That kind of sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon. So in my obsessive compulsive need to make connections and comprehend the insanely awesome (and insanely insane) story of Metal Gear Solid, I typed up a bunch of thoughts I had on the Phantom Pain trailer. Then I realized I had nowhere to share this, but then I remembered I had a Giant Bomb account. So I decided to post this here. If this isn’t the right place or anything, I apologize (I’ll use the “I’m new here” excuse) and ask that people who are far more competent than I figure it out. So this is basically the questions I had and my theories for my own questions. Also spoilers if you haven't played the other four games?
Question: What is the story of Metal Gear Solid 5?
Theory: I think it’s very possible that this game could be sort of like the origin story to the modern FOXHOUND unit as well as Solid Snake.
In the trailer we see many different established Metal Gear characters. The man on the horse riding Big Boss to safety is probably Revolver Ocelot (cowboy boots and duster kind of seal it for me), and the little kid in the gas mask is probably a young Psycho Mantis. They both have worked for the KGB in the past, so it makes sense that they would somehow be in league with each other. The giant flaming whale and fiery pegasus may just be illusions Psycho Mantis is projecting over the conflict to distract the soldiers assassinating the hospital patients.
We also see Kazuhira Miller injured on a hospital table when Big Boss goes into his coma. He then asks about the condition of the man on the other hospital table (perhaps the bandaged man given that he is helping Big Boss escape the facility later on?). If the bandaged man is an existing character, my guess is that it would be Frank Jaeger, or Gray Fox. Given that Big Boss has a knack for rescuing Gray Fox repeatedly, it would be poetic in a sense if Gray Fox helped Big Boss escape. This is a bit sketchy admittingly, as if Gray Fox is the POV character in that cutscene and the guy with the bandaged face, I’m not sure why he would be in the same hospital as a comatose Big Boss for nine years.
So know that in the Phantom Pain, Big Boss wakes up from a nine year coma. Considering Solid, Liquid, and Solidus Snake were cloned by Major Zero against Big Boss’ will it is very possible during this coma is when the Les Infantes Miserables project is created. We could very well see a seven or eight year old Solid Snake by the end of this game. This makes sense as Ocelot was against the Patriots decision to clone Snake in the first place, and the only man he had ever shown loyalty to was Big Boss. I’m sure he would be down to bust Snake out of the facility where he was being harvested for his DNA. Considering Frank Jaeger has a history of being tested on as well, it is very possible that he was the victim of similar genetic experiments. Adding to this theory is the Union Jack in both trailers, and Major Zero was both a member of the British SAS and M16.
Question: What is XOF?
Theory: XOF is a terrorist group comprised from former members of FOX. “The Burned Man”, their leader, is Gene from Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
The latter is more out there than the former mind you. Metal Gear Solid has a proud tradition of having a “freak” squad of soldiers from a military branch (that conveniently make for good boss fights) that have become a terrorist threat. The “Sons of Big Boss” from Metal Gear Solid are former Foxhound (and by extension US Military). “Dead Cell” was a military branch of the NAVY before they defected and became terrorists. The "Cobra Unit" was an elite task force that helped the Allied powers win World War II before serving a terrorist in Colonel Volgin during the Cold War. It makes sense that XOF would be a terrorist threat comprised of former FOX soldiers.
So who is this burned man who seems to be the leader of XOF? If it's an established character, I'd have to guess the former leader of FOX, Gene, from Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. How is he still alive? Metal Gear Solid anime bullshit.
Question: What is Ground Zeroes? What is the Phantom Pain?
Theory: Well Kojima has kind of stated already that Ground Zeroes is the open world part of the game. Presumably the first part of the game is going to be more like MGS 4, then sort of open up and become more of an open world stealth shooter as you progress through the game. I also think however that Ground Zeroes is sort of the final part of the Big Boss quadrilogy.
You can view Metal Gear Solid 1-4 as it’s own sort of quadrilogy. The first game is a sort of remake and sequel of the original Metal Gear, MGS 2 is a continuation of the conspiracy story of the first game, the third game is the origin story of the threats implied by both games, and MGS 4 is the neat bow in which all plot lines are resolved. The series works like that.
However, you can also think of Metal Gear Solid 3 as a sort of stand alone game, with Portable Ops and Peace Walker being sequels to that particular story. If you think of it like that, Ground Zeroes could be the fourth in the Big Boss series of games thematically, wrapping up Big Boss’ story leading up to the first Metal Gear. That said the game is called Metal Gear Solid 5, so like Metal Gear Solid 3 it is probably important to the overall story. Metal Gear Solid 3 basically gave faces and names to the otherwise abstract concept known as the Patriots, as well as humanizing Big Boss who had been this posthumous shadow lingering over the story.
If I had to guess, Metal Gear Solid Five is going to be the bridge between the modern and past era of Metal Gear Solid titles. The game that brings the narrative full circle.
But again, I’m confused as fuck to whether they’re two different games or not.
TLDR version: MGS5 is the origin of Solid Snake and the modern Foxhound unit, with some dude from the PSP game as the bad guy.
Also hello Giant Bomb community. I've lurked here for a while and you guys seem okay.