If you’ve called yourself a gamer in the past 30 years, then you know the name, Hideo Kojima. As the mastermind writer, director, and designer behind the mind-boggling Metal Gear series and the upcoming PS4 exclusive Death Stranding, Kojima is a force to be reckoned with in the video game world, known for his elusive storylines and sprawling mythos. Hot on the heels of the latest six-minute trailer for his new game, we sat down for an interview with the legendary gaming auteur after we chained him to a radiator in a dank basement, locked the door, and refused to let him leave until he admitted one thing: He has no idea what the fuck he’s talking about, he’s just making shit up as he goes along, and he’s essentially a professional fraud.
Onion Gamers Network: Kojima-san, thank you so much for joining us. It’s an honor.
Kojima: Oh God, oh God, oh God. Why won’t you let me leave? Why won’t you let me sleep? What do you want? [Weeping]
OGN: Let’s start by discussing your hotly anticipated work on Death Stranding. Let us just ask you point-blank: Can you give us a straightforward explanation of what this game’s story is?
K: What? Is that all? Well, if you really want to know, I guess...so, Death Stranding is supposed to be a commentary on the ravages of climate change and the way our fragmented society can be destroyed by invisible forces. The protagonist, Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus), uses a fetus-like BB-unit to build connections between—
Unfortunately, at this point, we had to slap Kojima-san across the face to make him focus. After his nose stopped bleeding, we resumed the interview.
OGN: You understand the deal here, right? We’re asking you to provide the simple narrative arc for your game. Or you can just state, for the record, that you made a fun package-delivery video game and then filled it with incoherent references, such as the cetacean stranding, Dirac equations, or climate change, to make it seem more important than it actually was.
K: I worry it would ruin the gaming experience for my fans to elaborate too much on my creative process, but—What is that? Why are you showing me a photograph of my family? Please leave them alone.
OGN: Just answer this: Is there any reason whatsoever that one of the game’s trailers seems to show Bridges time-traveling back to a World War I trench filled with black goo? Or the Schwarzchild radius? Or did it just sound cool to you and, as always, that was enough of an explanation to include it in an 80-hour video game even if it didn’t cohere in any logical way?
K: Well, there’s actually an interesting facet of the mythos that explains why Sam Bridges would be sent back into a trench warfare scenario. As a member of the Corpses Disposal Unit of BRIDGES, he has a part in the “homo ludens” movement. Let me expand on that...
After a few more minutes of this, we had an OGN editorial assistant streamline the interview by cutting off the tip of Kojima’s pinky with pruning shears.
OGN: We can keep playing this game all day, sir.
K: [Weeping] What do you want from me?
OGN: Just admit you don’t know what any of this means! Admit that the Strand and the BB-Unit or whatever the fuck—all your vague conspiracy bullshit—is a bunch of lazy storytelling. Admit that you’re just some game designer who watched James Bond back in the ’80s and decided to cobble together a spy video game called Metal Gear, and now you’re in way, way over your head because of your constant narrative horseshit.
K: [He vomits on himself]
OGN: Who are the La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo?
K: [Loud heaving]
OGN: Who are they? Don’t make us ask again.
K: I don’t know, okay? I don’t know! I have no idea what I’m talking about! Everyone in video games just assumes any reference above a third-grade level means that you’re making art. So, once journalists started calling me a visionary, I kept adding more and more of them to Metal Gear—calling the characters Ishmael and Ahab just because it’s from Moby Dick—stuff like that. And now here I am, forced to explain another video game that I don’t even remotely understand.
OGN: Would you say there’s any theme whatsoever to your games?
K: At best, you could say that the theme of my entire lifetime of game-making is that “war is bad” and the “environment is good.” Everything else is nonsense. I suppose another theme would be that it’s cool when government agents are cyborg ninjas or wear golden masks. Also, I like it when your character can urinate on command. There. I admitted it. Are you happy now?
OGN: Not quite. Before we let you go, we’d love to chat with you about the game’s fetus or whatever it is. But we, unfortunately, need to take a break for the next few days. Until then, we left you a tin bucket in the corner for your bathroom needs.
K: Oh God, don’t leave me here. Does anyone hear me? Help me! Help me!
Tune in next week for our follow-up interview where Hideo Kojima talks about the character design in Death Stranding after we blare heavy metal and flash floodlights at him for 36-hours straight to keep him from falling asleep.