We take a close look at the clues in Fortnite Season 4’s ongoing map changes.

Fortnite Season 4 landed with a ton of map updates, some major(see the giant crater where Dusty Depot once stood), but many more minute updates. Small craters, camera crews, and a warehouse dance club are innocuous tweaks at first glance, changes mostly thematic in effect to coincide with the blockbuster heroes and villains color of Season 4.

But with each week, the additions to Fortnite’s map in Season 4 keep coming. Some existing set pieces have changed in minor ways. The research facility at the center of Dusty Divot looked like it was just setting up camp, but in Week 2, the facility grew a roof to encapsulate the glowing rock at the center. Minor changes have occured in otherwise abandoned parts of the map, too, with a mysterious indestructible vault showing up in the Wailing Woods. With all the evidence in hand and our corkboard conspiracy hats on, let’s take a guess at what might await in Fortnite Season 4.

What’s in the hatch?

Head to the Wailing Woods and you’ll find one of the simplest map additions yet: an indestructible hatch leading nowhere. So far, no one has been able to damage the structure, but that’s very much on purpose. Some players were able to use the replay editor to take a look at what lies beneath and found nothing. The addition could just be a cheeky reference to the television show Lost, in which a stranded group of melodramatic jerks find a mysterious hatch on an island. Or, the hatch could just be unfinished, an intentional, temporary red herring to grab our attention for an inevitable update.

Maybe the Wailing Woods will get an underground facility with multiple openings throughout to make it a more enticing area for looters. Recent patch notes say that the odds of the circle closing in on the outer areas of the map has increased by 25 percent, so a Wailing Woods makeover makes total sense.  But maybe we’ll just find a scottish guy typing numbers into a computer.

What about the missile silo and mansion?

Two significant map additions in Season 4 landed on diametrically opposite sides of the map, implying a relationship between them. A missile silo has been embedded into the side of the western hills, sporting dark halls and sinister purple iconography. It’s difficult to imagine that missile being used to save the world.

 

The mansion added to the east coast is a bit brighter, recalling Bruce Wayne’s gaudy digs. There’s an equally brighter lair in its basement, decked out with a pristine blue logo. Purple: bad. Blue: good. But who are the big players here? When they finally go at it, what kind of destruction will be left in their wake?

The mansion added to the east coast is a bit brighter, recalling Bruce Wayne’s gaudy digs. There’s an equally brighter lair in its basement, decked out with a pristine blue logo. Purple: bad. Blue: good. But who are the big players here? When they finally go at it, what kind of destruction will be left in their wake?

Salty Springs is hiding a smaller lair in the basement of a suburban home, but this one implies the presence of a third party, someone listening in. That, or Fortnite has its fair share of preppers, too. Can’t blame them really. Missiles and meteorites and an endless battle between unusually dressed teens on their home turf.

The big meteorite might be an egg

If Dusty Divot stayed static for longer than two weeks, I’d think the large chunk of space rock at its center was nothing more than set dressing for Season 4’s theme. But in Week 2, the research facility was finished, and the big rock was covered by the facility’s new roof. Clearly, this rock is of great import and well hey oh god maybe it’s not a rock but an egg getting ready to hatch?

But to what end? I wouldn’t expect Epic Games to animate a massive alien creature and let it loose on the island—or at least I didn’t until Thanos showed up in a temporary game mode. Maybe if/when the creature shows up, we get a new temporary game mode similar to Thanos’ that doesn’t require an ongoing licensing deal. Maybe after all that Season 3 Titled Towers doomsaying, a Godzilla-but-not-Godzilla™ tearing through those big buildings would be a more fitting way to say goodbye. There’s more evidence to support the big dinosaur theory, and it’s a bit more on the nose.

Dino moms or movie magic?

A giant dino footprint has leveled a home in the southwestern corner of the map, or so it appears. Could it be the egg momma coming around to check on her baby? Unlikely, especially because the island hasn’t been completely destroyed.

It’s important to consider the possible frameworks for everything we’re seeing on the map. The presence of film crews and sets gives me the impression that everything we’re seeing is a sham, all a work in progress by Fortnite’s Hollywood equivalent to make movie magic. The dino print is likely the work of four interns and a sixer of PBR tallboys. But we know the craters are the real deal.

The Blockbuster challenges reward loading screens each week, and the first establishes the meteorites as real, something that took the film crews by surprise. The following image is accompanied by this caption: “Director’s Notes: He was finally puckering up when it all came crashing down…”

 Unless these filmmakers are setting out to make the ultimate meta-movie, we can safely bet the big holes in the ground were made by space rocks. Which also means we can bet the big egg in the center of the map isn’t the set for a sci-fi movie in the Fortnite universe.

Honestly, none of it makes much sense and that’s OK because Battle Royale was made in two months. We’re looking at an incipient theme and narrative beginning to take shape. Don’t expect Dark Souls levels of lore here, though I’m beginning to sense something like cohesion. Good, bad, and aliens is a decent starting point.

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