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Death Stranding Director Reveals Donkey Kong Inspiration

It's not uncommon for video games to draw inspiration from one another. But would you believe that Death Stranding, set to arrive later this year, includes a mechanic that pays tribute to one of gaming's classic titles?


According to Game RantDeath Stranding director Hideo Kojima — whose name you should probably know — discussed his upcoming game during a panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. And he used the opportunity to shed a little light on why a retractable ladder is included in the game, and why main character Sam (played by Norman Reedus) uses said ladder as a tool to traverse Death Stranding's world.

It seems Kojima was feeling a bit nostalgic when he decided to add the ladder to Sam's inventory, as he stated during Comic-Con that he wanted to include elements of older titles like Donkey Kong. In that game, the player uses a ladder to reach higher points on the stage, and Kojima wanted to capture that same feeling of reaching an obstacle and overcoming it.


In the case of Donkey Kong, the obstacle is a platform above that can only be reached by climbing. As we've seen in some of the Death Stranding footage available, Sam will be using the ladder to climb up mountains and cross over crevices, ensuring his journey continues on and whatever he happens to be carrying gets where it needs to go.

We shouldn't be too surprised that Kojima looked to the past to inform his game design in the present. The former Metal Gear Solid director is known for finding inspiration in all matter of things, from video games to movies to music. We look forward to seeing what else pops up in Death Stranding; Kojima is a known pop culture fanatic, so there's a good chance he'll be including some other references, as well.

Death Stranding comes to PlayStation 4 on Nov. 8, 2019.