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Should I be excited about… Metal Gear Solid V : The Phantom Pain

Jon Defazio tells us why he’s excited for MGS V: The Phantom Pain, and gives away a few spoilers…

Hell Yeah!!! Oh, you want me to tell you why? Oh. Ok, Didn’t think I’d need to… Before we begin can we state the obvious that SPOILERS will be discussed in Peace Walker, Ground Zeroes, Phantom Pain and the Movie Sixth Sense…

We’ll start with the E3 trailer, in case you missed it!

Was that not enough to whet your appetite? check out this 30 min trailer too!

First of all, the use of Mike Oldfield’s “Nuclear” is again another sublime choice of soundtrack for the latest E3 trailer which sums up the darker tone of MGS V perfectly. Hideo Kojima is an expert at getting the right musical score to accompany his set-pieces and his latest E3 trailer does not disappoint.

It looks like the topic for discussion in this Metal Gear is REVENGE!!! And as they like to say; Revenge is a dish best served cold… and bloody!!!! Mark Twain’s quote that opens the E3 trailer points about the dangers of revenge and the cost that heroes must pay for retribution. It just so happens that  Big Boss has a few bones to pick with Cypher and XOF for some reason…

MGSVTPP_E3_Pre_shot1_webNow, there has been some grumbling about the use of torture scenes in MGS V and I’m not going to argue about the morals of depicting torture but I’m going to focus on what we’ve seen so far. By the looks of things Big Boss has his new BFF(!) Ocelot stepping up to conduct the torture of the mysterious new character “Quiet” and the MSF’s former Metal Gear Specialist, Hal Emmerich. Firstly Quiet, how exactly Ocelot gets anything from a mute character we will need to wait and see but, with Emmerich, we can only assume that Boss suspects him of betraying MSF at the time of the destruction of Mother base. How a guy in a wheelchair escapes a burning oil rig (remember he was there to greet the so-called inspectors who we assume are XOF) will be needing explained, probably at the tip of a shock stick.

Big Boss seems to be supporting some flashy new items in this trailer. First is the missing left hand. We can deduce from previous trailers that Boss loses his hand in the Helo crash and when he awakens from his coma has a crappy hook prosthetic attached to his hand. In an earlier trailer you see him riding horseback with (!)Ocelot with a standard hospital hook arm. Now the hand itself must have been attached after the hospital escape and its possible Boss already had the technology in his possession already. Cast your mind back to Peace Walker. If you played the final act ending after building Zeke and playing all the find Zadornov missions you’ll be attacked in the training room by Zadornov. His final defiance in attacking Big Boss was to fire his red, robotic arm like a rocket punch at him. Later, after the whole Zeke battle you get a cutscene with Kaz and Big Boss on deck on Mother Base. In his hands Boss holds Zadornov’s robot hand with one of the fingertips flipped open, using it as a lighter for one of his trademark cigars. Now granted it’s the wrong hand (right for Zadornov, left for Boss) but it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to copy it for a right hand. Or Huey Emmerich knocked one up between torture sessions.

MGSVTPP_E3_CUT_02_webNext is the thing stuck in his head. Now in true Kojima fashion we are going to be left to guess about its true nature. So let’s have a go. It’s probably shrapnel from the helicopter crash that landed him in a coma and the doctors couldn’t remove it at that point, or an injury from the hospital escape 9 years later. Others have suggested it’s a previous version of Snake’s Solid eye to allow Big Boss improved vision. If it is some kind of Intracranial Soloton Radar system I’ll eat my hat. Some people have even suggested it’s a devil/unicorn horn. Come on. I know it’s Metal Gear but that’s just silly, what’s next? Big Boss Covered in Jam???

Ok so he’s not covered in Jam, it’s probably blood, someone else’s blood too. Judging by the charred corpses and scorched earth surrounding Big Boss as he walks into scene, Big Boss is taking things personally and some major retribution is going to be handed out to Boss’s enemies in MGS V. It also shows that this will be the time where Boss finally snaps and the hero we’ve come to know and love, falls from grace. It has been on the cards, we all knew it would happen. He has to be the baddy for Solid Snake to defeat him in Metal Gear. Don’t assume he will be some pantomime villain by the end of MGS V, but he will become a fallen hero. A good man willing to do questionable deeds to punish those who have wronged him. He has to fall, I’m sure the destruction of mother base, his slaying of the Boss (MGS3), 9 years in a coma, near fatal radiation exposure and the loss of an arm will push him to that. Well, at least he’s not taken to smearing the ashes of his fallen brethren over his face like some kind of nutter…

Ok, so he has been smearing his dead comrades ashes over his face. He’s gone a bit Mel Gibson…  So we can assume that one of Boss’s new Diamond Dogs team (MSF seems to have gone with the old mother base) missions goes pear-shaped resulting in several losses. Rather than bury them at sea, Big Boss decides to have their remains pressed into diamonds (!) so they can continue to carry the fallen into battle with them. Actually, it’s not a surprise that Big Boss sets up Outer Haven in southern Africa if he’s trying to shift some dodgy diamonds!!! But at least Kaz Miller will be Boss’s right hand man (!) to stand firmly with him in desperate times.

MGSVTPP_E3_CUT_08_webOk, so that was Kaz Miller being carted off in a stretcher minus an arm and a leg.  Previous trailers stated that first mission was to rescue Kaz in Afghanistan amidst the soviet invasion. Apparently you get there a little late… If you remember the end sequence of Peace Walker, Kaz’s allegiance to Big Boss is called into question and quite where his agenda now lies is anyones guess at the moment. (It’s Metal Gear, everyone has their own agenda…)

What really got my attention was Big Boss getting out of a vehicle in base housing a Metal Gear with Skull Face(!) Now, opinion seems split on the internet between it being Metal Gear Zeke or Rex. Now It does look a fair bit like Rex (railgun and radar array in the right place for Rex) but it is far too early in the timeline for it to appear. Rex was secretly developed in 2005 by Hal Emmerich, not Huey (his father) and it seems unlikely to have been built 20 years before Solid Snake encounters it in Antarctica 2005. More likely this is a modified Metal Gear Zeke that was recovered from the sea bed after mother base was destroyed post-Ground Zeroes.

Now, given that Skull Face is the main antagonist in Ground Zeroes and is responsible for the destruction of the original mother base, the deaths of most of MSF, the death of Paz and Boss being in a coma/ lost arm etc it’s a bit unusual to see the two co-operating. Granted we don’t know who owns this particular Gear or whose base it is on. Did Chico give up the whereabouts of Zeke to Skull Face under interrogation and they recovered it in 1975 after destroying Mother Base??? Is this a prototype like Rex that was built by XOF to counter MSF’s ability to field a Bipedal tank on a battlefield??? So many questions…

One other thing, Skull Face is wearing an eyepatch in the scene with Big Boss, is he imitating Boss? Did he lose an eye? Did Boss go eye-for-an-eye (or arm, at least) on him? Is Skull face Becoming Decoy Octopus??? not likely on that last one but still, more questions.

So Ocelot has joined Diamond Dogs it seems. He can be seen wandering around mother base and was also seen riding a horse with Boss in the Afghanistan trailer. Given his history sparring with Big Boss in MGS3 and the fact he becomes a member of Foxhound (MGS1), his appearance is hardly unexpected. What was a bit unexpected was the scene of Boss and Ocelot torturing Huey Emmerich. Does this have anything to do with Miller’s capture? Is Ocelot the little Devil sitting on Boss’s shoulder suggesting that they do all these horrible things? Is Ocelot responsible for Boss becoming more unhinged? We do know he is an expert manipulator and survivor in the Metal Gear series.

The last scene in the trailer kinda stands out for me for it’s brutality more than anything else. We see Boss struggling with three unknown soldiers until he subsequently dispatches them in rapid fire succession. Without a moment’s hesitation to the three bloodied corpses on the floor he swings around and dispatches a fourth guard with a gunshot to the face post-haste(!). Certainly a darker Big Boss than that of Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes.

MGSVTPP_E3_game_01_webSo the gameplay trailer that was shown to the media types at E3 has a few things worth mentioning too! A few noteable returns from Peace Walker are making a welcome return. Firstly the Cardboard Box(!) Yup, you can run about and hide in your favourite cardboard fortress of solitude to your heart’s content, also you can pop up out of the centre of the box and shoot people and even dive out of the box and escape if the box is discovered(!)

MGSVTPP_E3_game_11_webNext is the Fulton Recovery System. The balloon retrieval system has returned, allowing you to again kidnap random soldiers and have them returned to mother base. What you can now do is airlift important pieces of equipment and even sheep(!). Yes, that’s right, animals can be Fultoned back to base now, something we wouldn’t believe had we not seen it with our own eyes… Apparently you can hitch a lift back to mother base on a heavier piece of equipment to make a hasty retreat should you need to, which is nice. The weather also affects your chances of recovering anything as well, send up someone in a sandstorm and chances are it’s the last you’ll ever see of them.

The new Mother Base looks simply amazing. It is explorable now and promises to be customisable to the extent that no two players base will look exactly alike(!). Everything you acquire via Fulton will be deployed on Mother Base, from AA guns to sheep to tanks and all the Soldiers you kidnapped against their will…

A couple of (pretty much) certainties will need to be dealt with to fit into the MGS timeline. Please note they are key plot points that I believe must happen but whether Kojima omits or changes them is up to him really.


Big Boss MUST LIVE! Key historical events of MGS would not make sense if there was no Big Boss. He must face Solid Snake in Metal Gear circa 1999 and should meet (old) Solid Snake at the end of MGS IV. (In a post credit scene Boss kills Zero by switching off his life support, before succumbing to the FOXDIE virus in the presence of Solid Snake.

Kaz Miller MUST LIVE! Well, at least long enough to die in MGS at the hands of Liquid…

The already established character of Eli, a blonde haired child is mentioned in a previous trailer too. Now the Cryptic Rumours Dept of the internet (4th floor, next to housekeeping) seem to think this may be a young Liquid(!) If there is a possibility of one of the sons of Big Boss appearing as a teenager, could the other son appear as well, possibly voiced by David Hayter?(!)? This is pure Fanboy speculation on my part as it is doubtful Boss would seek out his “Sons” so early in their youth, but if it comes true…


A few issues will depend on the timeframe of MGS V. It looks to be set primarily in or around 1984 and focuses in part on the war in Afghanistan. (If you are 15 and have no idea about the history of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan go look it up, or go watch Charlie Wilson’s War and it’ll explain most of what you need to know). Unless a later act moves further forward to the 90’s we won’t get to see Outer Haven appear and Foxhound become an established unit. This is mostly conjecture at this point as Kojima hasn’t really hinted anything about just how he intends to wrap up Big Boss’s story (and why would he???). It seems that this may not be the last Metal Gear to feature Big Boss(!) His story ends in Outer Haven, Zanzibar a further 15 years down the timeline, So possibly a MGS VI is on the cards? Yes Please!

MGSVTPP_E3_Pre_shot3_____bAll that put aside I simply cannot wait to see what the finished product will show us!!!

Oh, and (SPOILER) Bruce Willis was a dead guy in the Sixth Sense that only the kid could see. carry on.


Bonus points if you made the wee alert noise in your head every time you saw an (!) You are a True Metal Gear Fan!!!

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