The saxophone of Metal Gear brings you Secret of Mana lullabies

The idea behind the “Prescription for Sleep” series of albums is a heartfelt love letter to the gaming industry, designed specifically for converting beloved soundtrack tunes into gentle, soothing instrumentals that you may want to listen to when you’re sleeping.  I’m a sucker for good game soundtracks and albums based on classic games — as you may remember from “Metal Gear Symphony” by Rich Douglas — and I have to imagine that many of you would be interested in “Lullabies of Mana” too.

I’ll admit I don’t know the Secret of Mana soundtrack, but I do know it’s popular.  I recognized the saxophone of Norihiko Hibino from a mile away, though.  Even though it’s played mellow here, I got flashbacks to both Metal Gear Solid 2 and The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2 within seconds.  If you’re in that Venn Diagram where the saxophone sounds of MGS and the Secret of Mana overlap, and you need something to soothe your mind, get the album.  It’s $10, or you can give more if you think twelve songs (the shortest of which is 6:44) deserves more.

Konami finally makes it official, and Kojima does too!

 

kojimaproductions

Hideo Kojima is creating a new independent studio named “KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS” and has already made a deal with PlayStation for a “collaboration” on a new project.  This confirms reports from just a few hours ago, and means a new era of Kojima works are on the way.  We can assume that his old team is joining him, which means we should expect extremely high quality and solid development times; especially since Konami was pretty notorious for having an awful work environment for creators to begin with, and that is no longer a problem.

Of course, this is the best possible news in the wake of the Konami fiasco.  They are undoubtedly very jealous of this, and were acting out of spite against him until now — using all of their legal power to hold him down until the very last second.  I have to admit, I can still hardly believe how absurd they behaved, even for as cynical as I am.  Then again, I also never thought that his departure from Konami would be a bad thing, because — as we can clearly see today — he is perfectly fine without them.  In fact, he leveled up in the process, judging by that sweet beard.

Will the next title be anywhere near as fascinating as a new Metal Gear?  Not from a “meta” angle, I’m sure.  But I’m a fan of Kojima’s work in general, so I am very excited to see what he comes up with.  Personally, I hope he builds a new fictional universe that’s filled with social commentary and philosophy, and grounded in solid action/adventure genre that his team knows best, not some risky attempt to be a futurist.  Kojima might have so many pent up gimmicks in his brain that he won’t be able to resist making some PlayStation VR technology showcase requiring 3 peripherals to even experience properly.  (According to the new badass logo, he might want to pursue stuff you wear on your head.  That is supposed to be a robotic knight’s helmet right?)

Right now I’m focused on my book about Kojima and the Metal Gear series (although it also includes Snatcher, Policenauts, and spinoff games!) so if you want to truly appreciate his life and legacy until today, you have something amazing to look forward to still.  Not bad timing, I must say!  My deep interpretation of the series has only been reinforced by evidence over the years, and the book pushes everything to a new level.  I’m very excited to share it with you, as I stay tuned what comes next.

Let’s also have a moment of silence for the great, fun, and promising ruse theories, which spoke to so many people’s imaginations as well as their high regard for Kojima’s trickster legacy.  He was in a league of his own, and if there was ever a creator who could have somehow pulled a ruse on that scale it would have been him!  Since I no longer have any choice but to believe all of the negative reports and rumors in the past, I have to wonder even more what was truly behind the conflict and toxicity.  Maybe it will come out in the wash.

Nikkei says Kojima is gone, and already making new studio

Add another big tally to the “Not A Ruse” side.  Major Japanese news outlet Nikkei is not only confirming that Kojima has left Konami, but that he’s already opening a new studio and talking with Sony about exclusivity rights.  Polygon relayed the info like this:

According to Nikkei, Kojima is establishing a new studio and is in talks with PlayStation maker Sony Computer Entertainment.

In October, The New Yorker reported that Kojima was leaving Konami and that his non-compete clause would end in December. Konami refuted the report, saying that Kojima was still an employee.

Kojima’s relationship with Konami began to show strain in March, when the publisher announced a corporate restructuring and removed Kojima Productions’ branding from Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain promotional materials. The following month, Konami canceled Kojima’s collaboration with Guillermo del Toro, Silent Hills, suggesting further turmoil. Later, in July, Kojima Productions was reportedly disbanded.

Polygon has reached out to Konami for comment on Nikkei’s report and will update with any new details.

We need the official Konami response so that we can hopefully let go of the painful feeling and begin the healing process.  I’d make an MGSV reference, but right now it’s more of an open wound than a “phantom pain”.  I’m reminded of the tweet Kojima made about letting go and moving forward…

kojima blank space tweet

 

This was translated by @JunkerHQNet here.

4chan doubles down on the trolling theory

I was a big proponent of the theory that everything involving the pre-MGSV-release clash between Konami and Kojima was a ruse designed to generate hype for the game.  After its release, and the obvious sense that the game isn’t finished, I took the stance that even if the rumors and buzz about development problems were faked, it isn’t really clever or funny anymore.  There’s no denying that Ground Zeroes foreshadowed Kojima’s persecution, but I thought MGSV itself was supposed to save the day and give us a satisfying conclusion.  Thanks to that, my feeling is more ambivalent and I’m not sure what to believe.  I just want the full story — both behind the scenes, and in MGSV.  The “Never Be Game Over” folks failed to turn up any clues, and the official MGS twitter is pressuring people to disarm all the nukes in the FOB mode of the game, suggesting that there’s still something important left to do, but when are we going to get the truth?

Some of the good people at 4chan are doubling down on the theory, though.  This image compiles a bunch of extremely interesting discussion regarding Kojima’s situation and the possibility of an ultimate ruse happening now.  Most interesting to me is the amount of overlap with MGS2.

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