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Dissecting Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Hideo Kojima's recent panel at GDC 2013 has released a deluge of information on the next Metal Gear Solid. The director of the series finally connected the worlds and trailers from Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain to unveil both a new trailer and gameplay footage from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. We've combed through the footage and have assembled some key still images to keep in mind as you wait for Snake's next adventure.

The new trailer for Metal Gear Solid V jumps around in time, but in this feature we try to piece things together chronologically. Described by Hideo Kojima as a "prologue" to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, it appears as though Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes ends with Snake (Big Boss) rescuing his old partner Kaz (McDonell) Miller from an exploding facility.

The way that the trailer is cut implies that the horribly burned/disfigured man from Ground Zeroes is connected to the explosive events that endanger Snake and Miller, although they appear to take place in different locations. While we don't see the actual injury, this rescue or some other event incapacitates Snake to the point that he enters a coma at a nearby hospital.

After Snake enters the coma, it's revealed that the viewer is seeing these events through the eyes of an unknown but seemingly also injured person as Miller looks directly at the camera and asks, "What about him?"

In what is said to be nine years later, Snake wakes up in a hospital (it's unclear if this is the same medical facility) to see a British flag and an indiscernable map.

Both in the original trailer for The Phantom Pain and in the new trailer for Metal Gear Solid V, you can hear a Russian woman say the words "V has come to". This could be a codename and reference to Snake waking up (or "coming to") from his coma or it could be referring to Volgin from Metal Gear Solid 3, more on him later. It is also worth nothing that the logo for the new game breaks tradition from past entries in the series and uses the Roman numeral "V" rather than the number "5", possibly hinting at a greater significance for the letter.

While these could be two different events, the hospital containing the freshly-awakened Snake comes under attack. The original Phantom Pain trailer shows military figures assassinating patients, while the gameplay for Metal Gear Solid V focuses on the supernatural invasion from both a flaming man and a Psycho Mantis-esque redhead. Guided by a bandaged man (believed to be voiced by Kiefer Sutherland) that tells Snake to call him "Ishmael" (a reference to the book Moby Dick, which was also the name of the fake studio developing The Phantom Pain),  Snake's first question is about a woman. "We gave her a light, she took the short way down", says Ishmael.

Click on the second page to learn about some of the villains and other heroes in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

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