One of Konami's main titles at this year's Tokyo Game Show was Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for the PSP. As has been the case for nearly every other installment in the Metal Gear franchise, series creator Hideo Kojima took to the stage to talk in-depth about his latest creation.
Kojima began by showing a new trailer for Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, which gave a look into the game's storyline. The trailer started out with a series of cutscenes from Metal Gear Solid 3, followed by a nuclear symbol appearing on the middle of the screen for a subliminal split second. We then see Snake saluting his mentor's grave from the last scenes in MGS3, and the flashback ended. The screen changed to new footage from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, showing the game's setting as Costa Rica during the Cold War in 1974.
With Central America being a key location in the outcome of the Cold War, an unknown army of well-equipped soldiers has taken over the defenseless country of Costa Rica. What's more, they've brought in a nuclear warhead that's labeled "Peace Walker." Snake is asked to save the country, but it's then revealed that the mysterious army is financed by the US's CIA. If Snake decides to go against them, he'll make enemies with America and there'd be no turning back. As the trailer continues to show various cutscenes, a voice-over waxes philosophic about how a nuclear superpower has to be demonstrated to create peace.
The screen changes into 2D illustrations, introducing the new characters in Peace Walker. Of particular note, the screen shows a close-up of Snake's face, and it is explained that he decides to call himself Big Boss. The trailer ends with a circular explosion expanding from Central America on a map, and a voice is heard saying that the world may come to an end.
The trailer's premiere took up about a third of Kojima's presentation, but he still had quite a bit to say about the game. As mentioned, Peace Walker takes place in 1974, which is 10 years after Metal Gear Solid 3. In real history, the year had some turbulent events. Kojima hinted that one event in particular, President Nixon's August 1974 resignation, will factor into the game's storyline.
Kojima will one again be returning to direct the game. "I originally didn't plan to work on it," he said. "But with the game taking place in Costa Rica during 1974, and the theme being nuclear deterrence, the younger developers were having trouble."
"Solid Snake's storyline has ended with MGS4," he continued. "But there's still a lot more when it comes to Naked Snake's storyline. The Cold War was a time where people, neither good nor evil, were manipulated by various factors, and they became good or evil. The same goes for Liquid Snake, and we'll get to see just what happened to him."
According to Kojima, gamers that haven't played MGS3 will have no problem playing Peace Walker. But for fans that have played through and have a liking for The Boss, there will be something surprising. "The two games are set 10 years apart from one another, so they're not directly connected, but there's going to be flashback scenes at times," he said. "At the end, there's going to be a stunning truth."
"Costa Rica is one of the few countries that doesn't have an army of its own," he went on. "So they go and ask Snake for help. There's a kind of a Seven Samurai thing happening there in the beginning. Peace Walker is going to have a relatively straightforward storyline that's easy to understand."
"There's the philosophy of nuclear deterrence," Kojima continued. "America and Russia just kept piling up on their nuclear weapons. And when you have an army, it deters enemies from invading. That's yet another theory of deterrence. Why can't we get rid of nuclear arms and soldiers from the world? I'm sure that everyone's thought about it. And then there's the reality, which I hope players will think about as they're playing Peace Walker. Back then, it was a time when these theories were actually thought to be effective. And now, we're paying the price. We've still got tons of nuclear weapons scattered all over the world."
After a dialogue with guest speakers about how peace and war are like two sides of a coin and how a peace finger gesture also carries the meaning of victory, Kojima pointed out that Peace Walker's game logo may also look like a peace symbol. However, upon closer observation, it's actually a bomber jet.
Kojima then went on to close the presentation after introducing the new characters in Peace Walker and their Japanese voice actors, listed with synopsis below. About two-thirds of the voice recording is already complete for the Japanese version.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Partial Cast::
Kazuhira Miller (Tomokazu Sugita): A very young version of Master Miller; seen in other installments in the franchise.
Paz Ortega Andrade (Nana Mizuki): The game's heroine; she is a mysterious young blond girl with a perm.
Ramon Galves Mena (Hochu Otsuka): Mena initially solicits Snake's help with Costa Rica. He has an artificial-looking red right hand, which Kojima referred to as something that looks like it's from a James Bond film.
Strangelove (Yumi Kikuchi): The second heroine in the game; Strangelove wears a red raincoat and sunglasses. Kojima said that Strangelove is the person that's asking questions to The Boss in Peace Walker's teaser site (and the beginning of the TGS trailer). Kojima avoided giving details on her, except that she's a really "strange love."
Chico (Kikuko Inoue): Though a young boy, Chico is voiced by the actress who played Rosemary in MGS2, The Boss in MGS3, and Sunny in MGS4.
Amanda (Romi Park): Chico's big sister.
Huey (Hideyuki Tanaka): Huey bears a striking resemblance to Otakon in both appearance and voice. As Kojima put it, "He's probably exactly the person that everyone thinks he is. Hideyuki-san (the voice actor) had that cool Otakon voice from MGS4 still going on, so we asked him to return to the older Otakon voice from MGS1; the one that leaked in his pants. "
Coldman (Mugihito): A bald man with a peace symbol on the back of his head, Coldman is one of the key characters in the game.
Cecile Cosima Caminades (Yu Kobayashi): As seen in the TGS trailer, Cecile is a sultry French woman.