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What Could Have Been / Metal Gear

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  • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
    • The plot of the game was originally going to be about a nuclear weapons storage facility that was being hijacked by terrorists. This scenario was deemed too implausible at the time and the story ended up being rewritten to what it eventually became, but the idea would end up being repurposed for the first Metal Gear Solid.
    • The first area of the game was planned to feature searchlights that were meant to trigger an alert phase when you stand on them, but this was cut out. This is why the map starts out dark and becomes clearer as you get closer to the base's entrance.
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    • Many enemies were planned for the game that ended up being cut, such as the Goriate tank (which still appears in the game as scenery), the mass-produced Metal Gear Gs, and a boss character named Maniac Cop.
    • The Green Beret soldier that Snake pursues in the jungle was originally going to be whistling the "Theme of Tara" from the first Metal Gear.
    • A Sega Genesis port was in the talks during the early 90's.
  • Metal Gear Solid:
    • The original target platform was the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer and work was already being done on that version until the great Hanshin earthquake of 1995 halted progress and Kojima's team lost most of their work. When development resumed in 1996, the 3DO was already seen as a failed console and the PlayStation was clearly becoming the dominant game console in the market.
    • The original plan to use digitized characters on a polygonal environments in a matter similar to Mortal Kombat or Konami's own Lethal Enforcers, but Kojima discarded the idea when he was unable to get Jean-Claude Van Damme to play Snake.
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    • Gameplay-wise, the game was originally going to have a lot of the features that Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty had, such as dragging bodies and hiding in lockers, which weren't implemented in the final version. It was also going to have music that would change throughout different areas.
    • Otacon was originally planned to be an overweight black nerd, while Meryl was supposed to be much younger (around Natalie Portman's age in Léon: The Professional). Sniper Wolf was also conceived as a handsome young man.
    • Solid Snake was also going to have strings coming from his bandana. Because it was hard to animate these strings on the original PlayStation's hardware, his bandana had to be a generic headband. However, they were able to pull it off in later games (even on Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, since that game used sprites).
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    • The Metal Gear Mk II (later implemented in Metal Gear Solid 4) was going to be one of Snake's gadgets. Demo footage exists showing it in the inventory.
    • Shadow Moses Project, a fan made HD remake of the game in Unreal Engine 4, was cancelled in 2016, probably due to licensing.
    • Psycho Mantis was going to be capable of detecting save files from popular non-Konami titles such as Final Fantasy VII and Resident Evil, but Konami turned down this idea as it was seen as free promotion from rival publishers.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 originally made even less sense. Rosemary was supposed to be a hostage on the Big Shell itself, who would constantly be moved as Raiden would go to rescue her, leading the player to doubt her existence. Pliskin would have been blond and worn a crucifix, Snake and Otacon would use their real names when alone together to suggest at their intimacy, Johnny Sasaki would have served the role Richard Ames does and had a Heroic Sacrifice, three characters named for characters in Paul Auster's New York Trilogy would have been Raiden's support (though the idea that they would all have turned out to be AIs was retained for the support team in the released game), and Fortune would have been a saxophonist slowly dying from a blood condition (which would be treated by the originally-female Vamp sucking her blood erotically). Most famously, a few bosses were cut, including two extra Dead Cell members — Old Boy, a hundred-year-old soldier and Big Boss's old trainer (recycled as respectively The End and The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3) was instantly taken out, but Chinaman, a Vietnamese swimmer and illusionist, stuck around long enough to have a boss battle arena built for him. His powers and that boss arena were eventually given to Vamp, and he got a small cameo appearance as the dead man with the long dark hair in Fortune's arms during a flashback to Dead Cell's liquidation. Bizarrely, the Metal Gear Solid 3 boss The Fear was based on Raiden's original (and instantly rejected with extreme prejudice) design.
    • Another fight cut from the game was to take place in the Shell 1 core's computer room, where the player would have defended Snake as he attempted to tend to Emma's wounds after crossing the oil fence. The penultimate Metal Gear Marathon Boss fight was also changed - originally, Sergei Gurlukovich was supposed to survive the events of the Tanker chapter, only dying just before the Metal Gear fight, which would have been Solidus and Ocelot in a pair of manned RAYs versus the player and Gurlukovich's remaining soldiers attempting to avenge him.
    • The trailers (and a flashback from Snake) show a scene of Snake outrunning the flood in the sinking tanker, but that was cut at the last minute because the actual gameplay was incredibly boring.
    • Before the New York Trilogy turned MGS2 into a huge mind screw, the original plot would have revolved around a typical terrorist-hijacked tanker.
    • The first draft was going to be set in the Middle East, with Snake fighting Liquid (who had faked his death and stolen some warheads). This setting was immediately abandoned when the Middle East conflict at the time began to heat up, making the plot tasteless.
    • The game was also going to have Arsenal Gear crash into the Twin Towers, and have the Statue of Liberty be moved to a different part of NY. In the middle of the credits, it was going to show a news report of the Statue of Liberty's relocation, instead of the live-action clips of NYC. The script for the news report can be viewed in The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2. It was also going to have Raiden cut the rope from an American flag and drop it on Solidus's dead body after defeating him. All of these things were cut once September 11th occurred, although most of them were reinstated eight years later with the release of the novelization.
      • Under the same reasons as above, it was also intended for Liquid Ocelot to crash Arsenal Gear into Manhattan, and for Vamp to explicitly state that Dead Cell intended to launch the nuke directly at Manhattan instead of letting Solidus black out Manhattan via an EMP wave, but were cut (although it too was retained in the novelization).
    • They thought of including a mask called the "Mantis Mask" based upon Psycho Mantis in the game, that allowed the player to read the thoughts of other characters. It never made it into the final version, though the concept may have been recycled by way of the secret messages occasionally heard with the directional microphone.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots nearly ended with Snake and Otacon turning themselves in to the authorities and being dual-executed for their terrorist actions. It was changed when the staff flat-out mutinied. The final song, about a pair of anarchists executed unfairly, remains as a monument to the original ending.
    • For a while, the BB Corp would have been naked when shedding their suits, but Hideo Kojima realized the game would have slapped with an AO rating. And there would have been two male BB-like characters who served a similar, Gender Flipped Fan Disservice role - "Snake-Man", a beautiful young man with tentacles coming out of his body, and "ADAM", a handsome Russian soldier.
    • In terms of play mechanics, MGS4 was supposed to be more complex and have less Metal Gear-isms. Kojima talked in early interview that Snake could choose sides if he wanted in any of the conflicts (think Mercenaries), mentioning times when Gekkos would ignore or even help you. There were supposed to be less visual cues like the famous exclamation point over an enemy's head as you were supposed to be able to tell from their facial expressions and mannerisms. There were also elements of psychological warfare such as enemies who spotted you threatening you instead of always trying to kill you. What made it into the game is noticeably scaled back from Kojima's claims, with "picking sides" restricted to the player's decision on whether to befriend the local resistances of the first two acts (the PMCs and their unmanned support still invariably shoot at you on sight) and any sort of psychological warfare restricted to a bare-bones emotion system that the player can't really do anything to affect without New Game+ rewards.
    • The OctoCamo mechanic was rather toned down from their original intent - they were hoping it could mimic moving objects like running water, rather than just switching flat textures, but attempts to do so would have taken more processing power than the PlayStation 3 was capable of.
    • In addition, according to Kaz Radio and other sources, MGS4 was originally not going to happen, with the series chronologically ending at 2, and release-order ending at 3, which also would have caused some problems since MGS2 ended on a cliffhanger. Thankfully, saner heads prevailed when MGS4 was greenlit.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater's The End fight would have been a much longer cat-and-mouse, track-over-several days ordeal, as Kojima was inspired by a series of novels in which two snipers try to track each other. This was changed when it got too long and the staff literally booed him.
    • The End was originally going to be called "The Doom", but this idea was dropped due to Doom 3 coming out around the same time.
    • In terms of play mechanics, Metal Gear Solid 3 was to be an open-ended game in a huge connected jungle, with a night and day cycle and dynamic weather. Such mechanics wouldn't be implemented until MGSV.
      • Originally, the ability to free-roam and set traps such as snares and tiger pits were planned, but the system couldn't handle the programming; some traps do exist, but are pre-placed and require the player's intervention to activate against an enemy.
    • The scene where Sokolov and Snake apparently speak Russian in Japanese or English is a remnant from when the game was intended to have the characters actually speak Russian across the game. This was dropped because, save for Snake's Japanese actor Akio Ohtsuka, the cast was unwilling to go through the effort of learning Russian for a single role.
    • The fight against the Shagohod was originally supposed to have an entirely separate form that acted as an escape pod that they had to destroy, but it was removed from the final version and instead replaced with Volgin controlling the remains of the Shagohod through its wiring.
    • The game was originally going to be on the PS3, but since that console's development took longer than expected, the game was put on the PS2 instead.
  • Tiger Toys was planning a portable version of Metal Gear Solid for their short-lived portable platform Thankfully it was cancelled, because every game ported to that console was a Porting Disaster of epic proportions.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance:
    • Revengeance was originally going to be titled Metal Gear Solid: Rising, and was set to take place between MGS2 and MGS4. But when Kojima couldn't get the gameplay to work just right, development was continued by Platinum Games, who switched to a story set four years after the events of MGS4, about Raiden coming to terms with his past and reverting back to his "Jack the Ripper" persona. Also, the PS Vita version has been cancelled.
    • Early enemies from the game showed a strong Psychological Horror vibe similar to Metal Gear Solid 4's designs, such as unmanned robots holding weapons that resemble a tall, distorted woman breastfeeding a baby. The released game dropped a lot of these designs in favor of cranking up the Rule of Cool.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain:
    • Early previews showed players could invade one another's Mother Base. This was changed to invading forward-operating bases instead, which basically function the same way. Previews also suggested enemy forces could randomly invade in single-player, but this only happens once as part of the FOB tutorial with Mosquito.
    • Mother Base was shown to be much more alive in an early gameplay preview, showing things such as UAVs (which only appear in FOBs in the released game), animals on the main base platform (instead, they have their own separate conservation platform), a shooting range (only appears as part of one cutscene), and Ocelot hanging around and saluting Snake (only appears on Mother Base outside of cutscenes as part of Mission 2: Diamond Dogs and to speak to Snake about Quiet by her cell).
    • Previews mentioned being able to call for supply drops of animals that the player has rescued and using them to wreak havoc on enemy bases.
    • An early gameplay trailer showed "Cooperation" on the iDroid menu, suggesting co-op multiplayer like Peace Walker was intended at some point in development.
    • The Red Band trailer shows various scenes that were never shown in the final game, including several shots of child soldiers being trained by adults in Central Africa, a bloodied Venom Snake screaming into the sky in the midst of a burning village, and a prisoner being tortured and killed at Camp Omega from Ground Zeroes. Rumor has it that Camp Omega was going to be accessible for those who imported data from Ground Zeroes.
    • The game was originally meant to open up to "Diamond Dogs" by David Bowie. It instead opens up to a Midge Ure cover of "The Man Who Sold the World".
    • The Collector's Edition bonus disc has a feature called "Phantom Episode/Episode 51", which details a key story mission that was cut for unknown reasons during development. After Eli/Liquid and the child soldiers steal Sahelanthropus and flee Mother Base near the end of the game, Snake and his allies would have had to assault his stronghold on a remote island in Africa. The mission would have ended with most of the children dying, Eli being left by Snake to die on the island, and Mantis/Tretij Rebenok rescuing Eli (and removing his vocal parasite) before the island is napalmed.
    • Concept art from the official book explains why Chico's death feels like such an afterthought. It was originally planned that instead of actually dying, Chico would've been horribly disfigured in the crash, similar in manner to Skull Face, and to have gone insane in the years between games, growing up to be a masked killer with an Oni-like outfit. Additionally, lines that had been recorded and dug up from code, indicate he would possibly be a buddy, similar to Quiet or D-Dog.
    • The game's companion app was originally intended to let the player manage Mother Base from their smartphone or tablet.
    • Data-mining revealed various voice clips for Skull Face, such as battle grunts. This implies he was supposed to enter combat at some point, though it's unclear if it was as a boss battle or rather as a playable character in the online mode.


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