When people talk about Metal Gear predicting the future, they’re usually talking about how the legendary stealth action series’ themes and plot points often align with developments in present-day, digital-age society. But the latest piece of Metal Gear science-fiction has made it into the real-world present, in the form of an actual, functional Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain “Venom Snake” bionic arm.
The Metal Gear Solid V arm is a real product, a prosthetic attachment developed by Open Bionics, a medical technology firm. Open Bionics manufactures a “Hero Arm,” a prosthetic hand and forearm designed for people missing an arm below the elbow. The arm itself is a nifty piece of technology, equipped with sensors to detect the wearer’s muscle movements, allowing it to be controlled much like a flesh-and-blood limb.
The arm can also be customized with various cosmetic shells to allow for effective aesthetics and expression. This is where the Metal Gear portion comes in, courtesy of a collaboration between Konami and Open Bionics. The result? An official Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain-themed cosmetic shell for the Hero Arm. Officially called the Metal Gear Solid “Venom Snake” bionic arm, this modification turns a standard Hero Arm into something of a replica of the prosthetic arm worn by Venom Snake, protagonist of Metal Gear Solid V.
In the game, Venom Snake loses his arm and hand in the crash that lands him in the hospital at the beginning of the campaign. With the help of his comrade Revolver Ocelot, Snake receives a prosthetic that’s highly advanced, able to send out a sonar pulse to locate enemies. Later upgrades allow it to shoot electric shocks and even fly off to deliver a rocket punch.
The Metal Gear Solid V bionic arm isn’t quite that advanced, but it can do quite a lot compared with the more common hooks and claws that many amputees have to deal with. The very first recipient of this model was 29-year-old Daniel Melville, a U.K. man born without his right hand. He models the arm on the official website.
Check out a promotional video for the Hero Arm to see more customizations, as well as functionality for the arm:
If you happen to be a below-elbow amputee, you can sign up for your own Hero Arm at this site. Fans who’d like to see the original Metal Gear Solid V bionic arm in action can play the game, which is immediately available for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. Metal Gear Solid and other classic Konami games were recently released on GOG.