Konami And Kojima Need To Give Answers Regarding Cut Content In Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

And why the story is a big slap on the face of hardcore Metal Gear fans.

Posted By | On 15th, Sep. 2015 Under Article, Editorials | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet


Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is a fantastic game. Gameplay wise, it’s Hideo Kojima’s magnum opus. It’s an amazing title, one that needs to be played by everyone, Metal Gear fan or not. With that out of the way, Konami and Hideo Kojima owe it to the fans to give some answers regarding the cut content in the game.

Beware, spoilers below Ocelot’s awesome J.F. Rey Eyewear.

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"You are some random MSF medic who all of a sudden became Big Boss’s best man and not only that, the medic also inherits Big Boss’ legendary sneaking tactics and combat capabilities all in a matter of minutes after being in the coma for nine years. How the hell something like that can happen?"

The Metal Gear Solid series has always been close to my heart and I have been waiting for The Phantom Pain for a long time. Kojima himself has been hyping up The Phantom Pain for years, claiming that it will finally close off the missing link to the rise of Outer Heaven and will showcase Big Boss’ fall from legendary status and his descent into villainy and madness. But what we got instead was an unwanted twist which raises more questions rather than answering them.

You play as Big Boss’ body double a.k.a. Big Medic in The Phantom Pain. You are some random MSF medic who all of a sudden became Big Boss’s best man and not only that, the medic also inherits Big Boss’ legendary sneaking tactics and combat capabilities all in a matter of minutes after being in the coma for nine years. How the hell something like that can happen? Ocelot reveals that the medic has all the memories of Big Boss through induced hypnotherapy which is understandable but those are only limited to memories not natural abilities like thinking like a soldier in the middle of the battlefield. 

I get that Kojima wanted to break the fourth wall with The Phantom Pain’s ending. But seriously, he kind of did that in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty with grace. Contrary to what many Metal Gear fans think, playing Raiden as the main hero was justified within the theme’s complex plot. Raiden was supposed to be the players themselves and demonstrate how anybody could be Solid Snake. Given the right situation, the right story, anybody can be shaped into Solid Snake, was one of the several themes of Sons of Liberty but the most important thing about about playing as Raiden was that the character had a strong development and reasoning behind it. Raiden is a rookie and as the game progresses, he earns experience and finally gets the job done. There is a proper arc to Raiden and the switch was relevant within the grand context of the game’s complex theme of memes and information control. Solid Snake, voiced by David Hayter, then delivers a fantastic monologue explaining to Raiden what the Big Shell incident should mean to him and how he should carry on with a new name and a clean slate. Although much of the ending of Sons of Liberty was left up to the player’s interpretation, it made sense since it gave a strong message…a message where players must think what they should pass to their future generations based on their past life experiences.

"In the mirror scene, Big Boss tells to the player a.k.a. Medic that they are both Big Boss and thanks the Medic for spreading his meme and legend. The game story ends. The problem with this approach is that once the story ends, I am back on Mother Base, fultoning out sheeps, Ocelot and Kaz are still irritating the hell out of me on radio and am still saving Quiet. The so called ending did not impact the story of Chapter 2 i.e. Race in anyway."

The Phantom Pain literally does the opposite. You are just thrown in to play as a nobody. The hilarious thing about the body double switch is that the big twist is revealed in the first few minutes of the game. Players are asked to enter their birth date and name…a straight rip off of the scene we saw in Sons of Liberty, and a dead give away that we are not playing as Big Boss. Why Kojima would give away his so called twist so early in the game is beyond me.

The entirety of Chapter 1, titled Revenge, is nothing short of spectacular except some ridiculous voice acting and poor character development of Skull Face. Given Skull Face’s atrocities in Ground Zeroes, I was expecting Kojima to show more of this character but instead one of the most mysterious characters in the Metal Gear universe became a parody of himself. Skull Face’s voice acting is comical, he has no character development at all, and guess what? He was behind Operation Snake Eater helping Snake to complete his goals further taking away from Big Boss’ so called legend.

Fortunately, fantastic performances by Troy Baker [Ocelot], Robin Atkin Downes [Kaz] and Christopher Randolph [Huey, except the unwanted scream of excitement after killing Skull Face: REVENGE!!!] keep up the game’s tension. And what should I say about Kiefer Sutherland’s role as Snake? All I can say is what a waste. Kojima not only wasted his potential but essentially made Snake a mute character, even in most cassette tapes he barely speaks. I get that he is not Big Boss but not even acknowledging what is going is beyond ridiculous. One of Chapter 1’s most pivotal scenes has Skull Face explaining Big Boss about his motives and we have Snake wondering what is for dinner tonight . He does not speak at all. I see no reason why Kojima replaced David Hayter. Hayter should have never been replaced as Snake. Period.

Coming back to the topic, so Skull Face dies at the end of Chapter 1, “Big Boss” extracts the Metal Gear and brings it back to Mother Base, signalling the start of Chapter 2. Unlike many other players out there, I liked Chapter 2. The experience was not close to the first one but most of the story missions were in the form of side ops which I thoroughly enjoyed. However there is no explanation regarding what happened to Liquid, the Metal Gear and his band of child soldiers.

"After completing a few side ops, Mission 46 got unlocked and then the player witnesses the truth. My problem with the ending is that it’s abrupt, unwanted and all of a sudden and it totally kills the experience I had in Mission 43. Those people actually died for someone who has a fake identity…who is not even Big Boss. "

Mission 43 titled Shining Lights, Even In Death although short was the highlight of The Phantom Pain. If nothing, Mission 43 made me aware that how loyal these people are to “Big Boss” and how their life means nothing when compared to the legend. After completing a few side ops, Mission 46 got unlocked and then the player witnesses the truth. My problem with the ending is that it’s abrupt, unwanted and all of a sudden and it totally kills the experience I had in Mission 43. Those people actually died for someone who has a fake identity…who is not even Big Boss. 

In the mirror scene, Big Boss tells to the player a.k.a. Medic that they are both Big Boss and also thanks the Medic for spreading his meme and legend. The game story ends. The problem with this approach is that once the story ends, I am back on Mother Base, fultoning out sheeps, Ocelot and Kaz are still irritating the hell out of me on radio and am still saving Quiet. The so called ending did not impact the story of Chapter 2 i.e. Race in anyway. Or I am perhaps misunderstanding the title Race, which was supposed to indicate the race to finish the game’s development, without caring about the game’s plot. Of course I am being sarcastic but at the same time I am disappointed. Chapter 2 does take some daring stance on the language themes but getting them locked behind parasites [the nanomachines of The Phantom Pain] was ridiculous.

In the new timeline, we witness a few story modifications. In 1995, Solid Snake never killed Big Boss, he actually killed us, Big Boss’ Phantom a.k.a. Venom Snake a.k.a. Big Medic. This single modification literally takes a bit from Solid Snake’s legend and is completely against what Big Boss said in the epilogue of the Guns of the Patriots, “You have already killed me twice, today will mark the third.” Some may argue that Big Boss was using a metaphor but honestly I don’t think he was. So Solid Snake fans…Solid Snake killed Big Boss just once not twice. Minus one to his legendary status…sigh.

"In Metal Gear Solid, Liquid reveals that how Big Boss never wanted him and how he has this hate for him. Turns out that was not the real Big Boss…it was the glorious Big Medic according to Chapter 51. This raises some big questions…was it Venom Snake who saved Naomi, Gray Fox and Sniper Wolf in the 1980s? It totally belittles Big Boss’s story arc. So NO! Chapter 51 does not fix a damn thing. It cannot possibly be the ending to The Phantom Pain."

Now maybe, just maybe…Kojima had a proper explanation to all of this hot mess. I recall Kojima saying that he was worried that the game might be too big for players to finish. As we all know Mission 51 Kingdom of Flies was supposed to expand on “Big Boss” and Liquid’s character development and story arc but that was removed. Some fans believe that Mission 51 is the true ending of the game and it may justify some of the game’s ridiculous plot. But no, it does not. In fact, it totally messes up what we know about Big Boss. In Metal Gear Solid, Liquid reveals that how Big Boss never wanted him and how he has this hate for him. Turns out that was not the real Big Boss…it was the glorious Big Medic according to Chapter 51. This raises some big questions…was it Venom Snake who saved Naomi, Gray Fox and Sniper Wolf in the 1980s? It totally belittles Big Boss’s story arc. So NO! Chapter 51 does not fix a damn thing. It cannot possibly be the ending to The Phantom Pain.

Furthermore, we also reported that the game was supposed to have a new chapter altogether. In short we not only got a twist that nobody asked for but we also received a unfinished game in terms of story. Maybe Chapter 3, titled Peace, fixed up the mess of Chapter 2’s ending. We may never know. So the big question. Whose fault is it? It’s the fault of Kojima first and then Konami. Kojima has been riding the hype train for five years…this game has been in development for five freaking years and maybe Konami just got fed up and decided to release an unfinished game instead. It must be noted that Kojima was not only the director, he was also the producer of The Phantom Pain and it was his duty to finish the game on time. In an age where we are seeing awesome AAA games with quick development cycles, it’s shocking that in five years, Kojima was not able to release a single finished game. Konami could have handled the situation better instead of forcing out an incomplete and unfinished game. But they knew the hype was too high and that the game would do well regardless of its current story state.

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"Konami and Kojima owe it to the fans to at least acknowledge that they messed up. They shipped an unfinished game, that is the truth. They owe it to me and several other fans who have been waiting for years to see the game’s story connect every other dot in the series’ convoluted plot line. We never asked for a fifth Snake, we never asked for a body double…all we wanted to see was a serious story of revenge and Big Boss’ descent into madness."

Konami and Kojima owe it to the fans to at least explain why they messed up. They shipped an unfinished game, that is the truth. They owe it to me and several other fans who have been waiting for years to see the game’s story connect every other dot in the series’ convoluted plot line. Fans never asked for a fifth Snake, fans never asked for a body double…all we wanted to see was a serious story of revenge, Big Boss’ descent into madness and the formation of Outer Heaven.

It must be noted that edits happen in all types of content and not necessarily only in video games…but the level of stuff that has been edited out in The Phantom Pain and how it possibly connects to the story line is downright surprising. Despite all of the story shortcomings and cut content, lets just sit back and imagine what the game would have been if Konami and Kojima cared about the game’s original vision. The funny thing is that despite all of this…The Phantom Pain is a strong and a deserving contender for the game of the year.

In the end, Metal Gear Solid 5 lived up to its name. The Phantom Pain of getting an excellent yet unfinished Metal Gear Solid game.

You feel it too? Don’t you?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


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  • I call BS. The twist isn’t obvious at the start, because players would believe that it’s in service to the online mode. Only a few would see this Kojima craziness coming.

    I finished it yesterday. That ending really is poor. Quiet’s ending was better than that. I could swallow that he had a body double, but they should’ve dropped more hints about it.


 

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