My emotions have finally settled enough for me to write this post.
Today at E3, the (presumably) final Hideo Kojima-directed Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain trailer was revealed. This is believed to be the last Metal Gear Solid game for Kojima, so it fits that the tone is somber and dark. While this trailer never reached the badass heights of last year’s action-packed trailer, it was more nuanced and stirred a slew of emotions. In addition to this, the trailer also revealed a lot of interesting story details.
Words Can Kill
The trailer begins with narration from the villain of the game, known as Skullface, voiced by James Horan. He tells the tale of how he was taken from his small village as a child by foreign soldiers and forced to learn a new language. Much of this trailer focuses on how words and language play a role in a person’s identity. All this emphasis on linguistics and ‘taking a man’s tongue’ seems to imply that Quiet, the mute sniper, will be integral to the game’s story. The same goes for Code Talker, the mysterious old man shown in this trailer who was introduced with the description “A Wise Man denied his Homeland.” This trailer declares a man’s language to be his homeland – making it believable that Code Talker is somehow denied his language, perhaps he is mute as well, and aligned with Quiet.
Things Get Trippy
There’s a lot of weird stuff going on in this trailer, even for Metal Gear. To start, Skullface seems to appear out of thin air at several moments, even directly confronting the Boss. These scenes were intensely chilling and seem to imply that in at least some capacity, Skullface will be appearing as a figment of Big Boss’ imagination. We also get a better look at ‘Those Who Don’t Exist’ – the zombie-like soldiers that have been revealed to have teleportation abilities. These guys are now called the ‘Skulls’, so it’s pretty easy to guess who they work for. However, we know Quiet also has teleportation abilities, so perhaps she is a failed experiment of Skullface’s?
Volgin and Psycho Mantis, two iconic Metal Gear villains, are all but confirmed in this trailer. They might be hallucinations, but they seem to play a big role in tormenting Big Boss over the course of the game.
It also appears that Paz will appear, after the traumatic ending to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes found her thrown out of a helicopter moments before exploding. Kaz and Big Boss are interacting with her on some kind of hospital table, but this sequence is most likely a hallucination as well. It would seem that Big Boss’ years of combat have taken a toll and he will be having several visions over the course of this game.
Bad News for the Diamond Dogs
From the above screenshot, it is safe to speculate that Kazuhira Miller is actually blinded at some point in The Phantom Pain. He’s suffered quite a lot, and we know the first mission of the game will be to recover him from an enemy base in Afghanistan. Could it be that Big Boss is too late in saving his second-in-command and finds poor Mr. Miller already blind?
Big Boss’ team seems to be suffering more as we see even more caskets on Mother Base and plenty of soldiers getting thoroughly destroyed by helicopters, explosions and other soldiers.
We will be seeing more than the first prototype of Metal Gear in this installment, as the new trailer showed fully operational machines engaged in combat with Big Boss. The weapon will be very similar to Metal Gear Rex but most likely a prototype designed by someone on the Diamond Dogs team…or perhaps Zero, who’s voice we do hear in the trailer. As for the youth piloting this particular machine, that brings us to the final point.
The Twin Snakes
There has been speculation since MGSV’s first trailer that the youth known as Eli was in fact Liquid Snake. The similarities continued to grow in later trailers, until this one all but confirmed that this boy is a product of ‘Les Enfants Terribles’. More importantly, we see a near perfect copy of Eli in this trailer as well, seeming to indicate that none other than Solid Snake will be appearing in The Phantom Pain. Perhaps MGSV will bring the series full circle and end with the events of Metal Gear, where Solid Snake infiltrates Outer Haven and finally ends Big Boss. Exciting stuff.
I’ve been out-of-my-mind excited for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for a long time, but this final trailer has sent me over the edge. The story, gameplay and presentation of Kojima’s magnum opus all seem to be shaping this title up as one of the greatest video games ever produced.
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