Why is Metal Gear Solid's Snake called Solid Snake? Kojima explains

Snake is the most appropriate symbol for something sneaky, and Metal Gear Solid is a sneaking mission...

Snake looks about as confused as I am.

Just why is Solid Snake called Solid Snake? Contrary to popular belief, series creator Hideo Kojima has said that the name didn't actually come about from Escape from New York star Snake Plissken.

Kojima wrote on Twitter to explain the code name Snake in the original Metal Gear. "The reason I used Snake as code name in MG was Snake was the most appropriate symbol of living thing that hides his presence and sneaks without any noise."

"The reason I didn't make any specific snake like cobra, anaconda, viper was because the protagonist is the player," Kojima explained. And what about Solid? "The reason I use Solid was to give opposite impression of soft image," he said.

Moving on to the other Snake characters in the series, Kojima first explained the thinking behind Solid Snake's cloned brother Liquid Snake in 1998's iconic Metal Gear Solid, created from the DNA of Big Boss--known in prequel title Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater as Naked Snake.

"Like of all endings of any series are, the appearance of strongest enemy was a must in MGS. It's Snake who can surpass the Snake. Thus I brought about 'clone'. Solid vs Liquid. That is MGS."

Kojima also went on to explain the naming behind Solidus Snake in 2001's Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

"As to develop sequel, the 3rd snake was needed," he said. "Since both Solid & Liquid express state, means same true state. Naturally the next would be gas, but gas snake is like gas human, not handsome name."

"So I borrowed from physics terms of "solidus/liquidus". Solidus is not state but implies the boundary of liquid and solid."

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes will be released on March 18. If you want to know more about Big Boss' backstory, you can check out GameSpot's primer. You can also read Peter Brown explaining some of the rumours behind the title, and the reality of the finished game.

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Discussion

120 comments
tightwad34
tightwad34

Kojima sure likes attention, and patronizing and confusing us.

randybumgardner
randybumgardner

this guys a nutter.  i bet he has steaming pots of potions and crazy hair.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I can't believe for a second Escape From New York had absolutely zero influence on the name, not when Kojima's the big movie fan that he is. Plus, maybe it's just a poor translation, but this explanation seems like a bit of a stretch.

ksbwings
ksbwings

The sneak MGS is hinted for PC...So, there is a chance for PC ver.

Thumb Up if it is really true....

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Kojima should remake the 3 first MGS games. 


It would be awesome to fight Big Boss in HD.

deadpen
deadpen

Cause they liked Tom T. Hall's Sneaky Snake song?

hystavito
hystavito

Is this the first time this info has been revealed to the public?

sherberttcat
sherberttcat

Everything the man says is some artsy bullshit lie.

breadisgood
breadisgood

It would be nice to read something Kojima says with a proper translation one day...

Then again, he just talks crap most of the time anyway so I'm not too bothered.

Also, they could have called Solidus Plasma Snake, gas isn't the only other option, although Solidus probably sounds better still anyway, I just always felt it was too close to Solid. I don't think he should have had a Snake codename anyway, he didn't seem important enough to have that link with Solid and Liquid.

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

I didn't waste my time reading the article. Solid Snake got his name from Kurt Russel's character Snake Plisken from Escape From New York.

s_h_a_d_o
s_h_a_d_o

"... series creator Hideo Kojima has said that the name didn't actually come about from Escape from New York star Snake Plissken."

And that eye-patch? Purely coincidental. :|

ant19831983
ant19831983

Whatever you say, Mr Hideo "Retcon" Kojima.

Barighm
Barighm

They should do an HD remaster of MGS. Last game I really enjoyed.

Bregzeinkul
Bregzeinkul

Because Kojima is obsessed with crap? Remember Johnny?

Xatsuna
Xatsuna

There are 4 snakes. Only 1 of them is original and it is BIG BOSS! 3 other Snakes are clones.

Vambran
Vambran

Metal Gear = Escape From New York.

Snatcher = Blade Runner.

fadersdream
fadersdream

20 years ago he said it was a combination of Snake Pliskin and Snake Eyes... I guess time changes everything.

steelmouth
steelmouth

Cool names and I love the idea of the Snakes coming in three besides that I didn't get isn he said but it all sure sound cool 

boricuasnake04
boricuasnake04

Kojima is part of a master race that ruled the Earth a long time ago... best developer in the world Kojima by the way not Konami.

CaptainBerserk
CaptainBerserk

When the master speaks you kids should shut the fuck up.

chyll
chyll

kojima seems like to talk a lot these days.

bannermanner
bannermanner

Hideo Kojima's ideas only make sense to Hideo Kojima. The guy has elevated nonsense to an artform.

misternathan
misternathan

Revelation!  The MGS series' storyline is convoluted because he didn't know where he was going with the story, and had to tie disparate made-up things together.


Shock!  Kojima is retroactively denying the obscenely obvious, now that his gameworld and characters have outgrown a dated movie reference.


Oh, and also:  "Solid" is also a rough translation of "three dimensional".  Metal Gear Solid, aka "Metal Gear 3D" was where the first instance where Snake became "solid".


Kojima: Japan's Peter Molyneux.

bwvictorious
bwvictorious

@PlatinumPaladin
In metal Gear 2 when raiden actually finds Snake he calls himself Plissken.
Maybe it wasnt intentionally named after the movie but now it is.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@sherberttcat He kind of reminds me of that Peter Molyneux(sp?), only a lot smarter, if that makes any sense.

12Reaca21
12Reaca21

@Mr_Big_Boss  not sure if your being sarcastic and actually did read it but it stated "Contrary to popular belief, series creator Hideo Kojima has said that the name didn't actually come about from Escape from New York star Snake Plissken."   Not that i have any idea what the Snake Plisken is as I've never seen it..  : )

BruceWayneJr
BruceWayneJr

@Vambran  I guess those movies are old enough that Kojima doesn't think we'll remember? Ugh, I thought he was better than this.

bannermanner
bannermanner

He's a master of talking your ear off without saying a single damn thing.

ValedictorianXD
ValedictorianXD

@misternathan  


You should do more research. Kojima actually clarified most of those points but you know...journalism is journalism.

That being said, I doubt this is an issue for you. You come across as though Kojima killed your puppies.

boricuasnake04
boricuasnake04

@misternathan Kojima make Peter look like a failing freshman art student. please dont compare the teacher/master to his Padawan its insulting. lol

rhymesmatter
rhymesmatter

@PlatinumPaladin @jeddawey Lol no he means Metal Gear (Snes) Metal Gear 2 (Snes) and Metal Gear Solid (PSX) although the last one DOES not include Big Boss in any way so in a nut shell he clearly meant the first two games in SNES

jeddawey
jeddawey

@PlatinumPaladin @dr_jashuganI think perhaps he means the metal gear (big robots).

anyway almost all of the previous released are available HD on the PS3 now. physical and digital.

Goron24
Goron24

@12Reaca21 @Mr_Big_Boss  He can state all that he wants but one of the guys in MGS is named plissken and snake is the main characters codename.. come onnnnnnn

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@dr_jashugan @PlatinumPaladin  You're the one with the knowledge, how about you share it? Don't be lazy.

On a serious note though, Big Boss doesn't even appear in Metal Gear Solids 1 and 2, and of course you play as the man in 3. You certainly don't fight him.

Is it safe for me to assume you've simply had problems distinguishing Metal Gears 1 and 2 from the Solid chapters of the franchise?