Follow

    Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

    Game » consists of 19 releases. Released Sep 01, 2015

    The final main entry in the Metal Gear Solid series bridges the events between Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and the original Metal Gear, as Big Boss wakes up from a nine-year coma in 1984 to rebuild his mercenary paradise.

    The "silent" protagonist and how it just doesn't work here.

    Avatar image for flameboy84
    flameboy84

    945

    Forum Posts

    53

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    For the most part I can't take issue with much of the story telling in this game so far (I just reached motherbase for the first time and Ocelot is waiting to show me the ropes). The opening an extremely tense memoriable affair. During this scene I almost felt like you could attribute Big Bosses relatively quite demeanor as him being in shock or the affects of everything going on around him.

    As the game goes further and they leave that madness behind )I'm still not really sure what to make of all that....am I supposed to know who was consumed by fire and causing all that mayhem or is it all in his head after the end of Ground Zeroes? Who knows.) is where I start to have problems.

    During the first episode and your interactions with other key characters it becomes clear to me that this dialogue was not written or intended to be used for a silent protagonist, Big Boss is asked loaded open ended questions that he simply stars blankly in response to. One such instance occurs in a an helicopter ride where everything that has occurred over the 9 years of Big Bosses coma, how Mother Base was wrecked and taken away etc... Big Boss didn't reply at all. He doesn't reply until the same character is being carted on a bed in a much more open scene with other characters where his reply wasn't even necessary.

    Now I have no problem with exploring new methods of story telling and if they genuinely felt that they needed to move away from huge cut scenes then so be it. Peace Walker did this to some extent with it's more open gameplay style but it still had 3 hours + of cutscenes. I feel like there is plenty of story telling in there still from what I've played of the opening moments, just it's delivered in some different ways. The binoculars zooming and providing intel works well, the tapes for me are hit and miss, you look at something like Bioshock and how much it fleshed out that world but you still had a sense of the story without those audio logs. I don't think it is ideal to have huge parts of dialogue locked behind collectibles. However what I do object to is Big Boss being an almost silent protagonist in a script not designed for it.

    I feel writing for a silent protagonist is a very nuanced form of writing, the Zelda series has got by for many years by it's characters assuming answers from Link and also by outright just not giving Link a voice and allowing the player to pick dialogue choices without them being portrayed on screen. The modern iterations of the Fallout games have just not had your character have an audible voice but still having agency within the world through what they say to other characters. Dragon Age Inquisition is the evolution of a franchise that started with a similar situation then had an actual character your played in 2 and then finally settled on letting you creating a character that could ultimately be bland and you felt like you were applying your own role play on to, for example my Inquisitor took no shit but would still lend a sympathetic ear to those who deserved it. The we have Half Life a series that effectively defines the silent protagonist Gordon Freeman is talked at a lot and has no freedom of his own but because of how excellently the surrounding cast are written it works, the same even goes for how Borderlands work although it papers over the cracks somewhat with it's humour.

    For me Metal Gear's writing hasn't evolved in anyway, the dialogue is still written as if someone should be replying and for what has been billed as a defining chapter in the Big Boss story I'm struggling to see how this transformation will be portrayed in a manner that does it justice.

    I get it people complained there were too many cut scenes and too many info dumps and I feel like there were other ways around this than to just cut back (majorly) and have tapes.

    I've head the "oh Keifer was too expensive for multiple sessions and pick up recordings" If that was the case then it was a massive mistake casting him as he brings nothing new to the table. I'm all for recasting roles if necessary so if Hayter wasn't going to be part of this then fine but they could have at least brought in someone who you could record enough to do the character justice."

    Avatar image for oursin_360
    OurSin_360

    6652

    Forum Posts

    0

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    #2  Edited By OurSin_360

    ...

    Avatar image for mfjubes
    MFJubes

    81

    Forum Posts

    10

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    I dunno, I'm only a little farther than you and I don't mind it so much. If you're jonsing for some Big Boss Talkin' Atcha time, the cassettes (a stand-in for codec convos) are better about that than the main game.

    Avatar image for quarters
    Quarters

    2661

    Forum Posts

    0

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    It isn't because Kiefer costed too much. I cringe every single time I hear that. BB has the same voice actor in Japan that has always done Snake, so he's doing the same dialogue. Kojima specifically wanted to tell the story more through visuals, and also it sounds as if it might have to do with the theme of the story quite a bit. I would wait it out before casting judgment.

    Avatar image for teaoverlord
    teaoverlord

    592

    Forum Posts

    1

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    Big Boss talks plenty on the tapes.

    Avatar image for fdl
    FDL

    68

    Forum Posts

    0

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    Loading Video...

    One of the level designers provides an explanation for the design decision about the changes in the Big Boss character being informed by the open-world game design, and the player-character connection in that context. Pretty interesting. Ends at 33:00

    Avatar image for brotherbran
    BrotherBran

    289

    Forum Posts

    13

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    #8  Edited By BrotherBran

    So i am split on this in my mind.

    On my solid side they directly address this in the prologue, the doctor says its no surprise he is having difficulty speaking because he has a piece of shrapnel lodged in his head that is affecting his language and sight. This is also a major theme of the game, in the trailers cypher goes on a rant about taking peoples language from them to create a unified world, boss has lost his language in a lot of ways, he is a different man than naked snake. I also dont think hayters over the top growling would have fit this character. We also have the bandadged man clearly speaking in sutherlands voice, a lot, and clearly being a skilled soldier

    Then theres the liquid side, which says Kojima loved 24, like the rest of his country but a movie actor is going to be exponentially more expensive than a strictly VO guy. Then he talks a lot in the tapes, so much that it makes everything i just said make no sense. Its confusing and a bit frustrating, so ultimately...its metal gear

    Edit

    I just wanted to add directly to the OP, that writing this game like a zelda, or other game with a silent protagonist would be disingenuous to the character, whether there is a in game reason for his lack of speech or not, they look up to this character, where-as in zelda for example they are usually teaching or explaining.

    Avatar image for flasaltine
    flasaltine

    2547

    Forum Posts

    739

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    So i am split on this in my mind.

    On my solid side they directly address this in the prologue, the doctor says its no surprise he is having difficulty speaking because he has a piece of shrapnel lodged in his head that is affecting his language and sight. This is also a major theme of the game, in the trailers cypher goes on a rant about taking peoples language from them to create a unified world, boss has lost his language in a lot of ways, he is a different man than naked snake. I also dont think hayters over the top growling would have fit this character. We also have the bandadged man clearly speaking in sutherlands voice, a lot, and clearly being a skilled soldier

    Then theres the liquid side, which says Kojima loved 24, like the rest of his country but a movie actor is going to be exponentially more expensive than a strictly VO guy. Then he talks a lot in the tapes, so much that it makes everything i just said make no sense. Its confusing and a bit frustrating, so ultimately...its metal gear

    Yeah but he actually does talk a lot in the cassette tapes which might as well be codec calls. This makes it worse that he rarely talks on screen.

    Avatar image for brotherbran
    BrotherBran

    289

    Forum Posts

    13

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    @flasaltine: did you not read the last sentence of my post?

    Avatar image for lelcar
    Lelcar

    1189

    Forum Posts

    14

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 1

    User Lists: 21

    I haven't had a problem with a quieter Snake. I've been way into the direction and flow of this entire game so far.

    Avatar image for flasaltine
    flasaltine

    2547

    Forum Posts

    739

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    Avatar image for gunstarred
    GunstarRed

    6071

    Forum Posts

    1893

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 1

    User Lists: 10

    #14  Edited By GunstarRed

    @oursin_360: That scene... and the stuff leading up to it is so fucking dumb.

    The bad dumb.

    Avatar image for mutha3
    mutha3

    5052

    Forum Posts

    459

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 5

    #15  Edited By mutha3

    @quarters said:

    It isn't because Kiefer costed too much. I cringe every single time I hear that. BB has the same voice actor in Japan that has always done Snake, so he's doing the same dialogue. .

    I don't see how that shoots down the argument that Kiefer's price tag is what led to Snake being semi mute...like, at all.

    Avatar image for nodima
    Nodima

    3439

    Forum Posts

    24

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 13

    User Lists: 0

    #16 Nodima  Online

    @mutha3 said:
    @quarters said:

    It isn't because Kiefer costed too much. I cringe every single time I hear that. BB has the same voice actor in Japan that has always done Snake, so he's doing the same dialogue. .

    I don't see how that shoots down the argument that Kiefer's price tag is what led to Snake being semi mute...like, at all.

    I think the assumption is that the script was originally written in Japanese, but I'm fairly positive Kojima has been on the record that Metal Gear Solid is written and directed with American English in mind and then translated to Japanese later. I might be totally wrong, but Metal Gear has always been one of the few Japanese franchises that doesn't work from east to west, the western end of production takes priority over the eastern side.

    Avatar image for deerokus
    deerokus

    996

    Forum Posts

    16

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 3

    #17  Edited By deerokus

    @mutha3 said:
    @quarters said:

    It isn't because Kiefer costed too much. I cringe every single time I hear that. BB has the same voice actor in Japan that has always done Snake, so he's doing the same dialogue. .

    I don't see how that shoots down the argument that Kiefer's price tag is what led to Snake being semi mute...like, at all.

    Actors aren't paid per line. Perhaps he was being paid per session though, so if they knew they had to try to cram all his lines into 4 hours of recording or something then, sure, I can see it, maybe.

    Avatar image for deactivated-5e83e1ada625d
    deactivated-5e83e1ada625d

    70

    Forum Posts

    0

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    maybe dialogue being written in a way that seems like there should be a reply, only for there to not be a reply, was the point.

    maybe the silent protagonist, rather than being naturally written into the narrative, instead being presented in a profoundly unnatural way, was the point

    maybe the facial expressions and body language are supposed to say more than spoken words could, to send the intended message.

    Maybe all of Kiefer's lines were shifted to a frequency that only dogs can hear, and Kojima is screwing with you.

    I'm just spitballing here

    Avatar image for csl316
    csl316

    16316

    Forum Posts

    765

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 8

    He's been reasonably chatty in the tapes, which I'm enjoying more than I thought I would.

    Sounded like a bad idea, but I've been surprisingly into the characterization of Venom Snake.

    As for the silence... I had a simple assassination side op. Scouted the base, found the target, sniped him off a cliffside, and left. Miller sounded surprised and impressed. "Oh, uh... target is down. Great work." I S-ranked the mission and walked away. That simple exchange gave my Snake a ton of character. Just a pro doing what he was born to do, not there to chit chat.

    Avatar image for deactivated-5e49e9175da37
    deactivated-5e49e9175da37

    10812

    Forum Posts

    782

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 14

    All he would've done is repeat the last thing said to him with confused annoyance.

    Avatar image for three0nefive
    Three0neFive

    2446

    Forum Posts

    0

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    All he would've done is repeat the last thing said to him with confused annoyance.

    Confused annoyance?!

    Avatar image for edgaras1103
    edgaras1103

    796

    Forum Posts

    0

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    I totally agree with OP. Silent BB feels really out of place, shit is happening and he's not phased at all. Characters are talking to him and he's just staring no emotion , no reaction. And then he is all chatty in audio tapes? I like it because it gives characterization for BB and others and he seems normal . Cutscenes are also very rare, which is not a bad thing if they were powerful. Like Boss is a man of a few words I could understand that, but he is just a blank canvas in gameplay and cutscenes . Very weird. Because I like Japanese BB voice actor. It brings gravitas and charisma during audio tapes, he feels human but damn cool one. How is Kiefer performance during those tapes? And how are the other characters in English?

    Avatar image for ravelle
    Ravelle

    3502

    Forum Posts

    1

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 2

    #23  Edited By Ravelle

    I'm fine if this version of Snake is not much of a talker but I find it really awkward and immersion breaking when Big Boss not even makes a sound in cut scenes, there's a cut scene when he meets Quiet and things get super weird when two not talking characters interact with each other, there's also a part where you're being attacked by jets in the helicopter and Boss gets tossed around and again, not even a sound from him, not even the usual snake grumble or gnarl, even when encountering the big bads he just stares at them. It makes it feel as if you're playing a game in which you created your own character. It's really a shame because I really like Kiefer's snake.

    Kiefer being expensive is not much of an excuse because Hayter would gladly voice everything.

    Avatar image for bollard
    Bollard

    8285

    Forum Posts

    118

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 3

    User Lists: 12

    @brodehouse said:

    All he would've done is repeat the last thing said to him with confused annoyance.

    Confused annoyance?!

    Metal Gear?!

    Avatar image for somejerk
    SomeJerk

    4077

    Forum Posts

    0

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    #25  Edited By SomeJerk

    The official answer is seriously brain damage. Then coma and inspiration from open-world games from the west. People in just a coma tend to change after they wake up, and the few who survive as long as he did really really change. Then the trauma from the knowledge that you were gone from the world and things changed around you.

    That's why I am okay with it, why I feel it makes 100% sense in the game and the story. Ocelot talks to the soldiers behind his back and tells them to hide diamonds so he can get extra exercise, and that he'll rather beat them up than talk to them, I know it.

    The more I play the more I feel okay with there no longer being <15 second cutscene clips every other minute.

    (Let's not forget the inofficial additional answer of movie inspiration, there are a lot of moments where neither on-screen character speaks in words, but in language and thoughts perceived by the viewer. It really shines.. and I'm only up to about to start ep12)

    Avatar image for planetfunksquad
    planetfunksquad

    1560

    Forum Posts

    71

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    There is absolutely a narrative reason he talks more in the tapes than he does in the cutscenes. Keep playing.

    Avatar image for kagato
    kagato

    1162

    Forum Posts

    3

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 5

    User Lists: 7

    I've got to say i totally agree, there are times when a character will say something to Boss, he will turn and look at them as if he is about to speak, wait a couple of seconds and then look away, im certain there was dialogue there but for whatever reason it was never recorded/applied. It just makes no sense for him to even look at the person and stay fixed on them for that long just to say nothing. The game plays well and the story is...fine but honestly, it feels like a chunk of the narritive has been removed and it feels really unnatural.

    Avatar image for atomicoldman
    atomicoldman

    833

    Forum Posts

    0

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    #28  Edited By atomicoldman
    @ravelle said:

    there's a cut scene when he meets Quiet and things get super weird when two not talking characters interact with each other, there's also a part where you're being attacked by jets in the helicopter and Boss gets tossed around and again, not even a sound from him, not even the usual snake grumble or gnarl, even when encountering the big bads he just stares at them. I

    I would prefer him being completely silent and selling his emotion visually than have everybody go "huh, awhuh, doh?" all the time. I don't need a bunch of anime grunts to inform me that the characters on screen witnessed the same thing I did.

    Avatar image for ravelle
    Ravelle

    3502

    Forum Posts

    1

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 2

    @ravelle said:

    there's a cut scene when he meets Quiet and things get super weird when two not talking characters interact with each other, there's also a part where you're being attacked by jets in the helicopter and Boss gets tossed around and again, not even a sound from him, not even the usual snake grumble or gnarl, even when encountering the big bads he just stares at them. I

    I would prefer him being completely silent and selling his emotion visually than have everybody go "huh, awhuh, doh?" all the time. I don't need a bunch of anime grunts to inform me that the characters on screen witnessed the same thing I did.

    I agree but anyone would make panting sounds or sounds of struggle, his facial expressions and composure barely changed.

    Avatar image for atomicoldman
    atomicoldman

    833

    Forum Posts

    0

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    #30  Edited By atomicoldman

    @ravelle: Sure in that scene it would make sense, but like when he aims a gun at a boss I don't need him to growl or whatever. Also in that scene, and I could be wrong, but I don't recall the helicopter pilot or DD making a bunch of noise either.

    edit: In general I like the fact that he doesn't talk that much, makes him feel more like Big Boss to me. He comes across as cold, and some of the things he has said in cutscenes are downright grim.

    Avatar image for serverfull
    serverfull

    81

    Forum Posts

    77

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    I actually like the new Snake better then old. I think this has to due with the script more then the actor though. We have finally hit a point when Snake isn't some dumbass that just repeats the same like someone just said... Also, the writing in the tapes are much better and Keifer talks and does a better job then Hayter...IMO.

    Avatar image for flameboy84
    flameboy84

    945

    Forum Posts

    53

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    @quarters said:

    It isn't because Kiefer costed too much. I cringe every single time I hear that. BB has the same voice actor in Japan that has always done Snake, so he's doing the same dialogue. Kojima specifically wanted to tell the story more through visuals, and also it sounds as if it might have to do with the theme of the story quite a bit. I would wait it out before casting judgment.

    See I agree which is why I added it to the end and didn't give it as much time as the rest of my post about the general writing style.

    @mfjubes said:

    I dunno, I'm only a little farther than you and I don't mind it so much. If you're jonsing for some Big Boss Talkin' Atcha time, the cassettes (a stand-in for codec convos) are better about that than the main game.

    Ok so yeswhat I have heard of the cassette conversations so far have been pretty interesting, I'm now up to Episode 7. My one pet peeve is that they don't auto pause when Miller starts yapping about mission objectives or even when something random pops up on occasion so instead you end up with both audio tracks playing one over the other.

    Avatar image for bladededge
    BladedEdge

    1432

    Forum Posts

    0

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    #33  Edited By BladedEdge

    I remember long long ago when, as a young kid, I wrote this long, and at the time I considered well reasoned explanation of some of the plot and character motivation as I saw it for some of the characters in FF7.

    But see, it was about Cloud, and how his time as a mako infused soldier and...

    Meaning it was before I got to mansion, and before I finished disk one, and before...

    Won't spoil it, for the single person who hasn't played or heard the plot of that game yet but, point is. I too thought something about a game that, before completing it, seemed totally reasonable. I've no spoilers to give for this game (nor do I want to see any). All I will say is, maybe wait to judge the lower dialog snake has, the change of voice actor, and the whole nine until after the story is over?

    As people are indicating, there may very well be a story reason for it, thematic or otherwise. As people say, Snake does plenty of talking in the tapes. His lack of dialog is a bit weird in game, but eh, its a long game. Worth giving it time before declaring it a major issue (like I did mistakenly in another thread when it came to the lethal vs non-lethal stuff. )

    Avatar image for homelessviking
    homelessviking

    55

    Forum Posts

    0

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    There is a relatively sound reason as to why Venom Snake doesn't talk as we've come to expect from Hayder-voiced Snake in the past. Just keep playing.

    Avatar image for vikingdeath1
    vikingdeath1

    1354

    Forum Posts

    5

    Wiki Points

    0

    Followers

    Reviews: 0

    User Lists: 0

    There is absolutely a narrative reason he talks more in the tapes than he does in the cutscenes. Keep playing.

    I scrolled down, saw your comment, and now i'm done reading.

    That was all I needed. Thankyou sir!

    This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

    Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

    Comment and Save

    Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.