For Metal Gear Solid fans, series creator Hideo Kojima is more than just the creative force behind the franchise; he’s no small part of the rich tapestry of peculiarity that surrounds the game series as a whole. It’s clear that amongst all his work, Kojima has a special attachment to Solid Snake and his brand of tactical espionage action — and now he’s been placed right into the action.
YouTube user ‘Dirty Dan’ has uploaded a video taken from the PC release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, with one small change from the version you might have played: the character model for protagonist Snake has been replaced with an in-game version of Hideo Kojima himself.
While the switch itself was not done by Kojima Productions, the character model did indeed come from within the studio; the director appears in a ‘Side Ops’ mission as a spy; a similar role to his appearance in PSP title Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. It’s not a perfect swap — the way that Kojima’s cheeks billow out towards the end of the trailer is quite unnerving — but it is a funny and strangely fitting bit of fun for fans.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that the protagonist of the Metal Gear Solid series has turned out to be someone unexpected (fans were shocked when MGS2 revealed Raiden to be the lead rather than the gruff Solid Snake of its predecessor). However, that move pales in comparison to the real-world controversy that was sparked when series regular David Hayter was dumped as the voice of Solid Snake in favor of 24 star Kiefer Sutherland. Many decried the move as a grab for mainstream attention rather than something that would benefit the game, and his performance in the finished product didn’t do much to assuage these concerns.
Fans were given hope that Hayter would make his return in The Phantom Pain when the same tools used to insert Kojima found recordings of the original Snake in the data for Ground Zeroes, but it turned out these files were simply part of the game’s ‘Jamais Vu’ missions. It seems that, for now, the only alternative to Sutherland’s Snake is Hideo himself.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is available now for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is set to release in 2015.