MGSV composer Ludvig Forssell talks about his work, wanted to create a Diamond Dogs Crew rap

In an interview with website Sumthing, Metal Gear Solid V lead composer Ludvig Forssell talks extensively about the creative process, the ideas behind certain music tracks, and the various soundtracks released for the game. In the interview he also mentions that he wanted to create a ‘Diamond Dog Crew rap’, but unfortunately did not have the time for it. “[It] even had finished lyrics.” Regrettable indeed.

On the ideas behind the soundtrack

Ludvig explains that the basic concept for the soundtrack was already in place when he joined the team. “The idea was to create a non-tonal, non-chordal and mostly percussive score almost devoid of melodies to give an impression of “reality” instead of feeling like “music” superimposed on whatever “real” situation you would find yourself in playing the game.” Creating the main theme music took more than a year of experimenting, and 5-10 iterations, according to Ludvig.


On V Has Come To

The idea was to paint a picture of Snake as someone that would make the player question his own actions in the game. “Venom Snake is no hero, he is someone who does what he has to, no matter the cost. So this darkness was something that I felt crucial for the undertones and whole impression of the score.” Ludvig explains that Snake has two themes in the game: V Has Come To and Venom. “While V Has Come To (the somewhat more heroic one) is illustrating Snake’s will to do good, Venom is the theme playing the darkness that is constantly beckoning and pulling him and the Diamond Dogs deeper and deeper. As the game progresses Venom becomes the more and more prominent theme, but V Has Come To never completely disappears. Sometimes they’re intertwined as if to hint at an internal struggle within Snake.”


On Skull Face’s Theme

On the subject of Skull Face’s theme, Ludvig says he tries to stay away from using the character’s ethnic background as a source of inspiration, as he feels in many cases this leads to stereotypcial results. “This is also one of the reasons the music for the main areas in the game was never overly ethnic. I’d rather look at the personality of the character and find ways to convey their motives etc through the music.”


On the Extended OST

The release of the Extended Soundtrack was Ludvig’s own idea. “I felt like there was so much that we just couldn’t fit in the original release and I’d been seeing people online asking for certain cues and wanted to accommodate those wishes. Seeing the amount of music that was released on this edition I hope it also helps people understand why we just couldn’t fit everything into the first OST.”

On the Lost Tapes

Earlier this year Konami released another Metal Gear Solid V soundtrack, titled The Lost Tapes. “The Lost Tapes was an absolute delight to be able to do while writing all the “serious” music in the game. To be able to, I suppose relax and focus more on fun and 4th wall-breaking ideas.” Ludvig explains. “I only regret that I didn’t have time to write more of these songs (I had concrete ideas for quite a few, including a “Diamond Dog Crew” rap anthem which even had finished lyrics).”


Check out the full interview at Sumthing’s blog From Foundation To Creation: An Intimate Look At Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s Score With Lead Composer Ludvig Forssell.

Source: Sumthing

  • Call me an asshole, but I’m glad his idea of a Diamond Dog Rap didn’t happen. There’s no way anyone could spin that and it not be cheesy, in a bad way.

    Although his work on “V has come to” is undeniably great. When Ocelot is filling in Venom on current affairs and then whips the horses to run and it kicks in gets me excited every time.

    • Yeah but it was probably meant as a fun little extra, like the Death Metal Gear song. So likely it was supposed to be cheesy.

      • I hope so haha

        Some things just shouldn’t be! Haha

        • A rap by Huey, that would’ve been something.

          • “It wasn’t my fault, the assault, on mother base was a case of Skull Face trying to rid every race that took his mother tongue when he was young”

            **Breaks down in tears**


  • Jav

    Is he responsible for the music in the cutscene where snake runs from the metal gear? I hate that song. There is no good music in the game. And the songs with guitar are like unrelated with the game, for me.

    • You’re saying V Has Come To, Beautiful Mirage, Sins of the Father, Quiet’s Theme aren’t good?

      • César H. Sandoval

        Parasite/Metallic Archaea, as well. I do have my share of grips with MGSV, but the music isn’t really one of them.

        Maybe some of them just needed to be better used, like “Sins of the Father”.

        • Venom_Sina

          I agree with you.Bad usage of “Sins of The Father” completely destroyed the song for me.They used it in a very bad place.Also,a big chunk of the music was already out,so when I heard it,it didn’t crush/surprise me like Heaven’s Divide.
          Quiet’s Theme has a great tone and music (some cheesy lyrics,but it’s not a big deal and the amount of cheesiness is nothing compared to Snake Eater,lol),but I rather to hear the song with the vocals of a professional.No offense to Stefanie,she seems to be a lovely person,but her voice is not really wonderful,especially a great music like Quiet’s Theme.I still listen to Donna’s vocals in the beginning of Red Band E3’13 trailer and it gives me them feels,something I missed when I listened to the final version.I love the track not because of Stefanie’s voice,but Akihiro Honda’s fantastic music.

          • Lamp123

            Nah i disagree. Quiet’s theme was perfect for Stefanie to sing because it was from a non professional singer. It was raw and emotional. It was sung from the heart of the character. No need to hit the perfect notes. Also stefanie was asked to sing this, and she said yes. I see other people enjoyed this song as well.

            That being said, donna burke did a very good acoustic version of quiets theme. 🙂
            It was a shame donna’s humming of quiets theme wasnt in any of the soundtracks. ALL the writers, composers and singers should be given credit for the awesome songs in the mgs series.

          • Gatsu

            I always expected Sins of the Father to be used in some emotional or awesome moment, but that jeep drive was not one of them really.

          • Leguywhodrownedquiet


          • Leguywhodrownedquiet

            Sins of the father is actually about skull face 🙂
            Still a bad usage of the song

      • Jav

        Sins maybe is good. Quiet’s theme is like a joke. “birds in the sky”? lol.

        • Would you rather have birds on the ground? 😛

          • How about a bird up his ass?

          • Leguywhodrownedquiet

            Imagine if a bird opened his zipper anddd….
            Ok I’ll have to leave that up to the imagination otherwise I’m banned again 😛

          • “Memories, I want to give them to you.”

    • Leguywhodrownedquiet


    • Venom_Sina

      I think it’s cruel if we say “There is no good music in the game”.There are still some great ones in V.I named some of them in my comment above.I’m still pissed off about V,but I try to be a reasonable person and see the good aspects of the game (most of the time,it doesn’t work and my comments are still negative and toxic,lol).At least the music wasn’t a complete disappointment for me.

      • Leguywhodrownedquiet

        Saying your comments are toxic is just like saying Martin Garrix makes good music 😛

    • Leguywhodrownedquiet

      Know that guy

    • Gatsu

      I’ve missed this song haha xD.

    • Haha thanks for posting this @Nyxus:disqus. Much appreciated. It actually came out 2 years ago today.

      • It seemed relevant here. 😛

        • Haha for sure. I tweeted at Ludvig but I think he’s mad I beat him to it. 😀 By the way, big fan of MGI. I share you guys’ stuff on the Solid Snake FB page all the time.

          • Yeah, we noticed. Thanks a lot!

      • Leguywhodrownedquiet

        Yo whassup!

      • Gatsu

        It’s an honor to have you here :).

        • Aww shucks. Haha I appreciate it.

          • Leguywhodrownedquiet

            I know you may blast me for this but….
            It’s an honor to see two guys with badass beards talking together 😛

    • Awesome, a whole lot of Bitch indeed 🙂

    • Gatsu

      I need to set this as my phone’s ringtone.

      • Leguywhodrownedquiet

        “…….. You’re fired ”

        • Gatsu

          XD lol.
          Me: “Hey boss, can I possibly get a salary raise?”
          Boss: “Well…”
          Me: “C’mon start talking bitch!”

          • Leguywhodrownedquiet

            Boss:How did you make so much hydrogen in the lab?
            Jesse Pinkman:Science Bitch
            Okay not as good as yours 😛

  • César H. Sandoval

    “V has come to” is GOAT track.

  • Tong Ninja

    ‘V has Come To’ is my favourite track on the MGSV soundtrack (along with Sins of the Father and Quiet’s Theme). 😀
    Other tracks I really enjoyed were ‘Return’, ‘Ground Zeroes’, ‘A Phantom Pain’, ‘Shining Lights, Even in Death’ and ‘Parasites’.

    I think the weird thing was how some of the good tracks that were in the game, didn’t make it in the final soundtrack. But at least they made it into the extended soundtrack.

    Ludvig Forssell is still a young guy and hopefully he learns a lot from this and makes some more great music in future projects. Maybe we’ll see him making music for Kojima’s new game?? haha 😉
    If not maybe Konami’s MGS6 or another game.

  • I loved the soundtrack in MGSV. But it’s not only OST that I loved. I loved how it was designed and implemented in the game. Basically depending on the certain moment tracks always changed. It’s how all top tier open world games do these days and will continue to do in the future.

  • Venom_Sina

    I have a weird feeling about the music in V.Some tracks are so good,like:V Has Come To,You Can Call Me Ishmael,Metallic Archea,Return,Ground Zeroes,Hal’s Child Unchained,OKB Zero,Beautiful Mirage,Behind The Mirror.These are great.Justin and Ludvig did a great job.I still listen to them on my way to work.But there is a little problem on my side.I don’t know why,but no matter how hard I try,I can’t really enjoy the music like I did with MGS2,3,4.I think music in V doesn’t have that powerful impact like Harry’s work.I didn’t find the music “catchy”.There are 2 tracks in GZ which Harry composed himself:”She’s Rigged,The Fall of Mother Base”.These two are just phenomenal.They are on a higher level that the rest in GZ.It’s like the music is walking with you on the scene (I don’t know how to describe it,but the music is in complete harmony with the scene.The rest is not like that imo).I wish we had a Harry/Ludvig team for the music.Music is not a disappointment in V,but I think it could’ve been better.

    • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

      I 100% get what you are saying. It just lacks the emotional punch other MGS OST’s (and other game soundtracks) had.

      As Ludvig said it seemed Kojima didn’t want an orchestral (dramatic) score, but a more subtle one – kinda like the score of a TV show, you kinda forget it’s there most of the time not because it is bad but because it so well integrated into the scene that you are just absorbed in it. I get why they did it, but I still prefer memorable soundtracks over subtle ones.

      The most dramatic song in MGSV is this one:

      I wish there were more songs like this… I prefer soundtracks where I can close my eyes and listen to a story being told through the music. MGSV’s OST is so subtle it only works as part of the game, which is what they were going for but still.


      Meanwhile in the Witcher 3:

      [Emotional moment]

      [Villain theme]

      • Gatsu

        Debriefing is amazing… It always gives me the feels . I’m soon getting to the end again on PC emulator.

        • Mr.Pony

          I was really hoping that debrief would be in TPP, I wanted that for the helicopter ride. That song is as iconic as “The best is yet to come”

        • Leguywhodrownedquiet

          Killing the boss did not make me cry
          Debriefing did

          • Gatsu

            Music is one of the most important things to me in games. It’s often what makes me feel a lot and makes the moments more stronger. Just like with older games without voice acting for example.

      • Mr.Pony

        The Witcher 3 OST is so good, “Silver for Monsters”, “Kaer Morhen”, “Ladies of the Woods”, “The Hunters Path”, “The Fields of Ard Skellig”, not to mention the ballad you get to watch during a cutscene “The Wolven Storm”, such a perfect balance, they really capture that Folk Fantasy style with it

        • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

          The whole OST is a masterpiece. There are too many amazing songs on it to post them all here…

    • Gatsu

      I 100% agree :).

    • Mr.Pony

      Harry gave us MGS2 main theme, that is the first song i associate with MGS

  • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

    Out of all the things that changed from the trailers to release – this was the weirdest for me:

    [Listen to the music and soak in the atmoshphere]

    [In the final game]

    Lol, what happened to the music in the final version? I was so hyped for that scene (mostly due to the extremely subtle but super effective sound que and soundtrack) after watching the trailer and in the final game the soundtrack is so quiet the effect of that scene was near ruined. The music in the trailer really helped play up the scale and set up an epic open level David vs Goliath fight. I have no idea why Kojima bothered making that moment in the trailer seem better than in the final game.

    • “The ultimate Metal Gear, huh. More like the ultimate cock block – it was like you’re at the climax of a porn but then the video starts buffering and you lose your erection.”

      I laughed so hard. Yeah, I agree. That music in the trailers was so brilliant.
      I think the reason why it was not in the game because it was too late to add it honestly, so Kojima used it for the trailers, otherwise more testing. Adding new features just makes things harder to test, especially for this game.

      Also, if you remember GDC demo in the hospital, music there when you meet Man On Fire was also so much better IMO.

      • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

        Yeah, I guess – the trailer did come out 5 days before release. I just thought that he would include actual music from the game that close to launch.

    • Jav

      I think the same.

  • Rap with Metal Gear?? Hell fucking no.

  • Gatsu

    I’m glad it didn’t happen. I’m not a huge fan of rap and it would’ve been bad, maybe funny too buy still I can’t imagine MGS with rap lol.

    MGSV OST is pretty amazing, but to me it’s not the best or most memorable of the series. Some bros posted good reasons below why I feel this way.

    • Leguywhodrownedquiet

      Also it’s funny how a satirical trap song about Miller is so goodddd 😛

      • Gatsu

        xD there are few exceptions.

  • Leguywhodrownedquiet

    Off Topic:Geoff Johns says Batffleck’s script is fucking genius
    Batffleck calls Johns a fucking genius
    And Dc Rebirth is fucking genius
    Johns will work with batffleck

  • Bożydar Mazur

    Didnt like the soundtrack at all. It was just generic epic music bullshit served to us now from everywhere. At first i was blaming this guy for it, but if they told him to do that, then okay, Ill just hate whoever came up with this retarded idea.

    • Leguywhodrownedquiet

      If only dislikes worked !

    • Sam

      This guy is spot on.

      • Leguywhodrownedquiet

        That’s your opinion mate

  • BurntFM

    Witcher 3: Blood and Wine is installed and ready to go. I can’t wait to start playing. It will be a bittersweet end to Geralt’s story and and end to the Witcher franchise, but I’m happy CD Projekt Red can focus on Cyberpunk 2077 now.

    • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

      It’s still downloading on my PC (slow ass 300KB/s internet).

      The Heart of Stone DLC is one of my favourite stories ever in any medium. I hope this one lives up to that.

    • vic boss

      Do you guys know if the dlc comes with the cards for the game in Witcher 3 i’m asking because my brother bought the game and the dlcs but physical and his copies of the dlc come with extra cards for the mini game of the cards. What im asking is if you also get the cards if you bought the dlc digital (obviously not physical but in the game itself). Also I want to play Witcher 3 but knowing that the publisher is WB I might wait to see if we get a GOTY edition with everything as Witcher 3 it’s a pretty heavy game and if I get the dlcs digital it’ll be even heavier for my ps4. So do you guys think we’ll eventually get a GOTY edition for Witcher 3?

      • Lewis

        There will be most definitely be a GOTY edition for W3 with both DLC. There is a sort of “collector’s” edition for both DLCs, with 2 gwent decks each. These cards are already in the base game, they are just for collecting (cause playing gwent IRL is not fun at all). CD Projekt Red announced, that they will be selling those decks apart from the DLCs, so if you want gwent cards on your shelf, you can definitely get them.


    Hey off topic,
    I just finished Zone of the enders 1st game.

    I will write a little review so if You have any objections I would like to hear them 🙂

    From the begining,
    Music in the menu is PERFECT!
    Opening movie is not so cool like in MGS1 or MGSV but it was also made by Hideo Kojima(I think I saw credits says that) but its okay.
    Story and voice acting. Story is strange. I dont know if the story is continued in ZOE 2nd runner but they just cut story in the half. Just like that. So story is not the best.
    English voice acting is a piece of shit! Only computer named ADA sounds really good.
    The main character Leo(he operates the main robot where is installed ADA) and ADA made relly nice team.
    The best character was computer ADA.
    Music in the game is not bad but not the best.
    Graphic is really nice for a game from 2001.

    The best things in this game are gameplay(the most important thing and it is great) and music.

    Tell me what You think etc.

    • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

      Never played ZOE. Wasn’t into gaming when it came out, haven’t gotten around to playing (I converted my PS2 into a piggy bank so I can’t use it).

      • ADAMJENSEN13

        I really recommend You to play it. Gameplay is really cool! Fast and fantastic!
        and if You like mechs(robots, mechs etc are the best!) I think this should be the first game to play 🙂
        Hahaha! Piggy bank? Really?! haha! 🙂

    • Zone of the enders 2 is really a superior game in every category. Lemme know what you think of 2 when you play it

      • ADAMJENSEN13

        Oh! Sounds very promising! Cant wait to play it! 🙂

        What part You like the most in the first ZOE?

        • The universe it builds. I love mechs and stuff so it’s easy for me too enjoy

          • ADAMJENSEN13

            Me too! Mechs are the best! Gundam RULES!!! and Evangelion too!

            I think Zone of the enders is really really good game. Its really easy to enjoy that fantastic gameplay and mechs things. How You like the menu music? I think it really fit the game. and music before menu in the intro/trailer is awesome too. Ending music is amazing too.
            The only thing im dissapointed is English voice acting. its soooooooo bad! 🙂
            Story is not so important in the games so who cares. It was nice but why they just cut it like this. I dont get it.

          • Full Options

            “Mechs are the best!” +1000
            Without forgetting the ancesters like Maginzer (I guess Rocket Punch’s ©Copyright)…


            … and Goldorak / Grendizer..


            Robotech / Macross was also an purely awesome saga..


          • ADAMJENSEN13

            Too bad I didnt have a chance to see those shows.

            But I remember fantastic General Daimos and amazing Tekkaman. AWESOME SHOWS!!!

            What is Your favorite mech show or game or manga etc?
            For me its Gundam Zeta(that is the only gundam i had a chance to watch).
            Gundam ZETA RULES!!!
            Amuro Ray and Char Aznable are the best characters of the show!

          • Full Options

            For anime, I watched only few old ones. I guess my favorite was Robotech the Macross saga. I really need to watch tons of them, hehe. I will check your advices / THX !

            For games and along with of course Metal Gear Series, my favorite one was PC-Engine version of Spriggan Mark2.

  • Leguywhodrownedquiet

    RIP Harambe the gorilla

    • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami
      Jokes… RIP Harambe.

      I’m probably just an asshole but I think there is bigger issues in the world to worry about. Things like this, (or not):

      • Full Options

        1 – You will never be an asshole
        2 – This is Godzilla, having a massage on the beach, not a gorilla

        • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

          True – it’s a groundbreaking news story, dunno why news outlets aren’t discussing Godzilla’s return.

          • Full Options

            Part of the conspiracy… Although the pacific water was too radio-active even for Godzilla, who had, as a direct consequence, a painful diarrhea crisis after eating a Fukushima’s tuna fish… 🙁
            Hold on… was not a tuna… It’s.. human..


          • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

            That poor guy…

          • Full Options

            He believes in his fate…

  • venom Sam

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