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News video games 12 April 2022, 14:54

Hideo Kojima Wanted Metal Gear Solid Protagonist to Befriend Rats

In the first Metal Gear Solid, each rat was supposed to have a name, and Snake was originally to be able to befriend them. However, this wouldn't stop him from shooting the rodents in a certain boss fight that would make them increase in size.

Metal Gear Solid from 1998 surprised gamers with some innovative features. One that went down in legend of sorts was the fight against Psycho Mantis, which required us to... switch the controller port in the console, so the boss could not "read our minds".

Such curiosities can be found in MGS and there were supposed to be even more - Hideo Kojima once said that only about 60% of his ideas made it into the final game. And what was cut? The ability to befriend rats, among other things.

Rats in Metal Gear Solid

These rodents appear in Metal Gear Solid but their role is limited to running away from the protagonist. If Snake chases them, they can lead him, for example, to their dead brother who ate the key to some locked door.

The people who run the DidYouKnowGaming? YouTube channel have examined about eight hundred different magazines with interviews about MGS - with Kojima and other devs - including the May 1999 issue of Computer and Video Games magazine. That's how they came across the rat idea.

Hideo Kojima said at the time that:

"The rats were supposed to add some realism to the game and create an atmosphere at the base [in Alaska, where the action of MGS 1 takes place - ed. note]. Soldiers eat, so they leave leftovers that attract rodents. I actually wanted there to be more of them.

I also wanted each rat to have a name, so it could be treated like a pet. Alaska is a very cold place, and when Snake enters the base there, rats are the first life form he encounters. So I think they are an important part of the game."

Hideo Kojima and rats - the memory remains

As we have already established, their eventual role is not as big as it could have been. Nonetheless, Hideo Kojima - despite the cuts that the first game underwent - clearly became attached to these rodents, as in 2008's Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, you can listen to an optional dialogue through the codec. In it, Snake calls the rats friends and assures his interlocutor - Dr. Hal "Otacon" Emmerich that that they saved his life nine years earlier, during the mission in Alaska. This may be a clue to the idea of making friends with rats.

Also worth mentioning is an easter egg in MGS 1, which could be encountered during a boss fight with Sniper Wolf. During the sniper battle, disoriented rats run through the pipes. According to Kojima, the original idea was that after shooting the rodents, they - instead of dying - would increase their size. However, the popular Japanese dev decided that this would be a tasteless exaggeration and abandoned the concept. Instead, when we decide to shoot rats, we get reproachful calls from Snake's superior, Colonel Campbell and Dr. Naomi Hunter, who provides the protagonist with support. .

The people behind DidYouKnowGaming? found more of such tidbits from Metal Gear Solid. If you want to get acquainted with them, I recommend watching the video below.

Hubert Sledziewski

Hubert Sledziewski

Has been writing professionally since 2016. He joined five years later - although he has known the service since he had access to the internet - to combine his love for words and games. Deals mainly with news and journalism. A sociologist by education, a gamer by passion. He started his gaming adventure at the age of four - with a Pegasus. Currently, prefers PC and demanding RPGs, but does not shy away from consoles or other genres. When he's not playing or writing, he enjoys reading, watching series (less often movies) and Premier League matches, listening to heavy music, and also walking the dog. Almost uncritically loves the work of Stephen King. Does not abandon plans to follow in his footsteps. However, he keeps his first "literary achievements" locked away deep in a drawer.