'Metal Gear Solid 5 The Phantom Pain' News: Hideo Kojima Muses On Snake's Transformation, Teases Big Boss Action Figure

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Jun 17, 2014 08:05 PM EDT
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There's a lot of anticipation for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and as a corollary, a lot of pressure on Konami and creator Hideo Kojima to get it right. Ever the tweeter, Kojima recently took to the social media soapbox to explain the difficulties of making players accept the villain that Phantom Pain protagonist Snake is destined to become.

Konami Charts the Evolution of Snake/Big Boss, and the Metal Gears From Game to Game

Thanks to character limitations (and Kojima's apparent lapse in memory that TwitLonger is a thing), the entire spiel over Twitter is a bit, well, "clunky," but it's understandable enough with a bit of effort (and a few of my own modifications) During . where he explained the process of Snake's fully and realized transformation into the warmongering and kidnapping Big Boss:

"Hitchcock had implemented the way of 'being involved' drama in latter period of his work in UK and suspence he made in US in order to have closer distance b/w audience and protagonist to feel empathy with. Instead of detective or trained spy, an ordinary person like an audience gets involved in big incident. For this reason audience feels empathy. If you state in gaming, FPS applies to that method. Unlike movies, you can maneuver yourself in games. Thus the more distance [covered], the more complex past or specific setting protagonist has. Such as Snake a hero from past wars. How can we cover the gap b/w them?"

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Big Boss is Kojima's answer to that gap. As longtime fans of the series know, the character is at the core of the entire franchise. Chronologically, he was the first Snake, responsible for the creation of the majority of all the games' other snakes, has played both hero and (will play) villain, is the most followed and idolized character in the series by "good" and "bad" alike, has the most fleshed out background...it goes on and on.

"To bring [the] player to the same level of emotion with protagonist, MGS always fuss over that part. It's the reason Raiden appeared in MGS2, the reason you swear vengeance in The Phantom Pain after your Mother Base built in Peace Walker was destroyed in Ground Zeroes."

All this is meant to explain not necessarily how Snake becomes Big Boss, but why. But even if you missed out on any of these characters or events, it won't be the end of the world, and you'll still be able to figure out what's going on in The Phantom Pain.

Kojima explained how Snake's coma and resulting amnesia will help new players experience and understand past events, as well as identify with the game and series' characters: "I intentionally design the memory of Player & protagonist will cross over thru the game. For Players who havn't played series, The Phantom Pain provides you the setting where protagonist has just been waken from 9 yrs of coma. In such case Player should be able to play the game without any info about PW or GZ incidents. I used such metaphor like Gillian in Snatcher had an amnesia, so as in Policenauts."

Through the games, players have watched all the the events unfold that would ultimately turn Snake down the path of villainy, but to actually have him turn that corner will be difficult. Not just for fans to watch, but for Kojima to get players on board with.

"But I must say MGS users are special. They have vicarious experiences of Snake's suffering journey for 27 real years. Players who've played few MGS, aged with the Snakes and share the memories & emotions. That's the strong point of long-lived series. For fans who really love the heroic Snakes, I must make them accept the Snakes fallen into the demon in TPP. We have to head off while the end of story is already fixed. This is the hardest part, but not depicting villain, hero fallen into demon."

This "demon" might be the reason why the Big Boss action figure Kojima has been teasing also seems pretty grizzled.

The figure, seen below, is clearly based on the version of Big Boss that's set to appear in The Phantom Pain, as opposed to Ground Zeroes, obviously evidenced by the robotic arm, and absence of the skin-tight sneaking suit, replaced for a more rugged outfit to match his heavily scarred visage.

Kojima didn't offer many more details on the figure besides what can be seen in his teaser pictures, apart that PlayArts Kai is also behind the figure, and that this bronze version is standard, while a special color version will only be avaialable at next month's San Diego Comic Con. Other pictures show movable limbs, and goggles that can be placed on Snake's brow for those harsh Afghan sand storms. On a related note, newcomer and cleverly named mute sniper Quiet is also getting her own action figure.

Fans were treated to a nice cinematic trailer of The Phantom Pain at this year's E3. Check out the whole thing below.

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is set to release sometime next year for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

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