Warning: This article contains spoilers from the Metal Gear Solid franchise.
The Metal Gear Solid franchise is one of the most decorated and revered in gaming. Scoring an average of 92+ on Metacritic, the franchise has continued to develop and change with each installment. Director Hideo Kojima is now building up the anticipation with the impending arrival of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes – set to serve as the prologue for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The narrative behind these two titles is extremely fascinating, especially with the certain plot theories that surround them. My intention is to explore some of these ideas and offer my own thoughts on them; in the process, discussing some of the conclusions I have drawn up, too.
Les Efants Terribles
‘Les Enfants Terribles’ – MGS fans will have heard of this phrase throughout the series and the implication it has in the timeline. If not, I’ll explain it now. The initiative was pushed by the U.S. Government during the 1970s with its objective to create the perfect clone from the DNA of “The Greatest Warrior of the 20th Century”: better known as Big Boss. This clone would be the ultimate super-soldier and explained later in Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots as an ‘insurance policy’ for the Patriots. During the 1970s, Big Boss is elevated to the level of an icon with Major Zero wanting to preserve this image for the organization. However, Big Boss begins to drift away from the Patriots, leaving Zero with no option but to use the ‘insurance policy’ in order to preserve the icon. Using the ‘Super Baby Method,’ they are able to fertilize an egg and as a result, ‘the Sons of Big Boss are born.’ Solid and Liquid (The Twin Snakes) are created first: this is done so one of them possess the dominant genes from Big Boss (Liquid), whilst the other receives his recessive ones (Solid) – we found the truth out behind each of them at the end of Metal Gear Solid. Solidus is eventually created for the purpose of matching Big Boss genetically (as it was explained in MGS IV).
Without a doubt this event is expected to unfold in the upcoming titles and I’d personally be shocked if it didn’t. Ground Zeroes will put this event into motion, as The Phantom Pain trailer reaffirmed it with Big Boss slipping into a coma. ‘Les Efants’ acts as the final straw between Zero and Big Boss’ friendship, with the latter condemning his actions. In an interview with Kotaku, Hideo Kojima confirmed that Big Boss’ story is told in 10 year intervals. Ground Zeroes is set to take place in 1975, before Big Boss slips into a coma for 9 years, leaving The Phantom Pain to resume in 1984. With the dates being confirmed by Kojima, we are able to connect more events that are probable to occur in the story and ‘Les Enfants Terribles’ fits in this time-frame.
Finalizing why this event will happen during MGS V, here’s an extract from the Metal Gear Solid codec conversation between the Secretary of State Jim Houseman and Solid Snake.
“You two are an embarrassment from the 1970s. Our country’s dirty little secret. You can’t be allowed to live. You’re just the lingering ghosts of a system that is no more.”
This is an integral moment in the franchise – something which I’ve been eager to witness ever since I played Metal Gear Solid. I believe MGS V is preparing the series for its most crucial moment, yet.
My next point brings me onto none other than Solid Snake himself – boy, is there a lot to say about him. The character’s history is still missing significant portions, with only a certain amount that we actually know. Already discussing ‘Les Enfants Terribles,’ a return in The Phantom Pain looks even more likely for Snake: especially with the timeline of the series coming up to the original Metal Gear titles. Long-standing voice actor, David Hayter, was replaced as the voice for Big Boss by Kiefer Sutherland. The news was met with hostility and controversy, with ideas being thrown around that Hayter would be solely doing the voice for Snake (similar to MGS IV, with Richard Doyle voicing Big Boss). My own reaction was of shock by Hayter’s replacement, but then I also considered, maybe Kojima wanted to keep his involvement in the project as a secret.
Hayter caught my attention last year when he tweeted something about E3 and I even went far enough to consider that he would be gatecrashing the event for MGS V; sadly, this didn’t happen. Following the aftermath of E3, Hayter tweeted:
“Ah well, Can’t fault @RealKiefer Great actor, good man. The game will probably still be excellent. Like New Coke!”
First time I saw this, I had accepted defeat on his involvement in the project, but then I noticed something else. It was how he called the title like ‘New Coke,’ especially with the history behind the soft drink. ‘New Coke’ was introduced by The Coca-Cola Company in 1985, changing the formula of the original soft drink; this was met by a hostile reception and resulted in the reintroduction of Coca-Cola Classic. Is MGS V really ‘New Coke?’ Or is Sutherland it and Hayter is the Classic Coke? If the latter is the case, let’s hope for them to clash together in MGS V.
However, with all that being said above, David Hayter has continued to deny his involvement in the project, which is sad news all around; I really thought that he was playing along with the idea that he wouldn’t be in the title, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Only a couple of days ago, I began to consider that maybe Kojima is weighing up the idea of bringing in a new voice actor for Snake. I know what you’re thinking: ‘this is blasphemy; he can’t replace Hayter for the role of Solid Snake.’ However, if Kojima did this, I could see where he is coming from: Snake is a lot younger and ‘green’ during this period, so maybe he’s looking to change the character’s personality at the same time. Additionally, with other voice actors being replaced, this could be even more probable that a new voice actor is lying in the wait for Solid Snake – or maybe it’s Hayter, I refuse to believe that he’s done with the series. With all this being said, without a doubt this character is expected to feature in the upcoming title.
MGS V could end with Big Boss assuming his position at the head of FOXHOUND and meeting a newly recruited soldier in the form of Sold Snake. One thing which I would love to see happen is the latter’s motto “You haven’t even take the safety off, rookie”; something he adopted from his father.
Speaking of Solid, let us not forget about his “Brother!” Liquid Snake, along with Solid, will make an appearance in this title. Eli – “A Youth who Curses his Fate” – couldn’t sum up this individual any better as Liquid Snake.
One of the most obvious standouts is his trademark blond hair. There’s also his necklace which looks like it could be made from the bones of jackals’. Liquid: “In the Middle East… we don’t hunt Foxes… we hunt Jackals!” As Liquid states, he spent time in the Middle East, becoming fluent in Arabic (as if it was his native language). Big Boss is in the Middle East during this time – as it was revealed in The Phantom Pain trailer – and no doubt that he could end up bumping into his “son that brings the world to ruin.”
I have found that Metal Gear Solid V shares a lot of biblical connections, most of them having a significant meaning behind the title. One of the most notable is Eli and David (Snake’s name in MGS), both of whom were cursed to have their lines killed off before they’d grow old. This doesn’t have to mean anything at all, but I feel like Kojima has been leaving subtle hints for us to look at. Donna Burke’s “Sins of the Father” complemented the E3 trailer perfectly, at the same time drawing in another biblical connection that can tie in with Eli and David. The father has continued to sin, leaving these to pass onto his children, both of whom are already cursed by being sterile. Funnily enough, take “honour thy father and thy mother” into consideration with both Solid and Liquid, both of whom were responsible for the death of each parent. As in Eli and David’s case, they killed off their only lines before they died themselves.
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