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Kojima, Fukushima, Murata and whatever happened to MGS after Snake Eater

DevilFox

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I think it's time to have a topic about this argument since it pops up "once in a while" (reads as in every MGS topic). Thing is, even the most hardcore fans cannot deny that something changed in MGS after Snake Eater (or Portable Ops): themes, storytelling, even the style of the cinematics and the representation of women, the fiction stuff and so on. All these changes, somehow, match with Fukushima’s departure from Kojima Productions, which brings me here asking you: what happened? Was Fukushima the key for the classic MGS or Kojima just changed style all of a sudden? Let's share what we know and our opinion on the matter.

First, quick background:
  • Hideo Kojima: you know him. MGS creator, credited as Game Designer, Screenwriter, Director and Producer (plus more roles…) for almost all the games. Basically the face you picture when someone mentions MGS.
  • Tomokazu Fukushima: he’s a writer until the early years of MGS4 (see the first trailer) and then he left in 2006. You can see him credited as Writer, Setting Design Assistant, Scripter (codec), Camera Setting etc.
  • Shuyo Murata is the other important writer. He started with MGS2 but it looks like MGS4 is the real starting point for him as MGS writer.
Personally, I noticed that after MGS Portable Ops...

1) THE THEME OF ANTI AMERICANISM TOOK A BACK SEAT
This is probably one of the most evident things happened, since it basically changed what the Patriots were meant to be, a very core element of MGS lore. I also think that the original meaning was something that Fukushima wanted more than Kojima, simply because.. well, Kojima changed it. This article, The Decline of Anti-Americanism in Metal Gear, perfectly explains my opinion on the matter.
In particular, this piece (from MGS2 Grand Game Plan, page 37):
The evil in MGS2 is the American government. However, this does not refer to Americans in general, nor to any particular persons, but to the festering discharge that has built-up within the democratic state of America over the years. The intention is not to defame any race, state or ethnicity, but rather to look at the ‘monster’ that the country’s political structure has created. It is an intangible entity yet at the same time a massive menace to the world.
and Fukushima's profile in MGS2 make me believe there was a strong vision for something else than what, later, has become. (extra: Kojima had more style with his profile, though)

2) THE SAGA EMBRACED (THE WORST OF) HOLLYWOOD
Yep: MGS4.. but it's not alone. While I understand, and even agree to certain extent, that MGS4 wasn't developed under the most positive light, I just can't ignore what I've seen. I can't even pretend this bad attitude was over after MGS4 because it's not true. I'm talking about..

  • Weird (to say the least) cinematics and.. logic?
    Since I enjoy video editing sometimes, this one pissed me off quite a bit. Cinematics became dumber and dumber with each game, but if I think that up to MGS3 they were somehow stylish (Eva's stunts on the bike excluded, lol), when they were not simple as I like them, I can't say the same for the sequels. I mean, MGS1-3 cinematics were still believable.
    Then with MGS4 they reached a drastic point: even ignoring the "comedy" clips (see Meryl and Akiba), there are a lot of weird choices. We also started to see pointless slow motions (MGSV is full of them, below a couple of examples), lens flares everywhere and some truly ugly animations (why the Frogs move and scream like that?) and to me, seems like "making sense" wasn't a priority anymore. MGSV is the apotheosis of this, see for example Skull Face that could've killed Venom like 3 times and avoid all the troubles. Sad, because all the cinematics are great looking.

    I'm not considering The Twin Snakes because we all know that game doesn't exist.
  • Hiring of actors and models.
    Not that important but was it necessary? It started with MGS4 I think, the B&B Unit is based on real life models (Scarlett Chorvat, Mieko Rye, Lyndall Javis and Yumi Kikuchi). Then, of course, there is Kiefer Sutherland as Venom and Stefanie Joosten as Quiet. I don't think they achieved a great result with any of them and I wonder if those money could've been spent better.

    UPDATE 25/03/2016 : The Inside Story Of Recording Metal Gear Solid, video interview by the guys of GameInformer.
    Few quotes from David Hayter (thanks Rymuth) :

    Hayter on losing the role
    David Hayter said:
    “It was annoying to me, because I thought that I had given a lot to the series and really helped promote it. At the same time, I genuinely feel that the run I had as Snake was remarkable. If you get that once in your career, that’s amazing. I don’t have any ill will toward Kiefer Sutherland or anything like that. The whole thing could have been handled better and a little more respectfully, but I’m not going to cry about it.”
    Kojima's obsession with Hollywood
    David Hayter said:
    “I had to re-audition for Metal Gear 3 to play Naked Snake. They made me re-audition to play Old Snake, and the whole time, they were trying to find somebody else to do it. I heard that Kojima asked one of the producers on Metal Gear 3 to ask Kurt Russell if he would take over for that game. He didn’t want to do it.”
    Hayter's feelings towards Kojima
    David Hayter said:
    "I never felt he was a particularly big fan of mine. I don't think he liked the fact that I got the attention for the role when he meant to be the rockstar of the whole thing. I've got no particular love for Kojima. I don't feel any need to go back and work with him again. "
  • From now on, call me.. George Lucas.
    Apparently, after MGS1 Kojima started to have more and more control over everything, from voice acting direction to localisation, reason why we call him the auteur of MGS. In MGSV he even loves to see his name plastered on the intro credits of every single mission.. quite annoying personally, no matter the TV shows template he wanted to use.
    But that's nothing compared to Jeremy Blaustein's story. Blaustein is appreciated for his adaptation of MGS1 script to the West audience but it's known that Kojima didn't like it that much. Result: he was never hired again and Kojima has surrounded himself with translators that didn't touch a word, when he wasn't involved in the English script himself.

    A comment by Blaustein about the editing process:
    Jeremy Blaustein said:
    Cultural differences are pretty big in some cases. It really depends, but in the case of MGS for example, it's my feeling that the Western audience has a more sophisticated sense of movie cliches. In other words, there are things that will seem trite and cliched to a Westerner that might not trip a Japanese person's radar. So, from the POV, to adapt it, to localize it so that it achieves the same "feel" to both audiences, would require some understanding on the part of the creators that such a thing is necessary. Unfortunately that is a rather hard point to get across if you don't yourself have one foot in each culture. As a translator, you can have a lot or a little role in the editing process, but it is usually more like zero role. If you want to make changes, you have to fight for them and that's not really the best way to make friends.
    Source.
    And some interviews: Push-To-Talk interview (changes to script from 5:30), Hardcore Gaming Interview 1, Hardcore Gaming Interview 2.
    I just wonder if something similar happened with Fukushima, with our auteur leaving less and less room for creativity to others.

    We also have a Hardcore Gaming Interview with Agness Kaku, translator of Metal Gear Solid 2 and Ghost Babel. Of particular interest for this thread is her opinion about the writing in both games (part 2 and 3).
3) WOMEN'S DEPICTION GOT WORSE
This has been discussed extensively on GAF recently, starting from here. We moved from good or decent female characters, meaning they were either strong, smart or both, independent, well written with a good background and something to add to the plot, to some kind of talking puppets with tits.. sometimes, not even talking.
I put in the first group characters such as The Boss, Naomi (MGS1), Olga, Meryl, Mei Ling (MGS1), Emma, Eva, Sniper Wolf and Para Medic.
The second group includes
  • Naomi (MGS4) and her beautiful, yet pointless, cleavage.
  • Mei Ling (MGS4) as above, this time it's about her butt. The briefing before Haven's attack is just embarassing.
  • B&B Unit, they couldn't be less interesting than they are.
  • Paz and Cècile, all I remember is them dressed with a bikini. The're so weakly characterized that if it wasn't for the final twist we could take them out of the game and lose nothing.
  • Female Skulls, perfectly dressed for battle (with a bikini). We know nothing about them but we had amazing shots at their butts. Oh, they feauture bouncing tits too, thanks Fox Engine.
  • Yep, Quiet. Or should I say, her body.
Basically, we didn't have a good or interesting new female character since Portable Ops.

4) YEAH! SCIENCE BITCH! aka "we need to explain this!"
After MGS3, someone believed it was absolutely necessary to explain everything they had introduced as fictional stuff, which was a key part of a good MGS, with the good old science. So it began: nanomachines, AI, the Wolbachia bacteria. No more Vampires or photosynthetic old men, no more fiction, everything must be explained, possibly even retroactively and if we can't, well, who cares!
Guys, I hate this. It killed a good part of the charm MGS had. I like to believe Fortune was able to deviate those missiles without that chip simply because she strongly believed she could. I liked to believe the Cobra Unit wasn't some kind of freaks born out of a bottle, but the incarnation of the emotions a Naked Snake had to defeat in order to become the legendary, feared Big Boss we knew.
And it's not about science alone. The "we need to explain this" attitude involved characters too and it ruined them all! Big Boss, Liquid, Mantis, Kaz.. I can only save Campbell.
The.. the pussyfcation of Big Boss in particular disappoints me. I loved him until Portable Ops included, when he realized his purpose. Starting with Peace Walker, though, Kaz takes the lead even if it's behind the scenes: literally everything is his idea and he's the one who tells Big Boss what to do all the time. This is not how I picture a legendary leader.

5) SOMEONE STOP CARING ABOUT LORE AND CONSISTENCY
There's a general lost of interest towards some details, such as technology. It's evident that MGS Peace Walker and MGSV both feature some awesome tech that not only isn't real, which is ok, but it's also more advanced than the tech we find in the MG positioned later in the timeline. It's not a big deal for some but I truly appreciated the effort with MGS3 and MGS Portable Ops to adapt MGS formula to a different era with older technology.
Then we have some retcons, that took a more serious weight with MGS4. Some are not that important, but some others (Big Boss saving Frank and Naomi, Big Boss and Zero motifs..) definitely are. I think a writer should've more respect for such things.

6) IDEAS THAT DIDN'T WORK ANYMORE
Kojima has always been a master of not delivering. Even MGS3 should've been different, way more deep, but they achieved a masterpiece nonetheless. With MGS4 he did it again: "no place to hide", "different allies", "you can decide to kill or not to kill". Guess what, none of that worked or did matter.
I believe that in order to achieve an emotional impact, you need good writing as support. On top of my head I can think of two similar situations that worked before Portable Ops and didn't work later:
  • Raiden and Venom
    The "you think you're playing as someone else" trick didn't work with Venom for a number of reasons, with the most important being probably the emptiness of this character that made impossible for me to care about him, let alone link to him. In addition, MGS2 was smart enough to actually show Solid Snake in the game so you could see him from the outside, from the eyes of Raiden, and appreciate the hero as the others did.
    Venom is nothing and no one. I mean, the idea of him being an avatar for the player is nice but that's it, an idea. Take him out of MGS universe and nothing changes, he's there for the sake of the final twist. Maybe with better pace, better performance and more real Big Boss somewhere, it coul've worked.. shame.
  • Meaningful kills: The Boss and Diamond Dogs
    How do you achieve a meaningful kill? If you want the player to feel something when he presses a button, you better work on your writing to make him care, but also on lighting, scenario etc. to make the moment unique. It's definitely not easy but with The Boss they did their best, I'm sure we all agree on this.
    I didn't feel a thing during the "Shining Lights, Even in Death" mission for the same reason above: there was no proper build up. Who are these guys if not resources for my Mother Base, did I ever talked to them? Are they persons, are they faceless puppets? If I'm supposed to be Venom then I'm supposed to feel like him.. but I didn't. The cinematics were nothing short of amazing, really kudos for that, but again, the idea didn't work, it wasn't well thought out because that single shot I took on The Boss had more impact than the two magazines emptied on my soldiers.
So, final thoughts. I believe Kojima really grew tired of a lot of stuff. He desperately wanted to try something else but he was never allowed to nor he had the courage to leave for whatever reason, like other professionals of his era did. Consequently, he started to care less and less even thanks to the press that, quite honestly, praise everything he does regardless of its quality.. I mean, look at MGSV and Quiet in particular.
I also believe Fukushima was a great help for him and yes, the key for a good MGS as I personally learned to like it. I picture him as the guy that was able to make order and sense of Kojima's crazy mind, the one that made ideas actually work, a role that Murata apparently has never been able to cover maybe even due to Kojima's increasing decisional power over the years (which could be the reason Fukushima left, we'll never know).
Finally, I must confess that with MGSV being such a huge disappointment, I've questioned Kojima's talent as a developer. He can be great, especially as a game designer, but I think he should be more modest, honest (all the lies before MGSV, why?) and stop trying to prove himself as the master auteur of the gaming world because there are devs out there that are doing things better and more efficiently. I mean, if even Cage realized he needs more writers in the team, it can't be too hard for Kojima to take a couple of steps back, right?

TL;DR Now, your turn. What do you think about this never ending Kojima VS Fukushima argument or the drop in quality in MGS saga, if there's any? Is it about a man tired of working on the same game, did the team actually lost a good resource, IP fatigue?
 

James Scott

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It's pretty weird the route it took after 4. Whatever portable ops was and then Peace Walker which was a monster hunter clone and MGSV which adopted a lot of its concepts but ditched the monsters to hunt which is a weird idea
 

Desmond

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Kojima needed someone like Fukushima to keep his (great) plot ideas etc on the straight and narrow. An editor.

Though I think a lot of it is down to franchise fatigue. It's obvious that Kojima wanted (needed?) to work on something.
 

AuthenticM

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I had been thinking of making this thread for a while, but you delivered better than I ever could. Thanks.

I agree with everything you said, by the way. I would love to visit an alternate universe in which Fukushima has stayed in the team.
 

Alienous

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This is great. Very comprehensive.

I don't know how much I can give Fukushima credit for, but you can feel the absence of something in the games he wasn't a part of.

As far as writing goes he was attached to everything Metal Gear Solid before MGS4. Games like Ghost Babel, which seems to carry a lot of the thematic essence of the series better than MGS4, and he's even credited for work on Metal Gear Acid.

In my head I imagine Fukushima was a better co-writer for Kojima to filter his ideas through than Murata. Perhaps that's why Fukushima left at some point in MGS4's development - it's possible Kojima wanted to close the franchise his way. MGS4 exudes the kind of disregard for a series that only an unchallenged creator can have; it exists to wrap the story up and does so cynically, not passionately, and every iteration thereafter carries that spirit. 'A Hideo Kojima game' by 'Kojima Productions'; I'll tell the story how I want to tell it.

I don't know if it was specifically Fukushima's influence that made the first three games in the series the best, narratively. I'm inclined to think Kojima just needed an editor with his own views on what should and shouldn't happen. MGS1-3 show restraint that is absent in the other entries, and that might be more a result of a restrained Kojima than Fukushima.
 

Rymuth

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I was all 'meh, okay' during the Shining lights mission too. Game's narrative was garbage.
 

AuthenticM

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Do we even know what happened to Fukushima after his departure from Konami? Has he left the video game industry?
 

RK9039

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Great post, we'll never know what exactly happened after Snake Eater but it definitely went downhill after that game. If that guy was responsible for the codec calls he must have been quite important for those initial games.

I'm just glad MGS is finally dead, but I'll have to pretend TPP is a spin-off.
 

Platy

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It is weird when people consider that kojima is THE metal gear.

Sometimes looks like people think that kojima is an indie developer doing metal gear alone =P
 

ArjanN

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Excellent points. A lot of these issues are present in the MGS/2 but much less so.
Iit seems to me that pretty much every aspect got ramped up to 11 eventually due to each sequel having to be bigger and better etc.

Because, as you've said, the slo-mo, quasi-science, Hollywood tropes , T&A etc were all already there in MGS1.

IMO unless you were heavily involved with the actual development these seem like a bunch of assumptions based on way too little information, since there's no real way of knowing who made what specific decisions for these games and why.

That said, IMO all the MGS games were still very experimental and pretty different from each other compared to most big franchises.
 

ship it

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Cipher ----> Patriots AI

It's in one of the tapes.
and this is one of the problems in MGSV. some of the biggest payoffs are...tape convos. yet we get quiet showers and raindance scenes. such a misdirection of effort and resources.
 

Yen

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V good op. It's as if post-MGS3 there was no one editing.

It'll be interesting to see what happens storywise when Kojima has a new IP to work on.
 

ElBoxyBrown

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I had been thinking of making this thread for a while, but you delivered better than I ever could. Thanks.

I agree with everything you said, by the way. I would love to visit an alternate universe in which Fukushima has stayed in the team.
The games wouldn't have been varied and detailed in terms of gameplay and sound. Fukushima would have made it straightforward and safe.
 

domlolz

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I don't agree with most of what you said and assuming most hardcore fans agree with what you said is very problematic.
 

JayEH

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Idk I felt MGS PW and V were very anti American (or at least very anti western). In PW it is suggested that deterrence theory in itself is bogus. In GZ you're literally saving prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and in TPP Skullface has his long speech about how Cipher (America) spreading English is ruining the world. In the tapes you hear how Code talker even hates Americans and English because he was forced to speak it as a boy in school.

Disagree about Venom though, I love that aspect of TPP. MGS has always been about anti hero worship. You see little bits of it in MGS1 and in MGS2 it is pretty full force. Anybody can be snake given the right situation as said by Ocelot and Big Boss himself. When you go back to especially MGS1 you hear all these awesome tales of Big Boss. He literally knew EVERYONE according to that game. The way they even talk about him is like a Jesus figure. Well in TPP we know why all these legends of him are so absurd, because he's literally in two places at once. The Big Boss games come down to breaking down the legend of Big Boss. He wasn't this amazing soldier, he was a figure head who with the help of a body double spread his legend to absurd levels. He's one of the biggest assholes in the series who ends up doing to Venom exactly what the american government did to The Boss. He's a hypocrite.

Venom being an "empty vessel" was always fine to me. In fact I was fine with him not speaking throughout most of the game even when I thought he was Big Boss. Though there were a couple of instances where he should have said something cough cough jeep ride. I do end up liking the twist because it works on multiple levels for me. It fits into the theme of anti hero worship the series has always had, establishes Big Boss as an asshole, and is a thank you to the fans by giving them the title of Big Boss.

I do agree that Kojima just started running out of steam towards the end and as a result the overall series plot suffered. And yes the depiction of women got a lot worse you're right there. As far as the science stuff goes it seems to be this weird Kojima obsession to back everything with science (even if its MGS science). This is even present in Policenauts. I would prefer the more supernatural aspects of things but I think it is just his style to do that and as the series kept going he wanted to explain more things.

Anyway, very good post though. I disagree on some things you said but there is a definite shift from the writing from 4 on. Interested to see what Kojima is able to do outside of the MGS baggage. And just as a disclaimer I guess, I did borrow ideas from various sources in the Venom talk.
 

ship it

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I don't agree with most of what you said and assuming most hardcore fans agree with what you said is very problematic.
I consider myself a "hardcore" fan and I completely agree with the OP. How about you explain your point (like the OP did)?

edit: or like the post above me
 

Azzanadra

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Idk I felt MGS PW and V were very anti American (or at least very anti western). In PW it is suggested that deterrence theory in itself is bogus. In GZ you're literally saving prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and in TPP Skullface has his long speech about how Cipher (America) spreading English is ruining the world. In the tapes you hear how Code talker even hates Americans and English because he was forced to speak it as a boy in school.

Disagree about Venom though, I love that aspect of TPP. MGS has always been about anti hero worship. You see little bits of it in MGS1 and in MGS2 it is pretty full force. Anybody can be snake given the right situation as said by Ocelot and Big Boss himself. When you go back to especially MGS1 you hear all these awesome tales of Big Boss. He literally knew EVERYONE according to that game. The way they even talk about him is like a Jesus figure. Well in TPP we know why all these legends of him are so absurd, because he's literally in two places at once. The Big Boss games come down to breaking down the legend of Big Boss. He wasn't this amazing soldier, he was a figure head who with the help of a body double spread his legend to absurd levels. He's one of the biggest assholes in the series who ends up doing to Venom exactly what the american government did to The Boss. He's a hypocrite.

Venom being an "empty vessel" was always fine to me. In fact I was fine with him not speaking throughout most of the game even when I thought he was Big Boss. Though there were a couple of instances where he should have said something cough cough jeep ride. I do end up liking the twist because it works on multiple levels for me. It fits into the theme of anti hero worship the series has always had, establishes Big Boss as an asshole, and is a thank you to the fans by giving them the title of Big Boss.

I do agree that Kojima just started running out of steam towards the end and as a result the overall series plot suffered. And yes the depiction of women got a lot worse you're right there. As far as the science stuff goes it seems to be this weird Kojima obsession to back everything with science (even if its MGS science). This is even present in Policenauts. I would prefer the more supernatural aspects of things but I think it is just his style to do that and as the series kept going he wanted to explain more things.

Anyway, very good post though. I disagree on some things you said but there is a definite shift from the writing from 4 on. Interested to see what Kojima is able to do outside of the MGS baggage. And just as a disclaimer I guess, I did borrow ideas from various sources in the Venom talk.
I have to agree with this. If anything, Peace Walker and V were the most anti-American out of all the MGS games. There was even some controversy with Peace Walker's positive portrayal of Che Guevara and the socialist revolutions in Central America.
 

domlolz

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It is weird when people consider that kojima is THE metal gear.

Sometimes looks like people think that kojima is an indie developer doing metal gear alone =P
its the same with films and most auteurs, its nothing new
 

Ridley327

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Hey I was upset about that to. She was a fascinating character.
They did try their hardest to ruin her during Peace Walker with her weird lesbian fascination with Paz, leading to the notorious Paz Tape 5. I'd say they succeeded in irreparably damaging her character long before
fridging her in MGS5, and almost literally at that
.

I dunno, I think one of the bigger problems is that fundamentally speaking, Big Boss' story just doesn't really need to go anywhere else after MGS3. We leave him pissed off at the world for knowing the truth behind everything that happened on his two missions, betrayed by virtually everyone he's ever come into contact with and the only thing keeping him going is the purity of the Boss' vision of the world and a whole lot of money waiting for him. The constant cycle of "here's how he REALLY got this idea for something that happens later on in the series" is so fundamentally inert from a dramatic standpoint, whether it's copying Gene's plans in PO and just adding a E in there (god, was that story stupid as hell) or answering how Big Boss could have possibly survived the first Outer Heaven uprising with the revelation center to the ending of MGS5. It's the same issue you ran into with the Star Wars prequels: they're telling a story you already know most of the details about and adding in a bunch of frankly inconsequential details to justify the length of the scenarios. They're saying a lot without actually saying anything, if that makes sense.
 

Chola

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Disagree about Venom though, I love that aspect of TPP. MGS has always been about anti hero worship. You see little bits of it in MGS1 and in MGS2 it is pretty full force. Anybody can be snake given the right situation as said by Ocelot and Big Boss himself. When you go back to especially MGS1 you hear all these awesome tales of Big Boss. He literally knew EVERYONE according to that game. The way they even talk about him is like a Jesus figure. Well in TPP we know why all these legends of him are so absurd, because he's literally in two places at once. The Big Boss games come down to breaking down the legend of Big Boss. He wasn't this amazing soldier, he was a figure head who with the help of a body double spread his legend to absurd levels. He's one of the biggest assholes in the series who ends up doing to Venom exactly what the american government did to The Boss. He's a hypocrite.
Omg Yes, that is why the ending in mgs V works so well, without the twist mgsv story is just PW 2.0
 

Marty-esque

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After playing the games many times over the years and doing a marathon before mgsv, I have to say There is something mgs, mgs2, and mgs3 have that is missing from every game after.

Like the crazy stuff doesn't feel the need to explain itself in those first 3 games either. That's one thing that worked so well.
 

JayEH

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They did try their hardest to ruin her during Peace Walker with her weird lesbian fascination with Paz, leading to the notorious Paz Tape 5. I'd say they succeeded in irreparably damaging her character long before
fridging her in MGS5, and almost literally at that
.

I dunno, I think one of the bigger problems is that fundamentally speaking, Big Boss' story just doesn't really need to go anywhere else after MGS3. We leave him pissed off at the world for knowing the truth behind everything that happened on his two missions, betrayed by virtually everyone he's ever come into contact with and the only thing keeping him going is the purity of the Boss' vision of the world and a whole lot of money waiting for him. The constant cycle of "here's how he REALLY got this idea for something that happens later on in the series" is so fundamentally inert from a dramatic standpoint, whether it's copying Gene's plans in PO and just adding a E in there (god, was that story stupid as hell) or answering how Big Boss could have possibly survived the first Outer Heaven uprising with the revelation center to the ending of MGS5. It's the same issue you ran into with the Star Wars prequels: they're telling a story you already know most of the details about and adding in a bunch of frankly inconsequential details to justify the length of the scenarios. They're saying a lot without actually saying anything, if that makes sense.
Yeah I don't think anyone will disagree that MGS3 is all you need for Big Boss really. Unfortunately the series had to keep going for whatever reason and you're really just getting filler games from then on out. Guess Kojima really shouldn't have written 4 as the end of the timeline if he wasn't sure he could get out of MGS for good lol.
 

TheSeks

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They did try their hardest to ruin her during Peace Walker with her weird lesbian fascination with Paz, leading to the notorious Paz Tape 5. I'd say they succeeded in irreparably damaging her character long before
fridging her in MGS5, and almost literally at that
.
To be fair, it's strongly hinted that Strangelove is a lesbian or at least a female-leaning bisexual
given she later marries Huey
. She says in her tapes that she flat-out
wanted to be with the Boss, hence why she felt close to Big Boss on that level
. What's more infuriating is that they ruined Huey's characterization
to at least lead him toward his fate in MGS2 at the expense of her.
There was nothing in Peace Walker to hint
his malicious intents, especially toward her and Hal
.
 

Toparaman

Banned
Feb 20, 2013
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I think you're exaggerating the positives of MGS1-3. There's plenty of bad writing and cornball cutscenes in those games. If anything it seems like technological constraints were the real factor in all the things you've pointed out.

MGSV was fucking great anyway, and I'm glad Kojima is moving away from aping cinema in favor of a gameplay-centric approach. This is even reflected in the mission statement of the new Kojima Productions.
 

funkypie

Banned
Nov 17, 2013
3,245
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Good post. Mgs was a masterpiece then it took a nose dive after that. They created an amazing world and setting that could tell hundreds of great stories, instead we got the nonsense Kojima shoved at us.

The constant retconns are the worst.
 

ElBoxyBrown

Banned
Sep 6, 2014
21,892
2
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They did try their hardest to ruin her during Peace Walker with her weird lesbian fascination with Paz, leading to the notorious Paz Tape 5. I'd say they succeeded in irreparably damaging her character long before
fridging her in MGS5, and almost literally at that
.

I dunno, I think one of the bigger problems is that fundamentally speaking, Big Boss' story just doesn't really need to go anywhere else after MGS3. We leave him pissed off at the world for knowing the truth behind everything that happened on his two missions, betrayed by virtually everyone he's ever come into contact with and the only thing keeping him going is the purity of the Boss' vision of the world and a whole lot of money waiting for him. The constant cycle of "here's how he REALLY got this idea for something that happens later on in the series" is so fundamentally inert from a dramatic standpoint, whether it's copying Gene's plans in PO and just adding a E in there (god, was that story stupid as hell) or answering how Big Boss could have possibly survived the first Outer Heaven uprising with the revelation center to the ending of MGS5. It's the same issue you ran into with the Star Wars prequels: they're telling a story you already know most of the details about and adding in a bunch of frankly inconsequential details to justify the length of the scenarios. They're saying a lot without actually saying anything, if that makes sense.
She came out fine in PW. One silly side thing she did with Paz doesn't outweigh all the other little interesting info you find out about her in tapes. Even V didn't exactly ruin her character
(other then killing her)
since she had little to no interaction in the game. Huey though, fuck him.
 

RustyNails

Member
Aug 31, 2009
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Great write up.

I would say the weird shit in storytelling happened right after MGS1. MGS2 and 4 are seriously the worst offenders with completely nonsensical animations and segments. 3 was toned down because all the ninja and crazy futuristic shit didn't had a chance to form. Kojima just goes crazy when he's not limited by technology. MGS3 and MGSV are pretty good without any cringeworthy stuff from 2 and 4. I loved all the Big Boss entries. Kinda sucks that we had only 2 Solid Snake entries in the past 15 years.

Oh well. Will look forward to Metal Gear Pachinko.
 

Starsailor

Banned
Oct 27, 2015
740
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ok let's do this again

after "what happen after FF7?"
"what happen after Zelda OOT?"
"what happen after Assassin's Creed 2"
"what happen after super mario bros 3?"

here it is, the new "nostalgia" topic that will ruin the future of the saga of metal gear games.

 

JayEH

Junior Member
Dec 3, 2013
20,542
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I think you're exaggerating the positives of MGS1-3. There's plenty of bad writing and cornball cutscenes in those games. If anything it seems like technological constraints were the real factor in all the things you've pointed out.

MGSV was fucking great anyway, and I'm glad Kojima is moving away from aping cinema in favor of a gameplay-centric approach. This is even reflected in the mission statement of the new Kojima Productions.
In the MGSV novel intro Kojima talks about how cutscenes were limiting his freedom but he had to put include them in MGSV because that's what the fans expect. I might be in the minority for this but I've always been a MGS fan for the story and gameplay equally. I really liked the focus on gameplay in V since I've felt prior games (outside of PW) never got to fully let their wings spread in regards to gameplay due to the amount of cutscenes/set pieces.
 

Risev1

Member
Dec 3, 2014
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I'm sure the departure affected the sequels considerably, but it's mainly due to Kojima not having a lot of interest in working on "Metal Gear", is it not?

I mean, MGS3 was being developed without Kojima at the helm initially, but he was forced to step in when the team had no idea what they were doing. After that, he was forced to develop MGS4 due to pressure from fans which escalated to Death Threats.

With Peace Walker, Kojima wanted to create a game that people can pick up and play for a few minutes in short bursts. So, Big Boss was the obvious choice since he's a mercenary and it makes sense that he'd go on significantly shorter missions. Given the nature of the game, the story was clearly an afterthought, and it makes total sense the way they went about developing the game.

With MGSV, Kojima obviously was done with Metal Gear. He even said in an interview a year or two back that one of the reasons he's working on another Metal Gear instead of a new IP was that Metal Gear, given its reputation in the industry, allowed him a much bigger budget from Konami compared to creating a new IP. After that, and I'm speculating here, Kojima created the type of game he wanted to create, one entirely gameplay-driven, and made that game Metal Gear Solid V. This is probably why the game is so sparse with it's story. Not because Konami interfered with its development, but because most of the story content in the game was probably an afterthought after developing the core gameplay.

On the other hand, we saw that Kojima is just as creative as he was before with P.T and possibly Silent Hills. It's obvious he was developing that game because he wanted to.
 

pbayne

Member
Mar 13, 2015
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I despise the twist with venom.
I'll concede its cool from an overall lore standpoint but some random dude is as good as Big Boss? The greatest soldier in the world can be replaced that easily? Come on.

The only thing worthwhile MGS5 brought to the table for me was a new found sympathy for Zero. Added a lot more to the final scenes of MGS4.
 
D

Deleted member 80556

Unconfirmed Member
I completely agree with your post, OP.

It's hard to say if Fukushima leaving affected the quality, after all, it was very clear since MGS4 that Kojima wanted to finish the franchise once and for all, so he could do other things. It's been 7 years since that. I can imagine he still had a bit of that spirit with The Phantom Pain, but at some point he was at least conceptualizing Silent Hills, so who knows if that helped with the cynical side he showed in Guns of the Patriots.

The only thing I know for sure is that I hope that he is in better spirits and shows he's still a skillful developer for his first independent game.

The final tapes in MGSV
pretty much show the birth of the patriots, even their naming iirc, and
were perhaps the best bit in the whole game
If the Truth tapes had been worked into the storyline, I think people would've been much more happy with the end result of the game.
 

akira28

Member
Aug 31, 2010
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I was with you until it became a take down of Kojima. It's one thing to say he was influence by events, but to say 'he just suddenly broke down and also incidentally this earthquake happened' is something else entirely.

edit: I'm going to leave this up. but apparently I read the op with my ass and not my eyes. sorry.
 

Reebot

Member
Nov 8, 2012
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Great write up.

Kojima is the video game George Lucas. With good collaborates, he makes great products. But when he gets total control, when technology allows him to really unleash all his bizarre and terrible ideas, then we get weird crap.

Its like poetry.
 

ship it

Member
Oct 31, 2014
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I was with you until it became a take down of Kojima. It's one thing to say he was influence by events, but to say 'he just suddenly broke down and also incidentally this earthquake happened' is something else entirely.
why does it have to be a "take down"? there are plenty of examples of people that are creative geniuses but need a sounding board or else things can spin out of control.

Great write up.

Kojima is the video game George Lucas. With good collaborates, he makes great products. But when he gets total control, when technology allows him to really unleash all his bizarre and terrible ideas, then we get weird crap.

Its like poetry.
yup. although I wouldnt call them "terrible and bizarre".
 

JayEH

Junior Member
Dec 3, 2013
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I despise the twist with venom. I'll concede its cool from an overall lore standpoint but some random dude is as good as Big Boss? The greatest soldier in the world can be replaced that easily? Come on.

The only thing worthwhile MGS5 brought to the table for me was a new found sympathy for Zero. Added a lot more to the final scenes of MGS4.
The series has made it clear that given the right situation anybody can be a "legend". As far as it being some "random dude" you really have to pull back and realize it's just some meta BS about how the player has been there from the beginning and I say that as someone who likes the twist lol.
 
Aug 22, 2015
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I don't disagree with much of what you said, but I tire of people posting topics that state their opinions of the MGS series as some sort of empirical fact.

One example: Shining Lights, Even in Death, I found to be incredibly moving. It doesn't matter that I don't know these people personally, they did a great job of showing the final desperation of your soldiers. Imagine being put in that situation in real life? Does it really matter that you don't know these people directly? It would be like if you had to go gun down everyone at your place of work, including the people from two floors down that you've never met. That final room and the scene of Venom walking out afterwards... everything hit me pretty hard. I mean, the game had multiple scenes and tapes where Venom shows how he cares for the people he works under (the great scene were venom lets a soldier stab him in the chest to deal with poor morale for example). MGSV is all about peeling back the layers, and while I agree there's a lot of problems with the game, empathizing with Venom was definitely not one of them from my perspective, you just had to put yourself into his shoes (which was pretty much the whole intention).

I honestly felt less for the Boss. It just never resonated with me really. At least not to the level that it did for some others.

I realize this wasn't what you were trying to do, but you come across as fairly condescending at times. Like, you claim that you dislike that they gave answers to questions (sometimes to an exhaustive degree, I admit), something that most fans expected, and the reason why is because you liked your own version of the story better and others should too. I get that some freedom for imagination is nice, but there's a certain subset of people who seem to think that stories are almost always better left vague and ambiguous, and I really don't agree. I had 20 years to play the guessing game with MGS and I for one was very happy to get answers, even if some people thought they were lame. You also call a bunch of characters ruined when I almost never felt that way.

Maybe things changed after Fukushima, but to claim that he was the magic behind the series is just, again, opinion. I've found a lot of enjoyment out of every Metal Gear game I've played, it just comes in different forms.

As a side note, I see a lot of glorification of MGS2 these days. I always find it super ironic considering how many people pushed back against it after it released. The negative reaction was pretty monumental at the time. Even MGSV didn't have that kind of response and it was unfinished.
 

akira28

Member
Aug 31, 2010
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why does it have to be a "take down"? there are plenty of examples of people that are creative geniuses but need a sounding board or else things can spin out of control.



yup exactly.

lol, I was thinking about the nuclear plant...
 

Risev1

Member
Dec 3, 2014
552
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0
I
despise the twist with venom. I'll concede its cool from an overall lore standpoint but some random dude is as good as Big Boss? The greatest soldier in the world can be replaced that easily? Come on.

The only thing worthwhile MGS5 brought to the table for me was a new found sympathy for Zero. Added a lot more to the final scenes of MGS4.
uhhhhh, spoiler tags?

But anyways.

But anyways. Venom isn't just any soldier, he's the best soldier under Big Boss at MSF. Besides, isn't that always the point in Metal Gear? the point is that none of the characters in Metal Gear are usually as legendary as they may appear. Big Boss was only able to beat the Boss because she trained him to do it and wanted him to do it. Big Boss was only known as the legend as he is today because Venom did half of the work for him.

You get the idea.
 

Ridley327

Member
Feb 7, 2005
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Great write up.

Kojima is the video game George Lucas. With good collaborates, he makes great products. But when he gets total control, when technology allows him to really unleash all his bizarre and terrible ideas, then we get weird crap.

Its like poetry.
Given how strongly polarized reaction was to MGS2 (and continues to be, for that matter), a game that is seemingly from the "golden era" of the series, I don't think it's that simple.

If anything, I feel like Kojima had a hard time trying to reconcile the idea that not every piece of criticism is constructive. Getting caught in the trap of trying to resolve the unsolvable at the behest of his audience is kinda why this topic exists in the first place.