I felt a tinge of sadness when the credits rolled at the end of Metal Gear Solid 4. As if it were the end of an era. The end of a wild ride that had gone absolutely deranged. Like I was saying goodbye to a childhood friend. Without dwelling too much on it, MGS4’s ending dulled that tinge with its hour-long, scrambling-for-answers ending. If there is one thing I left with watching its ending, it was that Big Boss at least died romantically in Solid Snake’s arms. But technically that would mean he died in his own arms. Or would they have been gay had Solid Snake given Big Boss a powerful, yet delicate, farewell kiss? Technically they are the same person so he’d really be making out with himself, no? I don’t have the answers, only the questions.
No matter the mental gymnastics you could perform with that dumbass question, MGS4 still bittersweet, if flawed, ending. So now here we are in 2015, saying the last true goodbye to the Metal Gear Solid storyline. Initially I questioned whether another Metal Gear game was really necessary. Even series creator Hideo Kojima seemed tired of it after MGS4 (LINK REQUIRED).However, Big Boss’ story feels too interesting to be left hanging. We got to know him well as a man throughout MGS3 (my personal favorite of the franchise), see his dreams of Outer Heaven develop in Portable Ops (though disputed as canon) and Peacewalker, and finally now we get to see what made him a villain in Phantom Pain.
I didn’t want MGSV to happen, at least initially. I felt satisfied with everything the series had brought me up to that point. MGS4 did good enough a job of sending off this bizarre trip. To be fair to MGSV though, it offers at least one more hit. One more drag off the cig before we’ve finally taken our last puffs and move on. Not just for the Solid series itself but also for maybe the most important character that remains still mysterious: Big Boss. While we know he ultimately dies in the tender arms of his murderous clone offering quick explanations for more troubling plot craters, MGSV is a look into the darkest moment of the character.
Or we could take the cynical path and call Phantom Pain for what it is: Konami’s Final Fantasy, the franchise they won’t let die because its name still sells. But maybe at it’s most purest of hearts, this is an oppotunity to really seal up the franchise once and for all. One last chance to really say good-bye. Because after this, this is truly the end of the Hideo Kojima era of MGS, and now went inevitably enter the uncertain future of a straight Konami run Metal Gear.