New Kojima/Konami teaser reveals 'Mask'

[UPDATE] After torturing Metal Gear Solid fans for weeks with cryptic hints and countdowns, yet another mysterious site surfaces. Is this the long-awaited Snatcher remake? Kojima countdown clock not expiring on Monday, June 1 at 3 p.m.

So far, Konami's publicity department has had a pretty sadistic 2009. After famed designer Hideo Kojima teased "the next MGS" at the end of his 2009 Game Developers Conference keynote address, his publisher partner rolled out a drip-teaser campaign that has bordered on torturous. After teasing a big Kojima Productions announcement as coming May 18, Konami launched a teaser page bearing a countdown timer that ended three days later with...another countdown timer. This was followed five days later with one more countdown timer, accompanied by an image of MGS series character Big Boss, which is set to expire at 3 p.m. on Monday, June 1-the day before the Electronic Entertainment Expo kicks off. It was originally set for the same time on Sunday, May 31.

Invasion of the E3 Snatchers?

Now the teaser site has changed again, revealing yet another teaser site for what might be an all-new IP. Sometime this week, the Kojima Productions logo in the lower right-hand side of the page was obscured by what looks like a ghostly face. The face also links to the URL www.konami.jp/kojima_pro/mask/, which yields a black page with the Konami and Kojima logos in the top two corners. The center of the page is filled with a metallic mask of a feminine face reminiscent of the classic silent film Metropolis, with a second face in the motif on the mask's forehead.

Though the information in the HTML only says "KOJIMA PRODUCTION 'Mask,'" there is no shortage of theories about what the teaser site is for. Besides the obvious prospect of an all-new IP, the most common hypothesis is that the game being teased is a reboot of Snatcher, the Kojima-designed digital-comic adventure released on various platforms in the late '80s and early '90s. The game's main antagonists are a race of "bioroids"--artificial biomechanical beings like the characters in the anime Ghost in the Shell--leading to speculation that the mask on the page may belong to one.

Another reason to suspect that the mask page is for Snatcher is that Kojima himself has said he is working on a remake. In a 2007 interview with Famitsu spotted by gaming blog Joystiq, Grasshopper Manufacture chief Goichi Suda confirmed that his long-germinating collaboration with Kojima, "Project S," was indeed based on both Snatcher and a radio drama inspired by it. "I think I will call it 'Snatchers.' I can't talk about the details of the story at this point," he reportedly told the Japanese gaming magazine.

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