Kojima talks about Metal Gear Solid remake, Skull Face inspiration and his career during Gamescom Q&A session

After showing new Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain gameplay at Gamescom’s Preview Event, Hideo Kojima answered some questions in an interview with Geoff Keighley.



The first question was: If you could remake any of your games with the FOX Engine, what would it be?

Kojima said he isn’t very keen on the idea of remaking his own games, since he’d rather create something new. But if he where to remake on of his games, it would be Metal Gear Solid 1.


The original Metal Gear Solid character model, compared to one created with the Fox Engine

He would act as a producer, with several of his team members working on the game. It wouldn’t be a standard remake, however, but rather something that brings it to the modern age. In this sense, Kojima compared it to the Planet of the Apes remakes, taking the best from the past and create something brand new with it, in a very modern style.


The next question was about his inspiration for Skull Face. Kojima provided a very in-depth and interesting answer.

First of all, as everyone knows Skull Face will be the bad guy in Metal Gear Solid V. However, he’s not just a plain old bad guy: his face has been stripped off, revealing his skull. This ‘skull face’ represents the human side that he lost, and the same thing happens to Big Boss, who becomes a ‘skull’ in his quest for revenge – he also loses some of his human side.


In Peace Walker, the MSF logo is also a skull. Snake and his allies fought under this symbol of a skull, and during his battle against Skull Face he forms Outer Heaven, which also uses the skull as a symbol. There is a sad story behind all of this, a subplot.


At last year’s E3, one of the key artworks the studio used was of an x-ray of Big Boss, showing just his bones and his skull. One of the themes in the game is race. If you look under the skin, at just the skull and bones, they are mostly the same for every human being, regardless of race. Skull Face also represents this, this faceless character who is the bad guy. This is also one of the subplots in the game.



The third question was: What has been the most exciting Metal Gear game to work on?

Kojima answered this was probably the first Metal Gear (1987), because he was new to the company, and no one in the studio understood his ideas at that point, but he was still given the chance to develop the game.

Kojima also said that, outside of Metal Gear, another game he liked working on was Boktai, since games were mainly perceived as something you play inside, and he wanted to take advantage of the portability of the handheld, making the solar sensor an important element. Some people were against the idea, and Kojima had to fight hard to convince them.

When asked about what lead role he’d like to play in a movie, if he could choose, Kojima answered Mad Max 2. This was a character who hardly speaks. Kojima compared it to Snake in MGSV, who also has very few lines.

After this, Kojima talked about his daily routine, saying he sleeps for about 4 hours every night, and tries to watch at least one movie before going to bed (against his doctor’s advice). He also enjoys watching making of videos, especially of those movies that did not turn out as well, but seeing the people behind it work really hard to make it work, is the thing that energizes Kojima the most.


Kojima said he is really fortunate to be able to make games like this. Gaming making is a very global art, you have to know a lot of things, understand how to implement different elements. It also requires a lot of energy, so you really have to love doing it. Kojima also called it a lonely profession, despite the fact that working with a team. When you’re trying to create something and people don’t grasp it, you have to make it work on your own. So for Kojima, the external support he receives from those who understand him is really important.

To see the interview for yourself, go here. The Q&A Session starts at around 31:30.

Source: Gamescom MGSV Preview Event

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