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David Bowie

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David Robert Jones (January 8, 1947 - January 10, 2016), better known by his stage name David Bowie, was an English musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, comedian, actor and arranger who is well known for various image songs, such as "Ashes to Ashes", "Diamond Dogs", "Space Oddity", and "Ziggy Stardust." One of his most distinguishing traits, at least during his early years, was his possessing an androgynous physical appearance. He was also the father of Hollywood director Duncan Jones. Bowie died of liver cancer on January 10, 2016 at the age of 69.

Relation to the Metal Gear series

In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the character Major Zero, during the Virtuous Mission, adopted the codename "Major Tom" for the mission, referencing the songs "Space Oddity" and "Ashes to Ashes" by Bowie (although in-universe, it was a reference to one of the failed tunnels in The Great Escape). Snake also quotes the line "Can you hear me, Major Tom?" from "Space Oddity" when contacting the Major.

The boss character The Fury, shortly after being defeated by the main protagonist Naked Snake, radioed mission control while reliving his accident and stated that he was "coming home" before smashing himself through the roof, referencing the song "Major Tom (Coming Home)" by Peter Schilling, which was written as a tribute and sequel to Bowie's "Space Oddity." When calling the character Para-Medic, she will ask Snake whether he's seen the film My Mother was a Teenage Spider Queen from Mars before admitting she hadn't absentmindedly, alluding to Bowie's former band "The Spiders from Mars." Both "Ashes to Ashes" and "Space Oddity" were originally planned to be used as the ending themes for Metal Gear Solid 3, although they were cut in favor of Starsailor.

In the Raymond Benson novelization for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Bowie was briefly referenced in one of the beginning chapters, specifically when Raiden was onboard the elevator upon infiltrating the Big Shell, where he reflected that Rosemary had once told him that his androgynous physical appearance gave him a physical resemblance to Bowie during the latter's youth.[1]

In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the name of the military group Big Boss and Kazuhira Miller were running after the devastation of the Militaires Sans Frontières, Diamond Dogs, was partly named after the title track from David Bowie's 1974 album of the same name. Kojima also indicated that he originally intended to open Metal Gear Solid V with the namesake song, although they decided against it.[2] In the E3 2015 trailer and the opening for The Phantom Pain, Venom Snake is seen picking up a tape labeled "From the Man Who Sold the World." Minus the word "from," this is the name of Bowie's 1970 song and album. Bowie will be among the artists for songs on cassette tapes that players can collect via boom boxes throughout The Phantom Pain. Mission 46 as well as Big Boss's alias when sending him the aforementioned tape (which was actually a message from him) was also a reference to Bowie's song. Contrary to popular belief, however, the version of "The Man Who Sold the World" that is accessed by cassette tape and played during the opening for both the game and Main Mission 46 is not the one sung by Bowie. Instead, it is a cover version sung by Midge Ure. During his last rant against Zero before being crushed by a downed communications tower that was kicked into him by a prematurely-activated Metal Gear Sahelanthropus, Skull Face also says "Major... I'm burning up!", referencing the song "Space Oddity."

Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty novelization by Raymond Benson (2009).
    Page 59: "He [Raiden] pulled off the skullcap, revealing a long mane of white hair that tumbled out to cover his shoulders. His features were somewhat androgynous — Rose had once told him he looked like a young David Bowie.
  2. ^

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