Requiem and Rebirth – Metal Gear Solid V as a new beginning

A GUEST ARTICLE BY “FLYING FOX”

How many hidden messages are hidden away inside The Phantom Pain’s subtext? Is there a new metanarrative once again? Friend of the site, Flying Fox, has analyzed the game’s story to find many fascinating examples that he believes can redeem and elevate the controversial, seemingly unfinished story. Originally this article was published here on a site called MetalGearSolid.be, in French. Thankfully the author has painstakingly translated his enormous commentary into English and given our site the honor of presenting it to my English-reading readers, who I suspect are thirsty for answers exactly like these. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did, and find many observations that you hadn’t even considered before.


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The Music of MGSV You’ve Never Heard

mgsv-feel

The PC version of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain allows players to insert their own music into the game, which will play as their evac chopper comes in for a landing, or if you select it from your iDroid device. When I was playing I made sure to try this feature. Even though I haven’t played the game in half a year, I am vividly and immediately transported into the game whenever I hear those songs.

I feel that this is an accomplishment of Kojima’s that needs more recognition. At the very least, I want to recognize how it has affected me.


 

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“MGSV: Parasitic Legacy” Video attempts to show the Sins of the Father

I won’t embed the video here since there is a special page for it over at the SnakeSoup.  It’s probably best to go there and see the introduction and follow-up material provided by Ravi Singh.  On this page I’ll give my impressions of the video and reply to its arguments.

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Video Game Awards and Kojima

Hideo Kojima was legally prevented from attending the Video Game Awards yesterday.  During the ceremony MGSV won an award for Best Action/Adventure Game, and Keifer Sutherland went up to accept it on Kojima’s behalf.  (Sutherland noted that Metal Gear Solid fans are the most devoted of any he’s ever seen, saying that of all the things he’s done in the past, the only posters he seems to sign are for Snake in MGS.)

Here‘s what Keighley said about the situation afterward:

“Mr. Kojima had every intention of being with us tonight, but unfortunately he was informed by a lawyer representing Konami just recently that he would not be allowed to travel to tonight’s award ceremony to accept any awards.  He’s still under employment contract and it’s disappointing — it’s inconceivable to me that an artist like Hideo would not be allowed to come here and celebrate with his peers and his fellow teammates.  Such an incredible game, is Metal Gear Solid 5, but that’s the situation we’re in.  Hideo is in Tokyo right now, watching the show, so I want you to know, Hideo, that we’re thinking of you, and we miss you.  We hope to see you at The Game Awards 2016.”

Clearly this is the most pathetic move yet by Konami.  It truly does seem like pure animosity toward Kojima, which begs the question of what exactly he did to piss them off so much.  The game has sold incredibly well, and obviously it won an award, so it is mind-boggling why things would continue to drag out in such an ugly fashion.

I can’t wait to find out what the hell is going on yet.

Also, Jade Raymond — who many speculate was drunk at the event — took a moment to spit on the decision to replace David Hayter in Metal Gear Solid V.  Here’s a video of that.  I don’t see this as a jab at Sutherland, just pent up disbelief that Hayter was rudely snubbed for the role.

Surprise: MGSV was very profitable on Day 1

So yeah, the whole Kojima Productions dismantling probably wasn’t about money.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain made $179 million globally on its opening day, according to Adobe Digital Index’s new report on gaming trends. Compare that to the blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, which made $84 million globally on its opening day. Yes, The Phantom Pain made almost twice as much. So, the next time someone tells you that triple-A gaming is dying, you’re allowed to laugh in their face.

This shouldn’t be news, but of course there were countless commenters who replied to the controversy surrounding Kojima by saying MGSV’s budget was astronomical, the game would struggle to ever become profitable, etc.  Do these people realize that games cost over $60 USD each?  Did they realize that next-gen consoles have no games right now?  It will be interesting to see what the reaction is to this news.

This feat is even more impressive when you consider that Metal Gear Solid V had a cheaper budget. It cost $80 million to make, while Age of Ultron had a massive $250 million budget. And games already make more than film: Gaming will be worth $91.5 billion this year, according to research group Newzoo. Accounting firm PwC says that the movie industry will be worth $88.3 billion in 2015.

“The gaming industry is a lot bigger than most marketers realize,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst and director at Adobe in the report. “These games get more social buzz on opening day than most movies do, and the revenue for one of the top games this year outdid the highest-grossing movie start [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 with $91 million] by nearly double.”

Let’s act shocked.

Review vs. Analysis

I received an email recently from a reader who wasn’t impressed with my review.  He said that it felt like a kneejerk reaction against the game, without all of the nuance and insight that I usually give.  This was my reply to him, which may interest some of you:


My review was written as a judgment, not an analysis.  Most of my articles do not review MGS games, they study them, as you said.  For a review, however, the purpose is to decide what I personally like or dislike, and to criticize the product as a product.  MGSV is a product that costs money, and which either meets or fails to meet expectations of consumers who paid to experience it.  I am one of those consumers.  I’m not a disciple of Kojima.

If you read my actual review of MGS2, which follows at the end of my “Complete Breakdown” analysis, you’ll see that I also give it criticism in ways that I never did elsewhere.  Perhaps it’s rare, but I can simultaneously understand the deep intentions of Kojima and step back and judge his output from a more unbiased point of view.

With that said, my review is positive.  Perhaps you interpreted it as negative because you expected an analysis instead of a review.  My analysis will be in my book, and its too early for me to even get into that side of things at this point.  Once we know about what the hell happened during production with Konami and him I’ll feel more comfortable doing a meta analysis, but honestly, everyone else is pretty much on the same level as me until we hear more.

I appreciate the email and I knew that it would come off that way.  I also felt bad giving a judgment on it as a product, because my role has been an analyst for years, but that’s not nearly all I have to say about the game.  I hope you’ll look forward to a deeper analysis without judgment down the road, because I am too.

Like I said, though, I genuinely give it a positive review and don’t hate it.  Trust me that I can see the attempts at meta things better than anyone else out there, trying to be smart about the artistic intentions and the twist.  I have some important things to say about the meta aspect that I haven’t shared yet.  But i just wanted to get my EVALUATION of the PRODUCT out of the way while it was fresh, and I felt that I may as well articulate what people were experiencing.

I did pretty much insult the way it tried to be clever, but there is a sick habit going around the gaming community as a whole where people defend games based on everything except enjoyment and user experience.  We’re all experts now, familiar with behind-the-scenes production struggles, sympathizing with various creators, or even just what they represent.  “This game isn’t fun but it represents the indie scene and anti-corporate practices so I’m going to defend it!”.  But what about the experience itself?  Is it impossible to separate our view of a product from the production itself?

My REVIEW is about that 16 year old who picks up the game without knowing anything about Konami politics, but played some of the old games and wants to experience something worth their money.  My analysis will be about Kojima and the meaning of it all.

The Ideology of Torture

Mr. Sylazhov returns with his latest guest article the day before the release of Metal Gear Solid V, to examine the extremely important matter of torture, in both the real world and the fictional one Kojima uses to show his views.

The methods, reasons, and history of torture are discussed, along with a personal story that drives home the reality of the barbaric practices used by military and spy agencies around the world.  This article was finished quite a while ago, but I’m publishing it on the eve of The Phantom Pain to emphasize the seriousness of its controversial subject matter.

Warning: Some graphic content follows.


The Ideology of Torture

A personal, political, and philosophical study of torture in the MGS series and the real world

I would like to dedicate the following piece to the victims of
the dictatorship in my country, and to all victims of
political repression from any side of the political spectrum.

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