Everyone knows that the critically acclaimed Metal Gear Solid franchise is the brainchild of Hideo Kojima but does anyone know from where the renowned developer and designer got his inspiration from?
In an article published in the decade-old Metal Gear Solid Naked book (Amazon), translated by Marc Laidlaw, Kojima reveals a long list of movies that greatly influenced him to come up with ideas for the narrative-heavy world. There are more than thirty movies mentioned, mostly from the classic period, but each contributing something that ultimately shaped the Metal Gear Solid experience.
Here are the top ten movies that Kojima himself states were incredibly beneficial in that regard.
12 Angry Men (1957)
How a jury member held out to prevent injustice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence made Kojima think about the inaccuracies of stereotypes and assumptions in our society. The classic movie, directed by Sidney Lumet, was also his first exposure to the American justice system and outlined the parts in the Metal Gear Solid script where elements like morality and ethics were guided to take a wrong turn.
The historical tale of resistance fighters using the sewer system of Warsaw to escape the Germans during World War II is an all-time favorite offering of Hideo Kojima from director Andrzej Wajda. The cinematic take had a big influence on the Metal Gear Solid narrative and its different settings over numerous installments.
The Pink Panther Series (1963 – 1978)
The five installments in the series by director Blake Edwards, as well as the rebooted versions down the line, all follow the bumbling actions of a police inspector and how he still manages to solve the crime in the end. This is where the Metal Gear Solid series got its sense of humor, and Kojima is a great fan of the late Peter Sellers.
For those still unaware, Django Unchained (2012) was a reboot of the original take that was directed by Sergio Corbucci. While director Quentin Tarantino did take some liberty with the storyline, the core premise still featured the same racist and violent elements.
It turns out that the wild west setting actually led to Ocelot, a returning character in the Metal Gear Solid installments. The evidence of this inspiration lies in how Ocelot often wore the traditional garb of cowboys and was regarded as a formidable gunfighter.
Django also inspired the main character in Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand with the same name, which was another role-playing game from Kojima for the Game Boy Advance.
El Topo (1970)
The story follows a mysterious gunfighter who has to face multiple bizarre characters one after the other in a strange and mystical western landscape. The way in which the characters present themselves and reveal their beliefs greatly influenced the bosses in the Metal Gear Solid series. What director Alejandro Jodorowsky achieved with El Topo gave Kojima the idea to have bosses with deeper and meaningful backstories.
An unlikely friendship with an inmate on a dreadful prison island lays the foundation of a daring escape for the two. The endured hardships and careful planning highlighted by director Franklin J. Schaffner inspired Kojima to focus on survival elements in the Metal Gear Solid storytelling.
The Towering Inferno (1974)
A poorly constructed office skyscraper is threatened to be completely destroyed when a massive fire suddenly breaks out. Incidentally, it was not the disaster element from director John Guillermin but rather the closed environments that influenced the use of elevators, shafts, ducts, and stairs in the Metal Gear Solid series.
The Cassandra Crossing (1976)
In another disaster-focused offering, passengers on a train are forcefully refused to leave after they are exposed to a deadly disease. The work by director George P. Cosmatos was another factor that contributed to the use of closed environments in the Metal Gear Solid series.
Bad Taste (1987)
The population of a small town disappears and is replaced by aliens that chase human flesh for their intergalactic fast-food chain. This served as the directorial debut of Peter Jackson and inspired the humor used in the Metal Gear Solid installments to dissolve tension.
Die Hard (1988)
One police officer proves to be a one-man army as he tries to save his wife and several others that have been taken hostage by terrorists. The classic flick from director John McTiernan was a huge influence on the action genre during the period, and convinced Kojima to take a few pointers for his own Metal Gear Solid lineup.
What other movies do you know of that greatly influenced the Metal Gear Solid installments? Let us know in the comments below.