'Death Stranding' Pee Gameplay and the Proud Tradition of Video Game Urine

This isn't the first game to make toilet time fun.

You have likely already heard by now that Hideo Kojima debuted new footage of his upcoming game Death Stranding at Gamescom, which introduced the game’s “urination mechanic.” But don’t let all those astonished tweets fool you. Death Stranding isn’t the first game where you can virtually pee — or even the first to make toilet time a pivotal feature of gameplay. Far from it, in fact.

According to Kojima’s presentation, Sam (played by Norman Reedus) will be able to urinate in the game, and his pee can be used as a weapon. IGN reports that the director promised “if multiple players urinate in the same spot, the mushroom that grows could become ‘something good later on.’” You can check out Sam in action in the new gameplay footage below.

While it’s unlikely any other video game has featured a synchronized-peeing-to-make-mushrooms mechanic before, here are a few well-known examples of how tinkle time’s previously been incorporated into electronic entertainment.

Toilets in Classic 1990s Role Playing Games

Despite the fact that virtually every role-playing game ever made features a sewer dungeon, toilets are often absent or inaccessible, though they would surely be a welcome respite to a weary band of adventurers on a long, plumbing-free quest to save the world. There are, however, some notable exceptions to this rule.

When you arrive at the imperial capital of Vector in Final Fantasy VI, you’re given some time to explore this imposing, steampunk fortress before your awkward dinner with Emperor Gestahl and Kefka. You’ll come across some toilets, and if you interact with one, your character sprite will briefly hop on top, assume its “wounded” battle pose, then bounce off amid a distinct flushing noise.

In Earthbound, there are plenty of restrooms to be found in department stores, nightclubs and other businesses scattered throughout its various cities. Most of the player’s interactions with them will consist of pounding on the door, only for a startled occupant to tell you to get lost or humorously lament their gastric maladies. Final Fantasy VII features a similar interlude, where players must procure a Digestive for a man with a tummyache in order to obtain a key component of Cloud’s cross-dressing ensemble. (Don’t ask.)

The Japan-only sequel to Earthbound, Mother 3, includes a dungeon maze with a series of public bathroom doors leading nowhere, where you’ll be attacked by sentient men’s room signs if you linger too long. The game’s soundtrack includes a tune specific to this area, fittingly titled “Refreshing Toilets.”

Kiryu uses Toylets in 'Yakuza Kiwami 2.'
Kiryu takes time out from his busy schedule of beating up thugs for a refreshing Toylet sesh in Yakuza Kiwami 2.

Toilet Troubles Are Everywhere in Sega’s Yakuza Games

You’ll spend a lot of time in bathrooms in Sega’s weird and wonderful Yakuza games, whether you’re beating up your fellow denizens of the underworld or just being a good Samaritan. Yakuza Kiwami 2, the latest installment of the series released in the West, also incorporates a real Japanese arcade installation as a minigame. Sega’s “interactive urinals,” or Toylets allow appropriately equipped players to use their urine stream to score points. If you’re ever in Tokyo (and a man), you can check out the Toylets in Club Sega arcades scattered throughout the city.

Several short sidequests peppered throughout the seven-game saga take a page from FFVII, tasking you with bringing tissues or medicine to a stall inhabitant in need. Others go a bit more in-depth. For instance, in Majima’s “Toilet Talk” substory from Yakuza 0, you’ll boost a man’s confidence by pretending to be a beautiful woman in a series of messages written in a bathroom stall. Elsewhere, in Kiryu’s section of the game, you’ll get into a spirited brawl with some thugs in a public men’s room capped off by the brutal crescendo of shoving a dude’s face into a urinal and kicking him out a window. Nice.

Your Sims Are Always Peeing, Everywhere

Even people who haven’t played The Sims and its many sequels, you likely know that Sims, like real human beings, constantly need the toilet. As soon as a Sim eats or drinks something, their bladder will fill up. If they manage to get to one in time, they’ll take a seat and their nethers will comically blur to preserve their modesty until they’ve done their business.

Of course, for sadistic players, the real fun begins when those poor saps can’t get to a restroom. Once the bladder meter turns red, they’ll double over in discomfort and have an accident on the floor, regardless of where they are. Passerby will often comment via emoji about the resulting smell, and the befouled sim’s hygiene level will be negatively affected. The minds behind The Sims have a real eye for detail: older sims take longer in the bathroom, and the bladder bar for pregnant sims fills more rapidly.

Will Sam have to pee more when he becomes pregnant with Bridge Baby in Death Stranding? We’ll find out when the game releases for PlayStation 4 on November 8.