Last year’s annual Spike Video Game Awards had a slew of new trailers for some of the most anticipated games of 2013, but there was one trailer that came out of nowhere, besides the Dark Souls 2 announcement, and got inside our heads a little. It’s a little game called The Phantom Pain and, on first watch, it seems to be the story of a two men’s harrowing escape from some sort of hospital that’s being assaulted by an unknown military force.
As you’re watching the trailer, though, you may or may not notice a few things that seem really, really fishy and come to the conclusion – as I have – that perhaps first-time Swedish developer Moby Dick Studios isn’t being 100% honest with us and are actually teasing a new Metal Gear Solid game. The Phantom Pain is totally MGS5.
If it’s not, it’s the largest exercise in trolling since Macy’s Rickrolled the entire United States in 2008. It’s also not out of character for Kojima to pull something like this considering the fun he has toying with fan expectation (keeping the switch to Raiden as main protagonist of MGS2) and generally messing with people’s heads (like in ALL of his games). This post will undoubtedly contain massive spoilers for several games in the Metal Gear franchise, so you’ve been warned.
The sensible place to start is our apparent main character:
He’s an unknown amputee who has been in a coma for “quite some time” according to what I assume is a doctor in the trailer. He’s sluggish and weak from the coma and is having trouble getting to his feet. He begins crawling along the floor at the behest of another unknown patient who warns us that “…the whole place is coming down.”
Eventually he’s able to stand up, but not before avoiding several murderous enemy patrols by ducking under beds. Once he’s on his feet he continues to run from this mysterious military force laying siege to the hospital. He flees from a menacing figure standing inside a roaring blaze and begins to have what seem to be visions of a Pegasus and a giant whale. The whale comes down from the sky, destroying a helicopter that was surely pursuing our protagonist.
At this point, the viewer is unsure what to believe. Finally, at the end of the trailer, we get a good look our tormented hero. He’s wearing a bandage that wraps around his right eye and has a totally radical mullet haircut. Where have we seen these two things together before?
Ah, yes. Our main character looks suspiciously like Naked Snake/Big Boss of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Peace Walker fame. He even seems to have his beard. Think back to the beginning of the trailer: what’s the first thing we see this character doing? Crawling. On the floor. Like a Snake. Hell, like THE Snake. Also, if you listen really closely at the end of the trailer when he’s laying on the ground with soldiers hovering over him, you may hear Snake’s signature gruff voice coming through his tired breaths. If that was the only element of the trailer that pointed towards The Phantom Pain being MGS5, I wouldn’t really buy it. However, there’s more. Much more…
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This article was first posted on January 26, 2013