Metal Gear Solid Integral Staff Commentary

This entry is part 5 of 20 in the series Metal Gear

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Perhaps exponentially so, in the creation of a video game. All of the moving parts – the circuitry that powers it, the code that gets it running, textures painted and models animating on screen, the timing and waveform of sound coming out of the speakers – are so complex and deeply entwined, that it can feel like a miracle whenever a game just stands on its own legs and waddles around, let alone one that is released in as mature and polished state like Metal Gear Solid did in 1998 on Sony’s PlaSstation. When it was reissued in Japan a year later, with the subtitle Integral and more content, the staff behind the masterpiece snuck in their thoughts and experiences in making the game. These comments were presented in the game through the CODEC system, on a specific frequency (140.07). Each stage has a different set of comments, with some overlap, and each one is tagged by the staff member who wrote it. Curiously, there are no comments from Hideo Kojima himself. These insights reveal a group of people working at the forefront of design and storytelling in a nascent medium, grappling with the bleeding edge technology of the day. Here are some of the more notable comments, rendered in English.

~During Development~

ここはシナリオ班がブロックで基本形状を作った最初のステージです。それでも結局面白くなるまで何度もリテイクするはめに。最初はヘリポート上を動くフォークリフトの陰に隠れながら進む企画でしたが諸般の事情で没。その時に作成されたフォークリフトが搬入ドックにさり気なく置かれています。(助監督 松花賢和)

[The Helipad] is the first stage where the scenario team built the basic shape of it with blocks. We redid it many times until it was interesting. Initially, the plan was to proceed through the heliport by hiding behind a moving forklift, but it was discarded, for a number of reasons. The forklift modeled for it is nonchalantly placed in the Loading Dock.  (Assistant Director Yoshikazu Matsuhana)

ここだけの話ですが、本来このステージは企画になかったんですよ。ゲームの基本ルールである”隠れる事”を理解してもらうために、あとから用意したんです。結果的には武器も無い状態で潜入していくという、ゲーム中で最も緊張するステージとなりました。(助監督 松花賢和)

Between you and me, [the Loading Dock] stage wasn’t originally in the game. We created it in order to get across the main rule of the game, which is to hide. As a result, it became the most tense stage in the game, having to sneak around without weapons. (Assistant Director Yoshikazu Matsuhana)

企画当初は、このステージが最初のステージであったため、レーダーの説明などがここで初めて行われるんですよ。企画が変ったのが音声収録のあとだったので、少し説明が前後しているのはそのせいです。(助監督 松花賢和)

[The Helipad] was the opening stage in the initial plan for the game, so this is where information like the radar and more is explained for the first time. The plan changed after the dialog was recorded, so it’s a little bit out of order as a result. (Assistant Director Yoshikazu Matsuhana)

当初は、このステージから隠してステージ(オタコンがグッズをため込んいる隠し部屋)に行ける仕様がありました。モデルもテクスチャーも出来ていたけれど諸事情により結局ボツに。残念。(ステージCG 佐藤久美)

Originally, there was a hidden area that you could access [in the Lab of the Nuke Building], a secret room where Otacon horded his goods. Models and textures were created for it. Nonetheless, it got cut. What a shame. (Stage CG Kumi Sato)



オセロットですが、ストッキングを被っているみたいと言われて落ち込んだ記憶が・・・ 白髪のキャラは難しいですね・・・。 (ドッター 中村如哉)

I remember being bummed out when I was told that that Ocelot looked like he was wearing a stocking on his head. White haired characters are hard to get right… (Pixel Artist Ikuya Nakamura)

リモコンミサイルを操って配電盤を破壊するイベントは最初、左側の壁沿いに飛ばさないとガンカメラに撃墜され遠回りをすれば燃料が切れるという、全くもってやりがいのありすぎる難度でしたが、誰にでもクリアできるようにと今の形になりました。ちなみにダンボールをかぶって感電すると・・・? (シナリオ班 福島智和)

At first, the sequence [in the B2 of the Nuke Building] involving destroying the electrical switchboard by using the Nikita rocket launcher was too challenging, because if you did not fly along the left wall, you would be shot down by the gun camera, and if you took a detour, you would run out of fuel. Incidentally, what happens when you get electrocuted by a piece of cardboard? (Scenario Writer Tomokazu Fukushima)

ポリゴン数が苦しかった覚えが。一見、そんなに食ってないように見えるでしょう。全く気付かないでスルスル降りてっちゃう人が大半でしょうが、向かいの棟とか上を見上だけ時目に入る落ちたアンテナの残骸とかもくって作ってあります。見てね。(ステージCG 佐藤久美)

I recall the polygon count presented problems [in the descent down Communications Tower A]. At a glance, it doesn’t look like it consumes resources. People who move quickly down the side might not notice, but things like the opposite tower and the wreckage of the antenna when you look up, are also included. Check it out. (Stage CG Kumi Sato)

死体のポーズに個性を出すのに苦労しました。死体の位置と血の跡をトレースすると忍者がいかに超人的動きをしたか解ると思います。血痕の表現が手描きでは難しかったため、墨汁を紙の上にぶちまけた後スキャンし、レタッチしたものを使用したりしました。会社の床を墨汁で汚したことは秘密です。(ステージCG 佐々木英樹)

I had trouble making unique poses for the corpses [in the hallway scene with the Ninja]. I think , if you following the blood trail and the position of the dead bodies, it gives a sense of how super human the Ninja’s movement are. Representing the bloodstains was hard to do by hand, so I dumped black ink on paper, scanned it in, and touched it up. That I am the one who stained the company’s office with ink is a secret. (Stage CG Hideki Sasaki)

デモ制作ツールのネックは画面のリフレッシュの度に画面要素がフラッシュする。極端に目を酷使し続けると眼窩のまわりがケイレンし始める。顔をヒクつかせながら何度もプレビューしている私の様はさぞ不気味だったであろう。(ポリゴンデモ 水谷崇)

The bottleneck for the cutscene production tool is that the screen would flash each time it is refreshed. When the eyes are overworked to that extreme degree, the area around your eye sockets will start to twitch. It must have been creepy to see my face twitching while I previewed the scenes over and over again. (Polygon Demo Takashi Mizutani)



エレベータでのぼるデモの中で出てくるゴーグルですが、あっと言う間に出来たので...。とは言っても落ちた後の弾み具合、回転角度はモーション監督のアドバイスあってのモノ。ただ落ちるだけのモーションとは違って、何かいい感じでしょ!? (モーション 吉村涼子)

The goggles [Snake wears in the opening] during the elevator cutscene were made very fast. The way they bounce and rotate when dropped, however, was done on the advice of the motion director. It differs from how they would normally fall, but it feels good, doesn’t it!? (Animator Ryoko Yoshimura)

モーションデータ名はhoney_flash。無線のスイッチを入れるため首筋に手を当てるので何となくつけた名前だったんですが、その後いろんなシーンで兼用されているのでその度、「ハニーフラッシュ(のデータ)ってどこだっけー?」と聞かれる羽目に・・・。(モーション 金田有希子)

“honey_flash” was the file name of some animation data I worked on. Since it involved bringing a hand up to the back of the neck, in order to activate the Codec, I gave it that name without thinking about it. But then, it ended up getting reused in many scenes and it created an awkward situation where I was asked “where’s the Honey Flash (animation data) at?” each time it was used. (Animator Yukiko Kaneda)

(Note: Cutie Honey Flash was an anime airing in Japan, from 1997 to 1998. The main character in the show transforms into her personas by hitting a button on her choker and saying the phrase ‘Honey Flash.’)

VRトレーニングのクリア時に飛び上がった喜ぶスネーク。アイデアで出ず、「これはブーイングだろうな~」 とおそるおそる出したモーション。こういうのに限ってクレームもなくOKだったりする。そんなにうれしいか、スネーク?(モーション 西村誠芳)

About Snake jumping for joy when clearing a mission in VR Training. We didn’t have any ideas for it, and I was wary about submitting mine, thinking “It will probably get shot down.” But even with those fears, it was given the ‘okay’ with no objections. Does that make you happy, Snake? (Animation Nobuyoshi Nishimura)


~The Small Details~

メイ・リンを無線で呼び出してそのままずーっと放ったらかしにしておいたことある?(キャラクター・デザイン 新川洋司)

Have you contacted Mei Ling and neglected her over and over for a long time? (Character Designer Yoji Shinkawa)

落とし穴は、当初は踏んだ瞬間にいきなり落っこちでいたのですが、どれはあまりにもひどいということで現在の形になりました。かなりやさしめなので、あまりひっかかった人はいないとは思いますけど、ここはぜひダンボールを装備したままで落とし穴に落っこちでみて下さい。(シナリオ班 向手史朗)

Initially, the pitfalls would activate right as it was stepped on, but that definitely too hard, so we changed it to what we have now. I think people aren’t getting caught by them now, since we made them considerably easier. With that said, please try falling into one of them with the cardboard box equipped. (Scenario Unit Shiro Mukaide)

エレベータを下りてすぐ横の壁に張り付くと壁の向こうにDARPA局長の座っているのが見え、短いストリングスの音色が鳴ります。このように何かを発見した時などに鳴る短い音(楽)を小島組ではジングルと呼んでいます。他にも数力所ジングルの鳴るシーンがあるのですが、発見できましたか? (音響監督 村岡一樹)

If you exit the elevator [on B1 of the Tank Hanger] and hug the wall beside it, you will see the DARPA chief on the other side of the wall and a brief string note plays. This jingle, as we call it around the Kojima team, is played when something is discovered, etc. There are some other places where it is played. Have you found them all? (Sound Director Kazuki Muraoka)


このステージ、崖っぷちに立つとかすかに波の音が聞こえます。はるか下方の音なので聞こえにくいかもしれません。いえいえ、わざわざ耳をこらして聞いていただかなくても... (音響監督 村岡一樹)

On [the Helipad] stage, if you stand near the cliff’s edge [close to the elevator at the start], you can hear the sound of the waves faintly. Since it is coming from below, it may be difficult to hear. No no, you shouldn’t have to strain your ears to hear it… (Sound Director Kazuki Muraoka)

初めてここの廊下に入った時、尺八と共に始まるお経(?)。これは小島監督の意向で忍者が関西の某私鉄の駅名を連呼しているという設定です。某私鉄の駅名はどれも美しい響きを持っており、忍者の日本的なイメージとマッチしていると思います。(音響監督 村岡一樹)

When you first enter the corridor [to the Lab], a sutra (?) begins together with a shakuhachi. The Ninja yelling out the station names of a certain private railway in the Kansai region was Director Kojima’s idea. The station names all have a beautiful sound and I think they match the Ninja’s Japanese depiction. (Sound Director Kazuki Muraoka)

(Note: A shakuhachi is a Japanese bamboo flute originating from the 16th century.)

~The Man, The Myth, The Motion Director, So Toyota~

(Translator’s note: So Toyota’s comments reveal nothing about the game, with the only substance being comedy. He compares himself to every character in the game in an overblown and silly way. These are just a couple of examples.)

サイコマンティスのモーションは同じ読心(リーディング)能力をもつ超能力者の僕が担当しました。彼は移動が空中浮遊なので歩きモーションが有りません。今、歩かないと聞いてオレが楽してると思ったろ!手抜きだとか思ったろ!い、い今、オレのことサOコ野郎と思っただろ!(モーション監督 豊田聡)

Psycho Mantis’ motions were done by me, a person with ESP who has the same kind of mind reading abilities. Since he gets around by floating, he doesn’t have a walking animation. Just now, when you heard me say that he doesn’t walk, you thought I’m lazy! You thought that I cut corners or something! N, now, you’re thinking I’m some kind of ps*cho guy! (Motion Director So Toyota)

ハルエメリッヒ博士のモーションを作成するのに、おねしょ歴27年のベテランの僕がぴったりでした。あの足の震え具合は、おねしょ歴3~4年のちびっ子には作れません。実は今朝もおねしょをして、母上にしかられでしまいました。鬼のように怒る母上の顔を思い出しただけでもう・・・じょー。(モーション監督 豊田聡)

As a 27 year veteran of bedwetting, I was the perfect person to craft the motions of Dr. Hal Emmerich. Some little boy with three or four years of wetting the bed could have never made those legs shake like that. As a matter of fact, just this morning, my mother chastised me for wetting the bed. I can recall her face twisting with anger into a demonic shape… *splash* (Motion Director So Toyota)

くるくる回りながら落ちてゆくPALキーのモーションを作成するのに、元PALキーだっておれ以外に適任者がいるだろうか・・・。いや悪かった。PALキーはただくるくる回しているだけだ。誰にでもできる。(モーション監督 豊田聡)

Who else would be more qualified than I, a former PAL Key, to create the motion for the PAL key as it spins and falls? Wait, no, that’s wrong. The key is merely making a spinning motion. Anybody could do that. (Motion Director So Toyota)

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