Phantom Pain speculation links game to Metal Gear

By Steve Watts, Dec 10, 2012 7:30am PST

When The Phantom Pain debuted with a VGA trailer on Friday, something seemed suspicious. The award show had devoted a fairly lengthy amount of time (and Adam Scott hype) to an unknown game from an unknown studio. Before you could say "Big Boss," the Internet was digging in its heels to unwrap the mystery.

NeoGAF has been leading the charge toward concluding that Phantom Pain is actually a new Metal Gear title. The Moby Dick Studio site lists its CEO as Joakim Mogren, a purported American developer who left to form his own studio. "Joakim" is a common Scandinavian name, but it's also an anagram for "Kojima," the creator of Metal Gear Solid. "Mogren" has "Ogre" sandwiched in the middle, a possible reference to Project Ogre. Writer Alex Rubens then tweeted that many in the Konami VIP section of the after-party were wearing Moby Dick Studios t-shirts. Also oddly, the Moby Dick site goes out of its way to say that its staff does not use social networks.

Besides the series of real-world connections, the trailer itself seemed to drop various clues. The protagonist's head bandage, hair, and facial scar look similar to Snake, the soldiers look similar to those in Ground Zeroes, and the Ground Zeroes poster referred to "two phantoms" born from FOX. One shadowy figure stepping through a fire is wearing an outfit suspiciously similar to Volgin from Snake Eater. Finally, the extra tails hanging onto letters in the title card can easily house the words "Metal Gear Solid V."

This would be one heck of a series of coincidences, but neither Konami nor Hideo Kojima have confirmed the connection. For the time being this is all speculation, until we hear official word.

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