While the new Death Stranding Directors’ Cut trailer was supposed to showcase the game’s new items, modes, and missions, the thing that people can’t seem to stop talking about at the moment is that bizarre “whale” creature whose brief appearance has people dreaming of the next Hideo Kojima game.
To make sure that we’re all as close to the same page as you can possibly be with a story as strange as this one, be sure to watch the latest Death Stranding Director’s Cut trailer and keep an eye out for the whale-like creature that appears towards the end (around the 8:18 mark).
If you’re currently unable to view that trailer, then here’s a Bigfoot-worthy screengrab of the mysterious creature that we humbly submit for your consideration.
So…what the hell is that? That’s a great question. To be honest, it’s not even entirely clear that it is a whale, though that’s certainly the creature it most closely resembles. Besides, this would hardly be the first time that Hideo Kojima has featured a whale in one of his video games. In case you haven’t heard, the guy is kind of obsessed with them.
What makes this particular whale (or whale-like creature) spotting so fascinating, though, is Kojima’s recent history of using whales to tease new projects.
See, in 2012, a mysterious developer known as Moby Dick Studio confirmed that they were working on a new game called The Phantom Pain. Fans quickly figured out that the whole thing was a ruse and that Phantom Pain was the next Metal Gear game, but Kojima denied being associated with Moby Dick Studio or The Phantom Pain until 2013 when he finally confirmed that all of that was absolutely true.
Kojima then prominently featured beached whales in the first trailer for Death Stranding. That visual actually turned out to be a pretty significant tip of the hat towards Death Stranding‘s main themes, but for our purposes at this time, just know that it also continued Kojima’s admittedly recent streak of using whales to help reveal new games.
So is that what’s happening here? Well, there’s no clear answer to that question at the moment, but there are a few things that are certainly weird about the whale’s appearance in this trailer (even by Hideo Kojima’s standards).
First off, the whale’s appearance oddly occurs after the “end” of the actual trailer and after the game’s title screen has been prominently displayed. It’s certainly possible that the creature will simply appear in Death Stranding Director’s Cut (which I suppose you could call a new Kojima game), but there’s honestly nothing in the rest of the trailer that helps explain its sudden appearance or the mysterious water-filled room that Sam Porter Bridges suddenly finds himself in. At the very least, there’s nothing in the rest of the trailer that helps explain why this mysterious creature was essentially chosen to be the trailer’s final image.
For now, let’s just assume that the creature’s introductory scene does not occur in the game exactly as we see it here and was instead created for the purposes of this preview. That still brings us back to that eternal Hideo Kojima question “Why?”
I honestly see three possibilities. The first is that Death Stranding Director’s Cut features additional content that isn’t explicitly detailed in this trailer. If that is the case, then it’s possible that there’s some scenario in the game that could eventually see Sam Porter Bridges face off against this creature, even if it is only little more than an Easter egg. Before we get too excited about any other possibilities, you have to consider that this is probably still the most likely option.
That brings us to the possibility that everyone is getting incredibly excited about at the moment: the chance that Hideo Kojima is somehow teasing his next project. Well, the truth of the matter is that it’s impossible to completely dismiss that argument. We know that Hideo Kojima has used whales to tease/reveal new games in the past, and it certainly sounds like Kojima Productions has started working on whatever their next game will ultimately be.
Having said that, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Much like we saw with the recent confusion over Hideo’s Kojima’s rumored association with the project known as Abandoned, Hideo Kojima fans can sometimes make some pretty significant leaps in logic when they’re trying to spot Kojima’s next bit of viral marketing. While some of the “fault” there lies with Kojima who has given those fans all the excuses they’ll ever need to overanalyze such things, gamers will sometimes read a little too much into nothing when it comes to the eclectic director.
That honestly feels like what’s happening here. While I’d love to believe that Hideo Kojima is using this scene to tease his next game (which may or may not include Norman Reedus and a giant whale), the most ground I’m willing to concede to that point is the much more likely possibility that Kojima is using this visual stinger as a kind of “stay tuned” message.
So what is really happening here? Honestly, the most likely possibility at the moment is that Hideo Kojima is simply kind of a weird guy who loves whales and loves messing with people’s minds. It’s hardly the most romantic option on the table at the moment, but is anyone putting it past Kojima to show everybody a whale just so he can sit back and watch what happens next?