Codec Logs: “Metal Gear?!?”



Codec Logs is a retrospective Metal Gear letter series by Blake Foley and Sean Gandert. An index of the letters can be found here.

From: Blake Foley
To: Sean Gandert
Subject: “Metal Gear?!?”


Dear Sean,

It is 2015 and I am neck deep in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain; a game that is likely the end of an era. Konami might release a Metal Gear Solid 6, but it won’t have series-long director, writer, and designer, Hideo Kojima, leading development. You have been asking me over the last few months whether or not I intended to get The Phantom Pain at launch, or even pick it up at all, and I had always expressed reluctance, indifference, and even resistance to the idea. I had my reasons (that is another letter entirely), but those reasons began to lose their hold on me as the game’s release closed in. The franchise has been a huge part of my gaming life, and with Kojima’s departure (removal?) from Konami I began to realize that it would be crazy for me to ignore this final entry in Kojima’s wonderfully ridiculous story. And that is how I got here, 30 hours into Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and about to start something bigger.

I have a lot I want to talk about, but the game doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It falls in the middle of a ten-ish game timeline spanning six generations of game consoles. No other series has the legacy that Metal Gear does. I told you last week that I was thinking of starting the series from the beginning, going back to Metal Gear’s 1987 roots and working my way forward. You told me that if I did, I’d have to write about it. Well, as you now know, we’re going to be doing this together.

The goal is ten-ish (is Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes its own game?) Metal Gear games starting with 1987’s Metal Gear on the MSX2 and working our way up through Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain on Playstation 4. I’ve played many games in the series multiple times, but this will be my first time taking on the series as a whole. It should be a lot of fun, a little frustrating, and no doubt ridiculous. Are you ready?




From: Sean Gandert
To: Blake Foley
Subject: RE: “Metal Gear?!?”

Dear Blake,

Despite your recommendations, I’ve mostly seen the Metal Gear series from the outside. I know the memes and some of the characters. I’ve played a couple of the games and I know what David Hayter’s voice sounds like when he’s trying to act gruff. I even know that the best way to fill in a gaping plothole is with nanomachines.  But it’s been quite a while, and I’m about as much of an outsider as you can be to the series if you’re our age and regularly play video games.

Am I ready? In a way, probably not. I don’t play games quickly, and I’m notoriously bad at this whole “stealth” concept I hear you speaking about sometimes (as far as I’m concerned, doors were made to be kicked). On the other hand, I’m also up for a challenge.  If we’re going to play through a series, I can’t think of one that could be bolder or stranger, one that would touch on more topics, both intentionally and not, than Metal Gear.

Most of all, I look forward to being surprised, for playing through a series that’s never content to do things the way every other game has. So I guess I am ready after alllet’s do this.



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