This might be the stealthiest bombshell of the year. During this year’s Spike Video Game Awards, a trailer for a new IP called The Phantom Pain was shown. However if you look at the trailer closely you realize that this may not be a new IP at all. This trailer may in fact be our first glimpse at Metal Gear Solid 5.
The first give away are the graphics. Kojima Production’s FOX engine has a distinct look to it and this game BLEEDS FOX Engine. You know how you can tell an Unreal Engine game a mile away? Same thing with the FOX Engine.
Other clues are more subtle. Take the logo for “Moby Dick Studios”. The art style on the tail looks like the same font that Kojima Productions uses for their logos. The tiles on the floor of the hospital look like cells from the artwork of many Metal Gear Solid games. The way that the main character crawls on the floor reminds me of the ending part of MGS4 where Snake was crawling for his life. Another, less subtle clue is the name of the creator of this game: Joakim. I mean, come on! That’s just an anagram of Kojima.
As to whom we’re seeing on screen; I have a theory. I was talking to my boy Emilio Lopez and he’s convinced me that this character is non-other than Liquid Snake. The Metal Gear Solid games have told us that Liquid dies of the Fox Die virus and that all that was recovered of his body was an arm. In Metal Gear Solid 2 we learn that Revolver Ocelot’s right arm has been replaced with Liquid’s and that because of this, Liquid had taken over Ocelot’s mind. In MGS4 we learn that Ocelot was just brainwashed into thinking he was Liquid and that the arm had no real effect on him.
The theory that this new character is Liquid could be dismissed because the arm he’s missing is his left one and not the right. However, we have to keep in mind that “an arm” was recovered. It was never specified as to which one. Since Ocelot was never controlled by Liquid, that right arm of his could have been anyone’s. There are a few other things to consider as well. This character has the same hair color as Liquid and he appears to be about the same age that Liquid would be if he were still alive. The British flag on the wall is a clue as well since that is Liquid’s homeland. Solid Snake is now too old to fight so it makes sense for the main protagonist of this game to be Liquid. If this is Liquid, does that mean that David Hayter: the voice of Solid Snake won’t be front and center for this game? Liquid is voiced by Cam Clarke so if Liquid is back, Clarke would be the one handling the vocals of the main character this time around.
Hideo Kojima loves to mess with people’s expectations so it would totally be in his character to pull off something like this. I didn’t see the VGAs myself but I’m told that while the trailer was being shown that for no real reason, the camera briefly cuts to a shot of Hideo Kojima. What is the point of that? Also, what the hell was Kojima even doing at the awards show? His studio didn’t have any games that were up for nomination this year. I think he was there specifically to show off The Phantom Pain/Metal Gear Solid 5. You don’t travel all the way from Japan to California just to watch an awards show.
We also can’t overlook The Phantom Pain logo itself. There are some empty spaces in it for some reason. However if you fill in those spaces, you see that it spells out Metal Gear Solid 5. Another red flag is the fact that no one has ever heard of Moby Dick Studios or its founder until a few days ago.
No one can be 100% sure about any of this at the moment but I think the clues are pretty self-evident. If this was our first glimpse of Metal Gear Solid 5 then it was masterfully done. How appropriate is it that the premiere stealth action game franchise’s first trailer be stealthy itself? With Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes coming at us (presumably) next year, we have to believe that Metal Gear Solid 5 will be a next gen console game. MGS fans must be pretty damn happy right now.
Moby Dick Studio website
Shout out to N4G user bunt-custardly for pointing out the hair, age and flag details.