Two Japanese bestseller novelists discuss Metal Gear Solid V

In a discussion published on website Webnewtype, Japanese bestseller novelists Manabu Makime and Hitori Nojima (who wrote the recently published novels of MGS1, 2, and V) talk about the story of MGSV. It’s a pretty insightful discussion that is worth a read. One interesting part is where Makime mentions Huey and his role in the story.

Big Boss’ organization in V is absolutely a band of criminals in the eyes of the world order. They can be viewed as a kind of war mafia, interfering in world conflicts to make money. But it’s hard to see things that way when you’re actually playing the game. Viewed from the outside, everything they do is unacceptably wrong, but playing as them makes you see them as good people. That’s why I really like Huey’s (Emmerich’s) character in V. He always says the perfect thing to make you hate him at just the right time (laughs). He seems like the worst bad guy in the game, but viewed objectively that’s not the case. As a civilian, he’s actually closer to the player than any of the other characters. The things he says actually always make sense, but that just makes you hate him more.

People who’ve played through the game will probably remember the scene in which Huey is exiled from Mother Base, arguably one of the most memorable scenes in the game.

MGSV-The-Phantom-Pain-Huey-Emmerich-Exiled-from-Mother-Base-2

Nojima also cites an email sent to him by Kojima in which he explains some of his intentions with the story of MGSV and the way it ends.

Early video games never had much of a story. Metal Gear was among the first to add story to its gameplay. The player controls Snake, and together we’ve told this story over the years. As the series went on, the player jumped between multiple characters like Solid Snake and Naked Snake, and the story evolved into the legend that is the Metal Gear saga. In this final Metal Gear, it was only right to return the role of Snake, the main character, to the player. It’s saying that from now on, you make the story. It’s saying this is what it means to come full circle and complete a story. If this were a one-way medium like a movie, V’s ending wouldn’t have been possible, but this was a game. This made it possible. Taking a story we’ve told together over the years, and placing it in the hands of the player. That was the real intention behind V.

If the player wasn’t a doppelganger to Big Boss in V, that would have meant Big Boss himself dying later on. And long before V, back in the original Metal Gear, the player (acting as Solid Snake) had in fact killed Big Boss. That made it important for this final instalment that the player once again enters into the story and brings things full circle in their own way. I think it’s only at that point that the story truly belongs to the player. This is “creating the story together with the player,” something that can’t be done in traditional media like movies and books. This can only be done in a video game. That’s what makes V the culmination of everything we’ve always done since the original Metal Gear.

MGSV-TPP-Ending-Mirror

The rest of the discussion, where they talk about other story elements and various characters, is worth reading through as well (follow the link in the source section below).

Source: Webnewtype

  • Ralexion

    The part about Huey is quite interesting. Never saw it that way before, about Diamond Dog being war criminals. It has made me think.

    • XOF

      Diamond Dogs also do human trafficking using fulton recovery. it’s illegal right?

      Some of those soldiers you encountered in the field must have family back in their homeland, but Venom Snake decides to take that away from them to be apart of his army.

      • Ralexion

        But even if you fulton them without their consent, they stay in Diamond Dogs of their own free will =P I think Ocelot says it somewhere, everybody is there because they want to, if you want to leave, you can.

        • XOF

          Yea you are right. I guess the Big Boss image has a major influence on the soldiers from around the world. Why else hang around on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean 😛

          • Ralexion

            Thats exactly it, they all want to be there, leaving everything behind, because they are with Big Boss, the legendary icon.

        • César H. Sandoval

          Ocelot, the certified mind-bending hypnotist, you mean?

          Yeah, I totally trust that guy’s words! XD

          • Ralexion

            You gotta admit he is pretty good.

          • César H. Sandoval

            Pretty… Good… *faints*

          • Alex

            The twist is, for a sadist that loves torture, he’s also a “pretty good” guy.

      • Ken Shiro

        I didn’t see Huey’s opinion about Diamond Dogs was a sane opinion, or
        the ‘opinion of a civillian’, like these 2 guys are implying. My
        response to Huey’s last words in the raft wasn’t ‘your right, but screw
        you’. I just didn’t value his opinion at all because I felt like Huey
        just lost it. Killing Skull face (and how he reacted afterwards) and his wife and other behaviors showed he wasn’t mentally stable. And then being responsible for infecting/killing all those Diamond Dogs soldiers, and potentially endangering all humanity with a virus, trying to provoke the soldiers up against Snake during the
        funeral scene for having to have to kill his own men, just showed me he
        completely lost it.

        However, I did think that Diamond Dogs, and by extension Snake were criminals.

        I would’ve understood and maybe even agreed with Huey’s actions against
        Diamond Dogs if he didn’t act like he lost it or at least just acted a
        bit more rationally.

        • Yeah, although he was probably right that Snake was in the wrong by acquiring a nuke in PW.

          • Ken Shiro

            Wasn’t it Huey that suggested to put the nuke on Zeke in the first place?
            Edit: It was Miller that suggested it.

          • It was Miller right? Though Snake ultimately made the decision.

          • Ken Shiro

            Ye, it was Miller, I looked it up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov7FsBk9T68

          • BurntFM

            Ah…David Hayter. The feels.

          • Alex

            It was a rational decision, PW later went on to emphasize how they would never use it even if a nuke launched towards them. IMO, it was a huge international crime but not morally wrong, as long as it had good/trustworthy security. It offered up a nice fresh perspective on the whole “HE’S GOT A NUKE!!!” thing. MGS is all about perspectives. If another Hot Coldman incident happened, and MSF was gone just because they didn’t have a nuke, than the world would be screwed. It was rational thinking. At the same time, all it took was some clever planning from SkullFace to bring them down anyways. The twist was it wasn’t Cypher or any International nations/entities responsible like Big Boss feared, but SkullFace and his personal vendetta/will alone.

          • Ishmael

            he may was, but how can i give something about the arguments from a guy who build several metal gears who were able to shoot nuclear weapons?

      • Mr. Sir Shpee

        I like to think Venom allows them to write letters to their families to let them know what happened and that it’ll be alright.

  • SNKtheStampede

    Huey being the closest character to the player never struck
    my mind. I remember Kojima said Otacon had that role on Metal Gear Solid and in
    that case it was clear as the sun. In V though I couldn’t get that. Wouldnt’
    that be in contrast with the identification the player is supposed to reach
    with BB? Huey is a very selfish and mean character it’s difficult to feel
    emphaty for. It’s true though that V is open to interpretation a lot more that
    previuos installments. I you think of Otacon, he is an easy readable character by
    the end of MGS, while after finishing V you can still argue on Huey’s faults
    and merits, that proving how effective his characterization is. In my opinion,
    Huey is the character who seems
    most to be alive; you can feel
    him thinking dinamically at the very moment that he is in scene; his changes of
    mind, his fears, his lies. Such a great work!

    • No Place For Hayter

      Yeah Huey is the furthest thing from the player, and he really fricken sucks as a staple of outside world points of view interjected into Diamond Dogs when he is the only asshole on board, he is a compulsive liar, he killed Stranglove, he used his son, he did nothing but lie to Diamond Dogs, he sold out MSF, like honestly he is possibly the meanest character in the whole MGS franchise, I will have nothing to do with that piece of shit, even if you give a piece of shit character a few lines that are right it doesn’t make the rest of the shit that comes from his mouth true.

      • Alex

        The interesting thing about him is that he was as good of a man as Otacon, but his actions leading to MSF’s downfall made him unable to bear the reality of what he caused, and so led him to a downhill spiral ever since of lies, misintent, etc.

  • Venom_Sina

    Way off-topic:Don’t forget to watch El Clasico tonight.A battle between two giants.

    • XOF

      lol thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    • Full Options

      Woow 0-4, Barca atomized them ! xD

      • Venom_Sina

        Luis Suarez is a atomic bomb indeed!!!

        • Full Options

          Yeah, he unfortunately played the “crocodiles” at the last world cup, but it seems the croco does not bite anymore. xD This MSN config is just invincible !? Very impressive.
          Thx for the reminder. 😉

    • Mr. Sir Shpee

      Didn’t see it but I saw them play the day before. 2-1 Barca. I don’t usually watch soccer/football but it was an enjoyable match to watch.

  • FoxTamerMGO

    If I, “The Player” is becoming Big Boss then.. WHY THE FUCK the game doesn’t give me the choice to either kill Huey or exile him? HUH? If there were choices in the game.. It would MAKE a LOT of sense if you’re “the player” and you’re becoming Big Boss.

    • Killing Huey wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the saga. You can kill Quiet though.

      • FoxTamerMGO

        At least give me a choice of some sort.. killing quiet isn’t a big of a deal.. she’s a side character.

        • They did give you a choice, regardless of your evaluation of the character. In general you are given a lot of freedom in the game. But Huey can’t die in MGSV, because that would contradict his storyline as we know it.

          • FoxTamerMGO

            Okay not Huey.. lemme at least HAVE anything.. I wanna feel as “The Player”! The whole thing of “oh, you’re big boss now.. you, the player can become big boss!” then let me choose how the story goes if i’m really big boss LOL this entire concept becomes meaningless if I don’t have any hand in the story.

          • RevolverRoden

            ???
            You “HAVE” everything. The whole game is yours.
            This is the most free and open MGS. You’re making all the decisions. Building your base, how you do your missions, building a nuke, etc
            The open world part of the game makes the “Big Boss is you” thing actually work

          • FoxTamerMGO

            In other games like the witcher you also have the freedom to roam the open world and make choices.. does that make me “The Player” become geralt? lol what a silly concept, trying to invent something from nothing. Read back my comment, I said “This entire concept becomes meaningless if I don’t have any hand in the STORY!” THE STORY.. what you mentioned are gameplay related stuff.

          • hunner

            …You do realize that The Witcher is a role playing game right??

          • Janeo

            Metal gear isn’t the type of game that can give you important story choices, it has a really strong story and that has always been part of the games, it’s just not about making big story choices that will change the ending. You have so much choice in this game that so many players would have had really different experiences each time they go out on a mission, think about all the things that happened to you in the field, those things are what makes you big boss. Remember venom snake has all of big bosses experiences in his head and most of the decisions he makes relating to the story is what big boss would have done. You have the gameplay, everything that happened to you during missions is what makes you venom snake.

          • Alex

            Big Boss not speaking much gives the player a big hand in the story, as it allows you to infer how/what hes interpreting from the events and how they are affecting him/you. And where the game really sements the concept is when Venom flips over the picture to reveal your name. At that point, denying that Snake is you is just self-delusion. Its something never been done before in games. Breaking the 4th wall in a meaningful context that ties deeply into the lore and series canon rather than “Mantis is so cool” gimmicks.

          • FoxTamerMGO

            or.. the writers are lazy and don’t want to write a dialogue for venom snake lol.

          • Alex

            Pretty sure it was a conscience/creative decision considering how much dialogue was in past games. Even this game still has plenty, just not from Venom.

          • FoxTamerMGO

            Seems you have the ability to turn anything bad kojima does into a 4th wall breaking miracle.. with that mindset of yours, MGSV can’t be criticized in any way. Literally, anything bad Kojima will produce is gonna be a 4th wall breaking phenomena to you.. a bad thing is a bad thing, no matter how yo spin it. Wouldn’t it be better if we had more of kiefer sutherland’s voice acting? the answer will be YES. ;’/

          • Alex

            Not really, I still feel MGS2’s execution and storytelling was pretty weak, despite its strong themes and ideas. Its my least favorite MGS, but its still a masterpiece in its own way; every MGS game is unique in how they excel. Me and you can state our opposing opinions on MGSV, which means its subjective. Criticism is for objective observations only. You can state if you prefer one thing over another, but its still subjective. The key into going into any piece of entertainment is to judge it for what it tried/wanted to do, not what you wanted it to do. In that aspect, MGSV is an unprecedented memorable experience, if not the overall best MGS experience. I still prefer 3 as the best, and I prefer how that game told its story, but I still love and appreciate what V did, because I was open minded while playing it.

            And hell no it would not be better (IMO) hearing Jack Bauer’s voice breaking my illusion of the game, regardless of the game’s approach, you can’t have an iconic real life figure play an iconic animated figure, unless the voice is different enough. But that’s not the real reason, the real reason is because more dialogue would undermine all of his amazing facial performance (the real reason why he was hired, he can actually act without words). Dumb people who say they didnt want to pay him dont realize how much work he did for every single scene, being there and playing out Snake’s presence the whole time even if never saying a word. You’re going to spin this as me spinning how amazing Kiefer’s inclusion was, but the truth is that their execution of performance over words, less is more, really was another revelation of the game that completely justifies Kiefer’s recruitment over David Hayter. Though how Hayter was notified probably could’ve been better.

          • Kol Leqejza

            yeah, but the way HOW episode 46 just popped up was amateurlike and made me hate the ending at first.

          • Alex

            That was done pretty purposefully. It adds to the interpretation of it all being in his head. The story is meant to be made with player participation in mind, as in the player makes up his own mind about the series goes.

          • Kol Leqejza

            you don’t get what i mean. and maybe you never will. the execution sucked. it sucked so hard.

          • Alex

            I get exactly what you mean, I just completely disagree. It is subjective you know.

          • Kol Leqejza

            i think you are very ignorant.

          • Alex

            You’re the only one displaying ignorance to different opinions.

          • Alex

            However, I do agree that having more choices would’ve helped both the game in general and the “you are Big Boss” concept. I just disagree that it was needed in any capacity considering how far and beyond it goes with the open gameplay mechanics, the muted character, and the unprecedented endgame 4th wall break.

          • Sorry for my ignorance, but how killing Huey will trigger Time Paradox? Otacon is born already, so we don’t need Huey at all. 😀

          • FoxTamerMGO

            Huey discovered that his son Hal was having an affair with his second wife, so Huey committed suicide by drowning himself in the family pool in 1997.

          • Omg! Where is it from? Maybe he was killed? 😀

          • FoxTamerMGO

            MGS2 when Otacon was talking about his past blaming himself for his father’s death

      • XOF

        you also have a choice to rescue D.D. (as a pup) or not as well.

      • Full Options

        Such a lust to kill… xD

    • Gatsu

      if you want to make more decisions like that where you kill, should play Witcher, ME, Fallout, etc.

      You don’t just go killing important characters in the middle of MGS timeline… But you can kill a lot of enemies if it makes you feel better.

      Thx for the read Nyx :D.

      • FoxTamerMGO

        I already can kill enemies in MGS1/MGS2/MGS3/MGS4 with the real big boss.. so how does MGSV differ from the real Big Boss and me becoming Big Boss?

    • hunner

      What they should of done is give you the option to either “kill” or “exile” Huey. But if you pick “kill” you just get a time paradox and the only way to advance in the story is to exile huey lol

    • Mr. Sir Shpee

      Because that would absolutely destroy the canon with Huey, that’s why.

  • vic boss

    I think you guys should watch this, I have played a lot of videogames throughout the years but to this day mgs3, is the first and if it wasn’t for mgs4 true ending, it would be the only game that has ever made me cry.
    https://youtu.be/b5-ENYfHf8I

    • BurntFM

      One of my favorite songs. I learned how to play it on guitar and everything.

  • XIFF-5

    Choosing a song from that poll is so hard :/

    • Gatsu

      Woah, I didn’t notice it before :O. Yeah it’s quite hard indeed D: …

    • BurntFM

      I wish I could choose

      o All of the above

    • Raven_Sorrow
    • Venom_Sina

      It’s not hard,it’s impossible!!!

    • hunner

      I’d vote for this but it’s not an option – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN-sJRTG4YI

      • evilsohn

        That’s an easy one – A phantom pain by Ludvig Forssell – oh wait a minute… 😉
        (and as always music is the thing that lures me from passive reader to active commentor, so while I’m at it, kudos to Nyx and all who support this site. You’ve been my daily companions ever since I discovered this site about a year ago, thanks for that)

        • Thank you for visiting!

        • Gatsu

          Hey there friend :), welcome to MGI ^-^ .

      • ObsessedGeorge

        Hahahaha! Amazing! 🙂

  • FoxTamerMGO

    “. This is “creating the story together with the player,” something that can’t be done in traditional media like movies and books. This can only be done in a video game” So this is what Kojima was talking about.. what a disappointment

  • Alex

    With Huey, some of his opinions actually did matter and carried some considerable/thoughtful weight, but only during the time of your first playthrough, up until the trial. That long stretch of time where you (and Venom) weren’t sure what to make of him, but were hoping the accusations weren’t true, purely just because of past experiences together (for Venom it was just PW, but for the player, it was almost the whole series). Miller laying all these accusations on him throughout the game would’ve been no different if Campbell or someone did the same to Otacon. On top of that, he was being tortured and Miller nearly did severe damage to his already broken leg. We/Venom understood the torture needed to be done to a certain degree, but were uncomfortable watching. It was like watching an old friend in pain and seeing him slightly change. In retrospect though, it is almost impossible to get your mind back to before you knew everything Huey did, back when it was just accusations and nothing more. But for that first playthrough, there was conflicting emotions/thoughts and the scene where he’s being lowered in the raft does make you feel for him every time, because he genuinely believes in both his mistreatment and Diamond Dogs’ hypocrisy. He cannot accept realities so much so that he lives in his own fabrications of it.

    • Ishmael

      i wanted to kill huey all the time because i knew he was an asshole. just remember what otacon told us in the previous games about his daddy. also the way he spoke, you could hear him lying. he’s a piece a shit that got what he deserved in the end.

      • Alex

        Yes you can sense the hesitation and the lies, but you never knew why or the motivation. It could’ve been something noble like protecting his family, we had no idea. In fact, we still don’t know why he let XOF into MSF, we can only theorize or interpret. My interpretation was that Skullface used Strangelove as a way of controlling him. You say you always saw him as an asshole, I have a hard time seeing him anywhere in PW as one; he was basically another Otacon, right down to the morals of using nuclear weapons and being used to create WMDs. He mimiced a lot of MGS1 Otacon in PW. He had some issues based on Otacon’s descriptions sure, but I dont recall him saying anything to the degree of “major asshole” in MGS2. In fact, if I recall correctly, in MGS1 he took some inspiration from both his father and grandfather.

        • Ishmael

          to be honest, when i played peace walker and found out about huey my first thought was ‘oh no hideo, please don’t put otacon’s dad into the history of big bosses evolution’. but he did. i always thought the game would have been fine with strangelove only, a declaration that she was responsible for all the metal gears in peace walker alone would have been fine with me. well things are different. but what i want to point out is, i never liked the presence of huey along to big boss anyway, so it wasn’t hard for me to hate the guy in the phantom pain.

        • Kol Leqejza

          it’s like a hispanic soap opera… huey’s appearance was totally unnecassary.

          • Alex

            Disagree

          • Kol Leqejza

            you won’t need to.

          • Alex

            Whatever that means

          • Kol Leqejza

            it’s a quote by big boss from ground zeroes

          • Alex

            Out of context, completely meaningless.

  • Alex

    I wish I knew Japanese to be able to read the MGSV novel, and maybe the others. Based on all their insight and interpretations, I’m sure it would make for a very interesting/engaging novel and viewpoints of the story. I wish there was a way to localize them for us; not sure if that’s even a thing with novels like it is with anime and games.

  • VIC BOSS

    Off topic:
    A few month before release day was a leak about story line. In this leak game have 5 chapter no 2 with repetitive mission on hard difficulty. Imo game should look that but war between Kojima and Konami destroyed this. Konami cut budgets and we know how it’s end. In first chapter almost every mission are in the game and whit the same number of episode.

    Prologue : Awakening

    Chapter 1 : Revenge

    Episode 1 : Phantom Limbs
    Episode 2 : Diamond Dogs
    Episode 3 : A Hero’s Way
    Episode 4 : C2W
    Episode 5 : Over The Fence
    Episode 6 : Where Do The Bees Sleep
    Episode 7 : Occupation Force
    Episode 8 : Red Brass
    Episode 9 : Back Up, Back Down
    Episode 10: Angel With A Broken Wing
    Episode 11: Cloaked In Silence
    Episode 12: Through The Hole
    Episode 13: The Enemy Of My Enemy

    Chapter 2: Dark Depths

    Episode 1 : Hellbound
    Episode 2 : From The Inside
    Episode 3 : Bad Dreams
    Episode 4 : Domination
    Episode 5 : Old Bones
    Episode 6 : Dangerous Wisdom
    Episode 7 : State Of Exception
    Episode 8 : Dirt Work
    Episode 9 : Open Hands
    Episode 10: Diamonds In The Sky
    Episode 11: Ghosts
    Episode 12: Playing With Monsters
    Episode 13: Kill The Beast
    Episode 14: Green Light
    Episode 15: Coup De Grace
    Episode 16: Lurking In The Dark
    Episode 17: Open Minds
    Episode 18: No Slaves
    Episode 19: Club Of The Unseen
    Episode 20: Two-Way Race
    Episode 21: Traitors’ Caravan
    Episode 22: Fire and Cold Ashes

    Chapter 3 : The Costs Of Revenge

    Episode 1 : Pestilence
    Episode 2 : Phantom Pain
    Episode 3 : Madness Of Men
    Episode 4 : Three
    Episode 5 : Isolation
    Episode 6 : Severed Family
    Episode 7 : Fatal Massages
    Episode 8 : Voices
    Episode 9 : Corrupted
    Episode 10: Midnight Raid
    Episode 11: In The Face Of Pain
    Episode 12: The Beauty Of The Battlefield
    Episode 13: Manufactured Skin
    Episode 14: Homonculus
    Episode 15: There Are No Heroes

    Chapter 4 : Punishing Words

    Episode 1 : Sins Of The Father
    Episode 2 : Loyalty
    Episode 3 : No Turning Back
    Episode 4 : Metallic Archaea
    Episode 5 : Sahelanthropus
    Episode 6 : War Is Peace I
    Episode 7 : Condition: Comatose
    Episode 8 : War Is Peace II

    Chapter 5 : Confrontation
    Episode 1 : Pale Shadows Of Forgotten Names
    Episode 2 : Truth: The Man Who Sold The World
    Episode 3 : Demons

    Epilogue : Demons In The Cold Of The Night

    • Ishmael

      ah, some of those titles alone sound epic.

    • Most likely fake though.

      • VIC BOSS

        If it is true I lost hope that Kojima is genius

    • Gatsu

      Awesome chapter names. But if I remember correctly, back then a redditor admitted a day or two later that he had done it, just to see how fans reacted.

      He had done it after chapter names were leaked, so it seemed like the real thing when they were amongst his fake ones.

      Fans can create pretty believable stuff.

      • VIC BOSS

        Do you have link to confirms this? I still believe that game should look like that. After 300h I know that something missing

        • Gatsu

          I can try look for it when I wake up. I just sort of remember seeing that list before and I think someone said it was fake. It’s been a while though so I might remember it wrong ^_^.

        • Gatsu

          This was the one:

          https://www.reddit.com/r/metalgearsolid/comments/3fqwr4/mgsv_spoilers_main_mission_list_revealed/

          “All right guys, so I hope nobody is going to hate on me for that, although I could understand if you do so, but my post from two days ago wasn’t real. It was me who created that mission list, since I wanted to see the reactions on it, without letting people know that it was me who wrote it. A big hobby and passion of mine is to write scripts and stuff because I am a big movie-lover.

          It wasn’t my intention to fool you people in first place but to see it as kind of an experiment. Never thought it would become that big of a thing as that it would be posted on various sites. It really surprised me that even as I tried to make the mission names as vague as possible, many people got the idea I had behind some of the titles. I really took my time creating the list and worked around 3-4
          hours on it – and I loved it since I am a big fan of the franchise.

          It was humbling to see some guys saying they love the titles (especially the idea of Chapters 1,2,3,4,V because that is one of the few things I also liked much for myself) and saying it looks and sounds a lot like Kojima. Yet I feel so bad and sorry for having lied to you about that ‘leak’ because you are an awesome crowd. Since I don’t want anyone of
          you to unsubscribe because of a false leak I thought it would be the best to reveal it was an invented thing.

          I hope you’re not mad at me, and also that you enjoyed the list even though it isn’t real. Let’s stay strong for the last month of waiting and see how the missions will be names for real
          And sorry again for my English, it wasn’t a lie that I’m Portuguese!”

          Would’ve been cool if it had so many episodes ;D, but we can’t always get what we want. It was a good fake compared to earlier ones.

          • VIC BOSS

            So I have no clue why this part have such bad story line

          • Alex

            Its not bad, just different.

        • Alex

          The same guy that leaked it also came clean.

        • Alex

          That’s called phantom pain; there’s many variations of it 😉

          • VIC BOSS

            Yeah you feel to, don’t you? Legendary series die in this part.

          • Alex

            Legends are often much better than the real thing.

    • Full Options

      I always wonder why the first chapter contains so much missions.
      Besides, MG chapters usually take place in a single location.

      It definitely looks to me like they packed all in a heavy rush. It probably happened because if they were informed around, say, February, it would still be a very narrow window to finish all packaging / QA phases !?

      Only heavy personal problems between Kojima and Konami could explain a that frenetic rush 🙁 .It is probably just me, but I think Kojima drove Konami that crazy because he tried to grab an extra year delay (or more, who knows).
      He already did that with MGS4.

      To me, if we had something like 30% more missions, all dispatched more homogeneously across 5 chapters, we would have got the right stuff.

      Another very weird factor for me was that the release date announcement is so matching the Koji-Pro disbanding process.
      Something obviously blew up around last March / February. Maybe I am wrong, but all this is so weird, I never saw Konami behave like that, specially towards Hideo !?

      • Alex

        It was shortly after the release date announcement, but not right after. Things were swell enough over there for Kojima to do an episode or 2 of Kojima Station, and everything seemed fine. However, the comments he made at the release date announcement about how this is definitely the last MGS, seemed to foreshadow some of the trouble brewing. At the same time though, Ground Zeroes way back also foreshadowed things, so maybe it was just trouble happening for years that reached a climax a week or 2 after the announcement and major decisions were made. The CEO changes happened after the announcement. None of the drama had to do with the release date. Kojima just knew shit was gonna hit the fan once the new CEO takes over. I stand by the opinion that Kojima fully intended to release in 2015, from both his statements at TGS 2014 and the debriefing video, and with just how ridiculously polished the game is for a big open world game.

        • Full Options

          Hi Alex, glad to see we still have this very interesting divergence of opinion, hopefully helping both of us soon to understand WTH exactly happened.

          Look, I think “ridiculously unpolished” sound rather excessive.

          V has a big majority of extremely well tested UI, gameplay-wise features.

          However, if you think it was so bad, how would you explain, knowing HK’s perfectionism and his strong habit to publish top-polished / rock-stable and pharaonic MGS’s, that he kept wanting to pull out V during 2015 in a such state ?

          As you said, their war probably reached some kind of zenith / climax around March and begun at least a year before. Even not right after the announcement and between all HK efforts to try to convince the board, hardly negotiating, he got for sure the dead-line weeks before officially telling us. The studio disbanding info logically filtered few weeks after, but I am sure HK already had it since the dead-line became official. A lot of thing were unfortunately settled at this moment.

          The GZ’s black light easter eggs implementation affair pretty confirmed that the battle begun during probably the ending of GZ’s dev.

          You are also right to guess that HK initially planned to release in 2015.

          Probably Konami’s board showed him some kind of animosity during GZ dev and the project got late until now, because they started to make things more and more difficult for Koji-Pro.

          Even if that’s what he wanted years before, I am still rather convinced that he was not happy with 2015 anymore, seeing the title that late in dev.
          I mean that I usually suffer a lot when HK shoot the dates but in this specific case, I did not have the same feeling.. I felt pretty happy instead to have it that soon, so something was not normal… 😀

          In all cases, I guess we’ll both agree on how hysterically childish Konami’s modus operandi was during those past sad months, whether communication or even simply human-wise.

          • Alex

            Yea some things are up in the air. I do feel though, compared to how early release date info was announced before for the past games, that they specifically decided not announce a date till they knew for sure they were going to hit it. Due to both the slight MGS4 delay and the huge trend we have today of AAA games getting delayed or launched broken. On top of that, so many preview events months ahead of launch always praised how polished and finished the game felt, as if it could’ve been release right then and they were just using the last 3 months polishing and ridding as many bugs as they can. AND, most cutscenes, performances and motion captures were done way ahead of launch. I think the only VO work done in 2015 was Ocelot and Miller intel stuff, which was early 2015.

            The entire last year of development was probably just working out all the gameplay kinks rather than any kind of story or narrative vitalization. The development of V was just very different from past games; most of the story decisions and even cutscenes were done before GZ even released; we were getting substantial TPP footage before GZ, the Nuclear trailer and E3 gameplay demonstrations was 3 months right after GZ. Shit was done and getting made, they just spent a ridiculous amount of time polishing and it paid off with all the perfect scores it got mentioning how the gameplay makes up for any possible story or pacing issues. The level of stealth infiltration gameplay it has achieved is basically unprecedented. Its a game that spent loads of time on gameplay optimization, and it would not have been possible without the flexibility of FOX Engine allowing them to quickly change assets back and forth without getting into the code and taking a long time. Kojima wouldn’t really be able to mimic it in another game without FOX Engine or another engine like it.

            Also, in early interviews he described TPP as less developing another Metal Gear and more developing something different that he just wants to do creatively as a creator, and squeezing it into Metal Gear (MGSV font is literally squeezed into the TPP font in the logo). The Phantom Pain was the main title and Metal Gear the subtitle, at least in Kojima’s mind; very different from past Metal Gears. I think it was the interview from when the Smithsonian Museum opened a games museum. From then on, I knew to look and approach this game as something very different, even though it was getting very traditional Kojima-esue trailers. You can’t really judge it the same way as you would other Metal Gears just because its so different and the approach was different. Kojima always says he doesnt just wanna be known as the “Metal Gear” guy, so the best way too look at it is, as a Kojima game, how does it stack against other Kojima games? Rather than thinking about it from a Metal Gear mindset.

          • Full Options

            Yeah, all this sound like a Konami’s admin board bloody dead-line rather than the traditional Koji-Pro release date.

            I agree that most artwork was probably done. Although the missing things may have obliged them to present all this in a different order (like having the feeling that chapter 1 was literally filled like a plastic bag).

            I do not really believe in explanations such as battle gear “too strong” or “Kingdom of Flies” breaking any balance here.
            It is just a matter of fine-tuning Sahelanthropus AI by various ways available. Or just like slightly increasing damage level of its weapons for the simplest approaches.

            They pretty heavily started mission 51’s dev, they could have figured out their balance BS way before reaching 30% as well.

            Seeing the quantity of functionalities yet in GZ regarding character control, enemy AI (etc..) and how yet polished their were, I guess they had more level editing and cut-scene design tasks ahead.
            GZ was a rather perfect proof of concept and V was principally awaiting more areas and story elements.
            Most modern game engines (Unreal, CryEngine, PhyreEngine…) let you replace easily assets online / at run-time. They all let you as well check the game output on every targets in real time. You shoot from a dev pc, toward all client consoles and computers, yet to check for example if shaders behave the same. That’s sadly not always the case specially on PS3 because of various factors such as processing units endianness for example or performance differences more globally.
            That said, the very smart tricks found by Koji-Pro in fields such as lighting make for sure the FoxEngine a gem. Their presentation at GDC 2013 was very instructive.
            The FoxEngine is just made of very clever hacks and tricks to simulate real world as much and as fast as possible. Most of the other elements should be rather generic and common to many other engine. You know, they even usually publish in game conferences how they achieve this or that effect, often resulting in all finally sharing newest concept. I am not saying all engines are the same neither because they were all build according with order of priorities suitable to specific game titles.

            In V, the night is so gorgeous and lighting looks so natural. What is interesting is that they admitted tweaking manually their resources in various situation…
            I think this humanized them a bit 😀 otherwise we would go “man, Koji-Pro are all working machines” xD

    • Alex

      The guy that leaked that, came forth and said he just made it up using mission names from the achievements leak while making up some of his own and ordering them the way he wanted. You can tell from the made up ones how they are the kind of titles to come from an enthusiastic fan. He just did it for fun than came clean soon after.

      When it comes to legit leaks, the only thing you can take seriously is data that was mined from the PC version and proven by other data miners (if the leaker keeps secret how he found the data, than its fake). That’s how the Nuclear disarmament scene was found, data on The Boss’s scar which turned out to just be a skin rather than a flashback, and the Chapter 3 Peace title, which is where Mission 51 and the Paz stuff was originally going to be probably. Outside of data mining, you can’t trust info from an anonymous source, they have to reveal their connections like the novelists did recently.

  • PsychoMantis18

    How is retreading missions and playing to a weak interactive-narrative bringing things full circle?

    I hope you’ve got more coming… NOJIMA!

    • Spectralbuttplug

      ……

  • mcbennet

    As someone who has played Metal Gear since the original on the NES, I’ve got to say I was extremely disappointed in the way MGSV’s story played out. With each installment the gameplay became more refined, changed and got better, but it was always the expanding canon and web of characters that had me dedicated to this particular franchise. While I understand Kojima’s attempt to emotionally invest the character into the entirety of the MGSV experience, it could have been done differently, could have been done better.

    The rehashed missions of chapter 2 and the “true” ending of Phantom Pain feel like cheap cop out to me. As a rabid fan I speak for myself when I say I was really hoping to see a glimpses of fleshed out backstory concerning favorites like Gray Fox, Naomi Hunter, Eva, etc. Though 1984 might come a bit too early for some of this on the official MGS timeline, to NOT include these characters at all just felt like an insult. Perhaps my frustration with this game stems from the 3+ years I devoted to fantasizing about what this game might play out to be like, while media outlets continued to hype it out of proportion. The gameplay remains solid and is the best to date, I feel..but if I had to choose I’d probably pick Peace Walker over this solely because of the pacing and “tangibility” of its story set out to deepen scenarios and character development.

  • ObsessedGeorge

    This whole MGSV story, cut content and Kojima leaving situation, reminds me of this (loooong) article.
    A very interesting read that I would love to read one day something similar regarding the whole MGSV behind the scenes.
    http://kotaku.com/the-messy-true-story-behind-the-making-of-destiny-1737556731

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