Hideo Kojima On The Influences And References In Metal Gear Solid V

By Sato . April 2, 2014 . 5:31pm

Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima is known for his love of films and novels, from which he often throws various references into his games. The man recently kicked back with 4Gamer to talk about some of the influences and references behind Metal Gear Solid V.


Kojima has been quite the busy bee lately, with all the work he’s put into Metal Gear Solid V. 4Gamer expresses their concern, and asks if he’s still been able to relax and watch movies as he’s known for being fond of.


“I try to read at least two books a week,” shares Kojima. “I also watch foreign TV shows at least once a day. I’ve currently watched up until the second season of Breaking Bad. Luther is also very interesting. After having watched those shows, I really can’t go back to watching Japanese TV series.”


Due to having an interest in western movies and TV shows, Kojima feels like he has trouble talking to those around him, who don’t exactly share the same enthusiasm.


“I really don’t have much time, so I can only read about one or two books per week,” he continues. “Actually, there are some people on our staff who read about one-and-a-half books a day. You can see them reading while walking around. It’s like they use their left eye to look at their surroundings and their right eye to read.” He adds with a laugh, “And then they just go to the bookstore to buy more books.”


4Gamer notes that the Metal Gear Solid series seems to have a lot of ideas and references from various films and novels. They ask if there’s anything fans should check out before playing Metal Gear Solid V.


“There’s actually not that many [references],” Kojima replies. “Well, I did intentionally try a one-shot technique, such as the one seen in Hitchcock’s Rope* but some people who saw the film, Gravity, that depicted a similar one-shot scene, told me ‘hey, you ripped it off from there!’ You really can’t just rip things off recent movies like that,” says Kojima with a laugh.

*A 1948 thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock.


While on the subject of influences, Kojima talks about how various material is used to inspire the art and music of Metal Gear Solid V. We know that George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four was one of the major influences behind the game. Then there’s also “Diamond Dogs,” a single by David Bowie, which is also the same name of the mercenary unit that was led by Big Boss.


“Yeah, yeah! I originally wanted to have the story start out with that song being sung,” exclaims Kojima with a laugh. “But I’m always being rejected by our staff members. I’m the only old man around, so most people don’t get it. Even if I offer to lend them the CD, they won’t listen to it.”


(As an aside, while 4Gamer might side with Kojima on this one, I’m not too sure how I’d feel about having a Metal Gear Solid game open with this song. Maybe if it started with Big Boss cruising down the highway on a motorcycle… maybe.)


Finally, 4Gamer asks if there are some more things from Nineteen Eighty-Four or other things as references you might find in Metal Gear Solid V.


Metal Gear Solid always had references, so you might also find stuff from Moby Dick, says Kojima. “People who know a lot about it might realize it once they play it. However, it’s not like we’re just throwing it out there in front of the screen. I think it’d be nice if it can get those who don’t understand the reference to check it out and find out for themselves.”


Photograph courtesy 4Gamer.

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