Memorable Metal Gear Moments: Shining Lights, Even in Death

Mission 43 | Shining Lights, Even in Death

At a certain point in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Snake is called back to Mother Base to take care of an urgent problem. A vocal cord parasite outbreak in the Quarantine Platform is threatening to escalate and needs to be brought to a halt, the hard way. Snake is sent into the building, armed with a gas mask and some firearms.

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Mission-Start

A rescue team went in earlier, but has not returned. Snake steps inside and the door shuts behind him. Red flashes light up the pools of blood on the floor and the stains on the walls. Bodies of fallen soldiers are everywhere, some still alive, albeit barely.

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Hallway

Snake comes across a dying staff member who hands him a visor capable of identifying the infected by the temperature of their throats. Those whose throats light up carry the parasites, and therefor need to be eliminated. If the men, their minds partially taken over by the parasites, are allowed to go outside, the parasite will spread past the Quarantine Platform and into the world. And so, Snake cannot leave until he has fulfilled his task: eliminate each and every infected staff member.

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Scanner

Equipped with his gas mask, visor and with the horn on his head, Snake looks like a demon as he moves through the dark hallways to hunt down his former comrades, and shoot them one by one.

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Snake-in-Hallway

The iDroid informs him of each lost Mother Base member.

Staff member has died

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Staff-Died-1

Some accept their fate, others beg for mercy before Snake pulls the trigger and ends their life abruptly. One soldier aims his weapon at Snake, the man he believed in, and who has now come to eliminate him. Another pleads for you to end his life, before turning his gun to himself.

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Firing

In one particular room, a bunch of soldiers have lined up, and salute Snake as they await their inevitable end by their boss’s hand. A boombox is playing Peace Walker’s main theme, with the soldiers humming along. “Let’s let the boss decide. We live and die by your order, Boss.”

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Staff-Members-Saluting

Staff member has died

Staff member has died

Staff member has died

Staff member has died

Having the iDroid announce every single death may seem like a strange design choice, but it’s this kind of blending of gameplay and story that Kojima often likes to play with. Each soldier you kill is (or was) an actual part of your base, and will forever be marked as having been ‘Killed in Action’. Hearing the impact of every life you take directly communicated makes it all the more painful. In the corner of the screen we can see Snake’s ‘Heroism’ rating decrease with every kill.

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Staff-Member

To make matters worse, Huey can be heard over the radio, voicing his disgust about Snake’s actions. “You’re insane, Snake! He was one of your men!” “You yourself said we’re a family! Or was it all lies?!” “Shooting your own men… That’s not the Big Boss I knew!”

There’s a soldier in the corner who does not seem to be infected as he is wearing a mask, and Snake hoists him in his back and carries him to the exit. But the soldier stops him just before Snake wants to open the door. “I don’t think I made it after all.” he says with a defeated voice. After a second check with the goggles, the parasite seems to be present after all. And so he has to die to. The soldier accepts his fate as he spreads his arms. “Do it.” Snake points his weapon and pulls the trigger.

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Infected-after-all

Staff member has died

After he has done what he had to do, Snake falls to his knees, surrounded by bodies and blood, overcome by a feeling of defeat.

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Mission-Complete

What follows is one of the most moving scenes in the game. The fallen soldiers are cremated, Snake watches the burning flames in silence.

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Cremation

When the soldiers’ remains are turned to ash and put into urns, Snake is standing on the edge of the platform, watching the endless ocean.

“It’s you fault! They’re dead because of you!” Kaz reacts angrily, but Snake agrees with Huey. “I killed them, with my own hands.” “They were on your side, I’m on your side!” Huey continues. “And you turned them all to ashes.” “They wanted you to shoot.” Kaz ensures Snake. “It was that or be burned alive.” You could almost see this as a reflection of Snake’s internal struggle: the voices in his head expressing both his guilt and his justification at the same time. “Let’s get this over with.” Kaz says.

MGSV-Shining-Lights-Huey

The fallen soldiers’ comrades carry the urns to the ocean. But Snake stops them and takes the urn. He gets ready to pour the contents into the ocean, but then changes his mind. “I won’t scatter your sorrow to the heartless sea.” he says. “I will always be with you.” He covers his face with the pale ashes of his fallen comrades. Instead of releasing the ashes, he decides to turn them into diamonds. This way, they won’t be lost to the sea, they will continue to exist in the physical world, continue to join Snake on his fight. When we return to the helicopter, the tip of the Diamond Dogs logo on Snake’s suit shimmers. A shining light, even in death.

MGSV-TPP-Diamond-Dogs-Logo-Shining

  • Ralexion

    This was terrible in so many ways.

    • Spectralbuttplug

      The article?Opinions are like assholes they all stink

      • Ralexion

        Lol, no, having to kill your soldiers was.

        Btw, great response, never change, mate.

        • Spectralbuttplug

          🙂

        • Spectralbuttplug

          Ah a good reply from a good internet user who doesn’t start a fight despite saying something a bit rude to him

  • Niko ‘Pökkiz’ Jokinen

    I remember shedding some tears with this mission. I remember saying “I’m so sorry” with every person that I needed to put down

  • Tong Ninja

    Nice article!
    The ashes scene was one of my favourite cutscenes in TPP. 🙂

    I also remember one moment during Mission 43 when I found a rescue team soldier trapped in a room who says something along the lines of:
    “I couldn’t bring myself to shoot back (at the infected soldiers) … like you said Boss, never point a weapon at one of your own”.

    This was really depressing and sad because afterwards, Snake had to disobey his own advice he gave to his Diamond Dogs comrades because it was the only way to stop the infection ….

  • Mr.Pony

    “The Boss is here, he will know what to do!”

    *soldiers salute and start humming*

    http://i684.photobucket.com/albums/vv201/carlox_gifs2/MGS3/BB_Salute.gif

    *shots echo*

  • Defiantly a highlight of MGSV. This is the mission that I had to legit take a break afterwards at the two review event. I was way to invested at that moment haha. Great article Nyxus, you da man.

    • Full Options

      This mission almost pulled me some tears. The music / sound, the dialogues… All ready to die from the boss’s hand… Eyes wet, I tried to empty entire clips on the ground (xD) to see if there was not another solution, before realizing we were in a dead end… This stage is a true gaming masterpiece, I never felt such intense emotion in any other game.

    • at the review event?!! wow, how much you played back then man haha. i forgot about that and now that it has been a long time since the event you could probably share some bits about it. i assume you finished the whole game then, right?

      • DonquixoteDoflamingo

        Mission 46 wasn’t in the event so nobody really finished the game by during it. Plus they had 40 hours to play and i imagine most people took their time to explore the game instead of rushing for the sake of story.

  • Mr. Sir Shpee

    Choked up a bit here, such a good mission but I hated having to execute my soldiers.

  • JJBYACH

    I think Venom’s stoicism throughout the game made this scene so much more impactful – but well, maybe it doesn’t make up for 100 hours of staring at Venom’s a thousand yard stare though…

    I guess it still and am important impact on Venom’s “lack of character” said important things about his character. It’s a very haunting stare, and I kinda felt sorry for him whenever I saw his face. Poor bastard looked like he was going to burst into tears, sobbing and grovelling on the floor while mucus pours from nose.

    Side note: I especially love the hallway scene in the final trailer, when in his GZ form he has a mini breakdown, you can visibly see him close his eyes and fight the tears back before he becomes a demon – I wished that facial animation we used in the final game.

    • BurntFM

      Yeah, I always pictured Venom Snake to be Shell Shocked. In all those very important moments where you would think he’d say some words but remains silent and with little reaction, I figure he’s showing signs of PTSD and with good reason because after he woke up, there was no adjusting period.

      If you don’t go back to mother base and take a shower, Venom starts to show it.

    • Raymondius

      Well, good news for you! That facial animation IS used in that scene in the actual game. It is a bit hard to see it because of the shadows and Snake wearing the gas mask, but you can clearly see him blinking the same way, as if about to breakdown.

    • Full Options

      “but well, maybe it doesn’t make up for 100 hours of staring at Venom’s a thousand yard stare though…”
      Sorry, can’t tell… was too busy watching Quiet shakin her ass… =O :DD

      http://i.giphy.com/tSRKTFyU7i2NW.gif

      But more seriously, I 100% agree, a true lord of war expression.

  • DonquixoteDoflamingo

    I am literally about to play this very mission in my third playthrough.

    Awesome article.

  • XIFF-5

    One of the best moments in MGS series definitely… <3
    .
    .
    Note: correct the line please : ) “I won’t scatter your ashes to the heartless sea.” he says. “You will always be with be.”

    • Oops! Also, it should be ‘sorrow’, not ‘ashes’… Thanks for the heads-up!

      • XIFF-5

        Note: correct, “I will always be with you” ^^”

        • Fixed. Hopefully that was the last mistake.

  • Plissken

    Great article
    Off topic, I saw this commercial featuring a familiar voice…

    • Bratan Kikowani

      Haha that was great!

  • Jav

    I though it was “I will always be with you”.

    I want to play the mission again but it will make the horn grow and I’m not sure if my members numbers will decrease.

  • Steel Wolf

    A great scene, but one thing I hated at the time was how they really wanted to hate huey (i was one of the fools who tried to like him, thinking of the peace walker days), i tried, but huey was SUCH A HYPOCRITE, i was just like ‘Huey, your not in a position to say shit here…’

  • Jav

    The suppressor doesn’t work, I think.
    Or maybe is deactivated

    • Venom_Sina

      Probably they wanted to use the gun sound to make the scene more epic and shock the player with each shot.

  • Biggy

    I got pissed that quiet left after this

  • MrVux007

    “Staff member has died

    Staff member has died

    Staff member has died

    Staff member has died”
    https://media.giphy.com/media/iEwe84XN6niqA/giphy.gif

  • Raymondius

    We are Diamond Dogs.

    Great article as always, Boss!

  • Venom_Sina

    I wish we had more missions like this.Unfortunately after this,we will see mission 46 just popping out of nowhere that really kills the mood.
    Great article,Boss.

  • scarecrow

    So many tears were shed :'(
    It’s hard to find scenes like these in the history of video games.
    Without a doubt, the most powerful mission of any Metal Gear game.

  • Venom_Sina

    Off-Topic:”Mad Max :Fury Road” won 6 Academy Awards.Hideo Kojima’s favorite movie.Spotlight won the best movie of 2016 award.
    I’m not really into movies (and I saw none off them,lol) ,but for anyone interested in movies:If you didn’t see these two,see it,lol.Seems to be very good movies.

    • MrVux007

      To me “The Martian” and “Mad Max:Fury road” were really close for my personal movie of the year…Spotlight was okay

      • Full Options

        The Martian was truly top-cool ! A great Ridley Scott !

    • the only bummer for me was the best movie award /: i was sure it would be either the revenant or mad max

  • moto hellogoto

    This was a great sequence to play through. I wish more of the game was like this.

  • Full Options

    THyX for the article Boss. Please give your words you will shoot me quickly if MGI is infected that bad … 😀

    • Venom_Sina

      I think I’m the only one carrying the Persian and English strains of “Vocal Cord Parasites” (because of my toxic comments,lol).There are no known Wolbachia for my disease,lol.Nyxus should kill me right away,cause I will infect everyone here,lol.

      • Full Options

        Turns out Persian and English strains compensate each other creating some kind of equilibrium, but you are right, we can not take the risk. Nyxus, shoot Sina first, although with a STN weapon. I am sure we can find some nanoids to help him eliminate those strains.

      • Full Options

        Turns out Persian and English strains compensate each other creating some kind of equilibrium, but you are right, we can not take the risk. Nyxus, shoot Sina first, although with a STN weapon. I am sure we can find some nanoids syringes in the archives to help him eliminate those strains.

      • Spectralbuttplug

        NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • MrVux007

    *off-topic*
    Tech-preview for the recent Story Trailer of Uncharted 4,please check it out! :)https://midthirtieslife.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/ben-stiller-do-it-starsky-and-hutch.gif https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpNpTjpnwFY

    • Full Options

      Roger that ! ;D
      Looks awesome !

    • I’m more impressed not by the graphics or attention “2” detail, but how the game is more sandbox now which is great, because making 100% linear shooter like Uncharted 1/2/3 (still being great games) are not going to cut for the new gen of consoles.

      Bigger levels, you can avoid the fighting, you can use stealth wherever you want, Drake have much more options this time around. Set pieces and explosions are fantastic though, but I like my games for the gameplay and simulation mostly so improvements on the aspects I said are welcome.

  • MrVux007

    *off-topic*
    Do you guys remember this unfortunately unreleased video game ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJYY-gbd6m8

    • Mr.Pony

      If Enter the Matrix and Die Hard had a baby I’m pretty sure it would have looked like this.

  • Mago Som

    Thanks for the spoiler…i stopped playing,to play mgo.

    • Then it wasn’t very smart to read this article, to be honest. Plus, the game is over 5 months old now. Spoilers have been allowed here since October 1st, otherwise we wouldn’t able to discuss anything.

      • Mago Som

        understood bigboss…

    • Full Options

      The game was out last Sept., why are you hanging around a fan site if you are afraid to get spoiled ?
      Plus, the mission number is at the beginning of the article !?

      • Mago Som

        No big deal…
        Let´s play mgo 1×1….

  • Solid PhoeniX

    Thanks for the article, This took me back to the scene. I wouldn’t go back and play the mission again as it was so painful. I was heartbroken when I played this mission.

  • this was one of the best missions in the game, but it’s interesting how (to me) it lost any significance after the ending’s twist. after that it doesn’t strike me as it did when i thought i was playing as big boss… to only link between these soldiers and big medic is that you fulton them through the game, whereas with BB i think is different, even when they aren’t the same soldiers as Peace Walker BB has been a leader for a long while and the actions taken on this mission would have a very different meaning if we consider the point of view from both BB and the medic.

  • Gatsu

    This was one of the best moments in the game and it made me cry, especially the cremation scene ;D. A shame didn’t see Big Boss’ bloody face, which was in Nuclear trailer. I expected that. The beginning of TPP and this were the most intense and awesome to me, although while the open world stuff was really cool too, there’s just something about this linearity that is the best. Lots of stuff happen.

    Was hella good article boss, thanks for writing it .

    Btw way off-topic, but Leonardo finally won his Oscar yeay ! He’s such a fantastic actor and should have won it from Gilbert Grape back in the early 90’s already :P.
    What a great speech.

    • Yeah, finally he won! And good of him to use the occasion to bring an important issue to the attention.

      And thanks!

    • i’m happy for leo that he finally got his oscar, was watching the ceremony last night because it was probably one of the most interesting to me in recent years, i just realized then how many great movies came last year. as happy as i felt for leo i think i’m even more happy for Morricone, that was the moment when i couldn’t help but jump on my seat i really really wanted him to get the statue.

      • Raymondius

        I completely agree with you. To be honest, I couldn’t care less about Di Caprio right now. He has lots of films left to keep performing even greater interpretations, but I sincerely do not understand the almost political viral campaign of social media these last years asking for an Oscar to be given just to this single man. It is just something that I cannot comprehend, Di Caprio is good, but you know what? He’s the famous pretty boy and has been for a long time, and that seems to be more important.

        BRAVO FOR MORRICONE. AT LAST!!! After a whole career of fabulous and perfect music. That’s what really matters, and we fans of Metal Gear and music in general should be REALLY REALLY HAPPY FOR THIS ONE!! :DDD

        • Gatsu

          Him being pretty boy has nothing to do with it, he’s just one amazing actor and ppl like him because of that. Wolf of Wallstreet, Departed, Django he was superb in imo and not to forget What’s Eating Gilbert Grape with Johnny Depp and it’s his first movie I ever saw :). So many more too.

          Morricone has been famous ever since Leone’s westerns but it’s about time he got it.

          • Raymondius

            I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t like him, I do a lot; besides he knows how to choose his interpretations and that’s something not all actors can. I even think he deserved it for WoWStreet, that film has a lot of subtle dialogues. So you see, I’m no hayter (heh), but c’mon, TV and social media seem to only talk about him during these days. There are like hundreds of ppl dying in happiness in my FB for him hahaha. Dunno, it is just weird I guess, and as the Big Lewoski would say, ‘like, uh, my opinion, man’.

            Anyway, congrats to him for that climate change speech (that’s something I really applaud) and the prize, but I’ll be happy to be that bitter friendly reminder that A LOT of injustices happens with the Oscars every year, so please ppl of the internet, don’t have a ‘favourite’. ;D

            Btw, long live Kubrick legacy, the absolute master, in which whom I think about while writing these words and without whom lots of things we love (as this beloved series of ours) simply wouldn’t exist.

          • Gatsu

            I think it’s just kind of like the same as we as gamers are dying of happiness for Kojima :), other fanbases are super happy for Leo as an actor. But Morricone said it well, that there’s many great actors etc who has never got this. In the end it’s just opinions too who they give these to I guess >_<.

          • yeah, got your back here man, personally i really like Leo, i agree with you on the pretty boy part but i think that ended a long time ago and then he showed that he really is a good actor. i mean i would never thought while watching Titanic the he would achieve much but once he started working with Scorsese…

            on the other hand i think that Oscars don’t really matter and as we all know there has been a lot of injustices surrounding the prize. for me they only matter as recognition, but not for what they are intended which is an specific role, i think it matters more as a prize to the legacy of an actor/director/composer etc. for me (even though i loved it) it’s not that important that Ennio got one for the hateful eight, it’s only important that he was recognized as a composer ( and i think it was partially like this on the ceremony)

            anyway, went a bit longer with that, but is just stuff that came to my mind once you mentioned Kubrick, though he is so big and eternal on the world of cinema that i think at this point it doesn’t matter any more he never got one, he is above the Oscars and a lot more of stuff

        • Full Options

          I think Leo successfully managed to fight this etiquette through years, by concentrating on his acting (although he was always talented), and wisely selecting his roles.

          Not sure about critics on The Revenant, did not watched it yet, but I bet he is excellent in it.

          Sometimes being excellent is not always enough for having the oscar for various reasons (even not fair ones).
          Too much buzz around this event since decades.

          • Gatsu

            Go watch it now brotha, his performance is outstanding imo 😀 even if he maybe does one of the most silent roles of his career in dialogues.

          • Full Options

            Ya I saw some critics not happy about that, fortunately they are often nuts on many other awesome movies.

            Leo is always brilliantly playing. I can not find a role where he sucks (although did not watch his whole filmo, but I am sure there is slight, if no waste).

      • Full Options

        It is even an absolute shame that Ennio Morricone did not receive this distinction far sooner.
        https://youtu.be/_ZHEu7HusG4?t=27s

        • Gatsu

          So beautiful….

          • Full Options

            The guy is a Legend, worked only on awesome movies !
            http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001553/awards

          • Gatsu

            I definitely agree :), but I have to say this cemetery scene is one of the best movie moments I have ever seen. A big part of it is thanks to Ennio Morricone, because I think music is important to deliver feels.

            You forgot to add the most ultimate beautiful song part of the cemetery…maaan this is so goddamn beautiful .

            Also my favorite

            Morricone deserve at least 10 Oscars already. ;D

          • Full Options

            “A big part of it is thanks to Ennio Morricone, because I think music is important to deliver feels.”
            I did not forgot, I hesitated but chose this one first. This one was the first that truly glued me to my chair…

            He has so many… He kicked ass in some of our french classic action movies, check this bro…

      • Gatsu

        Morricone and Leo should have both gotten it decades ago. The Good The Bad and The Ugly ost is legendary. The final duel song always gives the feels.

        • “the ectasy of gold” even though the scene isn’t moving (it’s mainly tense since it’s a stand off) the song actually is, i got mixed feelings watching that, i remember that when i had the chance to listen to it live (directed by Morricone of course) i couldn’t help but drop a couple of tears, a powerful song, among many others from the man.

          • Full Options

            You listened him live !?? Wooaaaa…. 😀

    • hunner

      I’m sure i’ll get hate for this but i honestly think Michael Fassbender should of won lol.

      • Full Options

        Fassbender is an awesome actor.
        He’s Jobs interpretation was incredible.

      • Gatsu

        Np no need for any hate haha ^_^.

    • MrVux007

      it was a loong bloody journey for that golden little fucker…. https://media.giphy.com/media/krKEj7cQSBu1i/giphy.gif

      Congrats Leo,you earned it

      • Gatsu

        Loool that gif xD…

  • Not the only scene to give me the feels but certainly the only one where I did tear up a bit, shaking my head all the while. Really well done.

  • Venom_Sina

    @Gatsu88:disqus ,@JJBYACH:disqus
    “Death Is Strange: First Screens Of Dontnod’s Vampyr”
    https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/02/29/vampyr-dontnod-entertainment-vampire-game/

    • JJBYACH

      This is good, isn’t it…

      • Venom_Sina

        Yeah.I like their venture (I hope that’s the right word,lol).Instead of working on a single title and milking it like other companies,they are working on different titles on different territories.Can’t wait to see more from them.

        • JJBYACH

          The concept reminds me of the anime Tokyo Ghoul but with the gameplay of Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines. That game was an Action RPG about exploring small hub world’s, whilst hiding your vampire powers from civilians.

          • Gatsu

            Tokyo Ghoul ftw. 🙂

      • Gatsu

        Hella yes !

    • Gatsu

      Yeah I saw the screens, interview and some offscreen gameplay yesterday :D. I can’t wait for this and it looks so awesomely dark <3, I havent played vampire games in a long time. Also I'm glad it won't be open world, as the story is often less focused or slowly paced in them.

      Dontnod sure is one of my favorite developers now ^_^? Btw they have two teams, one is doing Vampyr and other….planning LiS2 xD? Well I dunno, it would be awesome to get it :)…

    • Full Options

      Those shots are so dense … A lot of work behind this scenes.

  • “Yeah, first the Boss, now I have to shoot my own soldiers..?”
    “Staff member has died”
    “…Fuck you Kojima.” Dat feelings.

    Hands down, probably best mission in whole game.

  • ADAMJENSEN13

    The moment when soldiers salute to Snake is Amazing!!! I really like it!

  • This was the only moment in my life, the first and only time a game has ever made me feel… Unclean? Dirty? Evil? Ashamed of myself?

    This was the best mission in the game, hands down. It’s worth to buy it just to play this mission.

    Unless of course you can’t suspend your disbelief, in which case it might not be as great. But then screw you :P.