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The Phantom Pain

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The Phantom Pain is a trailer that was released during the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards on December 7, 2012. Although the beginning of the trailer mentioned that the developer was called Moby Dick Studio,[1] some evidence suggests that it was actually made by Kojima Productions for a game related to either the Metal Gear series or Project Ogre. More specifically, Metal Gear Solid 5. Many sources are speculating a connection to Metal Gear.[2]

Trailer summary

A doctor talks to a patient, urging him to relax. He continues, stating there is plenty of time and he needs to tell him something. A car crash is shown, before returning to the doctor, informing his patient that he has been in a coma for "quite some time." The Union Jack is seen in the background, implying this facility is in, or at least owned by, Great Britain. The patient sees white petals floating in front of him and when he reaches of them, discovers his left arm has been replaced with a prosthetic. A fellow patient, his face bandaged, helps him up. The patient tries to move, but cannot stand, instead being forced to crawl. The bandaged soldier then escorts him through the halls of the hospital, only to stop when he notices a mysterious figure beyond the doorway. Suddenly, the hallway glows orange as dark smoke appears above them. It then cuts to nighttime in the hospital halls. The patient has regained his ability to walk, but the pair see lights from both outside and in the halls, forcing them to hide. Soldiers raid the hospital, gunning down patients, as a fire breaks out. A burning man is briefly seen along with a fiery apparition resembling a unicorn. The patient then runs out of the doomed hospital only to find a helicopter pinning him down. A demonic-looking blue whale appears from the sky and consumes the chopper. The patient is then shown lying down, a soldier kicking him over and a figure looms over them. Throughout the trailer, narrations, implied to be the patient's, question where he is, why he can't move his body, and whether he's in a dream. The patient also speculates that he might be in Hell, and states repeatedly to "open his eyes." Finally, a woman is heard stating "he has come to."

Kojima Productions game?


Early speculations on why The Phantom Pain is Metal Gear Solid 5 (click to animate).

As noted above, there is some evidence to suggest that the trailer was actually meant to be a promotion by Kojima Productions for a future game:[2]
  • The amputated character's arm is introduced with him reaching for white petals, mirroring sequences in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.[3]
  • The amputated character resembles Big Boss/Solid Snake.[3]
  • The doctor in the trailer resembles Dr. Kio Marv. He is the Czech scientist who made the oil producing bacteria OILIX in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.[4]
  • The soldier who is helping the main character has similar sneaking animations to those seen in the Metal Gear series and also has facial bandages, linking him to the disfigured character who appeared in the Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes trailer.[4]
  • The figure in the elevator near the beginning, on close inspection, is wearing a gas mask, similar to Psycho Mantis. This character seems to have the ability to levitate as well, also seen in Mantis. The fire seen throughout the trailer might also be a nod to his childhood.[4]
  • The soldiers hunting down the main characters wear nearly identical outfits to the XOF soldiers from the Ground Zeroes trailer.
  • The first figure in the fire is seen wearing the outfit Snake wears in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and the Ground Zeroes trailer.
  • The second figure in the fire bears a large resemblance in outline and leggings to Colonel Volgin.[3]
  • One of the soldiers seen (who seemed to catch on fire at one point) bears a strong facial resemblance to either Raiden or Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov.
  • The negative space of the title describes "Metal Gear Solid V."[5]
  • The developer, Moby Dick Studio, was apparently started two weeks prior to the trailer's release.[3]
  • The supposed head of the development company is Joakim N. Mogren. "Joakim" is an anagram of "Kojima." Also, the word "ogre" appears in the middle four letters of "Mogren."[3]
  • The phrase "From FOX, two phantoms were born" was used in the trailer of Ground Zeroes.[4]
  • In June, Hideo Kojima tweeted that their motion capture team were "rehearsing the scene getting out of the up-side-downed car resulted from the car accident" with pictures of the team rehearsing. The Phantom Pain trailer begins with a car accident.[4]
  • On David Hayter's Twitter account, Hayter tweeted "'@aganej2: @DavidBHayter so what was your take on The Phantom Pain trailer?' It made my arm hurt", hinting that Hayter was going to play a part in the supposed game.[4] This was followed by another tweet that said, "@HypeGenerator Well in fact, I don't believe I 'confirmed' anything... #PP=MGV?"[6]
  • Video game journalist Alex Rubens posted a photo of Kyle Cooper wearing a T-shirt for The Phantom Pain.[7] Rubens also commented that other Konami staff in the VIP section were wearing The Phantom Pain shirts and Kojima was seen mingling with the team.[8]


The name of the game, The Phantom Pain, refers to a condition regarding the feeling of detachment regarding amputated or otherwise lost limbs/organs.

Behind the scenes

At one point in the trailer, the face-bandaged soldier says to the main protagonist "On your feet, soldier! The whole place is coming down!" This was actually reused audio dialogue from Sgt. Roebuck (Kiefer Sutherland's character) from Call of Duty: World at War.




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