Watch Metal Gear Solid V’s Lost Ending

While most of us continue to be starry-eyed about MGSV: The Phantom Pain [official site], there has been no shortage of Internet Grumbles about its ending, and concerns that it wasn’t finished-finished (possibly related to Kojima and Konami’s latest round of spats?). I’m not going to get into OPINIONS on that stuff myself, primarily because I’m not personally invested in MGS lore, but yeah, there really was an original, longer ending sequence with MORE RIDICULOUS DRAMA and arguably a greater sense of closure, both for Big Boss/Venom Snake himself and in terms of closing the loop between the two main Metal Gear Solid timelines.

This other finale, set on a jungly island, was partially completed before whatever happened happened, and is included on the MGSV bonus disc from the PS4 collector’s edition. You can watch the whole, 18 minute sequence below. Spoilers, inevitably.

N.B. I am well aware that some of you will already be aware of this, and have seen it before. This post is for everyone else.

In the lost episode 51 sequence, we see Big Boss/Venom Snake head to a Lord of the Flies-style island, occupied by a militarised child army lead by Eli, the clone son who will eventually become long-time MGS villain Liquid Snake. Enormous Metal Gears, a big old fight involving Big Boss’s entire private army, and equal parts sadness and silliness are involved. It’s unfinished, but a surprising amount is present and correct. What do you think, is this a more satisfying ending than the one we got?

The ending isn’t the only aspect of MGSV which fell onto the cutting room floor, however – there have been many hints of a third chapter, titled Peace, that didn’t appear in the finished game, as well as many early trailer shots that are nowhere to be found in MGSV. The video below from HyperBitHero attempts to summarise all of it, as well as applying extra scrutiny and context to both the finished and cut endings.

20 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    The rumours of a third chapter fits with how many second chapter missions are hard mode repeats of earlier ones.
    12 missions in Chapter 2 are alternate versions of earlier ones. They could easily have made up an entire chapter if they had been original content.

    In addition, I suspect that the intention was to offer Extreme / Subsistence / Total Stealth versions of all missions, but the spat with Konami prevented this from happening.

    It’s a shame, but it still doesn’t stop MGS V from being my favourite game for years.

  2. bleeters says:

    The perfect scores this game recieved continue to baffle me.

    • Premium User Badge

      Mungrul says:

      Scores baffle me full stop.
      I think they’re mainly a marketing stunt on behalf of both participants. The publisher gets to say that their game is great because such-and-such said so, and such-and-such potentially gets their name on the box of a popular game and hence more public awareness of their brand.

      I’d much rather read opinions from reviewers whose personalities and preferences I’m familiar with.

    • DThor says:

      I am trying desperately to enjoy this game, full disclosure: I have positively zero emotional investment in the storyline, having only played a bit of MGS here and there over the course of decades of gaming(starting with infocom). Therefore, I honestly don’t care about multiple timelines, who begat who, and origins of various scars – the only story I care about is the one here, and it’s really flimsy. That aside, I love entertaining open world games so I can acknowledge this is no Witcher 3,but I really find the goofy and childish humour annoying as hell. I get an accomplishment for rescuing specifically a *female* prisoner? Seriously? Let’s not get into Quiet writhing on the deck. The military dialog at mother base is like some 12 year old’s idea of the military. There are idiotic design choices forcing you, over and over, to play through the same basic cutscene prior to every mission, the notion that multiple parts of mother base would be frickin *miles* apart requiring pointless driving down a straight bridge or needing to call down a helicopter (cue repetitive cutscene and loving flyovers) just so you can move between departments (do I ever need to? It’s unexplained, apart from target practice). It’s once again like I’m a little boy squirming at all this endless tedious concrete plunked in the middle of the ocean staffed by obsequious masochistic soldiers ALL AT MY COMMAND!
      That’s insulting to kids, though. I think back to W3 and actual adult themes and realize that as a kid I would have loved that so much more…

      • aleander says:

        The military is the 12-year’s old idea of the military. That’s kinda one of the points.

    • jhk655 says:

      finished or not, it is the most fun game released so far this year. Personally, I’ve have more fun with it than any game released in the last 2 years. Maybe it doesn’t deserve a perfect 10, but it should have gotten at least an 8. I’d give it a 9 myself.

      The game might be more complete had the devs another are or two, but unfortunately money was an issue. And even though the story feels incomplete, the game still has more content than any other MGS that came before it.

  3. jayfear says:

    A serious issue with scoring for games and films is that reviews for products, even entertainment, belie the fact that perfection isn’t attainable. People on both sides need to understand that the highest possible score doesn’t equal perfection.

    What it DOES equal is hard to define – I’d say scoring can’t work with people’s current mindsets. An unattainable state means you might as well not ever use the fifth star or tenth point, but then that just places the burden of perfection on the fourth/ninth equivalents.

  4. Sui42 says:

    The whole thing is just a bit sad. The fact that Eli’s ending is left unresolved is just laughable. Akin to a film being released with the last few scenes missing. Why was this allowed? And why didn’t review scores reflect this? You could argue that the core mechanics of the game are finished, but they do not exist in a vacuum. I was building up Mother Base because I thought I was involved in some grand narrative. The ‘missing link’ between MGS3 and MGS. but instead we just get a shoddy, inferior peace walker with less weapons to develop, less ways to use vehicles and soldiers, a weaker story, etc…

    (on an aside: i was kinda hoping that this would lead to a remake of the original Metal Gear, with Sunderland voicing Big Boss and Hayter voicing Snake. The shoddy ending and kojima’s departure make this pretty much impossible now, which is a shame).

    (another aside: at least the FOB stuff is awesome. stealing other people’s resources is so much fun. Best new multiplayer idea since Dark Souls)

  5. Humanji says:

    I just assumed it’s planned DLC.

    • Unruly says:

      If it weren’t for the fact that the studio dissolved before the game even hit the trucks, let alone the shelves, I’d agree. But Konami is ditching everything related to games these days, so it’s pretty much never going to happen.

  6. Sinjun says:

    I’m a lifelong MGS fan, and this is one of the most overrated games of all time. Easily. All the 10’s and unbelievable praise from critical outlets is just complete madness to me. The gameplay is solid, very fun and very varied open world that might be the best stealth seen thus far, but literally everything else about the game is a mess or horrible. There’s maybe 3 or 4 different types of bases in the entire game, full stop, scattered throughout sandboxes that look pretty authentic but don’t really do enough to justify their existence. Ground Zeroes had better design than anything in TPP. Mother base is pointless. The story is boring, nonsensical even for MGS standards, and unfinished – it ends at the end of Act 2. All buildup, no payoff, and the buildup mostly sucks. As a result of the deeply unfinished nature of the game, the structure of Chapter 2 is a mess and the lasting impression of MGSV isn’t a good one.

    If unfinished games that don’t have even remotely good writing get 10’s, which is supposed to mean perfect or near-perfect, gaming criticism doesn’t mean anything anymore. At least Eurogamer and RPS have the right idea with not assigning scores, but they still praised this game. I don’t understand it. The Witcher 3 came out a few months ago and it was rightly hailed for it’s amazing writing, yet here comes MGS and all of it’s defenders say “writing doesn’t matter”. Fuck that, yes it does.

    • Sui42 says:

      I generally agree, although I perhaps wouldn’t be quite so scathing.

      I would argue that everything up until you leave Afghanistan is excellent. The best 10-15 hours of stealth gameplay thus far produced. I think the bases in Afghanistan are actually perfect – their design and distribution is great, and you get a nice variation. Afghanistan is generally just a lovely stealth sandbox.

      But, Afghanistan alone isn’t enough. MGS has always been about infiltrating bases, and I was really hoping for some grand, Shadow-Moses style impenetrable base in the latter part of the game. Instead you get ‘border region’ Africa, which is much less memorable than Afghanistan (only notable location is the airfield, which isn’t even that great), and then loads of shitty Mother Base missions.

      And speaking of Mother Base, it has to be one of the biggest letdowns of the game. It’s just empty and bland. It’s one exceptional feature is the FOB infiltrations – which are genuinely really fun, if a little flawed (defenders should only be able to jump in when you get spotted IMO) – but the actual base itself, and all the singleplayer aspects of it, are horrible and genuinely worse than Peace Walker.

      Firstly – the way MB is built is just so unimaginative. The first ‘deck’ of each division (Intel, R&D etc) is OK, but any improvements just see a generic oil rig getting tacked on the end. It’s clear why this is – because each FOB infiltration sees you working your way to the ‘main’ deck – but in the singleplayer game it makes upgrading your base really boring. Compare this to pretty much any other base building game and how your base generally looks bigger, cooler and more advanced the more you upgrade it. Mother Base just looks more tacky.

      Secondly – there’s nothing to do. It’s just an empty base. Bleurgh.

      Thirdly – you can’t go in most of the buildings. It’s just a load of repeated bridges and oil rigs. Bleurgh.

      Fourth – The whole R&D aspect is a mess. Each category only has 3 or 4 different weapons in it, each one broken down into numerous customisations. You CAN actually unlock freeform weapon customisation though, which renders this overwrought and frankly confusing tech tree completely redundant. The R&D tree is also just generally a lot less varied and interesting than in Peace Walker, and I’m pretty sure a lot has been cut. There was an early screenshot of Venom Snake with a Railgun (which was in Peace Walker) – no sign of a useable Railgun in Phantom Pain.

      Fifth – The combat deployments are much worse than in Peace Walker. In PW you could manually customise your mech, and manually send out vehicles. Furthermore you got to watch the battle unfold in a cool little animated sequence. What we get here is but a phantom of PW’s feature, despite being a next-gen game. WTF.

      TLDR; Bleurgh

      • Jekadu says:

        There are eight equipment tiers, but most categories only go to five, and only a few go to six. I suspect a lot of planned stuff was cut.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      I suspect part of it is that many people–especially critics, as far as I can tell–aren’t crazy about Metal Gear Solid’s story in the first place and are mostly just happy that the game is less cutscene-heavy than before. Certainly most of the reviews I’ve read state (sometimes implicitly) that while TPP’s story is weaker than other entries in the series, those other entries were baffling garbage and this new entry is great in part by not being terribly invested in narrative.

  7. Premium User Badge

    corinoco says:

    Look, is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling this game was written by a 6 year old? Big Boss? Really? Really? Titty-girl wossihername (with the lamest excuse ever. “honest, mum, the Playboy mag was for a school assignment on alien parasites”).
    Disclosure: I played a Metal Gear Solid game, once. It might have been twice. On the PS1. In 199-something. It was not to my taste.
    Yes, everyone is telling me it is ‘mostest awesomely gamier evest!!11one!!elelventy!’ but, no.
    My opinion has been delivered.

    • Sui42 says:

      The original Metal Gear:

      A) Came out in 1987
      B) Is Japanese

      which should explain the crazy names / stories.

      Having been to Japan and watched some of their frankly baffling TV shows, I now see MGS in a new light: which is basically the American military seen through Japan-goggles. A lot of it is actually pretty well researched as well, it’s just that they wrap it all up in these really weird characters and situations.

      I actually think all of the Metal Gear Solid games (including this one) deal with some pretty interesting themes. Having studied semiotics as part of English Literature, everything the Phantom Pain had to say about language was very thought provoking and interesting.

      But, then they spoil it by including about 30 minutes of utterly boring cassette tapes explaining weird pseudo-science about language diseases. Just… urgh

      TLDR: Metal Gear is an acquired taste

      • emptyskin says:

        Yes, the story with the Philosophers and the Patriots seems to be a fictionalized version of the events concerning the Round Table (and thus the Chatham and the CFR), the Committee for Imperial Defense, and the transition to a US dominated international economy.

      • ChatterLumps says:

        I feel like I was the only one who was really interested in the cassette tapes, especially the ones with Code Talker. I was surprised about how well researched parasites were, much of it was accurate until it got into the language, superpowers stuff. Easily the best representation of parasites I have seen in popular media, even if the details were hidden away on really long cassette tapes.

        I wish the end result was more interesting or was part of a cohesive whole, at least. There are all these ideas that never really come together. Parasites are amazingly diverse and interesting, and the game SORT OF understood that, but it didn’t result in anything amazing. I kind of wish the game ended just with a less abrupt act 1 because that at least tied together well on its own.

        I would really like to see a cutscene of that 10 minute tape with Skullface and Code Talker. That was amazingly well directed and stood out on its own.

  8. draglikepull says:

    I love the game, but the story is clearly unfinished. And not just in the sense that they cut the mission shown in the video above, but in the sense that the first act ends very abruptly and the second act basically doesn’t exist.

    The second act is called “Race”, but there’s literally nothing about race in any of the (very sparse) story or missions in that act. Only one mission in the entire second act really adds any new content (admittedly, that mission is *amazing*); the rest is just sending you back to locations you’ve been to before to complete slightly different objectives.

    Given that we now know Konami is getting out of the console gaming business, it seems pretty likely that at a certain point they told Kojima the game was coming out on a particular date and whatever was in the game at that point is all there was ever going to be.

  9. emptyskin says:

    Despite not ever owning a console, I have played all main MGS games since MGS1.

    This ending sucked and made for the most disappointing MGS of them all. The gameplay is great (10/10), but it just falls apart after mission 31 (6/10).

    Chapter 2 is comprised of maybe five missions and ten repetitive yellow side ops (find the AI, rescue the children). The game ends with an english virus still with eli, metal gear (Sahl) on the loose, without a comment on the ‘third boy’ who is a boss from MGS1, and an ending that feels like a climax not a resolution.

    What story has the main bad guy die at the end of Act 1?