Death Stranding – Communications From Beyond

Death Stranding - Communications From Beyond

There are many reviews of Hideo Kojima’s latest video game masterpiece, Death Stranding. This is not a review. What follows is a series of communications.

“See the sunset

The day is ending

Let that yawn out

There’s no pretending”

The sun never sets here to rise again. The sky is always overcast. There is no concept of time here, except time falls and ages and kills everything in sight until it all grows back to die another time. What we wouldn’t give for a beam of light at daybreak, an orange glow at sundown, and time to tell us it’s safe to sleep again. All we have are these four crumbling walls and the few porters risking their lives bringing supplies to save ours. We’re just biding time until time bids us adieu. When can we yawn again? Can we ever? Or will we be lost to timefall, voidouts, eventual extinction?

“Feel the wind rise

A dawn we’re bound to

Watch that star die

Eons without you”

A dying star created life, another dying star took it away. And then a supernova exploded and brought back life and with it death. You may have seen beached things by the shore. You may have felt ghosts—if you could—with umbilicals stranded in-between. You may have witnessed your loved ones disappearing, lost forever on some beach. Or is it us, the lost ones? It’s hard to tell these days, what’s life, what’s alive, what’s living, what’s dying, what’s dead, what’s death, what’s stranding. The wind is picking up; it won’t be long until the next explosion.

“We part too soon

But in our lies

There’s a truth to find”

Everyone’s a villain when // if they lie. But, near a mirror to them and what reflects is abysmal loneliness, and maybe longing for a world whole // a world before or, at least, for this pain to finally cease. Porter, you must follow every strand of lie to weave a truth complete. And you will see there are no villains here, just flawed protagonists on a mission to restore humanity // to make the ending gentler. And die trying. Porter, you already have the key—go!

“The end is new

A tomorrow we must reach forth

To be heard”

 Since the day you were born you were already so special, a breath of new air. You were always meant to be a porter handling cargo with care // a strand webbing a network // a bridge building a way out. But being alone for so long, losing everyone to touch you lost touch with yourself and the rare connections you’re afraid to make and keep. Let them in and let yourself out. You were always meant to be our tomorrow, Porter, don’t you see, you are the key—now, go!

“We’re stranded on the beach

In our dream”

 Feel the lull of the gentle wind, the waves curling and breaking in tandem and tender. While the world is falling apart, in my dream, it’s fine here on our beach, with you and I, just like it’s always been. Come now, lie down here with me and feel yourself cradled, little one, our palms stranding perfectly together. Doesn’t this feel like home? Yes. Home. Come back home. Come back! Wake up!

 “I’ll stay with you

In your mind”

I did not mean to strand you for so long, entrench in you tar visions not yours. Now you know what is real and what is not, what is salvageable and what is inevitable. What is inevitable. If I am here or there or in Arcadia or if I am at all, I am where it matters—in your mind and heart—I’ll always be, I’ll always shepherd. Take this truth, bring it home. You’ll know what to do tomorrow, come what may.

“See the sunset”

What is inevitable is inevitable. What is hopeless // helpless has no hope // no help. Does it mean we stop trying to deliver, connect, rebuild, expand? There is still hope for today. Perchance an inkling for tomorrow. And as timefall falters, the clouds collapse, we await the orange sun.

“The day is ending”

 Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months pass. We’re still here, still handling fragile cargo with care, still tethering deep strands with each other, still bridging voids and cities. Remaking a world whole, a world for tomorrow.  The day is again ending, but this is still not yet the end.

Porter out.

Death Stranding Editor Notes

The lyric excerpts are from “BB’s Theme” by Ludvig Forssell, featuring Jenny Plant.