No matter who you are everyone has fond memories of a beloved childhood franchise. Most kids my age were into Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Harry Potter or, even *gulp* the dreaded prequel trilogy of Star Wars. Not me though. I always stood out, when I was younger I couldn’t get enough of Metal Gear Solid. It’s a love affair that started when I watched my father play through Metal Gear Solid on PS1, an idea that probably wasn’t wholly great, seeing as I didn’t sleep for a good few weeks after I saw Grey Fox tear up those poor genome soldiers in the infamous corridor sequence. For someone who only played games like Sonic the Hedgehog and, Super Mario World, Metal Gear was a game changer – it didn’t fully register then, but I was seeing what games were capable of.
It’s a love that never subsided even after I was truly tested by Metal Gear Solid 2 – I didn’t have a clue what was going on! Nowadays though, I like to believe I’m buffed up on my knowledge of Hideo Kojima’s long running legendary series. So to test that knowledge I’m going to lay down five predictions for the two upcoming Metal Gear Solid V entries, then whenever I finish both I’ll check how right I was. The predictions may be boiled down into five relatively straight forward choices but, I’ll try to go into some detail about my reasons for each. So enjoy:
Grey Fox is featured – “I’m like you, I have no name”
Looking back over Metal Gear history it’s apparent that Big Boss has knack for saving Grey Fox. Once as a child, again from his conversion into Null and, once more when Big Boss found safety in America for both Fox and, his adopted sister Naomi saving them from a bloody civil war. Maybe it’s time Fox got to return the favor and, save the big man himself, say from a Hospital in flames? That’s right, I believe that the heavily bandaged patient named Ishmael who helps Big Boss escape armed units in a hospital after awakening from his coma is none other than the man becomes the dreaded Cyborg Ninja.
Evidence is sparse for this prediction; I feel it in my gut. Part of Metal Gear Solid V is set in Africa, Grey Fox meets his adopted sister in the Mozambique civil war – could this be part of the setting? Fox is the right age for this time period, he also still needs a mission to truly set up his antiquated history with Snake, a man with whom he shares a close bond. Finally for Metal Gear canon to make sense Snake, Miller and Fox all need to make it back to America at the end of this title, does Big Boss get Fox in as a favour for helping him in his war against XOF? The time is right to include this fan favorite.
There is no fourth clone – “V has awoken”
There’s a popular theory flying around Metal Gear fan sites at the moment and, that’s all to with idea that Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain will star a fourth clone of Big Boss as it’s secret lead. It’s an interesting theory, one that neatly explains the meaning behind the last sentence uttered during Phantom Pain’s GDC trailer “V has awoken” – I dare say it’s an explanation that fits far too comfortably, especially considering Hideo Kojima’s fondness of messing with the fanbase. Never forget this is a man who kept Raiden, Metal Gear Solid 2’s protagonist, a secret right up until it’s release – even going as far to place Snake in scenarios that featured Raiden in promotional material. This is a man whose secrets are blanketed by far too many layers of security to be exposed by a quote at the end of a trailer.
More importantly I believe that playing as a fifth clone is a risky idea, considering the rich potential of the era in question – the final stage in Big Boss’s transformation from loyal soldier to international bad guy that started in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. To remove players from the character integral to the arc feels like a rather daft choice at this point. Snakes embedded metal horn in the trailer, his prosthetic arm and, apparent age drop are all cited in support of the theory. Though all points are explainable in other fashions, the metal lodged in snakes head can be removed later explaining its absence in the future, it’s never expressly stated anywhere Big Boss doesn’t have a fake arm and, the age drop between trailers could simply be changes in art direction. Additionally we don’t really know the time scale of the games, only that they encompass a good many years in which Big Boss could age. It’s Big Boss, it has to be.
Eli is Liquid – “We’re shadows in the shape of men!”
Does this prediction need any explanation? Eli is the young blonde boy we see in the GDC trailer complete with a snarky smile and, slicked back hair – very much like the British Snake. Of course there’s more evidence than “he looks like Liquid” – even though he really does. His name is possibly in reference to Eliab of the bible. Eliab was the eldest son of Jesse and, the most outwardly strong, much like the dominant Liquid. He was rejected as the next king of Israel in favour the youngest and, weakest David (Snake’s real name), the same David who would go on to defeat Goliath (Metal Gear REX?).
Their father was convinced that Eliab would be chosen because, he was the most powerful of all his children, much like Big Boss who spends time with Liquid in his youth – likely moulding a successor. Metal Gear Solid 1 showed us that David was, despite his inherent weakness, the better twin; stark parallels can be drawn between the two tales. Obviously giant mechs not being one. Other ideas that back up the theory are Liquids documented time in Afghanistan, a locale in Phantom Pain; the fact Big Boss and, Liquid are shown to have met well before Solid discovers his heritage.
If Eli is in fact Liquid we have the golden opportunity for him to meet Miller and, if our previous prediction is true, Grey Fox before Shadow Moses. Is it also possible this is where he comes to know numerous Foxhound cohorts? Psycho Mantis looks present and, Sniper Wolf does call Big Boss Saladin which, fits in with the setting perfectly.
Check out this fabulous interview at Game Informer where they discuss the art of Metal Gear with iconic lead artist Yoji Shinkawa. At 06:58 Yoji seems to forget who Eli is, before quickly saying they can’t disclose anything about this character at this moment. Probably too used to calling him Liquid in the office.
Young man with gas mask is Psycho Mantis – “Rumble’s back!”
This is another choice that seems fairly concrete. As seen in the GDC trailer when Snake appears to be witnessing fiery apparitions whom resemble traumatic scenes of his haunted past, a strange child is standing over Big Boss wearing a Gas Mask. That’s Psycho Mantis’s iconic design. No character has used such a mask as a defining feature since everyone’s favourite psychic in 1999 and, I highly doubt that the team would allow anyone to inherit that look.
Those ghostly apparitions of the most convincing piece of evidence to support this theory, I can’t imagine there actually being a giant fire whale swallowing a helicopter – unless we have a super powerful summoner on our hands. More than likely Big Boss’s mind is being played by Mantis, causing him attribute features of past events onto the present. A soldier in the flame takes on characteristics of Volgin, a horse like the Bosses resembles a flaming pegasus and, the helicopter exploding after being eaten by a flaming whale? How many monstrous machines has this one man destroyed? A lot, a mind that’s witnessed what he has, it’s not that surprising he imagines such crazy situations. Fire is also integral to Mantis’ own story, having burned down his village at a young age.
Raiden look a like inbound – “You’re not Ivan!”
Okay, so this is a whole lot less serious than my other predictions. Those who played Snake Eater will remember a Major by the name of Ivan Raikov. This Russian was antagonist Colonel Volgin’s apparent second in command, a man he also shared an abusive relationship with. He also looked astoundingly like Metal Gear Solid 2’s now well known hero Raiden. His inclusion was obviously a nod to the character, a way of including him when theres no way he could’ve been alive during the Cold War setting.
At the time Raidens popularity was, well, not very high. The shock of him replacing long time protagonist Solid Snake threw many fans and, send some really dedicated into fits of rage. Ever since his cyborg conversion though the character has been well received, some of those fans have even forgiven the replacement they disdained. With his rising stardom thanks to his own title Revengeance he’s more prominent than ever. It makes total sense to have him cameo in Metal Gear Solid V, preferably in some quirky scene, the kind Hideo and, his team are so apt at.
Those are our predictions but, you’ve some of your own right? Share them below.