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...

134 Comments
Snake looks about as confused as I am.
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.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 134 comments about this story
134 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for bannermanner
bannermanner

484

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

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

6 • 
Avatar image for DutchZombie
DutchZombie

2659

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> At least it's really entertaining nonsense though.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for misternathan
misternathan

93

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

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.

4 • 
Avatar image for jonny_dutch
jonny_dutch

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> Snake became Solid Snake in MG2, before the 3D MGS. Otherwise, good logic!

Upvote • 
Avatar image for ValedictorianXD
ValedictorianXD

252

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@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.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for boricuasnake04
boricuasnake04

379

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

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

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Pheonix985
Pheonix985

30

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

What in the world are we talking about??!! *Head Explodes*

Upvote • 
Avatar image for virtualskill
VirtualSkill

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 5

This article is poorly written. Kojima has SPECIFICALLY said Escape from New York WAS a factor in Designing Solid Snake. What Kojima was trying to say in that tweet is that he had other specific reasons for the titles "solid" and "snake".

12 • 
Avatar image for Boddicker
Boddicker

4458

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 0

God *smh*


Japanese people are weird.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for GamerYnoX
GamerYnoX

656

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

So does MGS2 name Pliskin come from Escape from New York Snake Plissken?? Because Pliskin is Snake so..

Upvote • 
Avatar image for GamerYnoX
GamerYnoX

656

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>They sure look alike, it's hard to believe Kojima wasn't inspired in Kurt Russell to make Snake.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

69

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> he made Naked Snake(Big Boss) look like Snake Plissken. Solid Snake doesn't have an eye patch.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for virtualskill
VirtualSkill

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 5

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> no, this article is incorrect and basing untrue facts off of Kojima's one tweet. Kojima has not denied Solid Snake was made from Escape from New York

Upvote • 
Avatar image for GamerYnoX
GamerYnoX

656

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> So Kojima is trying to say the name Solid Snake didn't come from Snake Plissken but he decided to make Solid Snake look like him in MGS2 and follow with that look.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

2984

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 12

User Lists: 1

I always saw it as Solid: meaning solid under fire, dependable and powerful....Snake: a slithering stealth agent able to infiltrate the most highly guarded facility in broad daylight if need be without being detected and leaving as little a footprint as possible......that was always my take on the codename....


Upvote • 
Avatar image for nparks
nparks

683

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

This is just how Kojima picks up girls at the bar. "Hey baby, wanna see my one-eyed snake? It's naked. I also call it my 'Big Boss'. Wait, where are you going?"

Upvote • 
Avatar image for DanZillaUK
DanZillaUK

332

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> But it sadly ends with a friend screaming "Kojima? KOJIMAAA!!!!!!!!" Inspiration for the game over screen.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Hurvl
Hurvl

2224

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> Pick-up attempt: Solid!

Upvote • 
Avatar image for CriticalCritic
CriticalCritic

44

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

He named him Solid Snake for all the sexual innuendos and to encourage cosplay.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for lostn
lostn

6626

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 88

User Lists: 0

He needs to create a new antagonist boss named Gas Snake who's special attack is his fart. After you've seen the crazy bosses of MGS3, there are no limits.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Hurvl
Hurvl

2224

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@lostn But then he'd be accused of ripping off South Park: the Stick of Truth, which has loads of fart jokes, even a special attack by Cartman where he lights his own fart on fire to burn enemies. He would never let that happen, he has too much integrity for that.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for ValedictorianXD
ValedictorianXD

252

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >>


South Park wasn't the first to do fart jokes and they certainly won't be the last.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

15142

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 102

User Lists: 8

One answer (from Kojima) per day on Gamespot .

"What about Naked Snake , you say .? Don't forget to find that in next episode , tomorrow . Only on Gamespot"

Upvote • 
Avatar image for sudarsanvrs
sudarsanvrs

65

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> There is already an explanation for that

Upvote • 
Avatar image for HapiJoel
HapiJoel

113

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Snake wasn't ripped from Escape From New York? Well thats garbage.


Same hair. Eye patch. Both called Snake. Both called Pliskin. Same stubble. Same Face. Various missions about saving Presidents and big bombs. Same same.


It's baffling they didn't just get Kurt Russell to do the voice overs.

8 • 
Avatar image for 59Hertz
59Hertz

170

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 10

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> I thought the same.I wouldn't mind if Kurt Russell did the voice overs lol.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for HapiJoel
HapiJoel

113

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> kinda makes more sense than Sutherland...

Upvote • 
Avatar image for kingcrimson24
kingcrimson24

824

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 16

User Lists: 1

kojima says this kojima says that ...

2 • 
Avatar image for ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

5667

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 16

User Lists: 0

I always wanted to know the reasoning behind that. Thanks, Kojima.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Metalnoid
Metalnoid

1314

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 0

GS needs a new category... "Kojima says"

18 • 
Avatar image for keenj41
keenj41

28

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Don't forget about Iroquois Pliskin!

Upvote • 
Avatar image for nsa4live
NSA4LIVE

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Now I want him to tell us the meaning behind "Naked Snake"

Upvote • 
Avatar image for phoenix1289
phoenix1289

898

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> The meaning of naked snake was explained in Metal Gear Solid 3. Snake for the obvious stealth reasons, Naked because he was being sent in with nothing and had to procure his own equipment.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Optimist_Pryme
Optimist_Pryme

44

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 26

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> I was hoping more for his insight on a toilet-snake... maybe we can do a Super Mario/Metal Gear Solid cross-over... where the point of the game is to plumber the terrorists into submission. ;)

Upvote • 
Avatar image for ferna1234
ferna1234

624

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 6

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> i think is the same meaning behind the various concepts like "leather cigar" or "bundle of veins" or "flesh shanker", "oathmeal pistol"

2 •