IT’S JUST A BOX: Why #AHIDEOKOJIMAGAME Is Misguided

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The embarrassingly naïve outrage over Kojimagate continues on, and although I don’t have time to flesh this out the way that I normally would, I’m going to race through the points and try to point out how silly fans are acting right now.  This isn’t just about the hashtag, but all those fans who are getting upset because they seriously think that Kojima has been betrayed by Konami…

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Only For Revenge: Kojima’s Secrecy And Obsession With Misunderstanding

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Only For Revenge

 As the strange tale of Kojima’s meta-narrative becomes more complex and epic, when can we expect to see him tip his hand and explain everything?  Why hasn’t he done this yet?  Why does he keep his genius secret?

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MGSV: A theory about ‘Those who “don’t exist”‘

I have a theory about those who “don’t exist”.  It could be wrong, or it could be a more common belief than I’m aware of, in which case it’s hardly much of a theory, but I want to share it nonetheless.

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I think this group of people are actually real, but they simply “don’t exist” in the official sense.  They’ve been officially wiped from all government records.  As far as the world is concerned, they are nonexistent.  I believe Kojima purposely labeled them as people who don’t exist in order to mislead us into thinking they’re hallucinations of Big Boss after his coma.

Powerful psychics, capable of summoning flaming demons with their minds and float through walls; misshaped and soulless soldiers who leap into the air and shuffle toward you; they seem to be demons…

“We are not your kind of people — won’t be cast as demons”

That’s a lyric from the Garbage song used in the trailer.  This is probably the most important line in the song, considering we know Kojima was calling MGSV “the Demon Project” (or “Ogre Project”) for a long time.  Everything is pointing to these people either being real demons (not likely) or hallucinations.  But I like my idea more for a couple of reasons that I’ll get to.

They refuse to be cast as demons, and refuse to “not exist”.  The fact that there are quotes around the words “don’t exist” implies that this is a label they’ve been given, not actually true.  Why put quotes around it if its simply a statement of fact?

The CIA has marked these people as “nonexistent demons”, and after Big Boss’ nine year coma, he too has been marked as somebody who “doesn’t exist” anymore.  He’s officially been considered dead and forgotten.  He lost, and has fallen into mercenary Hell.  The CIA and enemies of Big Boss won, and now he has to join those who “don’t exist” in order to rebuild his influence and make his comeback.  He’s one of those “demons”, and this might even bolster his future obsession with recruiting “demons” from around the world, much like the Cobra Unit, or FOXHOUND.

To me, this all makes for a much more interesting story than Big Boss being brain-damaged and hallucinating.  Truth being stranger than fiction.  Can somebody really float through a wall and summon telekinetic demons?  I don’t know, but The Pain could control bees and shoot them like bullets, The End could come back from the dead using photosynthesis, and the dead ghost of The Sorrow could cause it to rain blood.  Oh, and Volgin could shoot endless amounts of electricity from his hands, and control machinery just by grabbing random wires.  Just sayin.

One last thought.  The whole theme of losing limbs and being stuck with the pain until you go crazy certainly makes Revolver Ocelot’s future psychosis more logical, don’t you think?

Kojima flatly denies any involvement with The Phantom Pain

Hideo Kojima has flat out denied having any involvement with The Phantom Pain, in an interview with “Youth Arabia”:

YA: Did you have anything to do with Phantom Pain , since the character bears a resemblance to Solid Snake? 

HK: (Laughs) Phantom Pain is being made by Moby Dick studios, I do not have any part in that game. I saw the resemblance there though.

The interview moves from subject to subject quickly, so there’s no followup to this point, unfortunately.  But it’s obvious Kojima isn’t just being cheeky here; at this point, he would have to be an out-and-out liar if it turns out he’s involved with the game.

As I said previously, I believe The Phantom Pain is the taboo “Devil Project” which Kojima said had the potential to end his career if people don’t respond well.  The Devil/Ogre Project has been shrouded in secrecy from the beginning, although we know that it needs to involve visible demons, and that it’s not Ground Zeroes; manwhile, the trailer for The Phantom Pain includes the question “Am I in hell?”  Coincidence?  Lying directly to game journalists and fans could certainly backfire, and perhaps it’s is the career-jeopardizing move Kojima has now fully committed to.

The Phantom Pain’s Phantom Appeal

It’s what you DON’T see that makes it fascinating.  Negative space.  The words “METAL GEAR SOLID V” literally cut out of the title, instead of being shown front and center.  It’s brilliant, intriguing, and (hopefully) reflects a deeper theme within the game — of letting our imaginations go wild, for better or worse.

Is The Phantom Pain really Metal Gear Solid 5?  Or is that what we’re supposed to trick ourselves into thinking?

The Phantom Pain

Remember when Kojima talked about a “taboo” project that could potentially force him to leave the industry — the project which was eventually revealed to be the “devil” project?

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Metal Gear Solid 5 leaked image confirms rumors apparently

I happened to notice “Metal Gear Solid 5” in the Twitter trends this morning, and soon found myself reading very vague, and very possibly fake rumors.  Here’s the news piece.

The unverified picture prominantly [sic] displays a logo for Metal Gear Solid 5 along with the phrase ‘Open Ground Reconnaissance Endeavors (OGRE)’ which could be a replacement for the ‘Tactical Espionage Action’ tagline the series has carried thus far.

Kojima wanted to have an open-world environment ever since Snake Eater, which was supposed to be “seamless” initially, with weather patterns and a day/night cycle; players were supposed to get lost in the jungle and need to use landmarks for navigation; hunting and sneaking would be more important than ever.  The trailer even made reference to Grand Theft Auto, suggesting that the games would be comparable.  Basically, compared to Kojima’s original ambitions we got a can of sardines.  This would be the full feast.

This may be Kojima’s opportunity to make his old dream a reality.  If “OGRE” does stand for “Open Ground Reconnaissance Endeavors” — which for the record I hope it does not, because nothing sounds lamer than the word “endeavors” when describing a game — then it could be Metal Gear Solid 5 after all.  How on earth this ties into raising a family?  Well, Big Boss did have some hand in raising Solid and Liquid Snake, at least…

Do I believe the leaked rumor?  Actually, I sort of do.  It would even fit with his old statement about how it could end up as career suicide if it went wrong, which I surmised involved retconning the Metal Gear series.  Or maybe I’m dumb!

EDIT:  Okay, so I’m way behind in the times here.  So there are a couple of fuzzy screenshots, not just one, and there is a lot more news about MGS5 being said already.  I am dumb!

Kojima once again says that MGS2 was supposed to be his final Metal Gear

I’ve said it a million times but apparently it’s still news: Kojima intended for MGS2 to be his last Metal Gear project, which means that Snake Eater and Guns of the Patriots were both projects he was “forced” to do.  Get it?  He didn’t want to make those.  He’s directly saying it, on record.  Okay, I think you understand now.

Very diplomatically, he says that nobody was to blame, and that there were “problems” when others tried to take over.  (Problems which couldn’t have been more obvious in Portable Ops, I’m sure.)  He also says that Project Ogre will use the Fox Engine, which is predictable, but still exciting.

Think about it this way: if he made MGS3 and MGS4 against his own will, and they turned out to be as great as they are, how great will the project he really wants to work on be?  I don’t know how I failed to notice this before, but apparently Kojima recently talked about how Project Ogre will deal with issues of family and adult life, and would be a “subdued” experience.  Never knew that.  As much as I dislike melodrama, I look forward to this.  (Please don’t be like Heavy Rain.)

Kojima finally explains what Ogre Project means

I don’t understand Japanese, but Anoop Gantayat from Andriasang does.  He looks at Kojima’s tweet for us, and explains:

Hideo Kojima has been talking up his mysterious “Project Ogre” at Twitter for the past year. In Japanese, he refers to the project as “Oni Project.” Today, he clarified what the “Oni” means.

There have been a few theories of what the Oni might mean. Perhaps this is such a big project that it’s devilish or demonic. Or perhaps it’s a game that requires Kojima to close off his heart as he makes it (this is from a proverb involving Oni, I believe).

These two are both incorrect, said Kojima at Twitter today. The meaning is more literal. Oni Project is a game that deals with Oni in some capacity.

Oni can be translated to a variety of things, including demon, devil, and, of course, ogre. Based off Kojima’s Tweets, it’s unclear if he’s saying that the game deals with Oni as a subject matter, or if it’s the player who handles Oni in some form (collecting spirits and so-forth).

That’s actually a huge revelation: the game involves actual demons.  Kojima seems to be really passionate about this project, and I can’t wait to see what it’s about.  Sneaking through hell, smoking brimstone cigars and trying to fight a demonic Metal Gear?