Hideo Kojima’s final MGSV trailer has hit before its release in September and we are going to break it down for you right here, right now as best we can and hopefully make sense of something that makes no sense.
When beginning to write this, I had the best of intentions of keeping it brief but as it has gone on I’ve realised that this is impossible to do – so here is the first of a two-parter that will try explain things or inevitably fail doing so.
Dare I say; should be some spoilers in here somewhere.
Here is the trailer in all it’s glory before we begin:
Opening – The trailer opens with a quote from Romanian Philosopher, Emil Cioran: ‘It is no nation, we inhabit, but a language. Makes no mistake: our native tongue is our true fatherland’
This quote itself begins to explain the main theme of the trailer: speech/language, which is an interesting point to make seeing as Big Boss, in MGSV, is notably more solemn and quiet than in previous Metal Gear games. But also interesting as some of Cioran’s work correlates with Big Boss, most notably: Decay.
The decay of Big Boss physically and emotionally, the decay of his mental state and the decay of his comrades and everything around him, all of these points will be covered in the Phantom Pain.
The Hallway – Fans of the Metal Gear series will be familiar with dead bodies strewn throughout a hallway (throwbacks to Gray Fox and Vamp) but in this scene, we see Big Boss walking through a Diamond Dogs labelled corridor strewn with dead bodies whilst Skull Face talks in the background about his childhood and the effect that foreign raiders had on his speech – changes to ‘his thoughts, personality, how he saw right and wrong’
Throughout Skull Face explaining these changes in this speech, the screen flashes red and every time it does so, Big Boss’ horn gets bigger and he appears to be bloodier after each flash and on the final flash, on the point where Skull Face states: ‘words can kill’, the screen flashes one last time to reveal Big Boss with a fully exposed horn – note that the flashes of red show Big Boss how Big Boss has changed over time with, first, it showing Big Boss around the time of Ground Zeroes and gradually coming to the point where his transformation to full demon has become apparent.
The Man Who Sold the World – Cue Ocelot chiming in his two cents about Skull Face, sounds very like a briefing (possibly something we will hear on a cassette tape in the Phantom Pain) explaining how his country was ruled by foreigners that led to him losing his mother tongue and all of the losses that Skull Face has gone through: ‘his country, his family, his face, his identity – everything was stolen from him’
At this point, we see Big Boss picking up a tape labelled From the Man Who Sold the World, obviously a cassette tape that you can listen to in MGSV most likely containing the David Bowie song. However, the interesting thing about it is that it is From somebody, somebody has given him this tape and this person believes that they are The Man Who Sold the World – Interesting to note that the song itself is based on inner conflict, trying to find ones inner self and some believe that it is connected to a person’s relationship to the Devil – Could this be evidence showing that the changes in Big Boss are not only physically, the horn, but emotionally and mentally showing how the losses and the pain he has gone through are causing this reflection on his inner self.
From this there are brief sections of footage we have already seen; Big Boss being resuscitated, Kaz talking to him in the helicopter, destruction of Mother Base and Kaz being returned to Mother Base and we are treated to a few sights that we haven’t seen; a helicopter passing over different scenes (Afghanistan and Africa) and Kaz rubbing his hand on the arm of his jacket, empty due to the loss of his arm.
Code Talker – We are treated to the first view of Big Boss and Code Talker together, with what seems like Talker explaining the importance of language in ruling and how strong they can be as a unit if they can unite under this one rule.
As he is talking, we see throwbacks to previous trailers where we can see Quiet and Huey being interrogated but, most interestingly, we see an image of Kaz at Mother Base with his eyes closed, when they open they look lifeless, almost like he is suffering from cataracts – is Kaz blind on his return to Mother Base? – looking like he giving a speech to loyal Diamond Dog troops standing under him with Big Boss and Ocelot looking on.
The information that Code Talker is giving here is about unifying under one rule, but we see already three obvious rulers in Big Boss, Kaz and Ocelot – could this be an indication of a power struggle? Something that sends Big Boss inevitably away from Diamond Dogs.
Zero? – The screen flashes up with: An Eye for an Eye with various scenes; someone who looks a lot like Quiet dressed in fatigues being brought in the base via stretcher, Big Boss sparring with Diamond Dogs solders using CQC to dispatch them, caskets covered in Diamond Dogs flags being burned and Big Boss, Ocelot and Kaz all turning around to face something that looks awfully like The Boss’ AI Pod from the Peace Walker game – the return of the AI, possibly use of it in the Metal Gear they are creating.
Interesting to note that the audio at this point is an English accent, sounds older than any of the characters we have seen thus far, talking about The Boss’ vision of the world becoming whole again. The voice sounds like it could be coming from Zero, the big bad in the MGS series, explaining how he is going to carry out the Boss’ legacy making factors such as race, tribal affiliations, national borders and our faces become irrelevant –this is the first interaction, or proper voice, that we have heard from Zero since Metal Gear Solid 3, but does not sound like the original voice actor, Jim Piddock and does not sound too much like a man in his 70’s.
So, that’s part one of our trailer analysis completed and just before things get a little, wait no, A LOT more weird. Keep your eyes on GamingReel for the next part of our MGSV trailer analysis.