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.
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:
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
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!
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.
The following guest article was written by a friend and author, Alexander Sylazhov, who you ought to remember fondly from his Big Boss as Che Guevara article; I titled that article in order to highlight one of my favorite aspects of it, but it certainly went well beyond that. I’m deeply honored to be able to present his new article, which is the kind of analysis I would love to be able to do myself. With the upcoming release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain less than a month away, this in-depth exploration of ideology, politics, and pop culture in the Metal Gear series is a fascinating must-read from a talented writer from a different side of the world.
Expect to see more from him soon, and please check out his science fiction novel series if you want to see more from him and support his work.
Kojima and the Soviet Union
An analysis of the political overtones of the MGS series and Hideo Kojima’s ideology
If there’s one way to expand your viewership online, it’s by making a hilarious video about Metal Gear Solid. Check out this fantastic 5 minute short film parody of the original MGS.
I’d mark this one as an instant favorite.
No matter how long it’s been since I first played the game, each Winter when it begins to snow up here in Canada I get deeply nostalgic for Metal Gear Solid. I begin to play the soundtrack in my mind as I walk, mapping my surroundings as if they were a sneaking challenge and guards were around every corner. Of course I’m too old to actually run around and play out the scenario these days, but I do want to keep that feeling alive. Something about seeing footprints in the fresh snow, hearing the crunch under my foot, and feeling that chill in the air makes me want to listen to that soundtrack again.
Which is honestly why I’m so appreciative of Rich Douglas’ newest soundtrack, Metal Gear Symphony. I’ve been listening to it all day, and I feel like I’ve been transported back to in 1998 all over again. The songs use awesome samples, spans 18 good length tracks(!) and stays in the zone from beginning to end. It only costs $8 on Loudr, but you can pay more if you want to support this kind of epic, professional work. (You can also get it on iTunes or Google Play, just follow the links on this page.)
Thankfully Rich Douglas is a veteran game composer for 10 years (Lifeless Planet, Shadowgate Remake, etc.), which means he did the right thing and got it officially licensed. That means royalties go to the original creators as well, and everything is mutually beneficial and legal. Walking around in the snow with this on your MP3 player will make you feel like a sneaky badass, I guarantee.
Again, check it out here.
Our friend Threedogg — who has probably played more MGS in his life than the rest of us combined — has created an interesting video analyzing some similarities between Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2. It takes a look at the way Emma Emmerich and Meryl Silverburgh overlap!