Hideo Kojima hates the original NES Metal Gear

Isn't Metal Gear brilliant? The guy smokes cigarettes and sneaks about the place. Plus, there are all these giant robots and bizarrely-themed bosses and movie-length conversations about technocracy and postmodernism and all that. Brilliant! Oh, but that's not Metal Gear at all; we’re talking about the Metal Gear Solid series. Have you actually tried to play the NES original? It’s rubbish! Oh, get out of here with your cries of blasphemy. You know who's got my back? Hideo goddamn Kojima, that’s who.

“I had absolutely no participation in the development of the NES version. [That] was a pitiful title... I came across the game in a bargain bin and tried playing it, but the game design is pretty bad.” From the bemused vitriol with which Kojima describes the game for Nintendo Power, it's as if he's only just discovered there's this totally rubbish thing everyone associates with him. His incredulity at the title's subpar nature mirrors that of anyone who, Nostalgia Goggles set aside, fires it up for a look at where the MGS series got its start: “There is some gameplay that includes infiltrating a base that didn't exist in the original. However, even I, the developer of the original game, was unable to infiltrate the base even once.”

Above: Birth of stealth gaming my ass

Kojima, of course, was the mastermind behind the comparatively-overlooked MSX version of the game, whereas the Ultra Games NES translation was a hefty overhaul performed without his consultation. “Even though it was an abomination,” says Kojima, “it was during the bubble economy and it sold millions overseas. That title has only soiled my reputation." Finally MGS completionists can rest easy: you really don't have to play the original after all.

Jun 15, 2011

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