Hello internet, welcome to (Game) Theory, the show whose episodes are almost as long as that Metal Gear Solid 3 ladder climb Okay, we’ll check back in with Snake a little later. Good luck there, buddy. Now, it’s been a while since I last mentioned it on the channel But it bears repeating Metal Gear Solid 3 is one of my Favorite games of all time and in my opinion is one of the best games ever created. In a series that fluctuates a bit in quality- [We’ve managed to avoid drowning!] [GOOD JOB!] And sometimes gets a little too far up It’s owned butt- [La-li-lu-le-lo !] [La-li-lu-le-lo !] [LA-LI-LU-LE-LO !] “Snake Eater” found the perfect balance of deep narrative and tight gameplay all while keeping an attention to detail that was unheard of for games at the time. I mean, sure, we all praise GTA 5 for its level of depth in recreating the entirety of Los Angeles, but in MGS3 Almost a decade earlier You can kill a guard, hunt and eat the vulture that ends up eating that guard, then in The River of the Dead later in the game trigger a ghost of the guard who says [YOU ATE MEEE] The game basically says Yes to everything! You can spin around the camera in the torture room to make yourself vomit, thus allowing you an excuse to escape. When you’re captured and imprisoned, you can throw out your food and if you do it three times it actually prompts a significant cutscene that 99.9% of players will never know about where Snake and the guard talk about The Cold War and how they regret having to fight each other. And that’s only a few of the hundreds of little details hidden throughout this game So of course you can bet that there are gonna be some unsolved mysteries here, and there’s one in particular that’s been kicking around the internet for a decade that’s never been fully explored: that the game is just that. A game. A simulation. That you’re not actually playing as Naked Snake and going through his virtuous mission back in 1964, but rather you’re someone else playing through a recreation of the mission at a later date. Sounds impossible? Sounds too meta? Well, then you don’t know Metal Gear.
[Raiden, turn the game console off right now] [You’ll ruin your eyes playing so close to the TV] So while Hideo Kojima’s death stranding continues to leave us all in the dark now is the perfect time to revisit his crowning masterpiece, to prove that one of the best games ever created is really just a game within a game. If you’re not familiar with MGS3 or just need a quick refresher I don’t blame you, these games are complicated. So let me give you the essential information on what you need to know for today’s theory: Snake Eater is supposedly set in 1964 smack dab in the middle of the Cold War between the US and Russia. It’s the story of Naked Snake- voted most likely to succeed in his top-secret CIA unit: Force Operations X, or FOX for short Things start to go downhill when Naked Snake gets sent to Russia with his mentor The Boss whose combat attire is so ridiculous not even I can come up with a theory as to how it’s tactically advantageous, it’s distracting, I guess? ANYWAY the team is there to recover half of a fancy treasure map called the Philosopher’s legacy in what the CIA named Operation [Virtuous Mission] [Virtual Mission?] Whoa, hey, you’re getting ahead of me, Snake. Halfway through the mission the boss pulls a Benedict Arnold and defects to the Russian side. (Awkward!) Naked Snake gets stuck in the middle with the heart-wrenching task of hunting down and killing his former mentor, Which already sucks, But it gets even worse when he learns that she actually never betrayed her country and that the US government has been giving her secret orders the entire time. [So, what are you, a.. a TRIPLE AGENT?] So basically The Boss is like the best soldier ever but ends up dying and being labeled as a traitor to her country because of the nature of this secret mission, and Naked Snake had to be the one to pull the trigger. (Oh that’s even more awkward!) Obviously this gets Naked Snake to reevaluate his life decisions taking on the name Big Boss. Well, as well as The Legendary Soldier, The Legendary Mercenary… Hey, I said he was a good soldier, I never said that he was humble. So that’s the long and short of the game, But why would anyone assume that you’re not actually playing the role of Naked Snake and are instead playing the role of someone going through a virtual simulation Of themselves playing as Naked Snake? well because snake tells us in the opening seconds of the game. Here’s Naked Snake getting his mission: [The Head of the CIA has finally given us the green light for the Virtuous Mission.] [Virtual Mission?] [No, the Virtuous Mission.] So right away snake is referencing straight up the idea of a virtual mission It’s an odd detail to intentionally leave in the script if it has no bearing on reality, especially since it’s one of the first spoken lines you hear from Snake. Now, alone it would be no big deal Just an odd hiccup in the scripting, a strange creative choice, but it’s not alone. In fact, It’s far from the only clue that this game is more than what it appears. Metal Gear Solid 3, being the first game chronologically in the Metal Gear Solid lore gives players our earliest look at characters who’ll become important throughout the rest of the franchise and perhaps no one is more important than Revolver Ocelot, here appearing as a young major eager to show off his gun-twirling. Don’t worry if you don’t know who Ocelot is- you don’t need to know the specifics for this theory. Suffice it to say he goes on to Appear in every other main series title. He’s kind of a big deal in the MGS universe But if you happen to kill him during one of your battles against him in the game, out of the blue you get A Game Over. A Game Over! why would killing an enemy in a video game ever Prompt a reset? Well, let the Game Over screen sit for a bit and the letters rearrange themselves to say: Time Paradox. Suddenly a voice yells out at you saying: [What have you done?
You changed the future!] Those two lines are essential because it implies that someone literally knows the future that they understand what Ocelot is destined to become in this series and scolds you for breaking that continuity. That alone would be a weird design choice But making it even more solidly in the “It’s all a simulation” camp is the fact that the voice saying all this is Colonel Roy Campbell a a character, mind you, who isn’t even in Metal Gear Solid 3 I mean he appears in other games that happen later in the Metal Gear timeline, so what’s he doing here in 1964? Nothing. He’s not actually there in 1964, none of this is, none of what you’re playing on screen. the only way this time paradox makes any sort of sense as if the game is a Virtual Mission, where a soldier in training is learning by playing through Naked Snake’s earliest assignment. Roy Campbell is there because he’s supervising the training and making sure the recruit is staying in line with the events as they actually happen. It’s a lot like Assassin’s Creed actually; Where you play through the memories of someone else from an earlier time period but if you step too far outside of the real events that happened, you get a Game Over. Okay, but any “YOU DIED” screen in the game breaks the game world, so why is this one so special? Also this theory has been around for a while, so what new information do you have MatPat? Well, there’s one thing I haven’t mentioned yet that absolutely proves that Metal Gear Solid 3 is a simulation and it’s coming right from the snake’s mouth. Or should I say, right into the snake’s mouth. CalorieMate. CalorieMate is a consumable item in Metal Gear Solid 3 that restores all of your stamina. In real life CalorieMate is a nutritional energy bar found in Japan that dates all the way back to 1983. These items simply did not exist at all in 1964 when the virtuous mission was taking place which means that the CalorieMate had to have been inserted Somehow from the future, and if it’s all a simulation That’s just as simple as a programmer not removing the item from the game world. Either that or it’s just a chronological mistake on the part of the game, but again this is a game with meticulous attention to detail, it would be weird for something this egregious to slip in or Should I say three things this egregious to slip in because the CalorieMate isn’t the only item from The early 1980s to slip in: in a radio transmission about The Boss’s history we learned that she trained at the JFK Special Operations Center in 1957. There are two major issues with that: First, in both real life and in the game’s own continuity, John F Kennedy doesn’t become president until 1961. And two, that facility was built in honor of his presidency and wasn’t built until 1982, so this is another case of something that simply didn’t exist in 1964 and wasn’t even close to existing being inserted into the game. By simply mentioning this building It means that the speaker of the line is coming from a time past its inception, probably in the early 1980s, definitely well past the time of Operation Snake Eater. And lastly, there’s another conversation with your ally major zero that adds even more evidence that none of this is actually happening in 1964 Zero happens to be a big fan of James Bond, and is astonished when Snake doesn’t share his enthusiasm for the flashy superspy with cool guns and gadgets. [Snake, wouldn’t you like to have a gun shaped like a pen?] They cite it as: [From Russia With Love] The James Bond film from 1963 which would work with the timeline presented in the game Except the pen gun doesn’t appear in that movie or the novel it’s based on There’s a book gun and a phone gun that only appear in the novel but the pen gun Doesn’t appear until the movie “Never Say Never Again” a James Bond film that came out in 1983 [Positively shocking] Now if you’ve been paying attention you may have noticed that all of these anachronism share one thing in common they all center around the years 1982 and 1983 and I don’t think that’s a mistake. Again, Hideo Okajima doesn’t take these sorts of things lightly and the early 80s was a Crucial point in the timeline for the Metal Gear story because it’s here that we see the creation of a second Big Boss Let me explain by fast-forwarding the Metal Gear Solid 5- sorry, Metal Gear Solid V They changed it to Roman numerals now because it’s classy. in this game we learned that Naked Snake now operating as Big Boss has a target Back and almost dies in a helicopter crash, a crash that results in him falling into a nine-year coma. While he’s comatose, Major Zero, Yeah, the same one who loves James Bond, takes another victim from that crash, a medic, and alters him to look think and act like Big Boss, so that he can serve as a body double both physically and mentally. this body double gets the codename Venom Snake So just to clarify because obviously this gets confusing: Naked Snake from MGS3 becomes Big Boss. (He’s the original) Then, in MGSV we learn about the creation of Venom Snake- a medic caught in a helicopter crash who’s remade into a clone of Big Boss without him knowing. when Venom wakes up from his coma he not only believes he’s Big Boss, he’s equipped with all the skills and memories of Big Boss But how we don’t really know. The game explains it as Venom undergoing training while he’s in a coma, And that’s all we get. Somehow Major Zero had to train a comatosed man how to be Big Boss in every single way and what better way could there be than by having him virtually relive Big Boss’s most defining mission? i.e, the events of Snake Eater. After all it was the virtuous mission and operation Snake Eater when Big Boss got to really develop his Close Quarters Combat (or CQC) skills an advanced fighting technique developed by The Boss and Naked Snake together. We learned throughout the franchise that these techniques are considered very difficult to learn and other characters in the Metal Gear universe have undergone extensive training to master them which means that any replacement for Big Boss is gonna have to undergo some very specific and very intense training to fight like he does and for a medic to just wake up from a coma one day and inherently know them seems impossible unless that medic learned by going through all of big boss’s own experiences. Plus, the Metal Gear series has an established history of using virtual missions to Train agents trying to be Big Boss Raiden, protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2 went through hundreds of VR simulations of Solid Snake’s missions to prepare for his eventual role as ruiner of the series, but here’s where it all comes full circle Venom Snake wakes up from his coma and assumes the role of Big Boss in the year 1984 the year after CalorieMate and “Never Say Never Again” and two years after the JFK Center was finished being built Which means that all of those anachronisms in MGS3 would make sense in the timeline we’re creating. Thus we have two stories that complete each other: The oddities and anachronisms of MGS3 are explained away because it’s just a virtual mission taking place in the 1980s as a comatosed medic is trained into the identity of The Big Boss, in the process filling one huge plot hole from MGS V. But hey, that’s just a– oh wait a minute, I almost forgot- Hey, Snake! how you doing with that ladder? *climbs un-enthusiastically* *cynical celebrations* Huh, so our episodes ARE longer than the ladder climb. But hey, that’s just a theory. A Game Theory!
thanks for watching. [Snake?] [SNAAAAAKE!]