Why a game without Solid is still called Solid

   01/06/2009 at 23:21       NewYork       0 COMMENTS.
Kojima called it the next major release of Metal Gear Solid - but it isn't Metal Gear Solid 5. Metal Gear Solid: Rising takes on a new subtitle, ditches the numbering, and swaps "Tactical Espionage Action" for "Lightning Bolt Action".

And say goodbye to the series stalwart.

"Hold on," said Kojima, with a sly smile, introducing the game to the 360 massive, "I didn't say anything about Solid Snake!"

But then, why is this still Metal Gear Solid? For all that this title seems to be diverging from the series, including returning Raiden as the main character proper, the "Solid" doesn't seem to want to go away.

Is it just a name that stuck, or can we expect the old Snake to play a role in the game?

An explanation may be that since the beginning of the Solid titles, the term has not just referred to the name of the lead character, but also to the 3D format of the game.

"First of all, Solid Snake is a character name," Kojima said in an old interview. "Then Solid also suggests three dimensions - you know, a 3D game."

Jokingly, Kojima also hinted that the name Solid was poking fun at Squaresoft: "A square is a two-dimension thing. And I guess the president of Konami wanted this game to surpass Square. They wanted to make it a cube, you know, like solid 3D. So it's got that meaning. too."

And remember, Metal Gear Solid 2 featured Raiden in the main seat for the majority of the game, and Metal Gear Solid 3 didn't feature Solid Snake at all.

But still, one wonders why Konami's first Metal Gear for the 360 isn't called Metal Gear Rising, or Metal Gear Raiden. The droppage of numbers seems to call for a new direction to the series, yet Konami are cautious to drop the Solid.

And if Kojima did deliver Solid Snake in the next game as a playable character, it wouldn't be the first time he promised us one character and then saddled us with another. In fact, this could end up being the perfect mirror to (and retribution for) MGS2.

What's in a name? All may soon become clear.
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