Kojima Production may be no more, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find dozens of references to the team throught Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Kojima is famous for slipping in references, random easter eggs and other ridiculous things – we’ve tracked down 16 of the best for you to try right now.
1. Back Once Again
This cute Easter Egg can be seen simply by taking a break from playing The Phantom Pain, if you can imagine doing such a thing. Once you’ve unlocked D-Dog, don’t return for a month (or alter your console’s date) and the next time you return you’ll be greeted the only way man’s best friend knows how.
2. Kojima Productions Poster
Konami might be hesitant to associate Kojima’s name with MGS anymore, but he sneaked it in anyway. During the prologue where Big Boss is relearning to walk you’ll stumble against a notice board – and pinned to it is the artwork for Ground Zeroes with the title ‘Kojima Productions’.
3. Look Out Below
A classic Kojima secret, this one. Around Mother Base are a series of warnings about falling objects in areas that are under construction – hang around one of these for long enough and you’ll find out why those signs are there, replete with comical, cartoon-esque whistle. Should a soldier witness your mishap, too, then their morale will increase.
4. Songs Of Praise
If you head over to Quiet’s cell on the Medical Platform you’ll find her listening to her favourite Eighties tracks. She must have a lot of respect for her captor, though, since you there’s a chance you’ll hear her listening to ‘Snake Eater’, the 007-inspired theme tune to MGS3 and the game that saw our hero shift from Naked Snake to his legendary title of Big Boss.
5. Squeal Little Pig
In the cutscene where you first encounter White Mamba – or Eli, as he is properly known – you should spot a pig’s head presented on a platter. That in itself is likely a reference to Lord Of The Flies (Eli also wears a conch shell), where kids stranded on an island form a savage society, but once you retake control of Big Boss you can actually shoot the pig’s head to hear it squeal.
6. An Unlucky Dog
Obviously the main characters of The Phantom Pain can’t be dismissed from Mother Base but there’s another recruit – gained from the Side Op Unlucky Dog 01 – that is also a permanent fixture. His name is Ziang Tan, he speaks English, Chinese and Japanese, has the Boaster trait and just so happens to also be the level designer of MGS V.
7. A Nod to PT
Kojima also helped produce PT – the Silent Hills playable teaser – and though it was only available to those dirty PS4 players we can still find this reference within the Angola-Zaire border. Hidden in a particular tent in the jungle is a radio that, when activated, will recall the chilling murder that is the focus of the Silent Hills demo.
8. Mirror Image
Here’s a neat little secret that you might never have found as it’s so subtle. Inside your ACC post-mission, if you angle the camera just right you’ll spot an ever-so-faint reflection in the window, but this won’t be of Big Boss. Instead this will be the face of your custom avatar – your MGO face, essentially – but you’ll need to squint to find it.
9. Happy Birthday
If you happen to play The Phantom Pain on your birthday (which you’ll have put in at the start of the game) – don’t keep reading if you want this to be a surprise! – then you’ll be ordered back to base by Kaz under a pretence of urgency. Instead the boys back at base just want you to take a break from battle to celebrate your birthday with a slice of cake and a singsong.
10. 6 Million Dollar Boss
You’ll have to be of a certain age to have picked up on this reference by yourself. When using one of your upgraded Bionic Arm abilities – such as the running punch or the sonar ability – you will hear a very specific, rattling sound; that’s the same SFX from The Six Million Dollar Man, a Seventies TV show about an ex-astronaut with bionic implants.
Ocelot will appear on Mother Base from time to time, and there’s all sorts of tricks you can do – from failing to sneak up on him in a cardboard box to tranquilising him. Do the latter and he’ll say some chuckle-worthy comments, even referencing Cipher by another name.
12. Paz Ortega
After Ground Zeroes you might be forgiven for thinking Paz is no more. Once you’ve unlocked the Medical Platform at Mother Base, explore the area for a door you can enter to learn the truth.
13. That’s a Low Blow, Snake
Blink and you’ll miss this reference to Otacon, the scientist Solid Snake meets in Metal Gear Solid. During the cutscene at the end of mission 12, look out for a photo on the table to see young Hal.
14. Star Of Bethlehem
At the very start, you’ll see a nurse put lilies out – a reference to the final fight in MGS3 with Boss. Complete the last, hidden mission of TPP to collect one to research the Infinity Bandana.
15. OK Hero, Set Me Free
Fancy yourself an MGS veteran? You’ll enjoy this one. Defeat Quiet’s introductory mission on Extreme difficulty and you’ll unlock a Sniper Wolf costume that you can research and equip.
16. Kojima Returns
While Kojima isn’t exactly part of Metal Gear canon, he earns himself another cameo after appearing in Ground Zeroes. There’s a VIP side-op you can complete to unlock Kojima as a recruit.