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The Phantoms of Kojima Productions

By Samuel Woodruff in NEX GEN
Over the past week, we here at RealGamerNewz have been having some interesting discussions about the upcoming cloven Metal Gear Solid V. Speculations have mostly been about what consoles both parts will be featured on, and while both parts have been confirmed for PS3 and XBOX 360, with no release dates yet offered by Kojima or Konami, it’s fairly safe to assume that there will be at least versions of them on next gen consoles. The Fox engine just seems too powerful for them to limit themselves on their flagship game in their marquee series to current gen gaming devices. All the footage that we’ve seen so far, from last year’s announcement of Ground Zeroes to last week’s reveal of the full Phantom Pain trailer has been running on a PC construct, so it’s certainly possible that they’ll release PC versions as well.
There’s also been a lot of speculation about the potential story elements of the new games. At first there was some confusion over the main character of The Phantom Pain, but that was dispelled by Kojima’s interview with Game Trailers. However, one theory that was put forward was very interesting: the possibility of clones playing a factor in the story. I didn’t think it was plausible at first, but then I started to consider some things we know, and given that we have no context, it certainly becomes POSSIBLE (besides, it’s always fun to speculate). Firstly, I personally don’t remember Big Boss ever having had a prosthetic/bionic hand, so I consulted my Metal Gear Solid Database and found nothing in Big Boss’s bio (though this database was written before even Peacewalker was released, so some ret-conning wouldn’t be out of the question).

Another possible sign is the glaring absence of David Hayter as the voice of Big Boss. He’s voiced Big Boss in three previous games, and is one of the staples of the American version of the franchise. While Solid Snake shares Hayter’s voice with Big Boss, the other two confirmed Big Boss clones do not. Liquid and Solidus are played by James Flinders aka Cam Clarke and John Cygan respectively. Kojima claims that they didn’t ask Hayter back because they were essentially “rebooting” the franchise, so to add to a new flavor of gameplay they would have a fresh voice for Big Boss. A lot of people are wondering if this is another of Kojima’s clever ruses, even after Hayter posted on the subject online, and if that’s the case, a Big Boss clone certainly wouldn’t preclude him from appearing as the ACTUAL Big Boss in the game.

“V” is also an interesting element to the game. Not only because they’ve changed their numbering system for the title from the Arabic numeral set (which has been used in all numbered sequels) to the Roman numeral set, but also because of the mysterious quote which closes the trailer: “V has come to.” Could “V” be the codename of this clone? Does that imply that there could be other clones? For instance, the bandaged man, “Ishmael,” seemingly voiced by Keifer Sutherland in the gameplay demo?

It would require a different cloning technique as a story conceit than the Les Enfant Terribles project, since the brothers were preteens in 1984, when The Phantom Pain is set. Perhaps Big Boss’s memories have been imprinted on this clone by Psycho Mantis, which would explain the hallucinations and the appearance of a shadowy Volgin phantom in the hospital. Perhaps that’s the meaning of the phantom pain, remembering pain that he never really had. Again, this is all speculation, and probably way off the mark.

What this article is really about are some questions that haven’t even been asked yet. Namely, will there be a new Metal Gear Online featured with either part of the new game, and is The Phantom Pain the “Project Ogre” that was being developed on the Fox engine? Kojima first teased “Project Ogre” in an interview with CNN when he was touting the new Fox Engine, and said “The kind of game I’m making is some game that has a very wide entrance, a very open entrance… Rather than making something very cinematic, [I plan to] make something very free.” We know that Metal Gear Solid V is going to be an open world game, however, after the reveal of Ground Zeroes last year, there was a lot of speculation as to whether it was the aforementioned Project Ogre.

Kojima emphatically dispelled those thoughts, tweeting that “While I am happy to know people liked MGS Ground Zeroes, I’m sick & tired of people keep asking me ‘is that project Ogre’ here in Seattle everyday. Project Ogre is what the project that Ogre appears. Ogre does not appear in MGS Ground Zeroes.” So where do we stand now that we have another part of MGSV? Does “Ogre” appear in The Phantom Pain? If not do we have yet even MORE to look forward to from Kojima Productions in the near future? Kojima’s pseudonym for the Phantom Pain “Joakim Mogren” contains not only an anagram of Kojima (Joakim=Kojima) but also “Ogre” at the center (mOGREn). Is that a coincidence? With Kojima, is anything coincidence?

As far as a new MGO, there’s been a new iteration with each of the last two numbered titles in the series, and Kojima has professed his desire to make more social games. He did so with Portable Ops and Peace Walker on the PSP, and Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops for mobile devices. It’s still early in the reveal process so I’d bet that we’ll get some info on a new MGO as we get closer to a release, maybe at E3, but knowing Kojima’s fondness for TGS, that’s more likely.
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