Lowering The Bar (Guest Article)

This article was written by Jack Wade, who contacted me by email. Since I’ve written a whole book studying the careful forethought given to MGS2’s polarizing writing and design choices I find it invigorating to see a good old fashioned trashing of the man behind the legend. Although Jack clearly hasn’t read my book, which accounts for many of the strange disparities he points out about MGS2’s development, he makes a compelling case for not accepting Kojima as some literary genius — especially in the vein of the usual fanbase, who all seem to have blinders on when discussing the series. He casts doubt on the purported complexity behind it all. Since first proposing the VR Theory and fleshing out the metanarrative analysis of the series, I’ve watched the community slowly absorb the positive ideas I put forward about Kojima, but reject the unflattering side of the analysis. They don’t debate it, they just reject things they don’t want to hear. Ironic, of course. I much prefer people like Jack Wade, willing to step up and make the discussion more interesting.


There is no such thing as a clean and simple discussion of the Metal Gear series and it is the fault of a singular entry within it. Metal Gear Solid 2 had some of the most jarring idiosyncrasies, not just in its own world, but among fans of the franchise. If Metal Gear just skipped over MGS2, tweaked MGS4 to match the changes, and then proceeded normally, it would be another unremarkable series with a very high bar set by its opening iteration that just gets worse over time much like Deus Ex or StarCraft.

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Officially Released! THE KOJIMA CODE

After much anticipation, The Kojima Code is now becoming available for purchase! Get it in glorious Hardcover, Paperback, and digital formats from the biggest online retailers in the world, and Print-On-Demand in locations worldwide. Make sure to check out the options so you can get the format you want at the best value!

Buy it now:

Barnes & Nobles (link)
Amazon (link)
Chapters (link)
Smashwords (link)
Kobo (link)
And more places should have it!
Ask your local bookstore for
Print-On-Demand availability

Want to know a little about the book first? Check out the description:

Download the expanded PDF promotional explainer (link) if you’d like to copy and share snippets

Questions: 

Q. Why can’t I find [version] at [retailer]?
The book is brand new, so not every retailer has gotten around to listing every version yet! Either shop around or wait for your preferred retailer to get the version you want. Apparently it’s normal for retailers to take up to a week or two to get each copy listed correctly.

Q. How much of the book deals with Metal Gear Solid 2?
This book is divided into two halves, and the entire second half deals with Metal Gear Solid 2! You’ve never seen analysis this in-depth!

Video: Hideo Kojima betrays the MGS2 message

Isn’t it weird how Hideo Kojima has stopped talking about the dangers of the digital society? In this video I talk about the new opinion piece he has written for Glixel.

Thank you very much to my Patreon supporters, this video is brought to you by them!

Interview with Alexander Sylazhov

I’ve been lucky to have Alexander Sylazhov as a guest contributor multiple times on this site. His writing reveals a facet of the Metal Gear community otherwise hidden from me, and shows me how other cultures and peoples can approach the subject matter in Metal Gear with a drastically different perspective. Recently I decided to ask Alexander for an interview, so that his fans and the general readership of this site can get to know the man behind these daunting essays a little more personally.

Check out the interview below and learn a bit about this mysterious character.

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Kojima draws parallel between “Old Logan” and “Old Snake”

In my articles on MGS4 I have emphasized the reduction of Solid Snake to a hired killer, stripped of the noble idealism we see at the end of Sons of Liberty. The “rapid aging” plot gimmick and the change of his name to “Old Snake” were early hints that his heroic leader status was going to be stripped away, and then we saw within the game itself that he doesn’t live up to his own ideals anymore; he gives up on teaching, and just focuses on trudging through his mission with little more fueling him than nanomachines and drug injections. People have tried to retroactively interpret his actions as something greater, but this shows a basic misunderstanding of the “Old Snake” character in my opinion.

Now Kojima has written an essay on the film Logan, and repeats the logic behind Snake’s transformation:

Back in 2008, I did something similar when I put an old Solid Snake into Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. In the intro, Snake says “War has changed.” His codename was also changed to “Old Snake.” The letters “I” and “S” were removed from the word SOLID: “is” – or in other words “being” – had been taken away from him; he was now Old Snake. In much the same way, both Snake and Logan had their place in the world taken away from them. What place is there in the world for those whose very being has been wrested from them? All that remains is the end of their story – a story of their departure. I attempted to pull the same trick you see in Logan – of simultaneously writing an “end” for MGS4 while trying not to actually end the whole saga. [Emphasis mine]

This is confirmation. Solid Snake’s “being” is removed in MGS4, leaving only a shell of his former self. Once you remove who he “is”, he simply becomes “Old Snake”, the grumpy assassin trying to clean up the mess that is his legacy, devoid of ideals.

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