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Kojima's thoughts about the novelization and the MGS series

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Oct 25th, 2015
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  2. Inbefore >Leddit
  4. Walk Out to Winter
  6. Left a blank space, the story of eternity
  8. Hideo Kojima
  10. Language remains even if existence vanishes. That is some kind of eternalness one obtains. That is my hope.
  12. I am certainly able to say for sure that the lines from this book point to the novelization of the latest work in the MGS series "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain". The author Hitori Nojima has succeeded in the sublimation of the story of eternity, which can only be set in games, a legend that had no choice but to end, with expressions only possible in novels. Covering a range of 28 years, through language that holds a sense of eternity, we have been left with an existence that lose called games. Certainly, he has taken a farewell coupled with a negative ache, and changed it into a positive feeling called hope. The moment I finished reading this book, an unexpected deep emotion along with a sensation of abundant gratitude welled up in my chest. More than a quarter century, the sadness of a story ending that came to be created by staking one's life is swept away, that to me had certainly been a great hope. Even during the time I was creating the game, I thought the novelization of "MGSV" was impossible. No matter what kind of authors in the world there are, they would probably reject writing it. Even assuming they did finish writing it, there would probably be big differences from the game. The reason for that is simple. It's because this time, "MGSV" was not a linear, on-rails game like before. Because the games rated before in the MGS series were cinematic action games, heavily framed adventure stories. Within a limited time frame, the player advances on interactive rails laid down by the creators. Thus, reception of a tale within the confines of a limited sphere in what we call storytelling. That was MGS. For this reason, fascinating novelizations were possible.
  14. However, this time a "free sneaking" open-world idea was used. The player freely runs about a vast area. The timeframe, route, equipment, situation, and development is all different depending on the player. No, the player can clear the mission content any way he or she likes is the selling point.
  16. But, the MGS fans will not be satisfied with that. They follow there, and MGS as a story, and absolutely must turn it over. There is a degree of freedom, furthermore a MGSness, that is to say there has to be a genuine story. As a last resort, I referred to the organization of TV series. One mission as one story, for example, even missing several episodes (playing out of order), as a series it is similar to the large flow of events being transmitted to the player. The background and character's detailed establishments and foreshadowing was dispersed and arranged into tapes and codec calls. If necessary to the player, it was made so he or she could actively put together the underplot. The player would not be put on a rail and be able to progress the cinematic story by watching cut scenes all in one gulp after passing a certain point like before. This is because even though the cut scenes has been a selling point before, it has become the main source of the obstruction of freedom. And so, the traditional method of novelization cannot be used. From the beginning it was made to be a unique special composition that could only be understood in a high freedom game. That is what must be tailored into a first-class adventure novel. Furthermore, without the story or world view changing. Is that kind of thing possible? And who could even achieve such a great enterprise?
  18. So, out of all the choices, the one picked was the mysterious unknown writer Hitori Nojima. If you read his debut work “Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker”, anyone is expected to grasp a glimpse of his ability. Peace Walker’s story is also linear but, the game’s composition is in mission form, and was not fit for novelization. Nevertheless, the poured his knowledge, talent, passion, and love of Metal Gear into the novel, a magnificent thing which far surpassed expectations. And then to continue with 2 works. Hitori Nojima as an author, now on sale from the publisher Kadokawa, bloomed the “Metal Gear Solid Substance” and “Metal Gear Solid Substance 2”, and climbed even higher. It’s not to say a level where he ran up several sets of stairs. With these two books, he pierced through another dimension, and suddenly transformed into a monster of a writer. No doubt those who already read them understand. Honestly, not even I ever thought the new author “the fan Hitori”, would make it this far. Truly it was a happy miscalculation. The substance series is, a story that connects MGS’s “Shadow Moses Incident” and MGS2’s “Big Shell Incident”, and greatly supplements the Metal Gear world. As long as it’s Hitori Nojima, there’s no doubt he could take the MGSV game born as a “free sneaking” and make it over as the novel MGSV. The moment I read Substance’s galley proof, I was convinced. And thus, there was no mistake. “The fan Hitori”, once a player now as a writer, has taken a story of loss and rewritten it as a thing of immortality. There could probably not exist a person who would not be deeply moved by this baton’s connection.
  20. Humans invented papyrus, invented printing technique, invented means of communication, even now we are trying to implement communication that covers the whole world with computer networking. However, all of that is by the virus we call language, using humans and making us implement it. For the purpose of covering the whole world far and wide, language made us invent it.
  22. As the game called Metal Gear was born, the young fans Project Itoh and Hitori Nojima uplifted into novelists, and thus by means of their words, entrusted their futures to their written down hopes. If it’s the case that these copy cat’s succession is fate, then these 28 years of me facing the fans is supposed to not have been in vain. You could say the book completed by “The fan Hitori” is a miracle, but there are still discrepancies with the game. There is an intel agent which makes an appearance in the book that does not appear in the game. Leonard Ruin. His role beautifully connects not only Ocelot, Kaz, and Snake, but also the jigsaw plot that was placed for the use of missions. An intellectual hippy, yet self-proclaimed revolutionary warrior that is called a writer, from the 70’s to the 80’s subculture and as far as the state of the world, like Akira Ikegami, has explained it in a way that is easy to understand. While the anime-like deformed characters of MGS are plentiful, his name and appearance (Ruin = ruins) might not leave much of an impression but, with his novel-like role and individuality, he really livens up “V”. In the second half, there are even scenes I can’t read without tears.
  24. Not just limited to the novel “MGSV”, throughout the series of MGS, George Orwells’s “1984”, Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”, William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”, and Joseph Conrad’s “The Heart of Darkness” have been a big influence. Hitori Nojima has with astonishing insight and knowledge, pleasantly inserted that great erudition into the middle of the story. In 1984, Steve Jobs at his young age of 28, unveiled the commercial for Mac PC (directed by Ridley Scott, certainly a parody of “1984”) which is also referenced. In 1984 in Japan, the Famicon (NES) that was presented the previous year had also gained popularity. All of it was the dawn of a new digital age, the beginning of that explosion “ground zeroes”, the same year that Orwell predicted the information controlled society. If we abbreviate BIGBOSS, it becomes “BB”, the same as 1984’s “Big Brother”. Still this is after the fact but, Hitori Nojimia as the intention of the original author, thoroughly supplemented the details like a puzzle.
  26. Still there is this kind of description.
  28. As Leonard always says, the motherbase should become the Enterprise. Regardless of race, sex, earthling, or alien from another planet, any kind of existence can ride on the spaceship. The source of that idea was the whaling ship “Pequod”. For those who have no place to go, it’s their Outer Heaven. This is an allegory for when I gather the staff and have them listen. Of course “Kojima Productions” was the Enterprise but, now as we have no place to go, is not a spaceship, but maybe a whaling ship would be more correct. Somehow or another, Hitori Nojima’s strength of secret intel appears to be quite a thing. In addition to Cyprus, Afghanistan, and Africa at that time in the 80’s, world affairs were inserted into the middle of the entertainment. Just reading this book one is supposed to be able to learn quite a bit about the world’s history and social conditions. There is no doubt that the players who played the game will deeply enjoy this even more.
  30. Furthermore, the components that span 50 years in the Metal Gear saga were carefully incorporated. It is a structured in a way that will get across to even those who are reading this book as their first Metal Gear. Those who have interest in the book, wouldn’t it be great to play the games and read connected novels, follow the saga with things that complement the series?
  32. From here on there are going to be some spoilers so I want you to be careful.
  34. This work is a story about people who have lost their companions and their past. They vow revenge, and try to take back the things they’ve lost. But, as the story enters the middle stage, the more they try to take back, the more they lose everything. Those who assembled for revenge are lost one by one. That is to say, by the chain of revenge, in the end nothing is left. This work is not a “phantom pain”, but is a story of “loss”. More than the final MGS, it is a story about how readers who have lost their heroes and legends, afterwards how they face their “phantom pains”. Readers who have parted with snake, from now on how will they live? How will they replace this pain with a positive? That is also a point in the book. It is like a legend, a hero, even like the sun.
  36. Everyone is copying you. Everyone is thinking they want to become you. A legendary mercenary, a great person of legend, people trying to become Big Boss. Or possibly, to become the Snake of hatred as a demon of revenge. This has nothing to do with your true meaning. You are the sun. If you look straight at it, your eyes are crushed. But listen, you who are called the sun, soon you must absolutely set. Anywhere is fine. Go shine over there now! Illuminate the world over there! That is your role.
  38. Metal Gear was born as a game in 1987. From there 28 years, within me the circle of the Metal Gear story has been closed with the latest release “MGSV”. A respected author, Dennis Lehane with the popular series “Patrick Kenzie & Angela Gennaro” declared that at the peak of his popularity “No matter what kind of series it is, there is a time that it must end”, and he himself closed the curtain. No matter how popular a series is, someday the end will come. However, that is by no means a parting. Even if you can’t touch it, you can feel the influence of that story. A story is a thing without shape. Assuming physically nothing is there, nothing to be lost. As long as stories and legends are desired, they will continue forever. The brilliance will never vanish. It’s in everyone’s heart. It is not always true that saying “goodbye to a hero” ignites a phantom pain. By saying “goodbye to a hero”, you can for eternity leave behind lost joy as a blank space.
  40. The reality of life? Doesn’t exist. Reality can only be conveyed with words. But that is only a “story about reality”. We can’t directly touch the sun. We can only bathe in its light. But thanks to that we are alive. As a legendary mercenary, you are Big Boss. What everyone is looking at is not the sun. It is the light.
  42. But what exactly does it mean to say “goodbye to a hero”?
  44. It is that one answer that Hitori Nojima has written down in the beginning. Chapter 1 “Revenge” in section 1 of 2, there is a depiction of the song “Walk Out to Winter” playing on the radio from Aztec Camera’s 1983 album “high land, hard rain”.
  46. It was the first hearing the song I but, in the middle of all the songs that were playing, somebody’s… due to noise it couldn’t be heard, face peeling off from the wall, but there nothing else to post there, which is something like the meaning of the words that were sung.
  48. The details are not written down, but if you read the lyrics you would give consent.
  50. “Face peeling off from the wall” is from the punk band “The Clash” vocalist, a Joe Strummer poster. From the beginning, rock was supposed to be for younger people, but before long it became difficult to understand. As a revolt to that, punk rock was born. Out of all the punk bands, The Clash was one of the most supported. One of the main members of Aztec Camera, Roddy Frame who was born in 1964, handled the compositional songwriting. The music he played along with Strummer was supposedly heroic.
  52. However, that poster of the hero peeled off the wall. Afterwards there is nothing more to post. A blank space.
  54. When that song was first presented, Roddy Frame was 19 years old. Sure for him, punk rock already did not belong to him anymore. That went from up until then a closed world(punk craze), and tried to jump to a new music, inherit the hero’s will, this time I will become the legend and determine the song. And thus later on, it became know that the songs they formed were a new genre called neo acoustic.
  56. But when they were making those songs, all that was before their eyes was a blank space. When they tried to walk, there was a frozen winter. Despite that, face the coldness of winter, go towards the blank space.
  58. There is a blank space, but it will not be filled. In that blank space there is always a hero. Because there is a blank space, you can advance ahead. It is this blank space exactly that is “V”.
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