Despite being pushed away from Konami it’s nice to see Kojima still crafting hype for his magnum opus, I must say. This is apparently the last MGSV trailer before its launch on September 1st, and obviously I had to take a look and give some thoughts on it. If you’re familiar with my work you’ll know The Phantom Pain is my most anticipated game, so it’s always good to get some fresh footage to dissect. As with the “Nuclear” trailer I’ve split it up into sections for easy digestion, because I’m nice like that.
A key theme of the trailer. Skullface monologues about how as a boy he was taken by foreign soldiers and passed around various foreigners, completely losing his native tongue. References are made to the power and importance of words and language to bind a people together, and to completely destroy people by taking it from them. Clearly it will be important for Snake to be a great communicator to his soldiers, and it looks like Skullface is going to use language to his own manipulative ends.
What happened to Diamond Dogs?
The first shots of the trailer show what is apparently a/the Diamond Dogs base filled with dead bodies, shell casings and walls covered in blood. Through visual cues three stages of Snake are shown- his Ground Zeroes outfit, the “demonic” Big Boss with his horn, and Venom; Snake’s turn to the dark side, as shown by his face being covered in blood. It appears the blood-soaked face will signify the point of no return for Snake, as its shown up repeatedly in the trailers, playing a pivotal role in the “Nuclear” trailer. The bloody face also leads me to believe that this apparent tragedy in the Diamond Dogs base is the same one shown in the “Nuclear” trailer, in which Snake wanders the aftermath of a clearly explosive, devastating conflict. I’ll elaborate on what I think happens in the next section, but this is definitely a turning point. This section ends later in the trailer with Snake on his knees with his fists clenched by his sides in anguish, and staring at himself in a mirror before punching it.
Ah yes. The big bad. So here’s what I think is going on with Skullface:
From his monologue about his language and Ocelot’s subsequent description of Skullface via narration, combined with shots of Skullface hanging out with Big Boss and interacting in a friendly manner, I believe he cons his way into Diamond Dogs. I reckon he either reaches out to them or makes himself seem irresistible and he ends up as part of their ranks. Then from a shot of him talking to Snake while the latter is hanging upside down, I believe he is responsible for the slaughter of all the Diamond Dogs soliders- he destroys the base, kills a lot of people and leaves Snake to embrace his inner demons. Or, to bring up my more bleak theory, he manipulates a lot of the Diamond Dogs soldiers onto his side, and Snake is forced to kill them. My evidence for this is the shot of Snake on his knees, clearly angry and distraught, and the shot right near the end of the “Nuclear” trailer where Snake hesitates before gunning down several men in unmarked DBUs. Either way, I think this battle/massacre is key to the plot, and Skullface is definitely involved.
A small one, but worth mentioning. In narration someone says that he’s going to finally make The Boss’ vision of the world a reality, and there’s a shot of soldiers cheering as what looks like the A.I pod from the “Peace Walker” weapon. For those unaware it was said to basically be a robotic version of The Boss’ A.I (for more info on who she is, check out MGS3. She’s an integral catalyst for the whole series’ plot, and easily one of the best characters in any of the games), which caused Snake to reject his former mentor and finally start using the name “Big Boss”. If that IS the A.I pod and she’s back online, she could prove to be an interesting source of drama, particularly when she gets a look at what Snake becomes.
So it turns out that Eli, the boy from the previous trailers, is Liquid Snake. Well, I say that, it’s very, VERY heavily implied. Two shots stand out here; him climbing into what looks like a Metal Gear (in fact it looks like Metal Gear Rex, which is a nice touch) and chases after Big Boss before getting caught in a narrow cave mouth, and the ending of the trailer. At the end Eli is in a helicopter appearing to have some sort of psychic link with another child who looks awfully similar, while in narration Big Boss says “Les Enfants Terrible, Zero called it”. For those who don’t know, Les Enfants Terrible was the program Major Zero set up to clone Big Boss against his will, that resulted in Liquid, Solid and Soldius Snake. Who is that other child? My money’s on Solid Snake.
What appears to be “Those who do not exist” from the Red Band trailer make an appearance, twitching towards Snake and Quiet in a “Jacob’s Ladder” fashion before leaping out of shot. Now I thought they were called that just because they were Snake’s hallucinations, but their appearance here along with a group of people who can turn invisible and look to be wearing the same suits as “Those who do not exist” lead me to believe they may be an actual unit. It’s entirely feasible- the Cobras all had special powers, and Metal Gear Solid is no stranger to the supernatural.
There’s also a brief shot of rock spears jutting out the ground; chasing after Snake as he drives away in a jeep,and a scene in which a helicopter moves sideways, using its rotors to kill a group soldiers. The rock spears I can’t explain at present, but the helicopter strikes me as the work of that little boy who’s clearly Psycho Mantis, who shows up just after the helicopter shot. I think this will be during Snake’s escape from the hospital early on; Mantis is helping him out.
So there we have it. Another good trailer with a lot to take in, I’m really looking forward to the game, and obviously I’m going to review it. It really is unlikely I’ll do any more “thoughts on…” pieces before then, but we’ll see what happens. I can’t wait for V to finally come to in September.
By James Lambert
Also, it was a complete dick move for Konami to stick the Koji Pro logo in the trailer without the words “Kojima Productions” in it. Bloody Konami.
Also also; this is my hundredth post on The Reviewing Floor, so that’s something worth celebrating me thinks. It was going to be a review of an old game very close to whatever I have in place of a heart, but it’s fitting to give the spot to this, the final Phantom Pain trailer. Here’s to a hundred more posts, and if you have been reading them, thank you very much. I hope I’ve given you something worth reading.