Hideo Kojima has spent the last week teasing a new trailer for Death Stranding - and now fans think the game is set at least in part in Iceland.
The legendary Japanese game creator is known for his Easter eggs and breadcrumb trails, so the following may in fact turn out to be a load of old bobbins. But! There is a compelling theory - acknowledged, it seems, by Kojima himself - that points the finger at Iceland being key to Death Stranding in some way.
First up, do you remember the moss-filled Death Stranding screenshot Kojima tweeted earlier this week? One fan reckons it lines up with moss found on top of lava fields in Iceland - and has combined an image of the real world with Kojima's screenshot to help back up his point.
Kojima himself retweeted this tweet a day after it was published to Twitter. An admission fans were up to something? Misdirection? Or maybe Kojima slipped and fell on the RT button, and the whole thing was an accident.
So far, so circumstantial. But there's more evidence pointing to Iceland than these two images lining up. For one, there's moss in the last Death Stranding trailer (image courtesy of imgur).
Back in the summer of 2014, when Kojima was still with Konami working on Metal Gear, he went on a location scouting mission to Iceland, and tweeted a picture of... you guessed it, moss.
Only moss lives here???pic.twitter.com/Ml3jGpTcZ5?— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) August 17, 2014
If Iceland is the setting for Death Stranding, then the otherworldly environment seen in the game's latest trailer may well be an Icelandic lava beach.
The music heard in Death Stranding's trailers is by a band called Low Roar, who are from... Iceland! According to an article in Glixel, Kojima heard Low roar's music while visiting a record store in Reykjavík during the summer of 2014 - the same time as the location scouting mission.
Let's run with this. Promotional material for Decima, the game engine built by Horizon: Zero Dawn studio Guerrilla Games and used by Kojima to build Death Stranding, includes a picture of Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Iceland.
So! Fans reckon Death Stranding is set in Iceland, then. But why? And what's the significance of moss? Current theories suggest the fertility of lava fields may have something to do with Death Stranding, or may have inspired some of its themes. As with most things Hideo Kojima dreams up, it's a bit of a head-scratcher.
We don't have long to find out more. With E3 right around the corner, Death Stranding's new trailer is just a couple of weeks away.