So long time (western) voice of Solid Snake and Big Boss David Hayter is apparently not going to be in Metal Gear Solid V. And lo, there was much sadness and horror at the thought of a fundamental element of the MGS series being no longer present.
But let’s look ahead. With Hayter’s tweets claiming not so much as an invitation to audition and the game footage we’ve seen so far including only the smallest of verbals from Big Boss/Naked Snake (which could certainly be placeholder at this stage), the field is wide open for a replacement. So who is possible, who is likely, and who would we just enjoy having a wild old guess at? Click on and we’ll take you through our suggestions. Highly variable degrees of plausibility very much ahead.
Why? Because it’s a male speaking role in a video game. You know the rules.
What would his Snake be like? After 15 years of throaty, self-reflective angst, Snake lightens up. No soul-searching analysis of the effects of war and the nature of a man who kills for a living. Nolan Snake would know that it’s entirely acceptable to murder a small country’s worth of bad guys for financial reward, and that the best way to deal with a sticky combat situation is not through precise, years-honed military stealth perfection but with a scampering, improvastional, arm-waving frenzy of blind-firing and continual yelps of “Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap!”
Why? Because they’re near enough the same person anyway. Cam Clarke was Liquid Snake. Liquid Snake was Solid’s clone twin. Both were cloned from Big Boss’ DNA.
What would his Snake be like? Using the later Twin Snakes version as a starting point, flamboyant, preening, and physically unable to speak more than two lines without doing a backflip. He wouldn’t so much hide under cardboard boxes as leap on top of them, distract the opposition with a pirouette, then whip his shirt off and start a fist-fight. Though thinking less flippantly, given that MGSV is looking to take place a few years after the Les Enfants Terrible project started, there could actually be some appearance by Liquid and Solid if the game takes in a long enough timeline. And after Clarke’s non-appearance in Metal Gear Solid 4, it would be great to have him back in the series.
Why? Because he was Kojima’s favourite for the Metal Gear Solid movie for a while.
What would his Snake be like? Stoic, mature, subtly layered. And he’d naked-wrestle his enemies to death. Which let’s face it, would be no great stretch for Metal Gear given Raiden’s ball-cupping antics in MGS2.
Why? Because he’s been a front-runner for the movie on and off.
What would his Snake be like? In terms of gravel-voice, he’d make David Hayter’s version sound like a nine-year-old girl. Ever eager to push himself to his creative limits, Bale would probably take advantage of his audio-only presence to create a new version of his Batman voice so gruff as to actually cause him to cough up blood. Apparently the problem of red sputum on the camera was the only thing that caused him to hold back in the Dark Knight trilogy. Oh, and Snake would gain or lose 10 stone between every level. And randomly scream at anyone who walked into his line of sight while lining up a shot. Which wouldn’t be terribly stealthy, but would be rather intimidating.
Why? Because if that is his voice in the MGSV trailer, he could already be closer to Big Boss than you suspect. There’s a theory that the bangage-faced man who helps BB through the burning hospital is not a separate character at all, but a mental projection created by the weakened soldier in his coma-addled state in order to pull himself out of danger. If that’s true, then it would make sense for Sutherland to play MGSV’s protagonist proper. It’s notable that Big Boss doesn’t speak in the GDC trailer, but some more, very Sutherland-sounding dialogue is overlayed over the final shot of him, post-credits.
What would his Snake be like? Pretty excellent actually. And not a great leap from David Hayter’s. Both actors have a raspy, throaty delivery and slightly off-kilter intonation, while Sutherland is excellent at bringing an odd, mournful tiredness to his roles when appropriate. We’d say in this case that would definitely be appropriate.
Why? Because he’s gravelly and really good. And let’s face it, even before the Arkham games, everyone who ever played a stealth game was pretending to be Batman in their head anyway.
What would his Snake be like? Stoic, dignified and professional. In many ways Conroy’s Batman performance has a great deal in common with Snake. In all seriousness, KC is one of the best voice actors working today, and having branched out into video games in the Arkham series it would be great to see him bring his qualities to the medium further afield. The only issue could be that with Conroy being so synonymous with Batman it might be hard to separate him from the character, particularly if hearing him in another stealth role. But who knows, given the open-world set-up of Metal Gear Solid V and the surreal hallucination-driven vibe of the trailer, maybe Kojima is already taking a few cues from Rocksteady.
Why? Because there’s every chance that the whole “not asked to be in MGSV” thing is another hoax. Big Boss doesn’t say much in any of the Metal Gear Solid V footage so far, and it’s entirely possible that the dialogue thus far is just placeholder. Why would Kojima play around like this? Why wouldn’t Kojima play around like this? That’s what he does. Remember the Metal Gear Solid 2 bait and switch with Raiden? Of course you do.
What would his Snake be like? Exactly like Solid Snake and Big Boss.
Why? Because the original Metal Gear on the NES notoriously ripped off Biehn’s portrayal of Kyle Reese in The Terminator in order to illustrate Snake, and it’s about time he got some real credit. Also, Biehn is starting to branch out into video game voice-overs lately, and with Far Cry 3′s Blood Dragon DLC looking brilliant, Metal Gear would give him a 2:1 hit-to-crap ratio and allow us to forget about Aliens: Colonial Marines.
What would his Snake be like? Hopefully just Reese and Hicks amalgamated into one giant ball of ’80s heroic awesome.
Why? Oh come on, we didn’t even need to Photoshop in the eyepatch. Without Russell’s Snake Plissken, neither Solid nor Naked Snake would exist in the form he currently does. There’s even a flat-out reference to him in Snake’s codename in Metal Gear Solid 2.
What would his Snake be like? AMAZING. And probably incredibly sarcastic.
Speak your thoughts
So that’s our rundown of wildly eclectic mindpourings. But what about yours? Have you got any ideas for who you’d like to take up the mantle? Havre you even come to terms with the possibility of Hayter not being in the game yet? Let us know.
And while you’re here, treat yourself and read some of our related content. Try Metal Gear music makes Rocky II better and What if Solid Snake failed to stop Metal Gear?
By David Houghton
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