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Konami Finally Answered the ‘Metal Gear Solid 5’ Ending Question

3 minute read

You might assume the most authentic source for pronouncements about a game like Metal Gear Solid V (read TIME’s review) would be its director, but for now, the game’s publisher Konami will have to do.

Konami says a “definitive” edition of the game set to include both preamble Ground Zeroes and main story The Phantom Pain will arrive on October 11. But some—unhappy with the game’s ending and given to conspiracy theories about the exclusion of an incomplete additional mission that was shared like a film’s deleted scene on the collector’s edition bonus disc—won’t rest until Konami gives them the ending they feel they deserve. Sound familiar?

“How is it definitive if the ending is still missing?” wrote one Twitter user.

To my surprise, and I assume everyone else’s looking, Konami replied:

After further, more specific questioning (you can read the thread in full here, though warning: huge endgame spoilers!), Konami said this:

Whither director Hideo Kojima? He may in fact have weighed in last November, though it’s impossible to know for sure, when he tweeted “Good speculation of MGSV TPP by 2 Japanese best-seller Novelists,” then linked to their conversation about the game.

At one point during that conversation, referring to the excluded so-called 51st chapter, writer Manabu Makime says:

As for “Kingdom of the Flies,” I think it’s become an easy target for players who haven’t reconciled their mixed emotions about the way the main story ends. It’s like a punching bag for dealing with that stress. I guess people don’t want to accept that MGS is over. That’s my take on the various opinions that have been expressed about the way the “Kingdom of the Flies” arc was left up in the air. Personally I think the game was fine without that chapter.

To which co-writer Hitori Nojima replies:

Yeah, I also think that the exclusion of “Kingdom of the Flies” doesn’t actually influence the main story. If “Kingdom of the Flies” had been in there, it would have been a pretty long segment by itself, and if you look at V’s story as a whole, adding in “Kingdom of the Flies” as well would disrupt its balance. Unless it was spun off as a separate story entirely, it would ruin the structure of V’s narrative.

As far as I know, mind-reading’s still a pseudoscience, so I’m left shrugging at the gossip, and with my own perhaps fitting ambivalence towards the game’s denouement.

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Write to Matt Peckham at matt.peckham@time.com