Kojima wants people to understand Big Boss’s motives, but also to question them

During the last day of E3, Hideo Kojima did two live interviews, with gaming websites GameSpot and IGN, both lasting around 20 minutes. The two interviews covered more or less the same subjects, including the themes of the game and the transition of Big Boss from ‘hero’ to ‘villain’.


GameSpot Interview


Going from the ‘hero’ to the ‘bad guy’ in a video game is a very delicate process, you have to make sure the player goes along with Snake and understands his motives in order for it to work. He wants players to understand Big Boss’s decisions and choices, but at the same time have a double morale as they don’t want him to go there.

The organizations that over the course of the games are built and then destroyed (MSF, Diamond Dogs, Outer Heaven) are used to show how Snake changed, his metamorphosis as a person can be seen through the organizations and how they differ from each other. For example, MSF was initially created to help Paz, it had good intentions. Diamond Dogs has a very different reasons. Big Boss doesn’t want the same thing that happened to MSF to happen to Diamond Dogs, so he takes a different approach. Kojima couldn’t say too much about the subject though.

Kojima wants to convey a certain theme, and he uses certain characters with certain relationships that can relay that message.

On the different themes if the Metal Gear games, Kojima said that one theme leads to another. In MGS, the theme was ‘genes’, but Kojima thought to himself that there are also memes that shape a person, the cultural aspect. That’s how Metal Gear Solid 2 came to be.
Something similar happened when he had developed Peace Walker, the theme of which was ‘deterrence’. He thought to himself: if there is deterrence, why are there all these wars in the world? The answer lead to the theme of Metal Gear Solid V: the chain of revenge.

But how do you translate this theme of revenge to the player? Kojima explained that by having Mother Base destroyed, which players spent hundreds of hours on building in Peace Walker, he could evoke in the player a feeling of wanting to take revenge.

To watch the whole interview, go here.


IGN Interview


A bit later in the day, Kojima was also interviewed by Greg Miller from IGN.

The conversation started off with Greg asking what’s going on in the trailer. Kojima explained that The Phantom Pain ends with Big Boss creating Outer Heaven. “I want the player to experience this in a convincing way, so I need people to empathize, to understand what is happening to Snake.” Kojima said (translated by Mendoza).

“I don’t want people to play as ‘Snake the Bad Guy’.” Kojima said. Instead, he wants people to go along with Snake, who had no choice of becoming who he became.

The underlying theme of the game is the chain of revenge, and how this creates wars all over the world. “I want to experience along with the player how this is chain of event is contagious, and it ultimately affects organizations, even societies. […] I want the player to experience that along with Snake.”

Kojima once again drew a comparison with Breaking Bad, and the path of its protagonist Walter White.

You go along with Snake, experiencing what he experiences, but once you take a step back, you see it’s morally wrong.

As during the GameSpot interview, Kojima explained how Snake’s revenge ties in with the player after Mother Base is destroyed in Ground Zeroes, which the player was really invested in during Peace Walker.

When Snake wakes up from his 9-year coma, his memories start coming back. This is also done with those players in mind who haven’t played any Metal Gear game before (it sounds like we can expect flashbacks or something similar).

Kojima also emphasized that MGSV is something different (since it’s now open world), but the soul of the series will remain unchanged. This is the game Kojima wanted to create 26 years ago, but due to hardware limitations this wasn’t possible. Now, with the help of the Fox Engine, it is.

Greg also asked if Kojima was surprised by the negative feedback on how Paz’ story ended in Ground Zeroes. Kojima’s answer was that they weren’t all that surprised, because in a way this was intentional. He wants players to feel the ‘phantom pain’ of characters they loved dying, the feeling of loss this causes. “That’s precisely the Phantom Pain, a pain that keeps stinging you despite the thing is gone. That’s exactly what the phantom pain is.”

Then Kojima was asked why he keeps making Metal Gear games. He answered that first of all he loves Metal Gear. Furthermore, working on the franchise gives him the possibility to try out new ideas within the series. He gets a big budget when making a new Metal Gear game, which he can use to try out these new things.

He once again said that if he were to retire from Metal Gear, he would like a new generation to continue the series, drawing a comparison with the James Bond series that is passed on to new creators.

Near the end Greg asked Kojima when the game was coming out. Kojima smiled, and said – in English: ‘1984’.

To watch this interview, go here.

  • He likes to watch people suffer, what’s the big deal? .-.

    • Daburcor

      He REALLY does!

  • Hellrasinbrasin

    …The Phantom Interview

    • crimsonfox

      Damn you Kojima and your tight lips!!!

      Although in my opinion he needs to announce a time frame for the release. At least Q2 2015 or something. Endless waiting is always the hardest part of game releases. 🙁

      • They probably don’t want to give a date yet because it’s too early, and the game would be delayed, which would only anger people. So it’s probably better to not yet give a release date at all.

        • crimsonfox

          Yeah, you’re right…It’s just that…. My heart hurts without a new full length Metal Gear 🙁 I’ll always trust Kojima will deliver, make the wait worth it and heal this broken heart. But for now.

  • Kaizen

    The only small nitpick I have, is that Big Boss looked out of place without his trench coat. Gameplay outfits aside, I wish he would be wearing his trench coat for moments like that. During the E3 trailer, when Big Boss was in front of his men with Kaz, he looked like a regular grunt with the olive drag, among his comrades. Whereas, Kaz actually looked like he was in the position of leadership with his trench coat and beret.

    Not saying Big Boss also needs to the beret, but he definitely didn’t look like the “leader” without that traditional trench coat that we’ve seen him via MGS1 (artwork wise) MGS2 (artwork wise), and MGS4 (physically).

    • The trenchcoat is still associated with an older Big Boss, from Outer Heaven onwards. We may see Big Boss wearing the coat at the end of the game. Maybe it’s even Kaz’s coat he’s wearing.

      • Kaizen

        Kaz’s coat? Haha that would be awesome. but yeah, I know it’s associated with older Big Boss. I was just hoping he would finally have it in this game, right then and there along with Kaz. Especially seeing as how his right-hand man is wearing it too, and authentically looks like an authoritative figure in charge of Diamond Dogs, whereas, Big Boss doesn’t. Lol.

    • Church

      I think it’s intentional, maybe. I’m not sure Big Boss has ever seen himself as above his own soldiers, so looking like a regular grunt is probably playing off of that. Kaz on the other hand has a different role and perspective in MSF and presumably in Diamond Dogs, so it makes sense that he’d dress differently. So it’s just down to a difference in character. That’s my interpretation at least, I could be wrong.

    • No Place For Hayter

      I think one of the reasons Big Boss is not running around in a really cool trench coat is that you can’t play and stealth missions when playing as a guy in a trench coat, and considering he is always fighting and stealthing even at mother base they don’t really have a time they can stick a trench coat on him. But that is just a gameplay perspective reason, I agree with Nyxus on what may happen with trench coats story wise, because it would be REALLY COOL, lol.

    • Cobra Commander

      I’d rather look like a complete dork and be the baddest mo-fo on the planet, than the other way around.
      BB can dress however he wants, everybody knows he is the man without a doubt.

    • Shadow Rex

      You never know this trailer is still along way off from the actual games release. I’ve seen models and assets in trailer cut-scenes vary from the actual released games cut-scenes before. In saying that, he is still an active soldier were Kaz isn’t. BB’s coat could be an unlock later in the game though, who knows at this point.

  • César H. Sandoval

    But I was only 1 year old in 1984!!! :C

    I’m kinda starting to see a relation between Skullface hanging around with Big Boss, and the fact that Snake will use a Skull in the logo of Outer Heaven once Diamon Dogs is no more.

    • crimsonfox

      I always respect people born in 83′.That’s the year Scarface came out. That movie is the shit haha

      • César H. Sandoval

        “The only thing in this world that gives orders… is balls.”

        • crimsonfox

          “All I have in this world is my balls and my word and I don’t break them for no one.”

      • Jeff O’Connor

        I was born in ’87. Metal Gear! ;P

        • crimsonfox

          Metal Gear!
          On my Birthday the US 67th manned space mission STS 41 (Discovery 11) returned from space ! hahaha true story

          • Romain Robin

            On my birthday, I wrote the Universal Child Rights Convention. Because of Big Boss’s abuses.

    • crimsonfox

      Also the skull in the outer heaven logo has a hole where Boss’ horn Is O_O

  • Golgari

    These interviews are not really important for MGSV but they confirmed important things about Kojima’s future and passion. Kojima likes making videogames and he has a passion for making great games in the future. He is not going away and in his 50’s he can enjoy smiling in front of the camera, and say in English: “1984”

    I’m going to play MGSV:TPP for 1000+ hours if not more but I will also wait for his next amazing project (Sorry Nyx, you have a lot of work in the future 😛 ). What really interesting is that he said that Metal Gear Solid V is the last game he is going to make but he never said that he is done with the franchise. He also said that he “Loves” Metal Gear.

    So, uhm, yeah. You can expect New iP and Metal Gear Solid 6. But right now I want two things: Release date and a 30 minutes gameplay trailer.

    • Vonkronberg

      Kojima said in an interview at Time:

      “And this time — I’ll say it again — this is the last one. Not the lastMetal Gear, but the last one I’ll work on. This is my focus when I go into working on a game. Every game I make, I create thinking it’s really, really going to be the last game I create. So I put as much as I can in and make sure I have no regrets.”

      When I read this all I understand is, that he always put this on his mind to create the best game he can create at time!

    • CrazyGuy207

      If he seems to be fine with passing Metal Gear along, he should at least acknowledge Portable Ops. I would defiantly buy a Portable Ops 2+, on the Vita, with all these new characters and maps and stuff. That’d kick ass.

      • Guest

        Not my best photoshop, but something like this!

        • CrazyGuy207

          Sorry, and don’t know why it does it twice.

      • CrazyGuy207

        Not my best photoshop, but something like this.

        • CrazyGuy207

          Just an idea. Underrated game, I think.

    • Kazuhira Miller

      Yeah! Agreed.

      I think it’s a guarantee that Metal Gear will always be around. The next one will likely be a reboot – but as long as it remains in the hands of someone Kojima-san trusts (Kojima Productions), then I am more than OK with that. I think he’ll go on to make a Wii U-exclusive adventure title. 😛 Or something like that!

    • Joseph

      I can concur, but just one question. How a Metal Gear Solid 6? You mean like a reboot or some sort of spin off?

      Because the fact is: Metal Gear Solid V is the last in the series to fill in the gap, answering all questions with a beginning and an end to the story to it for Big Boss and his sons in the series. I could understand a prequel to MGS3, but it would only make sense for it to revolve around The Boss and her motives before Snake.

  • Alex

    The circle of inspiration coming together at the end of Greg’s interview was the best part; worthy of mention even if not Phantom Pain news.

  • MrVux007

    Never saw Big Boss as the bad guy..its all matter of perspective

    • crimsonfox

      #ThatsThePoint haha
      I haven’t seen him as a bad guy since Metal Gear Solid 3. Shit just killing The Boss would have been enough to drive someone crazy. And he’s been through a lot since then too.

  • No Place For Hayter

    I’m with Big Boss all the way, through easy and hard, through thick and thin, through good and evil, and whether or not in my heart I know what he is doing is wrong, I know the man he is and I know his justifications and I will hold by his side, for I to know the pain of losing my many comrades and will go through hell with Big Boss to achieve revenge, and to right those who has been wronged.

    • MrVux007

      preach it brotha!!!! http://i.imgur.com/WNsWL.jpg

    • Raymondius

      Nice speech, goddammit. :´)

      Long live Outer Heaven!!

    • ObsessedGeorge

      We’re Diamond Dogs, comrade!

  • Janeo

    What’s Greg talking about when he is saying that people get angry when a new metal gear comes, why are people scared that they will ruin the story it’s an important part of the story that is being told

    • What he means is that with this series there’s all this pressure from the fans. That’s why he asked Kojima why he still continues with it.

  • Tim Doe

    You know, every time I read those interviews and see something like “He wants players to feel the ‘phantom pain’ of characters they loved dying, the feeling of loss this causes” it remembers me of the absence of David Hayter. I don’t know exactly why he’s not there, but I can’t stop wandering if his absence is meant as a “Phantom Pain” as well or just a coincidence (besides all those excuses already given)

  • PrinceHeir

    This is gonna be amazing 😀

  • Pingback: Interviews and lots of awards on E3 2014 day 3 – Photos by Kojima – Metal Gear Informer()

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