Dissecting the Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain E3 trailer


If you were to ask what would be my favorite video game franchise of all time, without hesitation I will say the Metal Gear franchise. Yes at times the acting can be corny(“They played us like a damned fiddle” anyone?), yes the cut scenes can be a bit too long and yes the story can be and is often nonsensical at times. But there is something about the franchise that draws me to it. Maybe it’s the way that Kojima uses current and historical events to create a compelling story with tons of twists. Maybe its the characters: Snake, Big Boss, Liquid,Ocelot and even Raiden have distinct personalizes that have been shaped by their pasts. Or maybe its amazing scores of Harry Gregson-Williams who gave us the iconic themes we know and love. Regardless of my reason, MGS is a franchise that I could go on and on about. One such example of this is an article I wrote when the very first Metal Gear Solid V trailer was release and how it didn’t match up to the official canon timeline. This time we’ll take a look at the E3 trailer that was released early (and taken down), look at key scenes and see what information we can gather.




The first thing we see as the trailer starts is a quote from Mark Twain: “Anger us an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured”. At first it may seem like a simple anecdote, but this sets up the theme of the whole trailer, as the anger that Big Boss has is bubbling inside waiting to pop.







In the next few scenes we see a village that has been completely decimated by what we can only guess was the result of an attack, with our only clue being a tank that has been destroyed. Bodies are everywhere:men, women, children. All burnt beyond recognition. Then we hear footsteps and a figure appears. Its Big Boss and  he is walking either away or towards something. As the camera pans up and his back comes into view, we see that he is covered in blood:




It is not clear if this is his blood, but looking at the destruction and death around him, we can only assume that he is covered in the blood of the villagers.


In the next few scenes we are witness to a funeral pyre for the newly christened Diamond Dogs. As the camera zooms in, we get a better look at the Diamond Dog logo draped over the coffin and see Big Boss standing in from of the fire. A figure limps next to him and when in view, we can see its Miller. 

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The funeral pyre scene then leads into the spreading the ashes into the sea. Big Boss grabs the urn that one of the members of Diamond Dogs is hold and carries it. At first it seems that he will do the honors and spread his comrades ashes out into sea:



But not before he takes some of the ashes and covers his face with them:




Big Boss’s actions might seems bizarre but there is a reason as why he has cover his face with the ashes of his comrades. In some ancient cultures, warriors would cover themselves with the ashes of their fallen brethren in order to absorb their fighting spirit and to carry a part of them into battle. This is only speculation, but it does make sense and is a plausible thing that Big Boss would believe in.


The next image shown is a fly by over a newly rebuild Mother Base:


followed by an up close look of Mother Base as Big Boss and Miller inspect the area:




After a few scenes of what seems to be a battle going on, we see Huey talking to Big Boss, right before he covers his face with a black bag:

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We can assume that it was Big Boss that brought Huey in for questioning. We also find out that right before the water boarding scene that was in the E3 2013 Phantom Pain trailer that Huey was injected with some type of serum by Ocelot. And since Ocelot’s specialty is “interrogation tactics”, we can assume that he injects Huey with Sodium Pentothal aka Truth Serum:




Now the next few scenes have something in common with each other. That common thing is knives. Here is a scene showing a group of Diamond Dog troops fighting each other and one pulling one out:


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Next we have Eli getting into a fight with Big Boss and pulling out something to attack Big Boss with one as well:

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However Big Boss reverses his attack and uses Eli’s knife on him.


Lastly we come back to the fight and see Big Boss interrupt the fight between his men and forces one to try to stab him. The solider is resisting as Big Boss brings the blade close to his chest:

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It’s a small thing to notice, but each time a knife was show, it would produce some type of lighting effect, a lens flare I think. I am not sure if this has much significance or meaning other than it might be a gameplay mechanic and is a trigger for players to push a button or something.


The next set of images many will consider controversial, as it depicts a brutal attack against a familiar character:

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Recomize the person getting drowned? How about if you see that person in a different set of clothes:


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The person getting drown is Quiet. It seems that she was captured either during Miller’s rescue or sometime after. She is seen wearing general military fatigues since there are no markings that show her rank. This could mean that she could be a part of the Taliban insurgency that the USSR is currently fighting against. Either way she makes her escape from Mother Base with nothing other than her bra, torn stockings and bikini.


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The before the final key scenes. we are taken back to the beginning in the village Big Boss was walking through.  His uniform, face and arms are covered in blood. As his face contorts and he leans back to let out a primal shout, we slowly realize, along with Big Boss who destroyed that village: him. Big Boss mental stability snaps as he shouts out, face blood red, horn sticking out. Almost like a oni aka demon.


In the last few scenes three patches: MSF, XOF and Diamond Dogs. This represents the evolution of Big Boss’s unit, how they started as MSF, was destroyed by XOF and now are Diamond Dogs.

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You can also see as each patch is shown, in between it looks like Diamond Dogs have finally built another Metal Gear in a remote underground base. This marks the end of the Diamond Dogs and begins the era of:


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And this could not have happened without Big Boss and……Skull Face?

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That is definitely Skull Face. He has the same type of facial burns and similar coat and hat. Upon looking closely, he seems to be wearing a blind fold as Big Boss hops out of the jeep. Why is Skull Face there? An even better question is, Why is Big Boss working with Skull Face even though it was him that attack and destroyed Mother Base.

After viewing the trailer and looking over these images, some information has come to light. However new questions have also arisen from looking at the images and trailer. Hopefully when Kojima give his presentation on The Phantom Pain some thins will be answered. But knowing him, answers will be vague and even cryptic.


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