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“The Phantom Pain” premiers at VGAs

A mysterious new game called "The Phantom Pain" is headed our way. The VGA awards saw the release of the first teaser trailer for it… but is there more than meets the eye here?

The Phantom Pain seemingly came from nowhere. During the VGA awards last week, we were unexpectedly treated to an amazing, disturbing and very mysterious trailer for this new game. It shows a man who has been in a coma for some time, and wakes up in a hospital with a missing arm, bandaged face and no idea of where he is or what happened. Soldiers suddenly arrive and begin exterminating everyone in the hospital, sending the man on a terrifying escape, made even more difficult by his atrophied muscles which keep him from properly moving. Towards the end of the trailer, there's hints at supernatural involvement as we're treated to a burning man, a flying entity and a giant burning whale… though I suspect the last one is an hallucination. All in all, it's an absolutely beautiful and quite disturbing trailer:


However, a lot of people have begun suspecting that there's more to this trailer than meets the eye. The first time I saw it, I felt something was amiss too. There's quite a lot of evidence actually, but the first thing which caught my attention was the protagonist. He looks very much like another gaming character, and the conclusion more and more people are reaching is that The Phantom Pain is really Metal Gear Solid V. Here's a comparison of Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes' Snake with the protagonist from the new trailer:


The man from the trailer (left) and Big Boss/Snake (right)


The bandages may very well be from the time Big Boss lost his eye. There's more evidence though. The title of the game, "The Phantom Pain", obviously refers to the imaginary pain one can feel in limbs which have been amputated, but it may also be a reference to "From FOX two phantoms were born", which was written on a teaser image for Ground Zeroes.


There's another hint in the trailer: The game engine for The Phantom Pain is stunning, and it looks very much like the Fox game engine used in Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. The Fox Engine is proprietary to Kojima Productions though, and should not be showing up in other games. Obviously, we can't confirm that it's the same engine, but the kind of fidelity it's presenting would be very challenging for an hitherto unknown studio to produce.


On that note, let's talk about the mysterious developer: The Phantom Pain is being developed by Moby Dick Studios, which seems to have appeared out of thin air with no social media presence and a one week old website. The development studio is based in Stockholm, Sweden and it's CEO Joakim Mogren is virtually unknown in the gaming world (and as a Stockholm resident, I can attest that I've never heard of the studio or Mogren either). Curiously though, Joakim is an anagram for Kojima.


Finally, there's the logo, which has gaps in the lettering, as if blacked out lettering was covering parts of the logo. Some clever people have been fitting in the words Metal Gear Solid V into the gaps, and it fits pretty nicely.



David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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