Hideo Kojima On Why He Chose The Name “Solid Snake” For Metal Gear Solid

By Ishaan . March 6, 2014 . 8:50am

Metal Gear Solid director Hideo Kojima took to Twitter last night to provide a little insight into the history of the series’ Solid Snake character.


“The reason I chose Snake as a code name in [Metal Gear] was because snakes are the most appropriate symbol of living things that conceal their presence and sneak about without making any noise,” Kojima wrote.


“The reason it wasn’t any specific snake like a cobra, anaconda or viper was because the protagonist is the player. The reason I used ‘solid’ was to give the opposite impression of a soft image.”


He continued: “As with the ending of any series, the appearance of the strongest enemy was a must in [Metal Gear Solid]. If that’s the case, it can only be Snake who surpasses Snake. And so, I introduced the ‘clone’. Against Solid, there was his contrast in Liquid. The fight between solid and liquid. That is MGS.”


Kojima then elaborated, “As it was decided to develop a sequel, a third Snake was needed. Solid and Liquid are both states, but the actual form remains the same.”


“From there,” he explained, “you’d naturally think the next state would be gas; however, a gas snake sounds like Gas Human, which sounds uncool. So, we borrowed the physics terms of ‘solidus/liquidus’. Solidus isn’t a state, it refers to the boundary between liquid and solid states.”

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  • Zer0faith

    That’s an interesting way of phrasing I ripped him off from Kurt Russel’s Snake Plissken.
    Edit: Snake Plissken: Escape from New York (1981) Great movie by the way.
    Solid Snake: Metal Gear (1987) released for the MSX2

    I joke (mostly) and you’re a great guy Kojima but give credit where credit is due.

    • David García Abril

      I remind you that the original Solid Snake was from the MSX game, and there he didn’t look like Plissken (He looked more like Kyle from the first Terminator movie).

      However, when he was redesigned for MGS onward, his design WAS inspired by Plissken, and Kojima payed due respect with the MGS2 reference.

      • Zer0faith

        Still you think he would have added that tiny bit of info in the interview. Could just be me though.

        • Charles Parker

          Not really. He was talking about the reasoning for the name, not anything about his appearance, so why would he just jump off track and start talking about what inspired Snake’s looks?

      • I was recently re-reading an old issue of Nintendo Power where F-Zero GX/AX was revealed during the E3 that year. In that same issue, there was an interview with Kojima, in which he said that he designed the original Metal Gear’s Snake after Christopher Walken. I often wonder if he was just joking around.

    • The eyepatch and mullet didn’t come into play until years after Snake’s creation. I think it could easily be a coincidence, but Snake did use the alias Plissken in MGS2…

    • ZEROthefirst

      Kojima’s noted before in older interviews that he took inspiration from Plissken for Snake’s character model.

    • d19xx

      Yeah, he just rambled a bunch of bs there and couldn’t just say he based it on the protagonist of Escape From New York…

      • French

        yeah he couldnt

    • Namuro

      But he was talking about the “name”, not the “looks”, though.

  • DragonSix

    Way to cover a simple dick joke.

  • Nice Boat Quatro

    I learned about science thanks to this (in contrast to Liquid’s comments about genes….)

    • Kojima is a genius when it comes to warfare and politics, but he doesn’t know crap about biology.

      • Nice Boat Quatro

        Every time Liquid talked about genes, a scientist died. Maybe he was really Ocelot’s puppet and the guy made up all the info about Genes to have him lead Fox.

  • kaotron

    I always thought it was just a phallic metaphor…oh well.

  • konsama

    Obviously it will turn out there’s a 4th clone called Plasma Snake and it works for Xof.

  • Istillduno

    So he didn’t just name him after a particulalrly satsisfying bowel movement?

    That’s kind of disapointing.

  • leingod

    I still think “Solidus” sounds lame. If he wanted to avoid the word “gas”, he could’ve used “vapor” or “smoke” or whatever.

  • Ash_Riot

    I look forward to Liquidus’ reveal.

  • Kuro Kairi

    couldn’t they just use vapor snake?

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