My ludicrous theory on The Phantom Pain.

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Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

Let me start this off by saying that I acknowledge that the chances of this theory being true are probably pretty slim. But, I haven't seen anyone else say this yet (not to say that no one else has, I haven't checked the entire internet). Thus, I thought I'd write this out as a blog on the very slim chance that any of this theory ends up being true.

Also, spoilers for the MGS games. The only reason I say this is because I know a very specific user here who hasn't played MGS4 yet, despite my telling him to for YEARS, but that's his problem. He'll beat it eventually.

Anyway, my theory is that the one armed guy seen in The Phantom Pain trailer is not Big Boss like most people think, it is in fact Major Zero. Yes, Major Zero from MGS3.

My first two pieces of evidence for this come from my secondary theory that what is seen in the trailer is in the United Kingdom. Why, you ask? Well, there's a UK flag in the hospital room.

Second, the vehicle seen briefly that the one armed man and bandage face are in has the steering wheel on the right side of it.

Now, obviously a flag and a right steering wheel car are not definite signs that the game is in the UK. But, the various theories about the game have thus far placed the location somewhere in Latin America, or the Caribbean. Costa Rica is the leading candidate, due to the whale tail in the Moby Dick Studio logo looking similar to a piece of land in Costa Rica. BUT, people drive on the right side of the street in Costa Rica, meaning that the cars there are left side steering wheel cars.

Now, I of course realize that there are many other places in Latin America/Caribbean other than Costa Rica such as Cuba, where Ground Zeroes (at least partially) takes place. And there are many nations in the Caribbean that were once British colonies, and do in fact drive on the left side of the street. But based on what I know about the Caribbean, Cuba is the only place with decent hospitals, and they drive on the right hand side in Cuba.

I know what you're thinking, "Moosey, you've really lost it this time." No, sir, I haven't! Remember in the Ground Zeroes trailer when it said that, "From FOX, two phantoms were born"? Okay, my theory is that Ground Zeroes is the story of one of those phantoms (Big Boss), and Phantom Pain is the other phantom, Major Zero. Those who played MGS4 already know a fair amount about the split between those two, and we've seen a fair amount of Big Boss's post MGS3 adventures in Portable Ops and Peace Walker. But we haven't seen anything from Major Zero.

Oh, and the part of my theory that is pure speculation on my part is that I think the soldiers shooting up the hospital are working for Big Boss. Why? Why not? Like I said, speculation.

Of course, the counter arguments to this theory are many. Such as the dude looking a lot like the various Snakes in the series, Zero having his left arm at the end of MGS4 (though, so did Big Boss). But like I said, I think the chances of this being true are slim. I just wanted to throw another theory out there to see what others think of it. Either way, Kojima's got me again, and I am very excited to see more of this game in the coming months, and I hope they really go into the one-armed stuff, and make that a central mechanic.

#1 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

Let me start this off by saying that I acknowledge that the chances of this theory being true are probably pretty slim. But, I haven't seen anyone else say this yet (not to say that no one else has, I haven't checked the entire internet). Thus, I thought I'd write this out as a blog on the very slim chance that any of this theory ends up being true.

Also, spoilers for the MGS games. The only reason I say this is because I know a very specific user here who hasn't played MGS4 yet, despite my telling him to for YEARS, but that's his problem. He'll beat it eventually.

Anyway, my theory is that the one armed guy seen in The Phantom Pain trailer is not Big Boss like most people think, it is in fact Major Zero. Yes, Major Zero from MGS3.

My first two pieces of evidence for this come from my secondary theory that what is seen in the trailer is in the United Kingdom. Why, you ask? Well, there's a UK flag in the hospital room.

Second, the vehicle seen briefly that the one armed man and bandage face are in has the steering wheel on the right side of it.

Now, obviously a flag and a right steering wheel car are not definite signs that the game is in the UK. But, the various theories about the game have thus far placed the location somewhere in Latin America, or the Caribbean. Costa Rica is the leading candidate, due to the whale tail in the Moby Dick Studio logo looking similar to a piece of land in Costa Rica. BUT, people drive on the right side of the street in Costa Rica, meaning that the cars there are left side steering wheel cars.

Now, I of course realize that there are many other places in Latin America/Caribbean other than Costa Rica such as Cuba, where Ground Zeroes (at least partially) takes place. And there are many nations in the Caribbean that were once British colonies, and do in fact drive on the left side of the street. But based on what I know about the Caribbean, Cuba is the only place with decent hospitals, and they drive on the right hand side in Cuba.

I know what you're thinking, "Moosey, you've really lost it this time." No, sir, I haven't! Remember in the Ground Zeroes trailer when it said that, "From FOX, two phantoms were born"? Okay, my theory is that Ground Zeroes is the story of one of those phantoms (Big Boss), and Phantom Pain is the other phantom, Major Zero. Those who played MGS4 already know a fair amount about the split between those two, and we've seen a fair amount of Big Boss's post MGS3 adventures in Portable Ops and Peace Walker. But we haven't seen anything from Major Zero.

Oh, and the part of my theory that is pure speculation on my part is that I think the soldiers shooting up the hospital are working for Big Boss. Why? Why not? Like I said, speculation.

Of course, the counter arguments to this theory are many. Such as the dude looking a lot like the various Snakes in the series, Zero having his left arm at the end of MGS4 (though, so did Big Boss). But like I said, I think the chances of this being true are slim. I just wanted to throw another theory out there to see what others think of it. Either way, Kojima's got me again, and I am very excited to see more of this game in the coming months, and I hope they really go into the one-armed stuff, and make that a central mechanic.

#2 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

The more theories I read about this, the more I realise the MGS universe is fucking insane.

#3 Posted by killacam (1278 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan: i played through them all, but it's so hard to keep track of everything.. could you refresh my memory about major zero in 4? all i remember was that it turned out he took over the patriots after the vents of 3. and i'm not even sure about that anymore. so what does that have to do with FOX and phantoms? oh god.. i need to play them all again...

#4 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@killacam: Major Zero was in charge of FOX in MGS3. Then in MGS4 they talked about how he headed up the Patriots and made the super AIs, and then at the end of the game Big Boss rolls a wheelchair bound Zero in, but at this point Zero has basically become a vegetable, as he can't talk or anything.

What I was trying to say was that after FOX got all broken up at the end of MGS3, Big Boss went one way, and Zero went another, and that I think this may be telling at least part of what happened to him after MGS3.

@Inkerman: Yup. Totally nuts and baffling, but I'm all for that.

#5 Posted by Abendlaender (2889 posts) -

But what is the connection to the Phantom Train from Final Fantasy VI?

#6 Posted by Sarge506 (87 posts) -

The power points in the hospital are 3 pin so it is more than likely based in the UK as I don't think anyone else uses 3 pin (correct me if I'm wrong but I know we Brits are stubborn and proud when it comes to power sockets!). As for the rest of your theory, it's interesting but this is so Snake, not Zero.

#7 Posted by Hunkulese (2875 posts) -

I still think it's Solid Snake.

#8 Posted by killacam (1278 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan: ahhh, i see. that would be really cool actually. thanks for the refresh. considering how many games there have been and how much 'retcon' has been done, it's crazy how much lore there is still left to be explored.

#9 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@Sarge506: There are three pin plugs in the US (and I assume other countries) as well, but a lot of older buildings don't have many of them.

But I think him being one of the Snakes is too obvious. I feel like there has to be something else to this trailer that we've missed, or that it's MGS2 style just straight up lying.

Or I'm just being crazy. I dunno. But nice find on those power outlets.

Conversely, why would Big Boss be in a UK hospital? And he's not any sort of prisoner or anything, because then there would be armed guards that would be able to fight off at least some of the attacking soldiers.

#10 Posted by Sarge506 (87 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan: Well my theory on the location is that this is set in 1972 and he's waking up from the coma where Zero took his DNA for the Les Enfents Terribles project. The Phantom Pain of losing a limb is a metaphor for Big Boss losing part of who he is to the clones. Since Zero is British I would assume it would have taken place in the UK. But already I can think of at least 173 things that disprove my theory!!!!

#11 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@Sarge506: For one thing, Peace Walker takes place in 1974, two years after your theory. Again, I feel like that would result in a lot of armed guards around the building, who would fight off these soldiers who clearly don't care about messing up that hospital.

#12 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

Seems solid logic to think it's in the UK, but no evidence really to indicate that it's Zero and not Big Boss or Solid Snake.

This all seems fishy to me though, since so far the whole riddle has been way too easy to crack for people. Within an hour of that trailer being released, people had already gone oh that's Volgin, oh that title says MGSV, oh that's Big Boss 'cuz scar. If it really ends up that the prevailing theories are true, I'll be disappointed in Kojima. This was the man who made the world think that MGS2 starred Solid Snake!

#13 Posted by Sarge506 (87 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan: But there's no guarantee PP takes place after Peace Walker. All we know is that Ground Zeroes does. Then again, it could be a flashback or, or, heck I'm clutching at straws now!

#14 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@Sarge506: Then PP has to be a prequel to PW as well, because GZ is definitely a sequel to PW, because it references things and characters from PW. And I'd think that they would have said something in PW about how Big Boss was kidnapped, lost his arm, had a claw hand, and then somehow got another organic arm again.

Also, Kojima has said that GZ is a "prologue" to MGS5, which may or may not be PP.

#15 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@Akrid: Exactly! It's all been way too easy, which is why I think the real answer is something totally out there and crazy. Probably not my specific theory, because a lot of it is just speculation, but who knows.

#16 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

It's obviously the grandson of The Pain. How did you guys miss that?

#17 Posted by Marz (5672 posts) -

I think this could be a Liquid Snake game, he was actually in the british SAS for awhile.

#18 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@Marz: Liquid had normal arms in MGS1, and he lost his right arm when Ocelot stole an arm from Liquid.

#19 Posted by Hunkulese (2875 posts) -

@Akrid said:

Seems solid logic to think it's in the UK, but no evidence really to indicate that it's Zero and not Big Boss or Solid Snake.

This all seems fishy to me though, since so far the whole riddle has been way too easy to crack for people. Within an hour of that trailer being released, people had already gone oh that's Volgin, oh that title says MGSV, oh that's Big Boss 'cuz scar. If it really ends up that the prevailing theories are true, I'll be disappointed in Kojima. This was the man who made the world think that MGS2 starred Solid Snake!

It's easy because of how connected everyone is now. If there are any clues at all there are enough people working together that they'll figure it out in no time no matter how difficult Kojima intended it to be.

It's easy to say it's easy because you read a rundown of what everyone else had already figured out but you probably wouldn't have noticed a majority of the connections if you had watched the trailer than turned off the internet.

#20 Posted by Marz (5672 posts) -
@MooseyMcMan said:

@Marz: Liquid had normal arms in MGS1, and he lost his right arm when Ocelot stole an arm from Liquid.

makes about as much sense as Zero having normal arms as well :P
#21 Posted by Gabriel (4082 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

@Marz: Liquid had normal arms in MGS1, and he lost his right arm when Ocelot stole an arm from Liquid.

What if the Phantom Pain takes place after MGS1?

#22 Posted by solidwolf52 (301 posts) -

Maybe Liqiud didn't die? I know he lived on through his arm, but maybe he lived through his body as well.

#23 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@Gabriel said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@Marz: Liquid had normal arms in MGS1, and he lost his right arm when Ocelot stole an arm from Liquid.

What if the Phantom Pain takes place after MGS1?

Then it'd have to be Solid Snake, which would also put it post MGS4. Big Boss was unconscious/mostly dead throughout MGS1 to the end of MGS4, and he doesn't look at old in that trailer as he does at the end of MGS4.

#24 Posted by Stonyman65 (2873 posts) -

My theory (compounded by what others have pointed out on Neogaf)

The guy you are following is the burnt man in Ground Zereos - those bandages are exactly what a burn victim would have

That is (an older) BIG BOSS, or another clone

You are hallucinating to some extent and/or you are still in a coma

I support the whole "Two Phantoms" theory being Zero/Big Boss.

The gunmen could be from Cipher/The Patriots founded by Zero.

My question is, if this is Metal Gear related, does it happen before, after, or concurrently with Ground Zeros?

#25 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

I still believe that the guy actually has an arm, and he just FEELS he doesn't have one. That's why he feels a phantom pain. I also do not understand SHIT about the Metal Gear universe.

#26 Posted by Snail (8662 posts) -

@Sarge506 said:

The power points in the hospital are 3 pin so it is more than likely based in the UK as I don't think anyone else uses 3 pin (correct me if I'm wrong but I know we Brits are stubborn and proud when it comes to power sockets!). As for the rest of your theory, it's interesting but this is so Snake, not Zero.

You guys are stubborn and proud about electricity sockets, the side of the street you drive on, your currency, and God knows what else. Traveling there is kinda like a puzzle on so many levels.

#27 Posted by Hunkulese (2875 posts) -

My ludicrous theory is that this a re imagining of Link's Awakening with Big Boss in the starring role. The game happens concurrently to MGS4 and we finally see what he saw in his coma. Didn't you all see the Wind Fish in the trailer?

#28 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@Stonyman65: If that is burned man, this would have to be before, because he's already taken the bandages off. But Kojima has said that GZ is a prologue, which is where the theory of this being post GZ comes from. Also, the guy (Big Boss or not) looks older here than Big Boss does in GZ, thought maybe he just looks rough because of what happened in the hospital.

#29 Posted by Snail (8662 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

I still believe that the guy actually has an arm, and he just FEELS he doesn't have one. That's why he feels a phantom pain. I also do not understand SHIT about the Metal Gear universe.

I think "Phantom Pain" refers to a symptom (with a similar, or maybe even equal, name) that is the opposite of that: when a limb is gone, but the victim of the severing still feels said limb.

#30 Posted by Stonyman65 (2873 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

@Stonyman65: If that is burned man, this would have to be before, because he's already taken the bandages off. But Kojima has said that GZ is a prologue, which is where the theory of this being post GZ comes from. Also, the guy (Big Boss or not) looks older here than Big Boss does in GZ, thought maybe he just looks rough because of what happened in the hospital.

Yeah. The more I think about everything, the more I want to say it's post-Ground Zeros or directly after. Maybe even Outer Heaven or Zanzibar Land era?

#31 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@Stonyman65: It could very well be post Metal Gear 1, pre-Metal Gear 2, and the reason he is missing the left arm is because of his fight with Solid Snake. It could also be post Metal Gear 2, but I'm pretty sure he was in a coma between that and MGS4, but I could be wrong.

#32 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Japanese drive on that side as well, its probably set in the military camp from Ground Zeroes (which im guessing is just MGS5 aswell), but it probably does involve globe trotting like MGS4.

#33 Edited by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior: In the "extended" trailer/demo thing for Ground Zeroes, Big Boss got into a Jeep and drove it a little, and it definitely had the steering wheel on the left side of the vehicle, so I don't think this is a case of Japanese-ness.

I also want to say the vehicle that Mr. Burned face gets in in the GZ trailer was left side steering wheel.

#34 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

@Stonyman65: It could very well be post Metal Gear 1, pre-Metal Gear 2, and the reason he is missing the left arm is because of his fight with Solid Snake. It could also be post Metal Gear 2, but I'm pretty sure he was in a coma between that and MGS4, but I could be wrong.

What about that kid that is obviously Psycho Mantis

#35 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior: Psycho Mantis was part of Foxhound, which was Big Boss's unit. That's part of why I think it might be Big Boss's men trying to find Zero.

Or maybe the guy is just tripping on painkillers.

#36 Edited by BigBoss1911 (2543 posts) -

@Gabriel said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@Marz: Liquid had normal arms in MGS1, and he lost his right arm when Ocelot stole an arm from Liquid.

What if the Phantom Pain takes place after MGS1?

Then it couldn't be Zero he was too old at this point, and it cant be snake because he never had an anesthetic arm. Is gonna be funny if this game has nothing to do Metal Gear.

#37 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@BigBoss1911 said:

@Gabriel said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@Marz: Liquid had normal arms in MGS1, and he lost his right arm when Ocelot stole an arm from Liquid.

What if the Phantom Pain takes place after MGS1?

Then it couldn't be Zero he was too old at this point, and it cant be snake because he never had an anesthetic arm. Is gonna be funny if this game has nothing to do Metal Gear.

I would love it if it turned out this really was a new IP and had nothing to do with Metal Gear. That's my secondary theory about Phantom Pain.

#38 Posted by Mikey2D (219 posts) -

Firstly I absolutely love the trailer - its great and does it's job because I'd really love to get my hands on this game whatever it may be. I agree its set in the UK, this has been said on a number of websites and blogs of people with the same sort of theory as yourself.

I don't believe however the character is Zero. To be honest - I'm not sure who it is. IF this is Big Boss - this would have to be before Peace Walker. The reason I say this, is that the character model here doesn't feature the large snake like scar which ran the length of Big Boss' upper body in Peace Walker. So this would be before Peace Walker and before Ground Zeroes.

The fiction of MGS as a series gives me a headache if I think about it too much. Still hyped for this game though.

#39 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Snail said:

@MikeGosot said:

I still believe that the guy actually has an arm, and he just FEELS he doesn't have one. That's why he feels a phantom pain. I also do not understand SHIT about the Metal Gear universe.

I think "Phantom Pain" refers to a symptom (with a similar, or maybe even equal, name) that is the opposite of that: when a limb is gone, but the victim of the severing still feels said limb.

That makes more sense. I still suspect there's going to be a twist involving his arm.
#40 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@Mikey2D: It can't be before Peace Walker because Big Boss still has brown hair in Peace Walker, and there's never any mention of his losing an arm.

But I had completely forgotten about his giant chest scar in Peace Walker. Good point!

#41 Posted by Snail (8662 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

@Snail said:

@MikeGosot said:

I still believe that the guy actually has an arm, and he just FEELS he doesn't have one. That's why he feels a phantom pain. I also do not understand SHIT about the Metal Gear universe.

I think "Phantom Pain" refers to a symptom (with a similar, or maybe even equal, name) that is the opposite of that: when a limb is gone, but the victim of the severing still feels said limb.

That makes more sense. I still suspect there's going to be a twist involving his arm.

Maybe it'll be replaced with a high-tech mechanical arm that'll add all sorts of gameplay mechanics and shenanigans.

#42 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Snail said:

@MikeGosot said:

@Snail said:

@MikeGosot said:

I still believe that the guy actually has an arm, and he just FEELS he doesn't have one. That's why he feels a phantom pain. I also do not understand SHIT about the Metal Gear universe.

I think "Phantom Pain" refers to a symptom (with a similar, or maybe even equal, name) that is the opposite of that: when a limb is gone, but the victim of the severing still feels said limb.

That makes more sense. I still suspect there's going to be a twist involving his arm.

Maybe it'll be replaced with a high-tech mechanical arm that'll add all sorts of gameplay mechanics and shenanigans.

If that's the case, i would prefer if it actually was a phantom arm. From my little experience with Metal gear, they already have a vampire, right? So a phantom arm would be even cooler.
#43 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

@Snail said:

@MikeGosot said:

@Snail said:

@MikeGosot said:

I still believe that the guy actually has an arm, and he just FEELS he doesn't have one. That's why he feels a phantom pain. I also do not understand SHIT about the Metal Gear universe.

I think "Phantom Pain" refers to a symptom (with a similar, or maybe even equal, name) that is the opposite of that: when a limb is gone, but the victim of the severing still feels said limb.

That makes more sense. I still suspect there's going to be a twist involving his arm.

Maybe it'll be replaced with a high-tech mechanical arm that'll add all sorts of gameplay mechanics and shenanigans.

If that's the case, i would prefer if it actually was a phantom arm. From my little experience with Metal gear, they already have a vampire, right? So a phantom arm would be even cooler.

Well, it would have to be a nanomachine phantom arm, because that was a nanomachine vampire.

#44 Posted by Snail (8662 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

@MikeGosot said:

@Snail said:

@MikeGosot said:

@Snail said:

@MikeGosot said:

I still believe that the guy actually has an arm, and he just FEELS he doesn't have one. That's why he feels a phantom pain. I also do not understand SHIT about the Metal Gear universe.

I think "Phantom Pain" refers to a symptom (with a similar, or maybe even equal, name) that is the opposite of that: when a limb is gone, but the victim of the severing still feels said limb.

That makes more sense. I still suspect there's going to be a twist involving his arm.

Maybe it'll be replaced with a high-tech mechanical arm that'll add all sorts of gameplay mechanics and shenanigans.

If that's the case, i would prefer if it actually was a phantom arm. From my little experience with Metal gear, they already have a vampire, right? So a phantom arm would be even cooler.

Well, it would have to be a nanomachine phantom arm, because that was a nanomachine vampire.

God, this series is so dumb.

#45 Edited by BigBoss1911 (2543 posts) -

Another thing to credit this to being another one of Kojima's shenanigans, apparently Moby Dick Studios doesn't even exist, also note the flaming whale at the end of the trailer. This whole thing is like trying to understand the story of MGS itself.

#46 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@MooseyMcMan:  I don't even know what to say. Please don't say there's an explanation for The Pain relationship with bees or whatever. There MUST be something supernatural. I mean, they have ghost easter eggs!
#47 Posted by Atwa (638 posts) -
@Inkerman said:

The more theories I read about this, the more I realise the MGS universe is fucking insane.

you realize that NOW? 
#48 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11406 posts) -

@BigBoss1911: But the giant flame whale isn't a sperm whale, which is the type of whale in Moby Dick.

@MikeGosot: You better not go to The Pain's page here on GB then. You'll be disappointed.

There's at least one ghost in MGS3, and there are several characters with non-nanomachine based psychic characters throughout the series.

#49 Posted by Xtrememuffinman (958 posts) -

Actually sounds pretty legit. Kojima is a sucker for little details like the ones you mentioned, and don't forget, he doesn't give a fuck about switching up characters.

#50 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@MooseyMcMan: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Stop doing that to me!

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