Metal Gear Solid V – The Final Theory

MGS V – SPOILERS AHEAD!  YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!!

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The next Colonel?

After my last article about getting over what seems to be a terrible ending to a game that we have put far too much thought into I started to look away from Metal Gear Solid V – The Phantom Pain and back towards Ground Zeroes.  I have come to realize a couple things about these games and how we are looking at them from the wrong perspective (figuratively and maybe even literally).

Bear with me on this ride, it might get a bit silly as far as theories go.
There Are Three Chapters to MGS V
Ground Zeroes, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2
are all a part of the story we have played through, assuming we played both pieces of software.
That said, if you look at the story and think about them as a stand-alone multi-disc game you will see that they are certainly a complete story in many regards.  They aren’t a great story in any sense, but it is also the nature of the beast with games anymore.  Now that we have seen the fallout of Konami/Kojima, I am sure there was a lot left out as well.  Regardless, it doesn’t take away from the fact that if you look at both games you can see that it really is a rather full story in most cases.
The Deep Theory
Naked Snake- AKA, Big Boss was never a part of MGS V – Ground Zeroes.
I have come to look at the story as a whole in a new light.  I believe we have all been lied to since the beginning of MGS V (Ground Zeroes).  It is my theory that Big Boss was never present in either game.  Venom Snake (AKA ‘Boss’ in MGS V – GZ & TPP) was set up from the beginning to undertake what turned out to be a strange mission of vengeance against a faceless enemy.
This rings of all sorts of metaphors and such if you let your mind wander down the ‘rabbit hole’. or maybe it’s a snake hole?
Ground Zeroes Observations and Points
From the beginning we have an eye patch (much like Snake in MGS 3 – Snake Eater).  We also have two functioning arms, as far as we can tell.  The intro sees Skullface interacting with Chico and Paz in Cuba as prisoners/torture victims.  Snake goes on to rescue both of them and evacuate on a chopper.
A few things to note –
+ We are on good terms with Huey.
+ Skullface seemingly appears out of the blue as far as storylines go.  They say he secretly commanded for Cipher and such, and that is likely true.  However, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense for Big Boss to have any beef with the guy.
+ Chico and Paz both react strangely to Snake rescuing them.  They almost don’t fully believe it is him – sounds quite similar to what happens later, no?
+ The entire mission and aftermath of the destroyed Mother Base, etc. seems manufactured to me.  Afterall, Big Boss is supposed to be building a nation in Africa, not the ocean.
Ground Zeroes Theory(ies)
I believe a few things about Ground Zeroes that will make sense of the entire MGS V experience.  The first is that from the beginning Big Boss was never under our control.  I believe Venom Snake was being brainwashed and sent on this mission from the beginning.  He wasn’t a medic on a chopper protecting Snake from some explosion on the platform.  He was in the chopper with Miller on a mission that was supposed to play a part in him being tested as the doppelganger for Big Boss.  We have always been Venom Snake as far as MGS V goes. V isn’t 5 in this case, it is V for Venom Snake.  Roman numerals were never used for the other MGS games and I believe there is a good reason for that.
GZ – Off the beaten path Theory – There are a few other things that happen in Ground Zeroes that make me question everything as well.  The Déjà vu mission is both a flashback for us, but also a strange flash forward for Venom Snake in the supposed time of MGS V (around the early 1980s).  This makes me wonder if the snake hole is even deeper than we thought.
Maybe this is all a weird experience within a strange AI.  Maybe none of this is happening, from GZ through TPP.  It would make sense for this to be a total mindf**k if Kojima wanted it to be.  If you played through MGS through MGS 4 you can see that nanomachines and mind altering have been integral within the entire experience.  Maybe we are simply experiencing the created memories given to a clone of Big Boss?

The Phantom Pain Theory –
        Every other complete Metal Gear Solid game (1, 2, 3, Peacewalker and 4) has had numerous boss fights and interactions.  In TPP we also have boss fights, but they aren’t set up to feel that way.
        We have to fight Quiet, Eli, The Man on Fire and Sahelanthropus (on a couple occasions).  I think a lot of what we experience in this game as far as feeling like something was missing is when we consider two characters that we never really fight – Skullface and Psycho Mantis.

These aren’t important interactions in the sense of the overall story. I believe Kojima made these all rather forgetable because this isn’t meant to be a Big Boss story or Solid Snake… it’s Phantom story… a ghost story. It is supposed to blow away like ashes.

Also… nuclear disarmament and Peace (The elusive Chapter 3) will never happen. Why? Because if they happen there is no MGS – MGS 4. Sure they reference the tech being there in the future… but it is a losing battle.

Ocelot Protects The Man He Will Become. Eli (Liquid Snake) –
There was so much potential for holes to develop in the story that I believe Kojima was brilliant in this way.  Ocelot didn’t seem like the Ocelot we have known in every other MGS title.  Every other title has him acting incredibly arrogant and sometimes even foolishly.  He is so even-keeled in MGS V – TPP (Keep in mind, he isn’t to be seen or heard from in GZ.?) that it makes me wonder if he is on Xanax.
        The only time Ocelot really shows his true colors is in the torture room. interesting.  Considering the game ends with a discussion between the two men about the future roles of David (Solid Snake) and Eli (Liquid Snake) in the fight for dominance as the real ‘Big Boss’.  I think the real reveal is yet to be known. I believe there is something bigger on the horizon and it involves Solid Snake.

Kojima’s Good Bye To Metal Gear –
More than anything else with the Metal Gear Story from Snake Eater through Metal Gear Solid 4 as far as literal story timeline goes – Kojima has completed the circle/spiral.  He started it all back in the Early-Mid 80s and then MGS grabbed us and put us on this wild ride.  It is my belief that Kojima wanted to finish any of the holes in his timeline.  I believe TPP was an effort to if not explain every detail maybe fill the gaps with something. anything.  He had referenced on many occasions a wish to move on from Metal Gear.  As selfish as I am for more Metal Gear from Kojima, I also understand how much it sucks to work on the same thing for a long time. let alone being an artist that has to work on the same art for decades.  It sounds dreadful when you think of it that way. does it not?

Final Theory –
Metal Gear Will Go On And David Hayter Will Return As Snake
This might be more of a hope than a theory.  However, there is something to consider with all of the Metal Gear Solid Storyline finished through MGS 4.  Solid Snake is still living at the end of MGS 4. and Big Boss has made it to be alongside his clone as well. 
Metal Gear as a series is now owned by Konami without the presence of Kojima. 
It is my belief that Solid Snake has been cloned and they will find a way to develop a way for him to go on fighting with Hal by his side in the future.  Before The Phantom Pain was announced, I posed a theory as to whether or not there would be another MGS game after MGS4 (see here).
I believe we will see Solid Snake once again and it will end up being around the year 2032-2040.  This is because I believe Naomi took Solid Snake’s DNA (while probably possessing that of Big Boss and perhaps even Liquid Snake/Ocelot) midway through MGS 4.  She seemed to be full of so much regret for having taken part in what turned out to be the brief life of Solid Snake that I think she wanted a chance to for lack of a better phrase – pay it forward.
Solid Snake isn’t dead by the time MGS 4 rolls credits, and Hal is still alive and kicking with Meryl, Johnny and Sunny.  It is my hope that we will see Meryl become the new Colonel and Solid Snake’s clone enter the future world of stealth espionage when he reaches the age necessary to learn the skills that are waiting in his DNA.

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes – The Best ‘Cheap’ Game Since The Orange Box

Before we begin, yes –  Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes can be played through in a matter of minutes (I completed my first play-through in 63 minutes).

Metal-Gear-Solid-Ground-Zeroes-Snake
Snake is back.

That said, Ground Zeroes (GZ) is far more than just a ‘one mission preview’ of the coming Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain.  It is a showcase of sorts for a franchise that has grown over the last few decades.  Not only is it graphically superior (even on PS3) to its predecessors, but it has also taken major steps in gameplay and control.

Metal Gear Solid has been a rather clunky handling game since its inception on PS1.  The side menus for sorting all of the items are gone.  Replaced by a relatively simple D-Pad navigation system for equipped weapons and items.  Other actions can be taken with the new ‘iDroid’ which is basically a quasi-3D PDA that Snake carries around for navigation, cassette and music functionality.  It is a less ‘high tech’ and attached (don’t forget you are supposed to be in the year 1975) Mk2 from MGS 4.

The real improvements to this game are noticed in the actual gameplay.  While MGS3: Subsistence and MGS4 both used the rotatable camera, they still had the clunky gunplay that most MGS fans (and haters) might recall.  For those that don’t know this reference – you basically had to play Twister with your fingers on the controller if you wanted to take out enemies quickly and precisely.  While it became more fluid as you played the game it usually fell short of expectations that games like Splinter Cell pushed for in handling (especially aiming and shooting firearms).

Ground Zeroes doesn’t have that problem anymore.  You now have the ability to handle weapons in a way that is closer to Splinter Cell than ever before.  For some of the MGS ‘purists’ I am sure they will try to raise hell over this new move, but really it is an improvement to the gameplay.  While it may seem to some to be a ‘dumbing down’ of the controls, it is far from that as the challenge is still there – just in a more organic fashion.

The aspect of the game I was most worried about going into this new MGS title was the new voice of Snake.  With the news that David Hayter was no longer the voice of our reluctant hero I became skeptical that anyone could take over the role with the same quality.  Then it was announced that Kiefer Sutherland would be the voice of Snake (aka – Big Boss).  Simply said – he does not disappoint.  At first when Snake says his typical “Kept you waiting, huh?” your reaction will probably feel like when you accidentally called the wrong number and a voice you don’t know says ‘Hello’.  Fear not.  By the time you get to the final part of the game you will see and hear why Sutherland is a welcome addition and change in Snake.

MGS: The Phantom Pain is now my most anticipated next-gen title.
MGS: The Phantom Pain is now my most anticipated next-gen title.

Not only does this game make improvements, but it is also full of other side-missions and other minutia that will keep you busy until The Phantom Pain comes out.  Also, the availability of this title on PS3/360 makes it a joy for those of us that have yet to buy into the next-Gen consoles as we bide our time for the better developed games and the inevitable hardware malfunctions/bugs to seep out and get fixed like last gen consoles (RROD/YLOD).

If you are a fan of the MGS franchise or trying to decide whether to jump into the series – this is worth a purchase.  Not only will you enjoy the additions, but chances are that it won’t leave your system until The Phantom Pain comes out.