Hideo Kojima and Yoji Shinkawa on how they design characters

The Metal Gear games are filled with memorable and iconic characters. But what makes a good character, or a good design? Here are some quotes from Kojima and Shinkawa on this subject.


Hideo Kojima

Honestly, I think the secret to making a really good main character is to have a character who can endure a lot of pain, a lot of hits. It’s not how much they can dish out, it’s how much they can take and keep going. So rather than just a really tough manly character who’s invincible, it’s much more interesting to have a character who takes hits and overcomes them.


Yoji Shinkawa

In fact, I always have many sketches at hand. I draw a lot of sketches, I sometimes take one of those sketches, that interests me more than the others and that I want to use, or make groups, and I take those elements that interest me the most. I then regroup them into one character. I just follow my inspiration, looking at my characters: “It would be good if this character moves like this, if he had this particular power. I don’t have particular inspiration problems.I’m not the kind who conceives characters while reflecting. The ideas simply come to me while drawing, while I have a pen in hand and I can design, while letting my imagination run free, the ideas come by themselves, without having to ask myself questions or reflect.


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