Hideo Kojima has given us a new window into his creative process for Death Stranding (opens in new tab), and it just so happens to be made out of little plastic figurines and a Lego model of the Yellow Submarine. The game maker tweeted a pair of images showing this definitely-for-work-not-play scene, and though it might tease new details for Death Stranding, it's not the first time he's used toys to block out his creative vision - he built whole stages from Metal Gear Solid in Lego to get the camera angles right.
I am not playing around. (part of my job) pic.twitter.com/Ueyt5k6wnnMarch 10, 2017
First off, let's meet our players. We have three collectible Titan Hannibal figurines, one of Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter, one of Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, and what looks like one of Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford (his back is turned in all the photos). I'm going to assume that mini-Mads represents Mikkelsen's skeleton-commanding Death Stranding character, and there's a good chance that mini-Hugh with his shaggy hair, beard, and glasses is a stand-in for Guillermo del Toro's character. Then there's a baby, which is probably a baby.
Oh, there's also John, Paul, George, and Ringo in the Yellow Submarine, let's assume they're creepy dead crabs or something (I think the sub itself is the significant part, but I'll come back to that). Fishburne could represent Norman Reedus, since he's the only other major Death Stranding character we've met so far. But Kojima's carefully blocked out both shots to obscure the figurine's face, which makes me suspect he's a stand-in for an as-yet unseen character.
With the cast established, we can talk about the most important thing that's going on in the scenes: Mads has the baby! The last trailer (opens in new tab) had Guillermo del Toro nervously lurking around with a baby in a pod before Mikkelsen and the bone boys showed up. Whether this scene takes place before or after the events of that trailer is unknown. But clearly at least one infant has changed hands here, and that's probably not a good thing.
Now about the submarine that Hugh Dancy / Guillermo del Toro seems to have fallen from. It could represent another whale as seen in the first trailer (opens in new tab), but an honest-to-goodness U-boat would go along with the other World War 2-era vehicles that appeared in the second trailer. A submarine's general silhouette and reliance on sonar to navigate makes it an easy man-made analogue for the whales that appeared in the first trailer.
Kojima has indicated that whales partially inspired the name Death Stranding, as the scientific name for whale beaching is cetacean stranding. Can you imagine what navigating around under the surface of that ocean, all inky black water and creepy tendril creatures, would be like? Maybe Mads isn't the only thing GDT is afraid of.
Credit where credit is due: Kojima's managed to make me use my imagination with a bunch of toys way more than I have since elementary school.
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