Solid Snake almost had pet rats in the first Metal Gear Solid game, but it was one of the many features Hideo Kojima was forced to cut from the game's final release.
Did You Know Gaming?, a YouTube channel that specializes in unearthing bizarre stories from the gaming world, recently got Snake voice actor David Hayter to narrate its latest video all about the cut content of the Metal Gear Solid games. To start us off, Hayter told the story of Metal Gear Solid's rats, which almost had a much larger role than you might remember.
The rats in the original Metal Gear Solid were already pretty important as a game mechanic, leading Snake to the tank hangar and also providing him with a key card. However, those same rats you first met after being shot out of a submarine almost became Snake's pets.
"The rats were a way of adding reality to the game and to create the atmosphere within the base… [enemy] soldiers eat food, and they have leftovers, which attracts the rats… I actually wanted to put more rats in," said Hideo Kojima in a 1999 interview with Computer and Video Game Magazine.
"Another thing I wanted to do was assign names to individual rats, and these rats could then be raised as pets. Alaska is a very cold place, and when Snake first goes into the base, the rats are the first life forms he encounters, so I think they're a very important element in the game."
Another piece of cut rat content involved the boss fight against Sniper Wolf. In the pre-release version of the game, Snake could shoot the rats to make them grow larger and larger, providing cover for Snake. However, Kojima found that to be a little too ridiculous and that feature was eventually removed. In the final release, shooting the rats during the Sniper Wolf fight will just have Campbell and Naomi shout at you over codec to stop.
Rats return in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots when Snake returns to Shadow Moses. In a conversation with Otacon, Snake calls the rats his "old friends"–likely a reference to the importance of rats in the first game, but possibly a reference to the cut content. And then there's Rat Patrol Team 01, Meryl's special forces squad for the US government.
Did You Know poured over 800 documents and even spoke to several developers to create 30 minutes of cute Metal Gear Solid content, so I encourage Metal Gear fans to watch the whole video.
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