Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain trailer analysis

Thursday, 28 March 2013 09:03 GMT By Dave Cook

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain received its first full reveal trailer at GDC last night. It’s brimming with secrets and nods to what may happen next. VG247’s Dave Cook plays spot the tease.

In case you missed the trailer you should watch it here. It’s really stylish and features some ace music from Scottish troupe Garbage.

Right then, no faffing about, let’s get stuck in shall we?

Who’s lying with Kaz Miller and Big Boss?
Note that the nurses say that “He’s in a coma”, before Miller nods to Big Boss and asks “What about him?” Is he actually nodding to Big Boss or the person viewing the scene? If so, who is he? Who are the nurses talking about exactly?

Metal Gear Solid lore tells us that Big Boss was in a coma after a near-fatal accident, and while he was out cold Zero extracted his DNA to clone the perfect soldier, for fear that Snake wouldn’t ever wake up. It’s the Les Enfants Terribles project that eventually spawns Liquid Snake, Solid Snake and Solidus Snake.

But he does wake up from his coma, goes rogue, establishes a Militaires Sans Frontières base in Africa called ‘Outer Heaven’ and tries to take down Zero’s Patriots.

So now I’m stumped as to who the other person is. Moving on.

The Outer Heaven base from Peace Walker is dead

A saddened Snake looks on in anguish as the Militaires Sans Frontières base he – and you – worked so hard to stablish in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker burns at sea. This trailer shows plenty of scenes where troops – presumably from the mysterious ‘XOF’ force storm the base and shoot everyone in sight.


This really does seem to be the downfall of Big Boss, going from an idealistic soldier without borders to the villain first seen in the MSX original Metal Gear. He’s out for revenge on The Patriots for shattering his empire and it’s all very exciting.

So then who is this guy and why does he want Big Boss dead?

That’s the big question isn’t it? Some say he’s Zero, which seems unlikely. Other say he’s the bandaged man – played by Keifer Sutherland in the hospital scenes – which would make more sense seeing as this guy looks all burned and disfigured. Does Big Boss or whoever the guy is escaping the hospital leave this guy for dead? Is this why he swears revenge on FOX and Big Boss.

I need to sit down.

That damn left arm

This confused me the first time I saw it last year, but if you look at this image here, you can see that Big Boss now has a prosthetic left arm.

This definitely is Big Boss, the same Snake we saw in Metal Gear Solid 3 due to all of the post-traumatic hospital imagery. We see Volgin, white petals, horses and even images of Snake in his MSF sneaking suit. This is where it all gets a tad confusing because duality is a key theme here. We have the “FOX vs XOF” tagline, the “From FOX two phantoms were born” sting as well. Who is leading the other side?

It’s clearly Big Boss, but what Miller said earlier has me very curious indeed. Who was he referring to?

Who? What? Arrgh!

Now who the hell is this? Psycho Mantis or some weird alternative. Maybe, but consider that Metal Gear Solid 5 will probably lead up to Big Boss going rogue in Africa and forming his Outer Heaven squad.

This looks like one of the original Metal Gear bosses ‘Fire Trooper’. Have a look here, they both have gas masks. Fire Trooper ends up being one of Big Bosses squad and is eventually killed by Solid Snake. But then again we have seen this person before, floating ominously in the background of the original Phantom Pain trailer.

Then we have this chap:

White hair, helping Snake, dressed a lot like a cowboy. This could be Ocelot as he starts to help Big Boss down his path of revenge against Zero and The Patriots. The pair have had a lot of history together and Ocelot does have great respect for Snake. Note the trenchcoat and the fact he’s riding a horse too. This could be the seeds of Outer Heaven.

Which leads me neatly to…

The start of the Outer Heaven uprising

Diamond Dogs was hinted at in this very early piece of recruitment art for Metal Gear Solid 5. Note the Rhodesian Ridgeback hound next to Big Boss. it’s native to Africa, which is where he established his new Outer Heaven base and fights back against the Patriots. This then leads to Operation Intrude N312 in 1995.

This is the first mission starring a young Solid Snake, under the guidance of Big Boss – although spoiler, Big Boss is the mastermind of the whole thing. Could Metal gear Solid 5 finally bring things full circle? Will we see a young Solid Snake taking on his ‘dad’ for the first time.

I need to sit down again.

For every single piece of Metal Gear Solid 5 information from now until launch, hit up my ‘All Access’ feed here for more secrets, images and awesome things.