Hideo Kojima has always been the master of picking the right songs to score his games, and Death Stranding is no exception. Soundtrack might reveal a connection to the Metal Gear universe.
Anyone familiar with Hideo Kojima’s games knows that he’s a stickler for detail. The game designer oversees every aspect of design, including sound and music.
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Kojima received a lot of praise for featuring a small Icelandic artist known as Low Roar in the first ever teaser for Death Stranding (which oddly does not appear on the track list for the Death Stranding soundtrack, Timefall).
What’s even more interesting is that a theory soon formed that Metal Gear and Death Stranding were strangely connected and the proof is in the lyrics of Low Roar’s songs I’ll Keep Coming.
The song seems to be about The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The Boss was Snake’s mentor and she has an extremely interesting backstory that seems to fit the narrative of Death Stranding.
Is Ludens The Boss?
Ludens, played by Norman Reedus, has a lot in common with The Boss. The Boss was chosen for participation in the Mercury Project and met for the first time Strangelove, who was assigned to Mercury as a key staff member. She was sent to space on a mission to acquire data on how well the human body could cope in such conditions, but during which radiation was an inevitability. She unofficially became the first American in space, and seeing the Earth from above sparked her dream of uniting the world as one.
Unfortunately, as she returned to Earth from her flight on April 12, 1961, the addition of a “window” caused her re-entry capsule to veer off course and crash land in the ocean, resulting in The Boss being thrown from the capsule and severely burned by both the cosmic radiation, and the heat of re-entry. Miraculously, The Boss did survive, but she was hospitalized as a result, and she and Strangelove never saw each other again. The injuries sent The Boss into another deep coma for six months.
Maybe Death Stranding is The Boss’s fever dream while she is stuck in that coma? I mean it kind of suggests it with the title of the video game; stranded by death. People have speculated that the title alludes purgatory, but a coma dream makes just as much sense.
Is Cliff The Sorrow?
In Metal Gear The Sorrow is The Boss’s former lover turned soviet spy. The Sorrow was also a “Spirit Medium Soldier” who was able to summon the dead, a lot like Mads Mikkelsen character, Cliff, can be seen controlling a squad of undead soldiers in the Death Stranding trailer.
When you compare a picture of the two they look almost identical. They both have the same creepy wide smile and the same tear-like scar under their right eye.
It is possible that Death Stranding is also a reboot or a retelling of the Metal Gear story. There are definitely a lot of similarities between the stories and the characters, or at least from the little we know about them. Even Dr. Strangelove bears a resemblance to the unnamed woman in the Fragile Express jacket who appears in the trailers. Dr. Strangelove is an A.I. research scientist, while Fragile appears to be some kind of executive or scientist to a company called Fragile. Obviously, we don’t know her name so it might not actually be Fragile.
And here comes the zinger, The Boss was initially sent to space as an experiment to see how fragile the human body is when it is exposed to the elements of space!
Connection to Metal Gear in Death Stranding soundtrack?
Sony Interactive Entertainment excitedly announced that in partnership with RCA Records, a full album for Death Stranding will be released alongside the game on November 8, 2019. But fortunately they’ve released a single by renowned Scottish electro-pop group CHVRCHES, titled Death Stranding.
After spending time with Mr. Kojima at Kojima Productions in Tokyo, the band were inspired to write an original song, which is available for you to listen to above. You can also buy the track here.
The lyrics seems to allude to a failed mission and makes reference to the legendary tale of Wallace Hartley, the English violinist and bandleader who famously played on the RMS Titanic while it was sinking. Then it gets a hell of a lot darker:
H.P Lovecraft connection
Surely this is drawing inspiration from H.P Lovecraft’s philosophies of cosmic indifference. The belief that, at scale, the universe is meaningless, mechanical, and uncaring and that human beings, with their naturally limited faculties, could never fully understand. And there is only one certainty in within the incomprehensible, and that is that the universe is indifferent to our suffering, and we will most certainly die in the end. This is also kind of backed by the line, “let’s tell the truth for once … nothing really matters.”
So even though there is no direct mention of, or clear connection to, Metal Gear, we can argue that this song might be talking about Project Mercury; the first U.S. manned space mission that ultimately failed. Although the mission failed in real life, in the Metal Gear universe it was successful; The Boss went to space but the U.S. government kept it a secret.
So, perhaps the discover made from sending Ludens to space was like the opening of Pandora’s Box and staring at the inevitability of certain death knowing damn well there is nothing we can do about it.
Still, the single still marvellously sets the tone for the game, so we know what to expect; a dark and sinister game where the impending doom is as consistent as our breathing.
We will find out more when the Death Stranding soundtrack comes out next month. It is titled Timefall (Original music from the world of Death Stranding), and is named after the mysterious rainfall that affects all it touches, while its songs find their inspiration from the game’s narrative focus: Sam Bridges and his journey to reconnect a fractured society and save mankind from extinction.
Death Stranding by CHVRCHES is only the first of a full set of original songs by notable musicians from a wide range of genres. See who’s featured on the official Timefall track list below:
Timefall track list
- Trigger – Major Lazer x Khalid
- Ghost – Au/Ra x Alan Walker
- DEATH STRANDING – CHVRCHES
- YELLOW BOX – The Neighbourhood
- Meanwhile… In Genova – The S.L.P.
- Ludens – Bring Me The Horizon
- Born In The Slumber – Flora Cash
- Sing To Me – MISSIO
Man, I love Hideo Kojima. The amount of work he puts into breathing life into his creation, and how much focus he puts on every single detail of production. It is was truly makes his games as immersive they are and what sets him aside from other game designers. Timefall is a testament to that.
Whether Metal Gear and Death Stranding are in any way, shape, or form connected remains to be confirmed. Timefall may confirm the connection to Metal Gear, but what do you think? Are they connected? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.