Kojima explains why Metal Gear Solid story is so...complicated

Hideo Kojima admits he did not have the entire story put together when he made the first game.


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
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The Metal Gear Solid franchise is well-known for its complicated story that many say is as complex or even moreso than the twist-heavy TV show Lost. But series creator Hideo Kojima did not intend for it to be this way; in fact, he told Game Informer in a new interview that ideally a story should be simple, at least on the surface.

"Having a complex story is not my intention at all," Kojima said. "It's nothing I ever shoot for or try to do. Ideally what I want to do is, for example, make a story that’s seems very simple, it's very easy to understand on the surface, and once you zoom in there's a lot of details and a lot of things that you can see there. But overall, ideally I try to stay within a story that once you zoom out the main story is rather simple."

Part of the reason the overarching series narrative might be so complicated is because Kojima did not have the entire plot assembled when he made the first game, he said. This can lead to story inconsistencies, like the ones Kojima previously warned Metal Gear Solid V players to expect.

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"When you do that sometimes the veins [of stories] get lost, change, or get stuck. From there I need to create new bloodlines so the story can keep going," he said. "One thing that I try not to do is sacrifice certain things just so I can keep the original story intact. Sometimes I need to accept these inconsistencies in order to be able to achieve what I want for the story."

Game Informer's wide-ranging interview with Kojima also reveals that the industry veteran is good friends with Pan's Labyrinth and Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro. In fact, the last time Kojima saw del Toro, the pair went out to sing karaoke. Kojima said del Toro was very interested in singing Japanese anime songs.

"That's what we were singing," Kojima said.

Asked if Kojima would like to work with del Toro in a professional--and presumably non-singing capacity--someday Kojima said, "Yeah, that would be great." del Toro is currently shopping around his game project InSane, after it was canceled in the THQ bankruptcy fallout.

Finally, Kojima, who is nearly 50, said the Metal Gear Franchise sometimes feels "a bit heavy to carry" and "difficult to handle." As such, he said would like to pass the reins on the franchise to a new director, but so far he has had no luck in this regard, he explained.

"Ideally I would like to step out from the Metal Gear franchise as a producer and dedicate myself to other games," Kojima said. "So far that has proven to be a bit difficult."

If he were able to leave the Metal Gear Solid franchise behind, Kojima said he would like to make games with an "indie game taste" to them, or really anything that's different than a big-budget game.

Next up for Kojima is Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, which launches on March 18 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. The game is a prequel to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which Kojima said features a game world that is 200 times larger than that of Ground Zeroes.

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