Kojima ‘must make players accept Snake becomes a demon in The Phantom Pain’

With MGSV, Kojima goes through great lengths to involve the player in Big Boss’s actions and emotions. This is necessary because in this game, Big Boss will not be heroic like before, and instead it will tell the story of his downfall. On Twitter, Kojima took the time to explain how he intends to handle this, and how he’s trying to deal with what he calls the ‘character versus player’ paradox.

Hitchcock had implemented the way of “being involved” drama in latter period of his work in UK and suspense he made in US in order to have closer distance b/w audience and protagonist to feel empathy with. Instead of detective or trained spy, an ordinary person like an audience gets involved in big incident. For this reason audience feels empathy.

If you state in gaming, FPS applies to that method. Unlike movies, you can maneuver yourself in games. Thus the more distance it gets the more complex past or specific setting protagonist has. Such as Snake a hero from past wars. How can we cover the gap b/w them?


To bring Player to the same level of emotion with protagonist, MGS always fuss over that part. It’s the reason Raiden appeared in MGS2, the reason you swear vengeance in TPP after your MB built in PW was destroyed in GZ.

I intentionally design the memory of Player & protagonist will cross over thru the game. For Players who haven’t played series, TPP provides you the setting where protagonist has just been waken from 9 yrs of coma. In such case Player should be able to play the game without any info about PW or GZ incidents.

I used such metaphor like Gillian in Snatcher had an amnesia, so as in Policenauts. But I must say MGS users are special. They have vicarious experiences of Snake’s suffering journey for 27 real years. Players who’ve played few MGS, aged with the Snakes and share the memories & emotions. That’s the strong point of long-lived series. For fans who really love the heroic Snakes, I must make them accept the Snakes fallen into the demon in TPP. We have to head off while the end of story is already fixed. This is the hardest part, but not depicting villain, hero fallen into demon.

Kojima has compared Snake’s situation several times to that of Walter White in Breaking Bad: you can see that what he does is morally wrong, but at the same time the viewer can understand his actions and thus empathize with him. Kojima wants to take the same approach for Big Boss’s story in Metal Gear Solid V.

Source: Hideo Kojima Twitter

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