clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hey, Kojima: What's up with all the whales?

Call me Hideo

Hideo Kojima is really into whales. Not convinced? After all, who are we? Allow us to make a case. Our first piece of evidence:

This is Moby Dick Studio, the entirely fake studio that first "revealed" The Phantom Pain during the 2012 Video Game Awards. Of course, the game was made by Hideo Kojima's Kojima Productions.

Still not convinced? Our second piece of evidence:

This is a scene from The Phantom Pain featuring a giant blue whale, notably on fire, swallowing a helicopter.

Wow, you’re still not convinced?

MGS5 - Ishmael

This is Ishmael, a new character in Metal Gear Solid 5. He calls Big Boss "Ahab" and is wearing the same face bandaging the fake CEO of Moby Dick Studios wore in the initial reveal.

Kojima’s latest game is Death Stranding. This is a screen from the trailer:

Those are dead whales, stranded on a beach, with weird umbilical cords coming out of them into the water. A nude Norman Reedus shares the beach with them. The name, and the symbology of the debut trailer, recalls cetacean stranding, which looks like this:

cetacean stranding

Presented with such overwhelming evidence, you surely agree that Hideo Kojima is really into whales. If only Kojima was here for us to ask him directly. Wait ... what's that sound?

Kojima boss strut

Mr. Kojima, since we have you here, there is one thing we'd really like to ask you. "What’s up with all the whales?"

"Whales are the largest living mammals on earth," Kojima explained in an interview with Polygon. "I’ve always had a very strong impression of them from a long time ago. That’s also the case in Moby Dick, but also in a lot of Japanese anime and manga. You often see the main character portrayed as trying to face this huge challenge, this big enemy or opponent, as a symbol or as an image or a metaphor of this. Whales are often brought up when you face something big, a lot of people make this reference to whales.

"In Don Quixote, how he faces windmills, also this huge big thing you face [off] against. Also this same thing happens in Pinocchio, where he’s eaten by this huge whale. So this became a thing that’s stuck with me since my childhood."

Kojima laughing

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon