Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear Solid started in 1987 on the MSX with Metal Gear, which was followed by a sequel, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. It wasn't until the franchise's first 3D entry, Metal Gear Solid, that it garnered universal acclaim, solidifying its status as a gaming giant. Unfortunately, it looks like the series will never reclaim its glory after Kojima parted ways with Konami in 2015 under less than ideal circumstances.
Much of what transpires in the games stretches disbelief to a new levels, and is downright bonkers for some. Still, despite how wild some of the games get, it's nothing compared to what almost made it in. To prove this point, the next ten entries will list concepts that were almost a part of the venerated franchise, but were cut for one reason or another. These include story ideas, game play mechanics, and other details that Kojima wanted. It is a good thing some of these ended up on the cutting room floor, but a few of these might have improved the series.
The original game design document for Metal Gear Solid 2 is available to the public for viewing. This offers gamers a rare glimpse into the early planning stages of video games. There are a plethora of ideas in Kojima's original concept that ended up at the wayside. One of the weirdest ones is a section that would have found the player battling sharks underwater. The idea was thankfully scrapped, probably after somebody told Kojima that the feared animals don't swim in the Hudson river.
Metal Gear has always had a focus on the single-player campaign. Metal Gear Solid 3: Substance added a well received online component, but the story was always center stage. Before that, the series' debut PS2 title planned to have a local multiplayer mode.
It seems the idea never went into any sort of production, but it makes the mind wonder just what that would have looked like. Could the PlayStation 2 even have supported those stunning graphics in split screen?
One big question leading up Metal Gear Solid 4's release was whether or not Snake would go to the great beyond. He ended up just barely living through it, but Kojima's original ending would have seen him and his friend Otacon in more dire circumstances.
The two were planned to turn themselves in after stopping Liquid and being executed for war crimes. Others working on the game convinced Kojima to change it.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has a striking opening cinematic. Punished Snake abruptly awakens from his coma and his blurred vision slowly clears while a Midge Ure cover of David Bowie's "Man Who Sold the World" plays on a nearby radio. The song's blaring synths perfectly encapsulates Snake's confusion in that moment. The first song Kojima wanted was another Bowie song, Diamond Dogs, but it went unused because it didn't fit the tone of the moment.
Kojima's love for David Bowie is well known. Had all his ideas panned out, The Phantom Pain wouldn't have been the first time his music played in the series. The creator intended for "Space Oddity" and "Ashes to Ashes" to accompany Metal Gear Solid 3's credits when the game was more focused on space. The Space Race still has a role in the story, but not enough to warrant two space themed tunes in the ending.
Kiefer Sutherland taking the role of Punished Snake in The Phantom Pain shocked many fans. Not long afterwards David Hayter revealed that he constantly had to audition for the role with each game.
Before playing Solid Snake's father in Metal Gear Solid 3, Kojima wanted Kurt Russell to do the voice; appropriate since his design borrows elements from Snake Plisken from Escape From New York. The actor was ultimately not interested.
Kojima's falling out with Konami left The Phantom Pain in a painfully unfinished state. It still plays well, but the story trails off during the last fourth of the game. One mission is missing from the game entirely, and would have wrapped up several of the game's hanging story threads.
Episode 51 concludes Eli's, the Third Child, and the rescued child soldier's stories. The best fans got was a story boarded version of the scenes played out on a bonus Blu-ray included with the game's collector's edition.
Of the several unused characters from Metal Gear Solid 2, the most intriguing is a one hundred year old Nazi who eventually became a member of Dead Cell. Details are sparse on what part he was to play in the plot, but in the canon he died during the group's liquidation several months prior to the game's events. The idea of a soldier who once fought for the Axis powers then becoming a part of the US military would have been an interesting avenue to explore.
Metal Gear Solid 2's final battle takes place atop federal hall after Arsenal Gear crashes into and destroys much of NYC. In the game, the screen turns white before the fortress reaches land. There was a scene of showing the crash and the Statue of Liberty falling down, but the then recent 9/11 terrorist attack caused its removal. It's unfortunate that the scene has yet to surface, but understandable why they cut it in the first place.
Metal Gear Solid 2's ending leaves many questions up in the air. Metal Gear Solid 3 takes place forty-five years before that, and only deepens the mystery behind the lore. Believe it or not, Kojima planned to leave the series after MGS3, wanting players to speculate on the answers themselves. Fans demanded he wrap up the series, and he obliged with Metal Gear Solid 4: The Guns of the Patriots. Any fans unsatisfied with the conclusion only have themselves to blame.