Close Up: A Hideo Kojima Book: The Ultimate Guide to Metal Gear Solid

What is it about Metal Gear that us fans find so fascinating? This strange franchise full of conspiracies, crazy characters, philosophical questions and ridiculous easter eggs? Why does it mean so much to us? The foreword, written by editor in chief Daniel Dawkins, briefly brings up this question as a point of departure for the book A Hideo Kojima Book: The Ultimate Guide to Metal Gear Solid.

The book, published by Future Press and written by a several people who are both Metal Gear fans and professional writers is a collection of articles, opinion pieces and compilations, ranging from theoretical analyses to personal stories. It was released in July of 2015 in two different editions: a regular version and a limited edition hardcover, which is the one featured in this article.

A-Hideo-Kojima-Book-Limited-Edition

The full contents, spanning over 146 pages, are:

  • Art of Metal Gear Solid (1), Metal Gear Solid artworks by Yoji Shinkawa
  • The Story So Far, the full Metal Gear story (prior to MGSV)
  • Metal Gear Solid: The Archive, an overview of the different Metal Gear games
  • Kojima Profile, extensive Hideo Kojima biography
  • 50 Greatest Moments, the 50 greatest moments in the series
  • The Ruse, article on Kojima’s deceptive marketing throughout the years
  • 15 Bizarre Easter Eggs, 15 crazy easter eggs from the series
  • Art of Metal Gear Solid (2), Metal Gear Solid artworks by Yoji Shinkawa
  • The Making of Metal Gear Solid, how the first MGS game came to be, and how it evolved
  • Evolution of Snake, how the protagonist changed throughout the games
  • Why MGS2: Sons of Liberty is the Ulysses of Video Games, article drawing parallels between MGS2 and the novel Ulysses by James Joyce
  • Art of Metal Gear Solid (3), Metal Gear Solid artworks by Yoji Shinkawa
  • Kojima At The Movies, Kojima talks about the movies that influenced him the most
  • Top 10 Bosses, the 10 greatest bosses in the series
  • First Person – Opinion, insight and debate on the MGS saga, personal articles on the series from five different writers
  • Who Are The Patriots?, article on The Patriots trough the years
  • The Voice of Solid Snake, David Hayter interview
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Preview, a hands on preview of the game
  • Art of Metal Gear Solid (4), Metal Gear Solid artworks by Yoji Shinkawa

It starts off (after an introduction to the different games in the saga) with what could very well be the most complete biography of Hideo Kojima so far, starting all the way in his early youth when he first came to realize he wanted to be a storyteller. It traces the key points in Kojima’s life that led him to where he is now: one of gaming’s most famous creators with a unique position in the industry. In a way, Kojima and the gaming industry grew up together: it has completely transformed from when he got into games 30 years ago.

A-Hideo-Kojima-Book-Biography

The top 50 Metal Gear moments provides a nice selection of the series most memorable events, including many fan favorites. Of course it’s impossible to create a list everyone will agree on, but that’s not really the point – it’s more of an acknowledgement of the many possible memories one could have of the series, an overview of what makes it so special. What’s nice is that some of the descriptions – brief as they are – include an explanation of the deeper, philosophical meaning behind that particular moment.

A-Hideo-Kojima-Book-50-Greatest-Metal-Gear-Solid-Moments-The-Ladder

There’s a section in which Kojima talks about his favorite movies, which is surprisingly interesting. In detailed explanations he tells us how these films played a part in the creation of Metal Gear. It not only gives an insight in how the series came to be, but also on how Kojima looks at the things that inspired him. He’s both an admirer as well as a creator who has picked these movies apart and used what ingredients he could in how own way.

A-Hideo-Kojima-Book-Escape-From-New-York

It also contains more personal pieces by the book’s authors, in which they relate Metal Gear to their own lives, and attempt to express why it means so much to them.

A-Hideo-Kojima-Book-Understanding-MGS4

As this book was written prior to the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, some articles aren’t completely up to date anymore, such as the piece of MGSV’s marketing and the now outdated preview for the game. But in general the book is more about the franchise as a whole, so most of the articles keep their relevance, despite some (mostly story related) errors here and there.

A-Hideo-Kojima-Book-Deceptive-Marketing

To conclude, it should be clear that this book is first and foremost aimed at the core Kojima and / or Metal Gear fanbase: those who have been captivated by this unique franchise and the eccentric personality at the center of it, and want to know more about what shaped him, what drives him and how he influenced other games and people. But it could also be recommended to those who are wondering what the fuss is all about, and as something Metal Gear fans can share to those people.

A-Hideo-Kojima-Book-Patriots-Explained

Golden Joystick Presents: A Hideo Kojima Book: The Ultimate Guide to Metal Gear Solid
ISBN 978178389215-0

Both the paperback and the limited edition hardcover of this book can be ordered from this website.

Additional images

  • VenomSnake123

    Looks really cool. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Kingface

    It’s a good book but I wouldn’t say it’s the ultimate guide considering the amount of errors in it.

    • Cosima Caminades

      And the fact that they contradict Kojima and Konami’s stance on what the Metal Gear saga consists of.

      • Danny Patten

        Let me ask you this: Would you rather believe Konami or Kojima? Both have its part in producing the series but Kojima has ultimately molded the series in what it is. Sure he worked with an amazing team but it always boils down to him.

        • Cosima Caminades

          I’m 100% behind Kojima. If Kojima comes out tommorow and says Peace Walker is non-canon, I will consider it non-canon. He is the auteur. He is the only authority on this subject, no one else. And Kojima has been crystal clear about what the Metal Gear saga consists of, but some people (like the ones who wrote that guide) choose to ignore it and that really rubs me the wrong way.

          • They do acknowledge it in the foreword:

            “[…] it feels like there isn’t space to do this incredible series justice and I live in fear of people tweeting me to […] berate the decision to class MGS: Portable Ops as a canon entry in the series’s timeline (the main story is, you know, even if some details aren’t, says Kojima).”

            Although it’s still debatable if PO is (partially) canon, most will agree that Kojima doesn’t really consider it that way since it’s not ‘A Hideo Kojima Game’, as he made clear in another interview.

          • Mr. Sir Shpee

            April 1, 2016

            Kojima’s Twitter

            “Entire Metal Gear saga is non-canon except for Portable Ops.”

  • Venom_Sina

    I wanted to get this,but they don’t ship it to my country (like the rest of the retailers that don’t consider Iran as a country).Maybe I go for a third location some day and get this,I hope.

  • Out of all the artwork in the series. The fact that this is the cover still blows my mind.

    • Maybe this technique required a graphic art style.

      • But was it worth it?!

        It gives me chills, damn that texture!

    • César H. Sandoval

      It’s not a “bad” artwork, PO had some good stuff.

    • glitchbomb

      I know right?. When I received it I was hoping it was missing it’s dust jacket!

  • PsychoMantis18

    Good Job, Nyxus. While I still hate the cover, I thought it was a really good buy.

  • Gatsu

    Great article once again boss I wonder if Jennifer Hale returns for Mass Effect 4 somehow :D. Maybe as a different character, or something. It would be great because her voice is amazing ;)! Looking forward to play this so much…

    Btw they need to use “Vigil” song in the game at some point…always gives me the feels ;).

    • MrVux007

      using FemShep-s voice…..just to toy with me fragile feelings,after that mess of an ending in ME3…god i wish the “indoctrination theory” was true :_(

      • Gatsu

        I love the game even though how that ending was done. Has many amazing scenes. I’m hoping fans let it go finally when see more of ME4/get to play it :). I don’t think Bioware want to make a same kind of mess with this new trilogy.

        • MrVux007

          dont get me wrong,despite that highly questionable ending,the rest of the Mass effect 3 was pure gold to me…hell dare i say,its even better then ME2(even tho ME2 had probably one of the best missions ive played in long history of gaming,the “Suicide mission”)….
          as far as Andromeda goes,i still know very little about it so i cant comment to much on it

          • Gatsu

            Np I didn’t get you wrong ;). Suicide Mission is one of the most epic moments for me in gaming too <3.

            I guess we see more of it in E3 the latest, like actual gameplay etc. There's a chance it get delayed because haven't seen much of it (I hope not). But then again, Fallout 4 was announced very late too :).

          • MrVux007

            i rly hope it wont come out in 2016,considering the amount of great games coming out…
            my poor wallet has suffered enough 😀

      • Gatsu
        • MrVux007

          yea read about it today…..and then my friends ask me,why gamers don’t trust,or better put,don’t like mainstream media’s “gaming journalists” ….
          this is the clear indicator of that : /

      • Plissken

        I beat ME3 but I never played any of the DLC or expanded ending or whatever. Should I give it a shot? I can’t remember if I chose the green ending or the blue, but weren’t they all basically the same?

        • MrVux007

          ill be completely honest here,the biggest difference ive seen is the colors lol (but they did touch more upon it with extended cut ending)
          i would recommend you to give the DLC a shot(especially the Citadel one)….but keep in mind the dlc will have no affect on the ending(if remember right)

    • No Place For Hayter

      – No politically correct or gender/racial/sexual pandering
      – More ARPG with space and much less basic shooter with different basic weapons
      – No huge trilogy planned so they can actually have a diverging story with different paths as it would all be within one game, if they plan a trilogy we will end up with yet another 3 way ending which is not effected by your past choices, but if the story is isolated within one game they could have it diverge and be effected by your choices as much as they want.

      If these points are met, I would consider buying another Bioware game, and would certainly pick up the next Mass Effect.

    • Mr. Sir Shpee

      thnx for reminding me that I still need to play the Mass Effect games

      • Gatsu

        Do it, they’re so fantastic ^_^.

  • PrinceHeir

    Niceee

  • Venom_Sina
    • Gatsu

      Nice xD.

  • Venom_Sina

    15 Most Offensive Gaming Characters Ever.No.2 is Quiet.Even Bayonetta is excluded,lol.Take a look at it when you had the time.

    http://whatculture.com/gaming/15-most-offensive-gaming-characters-ever.php/14

    • BurntFM

      A list of things the internet finds offensive. LOL

    • Gatsu

      Lolololoooo, these lists are so funny lol.

      • Ishmael

        thats my dad.

        • Gatsu

          :O

      • hunner

        Such a majestic voice

        • Gatsu

          It sure is ;).

      • No Place For Hayter

        “offensive” such poor wording for the article as it is instead a list of complaints and irritations, the article itself seems like a random list of irritations put together with a misleading word of “offensive” to click bait unto the popular train that games and gamers are “offensive”, AKA complete bullshit.

      • Sean Boyce

        Guess who i was listening to when i saw this ?

      • Sean Boyce

        I was listening to Eminem when i saw that gif funny.

    • No Place For Hayter

      Even though I agree with what is said about Quiet, it being “offensive” is really bad wording, honestly the list reads like a list of things that really REALLY irritated the writer and other people, it reads like a list of irritation. Also both sticking Raiden on the list and saying he is slightly redeemed by his stupid ninja shit in MGS4, makes anything he says not worthy of presentation and his opinion on such matters pointless to others IMHO.

    • Mr. Sir Shpee

      Quiet more offensive than Bayonetta? LOL

      Raiden and Duck Hunt Dog?

      What a joke of a list. No Duke Nukem?

      This is more a list of “annoying characters.” Brock Lesnar in WWE2K15 not having top notch stats is a far cry from offensive.

    • hunner

      LMAAAAAOOOOOOO!!!! He’s mad about Brock Lesnar’s rating in the newest wwe game. The guy who wrote that article is way to damn sensitive

    • Lewis

      People nowadays seem to be looking for reasons to be offended.

  • MrVux007

    *off-topic* but this needs to be stated!

    Im highly disappointed by the amount of annoying whimpering from some people over “FPS performance” of Fallout 4 on consoles…which btw,is an street leaked version of the game that is not patched like it will be on launch day…

    Also gamespot comment section is as stupid as ever,full of console and especially the PC elitist alike…so for your sake try not to look to much in there! http://www.gamespot.com/articles/more-fallout-4-gameplay-videos-emerge/1100-6432094/

    • No Place For Hayter

      People complaining about the performance of a Bethesda game? NEVER!

      • MrVux007

        Im ok with people complaining with an launch product,but complaining about something that isnt officially launched and patched is plain stupid and arrogant….
        as for BugThesda,i can forgive them for those things as long as they keep up with great gameplay quality they been making thus far…

    • Lewis

      I know, that it is a standart nowadays, but Day One patches are bullshit. I always take offend, if I buy a game on launch and have to wait for the patches to download. Or like I had to wait 3-4 months for a 15(!) GB patch to make Witcher even remotely playable on PS4. I can tolerate 30 fps on consoles, I’m not a 60-fps-minimum-winer bitch, but it is disgusting, when games (some of them don’t even have amazing graphics) can’t maintain 30 fps. Thorough testing is required, and all they care is going gold. Print money, make patches later.

  • Pietro Pellegrino

    At first you can read “virtuous mission in 1963” or “Patriot’s I.A kidnaps Raiden’s son” ahahah Are those professional writers?

    • Lewis

      And by the way, I preordered it and was so excited. But even 1963 is not a big deal (just a fictional date, even if cringy) and Raiden’s son was “under threat of being kidnapped”. It all was like a newcomer to the franchise was retelling the story. But then there was “A YEAR between Virtuous mission and Operation Snake Eater”. A year! It can’t make sense in a mind of even a 6 yo playing without English knowledge. After those words I put it on the shelf and never opened it again.

      • That’s too bad because the most interesting parts of the book are the ones about Kojima. Most people here already know the story anyway, so a recap isn’t really necessary for them.

        • Lewis

          Yeah, I know, but I really can’t bring myself to read it. It was advertised as they did A RESEARCH on the series. And I get a year after a nuclear they decide to clean it up. Just my internal problem, can’t enjoy after that.

  • hey, i thought this wasn’t worth having at all, but all the stuff kojima related convinced me, looks like a good buy and it’s also cheap! i should get one

  • John Rhogan

    I missed buying this but it was very enjoyable. And (thankfully) spoiler free.

  • FoxTamerMGO
    • Venom_Sina

      Quiet?In-depth discussion?Her character had depth?They are joking,right?!lol.

    • Full Options

      Tell us Stefanie, how is Snake in real life ? How is it to shoot with Snake ? xD

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