Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy Fan Film

Why is that Cardboard box moving?
Reader Darthy thinks this Metal Gear Solid fanfilm is one of the best he’s ever seen. It’s over an hour put together by an enthusiastic bunch of fans and Italian film students. All on a Budget of a mere 10,000 Euros, apparently. Of course, it’s been a while since MGS has appeared on the PC – MGS2 was the last – but Snake’s still a PC character. I always have a divided response to this kind of high-gloss fan-tribute. Part of me is amazed at the amount of effort they’ve thrown into it. Part of me is crushingly disappointed that they’ve chosen to waste their creative drive so… but even that’s tempered with the knowledge that someone’s creative drives is theirs to spend however they choose. Admittedly, I’m as about as likely to actually watch the fan film as I am to sit through any of MGS4’s cut-scenes – and there is the irony is that the fan-film is actually shorter than the longest MGS4 cut-scene. You can get it from here or find it embedded below…

Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy from Hive Division on Vimeo.

Well done at getting this done. It really is an impressive amount of work.


  1. oceanclub says:

    Is there really a MGS4 cut scene over an hour long? Good god. Even some of the 2 minute long ones in the otherwise wonderful Batman: Arkham Asylum had me drumming metaphorical fingers.


    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Apparently nearer 2.


    • El Stevo says:

      The longest sequence of cutscenes with no gameplay in MGS4 is 71 minutes. Pre-release reports were exaggerated, but that’s still a long time. They are skippable though.

    • SteveHatesYou says:

      What’s the 71 minute one? The longest one I can recall was nearer to 45 minutes.

    • St4ud3 says:

      Did anyone watch those long cutscenes? If a cutscene is longer then 1min I skip them most of the time, unless they are really epic (or can’t be skipped. Ohh, how I hated the cutscene right before the final FFX boss. It’s so annoying if you have to listen to it more than once.)

    • Pax says:

      I don’t know for sure which one is the killer long one, but there are several occasions where a given character will explain Everything That Has Ever Happened in the Metal Gear Universe… most noticibly Big Mama’s speech and the one at the very end in the midst of the credits.

      And you know what? I watched ’em all. But then again, I do so love the Metal Gear story. Many long hours have been spent with a fellow Metal Gear fan discussing the mysteries of the plot (especially the super-wacky ending of #2), so if nothing else, long-winded #4 did finally answer all of our questions.

    • El Stevo says:


      The longest individual cutscene is 27 minutes long, and is immediately before the end credits. The longest sequence of cutscenes with no gameplay in between is after defeating Revolver Ocelot in act 5, and is 71 minutes long in total.

  2. whaleloever says:

    Still not quite as awesome as this:

  3. Dracko says:

    time well spent

  4. scoopsy says:

    Part of me is crushingly disappointed that they’ve chosen to waste their creative drive so…

    I understand where sentiment like this comes from, but I also know how hard it is for me to really control the directions my muse takes me. Perhaps someday I will learn to turn inspiration into a raw resource to be spent as I like, but no luck so far.

  5. Glove says:

    If your’re going to spend that much time, money, and effort (one and the same, really) to make a fan movie, it’s probably best to start with decent actors and work from there at cutting away the ham. But then again, it *does* take itself seriously, so no-one else can really do the same when watching it.

  6. Gap Gen says:

    It’s entirely possible that attaching the film to a recognisable franchise improves its chances of being seen – after all, it’s been posted over the gaming sites, whereas there are many excellent indie films that have not had the same treatment. If they get a job over this, or even just get recognition and admiration, then it will have served its purpose.

    I agree that in an ideal world creating your own universe every time is a great thing to do, but the kind of comfort culture that comes from using an existing universe that people are comfortable with often does better commercially. Plus, there are many things that do this – few people criticised Peter Jackson for making Lord of the Rings (arguably better than the book) and King Kong, or Aliens for using the same universe as Alien.

  7. Rostock says:

    Only a sadistic man puts a 1 hour plus cut-scene in a game.

  8. The Sombrero Kid says:

    laughably mgs4 has included the ability to pause the cutscenes but not skip them! it’s sadistic.

  9. Dominic White says:

    Not watched it yet, but do they manage to tune into the bizarre vein of humor running through the entire Metal Gear series? Or do they play it entirely straight-faced? Or, at least, straight-faced without realising it’s absurd?

    One thing I love about the MGS games is that they’re constantly poking fun at themselves, videogames in general, and the audience, all while playing it off as a deadly serious spy story.

    • Darthy says:

      There are a few such moments from the French sniper. And there’s a gag-real at the very end, if that counts.

  10. MikeP says:

    You can actually skip the cutscenes. The thing is the played time counts them. My first play through took about 17 hours, my second one (skipping cutscenes) took about 5! I still think it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played though.

    This video seems good so far, although there’s something annoying going on with green screen technology. The edges of the guys on the plane is making my head hurt.

  11. diebroken says:

    The name’s Plissken…

  12. mrrobsa says:

    I watched half hour of this, it really is very professional with a good eye for detail. These guys deserve a pat on the back. As for cutscenes, I’m probably somewhat of a Kojimaphile so I don’t even remember which was the longest cutscene in MGS4 (I’m sure it must be closer to 1hr than 2!), I’ll keep an eye out on the second playthrough I’ve started. At least (IMO) they’re well done cutscenes, I’d rather watch them than any number of Hollywood 90 min time wasters. Don’t get me started on TV.

  13. Darthy says:

    It looks as if they’re trying to use the project to attract enough attention (and financing) to set up as a professional studio. Best of luck to them.

  14. Lack_26 says:

    Okay, that ‘special cut’ at the end was brilliant. Made sitting through the 50-60 minute serious film worth it.

    Also, as someone who doesn’t know a single thing about the MGS series, why on earth are people so bothered about a giant, conspicuous mech armed with only a machine gun and vulnerable to just a few LAWs?

    • Hermit says:

      Because generally Metal Gears also carry nukes. Which are serious business, naturally.

      Fell out with the MGS series thanks to MGS2, for the usual reasons (Disliked Raiden, laughable boss characters, incoherent plot. And the less said about the thirty Xanatos pileup at the end, the better). That said, I remember watching a trailer for this some time back and thinking it looked pretty good.

      Also, while I understand the point about fan works, let’s not forget that love for certain video games has given us stuff like “Escape from City 17” and buckets of Machinima. Even stuff like RvB or Leetworld wouldn’t exist without the inspiration of the games underpinning them.

    • Arkmagius says:

      More specifically, they fired nukes from a mounted railgun. No launch trails, no heat signatures, and it could hit almost anywhere in the world (being mobile, and all). In other words, completely undetectable until re-entry, when it is already far too late.

      At least, this is true of REX (MGS1) and its derivatives (mentioned in MGS2). The RAY Metal Gears from 2 were made to combat the threat of the rest.

      I have no idea what the big deal was about TX-55, though.

  15. subedii says:

    For the record, the next Metal Gear game (Metal Gear Solid: Rising) is getting a PC release, so you just about might be able to carry it off.

  16. Skye Nathaniel says:

    Wow. I never thought they would actually finish this.

  17. TeeJay says:

    I’ve watched the first 20 minutes so far.

    It looks good – nice special effects & CGI, locations & props. The actors are OK – the main problem so far IMO is the editing and pacing: They have spent 20 minutes on what should have been 10 minutes. The dialogue needs to be a bit faster/more punchy/dynamic and the cutting/editing of shots needs to be faster.

    I am guessing that it is very hard to throw away material when you have put so much effort into creating it in the first place and if it is a non-commercial ‘showcase’ then internal crew politics might make it very hard to cut out work by various camera, graphics and script people.

    However overall stuff like this is to be commended and I hope this leads the creators into further work… (back to the rest of the film)

  18. Quercus says:

    I managed to get through twenty minutes before I couldn’t take Snake’s voice any more. It just doesn’t fit with the actor and it is a shame that such hard work was put into something with such poor voice work and dubbing.

  19. Monkeybreadman says:

    Different but kind of the same subject…….. What happened to Escape From City 17?

    All the part 2s are Rickrolls on youtube (whoever does that sort of thing should be beaten)

    • Hermit says:

      From their Youtube account:
      Part II is still in production. A preview will be out at some point. The Purchase Brothers are currently making a feature film that requires quite a bit of their time. “

  20. Orin says:

    Speaking as someone who spends hours upon hours every month writing scripts and putting together the voice acting of extremely talent amateur actors (which means they do it for free for some masochistic reason) for the sake of parody… well, simply put, it’s just fun. (Especially when you accidentally pick up fans for your odd little project and then find yourself determined to surprise them in the worst ways possible.) Granted I also have a lot of original stuff in more or less every realm you can imagine that I can focus on when I get sick of that occasionally.

    But then I loved MGS4 so obviously I’m unbalanced.

  21. Bobic says:

    I don’t even like metal gear solid, but this movie is so…. solid well done that maybe mgs is cool

  22. Hybrid says:

    Not really interested in MGS…… But I AM looking forward to part 2 of that Half-Life 2 short Escape From City 17.

  23. fuggles says:

    I’m very impressed! This was a really fun watch and I’ve never played metal gear. Almost as good as batman vs predator vs alien. Where do these guys get the money?!

    Brilliant, spare an hour and give it a try.

  24. DC says:

    Yall aint real mgs fans, and with that i mean the guys that are saying, ”ooh the cutscenes are too long i just skip them” I mean come on thats what MGS is all about, the STORY if you dont like long cut scenes just play GTA or something else. MGS has always been about the story but probably the most of yall didnt played the other games or yall just dont understand the story. The cutscenes in MGS are mindblowing they really suck you in to the game. They arent there to be skipped, and sure you can skip them but then you can just take the disc and throw it in the trashcan cause you just skipped the best game experience ever made.