Top 5 Ways Hideo Kojima Tricked Players in Metal Gear Series


From the Phantom Pain build up since VGA 2012 to the recent culmination of it all in Metal Gear Solid V reveal in GDC 2013, Hideo Kojima has been creating a lot of confusion with his recent mischievous antics of secrecy and false advertising.

Not just content with advertising a fake development studio named; Moby Dick Studio, to keep his charade for Phantom pain going, Kojima also went forward to orchestrate an interview with Joakim Morgen, the alleged CEO of the said studio.

Now finally revealed; the mysterious ‘Phantom Pain’ has been shown to be the part of Metal Gear Solid V. Moreover in a recent interview, we discover that Kojima had been planning this charade for the past 2 years, showing that Hideo Kojima is quite dedicated in his agendas of deception.

What’s more, according to recent reports, David Hayter won’t be reprising his gravelly vocal prowess for Metal Gear Solid V. Taking this news out of the mere realm of speculation, both Kojima and Hayter have hinted towards this in recent interview.

This revelation has also ruffled a lot of feathers as most of the English speaking audience directly associate Hayter’s voice with that of Snake and seeing someone else do the honors would just feel out of place. Of course, knowing Kojima, this could all be a ruse.

In lieu of all this, it should be clear by now that Hideo Kojima loves to pull the rug from under his fans’ feet. Thus seems to be an appropriate time to take a deeper look into Hideo Kojima’s tradition of trickery that has brought us into this present junction.

Top 5 Ways Hideo Kojima Tricked Players in Metal Gear Series

Following are the top five instances in which the Metal Gear games surprised and subverted my expectations over the years. Needless to say; expect all sorts of spoilers from past Metal Gear games.

The entries are organized with respect to the impact they had on me while I played the particular game for the first time as well as the difference between what I was anticipating and what I actually got to experience.

Each entry on this list is accompanied by the name of the game in which the instance took place, the year of its release as well as a phrase that can encapsulate my reaction from experiencing the trickery.

5# Big Boss

  • Game: Metal Gear
  • Year: 1987
  • Response: “Et tu, Brute?”

Let’s start with a classic; the twist that started it all. Big reveal of Big Boss, the leader of Fox Hound, as the head of Outer Heaven.

From the start of the game, you, the player, have to live through the main protagonist; Solid Snake, a rookie to the Special Forces unit Fox Hound. As the game begins, the best operative of your group; Gray Fox, has gone missing and you, a rookie, have to rescue him and finish his mission.

Your entire goal was to infiltrate the military complex; Outer Heaven, with only, over the radio, help of Big Boss, who was your Commanding Officer for the entire mission.

So when your one true confidant and the person who actually sent to into the mission, turns out to be the man who orchestrated the whole mess to begin with, Snake isn’t the only one who is left flabbergasted.

It was a twist that left every player dumbfounded, as no one expected the lovable, Sean Connery lookalike, CO to be the “legendary mercenary” that was the founder and leader of Outer Heaven.

The reason why this is at number 5 is due to the limited surprise factor of the final reveal. Sure, for the most of the game, you are unaware that your commanding officer is your main antagonist but the manner in which the game handled the reveal was a slow build. The swerve itself wasn’t sudden expose.

The game alludes to it several times during the campaign, but as you near the end it showers you with blatantly obvious clues that make you realize that all is not right with the good old Big Boss. The issue becomes fairly obvious when Big Boss starts telling Snake to quit the mission and then tells the player to switch off their console.

Even with its deliberate reveal, the impact of the actual twist on the series cannot be overstated. This was the catalyst for all the twists and turns the series would eventually deliver and something that the franchise is still known for.

The domino effect of this trickery can be traced to Metal Gear 2’s Gray Fox betrayal, MGS’s Master Miller reveal, MGS 2’s Solid-Solidus dilemma, MGS 3’s Boss betrayal, MGS4’s Ocelot reveal and MGS: Peace Walker’s situation with Paz. Each and every one of those examples can be traced to the instance when Big Boss was revealed to be the main bad guy of the game.

And yes, sure his codename should have been a dead giveaway, but hey, in those days we didn’t know any better and were innocent to the wiles of Kojima-san.

4# The End

  • Game: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  • Year: 2004
  • Response: “Wait, What?”

The End is a hundred-year-old member of the Cobra Unit who is called “the father of modern sniping”. He waits for Snake in the Sokrovenno forest to engage him in an epic snipping battle.

And what an epic battle it turns out to be. Unlike other battles, the boss fight with the End is a deliberate, slow and tense hide and seek, sniping duel that can easily take players hour plus to finish. The fight takes place in an area spanning three zones; Sokrovenno North, South and West, a thick forest divided into a river, a plateau, and a clearing.

The fight was filled with little tricks. You could capture The End’s parrot and set it free so that it follows back to its master and reveal his location, or just kill the bird to infuriate the ancient sniper thereby making him reckless, and you could even use the KONAMI CODE (Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Square, Triangle) to reveal the location of The End on your map.

However, the best tricks were saved for how many ways players could get through the fight. Kill End before the battle. Save the game during the battle only to get captured by him as you resume play. And if you wait too long, to get back to the game, the End just dies of old age, off screen.

Yes, players could just completely avoid the lengthy battle by shooting a sleep End in his wheel chair just after a preceding cutscene. Doing so would put The End out of his misery but deprive the players of an epic battle. After doing the said deed, Snake would merely have to navigate the Sokrovenno forest, now populated with couple of Ocelot unit soldiers guarding the area.

What was most surprising about this instance was that there were no cues, quick time events or any clues to indicate that such an action could be done after the specific cutscene as snake is supposed to move forward to the next area, while The End and his wheelchair were hidden behind a patrolling guard. Players who just happened to go back and experiment were rewarded with a big surprise.

As was previously mentioned, players would also get a surprise if they saved the game mid battle and came back after a week or more. Now, normally saving a game mid-battle is not a recourse that one can and does take in many games; this might even seem like a very off-chance situation, but as was mentioned before, the battle with The End is a lengthy one and can last upwards of an hour.

Not only is the battle a lengthy one, but also very frustrating for anyone acting without restraint and patience.

Players have to meticulously scour the area to find The End in three different zones while he is almost completely hidden due to his Moss camouflage in the dense forest and has a habit of healing himself via photosynthesis, all the while try to stay hidden from his scope sight. So it is no surprise that players were expected to save during the battle and leave it to fight another day.

What they found upon returning depended on how much time one put off the fight. If the player took upwards of a week to resume the battle, they would find that The End had passed away due to his old age and Snake is the winner by default. While a source of relief for some, this was a very shocking predicament to have avoided a complete boss battle mid fight.

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By Omar Majeed

Omar has been a hardcore gamer since the 80s, so you know he's going to act all superior and snobbish when you meet him. He's a fan of Stealth, Action and Fighting games, which hints at his innate bipolarity.

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    • http://www.facebook.com/ehsan89 Ehsan Elahi

      Great article. But ‘diametrically opposite’ (10th para, Raiden) makes no sense….. diametric itself means ‘exactly opposite’.