Unused Metal Gear Solid 5 voice lines have been unearthed, and they point to a boss fight with Skull Face.
Earlier today, the post just below cropped up on the Metal Gear Solid subreddit, from someone claiming to have found unused voice lines from the villainous Skull Face in Metal Gear Solid 5. These unused lines, which include Skull Face being shot at, thrown from a great height, and even put to sleep via a tranquilizer, point to a boss fight with the enigmatic character, which obviously isn't in the final game.
Of course, what actually happens in Metal Gear Solid 5 is an execution of Skull Face at the hands of Venom Snake, Kazuhira Miller, and Huey. Instead of a boss fight, the villain has his legs crushed by a rampaging Sahelanthropus, before being executed by the vengeful trio. In short, it wasn't the climatic ending some players were hoping for.
However, there's a reason for that. Writing in the Metal Gear Solid 5 art book years after the game first launched, director Hideo Kojima addressed the lack of a Skull Face boss fight in the final game. "We often see the good versus evil encounters in the closing scenes of Hollywood movies, which are meant to satisfy their audience," the director wrote next to a sketch of Skull Face.
"But this game's theme is the chain of revenge, the Phantom Pain - the continuous chain that you experience when the target of your vengeance is gone," Kojima continued. "It is not possible to convey the subtleties of this theme in a standard boss battle," the director concluded, laying out in full why he chose to omit a boss fight with Skull Face.
This isn't the first time unused voice lines from Skull Face have surfaced. Over on SoundCloud, you can listen to a handful of cut lines from the villain that never made it into the game. Not every cut line is present, however, as there are more cut lines in the new subreddit post than there are in the SoundCloud post. You won't hear Skull Face ordering his men to kill Venom Snake, for example.
Delving even further down this rabbit hole, members of the Metal Gear Solid community claim to have uncovered the original script for Konami's game, which is where these lines from Skull Face originate from. We've seen the supposed script ourselves, and while it doesn't contain every spoken line in Metal Gear Solid 5, it outlines interactions between NPCs and the player: there are lines where Venom Snake interacts with allied soldiers, for example, and there are lines where sniper Quiet speaks in Navajo, neither of which are present in the final game.
It's a fascinating insight into what didn't make the cut during Metal Gear Solid 5's lengthy development process. The cut content from Kojima's final release at Konami is perhaps scrutinized a little further than most other games would be, considering the special edition of Metal Gear Solid 5 literally included cutscenes from a cut mission and ending, which would've rounded out Eli and Psycho Mantis's story. Ever since, fans have long theorized over cut content from Metal Gear Solid 5, with discoveries like this cropping up every now and then.
Head over to our Metal Gear Solid 6 wishlist for a complete list of everything we'd like to see if the series should return.