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MGS V Poopsocking Preparation Thread


Brick Fight
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The appeal is that they're stealth-action games that give you more and more freedom and opportunities to do lots of cool shit as the series goes on. The other feature is that they come with absolute batshit insane plots that people either unironically hate or ironically love. The games are essentially split into two parts: The Solid Series and the Big Boss Series. The former take place in modern times with goofy characters and insane plots. The latter take place in the Cold War, and are usually a little less crazy, sort of like Japanese James Bond. Phantom Pain is the latter type. Phantom Pain follows Peace Walker in that you are the man who becomes the first real antagonist of the original Metal Gear games, and they follow him as he builds up his army and influence.

 

Phantom Pain's big draw is that you're given open worlds to accomplish your missions. You get to really do things your way, not to mention steal soldiers and equipment to build up your base/army and develop new weapons and technology for you to use in the game. Some videos:

 

Base-building

Fultoning Animals (what I'll spend half my time doing):

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Like most new games coming out, i will think about buying it, and then spend all 48 hours of my weekend popping Panzer 4s in whatever tank simulator im playing that week, forget it exists, go to work, get off on Friday to do the same thing 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Let's make fun of Brick Fights appalling lack of recent historical knowledge.

 

Khand: wow you actually have a profile?
Khand: What are you some sort of NERD?
Brick Fight: confirmed
Khand: where the fuck do I spend MB coins?
Khand: btw
Brick Fight: dunno, I can't do FOBs. My connection is shit enough that it freezes my whole computer when I have connectivity issues
Khand: this game is so historically inaccurate
Khand: I have yet to see a single South Effrican Abrams or Type 99
Brick Fight: You can get the Abrams by doing the Armored Squadron side op
Khand: nah
Khand: thats an olifant
Khand: also
Khand: you
Khand: missed the joke
Brick Fight: Yeah, it's a weird amalgamation
Brick Fight: I did I'm sorry
Khand: how do not know of
Khand: the glorious saga of
Khand: brock7142?
Khand: this outrage must be posted
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Khand: Sigh
Khand: I reached the ending
Khand: was thinking of doing a review of the game on the forums (that no one would read anyway) but fuck no
Khand: You know those games where you enjoy it until at or near the ending and it's so offensively terrible you just fucking hate it afterwards?
Khand: This took that feeling to a new fucking level
 

 

Unfortunately, that's basically my summary after finally getting around to finishing it, I liked the game alot actually, but after finished I figured out what the real phantom pain is, It's the pain of the story and enjoyment that vanished from your brain you still think is there but isn't, much like a missing limb.

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Khand: Sigh

Khand: I reached the ending

Khand: was thinking of doing a review of the game on the forums (that no one would read anyway) but fuck no

Khand: You know those games where you enjoy it until at or near the ending and it's so offensively terrible you just fucking hate it afterwards?

Khand: This took that feeling to a new fucking level

 

 

Unfortunately, that's basically my summary after finally getting around to finishing it, I liked the game alot actually, but after finished I figured out what the real phantom pain is, It's the pain of the story and enjoyment that vanished from your brain you still think is there but isn't, much like a missing limb.

 

I actually liked the ending. Better than Mass Effect 3, where the problem was the concept and the betrayal of the game's main themes. MGSV clearly suffered from a rushed ending, but conceptually it was actually sound.

 

Spoilers ahead:

 

Essentially, MGSV really has five separate endings (one not completed), which fits with the open-world structure in the sense that an open-world is meant to have multiple story arcs instead of having just one overarching plot.

 

And I think the endings make enough sense standing on their own, but with a bit of thinking they can be considered to have coalesced into one overall theme which I feel makes for a satisfying enough ending.

 

To elaborate, let me go through the five different endings and the subtle points each has:

 

1) The "Revenge" Ending - in this ending Venom Snake and Kaz basically manage to take their revenge on Skull Face. This is often commented on as a rather unsatisfying ending, because after being built up as a super-evil special villain it turns out that Skull Face was, in a word, a loser. He was someone who held a grudge against Big Boss and Major Zero simply because he wasn't good enough to be anything but the clean-up crew. Which is why we don't even kill him in a boss fight - he just gets squished by some debris and ends up begging for death. Instead of being killed however, Kaz and Venom basically dismember him while leaving him alive in agony - and it's up to Huey to finally finish off with a pretty insincere-sounding celebratory cry of "Revenge!"

 

That said, the whole narrative actually makes sense, which is surprising for an MGS game, if you consider that the theme here is not "revenge", but how "revenge is hollow". Revenge for its own sake brings no catharsis or satisfaction. Indeed, it often simply ends up being farcical, as demonstrated by Huey's rather pathetic mercy-kill of Skull Face. This is why it is different from justice - which is supposed to bring real catharsis to injustice.

 

2)  Quiet's Love Story - surprisingly for all of the fan service, Quiet's story ends on a very beautiful bittersweet note that revolves around a lost love.

 

Quiet drew a lot of controversy in the beginning, and she is over-sexualized for most of the game, but she does have two moments in particular that ended up humanizing her. The first was the "playing in the rain" scene, which at first seemed sexualized, until Quiet suddenly turns the tables and begins to play with a level of child-like innocence that Venom Snake responds to with warmth. It's the first real indication that Quiet and Boss are falling in love with one another.

 

But what really sells it is her final mission and aftermath. As Quiet is guiding Pequod (the helicopter pilot) to save Venom Snake's, Pequod reacts with palpable joy when he realizes that it is Quiet who was guiding him. This is a very clever but subtle moment, as it's the first time anyone has actually reacted to her as a person other than Venom Snake. Always, she was treated as a weapon, as a danger, or as a freak. Pequod's reaction was in many ways giving the player permission to finally see her as a person too.

 

And then she's gone. Permanently. With no way to bring her back. And it's as though videogames finally remembered that for a lost love to be meaningful, then it has to be permanent and not something that can be reversed with a DLC.

 

3) The Phantom Episode - It's now well-known that there was a "missing" mission that was planned but never included, and a lot of people feel that its exclusion really made the game worse (I would argue the bigger problem is the repetition of older missions to pad the game out).

 

However, on watching the cut mission's demo reel I can understand why it was the mission that was cut. At the end of the day, it was only reinforcing concepts already elaborated in the other four endings; particularly in the last two endings which really form the core of The Phantom Pain. The folks who got shafted were mainly those who wanted a "cleaner" continuity that showed how Eli - who was really Liquid Snake - ended up hating the Boss so much leading to the events of Metal Gear Solid.

 

4) The End of Innocence - the most powerful scene in The Phantom Pain happens in the mission when you're forced to shoot your own soldiers. You have to shoot them or else the world pretty much ends. It reaches its climax when you get to the last group of soldiers - hiding in the basement - who decide to face death with dignity and allow themselves to be killed.

 

It's a powerful scene not only because of the tragic devotion showed by your ordinarily nameless mooks, but by the added touch of having the soldiers humming a tune before they shoot them:

 

It's the Peacewalker song.

 

The song, which is a really upbeat tune otherwise, reflected the much lighter tone of the preceding Peacewalker game. Before Phantom Pain the Big Boss series of games was much more happy and innocent than the serious and often sad tale that The Phantom Pain had become. Killing the soldiers and ending their humming was in many ways a symbolic end of that era.

 

Now, Kotaku complains that this ending was robbed of its meaning by the revelation that Huey had in fact infected the Mother Base soldiers; hence "absolving" Venom Snake from murdering his own men.

 

The thing is, the ending showed not only the end of innocence, but how delusionally clinging to innocence can be so destructive. Huey, despite all the evidence showing that he was the cause of the massacre, denies his complicity to the very end. He denies murdering his own wife and trying to use his own son as a weapon despite recordings demonstrating otherwise. Kaz notes bitterly, upon Huey's exile, that people outside of Mother Base would likely even believe these outright lies.

 

By contrast, Venom Snake doesn't cling to innocence. He doesn't take the easy way out and blame Huey. He instead takes responsibility for shooting his own men, and insists that the actions are his alone. In short, he shows that the end of innocence may not be a bad thing, but instead be the start of the acceptance of responsibility. And there's a measure of brillance to this approach as it shows why accepting responsibility is so hard - it's easier to blame others for something you did.

 

5) The Truth - And this all ties with the final twist of the ending, that reveals that Venom Snake was in fact just an ordinary soldier who was used as a body double for the real Big Boss. 

 

The ending is somewhat controversial for two reasons. First, there are those who felt that the "twist" was a cheap way to provoke reaction and screw with our minds. Second, it added to the perception that The Phantom Pain failed to show how Big Boss became the villain of the series - since this story wasn't about the real Big Boss at all.

 

Both of these points of view, while having some merit, are mistaken. The "twist" was in fact a very subtle nod towards the player, because it is you, the player, who did all of the things that made the world think he was Big Boss. "You are Big Boss" was in fact a tacit, 4th wall-breaking congratulations from the Kojima team, rewarding the player for playing the game by affirming that it was their skill and effort that resulted in them becoming Big Boss.

 

More importantly, from a plot perspective, it firmly establishes the real Big Boss' villainy: Because in the end Venom Snake was a victim of Big Boss. Venom Snake lost everything - his face, his love, and even his memories - all to serve the whims and wishes of another man. This is why Venom Snake, while initially smirking at Big Boss' affirmation, eventually comes to resent it before his final death in Outer Heaven.

 

Now, those familiar with the series will probably complain that it didn't show how Big Boss went from being a hero to a villain. The problem, which relates to the "end of innocence" ending, is that most players don't realize that Big Boss had shown he was evil a long time ago: Namely way back in Metal Gear 3.

 

At the end of that game, Big Boss defeats his mentor and love - the original Boss - and executes her in the field of white flowers.

 

Compare and contrast this act to Solid Snake - who is considered by Kojima to be the real hero of the series, and who Big Boss declared as being the person who could have avoided all of the mistakes they had made in MGS4. Solid Snake, when faced with the opportunity to destroy Metal Gear, balked because he would also end up killing his friend Grey Fox. Even when commanded to by the player, Snake will repeatedly refuse and say he "can't do it". 

 

And that really shows the difference in character between the two men. Big Boss is generally better-liked by the fandom (and even Kojima from a writing perspective) because he had a much more jovial personality than the grumpy and nihilistic Solid Snake. But when push came to shove, Big Boss pulled the trigger and killed his love and mentor. Solid Snake refused to do so when faced with the same situation. That is why Solid was always the hero, and Boss was always the villain.

 

Venom Snake, the player-character in MGSV, does not have a defined morality - but many indications are that he is in fact a born out of a more heroic mold like Solid Snake. He showed mercy to Quiet resulting in their tragic love story. He refused to kill child soldiers. He refused to judge Huey and murder him outright. He took responsibility for his actions. Hence, Venom Snake (and hence the player) was playing the part of a truly good person sacrificed in the name of holding up the reputation of a bad one. It is this tragic irony that makes TPP have an ultimately satisfying ending.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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