Hideo Kojima’s new podcast isn’t for everyone, so thankfully it’s not the only place we can turn to for development stories from the games he’s worked on. Like this one about a very tedious idea for Metal Gear Solid 3.
The latest episode of Did You Know Gaming—narrated by none other than Snake’s original voice actor David Hayter—is all about content that has been cut from the series, drawing upon information released in old interviews (big love to the quotes from Hyper) and books. There’s stuff on weapons that were too zany, story elements that never made it, and game sequences that were cut then turned into cutscenes.
The funniest and most interesting part of the video, though, is the part about a boss battle that was planned for Metal Gear Solid 3, made it into testing then ended up so bad the developers started booing Kojima over it. Here’s the story, via Kotaku AU:
The story goes that, during production on Metal Gear Solid 3, Kojima had become infatuated with the works of novelist Stephen Hunter, whose books The Master Sniper and Point of Impact, were about snipers embedded in the mountains, gradually trying to pick one another off. Kojima’s idea was that Snake’s boss fight with The End would be as close to a real-life sniper fight as humanly possible, and would be played out over two real-time weeks. The player would need to use their surroundings to remain hidden and silent, look for clues in a huge area to identify where The End was hiding and, once he was located, set up the perfect shot. Again, this would play out over two actual weeks.
The crazy thing is that this boss fight actually made it to a prototype stage. It was, at one point, a real part of a playable build. However, when it came time to test the fight, no one who played through it was able to find a trace of the old man. Numerous players spent hours looking for The End and turned up nothing, effectively impeding their progress through the game. The team found the fight so infuriatingly dull that they began booing Kojima, convincing him to give up on the idea entirely.
I want to believe that this is the total experience of working with Kojima, compressed into a single anecdote. You can watch the full video below; maybe you know some of this already, or maybe, like me, you knew almost none of it and it’s 42 minutes of really interesting stuff!