailer where it was passed off, that you don’t automatically have the baby container from point 1 in the game.
The lyrics to the song, “Asylums For Feelings”, includes “I saw him falling towards the cieling” we saw in the thord trailer how gravity seemed to turn off and things were “falling up”, except for Sam. In the third trailer we also saw how all of the sea life was apparently swimming upside down- what if that is how Sam was “falling towards the cieling”?
When the man on the comm asks Sam his status, he says “Chiralium density is still increasing” again, we have Chiral/ “kheir” mentioned. We can deduce from this that the as of yet unseen creatures are called the Chiralium, basicly meaning “hand-beings”, and that they are measured in density, which tells me that they may somewhat appear out of nowhere.
I also noticed in this trailer that the timefall seems to be effected in large part by these creatures. In the scene with the cave, which I think may be related to this image we see the plants rapidly growimg/ dying in the immediate vicinity of the handprints.
We also hear the man on the comm say “if one of those things eat you, it will trigger a voidout. Sure, you’ll come back, sure, but the surrounding area will still be a crater.”
I think the use of the word “eats” is very interesting here. It implies that the humans are like food to these creatures. When it is suggested for Sam to sit in the rain, it makes me think that either a) Sam has some kind of super ability to be immune to the timefall (which, even though it seems to be implied that it’s the rain in general, the more I think about it the more I think it may be just rain until the Chiralium show up, they then somehow cause it to turn into timefall), or b) there is a way to avoid the effects, likely to do with the Cryptobiotes. It also tells me that it is known that Sam is able to respawn- possibly anyone, possibly just Sam, hard to say for sure until we have a little more confirmation on the mechanics of it- and that whatever area is destroyed stays that way indefinitely for the remainder of the game. (I wonder how this effects main missions and side quests, could be very interesting!)
Now into the Cryptobiotes, the little tardigrade things that the woman in the end eats, saying “a Cryptobiote a day keeps the timefall away” u/FaunsForrest mentioned the Wiki here, “Cryptobiosis is an ametabolic state of life entered by an organism in response to adverse environmental conditions such as desiccation, freezing, and oxygen deficiency. In the cryptobiotic state, all measurable metabolic processes stop, preventing reproduction, development, and repair”
Essentially, cryptobiosis is a state that an organism enters whenever things are highly unfavorable to life and likely otherwise deadly. In this state, the organism essentially shuts down all metabolic processes that are not directly tied to being alive in that precise moment. Tardigrade are able to be so virtually indestructible by entering this state.
I’m wondering if there may be some mechanic to the game that requires you to find and consume these things (if anyone has seen it, this makes me think of the anime Deadman Wonderland, in which you have to complete tasks/ events to earn candies, which contain a type of antidote and without which you will die/ be killed). I’m also curious as to how this relates to Sam vomiting up a number of these things covered in tar after he drowns/ respawns.
The woman at the end is standing on the beach we saw in trailer one (somehow standing just fine on a sandy beach in stiletto heels, another mystery to the game), and based on the way she is dressed, I have a strong feeling she us related to BRIDGES, possibly closely tied to DelTorro’s character.
Another thing we see in the photograph is it appears Sam is standing in some sort of official American office, to me it almost looks like it may be the Oval Office or some other official government building- it also looks to be something taken from before Bridges, as it is the current American Flag in the background it seems- I believe there is some kind of significance to the face of the girl on the very left being distorted by the raindrop.
It is also mentioned in the beginning that Sam cannot see the Chiralium, but he can “sense” them. It is then shown after he plugs in the canister (using a different kind of plug than seen at any other point up until now, definitely not the same thing as DelTorro, could possibly be related to the little detector thing?) that we, as well as presumably Sam, see these shadowy umbilical-cord creatures floating above the ground. Part of me almost wants to think these may be separate entities to the Chiralium, some sort of secondary creature that exists around them in some sort of symbiosis (I’m drawing blank on the mirrored relationship in our reality I’m thinking of now specifically).
I’m not sure exactly what the mechanics of the shadows are in this bit of gameplay, I’ve watched it several times and I haven’t really been able to pick up any discernable patterns. The detector goes from flapping to spinning and Sam covers his mouth, continuing to seemingly sneak along, he freezes at a couple points and I feel like this may largely be to better showcase the shadows. As he continues along we hear a heartbeat, similar to in a game where you’re underwater and may be close to drowning if you don’t reach the surface quick, then a shadow appears in front of Sam, he turns, and then a number of local shadows merge into one as they “attack” and the oil creatures pull Sam down.
Another part of what makes me think these shadows exist separate from but in tandem to the Chiralium is that they seem to be closely related to the oil creatures, possibly being what summons them, while the creature that “ate” the man in the previous trailer and cause what 2e can presume to be the voidout reversed gravity and did the opposite of how the oil creatures pull you down into the sludge.
One last thing, Sam’s full name seems to be Sam Porter Bridges. I had a very strong feeling I never fully swayed from that Porter was Sam’s last name. It appears we were all right, sort of as I began to think, when the woman says “the man who delivers” and Sam says “I make deliveries”, I think it is likely that Porter is also his job title, like in the olden days where your last name told people what your role in society was (Fisher, Miller, Farmer, Baker, Smith, etc). It’s possible that, similar to how in some older societies it wasn’t uncommon to have the land you hail from incorporated into your name, Bridges is related to where he comes from more so than him having any relation to the formation of “Bridges United Cities of America”
2. Kojima Official Blog
Work on the first teaser started shortly after establishing Kojima Productions. At the time we were working out of a temporary office, recruiting was still ongoing, there wasn’t enough equipment to fit the bill and the game engine was still up in the air. We really had next to nothing. What we did have, however, was our bond (strand) with Norman Reedus, who immediately accepted the role as our main protagonist, and the idea of the game in my mind. Relying on just these two things, the teaser was created with my own hands in only two and a half months. I still remember the emotion I felt when, after 2 absent years, I was greeted by your warm welcome of cheers and the thunderous claps at the E3 reveal.
At TGA 2016, we revealed the appearances of Mads Mikkelsen and my dear friend Guillermo del Toro in the game… You can read the full article here
3. Hidden Info (1)
That trailer was amazing hands down. After watching it once over though i noticed that this lady who works with Fragile seems to have her own technology similar to Sam’s shoulder flower which detects these hand beast. Once the devines or whatever these creatures are disappear, the spikes on her suit diminish. Hideo and all these details. There so much more to decifer in the trailer. EDIT: Well, i might of just debunked myself. After watching some more, I realized that as she exits, her suit’s spikes reappear. This could just be some sort of extra armor she can activate. Regardless, it pretty sweet. – Afrochubman
4. Five Floating Figures
Remember we saw five floating figures in the very first teaser? Well it looks like they are back again. You can see them in the trailer at 4:44.
Lindsay’s Body is translucent in the poster and it’s just not for aesthetic value. The most possible theory about this that she is a spirit thus shown as translucent. What makes this theory more plausible is the quote that comes right after her “Give me your hand in Spirit”
The Theory was written by Reddit user named TheInvisibleOnes
In the first 30 seconds it sure sounds like the new female character mentions Chiromancy. After a quick search, this is palm reading.
I believe she says “Chirology.”
EDIT: Gornub pointed me towards the captions. She actually says “Chiral Allergy.” Chiral means “hand” in Greek, so I’m thinking this all still applies.
Palmistry studies lines and bumps in the hand to predict the future. Bump studies are known as chirognomy.
Here are a few choice pieces from Wikipedia:
A reader usually begins by reading the person’s dominant hand (the hand he or she writes with or uses the most, which is sometimes considered to represent the conscious mind, whereas the other hand is subconscious). In some traditions of palmistry, the other hand is believed to carry hereditary or family traits, or, depending on the palmist’s cosmological beliefs, to convey information about “past-life” or “karmic” conditions.
Why is this relevant? Hands are a common theme. Hand prints. Sam’s hand. Weird hand motions. Or the monster in trailer 3 with the hand face. Hands together in _________ in the title cards.
Plus, there are five floating creatures in this and the other trailers. Five fingers.
The basic framework for “classical” palmistry (the most widely taught and practiced tradition) is rooted in Greek mythology. Each area of the palm and fingers is related to a god or goddess, and the features of that area indicate the nature of the corresponding aspect of the subject. For example, the ring finger is associated with the Greek god Apollo; characteristics of the ring finger are tied to the subject’s dealings with art, music, aesthetics, fame, wealth, and harmony.
The four gods are Apollo, Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury, with your thumb being a combo platter of personal attributes. Here is more thumb info:
The thumbs reveal the sense of self, and the ways in which we control ourselves and our environment. The keyword for the thumb is “Control”. The tip segment of the thumb, or First Phalanx, shows the strength of will and how it is used. The longer and wider this phalanx, the more domineering the individual. (Control of others). The middle segment, or Second Phalanx, reveals the logic and cognitive ability. This segment is considered developed when it has a “waisted” appearance, narrow in the middle. A developed middle segment shows a well developed mind. (Control of thoughts). The Third Segment is found within the Mount of Venus. It is not a Phalanx, but is in fact the First Metacarpal. This segment shows how the individual uses (or denies) their lusts and passions. (Control of desire).
Chiromancy also is about the color of skin, like red rashes that appeared in the trailer (the Chiral allergy?). The condition of finger nails, like the removal of the toe nail. Even the back of the hand has meaning…
Earth mount is located on the fleshy mount created on the back side of the hand when the thumb and index finger are pushed against each other.
Worthy of note are palmistry markings. These are described as:
Palmistry markings are positive or negative interruptions and blockages in the normal flow of the palm lines, mounts and fingers. They can indicate warnings of difficulties, separations, traumatic events or health problems. Some markings may indicate a period of recovery, problem resolution, or an emotional healing period.
Sam has these markings on the back of his hand. Both crosses and what may be a scar which looks like another mark. The crosses indicate:
Crosses are an indication of long-lasting problems. They also represent changes in one’s life. Depending on where they appear on the palm, they can be an indication of positive or negative changes. They might even be sign that adversaries may want to cause harm to the individual. They may also represent outside influences that may be causing stress. They can be indicators of how one is handling their spiritual side of life and mental state of being.
One of the underlying ideas I can’t shake is that Sam isn’t on Earth. These fingers are planets (except Apollo), with Earth on the other side. If Timefall “speeds up” time, could it be purposeful to push these planets into an inhabitable state? Random speculation is fun.
To close this up, I think this is yet another meaning to strands. Chiromancy are the strands of fate we carry with us.
7. In-Depth User Analysis
The Theory was written by Reddit user named – dingoperson2
So here’s the things I believe I’ve figured out:
“Once there was an explosion, a bang which gave birth to time and space” “Once there was an explosion, a bang which sent a planet spinning in that space” “Once there was an explosion, a bang which gave rise to life as we know it” “And then, came the next explosion…”
These are monumental events that gave rise to entire concepts of existence. The first event gave rise to time and space, the second is earth, the third is life as we know it. The fourth is something else.
The fourth is or is related to the world of death. The world of death is somehow in existence very close to our world. Creatures in the world of death try to seize on life.
Closely touching on both the worlds of life and death there is purgatory, a place of water. But purgatory is a very thin plane.
The black rain called “timefall” is matter from either the world of death or purgatory. It causes things to age rapidly.
Creatures in the world of living and world of death sense each other’s world vaguely and imperfectly. Creatures in the world of death sense people only by their breath, hence why they cover their mouths.
In the world of the living, the flashlight fan is like a device that can shine into the world of death, working like a flashlight that identifies life forms. All those hanging, grainy humanoid shapes are creatures in the world of death, and so are the things making huge footprints.
In this trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuUQCpCpsk4 there’s some interesting stuff from 5:30. Some kind of giant creature from the world of death, that holds the strands of all the flying shapes.
The creature seems to close it’s “head” around a person that’s brought into it, and this causes an explosion. The fourth “explosion” may well be a reference to this. Life and particular types of death matter are like matter and antimatter.
I’d bet that the “bridges” logo, which shows a giant hole on the east cost and “united cities” (because the government was wiped out), is actually a reference to this: https://www.reddit.com/r/DeathStranding/comments/7ict3j/speculationbridges_the_united_cities_of_america/ . Washington DC was wiped out by that particular type of matter-antimatter explosion, when people were dragged into that particular type of death-matter.
When the guy in a trailer stabs himself as he is lifted through the air, and they apparently want to die rather than to be “captured”, that’s probably a reference to the same – they want to die, so that they won’t cause these gigantic explosions when the death overlords consume them.
In the previous trailer, he sees the antimatter explosion. He then spends time in purgatory, surrounded by tardigrades, those things some people thought were a fetus. He returns to the world of the living and vomits up those same tardigrades he was just surrounded by. And in front of him is now the giant crater. The giant crater was caused when the life/death matter/antimatter explosion happened earlier, the flash of light. As Kojime has said in interviews, loading and saving doesn’t work like in other games, instead of “loading a save” you will simply always return from “death” but it doesn’t rewind time.
Overfocus on the death theme misses that there is actually some war or conflict going on. In the second trailer here starting from 3:48: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx4Fq-pKAzM there’s very obviously an organized fighting force with leaders with special abilities, as has always been the case in Metal Gear games. The army of tanks and skeletons, the skeleton special soldiers, the human leader, the “Bridges, united cities”, the military outfit Reedus is working with, the woman who says “work for me?” all references a world that isn’t simply a wasteland, but with political and military forces actively opposing each other.
I would guess that the guy controlling the skeleton soldiers, belongs to the antagonists, who have found some way to control dead bodies (connecting “strands” to them?), can interact in a special way with the world of the dead – and were the ones who blew up Washington DC with the life-death-matter explosion.
As for the new trailer:
“Tears. A chiral allergy.”
“Chirality” is when something is identical only mirrored. “Tears” is the rain. The “chiral” is the mirrored worlds of life and death. “Allergy” is the incompatibility between the worlds. Life and death are chiral and incompatible.
“So you have DOOMS like me”
A special group of people able to touch the boundary between life and death. Maybe like Reedus, who can return from purgatory. But it seems more. She asks “You can see them, right?”, showing that she’s close enough to the world of death to see the creatures plainly. He can’t, he can only see them using the “flashlight”.
Wanna come work for me? Must be tough out here on your own.
References to political organizations as pointed out above.
A lot of carrying packs
Reedus helps out Bridges, the united cities, that have been torn apart, by carrying packages between them. It’s not clear how they have been torn, what prevents vehicles and planes from being used.
3:40 stomping creatures
These are are creatures from the world of the dead.
4:18 holding over their mouths
To prevent the death creatures from sensing their breath.
5:10 “watch yourself, those things never stay gone for long
so the world is basically infested with death creatures. Maybe this is why the cities can’t keep in contact other than through couriers.
5:35 “Chiralium density is still increasing”
“Chiralium” isn’t an actual word. Kojima has taken the word for something being mirrored, and turned it into a form of substance. This is probably matter connected with the death creatures.
5:48 “Sam, if one of those things eats you, it’ll trigger a voidout. You’ll come back, sure, but the surrounding area will still be a crater.”
A voidout being the matter-antimatter explosion. This is literally what happened in the earlier trailer, when the huge death-creature dropped a human into itself and it caused an explosion.
7:27 “A cryptobiote a day keeps the timefall away”
She’s eating one of the creatures Sam encountered in purgatory. Apparently it makes her immune to the effects of timefall.
What’s the function of the fetus?
Hard to say exactly.
Sam is carrying it with him in a box. When he goes to purgatory, the in-between place after the antimatter explosion in the earlier trailer, it rather shows the fetus being inside him, and giving a thumbs up. Also note that the very first trailer shows he has a giant scar from a fetus having been cut out of him.
This probably matters a lot. Like, the fact that he used to have a fetus inside him, which was removed and put in a container, might be what allows him to return to the world of the living. What’s actually being shown in purgatory is the earlier state when he still had the fetus inside him.
- Kojima loves plots with organizations, forces, strong leaders with special abilities.
I believe the overarching plot is the antagonist force, which has the ability to manipulate the world of the dead, and control dead bodies, and who caused the destruction of DC using the life/death antimatter combination, against “Bridges”, the remaining US cities. The woman saying “you have DOOMS like me” refers to a special type of agent with crossing abilities.
These were some of the most in-depth theories and bits of information I could find that fits well, I have to say that Death Stranding community is very talented in finding hidden info and making something out of it. You guys should definitely follow the Subreddit if you want to get the most out of it.
Here are some screenshots of the game (Lastest)
I hope you guys enjoyed the theories and information. Nothing is officially confirmed so please take this all with a grain of salt.