Hideo Kojima's GDC 2013 'announcement' and how it drove me to the brink of insanity
How I spent 18+ months chasing clues about Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain - plus why they add up to MGS5. In the spirit of Moby Dick Studio, this might be my - and every MGS fan's - great white whale...
- 1) Over a year ago, I rounded up hundreds of Kojima's tweets and dissected the extended MGS timeline to come up with a base theory for MGS5. Not all of it proved correct, but I did predict an open-world game starring Big Boss set in the 70s, exploring the Les Enfants Terrible project...
- 2) On August 30th, 2012, Hideo Kojima unveiled MGS: Ground Zeroes at the MGS 25th anniversary event. Here's the extended 14 min trailer:
- 3) In my initial analysis, I suggested the trailer didn't rule out a game that jumped between time periods - though many inconsistencies weren't clear.
- 4) Seeing the MGS: GZ trailer in HD at the Eurogamer Expo crystallised a theory about the trailer's curious banded lights being tied to a specific sound effect, that I dubbed, catchily, the 'swoosh code conspiracy' - and a possible link to time travel. I suggested it might be linked to VR training or an Animus style device.
- 5) The Phantom Pain debuted at the VGA Awards on Dec 7th and incredible detective work, notably on the NeoGAF forum, pegged it as an MGS game. Here's the cryptic trailer:
- 6) I analysed the trailer to suggest 21 significant ties between The Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Solid, including a cast-iron link to MGS: Ground Zeroes, though big questions remained.
- 7) On March 14th, Joakim Mogren, the CEO of Moby Dick Studio and creator of The Phantom Pain, was interviewed by Geoff Keighley on GTTV.
- 8) Before the interview was broadcast, and the 'Mogren is CG!' debate began, I'd interviewed Hideo Kojima, who dropped some indirect hints about the future of the MGS series. Most tellingly, his plan to use pilot episodes to trial a larger gaming experience.
- 9) As the 'Mogren is CG' debate raged, I started to see a pattern linking 18 months of clues, leading to the creation of 'The Phantom Pain: The Unifying Theory'. It's all about the blurring of the boundaries between fantasy and reality, right? It would certainly allow Kojima to tell a bigger tale about our 'always on' world. Let me explain:
- 10) Am I right? Agonisingly, all will be revealed at the Game Developers Conference (GDC 2013) this week, where 18 months of chasing the great white whale might prove a more metaphorical, and sobering, experience than I hoped. It's entirely possible that Kojima's barrage of clues and cryptic trailers have turned maniacs like me - and the world's brilliant, obsessive MGS fans - into Captain Ahab, echoing a key theme of the novel Moby Dick. If true, it'd lend this surreal pantomime a form of poetic closure. Worst case, it's been fun. Just as Ahab projected his own hopes and fears onto the whale, have we been projecting our own hopes for 'the next MGS' into a cogent narrative, despite evidence to the contrary? Perhaps. Here's how to watch the unveiling live:
Did you find this story interesting? like or comment as 2 already did!
- Gary Watts(Comments don't allow paragraphs, doh!)2013-03-28T20:03:56.783Z
- Gary WattsI think a line spoken to Meryl in the first of the MGS saga best summarises what we have seen in the "Solid" story so far: "The reality is no match for the...I think a line spoken to Meryl in the first of the MGS saga best summarises what we have seen in the "Solid" story so far: "The reality is no match for the legend". More than just being different characters, I think the tales of Snake and Big Boss also fit into the catagories of The Legend and The Reality. By the end of Solid Snake's arc (MGS, MGS 2, MGS 4), we see Kojima has gone to great lengths to explain virtually everything that could possibly have been construed as supernatural (Mind Control, Telekinesis, A soul taking over another person, Hallucinations, and so on). This represents the "real", and even things that might not have needed an explanation have been tied up and fit into our world.. usually at some point involving nano machines. In contrast, I feel the Naked Snake/Big Boss story arc (MGS 3, MGS: PO, MGS: PW, MGS V?) has, most of the time, almost gone out of it's way NOT to explain these events (The Boss' stitching flowing over her body like a Snake, the sudden change of colour of flowers following her death, Snake's "Boss Fight" with The Sorrow). I think the game indirectly hints at this by giving, not a Game Over screen, but a Time Paradox screen, occasionally even with Campbell telling you off for causing a time paradox. To me, it points to the idea that what we are seeing are not events that have actually happened, but rather a representation of those events. The legends passed down from one person to another; distilled as an interactive experience (either that we control directly, or that "someone" is experiencing as a VR mission). I believe that the story/theme of Metal Gear Solid V is all about what happens when both of these "worlds" collide. Zero didn't just want another soldier, but an idol for the next generation. You could even take it further and say it's also about the battle of "Faith" versus "Facts"; is having an explanation for everything always the most suitable way to go forward? People lie about their loved ones to save them from the truth and to prevent harm (e.g. Snake lying to Naomi about Grey Fox's last words at the end of MGS). Conversely, has blind faith always led humanity down the best roads? I believe this idea fits nicely with the fear of an "always on" society, and also the idea of information control from MGS2. Is what we see really the truth? Or is it censored to show someone elses truth? The gear on Snake's back from the phantom pain also suggests interference from Psycho Mantis. Could those shackles represent the same kind of control as the puppet strings from MGS4? Could this whole experience be Big Boss rejecting these implanted memories? Or this be the conclusion of a social experiment, like Raiden's story in MGS2, from Kojima to us to decide what is actually real?more2013-03-28T20:03:39.283Z