Metal Gear Solid's Insane Cut Content Ft David Hayter [NEW]
Did you know? In Metal Gear Solid 3, the scene where Volgin tortures Snake was meant to be interactive, and a lot more violent. This is, of course, the moment Snake loses his right eye. In the game's final build, it's a one minute cutscene the player just watches passively, while Colonel Volgin electrocutes and punches Snake to find out how much the CIA knows about him. But in a director's commentary published in a 2005 magazine, Kojima said : "...The whole
thing was going to go on much longer. Eventually, we ended up cutting that back. We were also going to have an option as Snake was being tortured to have the player choose either 'yes' or 'no' when Volgin commanded him to 'speak' or 'break,' but we ended up removing this feature because of things going on in the real world; we really had to tone things down in terms of violence." What was happening in the real world were the headlines about the CIA and all the things they'd been doing to acquire information from their enemies, so Kojima decided it was best to cut the scene down to its bare essentials. I'm David Hayter. A few months ago, I hosted a video on this channel detailing content cut from the Metal Gear series -- and today we're gonna look at even more.
Did You Know Gaming searched through thousands of magazines from all over the world looking for old interviews, archived footage, and combed through countless Kojima tweets so they could dig up even more ideas that, for one reason or another, didn't make the final cut. Some were victims of censorship, others got axed due to hardware specs, and in some instances, the discs just couldn't fit all the content they'd already created. Like in the original Metal Gear Solid -- it came with 30 virtual reality missions available on the start menu, but Kojima's team actually created about 60 missions. Unfortunately, there just wasn't enough room left on the disc to squeeze them all in. A year later, they released an expansion disc with 300 VR missions -- but Kojima originally wanted it to be 10x bigger, and hundreds of missions that were already fully completed ended up getting cut.
In the Metal Gear Solid: Integral strategy guide, he said: "We originally talked about 3,000 [laughs]... How many was it we ended up making? Including the ones we cut." Then the VR Director tells him: "About 500, I believe. [...] We had a lot of free time when we were working on the European versions, so we spent half our time just playing around with the game."
Then Kojima said "I'll probably get in trouble for saying this, but [...] we just messed around with the original game while working on the other versions [laughs]. We eventually started making new VR stages during our spare time, and before we knew it, we had a whole new set of them. [...] So I gave a presentation about it to my superiors, where I said to them, 'I have a confession to make.
This is what we've been doing all this time.' [Laughs]. They didn't look too happy about that, but they admitted it wasn't such a bad idea, and they then asked us to make it into a proper game."
They go on to say they made a lot more Mystery Mode missions, but scrapped the most difficult ones, leaving only ten on the disc. In another interview, Kojima said they wanted to add a versus mode -- sort of a stealth game of hide-and-seek... but ultimately gave up on the idea. The game was already way behind schedule -- Kojima told his superiors that Metal Gear Solid would only take a year to make, but active development dragged on for almost three years. And besides, even if they'd had all the time in the world... the disc was already packed to the brim. "Metal Gear Solid was released in Japan, North America, and Europe, and became a bigger hit than I could have imagined.
I was extremely pleased with its success, but I soon started to hear requests for a sequel wherever I went. I was planning to create a completely new game at the time, but I couldn't escape my fate... I would have to direct the sequel." After committing to Metal Gear Solid 2, Kojima dreamt up some ambitious ideas to make it bigger than the first game, but only half of them made it into the final release. Even the game's opening moments got cut.
Sons of Liberty blew everyone's minds when it was revealed at E3 2000, and magazine interviewers flooded Kojima, all trying to get their 15 minutes with the man. In a few of those interviews, he said AI would study your actions during the first few minutes of gameplay, then use that data to detect your age, gender, and personal interests. Different people would receive a different experience for the rest of the game -- like how much blood, gore, and graphic content it would expose you to.
Presumably, that meant a grown man would have a more M-rated adventure than a pre-teen would get. But even at its big reveal party, Kojima was already saying the PS2 wasn't powerful enough to realize all his grand ambitions, and some journalists suspected the AI opening was one of the ideas that wouldn't make the final cut. They were right. The closest thing that made it in was just directly asking the player for their info, which only affected the ending -- the data appears on Raiden's dogtags, then he throws them away, discarding the identity of the player so he can form his own identity. Talking to the Official Czech PlayStation magazine, Kojima said they were considering ideas to make use of PS2's internet functionality, and that Sons of Liberty probably would make use of them. He went into more detail a few months later, saying: "We do have plans [for Internet features], but it's really up to Sony to realize these network systems.
The first, basic step would be to implement a system whereby players could exchange weapons via the Internet. My favorite idea is to have an Al program, or even a real person, to play Colonel Campbell or Mei Ling. They would monitor everyone playing the game, see how well or badly they're doing, and start giving advice on how to proceed in the game. They could even give tips on life and answer all kinds of questions. Obviously our programmers are the ones who create the algorithms of the enemies and boss characters, so it would be fun if they could actually control these characters in real-time and fight the player."
Talking more to the Czechs, Kojima said he also hoped to incorporate voice recognition. The magazine mentioned that Sony was working on that technology for PS2. Kojima was well aware of that fact, saying: "Yes, I would like to incorporate voice recognition technology into my game. For example, it would fit perfectly into Metal Gear. It would be enough to shout a command." The PS2 stealth game, SOCOM, later came packaged with a headset.
You could play online and talk to your squadmates, or you could play offline and issue commands to AI companions. But it sounds like Kojima had something different in mind. Instead of directing teammates, players would control Raiden with their voices.
Kojima had actually been talking about using voice in place of buttons since he finished MGS1. He lamented that controllers had too many buttons, and too many actions had to be assigned to each one. It was confusing, but more importantly, it wasn't immersive. He explained: "I didn't want the game control to be too complex. Because it is an action game, I wanted it to be intuitive.
In RPGs, you press a button and a window opens and you can choose an item. But I wanted to avoid this. Just one click activates some action. As a result, we ended up using every button on the controller, but once you get used to it, then it will be convenient.
However, I do think there are too many buttons with current controllers, making the gameplay difficult. Eventually I would like to see a voice recognition controller to make things easier." Maybe he would've had us talking to our TV's, saying things like "spray" or "answer the call."
But we like to think Kojima's a bit more imaginative than that. He was aware that many fans had issues with the button-mashing torture scenes, so perhaps some kind of verbal response could've replaced them, or talking out loud could take the player through different dialogue trees. That said, the only specific function Kojima described was in an interview with Australian magazine Hyper about how players could say a character's name and the Codec would call them, hands-free. Kojima also mentioned an item that would've essentially needed four times the power of the PS2.
He said: "In the initial stages of development, we invent the most outrageous weapons and items for the player to use. Unfortunately, many of them either take up too much of the console's processing power, or they ruin the game balance, so we end up weeding them out. We're playing with a great feature now that I fear is likely to be taken out of the final version. It involves being able to place your own surveillance cameras at certain spots in the game and view them remotely.
You have four extra screens, but that means four times the processing!" Unfortunately, he was right. The cameras didn't make it in, and even adding reflective surfaces forced Kojima to reduce polygon counts for characters and environments. At the next year's E3, just a few months before launch, MGS2's trailer ended with a classic "one more thing" -- the spectacle of a flood ripping through the tanker as Snake sprinted to stay ahead of it. But when fans finally got their hands on the long-awaited sequel, that entire sequence was noticeably missing.
Kojima later explained the cut; Hyper asked if he achieved 100% of what he wanted, and he told them: "...I was not able to do even half of what I wanted to do. Since this is an action game, I had to avoid designing situations which would result in any slowdown due to the PS2's processing speed. The PS2 is not the magic box. There was an event in the game in which you try to move yourself through a flood. We really tried to include it in the game, but it ended up being dropped." He cut the flood escape at the last minute, but it still made it in as a cutscene.
When Olga reveals her backstory and motivations to Raiden, you can see it in a flashback. There was gonna be another sequence on the Tanker where Snake swims underwater surrounded by sharks, and Snake’d have to spill his blood in the right places to distract them so he could escape before drowning. Kojima described several other sequences with sharks, including a boss battle against a Great White, but in the end, not even one shark made it into the final game. A few months after launch, series artist Yoji Shinkawa published an MGS2 art book, which was promoted with a lengthy online interview.  Talking about an unused "Antarctic Snake" design, Shinkawa said it was going to be a penguin suit that lets Snake breathe underwater. But transforming it from a concept into an in-game item would have been extra work that wouldn't have been worth it.
Presumably, it would've come in handy in all those underwater shark and flood sequences. In our last video, we talked about a few cut characters, like Old Boy and China Man, but we missed one shown in this art book -- Ed from the NYPD bomb squad. According to Shinkawa, it's actually Ed Brown from Policenauts, a game he and Kojima made for 3DO. In Policenauts, Ed's part of the LAPD sometime around 2013, but later becomes chief of the space colony's Vice Unit. Meryl Silverbaugh got her start in Policenauts too as Ed's subordinate in the Vice Unit, so moving Ed into the Metal Gear universe would continue the tradition. MGS2 would've shown Ed Brown in his younger days in the NYPD's bomb squad, but that'd mean him dying a few years before the events in Policenauts -- possibly creating some sort of time paradox -- so he got replaced with Peter Stillman.
There were also a few scenes left out, mostly for being a little too weird. In the final game, there's a soldier who can't hold his bladder any longer and pees over a fence, not realizing that he soaking Raiden. The Colonel and Rose call to express their sympathies, and tell Raiden to take a shower when the mission's over. On a Japanese talk show, Kojima said he wanted to add another scene to go along with it.
This time, a guard backs up to a fence with his butt out, making the player think "Oh god, is that guy about to blow mud all over me?" But then, to their surprise, they just get peed on again. Kojima thought it was hilarious, but none of his developers would make it for him. They all pretended to be "too busy." There was another scene he wanted to include right at the beginning, the first time Snake enters the Tanker. As you walk down the corridor, you hear the suspense-building violin music from the movie Psycho. The violin sounds gets louder and louder as you approach a door, making you think something terrifying is about to happen.
When you open the door, bracing yourself for the worst, you find a guard playing the violin -- it's just a gag. But it cost too much to buy a violin and do motion capture for it, so the scene didn't get made. On the game's 20th anniversary, Kojima tweeted out some memories of what it was like behind the scenes. In a Codec call with Rose, Raiden reveals that he was raised as a child soldier and fought in Liberia's civil war, and was shown Hollywood movies for "image training."
Kojima acquired real-life footage of a child soldier to use in the game, and edited it himself, but the footage was rejected by the ratings board and had to be cut. In another tweet, Kojima said there was one more sequence that pushed things a little too far and had to get dialed back. Right after Raiden reveals his dark childhood, he has to run through Arsenal Gear naked. The whole time he's using his hands to hide his baby-maker, but originally, if you fumbled in combat, then "what should not be seen, would be seen"... and you'd immediately get a game over.
But the biggest thing that almost got cut was… the entire game. In our last video, we talked about how large sections of the story were changed last-minute because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The original plot began with weapons inspections in Iraq, and ended with half of New York's financial district getting destroyed. But after 9/11 happened, MGS2 was deemed too close to reality, and the story was revised to avoid controversy.
Shortly after our video was published, more details came to light, thanks to the translation work of The Kojima Archivist. In 2005, the Snake Eater Extreme Box set was released in Japan, which included a behind-the-scenes book called The Shedding. Several pages are dedicated to 9/11 from Kojima's perspective, and how instead of making revisions, he originally wanted to cancel the game completely. In September 2001, development was pretty much finished, and two million Americans had already placed pre-orders.
Then a staff member came to Kojima and shouted that something had crashed into the World Trade Center. A chill ran down his spine, he ran to the TV room, and saw the plot of his game playing out in real life. "I felt I could no longer release this game. The Twin Towers are clearly visible throughout the game, even in the polygon demo scene.
We treated it as an iconic building. This is no longer a good idea." An emergency meeting was held the next day with an American lawyer to advise them, and they feared releasing the game could provoke the terrorists to attack Konami, especially Kojima and his team. They were afraid of the US government too, as Japanese news reported that ordinary citizens who criticized the Bush administration were losing their jobs and getting physically attacked.
Sons of Liberty's villain was the president himself, and the script called him a terrorist. In Hollywood, war movies and action films with controversial themes were getting cancelled left and right. Kojima wanted to follow suit. "I personally thought MGS2 should not have been released. I even intended to quit the company. It was only two or three years of hard work."
But his team strongly disagreed and pushed back, and Konami's top brass had their back. Ultimately, all decisions regarding the American version were taken out of Kojima's hands, and hundreds of pieces were surgically removed. The game released in America two months after the attacks, and to Kojima's surprise, he only got one complaint about ideology. It turned out most fans were actually pissed off that Raiden was the main character instead of Snake -- that was the big controversy. There were no terrorist or government attacks against Konami -- Metal Gear Solid 2 went on to sell 7 millions copies worldwide, and achieved critical acclaim as one of the most culturally influential games of all time.
After Sons of Liberty's massive success, Kojima wanted to do something that'd never been done before -- a realistic jungle. So he took his staff into the wilderness for a few days so they could build the game from personal experience, which turned into a life-threatening experience when some of them got lost. They were trained in CQC by combat specialists who threw them around, knocked them to the ground, and chopped them with dummy knives. "I think I was thrown around thirty times," one developer recalls. Another said they hit him so hard he almost broke his bones.
The climax of their training was when the MGS3 team split into three groups to sleep for the night. The combat specialists surrounded each group in the darkness, threatened their guard with a knife and took him hostage, then mock-executed every last developer. After their school of hard knocks, Kojima's team threw out the MGS2 engine and built a brand new one from the ground up, specially made for wilderness environments. They initially planned to use a dynamic weather system, so even if you stood in one place the weather would change over time. But the mechanic was eventually cut, so in the game's final build, every area has predetermined weather patterns. In a case of making things a little too realistic, Kojima originally wanted the sniper battle with The End to last longer than the entire rest of the game.
He thought Sniper Wolf was too "game like", as she only appeared in a few spots and the duel was over quickly. So Kojima aimed to make Snake Eater's sniper duel more true-to-life. In a 2005 magazine commentary, he said: "I'm personally a fan of Stephen Hunter's novels, where you have scenes in the mountains where two snipers are hiding and trying to find each other for days.
That's something I wanted to do in MGS3. So, finally, I get these two characters in the mountains, hiding, with The End trying to ambush Snake. When I explained what I wanted to do to my programmers, I made them read Hunter's books. We also went into the mountains and did some 'real' training. My final direction to my guys was: 'If there are 10 people that play this boss fight, I wouldn't mind if five of them hated it to the point of wanting to stop playing, as long as the other five fall in love with it.'" Kojima wanted it to take one or two weeks of sneaking and sniping to finish the fight.
Two weeks in real life. After Kojima's programmers finished building it, they sat down to test it out, but were playing for hours and hours and couldn't find the old man even once. The whole team hated it and started booing Kojima, who finally accepted his vision wasn't gonna work. Then they changed it into a much easier and shorter affair -- the boss battle we know today. Snake Eater has a variety of vehicle types, and mid-development, Kojima said players would probably get to operate at least some of them.
Closer to release, Famitsu Weekly asked if Snake was going to be able to take control of aerial vehicles after he shot them down. Kojima said that was originally part of the plan, but realized it might break the game if Snake could fly everywhere, so they stopped working on that mechanic. In the game's final build, Snake can't operate any vehicles.
There were a few ideas Kojima considered, but by the sounds of it, not as seriously as others. In that same Famitsu interview, Kojima said they thought about letting Snake take enemy weapons, which is pretty standard in first-person shooters, but decided not to because it'd make the game unbalanced. He also considered Snake using mud to cool himself to avoid heat detection, as well as jumping in rivers to make attack dogs lose his scent. Kojima said: "In films and novels, dogs lose track of who they're chasing when that person goes across a river. In reality, I have been told that this is not the case. At this point, I am still contemplating whether I want to make it realistic or keep the fictional flavor."
The mechanic didn't make it in, so apparently he chose to side with reality. The MGS 1 through 4 art book shows a few "unpublished characters" who appear to have gotten cut too early to be named -- so they only got numbers. Like the Medusa-themed "Number Two," the tiny-handed "Number Three," and Number 7 and 8, who look like they'd be more at home in Silent Hill than Metal Gear.
The book also shows some early sketches of characters who did make it into the game, like a pre-wheelchair, eye-patch wearing The End. There's also a middle-aged version of The Fear, who the book notes has some African blood. Probably the weirdest concepts are for The Pain, with one wearing a gimp mask and another simply labeled "black man style."
Then there's The Boss, who's got a tattoo of a snake on her chest. According to Kojima: "She was a mentor, a lover, and much like a mother to Snake. They had a very complicated connection.
But I knew that I would have to emphasize the maternal aspect more than anything. So when designing The Boss, I imagined a mother with one breast out, feeding her child -- a kind of mother-son nuance. So even with her breast exposed she would enter battle. When I first designed her, in the area around her chest she had a tattoo of a snake. So, when firing a gun, her breast would shake, making the snake look like it was laughing. There would be this legend: that when you saw the laughing snake, your life would soon be over."
But the tattoo and its backstory ultimately got cut, and replaced with a snake-shaped scar from a cesarean section she had while giving birth in World War 2. The climactic ending with Snake and The Boss was revised as well. It seems this was a pretty late change, as the English voice overs were already recorded. In the final game, these are her last words. But unused audio on the disc reveals it was originally going to play out a little different -- seemingly with the player in full control, able to move and aim at will, as The Boss begs Snake to end her life.
Ultimately, the player's freedom and all that begging got cut, and the player only has control over the trigger. After Snake Eater's development was almost wrapped up, a few changes were made between the Japanese and English versions. It was the first game in the series to drop an F-bomb... but only in Japan. It happens when Volgin calls EVA his precious little pet, then she hits him with a big F-U. Here's the Japanese version. And here's the toned-down English version.
Later games weren't so shy about dropping f-bombs, but things were different back in the early 2000's. Post-release, a couple dozen new camo designs were made available for download. Most of them were eventually added into Subsistence and the HD edition, but four camos were only available in Japan. Like the E-DEN camo, designed by manga artist Takayuki Mizushina to make Snake look like a hippy.
Also the New Years camo, with a rising sun representing the Japanese concept of a new year's beginning. And the Yodobashi camo, based on the Japanese retailer Yodobashi Camera Co. They were all included on a 2006 bonus disk distributed by the Japanese magazine Dengeki PS2.
But the most difficult to obtain was the WonderGOO camo -- you had to go to a Japanese WonderGOO store where they had a machine that uploaded the camo onto your PS2 memory card. None of these four camos were ever made available outside Japan. A year after Snake Eater, MGS3: Subsistence released and came with a new PVP mode called Metal Gear Online. Kojima originally wanted to include some girls from Dead or Alive as unlockable characters, but the producer of the wrestling series Rumble Roses asked if they could collaborate someday. Kojima would've preferred girls from Dead or Alive, but Rumble Roses was also owned by Konami and he felt kind of obligated, so he added a couple Rumble Roses girls instead. If not for that, Metal Gear Online might've looked something like this.
But arguably the biggest piece of content was cut in 2012, when Snake Eater got a 3DS remake. It added a few new features like the Camouflage Photography System that let you take pictures in real life and turn them into custom camos. But in 2017, a dataminer called Pliskin Hunter stumbled over an entire mode cut in development: Extra Ops.
Peace Walker released a couple years earlier, and featured 128 Extra Ops that were essentially VR Missions, with objectives like eliminating every soldier in a given area, rescuing hostages, and getting from Point A to Point B with perfect stealth. Each mission only took a few minutes, but at the end you got a ranking based on your performance, so there's a lot replayability if you wanted to chase S ranks. What Pliskin Hunter discovered was 69 brand new Extra Ops that were intended for Snake Eater 3D. Yeah, 69, a fitting number for a game called Snake Eater.
We got in touch with Pliskin Hunter, who was kind enough to share some info and re-hack his game to get this footage. There were 4 Ingredient Capture operations, 4 Animal Captures, 4 Eliminate Enemy Soldiers, 4 Eliminate Enemy in the Time Limit, 4 One Shots, 5 Pantry Demolitions, 4 Armory Demolitions, 5 Perfect Stealths, 5 True Perfect Stealths, 4 Hold Ups, 5 Claymore Disarmaments, and 5 Attack Chopper Battles. There were also 16 boss extensions -- 2 each for Ocelot, The Pain, The Fear, The End, The Fury, Volgin, the Shagohod, and of course, The Boss. With hacking, a lot of these Extra Ops are fully playable, but they're clearly unfinished. For example, there's no proper menu system, and when you complete a mission, you're immediately booted out with no fanfare. And instead of a ranking, there's just a placeholder that says "Result Test."
If Extra Ops mode was finished, it would've added quite a few hours of extra content, and done even more to make Snake Eater 3D the definitive MGS3 experience. Portable Ops follows Big Boss six years after the events of Snake Eater. But the game was initially conceived with a completely different premise. We recently spoke with Ryan Payton, who worked on the game, and he told us the original idea was a PSP game that let you relive the series' history through a gauntlet of boss battles. The game would've run on the Subsistence engine, and focused on local and online multiplayer. He said: "Those initial ideas probably only survived for a month or two, in terms of it being more boss focused.
This is just my interpretation of what was going on in those early days, which was: 'how do we create an authentic Metal Gear experience for PlayStation Portable that satisfies fans, perhaps more than the Acid series up to that point. And also how do get that game out the door fairly quickly. So [the idea] was to dust off existing boss battles and add some co-op elements to it as well, but those ideas didn't last very long because we quickly pivoted towards what ended up becoming Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops." After they changed the game's structure, Portable Ops was developed in just a single year, so there wasn't much time to ruminate on huge ideas. Also, Kojima wasn't as closely involved in the project, so compared to the rest of the series, there wasn't the deep well of ambitious concepts for us to detail here. But there were a few interesting regional differences.
Portable Ops had a feature that required a GPS peripheral -- the game told you to go to specific real-life coordinates, and there you'd be rewarded with special soldiers. Ryan told us how Kojima likes to make use of every feature offered by a console, and this geo-cacheing mechanic was right up his alley. Unfortunately, the GPS was only released in Japan, so Western fans never had access to that feature. There were also 8 soldier types you could only unlock by visiting Japanese stores like WonderGOO who'd worked out a promotional agreement with Konami. Metal Gear games usually released in Europe a few months after the US and Japan, so sometimes Konami gave them extra content to make up for it. For Portable Ops, European versions got a new boss rush mode, two more multiplayer maps, additional soldier types and careers, and five extra spy reports.
So not only did America get less content than their friends across both oceans, but because of all the regional differences, nobody got the full experience. And with so many of those online features and promotions no longer in service, a big chunk of Portable Ops is completely inaccessible, and much of the game is essentially lost to time. For the franchise's big finale, Kojima dreamt even bigger than he had before, and his early vision was completely different from the game that hit store shelves three years later. He said other PlayStation 3 games were just evolving the graphics, not the gameplay.
Kojima wanted the next generation to push 3D into 4D, with a realistically re-created ecosystem. Every tree would grow from a seed, shed its leaves, then die. "There should be life in that tree.
If we water the tree it will grow, if we burn the tree it will die. I want to create this kind of simulation world." He laid out his vision for Metal Gear Solid 4 in a lengthy interview in EGM. "I would like to create something that we hadn't seen before... Up to today, creating games was almost like creating a set for the movies. You have the set in a studio, but a set is a set, there's nothing behind that, it's hollow.
And also, everything is completely fake. It looks pretty, it looks like the real thing, but it actually isn't. Some creators might think, how can I expand my set and make it bigger? How can I make it a bigger world, is what a typical creator would think.
Even if you do that, though, I think that's not meaningful, because a set is a set... the trees are still "plastic," everything is still a fake, although you try and enhance the look of the jungle, everything is a fake... I would like to go after the 'real'... I would have the trees with life inside... so if you water the tree it will grow, if you don't water the tree it might die. Then I would ask the users, why not play hide and seek in that real jungle?" A core theme he brought up again and again was creating what can't be seen.
In short, while other studios were improving their games with next-gen graphics, Kojima was evolving the gameplay by focusing on the invisible. But those ambitious goals bear little resemblance to what MGS4 ultimately became. Looking back after release, G4 asked Kojima if his original vision was different to the final product.
He said: "There were differences from the beginning -- when we started in the concept stage -- to the final product. But in the midst of development, when we saw the actual PS3 and its limits and things like that, we changed our vision and goals... At the beginning we only heard rumors about the machine -- that we could do anything on it, that it was a monster machine. And so we set our dreams too high because we believed it could do anything. But when we saw the actual machine, of course, there are a lot of limits to it, and there were things we could do and could not do. It wasn't about the PS3's power, it was us dreaming too big."
A couple more examples he described from that unrealized ecosystem was if you burned something, the chemicals affect other parts of the environment; or if water spilled on the grass, at some point a flower would bloom in that exact spot. Another core concept was Snake playing three nations against each other. We covered that concept pretty in-depth in our last video, so just to sum it up, Kojima said you could ally with countries A, B, or C, or go lone wolf. If two countries in a particular area were fighting each other, you could support one against the other to wipe them out, so only friendlies were left in the vicinity. Or you could just wait until both sides wiped each other out for sort of an easy mode. Play your cards wrong and you'll have both of them against you; hard mode.
If one army gets destroyed, maybe they're missing from a later area they would've otherwise occupied. Whose side you were on was constantly changing based on your own decisions, which would've made the game highly replayable. Kojima also said the maps would be huge -- the size of Grand Theft Auto environments -- and full of all kinds of nooks and crannies. But they'd be much more fleshed out. He pointed to the houses in GTA, saying they're empty and lifeless -- but in the new generation of Metal Gear, people actually lived in those houses, they had a life. Civilians and bystanders, he hinted, might even take up arms to protect their families.
Another feature -- touted as early as the very first trailer -- was "no place to hide." Kojima said they wanted to make most of the game world destructible, and in some areas pretty much everything could be destroyed. But in the final game, destruction was minimal and mostly pre-scripted.
However, only shadows of those ideas made it into the final product. Kojima blamed the PS3's lack of power, and also said he regretted getting distracted with his management duties in the newly-formed Kojima Productions, which at the same time was developing Acid 2, Portable Ops, Portable Ops Plus, Metal Gear Online, and two digital graphic novels. He told Edge magazine he wanted MGS4 to take 10 steps forward, but to his disappointment, it only managed to take one step forward.
The moment-to-moment gameplay wasn't up to Kojima's standards either -- but that was a matter of development talent, rather than hardware restrictions. Just before MGS4 hit store shelves, he said: "I thought [Assassin's Creed] was brilliant because it really fulfilled the basic concept that MGS4 had at the beginning: how you could go anywhere in the environment and also you could climb anywhere, run anywhere. At the beginning of the concept Metal Gear Solid 4 had motion-blending, meaning if you push down a direction things go automatically and seamlessly.
If a bullet comes you don't have to manually dodge, but the motion dodges and happens naturally. We kind of gave up on this because it was just too difficult, but when Assassin's Creed came out, we saw that they accomplished what we were really aiming for at first. I have to tell you that my staff and I were really low for the next three days after it came out." Assassin's Creed was Kojima's favorite game there for a while, so much so that he eventually added Altair's cloak into Guns of the Patriots as DLC. Those were the big ideas, but a few small ones got cut as well... like PS3-to-PSP connectivity.
At E3 2005, Kojima told interviewers that MGS4 would connect with Acid 2 in some way. He later said he wanted to connect with Portable Ops to trade soldiers between games, and was also considering letting players, maybe even a second player, control the Mk II with a PSP. Kojima tried to implement driveable vehicles in the previous game, and he was even more enthusiastic for them in Guns of the Patriots. He was a big fan of Halo 2, and pointed out that in all the popular games, players can drive pretty much anything, and yes, they were gonna try'n let Snake do the same in MGS4. None of those ideas made it in either. After release, Kojima told a Chinese magazine they originally planned to include 108 weapons, but only ended up with around 70.
108's a very specific number, especially since Kojima didn't seem to remember the exact number that actually made it in. 108's also a culturally significant number, which might've been why it was the initial goal. At year's end in Japan, a bell's rung 108 times in Buddhist temples to close out the year and open the page on a new chapter. Each ring represents one of 108 earthly temptations a person has to overcome to achieve nirvana. And thus, the 108 weapons represent Snake's battlefield temptations, juxtaposed against the game's final message... to put aside the gun and live. Okay yes, I am speculating on the meaning, but Kojima did say they originally wanted Snake to have 108 weapons.
In another interview, Kojima also said he was considering letting players trade weapon customizations with each other online, but that didn't make it in either. Another more bizarre idea, which was probably never gonna happen, was Kojima's desire to incorporate smell and even taste into his games. Before the Sixaxis controller was revealed to the public, he told PSM Russia: "If [the PS3] comes with a controller that allows you to smell or taste things, that would be wonderful... I am interested in what new experience I can give to the user through all this... The problem is that most games limit you to using the TV and the console's joystick...
Personally, I think this is a fundamentally flawed practice. Everything that surrounds the player in one way or another, his whole room even, should be involved in the process." He'd actually been talking about the idea as far back as MGS1. But even if he couldn't incorporate smell, he did make the player's room part of the game, like switching the controller port in the fight against Psycho Mantis, and using the back of the real-life CD case to find a Codec frequency. In fact, smell'd been on Kojima's mind even before the first Metal Gear -- in his 1988 game Snatcher, he wanted to coat the disc with blood-scented paint so when the console got hot, it would melt and players could smell the murder scene.
But, up till now at least, he's never been able to realize his decades-long dream of a smellable game. And of course, it wouldn't be Metal Gear without a little censorship. When asked if Snake's injections were a gameplay mechanic, Kojima said no, "it has a little bit of friction against first-party Sony rules. At first, I had plans to have this injection as a player's item. But with the ratings, and even team members questioning that direction, we decided not to do that." Apparently Sony wouldn't tolerate performance-enhancing injections as a playable item, so they were downgraded to a plot device.
At a signing event, Kojima revealed that the Beauty and the Beast Corps were originally gonna appear buck naked, and Yoji Shinkawa mentioned that in preparation, they had the actresses do motion capture in the nude... but they couldn't use it in the final game. There was also a subplot in the Naomi tracking sequence where enemy soldiers left a trail of women's clothes leading you in the wrong direction. At the end of the trail you'd eventually find a naked female soldier... but that got cut
as well. When we talked to Ryan Payton, he described a cut sequence intended to fit between the Big Mama motorcycle chase and running into Liquid. He said: "There were some things that definitely fell on the cutting room floor, including a sequence in Eastern European. There was an underground tunnel sequence that players would go through with Big Mama, as kind of an escort scenario. That was cut fairly late in the process.
So I always thought if there was ever like a Metal Gear Solid 4: Substance version, maybe the team would dust that off. It was probably 60 or 65% complete... and part of the reason it got cut was because it was behind schedule. You were escorting Big Mama in a callback to MGS3, when you were helping EVA who was injured after a big motorcycle sequence.
So here you were helping an injured Big Mama go through the underground after this epic motorcycle chase, as a callback." You can see the cut in real time when Snake and Big Mama crawl down a manhole into a tunnel, walk about fifty feet, then turn right and they're already outside. The tunnel was originally a lot longer, and that's where the sequence took place.
By the way, I'm David Hayter, the guy narrating this video. Some of you may not know -- I was Snake's voice actor. We actually recorded about 4 minutes of dialogue for that sequence.
Here's a few small pieces. Ryan also told us there were some ideas the staff had to cut due to time constraints, and as they were cutting them, the developers were saying: "well maybe this could [get brought back] in an eventual MGS4: Substance version." Like the tunnel sequence, and Ryan also talked about fleshing out moments that happen off-screen, like what the Rat Patrol was doing behind-the-scenes in the Middle East. But after development was finished, the team shifted hard into Peace Walker and developing the Fox Engine, so that definitive edition never got made. If it was up to Kojima, Raiden's hack n' slash spin-off wouldn't have starred Raiden at all.
"I wanted to go for Frank Jaegar or Gray Fox, but if we had gone with that, I would have had to write the script and then be really committed to creating the game. I want to pass game development to the younger generation in my team, and have been trying to do so for quite some time... they wanted to come up with a really cool hack-and-slash title with some Katana action and Raiden in it, and I thought 'okay, that’s fine, I respect that.'" A month after launch, Konami released a DLC pack made up of 30 new VR missions. But the Japanese version of the DLC gave fans something other regions didn't get -- a wooden sword called Hebidamashii, which means "Snake Soul." Canonically, it was forged through the latest advancements in ‘spiritual technology’ in order to pass on the wisdom of the legendary Solid Snake to future generations.
Snake's Japanese voice actor, Akio Ōtsuka, recorded new voiceover for it, and the sword talks to Raiden as he fights with it. If it’d been localized into English, I guess it would've sounded something like this: "Cardboard huh?" "You get it, don’t you Raiden? It must be used with care, devotion, you need to love the cardboard box. You can’t just handle it roughly." "No man who loves cardboard can be bad."
"This isn’t training, this is life or death. There are no heroes out here, if you lose, you die for nothing." That sword was the only part of the DLC that didn't release outside Japan, and other than Snake's voice, it was functionally identical to the standard Wooden Sword available worldwide. So it seems the voice was probably the reason it didn't get localized, since it was only a few months before Ground Zeroes. I don't know for certain, but I can tell you for a fact I didn't record voiceover for it. And I don't remember ever being asked to either.
It's been like ten years though, so it's possible my memory's a little fuzzy. Y'all know I do stuff besides just voice Snake, right? Go buy Wolves on DVD. As far as Rising though, I guess you could say an entire game got cut. Metal Gear Solid: Rising was scrapped almost entirely when Platinum Games took over and transformed it into Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
But Did You Know Gaming will be covering Rising at some point, including some new information never made public. So we'll leave that topic for another time, and move on to the final game discussed in today's video. Meh, let's not do this one actually.
5's already been done to death. Hey guys, let's do the Wild Geese thing. … Yeah I know we said we weren't gonna do that one, but let's do it anyway.
… Okay cool. ... In 1978, a movie you've probably never heard of, The Wild Geese, released in theaters. Some mercenaries are hired to infiltrate a military base in Zimbala Africa, and extract a political hostage so he can be exchanged for access to Zimbalan copper mines. The mercs are hired by a merchant banker -- Sir Edward Matheson -- who's sort of the movie's Big Boss. They HALO jump into Zimbala, but they're vastly outnumbered, so they have to use stealth to silently kill the enemy soldiers.
The mission's successful, but just as the mercenaries are about to make their escape, the Big Boss betrays them and is revealed to be the real villain. Their plane flies off without them, leaving the mercs totally screwed in the middle of nowhere. Hideo Kojima loves this movie, and the story appears to have inspired some elements of the Metal Gear franchise. The original 1987 Metal Gear was initially conceived as a game about a prisoner of war trying to escape, but during development, transformed into a game about special forces infiltration. In a series of tweets in 2011, Kojima revealed that at that point in time, he wanted to make Metal Gear into a team-infiltration game, just like The Wild Geese. But the MSX wasn't capable of making Kojima's idea into reality, so he had no choice but to make Metal Gear a 'one man against the world' affair instead.
If the MSX was a little more powerful, or if Metal Gear was made for different hardware, it would've been a completely different kind of game -- and consequently, the entire series would've been different... For the past 35 years, underpowered hardware's prevented Kojima from making the Metal Gear games he dreamed of making, but at the very beginning, we have underpowered hardware to thanks for giving us the Metal Gear franchise as we know it today. We have more Metal Gear content like this coming up, so subscribe if you don't wanna miss it. Until then…. Did you know Kojima wanted to let Snake name individual rats and keep them as pets in MGS1? If you wanna see more Metal Gear cut content, or a story about Phantom Pain we'd rather not spoil, click one of the videos on-screen.
Special thanks to Nitroid, Shaine Smith, The Video Game Library, all our translators, and everyone who made this video possible. I'm David Hayter. Thanks for watching.