Gaming's biggest movie rip-offs

Can't get the license? Make the game anyway!

Perpetrator: Metal Gear Solid | PSone

And John Carpenter movies make another appearance in this next one. Metal Gear Solid didn't strictly rip anything directly, but its links to Carpenter's work are too numerous to ignore. And utterly bizarre in some cases.

The fact that both MGS and Carpenter's Escape From New York/LA feature a hero named Snake is no coincidence. Hideo Kojima openly admits that EFNY's Snake Plissken was the inspiration for his gravelly-voiced protagonist, explaining that "I like the film. I kind of drew from that character, because he's in the espionage business." The connection is so explicit in fact that it led to the videogame Snake's use of the codename "Iroquois Plissken" in MGS2 and his adoption of his movie counterpart's eyepatch in MGS3.

What makes the whole Metal Gear Solid/John Carpenter thing really weird though is a copy of an unproduced screenplay for Escape from LA that was unearthed last year. Although written in 1987 and only very recently released into the world by way of an Ebay auction, the script contains several themes and elements now familiar in the Metal Gear Solid games, namely genetically engineered super soldiers and the return of the hero's long-thought dead former squad mates in almost unkillable cybernetic forms. There's no way Kojima could have known (and therefore stolen) any of that material, but the parallels of the two stories are certainly strong enough to imagine the game director having done a bit of stealth recon work of his own in the late '80s.

What makes the whole Metal Gear Solid/John Carpenter thing really weird though is a copy of an unproduced screenplay for Escape from LA that wasunearthed last year. Although written in 1987 and only very recently released into the world by way of an Ebay auction, the script contains several themes and elements now familiar in the Metal Gear Solid games, namely genetically engineered super soldiers and the return of the hero's long-thought dead former squad mates in almost unkillable cybernetic forms. There's no way Kojima could have known (and therefore stolen) any of that material, but the parallels of the two stories are certainly strong enough to imagine the game director having done a bit of stealth recon work of his own in the late '80s.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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