Solid Snake named for animal influence, says Kojima

Series creator Hideo Kojima has delved into an explanation of Solid Snake's name, and how it developed further has he had to come up with other characters to match.

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Metal Gear Solid's main character, Solid Snake, has the gravel voice and mullet of Snake Plissken from the Escape from New York and Escape from L.A. films. But even with creator Hideo Kojima's film-loving sensibilities, and contrary to some previous comments, his name had more to do with the reputation of his animal namesake than the Kurt Russell character.

"The reason I used Snake as code name in [Metal Gear] was snake was the most appropriate symbol of living thing that hides his presence," Kojima said on Twitter (via Polygon). "The reason why I didn't use any specific snake names like cobra, anaconda or viper was because the protagonist is the player. The reason I use Solid was to give opposite impression of soft image."

He said he developed Liquid Snake to be a counterpoint to Solid, as clones can make for a strong enemy that can match the hero. The third snake, Solidus, was chosen as a reference to the physics term that "indicates the border between liquid and solid." He chose to break the sequence of natural states at that point. "Obviously the next would be 'gas' but Gas Snake would be like a human made of gas, and that's not a nice name," he said.

Kojima has referenced Escape from New York as an inspiration in interviews, and film director John Carpenter even claims he gave his blessing when Kojima wrote to him. But, he has said as far back as 2012 that Snake was not based on the character.

The next Metal Gear game, Metal Gear Solid 5, stars yet another Snake: Big Boss, otherwise known as Naked Snake.

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  • reply
    March 11, 2014 4:00 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Solid Snake named for animal influence, says Kojima.

    Series creator Hideo Kojima has delved into an explanation of Solid Snake's name, and how it developed further has he had to come up with other characters to match.

    • reply
      March 11, 2014 4:48 PM

      "I came up with the name after a particularly taxing bowel movement."

      • reply
        March 12, 2014 2:04 AM

        Thread over, last one out turn off the lights.

      • reply
        March 12, 2014 6:29 AM

        What about the name liquid snake? Wait, don't answer that.

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      March 12, 2014 6:11 AM

      always thought it was a tentacle penis/hentai reference, he's japanese

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      March 13, 2014 3:12 PM

      I have a gas snake brewing up now, better rush to the lavatory.