'Death Stranding' Baby Pod Explained: Bridge Babies More Than 'Just Equipment'

There's a lot that's strange and mysterious about Death Stranding, the upcoming game from Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, but no single element revealed so far has captured imaginations quite like the Bridge Baby, a human fetus that floats in a clear pod mounted on Sam's (Norman Reedus) chest. Appearing at German games convention Gamescom, Kojima finally explained the Bridge Baby, or BB, with a new Death Stranding trailer featuring Deadman, a character played by movie director Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak, Mimic).

In Death Stranding, a bizarre disaster has befallen the world, stranding supernatural beings ("BTs," or Beached Things) from other dimensions of reality and scouring the land with "timefall," a rain that can age people and decay all it touches. The BBs act as a connection between the living world and the land of the dead (which players will visit every time Sam dies in-game), allowing Sam and other field operatives to sense BTs.

Sam's Bridge Baby allows him to see enemies called BTs in "Death Stranding." Sony Interactive Entertainment / Kojima Productions

Players must periodically return their Bridge Baby to an artificial incubator, where it can find relief from "excessive stress" and receive environmental updates from its birth mother via something called the "Chiral Network."

This is where Sam runs into Deadman, who provides an origin story for Sam's BB, while also clueing players into their in-game use. Bridge Baby's mother is a braindead "stillmother," her body suspended on life support in the Capital Knot City ICU.

"A stillmother's womb facilitates a connection between the world of the dead and the BB. And you, in turn, connect yourself to a BB, granting you the ability to sense BTs," Deadman tells Sam. "You should remember that BBs are just equipment. Try not to get attached."

While Deadman studiously calls the pod baby BB, Sam treats it more like an individual, pointing out that the "kid looks happy" in his artificial womb. Sam's attachment to his baby equipment indicates what's likely to be a significant component of the Death Stranding plot.

"No BB on record has remained in service for over a year," Deadman says. "It may need to be retired before this expedition is over."

"You're saying there's no way to keep my baby alive?" Sam replies.

"You must understand. There's still a great deal we don't know about BBs. As we expand the Chiral Network and recover past data, perhaps we'll find our answers," Deadman says, pointing to a possible motive behind gameplay objectives throughout Death Stranding—or at least extra incentive for Sam to continue his work reconnecting communications across what's left of the United States, now called the United Cities of America.

A baby flashes a thumbs up in a trailer for "Death Stranding." Sony Interactive Entertainment / Kojima Productions

"That gives a great explanation of it." Kojima said after premiering the trailer.

Sam's Bridge Baby isn't the end of fetus-related strangeness in Death Stranding. Kojima also introduced a new character at Gamescom: Mama (Margaret Qualley), who breastfeeds a spectral baby across the dimensional divide.

Death Stranding will be released for PlayStation 4 on November 8.