When Kojima made the shocking announcement that David Hayter would not be reprising his legendary role in Metal Gear Solid V the Internet became a blazing inferno of fan rage. Still, many wondered if it was actually just one more of Kojima’s not-so-subtle ploys considering that the marketing campaign for Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain has been pretty strange already. Suspicions were raised once again when Hayter posted his farewell message to the character of Snake on April 1st. And then even more suspicions were raised when Kojima made the claim that they had changed the voice actor because Metal Gear Solid V was going to be a new type of Metal Gear Solid game and he wanted voice acting to reflect that, which was odd because the Japanese actor for Snake hadn’t been changed as well. If you want to go so far as to have even the voice acting reflect a change in your franchise, why only change one actor?
Still, the trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain seemed to confirm that Hayter indeed wasn’t voicing Big Boss, as a brand new voice was present and playing the role. Yet…it wouldn’t be that hard to record a different actor for the sake of the gameplay demo, would it? And still have David Hayter actually playing the role. After Big Boss only utters a few words in the demo.
This is what’s going through people’s minds because of a new video that has appeared on Youtube under the channel name OnigawaraV. In the video a bandaged man wearing a Moby Dick Studios T-Shirt, which you may remember was the name of an imaginary company Kojima used to release the Phantom Pain trailer, claims to be the new voice actor in Metal Gear Solid V. His voice is kept distorted as he claims he cannot reveal his true identity until June 11th. Yet he provides what he claims to be a hint: “I am the one you thought I would be from the start”. Many people have taken this to mean David Hayter. It feels a little obvious, but then who knows? Also note that he never mentions exactly what character he’ll be playing. Rather, people are simply making the assumption.
There are a couple of other possibilities. It could be Kiefer Sutherland. How did I arrive at that conclusion? Simple, rumours have been around for a long time now that Kiefer Sutherland, star of 24, would be taking on the role of Big Boss. In the video the bandaged man says: “Look closer detectives, the hint is right in front of you”, possibly referencing the TV show 24. The man in the video also states he has provided voice-overs for many animated films, and Kiefer Sutherland has indeed done that.
I would also postulate that when the many says the hint will follow, he’s not referring to the sentence stating it’s the person we thought all along, he’s actually talking about the, “look closer, detectives” line. Claiming that it will be who we though from the very start, David Hayter, is the sentence that everyone would automatically pay attention to because it confirms everything they want to believe is true, drawing attention away from the actual clue which points to, in my view, Sutherland. But that’s just a theory.
Let’s think of other things as well, just for some fun. The man in the video is wearing Ishmael’s bandages, like Kojima himself did. Let’s assume for a moment that the man underneath the bandages is actually David Hayter. Snake’s actor wearing Ishmael’s bandages. The man in the video will take off his bandages to reveal himself as Hayter, and then, when the time comes, Ishmael will take off his bandages to reveal himself as none other than Big Boss. Wait, I hear you cry, how the hell does that work? Well, it comes down to an interesting Internet theory that Ishmael is actually a projection of Big Boss. Keifer Sutherland could be playing the role of Ishmael (Big Boss, the imaginary.) so that fans don’t figure it out in the game too quickly, as Hayter’s voice is so distinctive that it would be hard to disguise it. It’s a pretty out there theory, but a fun one nonetheless. Or of course Sutherland could be voicing both Big Boss and Ishmael, with Ishmael still being a figment of Big Boss’ mind.
It’s also worth noting that whoever it is in the video appears to be wearing a false face, as did Kojima when he was masquerading around in the bandages.
And then there’s also the chance that the entire video is actually CGI, yet another demonstration of the FOX engine at work. The choice of white on black makes it rather hard to tell, as do the odd arm movements. There are moments when some of the facial movements and body movements just don’t quite seem right, but that could be my imagination and a result of the facial prosthetics effecting the actor. Or maybe it’s a woman, wearing both and prosthetics suit to alter her appearance, hence the odd movements. Strange idea, I know, but then David Hayter himself put out a Tweet in direct response to the video saying: “Well, it can’t be Snake, cause I think Snake is still male.” Again, utterly far fetched theory, but it’s always worth investigating different ideas. Perhaps on June 11th a new female character will be revealed, and this will prove to be yet another sneaky trick. Or Hayter is just calling the new guy a girl, in which case carry on Hayter!
Speaking of Hayter, on April 18th he sent out Tweet saying: ” I know things about things you know nothing about”. Of course this could be absolutely anything, including Hayter just having some fun coming up with stuff, but it’s still interesting that the Tweet arrived just a day before the mysterious video. Did Hayter know the video would be going up? And in a final bit of Hayter news, he’s changed his Twitter picture back to Snake, after having changed it to something completely different following announcement he wouldn’t be in Metal Gear Solid V.
It’s also worth taking a look at the choice of name for the actor in the video. He, or possibly she at this damn point, asks to be called Mr. Oni. In Japanese the Oni are invisible spirits that often cause disasters and terrible things to occur. A portion of the Wikipedia entry on them is interesting: “These nebulous beings could also take on a variety of forms to deceive (and often devour) humans.” So, is that a very direct hint that the man, woman or thing in the video is deceiving us?
There’s also a strange bit at the end of the video where the man says: “V has come too”. I’ve honestly got nothing on that one, but at the moment I’ve not got much time to think about it, so I’ll leave that up to the rest of the Internet.
And then there’s the very real, and very likely, possibility that it’s just someone on Youtube having some fun at the expense of the fans. Again, Mr. Oni.
One thing we do have to consider, though, is that if Hayter does turn out to be in Metal Gear Solid V then that would mean Kojima outright lied to the media and his fans. While Kojima has a reputation for misleading fans and playing with expectations, he has never, as far as I’m personally aware, lied about anything. He’s always just withheld information and allowed people to make assumptions, essentially fooling themselves. Lying completely wouldn’t fit with that pattern, and if it turned out he did then I’d be extremely unhappy, as that’s crossing a line.
As for me, I’m honestly past the point of caring and just wish they’d show some more gameplay, as I’m far more interested in that at this point than Kojima’s marketing ploys. Much of his work on teasing his games has been fun, but eventually it reaches a point where I’m just tired of it, and sadly that point has been reached.