- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Kaz quotes the memetic "Why are we still here...just to suffer?" while onboard a helicopter during the first chapter after the prologue, not as a narrator to a chain of sad events occurring in the game's cutscenes like a flashback. Also, the music playing during the quote is a prelude to an intense orchestral score, instead of the well-known sad violins and piano from the trailer. And the speech is also longer than the one used for memes and doesn't skip straight to "I'm gonna make them give back our past!"Kaz: Why are we still here? Just to suffer? Every night, I can feel my leg... and my arm... even my fingers. The body Iíve lost... the comrades I've lost... won't stop hurting... It's like they're all still there. You feel it, too, donít you? I'm the one who got caught up with Cipher. A group above nations... even the U.S. And I was the parasite below, feeding off Zero's power. (...) They came after you in Cyprus... Then Afghanistan... Cipher... just keeps growing. Swallowing everything in its path... Getting bigger and bigger... Who knows how big now? (...) Boss. I'm gonna make them give back our past... Take back everything that we've lost. And I won't rest... until we do.
- Billing Displacement: Kiefer Sutherland's name comes last in the cast list of the opening credits of Ground Zeroes. But he is billed first in the end credits. This also happened to David Hayter at the beginning of Peace Walker.
- The Cast Showoff: Not only did Stefanie Joosten provide the likeness, voice, and motion capture for Quiet, but she also sings "Quiet's Theme" on the soundtrack.
- Colbert Bump:
- The three licensed tracks used in the various trailers — "Not Your Kind of People", "Nuclear" and "Elegia" — saw big sales spikes after the fact. "Nuclear" in particular became Mike Oldfield's first song to see widespread attention in the United States since the intro to Tubular Bells in 1973 (discounting "Family Man", which got Covered Up by Daryl Hall & John Oates in 1982), resulting in it receiving a tie-in picture disc release in the UK and Europe in 2016.
- Before The Phantom Pain's release, Midge Ure's cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World" was not nearly as widely known as the original or the Nirvana cover.
- Even real life languages have become more well-known because of The Phantom Pain. For example, "kikongo mgsv" is the second suggestion when doing a Google search on "Kikongo".
- Creator Killer: This game marked the end of Konami's AAA game development, with new games since then consisting of Pro Evolution Soccer, BEMANI, and a very limited number of smaller games like Super Bomberman R. Thus far, there is no sign of Konami returning to productions on the scale of MGS.
- Defictionalization: The boots Snake uses is made in real life by Konami in collaboration with Puma's Japanese branch.
- Descended Creator: There's a super-powerful unit called Hideo that you can get by beating a mission in Ground Zeroes, transferring your save data to Phantom Pain, and completing its sequel mission. As one can guess, it's Hideo Kojima, himself, digitized, and made a Master of All.
- Dueling Games: Mad Max (2015) launched on the same day, making this is a direct, literal example of two games competing for buyers.
- Dummied Out:
- The Collector's Edition comes with a bonus Blu-ray Disc which feature footage from a mission not included in the final game titled "Kingdom of the Flies". This mission, which would've been Episode 51 had it been included, would would have sent Snake to a sprawling Lord of the Flies-esque island and explained what had happened to Eli after he and The Third Child stole a repaired Sahelanthropus and escaped Mother Base with the other child soldiers.
- Additionally, players who have datamined the game have uncovered numerous unused content, such as a title card for a cut third chapter titled "Peace".
- There's also code for other previously unannounced DLCs such as a set of MGS3 themed costumes (which include The Boss' sneaking suit and Eva's jumpsuit for female soldiers), as well as Miller and Ocelot costumes for D-Dog. The MGS3 costumes eventually became available, but the D-Dog costume never made it the light of day.
- Co-Ops missions from Peace Walker were intended to make a return in The Phantom Pain according to early versions of the iDroid GUI seen in this video. While Co-Ops were not implemented for main missions, players can still assist each other in defending their FOBs from intruders.
- A gameplay demonstration from E3 2014 showed much more activity within Mother Base compared to the final game, with animals roaming around the base alongside soldiers (rather than being segregated to a separate conservation plant), other helicopters and vehicles besides the ones Snake uses to travel, soldiers engaging in target practices, Ocelot himself casually hanging around outside story events, and rival invasions occurring within the main Mother Base (as opposed to a separate FOB). Similarly, the gamescom 2014 demo shows PF emblems that are impossible to use in the released version such as "Roughneck Raven" and "Stubborn Sheep".
- While the death of any child soldier will result in an instant mission failure, this restriction was apparently not planned to be implemented at first. Killing child soldiers can be enabled in the PC version through modding, which reveals that the original penalty for killing one was a deduction of 500 heroism points.
- Executive Meddling:
- In March 2015, Konami underwent an inexplicable change in brand management policy, with all indications pointing to the higher-ups becoming frustrated with their published games becoming more associated with the people and studios that created them, especially Hideo Kojima, than the Konami brand. As a result, they started to remove all mention of studio and director names from advertising and the front of game boxes.note Kojima Productions was affected the most by this change. Naturally, this clashed violently with Kojima's Auteur License, which led to a fallout. Kojima left Konami a month after the game was released and Kojima Productions was disbanded entirely and renamed into a generic "Konami" studio. Konami stated that they would continue to develop Metal Gear games without the involvement of Kojima.
- It came out after the game's release that Kojima was barred from directly communicating with the development team during the last six months of development, and had to speak through intermediaries. Konami also barred him from appearing at the The Game Awards 2015 show to accept his award in-person. The reasons for these actions are unclear, but both actions only served to further fuel public outrage against Konami.
- History Repeats: As it happens, there was another Kojima game, originally released 27 years before this one, which was also missing a proper ending.
- I Knew It!:
- Many fans and sources speculated that The Phantom Pain was actually a Metal Gear game well before it was announced as such, thanks to the clues left in the original trailer.
- A number of fans had figured out that the creepy child with a gas mask was actually a young Psycho Mantis, or that he was at least involved with the mysterious organization of "Those Who Don't Exist". This was given further credence by Game Informer about a month before the release of Ground Zeroes.
- From his reveal, there were much speculation being thrown around about Eli being a young Liquid Snake, and with very little talk on the matter, only strengthened the suspicions. So, when it turns out that he actually is Liquid, no one was surprised.
- Regarding a huge plot twist revealed at the end of the game: several people guessed that "Venom Snake" was a clone of Big Boss. While this isn't entirely true, he is a separate individual. Rather than being a complete clone, he made in to a body double with Magic Plastic Surgery and hypnotherapy.
- Lying Creator: Kojima kept insisting that "Project Ogre" was not, in fact, a production title for Metal Gear Solid 5 prior to the reveal of The Phantom Pain. Turns out, it was. However, this is actually an instance of him being misquoted, because his original statement was in reference of Ground Zeroes at the time. Kojima also refers Metal Gear Solid V as a spin off and not a numbered entry. Which makes sense, considering you aren't actually playing as anyone from the Big Boss bloodline.
- Milestone Celebration:
- The first Ground Zeroes trailer was shown at a Tokyo event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the series.
- Likewise, the trailers for the Déjà Vu and Jamais Vu missions were shown during the 15th and 25th anniversaries of Metal Gear Solid and Snatcher, respectively.
- Multiple Languages, Same Voice Actor: Stefanie Joosten voices Quiet in both English and Japanese.
- No Dub for You: Oddly enough, and in stark contrast with previous games from the franchise, the game lacks European Spanish subtitles; the only Spanish option in the game is the Latin American Spanish ones. This is particularly buzarre, as all the games from the franchise since the first one had being translated using the European dialect, while the Latin American dialect has never being used on any previous games until this game.
- The Other Darrin:
- David Hayter was replaced by Kiefer Sutherland as the voice actor for Snake to help "recreate the Metal Gear series."
- Ocelot was voiced by Troy Baker instead of Patric Zimmerman or Josh Keaton.
- Jim Piddock was replaced by Time Winters as the voice of Zero.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Meta example. The Moby Dick Studio marketing stunt was intentionally made as transparent as possible to get people hyped for The Phantom Pain.
- Talking To Himself: Kiefer Sutherland voices both Snake and Ishmael, and the two share a scene together at the start of The Phantom Pain. It has been confirmed that he voices the medic that appears in Ground Zeroes, but his voice was altered digitally. The trope becomes literal when it's revealed that Ishmael is the real Big Boss, and Snake is really the medic who, through plastic surgery and hypnotherapy, has become Boss's body double.
- Trolling Creator:
- Metal Gear Solid V was originally announced in two unrelated incarnations. The first was Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, a tech demo for Kojima Productions' new FOX Engine. The second, The Phantom Pain, was presented as a new IP from the mysterious Joakim Mogren's Moby Dick Studio. On March 27, 2013, series creator Hideo Kojima revealed that Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain were the prologue and main story, respectively, of a combined Metal Gear Solid V.
- Former Big Boss voice actor David Hayter messed with the fanbase by leaving a lot of comments suggesting that he'd be involved in The Phantom Pain a small capacity and denying that he was involved at all.
- After dataminers found evidence that there was a third chapter meant to be included in the game, Kojima made a series of tweets that featured the number 3 (such as complaining that a television show he likes never had a third season).note
- Troubled Production: The game was intended to be series creator Hideo Kojima's masterpiece, but it also marked the end of an era, as it was his final project for Konami due to a contentious production:
- Despite the game's auspicious reveal (with the main game being announced only by its subtitle and helmed by a "Moby Dick Studios", a fake name for Kojima Productions), the project faced controversy immediately when it came to light that long time Solid Snake/Big Boss voice actor David Hayter was unceremoniously fired in favor of actor Kiefer Sutherland (who also provided facial capture for Big Boss). While it was suggested that Kojima did so in order to avoid paying a higher salary for Hayter, the latter contends that he was never approached about the issue and still harbors resentment. An interview Hayter had with GameSpot paints a darker scenario and puts Kojima in a more antagonistic light.
- In March 2015, it came to light that Konami restructured their corporate offices, with Kojima apparently out of the company as a permanent employee and his production studio intended to be disbanded at the end of The Phantom Pain's production. This was followed by Kojima's name and company being removed from all marketing materials, including the final cover art for the game and future releases of Ground Zeroes and The Legacy Collection. Over the next few months, several people publicly spoke out against Konami for their poor treatment of Kojima.note This also resulted in the cancellation of Silent Hills.
- In April 2015, an online movement began to express questions about the likeness of a doctor featured in one of the trailers to real life neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero, who was believed to be part of a viral marketing campaign for the game. In response, Canavero denied any involvement with the project and threatened to sue Konami for unauthorized use of his likeness.
- Several months later, a damning report from Japan's Nikkei news service came to light that exposed the circumstances behind the game's development. It was reported that Kojima became a pariah because The Phantom Pain was delayed, leading to its production budget exceeding $80 million U.S. dollars by April 2015. It was also revealed that Konami executives (having restructured their efforts more towards mobile games and its ancillary divisions like pachinko machines and health spas) was overseeing Kojima Productions, now renamed "Number 8 Production Development", with an iron fist. Employees were reportedly monitored on social media and on emails, and publicly shamed if their lunch breaks went for too long. Additionally, it was suggested that making mistakes at Konami led some employees to be transferred to menial office tasks in other divisions until they quit the company.
- The final version has an abrupt and Disappointing Last Level, with several promised features not coming to fruition, the Twist Ending is revealed suddenly and out of context, and the True Final Boss was scrapped and reduced to unfinished cutscene footage as a special edition Blu-ray extra. An entire third chapter of the game appears to have been cut when it became apparent that the game was not going to break even for Konami. It's rumored that the game was a Creator Killer for Konami's AAA game production, though the company publicly denied this.
- Urban Legend of Zelda: Many fans believe that Chapter 3 is just hidden, not outright cut from the game. While dataminers have mine the PC version and found no data of Chapter 3 aside from the title "Peace", the console versions have not been touched in any way.
- What Could Have Been: It has been said that the sheer amount of content cut is the true "Phantom Pain" of the game.
- Several hallmarks of the other games were removed from the game in order to make the game more realistic and serious, such as Ration-based healing. Originally, Kojima thought about removing the trademark exclamation point, in favor of realistic expression from the enemy (as had been planned for MGS4 as well). Thankfully, the grandfather clause prevailed.
- Apparently, there was going to be a "80's filter" for The Phantom Pain, inspired by the 2013 film Rush. However, it caused too much strain on the hardware, so it was scrapped.
- Skull Face's original name was supposed to be Scarface. He was also meant to appear on the box art for Ground Zeroes, but he was removed because Kojima thought that would be too creepy and also rip off the movie poster for Enemy Mine.
- Quiet originally looked a lot like Paz in a bikini.
- Paz was originally supposed to be Dead All Along in Ground Zeroes, and Skull Face was going to place her corpse in front of Chico in a way that he couldn't look away from it.
- DLC was planned for Ground Zeroes beyond the Xbox/PlayStation exclusive content, but it was shelved so The Phantom Pain wouldn't be delayed.
- For fans particularly disappointed by the game's ending and the manner of Eli and Mantis leaving, a reel detailing a "phantom episode" centered around them has surfaced from the CE bonus content. Eli would have absconded from Mother Base with the ST-84 Metal Gear, Mantis, and the child soldiers to form his "Kingdom of the Flies," and the episode would have culminated in a battle between the Diamond Dogs and Eli piloting the ST-84. After the battle, Eli would soon affirm to Snake his everlasting hatred, marking the genesis of his character as it would be known in Metal Gear Solid. The fact that so much of Eli's storyline and development seems to have been compressed into this episode suggests that this was to be an intended finale of the game. The reason why it was cut is currently unknown, but there are many different possible reasons, the most likely of which are either a), the content (after all, you are bombing a bunch of child soldiers) or b), the Konami-Kojima dispute mixed with budget problems. This case is rather unusual seeing as it was such a key portion of content. Fans initially wondered if the episode would be released as DLC, though after the announcement of an MGSV Updated Re Release, Konami's community manager confirmed that the episode will not be released.
- In addition to the cut "Kingdom of the Flies" mission detailed above - and presumably the cut content to the second chapter - a title card under the name of Chapter 3 - "Peace" was found during datamining of the game's files, which indicated an entire third chapter may have been cut, though Konami has since claimed that an officially announced nuclear disarmament event (whose ending cutscene has been leaked) is the third chapter.
- At one point you were supposed to be allowed to bring the Battle Gear into missions, but this was scrapped because it was too much of a Game-Breaker.
- Prior to release, it was stated that everyone would be able to create their own unique Mother Base. While not outright confirmed, this appears to have been scrapped due to time constraints, as everyone has the exact same Mother Base apart from color. To that end, the proposed feature allowing players to access their Mother Base using the smartphone app was also cut.
- Another feature mentioned prior to release was that players importing data from Ground Zeroes could return to Camp Omega. However, it seems that this was removed.
- There is a groove on the back of Sahalenthropus that suggests that it would have been combined with an AI Pod similar to Peace Walker. Handwaved in-universe by Skull Face, who adamantly refused to allow Sahalenthropus to be controlled by AI, referencing what happened to Peace Walker in the process.
- Data miners have found audio files in the game indicating that Skull Face was going to be a boss battle. And following the completion of the battle the player would have been given a choice: either kill him or take him back to Mother Base as a prisoner.
- Even though the helicopter that served as your support in Ground Zeroes, here referred to as an HP-48 Krokodil makes multiple appearances as an enemy helicopter and would serve as an excellent support helicopter, no option to swap to it exists, and the default UTH-66 Blackfoot helicopter is the only option available.
- Ishmael was originally Huey instead of Big Boss.
- There's unused concept art featuring an adult Chico, who would have filled a role a lot like Null (child soldier brainwashed by sinister program), from Portable Ops.
- It is believed that the song "A Phantom Pain", due to its lyrics, theme, and being an original song made for the game, was originally intended to be used in a cut version of the intro or ending.
- Originally there were going to be enemy guard dogs in the game who could be able to smell and hear at ranges greater than human guards, and they could also detect you in the darkness. This would have made taking showers at Mother Base even more important because if Snake got smelly from being out in the field too long he'd stand out even more to dogs. This feature, like many others, was cut for time and budget reasons.
- Word of God: According to the Piggyback official strategy guide for The Phantom Pain, the enemy commander who takes control of one of Mother Base's platforms in Mission 22 ("Retake the Platform") is actually the same soldier who helped Miller to his feet during the XOF attack at the end of Ground Zeroes.
- Word of Saint Paul: Quiet's voice actress, Stefanie Joosten, personally disproved the "Chico is Quiet" theory. This is confirmed in-game when it is revealed that Quiet is dressed the way she is because of her getting set on fire by Ishmael and Ahab in the prologue.
Trivia / Metal Gear Solid V