Metal Gear Solid 5: Facts and Speculation


Of all franchises, Metal Gear probably has the looniest fans that tear trailers and announcements to shreds looking for symbolism. Admittedly, this is perpetuated by Hideo Kojima’s constant trolling and affinity for convoluted plots which makes almost every fan theory seem normal by contrast. Nothing is too crazy for MGS. In this article, I will present the known facts and then my favorite speculations. The latter will be in order from most likely to most outlandish and insane.


-It’s the first game on the new Kojipro FOX engine.

-It is basically 2 separate games: Ground Zeroes which is more linear and serves a purpose of readying the players for the giant open world of Phantom Pain. Kojima himself is not sure whether they will be on the same disc or sold separately, because it seems to be a giant amount of content for the standard game price of $60. In fact, in a recent interview he expertly evaded giving an answer by saying, “This is the first part of the Metal Gear Solid 5 experience.”

-Big Boss falls in coma after Ground Zeroes and wakes up 9 years later during the events of Phantom Pain.

Phantom Pain is open world.

-Big Boss can plan his missions by means of scouting the site for enemies and tagging them. Once tagged, the enemies will show up on his map.


-Day/night and weather cycles will greatly influence the missions. Not only will they change the density of security, but Big Boss will be able to use guard changes to his advantage depending on the time of day and will be able to use weather conditions, such as sandstorms, for improved stealth.


-Kazuhira Miller leaves Big Boss’ side sometime during Phantom Pain.

-There is a huge selection of driveable vehicles, which is a first for the franchise.

-Helicopters can be called in for assistance or extraction, pimped out with your own dramatic entrance song

-The engine is extremely smooth, doing away with the traditional blocky aesthetic and allowing you to seamlessly and organically transition from one stance to the next, take cover, sprint, jump, and perform dynamic CQC.

-When Big Boss is spotted, time will slow down and he’ll be able to shoot a guard before he manages to reach his radio.

-The Mother Base established in Peace Walker is destroyed in Ground Zeroes.

-Big Boss will have regenerative health – no more health bar and presumably rations.



-There will be user-generated content such as maps and missions that one will be able to share online for others to play.


-Big Boss gets a shiny new, red arm in Phantom Pain after he loses is in an accident in Ground Zeroes

-David Hayter, one of gaming’s most iconic voice actors, will not be reprising his role as Big Boss, leaving a character that he’s been doing for over 10 years.  The role has been given to Kiefer Sutherland, who seems to be phoning it in as far as the shown-off content goes.

-Will be released on current-gen and next-gen systems. Current-gen will run at 30fps and generally look worse than the 60fps next-gen versions.

-Newly established Kojima Productions Los Angeles will handle all the multiplayer aspects of the game

-Hideo Kojima cannot remember his own games, and when writing the script for GZ and PP kept on running into retcon situations. At first GZ and PP did not fit together, and when trying to make them work he ended up retconning the chronologically preceding games when tinkering with GZ and the chronological successors when fixing PP. In the end he said “Maybe I will just write [Metal Gear] and Metal Gear 2 out completely as a dream or something.”

Full quote:

“When I wrote the story, I had forgotten most of the details in the first half so when I put the two halves together, I realized that they did not completely line up, I had forgotten the original intentions of characters like Ocelot and Kaz so by the second half of the story, their actions made no sense. I also completely forgot about Huey and never wrote a conclusion to his story. Combining these two parts was like trying to fit two jigsaw pieces that just don’t go together. […] When I tried to fix the first half of the story to better match the second, I ended up creating further inconsistencies with Metal Gear Solid 3, Portable Ops, and Peace Walker. Then I tried rewriting the second half of the story to better match the first half and it ended up conflicting with established details in Metal Gear Solid 2, Metal Gear Solid 4, and Metal Gear Rising. I was also informed that the story seemed to completely ignore the existence of the original Metal Gear Solid game. […] I had to make a decision on how I wanted to do the least amount of damage to the Metal Gear storyline so I decided to leave both halves of The Phantom Pain the way they are. So as of right now, they are completely inconsistent with each other. Either way, I am sure I can fix all of the mistakes in the sequel or the next one although I think I might be running out of time until Metal Gear happens. Maybe I will just write that and Metal Gear 2 out completely as a dream or something.”



-Eli is liquid


– Jesse’s eight sons from the bible had David (Solid Snake) and Eliab (Eli – Liquid Snake) among them. The Les Infants Terible project originally produced 8 clones of Big Boss, but 6 were aborted apart from Solid and Liquid. Eliab was the older, superior one just like Liquid really is, regardless of him made to think that his recessive genes made him inferior. David became king due to him having the bigger heart (Solid Snake has saved the world from nuclear annihilation about a dozen times and that’s a sign of a pretty big heart in my book). Eli has the same hair and even attitude as Liquid. Eli has Jackal teeth on his necklace and Liquid once mentioned that they used to hunt Jackals in the Middle East. Eli is said to be “a youth who cursed his fate”, seemingly because he got the recessive and, in his mind, faulty genes. In MGS 1 Liquid mentions to Snake that “father chose [him]” which lines up with him being with Big Boss in MGS 5.

-One of the doctors in the hospital where Snake falls into a coma is none other than Dr. Madnar from Metal Gear for the MSX. There is no basis for this other than the similarities in their looks.

-Some of the game, or at least the hospital where BB falls into coma, is located in Cyprus as it has a map of the island on the wall.

-Young, red-headed Psycho Mantis appears in the trailer.


-Cypher, essentially The Patriots, orders XOF to attack BB’s Mother Base at the end of Ground Zeroes.

-Ishmael, the man with a bandaged face who saves BB when he awakens from his coma, is nothing but a figment of BB’s imagination as he is also voiced by Kiefer Sutherland.

-Colonel Volgin is seemingly amongst “whose who don’t exist” along with some flaming horse which to many fans is a symbol of The Boss and a giant flaming whale, which suggests that they literally do not exist and are, too, figments of Snake’s Imagination after the suffered injuries.

-The horse ridden by Snake is a double agent who betrayed MSF and caused the destruction of Mother Base.



– This is the theory which really captured my attention the most and is also arguably the craziest. When Big Boss falls into the coma somebody appoints Grey Fox, who is already established as being one of BB’s most trusted lieutenants, to pretend to be Big Boss as to not let his enemies know that he is vulnerable and defenseless and “look[s] over him for 9 years”. The reason that his face is covered with bandages is that he underwent facial re-re-constructive surgery right before Snake wakes up to change his face from the mask of Big boss to Grey Fox’s original face. Ishmael is also voiced by Keif, which means that perhaps Hayter is still the voice of the real Snake, while Sutherland voices his doppelganger. The Snake in the E3 trailers has grey eyes just like Fox, clearly not Big Boss’ blue eyes. The snake in the E3 trailer has too many scars in comparison to Big Boss in MGS 4. Ishmael tells Snake, when escaping the hospital, “on your feet, soldier” just like Grey Fox told Solid Snake in the MGS 1 graphic novel. Grey Fox rescued Naomi in Rhodesia and at least a part of the game will take place there as a very specific breed of dog was noticed in the Fox Engine demo and the Diamond Dogs poster – the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

I don’t take credit for coming up with all of these speculations, I simply compiled the ones I found most appealing and interesting. I have no idea what goes on in Hideo’s head, I can’t even imagine what it could possibly be like in there, but from what we have seen in the series so far most of these appear to be quite likely. Some of these are more grounded and are deeper rooted in fact but I think that all of them are equally interesting to think about while we wait for the new addition to the saga.