Loved Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty? Got a couple of hours to spare? Well, I suggest you download Hideo Kojima’s original design draft of MGS2 that has just become available online.
The design document is essentially an initial rough overview of what Metal Gear Solid 2 would be about, who would feature in it and what gameplay mechanics it would feature once it was developed and eventually released. This draft was submitted to the relevant people at Konami by Hideo Kojima in January 1999, nearly 2 and a half years before the game’s eventual European release.
It’s a worthy read, particularly if you’re a fan of the game. It’s incredible to see just how many changes it went through and yet the convoluted Patriots story remains intact even at this early stage. What is also interesting is the presence of Raiden and how Kojima knew from the very beginning how his story was essentially the ‘main’ thrust of the game.
Here are a couple of nuggets of interesting information I’ve pulled from the document from my quick read through:
1. Snake and Ocelot (controlled by Liquid’s arm) were initially supposed to fight on Wall Street on Federal Hall, like Solidus and Raiden do in the eventual climax of the actual game.
2. The document makes reference to a ‘boat chase’ on the way to Raiden fighting Solidus on Federal Hall.
3. Not exactly sure what this means but the document states that the Tanker mission is ‘only available to players who have played MGS1′.
4. Apparently there were plans for a means of attack while crawling. Players would have been able to grab enemy’s legs and knock them over.
5. Reference is made to split-screen. It talks about how the screen will split in two at some points while the player is in control. The player will continue to control their character on one side of the split while a cut scene will play on the other side. I don’t think this feature was actually utilised until MGS4.
6. Mantis Mode is detailed. Using Mantis’ Mask players would be able to read the thoughts and minds of other characters.
7. Two player versus mode is referenced.
8. The game was originally going to include an offshore plant aquarium where players could observe marine life and take photos.
9. Kojima did think about including VR missions if they had the development time.
10. Raiden was initially referred to in the Japanese draft as ‘ore’ meaning ‘I’ or ‘me’. He is referenced in the English translation as ‘Thyself’.
11. The colonel, though resembling Roy Campbell. was original a man called Daniel Quinn.
12. The document makes reference to two Patriot controlled characters Doctor William Wilson and Maxine Work. They aren’t in the final game.
13. Dead Cell characters are detailed, two of which don’t make the final game. The Chinaman hates American discrimination and New York and can walk on water, walls and ceilings, skills Vamp would eventually inherit. He holds the world record for the longest amount of time a human has spent underway before coming up for air. ‘Old Boy’ is a legendary former Nazi soldier and is over 100 years old. He fights using WWII weaponry like the Panzerfaust. He taught Big Boss everything he knew about combat and warfare. Kind of sounds a bit like ‘The End’ from MGS3.
14. Johnny Sasaki had a large part to play in MGS2 originally. The draft goes so far as to detail his death at the hands of Raiden’s electromagnetic waves.
15. The draft makes reference to Raiden’s father, named ‘Fanshawe’.
16. Olga is not listed as being the Ninja.
17. The Fallschirmjäger (Phalanx) were Old boy’s soldiers. They were to play a part in the Plant Chapter.
18. The draft lists Great White Shark as a boss battle.
Have a read of the document yourself for more details I haven’t listed above. I love Metal Gear Solid 2. Now I think I love it even more.
Thanks to Gamersmint for bringing this to our attention.